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.........................................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. .
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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" ">
Monday, April 30, 2007
CENTRAL MARKET MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED
SolomonTimes Online
30/04/07

A 46 year old man has been arrested in relation to a stabbing incident that took place on the 24th of April at the central market.

The victim, a young man in his mid 20's, is still being treated at the National Referral Hospital for serious injuries. The suspect is currently remanded in custody and will appear in court on a later date.

A concerned vendor at the central market stated that the police should have a stronger presence around the market area.

"This is not the first time this has happened, just a few weeks ago a person was assaulted in broad daylight" the concerned vendor said. "People are getting scared to come to the market which is not good for us vendors"
posted by administrator @ 4:54 PM   25 comments
THREE PEOPLE CONFIRMED DIED OF THE HIV VIRUS IN THE COUNTRY
Solomontimes Online News
29/04/07

Three people infected with the HIV virus have died. Five others, known to have also contracted the virus last year, are under medical observation.

The Minister for Health, Clay Soalaoi, stated that it is often difficult to know the exact number as it is purely voluntary testing. "It is important to know that these cases are not new ones, they are from last year alone" Soalaoi stated.

"The other five confirmed cases are living normal lives, that's the risk posed by HIV.very difficult to tell" A spokesman from the central hospital stated that ignorance is a huge problem.

"People in town are always shocked to hear people die from HIV, the reality is the numbers of HIV infected persons, particularly in Honiara, is very high" the spokesman said.
posted by administrator @ 4:47 PM   0 comments
UNCLES FC BEAT KOLOALE 2-1
SolomonTimes Online News
29/04/07

A much improved Uncles FC defeated Koloale, boosting their confidence for the remainder of their DJ League campaign.

In front of about 3,000 spectators Uncles FC came out winners against a spirited Koloale side. Judd Molea produced a performance worthy of the player of the match award by setting up the first goal and bagging the second.

It was almost a one-man show, the "Judd Molea show" stated one satisfied Uncles FC supporter. "Molea was very cool when he scored the only penalty awarded in the game"Koloale took time to settle and Uncles FC made them pay scoring an early goal through a deflection from Judd Molea's free kick outside the eighteen yard.

While the game was well balanced, with both teams displaying skillful soccer, Malone Houkarawa paid the ultimate price for a hand ball in the penalty box. "Molea made the keeper jump the other direction, a well taken penalty" A spectator said. The score line remained the same throughout the game although there were a few missed opportunities from Kolale.

Tinoni Ratu regained some pride for Koloale by heading in a goal very late in the second half.

posted by administrator @ 4:34 PM   0 comments
OIL PRICE WORRIES PACIFIC MINISTERS
Government media Services,
SOPAC News
29/04/07

Significant potential damage to vulnerable Pacific economies from world oil prices has prompted Pacific Energy Ministers to endorse a new approach to energy use and consumption.
Energy ministers, representatives and officials from 17 Pacific countries concluded four days of discussions in the Cook Islands this week, with a Ministerial Energy Communiqué declaring a joint commitment to overcome serious energy security challenges.
Director of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) Cristelle Pratt, said Pacific Island countries are deeply concerned about their extreme vulnerability to even moderate increases in oil prices.
"If oil rises by just $10 a barrel, some countries in the Pacific face a loss of up to 14 per cent of gross national income. This will have a major impact on the social welfare of local communities and this concern has generated a commitment to urgent action," Ms Pratt said.
Ministers endorsed a regional fuel procurement strategy as a matter of urgency, after reviewing regional and national energy initiatives and policies, and listening to technical reports on bulk petroleum purchasing, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Minister from the Federated States of Micronesia, Akillino Susaia, said that because of high costs and big risks for oil companies operating in smaller countries, there is a need to examine bulk petroleum purchasing to increase bargaining power and help provide security, affordability and stability of energy supplies.
The Communiqué highlighted a greater need for comprehensive donor technical assistance and for biofuel and petroleum strategies to be integrated. Regional institutions such as the University of the South Pacific will be invited to increase technical capacity support for emerging renewable energy initiatives such as wind, solar, hydropower and biofuels.
"Energy is also a key driver of economic growth that has a significant impact on education, environment and health in the Pacific, so energy must be integrated and prioritised in national development plans for economic development," Ms Pratt said.
Other commitments included a need for sustainable energy policies and action plans to ensure initiatives progress in line with national expectations, and that power utilities and distribution facilities improve efficiency and governance of pricing and services.
"Having countries from all over the Pacific endorse a whole of government approach to energy as a development imperative is a great outcome. We are now all committed to sharing regional experiences and expertise in renewable sources, and energy efficiency and conservation," Ms Pratt said.
Energy Ministers will urge Pacific Forum Leaders to incorporate energy issues into the economic planning and reform agenda of Forum Economic Ministers from 2008.
Participants were Australia, Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Tonga, PNG, FSM, Nauru, NZ, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands.
posted by administrator @ 1:14 PM   0 comments
THE HONIARA LAND RUSH
Islands Business News
Evan Wasuka

In the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara, land is a valuable and increasingly scarce commodity.

After three years of ethnic conflict that grounded the local economy to a halt, the 2003 intervention of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) resulted in the resurgence of the Solomon Islands economy.The booming economy has sparked increased developments and economic activities including massive growths in the housing and land sectors.

The demand for suitable land for commercial and residential projects has reached unprecedented levels with more residents in Honiara hunting for vacant land.The demand is evident; a visit to the ministry of lands any day of the week will see crowds scouring the ministry’s maps for vacant land or to transfer land titles. The situation has reached a stage where individuals are being hired to sit through the lines of bureaucracy to fill forms for people wanting to register or buy land.But the plain truth is that there is not enough land in Honiara to meet the demand and the sale of land titles has become increasingly over priced. In some cases, it has become all too common—land leased from the state at S$1000 or less are now being re-sold at exorbitant prices.

As part of its land reform programme, the lands ministry is pushing ahead with a policy aimed at reducing price speculation.Lands Minister Reverend Leslie Boseto says a new policy—still on the drawing board—will see people who lease government land give them back to the ministry before they are sold. Part of the land grab has been caused by the booming Honiara real estate market which is on a historical high. The boom has been brought about by demand for residential properties by the presence of expatriates serving under RAMSI.

REAL ESTATE BOOM

As Honiara rentals skyrocket, property owners and wannabe property owners are rushing to buy up more land to develop residential properties. Banks are now flooded with requests for loans to buy land and construct homes to be rented out.Valuation is a big business in Honiara with firms and individuals riding on the real estate boom. As a result, Solomon Islanders are finding it hard to live and rent in their capital city.Conflicting claims by landowners on the outskirts of Honiara near the international airport, the city’s prime area for development, has forced the government to put a caveat on the area to prevent further purchases.

Commerce Minister Peter Shannel told Parliament the government was not willing to talk to either of the claimants until the ownership issue was settled.On the opposite side of town, the story is much the same.

The lands ministry has stepped in to block further land purchases in the city’s hinterland area. Lands under-secretary, Eric Gorapava says what Honiara is experiencing is urbanisation and the concern, he says, is the rate at which it is occurring.“We are feeling the pinch now because we are seeing the reality of urbanisation,” says Gorapava.

He says for too long the country’s citizens have flocked to Honiara under the misconception that it is a safe haven.“Land in Honiara can no longer absorb the population increases and developments that are taking place,” he said.The influx of new settlers has forced current and past governments to issue temporary occupation licences for the disadvantaged to settle on the fringes of Honiara’s city boundaries. It has also granted fixed term titles in one pilot area on the city boundary. But landowners in Guadalcanal Province have expressed concern at the expanding size of the settlements.Gorapava says the issue can only be resolved once developments take place in the rural areas.

“These scenarios are what prompted the current government to seriously address the causes of urbanisation and work on a long-term plan to create economic opportunities in rural Solomon Islands,” said Gorapava.Part of the government’s heavily talked about bottom up policy includes plans for a new rural credit scheme and other downstreaming efforts to involve rural entrepreneurs and spur economic development in the rural areas.

Better use of land through reform in the rural areas could hold the key to boosting economic activities in the provinces.“Customary land which makes up 87.3 percent of the total land area in the Solomon Islands has always been neglected because it is too sensitive,” said Gorapava.Land reform is such an important component of the bottom up approach, but Gorapava warns it will not work if people in the rural areas do not support it.
posted by administrator @ 9:48 AM   1 comments
CALL FOR HELP TO FUND CHAPEL AT SELWYN COLLEGE

SIBConline news
20:15 hrs
29/04/2007

Head of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Archbishop Sir Ellison Pogo had appealed to members of the public, the Anglican community and friends of Selwyn College National Secondary school to assist the school complete its chapel.

Archbishop Sir Ellison made the appeal during a curtain raiser fundraising ceremony held at Saint Nicholas Community High School in Honiara yesterday.

Sir Ellison says since its relocation to Maravovo site, from Najilagu, Guadalcanal Plains 21 years ago, the college students have been holding church worships in the school hall.

Dean of Selwyn College, Father Davidson Nwaieramo says the absence of a permanent house of worship in a church owned institution is ridiculous.The current fundraising initiative is targeted at raising 150-thousand dollars to complete the chapel.
posted by administrator @ 9:23 AM   0 comments
CUSTOM OFFICERS SEMINAR
SIBConline news
20:15 hrs
29/04/2007

More than twenty heads of Customs and Excise Department from member Oceania country will participate in a week long seminar starting in Honiara tomorrow.

Head of Oceania Secretariat in Suva Fiji, Robert Taylor (pictured above) says the five-day seminar will discus and consider a range of initiatives that impact on customs administration.Mr Taylor says these includes trade facilitation, revenue collection, border management and security.

He says key areas of focus and discussion are customs automation, standardisation of customs practices in line with World Customs Organisation Frame work.Mr Taylor says this will ensure the application standards are compatible in areas of trade facilitation and security and integrity.

He says the enforcement includes combating money laundering and customs regional capacity building programmes.Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will officially open the Oceania Customs Organisation OCO seminar which starts in Honiara tomorrow.
posted by administrator @ 9:15 AM   1 comments
SCRAPPY WAITAKERE DO ENOUGH TO EARN O-LEAGUE TITLE AGAINST BA FC
NZFC sports
30/04/07

It might not have been a $1 million dollar performance but a 1-0 victory for Waitakere United over Fijian champions Ba was enough to secure the first O-League title for the West Auckland club at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The final finished 2-2 on aggregate but Commins Menapi’s away goal in Waitakere’s 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Fiji last week proved decisive.Waitakere finished the game with nine men after George Suri received his marching orders in the 51st minute for a second yellow card offence and Craig Wylie was shown a second yellow card for time wasting in the 94th minute.

Ironically Waitakere got the all important goal four minutes after Suri’s sending off with Allan Pearce heading home from close range after Daniel Koprivcic headed Jeff Campbell’s free kick back across goal for an unmarked Pearce to nod home.The win more than made up for Waitakere’s defeat in the NZFC final against Auckland earlier this month and ensured a guaranteed payday of NZ$670,000 for Waitakere and a playoff against the Japanese J-League champions for a place at the FIFA World Club Championships in Japan later this year.

Ba will rue a host of missed chances in the opening half as Michael Utting pulled off some miraculous saves to keep his side in the game.Utting also denied Ba an equaliser just three minutes after Waitakere had gone in front when he produced a superb point blank save from a Vakatalesau header.Vakatalesau was also denied by Utting just before the half time break, the Ba midfielder’s half volley from a knockdown by Tiwa looked to be heading for the top left hand corner but Utting managed to get a hand to it. Ba could have been 3-0 up at the break with Turagalailai toe poking his shot just wide of Utting's left hand post after a great counter attack by the Fijians midway through the half.

Allan Pearce was the goal scoring hero for Waitakere in the second half but he saved his side in the first half when he cleared Malakai Kainihewe's looping header off the line after 24 minutes.

Ba continued to dominate at the start of the second half, roared on by a crowd of over 8,000, but as soon as they went behind they seemed to lose all confidence in themselves.Still Waitakere had to wait until the 88th minute for their first corner of the game, a clear indication of the few attacking chances created by Steve Cain's side.

All credit to Waitakere though who started the game without three of their first team regulars - Danny Hay, Rupesh Puna and Jakub Sinkora all ruled out through injury.Sam Jasper, Craig Wylie and Pedro Santos replaced the injured trio while another of Waitakere's walking wounded, Graham Pearce played a starring role in the centre of defence.

Waitakere United 1 (Allan Pearce 55)Ba 0Halftime: 0-0
Waitakere United: Michael Utting, Craig Wylie, George Suri, Graham Pearce, Sam Jasper, Hoani Edwards, Pedro Santos, Jeff Campbell, Allan Pearce, Commins Menapi, Daniel Koprivcic, Substitutes: Simon Eaddy, Hone Fowler, Danny Hay, Michael Gwyther, Rupesh Puna, Jakub Sinkora, Prince Quansah.

Ba: Laisenia Tuba, Shalen Lal, Roneel Kumar, Jone Vesikula, Josaia Bukalidi, Robert Wise, Peni Finau, Kiniviliame Turagalailai, Osea Vakatalesau, Malakai Tiwa, Malakai Kainihewe.Substitutes: Epeli Codro, Avinesh Swamy, Keni Doidoi, Ronald Chandra, Luke Vidovi, Leone Vurukania, Niumaia Tagi.
posted by administrator @ 9:04 AM   0 comments
Sunday, April 29, 2007
SPORTS: WAITAKERE UNITED - A TEAM OF MANY NATIONALITIES
NZ Herald
Wednesday April 25, 2007By Terry Maddaford

Waitakere United's white playing strip is about the only common thread running through a squad coach Steve Cain happily tags his Rainbow Nation.
Preparing for the biggest game of their careers - the O-League final against Fijian champions Ba at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday - the multinational squad shed their different backgrounds long ago.
The squad, which this season won through to the New Zealand Football Championship grand final and now the O-League decider, is made up of players of 12 nationalities.
In between Solomon Islands defender George Suri and his fellow countryman Commins Menapi, who leads the attack, have at times been Hoani Edwards (born in Singapore), Pedro Santos (Brazil), Prince Quansah (Ghana), Jakub Sinkora (Czech Republic), Daniel Kopricvic (Croatia), Craig Wylie (Australia), Graham Pearce (England) Michael White (Wales), Daniel Ellensohn (South Africa), Pedro Garcia (Chile) and Marcel Isakowitz (Germany).
Such a diverse range of footballing backgrounds and styles could have led to a coaching nightmare but English-born Cain says it has been an exact opposite.

"We have had no problems at all. They are all very supportive of each other," said Cain. "Initially, there were some issues but they were mainly with the South American lads and the rest.
"It was more a case of their laid-back approach to the game and their work on the ball whereas my emphasis was often on what they needed to do when they didn't have the ball."
Cain said he had never considered the wide variety of backgrounds when recruiting his squad. "I took them all at face value as players and then looked at the different dimensions they could bring to the game and the way we wanted to play. They have all contributed to that."
Keen to have a big crowd for soccer's return to Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday, Waitakere are keeping ticket prices at $10 or just $5 if bought before match day at several sporting outlets.
posted by administrator @ 11:32 AM   0 comments
AUKI STUDENTS RAISE FUNDS FOR DISASTER VICTIMS
SIBConline news
19:36 hrs
28/04/2007

Malaita Province Education Authority yesterday allowed students in and around Auki a day off school to raise funds for fellow students affected by earthquake and tsunami in Western and Choiseul Province early this month.

A report from Provincial capital, Auki says that the students had raised more than five- thousand dollars at that time.

The report says the students, teachers and the provincial education authority wanted to support and assist fellow students and teachers in West and Choiseul who are being deprived of their right to education as most schools are now closed pending assessments before resuming.Funds were raised through a wheel barrow drive, donations, pledges and other activities.
posted by administrator @ 11:29 AM   0 comments
CHURCH HELPS PRISONERS
SIBConline news
19:49 hrs
28/04/2007

The Church of Melanesia has started a pre-release programme with others to prepare inmates of Tetere prison on east Guadalcanal integrate into their communities when they are released.

The Church reports that this is alled "Inclusive Communities Programme, I-C-P".
On the right is the COM Arch Bishop Ellison Pogo
It says this pilot programme coordinated by the Programmes and Industry Unit of the Solomon Islands Prison Service is using local groups. Among these are I-C-P and other Church groups and organizations in Honiara which run different programmes aimed at mentally assisting inmates.

The programme is to address issues such as self esteem, anger management, domestic violence and abuse as well as life skills.Four inmates expected to be released by July and August this year are currently on the programme and they will be visited once a week by personnel’s from I-C-P in Honiara.Similar programmes has been ran for inmates at the Rove Maximum Prison in Honiara in 2005 and 2006.
posted by administrator @ 11:14 AM   0 comments
GOVERNMENT SIGNS ARRANGEMENT WITH PARTNERS

SIBConline news
20:00 hrs
28/04/2007

A three year arrangement has been signed between the government and New Zealand and the European Union.

The arrangement is a partnership that will ensure all children and young students in Solomon Islands have access to good quality education, at least until the third year of Secondary Education.

Over the next three years New Zealand will commit 120 million and the European Union will commit 90 million for the second phase of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme, 2007-2009 and the National Education Action Plan 2007-2009. The main goals of the new National Education Action Plan among others include - to provide equitable access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Island.

It is also to provide access to community, technical, vocational and tertiary education that will meet individual, regional and national needs for a knowledgeable, skilled, competent and complete people.It's also aimed at managing resources in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.

The arrangement runs from 2007 to 2009 and follows the Joint Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ministry of Education, EU and New Zealand Aid in June 2004.
posted by administrator @ 11:04 AM   1 comments
PACIFIC REGION CONVERGES TO TACKLE NEW ERA IN URBAN MANAGEMENT
Forum Secretariat,
Suva,
29/04/07


Financing for low cost housing, secure land tenure for urban residents and enforceable building codes are essential for addressing pressing urban development concerns in the Pacific.

This was concluded by Pacific urban management practitioners and experts at the 2nd Pacific Regional Workshop on Urban Management held this week in Nadi, Fiji. Commenting on the critical urban issues facing the Pacific, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin (Pictured above), noted that urbanisation and urban management were increasingly becoming critical areas of focus for Pacific countries and Development Partners.

“Rapid urban migration provides an increasingly complex array of challenges and opportunities for us as policy makers,” said Mr Urwin, adding that the inclusion of such issues in the Pacific Plan provided the impetus needed to bring them to the forefront of the region’s development agenda. “Success is evidently dependent on the commitment and resolve of Pacific island countries, and this workshop is a practical example of effective coordination and strong resolve to take this important agenda forward.”

Mr Herve Berger, Head of the UNESCAP Pacific Operations Centres, expressed concern at the rapid rate of urban growth in many Pacific island countries and noted that urban populations may double in a very short time. “Urbanisation in the Pacific is a reality and irreversible phenomenon,” said Mr Berger. “Countries can learn from each other’s success and failures in addressing squatter settlement expansion and the delivery of essential services such as water and sanitation.” Mr Berger added that political commitment is essential, as often urban issues are not attractive enough to warrant additional attention or resources. The 2nd Pacific Regional Workshop on Urban Management was attended by 32 participants from 13 Forum Island Countries.

Delegates took the opportunity to share in-country information and experiences on urban management and planning.

The workshop noted:

• Ownership and tenure of land affected urbanisation in most countries of the Pacific; • Villages in urban areas are increasingly aware of the potential for development of their customary land;
• Country case study presentations highlighted that the right to adequate housing has yet to be recognised, housing policies implemented and land use plans updated;
• A significant proportion of economic activity is generated in urban areas, by both the formal and informal sectors. Yet there is still a need to understand how people make their livelihood in urban areas in order to be able to directly address their needs; and
• Increasing disparity in wealth is a concern in many countries.

The workshop resolved that urban poverty can be addressed through better access to land, housing, water, sanitation, health and education. It also recognised that the issue of squatter settlements needs to be addressed, as political tension often arises in such instances.

The first meeting on Pacific urban management was held in 2003, where a “Pacific Urban Agenda” was formulated. The purpose of this workshop was to review progress of the Agenda’s implementation and refine priorities for urban management consistent with the mandate of the Pacific Plan.
posted by administrator @ 10:49 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 27, 2007
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO APRIL RIOTS


SIBConline news

Two prominent nationals from Papua New Guinea will be members of the four member panel forming the Commission of Inquiry into the April 2006 riots in the Honiara.

Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare says the Commission expects to start its work next month.In a press statement, Mr Sogavare says a former Judge of the National Court of Justice of Papua New Guinea, Mr Brian Brunton will be chairman of the Commission of Inquiry.Mr Brunton had been Dean of the University of Papua New Guinea Law Faculty and former Chairman of PNG Law Reform Commission.

The other PNG member of the commission is the former Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Noel Levi (Pictured above).

The two members of the commission from Solomon Islands are Waeta Ben Tabusasi and Charles Levo.Mr Tabusasi is a veteran politician and a former Speaker of Parliament and former Premier of Guadalcanal.

Mr Levo is a prominent legal practitioner who had served on the Executive Committee of the Solomon Islands Bar Association.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare has called on members of the public to provide information to the Commission of Inquiry into the April Riots of 2006.

Mr Sogavare calls for co-operation as the Commission will embark on Inquiry early next month.He appeals to members the public to provide the inquiry with any information and evidence regarding the tragic events of April 2006.The April riots of 2006 sparked looting and the burning of the commercial business centre of Honiara's Chinatown.Hundreds of Chinese business owners and their families left the country following the riots.

Millions of dollars worth of cargo and buildings were destroyed after rioters and looters set fire to the buildings.Prime Minister Sogavare says the Commission of Inquiry is part of government's efforts to eradicate malpractice.
posted by administrator @ 9:35 AM   0 comments
PUBLIC OFFICERS TO PAY FOR DAMAGES TO VEHICLES
SIBConline news
19:20 hrs
26/04/2007

Government officers who wrecked and damage government vehicles and properties will now pay for the full cost value of the damages.

Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says this will be effective immediately as the regulation is already catered for in the Public Finance and Audits Act.He says the number of government vehicles involved in accidents is increasing at an alarming rate and some officers don't even take care of the vehicles.

Mr Lilo says government vehicles are paid for by public funds and officers using them should take care of them.He says under the arrangement, officers wrecking government vehicles and properties will be given a month to explain after which the full charge for repair or replacement will be charged depending on the explanation.

Mr Lilo says there have been five government vehicles involved accidents three of which belong to ministers of the crown.He says the vehicles were from the new government fleet which cost more than 300-thousand dollars each.Mr Lilo says the surcharge will be imposed on government officers involved in the recent accidents.
posted by administrator @ 9:29 AM   0 comments
Honiara memorial service for RAMSI adviser Tony Scriva

RAMSI news
Submitted by Anne McCaig on Thu, 26/04/2007 - 6:13pm.
Thursday 26th April 2007


About three hundred people today attended a memorial service in Honiara for Antonio (Tony) Scriva who died in a tragic accident last Sunday.
26-year old Tony Scriva was an RAMSI adviser with the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and had worked in Solomon Islands for more than 18 months.
During the service at the Holy Cross Cathedral, staff of the OAG paid tribute to their friend and colleague presenting his wife, Anita Scriva, with a Solomon Islands flag signed by them.
Ian Zupiti Talasasa from the Office spoke of the sadness felt by colleagues who had been preparing for Tony Scriva’s farewell or “Go Finis” party which was to be held on Friday 27th April. Mr Talasasa said that Tony loved Solomon Islands.
“Tony left the comfort of his home and people to help us, Solomon Islanders, rebuild our country on the solid foundations of good governance and integrity. He was a mentor, trainer and friend – well regarded by all of us.”
All speakers reflected on his love for Solomon Islands. Deputy Auditor General, Eric Muir, said that the young adviser epitomised what Auditor General Floyd Augustine Fatai calls ‘belongedness’.
“The word describes how some people become part of a new environment and just belong. He was patient and understanding. As a manager he was responsible for a raft of audits and coordinated the delivery of these whilst building capacity of the local team. His efforts in this area were exemplary.”
RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George said Tony Scriva embodied the true ideal of the mission in the way he worked in partnership with Solomon Islanders.
“Tony made an enormous contribution – experienced yet youthful and vibrant – a terrific mix in an office that was gradually employing more young local recruits to build up a fearless audit function. It’s a tribute to his work and to his vibrant personality that so many people have come here today.”
Mr George thanked Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare for offering condolences on behalf of the Government, and Finance Minister and Acting Foreign Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo for attending the service. The congregation included a wide cross section of Solomon Islanders and expatriates from all walks of life.
On Wednesday, the Solomon Islands Auditor General arranged a ceremony for Anita Scriva to plant a tree in the High Court precinct where the car accident occurred as an enduring symbol of the positive impact of his time in Solomon Islands.
posted by administrator @ 9:01 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 26, 2007
ATORI POLICE STATION CLOSES
SIBConline news
18:56 hrs
25/04/2007

Atori police station in East Malaita has been vacated for temporary work to be carried out to police housing and amenities.

SIBC's East Malaita correspondent Enoch Idui quotes a chief near the police station Andrew Gwaitalaba as saying the last police officer left the station last week.Chief Gwaitalaba says other officers left a month earlier.He says this is causing concern to the communities there because of the possibility of increased crimes in the area.

Chief Gwaitalaba says water supply and housing may have been the cause of the closure and calls on responsible authorities to quickly address the situation.Meanwhile, the chief calls on youths to refrain from committing criminal activities and that chiefs should control their villages from criminal activities.

But the Provincial Police Commander Malaita says the closure is temporary based on a report submitted by the Health Environment Division of the Province.The report indicates that houses and the environment at Atori is not safe and that work should be carried out to cater for human habitation.

Malaita PPC says work is being carried out by a number of engineers who are to visit the site and make recommendations and plans.He hopes that as soon as work is done, the police station will be operational again.
posted by administrator @ 2:26 PM   1 comments
AUSTRIA'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO SOLOMON ISLANDS

SIBConline news
19:00 hrs
25/04/2007

The first Austrian Ambassador to Solomon Islands presented his credentials to the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena at Government House this morning.

He is Hans Demel.Ambassador Demel conveyed to the Governor General personal greetings of the President of the Federal Republic of Austria to the people of Solomon Islands.

He says diplomatic relations between Austria and Solomon Islands had grown steadily since the establishment of relationship between the two nations.He says the relationship is based on confidence and mutual trust.He says both countries are very active in international issues such as green house gas emissions and are both signatory to the Kyoto Protocols.

In response, Sir Nathaniel convey on behave of the Government and people of Solomon Islands warm greetings to the Government and people of Austria.He told Ambassador Demel that Solomon Islands and Austria need to act in partnership in the international arena to counter transnational threats and new challenges.
posted by administrator @ 2:22 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
WORK ON AUKI PRISON STARTS

SIBConline news
12:38 hrs
26/04/2007

Ground work has started for the new Prison Service Correctional facility in Auki, Malaita Province.

SIBC Correspondent in Auki Duddley Gani reports that bulldozers, diggers, loaders and other heavy machines have started digging and leveling the foundation for the new prison facility since last week.

Gani says an Australian company which won the bid to build the prison has sub-contracted the construction of the new facility to a local company, C-K-C.

The new Prison Service Correctional Facility at Auki, Malaita Province will be one of the biggest in the country once completed.
posted by administrator @ 7:43 PM   0 comments
SOLOMONS CHINESE WANTS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Solomon Star/ Pacnews
Wed, 25 Apr 2007

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS ---- The Solomon Islands Chinese Association (SICA) is still awaiting a response from the government on whether or not it will give special incentives to members of the association who have lost their properties during the April riots, Solomon Star reports.

SICA secretary Matthew Quan said the association had written twice to the government on the matter but was yet to receive a respond.“In October last year we met with the Department of Home Affairs about the issue and the department agreed that it was a good idea.

“They told us to put our idea on paper for their consideration but since then there is still no respond from them,” Mr Quan said.He said the association wrote a first letter on 06 November last year and another on 05 February this year but still there had been no response.

Mr Quan’s statement came as Opposition shadow minister of finance Edward Huniehu called on the government to provide those seriously affected during the April riots a wide range of incentives so that the reconstruction process can occur quickly without any hindrances.

Mr Huniehu said the incentives should include duty waiver on all construction materials, tax holiday for those affected, concession interest rates for those who must borrow funds to construct and other incentives negotiated between the government and the Chinese association.

He said the use of delaying tactics to develop this town can no longer be accepted and a very serious blow to the many innocent Solomon Islands Chinese who have invested huge development funds in the country and providing services of all kinds to our country.“It is now one year since the Chinatown area was destroyed by criminal activities, fueled by political ambitions by those who have their hidden agendas in controlling the government.

Leaving this aside whilst the law takes its course the popular commercial center must now be reconstructed,” Mr Huniehu said Meanwhile Mr Quan said if there are other matters more important to the government than the Chinatown Redevelopment issue then at least the government should appoint a taskforce to see to the redevelopment exercise.

“But if our request has just fallen on deaf ears, then that would be unfair,” Mr Quan said.He said if the government continued to delay the redevelopment programme of Chinatown then Chinatown would remain as it is today because their plans are only guided by the government .

Mr Quan has called on the government to consider SICA’s concerns just as they did to other issues in the Solomon Islands.
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SOPAC TO SET UP A MELANESIAN VOLCANO NETWORK
Pacnews
HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS ----

The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) says it wants to establish a Melanesian Volcano Network, SIBC reports.

The proposed network would be a platform for the exchange and sharing of resources and experience to reduce volcanic risk in the three countries on a joint 'sub-regional' basis.

Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office said the network might also act as a starting point for the longer-term inclusion of other Pacific Island Countries in sharing risk-reduction expertise and resources on a wider basis.

It would also include an 'all hazards' approach rather than just the threat of volcanic eruptions. Its first meeting has been proposed for 24 May at Rabaul Volcanological Observatory in Papua New Guinea (PNG)

The meeting was aimed at obtaining initial views and perspectives from key representatives from the countries involved and from the SOPAC Technical Secretariat, to explore how the Melanesian Volcano Network concept might be established and developed.
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AUSTRALIAN POLICY CHANGE
SIBConline news
12:26 hrs
25/04/2007

Australian Prime Minister John Howard says he has ended Australia's policy of benign neglect towards the South Pacific.

Radio Australia reports that Mr Howard was speaking in Brisbane in the first of a series of speeches on issues confronting Australia ahead of national elections expected in November.

He said in the coming two decades, Australia's defence forces must be combat-ready to ensure stability in the neighbouring region.Mr Howard said Australia will continue to carry a heavy burden for order and stability in this part of the world.

He said one of the most far reaching national security decisions this government has taken was to end a posture of benign neglect in the Pacific. Mr Howard said there will be no going back from that commitment.
posted by administrator @ 3:23 PM   1 comments
RAMSI REVIEW DELAYED AFTER TEAM GOT STRANDED IN FIJI
Uriohau.blogspotnews.
25/04/07

The first of two scheduled reviews of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been delayed after the review team became stranded in Fiji.

Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney reports that the Solomons government hopes the review will ultimately set a timetable for the removal of RAMSI.The preliminary review was to have begun today, but the two-member team, which includes former Fijian Foreign Affairs minister Kaliopate Tavola and former New Zealand diplomat Neil Walters, has been delayed in Fiji after their flight was cancelled due to fog.

They are now scheduled to arrive in Solomons on Thursday.Their six-day visit will investigate the reasons for RAMSI's intervention in 2003, as well as its mandate and progress made so far.The review will also consider the impact of RAMSI's continued presence on Solomon Islands sovereignty.

The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been sharply critical of RAMSI and has accused it of meddling in domestic politics.The government first called for the review at last year's Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting in Fiji.The preliminary review's report will be presented to Forum Foreign Affairs Ministers before a more detailed review is carried out later this year
posted by administrator @ 12:26 PM   0 comments
TWO NEW HIV CASES CONFIRMED FOR SOLOMON ISLANDS
Solomonstarnews.com
25 April, 2007 - 9:00am.
By MOFFAT MAMU

THERE is a greater challenge ahead for the country in addressing HIV/AIDS issues says Minister of Health and Medical Services Clay Forau as he confirmed new HIV/AIDS cases in Solomon Islands.

Mr Forau, who had just returned from a HIV/AIDS conference in New Zealand, told Solomon Star on Friday that two new cases have been confirmed bringing the number of confirmed HIV/AIDS cases in SI to eight.However, the minister said these two new cases were only identified from those who voluntarily test for the virus.

He said HIV/AIDS is very risky and there could be more people living with it in the country and refusing to have a test.“I believe there are more people infected with the virus out there, spreading the virus without knowing it.

“This figure might just be the tip of an ice-berg with many more locals being infected already so the number could be more than eight,” Mr Forau said.He said two HIV/AIDS patients have already died and one had been sent back to one of the provinces.“Others are still living with the virus and going around,” Mr Forau said.The minister said because of the risk, people living with the virus should not go around spreading the virus to others through sexual contacts.

The meeting which Mr Forau attended last week was a Regional High Level Consultation on HIV and Law organised by the United Nations Development Programme’s Pacific Centre, Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team and UNAIDS.

The consultation aims to examine ways of ensuring the participants’ countries’ laws relating to HIV adequately respect and protect the rights of people living with HIV.Some forty delegates from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu and Cook Islands attended the consultation.Meanwhile, Mr Forau said this SI figure might increase when the National AIDS Council confirmed the actual number.

He said this latest figure is a concern to the government who is now trying to address the situation in the country.“The virus is a threat to human life and the fact that it is spreading at an alarming rate must be a concern to any right mined leader,” said the Minister.

The Ministry of Health identifies most nightclubs as hotspots where the deadly virus can be acquired and transferred.“This is a very serious concern for the country if we are not careful,” the minister said.
posted by administrator @ 12:18 PM   0 comments
PAPUA NEW GUINEA BASED COMPANY BUYS HERITAGE SITE
SIBConline news
20:00 hrs
24/04/2007

The Constantinou group of companies from Papua New Guinea has bought the former government house area adjacent to the Kitano Mendana Hotel in Honiara.

Eight-point-two million dollars was paid to the Minister for Culture and Tourism, Bentley Samuel Ragosomani, today by the lawyers of the company.The company had wanted to establish the Heritage Park Hotel, the first five Star hotel to be established in Solomon Islands.

Cabinet had approved the application for the development three years ago including building plans but was delayed pending a decision by the Town and Country Planning Board which had already approved it.Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Luke Eta says work on the hotel development will start this week and will take in more than 200 workers in the coming months.

The Heritage Park Hotel initially plans to establish 60 luxury rooms and will increase as it develops.Mr Eta says the Hotel owners will retain the former government house to its original status.

He says the money received will be used to improve the cultural village with the construction of proper facilities and amenities for public use.
posted by administrator @ 9:21 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
CENTRAL MALAITA WOMAN TAKES OVER THE DIRECTOR ROLE AT CYP
CYP Newsroom
3 April 2007

On 7 February 2007, Ms Afu Leah Billy, took position as the newly appointed Regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme Pacific Centre
Ms Billy was also joined by two new professional staff, Paul Peteru and Sushil Ram who took up positions as programme managers at the Pacific Centre after an interview process that was completed in November 2006.
In a CYP interview with Afu Billy, we find out more about her previous achievements, her new priorities areas, and what her job entails.

When did you join as Regional Director? Tell us a bit about your career history.
I officially joined as Regional Director of the CYP Pacific Centre on the 7th of February 2007. Prior to that (from the 3rd of January 2007), I was working in a designated role for a month; receiving briefings and undertaking tasks related to the new team’s work.
I began my career as a cadet reporter for the Solomon Islands Government Information Service in the late 1970s. I moved to radio (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service) in the early eighties. In 1983, I became the General Secretary of the Solomon Islands National Council of Women, a job I held for about 5 years, during which time I set up provincial councils of women in all the provinces of Solomon Islands. The Council at that time focused on women in decision making with successes such as enabling more women’s participation on major government and non-government decision making bodies; getting two women elected into the Honiara Town Council, and lobbying three provincial governments to appoint women representatives on their provincial governing bodies. The Council was instrumental in raising awareness on violence against women, which resulted in the setting up of the local Family Support Centre that continues to work in Solomon Islands to this day; addressing violence against women and children.
I left the Council and went for further studies in Australia at the Charles Sturt University in New South Wales from 1989 to 1992. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (business management). On my return I joined Save the Children Australia (SCA) as Information and Communications Officer. I became the Country Programme Manager in 1998/99. During my time with SCA, the Youth Outreach Programme focusing on peer to peer education and Child Advocacy Programme were initiated and continues today. I left SCA in 2001 to run for the National General Elections but was unsuccessful so took a year off doing consultancy work especially in helping women’s organisations and NGOs with their management and organisational structures. I was responsible for the formation of the Vois Blong Mere Solomon (VBMS) which is now a credible women’s information and communication network in Solomon Islands promoting women’s rights, concerns and aspiration through the radio, print and local TV. In 2003 I moved offshore and joined the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) then, a programme of UNDP based in Suva, Fiji as a Human Rights Trainer. My team worked in 8 Pacific countries (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu) and often worked in Papua New Guinea. I left RRRT at the end of 2005, returned to Solomon Islands, and again took one year off. Now I am with CYP.

During my career I have always been involved with women’s development, gender work, youth and children, and try as best as I can to assist any disadvantaged person or group who I am capable of assisting in their various needs.

What does your job entail?
At the onset my two programme managers and I have been heavily involved in ‘fact finding’, ‘stock taking’ exercises through literature research, meeting and networking with potential and current partners, development partners, donors, young people and young people’s organisations, governments, etc. It also involves a lot of travelling for my two programme managers to attend workshops, conferences and seminars that implicate on young people in the Pacific. When we have collected sufficient information and identified partners we will be able to plan for the regional and country programmes in the Pacific. It is hoped that by October when we hold the Regional Advisory Board meeting in the Cook Islands, the CYP South Pacific Centre professional staff will be able to submit a draft strategic plan for the Pacific for the next years which will contain what we consider are well thought-about programmes and activities for Pacific youth that have resulted from wide consultation with policy makers and young people themselves; and which we will endeavour to ensure will be ‘steered’ by young people themselves.

What encouraged you apply for the post as Regional Director of the Pacific Centre?
My cousin who is a former Parliamentarian and a great believer in my abilities encouraged me to apply for the post. At the professional level I have worked in regional and international organisations in management, policy and advocacy positions and am used to the core expectation of the requirement of the post which in my view is leading a team of two programme managers and developing a strategic plan for the South Pacific region that will be regionally focussed but also tailored to country specifics. My interaction with people at all levels gives me the confidence to network and forge partnerships. On a more ‘young people’ level my simple and friendly nature is non threatening to many young people who usually feel very comfortable discussing with me. I am a feminist and a human rights defender and hence believe strongly in justice and non discrimination and that all human beings are equal regardless of their background and should be treated with respect.

What challenges do you envisage in your new job?
The challenges are many but the following are probably the major ones:
a) developing with my two programme managers a CYP South Pacific Strategic Plan that strikes the right balance between regional programmes and country specifics; involves programmes that are realistic and appropriate to the individual country needs that are results based and sustainable for young people as well as programmes that could be run at the regional level but will still benefit these individual countries through their regional representation;
b) establishing sound partnerships with the government’s of the South Pacific countries that the CYP is responsible for as well as managing regional CYP bodies such as the Regional Youth Caucus and the Regional Advisory Board especially on facilitating a two way interaction between them and us at the Centre so that we are able to advice each other as well as support each other and be able to listen to each other even if what is being said may not be the expected;
c) to properly manage our finances so that funds allocated are spent effectively on real needs of young people to meet to bring about sustainable positive results for them.

How do you find your team?
I cannot ask for a better team. Paul Peteru and Sushil Ram my programme managers and my Solomon Islands support staff have proved during our short time together that we are a team. We have our own management styles but we support each other and constantly communicate with ourselves and try to use our differences to enhance our work. The recent visit of Mr. Matthew Neuhaus and Mr. Albert Mariner from the Political Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat brought out the team work when all CYP staff cooperated to provide the two visitors from London an enjoyable and informative hour with the staff at the CYP Centre in Honiara.
The team work is again being displayed by everyone’s efforts to organise the Commonwealth Day celebrations.
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NATIONAL PROVIDENT FUND PROVIDES DISASTER RELIEF MEASURES
SIBConline news
12:25 hrs
24/04/2007

Businesses which are situated and operating from areas severely affected by the April 2 quake and tsunami will be covered by a number of disaster relief measures imposed by the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund.

NPF members working in the affected areas will also benefit from the relief measures.General Manager Tony Makabo announces in a statement that the NPF board has already approved these measures.He says for businesses operation from affected areas, blanket surcharge exemption will be granted on contribution arrears for three month period commencing from April to June 2007.

Makabo says this means any late or delayed payment of employee's NPF contributions to the fund will not attract a surcharge fee of two percent per month for the three month period.He says any employer who requires a further surcharge relief after the initial period may apply in writing to the board.Makabo says NPF members who have existing housing loans with the fund are not required to repay their loans.

He says interest will not be charged on their loans for a moratorium period from April to June 2007.Makabo says the three month moratorium covers members who have property in the affected areas of the two provinces, as well as those who have properties in Honiara or elsewhere but are working in Choiseul and Western provinces.

He says the disaster relief measures are important to ensure employers and members of NPF rebuild their businesses and lives.
posted by administrator @ 3:11 PM   0 comments
SOLOMON ISLANDS ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH ICELAND

Government Media Services
From the SI Mission in New York
24/04/07

Solomon Islands Ambassador, in New York, His Excellency, Collin Beck (pictured on the right signing a document), signed and exchanged notes with Iceland Ambassador His Excellency Hjamar W Hanesson on Friday 19 2007 formally establishing relations between the two countries.

Following the brief ceremony, the two countries held bilateral discussions on possible areas of cooperation and agreed to work towards putting in place cooperative arrangements in two areas: Fisheries and Energy.

Iceland has one of the world’s most efficient Fisheries sectors and a lead nation in producing geothermal energy for its 309,000 population.
The two countries agreed to look at having Solomon Islanders joining international students studying in Iceland doing Fisheries and Geothermal Programmes respectively.

The two Ambassadors also agreed to have Icelandic geothermal experts to examine geothermal potential on some of the country’s volcanic islands.
Iceland has become 48th country to establish relations with Solomon Islands since independence and the third Scandinavian country and the eleventh European States that shares diplomatic ties with the country.
posted by administrator @ 12:32 PM   0 comments
WOMEN ARE UNSUNG HEROES
Government media services
By George Siapu in Gizo
24/04/07


The Premier of Western Province, Mr. Alex Lokopio (pictured on right) has praised the mothers who have reacted heroically in the face of danger during the earthquake and tsunami that had swept and buried their homes and loved ones.
Premier Lokopio expressed his profound gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the women who have consolidated themselves and worked hard to organize the memorial service held this morning at the JFK Stadium in Gizo to remember those who have lost their lives on 2nd April.
He told the women that he regarded them as silent heroes.
Speaking during the remembrance-day service, which was marked nation wide as a public holiday, Premier Lokopio said that the mothers are the silent heroes in this deadly tsunami and stressed that if it had not been for the heroic acts taken by this mothers to save their children the loss of lives could have been much worse.
“The gathering here this morning enables us to here words of comfort so let us all grieve as one nation”, Mr. Lokopio said.
Women from various church denominations in Gizo converged at the JFK Stadium in unison to pray, sing and present wreaths to remember the mothers, fathers and children who have died in the tsunami which devastated the western province early this month.
The women have expressed in their own gentle and motherly way that the tsunami, though perilous, has brought unity and hope amongst women from each respective churches.
Meanwhile, Premeir Lokopio has extended his appreciation to RAMSI for providing the helicopter which enabled him to see for himself the stricken areas.
“I am left speechless when I see tears in the eyes of the victims who lost everything”, he said.
“I must also thank the Prime Minister and his delegation for making it possible for me to visit most of the stricken areas”, he added.
posted by administrator @ 12:29 PM   0 comments
SOLOMON TSUNAMI VICTIMS MOURNED
BBCNews.com
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Many islanders were made homeless by the tsunamiThe Solomon Islands has held a national day of mourning for the victims of this month's tsunami.

At least 52 people were killed when a powerful earthquake sent a series of large waves crashing into the South Pacific archipelago.
Communities in the remote western parts were devastated. More than 6,000 people have been made homeless.

There was a minute of silence across the Solomon Islands at 0739 - the time the tsunami struck three weeks ago.
Shops and businesses were closed as the small South Pacific country remembered the lives that were washed away.

A magnitude eight earthquake triggered a series of waves several metres high.
At Titiania village, a six-year-old lost his own life trying to save the life of his three-year-old sister. It was a willing act of sacrifice
Prime Minister Sogavare
Many remain too scared to return to their coastal homes because of fears of another tsunami.

The government plans to relocate low-lying villages to higher ground.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has visited the stricken region.
He described the disaster as the biggest tragedy the Solomon Islands has endured since World War II.

Mr Sogavare told a memorial service in the capital Honiara that he was encouraged by the determination of the people to rebuild their lives.
Amid such hope there has also been great sacrifice and courage.

The prime minister told the story of a six-year boy who died trying to save his younger sister after the giant waves had crashed through their home.
Another service was held in the town of Gizo. It was about 45kms (28 miles) from the earthquake's epicentre.
Most of the victims of the tsunami lived in Gizo or in nearby villages.
posted by administrator @ 8:59 AM   0 comments
Monday, April 23, 2007
YOUNG AUSTRALIAN RAMSI OFFICER DIES IN CAR CRASH
SIBConline News
20:28 hrs
23/04/2007

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands Special Coordinator, RAMSI, Tim George, says he was shocked and saddened at the tragic death of a 26-year old Australian working for RAMSI.

The young Australian was an adviser with RAMSI’s civilian program.He was killed in what initial reports suggest was a single car accident which occurred just outside the High Court building in Honiara on Sunday 22 April at about 6.30pm. No one else was injured in the accident.

Mr George offers his condolences to the young man’s family in Australia, and his colleagues and friends in Solomon Islands.

Mr George says they are very saddened by the untimely death of this young man who was a fine young Australian committed to working alongside Solomon Islanders for the betterment of the nation.

RAMSI's Special Coordinator says the young man was a very valued member of RAMSI, respected and liked by Solomon Islands and expatriate colleagues. His name has not yet been released at the request of his family.
posted by administrator @ 5:59 PM   0 comments
THUGS TERRORISE A LANDLORD AND HER SOLOMON ISLANDS TENANTS
Fijisun news
By SALLYSHNI DEVI

Residents of Rakua (pictured on the right with one of the apartments along the street), a suburb in the capital (Suva) are living in fear after eight masked men armed with cane knives and iron rods forcefully entered the house of a businessman and robbed him and his tenants.

The residents of Rakua Street in Suva said they no longer felt safe to stay in that area and called on police to provide more regular patrol to combat such serious crimes. The Chinese businessman who was robbed refused to comment on the incident while his tenants, who are students of University of the South Pacific, said they would not forget the terror.

The students said they watched helplessly as the robbers chose what they wanted to take.

"They were shouting at each other in Fijian," said Alex Buani, a student from the Solomon Islands.

"One of my friends saw these men jumping over the fence and screamed and ran into the house. It happened so fast. Some of the thugs rushed upstairs where the landlord lives while the others robbed us at knife point."

Mr Buani said they could not do anything but surrender all their belongings because the men were armed. One of his friends who tried to assist the family was confronted by the suspects and was injured in the process.

"This can affect Fiji if foreigners leave the country in threat of such serious robberies with violence. The police and military should take immediate action so that foreigners feel safe to stay in the country," Mr Buani said.

"There should be harsher punishments for such acts by the judiciary system so that they do not repeat such serious offences." According to him, there is no proper police patrol in that area at night, a reason they believe is why thugs roam freely.

Police said the victim was watching television with his family when they confronted the suspects and robbed them off cash and valuable items worth $3250. Divisional media liaison officer Southern Inspector Lavenia Lovodua said the incident took place at 7.45pm on Friday and stolen items included $1200 in cash, a Sony digital camera valued at $1000, two mobile phones valued at $500, a gold chain worth $550 and three bottles of assorted liquor. The items were not insured and police investigations will continue.
posted by administrator @ 5:26 PM   0 comments
PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM TASKFORCE REVIEWS RAMSI
23 April 2007
PRESS STATEMENT
A two-man Pacific Islands Forum Taskforce will conduct a preliminary review of the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands (RAMSI) from 24-29 April.

The Taskforce comprises Mr Kaliopate Tavola, former Foreign Minister of Fiji and former New Zealand Diplomat, Mr Neil Walters. They will be accompanied by staff of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

“The review was a decision of the Forum Leaders at their summit in Nadi, Fiji, last October following a country paper by the Solomon Islands Government. This is the preliminary phase of a two-phased review to ensure the Terms of Reference for the Review is covered adequately,” Mr Peter Forau (pictured above), Acting Forum Secretary General said.

“The Review will assess the performance of RAMSI since it was invited into Solomon Islands in 2003 and make recommendations on the way forward for the regional intervention,” Mr Forau said.

The Taskforce is scheduled to hold consultations with the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI, provincial and community leaders, chiefs, church leaders, women and youth representatives, civil society organizations, trade unions, business organizations, development partners as well as other stakeholders during the preliminary review.

Members of the public in Solomon Islands are being encouraged to make written submissions to the Taskforce while it is in Honiara from 24 – 29 April.The first review of RAMSI was done in 2005 by a Forum Eminent Persons Group. All 16 member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum contribute to the Mission.
posted by administrator @ 5:02 PM   21 comments
SOLOMON ISLANDS TODAY MOURN TSUNAMI DEAD
Sydney Morning Herald News
April 23, 2007 - 1:06PM

The Solomon Islands today mourned the death of at least 52 people in this month's earthquake and tsunami, described by the country's prime minister as the worst disaster to strike the South Pacific nation since World War II.

More than 6,000 people were displaced in the western region of the South Pacific archipelago and many villagers remain too scared to return to their coastal homes because of fears of another tsunami.

Three days after returning from a visit to the devastated area, Prime Minister Mannaseh Sogavare described the disaster as the biggest tragedy the country had experienced since the war.

"I witnessed first hand the extent of the devastation caused by the tsunami. I was encouraged by the determination of the people to rebuild their lives," he told a memorial service in the capital Honiara.

A moment of silence was observed across the Solomons at 7:39am local time, exactly three weeks after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck, unleashing a tsunami up to several metres high.

A public day of mourning was held today, with shops and businesses closed throughout the country of around 500,000 people. Memorial services were held in Honiara and in Gizo, the Western Province capital.

Gizo lies around 45km from the epicentre of the huge quake and was one of the worst devastated areas. Of those killed in the disaster, 33 came from Gizo island.
Sogavare praised the relief effort and hailed those who risked their lives to save others.
"At Titiania village a six-year-old lost his own life trying to save the life of his three-year-old sister. It was a willing act of sacrifice," he said.

The National Disaster Management Office said the focus of the relief operation had shifted to the long-term rehabilitation of the affected areas.

The government plans to relocate low-lying communities to higher ground to keep them out of the path of any future tsunamis.
posted by administrator @ 4:08 PM   0 comments
SUSPECTS NAMED BY AFB IN AN INTERNATIONAL DRUG SMUGGLING RING IN VANUATU - DOCUMENT DISCOLSED IN COURT
Vanuatu News Online
By Hedley Thomas - The Weekend Australian
Sunday, 22 April 2007

A secret Australian Federal Police intelligence dossier that names a dozen suspects being covertly investigated for alleged ties to an international drug-smuggling ring has been disclosed in an embarrassing security lapse.

The dossier, portions of which were obtained yesterday by The Weekend Australian, suggests that Australians, Americans, Swiss citizens, New Zealanders and Vanuatu locals - working variously in hospitality, accountancy and mining - are linked in a major racket to produce and distribute large quantities of amphetamines and cocaine.
Sources in Port Vila insisted yesterday that a copy of the dossier had been hand-delivered by an AFP employee to the lawyer of one of the suspects. The AFP, which has a contingent of officers based in Port Vila, admitted the inadvertent disclosure yesterday but emphatically denied the AFP was responsible for the bungle.

A spokesman said the dossier was mistakenly released by the Vanuatu police force.
The dossier describes an alleged Sydney-based narcotic figure and associate, "alleged to be involved in the importation of cocaine into Sydney and laundering of money believed to be the proceeds of drug importation".

For legal reasons The Weekend Australian cannot identify most of those who are named in the dossier. It describes one of the suspects as being the nephew of a man "well known by the AFP for drug importation", having been arrested "for his principal involvement in the importation and distribution of cocaine in Sydney".

The dossier describes the activities of related Swiss-based companies, and reveals covert monitoring of suspect fund transfers to a pharmaceutical company in China. It also recommends surveillance of a mining area in Vanuatu "as it relates to suspected storage/transhipment point for illicit activities".

The bungle in the Vanuatu capital resulted in the 18-page dossier, stamped "Highly Protected", going on to the court file in a prosecution case against three Australians accused of smuggling conman Peter Foster from Fiji, sources revealed.

The discovery of the dossier on the Vanuatu Supreme Court file alarmed top AFP officers, who feared its release could destroy the undercover operation. Officers based in Vanuatu have unsuccessfully tried to retrieve the dossier, which includes photos and computer records,
from the Supreme Court before it could be read or copied to the suspects. Sources said they went to enormous lengths to get it back.

When those efforts failed, Australian government lawyers applied to the Vanuatu Supreme Court to order the destruction of the dossier. The legal application also failed and copies of the dossier have now been read by every suspect named, resulting in red faces in the AFP and the collapse of its operation.

One of the suspects named in the dossier, struck-off former Sydney solicitor Andrew Tatar, made multiple copies that have been emailed, faxed and handed to all the AFP targets and suspects.
"I said to everyone, 'You've been named in this document, here is a copy if you want to take any legal action against the AFP'," Mr Tatar, who denies any connection to drug trafficking, said from Port Vila yesterday. "It has been quite widely distributed.
"One guy accused of setting up an amphetamines laboratory is outraged. He owns a resort.
"They have cobbled this document together to try to justify to the Vanuatu authorities that we are bad people."

The Vanuatu Supreme Court told The Weekend Australian yesterday that "the AFP Intelligence Advisory Report has (since) been removed from the court file and returned to the Public Prosecutor".

Several of those named in the dossier are furious at the damning contents, describing the intelligence as highly flawed and extremely defamatory.

However, an AFP spokesman said late yesterday: "The release does not compromise any trans-national crime investigations being undertaken by the AFP. The report had a caveat clearly stating that it contained untested
posted by administrator @ 3:43 PM   0 comments
WAITAKERE UNITED CAN STILL GO THROUGH DESPITE LOSSING TO BA 2-1
NZ herald News
5:00AM Monday April 23, 2007By Terry Maddaford

A 1-0 win or victory over Fiji champions Ba by anything other than 2-1 in Sunday's second leg of the Oceania Nations Cup final will book Waitakere United their place in December's Fifa Club World Cup.
Beaten 2-1 by hosts Ba in controversial circumstances at Govind Park on Saturday, Steve Cain's United must bounce back and return to winning form to follow Auckland City on to the world stage. Having two goals - including one in the last minute - disallowed by a linesman's call cost Waitakere what could have been a handy 2-2 draw, with those away goals counting double if it is all tied up at Mt Smart Stadium.
A 2-1 win for Ba would send the game to extra time and perhaps beyond.
The win for the Fijians has guaranteed a huge turnout for the return leg.
The biggest crowd at a football match in New Zealand for years turned out in late January at Trusts Stadium in Henderson when New Zealand beat Fiji 3-2 in the key clash of the Oceania under-20 championships.
Given the huge support from the Fijian community in Auckland, Ba could well be playing in front of 10,000 or more in a game in which a draw would be enough to get them to Japan in December.
After weathering early Waitakere pressure, Ronald Chandra capitalised on some hesitant Waitakere defensive play to give the home side an eighth-minute lead. Encouraged, Ba continued to set the tempo for the remainder of the first spell but without seriously threatening to add a second.
Heavy halftime rain made already uncertain underfoot conditions even more difficult.
Waitakere appeared to have snatched the equaliser when Hoani Edwards headed home a Jeff Campbell corner, only to have the linesman rule the ball had crossed the goal-line before finding Edwards six metres into the field of play.
Commins Menapi produced a classic finish for 1-1 in the 55th minute and was denied a second by the crossbar. Fifteen minutes from time Josaia Bukalidi unlocked the United defence for a second time to grab what proved to be the winner.
Almost four minutes into added time Shalend Lal - under pressure from Allan Pearce, who again turned in an eye-catching effort - pushed the ball into his own goal for what appeared a critical equaliser for the visitors.
Again, Papua New Guinea referee Job Ponis Minan, receiving a signal from his linesman, disallowed the goal. It led yesterday's Fiji Sun newspaper to proclaim: "Mystifying why goal not allowed - Ba had scored an own goal".
Cain and his players were also puzzled. "It could not have been an offside call as Pearce came from behind and one of their players scored," said Cain. "But we can't be too despondent. We have to back ourselves [in Sunday's return]. In the Champions League, teams are happy to return from an away leg after losing 2-1."
More of a concern for Cain will be the amount of support Ba will attract.
"The crowd up there was sensational. They had people locked out and those who were inside made a lot of noise. It was a great atmosphere. It had everything." This included uncontested time-wasting and even a player spitting in United goalkeeper Michael Utting's face after scoring.
It all adds up to what will be a classic contest with a carrot of at least US$500,000 ($670,000) hanging over it.
posted by administrator @ 9:59 AM   0 comments
SPORTS: MENAPI TO FACE NZ SOCCER JUDICIARY
NZ Herald News
April 19, 2007

Waitakere United striker Commins Menapi will face a New Zealand Soccer judicial hearing following his red card in Monday's New Zealand Football Championship final.
Menapi was sent off for the use of excessive force in a tackle on Auckland City defender Riki Van Steeden 34 minutes into the North Harbour Stadium. Auckland City went on to win the match 3-2.
The Solomon Islands international was charged with serious foul play but on review of the match video, referee Peter O'Leary has upgraded the charge to violent conduct.
New Zealand Soccer must now convene a judicial committee to hear the charge. Menapi is able to attend the hearing or provide written evidence.
A date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.
Menapi is free to play for Waitakere in the first leg of the Oceania Champions League final against Fijian champions Ba in Ba on Saturday as the competition sits outside NZFC jurisdiction.
- NZPA
posted by administrator @ 9:56 AM   0 comments
PARTY WITHDRAWS FROM PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION
SIBConline news
18:05 hrs
21/04/2007

The Peoples Alliance Party, PAP, has withdrawn from the Parliamentary Opposition Coalition.

The party's Parliamentary Wing leader, Clement Kengava notified the Leader of Opposition, Fred Fono in a letter to him Thursday.Mr Kengava says PAP withdrew after careful considerations and in consultation with the Party president.

He says the four PAP Parliamentarians decided to withdraw from the present coalition with AIM and LAFARI Parties. Mr Kengava says the main reasons for PAP withdrawal are: PAP would like to be an independent political group in the National Parliament in order to review its organization. He says the party would like to maintain its political interests, especially on Federal System of Government and Rural Developments. The Opposition Leader was informed that PAP has appreciated working with AIM in the last Government and in the current Opposition.

Mr Kengava says PAP's withdrawal is not a rejection of the Opposition’s leadership nor the coalition.He says it is for the sake of PAP to take stock of itself as a political party in the present political situation of the country.

Next month, PAP National Council will call for an extra-ordinary meeting to review the party's political future in the present Parliament.
posted by administrator @ 9:45 AM   2 comments
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