To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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

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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Let the price war begin: Solomon Airlines Management

The price war between Solomon Airlines and the Brisbane based SkyAirWorld has now began in earnest. Both Airlines are now digging dip looking for a competitive edge to take advantage of the lucrative Honiara-Brisbane route.

SkyAirWorld has, over the past few months, slashed airfares for its services on the Honiara Brisbane route. In countering SkyAirWorld's challenge, Solomon Airlines has gone on its own media campaign and is also giving away huge discounts to travelers.

On paper Solomon Airlines now offers the cheapest airfares on the Honiara-Brisbane route - A$199 excluding tax compared to SkyAirWorld's A$249 airfares excluding tax.

Solomon Airlines Management is said to be looking at increasing and improving its services to Brisbane and Sydney, and it's interline links with other major international carriers crucial for onward travel from Brisbane.

Meanwhile, sources within Solomon Airlines have warned that if Solomon Airlines were to lose the current Brisbane route it will lose its entire international operation which will have an adverse effect domestic air services. "Solomon Airlines derives 84 percent of its revenue annually and helps Solomon Airlines to subsidize its largely uneconomical domestic routes" the source stated.

"If we lose on the Brisbane route, which is our life line, then Solomon Airlines is finished...many Solomon Islanders will lose their jobs and most importantly there will most definitely be no air services to most provinces except for certain viable routes."

Source: Solomontimes

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Three world's best surfers to tour surfing spots in Solomon Islands including North Malaita

Three world's best surfers will be surfing some of world's best surfs in Solomon islands.

They will be accompanies by Australia’s major surf magazine, Waves, world renown surf photographer - “Bosko” and major newspapers from Australia.

Solomon Islands' Visitors Bureau invited the surfers to discover how uncrowded and perfect surf breaks in Solomon islands are and to publicize to the world's fasted growing niche market, surf tourism.

General Manager of the Bureau Michael Tokuru says the surfers and reporters will surf the Maravaghi surfs and other surfing areas around Gela.

Plans are underway to bring in surfers to surf Star harbour, North Malaita and Western surfing areas.

He says the Bureau is very pleased with the response and hopes the initial publicity will bring in more surfers around the globe to surf in the uncrowded surfing areas in Solomon Islands.

The group will be arriving March 4 and will leave after the eleventh.

Source: SIBC

Thursday, February 21, 2008

O-League pendulum swings way of Waitakere and Tafea

The O-League pendulum today swung in favour of Waitakere United and Tafea FC, after both sides scored crucial victories in their title campaigns.

Striker Allan Pearce scored the only goal of the match for Waitakere in a fiercely contested 1-0 win at the Croatian Cultural Society in Henderson while Samson Obed provided the late dramatics for Tafea scoring an 84th minute match winner to make it 2-1 and leave Ba’s O-League hopes hanging by a thread.

In a physical match in Auckland it was Waitakere’s experienced hardnosed approach that produced the result. It leaves Auckland City with a big hill to climb, needing nothing less than two wins on the road against AS Manu Ura in Tahiti, and Auckland again at Fred Taylor Park.

Both sides struggled to find any momentum in a game plagued by fouls and free kicks. This suited Waitakere the best and they always looked dangerous from set pieces, most notably Danny Hay who rattled the post with a towering header in the sixth minute.

Auckland goalkeeper Tamati Williams wasn’t again troubled until midway through the second half when a moment of sheer class from Waitakere turned the game. Substitute Commins Menapi expertly held up a long ball from the back and laid it back for experienced defender Darren Bazely. Bazely with only one man in the box measured his cross inch perfect and found Pearce between two Auckland defenders and he managed to guide his header inside Williams near post.

Pearce’s goal brought the visiting side to life and City dominated the second half, creating a number of half chances but lacked a ruthless cutting edge in front of goal. Paul Urlovic, Grant Young and Chad Coombes all went close late in the game for Auckland but could get no reward for their endeavour.

Waitakere coach Chris Milicich was elated with the result and said he knew it wasn’t going to be a game for the purists.

“With everything at stake it was never going to be pretty,” he said. “But I am very proud of my guys tonight. We were tough, strong and everything we needed to do we did.”

Auckland City coach Colin Tuaa was resolute in defeat.

“The game was very stop and start,” said Tuaa. We never found our flow and didn’t get our momentum going with our passing. It became a set play match and that didn’t work to our advantage.”

“The next month it’s really important that we start to develop our play more. We’re getting results in the NZFC but we need to play smoother and perform in the big games. We haven’t quite found the right balance in midfield but it’s something we’re working on.”

Waitakere now sit four points clear in Group A and will face Auckland again on April 2nd in a match which will decide who progresses through to the final.

In Port Villa Tafea’s 2-1 win over Fiji champions BA has blown Group B wide open.

Goals to Vanuatu internationals Jean Nako Naprapol and Samson Obed cancelled out a sensational strike from Avinesh Swamy.

Ba's heartache was compounded in the 52nd minute when Malakai Tiwa saw his penalty saved by veteran Tafea FC goalkeeper David Chilia, who stopped Tiwa's spot-kick with his legs before seeing the ball strike the crossbar.

Tafea's first OFC O-League win means that all three clubs still have a chance of sealing top spot in the group with all eyes turning to Kossa's match against Ba on Monday 25th February at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.

Source: OFC

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Involvement in commerce is every citizens' business: Hill assure Solomon Islanders

The Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Employment will try to ensure as many Solomon Islanders as possible involve in commercial activities.

Minister responsible, Francis Billy Hilly made the assurance when he opened the refurbished office of the Consumer and Price Control Division yesterday.

Mr Hilly says that under the government's policy framework, his ministry is mandated to accomplish a number of policy goals and program.

They include an increase in the number of skilled workers, increased rural income generating activities, more jobs for Solomon Islanders, an improved investment environment, diversified export products and a strong effective and efficient private sector.

Mr Hilly says the government also expects his ministry to become effective, efficient and private sector-friendly adding the task must have an impact in the welfare of the people of Solomon Islands.

He says to-date government programs and projects have been implemented with legislative reforms continuing while capacity building in the provinces will resume after the 2008 budget session.

Meanwhile, Mr Hilly will lead a delegation to Bina Harbour and Suava in Malaita Province some shortly and similar visits to other provinces will follow.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

State Government is the top priority: Dr Sikua

The Prime Ministers Office (PMO) released a press statement defending its stance on the State Government issue.

The press release was prompted by a lead story in the Island Sun (Issue No. 158 dated Friday 15th February 2008) entitled "STATE GOVERNMENT OUT".

The press statement from the PMO stated that contrary to what the article may claim, "the question of State Government is not dead under the CNURA Government."

"The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet wishes to assure the public that the State Government issue is still CNURA Government top priority" the statement reads.

"The CNURA Government therefore, wishes to assure the public and in particular, the Provincial Governments that the question of introduction of State Government in Solomon Islands is well in advance."

The statement went on to say that it is very likely that the State Government system in the Solomon Islands may happen within the term of office of CNURA Government.

There have been persistent calls for the introduction of a state government system from some of the bigger provinces in the Solomon Islands. The idea of a decentralized government system appeals to these resource rich provinces as they feel that they deserve more from resources extracted from their land.

Some political analysts feel that it may be too early to have such a complex system in place. "It is quite an expensive system, we need to tread carefully" stated one commentator. "I think a nation wide referendum will give weight to the wish for state government."

Source: Solomontimes

Monday, February 18, 2008

Malaitan tribal leader welcome combine effort of Honiara city Mayor and Provincial government leaders to boost development in Malaita Province

A tribal leader in Malaita Province, Harry Arufaegwao congratulates Malaita Premier and the Honiara city mayor for initiating a proposal to address the issue of providing development which would provide employment for Malaitans in their home province.

Chief Arufaegwao says the problem of Malaitans leaving home to seek employment elsewhere in other provinces due to lack of development infrastructure in their own home province has been left unattended for a long time.

Chief Arufaegwao says the initiative to pressurize Government take serious consideration of this phenomenon is important.

He says it helps give weight to why Government must push ahead with the development of the proposed national development projects at Bina Harbour and Auluta Basin.

At the same time Chief Arufaegwao appeals to all tribal groups who claim ownership to portions of land in the two proposed areas to co-operate with the authorities speed up the land acquisition process.

He says this will pave the way to get the projects started.

Chief Arufaegwao says it's important all land owning tribes open up their land for development

Source: SIBC

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Agricultural Sector vital development tool for achieving Millennium Development Goal: World Development Report

The presentation of the 30th series of the World Development Report 2008 highlights the need to focus attention on agriculture and calls for greater investment in agriculture in developing countries. The report warns that the sector must be placed at the center of the development agenda if the goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 is to be realized.

The report Titled Agriculture for Development was launched recently by the World Bank via video conference from its PNG office shares that it is the first time in two decades that the WDR is focusing on agriculture.

The report says that agricultural and rural sectors have suffered from neglect and underinvestment over the past 20 years. The report advocates a new "agriculture for development" agenda.

Lead author of the report for the World Bank and Senior Advisor, Mr. Derek Byerlee presented its main findings, and says that agriculture is a vital development tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goal that calls for halving by 2015 the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. Three out of every four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Mr Byerlee says that the report provided guidance to governments and the international community on designing and implementing agriculture-for-development agendas that can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of rural poor. Other findings in way of challenges include:

While 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, a mere 4 percent of official development assistance goes to agriculture.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, a region heavily reliant on agriculture for overall growth, public spending for farming is also only 4 percent of total government spending and the sector is still taxed at relatively high levels.

For the poorest people, GDP growth originating in agriculture is about four times more effective in raising incomes of extremely poor people than GDP growth originating outside the sector.

The report says that “today, rapidly expanding domestic and global markets; institutional innovations in markets, finance, and collective action; and revolutions in biotechnology and information technology all offer exciting opportunities to use agriculture to promote development. But seizing these opportunities will require the political will to move forward with reforms that improve the governance of agriculture.

Discussion among the Pacific regional participants indicated that the report was timely and that greater efforts be placed in the implementation of plans which includes marketing, increasing product value and keeping the farmers interested in farming.

Participating in the launch were USP, represented by staff and students, and Fiji’s agricultural officers as well as agricultural researchers and consultants; World Bank Sydney, ANU, Vanuatu and Timor Leste.

A full report can be downloaded from the link:

Source: USP

RAMSI to develop new strategies

The Regional Assistance Mission and the government are to formulate a strategy to implement the new government policy.

RAMSI Acting Special Coordinator, Dr Jonathan Austin, released details while talking about a recent report released by the Centre for Independent Studies in Australia. The report had criticised what it terms as RAMSI’s lack of focus on Rural Development.

Dr said the new government’s policy is rural advancement and so RAMSI has to develop a plan to work with the government, but still stay within its mandate. He said the discussions will be between senior government officials and RAMSI.

Source: Solomonstar

Malaita says it’s prepared to host national capital

Afetr three days of talks, executive members of Malaita Province and the Honiara City Council, produced a joint communique last Friday in Auki. The communique touched on a wide range of issues concerning the future development of Malaita.

Among them, the Malaita Provincial Government says it’s prepared to host the national capital of Solomon Islands. The joint communique also asked the national government to support the development endeavours of Malaita Province.

The joint communique was forwarded to the national government yesterday for consideration.
Below are the full resolutions:

a.The Solomon Islands Government is urged to equip the Malaita Provincial Government to continue to uphold the democratic principles of good governance and to take responsibility as the governing authority to plan for the economic, social, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of its people today and into the future.

b.In the matter of Conflict between Malaita Province and any other Province, all Stakeholders (Solomon Islands Government, Malaita Provincial Government and Honiara City Council) and parties involved must consult together with the view of finding a long term peaceful solution that will amend and reconcile our past differences. Any collective decision arrived at must be seen as taking precedence and representative of the views and wishes of the people represented.

c.The Solomon Islands Government, Malaita Provincial Government and Honiara City Council must immediately address the issue of unemployment in Malaita, with the view to establishing a task force to be financed by the Solomon Islands Government, to find ways to creating an environment that is conducive to private sector growth and job creation for the fast growing population of Malaita.

d.The Solomon Islands Government is urged to immediately put as top priority National Development projects, both the Auluta and Waisisi Palm Oil Projects, Bina Harbour and Suava Bay Projects. The Solomon Islands Government is further urged to look into other projects such as the Wairokai Seaport and the Leli Tourism Project.

e.That the Solomon Islands Government supports the move by Malaita Province to develop, protect and organise its labour and human resources.

f.That the Solomon Islands Government is urged to immediately facilitate and fund the development of:
i)the National Agricultural Training Institution into a National University
ii)Three (3) new Vocational training schools in Malaita from the 2008 national Budget. The vocational schools to commence providing training in 2009.
iii)The existing Rokera, Adaua and Aligegeo Secondary Schools on Malaita to be fully resourced and equipped, to provide quality higher Secondary education for Malaitans to avoid them seeking higher education elsewhere.

g.That the Solomon Islands Government adopts a model for dealing with customary land for development purposes as follows:
i)People/Landowners note and sort out their geneology;
ii)Tribes identify their Land Boundaries;
iv)Survey and Mapping of land;
iv)Registration of land;
v)Perpetual Estate title to be held by Land Trust Board; and
vii)Land Trust Board lease fixed term estate to investors for development.

h.The Solomon Islands government must immediately secure funding for the development on Malaita of roads and infrastructure with the view to further developing the regional towns of Malu’u in the North, Afio in the south, Faumamanu in the East, Auki in the Central region and Ontong Java in the Malaita Outer Islands.
The Solomon Islands Government is further urged to develop roads from Wairaha to Afio in the South, Atori to Sinaraggu in the East, Fouia to Manu road in the North East and other feeder roads approved by the Malaita Provincial Government.

i.The Solomon Islands Government is urged to provide a Surveyor and a Lands Officer to deal with land matters in Malaita Province regional towns.

j.The Solomon Islands Government is immediately urged to review the National formula for apportioning service grants to Malaita Province taking into account the need to increase the Service grant to improve services delivery to rural Malaita.

k.The Solomon Islands Government is urged to accept and fund the proposed public Service Scheme for Malaita Province to provide effective service delivery to rural Malaita.

i.That Malaita Province is ready to host the National Capital of Solomon Islands on its shores.

m.The proposed Malaita Peoples Bank be financially supported and recognised by the Solomon Islands Government as a way forward to financing Malaitan development and to encourage a culture of saving.

n.The Solomon Islands Government must put in place a policy to immediately deal with the threat of Sea Level rise and Population density and for the resettlement of Malaitans from the Ontong Java Atolls, Sikaiana, Kwai/Ngongosila, Ndai and other artificial islands in the province.

o.That the Solomon Islands Government and the Board of Directors and management of the Solomon Islands National Provident fund must recognise that Malaitan employees contribute the majority of NPF members therefore it is justified that Malaita Province benefit directly from NPF.

p.The Solomon Islands Government must facilitate Malaita Province’s request for the immediate acquisition of fishing boats and support the development of a Fisheries industry on Malaita with view to fish processing and export.

q.The Solomon Islands Government is urged to allocate a budget in the 2008 National Budget to help establish a task force to implement these resolutions.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The National Training Unit (NTU) of Solomon Islands finalise list of students to study under SIG scholarship awards

The National Training Unit has put up the long awaited list of students who have been awarded with scholarships for this academic year.

Speaking with the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Maelyn Kuve confirmed that a list is up at the NTU yesterday.

Solomon Times was informed that a total of 311 students have been awarded with a Solomon Islands Government (SIG) scholarship.

The awards are as follow: 48 scholarships for in-service, 14 scholarships for USP students in Honiara, 173 for students with GPA3 and above, and 76 scholarships for students studying at the USP Honiara who will be funded to study at the main campus.

"All the listed students were put into consideration by the National Training Unit," Ms. Kuve said.

PS Education added that new awards given this year were only for the new ones who completed their seventh form last year, 2007.

She revealed that for aspiring medical students, there is limited space the Fiji School of Medicine.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kuve said that the National Training Council is still looking at the cases of the extension students.

"About 30 students are still waiting for their grades to be delivered by the USP main campus in Fiji," she added.

She said that if they did not receive their grades, the waiting students will continue their studies next year, 2009.

Ms. Kuve said that a lecturer will be arriving later this month and the grades are expected to be received.

Source: Solomontimes

Solomons Olympic Squad makes tough work of warm up games

The Solomon Island Olympic side lost 3-2 to a Honiara Select side in its third warm up match on Saturday at the SIFF Academy field.

The Solomon U’23’s had previously lost and drawn with O’league outfit Kossa FC and Saturday’s match provided a chance for players to impress the national coaches.

The Olympic squad will be impatiently awaiting the return of star striker Benjamin Totori after it was apparent that the team lacked fire power upfront. They created good scoring chances but their forwards were simply unable to convert them into goals.

Western Turtles striker Nathan Kera opened the scoring for the Olympic side when he intercepted senior national defender David Taro’s back pass and managed to hit the ball past former national goalkeeper Severino Aefi.

The Honiara Select side appeared to have settled well into the match and kept the pressure on the Olympic squad after they scored with Godwin Bebeu - who was earlier dropped from the national U23 squad - causing problems upfront.

He started the move which resulted in their equalizer when he collected a ball just outside the 18 yard box and drove a fierce shot at Shedrack Ramoni who fumbled the ball and Aloysio blasted it into the net.

Bebeu again showed his class when scored twice in the second half and set alarm bells ringing for his recall into the squad.

Bebeu’s omission from he Olympic squad provided a hot talking point following the match after a supurb performance in which he caused the Olympic defenders all kinds of problems.

The Olympic squad arrived into camp yesterday (Sunday) for their final part of preparation before they leave for Brisbane for a couple of friendly matches with local teams.

In related news, Benjamin Totori and Michael Fifi’i scored for their clubs at the weekend. Totori scored in their 5-0 win over Otago while Fifi’i in their 2-1 loss to league leaders Auckland City.

Source: OFC

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pressure from Government forces Solomon Islands police chief to quit

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Jahir Khan has agreed to resign following mounting pressure from the government to remove him.

In the past few days Prime Minister Derek Sikua sent a letter to the Commissioner, directing him to resign or face a tribunal under the Police Act.

The cabinet had earlier outlined a list or concerns over Mr Khan’s performance in the role but was disatisfied with his response to them.

It’s understood that the cabinet disagrees with Mr Khan’s push for re-armament of local police.

There is also concern with what is seen as Mr Khan’s political meddling as well as a decline in the general performance of the force.

Mr Khan says the government has now accepted his proposal to leave when his current contract finishes in June.

Source: RNZ

TARD member urge government to improve infrastructure to facilitate tourism industry

A Solomon Islander and a TARD member Joyce Maetoloa urges the government and relevant authorities to improve the tourism infrastructure in the country.

Mrs Maetoloa who is involved in the tourism industry says it is encouraging to know that the government has plans to improve the industry.

However, she says the country must be prepared to absorb any boom in the industry.

Mrs Maetoloa says one of the things that must be put in place is infrastructure which include, air, land and sea transport.

She says Solomon Islands also needs to improve its environment to be attractive to tourists.

"Our environment needs a lot of work, we need to do a lot to improve our environment in terms of littering and pollution with rubbish laying around. Building structure and planning of the place must also be improve to make it more attractive."

Mrs Maetoloa says she has started the "Solomon Host" to try and address some of the things to improve the tourism industry in the country.

"We started the organisation for three reasons. Firstly to provide basic skills tourism and hospitality services, secondly to help those who want to go into tourism business in terms of consultation and thirdly, we want to help in promoting and marketing of tourism."

Mrs Maetoloa is a TARD member who graduates with Bachelor of Arts at The University of the South Pacific (USP) in 2006.

Source: SIBC

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) is an entity, it should not merge: Dr Sikua

Solomon Islands opposes to the idea of amalgamating the Forum Fisheries Agency with other regional institutions.

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua confirms Solomon Islands position when he held discussions with the visiting Cook Islands' Prime Minister, Jim Marurai.

There have been moves to amalgamate regional institutions and the FFA has also come under spotlight.

But Dr Sikua says a number of Pacific islands countries, including Cook Islands oppose the idea.

He says FFA is about sovereign Pacific nations deciding over their resources and that FFA is a separate entity under the pillars of the Pacific Plan.

Dr Sikua says under the Pacific Plan, regional leaders and relevant institutions must cooperate to ensure their countries continue to benefit from FFA.

Meanwhile, Dr Sikua says his government will continue to work closely with FFA management to ensure Solomon Islands as a host fulfil its obligations.

Dr Sikua says Mr Marurai's visit to the FFA headquarters is significant because it reflects the importance he attaches to the institution.

Source: SIBC

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

North Malaitan leader called on Malaitans to develop their own province

It is time Malaita people develop their island so that it will help stop people for going to other provinces in search of work for money.

A Malaita leader in Honiara, Director of the National Museum, Lawrence Foanaota, says the meeting this week between Honiara City Council and the Malaita Provincial Government leaders to address various issues is timely.

"I see it as very important, especially to make sure our people look more to the island. When problems happen you hear its people from Malaita and I think it is time that we should look at these kinds of things. Go back, discuss with the leaders on Malaita and put together some strategy which can be used to attract Malaitans to go back to the province."

Mr Foanaota says the City Mayor Alfred Maetia should on his return to the capital brief Malaita leaders in Honiara about the outcome of the meeting with Malaita Provincial Government leaders.

He says wider consultations on the issues should be sought among Malaitans in Honiara.

Mayor Maetia and his delegation are expected to spend four days in Auki to discuss those issues with the Malaita Provincial Government.


NZ privileged to assist in developing the capacity of Solomon Islands: Acting RAMSI Special Coordinator

Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Acting Special Coordinator, Dr Jonathan Austin, said New Zealand is privileged to play its part in working together with the region to help a neighbour.

“On the occasion of Waitangi Day (which is commemorated today) my fellow New Zealanders serving with RAMSI look forward to celebrating our National Day in Solomon Islands with our Solomon Islands friends and colleagues,” Dr Austin said.

Dr Austin thanked those working with the mission saying they can be proud of their efforts in supporting Solomon Islands to become a safe, well-governed and prosperous nation.

New Zealand makes a significant contribution to RAMSI in both personnel and funding, including senior leadership roles across the mission. There are almost 100 New Zealanders currently working with RAMSI in law and order and capacity development activities.

Matthew Hodge-Kopa from New Zealand Treasury is helping develop the capacity of Solomon Islands Economic Reform Unit. He works with his government counterpart, Dalcy Tozaka, on State Owned Enterprise reform. Together they are working on a number of issues including improving the supply of basic utilities like water and power to the public.

“Delivering key infrastructure services improves people’s lives by improving the business environment here. In the long run, better electricity and water services can generate more jobs and opportunities for people in Honiara and rural areas,” Mr Hodge-Kopa said.

Dr Austin said that New Zealand shared a long history and a great deal of culture with the other 14 Pacific Island nations contributing to RAMSI and was another rewarding aspect of working with the mission.

“RAMSI has a good story to tell and is something all contributing countries and Solomon Islands can be proud of,” Dr Austin said.

“While the situation in Solomon Islands remains challenging and there is much work still to be done, New Zealand is committed to RAMSI and working with Solomon Islanders to ensure a better brighter future for all.”

15 countries contribute to RAMSI: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Source: RAMSI

Monday, February 04, 2008

SUMITOMO Metal Mining plegded care for natural environment should it operates in Isabel and Choiseul provinces of Solomons

SUMITOMO Metal Minings (SMM) of Japan has pledged to care for the environment in all its operations. The company is currently looking for nickel in Isabel and Choiseul provinces.

Its chief executive officer Yukio Kawaguchi made the pledge at a farewell dinner to end an educational tour in Manila recently which consist of Isabel and Choiseul provincial Landowners.

Mr Kawaguchi stressed that the environmental is of one their priority areas and will ensure it is taken care of in all their operations. “SMM will strive to reduce environmental burdens from our domestic and overseas business undertakings and to live harmony and co-prosperity with local community,” he said.

Our mission is to carry on the spirit of harmonious co-existence with the environment that has been part of our policy ever since the start of our operations number of years ago,” he said.

Mr Kawaguchi said the tour is important for the leaders and landowners to see and understand how the company operates in line with the environmental concerns. “We sincerely hope that following the site tour you have been able to understand our policy and activities,” he told the local delegation.

He also asked the leaders and the landowners for their support and corporation to their Nickel Projects in Solomon Islands. SMM has a 400-year history in nickel mining, and had responded well to environmental demands in its mine development and smelting and refining operations.

Sameul Manetoali MP for Gao/Boguto and Minister for Police, National Security and Justice, in response said the visit has achieved its aims to see how Sumitomo is processing low grade nickel ores.

Choiseul Premier Jackson Kiloe said SMM had invested a lot in environmental protection which is encouraging. “Because many people had attributed mining to environmental distruction but not with SMM which has so much concern for the environment. “It also had the capacity, resources and technology to protect the environment,” he said.

Both leaders also acknowledged the contribution the company had made so far to people in the two provinces.

Source: Solomon star

Friday, February 01, 2008

A University bearing the name "University of Honaira" is under authority scrutiny

An online institution bearing the name "University of Honiara" is pending approval from the Solomon Islands Government.

Following a tip from a concerned Honiara citizen who 'stumbled' on a link to the institution, the Solomon Times made an interesting find.

The Institution was founded in February, 2006, by the Caricom e-learning Group who envisioned the need for a more liberalized, interactive and technologically innovative instructional education system, particularly for the people of the South Pacific islands.

The website said that "Honiara in the Solomon Islands" was selected as the proposed Administrative Centre for the Institution "after several stages of intense consultations".

It claimed that since its founding, a number of students have since graduated in various disciplines, and has since evolved into an institution of credible academic standards and stature, and a pillar of pride for the people of the Solomon Islands.

In an interview with Solomon Times, Senior Officer of Foreign Investment Division, Billy Pelise, confirmed that their office has received an application from the University of Honiara. He, however, made it clear that the files are still pending approval from the Foreign Investment Board.

Mr. Pelise said the application is from a group claiming to be from New Zealand. "The person behind this application is Dennis Adomis, a man claiming to have a very big establishment in New Zealand," Mr. Pelise revealed to Solomon Times.

He added that Mr. Adomis also claims to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Honiara.

Mr. Pelise told Solomon Times that the institution was initially established and functioned as an international Institution of Travel and Tourism (ITT).

"Formally, the whole set up was as an ITT but the status changed to university on October 2007," said Mr. Pelise.

The website quotes owners of the ITT, the Caricom e-learning Group, as saying that while the online aspects of the institution are already in force, discussions are underway to establish the ITT as the University of Honiara in the Pacific Islands nation of Solomon Islands during 2008.

It continues to quote the ITT as saying that discussions are currently underway with the country's Ministry of Education.

But according to the Senior Foreign Investment Officer, Mr. Pelise, the Ministry of Education in Honiara is not even aware of the existence of the University of Honiara.

"To establish an educational institution, the Ministry of Education is the right place to give authority to use the name Honiara," he told Solomon Times.

Mr. Pelise said that the Foreign Investment Board is still looking through the files "not because we regard them as a scam but we want to be sure they have a proper structure".

He told Solomon Times that a similar incident took place some years back with a group claiming to be a medical institution by the name "Kings University" in Solomon Islands.

"It was messy because overseas students actually paid their school fees and came to the country only to find with great disappointment that it was all a scam," he said.

Mr. Pelise said it is for that very reason that "we don't want to repeat the same mistake again".

"We have to be sure and find out about the establishment of this group before we give approval," he said.

Solomon Times was told that the Foreign Investment Board will be submitting a letter to the New Zealand High Commission's Office in Honiara as part of investigation into the group's background.

"We don't even know who gave this group the authority to use the name, Honiara, for their institution," he said.

The application, if approved, will make it the first online institution linked to Solomon Islands, let alone a university.

Source: Solomontimes

Solomon Islands' local company-DJ Graphics to boost "The Bilikiki Beach Soccer Boys" preparation for France beach soccer tournamnet

Preparation for the Solomon Island’s Beach Soccer team – commonly known as “The Bilikiki Boys” has been given a new boost this week by a sponsorship package from popular sports-friendly local company – DJ Graphics Ltd.

Impact Sports Project Manager Nelson Boso who oversees the company’s involvement with football said DJ Graphics is proud to support the Bilikiki Boys. “We have an indispensable obligation that the late David Chow created and that is to take care of the Bilikikis and to support wherever possible the healthy growth and all round development of the game in the country,” said Boso.

DJ Graphics Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Inca Chow, confirmed her company’s commitment saying they want to make sure Bilikiki compete well in France later this year. “This means that the team has to be encouraged and supported here at home. DJ Graphics Ltd has been one of the strongest supporters of the Bilikiki right from its humble beginnings to date”, she said.

The Bilikiki team will undergo an intense internal competition starting this Saturday at DC Park in Henderson. The competition which will last for a month will form part of the selection process to identify a trial squad. Amongst other things,DJ Graphics Ltd has agreed to sponsor the trophy and prize money for the internal competition.

Bilikiki team Manager, Mr. Reuben Oimae, expressed his profound gratitude on behalf of SIFF to DJ Graphics Ltd for unselfishly coming forward and assisting in the preparations.

“We have our fundraising plans but we are also open to interested corporate sponsors or individual supporters,” Oimae said. “Therefore we are grateful indeed that DJ Graphics Ltd has made our road to France easier now.”

In appreciating the support of DJ Graphics Ltd, Mr. Boso adds that the development of Beach Soccer has become a global issue with the deepening of football mania claiming more and more attention from the international community.

He says that Solomon Islands should be proud and happy that the Bilikiki team has put the country in the world map.

“There could be millions of people who have watched the Solomon Islanders through television in the past two Beach Soccer World Cups. At least many people will now know our small country and also know that we are a football country.”

“Indeed it could be said that the common wish of people all over the country is for our national team to do well in the World Cup, but at times our players can be at the mercy of our complacency and there are still many problems and challenges regarding the successful preparation of the national team.”

“This is why we must not just talk about our support in the media but actually do more by digging deeper into our pockets. Bilikiki supporters can watch the teams compete this Saturday at the Henderson DC Park.

Source: Oceania football

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