Big jump in aid to Tonga after US Treaty signing

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Tonga will get a boost in aid associated with the longstanding US Pacific Tuna treaty after it joined other Pacific Forum nations in signing a 6-year extension to financial arrangements for the Treaty.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Nadi on Saturday, brought an end to a rift between the Pacific and Washington which had resulted in Washington issuing a formal notice of withdrawal from the treaty.
Minister of Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau told Radio Tonga News the amendments to the treaty will result in increase of about 36% of Tonga’s aid share.

According to Hon Fakahau, the previous agreement gave Tonga more than 6-hundred thousand US dollars a year but with the new agreement that will rise to US$1-million and 10,000.

 The Minister said the United States and the Pacific Islands Countries had to review the Treaty several times to accommodate both parties need due to rapid developments in Fisheries Industry, increasing in the number of fishing activities and also the United States wants to increase its number of catches in the region.

As part of the agreement, the United States is also willing to send its fishing boats to conduct surveys on Albacore in Tonga’s water, not only because Tonga wants to know more about this specific species in its water but Albacore is what the United States really want from the Pacific. He said US is paying an amount of money to Tonga for conducting the survey in its water.

At the moment no US boats fish in Tonga’s exclusive economic zone.

There are options in the agreement if the United States wants to increase the number of boats fishing in the Pacific and for this to take place without any tremendous increase in its fees.

The Minister said the Treaty allows the US fishing boats to fish in any of the 17 member countries of FFA, so if tuna migration patterns change due to Climate Change it will not be a problem for US fishing boats.

Fakahau stressed that the government and the Ministry of Fisheries will split Tonga’s US$1-million share. He says the Ministry will use its portion for its development activities. It involves a plan to return Tu’imatamoana Wharf to the Ministry and a huge amount of funding is needed to help boosting Fisheries development activities in Tonga.

When speaking at the ceremony, the Minister said he was directly involved in the negotiations and it was not as easy as the Director General of FFA told the gathering.

Fakahau thanked everyone who took part in making it as a success and reminded them that what they are doing helps the Pacific stay together and reinforces its strength and regional co-operation. He represented the FFA member countries in thanking Ambassador Judith Cefkin and the government of the United States.

Fakahau said the signing ceremony demonstrates that the United States is taking the lead in the development of fisheries in the Pacific and it’s important for the Pacific because the fisheries resources are what they share among themselves.

 He says the leadership of the United States has indicated to the Pacific that they can stay together and always work together with the US government in the future and its effect will be a sign of peace in the Pacific.

The Minister reiterated that there is enough Tuna in Tonga’s water but the only problem is that there are not many fishing boats to take Tonga’s share before other fishing vessels fish them when migrating to other waters.

There was a trial exercise held recently by the Ministry in which every fishing boats must off-load 5 tons of Tuna from each trip to the local market. The purpose is for the public to have easy access to fish with low price. According to the Minister, it has been a popular move made by the Ministry.

There are 7 fishing boats now with 4 owned by locals and there is a need to increase that number to about 15 or 20 not only to fish the livestock in Tonga’s water on economic purpose but for the public’s consumption in-terms of healthy food.

Tonga is a part of the Tokelau Arrangement, the new Pacific grouping based around albacore. There is a plan in the arrangement to improve management and to increase the fee being imposed on Albacore fishing fleets. New Zealand and Australia are helping in its process.

Landslides and collapsed buildings in Solomon Islands

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RNZ reports that news are coming in of collapsed buildings and landslides in the quake affected Makira & Ulawa province of the Solomon Islands.

A 7-point-8 magnitude earthquake stuck at about 4.30am local time today 70 kilometres off Kirakira, the capital of the province in the country's south.

 Deputy Principal John Gordon Hoto of Marou Bay Primary School in West Makira said the earthquake destroyed the school's office building and a classroom and severely damaged staff housing.

He said there had also been several landslides in the area and there were reports of more destruction in other villages in the Marou Bay area.

"I think we need assistance from the national government to come down here and just witness what is happening," he said.

"The office block was [has] fallen down and our classroom was [is] about to fall and our staff houses were moved sideways and are just about to fall. So I think we need some assistance from the national government to help us."

Meanwhile on the east coast building and water tanks at Pawa Secondary School on Ugi Island have been damaged.

A teacher at the school, Zinnia Tai said one girls' dormitory, a staff house and the student’s sanitation block have been flattened by the quake.

She said luckily all students have left for the holidays or many would have died when their dormitory collapsed.

Mrs Tai said all the water tanks have been damaged which will affect drinking water supplies.
Source: Radio New Zealand

PNG needs intelligent police officers says WNB Governor Muthuvel

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Papua New Guinea needs police officers who are very intelligent with good educational background knowledge to deliver police services, says West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel.

The Governor said PNG need officers who are educated and intelligent and have some understanding of the justice system. Governor Muthuvel made this remark when officially opening the Police Commissioner’s Police conference in Kimbe, WNBP on Monday.

“To become a police officer, you need to be properly educated and trained. They must be of sound mind, intelligent, mental alertness, having the physical strength and able to make split seconds decisions,” Governor Muthuvel said.

Senior police officers throughout the country are in Kimbe for the annual Police Commissioner’s conference, themed “Addressing Institutional Impediments to Effective Control and Command.”

Governor Muthuvel said police now work under unexpected situations and trying times and must stand up to times to deliver police services. He also said they are living under a society where law and order issues are always prevalent and must be mindful of that. No country can survive where lawlessness becomes the law, the guilty of unpunished, the dishonest are rewarded, citizens are indifferent and custodians of the law become the biggest law breakers.

Commissioner of Police Gari Baki thanked the Governor for officially opening the week-long conference and said over the next few days, they will take stock of all their activities and collectively discuss their plans and strategies for Next Year’s upcoming National General Elections and the much anticipated APEC Meeting in 2018.

The Commissioner said those two occasions have already seen them having consultative discussions with other relevant state agencies but the Constabulary must also undergo some changes and rehabilitation to prepare itself for those up-coming challenges.

He said with their theme of the conference, the organization has come under much public scrutiny for the wrong reasons because members of the Constabulary are not being subservient to the values of discipline and ethical conduct.

“In a bid to encourage you all to revisit the Constabulary Standing Orders, the Internal Affairs Directorate will present a symposium on discipline and ethics in the first two days of our conference. I want all to grasp the information disseminated in this symposium and practically enforce these values in our respective areas of command,” he said.

The Commissioner also announced that he will extend this year’s Year of Discipline to 2017 as well to see and implement the outcome of the discipline symposium.

The Conference will end this Friday.

PNG Opposition says continues hosting of Mining Conference overseas is meaningless and waste of money

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Papua New Guinea's Deputy Opposition Leader, Member for Bulolo and Pangu Pati Leader Honourable Sam Basil is concerned that his District has missed out on participation at the recent Mining & Petroleum Conference being held in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Basil said that the Bulolo District Development Authority (the BDDA) represents Bulolo District which hosts the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Gold and Copper Mine.
The BDDA also represents second and third generation of gold miners along the Watut River, the Waria River, the Snake River and the Wau and Bulolo rivers, including hundreds of mining lease operators.

The alluvial miners input into the national coffers stands at K60 to K70m annually, including the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Mine.
The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining so where ever there are talks about mining; Bulolo must always be considered by not only being invited but more so being assisted by any government to be part of such high level conferences or meetings.
Bulolo District could not send its delegation to the Sydney conference because the cost would exceed K200,000.00, which the BDDA simply could not afford.
Mr Basil questioned the logic of land owners and project hosts spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore to go and talk about resources that are under our feet. Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources, said Mr Basil.

Millions of Kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departments and land owners to attend this meeting when funds could have been spent onshore and more participants and stakeholders within PNG could have attended if it was hosted onshore.
Mr Basil is calling on the president of the Chamber of Mines Greg Anderson to reconsider having future mining conferences back in our own country. If PNG is vying to host such high level events like the APEC meeting in our country, there is really no reason why we cannot host future Mining & Petroleum Conferences in PNG.

On the one hand the government is preaching about tightening the belt and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure but on the other hand, they continue to spend lavishly on such expensive overseas trips. The government is simply not being truthful but continues to lie to the people while putting up a show for the rest of the world when PNG can least afford to.
When Pangu Pati gets into government, Mr Basil will ensure that such unnecessary wastages are trimmed out and all conferences that can be hosted within the country will be hosted in PNG using the facilities we have spent millions of Kina building and setting up in preparation for APEC.

Jonah Lomu Legacy Cup set

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The inaugural Jonah Lomu Legacy Cup rugby 7s tournament is all set.
The 12 Capital Rugby Union clubs plus four invitational sides – AROB Black Orchids, Lae Hammerheads, Madang Madgauns and Kimbe Rebels – make up the 16 men’s with eight women’s teams registered to participate.

Nadene Lomu, widow of the former All Blacks great Jonah Lomu arrives in the country tomorrow (Thursday) to officially open the tournament.
Capital Rugby Union president Jacob Anga said Nadene Lomu will be given a traditional welcome by a group from Hanuabada on arrival.
“She will officially open the 3 day tournament on Friday (December 9) at 12noon at the new look Bava Rugby Park in Boroko,” Anga said.
“Sports Minister Justin Tkatachenko and New Zealand High Commissioner Tony Fautua will also attend the official kick off,” he said.

The president said gate fees are K10 for grandstand and K5 for the outer stands. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Tickets will be sold at the gate each day.
Following the official opening, on Oval 1, the first game will see Harlequins take on Haketautai followed by Madang Madgauns up against Spartans. The first women’s game will have Harlequins versus Brothers followed by the Black Orchids women against Wanderers.
On oval 2, Kimbe Rebels play Juggernauts followed by University playing Nova. The first women’s match will see Spartans versus Southern Chiefs.

Anga urged Port Moresby residents to come out and watch some exciting rugby 7s. He also thanked PNG Air, PNG Sports Foundation, BSP, Construct Oceanic Ltd, Global Constructions, Fincorp, Hawkins, Fletcher Morobe, National Airports Corporation, Island Breeze, Tactical Solutions International, Southern Cross Assurance, Boroko Motors, SP Holdings, Beachside Brassier, Paradise Foods, Gateway Hotel and all other sponsors for their support to this tournament.
Meanwhile two referees from Brisbane are currently running a two day refresher’s course in Port Moresby. Anga said the course was basically to remind and update the local referees on the rules of 7s version of rugby.

“This tournament will be the first to play on the world class rugby stadium and we want the players as well as the officials to raise their levels of performance as well,” Anga said.
The tournament ends on Sunday with the Bowls, Plate and Cup finals.

WHO unites to end gender-based violence in PNG

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World Health Organisation WHO Country rep to PNG Dr. Pieter Van Maaren says all stakeholders including the media must stand together in unity to fight GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (GBV).
“Will we stand up, speak out, act or continue to tolerate gender based violence?”
He made these remarks during the launching of the Human Together Campaign today at the Port Moresby General Hospital FAMILY SUPPORT CENTRE (FSC).

“This campaign is purposely to raise public awareness and mobilise people everywhere to bring about change and eliminate gender based violence.”
“An UN study in PNG found that one of every three women experiences Gender Based Violence by intimate partners.

Such violence results in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive and other health problems. This is a serious problem, and deserves urgent attention by all sectors.”
FSC Coordinator Ms. Tessie Soi reiterated that the fight against Gender Based Violence is serious and that 60-70% of cases involve children. Each day they counsel 12 new cases every 2 to 3 hours PNGFM/PNG Today

Children in PNG suffer more from family Sexual Violence

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“More cases seen at the Medical Social Work Department (MSWD) at Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) involve children.”

Common cases include children being abused by their stepfathers; children neglected when their father or mother remarries, and many more.

Communication barrier and fear are some of the obstacles preventing children from seeking help from places like Family Support Centre (FSC).
Seven Third year UPNG Social Works students attached with Medical Social Works Department (MSWD) participated in the launching of the Human Together Campaign today at the PMGH FAMILY SUPPORT CENTRE (FSC).

The campaign aims to make it an inclusive responsibility for all citizens to stand together to fight Gender Based Violence.
Fellow humans going through violent situations are urged to seek counselling from family support centre located at Port Moresby General Hospital. PNGFM/PNG Today

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