Archive - April 2002

Tue
30
Apr
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PORT MORESBY’S JACKSON’S AIR TERMINAL UNSAFE

PORT MORESBY’S JACKSON’S AIR TERMINAL UNSAFE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 30, 2002 – Post-Courier)---Security at Jackson’s Airport’s international terminal in Port Moresby was found wanting last Friday, as an outbound passenger became a mugging victim inside the departure area.

It was only after the victim screamed for help that guards came running -- only to find that the assailant had escaped over the airport perimeter fence.

The victim — a young Australian woman — was returning from the rest rooms when a man approached and tried to snatch her handbag. In the ensuing struggle the assailant punched the young woman in the face and tore her blouse before fleeing.

Civil Aviation guards were again not present when a planeload of Japanese tourists arrived from Narita on Sunday.

Both incidents have incensed CAA director Miria Ume, who had ordered a security brief on the incidents to be delivered to him before close of business yesterday....

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Tue
30
Apr
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SOUTH PACIFIC WHALE HAVEN BID SEEMS DOOMED

By Shane Green Japan Correspondent

TOKYO, Japan (April 30 2002 - The Age)---The prospects for a South Pacific whale sanctuary seem slim, with conservationists believing Japan has secured enough support to defeat the proposal.

Australia and New Zealand are making a renewed attempt to win support for the sanctuary from the International Whaling Commission, which has just begun its month-long annual meeting in the old Japanese whaling port of Shimonoseki.

But the conservation group Greenpeace Australia said yesterday that Japan appeared to have won enough support to defeat the proposal, by buying the votes of IWC member states.

"The outlook's pretty bleak," Greenpeace oceans campaigner Vanessa Atkinson said yesterday.

"The Japanese Fisheries Agency has been really aggressive with its vote-buying initiative, and now it's starting to reap the rewards of that. We're seeing increasing reports from Japan of bureaucrats from the Fisheries Agency saying...

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Tue
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Apr
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AMERICAN SAMOA HIGH COURT'S DAEWOOSA "OPINION AND ORDER" ISSUED

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2002 – Samoa News)---The High Court of American Samoa, in a 103 page "opinion and order" issued last week, found rampant minimum wage violations at Daewoosa Samoa and evidence that the company's foreign workers suffered harsh living conditions at the now closed garment factory.

Signed by Associate Justice Lyle Richmond and Chief Associate Judge Logoai Siaki, the court issued a judgment of $3.5 million against Daewoosa, its owner Kil Soo Lee and two Vietnamese government recruiting agencies.

Details of the judgment against the defendants were outlined in a story published by Samoa News on April 18, 2002.

[SEE: http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2002/April/04-19-up1.htm]

The two Vietnamese agencies, International Manpower Supply (IMS) and Tourism Company 12 (TC12) recruited more than 250 Vietnamese workers,...

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Tue
30
Apr
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GOVERNMENT BY THE GUN:

BOOK REVIEW

April 23, 2002

THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FIJI'S 2000 COUP

William Sutherland and Robbie Robertson: "Government by the Gun – the unfinished business of Fiji’s 2000 coup" (Pluto Press, Leichhardt, 2001)

By Nic Maclellan

On November 2, 2000, I was returning home to Fiji after traveling overseas. Out of the blue, a phone call at the airport warned me that there was shooting at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks -- headquarters for the Fiji Military Forces in the capital, Suva. The quickest trip into town from Nausori airport runs past the barracks, but in true Fiji style, the taxi driver told me: "No worries!"

As we neared the barracks, however, and saw men armed with M-16 rifles blocking the road, we decided discretion was the better part of valor. A quick U-turn and we took the back road in to town. Just another little drama in the weeks after the seizure of Parliament by George Speight and soldiers of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare...

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Apr
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NORTHERN MARIANAS COLLEGE GRADUATING FIRST LOCALLY-TRAINED TEACHERS

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The first group of locally trained teachers will graduate next month from Northern Marianas College.

Acting College President Barbara Moir said 28 students are about to successfully complete a bachelor of science in elementary education degree.

She said it's the realization of one of the college's goals -- to have Northern Marianas teachers earn their degrees without leaving the islands.

The director of the School of Education at Northern Marianas College, Sallie Sablan, said the students -- who will graduate on May 25 -- have been swamped with offers to teach at local public schools.

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

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Mon
29
Apr

THREE KOPASSUS OFFICERS ACCUSED OF THEYS’ MURDER IN PAPUA: BRIGADIER

GENERAL HENDARDJI

By Tiarma Siboro

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 27, 2002 - The Jakarta Post/Kabar-Irian)---A high-ranking military officer said on Friday that three officers of the Army's Special Force (Kopassus) had been accused of violating Article 338 of the Criminal Code for killing Papuan leader Theys Hiyo Eluay last year.

Deputy chief of the National Military Police Brig. Gen. Hendardji also underlined that the three were guilty of insubordination, considering that "there had never been any order from their superiors to kill Theys."

He further said that Aristoteles Masoka -- Theys' driver and the only known key witness -- was presumed dead.

"The ongoing investigation into the three Kopassus officers has at least revealed that they killed Theys without any order from their superiors. They are guilty of violating Article 338 on homicide.

"Nevertheless, during the investigation we also concluded that there will be more military officers...

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Mon
29
Apr

PACIFIC DRUG RING SMASHED, SAY POLICE

HONOLULU, Hawaii (April 26, 2002 - Sydney Morning Herald/AP)---Forty people have been arrested in the break-up of a major drug distribution ring that operated in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji, US authorities said today.

Most of those arrested are Hawai‘i residents and many are Tongan nationals, according to Daniel Dzwilewski, head of the Honolulu FBI office.

The arrests were made yesterday on warrants after a federal grand jury returned indictments, he said. Some were scheduled for initial court appearances later today.

A total of US$ 350,000 in cash, 1.35 kilograms of cocaine and 0.45 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were seized during the arrests, Dzwilewski said.

Another US$ 250,000 in cash and 3.15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were seized earlier in the 16-month investigation by various federal agencies and Maui and Honolulu police, he said.

The drugs have a street value of millions of dollars, the FBI...

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Mon
29
Apr

GUAM SCHOOLS ESCAPE QUAKE DAMAGE

By Odessa McCarty

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 29, 2002 – Pacific Daily News)---Public schools will be open today, because the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rattled the island early Saturday morning left most schools with no major damage.

The earthquake, which caused an island wide power outage, damaged buildings and broke water pipes, jolted residents out of bed at 2:06 a.m. Saturday.

Power to most areas was restored by Saturday evening, according to the Guam Power Authority.

Emergency response agencies and building engineers and inspectors are still assessing damage from the earthquake, said Leo Espia, earthquake and tsunami program manager for the Office of Civil Defense.

The epicenter of Saturday's quake was 30 miles southwest of Hagåtña and 47.5 miles deep, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report from Civil Defense.

The quake Saturday eclipsed the 7.0-magnitude temblor that shook Guam Oct. 13 and was the strongest to hit the island...

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Mon
29
Apr

TONGASAT NOW OPERATES ITS OWN SATELLITE

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (April 28, 2002 - Radio and TV Tonga/PINA Nius Online)---Tongasat, the Friendly Islands Satellite Communication Company of Tonga, has entered a new era with its first satellite named and in position.

King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV named the telecommunication satellite the ‘Esiafi-One, or Star Trail.

It is positioned in one of Tonga's nine orbital slots.

A marketing team from Tongasat is busy finalizing agreements on its use with interested companies in Africa, Europe and Asia.

According to Sione Kite, managing director of Tongasat, even though ‘Esiafi-One is secondhand it can remain operational for about 10 years.

He said the company and Tonga as a whole will benefit financially.

Tongasat expects to pay off the full price of about US$ 7 million within about four years.

Mr. Kite said Tongasat has paid about 30 million Pa‘anga (US$ 14,038,372) to the government since it was set up about 12 years ago to operate Tonga's...

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Mon
29
Apr
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TAIWAN ASKS FOR NORTHERN MARIANAS SUPPORT IN WHO BID

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 2002 - Saipan Tribune/PINA Nius Online)---The Taiwan government has asked the Northern Marianas legislature to support Taiwan’s bid for observer status in the World Health Organization.

Speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider said he has already referred the matter to the House Committee on U.S. and Foreign Affairs for the drafting of a resolution in support of this request.

When asked to relate this to China’s claim that Taiwan is a renegade island province and cannot be recognized by other countries as a separate state, Representative William Torres said this issue transcends politics.

"This issue deals with health, which is of great importance in the region," said Representative Torres, who chairs the U.S. and foreign affairs committee.

His comments come in the wake of a resolution passed by the U.S. Congress that supports Taiwan¹s observer status. It said Taiwan’s achievements in the field of health are substantial...

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