Archive - April 1999

Tue
27
Apr
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POLICE INVESTIGATE RAPE OF DYING AITAPE TSUNAMI VICTIMS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - Post-Courier)---Serious allegations involving the rape of dying women after the Aitape tidal wave disaster have been referred to police, Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Minister Dibara Yagabo has said.

Mr. Yagabo, who visited the disaster area and met with people in care centers two weeks ago, said in a statement that his department was aware of the allegations and had passed the matter on to the police for investigation.

Police in Wewak and Aitape had begun investigations, he said.

"The rape allegation is one of the law and order problems that came to the notice of my department and have been referred to police for proper investigation to establish the truth,'' Mr. Yagabo said.

"Since the allegation is now public, I appeal to the Police Department to thoroughly investigate the law and order problems in Aitape and take appropriate action.''

The head of the Young Women's Christian...

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Tue
27
Apr
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AUSTRALIAN ARMY AIDS PNG FLOOD VICTIMS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The Australian Army is helping Papua New Guinea authorities coordinate the treatment of flood victims fleeing the country's Western Province.

More than 30 people have arrived on Saibai Island in the Torres Strait for treatment, mainly for malaria and dysentery, and 100 more are expected today.

On Saibai, Major Mick Mumford said the flow of people asking for treatment is being regulated with the help of PNG authorities.

"They’ve been subjected to. . . severe floods. . . and it has affected their water sources," Mumford said.

"Disease. . .has broken out in a number of communities and malaria and dysentery are now quite endemic."

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Tue
27
Apr
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BOUGAINVILLE RECONCILIATION GOVERNMENT ELECTION POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

BUKA, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - The National)---The Bougainville Reconciliation Government (BRG) election has been deferred indefinitely.

The BRG has also been renamed the "Bougainville People's Congress" (BPC) and the polls called the "BPC selection or election process."

The change comes following the signing of the Matakana and Okataina Understanding by leaders of the various Bougainville factions last Thursday in New Zealand.

The deferral for the election was ordered by Minister for State and Central Bougainville MP Sam Akoitai on Friday.

In a letter to Bougainville Administrator John Siau, Mr. Akoitai explained that the postponement of the polls was made to await the Supreme Court's ruling on the suspension of the North Solomons Provincial Government involving Bougainville Regional Member John Momis and the National Executive Council.

Mr. Akoitai said the postponement would also give the leaders time to explain to the people the...

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Tue
27
Apr
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SPEECH: VISION OF A BETTER UNIVERSITY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - The National)---This is an edited version of outgoing University of Papua New Guinea Vice-Chancellor Dr Rodney Hills' address at the 44th graduation ceremony on Friday:

I thought that this year, following a brief review of our graduation statistics, I would take a broader look at this University. I am in a particularly privileged position, having no responsibility for what I say in a further three weeks.

But first the graduation statistics. This year we are graduating 593 students of whom 30 percent are female. This is a steady increase in female participation in graduation from 18 percent in 1996 and 23 percent in 1997.

I hope this is real evidence that our attempts to improve the working environment for our female students are actually working. The total number of graduates has also increased from 526 in 1997 so we are seeing signs also that our retention rate is getting better. These are all positive.

...

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Tue
27
Apr
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NATURE CONSERVANCY WARNS OF GROWING WEED PROBLEM IN POHNPEI

POHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia (April 23, 1999 - PACNEWS/ V6AH Radio)---The Nature Conservancy has warned of problems created by the increasing existence of invasive plant species in the state of Pohnpei.

The conservation organization, established to preserve plants, animals and natural communities, reported that 11 such plants already exist in Pohnpei, eight of them considered to be causing serious problems.

In conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, the Conservancy has completed an island-wide invasive plant database. It includes information about the identity of the plants, their country of origin, period of introduction, dispersion, growth form, effects on other plants, control and eradication methods.

The eight species noted in the database as serious invasive weeds include the Wedelia, African Tulip Tree, Lantana, Spiny Mimosa, Pagoda Flower, Palau Tree, Siam Weed, and Crape Ginger.

Potential serious invasive species already on Pohnpei...

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Tue
27
Apr
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UNIVERSITY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S HILLS SEES SHARP RISE IN FEES

By Phil-Peers Yombon

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - The National)---The University of Papua New Guinea is planning to increase its tuition fees in a bid to raise finances internally and instill discipline and responsibility among students, according to outgoing vice chancellor Dr. Rodney Hills.

He said the current tuition fee of K 500 per student would be increased to between K 3,000 and K 6,000 in 10 years’ time.

This excludes the board and lodging fees, which are higher, and other compulsory fees.

The Vice Chancellor's parting shot was incisive.

At the University's 44th graduation ceremony on Friday, he was cutting about the behavior of student leaders, having found them falling far short of intelligent debate and approach to issues and more inclined to be politically motivated and otherwise run by emotions.

He was still supportive of the restructure he engineered and which ultimately caused his downfall.

Students...

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Tue
27
Apr
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GROWTH IN FIJI ECONOMY

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Fiji will record economic growth this year, bringing an end to many years of recession, according to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

He made the announcement while opening a shipping and airfreight services complex in Nadi over the weekend.

Mr. Rabuka said that in the last two years, Fiji had maintained economic stability and key industries have indicated strong growth.

The sugar industry will produce about 400,000 tons of sugar in 1999, "a remarkable recovery from last year."

Mr. Rabuka said tourism and garments should again post record figures while gold mining is back on an expansion track.

Rabuka said the business sector looked optimistic given the number of new projects being pursued.

The Nadi complex just opened , he said, was a sign of investor confidence in the country and the economy.

Rabuka said freight was expected to flow 24 hours a day through the facility, with...

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Tue
27
Apr
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FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN COOK ISLANDS UP

The Development Investment Board’s Rohan Ellis says that's because investors have more confidence in the country being a good place to do business.

January to March this year saw new capital investment of $1.047 million come in, compared to $864,000 during the same period last year.

The United States invests more money here than any other country and this is further bolstered by a strong U.S. dollar.

Ellis says "a huge input" of money comes from the financial sector, which broadly represents offshore banks, international companies, and Internet casino's registering in the Cook Islands.

This saw $3.683 million invested here between July and September last year.

INTERNET CASINOS

Two Internet casinos are currently registered in this country. Casino of the South Pacific, registered about two years ago, and Sand Dune's Race and Sports Book, registered late last year. Two other applications are being processed by DIB.

Five percent of the...

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Tue
27
Apr
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AIRLINES HELP INCREASE CNMI PORTS AUTHORITY REVENUE

By Lindablue F. Romero

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 1999 - Saipan Tribune/Abridged)---Due to the efforts of Japan Airlines and Asiana Airlines to bring in more visitors to the Northern Marianas, the Commonwealth Ports Authority's operating revenue in the aviation division increased by five percent in March, amounting to $893,206, compared to the same period last year.

Despite the gloomy outlook in the aviation industry, due to Asia's financial crisis, Japan Airlines aggressively carried out its own promotion of the Northern Marianas. This resulted in an increase in Japanese arrivals through five extra flights.

Korea’s Asiana brought in additional visitors by adding seven more flights.

Tourism officials, however, have expressed concern over the effect of Continental Micronesia's decision to terminate direct Osaka-Saipan service due to weak market demand. This leaves only two direct Continental flights -- Nagoya-Saipan and Hong Kong-Saipan....

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Tue
27
Apr
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U.S. COAST GUARD USING SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT OFF GUAM

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 27, 1999 – Radio Australia/PIDP/CPIS)---The Coast Guard has begun using aircraft from Hawai‘i to locate vessels carrying passengers attempting to illegally enter Guam.

Another vessel from China, the second in a week, was intercepted by two Coast Guard cutters 130 nautical miles off Guam last Friday, after being spotted by a Hawai‘i-based aircraft. The 157 passengers and crew aboard were to taken to neighboring Tinian, in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for detention and processing.

The Marianas’ government currently is sheltering over 300 undocumented aliens.

Lt. Thomas Robinson has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that there has been such an increase in arrivals that air surveillance is the only way to catch them.

"It's an HC-130 Hercules crewed by about seven people and it's here from Hawai‘i -- the Coast Guard Air Station, Barbara's Point," he said.

"Although Guam is only...

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