Archive - April 2003

Fri
25
Apr
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REGIONAL OCEANS FORUM SET FOR FIJI

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 25) - A regional
Ocean Forum for Pacific Island Countries is to be held in Fiji in December to
help draw up a regional ocean policy.

The meeting follows an endorsement by Pacific Leaders in August
last year of the need to manage the region's ocean resources.

The Nadi Forum will include a symposium and workshops to
generate consultations between regional and national interests, governments and
civil society.

It will also provide a platform for new partners to assist
countries with the conservation and management of oceanic and coastal resources.

A working paper on the proposed forum says the Pacific Islands
Regional Ocean Policy presents a vision for a healthy Pacific Ocean that
sustains the livelihoods and aspirations of Pacific Island communities.

April 25, 2003

Radio Australia: http://abc.net.au/ra...

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Fri
25
Apr
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NEW CALEDONIA OBSERVES OUVEA HOSTAGE ANNIVERSARY

SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, April 24) - Authorities in New
Caledonia on Tuesday commemorated the 15th anniversary of the tragic hostage
crisis on Ouvéa Island which ended in a bloodbath on April 22, 1988, RFO’s
Télé-Nouvelle-Calédonie reports.

Both in the capital Nouméa and in other parts of the French
territory, ceremonies were held to commemorate the tragic event.

An "April 22 Committee," mainly consisting of serving
and retired French gendarmes, laid wreaths on memorials.

Warrant Officer Jean Coquet, who was among the hostages 15 years
ago, was representing the French gendarmes families at another ceremony on
Ouvéa Island.

In Nouméa, government member Pierre Maresca, Southern Province’s
Jean-Claude Briault and Nouméa Lord Mayor Jean Lèques also took part in a
ceremony. A church service was also held in Nouméa.

Fifteen years ago, as New Caledonia was facing the worst spate
of civil...

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Fri
25
Apr
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SAMOA CONSIDERS CHARGES IN FIRST "ICE" CASE

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 24) - The Attorney General’s
Office in Samoa says it is preparing to lay its first ever charge over the use
of amphetamine drugs.

Prosecutor Kristy Ruddock has argued for Joe Lafeale Faulkner to
continue to be held in custody while police prepare what would its first case
involving the drug popularly known as "ice."

However the court granted him bail, requesting that he surrender
all travel documents and report to police twice a week.

He had been held since Thursday on marijuana and gun possession
charges, but Ruddock said he was a flight risk and they wanted him held longer
while the amphetamine charge is investigated.

She says that police think the amphetamines were being sent to
New Zealand.

Faulkner’s lawyer, Toleafoa Solomona Toailoa, argued it could
take months to investigate the New Zealand link.

April 25, 2003

Radio New Zealand...

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Fri
25
Apr
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SOLOMONS GOVERNOR TO MEET WITH QUEEN ELIZABETH

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 25) - Solomon
Islands Governor General, Sir Father John Ini Lapli, will leave tomorrow for the
United Kingdom for his second audience with Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

A statement from Government House in Honiara says the Queen will
receive the Governor General and Lady Lapli at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday
next week.

April 25, 2003

Radio Australia: http://abc.net.au/ra

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Fri
25
Apr
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GUADALCANAL NATIVES URGED TO RISE AGAINST KEKE

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 24) - People of the
Weathercoast of Guadalcanal have been called on to rise against the reign of
terror by rebel leader, Harold Keke and dismantle his empire of criminals.

Dickson Usuritala of Sinarangu in east Kwaio, Malaita Province
says in light of alleged recent killings of nine people in the Weathercoast by
Keke, it is more appropriate now than ever for the public of Weathercoast to
work together and end his reign of terror.

Usuritala rejected recent claims by the Kuma village community
that the police in the area have not been doing enough to capture Keke and his
followers and bring them to justice.

Usuritala points out that it would be wrong for communities in
the Weathercoast to put the responsibility of capturing Keke entirely on the
Police.

He said the responsibility of getting rid of Keke lies squarely
on everybody.

April 25, 2003

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Fri
25
Apr
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ANZAC DAY CELEBRATED IN NEW CALEDONIA

SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, April 25) - New Zealand Frigate HMAS
Canterbury and an Australian patrol boat, the HMAS Gowler, are in New Caledonia
on a goodwill visit to take part in the celebrations of the ANZAC Day on Friday,
RFO's Télé-Nouvelle-Calédonie reports.

ANZAC Day commemorates the participation of Australian and New
Zealand troops in the First World War.

In New Caledonia, ceremonies also serve to mark the 60th
anniversary of New Zealand military presence there, during the Second World War.

New Zealand's Associate Minister for Economic Development,
Industry, Regional Development and Tourism, Hon Dover Samuels, is also attending
the celebrations in Nouméa on Friday.

April 25, 2003

Radio Australia: http://abc.net.au/ra

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Fri
25
Apr
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VIETNAMESE REFUGEES TURN BACK FROM AUSTRALIA

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 25) - Most of the
31 Vietnamese boat people who were believed to be headed for Australia before
their boat broke down have agreed to go home.

The would-be asylum seekers have been interviewed on an island
near Singapore by members of the International Organization for Migration.

A spokesman for the Australian Immigration Minister, Philip
Ruddock says all but 10 of the Vietnamese nationals have agreed to turn back.

He says it will be up to the International Organization for
Migration to decide what happens to those refusing to return to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, with a second boatload of Vietnamese reportedly still
attempting to reach Australia, the New Zealand government says it does not
expect Australia will request its assistance.

In 2002, New Zealand granted asylum to 124 Afghans, who were
rescued close to Australian territorial waters by the Tampa, a...

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Fri
25
Apr
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COOK ISLANDS, FRENCH POLYNESIA HEADS DISCUSS TRADE

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, April 24) –Visiting Cook
Islands Deputy Prime Minister Terepai Maoate met yesterday with French Polynesia
President Gaston Flosse to discuss ocean fishing and cultured pearl production.

The two heads of state also met with French High Commissioner
Michel Mathieu to discuss current events dossiers.

"I am very happy to have had the opportunity to discuss
with president of government Gaston Flosse cooperation between our countries and
the experience your country particularly enjoys in the areas of the pearl and
ocean fishing," Maoate said.

" We don’t have projects in common for the moment, but we
are leaning towards a memorandum of cooperation and friendship between our two
countries in which we could jointly deal with problems linked to tourism and
ocean fishing."

April 25, 2003

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse....

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Fri
25
Apr
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ESCAPEES STILL AT LARGE IN SOLOMONS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 24) - Police in Solomon
Islands are calling for the public’s help in the hunt for four prisoners who
escaped from the Rove jail in Honiara early yesterday morning.

The four include Edmund Sae, a regular police sergeant, who is
facing murder charges in the assassination of former police commissioner Sir
Frederick Soaki on Malaita ten weeks ago.

Two of the other three prisoners are also facing murder charges
in connection with unrelated killings.

The police spokesman Charles Lemoa says there had been one
reported sighting of the men near Honiara yesterday, and police presume they are
now hiding in the Guadalcanal bush.

He says police want the public to report any possible sightings
of the four.

Lemoa says CID have still not ruled out that the men may have
received assistance from within the prison during the break out.

April 25, 2003

Radio New...

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Fri
25
Apr
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FIJI CITIZENS GROUP CALLS FOR RESIGNATION OF AG

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 25) - The Citizens
Constitutional Forum of Fiji has accused the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale,
of interfering in the due process of law and has called on him to resign.

The Fiji Sun newspaper says the CCF has accused Bale of telling
the director of public prosecutions not to lay serious coup-related charges
against Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli.

Ratu Jope was sworn in as vice president immediately after the
May 2000 coup and proceded to swear in George Speight’s failed administration.

The Sun says the accusations have been made by the CCF’s
executive director, the Rev Akuila Yabaki, in a letter to Bale.

Yabaki says while the attorney general is consulted on the
appointment of the director of public prosecutions, it does not give him the
power to tell the DPP who he can or cannot prosecute.

Yabaki also accused the attorney general of giving unsolicited...

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