Archive - April 2001

Tue
24
Apr
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PAGO PAGO AIRPORT PROBLEMS MAY SEND FLIGHTS TO NADI, APIA

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 23, 2001 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---A partially shutdown of the instrumental landing system (ILS) at Pago Pago International Airport is prompting two airlines to consider diverting their regular landings to other airports.

The partial shutdown is due to a runway extension construction project now under way.

Federal Aviation Administration¹s (FAA) local resident director Smitty Lutu said the airport and the major commercial airlines using the landing system were informed in advance of the partial shutdown.

But U.S.-based cargo carrier Evergreen International is now complaining about the actions taken. Evergreen is threatening to divert its twice-a-week cargo flights to Fiji, whereas Hawaiian Airlines has said it might divert to Apia's Faleolo Airport during bad weather.

Jason Pritchard of Samoa Air, the airport-agent for Evergreen, said the air cargo company has shown concern over the partial shutdown of the ILS...

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Tue
24
Apr
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TRIKORA MILITARY COMMAND DEPLOYS THREE BATTALIONS TO GUARD IRIAN JAYA-PNG

BORDER

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 21, 2001 – The Jakarta Post/Kabar-Irian)---The Trikora Military Command overseeing Irian Jaya province has deployed three military battalions to safeguard the border of Indonesia-Papua New Guinea (PNG), official said Saturday.

Trikora military commander Maj. Gen. Mahidin Simbolon said that the three battalions are coming from outside Irian Jaya and are being dispatched as part of the ongoing 'Security Border Operation.'

"Actually, the number of troops dispatched along the border is very small as the coverage area stretches about 740 kilometers (444 miles), passing through the three regencies of Jayapura, Jayawijaya and Merauke," General Mahidin said after installing the new commander, Col. Bambang Sumarno. He replaces Col. Ginting Munthe.

The troops are assigned to guard and monitor the restive areas and villages in a bid to curb possible violence along the border.

On the separatist rebel movement, the general said...

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Tue
24
Apr
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SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION TO STUDY FIJI’S MARINE BIODIVERSITY

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 21, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---Collecting data on the biodiversity and status of coral reefs will be the focus of a scientific expedition in Fiji waters beginning today, the environment organization WWF said.

The expedition is a collaboration between WWF and Nai‘a Cruises Fiji. It has been made possible through the generosity of the Packard and MacArthur Foundations and their commitment to conservation efforts in the Western Pacific, WWF said.

Sangeeta Mangubhai, WWF¹s regional marine coordinator, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to collect good scientific data on the biodiversity and state of our coral reefs in Fiji. The information will be invaluable for the government in its efforts to protect our country’s biodiversity, scientists studying reefs in the Pacific, to conservation groups and in particular the communities who own these invaluable resources.

"This trip will also be a good example of how collaboration can be forged...

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Tue
24
Apr
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OVER 300 TEACHERS HAVE LEFT FIJI SINCE THE COUP

By Imran Ali

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 23, 2001 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---More than 300 teachers have emigrated since the political crisis last year in which the government of Mahendra Chaudhry was ousted.

Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary Agni Deo Singh said the qualified teachers are being replaced by graduates from the university who need time before being able to perform as well as their predecessors.

"Teachers holding senior positions, especially heads of departments, are the ones who are leaving our shores in large numbers," Mr. Singh said.

In the official Fiji Gazette on April 12, the Public Service Commission disclosed that the appointment of 130 teachers to the position of head teacher and assistant head teacher will take effect from the start of the year.

Fiji has been hit by a continuing "brain drain" since the unrest and violence of last May.

Mr. Singh said the education sector would face a serious problem of...

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Tue
24
Apr
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DRUGS FOUND IN COOK ISLANDS SCHOOLS

By Nanette Woonton

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (April 21, 2001 - Cook Islands Herald/PINA Nius Online)---Drug dealers preying on young schoolchildren on school grounds was once little more than a movie plot. But it now appears to be happening right here in our own Cook Islands backyard.

The police have reported that secondary school students have been discovered in possession of cannabis while on school grounds.

Police Commissioner Pira Wichman also confirmed that there have been allegations made that students as young as Form One and Two have been in possession of cannabis while at school.

"They are young people and we find it very disturbing that young children are suspected of bringing drugs to school," said Wichman.

"Some of the information we have received has come from school friends, parents and neighbors. We are grateful that these people are finally coming forward so we can do something about it."

Wichman said that experiences...

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Tue
24
Apr
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NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST REVEALS

PEOPLE’S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI Suva, Fiji Islands

MEWS RELEASE April 24, 2001

NAMES OF POSSIBLE FIJI COUP PLOTTERS

The Daily Post’s Acting Editor Mesake Koroi has named Sitiveni Rabuka, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Apisai Tora, Ratu Osea Gavidi, Adi Litia Cakobau, Ratu Epeli Kanaimawi, Ratu Talemo Ratakele and Jim Ah Koy as persons who are associated with the attempted coups of last year.

He stated in his column yesterday:

"Now don’t get me wrong. I am not at all suggesting that these men and woman were the instigators of George Speight’s coup that toppled [Chaudhry’s] Coalition government. Let me make it very clear at the outset, I am not at all saying that. What I am simply saying is that in almost all the discussions around the tanoa that my guru Daucina and I have attended, these names keep cropping up in the course of conversations regarding the coup and politics in general.

"But of course there is no concrete evidence at all to support...

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Tue
24
Apr
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MARSHALL ISLANDS NITIJELA UNPRODUCTIVE

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (April 19, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The current session of the Nitijela is one of the most unproductive sessions in the legislature’s history.

After meeting for nearly half of its 50 annual sitting days, not one of the 13 bills introduced this session has passed third reading. The only bill to be passed into law this session is legislation introduced during the August 200 Session – the maritime law (bill 34).

In fact, though the Nitijela kicked off its session the day after New Year’s, a motion of no confidence in its second week halted activity for five days, and after the motion was defeated the Nitijela recessed until February.

The first piece of legislation wasn’t introduced until mid February.

The majority of the bills this session have been introduced since March 15.

Similarly, of the 14 resolutions introduced, none have been adopted. Eleven of the 14 were introduced starting a week ago Monday.

The...

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Tue
24
Apr
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PACIFIC'S BEST: AIR NEW ZEALAND WINS THE AWARD AT PATA TRAVEL MART

SINGAPORE (April 23, 2001 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---Air New Zealand, during the TTG Travel Awards 2001 ceremony, was voted "Best Pacific Airline" flying Asia-Pacific routes. It won over all other Pacific region-based carriers for the fourth consecutive year.

The awards ceremony was held at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart Gala Dinner at Alkaff Mansion, Singapore.

The annual awards presentation, organized by TTG Asia, recognizes the most outstanding organizations and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region’s travel industry.

Thirty-five awards were presented in various categories, including airlines, hotels, car rental, airports, cruise operators, theme attractions and more.

Readers of TTG Asia and TTG China, who span the entire spectrum of the travel industry in Asia, vote in each category.

Asia’s travel trade industry found Air New Zealand to be the most outstanding Pacific-based carrier operating Asia-Pacific...

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Tue
24
Apr
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WEST PAPUANS QUESTIONED BY PAPUA NEW GUINEA OFFICERS

By Firmin Nanol

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 22, 2001 – NAU-FM/Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea Border Liaison Officers and police are questioning 26 West Papuan border crossers who came into Vanimo over the Easter weekend.

NAU-FM was told that police believe that the West Papuans could not have come by themselves. They believe that some Papua New Guinea citizens may have been involved in organizing boats for them to cross the border.

Police said in the past West Papuans crossed the border and said Indonesian soldiers were after their lives, but in actual fact they had committed crimes in West Papua and wanted to escape.

Earlier, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier reported authorities are investigating whether the new border crossers, who joined an earlier 420 at a camp near Vanimo, carried any weapons across.

"It is a concern that this new group came over without anyone knowing. We were only alerted of their arrival when...

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Tue
24
Apr
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PAPUAN PROPOSAL SEEKS WIDE-RANGING AUTONOMY

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 21, 2001 – The Jakarta Post)---As a compromise to the intense calls for independence, resource-rich Irian Jaya is offering to remain within Indonesia if it retains a bigger portion of its own wealth, an initiative bill submitted by the province suggests.

The bill, drafted by a 14-member team comprising officials of the local administration, councilors, non-governmental activists and pro-independence leaders in the province, also known as Papua, underscores an independent administration with a separate constitution and broad policy guidelines.

"The Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) and the Papuan People's Representatives (DPRP) determine and endorse the policy guidelines and constitution," the draft, a copy of which was made available to The Jakarta Post, proposes.

The separatist movement has been prominent in the easternmost province since a UN-administered plebiscite in 1969 ratified Indonesian sovereignty over the former Dutch colony....

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