Bonjour, all have a lovely afternoon! Cheers- Philippe Saibiri-Tenene.
Islands, PNG/d'Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea /Fiji /Louisiade Archipelago, PNG/Maluku Islands,Sumba,Timor Indonesia/New Caledonia /New Guinea, politically divided between independent Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua + 600+ Islands Off the coast of New Guinea,Autonomous Bouganville /Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia /Schouten Islands, Indonesia /Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands/ Solomon Islands, politically divided between Papua New Guinea and independent Solomon Islands /Torres Strait Islands, politically divided between Australia and Papua New Guinea /Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea /Vanuatu /Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea / The Australian South Sea islanders (Ancestors of Melanesians living in Australia since the 1800's in Queensland and Northern NSW+) (Over 1,500+ Indigenous Melanesian languages in Western Pacific)
THE opposition has called on the prime minister and the chief justice to resign for bringing disrepute to the two offices. PNG Party leader Belden Namah said Sir Michael Somare and Sir Salamo Injia's inactions had resulted in public resentment for both to continue in office. "The PM should have resigned after he was found guilty on 13 of the 25 counts for late and incomplete lodgement of his annual returns by the tribunal comprising three retired foreign judges," Namah said. As well, he renewed earlier calls for Sir Salamo to resign over the explicitly expressed dissent among his fellow national judges for not consulting and considering them to be on the PM's tribunal. "The Papua New Guinean public perception now is that the tribunal was merely a cover-up front, which was pre-meditated. This perceived perception was further strengthened with a mere 14-day suspension of the PM from official duties when the general public expected a dismissal penalty," Namah said. He said people were questioning the whole process and the eventual decision. "A breach of the leadership code is a very serious offence. There is no question of culpability. "The PM was not found guilty once, twice or three times, but 13 times and the same offence committed consistently over many years. "The PM's tribunal decision has set a bad precedence for future cases involving parliamentarians not declaring their annual returns. "Members will not declare their full annual returns because when they are prosecuted, they would refer to the PM's case and seek a two-week suspension," Namah said. Source: The National - Tuesday, April 5, 2011
2)PNG tells mighty US to go jump PAPUA NEW GUINEA has basically told the United States of America to go jump and not come fish in its waters because of its stubbornness and refusal to renegotiate fishing agreements and pay higher licensing fees for its fishing fleets. Acting Prime Minister Mr Sam Abal announced yesterday that PNG is opting out of the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries with the US because the world super-power was not prepared to accommodate changing economic circumstances for PNG and other concerned Small Pacific Island States. PNG, as the bigger brother of the smaller countries in the region, had decided to take the lead in sending the signal to the US because of the breakdown in negotiations and the US refusal to come to the negotiating table, the Acting PM said in a statement yesterday. Under the current treaty which expires in 12 months' time, US after fishing vessels – mainly tuna catching purse seiners – are allowed to catch in excess 500,000 tonnes of tuna which is valued at about $US2 billion and in return the Pacific Island nations, including PNG, receive only a pittance of about $US2 million each in access fees and some development grants. Angered by the US attitude, Fisheries Minister Ben Semri last Thursday went to Cabinet and sought approval not to deal with the US after his staff tried unsuccessfully for the last two years to bring them to the negotiating table. "Furthermore, PNG feels the treaty is outdated and cannot accommodate recent economic partnership arrangements with other countries such as the European Union where it recently ratified an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA)," said Mr Abal. "This hard line stance by PNG on behalf of smaller PICs is set to send direct signals to Washington that the Multilateral Fish Treaty is unsustainable. "This is your time, US, to recognise island countries and increase licence fees for fishing. The PNG Government decision is the right thing for the nations in the region. It is about time our friends state clearly and fairly their interest with us. They must give credit where it is due. "We formally give notice to withdraw from the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries with the US," Mr Abal said. The withdrawal would mean that the US tuna vessels would not be allowed into the Pacific when the 12 months is up. The move is also designed to make the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone, the choice destination for island nations' fisheries products to be processed in Madang and sold to the higher-paying European Union market, duty free. By Yehiura Hriehwazi-5/4/11 post courier-png)
3)Calls for tougher laws to protect land Secretary for the Department of Lands and Physical Planning Pepi Kimas is calling for tougher laws to protect clans or villagers from having their land developed for agricultural purposes without their knowledge. The call was made amid concerns that there was a growing trend of business transactions made between landowner companies and international developers without the knowledge of the majority of landowners and clan members. He said the laws should be stringent enough to say that when such companies are sold land. Lease-lease back process should not be made part of the sale or such title under the lease-lease back is not saleable under the sale of company. He further stated that there should be a provision expressed under the Lands Act that under the lease-lease back process, the title should only be granted to the ILG's. Mr Kimas said because of this, the Lands Department had been accused of giving away land to foreign owned businesses under the SABL. "Don't blame the Lands Department," he said. "We don't sell the land to the foreigners, it is the developers and the landowner companies who are doing the selling." He said this was the reason why he continued to insist that the land title must be given to the ILG's. However in most cases, it was being awarded to the landowner companies. "Landowner companies and the ILG's are two different groups and I do not control, monitor or dispose of such an agreement, when it is done,"he said. Mr Kimas explained that like any business transaction (either made corporately or legally) was sold with liabilities and assets and as such the land was the asset acquired upon purchase. "Villagers and clans don't know what's happening until the developer comes and starts development on their land and they are taken by surprise when they are told to move out," he said. The call comes amid implications that the Lands Department had been approving leases to foreign investors who did not have the people's best interest at heart. By Luana Paniu-5/4/11 post courier png)
4)Madang LOs embrace discovery of oil, gas THE discovery of oil and gas in the Usino and Raicoast areas in Madang has already set momentum for mobilisation of landowner groups in the area. The oil and gas deposit in these areas has been predicted as being much bigger than the current Liquefied Natural Gas project in the Hides area. One landowner group, near Ono, Usino LLG, has already stepped up to embrace the changes that have come with this discovery and has moved to form a landowner association in the South Ramu Basin. Sagi Oil and Gas Landowners Association in the Banam Project PPL 337, received the backing of the local MP Samson Kuli through the Usino Bundi Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee last weekend with a whooping K60,000. At the presentation, MP Kuli assured the people that he would make sure that his people would get the same benefits or even greater like those in the current LNG project. He also strongly advised chairman and chief negotiator Gabriel Aimai to use the money to form an incorporated land group, seek avenues for negotiations and all mobilisation matters. Mr Kuli advised against entering into all sorts of illegal deals, womanising, hire vehicles, booking hotel rooms and alcohol which he said was the result of the current demise of many landowner groups in resource rich areas. He also appealed to the people to be more humble, think more carefully, and always do things in consultation with the Usino Bundi district and the Madang provincial government. He said that this was one project that would benefit everyone and should not be seen as a family thing or individual gain. Meanwhile, the Madang provincial government also assisted with K25 000, which was disclosed by the provincial director of planning, Simon Simoi, who was also present at the event. By PORENI UMAU-post courier png 5/4/11
5)Hopes that PNG doctors' dispute can be sorted quickly
The Secretary of Health in Papua New Guinea is optimistic health officials can resolve an industrial dispute with most of the country's doctors, which led to a strike which ended on Friday.
The National Court on Friday ruled the strike illegal and directed the doctors to return to work.
Nearly 500 members of the Papua New Guinea Doctors' Association had been off work for almost a week, over demands for better salaries and other allowances.
The Secretary of Health Dr Clement Malau says plans are underway to try and address the doctors' demands.
"I'm very confident in the fact that the Department of Personnel Management led by Secretary Kali has actually written and advised his minister to take into consideration many of the doctors' demands, which are in fact over and above the standard public service requirements."
Dr Clement Malau says he expects the court to endorse their schedule for the resolution of the dispute early next week.Radio New Zealand International 4/4/11
Tuesday 5th April, 2011
6)'Do away with compo' The Government could save millions of kina wasted through compensation if it abolished landownership demands for destruction done to public properties. John Moksy, public relations officer of the Asian Development Bank funded road projects in the Highlands region, said this in support of comments made earlier by Enga provincial police commander Martin Lakari. Mr Moksy said the Government should not tolerate landowner demands for payment for damages done to public properties like roads, bridges and other facilities by natural disasters. He said Supt. Lakari's call for landowners to pay for destruction done to government properties by natural disasters should be taken seriously. Supt Lakari said this after compensation demanding landowners along the Highlands highway in Laiagam, Enga Province prevented workers from clearing a landslip. Supt Lakari said the locals own the land that destroyed State property and that they should pay the State instead of the opposite. By JOHNNY POIYA/Postcourier-png.
Tuesday 5th April, 2011
7)ABG hosts mining workshop AUTONOMOUS Bougainville Government President John Momis yesterday spoke out about the work that the ABG is doing to develop a policy on future mining operations in Bougainville. The ABG held a three day workshop last week in Buka which was attended by ABG ministers and senior Bougainville administration officials to develop proposals for the ABG Cabinet to consider the aims of future mining operations and the main options for achieving those aims. Bougainvilleans with extensive industry experience attended the workshop as facilitators and expert resource people on major issues. These included Mel Togolo, Sam Akoitai and David Osikore. Those from the ABG that attended include Minister for National Resources Michael Oni and the senior officials from the ABG's Department of Mining, headed by experienced mining engineer Stephen Burain. Professor Ciaran O'Fairchallaigh of Griffith University (Brisbane) helped Mel Togolo to facilitate the workshop. He also discussed how indigenous landowners in other countries prepare to negotiate large resource projects. Dr Collin Filer from the Aus-tralian National University talked about social mapping of landowner communities in other parts of PNG. Two senior officers from the Australian Department of Finance and Deregulation discussed the use of sovereign wealth funds to manage revenues from large resource projects. Mr Momis said the workshop had helped ministers and senior officers reach common understanding on the aims and options for future mining. Recommendations from the workshop will be considered by the ABG Cabinet in the next few weeks. "I emphasise that the workshop did not make any final discussions on the future of mining," Mr Momis said. "Instead it was an important part of the process to help the ABG consider all options."postcourier-png
8)New Ireland to screen all visitors All visitors entering New Ireland will undergo surveillance starting today, a move aimed at stopping the spread of the deadly cholera, which reached the province last week. This was made known by the New Ireland Provincial Cholera Task Force (NIPCTF) committee member and acting director for medical services at the Kavieng General Hospital Dr Joseph Kuk after NIPCTF met last Friday to address the measures in the fight against the disease. The meeting comes after cholera has shown its ugly face in Lihir with the first confirmed case tested and reported last Monday. Dr Kuk said surveillance questionnaire forms will be issued to passengers boarding flights to Kavieng at airports including Port Moresby, Lae, Kimbe, Manus and Rabaul. On arrival, the completed forms will be received by authorities on the ground including lab technicians, health extension officers and nurses, and suspected travelling passengers will be treated if tested positive using the rapid testing method. The same approach will be applied to travelling passengers entering Namatanai from Kokopo via speed boats, those travelling to and from Lihir, and those entering the main wharf. The larger and foreign shipping vessels will be attended to by NAQIA. Dr Kuk said long term preventative measures already in place were also discussed in preparation for any possible breakout among others. Meanwhile, doctors at the Kavieng General Hospital had resumed duties on Friday after they joined their counterparts in the nationwide strike a week ago. By JORGE RUMAROPEN post courier-png
Tuesday 5th April, 2011
9)Forum to address job opportunities THE catch word on the lips of everyone in Papua New Guinea these days is " work." Finding employment opportunities for the increasing numbers of school leavers as well as the already swelling numbers of unemployed young people throughout Papua New Guinea is a major concern that worries the government as well as the business sector, the churches and families alike. So this week the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) are heading to Lae for the Momase regional forum to deal with this 'headache' – if that is what authorities call it. The theme for the 2011 Momase Regional Development Forum is "How to Create More Employment and Opportunities". A CIMC statement distributed to the regional media offices states that the over-riding objective for economic and social policy in Papua New Guinea over the coming years must be to secure faster employment growth and reduce unemployment. "The Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan (PNGDSP) says that economic development under the plan, will be broadbased, facilitating entrepreneurial enterprise both in rural and urban PNG, with a target of creating two million jobs by 2030. "This means that all policies should be judged by their ability to contribute towards this goal. Is it at the top of our decision makers' agenda? " The objective of the 2011 CIMC Development Forums is to have a say in the formulation of the strategies to achieve the target. - What are the areas of opportunity in the formal sector? - What are the areas of opportunity in the informal economy? - What are the basic functions of government in creating employment? - What are the main areas of constraint? The two day forum will comprise of presentations from the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Office of Higher Education, Technical Vocational Education Training Division of Department of Education, the National Apprenticeship and Trade Testing Board, Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gini Goada, Bris Kanda , Fisheries Industry Association, BSP Rural Banking, National Research Institute, and the Catholic Education office. Presentations will be made by various experts and industry drivers on agriculture, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing and construction, mining and petroleum, the ever growing information sector, vocational and technical training and education among others. By OSEAH PHILEMON-post courier png
10)West Papua Report April 2011
Source: East Timor Action Network (ETAN)
Date: 04 Apr 2011
This is the 84th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to email@example.com.
Indonesia's Vice President Boediono has begun implementation of a Presidential decree calling for the establishment of an inter-governmental agency to examine problems in West Papua. The initiative falls far short of widespread Papuan calls for a senior-level, internationally mediated dialogue between Indonesian officials and Papuans. A senior Papuan civil society leader has spoken out against this continued failure of Jakarta to engage in serious dialogue. Papuan church leaders have charged the Indonesian government with "genocide" in West Papua. The Melanesian Spearhead Group again failed to invite representatives from West Papua to its annual summit, instead inviting the Indonesian government to send observers. Indonesian officials violated the labor rights of Papuans by jailing nurses who called a peaceful, legal strike. A leading Papuan NGO chief has called for elimination of provisions in the Indonesian criminal code that violate Indonesia's obligations under international conventions to which it is party.
The Indonesia Government Continues to Ignore Papuan Calls for Dialogue
Senior Papuan Faults Government Failure to Pursue Dialogue
Papuan Church Leaders Charge Indonesian with "Genocide"
Melanesian Spearhead Group Invites Indonesia as Observer, Continues to Bar Papuan Participation
Nurses Jailed in Labor Dispute
Demand for Elimination of Repressive Provisions in Indonesia's Criminal Code
The Government of Indonesia Continues to Ignore Papuan Calls for Dialogue
The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesian Vice President Boediono planned to convene a meeting on West Papua on March 28 in Jakarta. The meeting was to be the initial step in formulating a draft of a presidential decree to address issues regarding Papua. The regulation also aims to establish a special unit to accelerate development in Papua. According to the decree, the government will form a "delivery unit," the Unit Percepatan Pembangunan Papua dan Papua Barat (UP4B/ Special Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua). Significant aspects of the draft include the promotion of a cluster-based approach to development, and an increased integration of the activities of the central and regional administrations. The planned regulation follows a presentation made by Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu and West Papua Governor Abraham Ocktavianus Atnuri to the national Cabinet in January.
The late March meeting was to have included Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa and Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo, as well as unnamed Papuan representatives.
A March 9 interview by the Sydney Morning Herald's Tom Allard revealed the Vice President's intentions. Boediono told Allard that he rejected a bilateral dialogue, as called for by many Papuans, contending instead that his agency would assist multiparty communications. Boediono said he would welcome international donor aid money for West Papua but rejected any possible mediation role such as occurred in Aceh in 2005 when a peace accord mediated by internationally ended years of central government abuses carried out by security forces. Boediono told Allard that his new effort would aim at better communications, affirmative action for indigenous Papuans, and "more openness." (The Jakarta government has long placed severe restrictions on journalists, UN and foreign government or NGO personnel seeking to visit West Papua.) Boediono offered no assurances that he would press for allowing Papuans the right to fly the Morning Star flag or that the heavy military presence in West Papua might be reduced.
Vice President Boediono made clear that this undertaking would not constitute a "dialogue." There is no indication that this new body will address outstanding issue of human rights violations, impunity for those committing those abuses, notably in the military and police. This body will almost certainly not consider the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, especially the right of self determination.
WPAT Comment: Boediono's "agency" falls far short of persistent appeals by Papuan officials, civil society leaders as well as Papuan, Indonesian and international NGOs for a senior level, internationally-mediated dialogue between the Indonesian government and Papuan leaders. Indeed, Boediono, in his Sydney Morning Herald interview, made clear that this undertaking would not constitute a "dialogue." There is no indication that this new body will address outstanding issue of human rights violations, impunity for those committing those abuses, notably in the military and police. This body will almost certainly not consider the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, especially the right of self determination, which the central government has long denied Papuans.
Senior Papuan Faults Government Failure to Pursue Dialogue
Participation of Papuan provincial level officials in Vice Boediono's meeting regarding West Papua (see report above) reflects the unwillingness of Papuan government officials to support the widespread call of their Papuan constituents for an internationally-mediated dialogue with the Jakarta government. Pastor Neles Tebay, coordinator of the Papua Peace Network - JDP discussed this failure of Papuan leadership candidly in a March 25 interview with JUBI.
Tebay noted frankly that neither of the provincial governments (Papua and West Papua) have reached agreement about the agenda of such a dialogue. Nor have either of the Papuan administrations issued statements officially supporting Jakarta-Papua dialogue. Tebay candidly assessed that the Papuan officials' failure to endorse the popular calls for dialogue was because dialogue "is seen as being a separatist move and in opposition to what the Indonesian state is working for." "Any individual who works for the government who expresses support for the idea of a Jakarta-Papua dialogue is in danger of losing his job because he is likely to be seen as a separatist. Anyone working for the government who expresses support for a dialogue places himself in danger and could lose his job,' he said.
For his part, Father Tebay continues to pursue dialogue as a means of finding solutions to problems besetting Papuans. Tebay stressed that dialogue was not in itself a solution but rather would bring together the Papuan people and the Indonesian government to discuss the problems. The aim would be to discuss the problems and agree to the best possible solution.
Pastor Tebay said that so far, he has visited twelve districts in Papua to hold consultations. The districts he has visited so far include Merauke, Biak Enarotali, Timika, Wamena and Sorong.
He has also visited some other countries to discuss the question of dialogue including PNG, Vanuatu and Australia where he met Papuans in a number of cities. Everywhere he went, he encountered enthusiasm for the idea of finding a peaceful solution by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
Papuan Church Leaders Charge the Indonesian Government with "Genocide"
Papuan Church leaders in late March issued a "Theological Declaration of Churches in Papua." The declaration includes one of the most forthright Papuan statements regarding genocide targeting Papuans. The statement which was forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (see full document at A Statement from a Group of Papuan Church Leaders) contends:
Transmigration policy and unrelenting military operations are, in our view well-planned programs to eventually annihilate indigenous Papuans. Papuans are positioned as "the other" and as such warrant surveillance, control, and civilization. Papuans are not equal citizens of Indonesia. Some observers in Jakarta view this as an internal colonialism or disguised slavery against Papuans.
Papuans have undergone a 'silent history of suffering' or memmoria passsionis leading to genocide. ... The term genocide perhaps does not meet the criteria set forth by the UN, or other nations, or by Indonesia. But from our own view as victims, genocide is indeed taking place through the conditioning staged by Jakarta in the forms of ideology and development policies that are against the indigenous Papuans. Transmigration policy and unrelenting military operations are, in our view well-planned programs to eventually annihilate indigenous Papuans. Papuans are positioned as "the other" and as such warrant surveillance, control, and civilization. Papuans are not equal citizens of Indonesia. Some observers in Jakarta view this as an internal colonialism or disguised slavery against Papuans.
Melanesian Spearhead Group Invites Indonesia as Observer, Continues to Bar Papuan Participation
Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit members and observers.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), comprising Vanuatu, the Solomon Island, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Kanaky peoples of New Caledonia, invited Indonesia (and Timor-Leste) to join their annual meeting. MSG leaders met March 31 in Suva, Fiji, for the annual summit which followed a meeting of foreign ministers March 29. The MSG did not invite any representation from West Papua.
A conference of solidarity groups supporting West Papua that convened in Sydney in February had called on the MSG not to offer observer status to Indonesia and instead to offer that status to representatives of the Papuan people of West Papua.
For its part, the Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) welcomed a statement from the Chairman of the MSG meeting, Ratu Inoke Kubuabol who said that "The Melanesia Spearhead Group feels for their brothers and sisters in West Papua." Joe Collins of AWPA said "we urge the MSG to grant West Papua membership at the leaders summit. They would have the support of the Melanesian people across the region in granting West Papua membership."
Collins noted that 42% included West Papua as part of the Melanesian family in the first ever telephone poll conducted by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP) across Melanesia.. An overwhelming majority (75.4%) of respondents said yes to the question "Do you support independence for West Papua." PiPP in a press release reported that when asked who they considered part of the Melanesian family, clear majorities included the established members (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia) while 42% also included West Papua, 17.1% included Australia, 14.9% included Indonesia and 14.1% included Timor-Leste. PiPP also reported that when asked "Do you support independence for West Papua?" there was very high support in PNG (89.3%) and Vanuatu (88.2%).
Collins underscored that these numbers suggest a "disconnect between popular support and the position taken by governments in the region, except Vanuatu, which has long championed the West Papuan cause at the political level. He concluded, "we see that in the poll only 14.9% of respondents considered Indonesia to be part of the Melanesian family yet Indonesia has observer status but not West Papua. For the sake of the long term stability of the region we hope West Papua will be discussed at the leaders meeting."
The meeting in Suva was controversial because Fiji is currently under military dictatorship.
WPAT Comment: West Papua is the largest Melanesian populated entity not represented within the MSG and the second largest Melanesian entity, after Papua New Guinea. Its continued exclusion from the MSG calls into question the legitimacy of the organization. Moreover, the MSG's failure address the plight of Papuans, including ethnic cleansing under the rubric of "transmigration" and charges of "genocide" by credible organizations (see statement by Papuan church leaders above) exposes the lack of commitment among Melanesian leaders to the rights and welfare of Melanesian peoples. Vanuatu's repeated and public expressions of concern about the plight of Papuans is a singular but noteworthy exception in this regard.
Nurses Jailed in Violation of International Convention
Mounting public pressure, including from members of the Papuan Provincial Assembly (DPRP), compelled the police to announce they would release eight nurses who had been jailed on charges of incitement (article 335 of the criminal code). However, purportedly because of the absence of a key police official required to sign the release order, it appears the nurses had not yet been released at the end of March.
These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail.
The eight had been jailed over their call for a strike by nurses at the DokII General Hospital. That strike, a peaceful, lawful labor action, was over promised but unpaid compensation. Letters have been sent to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as to Vice-President Boediono protesting the arrest of five nurses and midwives who work at the general hospital for organizing a strike.
The detention of the nurses violates their rights notably as set forth in International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize), which was ratified by Indonesia in June 1998.
The issue of the unpaid compensation remains unresolved. The local daily Bintang Papua reported on March 23 that nurses and midwives had taken the issue to the DPRD and the provincial governor where hundreds demonstrated. They charged that the provincial secretary Constan Karmadi had deceived the public when he promised in December 2010 that incentives would be paid.
The medical staff are planning to make a formal complaint against the provincial secretary to the Administrative Court, pointing out that Instruction 125/2010 has been issued for the payment of the incentives, only to be cancelled by a later instruction that withdrew any such payments.
There is growing international attention to the arrests and the failure of the Indonesian government to meet is contract obligations to the nurses. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney has described the detention of the nurses as "outrageous" and called for their immediate release. She noted as well that "the arrests of the nurses, including two officials of the National Union of Indonesian nurses, was a heavy handed response to nurses pursuing a legitimate industrial campaign in support of their contracted entitlements. "
"These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail," added Kearney.
Demand for Elimination of Repressive Provisions in The Indonesian Criminal Code
The Papuan publication JUBI published an appeal on March 31 by the executive director of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) Yan Christian Warinussy to the Dewan Adat Papua (DAP, Papuan Customary Council) to submit articles 106 and 107 of the criminal code on subversion and incitement (the 'makar' or subversion articles) of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) to the Constitutional Court for a judicial review.
"I call on DAP together with the Papuan people to seek a judicial review of the makar article before the Constitutional Court because it is no longer appropriate for such a law to remain in force in a democratic country like Indonesia. Other democratic states around the world don't have such a law," he said.
Many international organizations, including WPAT and ETAN have long called for the removal of these provisions from the Indonesian criminal code. The provisions date to the colonial era and were frequently used during the Suharto dictatorship to repress peaceful opposition. Indonesian officials continue to employ them to repress popular, peaceful dissent, particularly in West Papua where Suharto era practices, including unjust prosecution, persist.
The provisions violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights to which Indonesia is signatory.
Autonomous Bouganville Islands:
BOUGAINVILLE Restoration and Development Authority (BRADA) yesterday celebrated the swearing in of seven of its nine board members by Buka district court magistrate Vincent Linge. The BRADA board appointed by Bougainville Executive Council (BEC), comprise former managing director of Kalang Advertising Ltd Peter Tareasi, ABG minister for Works, Transport and Communication Carolus Ketsimur and ABG minister for Primary Industry and Marine Resources Nicholas Daku as BEC representatives, CEO Planning Lesley Tseraha and acting CEO technical services Simeon Itamai as Bougainville Administration representatives, prominent Bougainville woman Josephine Harepa as community representative and Secretary to BRADA Andol Sione. Two other board members director of National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs Ellison Towallom and deputy secretary of PIP Juliana Kubak as National Government representatives will be sworn in at a later date after NEC endorses their appointments. Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) finance minister Albert Punghau, in congratulating the board, warned that the board's responsibilities would not be easy. "I believe with your wisdom, you will guide the ABG administration in restoring and developing Bougainville. It is very important that the funds are better used on good infrastructure for the betterment of Bougainville," Punghau said. BRADA board chairman Tareasi, in thanking the ABG, said the government's agenda was very precise, "we will do our best to achieve this". "We will set out a development agenda for our first meeting and also elect a deputy chairman," Tareasi said . Source: The National - Tuesday, April 5, 2011 By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
12)PNG TO ALLOCATE $196 MILLION TO BOUGAINVILLE Disbursements over five years begin next year
By Gorethy Kenneth PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 4, 2011) – Papua New Guinea's PGK500 million commitment to Bougainville to start next year will now be moved forward with the first batch of funds made available this year, Treasurer Peter O'Neill announced in Buka last Friday.
Initially the National Government through the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Port Moresby last month announced the PGK500 million [US$196 million] to be distributed for the next five years and earmarked for impact projects on Bougainville will officially be disbursed in 2012. It will not be the case now - the funds will be made available this year according to Treasurer O'Neill.
Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal made the announcement in Port Moresby last month, advising that the money would be included in the National Government Budget allocation to Bougainville where PGK100 million [US$39 million] should be released every year for the next five years. This PGK100 million will be added on the yearly budget of PGK70 million [US$27 million] for Bougainville every year, which would now bring the total every year for the next five years to more than PGK170 million [US$66 million].
"I want to announce today that this year 2011, we will move our program forward and part of the PGK500 million funds allocation will be made available through the National Budget to Bougainville this year. The government has been committed to developing Bougainville by providing funding for road maintenance throughout the region, law and order, health and education. During the JSB meeting I was horrified to learn about the region's funding problems. This time I will make sure all funds for you will be released on time."
He said the funds would be used for major impact projects to effect service delivery to the most remote parts of Bougainville. He brought about PGK30 million to PGK20 million for the Kokopau-Selau road sealing, PGK5 million for the Buka Ring Road sealing, PGK3 million for the Buka town maintenance and PGK2 million for the communication sector.Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/
13)Hopes custom land reform unit will keep Solomon Islanders informed
A consultant to the Customary Land Reform Unit in Solomon Islands, Andrew Nori, has said the outcome of research into rules of custom that apply to land tenure will allow people to read and understand the rules.
He says it'll also make the rules transparent, instead of depending on knowledge kept only by a few tribal elders.
Mr Nori told the Solomon Island Broadcasting Corporation that the research project is in line with the Government's policy to codify customary land laws and have them elevated to statutory status.
The research will target all ethnic groups and regions in the country.
Researchers will have specially prepared questionnaires and will be interviewing and holding meetings with customs' experts, community and women leaders and tribal chiefs.
They will cover on rules of customary tenure relating to land ownership, boundaries, tribal membership and leadership.5/4/11 Radio New Zealand International
14)Mining companies express interest in Shortland Islands
By Online Editor 6:13 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, Solomon Islands
Two applications to explore minerals in the Shortland Islands have been approved by a committee set up the Western Province's administration.
The Famoa Working Committee had considered and accepted the letter of intent from Honiara Holding company and the Australian Mineral Exploration company.
Secretary of the Committee Edward Kingmele said they considered companies profiles, business plan and the draft Access and Compensation agreement of the two interested parties.
Honiara Holding company representative, Brian Kale assured the landowner's working committee that it will honour its commitment on access fee and compensation payment.
Six landowning trustees will be in the negotiation team. It is also the general consensus that company should sign an overall bridging agreement with Famoa Trust Board and Landowners Trustees.
Meanwhile, Shortland Islands and Baegu Asifola constituencies have new parliamentary representatives.
The announcement was made by the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui.
"I Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui wish to inform you, the public that the winning candidate for the Shortland Electoral Constituency is Christopher Laore who polled one-thousand-353 votes. The runner up for the Shortland bye election is former MP, Augustine Taneko who polled 731 votes.
For Baegu Asifola constituency, Sir Frank confirmed the election of David Tome as its new member of parliament. Tome polled 1,366 votes SOURCE:SIBC/PACNEWS
15)SOLOMONS OPPOSITION PROTESTS AMBIGUOUS BUDGET Sikua says $268 million proposal lacks detail
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, March 31, 2011) - Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua has described the "2011 Appropriation Bill 2011" as a flawed budget for lacking detailed information about each budget line.
The bill presented by the Minister for Finance and Treasury, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo seeks parliament's endorsement to allow the Government to expend SB$2.2 billion [US$268 million] to deliver services nationwide.
Hon. Darcy Lilo had described the budget proposal as responsible, forward looking and sustainable as it provides SB$53 million [US$6 million] to cover the potential for unexpected needs and further will deliver a surplus of SB$24 million [US$3 million] to allow the government to further build its cash reserves.
But Opposition Leader Sikua said there are many examples of poor planning or the absence of planning when reading the budget against the Finance and Treasury Minister's Budget Outlook document.
"The budget has not been published as a document that clearly gives the expected outcome of each budget line. It is a license to expend without any fixed statement about the intended outcomes.
"Parliament needs to know what each budget line will produce as an outcome. In many ways this is a very traditional input-based budget where the people's taxes and the expenditure lines are shown but the intended outputs are invisible or non-existent."
Sikua said a good example is the reduction in budget for Reconciliation and Rehabilitation which had been set down as top priority in the Finance and Treasury Minister's Budget Outlook document.
"The development budget Head 494 shows two budget lines funded by the Solomon Islands Government. One allocates SB$1.5 million for the Truth and Reconciliation Programme and the other, SB$2 million for the National Reconciliation Programme.
"There should be documentation to clearly explain each budget line. The non-appropriated budget for this activity shows the United Nations' Development Programme will provide nearly SB$15 million to strengthen capacity for peace-building in post conflict Solomon Islands but there is no documentation to inform MPs what will be done to strengthen capacity for peace-building.
"The Public Accounts Committee has done its task to vet the budget but we as parliamentarians must go through it with a fine tooth comb."
The Opposition Leader said the Opposition will expect full information for every budget line from the government and the failure to provide for at least 75 percent of the budget can result in unaccountable spending by Ministries.Solomon Times: http://www.solomontimes.com/
16)MALAITA APPROVES $1.7 MILLION BUDGET Special assembly session endorses plan
By Eddie Osifelo HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 2, 2011) - The Malaita Provincial Government has passed its SB$14 million [US$1.7 million] budget. The budget was passed in a special provincial assembly held in Auki on Wednesday. The meeting was held from March 28-31.
Provincial secretary, Harold Leka said the special assembly was held in order to pass the budget to meet the deadline of the Provincial Government Strengthening Programme. The PGSP is located in the Ministry of Provincial Government.
Mr. Leka said if the Assembly did not pass the budget, funding would not be forthcoming from the PGSP.
"We made use of the standing orders where Premier can make a budget speech, debate continue and conclude," he said. Normally budget can take two weeks to complete. But because we are caught up in the situation, we just made use of the standing order," Leka said.Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/
17)SOLOMONS LOOK TO TRADE WITH MELANESIAN GROUP Revised trade agreement promotes regional solidarity
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, April 4, 2011) - Prime Minister Danny Philip has said that Solomon Islands are ready to trade with other Melanesian Spearhead Group members under the revised MSG Trade Agreement.
Speaking at the 18th meeting of the MSG leaders on trade and economic issues, Mr. Philip said that Solomon Islands has recently endorsed the revised MSG Trade Agreement and the relevant legal notice has been issued to give effect to the Agreement.
But he said there is a need to implement the revised MSG Trade Agreement by all MSG members.
Philip also urged fellow MSG leaders that improved trade and increased investment opportunities are essential ingredients for countries within the MSG to prosper and grow in the coming years.
He said there is also an urgent need for MSG members to conclude at the earliest possible opportunity the MSG Framework Treaty on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and
expression of culture.
Prime Minister Philip said that in order for the MSG to survive into the future as a vibrant and relevant regional body, leaders must provide leadership to officials and the Secretariat to ensure the MSG remains pragmatic and responsive to the needs and aspirations of members.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the FLNKS of New Caledonia. It was founded as a political gathering in 1983. On 23 March 2007, members signed the Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group, formalizing the group under international law. It is headquartered in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
One of the key features of the MSG is the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement, a sub-regional preferential trade agreement established to foster and accelerate economic development through trade relations and provide a political framework for regular consultations and review on the status of the Agreement. Negotiations are held regularly between the members' leaders to consider the progress and developments of the agreement. Solomon Times: http://www.solomontimes.com/
TV MEDIA RELEASE 01.04.11 Update on the Questions Transparency has asked over the last 5 weeks 1. Coroner's Report: Death of John Bule: Still no news from any official source about any action that may be planned or already taken. 2. Blacksands and Paray Bay Fish Processing Plants EIA Report: The Department of Environment has advised Transparency that one of the main reasons why the EIA report for the Blacksands Fish Processing Plant is still pending is due to minor adjustments that still need to be fixed. The cooling system need to be changed as the air conditioning system used in the plant is banned in Vanuatu. Also, a wharf site is yet to be identified for ships to berth to offload fish. However, there is still no report of the EIA of the Paray Bay Tuna Processing Plant remitted to the Dept. 3. Disciplinary Action for Government Director: Transparency is checking with the DG if he has filed a report against the Director of Finance. TV has called again yesterday but could not reach the DG or the person in charge of government vehicles at the PSC for comment. 4. The sentencing of David Moses is still adjourned. The next hearing will be on the 14th of April 2011. 5. Ombudsman Reports: We still have received no response. Share
Posted: 03 Apr 2011 05:13 PM PDT
VANUATU Development Awards: Announcement for the 2012 intake Australian Development Scholarships (Including the Australian Leadership Awards Scholarships) The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is pleased to invite applications for the 2012 intake of Development Awards for study in Australia. Development Awards include Australian Leadership Award (ALA) Scholarships and Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) for study at Undergraduate and Master level. PhD level study is available under ALA Scholarships only. The overarching goals of Australia's Development Awards are to develop capacity and leadership skills so that individuals can contribute to development in their home country and to build people-to-people linkages at the individual, institutional and country levels. The ADS Program is a bilateral development cooperation activity between Australia and Vanuatu. The program aims to meet human resource development needs in Vanuatu and to contribute to its long-term development. ALA Scholarships are academically prestigious awards, offered to high achieving candidates. ALA Scholarships have the potential to assume leadership roles that can influence social and economic policy reform, development and governance in their home countries and the region. Priority Areas: ADS and ALA – Public Health Management; Disability Studies; Policing/Law Enforcement; Public Sector/Financial Management/Economics; Engineering (Civil, Transport/Infrastructure/Aviation/ Ports and Marine, Town Planning, Environment); Agriculture/Veterinary (including bio-security). Eligibility requirements Whilst encouraging equity and gender, the selection will be based on academic merit in priority areas as identified by the Government of Vanuatu. Applicants must: 1. be a citizen of Vanuatu; 2. have an IELTS score of a minimum of 6.0 or above (with no individual band less than 6) – with the results no longer than two years prior to the date of application; 3. Must be resident in Vanuatu for two years prior to commencement of award; 4. not be a permanent resident or have applied for permanent residency in Australia; 5. not be married, or engaged to be married to a person who holds or who is eligible to hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence status; 6. Postgraduate applicants must have completed a first degree with the relevant work experience. Undergraduate applicants must have completed University Entrance (Year 13, NZ Bursary, or USP Foundation studies) with an exceptional academic record to be eligible for the award. 7. Applicants will be required to meet the entrance criteria of the relevant Australian tertiary institution. To Apply: Applications are now open (from 11 March 2011) for commencement at an Australian institution from January 2012. Applicants are encouraged to first read the Vanuatu country profile and handbooks including information on eligibility at these websites – http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar or http://www.vanuatu.embassy.gov.au/ Hard copy applications are available at the AusAID, Port Vila office for ADS Open Equity and Public Sector categories and will close at 4 pm on Friday 13 May 2011. ALA Scholarship applicants must apply online. ALA online applications are available until close of business 31 May 2011. Late applications will not be considered. If you do not receive confirmation of being short-listed by 30 June 2011, please presume that your application has been unsuccessful. Contact Information: Further information and hard copy applications for ADS, is available from AusAID, Port Vila. Phone (678) 23341, Fax (678) 22292, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please note that AusAID also supports Regional Development Scholarships (RDS) for studies in regional institutions through the Vanuatu Training & Scholarships Coordination Unit, Ministry of Education, Port Vila, (Tel +678 23708).
Posted: 03 Apr 2011 05:05 PM PDT
Country Strategy The Australia-Vanuatu Pacific Partnership for Development was signed by both Prime Ministers in 2009. The partnership seeks to accelerate Vanuatu's progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The priority outcome areas where common objectives have been established include: - Education; - Health; - Infrastructure; - Economic governance; and - Law and justice. In addition, Australia's aid program works within the framework that the Government of Vanuatu has set for itself, namely the Comprehensive Reform Program (CRP). The CRP endorsed in June 1997 envisages major improvements in service delivery, economic and public sector management, as well as economic growth led by the private sector. In June 2006, the Government of Vanuatu released its new Prioritized Action Agenda (PAA) 2006- 2015 entitled "An Educated, Healthy and Wealthy Vanuatu". The main priority voiced in the PAA is "to create an environment for private sector growth", the next level of priority being human resource development. Australia's assistance to Vanuatu aims to strengthen the public sector generally (including the law and justice sector). Australia's Partnership with Vanuatu focuses on increasing access and quality of schooling for all children; strengthening health services, particularly for rural communities; improving infrastructure to support economic growth and service delivery; progressing economic governance reform issues and enhancing access to, and quality of, policing and legal services. Greater emphasis is being placed on basic, technical and vocational education by the Government of Vanuatu and over 20 per cent of total Australian bilateral aid is spent in the education sector. A strong human resource development program contributed to by the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) underpins the Government's reform program by supporting priority areas of development. Type, Level and Number of Scholarships Australian Development Scholarships In 2011, 19 scholarships were provided: • 16 in the Open/Equity category and • 3 in the Public Sector category. Public category awards are open to government employees, while the Open/ Equity category is for the general public who meet the necessary selection criteria. An increase in the number of ADS offered annually will depend on the quality of applications received. Open Equity category scholarships are provided for study at the undergraduate and postgraduate (to Masters) levels. Public Sector category scholarships are available for study at the postgraduate (to Masters) level. Australian Leadership Awards Scholarships Up to 200 Australian Leadership Award Scholarships will be available across all eligible countries on an annual basis, for high achievers wishing to undertake postgraduate study at an Australian higher education institution. Selection for an ALA Scholarship is highly competitive. It is based on the applicant's professional and personal qualities, academic competence and, most importantly, their commitment to and potential impact on development outcomes for their country and region. ALA Scholarships target those whose chosen field of study equips them to play a significant role in addressing, researching or combating development challenges in their country and/or region. Awardees will be provided with opportunities to enhance their leadership capacity and extend their networks. Priority Sectors Open Equity applications are sought from people wishing to undertake study in six priority fields: Public Health Management- Public Sector/Financial- Management/Economics Engineering (Civil, Transport/Infrastructure,- Aviation, Ports & Marine, Town Planning, Environment) - Agriculture/Veterinary (including bio-security) Disability Studies- - Policing/Law Enforcement ADS Public Sector applications are sought from people wishing to undertake studies in priority fields agreed with the Government of Vanuatu. A list of these priority fields is available from the Vanuatu Training and Scholarships Coordination Unit (TSCU) office at Ministry of Education, Port Vila, Vanuatu (telephone (678) 23708). The Application Process The primary objective of the ADS program is to contribute to the development of Vanuatu's human resources. ADS Open Equity scholarship applicants apply for scholarships directly to the AusAID Port Vila Office, PO Box 111, Port Vila, VANUATU, telephone (678) 23341, Fax (678) 22292. ADS Public Sector scholarship applicants apply for scholarships directly through the Vanuatu Training & Scholarships Coordination Unit (TSCU) at the Ministry of Education (PMB 9059), telephone (678) 23708. Only Public Sector officers may apply for the Public Sector category through TSCU. ALA scholarship applicants apply on-line. Go to website https://oasis.ausaid.gov.au/ . Follow the instructions provided and enter your details in the Application Form including relevant documentation. The closing date for ADS is Friday 13 May 2011 and ALA Scholarship is Tuesday 31 May 2011. In all cases, the application process is based on the principles of transparency and merit. Required Documentation Certified copies of academic certificates and transcripts, birth certificate, references, IELTS test (if available) and current passport. Please note the required documentations on the application form. Special Conditions Applicants who do not meet the eligibility- requirements will not be considered; applicants must be Ni-Vanuatu- citizens; applicants must be residing in Vanuatu for two years prior to- commencement of award; applicants must have completed a first degree or- equivalent studies or completed University Entrance (Year 13, NZ Bursary, USP Foundation studies) with an exceptional academic record; applicants must- have high English language proficiency (minimum of 6.0 IELTS or equivalent); applicants will be required to meet the entrance criteria of- the relevant Australian tertiary institutions or TAFE; not be a permanent- resident or have applied for permanent residency in Australia; not be- married, or engaged to be married to a person who holds or who is eligible to hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent resident status; - all other Eligibility Criteria as stipulated by the Vanuatu Government for ADS Public Sector must be met. A full list is available from TSCU Office, Port Vila, Tel (678) 23708, Fax (678) 25936. A detailed list of the participating institutions for 2012 intake is available at the website: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholarships Preparatory Training – English Language Testing (IELTS) ADS Open Equity and Public Sector applicants are required to provide International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results. IELTS test is offered at the University of the South Pacific, Vanuatu Campus (Telephone Port Vila (678) 22748). Other Scholarships Regional Training/In-Country Scholarships/ Australian Leadership Awards – Fellowships Please note that AusAID also supports Australian Regional Development Scholarships (ARDS) for studies in regional institutions through the TSCU office, Port Vila, Tel (678) 23708, Fax (678) 25936. Information on In-Country Scholarships for study at the Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education (VITE), Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT), Vanuatu Centre for Nurse Education (VCNE) and Agence Universitaire de La Francophonie (AUF) is available from the relevant Vanuatu institutions. Australian Leadership Awards – Fellowships (ALAF) are offered for short-term study and attachment. Information is available on website: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholarships, see Scholarships. Contact Information Further information is available from AusAID Port Vila: Phone (678) 23341 or fax (678) 22292 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.vanuatu.embassy.gov.au/
Posted: 03 Apr 2011 04:16 PM PDT
Development Scholarship Application Instructions Please print neatly using BLOCK LETTERS and BLACK INK * Before completing this form, you must read the Australia Awards – Development Scholarship Handbook (The Handbook) and your Country's profile, available on the AusAID Website (see below) or from the AusAID/Managing Contractor's office in your country. * You must complete all fields marked with an *. * This application must be completed in English. * For "Yes" or "No" questions, indicate your response with an "X" in the appropriate box. * Three (3) copies of this form and of all attached documents must be submitted to the AusAID Office in your country by the Country Program's due date. * DO NOT send this application to universities or other institutions in Australia. * Australia Awards – Development Scholarships will be offered only to those whose course of study will contribute to the long-term development needs of their country of citizenship. A list of the development priorities is available from the AusAID office in your country of citizenship or the Country profile on the AusAID Website (see below). * AusAID's website includes a list of Australian higher education institutions that may receive Development Scholarship awardees. Course of study information is available directly from the Institutions' websites or the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) website (see below). * You may provide two preferences for courses of study. You should consider two institutions rather than two courses at the same institution, just in case you do not meet the admissibility requirements of the first institution. * If your application is successful, you will be required to sign a Contract with the Commonwealth of Australia and be bound by conditions of the scholarship. A full list of the conditions is contained in the Handbook. Please note that AusAID reserves the right to change these conditions at any time. * Submitting this application does not guarantee that you will receive a Scholarship. * If you do not receive an invitation to an interview or other communication from AusAID or its Managing Contractor by mid-July, you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful. Useful websites Australia Awards: http://australiaawards.gov.au/ Australia Awards – Development Scholarships: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar Visas – Department of Immigration and Citizenship: http://www.immi.gov.au/ Studying in Australia: http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/ Australian Educational Institutions and courses – the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS): http://cricos.deewr.gov.au/ IELTS: http://www.ielts.org.au/ TOEFL: http://www.ets.org/toefl Click to download Application Instruction Form
22)Vanuatu court restrains justice minister in NGO row
By Online Editor 11:45 am GMT+12, 05/04/2011, Vanuatu
The Vanuatu Supreme Court has ordered the Minister of Justice, Ralph Regenvanu, to return the keys and cheque books belonging to the office of Vanuatu's National Council of Women.
The Court has also ordered that the Council's administrator, Maryanne Bani, be reinstated.
Mrs Bani filed an application last week after Regenvanu used private security company staff to remove her from the office and placed guards on the premises.
But the Court has ruled that the Council is an NGO with its own constitution and the Minister had no power to take such action.SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS
23a)VANUATU PRIME MINISTER OPENS SUVA CHANCERY Kilman hopes to facilitate regional trade
ByWinston Tarere PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, April 1, 2011) - The Fiji Government rolled out the red carpet Tuesday this week as part of Gordon Street was closed to traffic to accommodate the opening of Vanuatu's new Chancery here in Suva, Fiji.
Prime Minister Sato Kilman officially opened the office by unveiling a traditional red mat from Pentecost (bwana)from the door to the High Commissioner's office.
The historic event was witnessed by Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister and Acting Prime Minister, Ratu InokeKubuabola, MSG leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, regional organizations, Vanuatu descendants, students and the Vanuatu community in Suva.
Pastor Nos Terry of the SDA church here in Suva dedicated the office with a reflection from Psalms 127:1"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain."
Pastor Terry stressed that the new office is set apart by God to represent the interests of the country and people of Vanuatu. Therefore those associated with the office must be committed to achieving these aspirations in their duty.
The opening also coincided with the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting currently underway in Suva.
The approval of a chancery in Fiji is seen as a vote of confidence in relations between Suva and Port Vila after ties were strained following former Prime Minister Natapei's refusal to handover the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Ratu InokeKubuabola who engineered a Melanesian consensus in handing Fiji the chair of the MSG said Vanuatu's diplomatic presence in Fiji would strengthen bilateral relations and the historical ties that Fiji and Vanuatu have shared since the 1800s.
In his official speech, Prime Minister Kilman said Vanuatu cherished its friendship with Fiji as a Melanesian state with similar culture and values. He said Vanuatu recognizes the need for a diplomatic presence in Fiji to facilitate the needs of its citizens here in Fiji and to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
Kanam Wilson has been appointed as the Charge d'Affaire to run the office while the government sorts out an appointment for the position of Vanuatu's High Commissioner to Fiji.
Fiji established diplomatic relations with Vanuatu on July 1980 upon independence.Vanuatu Daily Post. http://www.dailypost.vu/
23bTough task ahead for Pacific Games chefs de missions
The opening of the Pacific Games in New Caledonia is now less than five months away, and the men and women who will be in charge of the competing teams have just held an important strategy meeting in Noumea. The Executive Director of the Games Council, Andrew Minogue, says the task facing the chefs de missions is actually more complicated and more demanding than at other, bigger, international sporting events. Presenter:Richard Ewart Speaker:Andrew Minogue, Executive Director, Pacific Games Council MINOGUE: There was two hours covering issues like transport and catering, village accommodation, medical and doping, sport programs, things like that, that the teams need to be aware of. And then at the end of the briefing session there was a tour of the Games Village, and a tour of the new swimming pool, which has just opened and in fact was holding its first competition on the day that they visited. EWART: Are there particular difficulties that chefs de missions face for the Pacific Games that maybe don't crop up at other international events? MINOGUE: I guess one of the main difficulties the chefs de missions would face is the Games Village at Pacific Games only opens three days before competition. So for some of the bigger teams they'll be arriving with perhaps three, four-hundred people, athletes and coaches, and those team leaders, the chefs de missions, are going to have to be organised very quickly so that when they hit the ground they're running. Some other games, like a Commonwealth or an Olympic Games for example, the games villages often open sort of ten or 12 days before competition starts, which often gives team management enough time to come in, lay the groundwork before their athletes arrive. And because of our resource constraints here in the Pacific, we only have a couple of days before competition starts when people arriving. So that'll be probably the biggest challenge that team managers and the chefs de missions face when they arrive here in Noumea. EWART: So I would imagine that the timing of travel is quite crucial because they only have a small window to work in? MINOGUE: They have a small window to work in and New Caledonia is no different to most of the other Pacific Islands. There are places where flights do not come from, so you have to come in here through ports like Nadi or Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand, so you'll have the usual airline scheduling. Some of the bigger teams though will get around that by chartering their own aircraft to come in, so that they're not beholden to the schedules of airlines or flights being full. But nevertheless they'll only have a few days to coordinate all of that before competition starts. EWART: So in my most cases are the individuals who take on the role of chefs de missions fairly experienced in international sport already, or are some of them on a pretty steep learning curve? MINOGUE: A bit of both, what a lot of the Olympic committees will do is often appoint a chefs de missions for a four-year period. That will mean that they'll take teams to the Olympics, the Commonwealth, the Pacific Games, the Mini Games, so by the time they get to Noumea a lot of them might have done this three or four times before at different events. And then you'll have other instances where the chefs de missions might be doing this for the first time. But usually in all cases the people who are selected for this role have a sporting background, they've known to the Olympic Committee, they're known to the athletes in their country. They have an understanding of sport and the event. So while it might be a learning curve for some of them, they do have generally speaking a good background in sport to begin with. EWART: As is always the case I guess with international sport is you build up to one event, there's always another one to come pretty quickly after that, and there's the 2013 Mini Games to look ahead to, and confirmation I gather of the budget and the sports program for the event in Wallis and Futuna? MINOGUE: Yes you're right, there's a lot of events on the agenda. Wallis and Futuna, 2013 Mini Games, the first time they've gone to that very small French territory. The organising committee has now formed, it's up and running, they've got a new director and a deputy director, who came to Noumea for the meetings last week. The government, the Territorial Assembly in Wallis and Futuna has approved the Games' budget, and the Pacific Games Council did a lot of work helping them construct that budget based on our knowledge of the likely expenses that will be incurred to deliver the Games. So that's been approved by their assembly. The budget has been approved on the basis of eight sports, and the organising committee will announce those eight sports over the next couple of months. We're quite satisfied that the sports that will be offered for those Mini Games will be popular sports that will enable the athletes all around the Pacific Islands to really look forward to the first ever Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna. EWART: I suppose as far as the Pacific is concerned one of the obvious drawbacks very often is the huge geographical spread of the number of countries that are in the area, and the fact that those countries are pretty small. But the advantage is that someone like Wallis and Futuna gets to host an international sporting event, whereas there are bigger countries around the world who may never get that? MINOGUE: I think that's the real beauty of the fact that we have this event called the Mini Games. The main Pacific Games that New Caledonia are hosting, this will be their third time they've hosted it. Fiji have had three turns at hosting, Papua New Guinea will have their third turn in 2015. There's only a limited number of countries that can host the big event. For everyone else this is the one thing that they can aim for. You can do a minimum of five sports, a maximum of 15. So the very smallest islands in the Pacific can put a program of five, six, seven sports together and have the opportunity that a lot of other very small countries around the world don't have the chance to do, and that's to host a game. It's a good product that we have and it's something that gives all of the island countries an opportunity not just to host the Games, but to develop sporting infrastructure and real legacies for their athletes in the future.5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/story.htm?id=38621
24)AUSSIE OPPOSITION QUESTIONS TOUGH FIJI STANCE Bishop favors engagement with regime
By Nanise Loanakadavu SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, April. 4, 2011) – Australia has been warned that its policies are leading to its loss of influence in the Pacific.
The warning has come from Australia's Deputy Leader of the opposition Julie Bishop during an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Pacific Beat program.
She has been one of the few proponents for Canberra engaging with the Fiji Government and was asked whether her calls were linked to China's growing influence in the region.
"The Rudd, now Gillard government, has spread our aid budget very thinly, she said. There have been calls for the Australian government to refocus its aid effort in the Pacific and I join with those criticisms. I believe we do need to focus on our region and that includes the Pacific Islands."
She was also asked about U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton's meeting with Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola last September and whether Washington was undermining Australia's foreign policy in the region.
"Washington has made it clear that they are reviewing their policy towards Fiji, Ms Bishop said. When Kurt Campbell announced last year that they would rethink their approach to Fiji, I was very disappointed that the Labor government did not follow suit or made no response at all. Washington has made it clear that they are reviewing their policies towards Fiji, I urge Mr. Rudd to do the same."
Ms Bishop was asked whether the approach by the previous Liberal government to isolate Fiji was wrong.
"No, I supported the imposition of the sanctions at the time, but now many years have passed, she said. It's time to reassess whether the sanctions imposed on Fiji are still having an effect or whether they are potentially counter-productive and damaging the economy to the detriment of the Fijian people."FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/
25)Fiji Interim PM to open new embassy in Jakarta
Fiji's interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama will be officially opening a new Fiji embassy in Indonesia tomorrow.
The Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Solo Mara says the embassy based in Jakarta has always been in the pipeline.
Mr Mara says Fiji can learn from Indonesia's economic development model and positive growth, particularly in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
He says Fiji's trade with Indonesia is worth about 19 million US dollars and says there is a need to increase this figure.
Meanwhile a senior official with Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Budiarman Bahar, who led Jakarta's delegation at last week's Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in Fiji, says
Indonesia wants greater co-operation with Pacific island countries.
He says no country should stay isolated in the age of globalisation.Radio New Zealand International 5/4/11
26)Fiji central bank maintains two percent policy interest rate
Fiji's central bank has decided to maintain its current overnight policy interest rate at two percent.
It's also announced that Fiji's foreign reserves stood at a higher than expected 700 million US dollars at the end of the financial year.
Fiji's Reserve Bank Acting Governor Barry Whiteside says Fiji's domestic economic picture has been mixed, highlighting subdued construction activity and a slight growth in consumption.
But he says investments in mining, fishing, forestry and mineral water industries are expected to strengthen in coming months.
Mr Whiteside says while the global recovery's expected to continue this year, the outlook for Fiji's foreign reserves and inflation may be threatened by higher oil and food prices.
The central bank chief also warned of dampened export demand and fewer tourists from Fiji's major trading partners Japan, New Zealand and Australia which have been struck by disaster in recent months.4/4/11radionewzealand
ON the eve of the Melanesia Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy released a discussion paper, which claimed the region was going "Frank's Fiji instead of Julia's Australia".
Titled "Melanesian Democracy: Will it be sunk by Demography", PiPP stated that Australia's policy in Melanesia was not working as the region increasingly looked north to Asia and its more autocratic forms of government.
Ironically, Fiji was one of the stable countries during the meet with both Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea leaders having to miss out because of pressing domestic political problems.
Nevertheless, if the Melanesian Spearhead Group communique was something to judge Fiji's performance at the summit, then the country was successful.
First, the region supported the People's Charter for Change, the Roadmap for Democracy and the Sustainable Socio-Economic Development and the accompanying reform agenda that were " credible home-grown development agenda for Fiji".
"Leaders agreed to take up to the Forum Leaders and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and their respective secretariat the need to remain engaged with Fiji in the effort to implement the Strategic Framework for Change and the Roadmap to return Fiji to genuinely democratic elections in September 2014," the signed communique from the meeting said.
Fiji, the leaders agreed, should also be included in all the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiations with the European Union.
The leaders also agreed "...to seriously consider and pursue the change in the location and management of EPA negotiations if Fiji continues to be excluded from Pacific ACP Meetings and PACP-related forum" pushing for Fiji's inclusion in the PACP leaders meeting in September.
Tahitian Union for Democracy spokesman Richard Tuheiava told Fiji Times Business that regardless of what has been said about Fiji, he seemed to understand the situation in the country.
"I have read and heard all that has been said about Fiji. But coming here, I seem to understand the situation better being able to hear it first-hand myself," Mr Tuheiava said.
With the registration of the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) registered last week in Vanuatu despite objections from Australia because of its constitution, the MSG has approved for a "project position" within the MSG.
The position ù regional trade development adviser ù will complement the trade and economic division of the MSG.
An observer noted that the meeting was almost a coup d'etat by Fiji in the region. And most of the leaders were in support of the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's call to be "be bold enough to recognise what has been, where we are and where we want to be".
Mr Tuheiava who turned to the MSG for support in their pledge to be decolonised was of the view that the group was a strong voice in the region.
"They definitely are all resource-rich and they are also big in terms of population," he said.
"I hope there can also be a Polynesian group such as the MSG formed," he said.
It is understood that apart from Tahiti, Morocco and Slovenia are also seeking observer status in the MSG, following East Timor and Indonesia.
So, how big will the MSG's influence be in the region? Well, it is now targeting the position for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat secretary general.
The leaders have agreed to "nominate a candidate from Melanesia for the position of Secretary General to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat at the PIF Leaders Meeting in New Zealand later this year." Elenoa Baselala-Tuesday, April 05, 2011-Fijitimes:
28)FIJI HOTEL TAPS GEOTHERMAL FOR HOT WATER Harnessing natural energy source cuts costs
By Ioane Burese SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April. 1, 2011) – The Hot Springs Hotel in Fiji has recently taken advantage of the geothermal energy surrounding the hotel property by using a heat exchange process to supply hot water for all hotel requirements believed to be a first for Fiji.
After much tanoa talanoa, (discussions) it was decided something must be done to harness this wasted resource, and at the same time, reduce hotel operating costs or in this case, eliminate the gas bill,
The concept is the reverse of its marine application where sea water is circulated to cool hot engines or in aircraft where cold fuel is warmed by hot engine systems.
The hotel water supply is heated by being circulated through the heat exchanger buried in a geothermal hot spot on the hotel property.
The town water supply enters the heat exchanger at the "outside" temperature of approximately 25 degrees and is heated to 50 degrees prior to entering the hotel reticulation system.
The process is all gravity-fed, so avoiding the need for any additional pumps.
Ian Lilo, hotel maintenance manager oversaw the whole process.
Mr. Lilo said the beauty about geothermal energy was that it was a 24 hour, seven days a week supply. This he says beats the challenges of solar systems which are only useful during daylight hours on good sunny days or consistent wind for windmills.Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
South Sea Islanders Of Australia:
29)Islander group wants Government link formalised issue 222 - 04 Apr 2011 Ms Emelda Davis, CEO and Chairman of the 10-member Board of the recently established Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson) Limited, has welcomed moves to establish closer links through the Australian Government. "The Board and members of ASSI.PJ not only welcome but wholeheartedly support Vanuatu MP and Justice Minister, Ralph Regenvanu's message to the Australian Government seeking a closer working relationship between Australia and Vanuatu," Ms David said. "It is gratifying to see someone in such a prominent position championing the issues of redress in relation to the history of not only Pacific Island States but also Pacific Islanders and their Australian-born South Sea Islander descendants' industrial and economic contributions to the development of the Australian nation. National Indigenous Times. /Australia
Torres Strait Islands:
30)Dugong hunting request issue 222 - 04 Apr 2011 Queensland communities have been asked by a conservation group to look into humane ways to hunt dugongs and turtles. Ecoforce has released a report into issues facing the marine animals' populations after touring the Torres Strait Islands and parts of Cape York. Ecoforce spokesman, Kenton Campbell said it was important Indigenous leaders were consulted about dugong and turtle management. He said a key issue for the group was finding ways to adapt traditional hunting methods. "Work with the communities up there one at a time on best practice for how to deal with ... putting these animals down in a way that's still they can deal with them culturally, but is in the best way and the cleanest way for the animal," he said. National Indigenous Times. Australia.
31)New Torres Strait malaria breakout
Health authorities say they have detected another case of malaria in the Torres Strait.
Four people became ill on Saibai and Dauan islands last month and authorities were optimistic the outbreak had been contained.
But a fifth case of malaria has now been detected on Saibai.
A Queensland Health spokesman says efforts are continuing to kill mosquitoes on the island.5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/story.htm?id=38602
32)EAST TIMOR: LET FIJI MAKE ITS OWN DECISIONS Indonesian nation objects to foreign pressure
By Nanise Loanakadavu SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, April. 4, 2011) – Timor Leste says foreign countries should stop pressuring Fiji to return to democracy. It said they should allow Fiji to make decisions on its own.
Following the 18th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit in Suva last week, Timor Leste's Foreign Affairs Minister, Zacarias da Costa said Fiji's stance towards the planned general elections in 2014 was understood by the MSG leaders.
As an observer on the one-day summit, Mr. da Costa said Fiji needed to give its people a fair and just election system that marked up the multiracial country of Fiji.
"Australia and New Zealand should realize that at the end of the day, it's the people of Fiji who should benefit and not other countries, Mr. da Costa said. If they want the election in 2014, than there is no need to put on a lot of pressure on (Commodore Voreqe) Bainimarama's government."
During an official visit, to Fiji last year, Mr. da Costa said the government of Timor Leste had created a friendship with the leaders.
During his visit he came to understand the situation in Fiji and the importance to support Fiji's reforms outlined by the current administration.
"I think it is important that we strengthen this relationship. We are going to support these reforms and the changes that are taking place in Fiji, he said. We understand that change takes time, but whatever happens here is for the people of Fiji to benefit. The chance should be given to Fijians to decide. We will, as usual, support Fiji."
Mr. da Costa said they would continue their engagement with the region and look at opportunities to deepen their co-operation, and strengthen their friendship solidarity and brotherhood.FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/
33)TONGA FERRY SENTENCE: 5 YEARS JAIL, $2 MILLION FINE Shipping company executive Jonesse bound for prison
NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, April 4, 2011) – In Tonga, a total of 2 million pa'anga [US$1.1 million] in fines was today imposed on the ferry operator, Shipping Corporation of Polynesia (SCP), while its former Managing Director John Jonesse (62) was sent to Hu'atolitoli Prison for five years, along with the Captain and First Mate serving lesser jail terms for convictions on charges relating to the sinking of the Motor Vessel (MV) Princess Ashika in August 2009 with the loss of 74 lives.
"I accept you have no shipping experience, I accept you are a management person but, frankly, you led a shambles of an organization," Mr. Justice Shuster told Jonesse, a New Zealander, in sentencing him and three other men this afternoon, in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court. "It's common sense if you get on a vessel that is rusted and corroded that when it sails on rough seas there would be risk. You are the one person who showed no remorse and no explanation," said Justice Shuster.
In fining the government-owned SCP, Mr. Justice Schuster found it horrific that people on the MV Princess Ashika did not know where the life jackets were or where the muster station was located in cases of emergency. "That is a disgrace and it is utterly disgraceful," said Mr. Justice Schuster.
He sentenced Jonesse to five years imprisonment at Hu'atolitoli with no suspension whatsoever, on eight counts, including one of manslaughter by negligence, five counts of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea, forgery, and knowingly dealing with a forged document in relation to an Audit Report by David Shaw.
The ferry operator the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia was fined 1 million pa'anga [US$538,000] on a count of manslaughter by negligence, and another $200,000 [US$108,000] on each of five counts of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea charge, resulting in fines totaling 2 million pa'anga [US$1.1 million]. Mr. Justice Schuster also ruled that $20,000 [US$10,800] of this money is to be paid to set up a scholarship for the Tonga Maritime College for the highest ranking student in safety studies in regards to vessels. "This is for Tonga to change its safety standard." The scholarship is to last for 10 years at $2000 [US$1,075] per year.
The judge also ordered that $20,000 was to be donated to the Women and Children's Crisis Centre in memory of the women who died in the Ashika. The SCP is required to pay the amount within 30 days.
[PIR editor's note: Shipping Corporation of Polynesia lawyer, Vuna Faotufia, says they have no money to pay the charges and that Justice Shuster was wrong to use a recent British case as the benchmark when deciding what size fine the company would get.]
Along with the ferry operator, four men collectively faced 27 charges including sending and taking an unseaworthy ship to sea in regards to the Ashika's five voyages, with one similar count of manslaughter by negligence in relation to the death of Vaefetu'u Mahe (22) whose body was one of only two recovered after the sinking of vessel on August 5, 2009 in which 74 passengers and crew were lost, including all the women and children on board.
Three other men convicted of manslaughter by negligence and other charges related to sending an unseaworthy ship to sea were also sentenced to imprisonment terms, with part or all of the sentence suspended.
Captain Viliami Makahokvalu Tuputupu was sentenced to four years imprisonment, with suspension for three and half years, meaning he will serve only six months for six counts, including one of manslaughter by negligence and five counts of taking an unseaworthy ship to sea. Justice Shuster told the captain that he had an impeccable career. "You were off duty and you were called out at night but it was grossly late around 11:30pm. You probably did your best to save the ship," he said. "You admitted to the police in your record of interview that you knew the vessel was unseaworthy and you said it was because of the design . . .Today you admitted personal responsibility and you apologized."
Justice Shuster told the captain that he would have this on his conscience for the rest of his life. "And your counsel Sifa Tu'utafaiva rightly submitted that you would unlikely become a captain of a ship again," he said.
First mate Semisi Pomale was sentenced to five years imprisonment with suspension for three and a half years, which means he will serve 18 months on one count of manslaughter by negligence. Justice Shuster said the first mate took over as captain of the Ashika from 8pm to 12pm on August 5, 2009 but "you saw fit to appoint a steward and went to sleep outside on the bridge." Justice Shuster said his allegation is that he did not do his job, "Why on earth did you not wake the captain? Your action is the second most gullible to SCP jointly with Jonesse because you did absolutely nothing," he added. However today Pomlae had through his counsel apologised. "But you put the captain in a position that he could not do much," said the judge.
Former Acting Director of Marine Viliami Tu'ipulotu was sentenced to three years imprisonment with suspension of the whole sentence, on six counts, including one of manslaughter by negligence and five counts of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea.
Justice Shuster told Tu'ipulotu the fact that he was new to the Acting Director job as he said, this morning, was irrelevant in the eyes of the law. "If you did not know what you were doing you should have asked but you did not." No doubt he was a trusted public servant as he was appointed to the temporary position but, "You should have never signed the Provisional Certificate of Survey," he said. "I have great sympathy as you served Tonga well. You have an unblemished record and you probably have lost your job with the government and your right to pension. You have suffered enough", said Justice Shuster.
The convicted men are entitled to appeal their sentences within 42 days.
The courthouse was full for today's sentencing at the end of a trial that ran for seven weeks. A seven member jury on Friday found the four men guilty on all charges.
During the trial, witnesses told the court of leaking water below the Ashika decks hours before the vessel sank and of surging water in the cargo hold. The jury viewed photographs showing the Ashika full of holes and heavily rusted when it arrived in Tonga a month before it sank, and they learned from maritime experts that the vessel was not suitable to sail on Tonga's open seas. While a brother of victim Vaefetu'u Mahe (22) wept in court as he recalled the tragedy.
The 47m long, 677 tonne ferry was owned by the Government of Tonga with the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia Ltd as the agent. The vessel could accommodate 18 crew and 350 passengers.Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html
34)Tonga's Solicitor General says Crown may appeal against Ashika sentences
Tonga's Solicitor General says the Crown may appeal against the sentences of four men convicted over the sinking of the Princess Ashika.
The former Shipping Corporation of Polynesia's chief executive, John Jonesse, was jailed for five years, the former director of marine, Viliami Tu'ipulotu was given a 3 year suspended sentence.
The ship's first mate, Semisi Pomale, was also given a partly suspended sentence.
And Aminiasi Kefu says the ship's captain, Maka Tuputupu, was sentenced to four years in prison, but it was suspended for 3 and a half years.
"So the bottom line is he has to serve six months. Pomale was sentenced to five years altogether, but he is to serve one and a half years and three and a half years is suspended. We need to sit down and properly consider it, but an initial perception of it, there seems to be some kind of inconsistency in sentence."
Aminiasi Kefu says his office will have to apply to the attorney general if it does decide to appeal the sentences.Radio New Zealand International 5/4/11
35)Former Transport Minister apologises for Ashika disaster
By Online Editor 6:22 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, Tonga
The former Transport Minister in Tonga who resigned just days after the sinking of the Princess Ashika, has accepted that he made mistakes but had tried to carry out his duties to the best of his ability.
It's the first time Paul Karalus has made such a concession. He has lived in Tonga for 44 years and has a background in managing airlines in the Pacific.
Karalus quit just days after the Ashika sank almost two years ago, saying he wanted to be seen as not influencing any investigations.
"There is no way that politicians should in any way influence the decisions of technical people," he says.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the disaster criticised Karalus, who told ministers due diligence had been carried out on the Ashika, and that the ship "met seaworthiness and mechanical requirements".
That was never the case, but he never accepted he made errors.
Speaking from his Taranaki home, Karalus changed his tune.
"I think in the hustle and bustle....yes. I think one would have to say certainly in hindsight," he says.
He says there was pressure to find a replacement for the previous ferry, the MV Olavaha, and the Princess Ashika was seen as the solution.
"In the circumstances, given the equipment and personnel one had, one did what one thought was his very best," he says.
Karalus maintains he never knew the Ashika was unseaworthy because he was relying on the judgment of other experts.
Police didn't charge Karalus, but his close acquaintance and the boss of the shipping company, fellow Kiwi John Jonesse, will be sentenced for manslaughter by negligence tomorrow.
Karalus says he isn't about to return to politics and is currently focusing on rebuilding Nuku'alofa after the 2006 riots.
But it's clear the events of August 5 2009 are never far from his thoughts.
But while he has regrets about the disaster, he can work through them in freedom, unlike Jonesse and three others who will find out their fates today.
36)Tahiti delegate welcomes MSG support in decolonisation bid
One of French Polynesia's two members of the French senate says he has secured the support of Melanesian leaders in the bid to get his territory re-inscribed on the UN decolonisation list.
The pro-independence politician Richard Tuheiava attended last week's Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit in Fiji to lobby the Melanesians.
Mr Tuheiava attended as part of the delegation of the FLNKS movement from New Caledonia which is on the decolonisation list.
He says MSG leaders pledged to endorse the application at this September's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in New Zealand.
"They really welcomed the other idea of having another input from the Polynesia area because a free and decolonised Pacific is not only concerning Melanesia, it is also concerning the other cousins. Tahiti Nui, French Polynesia is also seeking for that."
Richard Tuheiava- Radio New Zealand International 5/4/11
37)FEBRUARY VISITOR NUMBERS DROP 11 PERCENT IN CNMI Japanese travelers represent 9 percent of total reduction
SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April. 5, 2011) - Tourist arrivals in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) were already down even before the 9-point earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11.
Based on the latest figures, visitor arrivals to the islands in February were down 11 percent compared to February 2010. According to the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA), arrivals in February reached just 33,659, fewer by 4,191 when compared to the 37,850 posted in February 2010.
February arrivals from Japan fell 9 percent to 17,450 visitors due to a decline in air seats. In February 2010, there were five daily flights to the Northern Marianas from Japan. In February 2011, there were only two daily flights and three weekly flights each from Osaka and Nagoya. Nagoya flights were re-launched on Feb. 2, with three flights per week increasing to daily service in March despite the Japan earthquake and tsunami impacts. The Nagoya flights were scheduled to continue through April 3.
The CNMI has received over 2,600 cancellations from Japan following last month's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, and the MVA anticipates several months of unsettled arrivals moving forward.
The pace of cancellations peaked in the 10 days following the March 11, 2011, earthquake. Cancellations have been gradually returning to normal, but forward booking levels in April have been extremely low. Industry watchers anticipate that the Japan market will begin its long recovery at the end of April with Japan's traditional Golden Week holidays.
Meanwhile, February arrivals from South Korea posted another month of gain at 6 percent to 10,133, riding on the country's continued economic strength. However, Asiana Airlines decreased Busan-Saipan flight service from four to two times weekly beginning March 23 to adjust airlift during the shoulder season.
The secondary market of China saw 3,962 arrivals in February, a 37 percent decrease compared to the same month last year. While the lunar New Year was celebrated in February again this year, there were fewer flights to the Northern Marianas from China for the holiday compared to last year.
Arrivals from Russia doubled in February, increasing 108 percent to 376 arrivals. The Russian ruble is stronger than it was a year ago, and several media familiarization tours in late 2010 helped spur interest in the travelling to the islands.
Visitor arrivals were 20 percent lower from Guam (987) due to a substantial reduction in air seats. For most of February, the Northern Mariana Islands had only one flight per day from Guam, jet services by Continental Airlines providing 155 seats. This is opposed to the normal schedule of five or six flights per day with a total of 230-276 seats. This resulted in an 18-percent drop in air seats from Guam in February 2011 compared to February 2010.
Visitor arrivals were also lower from the United States (520), the Philippines (41), and other areas (144), while arrivals from Taiwan increased (23).
Saipan Tribune: www.saipantribune.com
38)NEW MATSON HIKE RAISES RATES 45 PERCENT THIS YEAR Shipping company passes on business costs to customers
By Clarissa David SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April. 5, 2011) - One of the largest carriers of containerized cargo between the U.S. to Pacific Islands has announced another fuel surcharge hike for shipments to Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Micronesia, effective on May 1.
In a statement issued to customers Thursday, Matson Navigation Co. said that fuel surcharge on shipments from the mainland to Guam and the CNMI will increase by 8.5 percent points from 36.5 percent to 45 percent.
The fuel surcharge for Hawaii services will also reflect an increase of 8.5 percent points from 35 percent to 43.5 percent.
"Matson recognizes that fuel costs impact all businesses, as well as consumers. Unfortunately, transportation companies are especially hard hit, with fuel consumption an unavoidable and significant component of operating costs," said Matson Senior Vice President, Dave Hoppes.
The latest fuel surcharge increase is already the third for Matson this year.
Matson first announced a fuel surcharge increase from 23.25 to 28 percent on Jan. 29, the first increase since Feb. 7, 2010.
Another shipping company, Horizon Lines, mirrored the increase four days later, hiking its fuel adjustment factor for its Micronesia services from 23.25 to 28 percent.
On March 27, Matson announced an 8.5 fuel surcharge hike, increasing its rate from 28 to 36.5 percent effective March 27. Horizon Lines also matched those days later.Saipan Tribune: http://www.saipantribune.com/Copyright © 2011 Saipan Tribune. All Rights Reserved
39)Brèves du Pacifique - 05/04/2011
Richie McCaw fait l'impensable ! – Le capitaine des All Blacks a décliné une invitation royale au mariage du Prince Williams et de Kate Middleton le 29 avril prochain au Royaume Uni.
McCaw est beaucoup trop occupé avec la Coupe du monde de rugby à XV prévu en septembre et ne peut pas se permettre d'être à 11 heures en l'Abbaye de Westminster, ni de goûter aux gâteaux de la noce.Ce refus d'assister à l'évènement de l'année en Angleterre a choqué tous les amis du capitaine des All Blacks et nombre de Kiwis. Mais Richie McCaw garde les pieds sur terre, ou il essaie puisqu'il se remet d'une opération chirurgicale au pied et il veut s'assurer d'être en top forme pour la Coupe du monde de rugby. Entre le ballon ovale et les petits fours, Richie McCaw a choisi et il pourra toujours regarder l'évènement sur Itunes.
Cinq ans de prison pour John Jonesse – Le procès du naufrage du ferry inter-îles, le Princes Ashika, s'est terminé la semaine dernière. Le verdict est tombé vendredi les peines ont été prononcées hier. 4 hommes ont été reconnus coupables. Le capitaine et son second ont respectivement écopé de 4 et 5 ans de prison dont 3 ans et 3 ans et demi avec sursis. Également coupable, l'ancien ministre des Transports condamné à 3 ans et demi avec sursis. Le Néo-Zélandais, John Jonesse, l'ancien directeur de la Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, la société armatrice, risquait 10 ans de prison et a été condamné à 5 ans de prison ferme. Ce naufrage a fait 74 morts en août 2009.
Des milliers de tonnes d'eau contaminée dans l'océan Pacifique - TEPCO, (Tokyo Electric Power), l'opérateur de la centrale nucléaire de Fuskushima au Japon a commencé à rejeter dans la mer 11 500 tonnes d'eau radioactive qui se sont accumulées dans les réacteurs. TEPCO et le gouvernement japonais affirment que cette eau contaminée n'est pas dangereuse pour les humains ni pour la vie marine.
Fin de la grève des médecins papous – Une grève entamée le 25 mars pour protester contre le refus du gouvernement de respecter une convention salariale signée entre les deux parties prenantes en 2009. L'Association nationale des médecins et le gouvernement sont parvenus à un accord vendredi dernier. Peu avant, les syndicats du pays se sont rangés du côté des docteurs et ont menacé le gouvernement de paralyser l'ensemble du pays. Si les médecins ont repris le travail, l'accord conclu verbalement avec les autorités n'a pas encore été signé mais devrait l'être le 8 avril prochain pour éviter tout nouveau mouvement de grève. Les syndicats des employés de La Fonction publique et la Centrale syndicale du pays sont toujours en colère contre le gouvernement qui a menacé d'arrêter des docteurs en grève pour entrave à la justice après qu'un tribunal ait déclaré cette grève illégale.
100 travailleurs océaniens dans le Queensland - Dans le sud de cet État australien où ces travailleurs saisonniers ont été recrutés pour la cueillette des fruits en vertu du Programme pilote des travailleurs saisonniers du Pacifique que le gouvernement australien tente de mettre en place depuis plus de 2 ans pour combler le manque de main d'œuvre. Selon Trisha Hansen, du Conseil de North Burnett, les communautés des municipalités de Munduberra, de Gayndah et de Gin Gin qui ont déjà accueilli des travailleurs saisonniers attendent avec impatience l'arrivée des Océaniens : « Ces communautés apprécient beaucoup l'idée de partager des expériences. Elles ont appris des choses différentes sur d'autres cultures et d'autres pays. Elles savent aussi à quel point ce programme est important pour les îles du Pacifique et ce sont des travailleurs très compétents. »
Les Japonais annulent leurs vacances aux îles des Mariannes du Nord - L'Office du Tourisme des Mariannes du Nord indique que depuis le séisme et le tsunami du 11 mars dernier, plus de 2 500 Japonais ont annulé leurs réservations. Des annulations qui représentent une perte d'environ 6 millions de dollars américains pour l'économie locale. Le secteur hôtelier est le plus durement frappé, l'emploi également puisque que la création de 60 emplois a été remise à une date ultérieure.
Nouveau site d'info en ligne pour Kiribati - The Kiribati Independent est destiné aux quelque 2 000 migrants de Kiribati qui se sont installé en Nouvelle-Zélande. Ce site, lancé par la Fondation micronésienne du Pacifique, propose des articles et des avis susceptibles d'intéresser cette communauté. Un lien à travers l'information entre les 100 000 habitants de Kiribati et leurs compatriotes de Nouvelle-Zélande.
Exportation illégale de fruits de mer aux Salomon
En avril 2010, les autorités des îles Salomon ont décidé d'interdire les exportations de bêches de mer en constatant le déclin des stocks. Peu après, dans un entrepôt appartenant à un homme d'affaires chinois, Tongzi Zhang, la police salomonaise a saisi 160 sacs d'holothuries pêchées illégalement. Walter Kola, le chef de la police par intérim, nous explique cette affaire.
KOLA : « Il y a eu un incident aux alentours d'avril 2010. Suite à une opération conjointe avec les douanes, la police et les pêcheries, nous avons confisqué près de 5 tonnes de bêches de mer. L'affaire a été portée devant la justice et une amende d'environ 12 000 dollars salomonais a été imposée. Donc en ce qui concerne la police, l'affaire a été porté devant un tribunal, elle est réglée. »
Il faut savoir que ces 12 000 dollars salomonais représentent dans les 1 400 dollars australiens et que la valeur des bêches de mer confisquées a été estimée à un demi-million de dollars. On ne peut donc guère parler de mesure de dissuasion.
Au cours de ces dernières semaines, le quotidien Solomon Star, a découvert que des enquêtes sur des exportations illégales de bêches de mer auraient été abandonnées suite à des interférences politiques. Nous avons posé la question au responsable des investigations du Solomon Star, Ednal Palmer :
PALMER : « Un homme a été surpris plusieurs fois en train de faire la même chose. Il a essayé d'exporter des bêches de mer et des algues marines à trois reprises et s'est fait prendre à chaque fois. Mais personne ne l'a poursuivi. La plupart de ceux à qui j'ai parlé ou interviewé pense que cet homme à des connexions avec des membres très hauts placés du gouvernement. »
Ces personnes ne sont pas les seules, Fox Kwaina, membre de Transparency International, estime que la police devrait approfondir l'enquête du Solomon Star.
KWAINA : « Certaines sources dans le public et les autorités ont dit sans ambigüités que des personnes tout en haut de l'échelle ont exercé des pressions pour que l'enquête ne continue pas. »
Et pendant ce temps, la grogne grandit chez les villageois qui ont assisté à des opérations illégales et qui sont frustrés de voir l'homme en question échapper une fois de plus à la justice.
23 ambassadeurs des Nations Unies en Australie aux frais des contribuables
À la fin du mois de mars, 23 ambassadeurs d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) sont passés par l'Australie pour rencontrer le Premier ministre, Julia Gillard, et le chef de la diplomatie australienne, Kevin Rudd. L'opposition est montée au créneau en affirmant que le gouvernement tente de cacher le véritable coût de ses efforts pour obtenir un siège au Conseil de sécurité de l'Organisation mondiale. Selon la presse, cette visite des 23 délégués onusiens auraient été financée par le fonds de 13 millions de dollars mis de côté par le gouvernement pour financer sa campagne pour un siège non permanent au Conseil de sécurité.
Les autorités de Canberra affirment que les délégués du groupe ACP ont discuté de développement durable et de changement climatique. Julie Bishop, chargée des Affaires étrangères dans les rangs de l'opposition, n'y croit pas un mot.
BISHOP : « Le gouvernement essaient de nous dire que ces 23 ambassadeurs ont eu un billet d'avion payé par les contribuables australiens pour une conférence sur le développement durable. Et ils n'ont même pas rencontré le ministre fédéral du Développement durable, ni même le ministre du changement climatique. On dirait vraiment que les ambassadeurs de ces pays ont été choisis pour qu'ils soutiennent notre candidature au Conseil de sécurité. »
Richard Marles, secrétaire d'État aux Affaires des îles du Pacifique, a rencontré les ambassadeurs et se défend des accusations de Julie Bishop. MARLES : « Ces ambassadeurs font partie du programme de visites spéciales du ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce. Un programme en place depuis 15 ans ! Beaucoup de pays font de même en invitant des personnes potentiellement influentes dans leur propre pays et qui peuvent promouvoir les intérêts de notre politique étrangère et en cette instance : le développement durable et le changement climatique. Les ambassadeurs représentent des nations qui sont particulièrement touchées par le changement climatique et elles sont particulièrement vulnérables. »
Rien à voir avec le Conseil de sécurité des Nations-Unis donc ?
MARLES : « Tout ce que je dis c'est que le but de cette visite dans pays s'est fait en vertu du programme [mentionné] et le thème de leur visite a été le changement climatique et le développement durable. Des secteurs très importants où nous sommes globalement actifs. Je pense qu'il est important que notre rôle soit bien compris et je pense aussi qu'il est important de pouvoir écouter leurs expériences et leurs inquiétudes. »
Richard Marles maintient également que la campagne pour l'obtention d'un siège au Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies ne devrait pas dépasser 13 millions de dollars. Faux, répond Julie Bishop.
BISHOP : « Le gouvernement nous dit que la campagne pour un siège au Conseil de sécurité sera de 13 millions de dollars. Mais des documents obtenus en vertu de la liberté de l'information indiquent que déjà en 2002, le budget de cette campagne a été estimé à 55 millions de dollars. Donc le gouvernement ne reconnaît pas qu'une quarantaine de millions de dollars en plus seront dépensés dans cette campagne et en fait ça sera beaucoup plus. »
L'Australie doit obtenir la faveur des 2/3 des 192 membres de l'ONU pour obtenir un siège non permanent à ce Conseil et le vote aura lieu l'année prochaine.
40)Obama akan calonkan diri lagi 2012
Presiden Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama, telah mengumumkan niat untuk mencalonkan diri untuk masa jabatan kedua di tahun 2012. Tim Obama merilis sebuah rekaman video di website resminya dan mengirim e-mail kepada para pendukungnya, mengumumkan rencana itu. Obama mempunyai jaringan online jutaan rakyat Amerika dan kampanyenya melalui website luas dipandang sebagai bagian penting kesuksesannya dalam pilpres 2008. Pengumuman itu memang sudah diduga.
Seruan bagi aksi internasional untuk cegah bencana nuklir lagi
Ketua badan nuklir PBB menyerukan aksi internasional untuk mencegah terulangnya kembali bencana nuklir Jepang. Dikatakannya, operator PLTN Fukushima gagal mengambil langkah-langkah keamanan yang memadai. Direktur Jendral Badan Tenaga Atom Internasional, Yukiya Amano, berbicara di depan konferensi para pejabat nuklir dari 72 negara di Wina. Ia mengatakan, standar yang lebih ketat dan transparansi penuh sangat penting untuk memulihkan kepercayaan publik terhadap tenaga nuklir. Menurutnya, krisis di PLTN Fukushima mempunyai implikasi sangat besar bagi tenaga nuklir.
17 pemrotes tewas oleh aparat Yaman
Aparat keamanan Yaman telah menembak mati paling-sedikit 17 orang pemrotes yang mendatangi gedung pusat pemerintahan. Menurut para saksi mata, para demonstran menyerbu ke halaman dan orang-orang bersenjata berpakaian sipil dan sniper di atas atap melepaskan tembakan untuk menghalau mereka. Pertumpahan darah itu terjadi sehari setelah seorang pemrotes lainnya ditembak mati di Taez, 200 kilometer dari ibukota. Angka kematian kini menjadi lebih dari 100 dalam operasi penumpasan terhadap pemrotes di negara itu sejak akhir Januari. Dengan meningkatnya angka kematian, Presiden Ali Abdullah Saleh, sekutu Amerika sejak lama dalam perang Washington melawan al Qaeda, kehilangan dukungan Amerika. Pejabat-pejabat Amerika mengatakan kepada sekutu-sekutu mereka bahwa mereka memandang posisi Presiden Saleh sebagai tidak dapat dipertahankan karena luasnya aksi protes.
41)PNG: PM istatim saspensan oa emi no nap wok tede
Papua Niugini (PNG) Praim minista Sir Mikel Somare bai statim 14-dei saspensen blong em long opis nau, oa tete, oa em bai no nap wok inap long 14pla dei behain long em ikam bek long Singapo we em bin igo lukim dokta blong em. 2pla wik saspensen blong em kamap olsem "mekim save" blong asua, bihaen long em ino bin hariap long wokim na tu ino pinisim ol annual tex returns blong em. Namba 2 Praim Minista Sam Abal bai holim pastem wok olsem praim minista taim Sir Michael istap long saspensen.
FIJI: PM istatim raon igo long Indonesia
Intarim Praim Minista blong Fiji Frank Bainimarama i statim pinis wanpla lukluk raon blong en igo long Indonesia, we em bai olim nupla gavman ofisa oa embasi blong Fiji long Jakarta long wik bihaen. Fijilive i ripot olsem Commodore Bainimarama ibin lusim Fiji long go long Indonesia tede long moning. Oli ting Mr Bainimarama, bai stap tu long Fiji Trade Show long Jakarta. Despla raon blong Comodo Bainimarama igo long Indonesia, i bihaenim bikpla miting blong Melanesian Spearhead Group em oli bin holim long Fiji, em Indonesia, ibin stap tu long en.
AUST: Gavman bai go hed long kamapim asylum senta
Australian Federal gavman itok emi wok long go hed iet long lukluk long kirapim wanpla ples long region we oli ken lukluk na stretim askim blong ol pipal husat i laik kam stap long Australia oa asylum sika, maski sopos East Timor i soim pinis olsem emi no laikim tumas askim blong Australia long bildim wanpla asylum senta long East Timor. Wanpla bikpla miting em oli bin holim long Bali long wik igo pinis ibin tok oraet olsem oli mas kirapim wanpla senta long region we oli ken mekim ol wok blong traem long daonim pasin blong bringim hait ol pipal oa pipal smuggling na tu ol asylum sika. Tasol Australian imigreisan minista Chris Bowen itok Australia igat laik iet long kirapim wanpla senta long East Timor. CART Our position remains the same, that we've been focussed on discussions with East Timor but it was a big step forward to have all the nations as part of the Bali Process agree that a regional processing centre or centres is an appropriate part of a regional framework.
CNMI: Sampla laen i faulim imigreisan wok
Laen blong FBI blong America itok olsem emi painim pinis sampla social security namba em oli bin givim igo long sampla wokman-meri blong ol kolos fektori husat ibin wok long Northern Marianas nau i luk olsem oli bin salim igo long ol illegal migrants oa ol pipal husat ino gat rait long stap long America. Oli sasim pinis tupla man blong China husat isave stap long Saipan long kamapim ol despla giaman pasin. Marianas Variety i ripot olsem oli sutim tok long despla tupla man blong China olsem tupla ibin salim nating 6pla social security namba igo long sampla pipal blong China husat istap nau long Chicago.
42)NEW ZEALAND JOINS EFFORT TO STRENGTHEN SECURITY Five-country agreement includes U.S., UK
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 3, 2011) - New Zealand has signed an agreement with Canada that will strengthen border security and hasten processing times for genuine travelers.
The agreement is part of a Five Country Conference biometric programme between New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Officials will now have greater tools to detect identity fraud and process genuine travelers faster by checking fingerprint details with their Canadian counterparts.
Immigration New Zealand signed similar agreements with Australia and the United Kingdom last year.
While the agreements would conform with the privacy acts of each country, the fingerprints of asylum claimants and people awaiting deportation, who refuse to provide identity information, may be checked.Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
43)Inquiry into NZ mine disaster
An inquiry into New Zealand's Pike River mine disaster was getting under way on Tuesday in the regional centre of Greymouth.
The preliminary hearing of a royal commission of inquiry will set out procedures for the larger investigation which will examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 29 men.
Two Australians were among the miners and contractors who lost their lives in November after a series of underground explosions.
An inquest early this year found that all men would have died within minutes of the first blast through injury or a buildup of toxic gases.
Their bodies are yet to be recovered.
Receivers for Pike River Coal say they hope to sell the mine.
They say they have already had a dozen parties from Asia, Australia and the Americas express interest.
The Department of Labour is requesting another six months to complete its inquiry.
The Royal Commission is scheduled to end its hearings in November.
An Australian explosion expert will provide evidence to the Royal Commission into the Pike River mine disaster.
Queenslander David Cliff worked as an advisor to Greymouth police after the explosions that trapped and killed 29 men in November.
Professor Cliff says his input into the inquiry will be two-fold.
"I'm involved in assisting people investigate what caused the first explosion and also I expect to be providing assistance to New Zealand police and others in evaluating the effectiveness of the response and the control of the situation after the event."5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/story.htm?id=38600
44)Carbon hits Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Coral on Australia's renowned Great Barrier Reef is growing less strongly because of carbon absorbed into the world's oceans, says a study. A two-year study has produced the first results into how ocean acidification is changing conditions on the reef. As CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels increase in the atmosphere, the ocean is absorbing more carbon and becoming more acidic. Bronte Tilbrook, from Australia's national scientific organisation, CSIRO, says coral growth appears to be slowing. "There's some indication that corals are not growing as well as they used to on the reef," she said. "You make it harder for corals to grow, something else will probably take over from them. "So the reef itself may in 50 years time, for example, not look anything like we see at present - less corals and more other organisms like algae."5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201104/3182277.htm?desktop
Leading business figures are so concerned about these trends that they have sent an open letter to Australian politicians, saying Australia's future "depends on a bipartisan approach to our understanding of and the relationship with Asia".
In 2007, the Australian government introduced a four-year, $US62 million program to increase the focus on Asian studies in schools. Despite this program, Australia has seen a drop in Asian studies.
Jenny MacGregor, from the Asialink organisation, told Radio Australia Today the problem is that Australia has not committed to investing in Asian studies for an extended period of time.
"It takes a a lot longer time than four years to grow students' investment in Asian studies . . . And we've also stop-started with the funding." she said.
"The problem is if you want to train teachers and you want students to start their Asian language study in primary school and go right through to University, then that's not going to happen with stop-start funding. We have to get serious about it."
Ms McGregor says Asialink wants all Australian children to have the opporunity to study Asian language and learn about Asian cultures.
"That's not the case in our schools at the moment. I think that's partly to do with the fact that we don't have the teachers with that familiarity," she said.
"It's also to do with the fact that we as a community are not saying 'this is so important. And what's really good about this current situation we're in is that the businesses are demanding it."
The letter from the business leaders to Australian MPs warns that: "We do our children a great disservice if we fail to equip them with the knowledge of the cultures and the languages of not only the fastest growing region in the world, but the region that is on our doorstep.
"We urge you to encourage the study of Asia in our schools . . . to include Asia as a priority across the curriculum and at all levels of schooling."4/4/11radioaustralia
46a)Building "suitcase radio stations" in the Pacific
While Pacific Ministers meet in Noumea next week to deliberate on the implementation of the Pacific Digital Strategy, members of the Regional Women's Media and Policy Network are taking a practical approach to building a community media network. They're teaming team up to establish a mobile "suitcase radio station" in Tonga this year - and it all starts with a Community Radio Roundtable in Nuku'alofa tomorrow. Presenter: Geraldine Coutts Speaker: Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Executive Director of FemlinkPacific. ROLLS: Good morning Geraldine, yes indeed the consultation gets underway tomorrow, the 6th of April, in partnership with the conveners of the 1325 Network here in Tonga. Ma'afafine moe Famili Inc. which is led by a long-time activist, Betty Blake. And we're looking forward to first of all sharing I guess some of the lessons learnt by FemlinkPacific through the seven years that we've been operating our suitcase radio station in Fiji, while at the same time getting an understanding of how community radio could work or should work here in, particularly well, starting with Nuku'alofa. COUTTS: Alright before we get down to the specifics of the meeting in Tonga, can you just explain for those who might be joining us for the first time Sharon, what a talking suitcase is, or what a suitcase radio station is? ROLLS: Well it literally is a radio station that fits into a little suitcase. It's about 20 kilograms in weight, it has a low-powered transmitter. We work with a 100 watt transmitter, very different from the large commercial or public broadcasters. But what it gives is a small station that is easy to manage, particularly for communities that come from no broadcasting experience, and the opportunity to also travel around with your radio in a suitcase and a mast to go out and broadcast with communities, which is what we do in Fiji. But here in Tonga we're looking forward to learning about the regulatory system to go about the application for a community radio license, and then next towards launching in the latter part of this year. COUTTS: In Tonga when and if they do get a license for this suitcase radio station, will that enable them to go to some of the more remote areas of Tonga, the outer islands? ROLLS: Absolutely although it will be what I'd say a very incremental process, because first of all we need to do as we've done in Fiji, build a core team of community radio broadcasters. So hoping to emulate our young women, … generation next, to invest in the courting of young women who will be the operators, the producers and the broadcasters of the station, because you do need a team of people to be able to take the radio station out, as well as set it up and conduct the production and broadcast of programs. So the first step is let's get the license, bring the suitcase radio in and have this team ready and able and confident enough to do the mobile broadcasting. But it doesn't mean that the stories won't come out from the rural communities, because our partner organisation, Ma'afafine, are already going out into rural communities, to the outlying islands and conducting programs and recordings already. So they do already have an archive of programs available that they can start using once the radio station is up and running. COUTTS: Ok and sticking with the rural people and the outer islands, it takes a lot of training to get your producers and your directors and your front people, your interviewers. Will those people have the opportunity as well? ROLLS: Absolutely, and it would be learning from this core group of young women, just as we've done in Fiji. We've taken the radio out and we've sat down and we've developed a network of rural correspondents, you've spoken to some of them from Labasa, from Ba'a, from Nadi, so you when you train, so the idea is also it's about sharing our knowledge and technical resources also, so the idea is that in the coming months Femlink comes in and works with our current partners on the ground here in Nuku'alofa, equip them with the skills and get ideas from them also so that they can see how they can adapt the knowledge and use it to be able to go out and equip women with basic tape recorders, so that they're also recording stories in their communities and sending it back. We found that our rural women's media network has worked in the way that we're able to collect the voices and the issues from women in communities without having to go there ourselves. So absolutely, the whole idea is to empower women using the media and information communication technology to have their stories heard, to make their stories visible, and then to be able to use that in the policy advocacy. COUTTS: Well in Tonga's case, Niue's, because they're remote islands, will their information be gathered that way too? Will it be sent back rather than going and having an actual broadcast within that community? ROLLS: Initially yes, eventually we hope that the suitcase radio will be able to travel around to the different islands as well and be part of the kinds of rural broadcasts that we conduct. So the plan is to have a permanent base at the Ma'afafine office, which is centrally located, and then once the team is ready and able, and with the resources also because from what we understand it's not cheap to travel out to the islands. Once out in the islands also the costs of bringing communities together from different villages and communities all need to be factored in. So we're developing not just the broadcast plan, but also sharing our knowledge with our partners through our 1325 Network into developing a long-term plan for exactly what you're talking about, taking the radio out to those communities. COUTTS: Now the next double-edge sword I guess is, is getting the interests and the support of the current government in Tonga, and would the talking suitcase radio actually be independent of that? ROLLS: We will be applying for a community radio license for Ma'afafine, and in fact we're talking to the Department of Communications this morning, fingers crossed. But as you eluded to at the beginning, there is a commitment by Pacific governments already through the digital strategy of the Pacific Plan that recognises the role of community FM broadcasting as a tool to empower rural and remote communities, including women. And that's really our mantra when it comes to talking about empowering communities to also establish their communication vehicles. And in this case it's a mobile radio station. And so we're very positive that the government will look kindly on this initiative, and that also it will recognise that this is an important vehicle for organisations like Ma'afafine, who have the opportunity to currently meet with the Minister for Women on a quarterly basis. So the community radio station is really also that tool to enhance the work of the organisation in not only documenting and bringing the stories in from the rural communities, but also having their own independent community-based broadcast platform to share those stories. They don't really have a platform right now.5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/story.htm?id=38622
46b)China extending loans grip over Pacific, says report
A report to be released on Tuesday warns that China is gaining political leverage as it rapidly expands its loans to Pacific Island governments.
The report, from the Lowy Institute, says China has pledged more than $US600 million to the Pacific since 2005.
Tonga now has loans worth 32 per cent of its gross domestic product with China.
Samoa and the Cook Islands have loans worth 16 per cent of GDP.
The report says debt burdening and aid coordination with Beijing are pressing issues for the Pacific governments and for Australia and multilateral aid donors.
It also warns indebtedness is giving China political leverage over its Pacific partners, which it may use if the current diplomatic truce with Taiwan were to end.
Tonga's former finance minister, Josh 'Utoikamanu, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat it is possible that health and education services in Tonga may need to be cut to pay back loans to China.
Last week the International Monetary Fund warned Tonga is at risk of debt distress.
Mr 'Utoikamanu said it is very likely that Tonga will not be able to service its debts in future, although he says with careful economic management this eventuality could be avoided.
Tonga's debt servicing commitments are expected to grow between 70 and 100 per cent in the next 5 years.
Mr 'Utoikamanu warned that if Tonga goes into debt distress, it will have to scale back spending on government services to meet its loan repayments. 5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/story.htm?id=38606
47)PEC Fund reports steady progress
By Online Editor 11:43 am GMT+12, 05/04/2011, Fiji
Work is progressing steadily towards disbursing 6.8 billion yen (approx. US$66 million) to the region under the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan to support Forum Island Country (FIC) projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both.
Positive progress was reported by the PEC Fund Joint Committee which met last week at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji.
The Joint Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Secretary General of Forum Secretariat, comprises senior representatives from the Forum Secretariat and Government of Japan, and provides oversight on the implementation of the PEC Fund initiative.
The Forum Secretariat is responsible for managing the PEC Fund via a PEC Fund Project Management Unit.
"I am very pleased to report that the PEC Fund Project Management Unit has progressed significantly in the implementation of the PEC Fund Guidelines and PEC Fund Project Procedures," said the Forum Secretariat Acting Secretary General, Feleti Teo.
"FICs have also responded positively to the call for the preparation and submission of concept notes to access the PEC Fund."
The Forum Secretariat has now received concept notes from 12 of the 14 countries eligible to access the PEC Fund, Teo explained.
"Many of these countries have now progressed to developing their detailed project proposals, and we look forward to announcing the first of the PEC Fund projects soon."
Each FIC has been allocated an indicative amount of US$4 million under the PEC Fund to be spent on projects within two years.
Access to individual country allocations is undertaken in a two phase process. Phase one involves submission of project Concept Notes from FICs to the Forum Secretariat. Once appraised by the PEC Project Management Unit and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), and if the outcome is positive, the FIC is then invited to progress to phase two which involves the development of a detailed project proposal for consideration and final approval by the PEC Fund Joint Committee.SOURCE: PIFS/PACNEWS.
48)Loans to Pacific give China leverage: report
By Online Editor 11:52 am GMT+12, 05/04/2011, Australia
A new report warns China is gaining political leverage as it rapidly expands its loans to Pacific Island governments.
The report, to be released by the Lowy Institute on Tuesday, says China has pledged over $US600 million to the Pacific since 2005.
China is the biggest lender to Tonga with loans worth 32 per cent of Tongan Gross Domestic Product.
Samoa and the Cook Islands have loans worth 16 per cent.
The report says debt burdening and aid co-ordination with China are pressing issues for the Pacific governments, Australia and multilateral aid donors.
It also warns Pacific borrowing is giving China political leverage over its partners, which China may use if the current diplomatic truce with Taiwan were to end.
Tonga's former Finance Minister, Josh 'Utoikamanu, says it is possible that health and education services in Tonga may need to be cut to pay back loans to China.
Last week the International Monetary Fund warned Tonga is at risk of debt distress.
'Utoikamanu told Radio Australia it is very likely that Tonga won't be able to service its debts in future.
Tonga's debt servicing commitments are expected to grow between 70 and 100 percent in the next 5 years.
'Utoikamanu warned that if Tonga goes into debt distress it will have to scale back spending on government services to meet its loan repayments.
SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN NETWORK/PACNEWS
49)US President launches re election bid for 2012
US President Barack Obama has announced his intention to stand for a second term in office in 2012. Mr Obama's team released a video on his official website and sent an e-mail to supporters announcing his plans. The president has an online network of millions of Americans and his web campaign was widely seen as a key plank of his election success in 2008. The announcement was widely expected, and his campaign team are set to file election papers this week.5/4/11 http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201104/3182205.htm?desktop
50)Sons pave way for Gaddafi's exit
Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi has been rocked by another political defection. [APTN]
Two sons of Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi have reportedly proposed a transition to a constitutional democracy which would include removing their father from power. The New York Times says the transition would be overseen by one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam. It is not clear if Colonel Gaddafi has approved the reported proposal, but the newspaper says a source close to the sons says Colonel Gaddafi may be willing to support it. While Saif and Saadi Gaddafi have leaned toward Western-style economic and political openings, Colonel Gaddafi's other sons Khamis and Mutuassim are considered hardliners. Meanwhile, another senior official of Colonel Gaddafi's regime has defected from the Libyan government. Libya's former Foreign Minister and UN General Assembly President, Ali Treiki, has become the latest high profile official to abandon Gaddafi's regime. Last week the current Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, resigned and flew to Britain. Neither the rebel forces or pro-Gaddafi troops appear to have the military might to secure victory in the six-week conflict. Key towns in the east and west continue to swing back and forth from the rebels' control to Colonel Gaddafi's. In the latest fighting, rebel forces moved in and then were forced to retreat from the key oil town Brega. Colonel Gaddafi's troops were reportedly continuing to bomb Misrata in the west, and areas southwest of the capital Tripoli. 4/4/11radioaustralia
51)Indonesia detains migrants trying to reach Australia
Indonesia has detained 140 migrants who were trying to reach Australia, after their boat suffered problems. Provincial police official Lilik Aprianto said the migrants, including Afghans, Pakistanis and Iranians, were found Sunday night on a beach off East Nusa Tenggara province in the far east of the archipelago. "The group, including women and children, were found on a beach in Ndao island as their boat experienced engine problems after it was hit by huge waves," he added. "They said they're seeking asylum in Australia," Aprianto said. He added that the case will be handed over to the immigration department and the International Organisation for Migration. Indonesia is a key staging post for people-smugglers bringing Afghans, Sri Lankans and other nationals for the onward sea journey to Australia where many seek asylum. Ministers from around the Asia-Pacific region signed a non-binding framework agreement last week to tackle smuggling networks and humanely process the large numbers of migrants moving through the region. An Australian proposal to establish a processing centre in East Timor appear to have stalled, but Dili said it was still considering the idea.4/4/11radioaustralia
52)Japanese cancel Pacific holidays
More than 2,500 Japanese have cancelled holidays in the Northern Marianas (CNMI) since the March 11 tsunami and earthquake.
The office of the Marianas Visitors Authority says the cancellations will cost the economy $US6 million.
The authority says the hotel sector will suffer the heaviest losses, and at least 60 job creation opportunities will also be lost.4/4/11radioaustralia
53)Five more Pacific countries to become NOCs soon
By Online Editor 1:38 pm GMT+12, 05/04/2011, Fiji
The change in the legal status of Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) has allowed five island countries to become associate members of the regional sport body.
ONOC President Dr Robin Mitchell this means that Norfolk, Wallis & Futuna, Northern Marianas, New Caledonia and Tahiti are on the pathway to becoming National Olympic Committees in their own right.
Dr Mitchell said that ONOC amended its constitution to be registered now as a company limited by guarantee (CLG).
"This year we introduced an amendment that allowed non Olympic countries to become associate members.
"By doing so it allowed all of the Pacific Games Council members to be a part of sports in general."
He said the five countries were in Noumea, New Caledonia for the recent ONOC General Assembly.
"The minimum requirement of being an Olympic Committee- they have to have five association of sport s recognized by their international federations. Have to have athletes commission and they sign up to the anti-doping charter and other areas like that," said Dr Mitchell.
This move by ONOC was an eye-opener for International Olympic Committee vice-president Thomas Bach of Germany.
Bach was part of the Munich Bid team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games that made presentations during the ONOC assembly.
The IOC VP praised ONOC for its efforts to extend the Olympic family.SOURCE: PACNEWS
54)Programme proves a hit in Savaii
By Online Editor 1:31 pm GMT+12, 05/04/2011, Samoa
The progress of 'Just Play' in Samoa has moved a step further after the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) grassroots programme was introduced to the island of Savaii.
Project manager Talaia was pleased with the response of those taking part.
"The course went very well," he says.
"The participants showed great enthusiasm for the programme and we have also received great support from all the school principals, teachers and ministers from village communities."
As a result of the training course, those who participated will be able to teach the Just Play programme during its six-week pilot phase in Savaii. A total of 24 schools and 13 communities will be involved in this period, during which representatives from FFS will continue to visit the schools to assist with running the programme and check on its progress.
"We are very fortunate to be working closely with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in delivering this programme to the schools and communities," Talaia says. "This programme would also not be possible without the support of the Australian Government, UEFA and OFC."
Just Play is a unique FIFA-approved grassroots programme which promotes physical activity for primary-aged children while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.
Developed by the OFC social responsibility and technical departments, Just Play was launched in Vanuatu last April and has since been introduced in Tonga, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and South Auckland in New Zealand. It was introduced to Samoa in June last year with a pilot phase in Apia involving 19 schools and nearly 8000 children.
Fiji is next on the agenda while OFC is also currently working in New Zealand with Special Olympics (NZ) on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities.
OFC is working closely with UEFA, the Government of Australia – through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) – and Football Federation Australia (FFA) to roll out the programme across the Pacific. The Australian Government has shown its support to the project by contributing AU$4million.
In South Auckland, Just Play is supported by OFC's partnership with the Sir John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation, Counties Manukau Sport and Auckland Football Federation.
55)MARSHALLS WRESTLER QUALIFIES FOR LONDON OLYMPICS Anju Jason first to qualify from Marshalls
By Giff Johnson MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, April. 5, 2011) - The Marshall Islands has its first athlete on track for qualifying at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, only the second competitor from this small island nation to qualify on his own merit since the country achieved Olympic membership in 2007.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Anju Jason, a taekwondo athlete, was the first and up to now the only Marshall Islander to qualify to represent the Marshall Islands at the Olympic level.
Marshall Islands Secretary General, Terry Sasser, said on Friday that wrestler Waylon Muller is preparing to compete at next year's Olympic Games after qualifying during an Oceania Championship in Samoa last month by winning a silver medal. Twenty years ago, Muller burst on the Pacific's wrestling scene with a silver medal also in Samoa, the first Marshall Islander to win a medal in any sport in international competition.
Muller is now training for the World Wrestling Championships which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey in September, another step on the road to the London Games in 2012. Muller is 37 years and is older than most of the wrestlers he will be facing. He has dominated wrestling in the Micronesian region, going undefeated, winning 10 gold medals in the quadrennial Micronesian Games since 1994.
Small countries that do not have athletes able to qualify on their own merits are given two "wild card" spots in both track and swimming that allow every nation to participate in the every-four-year Olympic Games.
By qualifying for the Olympics, Muller will boost the size of the small Marshall Islands delegation that will head half way around the world to compete in the world competition in 2012. It also makes him eligible for International Olympic Committee funding to help prepare him for London.
"There is a good sum of money he can get," said Sasser of Muller's situation, like that of a small handful of elite Marshall Islands athletes who have qualified in their respective sports for international competition. The goal is to help these elite athletes get to the Olympic Games, said Sasser. Waylon can go off-island to train or bring in a coach to work with him."
Muller acknowledges that because of his age, this is probably his only shot at the Olympics. The Marshall Islands only achieved its International Olympic Committee membership shortly before the 2008 Games in Beijing, and Muller was not able to qualify then.
"I don't want to miss this opportunity," he said. Muller is currently training six days a week in Majuro, with plans to spend time in an Eastern Europe wrestling training program after the Turkey World Championships in September in the lead up to London.
He runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and do weight work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and work out on the mat when he can find sparring partners. In Majuro, among about 30,000 population, there are no wrestlers near his caliber, which makes preparation for international competition difficult in the Marshall Islands.
"I'm looking at getting a coach here for three months of training," Muller said.
He is keen to train off-island after the World Championships in September, and is considering going to a wrestling training center in Bulgaria.
Sasser said the National Olympic Committee will do everything it can to assist Muller to make it to the London Games to represent the Marshall Islands.Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com
56)Netball makes changes
By Online Editor 6:37 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, Fiji
Netball Fiji selectors dropped three experience players while naming the final 15-member squad for the upcoming World Netball Championship (WNC) in Singapore.
Former national skipper Ana Erenavula alongside senior players Filo Korovulavula and Lusi Robanakadavu were the surprise exclusion from the Gabrieli Qoro coached side.
The national selectors' preferred new faces in New Zealand-based Jacinta Lal and Wales-based Maria Lutua, alongside the local players in Afa Rusivakula and Elenoa Vatureba, ahead of the trio.
The squad was chosen over the weekend following an emergency council meeting that received the recommendations of the national selectors Elizabeth Freeman (selector's chairman), Paulini Tora and Katarina Ruru.
The NF constitution stipulates that the Council (made up of Presidents of affiliated associations) is required to endorse athletes who will represent Fiji.
NF president Wainikiti Bogidrau said the association was fully aware of the need to choose the best team to represent Fiji at the WNC.
"There's a lot at stake for netball and we were mindful of all these factors when choosing the final squad for the final leg of our preparation before we head for the Pacific Series in PNG in June before Singapore in July," she said.
"The players were chosen according to the selection criteria which include fitness, skills and capabilities of the players.
"They (national selectors) selected the 15-member squad in consultation with the coaches and the council later approved their selection."
The national selection panel has recalled former national rep and Australian-based player, Matelita Shaw Tadulala, to join the squad after the non-availability of ace-shooter Taraima Mitchell.
"Mitchell has withdrawn from the team for personal reasons, and we respect her decision. However, in so doing and in reviewing the team's performance at the recent Australian tour, the selectors felt that they needed an experienced shooter thus Tadulala has been recalled," Bogidrau said.
"Netball Fiji is convinced that her experience will assist in the semi-circle as this was one area that we need to address as was evident from our shooting statistics from our Australian tour. However, she would still need to prove her worth in the team and is expected to perform like the rest of the players.".SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
57)Call to sack Fiji Sevens coach
By Online Editor 6:41 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, Fiji
Fijian rugby critics have called for the sacking of its national sevens rugby coach, Iliesa Tanivula after yesterday's back-to-back losses to South Africa in the Cup quarterfinal and Wales in the Plate semi-final of the Adelaide International Sevens tournament.
The national 7s team was kicked-out of the main competition by South Africa in the Cup quarterfinals after they led 12-0, only to lose 12-24 in the end.
Later they were pipped 21-22 by Wales in the Plate semi-finals, ending our hopes of returning home from the Adelaide Oval with at least a consolation plate title.
Former national 7s team manager Epeli Lagiloa did not mince his words.
"Tanivula has to do the honourable thing and resign," Lagiloa said from Lautoka yesterday. "He has not been able to change anything. We are still making the same mistakes, committing the same basic errors.
"There is no pattern, no fluency in play and no continuity. We can't see any defensive pattern and are now even running around like headless chooks on attack."
Lagiloa said if Tanivula would not resign, then the Fiji Rugby Union must remove him.
"They can't be hiding behind the 7s master plan they are talking about. Where is the consistency they said?
"Tani should do the honourable thing and resign. If he does not then the FRU must remove him.
"The national union had done that in the past and there is no reason they should not now, if they are looking at performance."
Former national rep Peni Rauluni said it was now time for the FRU to thank Tanivula and let him go early.
"They said that his contract is until the end of the current series. I think it is best for the FRU to let him go now. Bring in a new coach, use the next two legs to test new players and then go on from the new series when it starts in Dubai," the former national centre three quarter said.
Rauluni, who also won the Hong Kong 7s title in 1984, said the FRU really needed to be serious about the 7s change and "do some serious soul searching".
"We have not won any title for the last 12 months and this is getting ridiculous. We send the best team to Hong Kong and Adelaide and yet they still can't perform.
"The coach has to go. I can't see any pattern in defence or on attack. That coming from a Fiji team is unbelievable."
FRU acting chairman Rafaele Kasibulu had stated before the Hong Kong tournament that Tanivula's contract expires at the end of the current HSBC World Sevens Series.
That means he has the England and Scotland tournaments in June before he finishes off.
Kasibulu also confirmed that the FRU would review performances after every leg.
Lagiloa and Rauluni both agreed that it was time for a change.
"For the sake of 7s rugby in the country, we need to make that change now rather than later," Lagiloa said.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
58)Dunedin likely to host Fiji test
By Online Editor 6:44 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, New Zealand
Dunedin's looking likely to host Fiji in the All Blacks' extra test in July, aimed at raising money for the Christchurch earthquake relief fund.
Forsyth Barr Stadium has confirmed that they have been formally requested to host the match.
Chairman Malcolm Farry says they are currently investigating the possibilities of doing the impossible and completing the stadium over a month before its original completion date.
The New Zealand Rugby Union has also confirmed that it is in talks with the Fiji Rugby Union.
A spokesman says it's too early to comment but they are hopeful of confirming details within the coming days.
The New Zealand Rugby Union has confirmed it's in talks with Fiji to host the pacific island nation for a one off test held on July 22nd S-SOURCE: TVNZ/PACNEWS
59)NZ win International Rugby Sevens Adelaide
By Online Editor 6:39 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2011, Australia
An injury-hampered Australian side has finished seventh as New Zealand broke through to win the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide in their fifth attempt, defeating South Africa 28-20 to claim the 2011 title at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Kiwi Tomasi Cama scored two tries and kicked four conversions to propel New Zealand to their third victory of the season which also completed the back-to-back Hong Kong, Australia event double. The victory extends New Zealand's lead in the HSBC Sevens World Series standings to 13 points over England (121) after six events while Australia have retained their sixth placing on 52 points and Fiji (90) have dropped from third to fifth behind Samoa (100) and South Africa (92).
To the disappointment of the crowd - which set an event record of almost 27,000 over two days - Australia were outmuscled in their Cup quarter-final clash against reigning World Series champions Samoa and were knocked out of the race for the Cup 19-14 early in the day, before suffering a heartbreaking loss to Argentina 31-28 in the Plate semi-finals.
Wales went on to upset Argentina 14-7 to claim the second-division Plate final, USA toppled fan favourites Kenya 17-10 to win the Bowl and Japan beat Tonga 22-5 to claim the Shield.
Skipper Bernard Foley, who played no part in the semi due to injury, was bitterly disappointed with the loss.
"Our lack of experience and a lack of skill really let us down today," Foley said.
"I thought the guys we're really up for this weekend but we failed to play good football.
"We've got a break now and I guess we'll look forward to trying to finish the season as we did last year, on a high."
In the Cup quarterfinal, Samoa was the first to score through a try to Alafoti Faosiliva before skipper Foley drew the young Aussies level at 7-7.
A brilliant effort in defense after the halftime siren from Queensland Reds winger Kimami Sitauti saw a certain Samoan try spoiled, returning possession to the Australians who scored from the ensuing play though Zack Holmes.
A halftime 14-12 lead to Coach Michael O'Connor's men soon disappeared when Tom Iosefo broke into a gap in the Aussie scrambling defense to race away untouched to the line.
With the game in the balance at 17-14, referee David Keane drew the wrath of the vocal crowd when an isolated Samoan was allowed to play the ball on the ground, 10 metres out from the Aussie line, which resulted in a try to Ofisa Treviranus, knocking the men in gold into the second division competition.
Next, Australia were up against the feisty Argentineans, who on Saturday night almost pulled off an upset against England, in the Plate semi-finals and were immediately on the back foot when the Pumas found the tryline just 36 seconds into the match.
By halftime the Aussies, without injured captain Foley, had clawed their way to a 14-12 lead through tries to Zack Holmes and Jacob Taylor and looked to have the match under control when Shaun Foley took their lead out to 21-12.
The Argentineans then fought back to have a 26-21 advantage but when Taylor touched down for his second try of the game and Angus converted the Aussies again appeared to be on their way to the Plate final as the siren sounded, despite losing vice-captain Ed Jenkins to a suspected shoulder injury.
With the ref ruling there was time for a final play, the Aussies took the restart, lost possession and Francisco Merello raced away to score a minute and a half into overtime to end Australia's tournament.
Results Day Two: Cup Final New Zealand 28 beat South Africa 20 Plate Final Wales 14 beat Argentina 7 Bowl Final USA 17 beat Kenya 10 Shield Final Japan 22 beat Tonga 5.
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