Archive - April 2002

Tue
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Apr
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USP PLANS LIVELY MEDIA FREEDOM DAY DEBATES, ACTIVITIES

By Staff Reporters

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 29, 2002 - Wansolwara Online-USP Journalism/Pacific Media Watch)---The University of the South Pacific journalism program plans a lively day of debates and activities on World Media Freedom Day on Friday, May 3.

Here is the program:

9:00 am-9:45 am: Open day print, radio and video presentations in Newsroom and labs, H301A, Humanities Building, by student journalists

9:45 am-10:00 am: Cultural performance, introduced by Jackie Crenshaw, Journalism Students Association (JSA)

10:00 am-11:00 am: Fiji Human Rights Commission director Dr. Shaista Shameem: Keynote Address: "Human rights and the Media: The Challenge for a Genuinely Free Press in the Pacific." Lecture Theatre H101, Humanities Building (basement, near Journalism). Response: Debbie Singh, freelance journalist and regional media consultant. Facilitator: Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate, Head of the School of Humanities.

11:00 am-12:00 noon: Panel of...

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Tue
30
Apr
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FRANCE CALLS FOR MORE ACADEMIC EXCHANGES IN PACIFIC

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The French government says there should be more academic exchanges between the Suva-based regional University of the South Pacific and universities in the French Pacific territories.

French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Vidon made the comment while presenting US$ 190,435 in financial support to USP in Suva.

The funds will be used to pursue a number of collaborative research projects as well as improve the university’s physical facilities.

The French financial support for USP for 2002 includes postgraduate scholarships, training and visits to French research centers and universities.

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

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Apr
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MEASLES VACCINE RUNS OUT IN MT. HAGEN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

By James Apa Gumuno

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 29, 2002 – The National)---Measles vaccine has run out at the Mt. Hagen Public Hospital in Western Highlands province.

Mothers who took their children to the hospital on Friday for measles vaccinations had to be turned away, according to staff at the hospital.

Nursing sisters told mothers at the Mother and Child clinic that there was no more measles vaccines left.

A nurse, who did not want to be named, said the large number of children visiting the hospital daily had caused the measles vaccines to run out.

She said although they were not sure when new supplies would arrive, they told the disappointed mothers to take in their children this week.

Chief Executive Officer Dr. James Kintwa said since the measles outbreak, which has claimed at least 40 lives so far, they had discovered that many children in the province were not vaccinated after they were born.

Dr. Kintwa said many...

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Apr
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PACIFIC EDUCATION ISSUES "OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLE": THAMAN

By Shivanjani Naidu and Shoma Prasad

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 2002 - Wansolwara Online – USP Journalism/Pasifik Nius)---Education strategies highlighted at a three-day regional meeting at the University of the South Pacific were Friday described as "old wine in a new bottle" by Professor Konai Thaman.

Delivering the closing address at the Institute of Education (IOE) advisory seminar and donors' meeting at the Laucala campus, Prof. Thaman said the steps being taken for basic education now were the same as two decades ago.

"I thought of old wine in a new bottle as the main issue that concerns education," she said.

Some of the key conclusions were:

CONCERNS about the management of education raised at this meeting were the same as in the 1970-80 period, highlighting the need to learn from past mistakes;

ACQUIRING and using own experts when dealing with Pacific education, creating flexible projects based on needs of individual countries;...

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Apr
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AUSTRALIA FUNDS NEW VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM FOR FEDERATED STATES OF

MICRONESIA

PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Australia is funding a new national computerized voter registration system for the Federated States of Micronesia.

The approximately US$ 200,000 system is being provided by AusAID and will be installed by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The project was announced in the State of Pohnpei last week by Australian MP Neil Andrew, who is the Speaker of Australia's lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives.

A statement said the Australian-designed electronic voter registration system was tested in Pohnpei last year, prompting the three remaining FSM states -- Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap -- to request a national installation.

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

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TUVALU CALLS FOR EDUCATION FORUM AFTER POOR EXAM RESULTS

By Tataua Pese

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 27, 2002 - Wansolwara Online-USP Journalism/Pasifik Nius)---Tuvalu's Department of Education has called for a national education forum before the end of the year following concerns over poor secondary school examination results.

This was disclosed at the Institute of Education advisory seminar and donors meeting at the University of the South Pacific, which ended Friday.

Representing Tuvalu was the head teacher in Funafuti Primary School, Mrs. Temukisa Hauma.

She said that in spite of donor assistance and the "valiant" support by the Tuvalu government for the Education for Life (EFL) initiative, there was general public dissatisfaction with the quality of education.

Poor secondary school results in external examinations at the end of 2001 only heightened concerns.

It had become a priority issue because, given Tuvalu's lack of a viable economic base, the proper development of its human resources was...

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Apr
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CALL TO IMPROVE TOURISM STANDARDS IN COOK ISLANDS

By Cameron Scott

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (April 24, 2002 -- Cook Islands News)---If the Cook Islands' tourism industry is to survive, the government will have to encourage operators to improve the standard of what they offer visitors.

That's according to Rarotongan Beach Resort managing director Tata Crocombe, who says the government must also raise the minimum wage and encourage operators to provide on-the-job-training -- perhaps by providing tax breaks for companies that put a percentage of turnover back into training.

Crocombe was commenting yesterday on a letter written to the editor of Cook Islands News by Australian hospitality tutor Rohan de Silva.

De Silva claimed one of the reasons so many young people trained in the hospitality industry here leave the country for "greener pastures" overseas is that wages here are too low.

He accused some properties of "raking in profits" but putting back very little into refurbishing, stock...

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MILITARY OFFICERS QUIZZED ABOUT ELUAY MURDER IN PAPUA

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 29, 2002 – The Australian)---Indonesia's military police have begun questioning three officers of an elite army unit charged with last year's murder of Papuan independence leader Theys Hiyo Eluay, a lawyer said.

"The questioning has already begun at the headquarters of the military police and Ruhut Sitompul and friends are accompanying the three in their questioning," lawyer Hotma Sitompul said.

Both Hotma and Ruhut Sitompul are members of the team of defense lawyers for the three soldiers from the Kopassus command.

Hotma, speaking by telephone from Bangkok, would not name the three suspects, saying only that they were all officers.

Later today an independent national commission probing Eluay's death is scheduled to hand over its report to President Megawati Sukarnopturi, an agenda from her secretariat showed.

Military police, who have said the three would be accused of insubordination because there had never been any...

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NEW ZEALAND REJECTS APOLOGY FOR PAST COLONIALISM IN SAMOA

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---New Zealand's Foreign Minister Phil Goff says any apologies offered to Samoa for past errors, as a colonial master, should be weighed against works the New Zealand government has done more recently.

Mr. Goff was reacting to a call from a Samoan historian for New Zealand to apologize for the influenza epidemic in Samoa in 1918 and for the deaths of eight Samoan demonstrators shot dead in 1929.

The call has been backed by New Zealand Opposition MP Anae Arthur Anae, who believes New Zealand should do more than say sorry and look at practical ways to assist Samoa in areas of health, such as kidney dialysis treatment.

Mr. Goff says any apology is unlikely for the period before 1930.

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

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SOLOMON ISLANDS GOVERNMENT’S PHARMACEUTICAL DEBT HIGH

SOLOMON ISLANDS GOVERNMENT’S PHARMACEUTICAL DEBT HIGH

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 27, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The Solomon Islands government’s debt to three pharmaceutical companies overseas remains at about US$ 1 million.

And medical pharmacy director Anna Chow has confirmed that the debt keeps increasing because some companies are adding up to 24 percent interest on some debts.

She said most of the debts go back to 1999 - 2000.

Current medical supplies have been paid for, she said, but it takes time to bring them into the country because of transshipment delays, causing shortages of medical supplies in some clinics and hospitals.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation announced that a new stock of medical supplies was scheduled to arrive in Honiara Friday.

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

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