Archive - April 1999

Mon
26
Apr
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PNG PM SKATE WINS PRAISE FROM ALL SIDES OVER BOUGAINVILLE NEGOTIATIONS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 26, 1999 - Post-Courier)---Bougainville leaders have praised Prime Minister Bill Skate for his efforts in finding a lasting solution to the 10-year Bougainville crisis.

The praises came as the leaders signed the latest peace accord -- the Matakana and Okataina Understanding -- named after two Maori places they used as venues for their peace talks.

Matakana is a small island of about 200 Maori people who hosted the Bougainvilleans during their first week in New Zealand, during which they learned about the ways in which the Maoris solved their problems.

Former New Zealand Governor General and a Maori, Sir Paul Reeves, who was with the leaders throughout their negotiations, guided them through their talks.

Bougainville leaders praised Mr. Skate for taking a personal interest in the peace process and helping them to move forward.

Joel Banam, Chairman of the Leitana Council of Chiefs, and the Co-Chairmen of the...

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Mon
26
Apr
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NO DOCTORS IN NORTHERN COOK ISLANDS

By Florence Syme-Buchanan

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (April 21, 1999 - Cook Islands News)---There are no doctors in the northern islands and hospitals in Penrhyn and Manihiki have been condemned.

This situation is not new. It has existed for well over two years. The last doctor in Pukapuka was Dr. Aumetua Taurari’i. He has been stationed at Rarotonga Hospital as the Director of Clinical Services for more than two years.

But the Ministry of Outer Islands Development (MOID), which is responsible for the delivery of health services to the outer islands, says northern islands are not being deprived of health services.

Find Doctors

MOID is now trying to find doctors prepared to go north, but the difficulty is getting qualified people interested and getting applicants approved by the Medical Council, says MOID boss Kato Tama.

He says Cook Islands doctors are reluctant to be transferred to the northern group because of poor working conditions and...

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Mon
26
Apr
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Extinction Looms For Rare Polynesian Birds

SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME Apia, Samoa

MEDIA RELEASE April 24, 1999

A dozen species of birds in Polynesia could be about to disappear forever, forced into extinction by introduced predators, over hunting, deforestation or over grazing.

In an effort to save some of the region's rare birds, the South Pacific

Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Birdlife International have organized a workshop for national and international bird conservation experts, to be held in Rarotonga next week.

SPREP Avifauna Officer Dr. Greg Sherley says at least three bird species from Polynesian countries have dwindled to such low numbers that extinction is virtually inevitable. "The Samoan moorhen may already have vanished, while in French Polynesia, the Polynesian ground dove and the Marquesan imperial pigeon will be lucky to survive. At least another nine bird species are endangered, and will probably also join the slide into extinction."...

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Fri
23
Apr
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IRIAN JAYA INDIGENOUS GROUP CALLS FOR FREEPORT MINING COOPERATION

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (April 21, 1999 - ANTARA/Kabar-Irian)---The Association of Indonesian Indigenous Entrepreneurs (HIPPI) is determined to urge the Ministry of Mines to issue a permit for the establishment of a Community Cooperative (Kopermas) in the PT Freeport mining area.

The cooperative would be dedicated to the local people, who consist of the Amungme and Kamoro tribes, who have customary (adat) and traditional rights over areas where PT Freeport Indonesia (FI) has concessions for gold, silver and copper mining.

The Chairman of HIPPI's Irian Jaya chapter, Sulaeman L. Hamzah, told the press here on Wednesday that the cooperative was designed to prevent conflict between Freeport and the owner of traditional rights over the concession areas.

According to Sulaeman, the cooperative would be exclusively dedicated to the Amungme and Kamoro tribes who had traditional rights to mine gold and copper in the areas, thus helping them improve their living standards....

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Fri
23
Apr
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REWARD FOR SUSPECTED GUADALCANAL MILITANT LEADERS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 23, 1999 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---Police in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, have placed a combined US$ 13,000 reward on the heads of two suspected Guadalcanal militant leaders who have been charged with a shooting incident on Bungana Island last year.

Police Commissioner Frank Short made the announcement after the two men escaped from police custody.

"Police are offering US$ 13,000 for any information leading to the early arrest and conviction of Harold Keke and Joseph Sangu, commonly known as Joe," Short said.

He said they are wanted for a series of violent crimes, including attempted murder, armed robbery and being in possession of unlicensed firearms.

Short said police have offered a reward of US$ 6,200 for each of the suspects. He said any information regarding the wanted men should be passed on to the Director of CID, Chief Superintendent John Parafea.

They were released on bail by the court after they were...

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Fri
23
Apr
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RAPES SHUT PAPUA NEW GUINEA HEALTH CENTERS

By Peter Korugl

LAE, Papua New Guinea (April 22, 1999 - The National)---The Bulolo and Wau health centers in Morobe Province have been shut down following the pack rape of three women -- one of them a senior health official -- in separate incidents last Friday.

Health authorities in Bulolo and Wau shut down the two health centers on the same day in protest over the gang rape of the women The action has brought to a standstill all medical services in the two districts.

"I have received the report on the closure of the Wau Health Center. I did not know that Bulolo had been shut down as well . . . this is news to me," the Assistant Secretary for Health in Morobe, Dr. Leki Tio, said yesterday when contacted by The National.

The Bulolo District Office and police confirmed the closure of the health centers.

Police said the gang rape of the wife of a senior health official and a relative, who was in the house that night, forced the authorities to shut...

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Fri
23
Apr
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Question And Answer Brief

SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

April 21, 1999

Forum Trade Ministers will meet in Suva, Fiji June 1-2 to consider establishing a Pacific Islands region free trade area.

1 Why do we need a Free Trade Area?

We must prepare ourselves for the changes in global trade now underway. These changes are inevitable as is the need for us to respond or else we get left further behind. We are mostly small and isolated and lack any influence as individual countries. A free trade area creates a larger economic unit or bloc that gives us a stronger foundation for responding to globalization and universal trade liberalization.

2 What are these global changes ?

* the end of the cold war and the resulting decrease in aid to developing countries has affected many of the aid dependent economies of the region

* Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation heads of government have agreed to eliminate tariffs for all developed country members of...

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Fri
23
Apr
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$US 3 MILLION IN NEW ZEALAND AID TO TONGA

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (April 22, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia)---New Zealand has committed $NZ 5.6 million ($US 3 million) to the Tongan Government as part of its annual financial assistance for the Polynesian kingdom.

The two countries signed the agreement in the Tongan capital, Nuku‘alofa, yesterday.

Radio Tonga reports that New Zealand’s contribution is for the 1999/2000 cycle and is in line with the level of assistance provided in previous years.

The funds will be used for human resource development, assistance to the Tonga Development Bank and medical evacuations to New Zealand.

Some funding is earmarked especially for projects on ‘Eua and the Niuas.

A Tongan Government official said $NZ 3 million ($US 1.6 million) would be used to fund various educational and training programs for Tongans, both in Tonga and overseas.

Officials from the two countries also discussed changes in the selection procedures for New Zealand Overseas...

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Fri
23
Apr
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FIVE CHARGED IN UNIVERSITY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA ARSON

By Phil-Peers Yombon

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 22, 1999 - The National)---Five students from the University of Papua New Guinea have been charged with arson and destruction of public property after they were arrested by police in a dawn raid on the Waigani campus yesterday.

The students are alleged to have been involved in the burning of government vehicles three weeks ago at the height of protests over the restructure at the university.

A police task force unit, with the help of the university security, raided the student residential areas and arrested 11 students.

Six were later released after questioning by detectives from the criminal investigation branch.

Boroko police confirmed the arrest of the students, and said those charged have not been allowed bail.

Police said they will go through the details of the statements obtained from those released, and will question them further if necessary.

The students have been...

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Fri
23
Apr
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FAMILY FEUDS SPOIL IDYLLIC COOK ISLANDS ATOLL

When HRH Prince Phillip visited Palmerston atoll in 1977 on HMS Britannia, the islanders say he made a deal with them. "Today the ship is yours and the island is mine," he told them. The swap saw the entire Palmerston population eat and drink on the royal yacht for a day. The Duke spent his day swimming in a bluewater pool that would later be renamed "Duke's Pool." The bluewater pool used to be known as Why E'lie - "Why you lie?" Florence Syme-Buchanan in the following COOK ISLANDS NEWS (On Line April 15, 1999) feature presents a glimpse into a fragment of Palmerston's past, and the feuding between families that threatens to spill into the next century.

History has it that two lovers would meet at night at the bluewater pool. After promising to rendezvous, one of the lovers failed to turn up -- thus, Why E'lie.

Palmerston, a group of tiny atolls circled by a reef that's 11 kilometers at its widest point, is home of three branches of the Marsters family. They are all...

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