Archive - April 1999

Tue
27
Apr
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PAY IN SOLOMONS NO LONGER BASED ON COST OF LIVING

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 27, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The rate of pay for civil servants and private sector workers no longer will be based on the cost of living.

A government statement reported that "pay increases will now be determined by increased productivity and improved performance."

While the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce has announced support for the move, unions have rejected it.

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Tue
27
Apr
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PROTECTING OUR PACIFIC ISLAND HERITAGE:

SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY (SPC) Noumea, New Caledonia

PRESS RELEASE April 26, 1999

COUNCIL OF PACIFIC ARTS TO PRESENT
DECLARATION TO UNESCO IN PARIS LATER THIS YEAR

More than 2,000 distinct languages and dialects are spoken across the Pacific Islands. Cultures, which have evolved over centuries, are today under threat from the impact of rapid social and economic change, and risk becoming absorbed into the stereotyped mass culture promoted through media and information highways. Languages, oral traditions, music, dances, traditional knowledge (collectively described as 'intangible expressions') of this heritage are particularly at risk.

Pacific Island countries are aware of this peril. Most of them are already engaged, with very limited resources, in research, conservation and preservation programs.

A Symposium on the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of indigenous cultures in the Pacific Islands was held at the...

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Mon
26
Apr
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Opening Speech To The Forum Communications Policy Meeting

SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT Forum Communication Policy Officials Suva, Fiji Islands

SPEECH April 24, 1999

Mr. Noel Levi, Secretary General
South Pacific Forum Secretariat

Distinguished national representatives and members of your delegations. Observers of inter-government organizations. Welcome to the Forum Secretariat for this important preparatory meeting before the Forum Communications Policy Ministerial meeting on Monday.

In the past three days you have heard much about the promising benefits, as well as the obstacles, that we as a region face from the rapidly evolving Global Information Infrastructure (GII). The many advances in telecommunications, such as the Internet and other technological tools, have helped us overcome one of our major physical constraints - that is, smallness and distance. These advances, and the ways in which we can benefit from them, have in many ways outpaced the traditional structures that we have in place for...

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Mon
26
Apr
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CNMI TO LOBBY AGAINST IMPOSITION OF GARMENT TARIFF

By Cookie B. Micaller

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 1999 - Saipan Tribune)---Worried over a proposal seeking to strip the CNMI of duty free privileges, Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio yesterday said his administration will lobby against such a move in the U.S. Congress.

He cited the disastrous impact a tariff could have on the Northern Mariana Islands economy, which is largely dependent on the garment industry.

U.S. Congressmen Bob Franks (R-New Jersey) and John Dingell (D-Michigan) have sponsored legislation that seeks to impose tariffs on finished garment products coming from the islands, as well as forbid the use of "Made in USA" labels on locally-produced apparel.

Under the Covenant, which established the Commonwealth's political union with the United States, CNMI is exempt from Headnote 3(a) and is allowed to control its immigration and minimum wage.

"We will appeal to the U.S. Congress to seriously review this and see what they can do to...

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Mon
26
Apr
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FIJI PM WANTS NEW ZEALAND AIRPORT FIREMEN OUT

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 23, 1999 - PACNEWS/Fiji Times)---Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has issued a directive for a group of New Zealand fireman, contracted to man the country’s two international airports, to leave the country.

The Prime Minister’s directive came as airport workers, who are members of the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA), continued their protest against the recruitment of 11 New Zealand fire fighters.

The workers are protesting the corporatization of the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF).

Airports Fiji, Ltd. (AFL), a new company formed as part of the restructure, has taken over the operations of the two airports, at Nadi and Nausori.

Prime Minister Rabuka said he has instructed the Home Affairs Ministry to look into the legality of the work permits of the New Zealanders.

Public Enterprises Minister Isimeli Bose, whose ministry is responsible for the CAAF restructure, said the firemen had been employed on a...

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Mon
26
Apr
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ADB LOAN TO KIRIBATI FOR CONSTRUCTION OF TARAWA WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM

TARAWA, Kiribati (April 23, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Kiribati)---Kiribati is planning to sign a US$ 6.5 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shortly to permit a major overhaul of the water and sewer system in the capital, Tarawa.

Kiribati’s Finance Minister, Beniamina Tunga, will conclude arrangements with the bank following his participation in the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) meeting now under way in the Philippines capital, Manila.

Kiribati Finance Secretary Taaneti Mwamwau said the first installment of the loan is expected to be released by the bank in late June or early July of this year.

Taaneti said repayment of the loan will begin after a grace period of ten years, with the entire loan to be paid off in approximately 39 years.

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Mon
26
Apr
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FIJI ELECTIONS OFFICE SEEKING MORE FUNDING

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 22, 1999 - PACNEWS/Fiji Times)---The Elections Office in Fiji is seeking more funds to pay for the general election scheduled for May 8-15.

The Daily Post reports that the Supervisor of Elections, Walter Rigamoto, urgently needs an extra F$ 5.7 million (US$ 2.9 million) to pay for supplies, transportation, communication services and the officials who will be employed during the election period.

The office initially requested F$ 4.3 million (US$ 2.9 million) in its budgetary requirement proposal. But Rigamoto said that amount now has been exhausted and the office needs more funds to pay for ongoing operations.

He said the 1999 election is more expensive than the 1994 polling, when the total cost was F$ 2.9 million (US$ 1.5 million).

"This is because of the new arrangements and the new voting system under the revised 1997 Constitution. We are going to employ 10,000 people for the election," Rigamoto said.

This will be Fiji’...

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Mon
26
Apr
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PINA’S NINA RATULELE ELECTED TO CHAIR IFEX

PACIFIC ISLANDS NEWS ASSOCIATION (PINA) Suva, Fiji Islands

NEWS RELEASE April 23, 1999

A Pacific Islands woman was today elected to chair a global network of media freedom and freedom of expression organizations.

Nina Ratulele, of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), was elected convener (chairperson) of the governing council of IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange. I t came during IFEX’s annual conference, now under way in Cape Town, South Africa.

IFEX is the major international grouping of media freedom and freedom of expression organizations. It was born in 1992 when many of the world's leading media freedom organizations came together in Montreal, Canada, to discuss how best to further their collective goals. Today it brings together organizations promoting and defending media freedom and freedom of expression throughout the world.

Ms. Ratulele was nominated by the Independent Journalism Centre of Nigeria, seconded...

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Mon
26
Apr
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TAIWAN GARMENT FIRM PLANNING TO BUILD PALAU OPERATION

By Eileen O. Oreiro

KOROR, Palau (April 15, 1999 - Marianas Variety/Abridged)---Hualey Knitwears, Ltd., one of the largest trading companies in Taiwan, plans to establish a $1.6 million garment factory in Palau.

Hualey, which has 15 garment factories globally that produce 24 million items of clothing annually, will set up a sub-contractor garment company on the island called "Formosa Garments, Ltd."

In an application submitted to the Foreign Investment Board (FIB), Formosa President Rose Chi said the sub-contractor company will manufacture garments primarily for export to the United States, Canada and Europe.

Aside from garment and textile manufacturing, Chi said Formosa also will engage in trading and property development in Palau.

Chi pointed out in the application that Palau would benefit from Formosa’s business, as it would increase its tax revenue. Apart from that, she stated that Palau manufacturing would receive a more positive and stronger...

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Mon
26
Apr
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CNMI HEMODIALYSIS PATIENTS TO BE REFERRED TO HAWAI‘I

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 20, 1999 - Marianas Variety)---The Commonwealth Health Center is set to formalize a memorandum of understanding with a Hawai‘i-based hospital for the immediate referral of a large number of CNMI patients under its hermodialysis program.

Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez disclosed St. Francis Hospital has agreed to accept CNMI hemodialysis patients who are in dire need of more advanced treatment, which the Hawai‘i-based medical institution provides.

The move, which will expand the CNMI Department of Public Health’s medical referral program, is seen as providing better health care services to the growing number of hemodialysis patients here.

CHC’s hemodialysis program served 76 patients last year, 67 in 1997 and 53 in 1996.

"We are going to formalize an MOU with St. Francis, where they will be accepting our hermodialysis patients. We probably have to shift many of our...

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