Archive - April 1999

Thu
29
Apr
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RENEE HARRIS NEW PRESIDENT OF NAURU

YAREN, Nauru (April 28, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia/Agence France-Presse)---The Nauru Parliament has elected Renee Harris the central Pacific nation's new President.

He defeated former President Bernard Dowiyogo Monday by a vote of 10 to 7.

Harris, a longtime colleague of Dowiyogo, has been a member of Parliament since 1977. For many years he also held the positions of Chairman of the Nauru Phosphate Corporation and Manger of the former Nauru Pacific Line.

Harris is now in the process of selecting a new government cabinet.

Changing the President has become a regular occurrence in Nauru. This is the seventh new Government in three years.

Dowiyogo served as President five times but Renee Harris, although a longtime member of Parliament, is a newcomer to Nauru's top political post.

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Thu
29
Apr
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THE MAMBERAMPO BASIN, IRIAN JAYA, AT RISK

DOWN TO EARTH London, England

By Frances Carr

Millions of hectares of pristine tropical forest and thousands of indigenous people are at risk. FRANCES CARR outlines Habibie's 'techno dream' for Irian Jaya.

If you wanted to create a vast agro-industrial complex for Indonesia would you chose an area of pristine tropical forest just about as far from Jakarta as you can get? B J Habibie did when he was Minister of Research and Technology. The Mamberamo basin covers a staggering 7,711,602 hectares in West Papua/ Irian Jaya -- almost as much as the whole island of Java. This is being carved up for heavy industry, smelting, plantations, rice cultivation and forestry in a mega-project expected to take twenty years to complete. While Indonesia's economic problems may well stand in the way for now, Habibie's influence has soared since he unexpectedly became president on 21 May.

Heritage

The Mamberamo basin is a huge river system encompassing part of the...

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Thu
29
Apr
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MICRONESIAN NATIONS SUPPORT KIRIBATI'S MILLENNIUM CLAIM

TARAWA, Kiribati (April 27, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Kiribati)---Micronesian countries have thrown their support behind Kiribati's claim that it will be the first country in the world to see the dawn of the new millennium.

Kiribati President Teburoro Tito said the support came at a meeting of Micronesian Executives in the Marshall Islands capital, Majuro, last week.

The major Micronesian countries and territories include Kiribati, Guam, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

Tito said a Government-sponsored committee looking after Kiribati's millennium celebrations has spent US$ 129,000 in promoting Christmas Island and Millennium Island (formerly Caroline Island) as millennium tourist destinations through the Internet, television and radio commercials.

Tito said Kiribati would increase hotel rooms and upgrade other visitor facilities on Christmas Island, the site of the country'...

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Thu
29
Apr
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FIJI WANTS INTERNATIONAL TRADE PREFERENCES TO STAY

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 28,1999 - PACNEWS)---Fiji has reiterated to the international community that trade preferences, like the Lomé IV Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, should be retained to provide a firm foundation for the development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

"SIDS otherwise would have no chance at all of competing in the international area," said Sakiusa Rabuka, Fiji's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Rabuka was speaking at the 7th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-7) on the Barbados Program of Action on SIDS in New York.

"My delegation further believes that trade preferences have provided the necessary environment conducive to development through increasing national income, job creation and international competitiveness. In this regard, we welcome the statement on behalf of the EU that it will continue to give ACP countries special...

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Thu
29
Apr
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UPDATE: COOK ISLANDS DOWNPLAYS DOCTOR SHORTAGE IN PENRHYN AND

MANIHIKI

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (April 28, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia)---The Cook Islands Government has downplayed the lack of doctors in the northern islands of Penrhyn and Manihiki, saying well-trained nurses have taken care of most emergency cases.

Concerns have been expressed in the Cooks that there has been no doctor in the northern islands group for more than two years.

The head of the Ministry for Outer Island Development, Kato Tama, said it has been difficult to find a suitable doctor to work in the northern group because of poor working condition and accommodations.

Tama said emergency situations are handled by nurses working closely with doctors in Rarotonga.

"When the are cases they are unable to handle, then -- with consultations, with the doctors here in Rarotonga -- then they decide to evacuate patients or a doctor from here flies over to the islands.

"On average, we would probably evacuate five patients a year," the...

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Wed
28
Apr
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VANUATU PREPARES FOR MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP MEETING

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (April 27, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The Vanuatu Government has received computers from the Chinese Government to be used for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting in the capital, Port Vila.

The computers were presented to the Director General in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jean Sese.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Dongbi, who has just arrived in Vanuatu, said the speed with which he received an answer from Beijing to Vanuatu’s request for equipment for use in time for the MSG meeting demonstrated China’s depth of friendship with Vanuatu.

Sese acknowledged China’s assistance and hoped the kind gesture would encourage other partners of the Vanuatu Government to consider assistance to the MSG Coordinating Committee.

The Vanuatu Government is working with the private sector and statutory authorities to prepare for the Summit scheduled for June 21 - July 3.

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Wed
28
Apr
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PEACE NOT ACHIEVED WITH USE OF FORCE, BOUGAINVILLE LEADERS SAY

BUKA, Papua New Guinea (April 27, 1999 - The National)---The use of arms, as in Bougainville, is not the way to go about seeking lasting peace or a political settlement, Bougainville leaders say.

They said this is the main message the Bougainville leaders received from the Maori people in their two-week study tour to New Zealand.

During a briefing on the tour here yesterday, resistance force and Laitena Council of Chiefs leaders Hilary Masiria and Joel Latu Banam told government officials, chiefs and members of the public, that the 31-member Bougainville delegation was given the opportunity to learn some of the Maori peoples' practices, mainly on traditional methods of settling problems.

The two leaders said the Maori chiefs told them their ancestors had faced similar problems some 100 years ago with the colonial masters.

"We were told that their ancestors faced similar problems. But there was a moment (that the current Maoris could not forget) when a...

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Wed
28
Apr
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TONGAN HEALTH OFFICIALS BAN PUBLIC FEASTING

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (April 27, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Tonga)---An outbreak of typhoid fever on the main Tongan island of Tongatapu has forced health authorities to ban public feasting in the village of Tatakamotonga.

Dr. Taniela Lutui, a senior Health Ministry official, also warned the people of Tongatapu to avoid eating restaurant food.

Hundreds of villagers have been exempted from catering forthcoming church conference in May because of fears of spreading the disease and causing a national typhoid fever epidemic.

Five people from Tatakamotonga already have contracted the fever this year.

A Health Ministry taskforce has been set up to inspect potential typhoid areas.

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Wed
28
Apr
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NEW LAW PROHIBITS SAMOAN NATIONALS FROM OWNING LAND IN AMERICAN SAMOA

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 27, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Governor Tauese Sunia of American Samoa has signed into law legislation that prohibits Samoa nationals from owning land in American Samoa.

The bill, which was passed recently by the House and Senate, changes the definition of native Samoans who can own land in the territory.

Under the new law only full blooded Samoans from the islands of American Samoa, including Tutuila, Manu‘a and Swains Island, can own land.

Senator Mata‘utia Tuiafono, who was the prime mover behind the new law, said it was not meant to discriminate against people from Samoa but to protect the territory's limited land mass from foreign ownership.

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Wed
28
Apr
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FORMER CNMI GOVERNOR CAMACHO HITS ALIEN WORKERS’ ‘DOMINANCE’

By Rene P. Acosta

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (Marianas Variety - April 21, 1999)---Former Governor Carlos S. Camacho is not happy with the continuous increase in the number of non-resident workers in the CNMI, and urged the Northern Mariana College and the business sector to do something to remedy the situation.

Camacho made the comments during a radio interview Friday.

Camacho challenged NMC to take on the task of preparing local citizens to join the workforce by providing quality education.

Camacho’s concerns were shared earlier by Manny Sablan, Chairman of NMC’s Board of Regents.

According to Sablan, from a businessman’s point of view, it would be hard for any company to take in workers which it thinks are not qualified for the job.

"We should educate them (locals) and later, after they have graduated, they can do what they want. They can even go abroad to look for jobs, too, if they want," he said.

Camacho said the...

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