Headlines

PUMA FORCED TO LIMIT FUEL SUPPLY

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As of late last week, Puma Energy has been forced to limit purchases of petrol to the Port Moresby market.
This action has been taken in order to manage the ongoing impact of issues Puma Energy has been working to resolve with the PNG Government and its supporting agencies such as the Central Bank and Customs.
Due to the lack of liquidity in the forex markets, Puma Energy has only been able to convert very limited amounts of local currency into USD to pay for its supplies. Puma has kept the government informed on this matter and has been trying to work with them on a solution.
For the past year, Puma Energy has used its’ own resources in order to avoid fuel product shortages for Papua New Guinea, in the hope that a liquidity resolution is achieved.
This has not been forthcoming in any meaningful way and we have now reached a stage that is unsustainable. Puma Energy has provided notice to the government and to its valued customers that Puma would suspend further purchases of fuel with which to supply the PNG market, solely as a result of the lack of availability of USD with which to continue to buy the fuel.
Puma is managing the supply into the Port Moresby market in an effort to minimize impact to essential services and customers in general.
Unfortunately this is likely to mean supply shortages of petrol in the next few days and will start to impact other products unless a resolution is achieved this week.
Puma is continuing to maintain dialogue with the government, to resolve the situation.

Fuel shortage to hit Port Moresby

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Residents in Port Moresby will find it difficult to catch a ride on PMVs to work or school tomorrow morning with diesel also running out in service stations in the city.
One of the service stations in the city belong to Puma Energy along the Waigani Drive is facing diesel shortage in addition to the no petrol already experienced today.
The Station’s Fore Court Controller, Mr. Cyclone Nickints, this morning they had over 20, 000 litres of diesel, but as the day progressed along, this has down and will finished either by this evening or early tomorrow morning.
This he says will have a major impact on the lives of everyone in the city that rely on fuel for their daily activities, this includes big business houses.
Nikints only hopes the matter between Puma and the government that resulted in this situation is somehow resolved quickly so that things can return to normal.

DIGICEL PLAY WINS BROADCASTING RIGHTS FOR NRL

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In line with Digicel's strategy in terms of Sports, the company recently bid and won the Broadcasting Rights for NRL in PNG.
This was revealed by CEO for Digicel Play, Ralph Siebenaler today at a press conference in Laman Hotel, Port Moresby.
This will see Digicel Play broadcast select NRL matches on the new TVWAN Rugby Channel starting this Saturday.
CEO Mr Siebenaler said that the company shares PNGs passion in the sport of Rugby League and are excited to have secured the NRL Broadcast Rights.
"Now we will be able to deliver the very best of the NRL to our customers in PNG," he said.
Furthermore, there has been a whole range of developments since Digicel Play was launched a couple of months back and the company has proven to be the best digital broadcaster in the country, giving its customers high quality pictures and images.
Mr Siebenaler said that they have done well due to recent development that they have made.
"Digicel Play came into the television broadcasting arena with a strategy to reach more people in the country and we are surely but slowly achieving this," he said.
Mr Siebenaler also made it known that Digicel play has completed its rollout plan with its terrestrial transmitters covering all major cities in PNG but for the rural areas a satellite dish is needed for customers to use if they are to receive Digicel Play broadcasting signals.
He said that rural customers will resort to a satellite dish while their broadcast reach is still expanding.
"After successfully installing terrestrial transmitters in all major urban centers and city in PNG, Digicel Play customers can be certain that they will have better signal of the services that we provide," said Mr Siebenaler.

PNG business summit attracts many investors

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Investors, businesses houses and hundreds of interested individuals from PNG and Australia have turned out for the PNG Advantage Investors summit in Brisbane Australia. About 400 attended the summit surpassing last year’s 300 attendees. The two day summit is dedicated to the promotion of business and investment in PNG.

This is the fifth Papua New Guinea Advantage summit and the first to be held in Australia. Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill opened the summit with his opening address and confidently assured investors and business houses that the outlook of the country looks very good. "We are in the period of growth and economic expansion that has never been seen in Papua New Guinea before.

"At the same time our GDP is growing our other areas such as Government revenue have been impacted by other global factors beyond our control. "The down turn of commodity prices has affected PNG and of course our 2015 budget just like any countries around the World.” Organising committee chairman David Conn said Day one (yesterday) - the investment summit focused not only on what was planned by the major players in LNG but on how PNG’s economy and businesses were restructuring to tackle future growth.

He said day two (today) - Infrastructure summit would be dedicated to the role the privacy sector can play in PNGs ambitious Infrastructure development goals. About 40 speakers have been lined up for this event. Today’s program will see open discussion opportunities for Australia companies in PNG infrastructure, Nation building - PNGs National infrastructure, the future of telecommunications in PNG,and infrastructure case studies

PNG to supply Agriculture products to Asian markets

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Papua New Guinea’s supply chain capacity is increasing for agriculture products as the Government looks at the Asian markets much more efficiently. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill announced at the PNG Advantage Investment Summit that this will be boosted by the announcement that there will be a new Port Moresby airport terminal to be built by 2018.

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill also said that this will also include an upgrade of current port facilities, sea ports in Lae and Port Moresby which will continue to increase PNG’s air cargo capacity to Asian destinations. He said the Government is implementing a 12-point plan to "grow" the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector and participation in the formal economy. "Clearly one of the greatest challenges facing the Asian region is food security," Mr O’Neill said. "But to do so we need to re-align what we grow and produce to meet regional requirements and to meet the demands of the middle class in Asia," he added.

"We need to be able to get our produce to the markets of the Asian region efficiently.” "Papua New Guinea’s supply chain capacity is increasing for the carriage of produce. This includes an upgrade of current port facilities, sea ports in Lae and Port Moresby and a new Port Moresby airport terminal to be constructed by 2018. This will continue to increase our air cargo capacity to Asian destinations. "There has been neglect in some of our key agricultural industries and we have work to do with our Government agencies in order to restore this capacity. We are restoring our production and export coffee, cocoa and copra. "Our government is building the infrastructure such as roads through our country that are needed to get these products to market."

Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said that at a national level, the Government is also working hard to grow SME sectors to participate in the formal economy. "Broad-based growth of the SME sector is one of the most effective ways to ensure we can provide opportunity for our young people today and tomorrow”. "Our government is implementing a twelve-point plan to "grow" the SME sector. This is focussed on affordable finance, making sure that we have business training and supporting the growth of key sectors," he said. "There are significant opportunities for Australian businesses and entrepreneurs to partner with and mentor our own small business sector," he said.

PNG Hunters beat Burleigh Bears 44 - 24

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The Papua New Guinea SP Hunters have held off determined Burleigh Bears  44 – 24  at the Sir John Guise Stadium in front  of well over 17 000 fans this afternoon.  It was the home side who took advantage of a ball that hit the crossbar and landed in the hands of forward Esau Siune who re-gathered it  and scored  under the uprights for the  Hunters first try. Zemmings found the uprights and the Hunters led   6 – 0 .
In the next play captain Israel Eliab side stepped few Bears players and scored to extend their lead to 12 – 0 after Zemmings sent the ball between the uprights.
Crowd favourite and star fullback, Stargroth Amean scored in the next play  for the Hunters.  Zemmings missed the conversion and the Hunters led 16 – 0.

The visitors regrouped and Gold Coast Titans winger Kevin Gordon scored for the Bears and trailled  16 – 6. This was  backed up by  another try  from Wanahi   who scored  after a good ball work to reduce the margin to 16 – 12.
A nice ball movement from the Hunters saw Hunters  winger Adex Wera scored right on half-time and put the Hunters ahead with 20 – 12 scoreline.

In the second half, it was the home side  to  score first  after half back Ase Boas chose to put a grubber kick where Zemmings chased the ball and scored. Zemmings converted his own try to put the Hunters  well ahead with  26 – 12.  

Stargroth Amean  ran 40 meters brushing  off  several Bears players to score  his second try under the uprights. Zemmings found the uprights and the Hunters extend their lead to 32 – 12.

In the next play, center Thomson Teteh ran through a gap and put the ball under the posts. Zemmings converted the try and the Hunters  led 38 – 12.

Bears scored through Adam Shawsh  and Kevin Gordons converted the try to reduce the margin to 38 – 18.
Bears scored again on the 75th minutes and with successful conversion the Bears trailed 38 – 24.
Hunters captain Israel Eliab rampaged through the Bears defence line and scored  his second try on the 78th minutes. Zemings added the extras and Hunters led 44 – 24. The visitors fought hard but time ran out and the Hunters came out winners with 44 - 24 score. 

Full time Score : PNG Hunters 44    Burleigh Bears 24
Tries: Hunters ( Essau Suine, Israel Eliab 2, Stargroth Amean 2, Thomson Teteh, Noel Zemmings,  Adex Wera, conversion, 6/8)
Bears ( Adam Shawsh 2 , Kevin Gordons, Wanahi, conversion Kevin Gordon 4/4)




YARAPOS SECONDARY AFFECTED BY DRY SPELL

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The current Elnino Conditions experienced all over the country has also had its effects in the East Sepik Province and is affecting schools in the area as well.
One school that has been taking precautionary measures to cope with the dry spell and save water supply in the school is the Mercy Secondary School at Yarapos.
This week the all girls boarding school has decreased it boarding students and only those students from far away places are on campus while those in nearby areas have become day students.
The school has also changed its start time from 8.00am to 8.30am to give ample time for students to come in and so far this has worked for them to keep operating during this dry period.
Pictured is the Valiant Women and the Principal Mr Alex at the front entrance of the school during an event.

Indonesian Community celebrates PNG's 40th Independence Anniversary

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The Indonesian community in Port Moresby came together today at the St Josephs Catholic college to showcase their art and culture in participation to celebrate PNG’s 40th Independence Anniversary.
The art and culture show was organized by the St Josephs Indonesian students with the support from NCD Governor Powes Parkop.
Governor Parkop was impressed with performance and he thanked the Indonesian community for celebrating PNG’s 40th Independence.
“This art and culture show case is part of our 40th Independence celebrations and I’d like to thank the Indonesian Embassy for accepting our invitation in putting together a performing troop from Indonesia” said governor Parkop.
Governor Parkop also stressed the significance of NCD’s theme for this year’s Independence celebrations.
“ NCD’s theme for this year’s Independence celebrations is “IT’S 40 YEARS, IT’S TIME” and this theme is are reminder to all of us that we’ve come a long way through a lot of errors and trials and this is the time to make it right.”
“ This is also the time for us to be matured teenagers, adults and children which requires us to be responsible people to change our nation, the theme simply means it’s time for change” said Governor Parkop.
Meanwhile, international communities from China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are expected to participate in the 40th Independence celebrations for PNG. PNGFM

Papua New Guinea to welcome high-level trade and investment mission

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Papua New Guinea to welcome high-level trade and investment mission  From 5th – 7th October, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) will welcome a distinguished group of business leaders to Port Moresby, for a high-level investment mission. Organised by DMA, the visit will include some of the world’s
biggest companies. The visit will also provide a unique opportunity for the PNG government to secure new investments and deepen relationships with biggest international blue-chip companies.
The trade mission is a follow up to DMA’s highly successful UK-PNG Trade & Investment Forum, held in London earlier this year. In line with the Government
agenda for attracting international investors, the mission is designed to allow for substantive and meaningful engagement with the government, for both established international companies and potential new investors.
“Stability, responsible management and growth is what we offer to you” states HE Peter O’Neill in his recent visit to the UK “Papua New Guinea is open for business and I invite you and your colleagues to join us in maximising these opportunities together”
During the course of the trade mission, DMA (supported by FCO & UKTI) will host meetings with the Prime Minister and his cabinet as well as arrange sector specific roundtables and 1-2-1 meetings to take place in the margins. Key sectors such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure and tourism will be represented in what is the first ever UK trade mission to PNG.
To attend this trade mission, please email james.martin@developingmarkets.com or telephone: 0203 117 2500.

European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy to attend the 46th Pacific Islands Forum

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The European Union Delegation to Papua New Guinea has the pleasure to announce the attendance of the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Mr Miguel Arias Cañete to the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting to be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 7 to 11 September, 2015.
The EU Commissioner will lead the European Union Delegation to the PIF Meeting, including delegates from the European Commission in Brussels and Ambassadors of European Union Delegations across the Pacific region. The EU is a long standing ally of the Pacific on the climate change issues and the Commissioner Arias Cañete is committed to make this partnership even stronger in the run up to Climate Change negotiations in Paris in December. To this end he will give a keynote address to the Pacific Leaders at a special Session on Climate Change.
Furthermore, the EU Commissioner will sign 'Energy Declarations' with six Pacific countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tonga), in order to help accelerate
the national energy objectives for all these countries as well as to increase their sustainable energy access.
Commissioner Arias Cañete will also attend the launching of a video of an EU-funded project that supports
the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority to implement a continuous and multi-purpose National Forest
Inventory, in order to significantly strengthen sustainable forestry management as well as to mitigate the
serious risk that Climate Change poses on this region.
In the lead-up to discussions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Conference in December in Paris, the European Union itself has taken a commitment to reduce by at least 40
percent its domestic Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 in comparison to 1990. The EU welcomes the
initiative of the Government of Papua New Guinea which has started the process to determine the
greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitment that will be proposed before Paris, in line with the
Government's commitment of halving GHG emissions by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
The signing of the 11th European Development Fund Regional Indicative Programme for the Pacific and the
National Indicative Programme on 16 June in Suva was a milestone for EU cooperation with the Pacific.
Regional economic integration, sustainable management of natural resources, inclusive and accountable
governance, and the respect for human rights will be the priority areas for the Pacific region. Support to
Papua New Guinea under the 11th European Development Fund will focus on sustainable rural energy
development including strengthening rural electrification.
Finally, it is hoped that Commissioner Arias Cañete will meet with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,
Hon. Peter O'Neill to further strengthen EU-PNG relations amongst other Pacific and local dignitaries in the
margins of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Photo and Media Release. European Union

Protesting University of Goroka students shot at by Police

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Two University of Goroka students have been hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
One of them is the Students Representative Council President, Chris Ambai.
This followed a protest march by the students into Goroka town at about 11 o'clock this morning.
Police say the march was illegal in that approval was not given and tried to stop the students when stones were thrown at police who then fired shots to disperse the crowd.
According to reports from Goroka  Ambai and another student were seriously injured and will remain under observation at the Goroka Base Hospital.
Several other students were treated and discharged. The rest of the student body are back in campus.
Police say five student leaders have been locked up and whether they are charged or not will depend on a meeting between police and the university administration.
Police say the students issues are to do with the university administration and should be dealt with on campus, not on the streets.
The students have been boycotting classes for several weeks in protest over the termination of seven students who had spearheaded an earlier boycott this year.
They also want UOG Vice Chancellor Dr. Gairo Onagi sacked over allegations of maladministration.

PNG Hunters Team announced for Round 25 match against Burleigh Bears

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SP Hunters coach Michael Marum has named his best possible side available against Burleigh Bears in their Round 25 Intrust Super Cup match this Sunday in Port Moresby.

This is the final season proper match before the finals series, which the PNG side will not be involved in until the second week.

The Hunters are guaranteed a top two spot despite the outcome of this Sunday’s game and will take the first week off when the finals series start on September 5.

Halfback Ase Boas rested during last week’s 28-all draw against Mackay Cutters returns to the side to resume his combination with captain and five-eighth Israel Eliab. Also back in the side is second rower Brandy Peter, who has been out injured.

Tickets will start going on sale on Friday at all Stop-N-Shop outlets in Port Moresby for the match that kicks off at 2.30pm.

There will be some adjustments made to match day entry at the Sir John Guise Stadium with access points restricted to just ticket holders. Outer stand ticket holders will gain access from the Port Moresby In-service College with eight queues instead of two used in the August 16 game against Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

All main grandstand ticket holders will gain entry from the entrance from the Vision City area. The public is being advised to buy tickets from Stop-N-Shop outlets only to avoid counterfeit tickets sold on the streets as scanning devices used have been upgraded for this game.

The gates will open at 11am and the public is being advised to get to Sir John Guise Stadium early instead of arriving just as the kick-off gets underway. There will be some activities organised as entertainment prior to the ISC game.

The full SP Hunters team is:

1. Stargroth Amean
2. Bland Abavu
3. Noel Zeming
4. Thompson Teteh
5. Adex Wera
6. Israel Eliab ©
7. Ase Boas
8. Henry Noki
9. Wartovo Puara
10. Esau Siune
11. Brandy Peter
12. Kato Ottio
13. Timothy Lomai.
Interchange:

14. Warren Glare

15. Atte Bina

16. Willie Minoga

17. David Lapua

18. Roger Laka

(One to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Marum

For further details please contact: Martin Liri on lirimartin2014@gmail.com or 72198547.

Oil Search announces US$ 200 million in profit

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Oil Search Limited has declared after-tax net profit of more than 200 million US Dollars or K646 million for the first half of this year.
It says this is 49 per cent higher than in the first half of 2014.
Oil Search says it is the highest half-year profit in the company's history, despite weaker oil and gas prices.
This year's half year profit of US$227.5m or K646m including its increased total revenue of US$863.8m have been driven by higher LNG and gas revenue.
Oil Search says these gains or increase also reflects a full period of production and sales from the PNG LNG Project.
Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of Oil Search has announced to distribute the dividend between 35 per cent and 50 per cent of core profit.
The current dividend payment is September 8, 2015 with the actual payment date set to September 29 this year.
There's been 119 shipments of LNG cargo so far.

PNG and India discuss Resource Exports, Education and Healthcare Support, UN Security Council Membership

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The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill  has thanked the Prime Minister of India for extending support in healthcare and education to Pacific Island nations, and offered Papua New Guinea’s support to India for proposed reform of the United Nations Security Council that would include India as a permanent member.
The Prime Minister made the comments following a substantial bilateral meeting with his counterpart, the Prime Minister of India, Hon. Mahendra Modi, on the margins of the Forum for India-Pacific Cooperation meeting that was held in India on August 19-21.
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said outcomes from meeting of the Prime Ministers of India and Papua New Guinea will lead to positive developments in important sectors of the economy.
“It has been a long time since a Prime Minister of both countries have sat down and had talks about enhancing the relationship between the two countries,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.
“The Prime Minister of India was very cordial and supported the fact that India is going to continue to increase is engagement with the Pacific, and especially with Papua New Guinea, because of our large economy, large population and the potential that Papua New Guinea has to offer.
“India is the fourth largest economy in the world with a big market for Papua New Guinean resources, agriculture and tourism and other sectors.” There are strong economy synergies between the two countries with India requiring resources that Papua New Guinea can offer.
“India is in great need for many for many of the resources that we have particularly oil and gas, and copper and gold. “These are resources that are fuelling the growth of the Indian economy and Papua New Guinea has not been exporting many of these products to India for a long time as many of our customers are from elsewhere.
“Prime Minister Modi has expressed his interest to engage in resources trade and also encourage Indian investment to come into Papua New Guinea to invest in agriculture, in nonrenewable energy and in infrastructure.
“The Indian Government will agree to provide funding of those infrastructure projects through EXIM Bank of India at very favourable rates to the Papua New Guinea Government.
On the other side of the relationship, India is able to provide professional capacity building in Papua New Guinea in areas such as education and healthcare. “Papua New Guinea expressed its appreciation for many of the Indian professionals that have been sent to Papua New Guinea to work, particularly in health and education.
“Our ongoing relationship, and co-operation between the defence forces and many of our officers who come here for defence force training colleges in India, has been beneficial. “We agreed to increase the number of these personnel and that India will help us build our capacity within the public service machinery, particularly in naval bases and naval forces.” As well as an increase in the number of Indian professionals coming to Papua New Guinea, the Prime Minister said there will also be an increase in the number of Papua New Guineans studying in India.
“Prime Minister Modi has stated that they are willing to increase the number of spaces that are available for Papua New Guinean students in India and we are going to formalise that very soon. 
“These are in both medical and other fields and India is very happy to support us particularly in specialised areas of medical training.”
Finally, Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said that Papua New Guinea will support India’s desire to have a stronger voice at the United Nations.
“Papua New Guinea has agreed to support India’s bid for permanent United Nations Security Council membership.
“It is important that a developing country, which has the second largest population in the region of 1.2 billion Indians, representing one-sixth of the world’s population to be included in United Nations Security Council as a permanent member.
“Papua New Guinea and many of the other Pacific Island leaders agreed to express their support.” Attending the meeting with the Prime Minister was Hon. William Duma, Governor Sasindran Muthuvel, Hon. Richard Maru, Hon. Byron Chan.

Queensland police seize record 70 kg of cocaine

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The seizure of about 70 kilograms of cocaine in Queensland is the largest haul of the drug in the state's history, police say.

Five people were arrested on Monday night by a multi-agency operation which had been tracking the alleged international drug cartel in recent weeks.

It's alleged an Estonian skipper departed Vanuatu aboard the cocaine-packed vessel on August 15 en route to Queensland.

Police say he docked nine days later in Coomera on the Gold Coast and met with a 58-year-old UK national, before the pair bought tools and cracked open the concealed drug haul.

They then allegedly met with three Australian men in the Dreamworld car park where police busted them with 40 kilograms of cocaine.

A further 30 kilograms was later found concealed in the yacht's cavities.

The UK and Estonian men are now facing drug importation charges and the three Australians possession of a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug.

“I believe it is the largest cocaine seizure we've had in Queensland,” Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said.

He said the cocaine was likely intended for a high-end clientele, given its purity level of more than 80 per cent.

The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $17 million (US$12 million), he said.

AFP Manager Organised Crime Commander David Stewart said the bust would be a 'huge setback' for the international syndicate and likely curb the supply of cocaine throughout the east coast of Australia.

“Organised crime is actually a global enterprise,” he said.

The five men were remanded in custody after appearing in Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

Investigations are ongoing.
Source:  PACNEWS

Lavulavu's motion disturbs Tongan Parliament

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There was an uproar in the Tongan Parliament when, in a bid to avoid impeachment, ‘Etuate Lavulavu presented a motion for parliament to replace members of its Standing Committee on Privileges with new members of his own selection.

The committee is currently carrying out an investigation into a motion that was presented to the House for the impeachment of Lavulavu, Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism, for alleged nepotism, and misuse and mismanagement of government’s properties.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Lord Fusitu’a told the House that since 19 August, when the House agreed to give the minister a chance to have a dialogue with the committee, they had not been able to meet him.

He said that they had given Lavulavu the final opportunity to come and meet them Monday, before they proceeded to submit their findings to the House but he had not appeared.

However, Lavulavu tabled a motion to the House to dismantle the Comnmittee, and replace members with members of his selection – to make decision if there is a case for the House to impeach him or not.

Lavulavu’s proposed Standing Committee members were: Lord Vaea, Lord Tu’iha’ateiho, Tevita Lavemaau, ohiva Tu’i’onetoa, ‘Epenisa Fifita and Vili Manuopangai Hingano.

Lord Fusitu’a expressed outrage that the minister wanted to select a committee to decide on his own impeachment.

There was  a bit of a commotion as the House was disturbed by the intent of the Motion.

The upheaval in parliament calmed down after the Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva asked the minister to withdraw his motion.

Lavulavu agreed and withdrew his motion, the second motion to be presented to parliament this year.

The first motion, also by Lavulavu, was for Parliament to buy three tractors for Vava’u but that motion was also withdrawn for cabinet to work on.
Source:  PACNEWS

Pacific region buffered from falling Chinese markets

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An economist specialising in Pacific island countries says the region is reasonably buffered from falling markets in China.

Emma Veve of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says commodity exporters like Papua New Guinea will feel the effects of lower prices for their products and preparations must be made for this.

Veve says there will be a slow down in the number of outbound tourists from China but the market is so huge countries dependent on the China trade like Fiji and Palau will barely feel the shock.

She says the devaluation of the yuan eases the way for countries heavily reliant on imported fuel and concessionary Chinese loans.

“The benefit for the countries will be with the devaluation of the exchange rate. These loans will be more affordable for the Pacific countries. If the economic adjustments continue in China, China might think about whether to progress with more loans to the Pacific but the Pacific is very small compared to the Chinese economy. It wouldn't be a priority for government.”

Veve says China is unlikely to risk goodwill for minimum gain by backing off pledges to the region like tarriff fee access for goods.
Source: PACNEWS

Two Senior Lawyers, Tiffany Twivey and Sam Bonner referred

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A Supreme Court judge has referred two senior lawyers to the PNG Law Society over their conduct.
This is the same court that had dismissed an application by Police Commissioner Gari Baki to stop two of his officers Fraud Director Matthew Damaru and his deputy Timothy Gitua having access to lawyers.
The matter stems from Damaru and Gitua having obtained a warrant of arrest for Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele from the District Court which was later set aside by consent.
Tiffany Twivey and Sam Bonner were found to have colluded to set aside the bench warrant without notifying the informant.
The informant is Timothy Gitua who is a party to the case and can't be removed.
Justice Nicholas Kirriwom says the two senior lawyers could be guilty of colluding in perverting the course of justice where they filed application in the District Court and signed consent orders setting aside the arrest warrant for Mr Vele early this month.
They removed Gitua's name and replaced it with Royal PNG Constabulary.
The judge questioned if that was standard practice and answered the question himself saying NO.
The judge referred Mr Bonner and Ms Twivey to the Lawyers Statutory Committee for disciplinary action and left the matter to the two detectives to take it further or not.

UN condemns torture in PNG

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The United Nations system in Papua New Guinea has condemned the brutal torture of three women and a man in Southern Highlands Province.
The four are reported to have been stripped naked, tied to poles, and burnt with hot rods following accusations of sorcery.
The UN system says these acts violate a person's right to life and to be treated with dignity and respect.
It says the acts violates a person's right to be free from cruel and inhumane treatment.
It calls on authorities to act urgently to save the victims and provide them medical and other support services.
The UN system stresses the urgency for authorities to prioritize efforts to address sorcery accusation-related violence, especially with the potential aggravating impacts caused by the current El Niño.
The United States Embassy made similar calls this week urging authorities to step in quickly.

COURT DISMISSES BAKI'S APPLICATION

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by Police Commissioner Gari Baki to stop two of his officers having access to lawyers.
They are Fraud Director Matthew Damaru and his deputy Timothy Gitua.
Mr Baki also asked the court to stop the two men from engaging any lawyer in a civil matter relating to the Paul Paraka Legal Bill payout and further subject themselves to him.
The decision was handed down this afternoon.
Justice Nicholas Kirriwom sitting as a single judge says a date has already been set for the hearing and this will disadvantage both men.
He ruled the request is lacking common sense and logic as no court will stop lawyers acting for a party when a date has already been set for next month.
The judge says for the interest of justice, both men have a number of high profile cases pending therefore will need lawyers.
He also says the case will drag on if the two are not involved.
Justice Kirriwom stated that the police commissioner has compromised his office by agreeing with the prime minister and finance minister in this matter.

Millions affected as PNG marks Prayer and Repentance day

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Papua New Guinea is celebrating the National Day of Prayer and Repentance tomorrow, amid drastic impacts of the El Nino condition, that has left millions affected.
And the Body of Christ in P-N-G, says leaders in the country must be active participants in this national event.
Chairman Reverend Joseph Walters says while churches will be leading celebrations nationwide, its also important that elected leaders are involved. "By that I mean the Government, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and everybody. "Take the lead in this event.
"And when you talk about repentance, as a nation, we are talking about repenting from national sins.
"What have we, as a nation, committed against GOD that can incur his wrath and judgement upon us?
"And the word Repent really means changing our minds," Reverend Walters said.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neil and Parliament Speaker Theo Zurenuoc will be hosting a prayer breakfast tomorrow, which is expected to be attended by Members of Parliament, heads of departments and state entities, heads of foreign missions and church leaders.
The program will at five o'clock in the morning, under the theme 'Conquering the Mountains' and refers to the seven spheres of society, Arts, Music and Entertainment, Business, Finance and Economy, Mass Media, Education, Home and Family, Government and politics and Church, Religion and Spirituality, which mold and shape the thinking of people.

PNG Hunters in grand final race whether win, lose or draw

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The top six teams at the end of the regular Intrust Super Cup Competition this weekend will contest the finals.
After Round 24 last weekend, the top six placings appear to be confirmed despite the results this weekend.
Newcomers Blackhawks appear to have the minor premiership locked in, unless they lose to 7th-placed Redcliffe Dolphins who are five points behind the 6th-placed Northern Pride.
The PNG Hunters, currently on second spot play the Burleig Bears in Port Moresby on Sunday in what could be their last match at home, and a win, lose or draw will allow them to take the first week of finals off the following weekend with the Blackhawks.
The elimination finals series starts with 3rd-place getter taking on 6th-place getter and 4th-place playing 5th place.
The second week of finals will see Blackhawks play the Hunters with the winner advancing to the grand final on Sunday September 27.
The other game which will be Game four (4) that weekend will see the winners of 3rd versus 6th and 4th lock horns with 5th, with the loser bowing out.
Week three of the finals series will see the loser of the Hunters-Blackhawks game against the winner of Game four (4).
The winner goes on to meet either the Hunters or Blackhawks in the grand final on September 27 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Queensland Intrust Super Cup champions play the New South Wales Cup winners in the N-R-L State championships final on NRL grand final day on October 4th.

Tension in Vanimo as Belden Namah refuses to vacate Governor's seat

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Tension in Vanimo as Namah refuses to vacate governor's seat
Photo credit: Kalos Spencer 
There's tension in Vanimo with the Member for Vanimo Green River, Belden Namah refusing to vacate the Governor's seat.
Ousted Governor Amkat Mai was re-elected Regional Member over the weekend, subsequently retaining the seat.
The Minister for Inter Government Relations Leo Dion had written to Mr Namah advising him to vacate the seat however Mr Namah is adamant that he is the Governor of West Sepik.
Mr Namah arrived from Port Moresby yesterday with a few of his supporters holding placards at the Vanimo Airport that want the provincial administrator Henry Norm replaced.
Another read, Simon M'Ledu in and Norm out, referring to the suspension of the provincial assembly clerk by the provincial administrator.
Mr Norm suspended Mr M'Ledu for facilitating the election of Mr Namah as the Governor in a Provincial Assembly in July.
Government officers at the Administration building in Vanimo vacated their offices at midday in protest over the situation.

NBC/PNG Today

PNG Woman has potential to go extra mile

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“A Papua New Guinea woman today has the potential to go the extra mile if given the chance. Hence, equal opportunity is crucial to important decisions, and women too must have a place to where and when important decisions are made.”
That was the message from Mary Fairio, a Fulbright alumna who graduated in May 2014 with a Master of Arts in Political Science from Ohio University in the United States. Mary also obtained a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
She said thanks to the United States Government, the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, her employer Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC), and her family, her experience and achievements have changed her perspectives about Papua New Guinea and the world. “I feel that I can do more for the betterment of the people in my country,” she said.
By using the skills and knowledge Mary obtained in the United States, she is encouraging the younger generation to work hard in school for a better future, and to empower other women to be better in what they do in their communities. As PNG continues the countdown towards the 40th independence anniversary on September 16, Mary said, “Our country can adopt and adapt to improving our education system as well as women empowerment in the country. The education curriculum in the United States is tough, but it’s what makes you the best. I found that in the U.S., the academics are committed and helpful where assistance is needed. They respect students’ views and opinions, and encourage students to participate.”
In terms of women’s empowerment, Mary said she believes women in Papua New Guinea have the potential to develop further, if given equal opportunities. She said one way this can be achieved could be through government policies and laws. “At the individual level, people’s attitudes and mentality can be changed towards a culture of respect,” said Ms. Fairio.
With 27 days to PNG’s 40th Independence, we celebrate the continued collaboration between PNG and the United States in education through programs like the Fulbright Scholarship, Humphrey Fellowship and the United States South Pacific Scholarship program, which equips Papua New Guineans with the skills and knowledge to contribute meaningfully back to the country.
Media Release. US Embassy

PNG looks to Greater India Engagement with Pacific Islands

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill  has outlined Papua New Guinea’s desire to see greater engagement by India with Pacific Island nations.
Speaking at the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC) in Jaipur city, he said India’s outreach to Pacific Islands Leaders, led by Prime Minster Modi, is the first of its kind by an Indian leader or government.
“I want to assure you that India has true friends in the Pacific and we appreciate the interest you show in our region,” PM O’Neill said at the Leaders’ meeting.
“We will foster mutual understanding and appreciation of the challenges faced by both Pacific Island and Indian communities.
“We hope that India, as a growing global economic power will appreciate the aspirations of the Pacific people and continue to work with our respective Governments.”
The Prime Minister said Pacific island nations face many challenges that include climate change, natural disasters and improving healthcare and education, and this provides a basis for working together. “On climate change, between Asia and the Pacific we must have a collective voice,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said to counterpart Leaders.
“We must seek global action to deal with the impact of climate change on our communities.
“Natural disasters are also an ongoing concern and we have experienced devastating tropical storms and flooding this year around the Pacific.
“Now we are facing hardship from a strong el Niño weather pattern.
“Disaster management will be an important issue for discussion when our island nations meet in Port Moresby next month for the Pacific Islands’ Forum Leaders’ Meeting.”
The Prime Minister said as a world leader in the development of cutting-edge technologies, it is important that India engage with the Pacific to expand the use of emerging IT.
“We are pleased that the Indian Government is prepared to share information technology knowledge and experience with its development partners.
“The Indian Government’s initiative for the Pan Pacific e-Network Project is indeed timely for Pacific Islands countries.
“Through improved connectivity and coordination, services such as tele-education and tele-medicine can reach remote communities.”
Finally, the Prime Minister took note of the successful marketing campaigns that have been undertaken to promote trade and investment in India.
“We have seen the Indian Government’s campaign to ‘Make in India,’ alongside initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India.’ These successful programs have created awareness of the value India has to offer the global business community.
“Perhaps there is scope for island nations to learn from India, to work together to develop a Made in the Pacific Islands branding and identity program.”
The FIPIC took place in Delhi and Jaipur, during August 19-21, and was attended by Leaders, Ministers and delegates from India and 14 Pacific Islands nations.

Best Practice in Tourism Development – Shared Attributes for Developing Indian and Papua New Guinea Tourism

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister. Peter O’Neill  has highlighted the way in which India has developed a strong cross-sectoral approach to strengthen its tourism industry.
Mr O’Neill made the comments following a visit to the World heritage listed Taj Mahal in the Indian city of Agra, and a briefing from India’s Tourism Ministry. “While our nations are different in population and landmass, India and Papua New Guinea share common attributes that are important for developing a strong tourism industry.
“India is a developing country that has worked to meet many of the logistical challenges that need to be overcome to bring visitors from around the world. “Both countries have very rich and diverse cultures that are of great interest to foreign visitors.
“This includes different cultural practices, music, food and dancing. “We both also have stunning coastlines and islands, as well as inland mountainous areas that are spectacular.” The Prime Minister said a significant way through which India has expanded tourism is by engaging with small and medium enterprises.
“India has achieved great success in the way it has developed a tourism sector that works with millions of SMEs. “As our tourism sector grows in Papua New Guinea, SMEs are essential to our success. “We must develop the right ways for SMEs to engage in our tourism operations.
“This includes a large range of businesses from the provision of transportation, tour guides, art production and operating retail stores. “Papua New Guinea has many features that already attract tourists from around the world and we must grow this industry.
“From the very large backpacker market through to family holidays, and niche tourists such as people seeking adventure travel or fishing, we have a lot to offer. “The aviation sector in India has also been opened to greater competition which has brought with it a lowering of the cost of travel.
“This directly increases the number of youth and family tourists who are able to visit the country as well as increasing domestic travel. “We take note of the challenges and successes experienced by India in bringing the world to its shores and developing a very strong tourism sector.”

PNG Pukpuks beat Tahiti to open Oceania Cup Campaign

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The Federation Oceania Rugby Cup competition kicked of this afternoon at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in front of a healthy Port Moresby crowd.
The week long competition will feature only four countries in Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Tahiti and host Papua New Guinea.
In the opening match of the day saw American Samoa using their big forwards to steamroll over Solomon Islands to win 32-15 while the main game between PNG and Tahiti saw the home team Pukpuks opening their campaign with a clinical 32-10 win over the much bigger Tahiti opponents.
As predicted the Pukpuks use their mobility of their forward packs up the middle of the rucks before spreading it out to their back-line with speed to burn who finished with the tries.
Pukpuks will now face American Samoa while Solomon Islands will play Tahiti on Wednesday at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.

PNGFM/PNG Today

Mackay Cutters hold PNG Hunters to 28 - 28 draw

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The Papua New Guinea Hunters'  wining streak was stopped by determined Mackay Cutters  who held the Hunters to 28 all draw tonight at the Stadium Mackay.  

The home side dominated ball possession with good attack and defence. Josh Chudleigh got the Cutters on the score board with a first try in the 3rd minute and led 6 -0 . The Hunters replied with a try through Nickson Borana that levelled the score at 6-6 all. 

Gosh Chudleigh again dived over  on the Hunters tryline for his second try to keep the home side ahead  with 10 - 6 lead.  This lead was short-lived after Hunters halfback, Ase Bino Wabo crossed over for the Hunters to take the lead 12 - 10.  However, continuous ball turnovers from the Hunters saw the Cutters scored again right on half time to take the lead 16 - 12. 

In the second half, the Hunters started strongly both in attack and in defence. Fullback Stargroth Amean dived next to the uprights to keep the Hunters ahead by 18 - 16 lead.

The home side regrouped and sent Andy Gay to score for the Cutters and  took over the lead from the Hunters  to 22 - 18. Mathew Wrigth further extended the lead  to 28 - 16 with a try and a major upset was on the card.

However, the visitors regrouped in the last quarter of the game and sent Thompson Teteh who carried few tiring Cutters forwards to the tryline and scored. This reduced the score margin to 28 - 24 and  the Hunters were within reach. 

In the next play, a nice ball movement from the Hunters saw Adex Wera divided over for a try to square the score to 28 all. Zemmings missed the conversion and the score was levelled at 28 all. Captain Eliab shot a field goal right on full time but the ball fell short. 

Full  time score Hunters 28  Cutters 28 



PNG Hunters set for Mackay Cutters

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Hunters at Captains run at Mackay Stadium this afternoon
The Papua New Guinea SP Hunters will take on Mackay Cutters at the Stadium Mackay this evening. The Hunters are determined to win this game after they convincingly thrashed   third placed Wynnum Manly Seagulls  36 - 13 infront of a capacity crowd at the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby last week.
This is the second last game  for the normal rounds. The Hunters will host Burleigh Bears in the final game at the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby next week. 

 Hunters coach Michael Marum has reminded his players not to be complacent as they approach the business end of the Queensland Cup season.
Marum said it was important not to lose concentration as momentum would be a bonus for any team heading into the finals.

Half back Ase Boas has been rested and utility player, Ate Bino Wabo will take over the playmaking role in this match against the Cutters.

The game will be played today.

Stadium Mackay on Saturday, August 22 – 6pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 2 Mackay 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvPNG
Livestream: QRL TV

The full SP Hunters team is:
1. Stargroth Amean, 
2. Oti Bland Tony, 
3. Noel Zeming, 
4. Thompson Teteh,
5. Adex Wera,
6. Israel Eliab ©,
7. Atte Bina, 
8. Henry Wan, 
9. Wartovo Puara, 
10. Esau Siune, 
11. Nickson Borana, 
12. Kato Ottio, 
13. Timothy Lomai.
Interchange:
14. Lawrence Tu’u, 
15. Roger Laka, 
16. Willie Minoga, 
17. Edward Goma, 
18. Warren Glare, 
19. David Lapua, 
20. Enock Maki 
(three to be omitted).
Coach: Michael Marum


Report confirms poverty in Samoa

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One in every five Samoans lives in poverty.

That is one of the issues identified by the first State of Human Rights Report for Samoa officially launched Monday. The report was compiled by the Office of the Ombudsman as the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).

During a gathering in Apia, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi commended the report.

He also called for the formation of a Parliamentary Committee to follow up on the report’s recommendations.

The recommendations cover a wide scope of vulnerable members of the population such as women, children, people with disabilities and prisoners.

The report also delves into community health, sanitation, climate change, religion, mental health, freedom of speech among other issues.

Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, said it is vital to ensure that human rights are protected everyday for everyone in Samoa.

“Human rights are not merely foreign ideals as many wish to see them, but they have roots within Samoan culture also,” Maiava said.

“A take home point from this Report is that the weaving together of Fa’asamoa and human rights principles will make a stronger and more harmonious society. In that way, this Report truly is “for Samoa, by Samoa.”

Poverty reduction is among many human rights-related issues the report delves into. And the report’s findings are alarming.

“Despite progress in big picture economic growth and within high level development framework, there is disparity in development outcomes particularly in rural and remote areas,” a copy of the report obtained by the Samoa Observer reads. “Approximately 20per cent of Samoa’s population lives below the basic needs poverty line, with the higher proportion of rural populations falling below the BNPL.

Basically, this means that about 1 in every 5 Samoans lives in poverty.”

According to the Human Rights Committee under ICESCR, “poverty can be defined as a human condition categorised by sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

“Economic freedom is especially tied to the reduction of poverty because when people can earn a living, it reduces poverty and improves the quality of life for all.”

The report identifies that the issue of poverty reduction is a multi-dimensional problem that cannot be fully dissected within the context of a single report and the NHRI is not capable to address such a complex issue alone.

“Therefore, this section will focus solely on the main issue identified from the Survey that relates to poverty:

reducing the cost of living,” the report reads.

“Based on consultations and research, the NHRI believes that in order to reduce the cost of living Samoa must:

(1) Increase employment opportunities, particularly for the youth,

(2) Increase community development, and

(3) mitigate cultural and religious financial obligations.

It is worth noting that Samoa graduated from a ‘least developed country’ (LDC) status to developing country status, which shows positive progress towards the eradication of poverty. Further, UNDP has Samoa on track to meet MDG 1 of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty.”

The report highlights the need to increase employment opportunities.

“The right to an adequate standard of living is enshrined in Article 25 of UDHR as well as Article 11 of ICESCR.

Fulfilment of this right depends on a number of other economic, social and cultural rights, most importantly for the purposes of this section—the right to work. According to SPC, 41.3% of Samoans are in the workforce, yet the unemployment rate is only 5.1%."

“This likely reflects the high level of informal employment that exists in Samoa as approximately two-thirds of the population is dependent on agriculture for food and livelihood."

“It is positive that a large majority of people are actively engaged in livelihood activities; however it ties poverty strongly to agricultural performance. This can deprive many families of sustainable, stable livelihoods and prevent them from meeting their basic needs in an increasingly monetised society."

“Further, there is a particular lack of formal employment and other opportunities for school leavers and youth, with 16% youth unemployment in 2011, an issue which will persist, noting the proportion of Samoa’s population under 19.”

The report also looks at ways to mitigate cultural and religious financial obligations, which are major contributors to hardship and poverty in Samoa.

“From a cultural perspective, Samoa must be commended for its strong sense of community, which often acts as a safety net for the vulnerable members of society,” the report reads.

“However, survey participants noted the cost and burden fa’alavelave (traditional obligations) and church contributions can place on families. This is an issue that also relates to students withdrawing from tertiary studies due to inability to meet costs."

“When misunderstood or misused these important cultural norms can unfortunately inhibit the ability of Samoan families to escape poverty. It is important that these cultural obligations are respected and valued; while at the same time should take into consideration the needs of vulnerable families who simply cannot afford to uphold these obligations.”

Among the recommendations in the report is one for the village councils and churches to consider alternative ways to minimise cultural and religious financial obligations, particularly for financially vulnerable community members.

Overall, the NHRI admits that the human rights issues identified in the Report present challenges for Samoa to overcome.

“The Government has taken a number of progressive legal and policy initiatives to address these issues,” the report concludes.

“However, inadequate implementation of these measures due to insufficient resources, the need to dispel misconceptions around human rights, and the lack of concerted efforts to collect meaningfully disaggregated data continue to act as an obstacle to the progressive realisation of human rights, especially for Samoa’s most vulnerable."

“This Report has attempted to highlight existing gaps between the recognition of human rights in the country and their implementation."

“The Report has also attempted to illustrate human rights issues within the Samoa context in order to educate and encourage acceptance of human rights with Samoans."

“The NHRI hopes that the recommendations provided will serve as a catalyst for change and that the second cycle of the UPR will highlight the need for more actions on the part of Samoa to meet its human rights obligations.
Source: PAC News

Lack of regulations likely to increase crimes linked to virtual currencies

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A new Commonwealth survey shows lack of regulations around virtual currencies could be exacerbating the risks associated with them.

These include terrorism financing, money laundering and trade in illicit goods and services.

Research carried out in eight member countries indicates that legitimate use of virtual currencies is widespread across a spectrum of different industries ranging from selling handbags in Nigeria to providing plumbing services in New Zealand. But findings also demonstrate an absence of legal and regulatory frameworks is increasing the threat of criminal exploitation.

In efforts to develop more robust measures to manage these relatively new currencies, the Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group will meet in London from 24-26 August. The group will review the survey and hear from a panel of global experts about the latest developments in the sector.

“Collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to counter the risks and maximise the benefits of this rapidly developing technology,” said Katalaina Sapolu, Director of the Commonwealth’s Rule of Law Division.

“The Commonwealth has a demonstrable track record in embracing technology to boost economic and social development. Emerging trends suggest these relatively new currencies could bring real benefits, such as mobile banking systems in developing countries and a significant reduction in transaction costs. It is vital, therefore, we put in place adequate safeguards to prevent criminal misuse while taking into account the Commonwealth’s varied economic landscape”, Sapolu added.

Virtual currencies are digital representations of value that can be traded and exchanged between online communities. It is their function as an anonymised substitute for traditional currency to trade goods and services that provides their economic worth.

Criminal use of virtual currencies mainly takes place in areas of the dark web or the hidden web making it very difficult for investigating authorities to determine the extent of illegal activity and take necessary action.

“The emergence of the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, showed law enforcers that criminals were able to conduct anonymous financial transactions. But recently researchers have shown how a global record of these transactions can be analysed to reveal who lies behind what were once thought to be anonymous transactions.  This gives law enforcers a tool with which to fight back”, said Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey and advisor to Europol who will deliver a presentation at the meeting.

The survey shows the response from Commonwealth countries towards virtual currencies is mixed.  In Bangladesh, for example, these transactions are illegal. Canada, on the other hand, recognises their legality and seeks to minimise the most high risk aspects while encouraging business innovation.

Virtual currencies do not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. There are no internationally agreed standards or rules that can be applied to them.  However, The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released important guidelines in 2015 to address the associated risks.

Commonwealth Heads of Government identified cybercrime as a major obstacle to combatting the financing of terrorism and money laundering at their meeting in 2013.

During a consultation in February earlier this year, it was agreed the Commonwealth would set up a specialist group to develop technical guidance for member states on potential regulatory and legislative measures to effectively respond to virtual currencies.
Source: PAC News

Court sets free Gulf Governor Havila Kavo

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A three men Supreme Court bench has quashed the conviction of Gulf Governor Havila Kavo.
The decision was made this afternoon.
Mr Kavo, now a free man thanked the high court for the decision describing it as a win for the people of Gulf.
Kavo had appealed his one and half year jail sentence after he was found guilty by the National Court for misappropriating K133,000 last year.
The money was part of a K10 million given by the National Government for developments in Kikori district and parked in trust account.
The high court ruled, trial judge Sir Gibbs Salika erred in fact and law when determining the case on its merit when he sentenced the Gulf leader to jail.
Kavo's bail money has been ordered to be refunded and his now a free man.
This is a second of such decision by the same judge overturned by a three-men bench on appeal.
The first is that of Komo Magarima M-P Francis Potape.

War monument at Pangai Si’i in Tonga to be relocated

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Tonga’s Armed Forces has asked the Government to relocate the war memorial monument located at Pangai Si'i, in the capital Nuku’alofa.

Commander Taniela Tuita told Radio Tonga News there's an understanding between His Majesty's Armed Forces and the Government that the monument will be relocated to a different location to allow for the construction of the new government complex, dubbed the St George Palace.

Commander Tuita said they have requested Government to move the War Memorial monument to the Flag pole area in Pangai Lahi, where the commemoration of World War 1 on November 11, will be held.

However, they are still awaiting response from Cabinet.

Commander Tuita said the relocation is temporary and will be funded by the Government.

The War Memorial was constructed at Pangai Si'i in 1983. It has the names of all Tongans who represented the island kingdom during the World War 1.
Source:  PAC News

Vanuatu foreign Minister ordered not to attend Pacific Islands Forum meet

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Vanuatu’s Supreme court judge Justice Mery Sey, has ordered the Foreign Minister Serge Vohor to not attend the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Papua New Guinea next month.

Minister Vohor is facing serious criminal charges in the bribery case where 18 MPs are defendants.

Justice Sey issued the direction upon the defendants request through his lawyer advising the minister will not be present when the court convenes, as Vohor will be overseas on official duty.

But Justice Sey ordered Vohor and the 17 defendants to refrain from travelling abroad, as well as attend all court sessions in the two weeks sitting and to be punctual.

Six political party presidents will stand trial as Supreme convenes the bribery case hearing in September.

Presidents of the Green Confederation, Vanuatu Republican, the Vanuatu Liberal, Namage Aute, the Rural Development Party and the Union of Moderates are all defendants in the bribery case.
Source:
PAC News

Samsung teases Gear S2 again ahead of next month's release

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With just days until the Samsung Gear S2 is shown to the world in all its glory, the Korean manufacturer has teased its round-faced Apple Watch for a second time.

First previewed during last week's Samsung Unpacked event, the Gear S2 smartwatch has now seen its teaser trailer plastered over YouTube.

Although offering no new details on the device set to go head-to-head with the likes of the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R, the teaser video provides our first HD look at the stunningly styled wearable.

Set to run a reworked version of the company's Tizen OS, Samsung has bestowed the Gear S2 with an integrated heart rate sensor and microphone that lets it double as a hands-free calling enabler.

If you're desperate for more details on the circular smartwatch, you're not going to have to wait too much longer. Samsung has confirmed it will formally announce the device during its IFA 2015 press gathering on September 3....Read mor Technology News on PNG Technology Site 
Source:  Digital Spy

Breaking the gender barrier in Emergency Response

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Emergency Response auxiliary staff, Kelena Danny is breaking down the gender barrier in Emergency Response at Hidden Valley mine.
The Twenty-nine year old mother of three from Kaisenic Village in Wau, Bulolo, started work at Hidden Valley in 2011 as a Processing Operator at the processing plant. That same year she volunteered to join the mine’s Emergency Response team. Four years on, she has been given a chance to prove her worth in the upcoming Emergency Response Challenge in Madang next week. 
So far she has mastered vertical rope rescue, firefighting, hazardous chemical, confined space and the different components of emergency rescue, something she said was very different from her job in the processing plant where she mainly operates the different circuits to recover gold.
She said as the only female from Hidden Valley to go with the guys, she was looking forward to taking part.
“I’ve been doing what the guys have been doing. When we do mistakes we do push ups and there are no special treatments. They treat me not as a female but as a colleague and gender doesn’t come into play. I am an outgoing person who likes to mingle with colleagues so I fit in well with the team,” she said.
She encouraged other females to join the ER team.
“We’ve talked about gender equality and for men and women doing the same thing without prejudice. In emergencies, we deal with human lives so it includes both male and female to save a life. So I hope women see me as an example and become part of the emergency response team,” she said.
Being a local, her family are very happy that she is involved in the challenge and thanked Hidden Valley management for giving her the opportunity.
Team Captain and Emergency Response Supervisor, Benedict Saun, said it was a very challenging experience for Kelena and was proud to have her in his team.
“ER is considered as a men’s job because of the physical endurance so it was very challenging experience for her. Before we started we encouraged her to take the challenge head on. She’s competent. In theory lessons, she’s good and she’s coming along fine in the physical challenges as well. She is setting the foundation for other female colleagues to join ER. If she can do it, so can they,” he said.
Experienced trainer, Mike Bowron from West Rescue, an Australian based ER training firm who have been preparing the team for the last two weeks said Kelena is doing pretty good and was impressed with her level of commitment.
“It’s good to see women coming into emergency response. The last couple of ER challenges they had a full women’s team from Lihir which was fantastic and Pogera had a woman in their team also so it’s good to see them coming through,” he said.
The 2015 Emergency Response challenge will be hosted by Ramu Nickel in Madang from the 22-25 of this month.

Pacific Rugby League Club Championship launched

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PORT MORESBY, August 20 – The winners of Papua New Guinea’s Digicel Cup competition and Fiji’s Vodafone Cup competition will face off in Port Moresby in October in the inaugural Rugby League Melanesian Club Championship.
Following in the footsteps of the World Club Challenge, long contested by NRL and Super League clubs, the premiers of PNG and Fiji’s national leagues will now play off for a regional title. The match will take place at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday 10 October 2015 at 7pm.
Six clubs remain in contention to win PNG’s Digicel Cup – Lae Snax Tigers, TNA Simbu Lions, Hela Wigmen, Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Mendi Muruks and Mount Hagen Eagles. The Digicel Cup Grand Final will take place on Saturday 5 September, and the winner will progress to the Melanesian Club
Championship. Eight clubs are battling it out to win Fiji’s Vodafone Cup – Fair Trade Makoi Bulldogs, Saru Dragons,
Nadera Panthers, Sabeto Roosters, Nabua Broncos, Nadi Eels, Kinoya Sea Eagles and Burenitu Cowboys – and the winner, who will go on to contest the Melanesian Club Championship, will be determined in the Vodafone Cup Grand Final on Saturday 19 September.
“This match will be an annual marquee rugby league event in the region that will promote and enhance our respective national competitions, give the local teams something extra to aspire to, and provide an international competition for our elite domestic teams and players to compete in,” said Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) Chairman, Mr Sandis Tsaka.
“This competition has the potential to provide another pathway for our elite local players to showcase their skills and talents on the international stage and hopefully attract the attention of international talent scouts. It will not only promote rugby league development in the two countries, but also enhance people-to-people relationships between our rugby league players and officials in both nations.
“I would like to thank the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL), the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), the PNG Digicel Cup, the Fiji Vodafone Cup, the major sponsors of both
competitions (Digicel PNG and Vodafone Fiji) and the PNG Sports Foundation for getting behind the concept and supporting it.” The Chairman of PNG’s Digicel Cup, Mr Sudhir Guru, said: "I thank the PNGRFL for developing and formalising the Melanesian Club Championship concept, which will greatly promote our national Digicel Cup program. This concept will provide a good motivation and incentive for our national franchises to aspire towards a high quality international competition for our players and officials." Speaking on behalf of Digicel, Head of Marketing Eva Jando acknowledged Mr Tsaka for his insight and direction in promoting rugby league in PNG, as well as regionally.

Climate Change centre provide vital information to students

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The recently launched Climate Change centre for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Kavieng opened its doors to its first excursion group this month (August).
A grade seven class of 29 students from Kaselok Primary school were the first group to visit the centre two weeks ago to use its resources for research.
WCS Community Engagement officer, Francis Gove said the class group visit was the first apart from the occasional individual student visits since the opening of the centre in April this year.
“Students come to the centre but they come individually to read, borrow books and do researches on environmental topics of interest,” said Gove. “This visit was the first for the centre to host a large number of heads.”
The centre holds information on wider environmental and conservation issues that are relevant to New Ireland such as the sustainable use of marine resources, forest and mangrove conservation.
Although information is available for all ages with educational posters, books, pamphlets and videos on climate change, the centre is targeting schools and student groups in the province.
The class were happy to use the centre to complete their assignment on food chain system and ways human activities affect the system.
Gove said the centre is hoping to involve schools in a program that they are currently developing for such group visits and excursion exercises.
Students acknowledged that they would greatly benefit once the program is finalised and rolled out.

U.S and Pacific explore platform for economic development engagement

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A regional workshop on trade, investment and private sector development recognises that the United States remains one of the key trading partners in goods and services for Pacific Island economies.

The two day meeting at the Fijian Hotel on Yanuca Island will among other things explore how Pacific exporters can take advantage of the U.S Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

“Historically, Pacific Island Countries have had a reputation for being relatively high cost locations for doing business but with advances in new technology, farming, manufacturing and other production methods, combined with business friendly policies, Pacific countries have taken big strides in mitigating their challenges, said Andie Fong Toy, the deputy secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

She said there is a paradigm shift in the way of doing business in the Pacific – responding more to the needs of the private sector.

“One such the example is the work undertaken on the Pacific Island Countries National Trade and Investment Policy Frameworks allowing for an inclusive approach in the broadest levels of engagement.

The U.S and Pacific Island Countries need to create a platform where economic development engagement can flourish, said Fong Toy.

A study that outlines additional benefits Pacific Island Countries can secure from such an arrangement has been completed.

“We will be seeking the views of the Office of the U.S Trade Representative on this matter in due course, said Fong Toy.

Currently, the U.S is home to one of the world’s largest Pacific Islands’ diaspora, which creates a lucrative market for Pacific Island products.

“Recent trade statistics show that the U.S market absorbed 19 percent of Pacific Island Countries agricultural and processed food exports such as ginger, cocoa, coffee, tea, taro, cassava, yams, vanilla, fruit extracts among others.

In 2013, the U.S accounted for 10 percent of Pacific Island Countries total exports of marine products.

Fong Toy said there is a significant trade and investment opportunities between the US and Pacific Island Countries that both parties need to effectively facilitate.

United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Kurt Tonga is attending the regional workshop. He is the highest level U.S official on trade and investment issues to visit Fiji in over ten years.
Source:
PAC News

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