Archive - April 1998

Tue
21
Apr
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POLYNESIAN AND HAWAIIAN AIRLINES DISCUSSING

CODE SHARING

APIA, Samoa (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Samoa's Polynesian Airlines has entered into code sharing discussions with Hawaiian Airlines.

The Asian market crash, pressuring Polynesian to expand to North America and European markets, prompted the Samoa-based airline to make the move.

Asia's financial troubles, a Polynesian spokesperson said, mean potential tourists from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other Asian areas are staying home and not traveling to areas served by Polynesian. Asian countries now also are significantly stronger competitors for tourism, he added, because their currencies have dropped so low.

As a result, Polynesian last week held talks with Hawaiian Airlines in an attempt to access U.S. mainland and European markets by code sharing, buying seats on Hawaiian's planes and selling them as Polynesian's.

Last month, in a further effort to bolster traffic, Polynesian set up an office in Los Angeles.

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Tue
21
Apr
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PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S PM SKATE TO VISIT INDONESIA MAY 4-6

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)--- Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate has confirmed that he will be going to Indonesia on a state visit, May 4-6.

It will be a full state visit, he said, and will involve meetings with President Suharto, senior ministers and government and business leaders, The National reports.

Skate said the visit is geared to promoting PNG-Indonesia trade relations, adding that he was especially interested in examining how the Indonesian government had established free trade zones.

The visit to "our neighbors in Indonesia will result in real jobs and real savings for the people of our nation," he said.

Skate met with the Indonesian Ambassador to PNG, Benny Mandalika, to confirm plans for the visit.

Traveling with the Prime Minister to Indonesia will be the ministers of defense, transport, foreign affairs, works, trade and industry as well as members of the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce...

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Tue
21
Apr
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SOLOMONS GOVERNMENT TO SHUT DOWN COMMERCIAL CASINOS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The government of the Solomon Islands will closed down all commercial casino operations in the country by April, 1999.

Home Affairs Minister, the Reverend Leslie Boseto, announced the decision while explaining the government's stand on casinos in Parliament last week.

By April next year, Reverend Boseto said, no extensions or renewals will be granted to current holders of casino licenses.

He explained that the one-year close-down period will enable casino license holders to resolve any proprietary rights or legal conditions that may need settlement.

Reverend Boseto said, as of April, 1999 "there will be no commercial casinos, whether private clubs, Internet, hotels or public casinos in the Solomon Islands." The only exception, he noted, will be state lotteries and games of chance for charitable purposes.

Reverend Boseto said Parliament, during its mid-year meeting, will review the entire...

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Tue
21
Apr
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AMERICAN SAMOA AMNESTY ALIENS DO NOT FACE

IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 19, 1998 - Samoa News)---The "illegal" aliens who were granted amnesty to remain in American Samoa by Governor Tauese Sunia, but then failed to get Immigration Board approval, do not face any immediate threat of deportation, according to the Immigration Board Chairman Taligalu Sagale.

Last year, the High Court stated that the 2,391 amnesty applicants cleared by Tauese did not have legal residency, because the Governor did not have the legal authority to give it to them, and would not have that status until they received approval from the Immigration Board.

The Immigration Board established a December 19th deadline for the 2,391 amnesty applicants to appear before the Board for reconsideration, and then extended the deadline to January 30th.

Less than half the amnesty applicants went through the Board and were given either final approval or conditional approval.

To get the final approval, some...

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Tue
21
Apr
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SOME PARTS OF VANUATU DECLARED DISASTER ZONES

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Vanuatu's Minister of Internal Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Father Walter Lini, has declared areas of some islands disaster zones.

They are Aniwa Island and some parts of Tanna Island, in the south, Port Olry on Espiritu Santo and an area on Gaua Island in the Banks Group in northern Vanuatu, Radio Vanuatu reports.

The declaration follows assessment reports of damage caused by cyclones Yali and Zuman last month.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated 7 million vatu ($US 55,000) to assist the National Disaster Office in providing relief to the areas affected.

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Tue
21
Apr
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FIJI'S UNIONS VOW TO PRESS AHEAD WITH NATIONWIDE STRIKE

SUVA, Fiji (April 20, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Fiji's Trades Union Congress says it will go ahead with a nationwide strike this week.

Radio Australia's Pacific correspondent, Richard Dinnen, reports the unions want the government to withdraw an order limiting wage rises.

"The order, limiting wage rises to three per cent this year, was due to take effect on Friday. The Fiji government offered to delay implementing it, to allow further consultations with the unions. The order has still not been implemented, but the Trades Union Congress says that's not enough -- negotiations can only proceed if the order is withdrawn.

"Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy have made it plain it will not be withdrawn, saying the recent 20 percent devaluation of Fiji's dollar will be pointless unless wages are controlled.

"A nation-wide strike is planned for Thursday, which is expected to bring the country to a halt. It it's understood even...

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Tue
21
Apr
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DROUGHT IN WESTERN FIJI SERIOUSLY AFFECTS CANE CROP

SUVA, Fiji (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The drought gripping Fiji's Western Division, especially the Ba and Tavua districts, has taken a drastic toll on the 1998 sugarcane crop, Island Network Corporation reports.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation's Rarawai Mill Manager, Joe Osborne, told Island Network News that all sectors of the two districts reported that cane has deteriorated to a "state of no return."

Osborne says this means that no matter what happens farmers will not be able to harvest the current crop. The total tonnage for this season, he forecasts, is likely to be reduced by half compared to last year.

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Tue
21
Apr
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MORE TALKS ON POLITICAL FUTURE OF NEW CALEDONIA

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 20, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Talks on the political future of the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia have resumed in Nouméa.

Pro and anti-independence groups are trying to agree on a referendum question, to be voted upon later this year.

The groups have held a series of meetings over the past few days in Nouméa, but no details have been released.

Under an agreement reached in Paris last month, today was to have been the deadline for agreeing on the wording of the ballot, but substantial differences still must be resolved. A referendum vote is required before the end of the year.

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Tue
21
Apr
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BIKINIANS TO MEET WITH U.S. INTERIOR SECRETARY

HONOLULU, Hawaii (April 20, 1998 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---A ten-person delegation of Bikinians from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, including Mayor Tomaki Juda and Senator Henchi Balos, will meet with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, in Washington Tuesday to discuss a series of continuing issues.

Among the matters of concern is the need for U.S. assurance that the atoll, scene of nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s and now open to lagoon diving tours, is completely safe for rehabilitation.

Other matters to be considered are desalinization of sea water on Bikini, resettlement funding and food assistance for displaced Bikinians living on Kili Island and elsewhere in the Marshalls.

A U.S. experimental bomb blast the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima explosions took place at Bikini in 1954.

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Tue
21
Apr
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EUROPEAN UNION SAYS FIJI SHOULD INCREASE SUGAR PRODUCTION

SUVA, Fiji (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The European Union representative in Fiji, David McRae, says annual sugar production will have to increase from 400,000 tons to 800,000 tons annually if European countries are to continue to buy from Fiji.

McRae told a sugar seminar in Nadi last week that European markets were beginning to demand more from producing countries, Island Networks Corporation reports.

He said the changes in Europe will directly affect the livelihood of about one third of Fiji's population because of the importance of sugar to the country's economy.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Sugar Corporation believes Fiji is no exception to the crisis facing sugar producing countries around the world.

Deputy Chairman, Hafiz Khan, says while there will be an acute shortage of sugar internationally, Fiji aims to meets its 1998 export quotas.

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