Archive - April 2000

Fri
28
Apr
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SAMOA AIR APPLIES FOR LANDING RIGHTS IN ASAU, SAVAI‘I

By Fili Sagapolutele Special to the Pacific islands Report

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2000)---A commuter airline based in American Samoa is seeking the government of Samoa’s approval for landing rights at Asau airstrip on Samoa's big island of Savai‘i.

If the application is granted, Samoa Air's station manager in Apia, Billy Meredith, said the carrier will start providing charter flights from Pago Pago International Airport to the airstrip on the western side of Savai‘i.

In a telephone interview from Samoa's capital of Apia, Meredith said their 21-day notice seeking landing rights on Asau on a charter basis is in the hands of the government and, if granted, would serve the needs of StarKist Samoa.

StarKist Samoa is currently negotiating with the Samoa government and the Asau Village Council to set up a processing plant in the independent state.

The airline tested the Asau runway with a StarKist Samoa charter flight two weeks ago. The...

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Fri
28
Apr
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FIJI POST IS NO GOVERNMENT AGENT: SINGH

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post/Pacific Media Watch/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The Daily Post is not the Fiji government's mouthpiece or its propaganda machine, says general manager Ranjit Singh.

Singh's comments came after Opposition Leader Inoke Kubuabola, in a Radio Fiji news item, said that the Daily Post newspaper was used by government for its propaganda.

"While government has shares in the Daily Post, it does not and has not tried to interfere with our editorial content.

"We are an independent, responsible and a conscientious news organization which does not carry anybody's agenda or further any shareholder interests," Singh said.

He went on to say that what Daily Post does is present balanced reporting and "since government policies and actions have so much impact on the people, we give it the appropriate opportunity to present its point of view for those they are intended for."

Singh said that the Daily Post is...

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Fri
28
Apr
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FEDS TO TEST SAIPAN FOR AGENT ORANGE CONTAMINATION

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 2000 - Hawaii Public Radio)---The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will check whether groundwater in the Northern Marianas is contaminated with Agent Orange.

The sampling work will focus on wells located within a golf course in northern Saipan, the main island of the U.S. commonwealth.

The sampling will be done by the EPA and the territory’s environmental quality division.

Agent Orange was a defoliant sprayed by American planes during the Vietnam War to destroy jungles, expose enemy bases and ruin crops needed to feed enemy troops.

Containers of Agent Orange were buried on the island and the federal government wants to determine whether the chemical has migrated into the groundwater.

The Northern Mariana Islands are about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawai‘i.

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Fri
28
Apr
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GUAMANIAN NAVAL OFFICER BESTOWED SAMOAN CHIEFLY TITLE

By Fili Sagapolutele Special to the Pacific Islands Report

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2000)---A native of Guam, Capt. Peter Cumataotoa, has been bestowed the Samoan honorary chief title of "Leali‘iva‘a" by American Samoa Senate President Lutu Tenari Fuimaono, who is also a ranking high chief from the village of Fagatogo.

Cumataotao is the commander of the U.S. Navy destroyer, USS Decatur, which took part in the Centennial Celebration last week.

He said the chiefly title was the culmination of an extraordinary experience, one that will remain with him for the rest of his life.

Public tours were allowed while the vessel was in port for several days.

As the USS Decatur was preparing to leave Pago Pago Harbor, the gangway got stuck and wouldn't pull up. This caused a one-hour delay in the ship’s departure.

When the vessel finally left, Samoan music was playing on the loud speaker and the voice of Captain Cumataotao could be heard...

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Fri
28
Apr
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P&O'S REGAL PRINCESS LUXURY LINER ADDS TO TAHITI'S VISITORS

P&O'S REGAL PRINCESS LUXURY LINER ADDS TO TAHITI'S VISITORS

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (April 26, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---Some 2,400 tourists have been arriving in Papeete this week to board or depart the P&O Cruises' luxury liner Regal Princess, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

Paradoxically, the 246-meter-long (812 feet) ship is boosting air traffic into French Polynesia, since most tourists fly into the capital to start the ship’s tour to the French Polynesian islands of Moorea and Bora Bora.

Three Boeing 747s are expected to deliver 1,200 more tourists who will be part of the next voyage, which will continue on to Hawai‘i.

Another 1,200 passengers will leave the current cruise in Papeete and fly back to the United States.

The arrival of the new ship has caused some commotion. A makeshift terminal, mostly consisting of tents and marquees, had to be built, pending completion of a permanent terminal now under...

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Thu
27
Apr
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NEW ZEALAND PROVIDES AID TO PACIFIC PRIVATE SECTOR

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (April 26, 2000 - Fiji's Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Ten training and business development grants to support private sector development in six Pacific Island countries have been announced by New Zealand Associate Minister for Foreign Affairs Matt Robson.

The grants, which total NZ $388,873 (US$ 188,837), come under the Pacific Islands Investment and Development Scheme (PIIDS), part of New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (NZODA Program).

PIIDS is a development program that relies on private sector initiatives. It provides an opportunity for the New Zealand private sector to be involved in assisting South Pacific countries to meet their development needs.

A statement from the New Zealand government said grants were allocated according to each proposal's development merit, commercial viability, and the likely long-term economic and employment benefits for the recipient country. Among the countries that will benefit from this...

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Thu
27
Apr
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FIJI TIMES EDITOR FAILS TO WIN BACK WORK PERMIT

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Legal proceedings by Fiji Times chief editor Russel Hunter against a government decision not to review his work permit have been dismissed by the High Court.

The decision was handed down by Justice Daniel Fatiaki.

In his application, Hunter submitted that the Minister of Immigration's decision to refuse renewal of his work permit was unlawful, biased and made in bad faith.

Justice Fatiaki ruled that Hunter, whose work permit expired last year, had failed to prove his allegations against the decision.

The judge further ordered a $1,000 court cost against Hunter.

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Thu
27
Apr
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PEOPLE IGNORANT ON CONSERVATION, PNG CONFERENCE CONCLUDES

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 25, 2000 – Post-Courier)---Many Papua New Guineans are ignorant about issues concerning the environment, a three-day meeting organized by the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program has concluded.

According to Environment and Conservation officers, public awareness and educational seminars on the importance of preserving and sustaining the environment is a priority that must be carried out.

Apart from a lack of public knowledge, the meeting also concluded that the country's existing laws and regulations do not fully address environment and conservation issues in the country.

"What the country lacks is technical expertise" to effectively carry out its mandate, said Narua Lovai, deputy director of the Office of Environment and Conservation.

According to Mr. Lovai, there were activities in the areas of environment and conservation that the office had been given but could not do much as they lacked technical...

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Thu
27
Apr
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DISPUTE IN FIJI SUGAR JOB LOSS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 25, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---The Fiji Sugar Clerks and Supervisors Association has strongly reacted to recent statements made by Fiji Sugar Corporation Chairman Hafiz Khan in the media.

Clerks and Supervisors Association National Secretary Satendra Singh has refuted claims by Mr. Khan that there had been meetings with the Corporation specifically regarding the laying off of workers.

Mr. Singh said the only meeting he was aware of was the National Consultative Committee (NCC) one. This meeting was convened by the Industrial Commissioner, Daniel Rama, on March 24.

At this meeting the FSC only made it known to the union representatives present there would be redundancies. Mr. Singh said this was only to occur after talks with the unions.

This is at the moment the bone of contention between the Union and the FSC.

"We wish to make it clear that to date we have not had any meetings with the FSC on their proposal to reduce...

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Thu
27
Apr
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PRISONERS SET FIRE IN SAIPAN PRISON

By Lindablue F. Romero

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 2000 - Saipan Tribune)---A group of prisoners set a fire in the Division of Corrections' main facility at around 8:45 p.m. yesterday to protest the temporary suspension of their privileges during the prison lockdown imposed following a jailbreak on Easter Sunday.

Preliminary investigations showed that about four or five inmates started the fire in section A where 20 prisoners were being held, according to Maj. Clyde Norita.

The Department of Public Safety mobilized all the police officers on patrol and the Tactical Response Emergency Team to provide security to the area and prevent the prisoners from escaping while they were being evacuated.

"We have contained the fire and evacuated the prisoners in a secured perimeter. There were no injuries, some men were checked for possible smoke suffocation," said Mr. Norita.

As of 12:00 a.m., the prisoners who were originally housed in...

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