To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Friday, June 30, 2006

Malaita delegation talk development with Gov't

By Moffat Mamu

A five man delegation from the Malaita Provincial executive is currently in Honiara to update the government of the province's development plans.

The delegation, led by the provincial premier Reuben Moli and his deputy Wilfred Maeluma, is in Honiara to update the national government over the provincial government's resolutions from its Budget Meeting recently.

Mr Moli said his delegation had met with the prime minister, other government ministers and Members of Parliament from Malaita. "Their response has been positive and the government has highlighted that what we are doing is in line with its rural development policy framework," Mr Moli said.

The provincial government's meeting a week ago resolved that it phased out the Ward Development Grant (WDG) and replaced it with a Regional Development Fund (RDF). This means all funds that used to go to individual ward provincial members are placed in one basket for the development of the province as a whole.

Therefore, during the meeting the assembly also approved the establishment of regional consultative committees to identify the province's development priorities which the RDF will be used to service. Mr Moli said these resolutions were what his delegation are presenting to government officials and Malaita Province MPs.

"We are trying to link the rural areas with the national government. So in a way we are making a way for the national government to channel funds or its services through a process that will benefit the province as a whole," Mr Moli said.

He said his government involved the MPs from Malaita to encourage a closer cooperation between ward members and MPs and to encourage MPs to share in the setting up of the regional development priorities through the regional consultative committees.

He said this is his government's 10 year strategic plan with the theme "iumi tugeta bildim Malaita". "This is not something that will happen today or tomorrow. It is a long term plan and hopefully the foundation my government is laying now will develop to enable us achieve our theme in 10 years time," Mr Moli said.

source: Solomon Star (

SI Government vows to do anything to help people

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed that he would "welcome and would take any radical and unorthodox measures to support and co-operate with the people and development partners” in the government’s endeavour to create a better Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed that he would "welcome and would take any radical and unorthodox measures to support and co-operate with the people and development partners” in the government’s endeavour to create a better Solomon Islands.

In a statement relayed to a meeting yesterday of Isabel Chiefs, leaders and Trustees at Jejevo in Buala, Mr Sogavare reiterated the government’s seriousness in ensuring his leadership is beneficial and uplifting for Solomon Islanders.

To this end, Prime Minister Sogavare said the government will be, “reform-minded, people-focussed and rules-based”.

The Prime Minister's statement said the government will remove barriers that impede development at rural level, and ensure that policies that deliver results are implemented.

The Government Communications Unit says government has been translating its policy statement into ministerial work programs and projects, which will result in a workable Programme of Action for the next four years.

The Unit says the Prime Minister had also disclosed government plans to put three public officers in each of the 50 Constituencies throughout the country “to assist in the bottom-up approach to economic and social development and good governance in Solomon Islands”.

source: SIBC Online (

Fisheries Minister clarifies misinformation while claiming intimidation by Australia and New Zealand at IWC

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Nollen Leni refutes claims that he had defied Cabinet's stand by voting in support of commercial whaling at the recent International Whaling Commission meeting held in St.Kitts and Navis in the Caribbean.

The Fisheries Minister was responding to bitter criticisms by Australia and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministers accusing Solomon Islands of bowing to cheque book diplomacy with Japan, something both Japan and Solomon Islands Governments denied.

The National Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, told SIBC, he was annoyed by incorrect media reports about his position over the issue .

Mr Leni says he had maintained Cabinet's directive by abstaining when the vote on whether to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling or not.

Leni says since Australia withdrew the motion on scientific whaling, the issue was not put to the vote.

Mr Leni says he was wrongly interpreted as having voted in favour of Japan's position on a totally separate issue from the two issues.

Leni says what he voted for was a resolution calling on IWC to restrict its activities to the original Convention.

The Fisheries Minister says he felt it was only correct to call on IWC to do the right thing by reverting to its original convention.

Meanwhile, the Fisheries Minister Mr Leni says his delegation was under constant intimidation from Australia and New Zealand during the week-long I-W-C conference.

source: SIBC Online (

World Bank welcomes SI Foreign Investment Act

The World Bank Group has welcomed the Solomon Islands Foreign Investment Act which came into operation this week.

Russell Muir, lead economist for the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) – a facility of the World Bank Group – said the Act was a significant step towards improving the investment climate in the Solomon Islands.

“It should help encourage foreign investment in the country, stimulate growth and benefit the people of Solomon Islands in the years ahead,” Mr Muir said.

The new Act is regarded as good practice in world terms for encouraging new investors to Solomon Islands.

Mr Muir said the introduction of new streamlined procedures and an encouraging policy framework meant new investment applications could now be processed in five days, instead of the previous three months.

He said the Act also provided a greater level of transparency and accountability which would help to curb corruption and give investors confidence that their applications would be treated fairly. The new Act has reduced the number of sectors banned to foreign investment from a previous 83 to 14.

Mr Muir said the new law was only one part of the economic reform agenda in the country and that bringing it into force was an encouraging sign of the commitment of the new government to this program.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Malaita Province hopes to host next SI Games

By Charles Kadamana, Star Sport

Malaita Province Premier Reuben Moli is leading a five-member delegation to Kirakira to bid for the fourth Solomon Games in 2008.

The delegates include Minister of Sport and Tourism Rose Anilabata, Chairman Ronnie Butala, Community Development and Human Resources, Nathan Maotai and Ms. Moli.

Five provinces: Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Guadalcanal, Western and Choiseul are expected to present their bid to the Solomon Game Council that will take place this Saturday.

Malaita Province with the theme "Partnership in Sport" already completed its 19 page bid document and is ready for submission.

Speaking prior to their departure yesterday, Mr. Moli said his delegation is hopeful for a positive result from their bid document.

He said Malaita Province which has the biggest contingent participating in the game should be given the chance to host the next Solomon Games.

"Not only that but the province already has basic sport facilities that only needs improvement once we are given the honour," he said.

Malaita Province has basic sport facilities at Aligegeo, APS sport field, Aimela, Kilusakwalo, Ambu, Gwanuaru'u and Kilu'ufi.

"Added to these is we have bred a lot of good sport men and women and therefore we should be given the chance," he said.

Mr. Moli said the other advantage of the province is its location and access to transport and venues are more reliable.

He said his government together with his people fully supports the bid to host the next tournament.

"We see this as an opportunity in rebuilding peace among all citizens of the Solomon Islands.

"We know that various events happening in the country has pulled us out but we want to let all sister provinces know that we are prepared and committed to offer peaceful environment for everyone to enjoy sport," he added.

Malaita has the largest contingent of about 325 athletes plus officials participating in the Solomon Games.

The Solomon Games kick off on Tuesday after it was officially opened by RAMSI Special Coordinator, James Bartley.

© Star Sport, Solomon Star


MEHRD Unity in Sport ends on high note in Honiara

The Unity in Sport soccer competition ended with the finals held at Lawson Tama.

Twenty four teams representing nine provincial and Honiara Football Associations participated in three categories namely; the junior boys, senior boys and girls open category.

Panatina Community High School of Honiara won the senior boys category while Tenakoga Community High School the junior boys top prize. FM Campbell girls of Makira Ulawa went away with the Open Girls category prize.

Competition in all the categories was of very high standard and those who witnessed the competition agreed it was the best tournament by far. The competition gave Solomon Islands Football Federation opportunity to identify potential players who shine at the competition.

source: SIFF News

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Announcement of the TARD Logo Competition Winner

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD), a unique student volunteer group that was formed in August 2005 by To'abaita (a region in Solomon Islands) scholars at the University of the South Pacific (Fiji) is pleased to announce the winning logo for its official letterhead and website.

The logo competition was announced in late May and the deadline for entries was 25th June 2006. The competition was only open to To'abaita or part To'abaita students in all institutions in Fiji, that make up the TARD membership.

Requirements for the best logo should incorporate the following:
- unique to the To'abaita setting
- reflect the vision and goals of TARD
- promote peace, reconciliation and rural development

As a result, we are pleased to announce that the best logo was designed by Mr Wilfred Atomea, a Bachelor of Arts student at the University of the South Pacific, Suva. Below is the winning logo entry by Mr Wilfred Atomea.

The meaning behind the design is as follows; the circle represents the To'abaita community and the name of TARD surrounding the circle refelct TARD's vision to support the rural community to achieve desired goals and building our communities. The color represents the common blue colour (kiokio) of the traditional dressing during cultural events such as marriages etc in To'abaita. Shaking of hands imply putting our hands together for a better To'abaita through reconciliation and peace whilst acknowledging the commoness and our identity to bring about better alternatives to rebuild our society and promote our image.

Mr Wilfred Atomea will now receive a cash prize of FJD$100 which is kindly sponsored by Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua in Honiara. His prize will be presented during TARD's next meeting early next month (July). The TARD Administration would like to thank the sponsor for his kind donation towards this important process.

Backstreet Boys split

By Rebekah van Druten

The talk's true.

The Backstreet Boys have released a statement, confirming they have said goodbye to one of the band's members - Kevin Richardson.

"Earlier this year, after much soul searching, Kevin Richardson came to us and told us that he had decided to leave the group and pursue other interests. He gave his blessing to continue the music without him."

And they will - but Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick have no plans to replace Kev.

"The door will always be open for him to return to the Backstreet Boys. We wish him the all the best in his future endeavours."

And just in case you're in denial - Kevin confirmed the band's confirmation on


RAMSI welcomes Foreign Investment Act

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Mr. James Batley said yesterday that the Foreign Investment Act would help free up the economy and encourage growth, benefiting the people of Solomon Islands in the years ahead.

Welcoming the commencement of the Act which was announced yesterday by the Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment, the Hon Francis Billy Hilly, Mr. Batley described it as a firm step in the right direction which would have long term benefits for the country by encouraging foreign investment.

“The decision is a milestone on the road to recovery,” Mr. Batley said.

“Solomon Islands cannot recover and grow strong by cutting itself off from the rest of the world. That is the lesson in country after country around the world. Recovery in Solomon Islands will not happen overnight, but without serious reforms like the Foreign Investment Act, the economy risks going backwards in the next few years. No one wants to see that happen.

“The Act is not the only reform that is needed, but it’s an important one. The government should be congratulated for bringing the Act into force.”

Mr. Batley said the new law would not just encourage foreign investors but Solomon Islands businesses would themselves be winners because of the need by foreign investors for local products and services.


Vocational training - the way forward

The many young people who are living idly in our communities should continue their education through the various vocational courses offered at the Rural Training Centres in the country.

Speaking to students and staff of Afutara Rural Training Centre on Malaita, the Coordinator of Rural Training Centres Robert Chris said young people who have not been fortunate to continue education beyond Forms 3 and 5 should not feel as if they have reached the edge.

Mr Chris was part of the Education Monitoring Team that had recently visited the provinces to monitor and assess schools that have been assisted under the first phase of the education Strategic Plan 2004-2006.

“I want to emphasise here that vocational training is an alternative form of education that has surpassed any other means of equipping oneself with the necessary skills well suited for one’s future livelihood in the rural areas,” Mr Chris stated.
Mr Chris revealed that the government has plans in place to further enhance the role that Rural Training Centres would play in forming alternative means of education to aspiring students who would want to pursue practical skills training.

“I want to make one thing clear that opportunities to find jobs and money are not necessarily available only in Honiara”, Mr Chris said, adding that, “with the skills learned in Rural Training Centres one can earn a satisfactory life in his own community”.

He stressed the fact that the bulk of the population live in the rural areas which form about 80 per cent of the total population who are blessed with abundant resources and untapped opportunities.

“You only need to be given the appropriate training, as offered in Rural Training Centres such as carpentry, mechanic, agriculture and other live skills training, and you can do lots of things on your own,” Mr Chris said.

He further explained that the Rural Training Centres offer the kind of training that would help students to create opportunities rather than looking for opportunities.
“In Honiara those who left schools either from the Colleges and Universities flood the markets looking for job opportunities but in the case of vocational trained students they have the advantage of creating opportunities for themselves,” he said.
“We have several vocational centres that offer specialised skills training for both boys and girls throughout the provinces...these offer adequate training and equal opportunities for girls as well.”

Mr Chris called on all students currently doing studies in Rural Training Centres to make good use of the opportunity and work hard so that at the end of their training they will return to their communities and put to good use the skills that they have acquired.

The roles of Rural Training Centres, Mr Chris explained, have been recognised by the government and it will in the longer term be incorporated into the whole education system.

- Government Communications Unit


EU micro projects can be a source of funding for schools

Submitted by Arthur Wate

THE EU Micro Project can be a funding source that schools can tap for their much needed infrastructure development plans.

During the recent education monitoring tour of schools on Guadalcanal, Makira, Malaita, Central and Isabel provinces Ronald Ivapitu, of the E.U Micro Project Office, revealed that his office could offer assistance to schools.

Throughout the two week tour of over 40 schools in the five provinces, Mr Ivapitu had observed that most of these schools do not have access to water supply and sanitation.

In most schools visited the education monitoring team had discovered that unfortunately water and sanitation had never been a priority as school planners seemed to have been pre-occupied with the building of classrooms and staff houses.
The easy access to the beaches and rivers has seemingly obscured most school planners from realizing the necessity of installing water supply and proper sanitation in their respective schools for children and teachers.

According to Mr Ivapitu, this issue of water supply and sanitation could be an area that the EU Micro Project could help to fund.Mr Ivapitu explained that schools could utilize the funds under the social infrastructure component of the EU Micro Project Fund to built water and sanitation.

“EU Micro Project is here to compliment other donor agencies that have already provided assistance to schools such as NZAID, Japanese Grassroot and CSP,” Mr Ivapitu added.

“Our criteria that applicants have to follow in order to be considered for assistance are similar to those of other donor agencies”, Mr. Ivapitu stressed, adding that: “for any one project, the EU Micro Project can provide assistance to the limit of $500,000-00.”However, as Mr. Ivapitu emphatically outlined the key ingredient to successfully accessing funds under EU Micro Project is for schools to produce a good School Development Plan that must also have the support of their respective communities.

According to Mr. Ivapitu the EU Micro Project places emphasis on community partnership in which the composition of assistance is such that 75 per cent comes from EU Micro Project and the community injects the remaining 25 per cent.“The 75 per cent contribution from EU Micro Project is the actual grant whereas the other 25 per cent from the community is valued in the form of labor, timber, sand and gravel and other manual tasks,” Mr Ivapitu explained.

He told Government Communications Unit that in order for schools to successfully secure funding from them they must have strong community support.

Meanwhile, being remotely located most schools have not had the opportunity to access information as to where and how they could tap funding for the development of their schools.

However, the ongoing monitoring exercise undertaken by the Ministry of Education to schools in the rural areas has given opportunity particularly for the school teachers and their committees to access information during the discussions and awareness meetings.


SI Opposition critical of Government's alleged delay of State Gov't process

Opposition spokesman on Provincial Government and Constituency Development, Clement Kengava has criticised the Government for failing to place more emphasis in the political process for the final adoption of a State Government system.

Mr Kengava made the accusation in a statement saying the Government had diverted peoples attention, instead of consolidating their desire for a State Government system.

He says Government's comments on rural development was a game to divert peoples attention.

Mr Kengava says that while the idea of rural development is supported by politicians and rural dwellers, it does not go far enough to guarantee the final adoption of a state government system that most people desire.

Kengava says the Sogavare-led Government was placing too much emphasis on decentralisation through rural development approach.

But Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has told SIBC News shortly before he left for France last week that his Government was giving full priority to the establishment of a permanent Department which would concentrate full time efforts on a review of the constitution, towards State Government System.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

France promises a push to save Pacific from Global Warming Impacts

A decade after the end of its nuclear bomb test program, France says it will lead a European push to save Pacific island states from the impact of global warming and rising sea levels.

In a speech to a summit of Pacific nation leaders yesterday, President Jacques Chirac said Europe knew they were all legitimately concerned about climate change, "on which the very existence of a number of Pacific states depend".

It is feared rising sea levels could make some islands uninhabitable within 10 years. An early victim is Tuvalu, from which 3-thousand people are being resettled in New Zealand and Kiribati.

Canada is covering the cost of resettling people from parts of Vanuatu and the population of Papua New Guinea's Carteret Islands has fled to Bougainville.

Mr Chirac said that with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which Australia and the US have refused to sign, Europe was at the forefront of the fight for the future of the region's coral reefs and "of mankind as a whole".

He said he would stress the urgency of global mobilisation at the G8 summit in St Petersburg.

The French President assured Pacific leaders that France shares their concerns and your ambitions, and it will champion the region in all international forums.

source: SIBC Online (

SI Government supports Small and Medium Enterprise trade fair initiative

By Chris Leua

The government regards the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) as of paramount importance because it is a catalyst to enhancing and creating a more stable social system and greater degree of national cohesiveness.

The Hon Minister of National Planning and Aid Coordination and Acting Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo made the remarks yesterday when he officially opened the ‘Techmart 2006’, the country’s first ever trade fair organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Council of Solomon Islands which is expected to run for a week at the SIPEU Grounds, Townground, Honiara.

Mr Lilo said, the objectives and the purpose of trade fair was fully supported by the government, and encouraged the organizers to continue with the initiative in the future.

“As we progress and advance in our development aspirations, you have seen it appropriate to actively facilitate the promotion of your products and services not only for the benefit of those of us in Honiara but the nation and the region as well.

He said, the government has provided funds for program because it is obliged and willingly agreed to contribute to a ‘worthwhile program’.

“Small and Medium Enterprises development plays a critical role in any developing country. Usually SME’s constitute more than 50% of all established enterprises. They are normally the largest employers and produce a variety of goods and services.

The development of SME’s therefore must be fully acknowledged as a vehicle for enhancing rural and regional growth within our economy.

“My government fully subscribes to and recognizes the importance of SME development. In our policy strategy for rural and urban growth, my government has placed high priority and attention in addressing the potentials of SME within our economy,” Hon. Lilo said.

He said SME’s provide added values to local products and raw materials, thus contributing to the growth of Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

Mr Lilo says the government recognizes that there are impediments to the growth of SME’s. However, he assured the participants at the trade fair that the government fully recognizes the issues facing SME’s, such as the absence of appropriate legislations to support SME’s, high tax charges, excessive control and compliance requirements, low level of technology and inadequate support and access to market.

He said the government is highly determined to address these tasks to fulfil its policy for equal development and the promotion of enterpreneurship.

Chairman of Techmart 2006, Lency Teobasi said the trade fair is aimed at helping businesses and entrepreneurs market promote and market local products and services through technology, adding that a website to showcase the products and services at the trade fair will also be launched on Thursday this week.

Mr Teobasi says, Solomon Islands economical growth depends on SME’s because at a smaller scale, family unit producing small products such as honey, coffee, kava etc will not meet the larger obstacles usually associated with projects using foreign investor capital.

He added by concentrating on domestic investment using the SME sector, Solomon Islanders who own 90 percent of the resources in the country can contribute, equally share and control the growth of the economy of the country.


Last-gasp penalty breaks Australian hearts

By Stuart Watt in Kaiserslautern

A penalty to substitute Francesco Totti with the last kick of the game saw Italy end Australia's World Cup dream in controversial circumstances with a 1-0 win in Kaiserslautern this morning.

Totti's penalty came after Lucas Neill was judged to have brought down Fabio Grosso in the final minute of stoppage time.

The decision sparked outrage among Socceroos fans after TV replays appeared to show Grosso tumbling over Neill's challenge with minimal contact from the Australian.

The players also hit out, with Tim Cahill saying he was "furious" over the decision.

It was a cruel way for the Australians to lose after they had dominated both possession and open play.

And it was particularly hard on Neill, who had a colossal game and tournament at the heart of the Australian defence.

"I think it was a questionable penalty, but the referee gave it. He fell, it was just a normal challenge," departing Australia coach Guus Hiddink said.

"We got a very disputed penalty and that's it, you can dream about the extra 30 minutes, but the fact is that we were caught on the penalty. The replays show without any doubt that it was not a penalty."

"[But] at the end you must make of the attractive football the result.... [and] I think that is the difference between the two teams."

Cahill said he could not believe the result.

"It's a feeling of disbelief. We're trying to break them down and then they get a lucky break, he falls over in the box and gets a penalty," he said.

"I think we dominated the match for many parts and with an extra player it made it easier for us but it's a really bad way to go out," Australian captain Mark Viduka said.

"We're obviously happy we've got this far but so disappointing to go out in the fashion we did."

The Italians went a man down in the 50th minute when Marco Materazzi was given a straight red card for a late challenge on Marco Bresciano, who was through on goal.

Italian coach Marcello Lippi responded by replacing his most dangerous forward Luca Toni with defender Andrea Varzagli.

With Toni went Italy's ambitions. The aim seemed to be to hold on and try to hit Australia on the break.

The plan looked like backfiring as the Australians increasingly dominated.

But a long ball and a weaving run by full-back Grosso led to the foul being given against Neill.

Totti stepped up to smash the ball high past Mark Schwarzer and break Australian hearts.

The Australians themselves could have had a penalty in the final minutes when the ball struck a defender on the hand after substitute John Aloisi had attempted an overhead kick.

Australia suffered a massive blow before the match when star striker Harry Kewell was ruled out with a leg injury.

With Brett Emerton suspended that meant two new faces in midfield. Marco Bresciano was handed Kewell's creative role and Luke Wilkshire took over as the workhorse in midfield, with Jason Culina slotting into Emerton's position wide on the right.

Lippi left Totti on the bench but started with three strikers; Toni, Alberto Gilardino and Alessandro Del Piero.

Even when they went a man up the Socceroos stuck to their game plan, playing the ball around trying to create openings.

Slowly they began to appear. Scott Chipperfield, Cahill, Viduka and Bresciano all had chances but a combination of below-par finishing and good goalkeeping by Gianluigi Buffon kept Australia out.

With the game heading for extra time the Socceroos' patience looked like it might be rewarded.

The Italians, with all three substitutions made, were wilting in the heat. The Australians in contrast looked fresh and had made just one change.

But it wasn't to be.

The match was Hiddink's last in charge of the Socceroos, with the Dutch master tactician now moving on to coach the Russian national side.

The win sent Italy into a quarter-final showing against the winner of the Switzerland-Ukraine game later this morning.

source: ABC/Wires (

Monday, June 26, 2006

Six Pacific Women attended Leadership training at Havard University

Six Pacific Island women have successfully completed a two week intensive training programme on Leaders in Development: Managing Political and Economic Reforms’ at the John F Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University in the United States.

Solomon Islands Jane Waetara, the Permanent Secretary in the department of National Planning and Aid Coordination was among the women from Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, the Federate States of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea.

In a statement, Mrs Waetara says the two week training programme ended last Friday.

She says this rare training opportunity was an initiative supported by NZAID’s Pacific Leadership Development Programme in collaboration with the Council of World Women Leaders to support Emerging Pacific Women Leaders.

Mrs Waetara says the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is a member of the Council of World Women Leaders and her support to this programme is highly appreciated.

She says the New Zealand government must be commended for its continuous support to the region and in particular, this initiative which supports emerging Pacific Women Leaders.


Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban make more memories

By Rebecca Keating

It's hard to say if there were more tears or celebrities as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban tied the knot.

The couple wept as they exchanged their vows - "I will love you and honour you all the days of my life" - during the candlelit service in Sydney.

And there were more tears as Keith serenaded Nicole with his song, Making Memories of Us. (So romantic!)

Just 230 guests watched on, including Baz Lurhmann, Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts.

But Nicole and Keith have included the rest of the world on their thank-you list.

"We just want to thank everyone in Australia and around the world who have sent us their warm wishes."


Socceroos drop goalkeeper Kalac, Kewell doubtful

By Reuters

Australia have dropped goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac while forward Harry Kewell is struggling to be fit for tomorrow morning's FIFA World Cup™ second round clash with Italy in Kaiserslautern.

Australia coach Guus Hiddink said he had still not decided on his starting lineup for the match but confirmed that Kalac would make way for Mark Schwarzer in goal.

Kalac took Schwarzer's place for the final Group F match against Croatia on Thursday, which ended 2-2.

However, he made a serious blunder that almost cost the Socceroos a place in the second round, fumbling an innocuous low drive from Croatia captain Niko Kovac into his own net.

Kewell's late equaliser saved Kalac from further humiliation but Hiddink got straight to the point when asked whether he had lost his place to Schwarzer for the Italy match.

"Normally I don't give a lineup (in advance) but yes," he told a news conference yesterday.

Australia skipper Mark Viduka said he was sad for Kalac, nicknamed Spider, but understood why he had been left out.

"Spider's part of our family here and obviously he'll be very upset," Viduka said. "Nobody wants things like that to happen to them but I think he's alright, he's a tough nut."

Hiddink confirmed that Kewell was still struggling with a niggling groin injury that almost forced him to miss the tournament.

He was named Man of the Match after running himself to a standstill against Croatia but the effort took its toll. Kewell has been unable to train since and has been receiving round the clock treatment in the hope of playing Italy.

"Harry did not participate fully in training with the team today," Hiddink said. "We'll see how this situation is tomorrow. It will be the same procedure as before the Croatia game."

Viduka said the Australians were unlikely to know whether Kewell was available or not until just before tomorrow morning's match.

"How much concern is there? I don't know. We just have to wait and see how the situation unfolds," said the striker.

"Obviously, Harry's a very important player for us and we want him to be 100 per cent fit."

Australia have also got a problem trying to find a replacement for defensive midfielder Brett Emerton, who is suspended after being sent off against Croatia.

"We have to deal with that and try and find a solution," Hiddink said. "He's one of the fittest players in this World Cup and it's very difficult to replace him."


Solomon Islands Government work towards priority needs

Acting Finance Minister Gordon Darcy says the government is working towards priorities reflected in an International Monetary Fund statement on Solomon Islands.

The Priorities include creating an environment for businesses to flourish, managing the country's budget and not running up debts, and developing a sound strategy to implement government policy framework.

Speaking on the release of the group's statement, Minister Darcy says the government is working towards these priorities.

The Acting Minister says that the Government has vowed to put in place the right policies to develop industries and to remain firm on financial management.

He says the Government will shortly release an action plan that sets out how it can achieve its policy framework.

In its report the IMF refers to one of the big challenges facing the Government:- improving governance and raising Solomon Islanders’ capacity and skills.

And Mr Darcy says the Government welcomes the IMF’s endorsement of government's emphasis on these issues.

He says it is through developing the people’s capacity and skills, for example to do business or to deliver government policies, that government can achieve its development aims.

The IMF Mission visited Solomon Islands earlier this month, and was hosted by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.


TECHMART trade show opens in Honiara today

The TECHMART trade show opens in Honiara today.

The show is aimed at enabling Solomon Islands small and medium scale Entrepreneurs to showcase their products during the four-day technological trade show.

The opening of the show today will be officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister Job Duddley Tausinga.

President of TECHMART orginising committee, Lency Teobasi recently highlighted the relevance of what he described as the mini trade show.

"The objective of the exhibition is to enable us have an interactive environment as exhibitors or businesses or companies, to come and showcase our products, as well as some developments within our groups in Solomon Islands. Also to look at potential buyers or traders, to have first hand experience and eye opening opportunity for all of us to see what products we have. A lot of times, we have our own products, but we seem to be too busy within our own processing and manufacturing in our little hide away, and no one really knows who is doing what and what is available in the market."


Sunday, June 25, 2006

NZ angry over Pacific Islands' pro-whaling votes

By New Zealand correspondent Peter Lewis

The New Zealand Government has condemned the decision by six Pacific nations to support Japan's pro-whaling declaration at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

All six Pacific Island members of the IWC voted to support the resolution which criticises the moratorium on commercial whaling.

New Zealand's Conservation Minister Chris Carter says the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Palau, let down their neighbours with their vote.

He says its the second time the Solomon Islands Government said publicly it would abstain from voting, but did not do so.

Prime Minister Helen Clark ruled out any retaliatory measures, saying the votes would not affect future aid funding to the region by New Zealand.

She hopes moral pressure will ultimately influence Japan and those it had encouraged to support its position.

source: ABC News Online (

SMEC to launch its website tomorrow

The Small & Medium Enterprises Council of Solomon Islands, SMEC will launch its Website to coincide with the opening of the TECHMART 2006 tomorrow.

TECHMART's media officer Claudius Horiwapu says the Website will feature Businesses participating at the SME Trade Fair and other interested businesses in the Country.

He says the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has provided funding, enabling Biztec Solutions New Zealand to develop the site.

He says the site will help the Small and Medium Enterprises to strengthen its capacity through networking of businesses, and helping them promote, facilitate and market their products and services.

Meanwhile, Mr Horiwapu says the TECHMART 2006 will be officially opened tomorrow by the Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment Francis Billy Hilly.

He says the Trade Fair which will continue for the next four days to June 30th is the first of its kind to be hosted in the country.

source: SIBC Online (

SI Potential lies in its People and Natural Resources: IMF Report

The International Monetary Fund, I-M-F has said that Solomon Islands’ potential lies in its people and natural resources.

The comment is contained in a concluding statement of an IMF mission which visited Solomon Islands this month.

Releasing the statement in Honiara on Friday, Acting Minister for Finance Gordon Darcy Lilo said the government is committed to achieving the country’s potential through its focus on rural development.

The statement says that Solomon Islands must create new businesses and income generating activities to take the place of native forest industries in the economy.

The Acting Minister said that that the Government has vowed to put in place the right policies to develop industries and to remain firm on financial management.

He said the Government will shortly release an action plan that sets out how it can achieve its policy framework.

The IMF Mission visited Solomon Islands between 8 and 19 June and was hosted by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.

The Mission met with business people, civil society, senior members of the Government, officials, donors and members of the diplomatic community.

A final report by the mission will be provided to the Solomon Islands government after it is considered by the IMF Board.

source: SIBC (

Solomon Islands Government effects new Investment Law

By George Tausiria

The Foreign Investment Bill passed by Parliament last December will come into effect Tuesday next week.

This follows the Cabinet approval on friday (23/06/06) of a paper presented by the Minister for Department of Commerce, Industries and Employment, Hon. Francis Billy Hilly which had sought to increase the Foreign Investment Act’s Reserved List from the original 5 to 14.

Permanent Secretary for the Department Mr Jeffrey Wickam explained that the reserve list caters for business sectors reserved exclusively for indigenous Solomon Islanders.

“The Act has been maintained as it was approved by Parliament last year, and in today’s meeting, Cabinet had approved the amended regulations to do with reserve list.” He said.

Mr Wickam said under the new Foreign Investment Act, the reserved list can be reviewed every two years.

“With the introduction of the new legislation, it means the investment process has changed, has become quicker and more efficient”. He said

Meanwhile the commerce secretary has announced that a review of company laws is to be undertaken by his department in mid-July.


Friday, June 23, 2006

SSEC Youth Arise to kick off in Malaita tomorrow

Thousands of young people from around Malaita, Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal have started arriving at Maoa village, West kwaio for the Youth Arise programme organised by the South Sea Evangelical Church.

This year's program will be hosted by the Dorsie SSEC Association between June 24 to 29.

SIBC's correspondent in Auki, Duddley Gani reports that the organising committee expects more than two-thousand youths to attend.

He says the theme for this year's Youth Arise is " Restoring Youths into God's Kingdom to reaching the world".

Main speakers at the rally will include Reverends Enestly Wasimanu, Peter Maesulitala and Elizabeth Nake.

source: SIBC (

Socceroos progress to the last 16 in Stuttgart

Australia reached the World Cup second round for the first time in history after holding Croatia to a 2-2 draw in their final Group F match in Stuttgart this morning.

Harry Kewell equalised in the 78th minute as Australia twice came back from a goal down to earn the point they needed to finish runners-up to Brazil and set up a clash with Italy in the last 16.

Three players - Croatia's Dario Simic and Josip Simunic plus Australia's Brett Emerton - were sent off in a dramatic finale with Simunic being shown three yellow cards by English referee Graham Poll in the confusion.

Croatia captain Niko Kovac had put his team ahead 11 minutes into the second half with a long range shot that bobbled past Australia goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac.

Australian defender Craig Moore had scored a 38th minute penalty to cancel out a third minute goal by Croatia midfielder Darijo Srna, but it was Kewell's late goal that saw Australia advance to play Italy in Kaiserslautern on Tuesday morning.

Srna caught the Socceroos napping early with a superbly taken free kick after Socceroos skipper Mark Viduka tripped Niko Kovac just outside the area.

Srna, who had missed a penalty in Sunday's scoreless draw with Japan, made amends when he curled the ball over the wall past Kalac to score his country's first goal of the tournament.

Australia regained their composure and looked to have strong grounds for a penalty when defender Simunic brought down Viduka, but referee Poll ruled that there was no foul.

However, Poll had no hesitation in pointing to the spot seven minutes before the interval when Croatia defender Stjepan Tomas reached up and handled the ball in the goalmouth.

Moore coolly slotted the penalty past Stipe Pletikosa.

Croatia, who needed to win to stay alive after losing 1-0 to world champions Brazil then drawing with Japan, looked to have sealed victory when Kovac scored but Kewell's instinctive reflexes from a goalmouth scramble saw them bow out.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Former Fisheries Minister talk on SI Voting at IWC

Former National Fisheries Minister, Paul Maenu'u says international criticisms leveled against Solomon Islands over its position on the international whaling issue this year may have been for a similar dilemma to what happened in 2005.

Mr Maenu'u says it would be interesting to know if the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had not interfered with the Cabinet's decision on voting at the International Whaling Commission.

Maenu'u was responding to recent criticisms by Australia and New Zealand against Solomon Islands, accusing it of voting in favour of Japan's initiative to lift the ban on commercial whaling.

The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday said it was news to him that his Minister for Fisheries Nollen Leni had voted in favour of lifting the ban on commercial whaling.

He confirmed that Cabinet's directive was to abstain from voting during the meeting of IWC at St Kitts and Navis in the Caribbean.

But Mr Maenu'u who was forced to resign during the Kemakeza government after being accused of taking bribes from Japan to vote in favour of commercial whaling says he suspects that what happened this year might be similar to what happened in 2005.

He says it was the Prime Minister then that had directed him in a telephone call during a short break before voting took place which way he should vote.


PM defends action on hand-picking of Permanent Secretaries

Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare says he will be hand-picking candidates in the process of appointing people for the position of Permanent Secretaries.

In an exclusive interview with SIBC, the Prime Minister says he felt the idea of hand-picking people from a pool of about eighty applicants was crucial for purposes of effective governance.

He says this is very crucial because he wants to make sure the right people are recruited to carry out government functions within the four-year term in office.

Prime Minister Sogavare points out that under his leadership, he wants to see people who can effectively discharge orders of the Legislative Executive.

He says the simple logic about this concept is that government must deliver services it had promised to the people of this country within its term of office.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Government rural policy lures more opposition MPs


More Opposition Members of Parliament have crossed the floor to join the Grand Coalition in support of its rural development policy. By Friday last week the number had increased to four - weakening the numerical strength of the Opposition.

MP for North Guadalcanal Martin Sopaghe defected to the Government a week ago and a few days later he was joined by the MPs for West New Georgia Peter Boyers, East Makira David Sitai and North West Guadalcanal Siriako Usa. The three MPs were former members of the Independent faction of the Opposition.

Prime Minister Sogavare held a brief ceremony to welcome the MPs to his Government.
Mr Sogavare said there are more MPs from the Opposition and Independent groups who have indicated their interest to join the government. They include: South Guadalcanal MP David Pacha, Ngella MP Mark Kemakeza and Central Guadalcanal MP Peter Shanel.
It is likely that this group will cross the floor this week.

Mr Boyers said his move to the government is unconditional with "no price tag attached to it". He said they move to show support to the government and its policy because it is in the best interest of Solomon Islanders. "That's the basis of our decision to join the government," Mr Boyers told Solomon Star. "I believe the Sogavare Government is heading in the right direction when it decided to turn its focus to rural development. "We want to be part of this Government because we believe in its policies," the former finance minister said.

Mr Boyers and Mr Usa said their people are aware of their decisions adding that they also supported the government's rural policy focus. Mr Sitai added that nobody disputed his decision to move. Their decision was humbly welcomed by Mr Sogavare on Friday. "I am really humbled to welcome these MPs for together we can work to address the issues and the path of development of this country." He reiterated that his government is always open to members of the Opposition who wanted to be part of his government.

"The government's policy focus was quite attractive and we will do all we can to ensure the policies are implemented for the benefit of Solomon Islanders," he said.
Mr Sogavare also acknowledged the important decision made by the MPs to join his side. "It is an important decision which saw the confidence these MPs have in me and my government," Mr Sogavare told the Solomon Star. "I won't let the nation down but to make provision for rural development where the majority of the people are living."
Mr Sogavare said he had talks with aid donors who were keen to assist the government in its policy. "The onus is now on the government to uphold the rule of good governance so that foreign countries can help," Mr Sogavare told the MPs.

Chairman of Government Caucus Steve Abana who earlier said he expected one or two more Opposition MPs to join the Government was not present at the occasion.
The MPs are expected to remain as Government backbenchers.

source: Solomon Star (

Malaita Premier work towards bridging rural people and the Provincial government

Malaita Premier Reuben Moli has made changes to his Provincial Executive structure.

In the new structure, the Premier has created a number of new portfolios within his Executive and has restructured others.

A statement from Auki said that the premier has initiated a system of coordinating Ministers whose job it is to lead teams of Ministers with responsibility for key areas of economic and human development.

Premier Moli said the province needs to have a system of Executive responsibility, linking the Wards and the Ward Members more closely with the work of the Provincial Government.

To enhance this system, Premier Moli has created four new Regional Ministerial portfolios.

These Ministers will be expected to work closely with their communities in the Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern Regions of Malaita, while the Malaita Outer Islands will be under the direct responsibility of the coordinating Minister for Regional Affairs, who is also the Deputy Premier.

Speaking about the structural changes, Premier Moli said, his government understands the importance of getting closer to its grassroots people.

He said people have a right to have their voices heard and to participate in the making of decisions about matters affecting their daily lives.

Premier Moli said that to be able to do this, there has to be a bridge between the people in their villages and the government leaders in Auki.

source: SIBC (

Monday, June 19, 2006

Gutsy Socceroos go down to Brazil

By Stuart Watt in Munich and wires

Australia need at least a draw with Croatia in their final World Cup Group F match to progress to the second round after a 2-0 defeat by Brazil in Munich this morning.

A second half strike from Adriano and a last-minute goal by substitute Fred gave the world champions victory and a place in the last 16.

The Socceroos remain in second place in the group after Japan and Croatia played out a scoreless draw earlier.

The Australians went to half-time on level terms, but four minutes after the break Adriano scored after good lead-up by strike partner Ronaldo.

Australian coach Guus Hiddink said there was a suggestion of offside about the goal.

"There were some doubts about that, but it was very close," he said.

He also questioned some of the refereeing decisions, saying several of the 50-50 decisions went against the Socceroos.

In the build-up to the game the Australians had been portrayed as very physical and the foul count was lop-sided against them.

"Let's be honest, it was not decisive, but ... there were some decisions made in which I think I had my doubts during the game," Hiddink said.

While he said he was disappointed with the result, he was pleased with the way his team played.

"We can be proud of the team, how they performed, how their attitude was, how their concept was to play," he said.

"I think a little bit of difference is that they [Brazil] are more lethal when they are coming into the box.

"We had, in the second half, two or three good opportunities, but we failed to make the goal. But I think I can be proud of the way the concept was executed by the players."


Once the Australians went behind, they began to attack the Brazilians in search of an equaliser.

Hiddink threw first Harry Kewell, then John Aloisi on and although the Socceroos created a number of scoring opportunities, they could not capitalise.

Fred made the game safe for Brazil in the 90th minute with a tap-in after a shot by fellow sub Robinho came back off a post.

"It's very disappointing not to get something out of the game but Brazil are Brazil and we gave them a good game," Australia captain Mark Viduka told SBS.

"We played well and on another day it could have been different for us."

Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira praised Australia. He said they had the talent to make the second round, but would not be drawn on who he thought would win the crunch game against Croatia.

"I think it's a very equal game. They have different styles. Both teams are very good physically. Both mark properly. I believe it's an open game," he said.

Striker Ronaldo was substituted for the second game running by Parreira, who said the striker was improving after a poor performance in the World Cup holders' opening 1-0 victory over Croatia.

Midfielder Ze Roberto said the Brazilians were improving.

"We are getting better," said Brazil midfielder Ze Roberto. "We will, I think, get better in every game.

"We tried to impose our style of play from the start but we were up against a very strong opponent who were strong in defence."

Brazil's best first-half move came in the third minute.

Ronaldo controlled the ball on his chest and flicked the ball backwards to Kaka who volleyed wide from the edge of the penalty area.

If the ball had gone in, the game could have taken a completely different course.

Instead, Australia packed the midfield and hustled Brazil out of their stride with tenacious marking and tackling.

Brazilian pair Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were both subdued, with only Kaka's penetrating runs offering any threat.

Ronaldo, who had a dismal match against Croatia, was again out of sorts and at one point had a heated argument with coach Carlos Alberto Parreira on the touchline.

His frustration was complete with a yellow card for playing on after he had been flagged offside.

The second half was only four minutes old when Brazil got the breakthrough they badly needed.

Ronaldinho picked out Ronaldo, who held off his marker and rolled the ball across the face of the penalty area to Adriano.

The Inter Milan striker, also struggling until then, took one touch and placed a low shot beyond goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's left hand.


Japan loses pro-whaling vote

Japan has fallen short again in efforts to gain majority support for its campaign to loosen international anti-whaling regulations.

Japan, which has obeyed a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling but uses a loophole to hunt minke whales for scientific research, proposed that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) allow Japanese coastal communities to whale near shore.

Passage of the measure would have required 75 per cent of the 70-nation body and was not expected.

Japan, however, had sought a "moral victory" from a simple majority, which would have been the first time in two decades a whaling quota gained more than 50 per cent support in the IWC. But it fell one vote short.

The defeat comes on the heels of crushing setbacks Japan suffered in two votes on Friday.

A simple majority would have been "big news", Japan's assistant commissioner, Joji Morishita, said before the vote. Afterward he lauded what he saw as a "50-50" result.

"It's not an honest majority," countered Kitty Block, a lawyer with Humane Society International.

"It's not moral how they brought the simply majority," she said, referring to claims Japan uses foreign aid to persuade Pacific, Caribbean and African states to back its pro-whaling stance - a charge Japan denies and one sometimes also applied to anti-whaling countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Japan had hoped at this year's June 16-20 IWC annual meeting in the Caribbean country of St Kitts and Nevis to have secured a majority for the first time since the ban on commercial whaling was imposed two decades ago.

But it failed to push through two pro-whaling votes on Friday. The third defeat was likely to increase its frustration with the agency, which is credited with saving the great whales from being hunted to extinction.

Furious debate

Earlier Akira Nakamae, a senior Japanese Fisheries Agency official, said the IWC had become "dysfunctional" because of the unbridgeable divide between the two sides and needed to be "normalised".

Normalisation refers to Japan's desire to return the commission to its original purpose when it was set up in 1946, to regulate the hunting of whales.

Mr Nakamae proposed holding a gathering of countries in favour of the sustainable harvesting of whales before the IWC's next annual meeting in 2007, and triggered a furious debate.

"The attitude that because our forefathers killed whales we should emulate them must be set aside," said New Zealand Minister of Conservation Chris Carter.

"We don't live in the past, we live in the present, and we are making decisions that affect our future."

Anti-whaling nations have acknowledged that the IWC is not working properly, and that whales continue to die.


Troops leave for Solomon Islands

About 100 Australian troops have flown out of Darwin Airport, on their way to the Solomon Islands in a troop rotation to assist the regional assistance mission.

Violence and looting flared in the capital Honiara in April amid anger at the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister.

The situation has since stabilised, and the soldiers will serve about four months assisting federal police to maintain law and order and rebuild institutions.

Major General Ash Power says many of the soldiers from Darwin's Robertson Barracks are serving in their first overseas mission.

"This group actually was preparing to do another task to, go to another part of South-East Asia and we're able to switch them onto this task at very short notice," he said.

Major General Power says the soldiers are well equipped for the peacekeeping operation.

"This sort of thing is becoming bit more common but the Army is able to do a whole range of things from humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, this peacekeeping type of operation, right through to war fighting," he said.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Old settlement site found in North Malaita

A north Malaita man, Walter Rilifia, has claimed to have found an old settlement site in the area where he lives.

Mr Rilifia of Keru Village near Malu'u sub-station told SIBC News that it is an interesting and unique finding.

Mr Rilifia says he had sent a sample of charcoal from what he believes to be a traditional offering site to the National Museum in Honiara for possible carbon-dating overseas.

He says he has not received any information about the sample whether it has been sent overseas for analysis or not.

Mr Rilifia says he believes the findings may be that of the early settlers in the Malu'u area.

An SIBC reporter has recently visited the site and seen some of the carved stones.

source: SIBC (

Saturday, June 17, 2006

EU's Pacific aid policy causes concern

The European Union's (EU) aid policy in the Pacific has been labelled a "hollow promise".

The EU wants 14 Pacific island countries to sign up to an economic partnership agreement (EPA).

The agreement would grant Pacific exporters privileged access to European markets, as part of Europe's aid commitment to the region.

But participants at the Oxfam conference say the EPA would leave the Pacific exposed to the impact of trade liberalisation.

Feiloakitau Tevi, is from the Pacific office of the World Council of Churches, says the impact of the deal has not been realised.

"We do not quite grasp the serious ramifications of the economies and lives of Pacific peoples with the implementation of this EPA," he said.

But the European Commission's ambassador to the Pacific, Roberto Ridolfi, says the EPA is simply a means to grant the Pacific access to European markets, without running foul of the World Trade Organisation.

source: ABC (

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rural Constituency Development Fund to remain under the MPs control

Members of Parliament will continue to have the controlling authority over the use of Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) – at least for now.

Minister responsible for RCDF Japhet Waipora says his ministry is now in the process of raising the RCDF payments to each of the 50 constituencies.

RCDF was established to promote economic and social development in the 50 constituencies. Each constituency receives $400,000 a year, with MPs holding the controlling authority over its use. But the fund allocation and its use have been the subject of controversy in recent years. MPs were accused of abusing the fund instead of using it for the benefit of their constituents. This controversy has prompted the Sogavare Government to consider removing the controlling authority over RCDF from MPs.

According to the Government’s recently launched policy statement, it will introduce an administrative mechanism for the disbursement of the fund. It will also ensure that proper planning and accounting procedures are followed. How this will be done is not spelt out, nor how soon will the administrative mechanism put in place.
As such, Mr Waipora said the Government will continue to disburse the funds using current procedures.

Taiwan, which provides funding for RCDF, released the first tranche ($5 million) for 2006 last month. “We are now in the process of raising payments to each of the constituencies. “My ministry will ensure that there is a high degree of accountability on how the funds are disbursed and used. “For returning MPs, we won’t be raising payments to them unless they retire all receipts of how they spent their last tranche. “For new MPs, they will have to open new Constituency bank accounts with at least three signatories. “Until the Government’s new policy on RCDF is implement, this is the course of action we are taking now to ensure constituents benefit from the funds,” Mr Waipora told the Solomon Star yesterday. Taiwan provides $20 million a year in RCDF funding.


28th Independence Celebration 2006 Logo Competition

A competition for a logo to be used during this year’s 28th anniversary of independence has been placed in the media for public participation.

Chairman of this year’s independence celebration, Mr. Solomon Palusi said: “It is hoped many artistic persons in the country will show their interest by submitting their entries to the Independence Celebration Committee.

“The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Sogavare has given a theme for this year’s celebration as Creating a New and Better Solomon Islands.

“This theme reflects the difficult times Solomon Islands has gone through.

“It is only when we forget the past and concentrate on nation building that we can create a new and better Solomon Islands.”

He said a prize of $500.00 would be given to the winning entry during the celebration on July 7.

Mr. Palusi said the competition is open to the public but due to timeframe the closing date was set for June 23 to give ample time for the Committee to screen all the entries.

He said since there is no second and third prize, selection of the winning entry will be critical.

Mr. Palusi said those who are interested to enter the competition should check Solomon Star newspaper on June 15 and 19 for conditions of entry.

Meanwhile TARD has been able to get the exclusive conditions of entry for the logo competition in the Solomon Star issue today and it is summarised below. Any interested To'abaita student who wants to submit a logo to the competition can email it to TARD and we can forward it to the rightful people in Solomon Islands.

LOGO COMPETITION (Advertisement in the Solomon Star)

The 28th Anniversary of Solomon Islands Independence Celebration Committee is seeking interest from the public to produce a logo to be used during the celebration. The logo should be simple and should reflect the theme of this year’s celebration: Creating a New and Better Solomon Islands.

There will be only one prize of $500 for a winning entry.

Conditions of Entry

1. The logo must include the theme: Creating a New and Better Solomon Islands.
2. The competition is open to all categories: public, students, etc.
3. All entries should reach the Committee not later than 4:30 pm on June 23. Any entry received after the closing time will not be considered.
4. All entries should include names and contact addresses of the applicants.
5. Entry must include explanation of the logo.
6. Logo from a winning entry will become property of the Solomon Islands Government and will be used on all publications to be prepared for this year’s 28th Independence Anniversary Celebration.
7. Prize for the winning entry will be given out on July 7 at Lawson Tama or any other location nominated by the Committee.
8. The Committee will not be responsible for meeting transport and accommodation cost of winner if he or she is from the province. But the prize may be sent to the winner through mail or bank account nominated by the winner.
9. Decision of the Committee will be final.

Due to time factor all entries should be sent via quickest means as submissions from provinces may not be guaranteed to arrive before the closing date. To hand deliver your entry, see Committee’s Chairman, Mr. Solomon Palusi, Under Secretary, Department of Home Affairs at the Anthony Saru Building, Level 6 on Tel: 28602 or Mobile: 75336. You can also see Alfred Maesulia, Director of Government Communications Unit, at the Old SIBC Building or contact him on Tel: 28153 or Mobile: 77101.

sources: & Ofani Eremae (Solomon Star Editor)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Malaita Assembly Members determined to work with people to build the province

Members of the Malaita Provincial Assembly returned home from Auki last week determined to work with their constituents and put in place far-reaching changes which will create solid foundations for the development of the province.

Members of the Assembly repeatedly commented that they had not previously felt such united feelings of hope and determination as they felt after last week’s Budget Assembly Meeting.

A number of changes agreed to by the Assembly will see greater community involvement in all decisions in the Province and particularly in deciding how money for development projects will be spent in the Wards and regions of Malaita.

The Assembly endorsed proposals, put forward by the Provincial Executive, for a range of strategies to increase the Province’s ability to listen to its people and to deliver services where it really counts – at grassroots.

At the heart of these proposals are plans to strengthen regional Provincial government services in the four regions of mainland Malaita and for the Outer Islands.

They also approved the establishment of Regional Consultative Committees to set up development priorities.

source: SIBC (

Opposition MP describes Sogavare as a double standard player

Marovo M-P Snyder Rini has accused the Prime Minister of playing double standard by handpicking well-known government critic, Dr John Roughan to be Secretary to Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Mr Rini says the engagement of Dr Roughan by Prime Minister Sogavare is a deviation from his own administrations rule of good governance , accountability and transparency.

He says the Prime Minister's action does not fall in line with public service procedures and processes.

Mr Rini says the Prime Minister's action is unprocedural because he made the appointment well before applications for permanent secretary posts, including that of Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet closed on June 9th.

He says because the Prime Ministers Office had advertised the post, it should give all applicants the same treatment.

The Opposition MP adds that public service processes and procedures stipulate that applications are scrutinised and applicants interviewed before appointments are made.

Meanwhile, well place sources in the government say the hand-picking of Dr Roughan for the Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, outside the normal recruitment procedures of the Public Service is illegal.

But when contacted, Attorney General Primo Afeau would not comment on the matter, saying he had no background knowledge of the appointment, and that his office has not been consulted for legal advise on the matter.

Mr Afeau says all recruitment for the Public Service has to go through the normal procedures, but says the Public Service Commission has the jurisdiction to waive the normal procedure of recruiting Permanent Secretaries.

SIBC could not get either the Prime Minister or the Public Service Commission to confirm if it had allowed for the appointment of Dr Roughan.

source: SIBC (

Opposition leader criticise gov'ts "Rural Development" phrase

The Leader of Opposition Fred Fono is calling on the government not to use "Rural development" as a catch word to lure political support.

He says "Rural Development" has been the focus of previous governments, with the construction of roads, bridges, wharves and rural shipping.

Mr Fono says previous governments have tried to improve rural Solomon Islands because they realised that the majority of the country's population and resources are in the provinces.

He says the current Government has no tangible project plans in their policy document frame work, nor have they indicated where rural projects will be located and established.

Mr Fono also warns that rural development in a scattered country like Solomon Islands is a very expensive exercise.

He says if real rural development is to be enhanced, the centralised bureaucratic system in Honiara should be dismantled and send qualified human resources to the provinces to take active part in the development of rural areas.

source: SIBC (

Govn't plans to work closely with Solomon Islands Landowners

The government plans to work closely with landowners to set new sustainable directions to optimise the utilization of land and its resources throughout the country.

This initiative is part of the government’s policy on “Land Use and Ownership” in Solomon Islands.

Under this policy, the government will openly discuss with landowners issues involving the registration of tribally owned customary lands and the opening up of such lands to prospective developers to enhance economic projects.

The Government Communications Unit says that in order to materialize this initiative, the government will take the lead by amending or repealing existing land laws with the intention to make customary land a bankable or transferable commodity.

As part of this plan, the government will carry out land reform to address issues involving the “recognition of indigenous tribes as corporate entities, corporate owners of land as opposed to individual ownership and the protection of land from further alienation.

The Communications Unit says the land policy will also enable the government to consider offering current Temporary Occupational License holders in crown lands the option to convert their licenses into Fixed Term Estates.

source: SIBC (

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

PM slams Tozaka over Dr Roughan's appointment

By George Tausiria

The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has described the Opposition’s spokesman for public service Milner Tozaka’s outburst over his selection of Dr John Roughan as his secretary as racist, insensitive and lacking diplomacy and political maturity.

Mr Sogavare said: “If the Oppostion spokesman on Public Service views the appointment of Dr. John Roughan as a slap in the face of indigenous Solomon Islanders, then so be it, because if the present state of the economy is all we could show for indigenous effort in the public sector, then we must think again.

“While protection of indigenous rights and involvement are important, it would be plain stupidity and naïve to insist that the policy must be universally applied.

“This would be akin to a wilful suppression of our potentials and therefore was never the government’s intention.”

He said fairness in the context argued by Mr Tozaka is nothing more than a lame excuse for unproductiveness, which had been the hallmark of the public sector over the years.

Mr Sogavare said the government is interested in performance and achieving targets and would not trade them for any amount of Tozaka’s version of fairness.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has reminded all aspiring Permanent Secretaries that these qualities will rank high in the handpicking process.

He said he had no regrets picking Dr Roughan, describing his decision as ‘strategic and political’ given the government’s rural-oriented development strategy.

The Prime Minister described Dr Roughan as a passionate advocator of people-centred development, both in words and action, and a person who understands the struggles of our people.


Local talent Kekene Band on PNG tour

By Cathie Konainao, National Express

Sharzy has paved the way, followed by Saba and now it’s new sensation, Kekene’s turn to feel the world of music outside the country, described by many local artists as “unforgettable moments” in their entire lives. Kekene band members (l-r): Poxy, Jason (lead vocalist), Andrew and Felix (Photo: National Express)

Kekene band who hail from Isabel Province is one of the upcoming talents in the country, popular for their collective songs and music arrangements of simple island upbeats.

The group's taking another step further in their musical career in their tour to Papua New Guinea.

In an interview with the National Express before their departure Friday last week, group manager, Mr. Pokana said they would be in PNG for more than six weeks performing as far as Rabaul and also do some recordings.

“Kekene’s popular song ‘Milo milo’ is one of the highlights on the PNG FM radio airwaves, and the trip to PNG is part of the band’s promotion.”

He said the tour indicates good relationship with other artists in neighbouring countries “… so that we can work together for a better music industry in the Pacific,” Mr. Pokana said.

According to band member Mr. Wesley, there was short time in their preparation for the tour due to short notice from the hosting studio, but he is optimistic the band will put out what is expected of them by the crowd waiting in PNG.

This trip is the first for Kekene to go overseas, and band members express their excitement, and look forward to other promotion opportunities if everything goes to plan.


Opposition criticise govt's appointment of Dr Roughan to SPM

The Opposition has lashed out on the appointment of well-known government critic Dr John Roughan as Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Opposition Public Service Spokesman and North Vella La Vella MP, Milner Tozaka describes the appointment by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as a slap on the face of other qualified Solomon Islanders.

Mr Tozaka says the Prime Minister's action is unfair because other qualified applicants have gone through the proper procedures and system of recruiting Permanent Secretaries.

He accuses Mr Sogavare of sidestepping the procedures by handpicking Dr Roughan before applications for the posts of Permanent Secretaries in the Public Service close on June 30.

Mr Tozaka says instead of addressing the deep underlying organisational problems, the Prime Minister has opted for a quick fix intervention which will only worsen the ineffectiveness of the Public Service.

He says the opposition believes in a Public Service that is impartial, neutral and free from political interference as the delivery of goods and services depends on a clear Public Service plan.

Mr Tozaka says it is a surprise that Dr Roughan a staunch government critic, especially in the areas of good governance and transparency, has not bothered to check if his appointment followed proper procedures, rules and regulations.

SIBC News is yet to get a comment from the Prime Minister on the matter.

It is also understood that Dr Roughan has accepted the appointment which comes into effect on June 25.


Cahill's late double stuns Japan

Australia stormed home with three goals in the final eight minutes for a stunning 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Japan in their Group F World Cup match in Kaiserslautern early this morning.

Tim Cahill scored twice and John Aloisi added the third to seal the Socceroos' first World Cup win and their first ever goals in only their second finals' appearance in 32 years.

The Australians looked headed for a deflating opening defeat in sapping heat when they were rocked by a controversial 26th-minute goal from Japan playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura.

But a double from Everton midfielder Cahill, who came on eight minutes after half-time, and another goal from substitute striker Aloisi turned the game around sensationally as the Australians were rewarded for their all-out attack.

Cahill fired home in a goalmouth scramble in the 84th minute after goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi failed to clear.

He was on the spot again four minutes to lash home a volley that rebounded off the left post into the goal.

The Japanese were reeling and Aloisi pounced for his team's third goal nearing full-time, evading defender Yuichi Komano to rifle home a left-foot volley and send the gold-clad Australian fans into uproar.

"In the end justice was done in this game," Australia coach Guus Hiddink said, maintaining that the Japan goal should have been disallowed.

"I think the referee will thank God for the result - it was a clear foul on the goalie."

Japan coach Zico criticised his team for sitting back after going 1-0 up.

"We did not do anything after taking the lead," the Brazilian said. "We had two clear goalscoring chances on the counter-attack but if you do not put the ball in at one end you sometimes concede it at the other.

"The way Australia turned the game on its head is difficult for us to stomach."

It all looked to be going sour for the Aussies after Nakamura's controversial goal.

The Celtic midfielder lobbed in a cross from the right and Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer appeared to be knocked off balance by Naohiro Takahara in going for the ball which bounced into the unguarded goal.

Egyptian referee Essam Abdullah el Fatah enraged the Australian players when he awarded the goal and was confronted by a couple of players remonstrating with his decision.

Australia were always up against it before Hiddink risked everything to throw on Aloisi and striker Josh Kennedy along with attacking midfielder Cahill to save the match.

The well-marshalled Japanese looked to have repulsed the incessant Australian attacks before Cahill's equalising goal rattled their composure and started the comeback.

"This team is nice to work with because they never give up," Cahill said.

"Just being a part of this World Cup means everything to all of us. We've all worked ever so hard to be here and the goals are just the icing on the cake."

Australia now head to Munich next Sunday for their clash with World Cup holders Brazil, while Japan must regroup against Croatia in Nuremberg.

Hiddink further enhanced his reputation as one of the great modern-day coaches with the substitutions which altered the course of the match and gave Australia genuine hope of progressing to the last 16.

At the end of the match, Midfieldder and hero Tim Cahill was also picked as the man of the match.


source: &

Monday, June 12, 2006

PM Sogavare appoints two new government Ministers

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has appointed Lau-Mbaelelea MP, Hon. Bently Samuel Ragosamani as the new Tourism and Culture Minister. Hon. Ragosamani was sworn-in at Government House last Friday.

Mr Ragosamani replaces Central Honiara MP Hon. Nelson Ne’e who is still in custody over offences relating to the burning of China Town during the tense political situation in April.

And tomorrow West Honiara MP, Hon. Isaac Inoke will be sworn in as new Police and National Security Minister at Government House, replacing East Honiara MP, Hon. Charles Dausabea.

Hon. Ne’e and Hon. Dausabea were tentatively appointed by the Prime Minister as Tourism and Police Ministers respectively but they have since remained in custody awaiting their trial.

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr Sam Alasia explained that the two detained MPs needed replacement given the pressing issues happening with the Department of Tourism and Culture and the Department of Police where full-time ministers were needed to handle departmental matters.

source: Government Communication Unit (

Socceroos, Japan set for must-win opener

Rival teams Australia and Japan square off in their Group F opener tonight (AEST) with defeat threatening to kill off their World Cup dreams at the first hurdle.

With other matches to come against champions Brazil and former semi-finalists Croatia in an unforgiving group, a loss in Kaiserslautern would probably prove insurmountable in the struggle to reach the knockout second round, so the pressure for a result has weighed heavily on both teams.

Australia, in their first finals for 32 years, have lost four of their last five meetings to the higher-ranked Japanese, who are in their third consecutive finals and are the reigning Asian champions.

But the Australians have been transformed under the meticulous coaching of Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who steered Holland and South Korea to the semi-finals of the last two World Cups.

Australia overcame two-time champions Uruguay on penalties to reach only their second World Cup and subsequently have beaten European champions Greece 1-0 and drawn 1-1 with world number three Holland on the road to Germany.

Japan scored twice early in a spirited 2-2 draw against Germany on May 30 and tuned up with a 1-0 win over Malta last weekend.

The 'Hiddink factor' clearly has the Japanese camp concerned, with playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura believing Australia will prove tougher opponents than 1998 semi-finalists Croatia, whom they next play in Nuremberg on June 18.

"I think the Australians are similar to Japan (in style) and perhaps because of that it will make them the most difficult team for us to play against," the Glasgow Celtic midfielder said.

Australia believe they have aerial supremacy over the Japanese and influential English-based attackers Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill will be playing against them for the first time in Kaiserslautern.

Japan's squad plan to counter their physical disadvantage with tight marking and specific tactics, with their Brazilian coach Zico heard to bark at his players at training this week: "You won't get any taller overnight. So go mark them tight."

Both camps have had their injury dramas ahead of their showdown with Australian skipper Mark Viduka sitting out training last Thursday with a calf muscle complaint and Kewell working his way back to full fitness after injuring a groin in Liverpool's FA Cup Final win last month.

"I knew it was important for me to back up from Wednesday's Liechtenstein game to play in the Thursday training session and I've achieved that so now I can only look forward," Kewell said.

Japan's Nakamura has been troubled by a sore left hamstring and striker Atsushi Yanagisawa has just returned to full training after 10 days out with an injured right hamstring.

More than anything Hiddink, who takes charge of Russia after the World Cup, has instilled a new belief and steel in his Australian players in just his energising year in the job.

"I have told the players that our goal is to reach the second round and I am convinced that we are going to do it," Hiddink said.

"We have worked a lot on our tactical and technical aspects of our game."



Development approach reviewed

The Grand Coalition for Change (GCC) Government will review the current development planning strategies and approaches to ensure that sectoral development and rural-based industries in the country are properly addressed.

The review is consistent with the government’s recently formulated policy to introduce a "Bottom-Up-Approach" to national planning to ensure maximum community engagement in the planning cycle of government development plans at all levels in the country.

While appreciating aid assistance from development partners, the government is keen to see that aid delivery and implementation is aligned to government’s development priorities, particularly in areas relating to income generating projects at the grassroots level.

Under this planning policy, the government will soon reintroduce the National Government’s five-year Development Plan cycle including provincial development plans taking into account the bottom-up and people-centered approach to development planning.

The government is also keen to accommodate and manage aid assistance to the country with attention on more technical areas rather than on governance and policy making.
This has impressed the government to consider establishing a unit that will ensure proper coordination between Provincial and Central Governments in the formulation and implementation of provincial plans.

Other issues the government will consider under its planning policy include the improvement of transparency in the management of bilateral and multilateral donor activities and to consider the possibility of integrating the recurrent and development budgets through dialogue and consultation with development partners.

-Government Communications Unit


Government launches radio program on SIBC

The Government is to launch a second initiative in its plans to ensure that people in the country especially those in the rural areas know what the government is doing and to get their views on policy issues.

As of tonight, the Government Communications Unit in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will broadcast the first edition of the radio program, “GAVMAN BLONG IU AND IU.”

“We plan to broadcast two 15-minute programs a week on the National Broadcaster, SIBC with one scheduled for 8.45 pm every Monday night to be repeated at 07.45 am on Tuesday mornings and the second program to be broadcast at 7.10 pm on Saturday nights to be repeated 07.45 am on Sunday mornings,” Director of the Government Communications Unit, Mr Alfred Maesulia said.

“This series of radio programs, which is expected to go on for the next three months, is another initiative to support the already started weekly e-bulletin sent through the People First Network (PFNet) rural email stations throughout the country,” he said.

“With the new government’s focus on rural development, it is important our people especially those in our villages know what the government is doing and are able to comment and contribute towards any new policy initiatives.

“The government believes that an informed public is vital to any initiatives it plans to implement at the village level,” Mr Maesulia said.

The first several editions of the radio program GAVMAN BLONG IU AND IU will cover the various parts of the Grand Coalition for Change Government’s Policy document launched last month.



Saturday, June 10, 2006

Golden greats and golden goals in Munich


THE DAY REPLAYED: It was worth the long, long wait of 1,441 days. The 18th FIFA World Cup™ opened with a crescendo as Germany got their own party off in the grandest style possible with a 4-2 defeat of Costa Rica embroidered by two goals entirely fitting for such an illustrious occasion. Then Ecuador matched that two-goal victory by opening their campaign in Group A with an impressive display of their own to overcome Poland.

The futuristic FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich witnessed the most spectacular start to an inaugural fixture in the history of sport's quadriennal showpiece. The net billowed three times in the first 17 minutes, the first goal registered at six minutes to leave left-back Philipp Lahm as the second-fastest goalscorer in the FIFA World Cup's opening game.

Later, Torsten Frings managed to outdo his team-mate with a remarkable, swerving shot delivered from a distance of 25 metres. Both soared from foot to net like meteorites racing across the night sky and in this vast bowl of an arena, a galaxy of former stars on a distinguished guest list nodded their approval.

Moment of the Day
One hundred and seventy past winners of this Trophy were paraded in a colourful and moving opening ceremony that preceded the action on the field.

The 65,000 capacity crowd responded enthusiastically, especially to the sight of Germany’s champions from 1954, 1974 and 1990 emerging from the tunnel. All 22 from 1974 fell into line behind the 'Kaiser', Franz Beckenbauer, on the first occasion they had all gathered in one place since their FIFA World Cup triumph 32 years ago in the same city.

Brazil had 55 winners on show from their five winning teams while Sir Bobby Charlton flew the flag on behalf of England’s 1966 kings. Also enjoying the moment were Didier Deschamps, Marco Tardelli and Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia, who struck Uruguay’s memorable winner in the Maracana against Brazil in 1950.

After the greats came the came the greatest of all, Pele, carrying the coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy together with superstar model Claudia Schiffer. They then left the stage to the modern-day footballing heroes. Like Miroslav Klose.

Player of the Day
Miroslav Klose: two opportunist goals capped a memorable birthday.

The Polish-born striker continued a memorable domestic season with Werder Bremen first by restoring the lead for a Germany team missing Michael Ballack after Paulo Wanchope had found an instant equaliser to Lahm’s screamer. Then from Lahm’s cross he produced a firm header which Jose Porras parried but only as far as Klose who followed up for his second to establish a 3-1 cushion around the hour mark.

Klose had begun the 2002 FIFA World Cup with a three-goal card-marker, helping Germany to a 8-0 opening-day feast at Saudi Arabia’s expense. He went on to score five goals in the tournament as Germany finished runners-up but there have been many occasions in his career subsequently when he must have wondered if those highs existed only in his dreams. He clearly relishes the FIFA World Cup spotlight and why shouldn’t he succeed on this day? After all, it was his 28th birthday.

Wanchope will feel cursed that his own two-goal salvo on such an auspicious 90 minutes in the Bavarian capital was driven into the shadows of early evening. They were two carefully composed strikes, expertly guided away from Jens Lehmann. Those pessimistic German followers will read an unhappy portent into the sight of their number one being forced to twice retrieve the ball from his net.

Then it was the turn of Poland and Ecuador at the FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen. It was a tough act to follow and while the second match of this tournament didn’t possess the sparkle of the first, the South Americans won’t feel like apologising for that.

Ecuador were not supposed to travel well, their superb home record at Quito’s high altitude supposedly giving an unbalanced impression of the ability of Luis Suarez's team. Nevertheless goals in each half from Carlos Tenorio and Augustin Delgado handed them a comfortable lead that was made to look decidedly less comfortable in the latter stages as Poland twice rattled their opponents' woodwork.

The Poles have experienced some significant success on the soil of their close neighbours. The 1974 tournament in Germany was a milestone moment in their footballing history as they ended it in third place and there were hopes that the current team, who won eight of their ten qualifiers and lost only to England, home and away, could give a good account of themselves. It was not the start they would have wanted but coach Pawel Janas will be reminding them that there’s a long way to go yet.

Goal of the Day
Philipp Lahm: Germany 1-0

Six minutes into the FIFA World Cup and already a thrilling moment to remember. It wasn’t quite the quickest in the history of opening fixtures but it certainly packed a punch, Lahm throwing two Costa Rican defenders off balance as he came off the left flank onto his right foot before curving his shot high into the net. The party was up and running.

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