Archive - April 2001

Fri
27
Apr
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SMALL ISLAND STATES STEP UP TO COMBAT GLOBAL WARMING

By Jennifer Sieg

UNITED NATIONS – (April 26, 2001 - Asia Times Online)---The 37-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has called for strong and credible action to tackle the international threat of climate change.

"We are least responsible for, but most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and so we find ourselves at the forefront in the fight against global warming," says AOSIS chairman Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni Slade of Samoa.

The Alliance says it is "profoundly concerned and disappointed" by the recent U.S. decision to reject the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which requires the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to prevent dangerous human interference with the earth's climate system.

"While all regions are likely to suffer, the scientific evidence has singled out small island communities as being the most vulnerable to climate change," it notes.

Ministers and delegates from half a dozen small island states - St. Lucia, Grenada...

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27
Apr
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FIRST BOOK ON CHAMORRO LANGUAGE USAGE

By Gemma Q. Casas

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 25, 2001 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---After studying the Chamorro language for 20 years, a linguist has written the first book ever about the correct usage of the Marianas language.

Professor Sandra Chung of the University of California presented the book to officials of the Board of Language Policy Commission and the Joeten Kiyu Public Library.

"My aim was always to write a book about the Chamorro language to be able to bring it to the attention of linguists in America and all over the world," Chung said.

Over the past 27 years since she first heard about the Chamorro people, Chung had received three grants from the National Science Foundation to help her in her historic effort.

"It’s a very complicated language and different from English. It really reveals something about the human language in general not just about the Chamorro people," she said.

"In my book, I discussed...

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27
Apr
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MISS SOUTH PACIFIC PAGEANT LIMITS CONTESTANTS

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2001 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---Only one contestant from each of the South Pacific island states and territories will be allowed to compete in the upcoming Miss South Pacific Pageant.

The decision was reached by the South Pacific Pageant board in a meeting held in Apia, Samoa.

Some island nations are criticizing the contest because Samoans dominate the pageant, making up more than half of the contestants vying for the regional title.

During the meeting, a tentative schedule of the 2001 Miss South Pacific Beauty Pageant was set. The event will take place at the end of October in Samoa.

Six islands have confirmed their participation in the 2001 pageant.

The board will meet again in September to finalize the planning for the pageant.

Among the issues raised in the meeting was the membership fee for each of the island states and territories that are board members. The board...

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Fri
27
Apr
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NEW SURVEY SUGGESTS ASIA-PACIFIC AIR TRAFFIC WILL SOAR

MELBOURNE, Australia (April 27, 2001 – Radio Australia)---A new survey suggests passenger air traffic in the Asia-Pacific region will grow an average of 4.8 percent a year by 2014, a figure above the projected world annual average of 4.3 percent.

The Air Transport Action Group says the number of passengers flying throughout the region will more than double from about 431 million in 1999 to 870 million in 2014.

Despite having to readjust previous forecasts following the Asian crisis of 1997, the industry group says it still believes the Asia-Pacific region will surpass growth in Europe or North America.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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AMERICAN SAMOA TO UN: DON'T CALL US A COLONY

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2001 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---American Samoa was not a prize of war or conquered and, therefore, should not be listed as a colony by the United Nations, said Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

Faleomavaega said that United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's request to the United States government to decolonize American Samoa is far fetched.

Congressman Faleomavaega, a ranking democrat on the U.S. House Committee on International Relations, will attend a United Nations seminar next month in Havana, Cuba, where he will speak against moves by the UN to label American Samoa as a U.S. colony.

Gov. Tauese Sunia also plans to attend the seminar.

The May 23-25 seminar will review political, economic and social conditions in the small island non-governing territories.

"I totally disagree with Annan and object to his statement," Congressman Faleomavaega said.

Annan's...

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27
Apr
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MARSHALL ISLANDS FINANCE MINISTER KONELIOS WANTS TO INVEST FUNDS

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (April 19, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---Finance Minister Mike Konelios wants to fully launch the RMI’s government trust fund by investing – rather than spending – most of the windfall in Compact money that becomes available in October.

Speaking at the Nitijela Tuesday morning, Konelios said he wants to see as much as $15 million in U.S. Compact funds invested into the inter-generational trust fund. In October, the RMI’s debt payments, currently about $20 million annually, will end, providing the government with a big financial boost in "untied" Compact funding.

Two requirements for establishing the trust fund are that a minimum of three international organizations or countries need to endorse the trust fund, and regulations for its operation must be passed by the Cabinet, Regulations are now with the Cabinet for review, the Finance Minister said.

Konelios said that he believes the international community is "waiting to see if we’...

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MYSTERY PIG DEATHS SHUT DOWN PNG GOLD MINE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 25, 2001 – Post-Courier)---The mysterious deaths of pigs has forced the temporary closure of Lihir gold mine in New Ireland Province.

Angry landowners say the pigs were poisoned by waste from the mine.

Landowners and the mining company are meeting to resolve the issue in an effort to reopen the mine.

Lihir’s managing director Alan Roberts said a preliminary report from the government veterinarian suggests the pigs were poisoned from lead acid batteries that were lying around the island.

The company is awaiting a full report from the investigation.

Roberts said the landowners used "gorgor," a traditional way of protest to shut the mine.

He said the plant is in operation despite the "annoying" disruption.

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

Provided by Vikki John (...

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DRUGS FOUND IN FIJI BISCUIT TIN

By Ofa Kaukimoce

SUVA, Fiji (April 27, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Police in Fiji are investigating the accidental discovery of almost three kilograms of cocaine in a tin of biscuits.

The cocaine, with an estimated value of AUD$300,000 (US$152,000), is believed to have been bound for Australia.

The discovery follows last year's seizure of a large quantity of high-grade heroin.

Police Commissioner Isikia Savua said the cocaine, which was discovered by a family during a meal, is part of a larger drug ring.

The biscuit tin was given to the family by a friend.

The identity of the family who handed the cocaine to the police is being withheld.

Commissioner Savua said they suspect that the drugs were destined for Australia with the help of some overseas traffickers.

He said Fiji police are working with the Australian Federal Police to uncover the culprits.

The incident reveals that Fiji is being used as a transit point for drug...

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27
Apr
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VANUATU’S SOPE ACCUSES AUSTRALIAN POLICE OF TAPPING PHONE

VANUATU’S SOPE ACCUSES AUSTRALIAN POLICE OF TAPPING PHONE

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (April 25, 2001 - Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat)---Former Prime Minister Barak Sope is accusing Australian police in Vanuatu of tapping his telephone.

Sope, who was toppled in a vote of no confidence earlier this month, said 10 Australian federal police are in the country to investigate drug smuggling.

"The drugs are just a camouflage," he said. "Why do you need 10 people to investigate this? We feel they’re here to tap telephones of important politicians."

Sope said this is an example of Australia interfering in Vanuatu's internal affairs.

"We decided to write a letter to the Australian High Commissioner to say there are still federal police in Vanuatu," he said.

He said there will be demonstrations if the police are not withdrawn within a week.

Meanwhile, the current Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, thanked the Australian government for assisting Vanuatu’s...

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27
Apr
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FIJI POLICE SEEKING COUP PERPETRATORS

By Ofa Kaukimoce

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Fiji police are seeking the help of their New Zealand counterparts to interview a former Fiji army officer who says he knows the names of the perpetrators of last year's coup.

Those perpetrators are still at large.

The former officer recently revealed in a local television interview that seven coup rebels are still in Fiji.

Police said they will not bring back the former Commander of the Third Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Villiame Seruvakula, from New Zealand to get the names of the coup perpetrators.

Inspector Waisea Tabakau, who is heading investigations into the coup, said they are considering working with the New Zealand police to interview the army officer who is now an instructor in the New Zealand army.

Seruvakula, who recently left Fiji, had prepared an intelligence report with the names of the alleged seven coup makers.

The report is...

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