Archive - April 1998

Wed
22
Apr
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TONGA PROVIDES RESOURCES FOR NEW CAPTAIN BLIGH FILM

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS/Tohi)---German navigator Burghard Pieske is in Tonga shooting a documentary film that re-creates the finale of Captain William Bligh's historic "Mutiny on the Bounty" voyage.

The mutiny incident took place just ten miles southeast of Tofua Island, in Tonga, on April 28, 1789.

The new film will cover a lesser known part of the mutiny, a 4,000 mile journey that Captain Bligh and his loyal followers took after they were unceremoniously set sail in the H.M.S. Bounty's 21-foot longboat. With hardly any food or water, they sailed for 42 days, from Tofua to Cupang in East Timor before being rescued.

Pieski, to honor the nautical achievement, will recreate the historic voyage in an exact replica of the longboat.

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Wed
22
Apr
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ANOTHER NIUE TARO SHIPMENT TO AMERICAN SAMOA

ALOFI, Niue (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS/Tohi)---The trial shipment last month of Niuean taro to American Samoa appears to have worked out well. So much so in fact that the American Samoan businessman behind the venture, John Kruse, is back for another shipment, Radio Niue reports.

His last shipment was all sold out in just two weeks, said Kruse.

The American Samoan market is being developed at the expense of the New Zealand market. Up till now, most, if not all of Niue's taro was exported to Auckland, but in recent months that market had been flooded by cheaper produce from Fiji.

The strong American dollar at present has assisted in developing the Samoa market. Prices paid for the latest shipment is $NZ 1:60 ($U.S. 0.90) a kilo (2.2 pounds).

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Wed
22
Apr
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COOK ISLANDS CYCLONE ALERT

SUVA, Fiji (April 21, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Weather forecasters say there is a moderate chance a tropical depression near the Cook islands will develop into a cyclone.

The depression developed over the weekend and has slowly intensified over the past 24 hours. It lies to the southeast of Manihiki atoll, which is still recovering from the devastating effects of Cyclone Martin last November.

Sea surface temperatures in the area are very high and forecasters say that creates favorable conditions for the depression to develop further.

The Fiji Weather Bureau, which covers the southeastern Pacific region, has issued a tropical depression warning for the northern Cook Islands, where thunderstorms and showers already are occurring.

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Wed
22
Apr
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PLAN TO LINK SAIPAN AND TINIAN WITH BRIDGE

By Lindablue F. Romero

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 22, 1998 - Saipan Tribune)---While officials of the Commonwealth Ports Authority are faced with many problems in connection with the planned expansion of Tinian airport, here comes a new proposal -- build a bridge that will link Saipan and the island-municipality of Tinian.

Although the proposal may raise some people's eyebrows, Efrain F. Camacho, former president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, claims that the economic benefits to the island of Tinian are much greater than constructing an airport.

Governor Pedro P. Teneorio yesterday already expressed support on the proposal of building a bridge but stressed that the government cannot afford to finance such undertaking. "Any private enterprise that wants to put up a bridge, I will give my full support by all means," he said.

The bridge will open up Tinian's economy and reduce the island's high cost of living. Government services can be...

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Wed
22
Apr
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AGREEMENT SIGNED ON FUTURE OF NEW CALEDONIA

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 22, 1998 - Radio Australia)---New Caledonia's pro and anti independence groups have reached an agreement with France on preparing for the political future of the French Pacific territory.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Richard Dinnen reports:

"After months of hard bargaining, and almost two days after a deadline for the end of negotiations, an agreement was signed in Nouméa Tuesday.

"The pro-independence groups' wish for an associated state relationship with France leading to independence has not been realized. Instead, a gradual transfer of powers will take place over a transition period of 15 to 20 years. At the end of that period, a referendum on independence will be held.

"The agreement -- known as the Nouméa Accord -- provides greater autonomy for the colony, but falls a long way short of the ambitions held by pro-independence groups.

The Accord will be put to a referendum in New Caledonia in December."...

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Wed
22
Apr
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SOLOMON ISLANDS REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Solomon Islands Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu says his country does not believe in the One-China policy.

If Europe, a one-race region, can be divided into different countries, he says, there is nothing wrong in having two Chinas.

Ulufa'alu made the point in Parliament following a question raised by the MP for South Guadalcanal, Victor Ngele, as to whether the government considered severing diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) because of the continuing decline in Taiwan's global recognition.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patteson Oti says the Solomons will continue its diplomatic relations with the Republic of China because it is committed to the relationship.

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Wed
22
Apr
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AFTER MORUROA: France in the South Pacific

New book on French colonialism in the Pacific

By Nic Maclellan and Jean Chesneaux

After Moruroa looks at the history of French colonialism in the Pacific -from the French Revolution to the Matignon Accords in New Caledonia and the end of nuclear testing at Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.

What is the future for France's Pacific colonies? As France integrates further with the European Union, can it retain ties with Pacific islands on the other side of the world? How will political changes in New Caledonia and a growing independence movement in French Polynesia impact on Paris?

Nic Maclellan and Jean Chesneaux review the social, cultural, political and environmental impact of France's presence in the region. They document French policy over two centuries, drawing on sources from Europe, Australia and the Pacific. With France's "Grand Design" for the Pacific under challenge today, thisauthoritative study looks at the future for the South Pacific - after...

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Wed
22
Apr
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FIJI AWAITS AUSTRALIAN RESPONSE ON ITS GARMENT EXPORT REQUEST

SUVA, Fiji (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Foreign Minister Berenado Vunibobo says Fiji is likely to hear from the Australian government regarding Fiji's partial tax reduction request in the next two to three weeks.

Because of the 20 percent devaluation of the Fiji dollar, the Fiji government has requested that Australia allow a 10 percent reduction in the SPARTECA Rules of Origin agreement. The accord requires that Fiji-manufactured garments exported to Australia contain at least 50 percent local material.

Vunibobo says there are legitimate factors delaying Australia's decision. Officials need to make certain, he says, that a decision in favor of Fiji will not adversely affect Australian garment makers.

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Wed
22
Apr
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FIJI GOVERNMENT HOPEFUL UNIONS WILL CALL OFF STRIKE

SUVA, Fiji (April 22, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The Fiji government believes the proposed national strike by union members Thursday is putting serious pressure on an already ailing economy.

Permanent Secretary of National Planning Robin Yarrow says the government is hoping that unions will call off their planned strike now that the government wage guidelines, calling for no more than three percent raises during 1998, will not be imposed, Island Networks Corporation reports.

The government agreed Tuesday not to implement the order, and referred the dispute to a meeting of the Tripartite Forum, which advises government on industrial issues.

Other labor issues include the prospect of lay-offs caused by restructuring and the refusal by some employers to deduct union fees from their workers' wages.

Yarrow said it is clear that the economy is in a weak shape, noting that it has been contracting for several months and its continuing to contract.

With the...

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Wed
22
Apr
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PNG SKATE'S VISIT TO INDONESIA PUT OFF AGAIN

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 21, 1998 - The National/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate's visit to Indonesia has again been deferred -- for the second time in just over four weeks, the National reported today.

Mr. Skate had earlier planned to go to Jakarta during the first week of this month but it was deferred to May 4-6. It was again postponed on Friday and will now take place some time in June.

Jakarta advised its embassy in Port Moresby on April 14 that Mr. Skate would visit from May 4-6. But Jakarta again informed the embassy last Friday to advise PNG that President Suharto and his Government wanted the visit deferred until June in order to give them more time to prepare.

Initially, the Prime Minister was to be accompanied by a small party. But Mr. Skate wants to take along businessmen as part of his trade delegation and Jakarta wants more time to prepare for what it considers to be an important visit to promote...

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