Archive - April 2000

Tue
25
Apr
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FIJI TO BUILD FISHING VESSELS FLEET FOR FRENCH POLYNESIA

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 20, 2000 - OFO)---Fiji's government-controlled Shipyard Fiji Limited (SFL) is close to finalizing a $US50 million contract with French Polynesian company Ingénierie Marine et Navigation (IMN).

Negotiations between Fiji government officials and IMN General Manager Patrice Baranger took place in the Fiji capital Suva for a deal to construct 3O to 50 fishing boats.

Baranger is now in the French territory to obtain endorsement from his company and finalize the order.

IMN had previously placed orders with SFL for five fishing vessels.

The Fiji government, which is a major shareholder in the company, is currently in the process of taking over and will appoint a new manager for SFL.

Another shareholder in SFL is MCI Carpenters Limited.

Fiji Attorney General Annand Singh claimed Carpenters still owed the Fiji government 1.3 million Fiji dollars (US$ 628,000), not including interest, since 1996.

SFL has since last...

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Tue
25
Apr
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WEST PAPUA AT THE CROSSROADS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 23, 2000 – Pasifik Nius)---More than 60 participants representing academics, government and non-governmental organizations, politicians, support groups, international guests, journalists and West Papuans attended a conference on West Papua that was held at International House at Sydney University today.

The participants discussed various areas of concern such as the "denial" politics of the 1960s, the implications of Indonesian colonial domination, future prospects for West Papua and the Australian role. In the evening, Dr Tim Flannery, director of the South Australia Museum will launch the West Papua Project being established within the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University. He will be introducED by Prof. Stuart Rees, Director of the centre.

"Forums like this are a vital opportunity to raise public awareness of West Papua in [Australia]. The conference reflected different views.

However, all were agreed...

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Tue
25
Apr
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FIRST FLOWER FESTIVAL TO REVIVE SAIPAN BUSINESSES

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 20, 2000 - Saipan Tribune)---In what appears to be a promising activity that may add color to the island's image as a prime tour destination, the CNMI is launching a festival of flowers and ornamental plants on May 13 at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

Sponsored by the Marianas Visitors Authority and the Commonwealth Development Authority, the flower festival is anticipated to attract garden and plant enthusiasts from throughout the Northern Marianas, according to businessman JM Guerrero.

Organizers said the festival will be launched to beautify Saipan by promoting local ornamental flowers in the islands, as well as help revive declining business activity in the tourism sector.

Flower and plant experts from the Northern Marianas College, the hotel industry and wholesale operators will be tapped to compose the distinguished panel of judges for the competition, which will be divided into 10 categories.

These...

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Tue
25
Apr
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LEGAL TEAM FOR PNG PROBE FORMED

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 20, 2000 - The Independent)---A legal team comprising of several eminent national lawyers has been appointed to represent the state in the Commission of Inquiry into the financial affairs of the National Provident Fund (NPF).

The team will be headed by senior national lawyer Ellenas Batari, who has been appointed lead counsel for the state.

Mr. Batari was formerly deputy secretary of the Department of Justice, public solicitor and recently the acting judge of the national court.

Justice Minister Kilroy Genia, in making the announcements, said the establishment of the state’s legal team was in line with the terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial affairs of the NPF.

It was also made in line with the review of current legislation to determine the suitability of the preset laws.

Mr. Genia also announced the appointment of Kisokau Powaseu, an academic at the University of Papua New...

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Tue
25
Apr
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DATE CONFIRMED FOR PROPOSED SOLOMONS PEACE SUMMIT

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 25, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A peace summit in Solomon Islands aimed at resolving the ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal has been confirmed for next month.

The two-day meeting, which will begin on May 4 at Buala, will be attended by representatives of the opposing Guadalcanal and Malaita factions.

Malaita Premier David Oeta said his province is prepared to attend.

Deputy Guadalcanal Premier Nolan Leni has indicated his province will also be represented.

Militants on Guadalcanal have been blamed for trying to drive people from neighboring Malaita off the island.

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Tue
25
Apr
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TIMORESE JOURNALISTS STILL STRIVE FOR INDEPENDENCE

By Wilson Da Silva

DILI, East Timor (April 22, 2000 – The Age)---With the Indonesian military gone and independence looming, East Timor's journalists can now report freely. But it's not an easy task when your country is still a smoking ruin.

Being a media baron in East Timor actually costs money. Take Talitakum, the sporadic magazine you can buy from paperboys and girls on Dili streets.

It costs 24,000 rupiah ($A6.25) per photocopied issue to make. The magazine sells for an eighth of that: 3000 rupiah, of which 500 rupiah goes to the street seller. That leaves just 2500 rupiah, or 65 cents a copy, to come back to its publishers, an exercise that represents a loss of $5.60 per issue.

It's the kind of economics unlikely to attract the Rupert Murdochs of this world. And still, the journalists' collective that produces the magazine - the Kdadalak Media Group - has published six issues since January. They also produce a newspaper, Lanelok, another photocopied...

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Mon
24
Apr

JAPAN PRIME MINISTER MORI MAKES KICKOFF FOR PACIFIC ISLANDS GOODWILL RUGBY

MATCH

By Al Hulsen

MIYAZAKI, Japan (April 25, 2000 – PIDP/CPIS)---At a goodwill Japan-Pacific Islands rugby football match here Sunday, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori made the first kickoff.

The game was part of a daylong series of events arranged by Miyazaki prefecture and city officials in honor of Pacific Island presidents and prime ministers who participated in Saturday’s PALM 2000 summit between Japan and the members of the 16-nation South Pacific Forum.

Mori, wearing the uniform of the Japanese national team and a former rugby player himself, kicked the ball past the ten-meter line. It was caught be a Pacific Island player from Samoa.

The Pacific team included athletes from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and New Zealand.

Japan defeated the Pacific team 31-24 before a crowd of about 11,000 at the Miyazaki Prefecture Stadium.

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Mon
24
Apr
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RMI’S NEW TUNE IS MUSIC TO U.S.

RMI’S NEW TUNE IS MUSIC TO U.S.

Majuro, Marshall Islands (April 14, 2000 – Marshall Islands Journal)—The new RMI government’s reform message is "music to the ears of the U.S. Congress," said a top State Department official in Majuro.

Emil Skodon, who directs the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs office in Washington, said the U.S. government "wants to accelerate cooperation with this government."

The agreements to revive annual economic talks next month—talks that haven’t been held since 1997—and the improvements in U.S. processing of required work permits are "indicative that both governments are willing to roll up their sleeves and address issues that are on people’s minds," Skodon said.

"It's a breakthrough in our relations with the U.S.," said Foreign Minister Alvin Jacklick of U.S. agreement to change immigration provisions that have been a major complaint of the RMI for more than two years.

Jacklick, who headed a delegation...

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Mon
24
Apr
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TUNA TREATY NEAR AFTER ISLE FORUM

By Mary Adamski

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (April 20, 2000 – Honolulu Star-Bulletin)---There's no shortage yet of the four tuna species that migrate throughout the Pacific, and an international pact aims to perpetuate that bountiful harvest even if it means fishing quotas and closed seasons on the high seas.

Delegates from 28 Pacific countries yesterday concluded a weeklong conference on fishing at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Meetings have been under way for six years to hammer out a treaty that would establish a commission to oversee management and conservation of the resources in the $1.7 billion Pacific tuna industry.

The proposed commission is envisioned as the agency by which the fishing nations would set standards to ensure that "the capacity and fishing effort ... do not outstrip the numbers of fish," said Tucker Scully, director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Ocean Affairs.

"We have a framework in place; there is some fine tuning to be...

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Mon
24
Apr
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AMERICAN SAMOA CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION ON CYBERSPACE

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa---American Samoa's Centennial Celebration at the Veterans Memorial Stadium last week was carried live around the world via cyberspace.

KSBS-FM, Samoa's first FM radio station, broadcasted its live coverage of the events on its Website, www.ksbsfm.com.

Owned by Samoa Technology, the station's studios are located in the village of Fagaalu, across from the Fagaalu Park.

Coverage of the Flag Day events were in Samoan and English. The station said their Website was prompted by requests from Samoans overseas for timely news about the territory.

There is also a big demand of daily local news of American Samoa. However, the station does not carry local news, only national news by the Associated Press, National Public Radio, CNN Radio News, and Radio New Zealand International.

The station said the Web site may make it possible to broadcast programs that was dropped by...

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