Archive - April 2000

Wed
26
Apr
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SUNFLOWER INTRODUCES ADDITIONAL FIJI FLIGHTS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 23, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Sunflower Airlines has introduced additional flights between Suva and Nadi.

Flights will depart from Nausori to Nadi six times daily with the first one leaving at 6:15 a.m., said director Ian Collingwood.

This is to ensure that passengers from Suva can connect to international flights in and out of Nadi.

"There will also be direct connections between Nadi and Taveuni," he said.

Mr. Collingwood said the company stands to gain the most from increased competition from the Nadi-Suva route.

In the past one operator has handled most of the traffic across Viti Levu.

However, this is expected to change given Sunflower's additional scheduled flights.

Mr. Collingwood said it had been tough for the airlines during the last 12 months and the industry has had to deal with dramatic increases in fuel prices and the continued strength of the US dollar.

"The airline had to respond to...

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Wed
26
Apr
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FIJI PREPARES FOR LOMÉ

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 25, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---The government will give $335,000 to spruce up the Suva Civic Auditorium for the signing of the successor agreement to Lomé IV in early June.

The venue for the historic meeting was decided on the recommendation of President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, said Lord Mayor Mataiasi Ragigia.

The decision was made after a meeting of business and municipal leaders and a ministerial delegation. Acting Prime Minister Dr Tupeni Baba chaired the meeting last Wednesday.

The Lomé IV agreement - which gives preferential trade access to Fiji and other African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries - expired in February.

Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry advised Cabinet ministers last week on the activities of Nadi businesses to support preparations for the ACP-European Union meeting.

After the ACP-EU meeting at Nadi, the entire delegations from the 86 member countries and possibly 10 observer states will travel...

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Wed
26
Apr
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SOLOMON ISLANDS ETHNIC CONFLICT CLAIMS 50 LIVES: COMMITTEE REPORT

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 25, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The head of a special task force investigating the ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal said says at least 50 people have died in the past 18 months.

The Commonwealth Committee on Missing Persons has been tasked with determining how many people have died or were reported missing as a result of the conflict.

The Committee's Chairman, Catholic Archbishop Adrian Smith, said since the killings are continuing, it's difficult to put an exact figure on the number of deaths.

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Wed
26
Apr
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PACIFIC LEADERS IN TOKYO MEET WITH ELECTRIC POWER REPRESENTATIVES OVER GLOBAL

WARMING

By Al Hulsen

TOKYO, Japan (April 24, 2000 – PIDP/CPIS)---Pacific Island leaders were in Tokyo Monday to meet with electric power company officials and consultants in efforts to find viable solutions to the problem of global warming and its effect on Pacific nations’ sea levels.

The government heads had returned to the capital from the southern resort city of Miyazaki the night before, following conclusion of the weekend PALM 2000 Japan-Pacific Island Leaders Meeting. At the summit, Japan announced some US$ 4 million in economic and social development assistance for the 14 South Pacific Forum island countries. (Australia and New Zealand also are Forum members. The French territory of New Caledonia is an official observer.)

According to some scientists, as atmospheric temperatures rise -- primarily due to carbon dioxide emissions from the industrialized countries’ use of fossil fuels -- polar ice caps melt. This, in turn, causes sea levels to rise...

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Wed
26
Apr
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REGIONAL PROGRAM ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 20, 2000 – Post Courier)---Climate change, its effects on the environment, and how it can be linked with policy are among issues the 2000 to 2004 South Pacific Regional Environmental Program action plan will confront.

Visiting SPREP Director Tamari Tutangata said: "Climate issues were only addressed by SPREP in late 1980 when they became more obvious at global level."

Other areas of the environment that could be addressed include biodiversity and nature conservation, waste and environmental management and human resource development.

A statement released by the Office of Environment and Conservation Director Dr Wari Iamo said the aims of the plan were to build national capacity to protect and improve the environment for the benefit of the Pacific islands people now and in the future.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua...

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Wed
26
Apr
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ONLY THREE NMI PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE IDEAL CLASS SIZE

By Aldwin R. Fajardo

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 24, 2000 – Saipan Tribune)---In what appears to be an indication of a classroom and teacher shortage in the islands, government records disclosed that only three public schools in the Northern Marianas have reached the ideal size of classes at 15 students per section.

All three schools are incidentally outside Saipan where majority of the NMI population are concentrated, according to official statistics from the Public School System.

Several government and private studies conducted in the mainland United States noted that class size has to be 15 or fewer to have a significant impact on student achievement.

This means that only Rota Elementary and Junior High School, Rota High School and Tinian Junior and High School have achieved the most ideal size of an education class.

PSS figures showed that there are 15 students for every one teacher in Rota Elementary and Junior High School, while...

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Wed
26
Apr
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PACIFIC TUNA FISHERIES PROJECTS UP FOR

CANADA-SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN DEVELOPMENT

NEWS RELEASE April 25, 2000

CANADIAN FUNDING APPROVAL

Two fisheries projects concentrating on the sustainable management and development of the Pacific tuna industry are up for funding approval from the Canadian government.

On Friday, the projects will be discussed during the sixth meeting of the Program Management Committee (PMC) of the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development (C-SPOD) Program held in Suva, Fiji at the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

Delegates at the meeting will include representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Forum Secretariat (ForSec), South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), University of the South Pacific (USP), and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). All C-SPOD projects are developed by the four regional partner organizations and are approved and coordinated by the PMC.

C-SPOD is Canada's major regional commitment to the Pacific...

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Wed
26
Apr
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FIJI SUGAR TO CUT 400 JOBS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 25, 2000 – Radio Australia)---As part of a major cost-cutting plan, the Fiji Sugar Corporation has announced the elimination of 400 positions.

The corporation's chairman, Hafiz Khan, says the company’s costs were far too high for it to compete internationally.

He says voluntary separation will be offered to all employees but will be subject to further discussions with the four industry unions.

According to Mr. Khan, the position of Fiji's sugar industry had been made worse by a drop in the world market price due to the oversupply of sugar.

Sugar is Fiji's biggest export commodity.

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Wed
26
Apr
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PNG POLICE MINISTER SUPPORTS ELECTRIC CHAIR

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 25, 2000 – Post-Courier)---Police Minister Mathias Karani has supported the call by the former Justice Minister and Ijivitari MP Simon Kaumi to introduce the electric chair as a method of capital punishment for serious crimes.

Mr. Karani said this when condemning the murder of the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation Boroko’s branch manager, Robert Yamang.

Mr. Yamang was shot dead in a car in his driveway last Tuesday morning.

"Murderers and rapists should face the full force of the law and pay for their crimes and if our laws are too liberal then much tougher laws such as the death penalty for hardened criminals should be introduced, enacted and implemented," Mr. Karani said.

(The death penalty is already a law for willful murder, but has not been used since enactment of the law.)

He said it had become dangerous for innocent citizens in Port Moresby when criminals, without respect, were continuously...

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Wed
26
Apr
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AUSTRALIAN PM HINTS AT SPECIAL DEAL FOR SOUTH PACIFIC

MIYAZAKI, Japan (April 25, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has hinted at special trade deals for South Pacific countries to ensure they are not disadvantaged by trade liberalization.

Speaking after the Japan/Pacific Islands leaders summit in Miyazaki, Mr. Downer said it was important that South Pacific countries were not left out by globalization.

"Now what they understandably are concerned about is that they don't get left behind," he said. "I think that it is a fair point, and I agree with them about that. And the best illustration of that is information technology."

He said it is critical that developing countries in the South Pacific are able to maintain the pace of reforms in information technology.

"Countries like Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, through our aid programs and the United Nations, need access to the software, they need access to the hardware," he said. "We need to do what we can to make sure...

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