To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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

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

Friday, December 29, 2006

Melanesians keen to help Fiji: Dr John Roughan

A Solomon Islands Government official says Melanesian nations deplore the loss of democracy in Fiji, but are ready to help the military-led government.

Senior officials from members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group comprising Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu met Fiji foreign ministry representatives in Suva last week to discuss the post-coup situation.

One of the officials, secretary to the Solomon Islands Cabinet Dr John Roughan, described the MSG's position.

"Decrying the idea that things can be corrected by undemocratic means but at the same time saying, look, we're behind you, we're with you, can we help, where can we help, how can we help?' And that kind of message went out very clearly and very well," he told Radio New Zealand International.

Dr Roughan says a meeting of MSG foreign ministers could follow next month.

Source: Fiji Times

Guadalcanal demands resurface in a letter to PM Sogavare

Seasons greetings folks,
Below is a written copy of a letter written to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, regarding the above issue by Hon Nollen Leni. TARD believes that this warning should not be taken lightly, as we have seen the implications of stubbornness and inactiveness of past governments in addressing these demands. The recent ethnic uprising in Solomon Islands is a direct result of such no-care attitudes by previous govts on outstanding concerns.

The letter was written on 6th November, but stamped as being received on 12th December 2006.

Dated 6 Nov 2006

My dear Prime Minister,

I had an audience with (a former senior Guadalcanal militant and a former prisoner. MyBlog left out the name) and some former militants in my office last Friday.

They call in (without appointment) to make an oral warning. This warning is serious and this government must act quickly to get things under control.

Their submission
All successive governments since Guadalcanal province's first protest in 1988 have never acted on Guadalcanal Provinces Bona-Fide demands. The ethnic crisis of 2000 will seriously repeat itself very soon for the same reason of neglecting the demands.

The reasons
1) Guadalcanal bonafide demands are no secret to this government
2) The Guadalcanal co-ordination committee which comprises of both provincial and national members of parliament had an audience with your goodself early this year and repeated the bonafide demand submission.
3) The new events take priority of government work program eg Moti saga, Australian standoff, riot commission
4) The continued delay of reconciliation work between Malaita and Guadalcanal communities
5) Continued re-juvenation of squatters around Honiara
6) Delay of state government issue

The warning
The way things appear now indicate that this government is going to shelf the bona fide demands and so the warning is:

1) All Guadalcanal MPs must consider their loyalty for the bonfide demands
2) In view of what appears to be a continuation of being-no care attitude by this gov't on the demands-Guadalcanal MPs will be forced by threats to pull out from the government
3) Deleted by MyBlog
4) Deleted by MyBlog
5) Deleted by MyBlog

I have been asked to call all Guadalcanal MPs to discuss this subject.

My prime minister while we have the best policies our lives and family are important when it comes to threats. I therefore will call all the 8 MPs to meet but having witnessed the actions of our men in 2000 we should never take things lightly.

Urgent recommendations
1)Return the titles of the Lungga Mamara Tasifarongo, Ruaniu to Guadalcanal province to ease tension. Why because the previous government did a big mistake by converting all the TOLs to fixed term estates.
2) Please direct the Minister and commissioner of lands to act now.

Hon Nollen Leni
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources
CC: All Ministers

Source: MyBlog

Tausinga's other side revealed by SI acting Attorney General

The Solomon Islands acting Attorney General, Mrs Nuatali Tongarutu, has revealed that the Member of Parliament for North New Georgia, Job Dudley Tausinga, who had attempted to block the shipment of round logs by Glengrow and IFI a week ago was based on reasons of personal interest rather than to enforce the law.

Mrs Tongarutu’s revelation followed Mr Tausinga’s claim that he had resigned from his appointment as the Minister for Forestry, Environment and Conservation after he was forced to clear an illegal shipment of round logs by the Glengrow and IFI logging companies. Mr Tausinga claimed that he refused to clear the shipment because the logs were felled without a license and also the companies did not have export licenses.

But reacting to the claims, Mrs Tongarutu said: "The truth was that the MP attempted to hold up the shipment of logs because of personal financial interests and dislike for Glengrow and IFI. Tausinga had been an irresponsible Minister because he turned a blind eye on his ‘pet’ company, Golden Springs, which also does not have a valid felling and export licenses, and instead targeted Glengrow and IFI who despite being without felling and export licenses has a legitimate marketing agreement endorsed by the former North New Georgia Timber Corporation.

“Mr Tausinga stepped outside of his line of duties when he approached Golden Springs Company lawyer to file an application to hold up the log proceeds.”

She further added that Mr Tausinga failed to address the core of the issue by using his executive power to prevent export of the logs after the ship was loaded and ready to sail.

“This matter should be taken up through the courts by placing an injunction on the proceeds of the sale then legally determining seeking legal action against log shipments which had already been loaded for export,attempt to prevent the logs from being exported but to hold up the proceeds.

“He’s just interested in the money. I want the truth to prevail and the public to know he’s a money monger,” Mrs. Tongarutu said.

She said it was true that the two logging companies did not have the felling and export licenses but they had a legitimate marketing arrangement endorsed by the former North New Georgia Timber Corporation. The corporation has the power to enter into agreement with any company that it wishes to fell trees on its land. Felling without the agreement or without the issuance of a license is unlawful but in this case they have an agreement. They have their own agreement and Mr Tausinga will never agree of it because Golden Springs is his preferred Company.”

Mrs Tongarutu said she advised for the shipment of the logs in the interest of the state purse and landowners and the shipment was cleared by Golden Springs which now had renewed felling and export licenses.

She continued: “After felling, logs become perishable items and therefore the shipment must be permitted to leave while the proceeds from the sale can be frozen in an account until the courts determine any injunction placed by Golden Springs. Log ships that are held up on such a basis cost the government up to $7,000 USD per day and having to pay such costs is totally unnecessary because it achieves no purpose except to further perpetuate the problem rather than solving it.”

“Mr Tausinga has a conflict of interest and for that reason he blatantly disregarded the North New Georgia Timber Corporation Act which he should use as a guide to make such decisions.”

She revealed that Mr Tausinga in his capacity as the Minister for Forestry had written to the Commissioner of Forests last month authorising the commissioner to endorse a market certificate to export logs felled by Golden Springs when its license was yet to be renewed.

“He is saying Glengrow and IFI felled logs and exported them without a license. Though Golden Springs felled logs and were going to export them without license yet he blessed it. That is a clear conflict of interest because he obviously has a vested interest in Golden Springs, who appear to have a close connection with him.”

Mrs Nuatali said Mr Tausinga did not respect the NNGTC Act by appointing the people of his choice to the NNGTC board so he could be in control due to his personal interests over the entire logging of North New Georgia’s timber concession area.

Source: PF Net

RAMSI assists in the Small Malaita Games 2006

The 2006 Small Malaita Mini Games have been given a boost on the opening day with support from the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.

Members of RAMSI traveled to the Sa’a community for the opening of the Games to present soccer balls and T-shirts to the organising committee, and talk to teams and spectators about what RAMSI has been doing in the Solomon Islands.

Estelle Parker, Advisor to Special Coordinator Tim George, said RAMSI was happy to support sport in Solomon Islands. “Solomon Islands is a sporting nation and sport is good for the spirit of the country. Everywhere I travel I see the high sporting skills of the people in this country, especially in soccer and netball”, she said.

“It is very exciting for us to be here with you this morning. On behalf of the fifteen countries that contribute to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, it is my pleasure to present this gift to the Small Malaita Mini Games” “I want to wish all the participants good luck for the competition”, she said.

John Hou, Chief and Chairman of the Sa’a community thanked RAMSI for all its good work in the Solomon Islands.

“May RAMSI remain in Solomon Islands for many more years”, he said.

Before the presentation, Ms Parker, Lieutenant Thomas Drew of the Combined Task Force, Gino Gaspari from RAMSI’s Participating Police Force and Chris Tarohimae from RAMSI’s Community Outreach Program spoke to the teams and spectators about RAMSI and answered their questions.

Ms Parker said getting out into the community to support grassroots activities like the games and provide information direct to the community about RAMSI was critical to the RAMSI partnership with the people and government of the Solomon Islands.

"This continues RAMSI assistance to sports development in the Solomon Islands, which has included funding to Solomon Islands Football Federation for a skills development program, as well as the organisation of sporting games, bike rides and fun runs", she said.

Source: RAMSI

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fiji to have interim government by January 2007: Army Commander

Fiji Islands could have an interim government in place by the end of January, 2007, the head of the military regime Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said today.

Military commander Commodore Bainimarama said that 31 people from the 400 applications the military council received have been short listed for positions in the interim administration.

"The short listed applicants are now being contacted for clarifications on their availability. Should this process proceed smoothly, there should be an interim government in place to replace the current arrangement before the end of January 2007," he said at a press conference at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Suva.

Commodore Bainimarama had said earlier that none of the members of the interim government would be allowed to contest the next general election.

Commodore Bainimarama overthrew the Laisenia Qarase-led Government in a bloodless coup on December 5 and claimed executive authority. He said that the military will clean up government before it is returned to civilian rule.

Source: Fijilive

Sogavare wants his security unit re-armed

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare wants the local police unit protecting him re-armed.

He says if there is a group that is loyal and faithful to the government, it has to be the unit attached to protecting the Prime Minister.

Mr Sogavare says this group was not involved in the coup in 2000, and the arms that they have were not given to the militants. He says this highly disciplined group was loyal and committed to its work, until 2003 when the Regional Assistant Mission to Solomon Islands arrived and disarmed it.

"The decision has not been taken unilaterally. I've been consulting very closely with the Commissioner of Police and that it must be done in the framework of enhancing legislation in the presence of RAMSI and the laws we have in the country."

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

SI Police Commissioner declared "undesirable immigrant"

Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, has been declared an undesirable immigrant.

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Patteson Oti made the declaration last Friday. Mr Oti however says he is not ready yet to disclose the reasons for his decision because of the sensitivity of the matter.

However, he says the presence of Mr Castles in Solomon Islands is considered prejudicial to peace, defence, public safety, public order, security and good governance of Solomon Islands.

The minister's formal declaration has been gazetted and all relevant authorities, including Mr Castles has been notified of the decision.

Mr Oti says the power to control the admission and expulsion of aliens is one of essential attributes of national sovereignty and had been used by nations of the world.

The declaration of Mr Castles who is an Australian Citizen as an undesirable person was made under the country's Immigration Act.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Malaita care-taker Premier thanks national government

The Caretaker Premier of Malaita, Reuben Moli has thanked the national government for settling the Provincial Government’s outstanding debt to the National Provident Fund.

He says his government has been in negotiation about this debt since his government first came into office.

Mr Moli says the debt has been a major obstacle to the ability of the Provincial Government to provide services to the people of Malaita.

He says the Solomon Island Government’s recent announcement that they have settled the debts to NPF will give the Provincial Government a very positive start to a period of new growth.

Mr Moli says the Government’s generous assistance will greatly improve the overall strength of the Malaita Provincial Government.

He says 2007 should be a very exciting time for Malaita.

Mr Moli says the determination of the Malaita people to become more self reliant within the Province's 2007 to 2010 strategic plan, is supported by the national government’s rural development plan and the ongoing assistance of Aid donors.

Source: SIBC

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pacific Islands Forum Chair position transferred back to Chief Somare

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has announced yesterday that the Forum's Interim Chair has been transferred back to Papua New Guinean Prime Minister, Rt Hon Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, the immediate past holder of that post before Laisenia Qarase's appointment.

According to the Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, the decision was made on the basis that the actions of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces have prevented deposed Prime Minister, Mr Laisenia Qarase, from exercising his leadership of the Fiji Government, and have consequently made it impossible as a matter of practicality for him to fulfil his duties as the current Forum Chair before his government's overthrow on December 5.

Mr Urwin says PNG will assume the position until such time a lawful Head of Government in Fiji is able to re-occupy the position, or until the next Leaders’ meeting – whichever occurs sooner. In line with the usual practice that the host country of the Forum Leaders’ Meeting takes on the position of Forum Chair, Fiji this year assumed the position following the Leaders’ meeting held in Nadi in October.

Mr Urwin reiterated that the crisis in Fiji must be resolved through negotiation, within the Constitution and with respect for the rule of law.

Fiji Great Council of Chiefs meeting extended after no collective agreement

The two day Fiji Great Council of Chiefs meeting to discuss Fiji's future has been extended for today after failing to reach a collective agreement yesterday afternoon.

Today's meeting is expected to be wrapped up around midday with drafted resolutions agreed upon by the highest legal social authority in the country.

The Fiji Great Council of Chiefs comprise three confederacies known as Burebasaga, Kubuna and Tovata. Yesterday members of the Great Council of Chiefs have broken up into the three confederacies of Fiji to discuss critical issues affecting the country.

It is understood the Burebasaga and Kubuna confederacies want an end to the current crisis through the constitution and want deposed Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, to resign and ousted President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to return to office. They also want an interim government to be formed as soon as possible. However, there is still a split on that matter in the Tovata confederacy. The chiefs also could not reach a consensus on whether the military should be granted immunity as of yesterday.

Meanwhile, Army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni has said that the GCC does not have the legal powers to decide on immunity for the commander and the soldiers. He said the army would continue with their plans despite opposition.

"There is no turning back now, what's done is done and the proposals they are coming up with is too late," Leweni said. Leweni reiterated that what the GCC was doing was irrelevant and should not be taken seriously. "We are in charge here and we make the rules," he said.

Source: FijiLive

Thursday, December 21, 2006

North Malaita travel times drastically reduced

By Anne McCaig

Travelling from village to town in North Malaita has become easier after the completion of road improvements from Auki to Malu’u. Immediately after the tension period the 80km trip took six gruelling hours. Today, the same trip takes just two hours.

The improvements are part of a $3 million community support project in Malaita funded by RAMSI and implemented in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government.

Acting RAMSI Development Coordinator, Stuart Schaefer, said the project was a classic bottom-up approach.

“The community actively raised the issue of the poor state of the road through requests to their provincial government, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development then acted in partnership with RAMSI to improve the road”, he said.

“Roads are important for joining communities together and improving people’s lives. Roads allow people to access markets, schools, health centres and agricultural services”, he said.

Road Engineer, Martin Wale, said the road was in a terrible condition before the road maintenance project began.

“After the tension, a lack of proper maintenance and drainage caused pot-holes and gullies in the road sometimes more than one metre deep. In some cases trucks got stuck and people had to push their vehicles through the mud up hills.

The project involved road maintenance, bridge maintenance, and culvert and drainage improvement. The North Malaita road has now been re-surfaced from Gwaunaru’u to Malu’u sub-station.

Mr Schaefer said the road improvements complement the bridge rehabilitation work being undertaken by the Post Conflict Emergence Road Project.

“We expect travel times will be further reduced with road works continuing in 2007”, he said.

Mr Schaefer thanked the local villagers for their support of the project and wished people travelling home on the road for Christmas with their family and friends, a safe and happy journey.

“Successful projects like this one demonstrate what can be achieved through trust, cooperation and partnership between rural communities, the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI.”

Source: RAMSI

SI Acting Attorney General to talk in Aussie onbehalf of Moti

Prime Minister's Press Secretary, Deli Oso today retracted a statement she released yesterday that Mr. Julian Moti would go to Australia soon to have a 'face-to-face' discussion with the Australian Federal Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution.

In a statement released to local media today Deli Oso said: "I wish to retract the Press Statement yesterday titled ‘Moti to return to Australia for discussion’.

"All references to Mr Moti in the statement should be made to the Acting Attorney General, Mrs Nuatali Tongarutu.

"Mrs Tongarutu will be traveling to Australia to discuss with her Australian Counterpart, Phillip Ruddock and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosection, Australia’s request for the extradition of the suspended Attorney General, Julian Moti QC.

"This is to determine whether the request is genuine and not politically motivated. It is only after the discussion between the Acting Attorney General and her Australian counterpart and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution that the government will respond to Australia’s extradition request for Moti."

Source: GCU

SI Cabinet endorses Moti's travel to Australia for discussion

Analysis from MyBlog

Solomon Islands Government makes the right decision

A sigh of relief
It is a sigh of relief for thousands of Solomon Islanders. The waiting is nearly over. Would the Solomon Islands government and Julian Moti humble themselves and let the law take its cause?

Yes, finally, the Solomon Islands Government, particularly Cabinet has endorsed that suspended Attorney General Julian Moti can now travel to Australia to discuss with legal eagles why he is wanted in Australia.

Solomon Islands Cabinet must be commended, in reaching such a decision that points the way forward to mending relations with the Australian government and judiciary over the Moti issue. The decision was not a surprise, but its when, Solomon Islands would succumb to the Pacific region's Big Brother. This is not to demean Solomon as a sovereign nation. No. It is just that leaders need to come to their senses in a situation that they cannot win. And, with the 2007 Budget being finalised, Solomon Islands cannot afford to be stubborn.

The Cabinet's decision must be seen as how Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare described it as being made in the interest of diplomacy. Not only that, but the thousands of Solomon Islanders can breath a sigh of relief that the Moti issue is finnally being addressed. And, there may be a green light at the end of the tunnel.

In a statement Prime Minister Sogavare says the government appreciated the fact that Solomon Islands was part of the region (Pacific) so when it came to such issues, it was duty-bound to look at them seriously for the simple reason of keeping the region free of whatever that would undermine its peace and security. However, he says the government also needed to look seriously at such requests adding that the case of Julian Moti was interesting because it was already cleared by the Vanuatu Judiciary and the question why Australia decided to pursue him for the case only after he was appointed as Solomon Islands Attorney General.

Moti by the way is still an innocent person until proven guilty on the alleged charges laid on him. MyBlog believes Solomon Islanders will welcome him with open arms, now that he would be travelling to Australia to try and clear his name.

Source: MyBlog

Menapi's goal not enough for Waitakere's defeat at the hands of Auckland City FC

Solomon Islander, Commins Menapi, scored a goal for Waitakere United in the 11th minute and turns provider for his teams second goal in the 27 minute, but could not help his team going down 3-4 to the mights of Auckland City in front of some 1000 spectators at Sandringham yesterday.

Auckland City who have just returned from their dismissal performance at the FIFA World Club Championships in Japan ensured a maximum three points to move up to third place with a game in hand over leaders Waitakere and YoungHeart Manawatu.

At half time, Auckland was down 3-0 to Waitakere United. However, they managed to fire up in the second half scoring 4 goals, two of which came in the 7 minutes stoppage time.

None of the 1000 strong crowd could seriously have predicted the extraordinary drama that was to unfold after league leaders Waitakere went to halftime completely on top thanks to 11th, 24th and 30 minute goals from Commins Menapi, Daniel Koprivcic and Allan Pearce respectively, the last of them from the penalty spot.

However, bedlam broke out among the Auckland players and fans while the referee, quickly shielded by his two assistants after the final whistle, was jostled by two irate Waitakere supporters before scurrying to the sanctuary of the referees changing room with the help of Auckland officials.

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs enter its final day of meeting

The Fiji’s Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will conclude its two day meeting today with a resolution about the island nations future.

Among agendas to be discussed is whether army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and his soldiers will be granted immunity for the illegal takeover of the Government. The issue of immunity is understood to be one of the proposals put on the table by the chiefs in yesterday’s meeting. The proposal states that the Laisenia Qarase-led administration resign, ousted President Ratu Josefa Iloilo be reappointed and an Interim Government be formed. The GCC hopes that Commodore Bainimarama will accept their invitation in his capacity as commander of the Fiji Military Forces, and be part of the meeting in Suva today. But the invitation was flatly refused by the army chief as he was not invited as the acting President of Fiji.

Late yesterday, the army have stated that the Great Council of Chiefs meeting is irrelevant and they are not taking it seriously. The Fiji Military Spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni said the military would continue with its plans even if the GCC's resolutions did not go in their favour.

Just this morning, the FijiLive website has reported that five people were taken away by police after holding a peaceful demonstration outside the venue of the meeting for Fiji's Great Council of Cheifs. The members of a pro-democracy group based in Suva walked outside themeeting venue and waved Fiji flags before they were bungled into a police vehicle and taken away to a nearby police station for questioning.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Resignation of Deputy PM not a threat to government stability: Sogavare

By Chris Leua

The resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mines and Energy, Job Dudley Tausinga will not affect the stability of the Grand Coalition for Change Government in any adverse manner.

“Not at all. I do not see any affect at all on the stability of the government after the resignation of Mr Tausinga, as I had freely consult with his party members and our coalition partners at all times,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said.

“It was through such consultations that I decided to reshuffle him to the Department for Mines and Energy last week. His party members felt that the best approach to be taken was to reshuffle his ministerial post.”

Mr Sogavare added that reshuffling of ministerial portfolios is a normal exercise in any government.

“Reshuffling of ministerial posts is a normal exercise that any prime minister can take whenever he sees it fit to do so. As the leader of the government, I decided on reshuffling the two portfolios in the interest of the country as a whole,” Mr. Sogavare said.

Mr Tausinga’s resignation, which is linked to his reshuffling, took effect yesterday, and he now remains an ordinary Member of Parliament (MP) for North New Georgia, although not on the government’s side.

While the position of the Deputy Prime Minister remains vacant, no time frame has been decided on when the new replacement will be selected.

Source: Government Communications Unit

Students graduate from North Malaita Vocational Training Centre

A family initiated Vocational Training Centre in North Malaita, known as Ngalikekero, has witnessed a successful graduation of 23 students early this month at Kwaiana Village.

According to the Centre’s founder, Mr. David IRO Leliana, the graduation ceremony on December 6 was uniquely presented with graduants dressing in cultural costumes. Students were presented with certificates in the fields of carpentry/joinery, plumbing, mechanic and life skills/typing. Among the 23 graduants are also four girls who got their certificates in lifeskills and typing.

The graduation was attended by invited guests ranging from North Malaita education authorities, President of the To’abaita Council of Chiefs, church leaders, nurses, and other village elders. Highlights of the ceremony were cultural dances and feasting that was shared with about 400 people.

Mr. Leliana also added that next year’s fees at the vocational training centre would be reduced from $800 per annum to $500. This resulted because the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) has taken responsibility in paying salary for five staff members.

It is also understood the training centre’s carpentry students had completed the roofing of a Malu’u classroom, as part of their charitable partnership with communities. A new workshop and classroom funded by the Community Sector Program (CSP) is currently being constructed.

Great Council of Chiefs to discuss Fiji's future

A two-day Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) meeting begins in Suva today to deliberate on the future of Fiji after the military take over on December 5.

It is understood the army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will not attend the meeting tomorrow, as a protest for not being invited by the GCC as Fiji's acting President. The Great Council of Chiefs have only invited Commodore Bainimarama to tomorrow's meeting in his capacity as the army commander.

In earlier statements, the GCC has said that it still recognise ousted Ratu Josefa Iloilo as President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi as vice President and Qarase as the Prime Minister.

The Great Council of Chiefs is the highest social and cultural authority in Fiji, and they are the only rightful body to appoint the country's president and vice president.

Meanwhile, Fiji's deposed vice-President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has also handed his resignation to the Great Council of Chiefs. This was confirmed by GCC Chairman Ratu Ovini Bokini. Ratu Bokini said council members would have to discuss this today during the GCC meeting in Suva. The GCC will have to decide whether or not to accept his resignation.

Solomons Deputy PM resigns from Coalition Government

Analysis by: Joe Inomae

Political shaking in Solomon Islands
Nothing seems to be moving in the right direction in the politics of Solomon Islands.

Hardly any issues subsides then another surfaces, causing anxiety and uncertainty among the people in the country. The Moti issue is still shimmering and now another emerges. Caucus will decide government's position on the request to extradite Moti to Australia today.

Deputy Prime Minister Resigns
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister, Job Duddley Tausinga dropped another bomb by resigning as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Forests, Environment and Conservation. This revelation came late yesterday evening. Mr Tausinga says his resignation was effective as of yesterday 19th December 2006. He says he will disclose reasons for his resignation later. Mr Tausinga says he not only resigned from his Ministerial posts, but he has decided to leave the Great Grand Coalition for Change Government.

He is one of the longest serving national politicians in the country. Tausinga confirms his resignation was accepted and endorsed yesterday afternoon by the care-taker Governor General, the Speaker to Parliament sir Peter Kenilorea.

Malaita Provincial Elections
Meanwhile, Provincial Government Minister, Japhet Waipora has accepted that the Malaita provincial elections set for monday this week did not eventuate.

His Department of Provincial Government will now decide on a new date for provincial elections in more than 20 wards on Malaita. Twenty-five wards could not go to the polls as scheduled on Monday because of difficulties getting election materials to polling sites on time. Only three wards on Malaita Outer Islands went ahead with elections on monday as scheduled.

The Minister says a new election date will be announced later. Mr Waipora says the elections will be held not later than the second week of January 2007.

Source: MyBlog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TARD makes goodwill donations to North Malaita community sectors

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student initiated voluntary group has made several small goodwill donations to various community sectors in North Malaita last month, beside other major initiatives.

Some of the notable goodwill donations include:
- the delivery of a wall clock for Gwaiau clinic in the highlands of North Malaita.
- the delivery of a wall clock for Fo'ondo clinic in ward 7 of North Malaita.
- the delivery of a wall clock and flower decorations for New Dehli SSEC Church in ward 8.
- the delivery of an office clock plus SI$100 cash for the New Dehli Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) School.
- Support of SI$50 cash for Afufu Village youth sports club in their effort to attend christmas tournaments in North Malaita.

The goodwill contributions are very small in terms of dollar value, but it has made a unique difference to the wellbeing of our rural communities, particularly when the gifts are from a student voluntary body. Just the smiles and joy that such small assistance has brought to the face of our rural people, is more than enough to motivate our students further with our goals and vision.

Malaita provincial elections delayed

The Returning Officer for the Malaita Provincial Assembly elections, Harold Leka, has confirmed that there were no elections for Wards 6 to 33 yesterday.

He says its was not possible to hold the elections yesterday because among other things the old ballot boxes arrived late in provincial capital, Auki. Mr Leka says the boxes arrived in Auki at 10 o'clock last Friday night. He says his office had to employ some workers to prepare the boxes including repainting them. Mr Leka says his office is now waiting for additional funds from the Ministry of Provincial Government to run the elections for the remaining wards on Malaita.

He says if no additional funds is available by yesterday, the elections are unlikely to be held this month. Mr Leka says there is a possibility the elections will be held early January 2007. The Minister of Provincial Government would endorse a new date for the elections.

The delay in holding the elections yesterday may reflect some serious underlying flaws in the system. Workers of previous national elections have raised numerous claims about not receiving outstanding allowances for work they have done. If this is true, the relevant authorities must investigate and take appropriate action to rectify the situation.

Malaitans certainly need a new government to take them forward. The sooner there is an election the better it is for the future of the province.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Provincial Government Japhet Waipora seemed furious when asked about whether he was aware of no Provincial Assembly elections on Malaita yesterday. Mr Waipora says he is the only person who has authority to grant a delay of elections. He says his officers would check whether it is true that there are no elections on Malaita yesterday.

Last week, Mr Leka had indicated that one of the reasons the elections for Wards 1 to five were deferred from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 was because of financial problems.

Source: MyBlog

Monday, December 18, 2006

Solomon Islander looks set for Golden Boot award in NZFC

A prominent young Solomon Islander, Mr Benjamin Totori from Malaita, is continuing his informed hunt for the Golden Boot award in the New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) after scoring a double for Youngheart Manawatu yesterday to lift his tally to sixteen goals in 11 matches.

In a fiery match with Hawke's Bay United in Palmerston North with a wet and damp underfoot conditions, Manawatu took a while to settle into their usual rhythm before Benjamin Totori opened the scoring a minute before halftime after a fine burst down the left flank from Alick Maemae, another Solomon Islander.

Manawatu then doubled their advantage four minutes after the interval when former Waikato FC coach Dave Edmondson, in his first match in Hawke’s Bay colours, scored an own goal after attempting to block a cross.

The match then became heated in the 60th minute when Graham Fyfe scored for Hawke’s Bay after a scuffle broke out between the two teams.

But Manawatu were able to restore their two goal cushion six minutes later when Totori scored from the penalty spot after Tim Richardson was brought down in the box. Sam Messam then ensured Manawatu faced a nervy final few minutes to end the match after he scored in the 90th minute.

At the full time whistle, Manawatu have managed to hold on to their 3 goals to beat Hawke's Bay 3-2. Manawatu are still second on the table with a point below Waitakere United thus placing presuure on Waitakere, ahead of their next game with Auckland City on Sunday.

Source: NZFC

SI economy progressing positively: CBSI report

Solomon Islands economy remains positive in the third quarter of this year. In its quarterly report, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) says this is due to the strong performance of the global economy which had resulted in increased activities in the local economy.

Deputy Governor of Central Bank Denton Rarawa says there was significant increase in the production output in all export commodities except copra . This gave a 25 percent increase in the overall production index.

However, Mr Rarawa says that this was still lower compared to the level of production output over the same period last year. He says while this may raise concerns for economic growth, the services and distributions sector which is expected to increase will offset lower commodity production levels.

Mr Rarawa says that as a result of the positive economic growth, money supply also rose to 7 percent to reach 968-million dollars in the third quarter. This has also resulted in the increase in the country's foreign reserve to reach 775 million dollars which represents five months import cover. Mr Rarawa says domestic credit also rose by 19 percent reaching 534-million dollars.

Source: SIBC

Malaita voters go to the polls today to elect provincial members

People in various Wards in Malaita are going to the polls today to elect their Provincial Assembly members.

The elections today will be held in Wards 6 to 33 on Malaita. Wards 1 to 5 in Malaita already held their elections on Thursday last week.

In the first results from Malaita provincial elections, care-taker Malaita Premier Rueben Moli has failed to retained his seat of Aimela Ward. He was beaten in the elections by businessman Richard Namo.

It is understood that he is the only Premier to have lost in provincial assembly elections held this month. Care-taker Premiers in Isabel, Guadalcanal and Temotu Provinces have all been re-elected.

Other reports from the Malaita Provincial capital, Auki confirmed that former female member for Buma Ward in West Kwara'ae, Rose Anilabata, has also failed to be re-elected. The new Provincial Assembly member for Buma Ward is Robert Madeo. The other winners are: Ina Leong for Auki Ward, Erickson Otoia for Fauabu Ward and William Isui has retained his seat in the West Baegu/Fataleka Ward.

Source: SIBC

Friday, December 15, 2006

Australian High Commission rep to attend TARD's North Malaita Christmas Games

A prominent staff at the Australian High Commission office in Solomon Islands will be travelling to North Malaita next week to attend the opening of the Australian High Commission sponsored TARD North Malaita Christmas Games at Malu'u from December 20-22.

According to the Australian High Commission's Second Secretary, Ms Anthea Blaikie, their office have arranged for Ms Gabriellie Stewart to attend the Christmas Games on behalf of the Australian High Commission.

Ms Stewart will arrive in Malaita on tuesday next week (19 December) and will be met at Auki by Stef Kali and Karl O'Donald, and they will drive her to Malu'u. She will witness the opening day of the games on December 20 and then return to Honiara on that same day.

The North Malaita 2006 Christmas Games is a community initiative by the To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student voluntary group and is sponsored with SI$3,680 cash by the Australian High Commission office in Solomon Islands.

The games will consist of a 7 aside soccer knockout for males and a netball for females and will be free of charge. Eligible sporting clubs should be within the Kwainafala to Kwai Rivers boundary. For soccer, the prizes are as follows: First- TARD Trophy plus $1,000; Second- $500; Third- $300. For netball, the prizes are as follows: First- TARD Trophy plus $300; Second- $200; and third is $100.

First People's Survey Pilot 2006 launched by RAMSI

by Anne McCaig

About 1,085 Solomon Islanders across four provinces have been given a strong voice with the launch of the first People’s Survey Pilot 2006 yesterday.

The People’s Survey Pilot involved 58 trained Solomon Islanders conducting questionnaires and focus group discussions with local Solomon Islanders on ten key areas.

The People’s Survey Pilot shows that 59 per cent of people interviewed think that law and order have improved in the last year. However, mixed responses were given in other areas fundamental to people feeling safe, confident and secure within their community, and about their future.

RAMSI commissioned an independent agency ANU Enterprise to conduct the pilot survey.

Acting RAMSI Development Coordinator, Stuart Schaefer, thanked all those involved, noting in particular those who were interviewed. “People have responded to this survey with insight, intelligence and honesty on issues that affect their daily life,” he said.

“The strongest message from the survey is - yes, progress has been made; and yes, there is still a lot of work to be done”, he said.

An important finding was the high value men and women of all ages placed on the opportunity to freely discuss and answer questions on issues of central importance to their lives.

“People in the Solomon Islands get asked a lot of questions about development. It is important that we get the results of this survey back to the community and also adapt our programs to meet their needs. The results in areas such as basic security, health and education are encouraging and show the partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI is making real progress. However, poorer results in other areas emphasise the challenges ahead for everyone working towards the development of the Solomon Islands. This means the government, RAMSI, donors, non-government organisations, civil society and the community”, he said.

The People’s Survey Pilot showed that many problems are making life hard for people; problems such as abuse of kwaso, the price of goods, logging, corruption and violent crime. In focus group discussions, people said they felt pessimistic about future prospects.

Key findings from people interviewed in the People’s Survey Pilot include:

On general economic growth and services across the Solomon Islands

• 87% of people said prices were too expensive.
• 92% of people perceived youth employment as a problem. Focus group participants perceived unemployed youth as a threat to security.
• 64% thought that schools had improved, but 28% thought they were worse.

On community confidence
• 36% rated their village as safe and peaceful
• 48% perceived a decrease in the level of violent crime
• 59% said the law and order situation had improved
• There was a large variation by age and gender suggesting that women and young men may feel more vulnerable to crime.

On police and RAMSI
• 92% of people had seen a RAMSI officer in the past three months
• 48% reported a robbery or theft from their garden in the past year
• 28% of these minor crimes were reported to the Solomon Islands Police Force
• 65% thought violent conflict would return to Solomon Islands if RAMSI left in the near future.

On access to justice
• 41% would prefer to use custom law rather than modern law, while 47% said it would depend on the particular circumstances
• 57% of those people who went to court thought the trial was fair.

On parliamentary representation
• 77% had voted in the recent election

Mr Schaefer said the People’s Survey Pilot 2006 provided valuable experience in how to conduct a large survey in the Solomon Islands about community perceptions. The results will be used to inform activities in 2007.

The People’s Survey Pilot took place in selected areas of Guadalcanal, Honiara, Malaita, Western and Choisel from 1-8 May 2006. 1085 people completed questionnaires and 31 focus group discussions were held.

Source: RAMSI

Thursday, December 14, 2006

To'abaita businessman funded community awareness meeting in North Malaita

Two members of the To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) have successfully convened a voluntary community educational awareness meeting in one of the renowned criminal areas in North Malaita on Sunday December 3, 2006.

The Leliana Daowana Firisua-funded community educational awareness meeting and coffee night was coordinated by Ishmael Alulu and Exsley Taloiburi at Gwaunasu'u Village near Loina where most of the founding commanders and rebels in the disbanded Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) have originated.

During and after the ethnic tension in Solomon Islands, there has been a general perception by outside societies that Loina area in North Malaita is one of the most criminal areas in Solomon Islands. Despite that, TARD felt it is not really accurate to label North Malaita as a "hot-spot" or "red-mark" and so on. It is only a few people in the society, which is common in any society, that are bringing a bad image to North Malaita, as most North Malaitans are good christians and law abiders. That was the reason why the recent community awareness meeting was held in a collective effort to restore a good image of North Malaita people.

During the community meeting, Mr Taloiburi and Ishmael Alulu highlighted the importance of abiding to the law; maintaining peace and harmony within the society, tribes, families and villages; importance of formal education whilst preserving our cultural identity; and readiness for developmental activities in terms of allowing land and other resources. After that, there was an open discussion whereby villagers were allowed to raise concerns and suggestions. The meeting was concluded with a coffee and tea session.

The TARD's community awareness meeting and coffee session which was attended by about eighty participants including chiefs, elders (both males and females), youths and children was kindly sponsored by a prominent To'abaita businessman, Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua. He donated SI$500 towards the first ever gathering at Gwaunasu'u Village. Therefore, TARD is very thankful for this kind assistance in expanding the goals of this student initiated group.

North Guadalcanal youths support elected provincial member

Youths in the Ngalimbiu area in North Guadalcanal constituency are calling for support among community leaders, chiefs, woman and youths to work together with their newly elected provincial member Stephen Panga.

Mr Panga retained his seat after tuesday's election. Ngalimbiu youth leader Samuel Bosawai says developments can only be achieved through working together between various groups of people.

He says Mr Panga had tried his best to support youth activities in the area through rehabilitation and reconciliation activities and they should be supported.

Mr Bosawai says youths in Ngalimbiu supported Panga because he put a lot of emphasis on peace and unity amongst various communities in his ward.

Source: SIBC

Moti's entry into Solomon Islands lawful: Magistrate Court

Solomon Islands suspended controversial Attorney General, Julian Moti, has been cleared of all charges laid against him in Solomon Islands.

Honiara Magistrates court yesterday cleared Mr Moti of all charges in relation to his entry into Solomon Islands on a PNG military aircraft. Two other Solomon Islands nationals, Robson Djokovic and Chris Hapa charged in relations to the trip with Moti to Munda were also acquitted.

The Presiding Magistrate dismissed all charges against the trio after the Crown, represented by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) conceded defeat.

Mr Moti had demanded the Office of DPP to produce a certificate of leave for the institution of charges under the Immigration Act. But the Prosecutor Mike McColm informed the court the requisite certificate did not exist.

The prosecutor made a written submission to Court that Mr Moti was lawfully entitled to enter, reside and work in Solomon Islands in his capacity as the Attorney General appointed under the Constitution.

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Solomon Islander takes up Deputy Director General's position at FFA

A Solomon Islander, Dr. Transform Aqorau has become the first Pacific Islander since the establishment of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) 27 years ago to be appointed as Deputy Director-General of the FFA.

Dr. Aqorau was appointed by the 63rd meeting of the Forum Fisheries Committee which is the governing council of the FFA, which met in Apia, Samoa from 4-8 December. The appointment of the Deputy Director-General followed the resignation of the incumbent, Mr. Steve Dunn of Australia in May this year.

Dr. Aqorau said "that he saw the position as a great challenge especially coming in as the first Pacific Islander to be appointed to the position. He promised that he would do his best to maintain the high standard of service that the FFA has provided to its member countries since its establishment".

He said "I know it is not an easy job, having served under five Deputy Directors. I have seen the stress that goes with the office because essentially you are responsible for ensuring the technical programmes of the FFA are delivered effectively".

Dr. Aqorau who holds a doctorate in law is a specialist international fisheries lawyer. He paid tribute to the Solomon Islands government for its support for his candidacy and also to the members of the Committee for their support.

Before being appointed as Deputy Director General, Dr. Aqorau was Legal Counsel of the FFA, and had been working since September as the Interim Deputy Director-General. He previously worked in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Suva based, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as Legal Adviser.

Dr. Aqorau said, "the region's tuna resources needs to be managed and sustained so that Pacific Islanders can fully realise the benefits that they receive from their tuna resources. For far too long, FFA Members have been exercising the sovereign rights that they have over the tuna resources to benefit foreigners, but that will all change with the introduction of limits. The adoption of the Vessel Day Scheme with the work that is currently being undertaken on exploring the development options for albacore tuna will soon ensure that Pacific islanders are in the driving seat, and not the other way around. Already the Vessel Day Scheme is creating opportunities not hitherto seen before".

The Director-General, Mr. Dan Sua welcomed the appointment of Dr. Aqorau and expressed his appreciation for the landmark decision by the Forum Fisheries Committee. Dr. Aqorau paid tribute to members of the Forum Fisheries Committee and thanked the members of the Committee for their support and confidence in him by appointing him to the position.

Source of pic:

Distance Learning Centres Project to open soon in North Malaita

A Distance Learning Centre is currently being completed and should open soon in 2007 at the Arnon Atomea Community High School in North Malaita to improve rural communities' access to quality education and vocational training, through distance education.

According to the Malu'u Supervisor, Mr Peter Kwanairara, the building construction is being completed by contractors by this month. The computers and other equipments should be arriving soon so that installations can be done to be followed by the official opening of that first ever rural communities' distance learning initiative in North Malaita.

The Distance Learning Centres Project (DLCP) is an European Union and NZAid funded component of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP). It is being implemented for the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development by the People First Network (PFnet) of the Rural Development Volunteers Association (RDVA). It is a 3-year project, that is now to be extended until the end of 2007.

The project is establishing a Solomon Islands SchoolNet, with nine distance learning centres located in rural community high schools in each province, equipped with broadband Internet through a newly established VSAT network. The project is working with education providers building capacity to deliver distance education in support of the curriculum, for in-school teacher training, technical and vocational training (TVET), open and flexible learning.

The centres will be run as multipurpose community telecentres, building on PFnet's sustainable rural networking experience, and are expected to have wide impacts in rural development.

Despite the fact that distance learning is an old concept in Solomon Islands, this project is unique because it will use modern Internet-based technology to make studying by distance much easier, more effective and more efficient. Each centre will be solar powered and will have initially six laptop computers, printers and scanners, an HF radio and will have full-time supervision to help learners use the equipment and to follow distance courses and receive training using Internet-based synchronous and asynchronous tution tools such as collaborative platforms and learning management systems.

The centres will also be open at certain times each day for general “Internet Café” use, enabling better communications and access to services. In order to protect school children and others from exposure to inappropriate materials, the network will be fully screened using a sophisticated “content filter”.

Source of pics: PFNet

Solomon Islands Prime Minister tells Fiji Military to exercise restraint

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has called on the Fiji Military Forces to exercise restraint in its interim running of the country to protect Fiji’s future socio-economic progress and prosperity.

Mr Sogavare says the government believes last week’s removal of the democratically elected Government of Fiji by that country’s military forces, could have serious adverse effects on the ordinary citizens of Fiji.

He has also called for an urgent meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to help re-establish dialogue between the opposing parties in Fiji to try to avoid economic sanctions against the country.

Mr Sogavare says his government is disappointed in the events of the past week and is concerned that a lack of cultural understanding will have serious implications for the people of Fiji.

He says the military must not be allowed to imperil the lives and welfare of the people of Fiji in its quest for a return to a civilian democratic government in Fiji.

Mr Sogavare says the impact of last week’s coup not only affected Fiji, but the entire Pacific region.

He says his Government attaches particular importance to the establishment of the Forum Task Force which has been requested to review the role of the RAMSI force in Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare says his government remains committed to the resolutions of the recent Forum meeting in Sydney, where Pacific member countries agreed to assist Fiji resolve the differences which exist between parties in Fiji.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

TARD donates SI$350 towards Malu'u Health Awareness Show

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student voluntary group has donated SI$350 cash to the Malu'u Health Counterpart (MHC) organizing committee to support their efforts in staging a first ever Health Awareness Show from January 10-12, 2007 in Malu'u, North Malaita.
TARD Chairman handing the $350 to Malu'u Health Show Chairman, David Dauta

During the two day North Malaita Constituency Leaders Consultative Workshop from November 27-18 in Malu'u, TARD has pledged the small contribution after hearing the difficulties that the organizing committee have faced in terms securing funds to successfully organize the event next month. The donation was hand delivered to the MHC Organizing Committee Chairman and President of the To'abaita Council of Chiefs, Mr David Dauta, in the presence of Malu'u Area Health Center staff and committee nembers on Saturday December 2 2006.

In thanking TARD, Mr Dauta conveyed the organizing committee's appreciation on behalf of the rural communities in North Malaita and the To'abaita council of chiefs for such assistance especially from students who have a heart for their rural people.

"We are thankful towards TARD for this SI$350 assistance as it is the first donation that the organizing committee will be receiving from anybody. We do not expect students who have no jobs or salary to do such a thing, as witnessed from our past scholars. But we are grateful that you students have realized that our rural areas and clinics is where our life begins", said Mr Dauta.

The Malu'u Health Awareness Show is scheduled to take place from January 10-12 at the Malu'u Area Health Center compound. It is aimed at awaring the public and rural communities from Arao to Ata'a of the services that provided at the various clinics in North Malaita, and outlining the importance of health and good sanitation. The show will be filled with health related education talks, skits, and cultural performances. TARD will also be represented by some of its members throughout the show early next month.

North Malaita community clinics received donated medical supplies from TARD

Forty boxes of medical supplies kindly donated by the Medical Aid Abroad (MAANZ) organization in New Zealand to four health clinics in North Malaita had been successfully distributed by the To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student voluntary group, on December 2 2006.

Transportation of the medical supplies from Honiara-Auki-North Malaita.

The medical supplies were shipped from Auckland to Honiara in September by MAANZ which also paid for the shipping costs. The supplies were then stored in Honiara until TARD members returned from Fiji in mid November.

Distribution of Gwaiau and Fo'ondo clinic supplies (left); and traditional community gift presentation for TARD (right).

The shipping freight from Honiara to Auki for the medical supplies was met by TARD whilst land transportation from Auki to Malu'u was provided by the Australian Government's Community Sector Program (CSP).

Delivery of supplies to the staff and village committee at Bita'ama clinic.

Distribution of the supplies was carried out on Saturday December 2006 in a hired transport by the Member of Parliament for North Malaita Constituency, Honourable Daniel Enele Kwanairara. TARD members who were part of the distribution group are Simon Mau, Lenny Konamauri, Alwyn Danitofea, Lynly Galie, Exsley Taloiburi, Steven Filiomea, Ishmael Alulu, and James Iilu.

Final handover to staff and clinic committee at Malu'u Station.

Supplies for Fo'ondo and Gwaiau clinics were distributed at the Malanaofe Market, while Bita'ama and Malu'u were done at the respective clinics. In receiving the medical supplies, the communities, chiefs, and clinic committees have thanked TARD for facilitating such assistance, particularly from a prominent voluntary organization in New Zealand.

In response to the community feedbacks, the Chairman of TARD Mr Exsley Taloiburi also thanked the donors, communities and support groups for having the confidence in a very young voluntary group such as TARD and sharing a youth initiated vision.

SI Education Ministry approves form 6 for Malu'u Community High School

The Ministry of Education has approved the introduction of Form Six at Arnon Atomea Community High School at Malu'u in North Malaita.

Senior Education Officer for the North Malaita region, Lency Waneatona, revealed this recently during the close of the school academic year on November 29.

Mr Waneatona says the Ministry of Education has given the green light for the school to have Form Six next year. But he says this will depend on the School Board and parents meeting certain requirements.

Mr Waneatona also says the school need to build dormitories and hostels to accommodate boarding students. He says this because Form Six students would be accommodated at the school.

Mr Waneatona says day students cannot be compared with students of boarding secondary school such as King George the Sixth School.

"Our students miss 200 hours of study each year, 200 solid hours. King George the Sixth and others study one hour in the evening. We at Malu'u don't have that."

Meanwhile, the upgradation of Malu'u community high school to form 6 by 2007 is a positive move in light of TARD's recommendation at the recent North Malaita Constituency Leaders Consultative Workshop for Malu'u to be upgraded to become a form 7 accredited national secondary school by 2010. As a result, TARD has encouraged its teaching fresh university and SICHE graduates to go home and serve at the Malu'u Community High School and spearhead this goal.

Monday, December 11, 2006

TARD's successful participation in the North Malaita Constituency Consultative Seminar

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) has successfully participated in the two day North Malaita Constituency leaders consultative seminar in Malu'u from November 27-28 2006.

During the seminar, TARD was offered various time slots to aware chiefs, community, provincial and national leaders of the purpose of TARD, its goals and vision, achievements, challenges and collective recommendations. TARD representatives in the workshop are James Iilu, Exsley Taloiburi and Ishmael Alulu.

The two day consultative seminar was organized and facilitated by the North Malaita Constituency member of parliament, Hon Daniel Enele Kwanairara, after prior consultative with TARD.

Major objectives of the seminar are to:
- update constituency leaders of the goals, achievements, challenges, and recommendatios of each independent unit, framework, or group that are established within the constituency.

- provide a venue for an open forum on charting the way forward for the North Malaita Constituency in preparation for the national government's bottom-up developmental approach policies.

- drafting of a Malu'u Communique which consists of genuine recommendations to be forwarded to appropriate authorities within the government ministries and donors for consideration.

- to set the platform for a one week workshop in February 2007 where a short to long term development plan for North Malaita Constituency will be adopted after widespread consultation with rural people.

The two day leaders workshop was the first of its kind in the history of North Malaita Constituency and was attended by more than sixty registered participants. Participants included the member of parliament for North Malaita Constituency and his staff, two provincial ward members, To'abaita council of chiefs, Malu'u public servants, TARD representatives, women group leaders, youth group leaders, church leaders, village elders, To'abaita business owners, rural training center representatives, and other self help volunatry groups and committees.

Solomon Islanders on target at the New Zealand Football Championship

Solomon Islands' soccer players currently staging a career at the New Zealand Football Championship have been in perfect form, scoring goals over the weekend to help their clubs retain top shots on the leaders ladder after round ten.

In the game on Saturday at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin, YoungHeart Manawatu with the services of several Solomon boys thrashed Otago United 5-0 to hold a close second spot behind Waitakere United.

During the game, Totori added a double to his golden boot leading tally either side of halftime, while fellow Solomon Islanders Nelson Sale and Alick Maemae also got on the score sheet after a Phil Elder own goal started the proceedings.

In the other game yesterday at the Douglas Field in Waitakere, Team Wellington was beaten by Waitakere United 0-1, enabling Waitakere to hold a four point lead over Manawatu at the top of the table.

In the game proper, Waitakere had the best of the first half chances and finally broke the deadlock a minute prior to halftime when another Solomon Islander, Commins Menapi, scored his fourth goal of the season. The Menapi's 44th minute strike was eventually the winner for Waitakere United in that match.

Malaita Province identifies its 10 year strategic plan

The out-going Malaita Provincial Government has identified priority areas under a ten year strategic plan to develop the province.

The plan is for Year 2007 to 2017. The Malaita 10 year plan says the priorities areas are important to social and economic development of the province.

It says five areas are considered to underpin requirements to the Province's potential success in reaching its Strategic Visions. The areas include creating an effective road infrastructure, establishing effective and affordable telecommunication systems and providing sustainable and environmentally acceptable sources of energy in the province.

The other priority areas are the creation of training and support for processes that rebuild Malaita's sense of community and the need to spend funds more wisely towards the province's vision.

The Malaita 10 year plan was compiled following various consultative meetings with people in the province.

Meanwhile, provincial elections in Malaita will be held later this month where a new provincial executive is expected to be elected to run the provincial affairs. Intending candidates are already in the process of campaigning and winning candidates should be known by late this month. The out-going provincial government was under the leadership of Premier Reuben Moli.

Source: SIBC

Friday, December 08, 2006

Northern United Soccer club pips DMP in HFA league

The Northern United Soccer club which consists of players from the North Malaita area has pipped DMP soccer club 3-2 in a tough and physical encounter at the King George VI south soccer pitch yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday's game was part of the Honiara Football Association (HFA) Division 1 league games which saw a strong DMP outfit denied victory under the mights of the Northern United boys.

During the first half, Northern United was leading DMP 1-0 with Northern's goal coming from a penalty. After the breather, both teams came firing after being mentored by their coaches. This quickly resulted in an equalizer by DMP forwards. As time goes on lack of fitness was obvious in both teams. DMP utilized that to score their second goal to the appreciation of its fans whilst Northern supporters watched helplessly to what appears to be hand ball from the DMP striker. However, sheer determination and stamina instilled in the Northern United boys by well known trainer, Mr Fa'ako Liolea, Northern United managed to slip in another equalizer to level the scoreline at 2-2. The final quarter was filled with tempo and physical attacking as both teams tried to secure a full 3 points. The Northern supporters were treated to a late winner by their left flanker to make it 3-2, enabling the Northern United team to get the full 3 points from that game.

USP Laucala's soccer teams retain soccer titles in SI inter-tertiary games

The University of the South Pacific Lauacla Campus soccer teams 1 and 2 have been crowned the soccer champion and the runner up, after the closing of the inter-tertiary games in Honiara yesterday.

During the pool play, both Laucala's team 1 and 2 came second in their respective polls preventing them from playing each other in the semi-finals. In the first semi-final game yesterday morning at the Telekom grounds, USP Laucala 2 just managed to edge Papua New Guinea boys through a sudden penalty shoot-out. After full time, both teams were locked at 1 all resulting in 5 penalty shoots. After the 5 penalty shoots, both teams were still tied at 4 all resulting in sudden shots. PNG missed their shot while Laucala scored enabling them to qualify for the grand final.

In the second semi-final, Laucala team 1 also beat SICHE through penalty shoot-outs at the King George VI south field. The grand final did not eventuate as both Laucala teams prefer to share the first and second prizes. The third prize was scooped by PNG boys displacing SICHE in the loser's final.

The official presentation of prizes for all the sports played is scheduled for today evening at the Multi-purpose hall.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

North Malaita Constituency Consultative Workshop paves way for Development Plan

The recommendations of a seminar in the North Malaita Constituency will set the basis for a development plan for the next few years.

Member of Parliament for the constituency, Enele Kwanairara, says the two-day consultative seminar was held with various community leaders.

He says the seminar came about because the community leaders in the North Malaita Constituency want to improve their communities.

"This will set the basis for further development plan, further conferences or workshops in early part of 2007. This will enable the leaders to compiled a plan for the constituency."

Mr Kwanairara says the cooperation of North Malaita Constituency leaders and their people is a move to image of their area.

More than 60 leaders including women, North Malaita council of chiefs, TARD representatives, provincial and national leaders, church leaders, and youths attended the seminar.

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bainimarama name Fiji’s interim-govt new Prime Minister.

Fiji army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has appointed retired Fiji army doctor Dr Jona Baravilalala Senilagakali as the caretaker Prime Minister to facilitate the dissolution of Parliament.Bainimarama announced he was being appointed under Section 109 (2) of the Constitution.
Following the dissolution of Parliament, an announcement will be made, regarding the formation of a caretaker or interim government to steer Fiji," he said.

All ministers from the Qarase Government have been given one month to vacate their Government quarters and return all government property in their possession. Bainimarama said they will be paid one month's severance pay.

He said there was no intention to arrest the ministers.
"We only ask that they lead their daily lives and not interfere in the process that is now taking place." Bainimarama has ruled out an election any time soon.
"After a proper census and electoral system is in place, the caretaker government will facilitate democratic national elections as provided for under our Constitution," he said.

"When the country is stable and the electoral rolls and other machineries of elections have been properly reviewed and amended, elections will be held.
"We trust that the new government will lead us into peace and prosperity and mend the ever widening racial divide that currently besets our multicultural nation."

Soure:Pacific Islands Report.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Solomon Islands Non-government sponsored student to be evacuate from mount tension in Fiji.

Hundreds of Solomon Islands student studying in Fiji under assistance of Ausaid, Nzaid and T/ROC will be evacuate to their various country after increase tension in Fiji.

The decision to evacuate student was came about after Fiji military have begin its campaign by removing guns and ammunition from Fiji police tactical unit and erect numbers of check point at various place in Fiji yesterday.

TARD has confirmed with Ausaid and Nzaid students that they will be return home starting tomorrow 6th December and are expect to back if the situation is normal.

While it is evident that John Howard and Hellen Clerk is considering the safety of their sponsored students. Solomon Islands government sponored student (mostly families) were still living in fear after receiving thousands of dollar last week as their Holiday allowance.

Source:TARD .

Monday, December 04, 2006

Solomon Islands Inter-tertiary games kick off.

TERTIARY students studying locally and overseas will today leave their books behind to compete on the field through a number of sports.

The 2006 inter-tertiary will include a number of sports such as soccer, netball, softball, table tennis, dart and tug of war.

Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the winning teams in each of the sports.
This year’s tournament is being hosted by the USP students studying at the Solomon Islands campus.

Apart from the sports activities, there will be open forum, cultural night and thanks giving service.

The tournament based on the theme “Peace and Unity in Sports” is being hosted in collaboration with the Home Affairs Department and the Prime Minister’s Office.
The aim is to promote peace and unity through sports in the country.

The event will start this morning with a parade from Lawson Tama to the Cultural Village led by the Police band.

After the official opening all the games will kick off at the Telekom sports complex, Panatina and Townground. Star Sport understands all registration for the competition by each of the institutions have completed last Friday.


Fiji millitary begins clean-up campaign by removing guns and ammunition.

Fiji soldiers have begun loading guns and ammunition at the Police Tactical Response Division headquarters for removal after securing the compound more than two hours ago.

Fiji Times reporter Sera Janine, who is stationed outside the PTRD headquarters, said two trucks went inside the compound minutes ago and started loading guns and ammunition.

Ms Janine says she was told by a senior police officer who did not want to be identified that the soldiers did not have authorisation to inspect or remove the weapons and ammunition.

More than 40 soldiers were involved in the operation. Meanwhile, non-essential staff at the police station were sent home.

Confirmed reports from the Suva city say soldiers have also gone to the police residential barracks at Nasova in full combat gear to secure another police armoury there. In the process they have cordoned off parts of the barracks.

Earlier, Police Commissioner Moses Driver said the visit by military officers to the police tactical unit's compound just outside the capital, Suva, was not a takeover.
"It is a just a friendly visit," Driver said, dismissing reports the military had taken control of the compound as inaccurate.
"There is no confrontation of any sort."

A delegation of soldiers went to the police unit's headquarters and asked to see its weapons and ammunition, which was one of military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's demands of the Government, Driver said.

But the police unit had not received permission from the Home Affairs Ministry to let the soldiers view the weapons. The military delegation and police were now waiting for permission so the visit could go ahead, Driver said.
Soldiers wearing body armor and carrying semiautomatic rifles could be seen inside the property although police officers were guarding the entrance to the compound, where hundreds of onlookers have gathered.

Commodore Bainimarama has threatened to topple Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase at any time, after last week saying a deadline to meet his demands to "clean up" the government had expired.

This morning, Qarase said he was in his office in Suva and the government was still in charge. He said he was willing to hold more talks with Bainimarama on his demands.
Qarase said the army chiefs threatened action against the government amounts to treason.
"What he's saying he'll execute, that will be totally illegal," Qarase told local media.
"It will be against the constitution of Fiji, against the laws of Fiji and will amount to treason."

In a television interview on Sunday, Commodore Bainimarama said he was planning to appoint an interim civilian administration and hold elections at a later date to restore democracy to the country. He said Qarase must resign, or be removed.

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