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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fiji Military exercise to take control of Fiji capital- Wednesday night.

Fiji's military says it will take over the greater Suva area in an exercise tonight, designed to train the troops to repel any foreign intervention.

A statement signed by Major Neumi Leweni said the exercise would start at midnight and run until 3am.

Troops would secure strategic areas within the greater Suva area. As well, illumination rounds would be fired into the sea near Nukulau, Makuluva and the entrance to Suva harbour.

The statement said the public should be careful when travelling close to these areas but there was no cause for alarm. Troops will be in full battle dress.

"The exercise is in anticipation of any foreign intervention and the RFMF is taking all precautionary measures," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Fiji crisis talks in NZ end after 1.5 hours with no outcome.

Source: Fijitimes.

Attempt to avert Fiji’s fourth coup underway in New Zealand.

Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has begun crisis talks with the country's defiant military chief in New Zealand to avert a fourth coup in 20 years in the South Pacific island nation.

"There is anxiety, there is fear among the population. The future of Fiji really depends on Frank and I today," Mr Qarase told Radio New Zealand before the talks in the New Zealand capital Wellington.

Commander Frank Bainimarama has repeatedly threatened to remove Mr Qarase's elected government unless it drops several pieces of contentious legislation, including a Bill that would grant amnesty to those involved in a coup in 2000.

The New Zealand-brokered talks were announced on Tuesday, only hours before Commander Bainimarama was to return to Fiji from New Zealand amid fears that a coup would be launched within days.

Armed soldiers have been patrolling the streets of the Fijian capital Suva all week, while others guard the President's residence.

Hundreds of army reservists have been recalled for unscheduled exercises across the island nation.

Fiji has suffered three coups since 1987 and Commander Bainimarama was almost killed in a failed mutiny linked to the 2000 coup.

Mr Qarase, who flew from Fiji to New Zealand on Tuesday, said he was entering the talks with an open mind. "There could be room for manoeuvring. That is what I hope to explore," he said.

Commander Bainimarama issued Mr Qarase a list of "non-negotiable demands" and a two-week deadline before he left for New Zealand last week, at the same time threatening a "clean-up" of Mr Qarase's government.

On Tuesday, Commander Bainimarama remained defiant. "It's very simple. He (Qarase) comes with a yes or a no to our demands, full stop," he told a New Zealand Indian community radio station. "This meeting's going to be the shortest meeting he's ever attended in his life."

Fijian police are investigating whether Commander Bainimarama should face sedition charges over his threats. Many Fijians believe laying charges would be a flash point in the crisis.

Australia, New Zealand and Britain have warned their citizens to avoid travelling to Fiji, saying that security could deteriorate rapidly.

A meeting of South Pacific foreign ministers will be held in Sydney on Friday in a bid to find a diplomatic solution.

Source:ABC News.

Close of chilli market turns sour for Malaita farmers.

CHILLI farmers in the country and particularly on Malaita were forced to abandon their production after the closure of the chilli market by Soltai Fishing &
Processing Limited (SFPL) four months ago. SFPL was the largest buyer of locally produced Nepalese Chilli grown by local farmers, which was used mainly for the canned tuna product commonly known as “Chilli Taiyo”.

The closure sadly forced the Department of Agriculture and Livestock to advice farmers to focus on other spice crops, especially vanilla.

Permanent Secretary of the Department Israel Wore said the issue is a sad development for farmers but his department could not be able to control forces that determined the market. But he said the department is looking for alternative measures and markets to solve the chilli market problem.

Among other pressing issues raised in the Department’s 2007 Corporate Plan is the development of the agriculture sector’s rundown human resources.
Mr Wore said the government needed to train and upgrade the knowledge and skills of Agriculture officers in order to raise the output of the agriculture industry in the country.

He said the country has very few specialised agriculture specialists and the ministry is currently facing threats of losing the only few experts in the country.
Mr Wore explained that the agriculture industry is suitable for the country’s vast rural population and there is a great need to raise the current subsistence level to semi-commercial level.

This is very crucial to drive down improved financial benefits to the rural population which is in line with the current government rural development policy,” he said.

He added that agriculture, which was tugged as the “backbone” of Solomon Islands economy, must not crash if the 84 per cent rural population of the country is to participate in the cash economy.

Source:Solomonstar News.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Government allocates $20m for USP-Solomon Islands Campus.

GOVERNMENT is seriously working on ways to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the South Pacific (USP) to fast track the establishment of a fourth USP campus in Solomon Islands.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Barnabas Anga said the government maintains its commitment to the USP campus because it sees the importance and benefits to the country.

He said the Education Ministry has allocated SBD$20 million dollars to fund the process of establishing the campus.

“This money is pledged to show USP the Solomon Islands government’s commitment to host the fourth campus,” Mr Anga said at a meeting organized for all government Permanent Secretaries yesterday.

The USP campus issue is one of the major issues the government wants to address in its corporate plan in 2007.

Among other issues in the corporate plan, Mr Anga also said the Education Ministry is planning to improve the USP extension centres in the provinces. He said the idea is to make USP studies accessible in the provinces making it cheaper for students. This will also help to solve accommodation problems when the USP campus in Honiara comes into operation.

The provincial centres will be assisted through the Distance Flexible Learning mode which is assisted by Satellite technology through delivery of learning via the internet.

Source:Government communication unit .

Solomon Islands’ Totori keep pace in NZ soccer club championship golden boot race.

Graham Little has ended a rare goal drought to earn Team Wellington a point at YoungHeart Manawatu.

The Scottish marksman broke his duck in the eighth game of the season just a minute after Benjamin Totori had given Manawatu the lead at FMG Stadium on Sunday.
The result saw Manawatu slip five points behind leaders Waitakere United who beat visiting Waikato FC 1-0 in Henderson while the point keeps Wellington firmly in the playoff hunt.

Totori's 10th goal of the campaign in the 69th minute sees the Solomon Islander five clear of Auckland marksman Keryn Jordan in the golden boot race. But both sides were left ruing a "stack" of unconverted chances in the difficult, gusty conditions.
"We found the conditions difficult but we should have played better than we did – I guess we had an off day," Manawatu coach Shane Rufer said.
"The game could have gone either way and we attacked more strongly in the last 15 minutes. I thought Maemae had it won for us with the last free kick but it wasn’t to be.

"The boys know they could have won this and they are very disappointed."

Wellington coach Mick Waitt was also left wondering what might have been afterwards.
"We are disappointed with the result, especially the last 15 minutes. I thought we played well in the first half and used the wind well. The conditions made it hard for both teams to play expansive football," he said.

"The match was tight and could have gone either way."

Alick Maemae and Totori were Manawatu's best while goalkeeper James Bannatyne and striker Costa Barbarouses shone for Wellington.

Source: NZ Soccer.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Zealand help rebuild Solomon Islands’ education system.

NEW Zealand’s focus in the Solomon Islands is basic education, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. Speaking in New Zealand on Saturday, Mr Peters said: “NZAID’s single biggest bilateral programme is in Solomon Islands, where we have made a 10-year commitment to help the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education get basic education back on its feet. We are the lead donor, but not the only country interested in helping rebuild the Solomon’s’ education system,” Mr Peters said.

However, he said, instead of other donors picking up projects here and there, they have forged a coordinated approach that funds projects across the whole education sector - classrooms, trained teachers, a national curriculum, classroom resources, and so on.
Already we are seeing results through significant improvements in attendance at schools, a greater availability of trained teachers, and more teaching materials in classroom,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Peters said poverty is now visible in the Pacific.

Poverty leads to conflict and instability, and it can place severe pressure on the environment, as people strip the land and waters around them in their struggle to feed themselves or make a living,” he said.

Unfortunately these manifestations of poverty are visible in the Pacific - our neighborhood.
Poverty can be seen in the squatter settlements in Fiji; the lack of opportunities in small remote islands, and the grim educational and health statistics in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Lilo accuse Australian treasury report on Solomon Islands economic growth.

The latest World Economic Outlook issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rates the Solomon Islands as one of the fastest growing economies in the region. It said over the past three years, it recorded 6.4 percent growth in 2003, 8 percent in 2004, 5 percent in 2005, and a forecast 5.3 percent in 2006 and 4.3 percent in 2007.

Minister for Finance and Treasury Gordon Darcy Lilo confirmed these figures on Friday in response to media reports about an Australian Treasury Report on growth non-growth of Solomon Islands economy in the past 20 years. "I think there has been some confusion in the media about the Treasury Report, it is actually only an historical overview and doesn't cover the period over the past three years, when growth has been very high," the minister said in a statement. "

This high rate of growth can be attributed to the determination of the Solomon Islands people to overcome the setbacks of the past as well as the ongoing partnership between the Government, RAMSI, the Solomon Islands people and donors, " Mr Lilo said. He said: "This growth ultimately means an increasing number of jobs and higher tax revenues for the Government to spend on schools, clinics and rural development." The minister said a number of economic and financial reforms implemented by the Government have been critical contributors to this economic growth.

Mr Lilo said, he also stated that Solomon Islands has also implemented more reforms over the last three years then at any time since independence, including: significant reductions in Government corruption; a balanced Government Budget with no new borrowings; increased fairness in the tax system through less exemptions, particularly on logs; a new Foreign Investment Act to encourage more investment; a quicker and more transparent Work and Residency Permit process; a commitment to competition in the telecommunications sector; a National Transport Plan; improved services and cheaper flights in the aviation sector; the reopening of Gold Ridge mine and Solomon Islands Plantation Limited (SIPL); and initiatives to enable property development in rural and urban areas.

Mr Darcy said the Government also committed to undertaking further economic reforms that are essential for ensuring that high rates of growth can be maintained in the future. "Without them we risk slipping back to some times in the past when living standards declined such as during the tensions," he said. These reforms include: A bottom up Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy; support for local business development; implementation of modern and clear business laws; creation of a simpler, fairer tax system; the expansion of financial services to rural areas including through micro finance and a credit guarantee scheme; and comprehensive reform of State Owned Enterprises like electricity and water providers.

Solomon Islands’ finance minister confident that the Government through its commitment to grassroots development and economic reform can ensure a growing number of jobs and a higher standard of living for all our people into the future.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Unemployment amonst youth a challenge for all: Siapu

Small Island developing economies like Solomon Islands are experiencing the pressures from a rapidly increasing unemployed youth population.

Speaking during the joint session on Youth Unemployment Consultations which was held recently in Honiara between the Government, Private sector, Trade Unions and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Minister of Commerce, Employment and Industries, Peter Shanel, highlighted that the Grand Coalition for Change Government views the issue of unemployment amongst youth aged 14 – 29, in the country as very important as they constitute the bulk of Solomon Islands population.

Mr Shanel stressed that creating the right environment for employment opportunity is a priority policy and reform area for the present Government.

“My Department as part of the government’s reform is in the process of establishing a tripartite forum to facilitate active consultation with our social partners and stakeholders on a number of cross-cutting issues including employment and labour issues of common concern to all stakeholders”, he said.

Mr Shanel further added that: “it is agreed that increased domestic and foreign investment has a very important part to play in employment creation input from key partners on reforms and deregulation efforts that will make it easier for Solomon Islanders to start their own business…..”

Other areas of importance that the Minister alluded to that would help Solomon Islanders are the provision of training geared to developing prudent business managerial skills and attitudes amongst Solomon Islanders and training that will foster the appreciation for mutually benefiting work place safety measures and best work practices of human resource management that recognizes the dignity, interests and rights of workers and business industry.

Minister Shanel said there is a need for closer consultations between government and social partners on appropriate levels of foreign investment which includes foreign skilled workers.

He added that: “there is a need to have successive planning and means of getting strong commitment by private sector towards technical and managerial skills training in the local labour market”.

The three-day joint session on Youth Unemployment Consultations, which was held at the Iron Bottom Sound Hotel from 13-15 Nov, was coordinated by the Labour Division of the Department of Commerce, Employment and Industries, and facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Source:Government communication unit.


He won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2000 UEFA European Championship and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup with France. He won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. He is Christian Karembeu.

The former international midfielder - who won 53 caps for France - arrived in New Zealand yesterday to help launch the 2007 OFC Champions League.

Karembeu was born in New Caledonia on December 3rd, 1970, and played club football for AS Magenta before taking up a contract in the French First Division with Nantes FC. Karembeu helped Nantes FC secure a league championship before he gained a transfer to Serie A with Sampdoria.

Karembeu's successes with the French international side led to a transfer to Real Madrid and UEFA Champions League success. He then joined Bryan Robson at FA Premiership club Middlesbrough.

Karembeu continued his winning ways late into his career and won two league championships in Greece with Olympiakos. Karembeu retired in 2005 after short spells with Servette and Bastia.

Since retiring the 35 year old has played an active role in the Oceania Football Confederation as a FIFA and OFC Ambassador for the game. Earlier in 2006, Karembeu joined OFC President Reynald Temarii at the Pacific Youth Festival and met with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to discuss issues such as literacy, health and education with Director-General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers.

"These challenges are very important to the people of the South Pacific and football can be used to help the young people of the region to improve their lives. I am very happy to be involved with the Oceania Football Confederation in this cause", Karembeu said.

Karembeu will be on hand to help launch the new OFC Champions League competition in Auckland next week and will appear on Sky TV's World of Football alongside Fred de Jong and Dennis Katsanos.

Exact details of the OFC Champions League launch will be made public in the next 24 hours.

Bougainville conman fight for his life.

Noah Musingku is fighting for his life after being shot in the neck during a raid on the U-Vistract base camp in Tonu, South Bougainville.The camp was raided and set on fire on Monday by men calling themselves the Bougainville Freedom Fighters.

The whole Tonu base camp was burnt down and the U-Vistract men, five Fijians and two Papua New Guineans and their wounded leader have fled to Sininai in the mountains of Siwai. The BFF have already cordoned off Sininai and expect to capture Musingku and his men soon.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government press secretary Peter Sohia says the Fijian High Commission, in contact with U-Vistract via satellite telephone, was updating ABG’s Acting President Gerard Sinato on the latest situation.The U-Vistract group had requested the Fijian High Commission to send in a chopper to pick up bleeding Musingku at Sininai Primary school.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Lauru students' association to host forum.

LAURU students studying at various institutions in the country and abroad will be hosting an open forum next week. President of the Association based in Honiara Silas Kiko said the topic of deliberation will be ‘How could we narrow the gap between the government and people of Lauru?’

The purpose of the forum is to oversee some of the issues which may assist Lauru people narrow the gap between the people of Lauru and the government.

According to Mr. Kiko the gap between people, especially in the rural area and the government seems to expand due to lack of right of information and services that can reach the very people in the rural sector.

The guests during the forum will be the three parliament members for Choiseul,
provincial members and leaders of Lauru in Honiara. It is understood the Solomon Islands prime Minister Mr. Sogavare will be one of those who will attend the forum.

The Honiara based Lauru Students Association is hosting the forum with an expected good turnout from Lauru students studying overseas.

The forum was scheduled for Monday next week. All the Lauru students have been asked to attend the forum that will conclude with questions and answer session.

Source: Solomon Star.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TARD sport committe conclude meeting for TARD-North West Malaita 2006 Christmas games in Suva.

TARD Sports committee has had their final meeting with closure of USP academic year last Saturday 18 Nov. The meeting was chaired by TARD Sports committee Chairman Mr. Alwyn Danitofea. The major agendas highlighted during the meeting included the North West Malaita sport event budget, anticipated activities and responsibilities to be carried out.

The TARD sport organizing committee members still residing in Fiji hope that members who traveling to Honiara will brief TARD members and people of Northwest Malaita about the outcome of the final meeting.

Upon that final meeting, the TARD sport committee has approved that:

1. Registration for North West Malaita Christmas game was declared open until midnight of 16th December. The committee was optimistic that total of 38 team will be participate and draws is expect to held on Monday 18th of December.

2. Programme: will include formal opening of the sport event with a parade with presence of various Toabaita prominent leaders.

3. Responsibilities: Certain tasks are also laid upon various TARD members. They were Lenny Konamauri, Eddie Konairamo, Simon Riiagalo, Simon Mau Wanekwailiu, Peter Fairamoa and available member.

The North West Malaita 2006 Christmas games will be host by TARD at Maluu sport ground from December 20th –22nd. The whole tournament will be coordinate by Alwyn Danitofea, Joyce Konafilia, Lenny Konamauri and Simon Mau Wanekwailiu.

Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD)members hope they will capitalise on this three (3) day event to preach the aims, objectives and goals of TARD towards the people and region of North Malaita.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

All Whites U20 will out for redemption following shock loss to the Solomon Islands Mamula in 2005.

All Whites Chris James and Jeremy Brockie have been included in New Zealand’s squad for January’s Oceania U-20 Men’s World Cup qualifying tournament in Auckland.
Fulham reserve team midfielder James and Sydney FC winger Brockie shape as key members of the 22-man squad eyeing the June 30-July 22 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.
Strong rookie seasons for the All Whites have earned the duo nominations for the Nike International Men’s Young Player of the Year Award to be announced at Thursday night’s New Zealand Soccer Annual Dinner in Auckland.
Coach Stu Jacobs is to cull two players from his U-20s squad before the January 19-31 Oceania tournament.

The squad is predictably built around the side that secured New Zealand’s first series victory over the Young Socceroos in Australia in May and includes 14-players taken to October’s Agribank Cup Invitational in Vietnam in a Jacobs-coached New Zealand ‘A’ team.

New Zealand will finalise their preparation at Porirua’s Ole Soccer Academy from January 7-17 before relocating to Auckland ahead of their tournament opener against the Solomon Islands on January 19.

Jacobs side then face Samoa (Jan 23), Fiji (Jan 25), Tahiti (Jan 27), Vanuatu (Jan 29) and New Caledonia (Jan 31) in the winner takes all round-robin.
New Zealand will be out for redemption in Auckland after embarrassingly failing to advance beyond the group stages at the last Oceania U-20 Championships in 2005 following shock losses to Fiji and hosts, the Solomon Islands.

Jacobs, co-coach with Clive Campbell in 2005 – is confident there will be no repeat in January after the build-up his side has received this year.
“Some people didn’t think this was going to be a great age-group but to be fair it has turned out quite a strong group,” Jacobs said.

“The tournament in Vietnam just confirmed where we’re at from a coaching point of view. Even though there were times when we were under the cosh, we hung in there and four or five players really put their hands up.

Th fisrt game of Oceania U-20 Men’s World Cup qualifying tournament that will stage in Auckland will between the host and the Brazilians of the pacific.

Source:NZ Soccer.

Solomon Islands' medical students are urged to return and serve the country after graduate.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon Clay Forau, has urged Solomon Islands medical students studying at the University of Papua New Guinea - Medical Faculty at Taurama Campus in Port Moresby and elsewhere to return to Solomon Islands at the end of their studies to serve the country.

“The cost of training a medical student at various overseas academic institutions is quite very high and such the country needs to benefit from their services and their expertise at the end of their studies,” Minister Forau told the students.

Mr. Forau made these comments during a meeting held with the medical students when he visited the Medical Faculty on Thursday16 November 2006.

He told the students that a good number of highly qualified and experienced Solomon Islands medical doctors have since left the country to work overseas which contributed to the decline in the number of qualified doctors working in the country.

He later briefed the students on the various developments in the country and efforts of the Solomon Islands Government to improve the Health services in the country.

After the meeting with the students, the Minister, accompanied by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, HE Mr Bernard Bata’anisia, toured the Medical Faculty campus at the University.

The Vice President of the Solomon Islands Students Association studying at the Medical Faculty thanked the Hon Minister for visiting the Campus and meeting with the students.

He said that despite the busy schedule of the Hon Minister, he was able to find time to meet with the students and brief them on the developments in the country. He later commended the efforts of the Government, particularly the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, in improving the Health and Medical services in the country.

Currently, there are more than 30 Solomon Islands students studying Medicine at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

Source: Peoplefirst.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

AUSAID fund TARD-North Malaita 2006 Christmas Games.

The Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) will receive a substantial amount of money from AUSAID’s fund for North West Malaita proposed Christmas Games. The amount to be presented to TARD for that initiative is SBD$3,680 and will be received on our behalf by the four (4) members of the group who are already in Honiara late this week.
According to TARD’s Chairman, Mr. Taloiburi, the amount will pass to the organising committee and we entrust them to be fully accountable and would use to facilitate the TARD's proposed North West Malaita 2006 Christmas Games to be held at Maluu from Dec 20-22.
This means that the food and transports costs for TARD organisers, administrative costs, referees and umpires fees plus the fees for that 3-day tournament will be catered for under this funding.

Therefore, on behaviour of TARD and people of North Malaita we would like to thank Anthea Blaikie, the second Secretary Australian of High Commission in Honiara and AUSAID for impressively recognising TARD’S existence as a group and its development goals towards people in North Malaita region.

Below is Anthea Blaikie’s impressive response to TARD’s proposal submitted by two TARD members, Chairman Mr. Taloiburi and sport organising committee rep. Mr. Lenny Konamauri.

I was very impressed with the professionalism and dedication TARD represents.
I am pleased to tell you that the Australian High Commission has agreed to fund your proposal to organise the North Malaita Christmas Games for 2006. Congratulations and I look forward to hearing reports of your success. I will draft a letter to be signed by the Acting High Commissioner formally advising you of our offer of funding, attached with a cheque. Could you please advise whether I can address the cheque to TARD or to you as chairman?

We need to organise a day preferably late next week on Thursday or Friday to present the letter and cheque. Please advise when you are available.

Congratulations again and I wish you all the best in TARD's endeavours.


Fiji base Solomon Islands' student flight delayed.

Almost hundred of Solomon Islands students who completing 2006 academic year has a cancel flight on November 19, 2006 due to early mechanical problem of the newly Solomon airline leased aircraft.
According to Raj, a Solomon airline employed officer working in Nadi, the proposed November 19 flight was cancel because of mechanical problem with aircrafts wings due to high-pressure experience over its previous flights. The aircraft was still fixed in Melbourne and the flight is expect to resume on November 20.
TARD has confirmed early this morning with some of its members that the delayed has caused no inconvience, except the expected arrival time in Honiara is delayed. According to Mr. Simon Mau Wanekwailiu, all passengers including students are enjoying the delay imagining they are tourist living in luxurious hotels in Fiji’s Tourist town surviving with conventional meals offered by Solomon Airline.
North Malaita and TARD members who are among the group are, Simon Mau, James Iilu and Brian Fred Ulufia.

Source: TARD.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Malaitans are peaceful:by police

Friday 17 November 2006

POLICING is a challenging career at the best of times. It is even more challenging when police officers are confronted with situations in remote areas that call for a combination of bush skills, fitness, common sense, community relationships and good old fashioned police work.
It may sound hard, but just ask any of the police officers posted to Malaita Province and they will tell you that it is all worth it when you are policing one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Gideon Kadi says that among the problems police face in Malaita are geographic location, in some cases limited accessibility to communities and distance.
“Malaita is one of the most populated Provinces in the country with a population of more than 140,000 people. It is very large not only in population but also in size. We have roads that take us in all directions so we use vehicles to visit communities along the tracks but generally we rely on boats to visit coastal villages. In other cases our officers simply pack up and walk to inland villages.
“The greater percentages of people in Malaita are peaceful and law abiding citizens, but like every other community on earth we have a very small element that don’t want to live according to the law. So, we need to have well trained police strategically placed across the province.” the Police Commander said.
Throughout the province permanent Police Stations have been established at Auki, Malu’u, Maka, Atori and Atoifi. The Province has an authorised police strength of 91 officers, however, the are working with 71 officers in the Province. Most of the police deployed to Malaita are multi-skilled and hold qualifications in fire fighting, coxswain, investigations, general policing, training and driving.
Recently the Solomon Islands Police Force introduced a system to streamline training and skills updates to police officers serving outside Honiara. Selected members qualified at the Police Academy to provide training to the provincial centres. The Regional Trainers now deliver training packages to police within their own Province. This has given police the opportunity to maintain a high level of police skills through modern training techniques, without the expense of traveling to Honiara.
Another expansion of skills took place recently when police from Malaita joined their counterparts from across the nation to take part in a Sexual Assault Investigations course in Honiara.
“As far as training is concerned we also have the benefit of Participating Police Force members stationed with our officers in a capacity development role. In our case this is more of a knowledge sharing arrangement. While we gain a lot of experience from them, they too gather experience from us. It is a system that is working well here.” the Police Commander said.
According to the Superintendent Kadi, crime is not at alarming proportions in the Province. Most of the crime follows on from land disputes with logging companies.
“The police are dealing with a range of community crime including assaults, stealing and demanding money. Quite a lot of the crime though is low level anti-social issues. In a lot of cases we find that the suspect was under the influence of alcohol or kwaso. More recently we have seen an increase in the cultivation and use of Marijuana.
“The assaults are generally civil matters that relate to land ownership. Often we will see a civil matter escalate to a criminal complaint. That is when the police become involved. We do have strategies in place through our Community Policing Unit where we actually take part in a negotiation and conciliation process. If the matter can not be sorted out we advise the parties to take the matter to court.” he said.
The brewing and consumption of kwaso and the cultivation of marijuana is also a concern for both the police and the citizens of Malaita. Recently a police operation specifically targeting kwaso and marijuana resulted in the arrest 13 people. During the operation police seized kwaso brewing implements and almost 300 marijuana plants.
The Police Commander for Malaita was happy to talk about their crime clearance rate that sits well above average at 53%.
“We have noticed an increase in the number of crimes reported. We do not believe that actual crime occurrence rate has gone up but as public confidence in the police grows then people are actually reporting crime.
“I will take the opportunity to sincerely thank the community leaders, church leaders and most importantly the people of the community for their support and cooperation in keeping Malaita a safe and peaceful place to live.” he said.
The one thing common to policing in the Solomon Islands is the state of police housing. In Malaita the housing situation is critical.
“We know the police executive are pushing hard to improve the standard of police housing and we appreciate that it is going to be a slow process. Our problems are that we are currently operating under strength because we simply cannot provide housing to move more police to the province. The current state of housing also brings health issues, and that in turn leads to absenteeism. I know this is a long term problem with no short term answer, but, I am confident that the problem is being examined.” he said.
Community Policing
Police Constable Solomon Sisimia heads up the Community Policing Unit and has been stationed at Malaita for the past five years. Over the years Sisimia has developed an excellent relationship with the community at Auki and in the more remote areas. The dedication of this officer is evidenced by his easy going answer when asked how he gets to communities in the highlands or where they are not accessible by vehicle.
“Easy,” he says with a wry smile, “I just pack up some food and a sleeping mat and walk to see them. If it is a long distance, I stay the night and walk back.”
According to Sisimia his role as in the Community Policing Unit is to make people aware of police and educate the public on matters of concern to police and, very importantly, make regular contact with the remote communities.
“We are trying to build confidence within the community so they will come forward with information about crimes and know the police will take action of some kind.” Constable Sisimia said.
Community Police conduct regular meetings with schools, church groups and village chiefs and elders to get their message across. They take advantage of any large gathering such public celebration days and community events.
“Community policing is an important and vital link between police and the community. We give the community a link to police so they can report crime and we try to keep them aware of crime trends.
“The villagers always welcome us and sit down and talk about their problems. Quite often their concerns are not really related to crime, but more social problems. But either way we sit and listen and offer advice where necessary. They are always grateful for any assistance we offer. We do, however, make it clear that we can only act on issues that involve police intervention.” he said.
“Our patrols have increased to the more remote areas now we have boats and we recently benefited from four of the 27 cars that were presented by the PPF. The foot patrols into the highlands are far more demanding physically, but we get the job done.” Sisimia said.
Police now plan their patrols and what they hope to achieve. The patrol plan is devised by the Crime Manager and Operations Manager with input from the CID, Intelligence and Community Police. The plan is generally based on where crime has been reported or where there has been a noticeable increase in crime.
Traffic Management
Head of Traffic Branch, Sergeant Frederick Pado, was pleased with his statistics despite only having two people to investigate traffic matters. Pado estimates there are in the vicinity of 800 vehicles on Malaita. In the first part of this year he and his Constable investigated about 160 traffic offences and there have only been nine reported motor vehicle accidents. This is an indication that Pado’s strategy of educating motorists is working.
“We have strategies in place like education of drivers and we have our own traffic operation going, but I am concerned about the number of large vehicles that are operating on Malaita. Big vehicles like trucks and bull dozers are damaging the roads and making them unsafe. The other issue is that while the roads are improving the cars are going faster.”
We will soon be starting a campaign to ensure we maintain our safe driving record. We will also start our Christmas Road Safety campaign. I am sure we will get the utmost cooperation from the public during the Christmas break.” Sergeant Pado said.

Malu’u and Atori
Malu’u is the second largest police station on Malaita. With a staff of eight, the station is operating a few members short. However, they get the job done under the command of Staff Sergeant Nelson Waiwori. Police at Malu’u have support from two PPF Officers. Again it is a harmonious arrangement with SIPF and PPF sharing ideas and experiences.
They say crime in the area is low. Their main concern is people who demand money from others and like everywhere, the brewing of kwaso and assault.
Recently Malu’u police were quick to react to a report of two visitors being robbed while their yacht was anchored in Bita’ama bay on 23 October 2006. The police instigated an immediate investigation and within a very short time had arrested four suspects and recovered a substantial amount of stolen property.
Like the other police stations in Malaita Malu’u have people dedicated to community cooperation. Police visit schools and community groups to build public confidence.
“We are continually visiting and working with the community. We have noticed a drop in crime in the past month, and I believe this is connected with our proactive approach to reducing crime. We feel that it is better to take a proactive approach and stop the crime before it happens rather than investigate it after it happens.” Community Police Officer Constable Bulu said.
The village of Atori reported that they have a very small station consisting of two Solomon Islands Police Officers and two PPF Officers. Again it was a story of working together.
“This is a very friendly town with peace loving people. We work with the community and our PPF Advisors to keep the peace. Sometimes we assist in settling a dispute before it develops into a criminal matter. I think that is what it is all about. Preventing crime before it happens.” one officer said.
The police in Malaita are achieving their goals through sound initiatives that encourage the community to come forward with information that support investigations. Most importantly, their incentive that crime prevention is better than crime detection, has merit and is certainly working well within the community.
—Police Media Unit
Source:Solomon Star

TARD gets an inetrview with SIBC.

Friday 17 November 2006

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student volunteer
group was yesterday hosted for an interview at the Solomon Islands Broadcasting
Corporation (SIBC) to advance its goals and vision.

According to the TARD Chairman who is currently in Honiara, yesterday's
interview was made possible through the kind assistance of Mr Joseph Inomae and
Elizabeth Siofaá, both prominent announcers and reporters for the national

During the interview, Mr Exsley Taloiburi was allowed to give a brief
introduction of the background, vision, goals and objectives, and small
achievements of the student initiated volunteer group in their collective
effort to contribute to their rural communities in North Malaita.

Besides that the Chairman was also asked to outline some the proposed activities
and plans that TARD is planning towards in the near future. He also shared his
views about youth related issues and how we can counter the urban drift to
urban centers which is on an alarming rate in the Solomon Islands.

Source:TARD Admin

USP Laucal ends examination.

Friday 17 November 2006

Dozens of TARD members studying at the University of South Pacific’s Laucala Campus are among thousands of students from the region who are finally completing the two weeks of examinations today.

It is understood that a few of TARD members including the chairman (Exsley Taloiburi) are currently in Honiara. Whilst in Honiara they were able to meet the Staff of Australian High Commission and some officers of Solomon Islands Tobacco limited on the goals of TARD.

A majority of TARD members who are still in Fiji will be going home on the 19th and 22nd of November and will be joining the other members who are already in Honiara by next week.

Today local students living on campus are now vacating the halls of residence and several other pacific Islanders including Solomon Islands students are still waiting for their respective flights to their countries.


IRD and CUSTOMS open up christmas containers.

The Supervising Permanent Secretary of Finance and Treasury, Shadrach Fanega confirmed today that a joint operation between Inland Revenue and Customs officials was in progress at the Honiara port.

The Coral Chief docked on Wednesday, fully laden with some 420 containers of goods destined for the Christmas trade. Officials will be inspecting selected containers to ensure their contents match those on the declarations provided by the Importers. They will be checking to ensure the value of each item, the quantity and also the items found within the container have been properly declared.

“With a significant amount of Government revenue collected through Import duties and Goods tax which are collected at the Port, it is crucial that we have checks in place to ensure Importers are doing the right thing” Supervising Permanent Secretary Fanega said.

“This is the second year Customs and Inland Revenue have jointly inspected containers arriving in Honiara for Christmas. Such activity is part of our normal compliance operations.

“While we believe that most people do the right thing, under the tax and customs legislation if goods have been improperly declared, they may be confiscated and the importer may face hefty penalties,” Mr Fanega commented.

The operation is expected to conclude by Tuesday of next week.

Alfred Maesulia
Government Communications Unit

Thursday, November 16, 2006

TARD rep. meet with Australian high commision staff in Honiara.

Exsley Taloiburi
Thursday 16 November 2006

Two TARD members have successfully briefed the Public Affairs Officer at the Solomon Islands High Commission Office in Honiara yesterday afternoon, an hour after their arrival from Fiji.

Mr Exsley Taloiburi (TARD Chairman) and Lenny Konamauri (Christmas Games committee member) have met with Ms Anthea Blaikie from 3.30-4pm yesterday to brief the Australian High Commission officer about the vision and objectives of TARD.

The 30 minutes meeting was purposely used to further discuss TARD's proposal to the High Commission about the proposed North Malaita 2006 hristmas Games to be organised by TARD at Maluu from December 20-22. Also, during the meeting TARD representatives were aslo briefed about first hand information on how TARD can be able to tap the available funds at the Australian High Commission.

According to Mr Exsley Taloiburi, yesterday's meeting was a very positive one which really impressed the Australian High Commission officer.

"We have learnt some hidden ideas that we were not aware of before hand. Also, our meeting outcome was positive because they have shown committment to assist in any future TARD community projects in the areas such as education, health, sanitation, and cultural activities," added Taloiburi from Honiara.

The outcome for the funding of the North Malaita Christmas Games is expected to be made known by the end of the week or early next week.

Also last night, Mr Taloiburi has met with a Solomon Islands Tobacco staff to discuss ideas regarding to sponsoring two signboards in the North Malaita Constituency. The discussion was held with Mr Rickson, who the head of the Winfield making machines. The outcome is that Rickson will be following up on this idea with his superiors before updating TARD on what the group needs to do.

Today, the TARD students including Alice Siuna, Lynly Galie and Lenny Konamauri have met with Exsley in town to discuss some plans for the next few days. As a result, the students will be meeting with the Baelelea MP and Minister for Culture and Tourism, Hon Bentley Ragosomani, at 2.30pm this afternoon.

Some members of the North Malaita House of Chiefs such as Mr William Saeni and Mr Salekai from Walo have also been briefed about TARD. This was also done to other ordinary To'abaita people at Kaibia (Honiara) including some tertiary students such as Fred Salekai and others.

So far, within two days there has been alot of advancement about TARD goals and the support shown was very encouraging.


North Malaita students among others to open Solomon Airline's new aircraft first flight.

Thursday 16 November 2006

Several North Malaita students have been amongst the first lot of Solomon students to open the new Solomon Airlines flight from Nadi-Santo-Honiara, which departed from Nadi yesterday morning.

The North Malaita students who were part of yesterday's flight IE709 include Lenny Konamauri, Exsley Taloiburi, Solomon Akwai, Sterfaldo Fanakui, Johnmark Maefiti and Lazarus Tomae.

The students travelled by bus from Suva to Nadi at 1am (FJ time) reaching Nadi airport at 5am (FJ time). They started checking in from 7am and the flight departed Nadi at 10am. It reaches Santo, Vanuatu at 11am for a short stop-over before flying over to Honiara. From Honiara, it went again to Brisbane, Australia where it was expected to spend the night. The students arrived at the Honiara International Airport at 1.30pm (SI time).

Meanwhile, it is understood all tertiary students from other regional institutions in Papua New Guinea and the Fiji School of Medicine along with a few USP students are already roaming the streets of Honiara.


SICHE establish links with Uni of Waikato


SOLOMON Islands College of Higher Education School of Education has established partnership with the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
SICHE Education Head of School Patricia Rodi said the three years partnership was established in June this year to assist the school in providing quality teacher education.
Mrs Rodi said such partnership provided an avenue for the School of Education to receive expert advice and support directly from the university in its mission to improve teacher training at SICHE.
“This offers and maximised the availability of its courses so that it can reach the majority of potential teachers throughout rural Solomon Islands,” Mrs Rodi said.
Mrs Rodi, who initiated the idea, said this was the first time such arrangements had been made by the school.
“It is a history for this school.
“Establishing an institutional link with a regional institution was a dream or wish the school would like to fulfil sooner than later since 2004,” she added.
The partnership was made possible by New Zealand Government.
Mrs Rodi said the plan to establish a sister-relationship with a regional teacher education institution went as far back as 2004, when the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) with its donor partners, the European Union (EU) and New Zealand, launched the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP). “It was towards the end of 2004 that a review of the school was conducted and the idea of establishing an institutional link with a regional institution was recommended,” she said.
She said now that the Waikato team had signed a contract with NZAID for the partnership link, the school is looking forward to working closely with them to set some ground rules for the partnership and to begin planning on how they could work together as partners to improve the quality of teacher education programmes at SOE.
“This will enable us to provide the best training for pre-service, in-service and untrained teachers throughout the Solomon Islands,” the head of school said.
Mrs Rodi highlighted a lot of things that SICHE hopes to achieve through the partnership and this includes the exposure of students and staffs to their education strategies and developments of appropriate teaching and learning materials to improve the professional morale of the School and its staff.
“Our objective is to build a strong collaborative spirit based on development of actual personal relationships between individual staff members and systems of the two institutions,” she added.
So far the School of Education at the University of Waikato, had made three visits to the SOE-SICHE
They did a familiarisation visit from June 6 to 12 this year, followed by a second visit from July 17 to 21 and a recent visit last month.
Mrs Rodi said another team of six consultants from the University of Waikato will be visiting the school next week for three weeks to work with the School of Education staff.
She said the purpose of this month’s visit is to review the current programme structure of the teacher education programmes and to design a training package for the training of 1500 untrained teachers currently recruited in the school system that will be implemented as of 2007.

Source Solomon Star

ADB the Salvation to Honiara Road Development


GOVERNMENT is allocating $2.7 million for its rolling works programme in Honiara.
The programme is part of the National Transport Plan road maintenance project in Honiara.
Asian Development Bank, which is providing funds towards this project, said the funding would cover a three-year road maintenance programme in Honiara.
ADB representative Terry Boyce said routine maintenance in Honiara would include Kukum and Tandai Highway until 2009.
Mr Boyce said the road maintenance project would start next year.
Mr Boyce was speaking at the launched of the Procurement and Contractors Administrative Manual yesterday.
The manual was then formally introduced to local contractors representing all the sectors. About 45 contractors both private and civil, tradesmen, planners and suppliers attended the introductory workshop.
Minister Department of Infrastructure and Development Stanley Sofu yesterday said the manual outlined the tendering and contracting procedures used by the ministry as it changed its role from being a service provider to a contract management organisation.
Mr Boyce said the manual sets out the procedures and regulations to bid during a tender advertised by the Infrastructure Ministry.
“Tenders will be given out to contractors to do such as job, therefore contractors must be aware and familiarize with some of the criteria as stipulated in the manuals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Boyce stated that the road maintenance programme is estimated to cost $0.5million on Kukum Highway and $0.3million on Tandai Highway.
This is expected to be the same in 2008 and 2009.
He pointed out that maintenance of the roads is the responsibility of the government and roads must be maintained at all times for the benefit of the people.
The introductory workshop will end today.

source Solomon star

Politic and Army in Fiji

Thursday, November 16, 2006

THE army will not be bullied by threats of regional intervention to resolve its prolonged impasse with the Government, it said yesterday.

Military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni made the comment in response to Foreign Affairs Minister Kaliopate Tavola, who said regional intervention was permitted in certain circumstances under the Biketawa Declaration.

"The Biketawa Agreement is now being exploited by countries like Australia and New Zealand to facilitate their foreign policy and front for neo-colonialism," said Major Leweni.

"This policy is now unveiling right here on our doorstep and we should take heed.

"We should learn from the MSG countries that have experienced foreign intervention and whether it has helped them."

He said the Biketawa Declaration referred to a failing State or when all institutions had disintegrated, like what happened in the Solomon Islands. "Fiji has a strong military that has proven itself in many theatres of war. It will not stand by and see any foreign force interfere with its affairs.

"It is indeed surprising to see that Mr Tavola has even considered this option," Major Leweni said.

Mr Tavola had earlier said Fiji had not decided on any move to call for foreign intervention because the Government wanted to solve the matter internally.

Source :Fiji Times

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A youth organization in North Malaita (UDRF) will represent Solomon Islands in the Pan Commonwealth Institutional Building Programme on Small Business

Uttermost Rural Development Foundation (URDF), a rural base youth organisation in North Malaita will represent the country in the Pan Commonwealth Institutional Building Programme on Small Business Competitiveness Development to be held in India, Delhi, next week.
The meeting will start from November 19 to 24.
Director of URDF Redley Ramo will be representing the rural youth organisation.
He told Solomon Star that the programme was co-hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of India through the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in India.
URDF was given the honour to represent Solomon Islands for its role in promoting and the engagement of youths in establishing a rural base organisation in North Malaita.
Some of the objectives of the organisation are; to facilitate, coordinate and organise youth programs in the rural areas; to be a voice and bridge to link government, donors, development partners etc to youths in rural areas and to ensure youths are develop to be technically and practically knowledgeable to become productively oriented.
URDF will be launching its program proper by early 2007, after a three year successful pilot project.
“We see this workshop in India as an opportunity to look and learn from people and groups with real work experiences, successful work programs and self-help initiative programs.
“Furthermore, this will be opportunity to meet with financial resource people under the Commonwealth network and other resourceful organisation to boost small medium development programmes in developing countries like Solomon Islands,” he said.
URDF believes that the future of SI lies in SME’s, however the rural sector must be recognised, supported and be given the will to actively participate in SME’s development program.
Moreover, Mr Ramo said the government and development partners must put in the needed resources and infrastructure to allow for such growth in the rural areas.
“URDF believes that such workshop will be a great learning experience. As seen in the past most information’s gathered from such worthwhile programs and workshop were however not being filtered to the right people and organisation.
“For instance, most technical agreements signed by our government, NGO’s and other development institution were being shelved and not been utilised.
“URDF would like to ensure that such worthwhile information’s must be trickle down to the rural areas where it can be develop into appropriate programs that would create an environment for rural people to engage and participate squarely in small and medium development activities,” Mr Ramo said.
Mr Ramo would like to applaud the wisdom of Commonwealth Secretariat and the Forum Secretariat for nominating a rural base organization in S.I to be represented in this up coming workshop.
“Basically, this fits in well with the government so called bottom up policy.
“URDF believes for the rural development policy to be realise, SIG must ensure that rural people be well trained to develop technical skills and know-how to effectively carry out its programs in their respect communities.
“Such inputs must be definably tailored according to the context of each respective community to appropriately suit their need,” Mr Ramo who leaves tomorrow for the meeting said.
The workshop will last for a week. However, Mr Ramo said, in the meantime he is looking forward for this worthwhile program and surely return home with a wealth of knowledge to contribute towards strengthening his rural base organisation.

Therefore, on behave of Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) we would like to congradulate UDRF for this great achievement.

Source:Solomon star.

RAMSI respects Solomon Islands law

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) respects and upholds the laws and customs of Solomon Islands because the mission respects the people it came here to help.
RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George today said there was no foundation to allegations that prostitution is occurring at RAMSI’s base, GBR.
“I can see no evidence to back up these allegations,” Mr George said.
“Let me reassure Solomon Islanders that RAMSI takes misconduct very seriously. We do not tolerate it amongst our personnel.”
“RAMSI personnel are expected to obey the law while serving in Solomon Islands and to maintain the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour.”
The Commander of the Participating Police Force (PPF) Will Jamieson said there was no evidence of prostitution at the base.
“I am surprised that anyone would make such serious accusations without putting forward any evidence whatsoever,” Commander Jamieson said.
“If there is any information to suggest that members of the PPF, the RAMSI military or other people at GBR are involved in any criminal activity, this should be reported to the Solomon Islands Police Force.”
Commander of the Combined Taskforce (RAMSI Military) Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Quirk said he expected every military member to maintain the highest standards of behaviour during their time in the Solomon Islands.
“Any breach will be dealt with swiftly,” Lieutenant Colonel Quirk said.
The Special Coordinator noted that all RAMSI personnel were expected to behave in accordance with the relevant laws of Solomon Islands and were also subject to the laws of their home country jurisdictions. Any proven misbehavior by any member of RAMSI would result in that person being sent home.


Provincial Government expects more as Prime Minister warned of big change in 2007 National Budget.

Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare had warned of big changes in the preparation of the 2007 Budget.

The Government Communications Unit quote the Prime Minister as saying the budget will be structured in-line with Government's bottom up approach.

He says provinces will get a bigger allocation than has been the practice in the past.

No date has yet been set for the Budget session in Parliament.

But while Government has yet to announce how much it expects the total budget will cost, a number of critics have already predicted a severe blow in the development budget if the current stand off with Australia is not resolved quickly.

The Opposition leader, Fred Fono is warning of severe shortfalls in the budget without the full participation of close development partners.

The Opposition leader is calling on the Government to speed up conciliatory talks with Australia to resolve the current stand-off

Mr Fono says it must be sorted out before the Government finds itself in a dire dilemma of embarrassment over its 2007.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Solomon Islands U20 Squad named.

Following two weeks of trial matches, the Solomon Mamula coach, Patrick Miniti has finally named a 30-strong squad yesterday afternoon.He admitted it was hard to select the best as all the players performed extremely well in the trials.However, with only a month to prepare the team, he decided to cut the squad down to about 30 with the final cut to be made on November 20.Those named are reminded that they will need to work hard to make the final team.Coach Miniti has taken the no-nonsense approach saying he will monitor each of the player’s discipline, attitude to training and also behaviour when making the final cut.Only 20 players will make the final team that will represent the country at the Oceania Football Confederation Under 20 qualifying competition.The 30-strong squad is:Goalkeepers:Shedrack Ramoni, Leon Lekezoto, Philip SamaniDefenders:Hardis Aengari, Mike Tahi, Arnold Keni, Joachim Waroi, Luke Ha’atarea, Sammy Fagasi, Welschman Houkarawa, Coleman Wasi, Gibson Daudau, Jack Au, Francis Saemala, Remax KwariaMidfielders:Lenson Bisili, Maeli Lui, Molis Gagame, Haikau Leslie, Gibson Hosea, Moffat Deramo, Eddie (Uncles FC), Rampton LoheStrikers:Judd Molea, Bentley Nalagu, John Manehona, Aloysio Orosau, Joachim Rande, Robinson Kou, Joses Nawo

Sogavare disappointed with Australia's response to the Moti release offer

By George Herming

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is disappointed with the Australian government’s refusal to accept conditions attached to an offer to release Julian Moti to clear allegations against him in Australia.

Mr Sogavare said the Solomon Islands government cannot continue to tolerate Australia’s ignorant and bullying attitude. He said Moti is appointed by the Solomon Islands government and he is a public officer in Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said the government is responsible for protecting its officers and the conditions set over Mr Moti justify that protection. “I can’t put my officer into the hands of a lion,” the Prime Minister said.

He said some ignorant Australians have influenced certain Solomon Islanders including the local media to join them in a ruthless campaign to oust him from office in the last two months.

The majority of Solomon Islanders are supporting the current government and the Prime Minister wants Australia to stop using RAMSI as an agent to destabilize the government’s course.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patterson Oti said Canberra miserably failed to reciprocate Honiara’s efforts to resolve the current political tension. "We have been more positive in our approach in wanting to mend the relations. We have not had anything coming from Canberra to suggest how we can make any movement forward,” he said.

Mr Sogavare asked Solomon Islanders to watch out for Australian agents in the country; to watch out for dirty manipulative words to oust the current government.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Monday, November 13, 2006

Moti escape from PNG cops high level suspensions in PNG

By Clifford Faiparik

Papua New Guinea's Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe, acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga and PNGDF commander Commodore Peter Ilau have been suspended for an indefinite period. It is understood their suspension was related to the Julian Moti affair.

The National Executive Council moved to suspend them last Thursday evening but there had been no official word from the Prime Minister or the NEC. The removal of the three officers is seen as a gesture by the Government to appease strained relationship with Australia, which had placed a ban on visits to Australia by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, MPs and senior public servants and threatened to cut aid over the Moti affair.

The removal of Moti to Solomon Islands using a PNG Defence Force aircraft in a clandestine manner is seen as a corrupt act, prompting the tough Australian action.
The Government has not made public findings of an investigation into this matter. A separate investigation by the PNGDF had been completed but likewise, the finding had not been made public. Commander Ilau has however, reinstated three officers implicated in the Moti flight affair. But the failure by the Government to make a formal announcement has caused confusion and anxiety.

Bertha Somare of the Prime Minister’s Media Unit refused to comment on the matter.
Acting Police Commissioner Kulunga and PNGDF Chief of Staff Alois Ur Tom say they were not aware of the changes when contacted by The National. They said they have not seen any signed or gazetted NEC decisions. It is understood that no replacement had been appointed yet for Mr Kalinoe.

Islands region police commander Assistant Commissioner Alfred Sheekiot flew into Port Moresby from Rabaul last Friday afternoon to take up his new role as acting Commissioner for Police. He told The National he had received reports that he was now the acting commissioner.

Source: PNG National

Benjamin Totori on fire in New Zealand Football Championship

Prominent Solomon Islands National Soccer player and Malaita lad, Mr Benjamin Totori, is the talk of the New Zealand Soccer fans and coaches as he is on target with his skills scoring a double to help YoungHeart Manawatu beat Waikato 6-1 in Hamilton yesterday.

Bouncing back from their 1-0 loss to Waitakere last weekend, Manawatu romped to the win to stay within three points of the west Aucklanders. Waitakere is leading the table with three points ahead of Manawatu and it also has other influential Solomon players in the likes of Commins Menapi and George Suri.

Reports from New Zealand revealed that the Solomon duo, Alick Maemae and Benjamin Totori, who played that game as twin strikers tortured Waikato throughout the 90 minutes, creating constant chances and they were lethal in front of goal.

The scoring started in the 20th minute when Benjamin Totori scored the first of his double as the game started to open up. Waikato responded swiftly with Brad Scott equalising just two minutes later, but it was shortlived as Manawatu began to take control of the match.

In the 24th Trent Watson headed home a corner from Alick Maemae to put Manawatu back in front, a lead they never looked like giving up. Hayden Laird scored nine minutes before the break as Waikato is guilty of ball watching as Totori weaves his way through the defence before laying the ball off to Laird who strikes home unopposed from just inside the box.

In the 57th minute, Maemae's effort from 18 yards is only parried by Dan Robinson into the path of Ian Robinson who stabs home from an acute angle to make it 4-1. In the 60th minute, Robinson turns provider crossing to Totori in space who volleys home his second from 14 yards giving Waikato keeper Dan Robinson no chance.

The game was sealed beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Ian Sanbrook adds to the home sides misery after good interplay between Totori and Robinson carves up the Waikato defence and Sandbrook with only the keeper to beat rifles home from 12 yards to make the final scores at 6-1.

Waikato is also known to have the services of another two Solomon Islanders, particularly Godwin Bebeu and Stanley Waita.

Manawatu will now look to Oceania's executive meeting on Wednesday to see whether or not a second New Zealand side will compete in the Oceania Champions League in 2007. If so, Manawatu have a chance to ousting Waitakere from top spot if they can defeat Canterbury United next weekend and hope Waitakere go down to Otago United in Dunedin.

Brilliant Brazil claim FIFA Beach Soccer world title

There was no way Brazil were going to let this one slip. After unexpectedly crashing out of last year's competition at the semi-final stage, the hosts laid their ghosts to rest by crowning a flawless 2006 campaign with a 4-1 win over Uruguay this morning to claim the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

The day turned out to be one big Brazilian party from start to finish. Singer Daniela Mercury got the fans in the mood before the big kick-off, and even the prospect of facing old rivals Uruguay, the team that so dramatically denied the Auriverdes at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, failed to dampen the sense of expectation among the fans.

Evidently intent on spoiling another Brazilian party, however, the Charruas made life difficult for the favourites in the early stages. Just as they had done in the previous knockout rounds, Venancio Ramos' tactically disciplined charges closed ranks defensively to deny Brazil's much vaunted attack.

Contrary to expectations, Uruguay silenced the Copacabana after the restart when Ricar held the ball up expertly in front of goal before turning and hitting a low right-footed strike into the back of the net. Perhaps sensing an opportunity to repeat that historic win of 56 years ago, the underdogs grew in confidence. They reckoned without the quality of the talismanic Benjamin, however. Less consistent than on other occasions, the number 10 still managed to prise open the Uruguayan rearguard with a well-taken free kick and restore his side's advantage.

The final move of the second period proved to be decisive. Faced with a golden opportunity to level the scores with a close-range free kick, Pampero somehow managed to skew his effort wide of Mao's goal.

It was a day when everyone went home happy, particularly the deserving champions. "This win is for a lot of people - the fans, our coach and all the players, who gave it their all out there," commented the jubilant skipper Junior Negao afterwards. "Above all, though, it's for the whole country of Brazil."

It is understood that Uruguay which is the 2006 runner-up of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was in the same pool with Solomon Bilikiki, and managed to beat the Solomon boys by 10-5. However, their last game loss to Cameroon has made them scraped through to the quarterfinals ahead of Solomon Bilikiki just by goal difference.

Source: FIFA

SI Minister speaks about regional development

The Solomon Islands Minister of Finance and new Vanuatu Chief, Gordon Darcy Lilo, has said that increasing cooperation is crucial to regional economic development.

Mr Lilo said this at Saturday’s ceremony marking the inaugural first Solomon Airlines flight from Brisbane to Honiara and Santos, Vanuatu. He says the service increases seats to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu by 50 percent.

Mr Lilo says the new service means that more tourists will come to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. He says extra flights also means more opportunities for local businesses to trade with neighbours and more opportunities for Solomon Islanders to travel for education and holidays.

The Minister says that the establishment of this new service was made possible by the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

In recognition of the new service the people of Samna Province enthroned the Minister of Finance as Chief Moletuetueni. This is a great honour in Vanuatu society where chiefs rank above Government in societal standing.

In thanking the people of Santos for the honour Minister Lilo highlighted the importance of the links between Melanesian nations and the contribution of the inaugural flight.

"We have made ourselves a commitment to develop the economies of the Melanesian region through the various investment potentials that we have. And today, what we have done signifies the vision that our leaders in Melanesia have been talking about for a number of years."

Source: SIBC

Guadalcanal Premier urges young people to be good citizens

Guadalcanal Premier Abel Arabola has urged young people of the province to be good citizens. He says the young people many have grievances but they should not take the law into their own hands.

Mr Arabola says the youths of the province should let their community and elected leaders deal with important issues concerning the welfare of the people of the province.

He assures the young people of the province that his government is doing its best to follow-up on outstanding issues of the province.

"We the Guadalcanal leaders still have various issues to follow up. They include the Guadalcanal Province bonafide demands, the Balasuna Leaders Summit Resolution and also the state government issues. These and other issues are the things that you should let us deal with."

Premier Arabola made the assurance when speaking last week at a youth rally in the Gold Ridge area of Central Guadalcanal.

Meanwhile, it is understood the three days youth rally was successfully concluded over the weekend.

Organised by the Gold Ridge Mining Company, the program aimed at bringing youths to a common platform to see how best the company can assist youths around Central Guadalcanal improve their relationship and work towards law abiding citizens. Theme of this year's event was "Youths are our future leaders." The three days program include sports, cultural activities, health talks and religious activities.

Source: SIBC

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Taiwan pledges to continue financial support to Solomon Islands

By Alfred Maesulia

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to Solomon Islands, HE George Chan has pledged to continue his country’s support to Solomon Islands under the current bilateral programmes.

“My government will continue to give $1 million dollars each to all members of the National Parliament under the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF),” His Excellency George Chan told the gathering during a welcome function hosted by Prime Minister Sogavare on Wednesday night.

He also pledged his support for the continuation of the Micro Fund, the twice a year visit of Taiwan medical personnel to the Honiara National Referral Hospital and financial support for Solomon Islands students to study overseas.

Mr. Chan said that next year his government would sponsor about 500 students to study at various institutions overseas including Taiwan. This would be the largest support in terms of sponsorship for student in the education sector from a single donor.

“Our relationship is very strong indeed. When you suffer, we suffer. When you are happy, we are also happy,” the eloquent speaker George Chan said.

Mr. Chan recalled the time when Solomon Islands during the ethic tension.

“When you were alone and no friends to stand by your side during those dark days, Taiwan was there to assist you. In like manner, when Taiwan was intimidated by mainland China, you [Solomon Islands] were there to support us,” Chan said.

Chan, who will be 64 in four years time, said he would make use of his last years in his diplomatic service in Solomon Islands before he retires.

He arrived in the country on September 14 this year to replace Antonio Chen.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Friday, November 10, 2006

North Malaita agricultural farmers benefit from workshop in Silolo

Farmers in North Malaita will benefit from a week-long workshop held at Silolo Farmers Information Center and in Kwailabesi in Ward 12.

The workshop coordinated by the ADRA Solomon Islands in collaboration with Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) and supported by AusAID programmes started on Monday this week.

Participants a total of 25 from Tombaita include farmers and youths within North Malaita constituency.

The workshop was conducted by three facilitators, one from ADRA Solomon Islands, Mr. Richard Lee and two from KGA – Field Coordinator, Mr. Iro Ramoi (Silolo) and Mr. Paul Kabole (Busurata Village).

Participants at the workshop covered areas on food security and pest management for the community, and youths and farmers were encouraged to get involved in growing food and agriculture.

The workshop encouraged participants to promote this kind of development on their land, and improve village food security through sustainable agriculture.

Participants looked at maintaining diversity of food crop planting materials and to look after their different varieties of plants and crops. Ideas were shared and exchanged through farmers training in this programme which was well proceeded.

The workshop was also to help farmers avoid the use of synthetic pesticides which destroy the balance of nature and which are so expensive that farmers often cannot afford to buy them. Natural way of doing farming such as organic farming to produce crops and creates a mineral and nutrient rich layer on top of the soil was encouraged.

One of the youths who attended the workshop revealed that he was very happy to learn few new methods and techniques on how to manage his own farm and decompose, which upon arriving home will apply what he has learnt from the one week workshop.

He said another important matter learnt was identifying the most effective control methods for use against particular insects, and being trained in production of botanical sprays and instructions.

Other key areas learnt was the use of other pest management methods identified during the workshop practical.

Solomon Islands currently suffer an economic imbalance due to food imports while health problems are increasing because of changing diets. Dietary change is associated with an increase in the incidence of non-communicable such as obesity, diabetes and infant undernourishment.

Facilitators stressed that young people should be encouraged in farming, stressing this type of farming using local materials, local breeds of animals and local feed production is the right type of farming for the country’s situation.

The workshop closed with light refreshment, witnessed by Silolo community.

Source: PF Net

Malaita and Isabel provincial governments embark on debt stock-taking

The Premiers of Malaita and Isabel provinces are currently embarking on a stock take of all debts owed to individuals and businesses by their respective Provincial Governments.

And they warned that only people who believe they have legitimate claims under the following circumstances will be considered for inclusion in the stock take which will begin on November 13 and end on November 17.

1. Unpaid loan or cash advance;
2. Unpaid invoices for goods or services provided to the Provincial Governments; and
3. Unpaid refunds.

“If any individuals or businesses believe they have a legitimate debt with the two Provincial Government, they are asked to kindly present documentary evidence to the Provincial Secretaries in Auki and Buala on any day, during business hours of the week beginning Monday 13 November and ending Friday 17 November 2006,” a statement from the Debt Management Unit of the Department of Finance said.

“Documentary evidence includes copies of Payment Vouchers, Contracts, Loan Agreements, written requests by provincial government official requesting work to be done, receipts and invoices.”

The premiers wish to emphasise that only legitimate claims that can be verified and supported by documentary evidence will be considered for inclusion in the stock take. The undertaking of this stock take is representative of initial steps being undertaken by both Provincial Governments to assess and establish the true financial position of the Governments, and as such, will eventually lead to more effective financial management and decision making.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Bilikiki boys expected back in the Solomons next week

The Solomon Bilikiki Beach Soccer team is expected back early next week following their participation in the beach soccer competition in Brazil.

The team had recorded one win and two loses in their first World Cup appearance and it is anticipated members of the team will assist SIFF to take the code to the provinces.

Already the SIFF office has received expressions of interest from some communities and will try and address it.

SIFF President Martin Alufurai confirmed he was approached by a Lord Howe chief who expressed his intention to bring beach soccer code to his island.

A delighted Alufurai says if there is time to introduce beach soccer to the provinces it is now.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands will defend its Oceania title in Tahiti in 2007 with the winner to represent the region in the finals.

Source: SIFF

Teenager presents key-note address on world children's day in Solomon Islands

A 13 year old boy who presented a keynote address on behalf of children in the International Children's Day marked in Solomon Islands has asked parents, elders in the community and the government to protect children from abuse.

Florence Young student Joel Fangalasu says children are the future of Solomon Islands and need positive examples all the time.

He says parents should not abuse them or engage in bad examples.

"By showing bad examples such as parents drinking because children can follow them and end up dead... chiefs and elders should always set good examples and uphold healthy social behaviour - these are ways of protecting children."

Young Fangalasu says the government can also support by developing policies that encourage children to live in positive environments.

He told SIBC news in an interview that the government can do this by ensuring the people adhere to the convention on the rights of the child, provide a good education system and tools students need in schools.

Source: SIBC

Thursday, November 09, 2006

SI PM wants to work with diplomatic partners who are sensitive

By Deli Oso

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called for sensitivity from Solomon Islands diplomatic partners in the conduct of their relationships with the country.

He said sensitivity was the unique characteristic of international relations as there would always be differences that could not be and must not be compromised by the mere fact of having diplomatic relations.

Prime Minister Sogavare warned that if differences were compromised then Solomon Islands and its diplomatic partners were treading on a slippery path to relate to each other.

“Relationship is a very delicate issue as we all come to learn recently and this is true at all levels and types. It must be sensitive to a host of factors including our cultural differences, geographical locations, ethnicity, political and religious affiliations, our rights to independence and respect and the list goes on. When we become insensitive to these fundamentals of relationship we are bound to face difficulties,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a function he hosted Wednesday night to welcome Republic of China’s (Taiwan) new Ambassador to Solomon Islands, HE George Chan.

He referred to Solomon Islands and ROC’s relationship as one that was premised on a genuine understanding of the fundamentals of relationship.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries meetings to convene in Vanuatu next week

From the PI Forum Secretariat

Trade and Fisheries Ministers and Officials from the Pacific Countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) group will hold a series of meetings in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila, starting next week from Monday 13 to Friday 17 November 2006.

The Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Officials Meeting will be held on 13 November followed by the Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers the next day, 14 November. Pacific ACP Trade Officials Meeting will be held on 15 November to be followed by the PACP Trade Ministers meeting 16-17 November.

These series of meetings are important as the Pacific Region comes to a critical stage in the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union, Greg Urwin, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat says.

The Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers Meeting will consider recommendations on:
- the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Pacific Fisheries;
- a Multilateral Fisheries Partnership Agreement;
- Fishing Effort to be offered to the European Union;
- a Draft Fisheries legal text and
- a Way Forward to progress the EPA Fisheries Issues.

The Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting will discuss key issues including:
- Update on EPA negotiations since June 2006;
- EPA-related Studies and Process;
- Overall EPA Road Map
- Trade-Related Initiatives, and
- An Update on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Issues.

Each of the meetings will produce Outcomes Papers which will include recommendations on how to move the issues forward.

Isabel KVU Panpipers perform in Fijian village

The Isabel KVU Panpipe and Dance group have performed at the Colo-i-Suva Village, just outside Suva, during the opening of the Annual Conference of the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI) yesterday.

The dance group was transiting in Fiji to sort out their visa before travelling to Hawaii to participate in the Pacific Panpipes festival at the East-West Center in Manoa during the weekend.

It is understood that yesterday's performance at the opening of the FSPI's annual general meeting in Suva was initiated by Solomon Islanders who are heading the regional non-government organization, particularly John Palmer who is also from Isabel and Rex Horoi.

The FSPI's annual conference is currently hosted in Colo-i-Suva and the KVU performance yesterday during dinner has livened the Fijian village, resulting in the presentation of personal gifts to the panpipers and floor dances.

A North Malaita leader and Director of the Solomon Islands National Museum, Mr Lawrence Foana'ota, is also accompanying the dancers to Hawaii.

The KVU Panpipe and Dance group consists of 18 performers from Santa Isabel island in the Solomon Islands. The performers hail from three villages - Koviloko, Vavarenitu, and U`uri - all on the island of Santa Isabel, thus the name KVU. The KVU Panpipe and Dance group is one of the finest in the country, and has toured internationally.

However, this will be the first time for a group from the Solomon Islands to perform in Hawaii. This Hawai`i tour is made possible by support from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.

SI Government speaks highly of out-going head of RAMSI

The Government has spoken very highly of the services of outgoing Special Coordinator James Batley in RAMSI.

Foreign Minister Patteson Oti says Mr Batley was a fine diplomat, and has brought an invaluable experience into RAMSI. He told Mr Batley that the chances of meeting and working together again have never been better.

"James Batley took charge of RAMSI and is now leaving at an important stage of further development. The first RAMSI phase under his predecessor was to bring back law and order. It was the second phase attested to James which involved the actual investment in the re-working of the machinery of government. We are now at the next stage in the progressive development of the Regional Intervention Mission signified by the appointment of Mr. Timothy George."

The Foreign Affairs Minister says he is confident that the new RAMSI Special Coordinator will continue the special relationship with Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile, the New RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George says he is very keen to engage with the government during his term in Solomon Islands.

Speaking to local journalists in Honiara yesterday afternoon, the new RAMSI Special Coordinator says he is pleased with the support he's getting from the different sections of society he's met since arriving in Honiara to take up the post.

He says Australia has a strong and ongoing commitment in RAMSI, and will continue to play a leading role, as long as the Solomon Islands government is happy with that. Mr George says he's been impressed with the caliber of people from participating countries in RAMSI.

He says there's a good way forward of looking at RAMSI. Mr George officially takes over as RAMSI Special Coordinator today.

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ethical leadership a priority need for Solomon Islands: SICA

Director of the Solomon Islands Christian Association Commission, SICA, Judith Fangalasu says the recent national leadership forum has identified leadership characters as the key area needing attention in Solomon Islands.

Mrs Fangalasu says forum participants spoke about complexities of the issue.

But she says the common concerns raised include disregard for ethical principles, loss of personal integrity, poor stewardship and inconsistent public performance by leaders.

Mr Fangalasu says the forum noted that Solomon Islands leaders are gifted teachers, relational experts and team players and many of them possess particular discipline knowledge. However these areas are compromised by weak character, inappropriate leadership style and poor leadership visions.

Meanwhile, she says one one the recommendations was to offer appropriate training in ethics to leaders, emerging leaders and student leaders.

Mrs Fangalasu says SICA is facilitating the post forum strategy to ensure the process and recommendations are implemented.

Source: SIBC

SICHE signs deal to conduct biodiesel trial

By Joy A. Rikimae

The Solomon Islands College of Higher Education has signed an agreement through its School of Marine and Industrial Development with the Department of Mines and Energy to carry out trials on biodiesel fuel.

The biodiesel trial, which will be blended on pure coconut oil and diesel, is aimed at finding out if the blend could work on a bigger amount of coconut oil.

Kenneth Bulehite, Project officer of the Energy Department said, the energy department is responsible for fuel products in the country. Therefore, because of the expectation that the fuel price cannot go down, they are looking for possibilities to make use of the local resources. He said his department had been working on this trial project since last year, however, the capacity to operate the project was what delayed the trial. However, he said with the agreement with SICHE “we will run the trial”.

Mr Bulehite said it is good to work with the college because they have the capacity to train the country’s human resources. “This is because the important factor in running such exercises is to pass on the knowledge to others if findings show that the exercise is successful. At the same time the college too is the country’s only higher institution which deals with mechanical training,” the project officer said.

He said the School of Marine was selected because if the aim of a “coconut and diesel blend fuel" is met, it would be cheaper for our ships to operate on it.

Head of the School of Marine Lesley Lazarus said if the trial found that the blended fuel could work on a bigger amount of coconut oil then it would be an advantage for our local ships. He said for the college this is a new thing although Solomon Tropical Product has been doing it for quite sometime now. Solomon Tropical Product is working on coconut and kerosene blend. But kerosene has the risk of corrosion.

He said they are still unsure of what risks this trial will encounter, but he believed there are ways of reducing such risks and that will depend on the exercises that the trial will go through. The exercise will start with a sample blend mix this week, but the actual trial will begin in a couple of weeks. The project is funded under the government’s development budget.

Source: Solomon Star

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

North Malaita businessman clears name over attempted murder suspect

A prominent North Malaita businessman, Jehiel Kwaimani Ausuta who comes from Loina Village, says he has no link with attempted murder suspect Philip Kwaimani despite sharing the same surname.

Mr Kwaimani made the assurance after he received overwhelming phone calls both locally and overseas from people enquiring about Philip and whether he is related to him.

Kwaimani who is a partner with international building company Fletcher in the country (Fletcher Kwaimani) said he (Philip) is not a member of his family or tribe.

Philip is a suspect in the shooting of a RAMSI vehicle at Lungga Bridge in 2004.

“I don’t know this man. And I don’t know why is he using our family name,” the businessman said. Mr Kwaimani said he was also concerned because the use of his family and business name may have an effect on his business. Fletcher Kwaimani is one of the biggest construction companies in the Solomon Islands.

Source: Solomon Star

SICHE to establish Media and Journalism School as early as 2007

By George Herming

Preparations for the establishment of a Media and Journalism School at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) next year are well underway in Honiara.

A special Training of Trainers course was completed on Saturday for media workers and journalist who will teach the course. The trainers undertook a three weeks training on teaching methods at SICHE.

Those who will be teaching the course were selected from the country’s mainstream media organisations and other organisation that relates to the media industry. The three-week training was conducted to prepare trainers to teach the course.

Many trainers expressed confidence in teaching the course when their training was concluded on Saturday.

The media school is jointly funded by AusAID and UNESCO in collaboration with SICHE and the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI). The media school is expected to start at the middle of next year.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Solomon Bilikiki Beach Soccer World Cup dream ends due to goal difference with Uruguay

The Solomon Islands Bilikiki Boys bowed out of FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio De Janeiro 2006 with their heads held high despite losing 14-2 to pre-tournament favourites Portugal. Bilikiki coach Eddie Omokirio could only watch on as his inexperienced side struggled to cope with the highly professional and experienced Portuguese side.

Although they knew they were much better than the Solomon Islands, the Portuguese showed their opponents all due respect in claiming an easy 14-2 win in their last group stage game at Rio de Janeiro 2006. The world and European runners-up will now face Bahrain in a quarter-final clash from which they will expect to progress.

Portugal raced out to an 8-0 lead after 18 minutes as the Solomon Islands fought to gain any sort of foothold on proceedings. Richard Anisua gave the Solomon Islands something to celebrate on 20 minutes and Joe Luwi added a second for the Bilikiki moments later. Portugal were not in a generous mood, however, and scored a further six goals.

The Solomon Islands Bilikiki Boys gave their more illustrious opponents a tough physical encounter but could offer nothing going forward as Portugal flexed their experience and technique to its full capacity.

Eddie Omokirio was philosophical in defeat but said a lack of experience at this level of the game proved decisive.

"It would have been a dream to get to the quarterfinals, but it was not possible. My players are too inexperienced and it will take some time until they are prepared to face such good teams as the ones we have faced here. We did our best and, hopefully, we will play more international competitions from now on. We have not played any international friendly matches before this tournament."

Portugal's emphatic win means they win the group and will face Bahrain in the quarter-finals. In Group C's other fixture Uruguay stumbled to a 3-3 draw with Cameroon before losing on sudden death penalties. The result means that Solomon Islands finish level on points with Uruguay but are eliminated on goal difference.

But the Bilikiki Boys will retain as many good memories as they have left with the Brazilian spectators. Solomon Islands striker, Richard Anisua, said "Portugal definitely is the strongest team in the tournament. Their players are very talented. They will probably be champions. For us, playing such a high-level competition was a good experience. We have learned a lot about beach soccer."

Source: OFC

Monday, November 06, 2006

Solomon Islander on a 4 week stunt with the Darwin Museum in Australia

A young Solomon Islander and fresh water biologist at the University of the South Pacific's Regional Hebarium, Mr David Boseto who hails from Choiseul Province, is currently in Australia for a 4 weeks attachment with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin.
Mr Boseto at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin

Mr David Boseto was a postgraduate student researcher with the Institute of Applied Science since 2002. He has graduated with a Masters in Marine Science from the University of the South Pacific in April this year, specializing in fresh water fish. Now he is working as a fresh water biologist at the university.

According to Mr Boseto, his first trip to the Darwin Museum was in April last year when he and Mr Aaron Jenkins of Wetlands International spent a week at the Museum. That one week stunt was initiated by the fish curator of the museum, Dr Helen Larson, to offer special training on fish taxonomy and how to describe new fish taxa. It was during that short visit that Dr Larson told him that the museum will allocate some funds to bring him back to Darwin for a four weeks training. Dr Larson is now understood to have some time from her busy schedule in November, that is why Mr Boseto is sponsored to undergo that 4 weeks training in Darwin.

"I count this training as an honour for my contribution to the fish society of the Western Indo-Pacific. I started as a junior estuarine and freshwater fish biologist in 2002. During the course of my studies doing fish surveys in Fiji since 2002 till 2006 working under the supervision of Mr. Aaron Jenkins of Wetlands International, we have discovered seven new freshwater fish in Fiji. Furthermore, last year I was part of a freshwater fauna survey team in the Solomon Islands, in which we discovered one new freshwater fish and this year, Aaron and I went to Tetepare Island in the Solomon Islands, and we discovered three new freshwater fish species. All the freshwater fish discovered are new to Science and the fish world," said Boseto.

He added that in order to describe these species there is a need to go to museums to look at the close relative of the new fish species that were discovered in order to make comparison on why these fish are different from the other species that are already recorded. In addition, such attachment will help upgrade technical skills on how to describe the new species, and accessing technology which is lacking in Solomon Islands or Fiji, to aid in the description of new species. Moreover, such training will ensure supervision and guidance from renowned senior scientists.

"Our visit to the museum in April last year was primarily to describe three of the sicydiinae gobies we have discovered in Fiji. The three fish species are already described and now are in press for publication in a scientific journal early next year. My visit to the museum this month is special in a way because I brought another two new species from Fiji and a mysterious new fish species from the Solomon Islands. Aaron Jenkins will take the other three new species from the Solomon Islands with him to the Western Australian Museum in Perth, next month. We hope that we can describe all these new fish species and should be sending them off for publication later next year", added Mr Boseto.

The 4 weeks training attachment is made possible through partnership between the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Institute of Applied Sciences of the University of the South Pacific, and Wetlands International.

Mr Boseto revealed that Solomon Islands is a field laboratory with scattered Islands that have flora and fauna that are still to be discovered. One thing that is certain about Solomon Islands is that it lacks specialized taxa on the different flora and fauna that the country possess despite having general science graduates. Therefore, the country need to take a step further by supporting specialized trainings in the fields of interest.

"I can only talk about natural science and the need to develop more taxa specialists in our country. To date we have less than 10 aquatic and terrestrial taxa specialists in our country. We have a high biodiversity of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna second to Papua New Guinea. However, we are losing these fauna and flora because we do not know them due to lack of trained specialists. For each taxon we need to have specialized people so that they can do the work in our own country rather than depending on overseas specialists to come and do the work for our country. We need protection on these flora and fauna so that we can develop our local people to carry out studies on their field of interest."

"This is a great challenge for our country. Our young generation need to become inspired to tap into untapped areas to get specialized training. We need more plant biologists, bird biologists, insect biologists, frog specialists, fresh and marine fish biologists and many other taxa that we need to develop. We need people in these areas so that we can better understand our surroundings and those whom we shared the planet earth with. The more we understand and know them, the more, we will embrace and care for their well-being.

Mr Boseto flew from Fiji to Sydney last Wednesday and met some Solomon wantoks in Sydney before flying north to Darwin for another 4 hours 30 minutes.

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