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WELKAM
.........................................WELCOME......................................... The Central Malaita Students Association (CMSA) is a multi-dialect and cultural Student Group Consisting of students from Kwara’ae, Langalanga, Kwai and Ngongosila, Malaita Outer Islands, Kwaio and Fataleka. Our vision and objective is to protect the norms and cultural values of our members while at the same time we enhance our academic knowledge and skills towards the promotion of development and the improvement of living standards in our respective regions. .............................................DISCLAIMER............................... The site welcomes any contribution by way of information, comments, news articles, photos etc from its members and interested members of the public to ensure we are well informed of all the developments in our villages, constituencies, regions, islands, country, region and the world at large as well. However, any transmission of information, news and comments is intended only for the use of the members of the Association. Any use or dissemination of information provided in this site in other websites or medium of information is not the responsibility of the Association, and the Association cannot be held liable for it. The contents of this webpage, unless expressly stated, do not comprise the views of the Association or any representation by the Association, but are views of its individual members. .
LOCATION
m_political wards
WHAT'S NEW
  • Central Malaita Student Association(CMSA) would include Malaita Outter Islands student as of next year.That means if you are from Malaita Outter Islands, you are part of CMSA.
  • This site is currently undergoing some major changes.
NOTICES
I WILL BE AWAY FOR TWO WEEKS IN THE SOLOMONS. WHILE I AM AWAY, N.G, COULD YOU KEEP OUR SITE UPDATED WITH ALL THE LATEST NEWS FROM HOME. I WILL BE BACK ONLINE IN AUGUST - PM
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Youth is a blunder; Manhood is a struggle; Old age is a regret - (BENJAMIN DISRAELI (1804 - 1881)"
BENJAMIN DISRAELI (1804-1881)
CHAT BOARD
KU'AL HU'AN ALA'ANGA!!!.
CLIPS OF THE TSUNAMI IN SOLOMON ISLANDS
HISTORICAL CLIPS OF THE SOLOMONS
OTHER SOLOMON ISLANDS CLIPS: MUSIC, SPORTS ETC
POSTERS

Vakavuku, SISA custom dancers administrator

Central Malaita Dancing Group at the Tsunami Appeal at Laucala Campus administrator

Auki

AUKI WHARF administrator

malakids

REACHING OUT....A young boy from Kilusakwalo reading through a pamphlet about RAMSI’s work in Solomon Islands which was distributed during a meeting by a RAMSI Outreach Team to the village yesterday. PICTURE: MOFFAT MAMU administrator

Fiji Military

A Malaita Ramo - JanesOceania.com

Fiji Military

A house found it self submerged as a result of the Tsunami - Lifhaus.com">

Jacinta Moli from Central Malaita representing Solomon Islands in Powerlifting during the Commonwealth Games administrator

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Tennis Queen Irine George from Central Malaita" ">
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Menapi's Waitakere lost against their rivals Auckland in a very heated match
Oceania Football News, Thursday, 21st December 2006

When these two teams meet controversy, passion and high entertainment are never very far away. Yesterday's card-littered Auckland derby contained everything as a tired Auckland City lifted their weary legs to retrieve a 3-0 deficit against runaway NZFC leaders and bitter rivals Waitakere United.Nobody could have predicted the frenzied and entertaining second-half - much less the additional 9 minutes injury time - after Waitakere United clinically dismantled their jaded hosts in the opening half hour only to allow the defending Oceania and New Zealand champions to stage an unthinkable comeback of Lazarus proportions.With both Auckland clubs drawn in Group A of the 2007 OFC Champions League there is bound to be more mouthwatering entertainment for football fans to sink their teeth into next year.

Paul Urlovic's stunning winner from Ross Nicholson's punted clearance nearly 10 minutes into time added on didn't so much puncture Waitakere United's afternoon but send the wheels spinning off into catastrophe.

Having taken the lead through Commins Menapi nearly an hour-and-a-half previously, Waitakere United ran rings around a tired Auckland City outfit more at odds with itself and each other than undertaking the task at hand. Understandably, Waitakere United took full advantage of Auckland City's audible bickering and seemingly divided ranks and added a second through former Central United alumni Daniel Koprivcic after 24 minutes. If the game appeared to have slipped beyond Auckland City's reach then an even more severe possibility loomed when Allan Pearce smashed home an unstoppable penalty on the half hour mark to make it 3-0 with Auckland City propped up ready for a humiliating derby defeat.

It was impossible to see Waitakere United taking their foot off Auckland City's throat but that's exactly what they did and it would prove fatal. Whatsmore Auckland City's response had more sweat and thunder about it than any discernible technical superiority over their West Auckland rivals and their exertions finally bore fruit when Keryn Jordan blasted home a 68th minute penalty.Paul Seaman's 75th minute header past a stranded Mike Utting from a Neil Sykes freekick threw Auckland City a lifeline as Waitakere stood frozen to the spot. Within 5 minutes Waitakere United were reduced to ten men when Hoani Edwards was given his marching orders. He was joined moments later by the normally level headed Rupesh Puna. The pendulum had swung back towards Auckland City but there was further drama to come when South African striker Keryn Jordan was also red carded.Compatriot Grant Young - 1 minute into time added on - then blasted home the equaliser with a bullet header that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar as the Kiwitea Street crowd erupted. Waitakere - who were at one stage contemplating a romping derby victory - were looking desperately for Neil Fox to end the game and ensure a share of the spoils.

Then, staggeringly, Paul Urlovic's looped header disappeared over a forlorn Mike Utting, and into the top corner of the net resulting in a small pitch invasion. referee Meil Fox was jostled by irate Waitakere United supporters and had to be escorted from the field by officials as Auckland City ended 2006 on an extraordinary high and celebrated one of the greatest comebacks in NZFC history.
posted by administrator @ 10:16 AM   8 comments
Moti escape unveiled in PNG
PostCourier Online News

ORDERS issued by a senior Defence staffer to officers to aid the escape of Julian Moti were not proper, a secret report reveals. They did not conform to PNGDF standards of operating manuals, the initial report rejected by the Government reveals.But the officers down the line did not question the authority and fulfilled instructions to the letter. Similarly, the senior officer who directed the night flight did not question the authority of a National Security Advisory Council executive.

The report named a senior military man as the key planner for the clandestine escape of Australian fugitive Julian Moti to the Solomon Islands on October 10. His orders had come from a top government bureaucrat and in less than 15 hours the plan was implemented.

The initial report states that three officers were the PNGDF key planners of the operation which put Australia at diplomatic loggerheads with PNG and the Solomons. The report states that PNGDF Commander Commodore Ilau, who was in Solomon Islands visiting fellow soldiers involved in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), was not advised of the special operation.

Other defence council members (the Defence Secretary and the Minister) were also not told of the extraordinary episode.There was no diplomatic clearance obtained, an action amounting to violation of international aviation laws, the report says. And if proper diplomatic clearance was not obtained, the flight by the PNGDF CASA aircraft was illegal, the report said. The Defence Force operatives were getting their directions from a high-level government civil servant. The report said: "Where and who . . . . . . . . was getting his instructions from is a matter for the Government’s overall investigation to establish." "he operation for the involvement of the PNGDF was planned at 1100 hours on Monday October 9, 2006 at Waigani and at HQ PNGDF, Murray Barracks and executed at 0115 hours on Tuesday October at the PNGDF Air Transport Wing (ATW), Jacksons Airport," the report said.

The senior military planner involved "had all the responsibility for all PNGDF operations and activities. He had the ultimate and direct responsibility for this operation". Another senior officer became part of the the planning team by default. A senior air wing officer became involved by direction from above but also because it was natural for him to become a part of the operation because of his duties, the report said.
posted by administrator @ 9:54 AM   4 comments
GOVERNMENT SOFTEN ITS STAND ON MOTI'S EXTRADITION REQUEST
SIBConline news, 18:10 hrs, 20/12/2006

Solomon Islands government will await the outcome of a ‘face-to-face’ discussion between Julian Moti and relevant authorities in Australia before it could respond to Australia’s formal extradition request for the Solomon Islands Attorney General.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Cabinet had endorsed that Mr Moti travel to Australia as soon as possible for a ‘face-to-face’ discussion with Australia’s Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution to discuss the background to the extradition request. Mr Sogavare says the cabinet endorsement came after Australia finally lodged a formal extradition request to Solomon Islands government through the proper channel - the Foreign Affairs Department, last week.

The Prime Minister says cabinet’s endorsement for Moti’s travel to Australia for the face-to-face discussion was done in the interest of diplomacy. He says cabinet had also agreed that Mr Moti use legal experts in Australia to help him during his discussion with the Australian Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution.
posted by administrator @ 9:24 AM   5 comments
Taiwan may recruit SI workers
Solomonstarnews, 20 December, 2006 - 3:59pm.
By ROBERT L. IROGA
In Taipei

THE Taiwanese Government is likely to recruit Solomon Islanders to work in Taiwan but could not state the possible starting date for such an understanding. Solomon Islands Ambassador to Taipei Beraki Jino said he has not submitted any formal submission to the ROC Government but admits he’s fond of taking such a challenge. And he has planned consultative meetings with countries whose nationals are working in Taiwan to get more details about their experience about dealing with the issues surrounding their workers in ROC.

The ambassador hopes that by holding discussions with those countries he will have a fair idea of how to engage Solomon Islanders to work in Taiwan if such an undertaking goes through. Mr Jino has indicated his willingness to pursue the matter and believes it will get through given the good relationship between the two countries. Deputy Director General of Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training Council of Labour Affairs San-Quei Lin told six Pacific Islands’ journalists that Taiwan is willing to assist its friendly allies. He said there’s no difficulty in engaging workers from friendly countries as Taiwan has employed thousands of migrant workers from countries it has no diplomatic relations with.

Mr Lin highlights that Taiwan desperately needs workers in the construction and factory industries.

However, the Taiwanese said whilst recruiting islanders especially those from its six allies in the Pacific is not a problem, there needs a lot of work to be done. He rated cultural differences as a major problem and suggested that workers bound for Taiwan will have to go through a training centre to learn about Chinese culture before being given work permit. Unlike New Zealand which recently accepted a seasonal workers scheme the Taiwanese scheme will be a migratory workers program which allows foreigners to remain longer than six months. If the scheme comes through Solomon Islands stands to benefit greatly as it is the biggest Pacific ally compared to Micronesian atolls of Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has flatly rejected such a scheme and if Taiwan allows islanders to work in its cities it will further question its status as a Pacific leader, said one Pacific Islands journalist.
posted by administrator @ 8:56 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
NEW DATE FOR MALAITA ELECTIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER
SIBConline News, 19:31 hrs, 19/12/2006

The Department of Provincial Government will now decide on a new date for provincial elections in more than 20 wards on Malaita.

A total of 25 wards could not go to the polls as scheduled on Monday because of difficulties getting election materials to polling sites on time. Minister for provincial government, Japhet Waipora says although he had ordered yesterday's elections to go ahead as scheduled in Malaita, the prevailing circumstances on the ground made it impossible to do so.

Only three wards on Malaita Outer Islands went ahead with elections yesterday as scheduled. The Minister says a new election date will be announced later. Mr Waipora says the elections will be held not later than the second week of January 2007.

In the meantime Mr Waipora says his office is working on legal instruments to validate yesterday's deferment of the elections on Malaita.
posted by administrator @ 8:55 AM   4 comments
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS
SIBConline News, 19:33 hrs, 19/12/2006

Deputy Prime Minister, Job Duddley Tausinga this afternoon confirmed he had officially resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Forests, Environment and Conservation.

In a telephone call to SIBC late this afternoon, Mr Tausinga says his resignation was effective as of today 19th December 2006. Mr Tausinga says he will disclose reasons for his resignation later.

Mr Tausinga says in addition to resigning from his official portfolios, he had also decided to leave the Grant Coalition for Change Government.

Mr Tausinga who is among the longest serving national politician in the country says he would be prepared to work but not in the government camp. Tausinga confirmed his resignation was accepted and endorsed this afternoon by the care-taker Governor General, the Speaker to Parliament sir Peter Kenilorea.
posted by administrator @ 8:52 AM   4 comments
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
NZ defence staff to stay on in Solomon Islands
Radio NZ News, Posted at 8:12pm on 18 Dec 2006

New Zealand's deployment of around 50 Defence Force personnel to the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands is to be extended until March 2008.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says although the current deployment was due to finish soon, New Zealand is committed to helping provide a more secure environment in the Solomon Islands.
New Zealand has maintained an enhanced presence in Honiara since riots in April. Along with the military personnel, it has around 35 police officers stationed there.

Miss Clark also says New Zealand's military liaison officer position with the UN Assistance mission in Afghanistan will be rolled over until September 2007.
posted by administrator @ 12:12 PM   0 comments
University FC to represent PNG in the Oceania Club Championship playoffs
PostCourier News, PNG

PAPUA New Guinea amateur club University FC will represent the country at the Oceania Football Club Champions League preliminary round in June next year.

University followed up their first-leg win by upstaging National Soccer League winners Petroleum Resources Kutubu Souths United 2-1 on Saturday.The double-dosage on the semi-professional champs now sends worrying signals to the governing body of the NSL in its debut year.

University determined to show cause earlier this year by not linking their players to the NSL hype…have won a battle of sorts with PNG soccer. It has been a resounding successful year under the helm of the master tactician Coach John Davani, winning the PMSA and national club titles as well.

University’s first goal was scored by Gari Moka 11 minutes into the opening minutes of the first half from good build-up play from the “little general” in veteran Desmond Waku, Steven Mali and Alex Davani from the mid-field. Moka’s shocker sent shock-waves through the already worried Souths camp to take a 1-0.

Just before the break the first signs of worry for Souths was signaled when Gelle Hills import Niel Hans was replaced by regular striker Kema Jack. In the second-half Souths saw hope when Jack Samani spiralled the equaliser.

However as fate would have it dumped Souths, mid-fielder Lawrence Diau coming on as a replacement nailed the winner four minutes from full-time to seal the win.

"Both goals I’ve scored in the first leg and today (Saturday) have both being the winning goals…it’s unbelievable and words can not express how I feel today," Diau said. He said he was grateful for University FC for believing in him and giving him the opportunity to run onto the paddock.

University coach Davani said: “Playing with 10 men for almost half of the match and winning is testimony of our clubs depth.

"We did this in Kimbe against Sobou in the National club championships and now against the semi-pro champs has been the best thing to ever happen for the club," Davani said. Davani said that it a tough task but also gave credit to Souths for the quality of players they have drawn through the NSL competition.
posted by administrator @ 11:22 AM   4 comments
POLICE SEIZE MARIJUANA PLANTS IN CENTRAL KWARA'AE REGION
SIBConline News, 19:28 hrs, 18/12/2006

Police in Malaita have seized 32 marijuana plants at Fuliau Ladoa Village in Central Kwara’ae. The plants were detected by officers targeting kwaso and cannabis offences in the lead up to Christmas.

The Police Media office says investigations into those responsible for the crop are being conducted by Malaita police.

Meanwhile, Honiara police arrested 16 individuals over the weekend for a range of offences after officers concentrated on anti-social behaviour as part of Operation Christmas Target. The offences ranged from domestic violence, assaults, drinking in public, drunk and incapable and drunk and disorderly.

The Police Media office says licensed premises were also visited by police to ensure alcohol was being served in accordance with liquor laws. Police inspected 164 vehicles over the weekend as part of the Operation. The vehicles were inspected to ensure they were road worthy, that drivers held valid licences and alcohol was not being consumed.

Operation Christmas Target will continue over the Christmas and New Year period.
posted by administrator @ 11:04 AM   0 comments
NO PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS ON MALAITA
SIBConline News, 19:29 hrs, 18/12/2006

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

He says its was difficult to hold the elections today for various reasons including the late arrival of ballot boxes.

Mr Leka says the old ballot boxes arrived in Auki at 10 o'clock last Friday night. He says his office had to employ some casual workers to do some work on the old ballot boxes including repainting of the boxes. Mr Leka says his office is now waiting for additional funds from the Ministry of Provincial Government to run the elections for the remaining wards on Malaita.

"After the difficulties we encountered, I called my Assistant Returning Officers and asked them about a possible date for the elections. They say if the funding his office requested was given by today, then its possible for the elections to go ahead on the 21st December. If the funds arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday, then that is a different story. We'll have to find another date."
posted by administrator @ 11:02 AM   0 comments
FONO CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO ALLOCATE MONEY FOR PROJECTS
SIBConline News, 19:32 hrs, 18/12/2006

Opposition leader Fred Fono says the national government must be serious about allocating money for the two major development projects on Malaita.

They are the Auluta Oil Palm Project and the Bina Harbour Industrial site project.

Mr Fono says these are important projects for both Solomon Islands and Malaita because of the employment that would be provided. The provision of work for Malaita people would prevent them from going to Honiara and other Provinces to find employment.

"Government should take seriously and implement those projects. Without implementing those key projects, there wouldn't be any lasting peace. People would certainly go and look for employment outside of Malaita because there is no major employment opportunities on Malaita."

Opposition leader Fono says the government had announced in the last Parliament sitting that a ground-breaking ceremony for the Auluta Palm Oil Project would be held in East Malaita this month. But, he says there in no sign of such ceremony happening on Malaita.
posted by administrator @ 10:59 AM   0 comments
PILOT SAYS HE FLEW MOTI TO SOLOMONS ON ORDER FROM THE GOVERNMENT
SIBConline News, 19:34 hrs, 18/12/2006

The commanding officer of the PNG Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel Francis Berobero said he commanded the secret flight on 10 October to remove Julian Moti to Solomon Island because he believed the order had come from the government.

He said he was under the impression that the evacuation of Moti, wanted by the Australian government over criminal allegations, was on directions from the Prime Minister’s Department based on an agreement between the PNG and Solomon Islands governments.

Lt Col Berobero, who commanded the CASSA aircraft flight, said his direction to deliver Moti to Munda airfield came from the acting Commander at that time. He said he believed the flight was authorised by the Prime Minister’s offices of both countries.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Berobero was testifying at the Defence Board of Inquiry last Friday
posted by administrator @ 10:57 AM   4 comments
AUSTRALIA REQUESTS THE EXTRADITION OF JULIAN MOTI
SIBConline News, 19:36 hrs, 18/12/2006

The Solomon Islands government had received a formal request from the Australian government on Friday to have suspended Attorney General Julian Moti extradited to Australia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patterson Oti confirmed the request saying the cabinet will discuss it tomorrow before a formal announcement is made on the Solomon Islands government position on the issue.

Australia is seeking the extradition of Moti to have him face an allegation of child sex which was already cleared in a Vanuatu court in 1997. The Australian request was sought again after a failed attempt three months ago when Australian authorities attempted to have him extradited from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

However, Mr Moti and two Solomon Islanders, Robson Djokovic and lawyer Chris Hapa were secretly flown to Solomon Islands by a PNG Defence Force plane. The Australian High Commission in Honiara last week says Moti, an Australian citizen must return to face the allegations under Australian law.

The Honiara Magistrate court on Wednesday also allowed the discontinuation of charges of Moti’s alleged illegal entry into Solomon Islands from PNG in October.
posted by administrator @ 10:55 AM   4 comments
Cannavaro wins Fifa player crown
BBCnews.

Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has been named Fifa World Player of the Year.
The award polls votes from national team coaches and captains and Cannavaro beat three-time winner Zinedine Zidane and reigning champion Ronaldinho.
Real Madrid central defender Cannavaro was crowned European Footballer of the Year in November.
"For me it's a great honour for me to be here, because it has been an incredible season," said Cannavaro.
He added: "The competition is scary, so strong. It's not usual for a defender to sit between Ronaldinho and Zidane.
"Of course it must be a great compliment for the coaches I've had this year.
"It also underscores the way I am playing - and look at the matches we are playing in the teams I've had, and at Real.
"I can't ask for anything else, with the World Cup and Golden Ball award - you can't do any better than that."
posted by administrator @ 10:24 AM   4 comments
Monday, December 18, 2006
FORUM LEADERS TO CONSIDERALTERNATIVE CHAIRING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE
FORUMThe Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, has advised that the position of Fiji in the Forum is now under consideration.The Secretary General has also expressed his deep regret over developments in Fiji over the past two weeks.

"The impacts of the RFMF-led removal of the democratically elected Government are already beginning to have serious consequences not only for the economy and the welfare of the people of Fiji but also the international reputation of Fiji and the region as a whole. The crisis in Fiji must be resolved through negotiation, within the Constitution and with respect for the rule of law," he said.

"As the actions of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces now prevent Prime Minister Qarase from exercising his leadership of the Fiji Government, and have also made it impossible as a matter of practicality for him to fulfil his duties as Forum Chair at the present time, Forum Leaders are considering an alternative Chairing arrangement."

Mr Urwin emphasised that Forum members had expressed their collective commitment to upholding democratic processes and institutions in Forum member countries as enshrined in the Biketawa Declaration. "Forum members wish to assist Fiji move swiftly and peacefully toward the restoration of democratic government, within the boundaries of Fiji’s constitution and the rule of law. "The good offices of the Forum are available to help further the dialogue between the Government and RFMF toward a peaceful resolution of the situation."

"The Forum is consulting with the RFMF-installed regime and other relevant stakeholders in Fiji to ascertain their willingness to speak with a Forum Eminent Persons’ Group to be convened as soon as possible, as mandated by Forum Foreign Ministers on 1 December," the Secretary General said.
posted by administrator @ 2:37 PM   7 comments
Malaita to benefit from tourism study
Solomonstar News, 18 December, 2006 - 9:47am.
By URIEL MATANANI

AN eco-tourism feasibility study carried out in the Central Kwara’ae region has just been completed by local consultant Jackson Leaburi.

The ground work study was presented to Central Kwara’ae MP and Leader of Opposition Fred Fono on Friday. Mr Leaburi told Solomon Star that the two months ground work study focused mainly on identifying key areas within Central Kwara’ae that could be turned into potential tourism products.

"We have been going around looking at natural, historical and archaeological sites including other tourism resources in order to promote them into the tourism market overseas," Mr Leaburi said.

"We’ve designed tourism packages that include adventure trekking, cultural activities, home stays and others that can be used to tap into these untouched resources." Mr Leaburi said report would not only benefit people in Central Kwara’ae but the whole province.

Mr Fono, who received the report on behalf of his people, thanked those who took part in the study and called out on everyone to actively make use of it. He said the report forms the basis for eco-tourism development and is an added product within other income generating activities such as gardening and pig rearing. "If taken seriously eco-tourism will broaden the economic base within the area," Mr Fono said. He added that a budget has already been put aside for the next three years for his constituency to use in order to develop tourism. "For the next three years RCDF funding and other financial supporters will assist us in developing this industry,” he said. "We will help train our people to become local tourist operators, help them design their own tourism packages and also provide financial assistance." He said tourism in the area has great potential but needs to be properly packaged so that it is more appealing within the tourism market." We have a lot to offer to our visitors but how to carry it out has not been properly assessed," Mr Fono said. "I call on everyone to consider this opportunity seriously and help develop, preserve and market our area to the outside world."
posted by administrator @ 12:23 PM   4 comments
RUEBEN MOLI FAILED TO RETAIN HIS SEAT
SIBConline news, 18:58 hrs, 15/12/2006

Care-taker Malaita Premier Rueben Moli has failed to retained his seat of Aimela Ward in the Malaita Provincial elections.

He was beaten in the elections by businessman Richard Namo.

Reports reaching SIBC from the Malaita Provincial capital, Auki say former female member for Buma Ward in West Kwara'ae, Rose Anilabata, has also failed to be re-elected.The new Provincial Assembly member for Buma Ward is Robert Madeo.

The other winners are:
Ina Leong for Auki Ward,
Erickson Otoia for Fauabu Ward, and
William Isui has retained his seat in the West Baegu/Fataleka Ward.

Meanwhile, Oliver Zapo has won the bye-election in the Vonunu Ward on Vella Lavella in the Western Province.
posted by administrator @ 10:02 AM   4 comments
FRENCH DIPLOMAT, WIFE MUGGED IN PORT MORESBY
Postcourier News

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, December 13) – A French diplomat and his wife were severely attacked by thugs between the country’s Parliament House and the National Museum on Sunday afternoon.
This was the second attack on tourists the same day, at the same spot. Two other expatriates were also attacked and held hostage in their own van for almost two hours
The diplomat and his spouse, who have only been in the country for three months for a new job at the French Embassy, had an engagement at the National Museum that morning when they were attacked.
The badly injured foreign envoy was taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital where wounds in his head were stitched.
He is recovering after receiving further treatment from specialists in the city.
A statement from the two written to the operations centre of the Boroko police station including all embassies in Port Moresby said "… on Sunday 10, 2006 at around 13:40 pm, my wife and I have been victims of aggression by rascals in front of the National Museum on Independence Drive, just after the National Parliament. On our arrival we saw a group of men fighting near the museum. (in fact, we found out later that they fought to share the things stolen from the mini-bus of tourists parked in front of the museum gate close without security guards)," the French diplomat report stated.
"We stopped our vehicle behind the mini bus which was waiting for the National Museum gate to open and unexpectedly one of the rascals (of the fight) came near my car with a pistol pointed at us and ordered us to come out of the car.
I kept myself calm and gave them some money to go away but they were like drug addicted and very aggressive. My wife came out of the car very calm, she had nothing so they did not do anything to her, they took my wallet with cash, the car and many very important things."
Police at Boroko yesterday said the case was registered in their Occurrence Book (OB) but to date nothing has been done or no investigations carried out, including that of an earlier attack on other tourists at the museum.
posted by administrator @ 9:09 AM   4 comments
Child Sex Abuses Increasing in Solomon Islands
Solomonstarnews, By MOFFAT MAMU

SOLOMON Islands is one of five pacific island countries where child sexual abuse has increased due to armed conflict. According to a regional report on Child Sexual Abuse and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Pacific, many girls in Solomon Islands were sexually assaulted by militants during the ethnic crisis.

“Virtually any girl or woman in the areas affected by the tensions was vulnerable to sexual coercion by militants,” the report said. This was largely due to the involvement of some members of the then Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) now known as the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) in the criminal activities during the tensions which undermined public confidence in the SIPF, the report stated.

The report, which was conducted in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, PNG and Vanuatu, was launched in Honiara yesterday. It highlighted that in Solomon Islands child sexual abuse began at a very young age this was proven from reports of sexually transmitted infections in children as young as between 1 and 3 years old.

“...a clear indicator of the existence of child sexual abuse in the country,” the report said. Even child prostitution is said to be evident in Solomon Islands, the report said.

This was where local young male kids are being lured by sailors with money between $2-$5 and food to have sex with them through anal penetration. “This happened at the main wharf previously known as the Guadalcanal Province area,” a young boy told the report. It further noted that child sex tourism involved young girls who visited hotels, night clubs, resorts and boats to have sex in exchange for money. The report also pointed out child pornography where a number of local children involved in were reported to the research team in Honiara.

Child marriage in exchange for money were also highlighted in the report where foreign timber workers in SI are marrying girls as young as 12 in exchange for money or gifts for a girl was justified by the tradition of bride price. UNICEF Pacific project officer Solomon Islands Katherine Gilbert said the report is a culmination of research collected by studies in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu - conducted and written between October 2004 and June 2005.

At the opening address she highlighted that child sexual abuse and exploitation are recognised international as the most severe of human rights violations and the worst forms of child abuse and exploitation. An Inter-Agency Group made up of UNICEF, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT International) conducted the country studies.

Last night’s launching includes presentations, panel discussions by Government officials, NGOs and human rights group.
posted by administrator @ 8:51 AM   5 comments
Friday, December 15, 2006
Police Suspicious of Document leading to Moti's dismissal in Court
SIBConline news, 15/12/2006

Police believe that the document permitting suspended Attorney General Julian Moti to enter and reside in Solomon Islands bearing a stamp purporting to have renewed the permit until 8 August 2007 as suspicious.

Police Commissioner Shane Castles says police will have the document investigated and forensically examined.He told a press conference yesterday that police unsuccessfully sought an adjournment to investigate the authenticity of the renewal.

Mr Castles says the first time the document surfaced was this week. "It is interesting to note is that at no time during police or Immigration interviews did Mr Moti, Mr Djokovic or Mr Hapa make reference to such a permit existing. Immigration officials as I have told you on the 10th of October informed the police at a meeting at which I was present that the permit, the permit to enter and reside had expired.

"Mr Castles says the Attorney General, Nuatali Tongarutu in her capacity as the acting Director of Public Prosecutions, accepted the certification that the permit was valid and took the decision to enter a Notice of Discontinuation. Mr Castles says a Notice of Discontinuation is not a “dismissal” of the charges, it means the prosecution will not offer evidence and the charges are discharged at this time.
posted by administrator @ 3:42 PM   4 comments
SOLOMON ISLANDS - SIFF NAME NATIONAL U-20 SQUAD
OceaniaSoccer.com news, Tuesday, 12th December 2006

The final team was named by the appointed national head coach Airton Andrioli on Friday last week.

The team:
1. Shedrack Ramoni Gk
2. Leon Lekezoto Gk
3. Haddis Aengari Def
4. Aenold Keni Def
5. Gibson Daudau Def
6. Welshman Houkarawa Def
7. Joachim Waroi Def
8. Francis Saemala Def
9. Lenson Bisili M/F
10. Gibson Hosea M/F
11. Molis Gagame M/F
12. Ramptony Lohe M/F
13. Moffat Deramoa M/F
14. Patrick Miniti Jr M/F
15. Joses Nawo Striker
16. John Manebona Striker
17. Judd Molea Striker
18. Bentley Nalagu Striker
19. Joachim Rande Striker
20. Toni Otini Striker

Team Officials:
1. Stanley Siapu Head of Delegation
2. Airton Andrioli Head Coach
3. Jacob Moli Asst. Coach
4. Toata Molea Team Manager
5. Joe Gwala'a Physiotherapist
posted by administrator @ 11:16 AM   4 comments
AUSTRALIA WANTS SUSPENDED SOLOMON ISLANDS ATTORNEY GENERAL
SIBConline news, 19:02 hrs, 14/12/2006

The Australian Federal Government is making a formal request to have Australian lawyer Julian Moti extradited to Australia.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the paperwork was expected to be delivered to the Solomon Islands Government today.

Mr Moti is wanted in Australia on child sex charges and the government has already made a provisional request for his arrest. He was also charged with immigration offences in the Solomon Is, but these were dismissed by the Magistrates Court in Honiara yesterday lands
posted by administrator @ 9:46 AM   0 comments
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Solomons dashes hopes of Moti trial
The Australian News
Michael McKenna, December 14, 2006

AUSTRALIA'S hopes of extraditing fugitive lawyer and accused pedophile Julian Moti dimmed yesterday with immigration charges against him dropped in Solomon Islands.
The lawyer, wanted on child rape allegations, had faced charges over his secret escape in October to Solomon Islands from Papua New Guinea, where he had been arrested at the request of Australian Federal Police.
Mr Moti, a 41-year-old Australian citizen, had been charged with illegally entering the Solomons aboard a PNG military flight, straining relations between Canberra and Port Moresby.
But the charges of illegal entry were dropped against Mr Moti after Solomon Islands Immigration Minister Peter Shanel this week issued Mr Moti with an exemption order.
At the time of his arrest in PNG, Mr Moti was en route to the Solomon Islands, where he was to become attorney-general, appointed by long-time friend Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Charges against a nephew of Mr Sogavare have also been thrown out. Robson Djokovic was charged with aiding Mr Moti to enter the Solomons illegally.
Australia's sudden hunt for Mr Moti, on charges dating back to 1997, were labelled by Mr Sogavare as being "politically motivated".
The extradition request relates to an alleged repeated rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1997 by Mr Moti while he was working as a lawyer in Vanuatu.
It is now possible Mr Moti will take the role of attorney-general in a move that could thwart any attempt to extradite him to Australia on the child sex charges.
A spokesman for Justice Minister Chris Ellison last night confirmed an extradition request for Mr Moti had been sent to the Sogavare Government in the past few weeks.
"It is a matter for the Solomon Islands to consider that request in accordance with their laws," the spokesman said.
An earlier request from Australia to execute a provisional arrest warrant on Mr Moti, pending the formal extradition proceedings, has been ignored.
Mr Moti was charged with sexual offences in 1998, but they were dropped by a Vanuatu magistrate on the basis of insufficient evidence.
The AFP reopened the investigation in the past year amid allegations the magistrate was bribed.
At the time the AFP investigation was launched, Mr Moti, who owns a home in Sydney, was widely reported to have been advising Mr Sogavare on the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the April riots that had razed much of Honiara's business district.
The inquiry, announced in July and then headed by retired Australian Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld, was viewed by Canberra as directly interfering with judicial proceedings already under way against two of Mr Sogavare's ministers, who are alleged to have incited the riots.
The stoush over the inquiry preceded the expulsion in September of Australian high commissioner Patrick Cole for alleged meddling in the country's internal affairs, a charge rejected by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
Mr Einfeld was subsequently removed as commissioner amid a police investigation into a possible perjury charge over a traffic offence.
The PNG Government, through its Defence Force, will hold a new investigation into Mr Moti's escape.
The terms of reference will also ascertain what involvement Australian Defence Force officers working in the PNG Defence Force might have had had in the exercise.
The PNG Government maintains Australia breached its laws in pursuing Mr Moti's arrest and extradition.
posted by administrator @ 3:58 PM   4 comments
TRIO CONDEMNE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
SIBConline news, 12:49 hrs, 14/12/2006

The trio acquitted in the Julian Moti saga have condemned the Commissioner of Police, saying the action of his officers have caused them public humiliation and disgrace.

The statement came shortly after their victory at the Honiara Magistrates Court yesterday.

Suspended attorney general Julian Moti, Robson Djokovic and Chris Hapa were acquitted by the Honiara Magistrates Court yesterday on charges relating to their flight from PNG to Munda in the Western Province in October.

In a joint statement shortly after their acquittal from the charges, the trio said the Police Commissioner has caused them embarrassment by initiating prosecutions without merit through lack of proper investigatory skills.

The trio say they will now have to make claims for damages caused to their reputation, to be shouldered by the country.
posted by administrator @ 3:53 PM   4 comments
SI will not achieve MDG
Solomonstarnews, 14 December, 2006 - 2:39pm.

SOLOMON Islands is among countries which the Commonwealth Secretariat says will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to primary education by 2015.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon said Commonwealth countries like Solomon Islands, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia will have missed the target, with only between six and eight out of every 10 children in these countries in primary school. He made this statement when addressing the official opening of the 16th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Cape Town, South Africa on Monday.

The conference drawn almost 1000 delegates from all Commonwealth countries. Mr McKinnon told delegates that all young children need to be in school by the end of next year in order to meet the goal of a completed cycle of primary schooling by 2015.
posted by administrator @ 3:46 PM   4 comments
Marcus Einfeld May Face Perjury Charges
Sydney Morning herald News
Tim DickDecember 14, 2006.

Former Federal Court Judge, Marcus Einfeld, who was once appointed by Solomon Islands Prime Minister to head the Commision of Inquiry into the Chinatown Riot may face perjury charges in Australia.
.................
POLICE have asked prosecutors to consider criminal charges against the former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld, which may include perjury and swearing false statutory declarations.
Detectives have gathered enough evidence after a five-month inquiry into his history of avoiding traffic fines to refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider charges.
Mr Einfeld has consistently denied any wrongdoing since August, when he appeared in the local court to dispute a $77 speed camera fine incurred in Mosman during January.
He told a magistrate that a Florida professor, Teresa Brennan, was driving his car at the time, but it quickly emerged that she had died three years earlier. A fraud squad investigation, Strike Force Chanter, was begun into what turned out to be his long history of avoiding traffic fines.
It also prompted a separate state-wide audit of people who have used similar means to avoid traffic fines. This led to 238 charges against people who either blamed a dead person or someone unknown to them via a scam.
In the Einfeld matter, a NSW Police spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that a brief of evidence was handed to the DPP on November 21. She gave no further details, except that the matter was with the DPP for "consideration". As a matter of practice, the DPP does not comment on what matters it is reviewing for possible prosecution.
That practice continued yesterday, when a spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny it was acting on the Einfeld brief.
Possible charges include perjury - giving false evidence while on oath - which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail, and knowingly making a false statutory declaration, which carries a maximum sentence of five years' jail, extended to seven years if the declaration is sworn for material advantage.
Mr Einfeld could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he has strongly and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In late August, he said his lawyers had delivered a "comprehensive dossier" to police, which established that he was not driving when his car was speeding in January. "I am very confident that the police investigation will clear my name," he said.
Last month, the Herald revealed Mr Einfeld had incurred at least nine traffic fines in four years as a Federal Court judge, for speeding, running red lights and parking at bus stops.
He provided statutory declarations to avoid at least some of those fines while still on the bench, including running a red light on William Street.
Mr Einfeld initially said his taxpayer-funded car was being serviced at City Ford in Woolloomooloo, but investigations by the court registry showed that not to be the case.
It is not known whom he blamed in the statutory declaration, as his lawyers have sought to have that document kept secret from a Herald freedom-of-information request. It has also been investigated by police, along with the other fines incurred while still a judge, with detectives inspecting Federal Court files as recently as last month.
posted by administrator @ 1:08 PM   4 comments
Aus. will still pursue Moti's extradition
Solomon Star/ Pacnews Tue, 12 Dec 2006

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS ---- The Australian government will still pursue the full extradition of Australian citizen Julian Moti with a request ready to be lodged to the Solomon Islands government, Solomon Star reports.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Heidi Bootle made this statement after Minister of Foreign Affairs Patteson Oti revealed in the Australian media that Australia is yet to lodge a formal request for the extradition of Mr Moti.

Mr Oti, who was in Australia for the Forum’s Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting last week, said he was disappointed with the Australian Government for debating the Moti affair in the media rather than through diplomatic channels.

"Rather unfortunately, while there has been a lot of discussion, it has been taken on the airwaves without the due process of how governments deal with each other," Mr Oti said.

"Under normal official processes and procedures, Solomon Islands has yet to receive a formal request from Canberra."

However, Ms Bootle said it was the Australian Government’s intention to get Moti back to Australia to face the alleged child sex charges.

Therefore, she said her government would pursue means to get Moti back to Australia without interfering with the legal and justice system of the country.

"We will continue to seek Mr Moti’s return in a manner which is consistent with legal processes and which does not interfere with judicial processes currently underway in Solomon Islands," the Acting Australian High Commissioner said.

She explained that as one of the Australian citizens, Mr Moti must return and face these allegations under their law.

"This is a matter of Australia wanting one of its own citizens to return to Australia to face serious allegations under Australian law.

"The Australian government strongly supports the work of Australian law enforcement agencies and their counterparts overseas to eradicate the vile crime of sexual exploitation of children.

"We take no position on the guilt or innocence of Australians about whom allegations of child sex offences must be fully tested under Australian law," she said.

A brief sent to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed there was a case that should be prosecuted, that charges should be laid and that this would form the proper basis of a request for Moti’s extradition, she said.

The Acting High Commissioner noted that the Australian Government has made a request to the Solomon Islands Government for the urgent provisional arrest of Moti and "we are currently finalising a full extradition request".

"Once finalised, this full extradition request will be lodged formally with the Solomon Islands Government, as soon as possible," she said.
posted by administrator @ 10:22 AM   4 comments
Moti Cleared of Charges
SIBConline news.

Suspended controversial Attorney General, Julian Moti has been cleared of all charges laid against him in Solomon Islands. Honiara Magistrates court today cleared Mr Moti of all charges in relation to his entry into Solomon Islands on a PNG military aircraft.

Two other Islands nationals, Robson Djokovic and Chris Hapa charged in relations to the trip with Moti to Munda were also acquitted.

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

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

The prosecutor made a written submission to Court that Mr Moti was lawfully entitled to enter, reside and work in Solomon Islands in his capacity as the Attorney General appointed under the Constitution.
posted by administrator @ 9:10 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Dr Aqorau gets deputy post at FFA
Solomonstarnews 13 December, 2006 - 12:47pm.

A SOLOMON Islander, Dr Transform Aqorau has become the first Pacific Islander since the establishment of the Forum Fisheries Agency 27 years ago to be appointed as Deputy Director-General of the FFA. Dr Aqorau was appointed by the Forum Fisheries Committee, which is the governing council of the FFA, during its 63rd meeting in Apia, Samoa, from 4- 8 December.

The appointment of the Deputy Director-General followed the resignation of the incumbent, Steve Dunn of Australia in May this year. In a statement yesterday Dr Aqorau said he saw the position as a great challenge especially coming in as the first Pacific Islander to be appointed to the position.

“I promised that I would do my best to maintain the high standard of service that the FFA has provided to its member countries since its establishment. “I know it is not an easy job, having served under five deputy directors. I have seen the stress that goes with the office because essentially you are responsible for ensuring the technical programmes of the FFA are delivered effectively,” Dr Aqorau said.

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

Before being appointed as deputy director general, Dr Aqorau was legal counsel of the FFA and had been working since September as the interim deputy director-general. He previously worked in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Suva based Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as legal adviser.

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

Already the Vessel Day Scheme is creating opportunities not hitherto seen before,” he said.The director-general Dan Sua welcomed the appointment of Dr Aqorau and expressed his appreciation for the landmark decision by the Forum Fisheries Committee.

Dr Aqorau paid tribute to members of the Forum Fisheries Committee and thanked the members of the Committee for their support and confidence in him by appointing him to the position.
posted by administrator @ 2:11 PM   4 comments
Ne'e Released on bail
13 December, 2006 - 12:50pm.

CENTRAL Honiara MP Nelson Ne’e is now on bail after appealing the magistrates ruling at the High Court. The magistrates has repeatedly denied Ne’e bail given the nature of his charges, however on Monday the High Court granted him bail after a hearing on November 24.

“The High Court on Monday released Ne’e on bail after he appealed the magistrates ruling against his bail application in the High Court,” Deputy Registrar of High Court Kelly Levi said.

Mr Levi however, said that strict bail conditions were imposed.

These are;
Ne’e must reside at his residence at Tandai, report to the Central Police Station twice a week, surrender passport to registrar of High Court, not to approach any international departure point and must not talk to or interfere with any prosecution witnesses.
Ne’e and East Honiara MP Charles Dausabea were detained in custody after the April riots in Honiara for charges relating to inciting the riot.Dausabea however was released on bail last week.

Another accused released on bail on Monday was David Dausabea. Mr Dausabea was also charged with conspiracy to felony in relation to the April riot.He was accused of actively planning the alleged meeting at the Airport Motel, which they believed to discuss ways to carry out the riot.

He was also released under measures that he must return to his residence in Auki within 48 hours of his release, surrender his passport, report at the Auki Police Station twice a week and must not interfere with any prosecution witnesses.
posted by administrator @ 2:05 PM   4 comments
Some charges dropped against Moti
Solomonstarnews, 13 December, 2006 - 12:51pm.

THE prosecutor into the trial of suspended Attorney General Julian Moti, Robson Djokovic and Chris Hapa has drop some charges facing the men.

The men appeared in court on Monday. Moti is facing charges relating to the immigration law while Djokovic and Hapa are faced with aiding and abetting Moti in his escape from PNG to Solomon Islands.

However, on Monday prosecutor Michael McColm told court that the prosecution had decided to drop one of entering without passport against Moti and two counts of aiding a person without passport to enter SI and conspiracy to commit misdemeanor against Djokovic and Hapa.


He then asked the case to be adjourned for today after a surprise disclosure of a work permit and permit to reside and work in SI for Moti which is valid until 2007.Mr McColm told the court that this was his first time to have seen the permits and it has significant bearing on the prosecution of the case.

Mr Moti who opposed to the adjournment told the court that non-existence of the certificate shows that his detention, deprivation of liberty and incarceration has been unlawful from the beginning and that the prosecution cannot under the law retrospectively produce a certificate to validly prosecute him.

The magistrate however told Mr Moti that he would deal with that issue today.
posted by administrator @ 2:03 PM   4 comments
Twelve idols into finals
Solomonstarnews, 13 December, 2006 - 12:28pm.

HUNDREDS of people packed the Multipurpose Hall on Sunday evening to watch the semi-finals of the first ever Solomon Islands Idol competition.The competition was organised since November 26 with the concept of the American Idol where contestants were eliminated until they come to the final.

From the 30 contestants who entered the competition, on Sunday 12 have made it through to the finals which will be held on Sunday this week.

The 12 finalists are Mele O’Brien, Faye Indu, Mark Vision, Balbo, Eunice Irola, Kim Teobasi, Stain Onorio, Salote Tahuniara, Fred Windsoul, Rina Fiolo, Kenneth Kuni and Alphy Jonathan.

Reigning Impact Ministries, which organises the competition, said this competition was to identify the country’s talented singers and to empower young people.

“The aim is to empower young people’s talent, skills and their potential in singing as well as to help them improve,” the organiser’s representative Charles Barks said.He said the winner on Sunday’s final will become Solomon Islands Idol 2006 and will win some $6000 worth of prizes.
posted by administrator @ 1:47 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Two high profile Solomon Islands political figures released on bail
Radio NZ News, 12 Dec 2006

Two more high profile political figures in Solomon Islands, who were arrested and detained over the riots in Honiara in April, have been granted bail by the High Court.
This follows the granting of bail to the MP for East Honiara, Charles Dausabea, two weeks ago on connected charges.

The MP for Central Honiara, Nelson Ne'e, and the former Honiara mayor, David Dausabea, were released from custody although bail conditions have been imposed.

The SIBC reports that the High Court decision followed an appeal by both men against a Magistrates court's refusal to grant them bail.

The two must surrender their passports, report to police twice a week and reside at their own homes.

In related developments, the High Court has rejected a submission to ban Charles Dausabea from performing his duties as an MP whilst on bail.

The Solomon Star says the application called for the bail conditions to be restricted so that the MP could not carry out any forms of employment.

But, the judge says Mr Dausabea can't be stopped from performing his duties as he's an MP.
This now means the MP can attend caucus meetings and parliament, as well as meet his constituents.
posted by administrator @ 5:09 PM   4 comments
Provincial Elecions for Malaita Deferred for 48 Hours
SIBConline News,

Planned Provincial elections tomorrow for five wards on Malaita have been deferred by 48 hours.

The deferment was announced this evening by the Minister for Provincial Government Japhet Waipora, citing mechanical faults experienced by the delivery vessel since Sunday. The five wards will now go to the polls Thursday December 14th to elect their provincial representatives in the Malaita Provincial Assembly.

Returning officer, Harold Leka says he particularly requested an alternative date because election materials did not arrive at Auki on time. The affected wards are Auki, Aimela, Buma, Fauambu and West Fataleka.

Mr Leka says this change will not affect elections for wards six to 33 which is set for the 18th December.

Meanwhile, elections on Guadalcanal and some wards in Temotu will proceed tomorrow as announced.
posted by administrator @ 3:46 PM   5 comments
PAU Commends Solomon Islands Government
The Vice Chancellor of the Pacific Adventist University near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Dr Nemani Tausere has commended the Solomon Islands Government for providing training assistance for its students to study at the the institute.

Dr. Tausere says since 2005, Solomon Islands Government had been providing financial assistance for its students studying at the University and he hoped that the assistance would continue in the future.

The Vice Chancellor made the remarks during the 10th Graduation ceremony held at the Pacific Adventist University on Sunday 10 December 2006. During the graduation ceremony, 77 students received their degrees and diplomas from the Chancellor of the Pacific Adventist University. Of the total number of students graduated, 16 were from Solomon Islands, which was the second highest number after Papua New Guinea.
posted by administrator @ 3:44 PM   4 comments
Monday, December 11, 2006
Rabuka found not guilty
FijiLive, Monday December 11, 2006

Former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has been found not guilty on two counts of attempting to incite mutiny in 2000.

Immediately after the ruling, Rabuka said he was glad that he was free.

"I'm relieved.I knew from day one I was innocent," Rabuka said.

His wife Sulueti, who was in court for the ruling, thanked "the Lord for what had happened today."

High Court judge Justice Gerard Winter found Rabuka not guilty after the assessors returned a split verdict earlier in the day. Justice Winter said he gave careful and impartial consideration on all evidence presented "and at the end of the day I’m not sure because the State has not proven beyond reasonable doubt."

Rabuka was alleged to have attempted to incite mutiny in July and November 2000. He was alleged to have attempted to persuade the then head of the Fiji army’s Third Fiji Infantry Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Viliame Seruvakula to incite a mutiny to remove Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama as the commander. Prosecution claimed in their case that Rabuka wanted to take over as commander of the Fiji Military Forces. Rabuka’s lawyers argued that he had gone to the army camp in Nabua to negotiate with rebel soldiers who had taken over facilities in November 2000.
posted by administrator @ 4:49 PM   4 comments
Two New Schools Open in East Malaita
Solomonstarnews, 8th Dec. 2006

TWO new schools funded by the NZAid program under the New Zealand government have recently been opened in East Malaita. The schools are built in Nafinua and Ambe in partnership between the NZ government, education ministry and the community.

Clerk to the Project coordinating the overall work Bobby Tomani said the two schools is part of the 16 schools being constructed for the communities which are remote by the NZ government. He said most of the schools are ready to be opened soon after construction work started in February.

The New government provided the funds, education ministry coordinated the project while the local community provided labour. “This is a partnership working together to make things happen,” said Bobby. He pointed out that Nafinua is the biggest because it consists of a community high school and primary. The opening was held on November 2.

While the Ambe is a primary school which was officially opened on the 1st December and was name Helen Clark’s building. The community of Ambe in appreciation of the new complex handed over a war club to the New Zealand High Commission office in Honiara. The club was personally hand over to the New Zealand High Commissioner yesterday by Bobby. Bobby said that in those two occasions most of the parents, students and community leaders attended the ceremony.

It was like historical occasion for the people, he said.He explained in each of the complex at Nafinua and Ambe housed classrooms, library and office.

“It’s a standard like building suitable for the locals,” he said.The raised building is yet to the completed with the community now tasked to build something underneath the classrooms. Each of the two communities has expressed gratitude over the assistance by the New Zealand government for its concern to the children in the area.New Zealand as part of the assistance had assistance Solomon Islands in educational programs.
posted by administrator @ 1:49 PM   6 comments
Plan for USP setup in Progress
Solomonstarnews, 11 Monday 12, 2006

THE Minister for Education, Dr Derek Sikua, reveals that plans for the proposed establishment of the fourth campus of the University of the South Pacific (USP) in the country is well in advance. Dr Sikua revealed that when speaking during the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) graduation on Friday during which more than 600 students graduated with certificates and diplomas. He told the gathering that the government is working with USP to put the plan into action.

“The government, along with the university of the South Pacific, SICHE, and other stake holders are currently working in partnership to establish a campus of the USP in Honiara.“

This will include the establishment of right provincial study centres. He said the USP Honiara Campus and the provincial study centres will be working alongside SICHE to provide a wider range of courses that will attract students from the Pacific Region as well as providing increased access to higher education study opportunities, required by the government for interested students throughout the country.

The government is looking at turning SICHE into one of the USP campuses just like Alafua in Samoa and Emalus campus in Vanuatu. Dr Sikua said the establishment of the campus is to reduce the cost of sending students overseas for training.

“The government through my ministry is committed to reduce the government’s costly investment of over $100m annually in overseas training by supporting the ongoing restructuring and reorganisation of SICHE.“

The present government’s policy to complete the SICHE restructuring exercise with a view to upgrading the institution to a national university college is a clear testament to that fact.

“We are keen to see that SICHE will again become the higher education institution of choice for many Solomon Islanders by offering high quality education opportunities relevant to the needs of our labour market,” Dr Sikua said.

He hoped that council, management, staff and students of SICHE can take advantage of the opportunity presented by this restructuring exercise and be proactive in fostering innovations and launching meaningful reforms to take SICHE forward in the twenty-first century.
posted by administrator @ 1:33 PM   5 comments
Menapi, Totori, Mamae, Sale and Faarodo all scored for their respective teams over the weekend
New Zealand Herald, Monday December 11, 2006

Waitakere United fans must be feeling short-changed. The New Zealand Football Championship front-runners are hardly piling on the goals with yesterday's 1-0 win over Team Wellington at Trusts Stadium the sixth time in seven victories they have sneaked home by a goal.
Only twice since their 3-1 win over Waikato FC in the opening round have United scored more than one goal in a game, those in 2-1 home wins over Canterbury United and Hawkes Bay United.
To counter that, they have also been miserly in defence, conceding just six goals in 10 outings and never more than one in a game.
That defensive resolve, even without key defender and captain Danny Hay, was key yesterday as they denied a Team Wellington side who, without playmaker Graham Little, lacked imagination and attacking prowess in front of the Waitakere goal.
Goalkeeper and stand-in captain Michael Utting was largely unemployed as was James Bannatyne between the Wellington posts.
Despite playing into a strong wind and with a 6-1 corner count against them, Waitakere dominated the first half.
Commins Menapi gathered from Allan Pearce after six minutes but hit the post. The home side, with strong games from Graham Pearce, Hoani Edwards and Jakub Sinkora - in his first outing - dominated in midfield but too often attacking chances were wasted by poor passing.
The Waitakere faithful will be forever grateful that referee Gabriel Streza deemed there should be one minute of stoppage time at the end of the spell.
With 37 seconds of added time remaining, Edwards pounced on to a loose ball, fed Menapi who broke into the penalty area, drew Bannatyne away from his line and angled the ball into the Wellington goal.
Scoring chances remained scarce after the break, with the visitors' best chance coming midway through the half, when Costa Barbarouses whipped a good ball across the face of the United goal, but David Batty failed to get a foot to it.
From one of four Team Wellington corners in the second half, the home side charged forward but a terrible ball from Allan Pearce to Menapi wasted a good two-on-one opportunity.
"In the first half we played some good football," said Waitakere coach Steve Cain, who bemoaned the struggle to find a fit team with eight players ruled out. "We were worth the three points."
Wellington coach Mick Waitt refused to blame Little's absence - he is in Japan to watch his brother Bryan play for Auckland City in the Club World Cup - saying that it was more a case of a poor first half costing his team dear.

Elsewhere, in an abbreviated round, home teams took a hiding.

Led by two goals, including a retaken penalty by Benjamin Totori, YoungHeart Manawatu thrashed Otago United 5-0 after they had been given the 21st minute lead when Otago defender Phil Elder headed a Nelson Sale cross into his own goal.
The other four goals were scored by their Solomon Islanders, with Totori well supported by Sale and Alick Maemae with one each.
Stuart Kelly scored twice as Canterbury United beat Waikato United 4-0 in Hamilton. Kelly headed home a minute before half-time to give the visitors their lead. Brent Fisher, with his first of the season, doubled the advantage 20 minutes into the second half before their top scorer Henry Faarodo and Kelly completed the rout which earned Canterbury their third straight win and a share of third place with Auckland City.
posted by administrator @ 9:27 AM   4 comments
Auckland City fall to two brilliant strikes
The New Zealand Herald, 7.30am Monday December 11, 2006

Auckland City went down 0-2 in the opening Club World Cup fixture in Japan against African champions Al Ahly last night.
The Egyptian team produced two pieces of brilliance as they got their campaign off to a flying start in Toyota City.
Angolan international, Flavino, handed the Cairo club a 51st minute lead when he pounced on a bungled clearance to rifle the ball past helpless Auckland stopper Ross Nicholson.
Flavino's game-breaker came as Auckland scrambled to replace Riki Van Steeden after the former All Whites defender hobbled off with a hamstring injury.
Mohamed Aboutrika, nominated for the African player of the year award, put the result beyond doubt with a curling 73rd minute freekick.
Auckland looked to have earned a way back into the quarterfinal when substitute Teruo Iwamoto appeared to have been dragged down in the box.
But Saudi referee Khalil AL Ghamdi instead whistled against Auckland's Japanese import, awarding Al Ahly a free-kick in their own penalty box.
The result left Auckland contemplating Friday's playoff for fifth and sixth against the loser of Monday's second quarterfinal between Club America (Mexico) and Jeonbuk Motors FC (South Korea), also in Toyko.
Auckland, bemused by more than one of the 28 free-kicks dished out against them, went to halftime with hope thanks to two, last-gasp tackles from standout central defender Jonathan Perry and midfield workhorse Paul Seaman.
But Van Steeden's untimely injury was a costly blow, not only leaving Auckland temporarily reduced to 10 men but also under-mining Jones' 56th minute-introduction of Iwamoto and winger Jason Hayne for Keryn Jordan and Liam Mulrooney respectively.
There was no way back against the elegant Egyptians whose slick, one-touch football left the puffed NZFC champions chasing shadows and bemoaning their repeatedly wayward passing.
"We were never short of endeavour but we were just outplayed and it told on us on a couple of occasions," coach Allan Jones said.
Al Ahly now face Brazil's Sport Club Internacional in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The tournament's second semifinal will pit either Club America or Jeonbuk Motors against European heavyweights, Barcelona, on Thursday. The final is on Sunday.
Scores: Auckland City 0 Al Ahly 2 (Flavio, Mohamed Aboutrika). Halftime: 0-0.
posted by administrator @ 9:24 AM   4 comments
Chile's Pinochet dies at 91
The New Zealand Herald, Monday December 11, 2006

SANTIAGO, Chile - Ex-president Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973-1990, has died a week after suffering a heart attack, a military doctor said today.
"He died surrounded by his family," Dr. Juan Ignacio Vergara told reporters outside the hospital.
"Later this afternoon, we will give more details," he said.
Pinochet, 91, who was diabetic and had been in frail health for years, underwent bypass surgery after the December 3 heart attack. He was given Roman Catholic last rites and his son said the surgery had brought him back from the brink of death.
Pinochet was under house arrest at the time of his recent heart attack, accused in the deaths of two bodyguards of former Chilean President Salvador Allende, who he ousted in a coup.
The charges were the latest in a series against Pinochet, who issued a statement last month on his 91st birthday suggesting he realised his death could be near.
He spent his old age fighting human rights, fraud and corruption charges
"Today, close to the end of my days, I want to make clear that I hold no rancour towards anybody, that I love my country above all else," he said in a statement read by his wife on his 91st birthday last month.
In the statement, he accepted "political responsibility" for acts committed during his rule.
Pinochet grabbed power in a coup and went on to become the best known of the South American dictators of the 1970s and 1980s. Under his regime more than 3,000 people died in political violence, many at the hands of repressive secret police.
He was accused of dozens of human rights violations but a lengthy effort to bring him to trial in Chile failed as his defence lawyers successfully argued that he was too ill to face charges.
Despite Pinochet's human rights record, many Chileans loved him and said he saved Chile from Marxism.
But even many loyal supporters abandoned him after it came out in 2004 that he had stashed some $27 million (14 million pounds) in secret off-shore bank accounts that were under investigation at the time of his death.
Five facts about Pinochet:
* Pinochet was the army's commander-in-chief when he assumed power in Chile in a violent US-supported coup that began Sept. 11, 1973, and ousted Marxist President Salvador Allende. Allende killed himself during the coup.
* Some 3000 people died in political violence during Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule, while tens of thousands were tortured and an estimated 200,000 went into exile.
* Pinochet was voted out in a 1988 referendum and stepped down in 1990, but stayed on as head of the armed forces and took a seat as a lifetime senator under a clause he had added to the constitution.
* In 1998 a Spanish judge called for Pinochet's extradition to stand trial in Spain on grounds that some of the victims of his regime were Spaniards. Pinochet was in London at the time and spent 17 months under house arrest before Britain returned him to Chile due to ill health. He also faced suits at home from the families of people killed by Chile's secret police.
* On his 91st birthday on November 25, 2006, Pinochet issued a statement accepting "political responsibility" for acts committed during his rule but said his only motive was to make Chile "a great place and prevent its disintegration."
- REUTERS
posted by administrator @ 9:22 AM   6 comments
MALAITA PROVINCE 10 YEAR PLAN
The out-going Malaita Provincial Government has identified priority areas under a ten year strategic plan to develop the province.

The plan is for Year 2007 to 2017.

The Malaita 10 year plan says the priorities areas are important to social and economic development of the province. It says five areas are considered to underpin requirements to the Province's potential success in reaching its Strategic Visions. The areas include creating an effective road infrastructure, establishing effective and affordable telecommunication systems and providing sustainable and environmentally acceptable sources of energy in the province.

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

The Malaita 10 year plan was compiled following various consultative meetings with people in the province.
posted by administrator @ 9:06 AM   4 comments
Friday, December 08, 2006
Auditor-General wants reports dealt with
Islandsbusiness News.
Evan Wasuka.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s fight with Canberra has made great entertainment in the region—a classic tale of David versus Goliath—but the casualty in the diplomatic standoff has been the Solomon Islands’ endemic fight against corruption.

Seven corruption reports were tabled in the final sitting of the 2006 parliament. But none has seen the light of day with the country’s legislature distracted by a motion of no confidence against Sogavare and the government’s ongoing clash with Australia.T

he reports range from highlights of millions of dollars lost in questionable payouts by an Australian airspace management company, to dicey scholarship awards and theft of food supplies from the national hospital.

Disappointingly, not a single report has been raised for discussion by the Solomon Islands’ 50 members of parliament despite the public service’s appalling corruption record.

Auditor-General Floyd Fatai is upset at the lack of response to the corruption reports.

Among the fraudulent practices he has uncovered include—
• More than A$2 million paid out to private accounts of civil servants by Air Services Australia.
• Ghost employees on the treasury payroll.
• Illegal granting of citizenship by the immigration minister.
• Secret granting of education scholarships to ministers and permanent secretaries without the knowledge of national training unit.
• Theft of hospital food supplies by employees of the National Referral Hospital.• Payment of AusAid funds outside of the Ministry of Health’s consolidated account.
• Corrupt dealings in the subdivision of land at Kukum on the outskirts of Honiara.

“These reports should be debated in full and people need to be aware of what the government is doing” to stem out the rot,” says the 28-year old veteran of the country’s audit office.

Nestled in his wooden office block at the back of the government’s Finance Ministry, Fatai is hopeful the situation could be rectified by the next sitting of parliament, loosely scheduled for January or February 2007.

He says parliament’s Public Accounts Committee had been briefed about the reports.The committee will then issue a report advising parliamentarians on the next course of action at the next sitting of parliament.

Fatai says the committee’s job is to provide a guideline on the reports to parliamentarians.

But the challenge for the committee will be to ensure its report gets coverage since it will be sharing the stage with the tabling of the national budget.

Solomon Islands has always had issues with public corruption, but the problem escalated to gigantic proportions during the two-year-long ethnic tension.

With the government’s internal check mechanisms stunted, civil servants had free reign of government’s resources.

“Fraud and corruption were very obvious. People didn’t fear being caught because everybody else was doing it.

“Our biggest problem,” admits Fatai, “is the lack of financial records during the ethnic tension years (1999-2000).

“With government on the verge of collapse, maintenance of financial records was the least of the worries for government departments at the time.

“Most records for that period will have to be reconstructed.”

Fatai says the most common form of fraud is “asset mismanagement”—audit speak for stealing cash, revenue misappropriation, false financial statements and cases of tender rigging.

Questioned on whether fraud was more prevalent in certain hierarchies than others, he said, “everywhere and everyone was doing it.”

“Studies in fraud showed that 10 percent of employers have fraudulent intentions, that is the type of statistics you have to deal with.

“The only thing we can do is to reduce the opportunity for fraud.”

Since then, high risk areas prone to corruption have been identified, such as the fishing and logging departments. They have been targeted for special audits.

Fatai says the higher up on the risk scale a department is—the more frequent the audit checks will be carried out.

After five years of being in charge of the auditor-general’s office, Fatai says it is still catching up on its backlog of government audits.

A mammoth task awaits the audit team.

Its last report for the national government accounts tabled in October was for the 1997 financial year with the remaining nine years plus provincial government accounts yet to be audited.

But the Solomon Islands’ chief auditor says the country’s corruption problems cannot be pinned solely on the ethnic tension.

He says the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of past governments.“This office is one area where successive governments have made no commitment to improve.”

But the 2003 arrival of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) changed the status of the audit office.

“They made the government aware of the importance of the audit institution...that an effective audit institution is crucial to government receiving assistance from any donor institution or government,” says Fatai.

This has been reflected in government funding for the office growing from S$0.5 million in 2003 to its current level of S$3.7 million per annum.

All this would not have been possible without RAMSI’s timely intervention.

RAMSI currently funds the posts of the deputy auditor-general, group director, and audit advisors.

Despite the office’s isolation from the rest of government, like all things to do with the Sogavare government—where RAMSI or Australia is involved—politics is not far behind.

“We’ve had criticisms from within government circles that we have too many expatriates in our office, taking jobs from local auditors.” says Fatai.

“There may be a lot of private auditors out there—but there is a difference between private auditors and auditors for the public service.”

Fatai says he has no problems with expatriate staff. “They are experienced and part of the crew, and I as “auditor-general steer the ship to meet our objective,” he says.

“If people say we are serving other people’s interests, let them prove it, our work is in our reports.

“I can delegate work but I’m the one who has to sign off on all the reports,” he said.

“Our work is of international standards.”

As for the future of the audit office, Fatai says the key is securing a piece legislation that would give his office more independence.

Funding for the auditor-general’s office is currently tied to the Ministry of Finance while its manpower is dependent on the Public Service Commission.

Fatai says a new legislation needs to clearly define the role of the auditor-general to give it more practical powers to carry out its duties.
posted by administrator @ 3:17 PM   5 comments
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Locals safe despite coup
Solomonstar news, on 7 December, 2006 - 1:52pm.

SOLOMON Islanders in Suva are not under any threats despite the coup, a media director said.

Speaking to Solomon Star yesterday from Suva, William Pakinson who owns Fiji Communications Ltd, said Solomon Islanders like any other foreigners are not under any threat.“It’s business as usual here except that the military has taken over,” Mr Pakinson who owns FM96 said.

He said Suva has been quiet and people are going about doing their usual business.“In a way we feel much safer because the soldiers are everywhere,” he said.Mr Pakinson also revealed that after meeting with the soldiers they had agreed to let the media operate independently.He said there were soldiers in his radio stations and other newspapers but they left yesterday morning after they met with the Fiji media representatives allowing them to report freely.

Mr Pakinson said the Fiji Times which refused to publish yesterday morning after military threats resumed publication in the afternoon.“We are going back to normal now,” the radio owner said.A number of students studying at USP are reportedly okay as they are residing on the campus.One of the final year students Kegar Junior told Solomon Star from Suva yesterday that everything is normal after the takeover without any blood shed.The police and military are working together to avoid things happening.

He said a number of Solomon Islanders working and studying in Suva are fine.“Some families are spending their holiday in Suva while other students are doing their summer course. The rest have already returned home earlier this week,” Kegar said.Yesterday some of the Fulton students arrived saying although the situation was tense at first things are now back to normal.

The Fiji military staged a coup on Tuesday eventually taking over the government.
posted by administrator @ 2:57 PM   4 comments
Taiwan committed to education
Solomonstar News, 7 December, 2006 - 1:45pm.
By MOFFAT MAMU

THE Republic of China (ROC) has reiterated that it is committed to supporting the education sector in the country.

Speaking to Solomon Star yesterday, the Republic of China (ROC) Ambassador to Solomon Islands George Chan said Taiwan is a close friend of Solomon Islands and would continue to support the country through technical programs and other activities.

One of them is through education.

He said Solomon Islands had the potential to develop given the nation is better educated.He said Taiwan had recognised the need of Solomon Islands.Mr Chan also reiterated this same segment at the Mt Horeb graduation ceremony last week. “We have spent considerable amount of money through your government in education to help the children in this country in education,” he said.During the graduation at Betikama Adventist College, Mr Chan also told the students to study hard and be a beneficiary to Taiwan scholarship.Over the last few years Taiwan had opened its educational institutions to take in Solomon Islands students to be educate in Taiwan.

Currently there are 17 Solomon students studying in Taiwan.He pointed out the Taiwan scholarship awards have provided many Solomon students with opportunities to further their studies at the national, regional and overseas universities and institutions. Currently, Taiwan offers three kinds of scholarship to the Solomon students.The first one - the most prestigious “Taiwan Scholarship Program Awards,” in which there are five awardees this year and they have started their first year of Mandarin language training and will conduct another four years of undergraduate study afterwards.The second scholarship is through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat based in Suva, Fiji.

This year, there are 23 awardees from the Pacific Islands States and Solomon Islands has the lion’s share of the quota, which is nine out of the 23 students.The third one is “SIG National and Overseas Training & Education Awards,” in which this year we have committed SBD$16.7 million to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development.

Close to 500 Solomon students have benefited from the assistance which covered their traveling expenses, accommodation allowances and tuition.
posted by administrator @ 2:47 PM   0 comments
Senilagakali sworn in as caretaker PM
FijiLive, Thursday December 07, 2006

Retired Fiji army physician Dr Jona Baravilalala Senilagakali has been sworn in as Fiji's caretaker Prime Minister.

The swearing in comes a day after army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced his appointment at a press conference. Bainimarama announced he was being appointed under Section 109 (2) of the Constitution. "Following the dissolution of Parliament, an announcement will be made, regarding the formation of a caretaker or interim government to steer Fiji," he said.

After the swearing in ceremony, Dr Jona said he had the stamina and ability to be a Prime Minister. He said he has spent the rest of his life serving people. “I hope people who come into the Cabinet can serve the people,” he said.

When asked about the legality of his appointment, Dr Jona said “What legality you are talking about, I think you should ask the commander about it”. “I have been here for the last 16 years and I’m obliged to do whatever the commander tells me to do.”

When told that the Great Council of Chiefs and Methodist Church opposed the takeover, he said he is a Methodist lay preacher. “When the church was in trouble in year 1987 and they could not translate the church constitution in Fijian; I did that on my own. That has to be checked first, I did that in 1989 and I’m still very active. I’m still the lay preacher. I will be preaching in our church on Christmas day.

He said the military council was appointed today and there are a dozen officers in the council. Dr Jona said the military council will help him run the country while a Cabinet is being appointed. Commodore Bainimarama said interested people should apply for positions of Cabinet ministers in the interim military government.
posted by administrator @ 11:12 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Soldiers raid SDL office
FijiLive, Wednesday December 06, 2006

A Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party caucus meeting scheduled for today was interrupted as soldiers stormed in, demanding a search of the premises.

Members were just about to start with a normal prayer meeting at around lunch time when four army personnel suddenly turned up and closed the gates. A bowl of grog had already been mixed but members had to consume it on the roadside after soldiers vacated the premises to look for documents.

The party was supposed to discuss what avenues to take in light of the announcement by army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that they had taken over the executive authority of the country.

Last night Bainimarama told the nation in a televised address that Laisenia Qarase had been dismissed as Prime Minister. Cabinet ministers have been given a month to pack up and vacate their Government quarters.

The meeting has been postponed indefinitely.
posted by administrator @ 2:50 PM   0 comments
Bainimarama takes over govt in coup
FijiLive, Tuesday December 05, 2006

Fiji's army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has taken over the government and executive authority, in Fiji's fourth coup in 20 years.

Bainimarama said he had stepped into the shoes of the President and "in this capacity under Section 101 (1) of our Constitution as he (the President) is empowered to do so, dismiss the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.He said he had stepped into the shoes of the President and "in this capacity under Section 101 (1) of our Constitution as he (the President) is empowered to do so, dismiss the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

He said the 1997 Constitution remained intact. "We reiterate that while this cause of action is taken with great reluctance, it is necessary to steer our beloved nation into peace, stability and just solution and to preserve our Constitution. Therefore the constitution will remain in place except those parts as necessitated under the doctrine of necessity." And medical practitioner and former army doctor Dr Jona Senilagikali has been appointed caretaker Prime Minister

Bainimarama said the takeover will not be permanent. "Tomorrow, I will summon the (Government) CEOs and charge them with the duty of running their own ministries until an interim Government is appointed," he said. "

During the Great Council of Chiefs meeting next week, I will be requesting the GCC to reappoint the Turaga Tui Vuda (Ratu Josefa Iloilo) as the President. "His Excellency, the President, will then appoint a caretaker Government.

In the meantime, a Military council will be providing me with advice." Bainimarama said he had been forced to act because Qarase refused to attend an audience with the President who was trying to resolve the impasse. "This action by the PM has indicated to me and the military that the government has no intention of solving this crisis.

He said the Constitution allowed the President to sack the Prime Minister "in cases such as this however the stalemate has forced me to step forth and the military has taken over government". "As commander of the RFMF, I have been to visit the President, who is head of the state and commander in chief on a number of occasions over the last few days. "The President has personally started that he is concerned about the crisis point we have reached.

"We are now in limbo because the PM has refused to see him despite the President asking him to do so. Bainimarama said the President has the constitutional and legal option to dismiss the PM under Section 109 (1) of the Constitution in his own judgment "should exceptional circumstances exist. "These powers are sometimes referred to reserve powers which have been exercised in Fiji previously and other Commonwealth jurisdictions including Australia by Governor-General John Kerr. Kerr, as you all know, sacked Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

"This reading of the powers of the President through this provision was upheld in the decision by Justice Michael Scott in the case of the Reverend Akuila Yabaki and others and the President and the Attorney General of the Fiji islands.

"This decision of Justice Scott has not been overturned. And therefore is binding and valid in law. "

Apart from the fact that the Prime Minister has been refusing to visit the President and the fact that we are in this national state of limbo, the President is supported by some, including the Vice-President, who are putting undue pressure on him. "Those putting pressure on him and going against the ruling of Justice Scott are taking advantage of the President. "Accordingly, in the RFMF's assessment of the governance issues which I have laid out including the need to solve the current crisis, the need to invigorate the economy, the need to normalize the state of affairs, the need to maintain the Constitution, the need to maintain law and order, and recognising that the President has been prevented by some including the Vice President from exercising his constitutional prerogative to dismiss the Prime Minister in exceptional circumstances, as Commander of the RFMF, I, under the legal doctrine of necessity will step into the shoes of the President given that he has been blocked from exercising his constitutional powers.

"You will note that Justice Scott has also stated in that case that in some unusual or extreme situations, a departure from the normal requirements of the constitution is permitted. "This departure is justified under the doctrine of necessity which has also been discussed in the Chandrika Prasad and (Pakistan military strongman Pervez) Musharraf cases.

"This is indeed and unusual and exceptional situation which was not envisaged by the framers of the constitution and which requires special steps to preserve the constitution and maintain the integrity of the nation state of Fiji. He said the RFMF had observed "with concern and anguish the deteriorating state of our beloved Fiji. "We consider that Fiji has reached a crossroads and the Government and all those empowered to make decisions in our constitutional democracy are unable to make decisions to save our people from destruction.

He said the RFMF had been raising security concerns with the government, in particular the introduction of controversial bills and policies "that divided the nation now and will have very serious consequences for future generations. "These concerns have been conveyed to the Prime Minister in all fairness and sincerity with the country's interest at heart. "Apparently all RFMF concerns were never accepted with the true spirit. "

All my efforts to the government were to no avail. Instead they turned their attention on the RFMF itself. Despite my advice, they tried to remove me and tried to create dissension within the ranks of the RFMF, the institution that stood up and redirected the nation from the path of doom that the nation was led in 2000.

He said the RFMF throughout this impasse has wanted to resolve this matter constitutionally, legally and expeditiously. "The RFMF could have carried out unconstitutional and illegal activities, but had not done so and will not do so. "It believes in the rule of law and shall adhere to the Constitution. It not only adheres to the rule of law and Constitution, but more importantly believes in adherence to the spirit of the law and the Constitution.

"Our position can be differentiated from the Qarase government which for example through the passing of the Reconciliation, Qoliqoli and Land Claims bills will undermine the Constitution, deprive many citizens of their rights guaranteed under the Constitution and compromise and undermine the integrity of the constitutional offices including the Judiciary. "The RFMF not only believes in the Constitution, but it also believes and adheres to constitutionalism." "Accordingly subject to the prevailing conditions, all our constitutional offices, the judiciary and other arms of government are to function as they normally would.

"Given the legal, constitutional and indeed defensible basis of this necessary action, all citizens of this country, including now former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, our neighbours and the international community should remain calm, and support and work together for the betterment of our beloved nation and its people.

Fijilive
posted by administrator @ 8:50 AM   0 comments
Coup leader invokes Whitlam sacking
Malcolm Brown in Suva and agencies, Sydney Morning Herald News, December 6, 2006

FIJI'S military chief, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has declared himself head of state, sacked the Qarase Government and justified his actions with references to the dismissal of Gough Whitlam.

Commodore Bainimarama said the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, had refused to accept the military's demands, as Fiji fell into its fourth coup in 20 years.
Citing a 1975 precedent, the dismissal of the Whitlam government by Australia's governor-general, John Kerr, Commodore Bainimarama invoked a part of Fiji's constitution allowing the president in "exceptional circumstances" to dismiss a government.

But when the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, refused to back him, the military chief appointed himself president. Commodore Bainimarama said he was breaking a "stalemate" after Ratu Iloilo's afternoon statement saying he was "neither supporting nor condoning" the military actions.

Commodore Bainimarama said an interim government would be appointed and that in time elections would follow a proper census, which had not been conducted before the May election. The commodore's announcement at Suva's Queen Elizabeth barracks at 6pm came after soldiers surrounded the home of Mr Qarase, who conceded he was under house arrest.

Mr Qarase said it was "a sad day for democracy and the rule of law" and pledged to hold a caucus meeting today. When asked at the weekend whether he would seek foreign help, Mr Qarase said: "Out of the question." Yesterday Mr Howard said he had refused Mr Qarase's request for Australia to send troops. "I did not think it was in Australia's national interest to become involved," Mr Howard said, although he condemned the coup leaders. "The possibility of Australian and Fijian troops firing on each other and in the streets of Suva is not a prospect that I for a moment thought desirable." But Mr Qarase said suggestions he had asked for military intervention were only an interpretation.

Commodore Bainimarama said he had appointed an interim prime minister, Jona Senilagakali, the military force's senior medical officer. Dr Senilagakali has been head of the Fiji military hospital and served as a peacekeeper in the Middle East. He posed for a photo last night but made no comment.

The military's spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, deflected questions on Dr Senilagakali's government experience, saying "ask him". The military had seized senior government ministers' vehicles yesterday, including two of Mr Qarase's. Commodore Bainimarama said the Government had "undermined the constitution by engaging in bribery and corruption" and proposing bills that would seriously disadvantage Fiji and its future.
posted by administrator @ 8:41 AM   0 comments
Fiji coup sees US halt aid
Sydney Morning Herald News, December 6, 2006 - 6:39AM

The US State Department today condemned what it called a "coup attempt" in Fiji and said it had temporarily suspended US aid to the country.

Fiji's military took over running the country in a bloodless overthrow after confining the elected prime minister to his home in the country's fourth coup in 20 years.

Under law, the US government must cut off aid to countries where there has been a coup or a coup attempt, although this requirement can be waived if necessary.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US government would review whether the events in Fiji would require an aid cut-off, saying: "While that review is ongoing, we have suspended assistance."

He declined to call the overthrow a coup, saying: "At this point, because the situation is fluid, we look at this as a coup attempt. We don't view this as something that is irreversible and quite clearly the prime minister has said that he is not resigning in the face of this action."

Military Commander Frank Bainimarama said he had temporarily stepped into President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's role as head of state and dismissed the government of Laisenia Qarase after a power struggle that had simmered all year.

"We condemn the action that General Bainimarama has taken," McCormack said.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the coup in and called for the immediate restoration to power of the elected government.

The coup could have an impact on Fiji's future participation in UN peacekeeping operations, UN chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

There was no discussion at this time, however, of removing Fijian police and soldiers now working in various peacekeeping assignments, Dujarric added.

Fiji has been a significant contributor to UN peacekeeping over the years although it now has just 275 police and troops in peacekeeping missions, including the 223 soldiers protecting UN staff in Iraq.

"The secretary-general strongly deplores the seizure of power in the republic of Fiji by the military leadership," UN spokesman Dujarric said.

Annan "calls for the immediate reinstatement of the legitimate authority in Fiji and its return to constitutional rule through peaceful means and inclusive dialogue," Dujarric told reporters.
posted by administrator @ 8:35 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Fiji's head dissolves parliament
BBC News:

Fiji's president has dissolved the South Pacific island's parliament, paving the way for the military to take control in a coup.

Earlier, armed troops surrounded the home of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who is refusing to resign.

Military chief Cmdr Frank Bainimarama has repeatedly threatened to unseat Mr Qarase over plans to grant amnesty to those behind a coup in 2000.
Cmdr Bainimarama is expected to give a television address in the coming hours.

'Unconstitutional'

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, blasted news of the president's decision, a result of what she said was the military's "bullying, intimidation and threats".
"This is a gross, undemocratic and unconstitutional situation," Ms Clark told BBC World television.
She said she believed the president had acted beyond his constitutional powers and warned of "fearful consequences unless the military and president pull back from the brink".
On Tuesday morning, Mr Qarase told the BBC's World Today programme that he expected to be taken into custody shortly.

No resignation

The embattled elected leader refuses to step down voluntarily.
"I am at home but there are soldiers at the gate negotiating their way to come in," Mr Qarase said from his complex in the centre of the capital, Suva.

The army chief and PM have been at loggerheads for months

"If they want to carry out an illegal act, that is their choice," he said, "but I will not resign."
He said Fiji's powerful Pacific neighbours Australia and New Zealand had "flatly said no" to sending military support after the Fijian police were disarmed on Monday.

New Zealand's prime minister has said that she feared military intervention could have made the situation worse.

The BBC's Phil Mercer, in Suva, says it now seems inevitable that Mr Qarase will be a casualty of the country's political turmoil.

Checkpoints have already been set up across the capital in what Mr Qarase described as a "strangling of the government of the day".

'Dire consequences'

Cmdr Bainimarama is angry at the way Mr Qarase has handled the aftermath of a coup in 2000, offering an amnesty to those responsible.

Mr Qarase says that at least 800 of those involved have already been convicted.
Australia, Britain and New Zealand have advised their citizens to stay away from the tourism-dependent former British colony.

They have also warned of dire social, economic and diplomatic consequences if the military completes its coup.

Fiji has seen three coups in the last 20 years.
posted by administrator @ 3:51 PM   1 comments
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