Archive - April 2001

Thu
26
Apr
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SCHOOL CHILDREN CLEAN UP POHNPEI DURING EARTHWEEK

KOLONIA, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (April 24, 2001 - Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat)---Earthweek celebrations, which kicked off last weekend around the Pacific, have been taken up with enthusiasm by Pohnpei’s schoolchildren.

Earthweek activities organizer Henry Susaia said all students are taking part in an island-wide cleanup campaign.

"We’re trying to get the local government and community to pick up the trash along the roadside," he said.

Students also will broadcast their Earthweek essays on nationwide radio.

And community leaders will deliver speeches on the importance of keeping Pohnpei, one of the four FSM states, clean.

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

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Thu
26
Apr
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CONCERN OVER U.S. DELAY IN APPROVING BOLE AMBASSADORIAL APPOINTMENT

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 22, 2001 – FijiLive)---The Fiji government has questioned why it is taking so long for the United States to approve its ambassadorial appointment.

Senior politician Filipe Bole was nominated to be Fiji's ambassador to Washington four weeks ago.

Jioji Kotobalavu, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, told the Fiji Times it was possible the United States was deliberately delaying the appointment.

"One wonders why it is taking so long," Kotobalavu said. "If it is a case of deliberately withholding consent, then we may have to reciprocate. Their man (Osman) Siddique will not be here forever. We will wait patiently, but there will come a time when it is either or."

Bole is also eyeing the August elections and is likely to stand for the SVT [Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei] in Suva.

The senior politician was nominated by the Fiji government after it became clear very few others would pass the stringent...

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Thu
26
Apr
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THREE ILLEGAL CHINESE IMMIGRANTS WHO SWAM ASHORE TO GUAM CAPTURED, OTHERS

MISSING

By Dionesis Tamondong

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 26, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---Authorities continue to look for five of eight Chinese men who swam to shore after jumping from a Taiwanese fishing vessel they allegedly hijacked.

Immigration officials have detained three suspected illegal immigrants who were captured before dawn yesterday. They have been jailed at the Department of Corrections, said David Johnston, officer-in-charge at the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The boat's crew, believed to be from China, allegedly shackled the ship's captain, chief engineer and first mate and took control of the 130-foot ship before heading toward the coast along Oka Point in Tamuning, said Lt. Lee Putnam, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.

Yesterday's incident was the latest in a recent series of suspected illegal Chinese immigrants jumping off ships along the island's coastline and swimming to shore.

All eight men successfully swam to shore...

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Thu
26
Apr
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VOTER REGISTRATION UNDER WAY IN FIJI

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 24, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Voter registration has begun for the national elections in late August.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that despite appeals from the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, for a show of indigenous Fijian unity at the polls the prospect at this stage is for even worse fragmentation than in 1999, which delivered the government to Mahendra Chaudhry.

"Following the Court of Appeal decision restoring the multi-racial 1997 Constitution, the coming elections will be held under the same rules as 1999.

"In theory, the indigenous Fijians, who make up fifty-two percent of the population, should win more than half the seats. But it's a complex system that includes some exclusively communal seats and preferential voting - something Mr. Chaudhry mastered better than anyone else last time.

"Instead of coalescing, new Fijian parties are springing up all over the country and the longer established ones,...

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Thu
26
Apr
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PNG’S GANARAFO INSTRUCTED NOT TO SIGN FISH DEAL ORCHESTRATED BY U.S.LOBBY

PNG’S GANARAFO INSTRUCTED NOT TO SIGN FISH DEAL ORCHESTRATED BY U.S. LOBBY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 25, 2001 – The National)---Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta confirmed yesterday that Fisheries Minister Ron Ganarafo, currently attending a Forum Fisheries Agency meeting in New Zealand, has been instructed not to sign any fishing deal orchestrated by the powerful American fishing lobby.

Sir Mekere was referring to pressure being exerted at certain quarters by the U.S. Tuna Foundation for PNG to sign a "Letter of Agreement" so that a current tuna fishing agreement is altered to favor a Foundation member, StarKist of Guam, and its PNG partner Angco, to access funds to build the tuna loining plant in Wewak, East Sepik province.

The Prime Minister said he became aware of the issue only "a few days ago" and had issued the relevant instructions to Mr. Ganarafo.

"Fees paid by companies fishing in our waters belong to the State and it's very simple...

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Thu
26
Apr
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3,200 AFFECTED BY FRENCH POLYNESIA DENGUE EPIDEMIC: OFFICIAL ESTIMATE

PAPE'ETE, French Polynesia (April 25, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---An estimated 3,200 persons have been affected by the type 1 dengue fever epidemic which started in January, the health department reported Tuesday in its latest update.

The mosquito-borne epidemic has mainly hit the Leeward Islands group (including Bora Bora), the main island of Tahiti (including the capital of Pape'ete) and neighboring Moorea.

The local health department and the French research institute Malardé are jointly monitoring the epidemic’s progress.

Earlier this month, authorities said although there were 202 confirmed dengue cases, but they feared the number since January could be much higher.

Monitoring authorities explain what is perceived as a slowing down of the epidemic could be explained by the current drought, which has reduced the number of adult mosquitoes.

"But the eggs are still there . . .and it could only take a few rainfalls to revive their development,"...

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Thu
26
Apr
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FIJI POLICE INVESTIGATE THE CASE OF RABUKA'S CAR

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 25, 2001 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---Fiji police have given conflicting reports on the facts surrounding an accident involving former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka's private car and a reluctance to reveal the identity of the woman driver.

The white Mercedes crashed into the front gates of Government House on Suva's Queen Elizabeth Drive at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Traffic officer Inspector Malea Sadal has admitted there were irregularities in the way the case was handled. He said an internal investigation was being conducted to find out why the woman driver was not charged.

Inspector Sadal said there would also be an investigation into why the vehicle was released hours after it was impounded at the Central Police Station.

He said he did not know why the driver was not charged.

"I don't know who called in the Land Transport Authority to examine the car and release it," he also said.

"But we are going to...

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Thu
26
Apr
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CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD SECURES REFUGEE AID

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE April 25, 2001

FOR MYANMAR NATIONALS IN GUAM

Congressman Robert A. Underwood today announced that officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement will soon arrive in Guam to assist the Chin Christians who fled Myanmar earlier this year. The team may also be providing assistance to those Chinese immigrants seeking political asylum.

"Since March, we have been in discussion with HHS, primarily the people in the Office of Refugee Resettlement," Congressman Underwood said. "We asked that they send out a team to Guam to provide assistance and they've complied with that request."

The team, which will include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, will arrive in a few days to begin refugee processing, to assist those immigrants who wish to travel on into the...

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Thu
26
Apr
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FIJIAN INDIGENOUS BLUEPRINT WILL ONLY WORK THROUGH DEDICATION, SAYS PM QARASE

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 25, 2001 - Fiji's Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Affirmative action supporting indigenous Fijians will be useless unless Fijians match it with commitment and effort, caretaker Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase warned.

Mr. Qarase, the main architect behind the controversial Blueprint for Fijians, was speaking at the opening of the new Crest Chicken processing plant at Colo-i-Suva.

Mr. Qarase's plan is among steps proposed by his then interim administration following last year's overthrow of the government of Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and unrest among indigenous Fijians.

Mr. Qarase said the indigenous Fijians have everything to become successful in business, especially in the agricultural sector.

"How long will it take for more rural Fijians to become successful commercial farmers?" Mr. Qarase asked.

He said Fijians had the land and manpower and with government's help, advice and finance...

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Thu
26
Apr
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REBELS RETURNING TO IRIAN JAYA FROM PNG TO SURRENDER FIREARMS

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 24, 2001 – Indonesia Observer/Antara/Kabar-Irian)---Jayawijaya Regent David Hubi pointed out yesterday in Jayapura, Irian Jaya, that should members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) come back from Papua New Guinea (PNG), they will have to surrender their firearms before they can have the right to live with other citizens.

"Submission of firearms used to attack civilians is necessarily important to show us that they have the good will to live peacefully with other people," Hubi was quoted as saying by Antara in Jayawijaya yesterday.

The local government is actively pursuing efforts to secure the repatriation of OPM members.

The main leader of OPM is Paulus Kaladana, and about 100 of his members already have submitted their firearms to the regent. Now they live peacefully with other residents.

Kaladana still is in charge of about 300 other OPM members who live in Yapsi, PNG now. He has contacted the local government to allocate a...

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