Friday, July 29, 2011

Melanesian Voice: Western Pacific

Subject: Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 453b (take 2!)

Hope you are all good! Happy Readings! Wishing you all a Good Wiken! Cheers- Phil Wantok.

MELANESIAN NIUS: New Guinea Island, politically divided between independent Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of West Papua + 600+ Islands Off the coast of New Guinea,Amplett Islands, PNG, Bismarck Archipelago, PNG/d'Entrecasteaux

Islands, PNG/d'Entrecasteaux Islands, PNG /Louisiade Archipelago, PNG/ Trobriand Islands, PNG/Woodlark Island-PNG / West Papua,Maluku Islands,Sumba,Timor (Bahasa Indonesia),Raja Ampat Islands,( Indonesia )/Schouten Islands, (Indonesia) /Autonomous Bouganville /Solomon Islands/ Vanuatu/New Caledonia/Fiji/Torres Strait Islands, politically divided between Australia and 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) More In4 go to Wikipedia saraga!

Papua NiuGini:

)Australia's opposition envisions new PNG relationship-

Australian leader says they're still focussed on Manus detention centre

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her government is focusing on securing a deal with Papua New Guinea to re-establish the asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports her comments come as she defends criticism over her government's new refugee swapping arrangement with Malaysia.

Domestic pressure is growing for Ms Gillard's government to forge a soltution that will address the large number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia and to deter future boat arrivals.

She says negotiations with PNG's government over the use of Manus are slow because of political upheaval caused by the ill health of the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.

28/7/11 Radio New Zealand International

4)Census in trouble

There was chaos yesterday afternoon in Kundiawa, Chimbu Province when disgruntled census officials and volunteers went on a rampage over outstanding entitlements.
As the clock ticked past 4.06pm and the promised payments were not forthcoming, the officials went on a rampage, joined by the public who took advantage of the situation.
The census woes have also gripped Lae as census officials demand for their allowances.
The chairman of Morobe Province Census Steering Committee and Deputy Provincial Administrator – District Services Patilias Gamato assured the 2011 Census workers that they will get their allowances. And in Port Moresby, some residents are still pondering if the census officials will turn up at their doorsteps. Census officials in Port Moresby have yet to visit various parts and suburbas of the city.
Back in Kundiawa, the census officials threatened to stone the Kondom Agaundo building, the provincial headquarters but quick police action averted what could have easily turned into a nasty scene.
Police managed to cordoned the building off but by 5.30pm, the crowd was still there although most of them lived out of town and would have missed the PMVs.
Provincial Administrator Joe Kunda Naur, who is in Port Moresby on a business trip, said he has been briefed by the Provincial Census Coordinator Arabel Gonapa over the delay in payment of allowances.
"A cheque for K100,000 has already been raised and Mr Gonapa brought it to the local BSP branch to cash it and pay the allowances but the bank did not allow it," Mr Kunda Naur said last night.
Mr Kunda Naur indicated special arrangements may have to be made with BSP to have the cheque cashed and the outstanding allowances paid. By MOHAMMAD BASHIR83128004

5)'PNG Government on African States trend'

Papua New Guinea is treading through dangerous times following the experience of African States in their early years of Independence in the 1960s, former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan has warned.

Speaking at the close of the two-day People's Progress Party national convention in Goroka, Sir Julius warned that the current trends in the country were similar to those of the experiences of African states.

Sir Julius warned that the National Alliance-led Government coalition is taking PNG down the same route which dictated the downfall of African nations by using its superior numbers to dictate absolute control at the national level, effectively eroding Parliamentary democracy and building a time bomb ready to explode in time.

Sir Julius said African nations swept by the current of colonisation suffered dictatorial rule by their own self serving leaders who built big empires but were ultimately pulled down by public revolution and he is frightened that PNG is treading the same dangerous route that can only signal public anarchy.

"We are repeating what happened in Africa, that's why we must be cautious because I fear people will revolt against the State.

"It's like a saucepan boiling and once it blows, it will be devastating and I'm not overruling this in PNG, the People's Progress Party leader and New Ireland Governor said.

"This is why PPP needs to recruit quality candidates and be elected to Parliament to impact change in order that we can pass on the baton of development to the next generation in better shape and condition than when we took it," he said.
Sir Julius said there is a vacuum in the National Government right now because there is no leader to take over the reins from Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

Sir Julius said PPP has proven leadership and track record since before and after Independence and called on the Party to recruit quality leaders to strengthen the Party's position in the 2012 national elections and prospect for participating in Government.

The Convention embraced and adopted what Sir Julius himself described as "very clear and innovative policies that promise real and meaningful benefits" under the PPP banner for the 2012 general elections, championing the New Ireland model on areas of free and subsidised education, Health care, Infrastructure, Promotion of private sector and giving power back to the people by transferring ownership of oil, mineral and gas resources

Sir Julius said these are the steps the People's Progress Party will take to the people in 2012 National General Elections – and all these steps share one thing in common - they are based on faith in the people.28/7/11 SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

Well-organized heists indicate insiders

By Angeline Karius
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 27, 2011) - Security concerns in the maritime industry, including cargo theft, il­legal smuggling of fire­arms and drugs were among issues highlighted by stakeholders yester­day in a two-day maritime seminar in Ma­dang, Papua New Guinea (PNG) this week.

The seminar, organized by the Department of Transport, ends today.

According to local operator Peter Sharp, cargo theft was rampant in port facilities around the country.

He said such highly-organized crimes in­volved insiders from reputable shipping com­panies networking among themselves.

He claimed the problem had been going on for years and something had to be done about it.

"These people (criminals) are getting smarter and smarter," he said.

Sharp said criminal activities today did not exclude port faci­lities that had over the years become vulnerable.

"For example, even genuine individuals or company buyers have become ignorant by buying stolen goods," he said.

He said more people became involved in such crimes, "the more susceptible our ports become".

PNG Ports Cor­po­ration security manager Michael Piel said a concerted effort by respective port operators "will be sought in order to address the issues at stake".

The National:

Official allegedly demanded $1.3 million for land title

By Jacob Pok
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 27, 2011) - A senior government official was yesterday arrested and charged in connection with a 3 million kina [US$1.3 million] land deal in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Police confirmed that Acting Lands secretary Romily Kila-Pat, 43, of Hula village, Central, was brought to the Boroko police station yesterday afternoon.

Police alleged that he had used his position to extort a land title worth more than K3 million.

The police report said between Jan 20 and Jan 24 this year, Kila-Pat, while using his position as the secretary of lands, conspired with others and issued land titles intended for TST 4-Mile, to ano­­ther person.

Pila-Pat allegedly signed the land titles and issued them to Eleana Tjandranegara, a PNG ci­tizen of Indonesian origin.

Tjandranegara was recently charged with stealing and conspi­racy to defraud and is out on a 1,500 kina [US$658.00] bail.

The subject property is described as section 387, allotment 19, Hohola.

The land was originally re­gistered as PATU 27 Ltd by TST 4-Mile, the mother company, when it obtained lease for the land in early 2001.

TST 4-Mile engaged a consultant to change the title of PATU 27 Ltd into its name (TST 4-Mile) and also apply to sub-divide the land into two allotments, allotment 22 and 23.

The consultant submitted an application to the PNG Lands Board which was approved by the NCD Physical Planning.

The Department of Lands and Physical Planning notified the consultant that the application was successful and was gazetted last Dec 20.

An agreement was reached and 24,116 kina [US$10,600] was paid as annual rental by TST to the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.

But, before the land title was issued to TST, it was alleged that Kila-Pat and other senior officials conspired with Tjandranegara and issued the title of the same property to her.

Kila-Pat was released on a K1,000 bail yesterday evening.

He was issued a strict bail condition not to interfere with state witness, especially em­ployees of Lands De­partment.

He was also warned against accessing any files in the department while police finalized their investigations.

Police expect to make more arrests in connection with this particular land transaction.The National:

Judge allows Ramu nickel mine to dispose waste offshore

By Liam Fox
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 27, 2011) - A group of landowners in Papua New Guinea (PNG) say they will appeal against a
court's decision not to ban a nickel mine from dumping waste into the sea.

The National Court has refused an application by a group of landowners to prevent the Ramu nickel mining dumping tailings into the sea off Madang.

The judge said it is likely the dumping would cause "serious environmental harm" but it isn't illegal and banning it at this late stage would have an adverse affect on the mine, its workers and investor confidence in PNG.

The landowners' lawyer, Tiffany Nongorr, says her clients will appeal.

"I guess there's a belief some people's livelihoods can be sacrificed for the greater good," she said.

Australian mining company Highlands Pacific is a minority shareholder in the mine and it welcomed the decision and urged the landowners not to appeal.

An environmental scientist says thousands of marine species in Papua New Guinea could be threatened by the court's decision.

Dr. Amanda Reichelt-Brushett, from Australia's Southern Cross University, is a scientist who gave evidence in the case.

She has told Pacific Beat the disposal of tailings from the mine could damage coral reefs and also pollute coastal waters, which people depend on for their food security.

"It is a very high-risk operation and unlike on land tailings, where you can have management in place and management reaction to spills and incidents, there is not much that can be done," she said.

Mining Minister John Pundari says the government is aware of locals' concerns that the toxic waste could pollute the sea and marine life along the Astrolabe and Basamuk bays.

Mr. Pundari assured them the government will monitor any pollution and inform locals of likely impacts every three months.Radio Australia:

9)PNG Police raid homes, attack villagers

Papua New Guinea Police, in their campaign against alcohol-smuggling, have left hundreds of people homeless and others injured during raids in the Margarima district, Southern Highlands, yesterday.

District chief Kerry Mamai Lero said more than 100 homes and trade stores were raided and properties destroyed during the raid at Hiri in the lower Waghi local level government.

He said the raid started at the Olam villages and ended at Wapulaka village, a distance of about 10km.

Lero said the people had been left homeless and he asked for assistance, describing the si¬tuation as a "disaster".

Attempts to get comments from provincial police commander Supt John Anawe in Tari were unsuccessful.

Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie, when contacted, said he was not aware of the incident.

It was believed that the series of raids was conducted by armed policemen based at the LNG project site and at Tari.

The attack was said to be in retaliation for the recent burning of a police vehicle allegedly by locals.
Police said the villagers were angry that the officers had confiscated 150 cartons of beer from traders in the area.

Police had been conducting regular patrols in the area following a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol put in place by the provincial executive council.

Hela leaders have condemned the vehicle-burning, saying it was the first time civilians had turned against police.

This was the second incident involving beer smuggling in the province this year.

Meanwhile, reports from Mendi said people were still consuming alcohol despite the province-wide ban.

Solomon Islands:

10)Solomons province bans official visitors

Campbell Cooney, Pacific correspondent

A remote province of Solomon Islands has announced a ban on visits by government ministers and officials,

It says the ban will stay in force until the national government listens to concerns about food, medical supplies and bans on traditional fishing practices.

In a letter sent to a Solomon Island's newspaper, a chief from the Ontong Java Islands, Ini Ngouma, says all national MPs, officials and police are now banned from the province.

Ontong Java is one of the most remote regions of Solomon Islands,

One of its community leaders, Dr Reginald Iataia, says the province does not have regular shipping and suffers from shortages that mean his people are suffering.

"The people are going hungry," he said.

"There is no medical supplies in our island.

"In some cases people are dying of starvation.

The ABC has tried repeatedly to contact government and ministry officials in Solomon Islands but all calls went unanswered.28/7/11 abc

Big improvement over 120 average failure rate

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 28, 2011) - The Ministry of Education in Solomon Islands has expelled a large number of students from the University of the South Pacific (USP).

The director of the National Training Unit, Selu Maezama says sixty-eight students have been expelled because of poor performance or failures.

He says despite the seemingly high number of failures, it's a drop from previous years which averaged 120 student failures.

Mr. Maezama says the students have been given 14 days to appeal the decision.

Solomon Islands have the second largest number of students in the region studying at the USP.Solomon Star:

12)Solomon Islands PM encourage islanders to be proud of hosting festival of Pacific Arts

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip has encouraged all citizens of Solomon Islands to take pride and full ownership of the Festival of Pacific Arts next year.

Solomon Islands will host the festival from the 01-14 July, 2012 under the theme "Culture in Harmony with Nature".

At a meeting with the Festival National Organising Committee in Honiara yesterday, Prime Minister Philip said hosting the Festival was a huge opportunity for Solomon Islands to showcase its unique arts and cultural diversity to the outside world.

He described hosting the festival as a "Confidence Booster" for the government to host other big events here in the future.

Prime Minister Philip also added that hosting the Festival will help eliminate the negative image of the country to the outside world after the troubles the country had gone through as a nation.

He said the NCRA Government is prepared to assist the National Organising Committee with resources to ensure the country successfully hosts the biggest cultural event.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Philip was briefed by senior members of the National Organising Committee together with Chairpersons of technical committees of the progresses made so far.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism Samuel Manetoali and National Organising Committee Chairman Sir George Lepping assured Prime Minister Philip that Solomon Islanders will be proud of next year's events.


13)Vt28 million outstanding property tax contributes to municipal's inherited woes

Posted on July 27, 2011 - 1:23pm Category:


Jane Joshua

The suspension of the 14 member Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) is attributed to financial debts not incurred by the now suspended council, but an unfortunate inheritance from previous councils.

The Vanuatu government does not provide an annual budget for PVMC; it is expected to generate revenue from taxpayers from the residents in the PVMC jurisdiction in order for it to operate and deliver service to taxpaying citizens in Vanuatu's capital.

An aspect of this is the much publicised property tax or rather outstanding property taxes.

It can be deduced from the following PVMC Outstanding and balance summary that over the two years the Alliance led coalition council took the reins of PVMC the outstanding property taxes fluctuated despite its efforts to meet its debts and manage its costs which included downsizing its staff.

Backtrack six years and here is the summary of the progress of outstanding property taxes:

Albeit Property Tax is only one aspect of it, there are factors such as creditors, VAT liabilities, the Vanuatu National Provident Funds and Debtors which are not accounted for in this article.28/7/11

14)School Children get awareness on how to stop abuse

Posted on July 27, 2011 - 4:06pm Category:

Santo News –By-Esther Tinning

To commemorate Children's Day the Sanma Counseling Centre carried out a major awareness on abuse to five schools in Luganville.

Mrs Annie Philemon of the Sanma Counseling Centre said schools that responded to the program included Luganville Sarakata Centre school, Sarakata SDA School, St. Therese school, St. Michel School and Bombua School.

Philemon reported that she was happy with the outcome and performance of the students in all schools following the awareness.

An evaluation and test was carried out at the end of the program to see that students understood the message and should be able to keep away from abuse from any older member of their family or community.

It has become more apparent that many schools are now opening their doors to receive such awareness to keep children safe at all times.

Reports have indicated that the rate of abuse in homes and the community at large is becoming very high over the years and Mrs Philemon emphasized the need to continue such awareness.

As part of the program, participating schools were awarded with gifts as a learning motivation to students to keep whatever they have learnt because it is important for their growth.27/7/11


15)Fiji pension cuts necessary: minister

Jemima Garrett

Fiji's interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says controversial pension reforms are necessary to put Fiji's National Provident Fund on a sound economic footing.

The Attorney-General says the Bainimara government is supporting pension reforms because it is concerned about the long-term sustainability of the Provident Fund.

The reforms will see pensions cut by up to 64 per cent.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the interim government is acting to improve transparency and governance of the troubled fund.

But he said it is being hampered by Australian and New Zealand travel bans on appointees of the regime.

He said qualified people have refused to serve on the Provident Fund Board because of the bans.

The Attorney-General says an independent inquiry into mismanagement of the fund is not necessary.28/7/11abc

Ministry of Health's to review, renew regulations

By Nasik Swami
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 27, 2011) - There has been an increase noted in the number of food processors, wholesalers, and retailers putting inappropriate food labels.

Ministry of Health spokesman Peni Namotu said in the last two weeks various retailers, wholesalers and food processors have been asked by Ministry of Health's Food Unit personnel to review, rectify misleading labels.

Namotu said a lot of brands have been re-labeled.

He said Perfect Choice tuna, a relabeled brand of tuna is selling at FJ$0.69 [US$0.40] per can.

"The label reads zero percent total fat when the fish and the vegetable oil preservative have substantial fats as ingredients," Namotu said.

He said Sun Bell Tuna report Potassium as an ingredient but fails to mention "sodium" the most important factor.

"Skipper Tuna, label reads a total fat level below the saturated fat even after vegetable oil has been added," Namotu said.

He also said if a "rebranded" tin of perfect choice tuna costs 69 cents, Ministry of Health is very interested to follow up why the original FJ$0.98 [US$0.57] was charged at that rate.

The Food Unit of Ministry of Health is being instructed to renew the labeling criteria under the Food Safety Regulations 2009 as a matter of urgency to regularize such unethical business practices.


Regime's military commander present to witness event

By Repeka Nasiko
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 27, 2011) - Fiji's Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is currently in Pretoria, South Africa for the opening of the Fiji High Commission.

The Fiji High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa will be Fiji's latest diplomatic mission.

According to a government statement, the new mission positions Fiji in the African continent and compliments bilateral and multilateral relations with African countries.

The High Commission is scheduled for opening on July 29.

Commodore was en route to South Africa from Mozambique where he was attending the 12th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.Fijilive:

18)Fiji environment minister pushes for Pacific economies to go green

The Fiji interim minister for the environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua, says Pacific economies need to go green if they're to ensure they remain viable.

He's told the meeting of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation in Lami in Fiji that the Green Economy concept would help countries achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The Green Economy, which is proposed as one of two significant themes for next year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development, promises to fully incorporate the environmental and the social agenda into economic discussions.

It encourages the economy and environment to work as mutually supportive partners and not as competitors.

Colonel Saumatua says given the high dependency of Pacific Islands countries on their natural environment, with commodities such as fisheries, timber and tourism, it makes sense for them to invest in a green economy.

28/7/11 Radio New Zealand International

Fiji AG says Aust-NZ travel bans affect pension fund-


To encourage, mentor women for business pursuits

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 27, 2011) - A business network for women has recently been launched in Tonga with a view to mentoring and encouraging other women in their business pursuits.

The Women in Sustainable Enterprises (WISE) group already has around 140 members including accomplished business leaders.

Board member, Sela Bloomfield, says before WISE was set up there was nowhere women with business aspirations could go to for advice.

"One of the main objectives is to help women by offering training and mentoring and also to create a network among members of WISE. Essentially we want to help women, encourage them in their business journey, and help them to build their businesses to make the business sustainable."

Sela Bloomfield says the network includes small home-based businesses as well as large enterprises.Radio New Zealand International:

Unclear why Kelley' contract not renewed

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 27, 2011) – Tonga's first Police Commissioner Chris Kelley will have his final day in office next Friday, August 5 before leaving Tonga the following day, after the Minister of Police in a letter, stated that the Commissioner's contract would not be renewed.

The Police Commissioner did not want to comment on why he was leaving Tonga so abruptly, but said that he would make a press statement on August 2.

The Commissioner's three-years contract with the Tongan government is due to expire on 22 September, but it is understood he is taking holidays owed to him by leaving earlier.

The method of the termination of the Police Commissioner's contract raised questions over the government's ability to implement the new Tonga Police Act.

The Minister of Police, Hon. Dr. Viliami Latu told Matangi Tonga this morning that it was a Cabinet decision not to extend Commissioner Kelley's contract and that he had written a letter to inform him.

He said that Commissioner Kelley was brought in to implement a five year development project, jointly funded by Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, and even though there was still work to be done, "but the new government decided not to renew his contract, but to advertise for a new person to take over from him."

However, the Minister of Police admitted that the government was having great difficulty implementing the Police Act 2010 because neither the Privy Council nor the Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel had ever met.

According to the Tonga Police Act 2010 it is the King in Privy Council who has the power to appoint or to terminate the contract of a Police Commissioner, on the advice of the Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel. The Act also spells out that the appointment of a Police Commissioner cannot be terminated except for physical or mental incapacity, neglect of duty or misconduct.

First as Police Commander in 2008 and this year appointed Commissioner, Chris Kelley, a New Zealander, implemented the Tonga Police Strategic Plan 2009 to 2013 and under it set out to build a healthy Police organization.

The plan invested in staff and equipment and overhauled the Police infrastructure, and rapidly improved the service, while slowly regaining public trust. But it was not all smooth going and in the process of setting new standards of policing, he was challenged for letting go of established staff, including some senior officers.

But those in government who wanted the Commissioner to leave, appeared to be entrenched in the idea that the Commissioner was the choice of the former government, and they wanted a new person.

Commissioner Kelley was initially contracted by the Tongan Government to be Police Commander for three years with a right for extension, starting from his appointment on 22 September 2008 under a Tripartite Partnership Agreement that had been signed in July the same year.

The Police Commander position had been vacant since early 2007, after the resignation of the previous commander following the riots and burning of the Nuku'alofa Central Business District on 16 November 2006.

The government had difficulties in attracting applicants to fill the post. After months of advertising with no success, the former Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Fred Sevele, approached the New Zealand Government for assistance in finding a new Police Commander. The resulting five-years Tripartite Partnership Agreement was signed by the Australian, New Zealand and Tongan governments, with an allocation of $4 million pa'anga to finance the program.

On February 21 this year he was promoted to a newly created post of Police Commissioner.

In accepting the appointment Commissioner Kelley said that the Police Act 2010 was required to better equip Tonga Police to confidently meet the challenges of policing in modern Tonga.

"It came out of public concerns, government unease and police dissatisfaction with the old act, which lacked clarity in administration and operation, and it adversely impacted on the effectiveness of Tonga Police," he said at the time. "The new act ensures police transparency and accountability to the people, by establishing guiding principles for how policing should be carried out. Most importantly, it provides rights, strengthens safeguards in the exercise of police powers, not only for suspected offenders but also for victims and witnesses and members of the public who have care and protection needs," he said.

The passing of the Tonga Police Act 2010, the restructuring of the police and the appointment of the new police commissioner were steps toward completing the Tonga Police Development Program.Matangi Tonga:

22)Tuvalu to shortly announce dates for by-election following Minister's death

Plans are underway in Tuvalu to hold a by-election to replace the late Minister of Natural Resources.

Isaia Italeli was found dead in a hotel room in Samoa where he was staying before the Pacific Forum Fisheries Ministers' meeting last week.

A farewell service was held in Samoa before his body was returned to Tuvalu for his funeral held earlier this week.

The Secretary to the Government in Tuvalu, Panapasi Nelesone said a by-election is expected to be held soon.

"Right now government is trying to organise a by-election for the island of Nui. The late minister was from the island of Nui. So we're now in the process of organising a by-election and hopefully the dates will be approved by cabinet later this afternoon."

Nelesone said the Prime Minister is overseeing the late Minister's portfolios until the by-election.

Meanwhile, Fisheries Ministers with the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) have paid tribute to the late Tuvalu Minister for Natural Resources.

After Isaia Taeia Italeli died during the regional Fisheries Ministers' meeting last week in Samoa, the PNA meeting was postponed for a day. The Minister has been hailed by the PNA as a great advocate for fisheries in his country and the PNA.

Italeli was said to be "behind the steering wheel" of Pacific fisheries development and had played a central role in the PNA's recent actions on regional tuna management. 28/7/11 SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

Meeting themes: promote Polynesian language, pay less tax

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 25, 2011) - The opening of the Maohi Protestant Church's 127th Synod took place during the weekend in Vairao in Tahiti's peninsula.

[PIR editor's note: "This church is the former Evangelical Church of French Polynesia, which changed its name to Maohi Protestant Church by decision of its synod in 2004. The church grew out of the work of the London Missionary Society which came to Tahiti in 1797. More than half of the population of the territory belongs to the Maohi Protestant Church."]

One of the synod's main theme this year will be how to protect and promote Polynesian languages.

Another main theme will be new taxes. The Maohi Protestant Church wants the poorest tahitians to pay less taxes in the future.

There should also be working sessions and debates about the Tahitian society and its evolution.

The Maohi Protestant Church's 127th Synod is scheduled to end July 31st.

Members from the Maohi Protestant Church account for around 50 percent of French Polynesian inhabitants.

The 127th Maohi Protestant Church Synod also already re-elected Taaroanui Maraea president for another four years.

Maraea was elected president for the first time in 2003 and re-elected president for another four years in 2007.

Trained in Strasbourg, France, he spent three years working in the youth sector before moving into the Church's hierarchy.Tahitipresse:

Discovery yielded 62 new species of ferns, flowering plants

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 26, 2011) - Recent botanical exploration efforts in the rugged Marquesas Islands have increased the known flora of the archipelago by an impressive 20 percent.

Field research and collecting in conjunction with the Vascular Flora of the Marquesas Islands and Flore de la Polynesie française projects have yielded 62 new species of ferns and flowering plants bringing the total native species to 360.

18 of them are newly described and illustrated in a special issue of PhytoKeys.

The new findings were made by researchers from the National Tropical Botanical Garden (David H. Lorence) and Smithsonian Institution (Warren L. Wagner), in collaboration with French IRD and French Polynesian researchers.

"Intensive field work has revealed that most of these new species are extremely rare and localized endemics, often confined to a single island", senior project leader David Lorence said. Many are known only from one or two localities harboring intact native vegetation that have so far escaped pressures from invasive plant species and feral animals", Lorence added.

Over 6,000 herbarium specimens collected by field botanists were pressed, dried, and distributed to collaborating institutions in Tahiti, Hawaii, Washington DC, Paris, and elsewhere for study by botanical specialists.

Ferns comprise an important element of the Marquesas flora, and 11 of the 18 new species are ferns.Tahitipresse:

One hundred Chinese families to settle on island

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 27, 2011) - An opposition MP in Niue says the premier should explain the details of a scheme to allow 100 Chinese families to settle on the island.

Niue has been seeking investment from China for some years and most recently a group was escorted to the island by the Reef Group to look at investing in its noni farm and mothballed fish processing plant.

There are local reports of the premier's plans but Terry Coe says there's public concern at the impact such an influx could have on the island.

[PIR editor's note: In a recent report, Niue's Premier has rejected as speculation reports that the government is about to allow up to 100 Chinese families to settle on the island.]

He says there's division in the cabinet on the matter and the premier, Toke Talagi, should publicly explain the nature of the scheme.

"Most of the people who know about it and it's not general knowledge, that's the thing, that they've kept it very quiet. But those that know about have expressed their deep concern and what are we trying to do when we've seen the problems within Fiji, Samoa and Tonga with bringing especially those people, the Chinese, into the community."

Premier Toke Talagi dismisses Mr. Coe's claims as rumors.

He says there's no agreement in place but he says they have been talking with Chinese investors about a range of investment possibilities.

Radio New Zealand International:


26)US military aborts missile test over Marshall Islands

Launch controllers in the US Air Force have destroyed an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific after detecting a problem with it, minutes after take-off.

The Associated Press reports that it's the second problem with the Minuteman 3 missile during tests this summer at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The missile was terminated early yesterday morning over the ocean northeast of Roi-Namur, an island within Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The Air Force says there'll be an investigation.

The US military regularly tests unarmed missiles to check reliability and accuracy.

28/7/11 Radio New Zealand International

Average family bill would increase by $39

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 27, 2011) - Power bills will climb about 13 percent next week, or about US$39 for the average local household, because of a decision made Monday night by the head of the Public Utilities Commission.

Because the PUC didn't have a quorum, commission Chairman Jeff Johnson unilaterally approved an order increasing the fuel surcharge portion of every power bill.

Starting on Aug. 1, the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause, or LEAC, will increase from 16 cents to 19 cents per 1,000 kilowatt-hours used, according to the order.

That will translate into an increase of about US$30 for a family who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours a month. According to Pacific Daily News files, the average family actually uses about 1,300 kilowatt hours a month, so their bill would increase by about US$39.

PUC legal counsel Fred Horecky explained yesterday that the fuel surcharge increase is needed because several separate price estimates predict that a barrel of oil is expected to climb in the next six months.

Guam's electricity costs are tethered to the fluctuating cost of oil, which drags power bills either up or down every six months.

According to The Associated Press, oil prices fell to near US$99 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report showed U.S. crude supplies unexpectedly jumped last week, suggesting demand may be weakening.

The LEAC rose 18.5 percent in February, and the Guam Power Authority can request another increase in December.

The LEAC increase approved on Monday is also needed, at least in part, because projections considered in January actually underestimated how much fuel would fluctuate this year, Horecky said. GPA reported "underrecovery" during this time, so that loss was factored into the LEAC adjustment.

Only three members were present at Monday's PUC meeting, so Johnson tapped into a rarely used authority to approve the order on his own, Horecky said.

"We generally don't prefer to do that, but sometimes there is no choice," Horecky said.

Board members can "theoretically" reverse Johnson's decision at the next board meeting, but this is unlikely and unprecedented, Horecky said.

Pacific Daily News:

Documented numbers stand at 159 patients

By Moneth Deposal
SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 28, 2011) -
Between 2001 through 2011, the number of hemodialysis patients in the Commonwealth have doubled, proof that more and more islanders are contracting chronic diseases that lead to kidney failures.

Based on the latest records of the Commonwealth Health Center, from just 80 hemobialysis patients 10 years ago, the number now stands at 159-and these are just the documented ones.

Karlo Reyes, unit manager of the CHC hemodialysis unit, said yesterday that these documented patients are being treated either at the hospital or at a private clinic on island.

Saipan has two hemodialysis facilities: one at the Commonwealth Health Center and the privately-run St. Jude Renal Care Facility at the Saipan Health Clinic.

Of the 159 dialysis patients in the Commonwealth, Reyes disclosed that 107 are being treated at CHC while St. Jude accommodates the remaining 52 patients. CHC, as a public health center, accommodates patients with or without insurance.

Reyes believes that more and more people in the community have chronic kidney diseases that are still undiagnosed, based on the emergency cases being brought to the hospital. He said an undiagnosed kidney failure usually leads to emergency treatment.

"I can't say if the documented figure is alarming but I do believe that we still have a significant number of individuals in our community who have chronic kidney conditions but are still undiagnosed to date. Based on the 10-year period of documented patients, however, we've seen a continuous increase in the number. The figure doubled from 2001 to 2011," said Reyes.

Because of the limited resources and equipment at the hospital's old dialysis center, the opening of the St. Jude facility and its expansion has helped accommodate the increasing number of patients who need dialysis treatment. Saipan Tribune learned that CHC's old dialysis center could only accommodate 19 patients per shift.

Reyes said the expected opening of the new hemodialysis center will allow them to increase that number to 27 patients per shift every day.

Hemodialysis is a method for removing waste products such as creatinine and urea, as well as free water, from the blood when the kidneys fail. Hemodialysis is one of three renal replacement therapies, the other two being renal transplant and peritoneal dialysis. It can be an outpatient or inpatient therapy.

Saipan Tribune:

Unknown if Attorney General will act on it

By Moneth Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 28, 2011) - The Office of Public Auditor has found approximately US$2.628 million in government monies expended improperly by agencies and that can be recovered by the cash-strapped government if actions will be taken by the Office of the Attorney General.

The collectibles were as of Dec. 31, 2010, according to the OPA's audit report on CNMI agencies released yesterday.

"As of Dec. 31, 2010, recommendations in seven audit reports were referred to the [OAG] for legal action to recover monies improperly expended. On May 17, 2011 OPA requested an update on these referrals. The [OAG] did not respond to this request or provide OPA an update on these referrals. As such, the status of these referrals remains unchanged," states the report.

Of the potentially recoverable funds, OPA said that US$4,982 can be recovered from a former Rota Health Center director as reimbursement for the cost of a washing machine taken from RHC funds for the period December 1993 to March 1996.

Another US$75,000 could be recovered from a former Finance secretary who misused the money during fiscal years 1995 to 1997.

A loan receivable made to a CNMI constituent. Legal action is also needed to recover an overpayment of US$543,375 from a consultant of the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission on grounds of unjust enrichment, conversion, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty and US$195,971 from three other individuals for breach of fiduciary trust.

OPA also disclosed that the CNMI government has US$1.315 million in overpayments of professional services contracts.

At the Department of Public Works, US$100,000 can be recovered as improper payments made to a surveying contractor in 1997. Another US$392,178 can be recovered from the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission as payment for improper travels made in fiscal years 1996 to 2001.

OPA also indicated that there is a potential recovery of US$3.6 million that hinges on agencies' actions.

Recommendations in eight audit reports identified potential recoveries of the amount due to unpaid rentals of land leases, uncollected labor processing fees, overpayments in professional services contracts and retirement benefits, and improper expenditures of public funds.

"Of the US$4.7 million identified as potentially recoverable, US$1.054 million has been partially recovered, leaving a balance of US$3.671 million still recoverable as of Dec. 31, 2010," OPA said. Saipan Tribune:

TOK PISIN (Papua NiuGini,Autonomous Bouganville,Solomon Islands & Vanuatu) 26/7/11-radioaustralia)

30)Ol PNG papa graon i lusim kot keis

Wanpela kot insait long Papua New Guinea i sakim wanpela askim oa aplikeisin long stopim wanpela nickel main long damp-im posin blong main igo insait long solowara.

PNG correspondent Liam Fox i ripot olsem wan-tausen ol lan-ona ibin painim wei blong stopim plen blong Ramu nickel main long tromoim planti million tonne-heve blong pipia igo insait long north coast blong Madang Provins.

Na ol i strong olsem sapos dispela posin igo aut long main, em bai kilim na bagarapim olgeta bus graun na fis na laif blong ol.

Justice David Cannings i harim dispela wari blong ol na em i tok em ino ting kampani bai mekim olgeta samting long stopim posin igo aut.

Tasol em ibin sakim dispela lan-ona aplikeisin bikos Gavman ibin givim tok orait blong ol long dampim posin na sapos ol i stopim, em i tok, main na bisnis bai bungim bikpela heve long wok ekonomi.

Tasol dispela kot disisin i min kampani, em China i bosim bikpela share, i ken stat wok long main.

NZ Seasonal sapota ino wanbel wantaim toktok blong USA

Ol sapota blong 'seasonal woka skim' blong New Zealand i sakim ol toktok i kam long America olsem New Zealand kampani i kisim ol Pacific pipol ibin panisim ol long wok ples.

Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney i ripot olsem long wan wan yar, ol kampani em ol i rejista wantaim New Zealand Registered Seasonal Employers skim i save larem ol long kisim 2-tausen ol Pacific pipol long wok long garm blong ol.

Tasol long las mun, wanpela ripot blong US State Department long Trafficking in Persons blong dispela yar 2011, i autim sampela wari olsem dispela skim i bagarapim rait blong ol pipol.

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca i bos blong Office to Monitor na Combat Trafficking in Persons blong State Department.

"There are certainly the warning signs of abuse and in fact allegations of abuse in a number of different sectors"

New Zealand Ministry of Labour ino iet mekim wanpela bekim long dispela toktok tasol ol sapota blong skim i tok dispela ol toktok ino tru.

Fiji gavman i feil long kisim iau blong Kot

Fiji Hai Kot i rausim wanpela askim oa aplikeisin blong Interim gavman long rausim wanpela salens blong katim pei blong ol pensin.

Jemima Garrett i ripot David Burness, krismas blongen 75, i salensim plen blong gavman long sanis oa 'reform' blong pensin. Em i tok dispela plen bai katim 64 pe sent pensin mani blongen na dispela iet i bagarapim human right blongen.

High Court Judge, Justice Pradeep Hettiarachchi, ibin tok dispela i wanpela bikpela nesinol isu na em ino redi long agri long askim blong Gavman long rausim keis pastaim long em i harim olgeta toktok long kot.

Justice Hettiarachchi ibin tok em ino bilip dispela pension mani, em Gavman i laik kamap sanis longen, ino wanpela human raits isu.

Na em i givim ol loia blong Mr Burness 21 dei long stretim ol kot dokument long dispela keis.

Ripot i tok, Air Vanuatu i sekim pinis bos blong en

Ripot i tok Vanuatu nesanel elain Air Vanuatu i sekim pinis bos blong en.

Vanuatu Daily Post niuspepa i tok elain bod ov darektas i bin rausim Joseph Laloyer, na putim chief pilot Peter Fogarty blong kisim ples blong em.

Post i tok Mr Laloyer i bin kirap nogut long oli sekim em, na i tok insait long 17 mun em i bin stap long displa wok, em i bin daunim bikpla dinau blong elain lusim 14 milian US dola ikam daun long 1.2 milian na i bin nap long kamapim ken bilip long elain.

Post i tok, Mr Laloyer bai apil agensim displa tingting.

BAHASA: (West Papua,Timor,Sumba,Maluku+) radioaustralia-28/7/11.

31)Dituding lakukan pencemaran, petani Australia menggugat

Steve Marsh, petani di Australia Barat melancarkan gugatan hukum terhadap tetangganya karena dianggap mencemari lahan pertanian organiknya dengan tanaman yang telah mengalami modifikasi genetik.

Marsh kehilangan sertifikasinya sebagai petani organik dalam bulan Desember sewaktu serbuk dari tanaman canola hasil GM dari lahan tetangga tertiup ke lahannya.

Ia kini menggugat tetangganya karena hilangnya pendapatan dan tidak bisa lagi menjual hasil produknya dengan harga tinggi tanaman organik.

Pengacara Steve menyebutkan tetangganya telah melakukan keteledoran.

Ini merupakan kasus yang akan diikuti dengan cermat oleh para petani di seluruh Australia.

Aksi protes pencari suaka ditahanan selama 4 hari berakhir

Departemen Immigrasi Australia mengatakan, para tahanan imigrasi telah menghentikan aksi protes yang telah berlangsung empat hari di atas atap Pusat Detensi Immigrasi di Darwin.

Jurubicara departemen immigrasi mengatakan, salah seorang diantaranya mesti mendapat perawatan medis karena insiden melukai diri sendiri.

12 tahanan juga telah menggelar aksi mogok di pusat penahanan itu sejak akhir pekan.

Peningkatan penghangatan global timbulkan kebakaran di Kutub Utara

Peningkatan suhu global akan menimbulkan lebih banyak peristiwa kebakaran di kawasan Kutub Utara. Demikian hasil study yang dipublikasikan melalui Jurnal Nature.

Kebakaran di kawasan Kutub Utara jarang terjadi, tapi di tahun 2007 kebakaran hebat menghancurkan wilayah seluas sekitar seribu kilometer persegi di lembah utara di Alaska.

Penelitian yang hasilnya dimuat dalam jurnal Nature menunjukkan, dengan meningkatnya suhu global, kebakaran seperti itu akan makin sering terjadi dan makin parah.

Wilayah yang kaya organik itu bukan saja mudah terbakar melainkan juga berkapasitas untuk menyimpan karbon dalam jumlah besar.

Dan studi itu mengungkapkan bagaimana satu kebakaran bisa dengan cepat mengubah keseimbangan karbon di kawasan itu, dimana alih-alih menyimpan emisi, wilayah itu akan mengeluarkan karbon dalam jumlah besar ke udara.

Jetstar akan tegur krew pesawat yang keluhkan capek

Maskapai penerbangan murah Jetstar -bagian dari kelompok perusahaan Qantas - akan menegur sebuah perusahaan penyuplai kru pesawat karena mengancam akan memecat awak kabin yang mengeluh keletihan.

Para anggota awak kabin yang berbasis di Thailand tersebut diancam akan dipecat karena mengeluh terlalu lelah untuk mengoperasikan penerbangan dari Sydney menuju Melbourne.

CEO Jetstar, Bruce Buchanan, mengatakan para operator Thailand itu telah diberitahu bahwa praktek tersebut tidak bisa diterima.

"Karena itu kami kembali menanyakan kepada perusahaan penyuplai tenaga kru pesawat ketika kami mengetahui adanya tuduhan tersebut. Bisa jadi praktek tersebut diterima di perusahaan penerbangan lainnya bila perusahaan melakukan intimidasi atau hukuman kepada kru pesawat. Namun langkah tersebut bukan standar yang diterapkan dalam kelompok perusahaan Qantas. Kami melihat dikeluarkannya surat berisi ancaman adalah hal yang tidak dapat diterima," ujar Buchanan.

FRANIS:(New Caledonia,Vanuatu,Tahiti,Wallice & Futuna)

Brèves du Pacifique - 28/07/2011

32)Vanuatu: droit dans ses bottes, Alfred Carlot- Le Ministre des Affaires étrangères vanuatais va établir une mission commerciale a Taïwan, et non pas une mission diplomatique, comme il le souligne dans le "Vanuatu Daily Post". Son projet provoque la fureur de la République Démocratique de Chine.

Même si Alfred Carlot explique qu'avoir des liens commerciaux avec Taiwan n'empêche pas le Vanuatu d'être fidèle au principe d'une seule Chine. Comme le rappelle le Pacific Island Report, le Ministre des Affaires étrangères vanuatais a demandé 32 millions de dollars à la Chine en récompense des bons et loyaux services du Vanuatu. Le pays soutient en effet la Chine contre Taïwan aux Nations-Unies. «La généreuse assistance de la Chine s'est traduite par l'érection du Parlement, du campus de l'Université du Pacifique Sud, du siège du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance et d'autres projets, ceci dit nous apprécierions que la Chine puisse nous aider a boucler le budget du Vanuatu», a-t-il écrit à la Chine. L'ambassadeur de Chine a Port-Vila a rencontré le Premier ministre Sato Kilman la semaine dernière. Cheng Shuping affirme que Sato Kilman a renoncé à l'ouverture d'une mission commerciale a Taïwan. Mais le Ministre des Affaires étrangères Alfred Carlot tient bon, il ira a Taïwan.

Australie: "Evil" hors d'état de nuire- "Evil" – en Francais "le mal", c'est le pseudo de ce pirate informatique qui a donné une belle peur rétrospective à la police australienne. Après six mois d'enquête, elle a arrêté ce chômeur de 25 ans dans l'Etat des Nouvelles Galles du Sud. David Cecil a réussi à s'introduire dans le système de Platform Networks, l'un des 13 noeuds d'échange de trafic Internet du réseau national australien. Une installation qui a couté 36 milliards de dollars. Platform Networks héberge les noms de domaine de milliers d'entreprises, lesquelles auraient pu perdre leur site Internet si le pirate avait mis ses plans à exécution. Les policiers ont remonté sa piste après qu'Evil a attaqué le site d'une université et celui d'une entreprise basée à Melbourne.

L'état d'urgence déclaré aux Mariannes du Nord- Le Gouverneur n'a pas pu faire autrement face à l'effondrement du système de santé. Et c'est aussi une manipulation légale qui lui a permis de transférer 1.7 million de dollars de l'Autorité du Développement à la Caisse d'Assurance Maladie, qui est en déficit de 3 millions de dollars. Concrètement le manque de moyens est tel que les médecins n'ont plus les substances chimiques nécessaires pour faire des tests, ils en sont parfois réduits à deviner la pathologie de leurs patients. A cause de la crise économique, beaucoup de Mariannais ont tout simplement du arrêter de côtiser. Et quand ils tombent malades, ils n'ont toujours pas d'argent pour payer leurs séjours à l'hôpital.

Australie: grand débat sur la vitesse de l'élévation du niveau de l'océan- La semaine dernière, Phil Watson, expert en gestion côtière à l'Université des Nouvelles Galles du Sud, a jeté un pave dans la mare, affirmant que l'élévation du niveau de l'océan était en train de ralentir. S'appuyant sur ces travaux, un autre scientifique, Howard Brady, spécialiste du changement climatique à l'Université Macquarie de Sydney, prévoit donc une élévation de l'océan de 15 centimètres seulement d'ici la fin du siècle. Mais les résultats de Phil Watson et les projections de Howard Brady sont remises en cause par les scientifiques du CSIRO, l'équivalent australien du CNRS. Le CSIRO prévoit 20 à 80 centimetres d'élévation du niveau de l'océan d'ici la fin du siècle. L'experte en gestion côtière du CSIRO, Kathy McInnes, rappelle que l'océan s'élève fortement depuis 1993 – à un rythme de 3.2 mm en moyenne par an. En outre, selon elle il est difficile de faire une prévision précise car les scientifiques ne comprennent pas encore parfaitement la réaction des banquises du Groenland et de l'Antarctique à l'augmentation de la température. De même, on ne sait pas quel tonnage de gaz a effet de serre sera injecté dans l'atmosphère d'ici la fin de ce siècle.

Iles Salomon: 68 étudiants exclus de l'Université du Pacifique Sud- C'est une décision de la direction nationale de l'enseignement supérieur au Ministère de l'Education. Selu Maezama estime que les résultats de ces étudiants sont trop médiocres. 68 cela paraît beaucoup, mais il précise que l'année dernière c'est de 120 étudiants que l'Université du Pacifique Sud a du se séparer. Les étudiants ont deux semaines pour faire appel auprès de la direction de l'université. Le campus de l'Université du Pacifique Sud aux Iles Salomon est le deuxième plus important derrière celui de Suva.

Niue: le gouvernement réagit à la rumeur selon laquelle il s'apprêterait à accueillir 100 familles chinoises- Toke Talagi, le Président de Niue, a précisé qu'il était bien en discussion avec des investisseurs chinois concernant entre autres le tourisme de luxe et la production de jus de noni. Il a confirmé sur la radio néo-zélandaise internationale que Niue, avec le Samoa et les Cook Islands, fournira du jus de noni à la Chine grâce à la société de fret maritime néo-zélandaise Reef Group. Mais tant que l'accord n'est pas signé, Toke Talagi, ne peut pas dire combien de familles chinoises s'installeront à Niue – «50, 100, un millier, je ne peux pas spéculer plus avant», a-t-il conclu.

Changement climatique s'invite à l'ordre du jour du Conseil de Sécurité de l'ONU

Le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations-Unies fait un pas vers la reconnaissance du changement climatique comme une menace à la paix dans le monde. C'est en tout cas l'analyse du Président de Nauru, Marcus Stephen.

La semaine dernière pourtant, le Conseil de Sécurité a rejeté cette idée devant l'opposition de l'Allemagne, de l'Inde, de la Chine et de la Russie, entres autres, qui estiment que c'est aux autres organismes de l'ONU d'intervenir sur le changement climatique. De même, le Conseil refuse de créer un corps de Casques Verts.

Mais Marcus Stephen continue son lobbying au nom des petits Etats insulaires. Il s'est offert une tribune dans le très influent "New York Times" juste avant la réunion du Conseil de Sécurité.

Bruce Hill a demandé à Marcus Stephen en quoi le changement climatique menace la paix:

«Les gens quittent déjà déjà leurs atolls pour se réfugier dans la capitale de leur pays, c'est ça la menace, c'est très clair, à l'avenir il y aura des millions de réfugiés climatiques et d'ici la fin de du siècle, des îles auront été rayées de la carte, complètement submergées. C'est bien une menace pour la paix dans les Etats insulaires au moins.»

Et si le Conseil de Sécurité continue de s'estimer incompétent en matière de changement climatique, le fait même qu'il ait répondu à la proposition de résolution de Nauru et des autres petits Etats insulaires, c'est déjà une victoire pour Marcus Stephen:

«On ne peut pas révolutionner les choses du jour au lendemain, la machine administrative de l'ONU est très lente, donc le fait que nous ayons obtenu une réponse, une déclaration du Président du Conseil de Sécurité, c'est très positif pour nous les Etats insulaires du Pacifique. Surtout qu'au début du débat, c'était mal parti, on s'attendait à n'obtenir aucune réponse à notre motion, donc ce n'est pas spectaculaire mais c'est un vrai pas en avant.»

Marcus Stephen, le Président de Nauru, répondait à Bruce Hill sur Radio Australie.

Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: des déchets miniers potentiellement toxiques au fond de l'océan

Mardi, le juge Canning a autorisé le stockage sous-marin des déchets de la mine de nickel de Ramu. Les propriétaires traditionnels de la baie de l'Astrolabe, là où les déchets seront disposés, vont faire appel de cette décision.

Ils estiment, et ils ne sont pas les seuls, que les déchets vont provoquer des dommages environnementaux. Or la survie des populations alentour dépend étroitement de la bonne santé des récifs.

Le juge Canning s'est dit convaincu par les démonstrations des scientifiques, mais le gouvernement papou ayant déjà donné son feu vert, le juge ne pouvait pas s'opposer a sa décision.

Amanda Reichelt-Brushett est chercheuse à l'Ecole des Sciences de l'Environnement de l'Université australienne de la Croix du Sud, au sud de Brisbane. Elle est l'un des experts mandatés par le juge Canning. Et voici ce qu'elle prévoit en cas de fuite des déchets au fond de l'océan:

«La pollution serait à deux niveaux, tout au fond de l'océan et aussi, s'il y a une fuite, ces déchets pourraient remonter la colonne d'eau. Or même de petits changements de turbidité (donc des matieres qui troublent l"eau de l'océan, NDLR) peuvent avoir un impact sur la survie des coraux. Dans la baie de l'Astrolabe, il y a des espèces-clés de coraux, donc en cas de fuite des déchets tout les récifs seraient menacés.»

Reste que les scientifiques n'en sont tenus pour l'instant qu'aux hypothèses, car le dispositif de stockage sous-marin des déchets de la mine de Ramu serait le premier au monde. Et bien sûr parce que le fond de l'océan n'est pas l'endroit le plus facilement accessible. Amanda Reichelt-Brushett:

«Les déchets sont un mélange complexe et les scientifiques ne comprennent pas encore précisement quelle réaction géochimique ces déchets peuvent provoquer dans l'océan à plus de 100 mètres de profondeur. Parce que nous ne pouvons pas explorer ces profondeurs en plongée. Le gouvernement a donné son feu vert au stockage sous-marin des déchets de la mine de nickel, mais aussi, en même temps, des déchets des campements de la mine, donc il y aura aussi les eaux usées, ce qui complexifie les déchets et changera la chimie de l'environnement. Je pense qu'il faut mettre en place un groupe d'experts indépendants pour aider la mine à prendre des mesures de protection pour l'environnement. Mais de toute facon, c'est une opération à haut risque. Contrairement au stockage souterrain des déchets, pour lequel on peut réagir rapidement en cas de fuite, là on ne pourra rien faire. On ne pourra pas descendre au fond de l'océan, isoler les substances toxiques et les ramener sur terre. Il serait de toute façon trop tard.»


33)Mystery over Australian's death in PNG

Liam Fox, PNG correspondent

Papua New Guinea police believe an Australian man has been murdered in the capital, Port Moresby.

Villagers found John Hulse's body beside a road on the outskirts of the city on Monday.

The 62-year-old dual Australian and British citizen was reported missing by friends the day before.

Superintendent Dominic Kakas said that on Saturday, Mr Hulse went to meet someone who had called him to say they had found his passport.

He never returned.

The officer said: "Mr Hulse was reported to have told his friends that he was going alone to that certain location."

Police are treating his death as a murder.

They say Mr Hulse lived on a boat at the Royal Papua Yacht Club and worked for a catering company.28/7/11abc

34)Australian airline accused of exploitation

The Australian budget airline, Jetstar, has been accused of exploiting cabin crew and demanding they work 20-hour shifts, compromising cabin safety.

Current and former crew members of the Qantas-owned budget airline say the practice leaves them extremely fatigued.

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan has rejected the claims and says the company has "the highest level" of fatigue risk-management procedures in place.

One former Jetstar flight attendant, who wishes to be called James, says Jetstar's popular afternoon flight from Sydney to Bali is no trip to paradise for staff.

"You start at four in the afternoon and you finish back in Sydney at seven the next morning," he told the ABC's Lateline.

"It was horrible. I felt like a slave.

"I've had a couple of times where I've had a delay on the Bali flight and that 14-, 15-hour shift would turn into a 19-hour, 20-hour shift."

Captain Richard Woodward, from the Australian and International Pilots Association, says cabin crew do not have the same industrial agreements as pilots.

"The cabin crew are suffering very badly because they don't have a regulated limit on how many hours they can do, particularly foreign crews, and so they are working maximum hours," he said.

"For instance, they are doing Sydney to Bali and back. That's about a 17-hour night - that's very, very fatiguing.

"The pilots fortunately have an industrial agreement."

The practice of making the Jetstar crews fly return shifts, rather than staying overnight like pilots, was raised by independent Senator Nick Xenophon in the Senate inquiry into airline safety earlier this year.

"When cabin crew tell me if there is an emergency they do not think they would be able to cope at the end of a 17- or 18- or 20-hour shift, then it really gives you cause for concern," he said at the time.

And concerns about fatigue are not confined to Jetstar's international flights.

Lateline has obtained over 60 incident reports that show that at least 37 crew members have filed complaints this year to Jetstar management about fatigue and exhaustion after flying the Sydney to Perth and Sydney to Darwin routes.

They have also raised serious concerns about the cabin crews' ability to deal with emergencies.

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan says rostered shifts only last up to 14 hours, irrespective of contracts of third-party providers.

"I think a lot of the claims are completely false and I entirely deny them," he told ABC News Breakfast.

Mr Buchanan said there are situations where people may have to work beyond their rostered shift, but that is part of working in the airline industry.

"If someone is extending, we take them off the next day and make sure they get some rest," he said.

"Fatigue risk management is about creating rest periods, either when they are flying or when they are on the ground.

"We ask people whenever they are fatigued to put their hands up and say they are fatigued and we will take them off that shift."

A Thailand-based cabin crew was threatened with the sack after flight attendants complained they were too tired to operate a Sydney to Melbourne flight.

The Bangkok-based flight attendants are employed by a company called Tour East Thailand, and Jetstar says it was not at all comfortable with warning letters sent by the firm to some staff.

"We have told them that that's unacceptable and if they are going to continue to be a provider of cabin crew for us, then they need to get in line with our standards," Buchanan said.

"We've gone back to the supplier, when we were aware of the allegations yesterday, and I said 'Look, that may be acceptable to other airlines where you chastise and intimidate them but that's not just part of the standards of the Qantas group and we find it unacceptable that you've issued these letters'.

"Irrespective of what a third party contract provider puts into contracts, it's really about what we do with our rostering practices."


35)Pacific governments urged to value ecosystems-

36)Academic tracing Pacific war babies fathered by US World War Two soldiers

History researchers at New Zealand's Otago University are appealing to Pacific Island families who think they may be related to American veterans of World War Two.

Professor Judith Bennett is leading a team which is helping trace the several hundred offspring of American soldiers stationed in the Pacific between 1942 and 1945.

She says the team's work hopes to fill an important gap in the history of the Pacific by forming a collection of stories from children whose fathers were soldiers.

She says each story so far has been unique and she is hoping to build up a series of narratives.

"How did this affect their lives? How did this affect particularly their own children. The grandchildren of that American are often the ones most interested in finding out about this ancestor. Possibly because they're a bit more, you know, they're not as close to it as their mother was."

Professor Bennett says there has been great participation so far from those in the Cook Islands, Kiribati and Solomon Islands.

But she is particularly keen to hear from families in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji who can contact her through the Otago University website.

28/7/11 Radio New Zealand International

Says possible three to five percent growth per year

By Jemima Garrett
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 27, 2011) - The Pacific region can achieve economic growth of 3 to 5 percent per year if productivity is improved, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study says.

The report, featured in the ADB's latest Pacific Economic Monitor, says raising education standards has significant potential to boost longterm economic growth.

The ADB says all countries in the region could benefit from improving their business environments and infrastructure, and reducing corruption.

Vanuatu is expected to post the highest growth - with 5 per cent per year expected until 2030.

The ADB's chief Pacific economist, Chris Edmond told Pacific Beat the results indicated the Pacifc would "fall further and further behind" its Asian neighbours.

"What we see with the Pacific economies is historically they've accumulated capital labour at much lower rates than their Asian neighbours. And at the same time, the efficiency with which they use those resources has been much, much lower than we see in most countries in the Asia region."

Mr. Edmond pointed to Samoa as an example of strong economic growth in the region.

"Samoa's probably the one Pacific island country that has most aggressively reformed its economy, gotten the government out of inappropriate activities and reformed its markets to attract both domestic and foreign investment."

Radio Australia:


38)Indonesia pilots strike

Pilots at Indonesia's Garuda Airlines have launched a 24-hour nationwide strike over pay.

Company officials say the striking pilots have been replaced with training pilots and those in management desk jobs.

It said there will be no disruptions to flights.

Union members are demanding equal compensation between the flag-carrier's Indonesian and foreign pilots, who they say are paid double the local rate.

The Garuda Pilots Union senior official, Jose Rizal, says members voted for the action when they found out three pilots had been intimidated and forced to fly by the management.

He says the strike was called after a week of talks with management went nowhere.28/7/11abc

39)Japan may end Antarctic whaling

Japan has raised the possibility of ending its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic.

In a review conducted by Japan's fisheries agency, the possibility of Japan discontinuing whaling in the Antarctic is mentioned as an option.

It is the first time any Japanese Government agency has raised the possibility of putting an end to so-called research whaling.

But the report also includes the option of continuing the program, as well as scaling it down.

The review was set up after the Sea Shepherd conservation group forced an early end to Japanese whaling in the Antarctic in February.



Recognizing global threat is step forward

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 27, 2011) - Nauru's President says a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York has taken a step towards recognizing climate change as a global security threat.

But Marcus Stephen says the council did not go as far as Nauru and other small island states would have liked.

There had been talk of setting up a United Nations force that could intervene in conflicts caused by climate change- to be called "Green Helmets" - but that idea was not accepted.

Nevertheless, Mr. Stephen has told Pacific Beat that overall he is pleased Nauru's voice was able to be heard, including in an article he wrote for the influential New York Times newspaper.

"We cannot expect things to be done overnight," he said. The UN process is very slow. To get a response from the Chair of the Security Council is very positive and good."Radio Australia:


41)Liku lifts her way to No.1 in Oceania region

Fiji's female lifter, Maria Liku recorded her most outstanding performance at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia last week in a test event.

The 20-year old totaled 180kg to take her into number one position in the 58kg category Oceania senior rankings; snatching 80kg and a clean and jerk of 100kg.

Liku is now favorite to win three gold medals; snatch, clean and jerk and total at the forthcoming Pacific Games.

She is also now ranked second in the Commonwealth senior rankings. Before her latest lift, Liku was placed fourth in the Arafura Games in Darwin with a total of 152kg.

She joined the Institute last month, under intensive training from Paul Coffa and his team.

Another Fijian top athlete, Manueli Tulo, competing in the 56kg category, snatched 107kg, and clean & jerked 130kg, for a 237kg total.

This result also has pushed Tulo back in to first place ranking in the Oceania seniors. He is also in line for gold medals at the Pacific Games.

Apolonia Vaivai who is the third lifter to join the Institute snatched 80kg which puts her in the snatch section, equal first in the Pacific rankings. She clean & jerked 90kg and totaled 170kg.

This puts her third overall in the Pacific rankings. Since arriving at the Institute a month ago, Vaivai has improved her standing.

42)Pacific Games preparations on schedule a month out

Organisers of the Pacific Games in New Caledonia say preparations are on track exactly one month out from the competitions opening ceremony.

Three and a half thousand athletes, 1500 officials and about 150 thousand visitors are expected to descend on New Caledonia from the end of August for the 14th edition of the Games.

Gaelle Darmon from the Games Organising Committee says the biggest challenge still remaining is managing the logistics of the event across the ten host cities.

She says the buzz around New Caledonia is building with locals looking forward to hosting the 22 competing nations.

"They're all very excited about it. The torch relay is a great success in all the villages and cities on its route. The torch travelled through New Caledonia for 42 days up to the opening ceremony. It's a great great fiesta."

Meanwhile, the cost of winning gold in the Pacific Games is already being felt by the Fiji Athletics Federation with less than a month to the official opening.

President, Albert Miller said they still have to meet their levy requirement in sending a team of 29 athletes to the Games.

Miller added that one of their biggest expenses is paying $6,000 for three of their USA based athletes to be part of the team but they have faith that with this obstacle they will deliver the much needed results.

Pacific Games in New Caledonia will start on the 27th of next month.


43)Papua New Guinea to host 2011 Oceania Cup

The Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) today announced that the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) will host the 2011 Oceania Cup to be held in Port Moresby, between 29 November and 8 December 2011.

The President of Papua New Guinea Rugby Union, Richard Sapias, is delighted that Papua New Guinea will be hosting the 2011 Oceania Cup, providing the people of PNG with an opportunity to witness some of the region's exciting development unions in action.

"The PNGRFU is extremely excited at the opportunity to host the Oceania Cup in 2011. Our region boasts a rich rugby tradition, and the Oceania Cup will provide a great opportunity for the players of the Region's Development Unions to gauge themselves against their Island rugby cousins," said Sapias.

"We also look forward to contributing towards promoting and expanding the Oceania Cup brand in the region as the stepping stone for all Oceania Development Unions to aspire to the next level of high performance rugby" he added.

Oceania Cup Tournament Director, Michael Groom, says that the PNGRFU has hosted major International Rugby events in past, and will deliver a successful tournament.

"In recent years the PNGRFU has hosted Rugby World Cup qualifiers and Oceania Cup Finals, they have an enthusiastic event management team and they will be excellent hosts for the participating Oceania Cup teams, officials and media," said Groom.

"We're very excited to be taking one of our flagship events to Papua New Guinea, a Union which has achieved excellent progress in international rugby in recent years – including qualifying for the 2010 Junior World Rugby Trophy, Commonwealth Games (where they defeated Tonga and Canada to win the Bowl Final), the Asia Pacific Women's Sevens tournament (runners up), the HSBC Sevens World Series and of course reaching the final stage of qualification for Rugby World Cup 2011.

"There is huge growth potential for rugby in Papua New Guinea and the hosting of the Oceania Cup is an important step in our vision for rugby in PNG."

The nations set to compete in the Oceania Cup are American Samoa, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Papua New Guinea are the defending Oceania Cup Champions.28/7/11 SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

44)Brisbane Broncos fly PNG expansion flag

Friday night's NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium will have a distinct Papua New Guinea flavour as part of Brisbane's sponsorship of PNG's 2015 expansion bid team.

Brisbane have tagged the clash with Cronulla "PNG Day", swapping their regular playing socks to wear PNG's national black, red and yellow colours to highlight their support for the bid to get a team in the NRL.

With a record six successive State of Origin series wins, record crowds and record TV ratings, Queensland lacks nothing in rugby league passion.

But in terms of league fanaticism, PNG may have the state covered.

With the appointment last week of a new commission, expansion is set to become one of rugby league's hot issues and PNG believe they can put together an appealing argument for 2015.

They point to an extremely high player participation rate in the only country in the world which can boast rugby league is truly its national sport.

"People up here play the game anytime and anywhere they can - on footy ovals, patches of grass, even dirt," said PNG NRL bid chief executive Brad Tassell.

"On the night of Origin I this year, nine giant TV screens were erected around Port Moresby and we estimate just on 100,000 people watched the game - a quarter of the city's population, the atmosphere was incredible."

As part of their sponsorship, Brisbane will offer PNG nationals living in south-east Queensland a special ticket price for the game, while the PNG Sing Sing tribe will perform on field prior to kick-off.

The Broncos currently display the bid team's logo on their playing shorts.

Some of the bid team members who'll attend the game believe a recently-inked agreement between them and PNG Sports Minister Philemon Embel can only enhance the country's expansion hopes.

"This partnership will deliver strong game development outcomes and ensure that we can learn from a great club like the Broncos how to build a successful rugby league culture and business model," Embel said.

"Our investment in this partnership is about providing assistance to advance rugby league in PNG. It will also lay the foundations around building a strong PNG bid brand and create the awareness we need as we move towards establishing ourselves as a highly-competitive franchise bid."

Tassell believes PNG will offer one of the strongest bids in 2015, a year NRL chief executive David Gallop has indicated is a more likely time for expansion than 2013.
"We are well on our way to achieving this and by then we will have a stadium in place, a long sustainable business model and strong revenue streams," said the former Roosters NRL player.

"We are also currently building a national development program which will help push our case for inclusion in the NRL competition." 28/7/11 SOURCE: 9 SPORTS/PACNEWS

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