To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Solomon Islands' Prime Minister confident that Motion of No Confidence move against his government will be a easy walk over.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday issued a strong warning to the Opposition: His Government is not scared of the Motion of No Confidence.

Mr Sogavare told the Solomon Star: “We will walk over it.
“I’m not worried about that one bit it will be hot air, raising the same issues.” To support his statement, Mr Sogavare displayed a list signed by Members of Parliament who are supporting his Government.

The list, as witnessed by the Solomon Star, goes well past the 25 required to ensure the Government stays in power. The Opposition plans to table a Motion of No Confidence in the Sogavare-led Government when Parliament meets a week from today.

There has been speculation that the 16-month-old Government may collapse, amidst controversy over a number of issues. But Mr Sogavare invited the Solomon Star to view his signed list, the latest signature being added yesterday.

Amongst those who have signed are Guadalcanal MPs who had been expected to leave the Government if the rearming of local Police officers went ahead.

Mr Sogavare said: “I want you to tell the nation that the Government is not scared of the Motion of No Confidence.
“We fear nothing” in fact we’re going to step over it.”

In addition Mr Sogavare said he does not care who leads the Opposition, amid rumours that it may change its leadership before the motion in a bid to build more support.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Francis Billy Hilly is one name that has been speculated about possibly taking over from Fred Fono. But a confident Mr Sogavare said: “I don’t care who becomes the leader of opposition. It’s up them, I just take whoever comes.”

Source: Solomon star.

Pacific Nations to dig deep into their pockets to keep WTO office in Geneva running after EU's proposal to cease its funding

Countries of the Pacific will have to pay if they want to keep their office open at World Trade Organisation headquarters in Geneva.

Funding of the office and the Pacific permanent representative to the WTO was met by the European Union over the last three years.

Chief trade adviser of the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, Dr Roman Grynberg, says EU funding is about to cease and the islands of the Pacific must now meet the cost of maintaining the office.

"That office has been very important to us in assuring that we have a voice at the WTO," he said.

"If you don't have a voice, how does it go if you're absent, you are always wrong, and so it is vital that we continue."

Source: Radio Australia

Australia’s foreign minister wants PNG government to release inquiry into Julian Moti

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has called on the Papua New Guinea Government to release a document that recommends charges be brought against PNG Prime Minister Michael Somare.

A PNG Defence Force Inquiry has recommended charges be laid against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering a clandestine military flight to help Australian lawyer and alleged paedophile Julian Moti escape to the Solomon Islands, News Ltd reports.

Mr Moti was arrested at Port Moresby on September 29 last year over the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997. The Australian-trained lawyer, of Fiji-Indian background, then escaped to the Solomons on a secret PNG military flight on October 10.

The inquiry report recommends laying charges against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering the flight at the request of Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Mr Sogavare has repeatedly blocked Australia’s efforts to extradite Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen.

Mr Downer said the report suggested that charges should be brought against the PNG Prime Minister for “his alleged involvement in the flight of Moti to Solomon Islands.”

“This report, if it is accurate, is a very great concern to us,” he said.
“We believe that the Papua New Guinea Government should now come forward and make this document publicly available rather than it trickling out through leaks.”

A National Alliance spokesman said yesterday, “If the Australian media in collaboration with PNG politicians want to determine the outcome of the formation of government, I wish them luck. “National Alliance does not have to depend on luck, the people of Papua New Guinea have spoken through the polls.

The National Alliance spokeman says Papua New Guinean people want leaders that can deliver political and economic independence, not leaders that go crying at a drop of a hat to the Australian public.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Taiwan donates medical supplies worth $800,000 to Solomons National Referral Hospital in Honiara today

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Solomon Islands, His Excellency George Chan this morning handed over a supply of medical equipment and medicines worth SBD$800,000 to the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.

Ambassador Chan said the medical supply sent all the way from Taiwan was a token of the friendly and cordial relationship between his country and Solomon Islands.

He said Taiwan was always concerned about the health of Solomon Islanders and this was symbolized by its ongoing assistance in the health and medical sector.

Mr Chan said Taiwan was a member of a responsible global community and would continue to uphold the motto ‘health for all’.

The diplomat also announced the arrival of another Taiwanese medical team from the National Referral’s sister hospital in Taiwan, the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital.

The new medical team comprising a kidney disease specialist, a plastic surgeon, a dentist, a dermatologist and surgeon was present at the medical equipment and medicine hand-over ceremony this morning.

Chan said he was sure many patients needing urgently surgery would benefit from their volunteer medical services as well as those requiring pain relief medicines.

The medical team will be providing specialist medical services in Honiara and Munda, Western Province for a month.

Mr Chan further announced that work on the fourth phase of the Taiwanese-funded National Referral Hospital project will commence soon.

He said an expert in hospital Management, Dr Hsiao Shih-huai has also arrived in Honiara to consult the Ministry Health and Medical Services on the fourth phase construction.

The diplomat said the major project was another demonstration of Taiwan’s friendship and commitment to assist Solomon Islands .

Ambassador Chan said to date Taiwan had so far spent US$10-million in Solomon Islands for the hospital project.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health and Medical Services Clay Forau Soalaoi has described Solomon Islands bilateral relationship with the People’s Republic of China (Taiwan) as unique.

Mr Soalaoi was speaking this morning upon receiving the $800,000 worth of medical equipment and medicine supply from the Taiwanese government and also welcoming another Taiwanese medical team to the National Referral Hospital.

Minister Soalaoi said the relationship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan was exceptional because it faced a lot of challenges and that those tests would be the source of strength for that bond.

He said Taiwan had been a true friend of Solomon Islands having stood by the country in its times of dire need and difficulties.

Mr Soalaoi said Solomon Islands would also want this friendly and cordial bilateral relationship to benefit Taiwan and thus Solomon Islands would do all it could to support Taiwan in its bid for admission to the United Nations.

The Minister thanked the Taiwanese government for the newly donated medical equipment and medicines and Taiwan ’s International Cooperation and Development Fund for funding the newly arrived medical team.

He also thanked the National Referral’s Taiwanese sister hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital for providing the medical team personnel.

USP starts semester 2 classes today with over forty new blood from the Solomons

The University of the South Pacific in Fiji, a premier tertiary institution for twelve small Pacific Island countries, begins its semester two classes today with more than forty new students from the Solomon Islands who flew over to Fiji over the past two weeks.

It is understood that on Friday 20 July, about 26 new students had arrived. However, due to other problems such as airline ticketing and seat availability, another 20 or so students had to wait for last week's flight before coming over to Fiji.

According to the Secretary of the Solomon Islands Student Association (SISA) at USP, Ms Matilda Dani, the new students will increase the total number of Solomon Islands students at the USP Laucala Campus to about 700 students.

Australia Pacific Technical College officially open for first student intakes from small Pacific Island Countries

The Australian-funded Australia Pacific Technical College has been declared officially open for first student intakes from small Pacific Island Countries.

Last year the Australian government pledged $US128 million to set up and operate the college, as an alternative to the Pacific leader's push for labour mobility to Australia and New Zealand. It is understood New Zealand has agreed to the Pacific's labour mobility proposal last year.

Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer told Radio Australia the first student intake this month will offer training in tourism and hospitality to fill critical skill shortages and boost employment opportunities and economic growth in the region.

The college is targetting the industry sectors of automotive, construction, manufacturing and electrical trades, tourism and hospitality, health and community services.

The internationally-recognised courses will run at training centres in Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Mr Downer says from 2008, scholarships will be available to enable students, especially those from smaller island states, to participate.

Source: Radio Australia

Solomons Police boss embarks on image rebuilding exercise for proposed rearmament programme

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Commissioner of the Solomon Islands Police Force, Mohammed Jahir Khan is embarking on a major image rebuilding exercise for the national law enforcement authority as a prelude to the proposed rearmament programme.

Mr Khan told a Press Conference on Friday afternoon that his immediate focus was on creating a positive public perception on the Solomon Islands Police Force after the ethnic tension and the 2006 Honiara April riot.

He admitted the image of the local force had been tarnished by the involvement of some cops in the ethnic conflict and the 2006 April Riot however those ‘odd officers’ had been removed and thus vowed to embark on an image-rebuilding exercise before proceeding with rearmament.

“We have to manage the perception first. We must manage the perception and have more interaction with the community in order to take the message of the police across.”

“What we have today is a police force minus those 560 odd police officers who took part with the militants during the riot (2006 Honiara April Riot) and the ethnic conflict.

“We have recruited since then about 270 new police officers into the Solomon Islands Police Force and they are very young people. They are the people that

need to be given the opportunity to gain maturity in the police force and this can only be done through encouragement and guidance,” Mr Khan stressed.

He said he had requested additional funding from the government to change the pacific regional police uniform used by the Solomon Islands Police Force to the original Solomon Islands Police uniform as part of that image rebuilding initiative.

The police commissioner said he had decided to engage police personnel from Papua New Guinea , Fiji , Vanuatu and Tonga serving with RAMSI in armed protection for the Prime Minister, the Governor General and other government officials in the meantime.

He said he had consulted the coordinator of the RAMSI Participating Police Force on the engagement of pacific islanders in the police Close Protection Unit and had already begun discussions with his counterparts from those countries he wanted to involve in the armed protection duties.

Mr Khan said Solomon Islands Police personnel would be slowly integrated into the Close Protection Unit at the time he thought appropriate.

The Police Commissioner cautioned that the Participating Police Force would not be in Solomon Islands forever to protect the national leaders and hence the local police force must be prepared and allowed to eventually take on that role again.

He expressed disappointment over the media’s adverse reporting on the police saying such reports would certainly have an effect on their morale and performance.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Regional trade issues to feature highly on Pacific Forum Trade Officials Meeting agenda in Vanuatu today

Regional trade issues will feature high on the agenda of the Pacific Forum Trade Officials Meeting which starts in Port Vila, Vanuatu, today prior to a meeting of Forum Trade Ministers next week.

The Forum Trade Officials Meeting is one of five trade related meetings which started on Monday this week and will go on until 3rd August.

The Trade Officials meeting will review the implementation of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) between Australia and New Zealand, and the Forum Island Countries (FICs), and also discuss issues related to SPARTECA.

They will consider progress on implementation of the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (RTFP), a programme for the Standards and Conformance component of the RTFP.

The Forum trade officials will also deliberate on the reports carried out with the objective of a more comprehensive framework for Trade and Economic Cooperation between FICs and Australia and New Zealand. This includes the Gap Analysis Study and Baseline Study.

The Meeting will also consider a regional approach to World Trade Organization (WTO) trade issues as well as the implementation and proposed future direction for improving intellectual property rights systems in the FICs.

A Report on Revenue Consequences of Trade Reforms in the FICs will also be considered along with a review of the strategy for trade capacity-building for FICs.

The outcomes of today’s meeting, including recommendations from the Forum Trade Officials, will be sent to the Forum Trade Ministers for further deliberation and decision when they meet in Port Vila, 2 – 3 August.

Source: PIFS

Western Provincial Premier expresses support for new Solomon Airlines board

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Solomons' Western Province Premier, Alex Lokopio supports the government’s appointment of a new board for the Solomon Airlines.

Mr Lokopio announced his backing for the move aimed at reviving the financially troubled state-owned enterprise and improving its performance from Munda, Western Province yesterday.

He agreed with the Finance Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo’s statement when announcing the new board that people of high caliber and the expertise to resolve the plight of the national airline had been appointed.

“The Western Province is a tourist destination and therefore it is not in the best interest of the Western Province to see the Solomon Airlines fail.

“In this regard the appointment of the new board for Solomon Airlines consisting of our professional and distinguished statesmen like Rick Hou, Tony Hughes, Austin Holmes, Billy Titiulu and Gideon Zoloveke Jr. is timely and a step in the right direction,” the Western Province Premier said.

Mr Lokopio is in Munda attending talks with the people there and representatives of the Department of Civil Aviation on the proposed upgrading of the Munda Airfield into an international airport.

He also stressed the importance of upgrading other airfields in the Western Province due to the importance the province places on tourism.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

PMO's Constitutional Reform Unit releases membership appointees for the Constitutional Congress and Elders Advisory Group

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The Constitutional Reform Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Solomon Islands has released the names of people appointed for membership in the Constitutional Congress and the Elders Advisory Group.

The names of those appointed to the Constitutional Congress are as follows:
- Tony Hughes
- Ashley Wickham
- Charles Levo
- Abraham Baeanisia
- Alice Puia
- Catherine Pule
- Dr Glynn Galo
- Judith Fangalasu
- Jenny Tuhaika
- Walton Naezon
- Warren Paia
- Viola Malasa
- Jackson Piasi
- Simmy Vazarabatu
- Pat Loe
- Irene Vaukei
- Jane Tozaka
- George Saemane
- Chief Dennis Lulei
- Dr Alice Pollard
- Hilda Kari
- Fr. John Gerea
- Chris Tangaraniara
- Hudson Kwalea
- Paul Tovua
- Sir Fr. John Lapli
- Clara Rebati
- Roslyn Lemoba
- Jack Faga
- Joseph Huta
- Joy Abia
- Catherine Adifaka
- Jonathan Angikimua
- Harry Alick Walter
- Phylisca Fate

The elders appointed to the Elders Advisory Group are:
- Sir Peter Kenilorea
- Sir Moses Pitakaka
- Sir Baddeley Devesi
- Sir George Lepping
- Danny Philip
- Ataban Tropa
- James Vaukei
- Clement Rojumana
- Daniel Ho’ota
- Joses Tuhanuku
- Henry Manuhea
- Rt. Rev. Lazarus Munamua
- Vainga Tion
- Tapualiki Samasoni
- Collin Gauwana
- Dr John Roughan
- Sabino Jerry
- Josephine Kama
- Nuatali Angelina Tongarutu
- Mathew Quan

The Constitutional Reform Unit says the combined effort of the congress and the elders will ensure the constitution-making process remains focused on the overall Solomon Islands community interest.

It said the membership of the congress was drawn from both Honiara and the provinces, posseses the special expertise to undertake its appointed task, gender balanced and has connections to Solomon Islands non-government organizations.

The Constitutional Reform Unit says the Elders Advisory is made up of indigenous and non-indigenous Solomon Islanders who are distinguished civil and traditional leaders in their own right.

It says the Congress is required to work closely with the elders who with their invaluable life experiences and skills are able to collectively bear wisdom to many issues to guide the congress in its task.

The Constitutional Reform Unit says the congress technical committees involved in drafting a new constitution will be required to have reports endorsed by the elders before submitting them to the full Congress for decision.

SI government proceeds with investigation into detected money fraud network aimed at sucking the SIG's purse

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The Finance and Treasury Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo has warned people including government officers intending to steal money from the government Treasury of no escape and no mercy.

The warning comes as the government proceeds with an investigation into a money fraud network allegedly involving certain officers in the Department of Treasury and a group of outsiders.

Mr Darcy Lilo said the racket was detected after a government cheque of $500,000 was drawn from one of the commercial banks.

He revealed that a set of government cheques was stolen through the money fraud network but fortunately the half a million dollar cheque was the first to be drawn.

Mr Darcy Lilo said the cheque bore forged signatures of the government authorities responsible for authorizing cheque payments.

He said some of the people who had drawn the money from the bank had been arrested by police and were being detained in custody.

The Finance and Treasury Minister said the money drawers were identified by the surveillance cameras in the bank and the police were confident they would be apprehending those still at large soon.

He said the people identified to be responsible for the fraud had been allegedly stealing money in the same manner from some companies.

Mr Darcy Lilo meanwhile attributed the swift detection of the fraud to the robust internal audit system in his ministry and warned fraudsters to keep away from any attempt to get money from the government Treasury through fraud.

He said though the $500,000 was not recovered, the government had seized the assets of those identified to be responsible for the crime.

The Finance and Treasury Minister accused the bank of negligence for not cross-checking the Treasury Department for the authenticity of the cashed cheque.

Australian Federal Police denies Honiara 2006 riot allegations over instructions to shoot rioter's necks with non-lethal weapons

Claims a senior officer breached the rules of engagement by instructing staff deployed to the Solomon Islands to aim for rioters' necks with non-lethal weapons are false, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said yesterday.

The AFP said it had investigated a number of allegations raised in a parliamentary inquiry into Australia's involvement in peacekeeping operations, and found they had no substance.

World Vision said the claims in its submission to the inquiry came from serving AFP officers.

The aid group said an international deployment group team leader had given "inappropriate, and possibly illegal information" during a presentation to ADF and New Zealand police force members in the Solomon Islands.

"The team leader concerned ... reportedly informed participants that, from his experience in mine security in PNG, a person's neck was a good place to aim with a 12 gauge beanbag round, since this could render the person unconscious, and that shooting people in the back as they were fleeing was also acceptable," World Vision said.

AFP "use of force orders" prohibited shooting above the shoulders except in the most extreme circumstances, which would also not include people fleeing, the submission said.

World Vision also raised allegations that officers used weapons during the Honiara riots on April 18 last year that had not been approved. The rules were then amended retrospectively the next day.

The AFP said it had investigated and ruled out the allegations last year, well before World Vision made its March 20, 2007 submission.

"The Australian Federal Police is aware of claims made by World Vision in their submission to the Senate standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and trade's inquiry into Australia's involvement in peacekeeping operations," a spokesman said.

"World Vision never sought clarification from the AFP on the allegations made in their submission.

"AFP Professional Standards had investigated the allegations raised in the submission in 2006. The investigation found that there was no substance to the allegations."

Professional Standards is a branch of the AFP that deals with complaints about members.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Solomon Islands to present two papers at Pacific Public Service Commissioners Conference in Samoa

Two Permanent Secretaries and the Chairman of the Solomon Islands Public Service Commission are currently attending the Pacific Public Service Commissioners Conference in Apia, Samoa.

Permanent Secretary of the Department of Provincial Government and Rural Development Fred Ganate says Solomon Islands will present two papers at the conference.

It is understood the Permanent secretary of the Public Service Department will present a paper on Public Service Improvement Project whilst Mr Ganate will be presenting the Provincial Government Strengthening Programme.

Mr Ganate says the paper talks about the situation of Solomon Islands Provincial Government System and the likely assistance it needs to improve good governance and administration of provincial governments.

The three-day conference which started yesterday is being funded by AusAid, NZAid and the Forum Secretariat.

Source: SIBC

Group of people in custody for allege theft in government treasury.

A group of people who allegedly robbed the State of up to $500,000 are now in custody and their properties seized by police.

Minister of Finance Gordon Darcy Lilo said about $500,000 had been fraudulently processed by the bank after the group used falsely printed signatures. Mr Lilo said that it was fortunate that they were caught by the bank’s camera.

It was alleged that the group removed unused government cheques and used one of the slips, falsely printed signatures and withdrew the money. Mr Lilo said it was the internal auditors’ robust tracking down that resulted in them identifying the problem.

However, he said they were unable to retrieve the money. Mr Lilo accused that particular bank for not cross-checking with the Treasury to question such a huge withdrawal.

The minister said he is planning to ask the bank to recover the money, as they should have taken responsibility by cross-checking with them.

Source: Solomon star.

Solomon Islands' only gold medalist at the SPG 2003 dropped from defending her title.


The country’s only gold medal winner at the 2003 South Pacific Games in Fiji, Mavete Mase, has been dropped from the taekwondo squad this year.

Coach Philip Afu said Mase was removed from the team going to next month’s South Pacific Games in Samoa because she did not commit herself to training.

"I’m sorry because Mavete is our medal contender," Afu said. Solomon Islands Deputy Chef De Mission, Golden Kiloko, said it was sad news for the country. "Mavete should go and defend her gold medal she won in Fiji," he said.

Mase had also represented Solomon Islands in the 1999 South Pacific Games in Guam and won a silver medal there. She comes from Western province.

Source: Solomon star

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

SIG reiterates desire for RAMSI support for its policies

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Foreign Affairs Minister, Patterson Oti last night reiterated the government’s desire for the compatibility of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) work programmes with the Solomon Islands government policies and priorities.

Mr Oti was speaking at the 4th anniversary celebration of RAMSI’s operation in the country at the mission’s military headquarters at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort.

Whilst congratulating the mission for its achievements over the past four years, the Foreign Minister reiterated Honiara’s desire for RAMSI to harmonise its work programmes with the ruling government’s policies and priorities in order to address the underlying issues that necessitated the intervention in 2003.

Mr Oti said it was only through partnership that the RAMSI and its stakeholders would ensure the sustainability of peace and development in Solomon Islands.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also emphasized the importance of maintaining the regional character of RAMSI and on that note expressed satisfaction over the Pacific Islands Forum’s appointment of a permanent representative in Honiara as well as the Solomon Islands government appointment of a special envoy to RAMSI.

Mr Oti described the appointments as a useful approach which the Solomon Islands government had taken to ensure there was trust and cooperation amongst all stakeholders in the Australian-led Pacific Islands forum initiative.

The appointment of the Pacific Islands forum representation in Honiara followed a request by the Solomon Islands government.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also highlighted the importance of capacity building for Solomon Islanders in preparation for the departure of RAMSI.

Mr Oti said capacity building was vital and the Solomon Islands government had continuously emphasized this RAMSI to ensure Solomon Islands could be able to manage its own affairs at the end of the intervention programme.

He said the government believed the only way forward was for all stakeholders of RAMSI to work together through meaningful dialogue on the future of RAMSI’s assistance to ensure a brighter future for Solomon Islands.

The Foreign Affairs Minister paid tribute on behalf of the Solomon Islands government to the RAMSI contributing countries for their ‘significant’ contribution towards the restoration of law and order, improvement of government finances and strengthening of government institutions.

Talks on EU Economic ties with the Pacific underway in Vanuatu today

Issues related to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union (EU) will feature high on the agenda of a two-day meeting of Pacific ACP Senior Trade Officials which begins in Port Vila, Vanuatu today.

The negotiations enter a critical phase as the deadline of 31st December 2007 gets closer.

An update on the EPA negotiations to the PACP Senior Trade Officials will include the outcome of the recent PACP-EU Joint Trade Working Group Meeting in Brussels, a report of the 2nd Joint PACP Ministerial Meeting and the outcomes on the discussions on the PACP-EU proposed MOU on the Movement of Natural Persons (labor mobility).

On the other trade matters related to the EPA negotiations, the Pacific ACP Senior Trade Officials will discuss the PACP-EU Goods Demand and Offers and the Services Demand and Offers.

They will consider EPA related studies including a National Assessment of EPA Development Needs and Adjustment Costs and the study on Responding to Revenue Consequences of Trade Reforms in Forum Island Countries.

A Regional Preparatory Task Force and EPA Adjustment Facility will be discussed as well as an Issues Paper on Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Trigger or how a concluded EPA with the European Union will trigger PACER, the trade agreement between Forum Island Countries and Australia and New Zealand.

The PACP Senior Trade Officials will also consider the Way Forward and Lead-Up to 31st December 2007, the dateline set by the European Union for the conclusion of negotiations of any EPA with the three regions of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific.

The two-day meeting is expected to make recommendations on the individual issues to the Joint Meeting of Pacific ACP Trade Ministers, National Authorizing Officers and the Regional Authorizing Officer to be also held in Port Vila 31 July – 1 August.

Source: Pacific Magazine

A powerful Solomon airlines' board consist of Hou and Hughes named.

A powerful new board stacked with business and economic management expertise was yesterday named to revive financially troubled Solomon Airlines.

Respected current and former governors of the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands were amongst those appointed by Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo. The new board is chaired by the bank’s governor Rick Hou, who was recently invited to give a keynote address to the region’s finance ministers.

Mr Hou is joined on it by Tony Hughes, of Gizo, a former governor and now a leading regional consultant on economic and business issues. Mr Lilo also named businessman Austin Holmes, lawyer Billy Titiulu, and former airline chief executive Gideon Zoloveke Jr to the board.

This board replaces a board named just last week to replace a board dismissed by Mr Lilo.

There were concerns that some of the board named last week had potential conflicts of interest. This is because of the businesses they are involved in. Mr Lilo said the new members are trusted, high quality individuals, with a capacity to make an outstanding contribution.

“This shows the Government’s commitment to good governance in our state-owned enterprises,” he said. “And it shows my commitment to getting the best outcome for aviation in Solomon Islands. “I have told the new board to immediately get on with the business of improving the financial performance of Solomon Airlines. “And I have told them that I expect improved results sooner rather than later.”

Mr Lilo has said he will wait till he gets the results of a review into the operations of the airline before he decides on the fate of its leased 76-seat Embraer 170 jet.

The airline has had problems because of limits on passenger and cargo capacity on the E-170 services linking Honiara with Santo, Brisbane and Nadi. Mr Lilo has also said the airline is under pressure because of previous questionable financial management and difficulties with Australia over rights.

He has accused Australia of blocking what are known as Fifth Freedom Rights for the airline. These would allow it to carry passengers freely between Brisbane and Santo.
Mr Lilo said this route was to be a key part of the strategy for using the E-170.

Vanuatu had welcomed the service. But Mr Lilo said Australia was blocking the rights Solomon Airlines needs and was doing so for political reasons.

Rick Hou is the Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands. Tony Hughes is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands. Austin Holmes is the Deputy Chairman of the National Provident Fund and is a director on the board of Home Finance Ltd. Billy Titiulu is a lawyer with Pacific Lawyers. Gideon Zoloveke Jr. is a former CEO of Solomon Airlines.

Source: Solomon Star

Guadacanal MPs oppose gun but not appointment of Khan and Moti.

Guadalcanal Members of Parliament last night confirmed they will quit Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s Government if it gives local Police officers guns. But they also revealed they do not oppose the appointments of Attorney-General Julian Moti and Police Commissioner Jahir Khan.

A meeting of Guadalcanal leaders had called for the Government to drop the controversial Police rearmament, along with the appointments of Mr Moti and Mr Khan.
But Central Guadalcanal MP and spokesman for the MPs, Peter Shanel, told the Solomon Star the MPs believe Mr Moti and Mr Khan were properly appointed. “We believe that the appointments were done in line with our constitution and they were Cabinet decisions so we support it,” the Minister for Commerce said.

However, Mr Shanel said they don’t support plans to give guns back to some sections of the Police force. “If that policy goes ahead then we will leave the Government,” Mr Shanel said.

Guadalcanal MPs in the Government are: Dr Derek Sikua (Minister of Education), Siriako Usa (Minister of Mines), Mr Shanel, Nollan Leni (Minister of Fisheries) and Martin Sopage.

The Guadalcanal leaders on Friday last week delivered a 14-day notice to the Government for it to respond to a series of resolutions. These included for the Government not to rearm Police, and for the appointments of Mr Moti and Mr Khan to be dropped. The resolutions were reached during a Guadalcanal leaders’ meeting held at Gorou.

Source: Solomon star.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

SI Mens National Basketball coach names final squad for upcoming Samoa games


The Solomon Islands Men's National Basketball Team has named the final team for the upcoming Pacific Games in Samoa.

The squad has been training for over 6 months and has developed into a strong team. Coach Ryan Burns believes he has the right combination to be competitive in the South Pacific Games.

Coach Burns stated that the team has excellent balance and versatility with great depth in both the guards and the forwards and also a balance of offensive and defensive players.

"Having a squad of 17 players has made trainings very competitive and the players have really pushed each other each training session. This has been one of the reasons for the team's improvement over the months", says coach Burns.

"These 12 players should be appraised by their achievement and remember that as representatives of their country they have a job to do at the South Pacific Games"

Ryan Burns congratulates the travelling 12 players, as they were initially part of a squad of 27 players that has been gradually trimmed to the final team. Ryan Burns stated that the non traveling reserves are still very much part of the team as they will also play an important role in the preparations over the next month with competitive match play at trainings that will push all players to their limits.

The National Basketball Final Lineup:


Moses Au, Augustine Basia, Timothy Goulolo, Junior Gwali, Leon Hatigeva, Moses Kivo, Alexander McFadden, Anthony Prince, Scaden Tesua, Davidson Toliliu, Waige Turueke, Allan Wane.

Gavin Bare, George Fafalle, Trevor Kaitu'u, Goldie Kari, Frank Kivo

Source: Solomon Times

North Malaita student gets an interview along with other AusAid students in Tasmania's premier Newspaper

By Blair Richards

A new group of international students at the University of Tasmania is the face of a Federal Government international aid program.

AusAID Australian Scholarships are awarded to high achievers from developing Asia-Pacific nations.

After completing their studies in Australia, the students must return to their home nations to apply skills.

NEW KNOWLEDGE ... From left, Vuong Duc Tran, of Vietnam, Exsley Taloiburi, of the Solomons, Indra Krishnamurti, Luci Agustini, Purnamila Sulistyawati and Anung Riapanitra, all of Indonesia, have become the face of the Federal Government's international AusAID program [Picture: KIM EISZELE].

Exsley Taloiburi, 27, who was awarded an Australian Leadership Award, said: "It aims to develop potential and existing leaders from the Asia-Pacific region."

Mr Taloiburi will attend a leadership forum in Canberra next month and said the Solomon Islands needed a new generation of leaders.

"In a small country like the Solomon Islands, that is very important," he said. "We need good leaders."

Mr Taloiburi is studying environmental management and said: "I'm planning to work in the public service either in the Ministry of Environment or in the fisheries sector."

Purnamila Sulistyawati, 29, and Luci Augustini, 31, both of Indonesia, are studying agricultural science and researching ways to treat diseases in plantation trees.

Anung Riapanitra, 26, is a chemistry lecturer and one of the first from his Indonesian university to study abroad.

The students said they felt welcome in Hobart but were struggling with cold weather.

Source: The Mercury

North Malaitan and Solomons Commissioner of Forestry attends Sydney Conference on combating illegal logging


Commissioner of Solomon Islands Forestry Division and North Malaitan, Mr Gordon Konairara is attending a three-day conference to combat illegal logging in the Pacific.

The conference is being held in Sydney, Australia, starting yesterday. Department of Forest and Conservation said the Australia Government has invited the Forestry Division to participate in the high level meeting on forest and climate.

Media reports from Australia said the meeting will discuss a satellite monitoring system to combat illegal logging and the destruction of native forests in the Pacific, especially Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Indonesia.

Officials from the US, China, Brazil, Indonesia and PNG are also attending the meeting.

The Government of Australia hopes it can eventually used the satellite programme as a global model to measure deforestation. The satellite system will be in place by next year with the Howard Government pressing ahead to install some of the critical equipment in the north of Australia.

Launched this year with $200 million in funding, the idea of the scheme is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by tackling deforestation around the world. Each day, more than 4.4 million trees are destroyed accounting for around 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.

Native forest destruction has pushed Indonesia to the world’s number three greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China according to the World Bank. Large-scale deforestation is most severe in South East Asia, Brazil and Central Africa. This year the British Government set up a fund to battle large-scale forest clearing in the Congo.

Mr Turnbull has strongly promoted the forests initiative in the US and Indonesia saying that if global deforestation was halved, greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by three billion tonnes a year, or 10 per cent of total emissions.

The conference in Sydney will concentrate on what officials describe as ‘practical measures’ to combat global deforestation. These include promoting technology like satellite radar to help monitor and measure deforestation in Indonesia, the Philippines, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

It will also promote better forest management and planting of new forests in the region. The forests programme was criticised, especially by the greens, when it was launched in March because it encourages only voluntary measures to reduce deforestation without binding targets. It is also operating outside the UN negotiations on slowing deforestation.

But officials say the Australian Government aimed to put the forest issue high on the agenda for the crucial UN negotiations in Bali later this year on climate change. The Government wants any targets to slash greenhouse gas emissions to take into account gains from combating large-scale destruction of forests. Mr Konairamo will return to Honiara by the end of this week.

Source: Solomon Star

Niue Government donates NZ$10,000 to Solomons' Disaster Assistance Programme

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare this morning received a NZ$10,000 cheque from the visiting Niuean Acting Police Minister, Organ Viliko in aide of the earthquake and tsunami-affected people of Western and Choiseul Provinces.

Mr Viliko presented the cheque in a presentation ceremony in Mr Sogavare’s office.

Mr Viliko expressed the sympathy of the government and people of Niue for the lives lost in the calamity and the destruction it left behind at the occasion.

He said Niue had its own financial problems just as Solomon Islands but wanted to donate a little gift to symbolize its heartfelt empathy as well as love to its brothers and sisters of Solomon Islands who were affected by the disaster.

The Niuean Acting Police Minister said he purposely came to Honiara to present the gift.

He thanked Mr Sogavare for the Solomon Islands government’s support for Niue at regional meetings and expressed hope for the maintenance of that backing.

Prime Minister Sogavare said his government was touched by the overwhelming assistance pouring into the country for the disaster- affected people and Niue’s contribution was heartily appreciated.

He described the donation as huge in consideration of the size of Niue and assured it would go a long way in assisting the survivors of the Solomon Islands unprecedented natural disaster of April 2.

The Prime Minister said the emergency relief phase of the disaster assistance programme had ended and Solomon Islands was now moving into the next phase of reconstruction.

Mr Sogavare said the reconstruction phase would be more challenging as it would involve relocating people to higher grounds.

He meanwhile assured the Acting Niuean Police Minister of the Solomon Islands government’s support for Niue’s bid to host the 2008 Pacific Islands Forum Meeting.

Mr Sogavare said the Solomon Islands government would be officially conveying its support to the Niuean government to host the annual forum leaders’ summit in due course.

Mr Viliko arrived in Solomon Islands yesterday and will return to Niue tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sogavare sues Solomon Star and a Sam Iro for publication of a letter to the editor last Friday

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is suing the Solomon Star and ‘Auki Urban Insider’, Sam Iro for an article published in the daily paper’s Letters to the Editor column last Friday, titled ‘Fono and $50,000.’

The article authored by Mr Iro as it appeared in the paper alleged that
the National Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Fred Fono would have won the prime ministerial election last year had Prime Minister Sogavare not promised $20,000 to a person named Medley Kwalemanu and the members of parliament were not petrified at the riot that broke out on that event.

Mr Sogavare this morning issued a letter of notification on the commencement of the legal proceedings to the publisher of the paper.

He condemned the allegations and described them as nothing short of a criminal defamation basically aimed at discrediting him.

The Prime Minister said if the Solomon Star and Mr Iro thought that he (Mr Sogavare) could resort to evil strategies to win the favour of members of parliament, they should better think again.

“This is irresponsible publication on the part of the country’s leading newspaper. The publisher and editor of the newspaper have failed in their professional obligation to reject an article that carries unproven allegations.

“The article ‘Fono and $50,000’ has no other objective than to discredit me. This is nothing short of criminal defamation which you are a party to,” Mr Sogavare said.

Recent 2007 Palau Forum Economic Minister's Meeting recommends push for labour mobility

by Deli Oso, Press Secretary to PM

The recent 2007 Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Palau has recommended that forum leaders push for bilateral arrangements or a regional co-operation on labour mobility with Australia and New Zealand, the Minister for Finance and Treasury, Gordon Darcy Lilo revealed.

Mr Darcy Lilo told a Press Conference on Friday morning last week that labour mobility was one of the issues discussed at this year’s FEMM and the region’s economic ministers had set that down for pursuance by forum leaders at their 2007 annual summit in Tonga in October.

“We recommended to the forum leaders that the two countries in the pacific, Australia and New Zealand should now sign bilateral arrangements or regional co-operations with forum island countries so they can put in place seasonal workers scheme or some permanent long term employment arrangements for all forum member countries.”

The Finance and Treasury Minister said studies had proven the economics of labour mobility in a number of pacific island countries.

“There are countries that have been able to benefit from seasonal labour employment in metropolitan countries like Australia and New Zealand. These countries included Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tonga and they have grown economically strong.”

“If you look at Samoa for instance 50 percent of its growth is basically from remittance. It is a small economy even not big as the Western Province but it is

thriving economically. Samoa has graduated from being one of the least developed countries to a medium scale income economy and this is partly due to a steady flow of remittance from its citizens working abroad under seasonal and permanent employment arrangements,” Mr Darcy Lilo said.

Mr Darcy Lilo said this was good news and the forum economic ministers wanted all forum member countries to enter into seasonal or some permanent long-term employment arrangements with Australia and New Zealand soon to improve their economic base.

He said the current labour mobility focus was on unskilled labour which was excessive in pacific island countries.

Mr Darcy Lilo said Australia had not totally rejected labour mobility arrangements with pacific island countries but wanted those seeking employment under such arrangement to be trained.

He said the forum economic ministers had indicated the region’s readiness to put in place training programmes should a labour mobility deal be struck by the forum leaders.

The Finance and Treasury Minister said a study carried out by the World Bank found that Melanesians who had temporarily worked in New Zealand and Australia under seasonal employment arrangements had performed well.

There are Solomon Islanders working in New Zealand under private seasonal employment arrangements.

Dr Roughan says COI Report on April 2006 riots directs government where to play a role in

Secretary to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Doctor John Roughan says the Commission of Inquiry into the April 2006 riots interim report underscores where government must play a major role to ensure this kind of trouble doesn't happen again.

Dr Roughan says had there been signs of a strengthening economy, growing levels of youth employment, reduced corruption and greater trust between those elected and the people at that time, Honiara would have escaped the riots altogether.

He however says this report must not be seen as an opening wedge to get rid of RAMSI, but a plea to both government, RAMSI and the people to re-order themselves to nation building.

Dr Roughan says the Commission's findings must not be seen as a finger pointing exercise.

He says while searching out why things went wrong in April, the Commission underlines the basic reasons as high levels of poverty, significant youth unemployment, deep seated corrupt practices and distrust among political groups.

Source: SIBC

Guadalcanal Provincial leaders give PM 14 days to respond to their resolution on controversial issues in the country.


Guadalcanal leaders have given Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s Government 14 days to respond to a series of resolutions on controversial issues. They want the Government to stop the rearming of some sections of the Police, and replace Attorney-General Julian Moti and Police Commissioner Jahir Khan.

The 14-day notice was given to the Prime Minister on Friday after a meeting in Gorou, Guadalcanal Plains. It was said to have been attended by all the Guadalcanal parliamentarians.

One of the meeting initiators, Stephen Panga, said if the Government rejects their resolutions their five members in Government will have to resign from the Government.

But a senior Government official said last night that not all Guadalcanal MPs are supporting the resolutions. He said two of them have already assured the Government that they are not party to the resolutions.

Panga said like many Solomon Islanders, the people of Guadalcanal have opposed the appointments of Khan and Moti and the planned rearming of some Police officers. Panga said all the Guadalcanal MPs signed the communiqué. He said the people of Guadalcanal would like to see the Government response to their demands.

“From that we will know what course of action to take,” Panga said. A senior Government minister confirmed to the Solomon Star yesterday that they have already received the Guadalcanal resolutions. They will be looking into them, he said.

Source: Solomon star.

Trade show next at Malu’u: SMEC.

It's Malu’u next following this month’s success of the National Trade Show in Auki. Small and Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) of Solomon Islands has accepted an invitation from the Malaita Premier Richard Irosaea and his Government.

SMEC will head the “Trade part” of a show to be celebrated in Malu’u, North Malaita, for the province’s celebration of its second appointed day on the August 15.

The council said in a news release that it agreed as this initiative will again help rural people to begin engaging in business activities. It said the Malu’u Trade show will be small compared with the “National Trade Show 2007” early this month during the national independence anniversary. But the council is confident that the Malu’u celebration will gain support nationwide.

Malu’u is certainly the next commercial centre of the province, it said. Basic infrastructure is now in place including roads, power, water, telephones and in September ANZ, through the Bank Blo Evriwan (Mobile Bank). These facilities has certainly put Malu’u on the map as the next destination, besides Auki in Malaita Province.

According to the technical director of SMEC Mr. Leliana Firisua, his council are ready to assist once more in this regard especially when we are all looking at advancing this Country’s Bottom up Approach. ”We are certain that our private sector, including our major supporters, will again stand with us in moving forward the business sector right down to the rural people of this country.”

The council’s secretary, Robinson Taebo, will head the Malu’u, Techmart 2007. The Malu’u celebration will cover three components: Trade, Agriculture, Culture and Musical Show.

Source:Solomon star

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Solomon Islanders urge to use internet to do business.

Solomon Islanders are being encouraged to start businesses in which they can sell their products on the Internet.

This is the view of Christina-Kuper Wini, the Chairperson of the local organising committee of a regional information technology conference to be held in Honiara next month.

Mrs Wini says there are avenues open to Solomon Islands to use the Internet to sell their products.

"Our country has many avenues which Solomon Islanders should take up the initiative to start businesses to go online and sell their products. Whether you are a carver who lives in the province, and you need to sell your products, but has transport problems or how to sell your products overseas. You can you the Internet to sell your products."

Mrs Wini says in the future not only those in Honiara will have access or advantage to use the Internet.

She says people in the rural areas will also have access when they know how to use the Internet, citing the PeopleFirst Network, PFNet, as an example of the Internet getting to the rural areas.

The regional conference next month is the annual meeting is a gathering of Information Technology specialists convened by the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society.

Source: SIBC.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Zealand Defence Minister says Commission of Inquiry Report fails to address key issue

New Zealand Defence Minister Phil Goff says an inquiry into the Chinatown riots in the Solomon Islands last year fails to address the main point.

Radio New Zealand International says the inquiry, set up by the Solomon Islands government, has pointed to a number of failures by Australian police commanders leading up to the riots which broke out at Parliament House and spread across the city.

No-one was killed, but more than 30 Australian Federal Police were injured. Much of the Chinatown trading district was razed, with hundreds of Chinese forced to flee for their lives.

Mr Goff told Morning Report the report does not focus on who was responsible for the riots on 18 April.

He said two government members of parliament were arrested at the time for instigating the riots.

He said the report should look at how they were dealt with and why they are free today.

Source: SIBC

Solomons 2006 April riot report criticises police for unpreparedness

An interim report by the Solomon Islands commission of inquiry into last year's riots, released publicly yesterday has criticised the preparations of local and international Participating Police Force (PPF).

In April last year, rioters destroyed the centre of the capital city, Honiara, after Snyder Rini was announced as prime minister.

Eventual prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, put the commission in place to find the reasons for the riot.

Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney reports that in its first interim study, the commission of inquiry has found there were major gaps in how local and RAMSI police prepared for the announcment of the prime minister.

It says this was an event which, given the volatile nature of Melanesian politics, should have been recognised as a period of high risk.

It has found police had no plan to deal with potential unrest, and insufficient trained officers at the parliament, despite evidence some political groups were prepared to cause trouble if the prime minister elected by parliament was not their choice.

The commission has also disputed witness evidence that the violence and the destruction of the city's Chinatown area was spontaneous, and in response to concerns about the ethnic group's influence on politics.

Source: Radio Australia

Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister back in court for criminal charges.

Former Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza appeared in the Honiara Magistrates Court again yesterday on four criminal charges.

Kemakeza was charged on 25 October 2006 and has been appearing in court for mention while waiting for his trial to be scheduled. He faces charges relating to robbery, demanding with menaces, intimidation and stealing. He denies all the charges.
No trial date has been set as the prosecution is not yet ready.

It is alleged that Kemakeza robbed John Katahamas, a lawyer of the Sol-Law firm, in May 2002. He is alleged to have demanded money with threat from Thomas Kama, also of Sol-Law, and also intimidated Mr Kama on 24 May 2002. It is also alleged that on the same day Kemakeza stole two Toyota motor vehicles from Mr Kama. Mr Kama is a principal partner of Sol-Law.

When Kemakeza first appeared, news reports said the prosecution told the court the charges relate to a May 2002 raid by a group of men on Sol-Law. The company’s website says Sol-Law is one of the largest legal practices in the country, and is a partnership of barristers and solicitors resident in both Solomons and Australia.

According to the October 2006 news reports, lawyer Chris Weir, for the prosecution, told the court that two weeks before the raid, Kemakeza allegedly held a meeting at his house. This was allegedly attended by militants and others. The prosecution alleged that at this meeting Kemakeza ordered the raid, according to the October news reports.

In addition, Kemakeza was alleged to have told the group that Sol-Law was not good for the Solomon Islands and was winding up the Solomons Export Marketing Authority.
Kemakeza allegedly told the men to tell Australian shareholders to leave the country and never come back, the prosecution said.

Four men - Moses Su’u, Chris Mae, Ben Idu and James Tatau, all former Malaita Eagle Force members - were convicted in relation to the incident.

Source: Solomon star.

SI Opposition Leader urges government to produce national development plan to support its BUA policy

Leader of the Solomon Islands Opposition, Hon Fred Fono is calling on the national government to produce its National development plan to support its Bottom Up Approach Policy.

Mr Fono says that as it is, the Bottom Up Approach policy is isolated because there's no National Development Plan to base the policy on.

He says its now 15 months since the government took office but there's no development plan to indicate to national planners and development partners where the country is heading.

Mr Fono says without the National development plan, donors will be hesitant to provide funding to various sectoral plans.

"Bottom Up Approach Policy is a policy of the government but it has no basis. It has to be incorporated in the overall National development Plan before we are convinced that the government is on the right track and donors will have the confidence in the government to support different sectoral programmes".

Source: SIBC

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Commission of Inquiry releases report on Honiara 2006 civil unrest this morning

by Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister

The Commission of Inquiry into the 2006 April civil unrest in Honiara has released its first interim report to the public.

The Chair to the Commission, Brian Brunton announced the release of the document to the media this morning. This followed the commission’s submission of the interim report to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last Friday.

Mr Brunton said the Prime Minister had informed the commission yesterday to release the document to the public and also indicated that Government Communication Unit would assist in its dissemination.

The report will be posted on the Government Communication website: later today.

The chairman said the document and part of the transcripts held in public would be published on the website of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2006 civil unrest.

He said the body of the interim report is 21 pages accompanied by another 31 pages of appendices.

Mr Brunton, a former PNG National Court judge said there were four compact disks CDs complementing the hard copy of the report.

He said the CDs contained the full video material provided by the Solomon Islands Police Force, copies of important affidavits and the transcript of evidence.

The video material carries scenes of the civil unrest.

Prime Minister Sogavare ordered the establishment of the commission of inquiry to establish the truth surrounding the unrest.

The other members of the commission are Noel Levi of Papua New Guinea and Waeta Ben Tabusasi and Charles Levo of Solomon Islands.

Redly Ramo works voluntarily to make a difference for North Malaita youths

Toktaem with Moffat Mamu

Youths are leaders of today in their own capacity given they being fully resourced with skills, knowledge and other necessary items.

Solomon Islands is richly blessed with the abundant supply of youths, they make up more than half the population. Sadly enough most of them are under-utilised because of lack of training opportunities.

Government is left with a challenge to find ways to provide them with the “Know How” training to address the ongoing unemployment rate in the country.

Solomon Islands is fortunate to have hosted the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP). A CYP task is to allow youths to be empowered in their own capacity to be leaders, make wise decision or embark on a project to help themselves.

CYP intern Matthew Albert explains:
“Young people taking control of their lives and enabling themselves to earn an income is the dream of many youth developmental organisations - including CYP,” Mr Albert said. Mr Albert is from Australia and is currently worked at the CYP, Panatina.

Mr Albert added CYP is always interested to know about any project or effort by youths in the country. Therefore, he said the CYP South Pacific Centre was very interested when it learnt of a youth initiative in North Malaita. This initiative is rural-based and involved young people helping themselves through the support of a local non-government organisation.

According to Mr Albert, Malaita has a “youth bulge” just like other Solomon Islands provinces. “It is home to almost double the number of people aged 15–29 than Honiara, giving it the province with the largest number of people in this age group in the Solomon Islands.”

CYP South Pacific Centre had heard of the North Malaita youth initiative from its youth leader, Redly Ramo. After initial meetings in Honiara, a CYP delegation made up of programme manager, Paul Peteru and Mr Albert visited the project. Like many youths, Mr Ramo was enjoying life in Honiara, but things have not turned out well for his life. As a young man his future was uncertain because there was nothing he could to make life more interesting. Mr Ramo left the city lights of Honiara in 2004 for Fulifo’oe, his father’s home village in North Malaita.

“Ramo, now married with two children had plans, dreams and enthusiasm targeted at involving young men and women in his community to engage in development activities,” Mr Albert said.

Since his return to the village, Mr Ramo has been working hard to fulfil his plans making a U turn to his life. Today, this sees the existence of the Uttermost Rural Development Foundation (URDF), the rural-based youth organisation established by him at Fulifo’oe.

URDF offers various activities, opportunities and assistance for the young people in his area. The URDF currently involves two major projects. The first is the Gwaunakwaru Cocoa Nursery, one of only two established nurseries in Solomon Islands. It provides free cocoa seedlings to young farmers across North Malaita. It aims to support young rural farmers to produce and plant 100,000 cocoa seedlings each year.

North Malaita has recently contributed about 10 per cent of the country’s national cocoa production.

The other major URDF project is its Savings Club, which is a micro-finance scheme that now has a membership of 20. Like the cocoa nursery, this club also aims to support young people who want to help themselves. The Savings Club provides an opportunity for members to pay their savings from income-generating projects into a central fund with a view to securing and increasing their savings, and obtaining loans. A similar initiative is also operating for 62 members of nearby Fanumusi Youth Association.

The proposed ANZ mobile bank service, Bank Blo Evriwan in the North Malaita area, will not only enhance the efforts of the URDF members to save their hard earned money, but will also enable young people of North Malaita to get into the positive culture of saving.

Mr Ramo’s work, like the work of social entrepreneurs the world over is focused upon building financial, social and communal resources. But the entrepreneurial works for the young people of North Malaita are about more than that. The activities embody, what Mr Peteru noted as the primary focus of the Commonwealth Secretariat, “respect and understanding”.

“Through Ramo’s entrepreneurial enterprises, the young people of North Malaita are demonstrating that this is not only what they are working for, it is what they deserve,” Mr Albert said.

“They are the beneficiaries of one of a growing number of social entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands.”

No youth initiative is complete without sports and recreation. The CYP delegates were special guests of the first Independence Day soccer tournament in Malu’u organised by the North Malaita Football Association. They witnessed soccer displayed by 10 ‘under sixteen’ teams drawn from surrounding villages with the winning team receiving the first prize from Moffat Konofilia of PNG’s Sobou Football Club.

The visit was conducted in July 10-11 for two days and it was a success, Mr Albert told Toktaem yesterday.

“We are pleased with the work being made by Mr Ramo in his own area to help the youths,” the Australian said. He said there are many youths like Mr Ramo who are embarking on similar initiatives around the country. “Mr Ramo is only one of these many youths who have worked hard to make their own success story,” he said.

Source: Solomon Star

Solomons Brazilian soccer coach name 25-player for SPG games in Samoa including ten new players.

Ten new players are in the 25-player training squad who go into camp today in preparation for next month’s South Pacific Games soccer in Samoa. They are Samson Takayama, David Taro, Jacob Pekau, Judd Molea, James Naka, Godwin Bebeu, Mostyn Beui, Arnold Keni, Tinoni Ratu and Tome Faisi.

Twenty-one players will go to the games and four will be non-travelling reserves. Coach Airton Andrioli will closely watch the form of all players during the camp.
“Changes can be made until two weeks before the start of the South Pacific Games,” he said. “All the players will have to fight for their place in the team.”

Youth international defender Taro said he is looking forward to doing well in the squad. Another defender, Takayama, said it has been a ˙long time dream to be in the national team. “Most of the time I spent playing football in Western Province,” he said.“It is last year that I came to play with KOSSA in Honiara.”

The Malaitan had captain the Western side in most of his outings in Honiara. This year Takayama played in the triumphant Bilikiki national beach soccer team. He said: “I’m looking forward to represent my country.”

Manager Atu Balakena said the squad could not move into camp yesterday because the beddings at the Solomon Islands Football Federation academy were not ready.

While in camp, the squad play local warmup matches against KOSSA FC (see report page 19), Solympic and Honiara Select.Then the team travel to Australia’s Gold Coast for more warmup matches there.

Balekena said: “We will be in camp until August 9 before leaving to Gold Coast.” Solomon Islands Football Federation general secretary Eddie Ngava said he can’t confirm which teams they will play in Australia. “We are still waiting for the consent letter of Australia © Football,” he said. “But we are aiming to play three Queensland state clubs.”

The final 25: Goalkeepers: Felix Ray, Fred Hale, Defenders: Gideon Omokirio, Mahlon Houkarawa, George Suri, Samson Takayama, David Taro, Jacob Pekau, Arnold Keni, Midfield: George Lui, Stanley Waita, George Aba, Richard Anisua, Judd Molea, James Naka, Alec Maemae, Henry Fa’arodo, Jack Samani, Mostyn Beui, Tome Faisi, Strikers: Commins Menapi, Benjamin Totori, Godwin Bebeu, Abraham Iniga and Tinoni Ratu.

Source: Solomon star.

OFC 2007/2008 O'League Draw finalised

The 2007/2008 Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) O'League competition draw has been finalised, which will see Auckland City and new Tahitian champions AS Manu Ura kick-off the O-League at Kiwitea Street October 27, 2007.

The match signals the start of O-League action around the South Pacific with defending champions Waitakere United hosting AS Manu Ura at Trusts Stadium just four days later.

In Melanesia, the excitement will be at fever pitch as Solomon Islands champions Kossa FC host Vanuatu rivals Tafea FC in a mouthwatering encounter on October 27th, 2007, at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.

Four days later Tafea FC will travel to face the yet to be determined Fiji champions, which is highly likely to be Ba FC in their own backyard.

The winner of the 2007/2008 O-League will qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup - 2008.

In Group A, New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) rivals Auckland City and Waitakere United will reignite their domestic rivalry alongside Tahitian newcomers AS Manu Ura who deposed AS Temanava as club champions in French-Polynesia.

Group B looks likely to be the toughest of the two pools with highly-fancied Vanuatu club champions Tafea FC returning to head table of Oceania club football after an absence of two years. Tafea FC won their way into the O-League after winning the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) O-League Preliminary Tournament in New Caledonia in emphatic fashion.

Kossa FC triumphed in the Solomon Islands Football Federation National Clubs Championship in Honiara earlier this year. James Naka and Joe Luwi - both recent Beach Soccer heroes for Solomon Islands - will help bolster the Kossa FC attack.

Fiji's representatives are yet to be determined, but it looks likely that Ba will return to O-League action after maintaining a 100% winning record in the New World National Football League in Fiji.






27/10/07 - Auckland City vs. AS Manu Ura
31/10/07 - Waitekere United vs. AS Manu Ura
17/02/08 - AS Manu Ura vs. Waitakere United
20/02/08 - Auckland City vs. Waitakere United
26/03/08 - AS Manu Ura vs. Auckland City
30/03/08 - Waitakere United vs. Auckland City


27/10/07 - Kossa FC vs. Tafea FC
30/10/07 - FIJI CLUB vs. Tafea FC
20/02/08 - Tafea FC vs. FIJI CLUB
24/02/08 - Kossa FC vs. FIJI CLUB
26/03/08 - Tafea FC vs. Kossa FC
29/03/08 - FIJI CLUB vs. Kossa FC


26/04/08 - 1st LEG
04/05/08 - 2ND LEG

Source: OFC

Solomon Islands government ban importation of gases containing ozone depleting substances.

The Government through the Department of Mines and Energy now bans the importation gases containing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). ODSs are contained mostly in refrigerator and air condition gases.

Department of Mines and Energy representative Kenneth Bulehite said this ban had been gazetted under the Prohibition and Restriction Act and came into effect on June 29. Mr Bulehite said this action is in line with the Montreal Protocol, which Solomon Islands ratified in 1997.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

Mr Bulehite said the prohibited refrigerants are Refrigerant 11, Refrigerant 12, Refrigerant 502, Refrigerant 22, Refrigerant 141b, and Refrigerant 142b.
Fire fighting gases such as Halon 1211, Halon 1301 and servicing gases such as carbon Tetrachloride and Methyl Chloroform are also prohibited.

In Solomon Islands Mr Bulehite said the most popular refrigerant is the Refrigerant 22. “This is mostly used in industrial and household refrigerators, freezes and air conditioners,” the officer said.

He said those who are still using the above named gases would have to swing to alternative non-green house gases because soon they will not be in store. There is only one alternative refrigerant gas that is allowed in the country and that is Refrigerant 134A(R134a).

However, Mr Bulehite said license gas agents could still apply for license to import certain restricted gases. “These are gases such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons, methyl bromide and any other ozone depleting substances and products using ozone depleting substances whether pure or in mixture form.

“Those who import these restricted gases can only do on a strict rules imposed by the Government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy,” Mr Bulehite said.
He said he hoped all license gas importers in the country are aware of these changes.
A company specialises in refrigerators, Centatherm, said they are aware of the ban and have already prepared for the adjustment.

Managing director Alf Scholz said they would put up the price of ODS gases such as R22 to force customers choose the cheaper alternative gases. “I also hope many people will adjust to the change as a lot of households and industries are using R22. It will be costly especially to industrial houses,” Mr Scholz said.

However, Scholz suggested the government find a supplier and restrict or prohibit the supply and not the demand. “That would be easy for importers to adjust to the situation.

However, Mr Bulehite said the government would first need to train Customs officers to identify gases that are not allowed into the country. The training will be conducted next month.

Mr Bulehite said after this training those found to continue importing these restricted gases would face the courts.

Source: Solomon Star

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

TARD online poll shows that a majority of respondents are against Moti's appointment as Solomons AG

An online poll about the Julian Moti saga hosted on the To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD) student blog, which was conducted from 25 May to 14 July 2007, has shown that more than 70 percent of respondents oppose the appointment of Julian Moti as the Attorney General of Solomon Islands.

The online survey poll on the question, "What is your view about the Julian Moti saga?" showed that 76 percent of respondents want Julian Moti to be deported to face charges in Australia to clear his reputation before taking up the Attorney General's post. Sixteen percent of respondents thought that Australia should not interfere with the Sogavare government's choice, whilst only 8 percent were of the view that Julian Moti is innocent and should be allowed to become the Solomon Islands Attorney General. A total of 97 anonymous respondents took up the online poll over the period from May to July.

The TARD student blog which received an average monthly online visitor record of over 3,000 internet users, mainly from educated Solomon Islanders throughout the world, is the official blog for the To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD) student volunteer group that was launched in 2005 by North Malaita university students in Fiji with a goal to pursue community development initiatives and assistance for North Malaita Constituency.

Earlier in the week, a Solomon Islands academic told Radio Australia that the government's decision to formally appoint Julian Moti as Attorney General is disappointing.

Doctor Tarsicius Tara, a research fellow at the Honolulu based East-West Centre in Hawaii says despite the expressions of discontent and the cloud that hangs over the character of Mr Moti, government went ahead with the appointment.

Dr Tara further questions how Mr Moti could refer to those who oppose his appointment as a few disgruntled voices. Doctor Tara says if there was an opinion poll in the country, he believes an overwhelming majority of people would oppose the appointment.

Dr Tara added that reading from a number of web-sites operated by Solomon Islanders, a large number of educated Solomon Islanders are against Mr Moti's appointment.He says there are very good reasons why Solomon Islanders should oppose Mr Moti's appointment.

He says the biggest repercussion this appointment has brought to Solomon Islands is distrust in the government.Dr Tara says one of the reasons why the country had the social unrest in the last couple of years, had been people's increasing distrust for government.

NZ and Aussie Defence Ministers discuss Solomons today

New Zealand's Defence Minister Phil Goff and Australian counterpart, Dr Brendan Nelson are holding their annual defence bilateral discussions in Sydney today.

"The situations in Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands will be the lead items in our discussions but we will also look at wider issues of stability within the South Pacific," Goff says.

"The RAMSI mission in the Solomon Islands has been effective in drawing the country back from becoming a failed state. The regional approach taken to working to address the problems in the Solomon's involving all 16 member states of the Pacific Island Forum has proved successful and developments there represent a marked improvement in peace and stability," Goff says.

"RAMSI intervened in the Solomon Islands at the request of the Solomon Islands Government and its Parliament. The mission enjoys the overwhelming support of the people of the Solomon Islands.

"Some questions have arisen recently about the ongoing consent environment to allow RAMSI to work in the Solomon Islands and the Facilitation of International Assistance Act which empowers our police and defence force personnel and provides them with immunity for actions taken in carrying out their duties. Continuation of the Act is a matter for decision by the Solomon Islands Government.

Source: Pacific Magazine

Australian High Com office in SI denies local media reports about visa ban on parliamentarians

The Australian High Commission in Honiara has denied reports in the local media that Australia has imposed visa restrictions on Solomon Islands Parliamentarians.

The reports say Australia has re-imposed a ban on Solomon Islands members of Parliament from travelling to or via Australia.

But a statement from the High Commission says those reports were not correct.

The statement says when the Solomon Islands government expelled former High Commissioner Patrick Cole in 2006, the Australian government responded to the unfriendly act by canceling all Australian visas held by Solomon Islands MPs.

The statement says at the time, many MPs held multiple-entry visas that allowed them to visit Australia without having to apply for a visa at each occasion.

It says since that time, Solomon Islands MPs have been required to apply each time they wish to travel to Australia and their applications have been considered on a case-by-case basis.

The High Commission says a travel ban never existed.

It says the visa application recently received from the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Employment, Peter Shanel, was unable to be approved, due to the last minute lodgement of the application.

Last week Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer determined that the presence in Australia of two Solomon Islands Ministers who held visas to transit Australia on their return from Europe, would be contrary to Australia's foreign policy interests.

This resulted in the cancellation of visas held by the Ministers.

The decision followed the swearing in of Julian Moti as Solomon Islands Attorney-General.

Source: SIBC

Coalition claims Opposition losing numbers.

The Chairman of the Government Caucus, Nelson Ne’e has called on the Parliamentary Wing Leader of the National Party, Francis Billy Hilly to stop making unfounded claims in the media.

Mr Hilly has earlier claimed that six government MPs have reverted to the Opposition ahead of the next Parliament session that is expected to begin early next month.

However, Mr Ne’e said the truth is that Mr Hilly’s party members left the National Party’s camp “high and dry” last year to join the Government, with Mr Hilly as the only remaining National Party member.

Mr Ne’e said the Grand Coalition for Change Government has maintained the support of its Cabinet Ministers and Backbenchers. “It was only the Opposition camp that has been continuously losing its members,” Mr Ne’e told Government Communications Unit.

He said, the latest Opposition MP to join the Government was the MP for Maringe/Kokota, Varian Longamei, which now brings the total number of Government MPs to 32.

He said the usual tabling of the no-confidence motion by the Parliamentary Opposition has become a regular undertaking during the last Parliament sessions “but they lacked the teeth to bite”.

Mr Ne’e said the current Government should be given the chance to lead the nation as its Bottom-Up Approach policies have overwhelming support from the rural masses.

He said prominent figures at the Opposition Group like Mr Hilly and the intended mover of the next no-confidence motion, Edward Huniehu have already served in past governments, and that their achievements left a lot to be desired.

Source: Solomon star.

Malaita Premier appreciates the overwhelming success of trade and independence celebration.

By Brian Waga

The Premier of Malaita Province Hon. Richard Iro’saea Na’amo was lost with words to describe his uttermost appreciation to the National Government and People of Solomon Islands for making the National Trade and Cultural Show and the 29th Independence Celebrations in Auki Malaita Province a great success and a milestone in the history of Solomon Islands.

Speaking from the Malaita Provincial Capital of Auki, Premier Iro’saea said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank firstly the National Government and the Republic of China Taiwan for the major funding and financial support in undertaking this national event on our shores”.

“With your support Malaita Province was honored and humbled to be the host for this years celebrations”.

“Also to mention the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Employment, Small and Medium Enterprise Council and to all business houses who are too many to name, who were involved in participating in the Trade and Cultural show through your financial support both directly and indirectly in participating in the events.”

“Please accept my salute and thank you on behalf of the people of Malaita Province because without your belief and faith in us as a worthy people in your involvement with us their would have been nothing to show case and participate in terms of the activities and trade in Malaita”, Premier Na’amo added.

“Also a very special word of thank you and appreciation to members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and RAMSI and their families who sacrificed their time to ensure their presence to our people to continue and enjoy the day to day activities in peace as families together enjoyed the celebrations”,said Premier Na’amo.

“Finally but not the least to all fellow Solomon Islanders in all walks of life, Malaitans who participated one-way or the other in the Agriculture Shows, the Cultural Groups and live entertaining Bands, thank you so much especially on behalf of the Malaita Public at large for your trust in us and in enjoying our hospitality and in ensuring and proving that we are a happy, friendly and hospitable people from Malaita who are proud Malaitans and ever prouder Solomon Islanders”, he said.

Source: PMC

Pacific Casino in Honiara reopens for business service.

Pacific Casino Hotel in Honiara reopened for business last week - a year after it was razed by fire. The hotel was one of the buildings burnt by looters during the April riots last year.

Hotel spokesperson Rachel Garo said they have reopened their accommodation services as of Thursday last week. Ms Garo said half of the complex was already complete and open to public, the other half is still under construction.

The hotel can accommodate 108 guests within its 60 rooms. Ms Garo said in this new complex there will be 14 deluxe rooms and 46 standard rooms. “We already have guests staying here,” Ms Garo said.

Prior to the riot, Pacific Casino was one of the well-known hotels in Honiara. The hotel’s restaurant and casino are still under construction. One of the construction foreman at the hotel site said that all the construction groups are working very hard, renovating and rebuilding the hotel.

With the rise in seminars and major regional conferences hosted in Honiara, more overseas delegates are coming into the country and the demand for accommodation had also gone up.

Source: Solomon star.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

PM Sogavare says his gov't does not intend to retaliate against Australia's visa ban action, contradicting earlier reports

by Deli Oso, Press Secretary to PM

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has refuted a front-page story carried on today’s issue of the Solomon Star claiming that the Solomon Islands government will ban all Australian ministers and parliamentarians from visiting Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said as far as the government was concerned there was no intention by the government to retaliate to Canberra’s imposed travel ban on Solomon Islands national parliamentarians.

Canberra imposed the ban in response to the swearing- in of Julian Moti for the Attorney General post Tuesday last week.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the Solomon Islands government was too civilized and mature to resort to any such naïve retaliatory action.

He said he had made it clear to the Australian government that if it was concerned about Moti’s induction it should look at the issues surrounding his (Moti’s) suspension.

Mr Sogavare said it was coward of Canberra to use other issues such as the travel ban to pressure Solomon Islands over the investiture of Moti.

The Prime Minister meanwhile condemned the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer for choosing to write a second open letter to the Solomon Islands public through the media to express Australia’s objection to the swearing in of Mr Moti.

He said Mr Downer had belittled his status by expressing Canberra’s views in the Letter to the Editor column instead of channeling them through the right channel - the Australian High Commissioner in Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said Mr Downer’s excuse for resorting to the media on the first occasion was the absence of a High Commissioner for Australia in Solomon Islands.

He said that first letter could be excusable as Australia was still without a High Commissioner in Solomon Islands then due to the expulsion of Patrick Cole as the Australian High Commissioner.

Mr Sogavare said now that Australia has a High Commissioner in place, Mr Downer had no reason under the sun to express Canberra’s views directly to the people of Solomon Islands through the media.

Mr Downer in his first letter expressed concern about the Solomon Islands government’s proposed rearmament programme claiming that an opinion poll conducted by a Solomon Islands newspaper found that the majority of Solomon Islanders were opposed to rearmament.

However, the Solomon Islands government was unaware of any such opinion poll ever being conducted by a local newspaper.

Bottom Up Approach, desire for a new Solomon Islands: Rev. Bako

The Bottom Up Approach Policy is the desire for a new Solomon Islands. This was the statement of Kingdom Harvest Reverend Elison Bako during the ecumenical service on Friday to launch the policy.

Rev Bako said a new Solomon Islands is what most people want. He said throughout the years, rural people have been forgotten, although they account for the majority of the country’s population.

However, he said with the policy Solomon Islands would never be the same again. “It’s time to change, rise and shine – change everything for the good,” Rev Bako said.

According to many members of the public who participated in the launching, the policy is a new beginning. In fact this is the first time any government-oriented launching took the streets and witnessed by the grassroots.

The members of the public also applauded the prime minister who led the march with senior government officials. The march started from Point Cruz Hot Bread Kitchen to Wesley United Church where the service to launch the government was held.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre (EDTC) institute will help bring the policy to the rural areas through the personal viability workshops. The workshops are based on educating people on holistic human development.

Source: Solomon star

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare urge Solomon Islanders to help themselves rather than depending on aid money.

Don't rely on aid donors to develop our country, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Friday.He spoke during the ecumenical service at Wesley United Church in Honiara to launch the Government’s Bottom Up Approach (BUA) Development Strategy.

Mr Sogavare said it is time Solomon Islanders develop themselves self-reliantly.
Solomon Islands is amongst the least developed countries in the world and people must cooperate to develop it, said the Prime Minister.

He said the country has a lot of resources. If these are utilised properly then we should not be having problems, he said. Mr Sogavare stressed that it is time development goes back to the rural areas where most people live.

The launching began with a public march from the Point Cruz Hot Bread Kitchen area to the Wesley United Church.

A graduation ceremony was also incorporated into the launching ceremony. Participants graduated from a local programme run by the Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre, a Papua New Guinea-based institute.

The Entrepreneuril Development Training focuses on educating people on self reliance. The Graduates from the training included parliamentarians Isaac Inoke and Siriako Usa, the Prime Minister’s Office’s Chief of Staff Judson Leafasia, and Government officials.

Source: Solomon star.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Downer writes an open letter protesting against Solomons' AG appointment.

Australia's foreign minister, Alexander Downer has written an open letter to the people of Solomon Islands protesting against the appointment of wanted Australian lawyer, Julian Moti as attorney-general.

The letter has been published in last Friday's issue of the local daily, the Solomon Star. This is the second time Mr Downer had written an open letter to the people of Solomon Islands.

The first was in September last year after the expulsion from Honiara, of Australia's former High Commissioner Patrick Cole.

Radio Australia says in the Solomon Star letter, Mr Downer expresses Australia's strong objection to the swearing in, saying Mr Moti's appointment is a large backward step for governance in Solomon Islands.

He says Australia will be watching very carefully any actions taken by the new attorney-general.

Mr Downer says these will include moves which could affect the ability of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to work effectively and independently for the benefit of locals.

Australia wants to extradite Mr Moti, who was sworn into the position last week, to face child sex charges.

Mr Moti maintains his innocence.

Source: SIBC.

Solomons Academic says government's appointment of Moti disappointing.

A Solomon Islands academic has said government's decision to formally appoint Julian Moti as Attorney General is disappointing.

Doctor Tarsicius Tara, a research fellow at the Honolulu based East-West Centre in Hawaii says despite the expressions of discontent and the cloud that hangs over the character of Mr Moti, government went ahead with the appointment.

Speaking to Radio Australia, Dr Tara says Prime Minister Sogavare has made a strong statement to Australia that Solomon Islands is his country and he will do whatever he wants.

But Dr Tara says it is very important not to focus more on the relationship between Solomon Islands and Australia because the Solomon Islands government can always disregard what Australia says.

He however questions how Mr Moti could refer to those who oppose his appointment as a few disgruntled voices.

Doctor Tara says if there was an opinion poll in the country, he believes an overwhelming majority of people would oppose the appointment.

Dr Tara says reading from a number of web-sites operated by local people, a large number of educated Solomon Islanders are against Mr Moti's appointment.

He says there are very good reasons why Solomon Islanders should oppose Mr Moti's appointment.

He says the biggest repercussion this appointment has brought to Solomon Islands is distrust in the government.

Dr Tara says one of the reasons why the country had the social unrest in the last couple of years, had been people's increasing distrust for government.

Source: SIBC.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Solomons' national soccer side beats PNG 2-1

Solomon Islands humbled the visiting PNG national side 2-1 in an action-packed match at Lawson Tama this afternoon.

Goals from Abraham Iniga in the first half and Alick Maemae in the second half was enough to separate the two teams as PNG canceled out Iniga's goal when match restarted in the second half.

Influential midfielder George Lui beat his marker and sent a neat ball over PNG goalkeeper David Aua to an unmarked Iniga who nodded tha ball in much to the delight of hundreds of soccer fans who converged at Lawson Tama.

However, Solomons celebrations was shortlived as PNG bounced back through Reginald Davani whose free-kick hit the far post before it rolled in to cancel out Iniga's goal. That goal ignited PNG into action.

Solomon's Airton Andrioli made replacements pulling out George Aba and replacing him with Gideon Omokirio. He also sent in Jack Samani for Tinoni Ratu and Godwin Bebeu for Judd Molea.

Bebeu immediately made impact and his shot which deflected off PNG's goalkeeper Aua, fell into Maemae's path who tapped it in for Solomons second goal.

Bebeu twice had one-on-one chance but Aua stood his ground well and denied the young and upcoming striker from scoring. PNG also fumbled their chances and in the end had to accept another defeat but this time on Solomon's soil.

Source: SIFF

Malaita Province's second appointed day will be celebrateted in Malu'u North Malaita.

The Second Appointed day for Malaita Province on August 15th will this year be celebrated in Malu’u, North Malaita.

The Malaita Provincial Government is also is also planning to stage a Mini Trade Show leading up to the 2nd Appointed Day celebrations with an emphasis on Agriculture, Trade and cultural activities.

Government's Communication Officer in Auki, Brian Wanga, quotes Deputy Premier of Malaita Province Edwin Suiba'ea as saying said the idea to hold the celebrations in Malu’u was to restrenghten the link between Malaita Provinces Regional Centers.

Mr Suiba'ea says this is to pave the way for the bottom up approach to development.

The Mini Trade Show is planned to be opened on Saturday 11th August and end on Wednesday 15th.

Mr Suiba'ea says the show will give an opportunity for those who will be taking part in the show to inform and educate people about theirs work and products.

He says it is Malaita Province government’s intention to rotate the 2nd Appointed day celebrations to regional centres in the future.

Source: SIBC

Interest among foreign fisheries investors increase after government's restructure of fisheries.

A number of overseas investment groups including RD Tuna Canners Limited of Papua New Guinea’s Madang Province and the Philippines have shown interest in investing in Solomon Islands.

This follows the government’s recent announcement of its intention to refocus and restructure the country’s entire fisheries industry at the advise of the Fisheries Advisory Council.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Council consists of local and marine and fisheries experts appointed by the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Nolen Leni.

The statement says the technical experts have noted that Solomon Islands is situated within one of the world’s richest tuna vicinities known as the ‘tuna belt’.

It says the tuna belt accounts for a significant proportion of the entire global tuna catch conservatively valued at over six-billion US dollars per year.

The government is keen to restructure the tuna industry to ensure tuna operations and activities take advantage of the resources and that it maximizes the benefits to the country.

The government hopes to also strengthen its relationship with the current tuna industry players, Soltai, TriMarine and National Fisheries Development to help contribute to the new emphasis.

Source: SIBC

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