Archive - April 2000

Fri
28
Apr

PNG ON ALERT AFTER IRIAN JAYA REBEL LEADER KILLED

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 28, 2000 – Radio Australia)-- Papua New Guinea soldiers are on standby to assist police in the event of violence, following the killing of a senior Irian Jayan independence activist.

Hans Bomai was killed with a hammer on Tuesday at Vanimo, near the Indonesian border in West Sepik Province.

The incident happened when two rival factions came to blows at Dasi settlement, where Irian Jaya guerrillas take refuge on the PNG side of the border.

Provincial police chief Eugene Manguva says the situation between the two groups is tense and he's concerned that if the guerrillas escalate the fight with firearms, his police contingent might not be able to contain it.

He says police from East Sepik are on standby in case of further trouble, and PNG Defense Force soldiers at Vanimo are also on standby.

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

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Fri
28
Apr

MALAITA EAGLE FORCE WON'T ATTEND SOLOMON ISLANDS PEACE TALKS April 28,2000

MALAITAN EAGLE FORCE WON'T ATTEND SOLOMON ISLANDS PEACE TALKS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 29, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Peace talks planned for next week have been plunged into doubt, after one of the two militant groups, the Malaitan Eagle Force, announced it would not attend.

The talks are due to be held next week at Buala on Isabel Island.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Kevin McQuillan reports.

"The Commonwealth's Special Envoy, Sitiveni Rabuka, has been planning tripartite talks involving the national government and the Guadalcanal and Malaitan provincial governments for the last two months.

"The two banned militant groups, the Isatambu Freedom Movement and the Malaitan Eagle Force, would attend as part of the official delegations of their respective provincial governments. But while the Isatambu Freedom Movement last night agreed to attend, the Malaitan Eagle Force says it won't.

"Malaitan lawyer Andrew Nori says its...

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Fri
28
Apr

PM CHAUDHRY MUST GO: FIJIANS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 29, 2000 – Fiji Sun/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---About 5,000 Fijians marched through Suva yesterday, calling for Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry to step down and [be] replaced by a Fijian leader, the Fiji Sun reports.

They also called for the dissolution of the Constitution and the formulation of a new one which would give Fijians ascendancy over the other races.

"We are prepared to die!" was one of the many calls made and heard during yesterday's Taukei march organized by the Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei which brought together a united crowd reminiscent of the Taukei Movement march preceding the 1987 coup.

The crowd agreed that the Mahendra Chaudhry-led government should be dissolved by the President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

A petition, containing several concerns against the government, was presented to the Great Council of Chiefs after the march.

The petition highlighted the following:

* Government's "act of...

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Fri
28
Apr
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ACCUSED OF RUSSIAN MAFIA CONNECTIONS, PACIFIC’S NAURU TO CLEAN UP ITS BANKS

By Michael Field

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (April 26, 2000 - Agence France-Presse)---A Pacific island republic that has 400 offshore banks registered to one mailbox and faces accusations it is a major Russian Mafia money-laundering center said Wednesday it was taking urgent measures to reform its tax haven operations.

Nauru’s President Bernard Dowiyogo, elected to the office last week, said his new cabinet was concerned by reports of criminals using the country’s offshore banking facilities.

"We certainly do not approve of such activities," Dowiyogo said in a statement issued through a Melbourne public relations firm.

However, Dowiyogo, who helped set up the tax haven operation, has named Kinza Clodumar to his cabinet as Minister for Industry and Economic Development. He was Finance Minister in the outgoing administration of President Rene Harris.

Observers believe Clodumar, who has also served as president, actually runs Nauru and its tax haven...

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Fri
28
Apr
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FIJI SUGAR DOWN BUT NOT OUT

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Research has shown that sugar productivity has been in a period of recession since 1996, but the industry remains Fiji’s major export commodity.

Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's budget report last year stated that there was a fall in sugar production in 1998. But Mr. Chaudhry said there was an increase in real economic growth between 1998 and 1999. He added that there will be strong recoveries in all sectors of the economy, particularly the sugar industry, which will boost economic growth.

Fiji Sugar Corporation's (FSC) last five-year trend shows a tremendous decline in output.

In 1996, it had the highest production recorded. From 1994 to 1996 there was a constant increase in production from all the four mills: Lautoka, Labasa, Rarawai and Penang.

But there was a sharp decline in 1997 and then a further constant decline in 1998. The reason for the decline was the drought.

A new agreement...

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Fri
28
Apr
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CHANGES TO SAMOA ELECTION LAWS BEFORE PARLIAMENT

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2000)--The Samoa Parliament has indicated initial approval of report by the Electoral Act Review Committee that calls for amendments to the country's election laws that have been in place since 1963.

One proposed amendment requires that candidates for Parliament be residents of Samoa for three consecutive years, instead of one year as currently is the case.

This amendment targets Samoans residing overseas, especially those in New Zealand, who return to Samoa only a year before election just to be on the ballot.

"The affairs of Samoa must be legislated, administered, controlled and monitored by those citizens of Samoa living in Samoa for the best interest of the people. Twelve months (1 year) residency does not permit accurate assessment of internal situations in the village, constituency and the country," according to the Committee report.

The report, however, would permit those persons...

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Fri
28
Apr
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The Fiji School of Medicine [FSM] and

PRESS RELEASE 28th April, 2000

the Pacific Islands Telecommunication Association [PITA] are hosting a regional
planning meeting for a pilot telehealth project at the Forum Secretariat
beginning Monday 1st May, 2000. This landmark meeting is a significant advance
in collaboration between the Health and Telecommunications sectors as they
attempt to optimize the use of their respective skills in addressing the health
care needs of the region’s communities and its health professionals.

Mr. Winston Thompson, Chief Executive of Telecom Fiji, his Cook Island counterpart, Mr. Stuart Davies and Telecom Niue Managing Director, Mr. Richard Hipa will lead representatives of the respective regional telecommunication agencies, which will also include representatives from New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga

The Cook Islands Under-Secretary for Health, the Honourable Vaevae Peri Pare, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Mr. Luke Rokovada and Samoa’s...

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Fri
28
Apr
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CORBEL NEW SPC DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL

SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY Noumea, New Caledonia

NEWS RELEASE April 26, 2000

A new Deputy Director-General has been appointed to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.

Monsieur Yves Corbel is well known and respected throughout the Pacific region for his work as SPC's Cultural Adviser, and his involvement with the Council of Pacific Arts.

As Deputy Director-General, Yves will direct the Social Resources programs of SPC: Community Health, Community Education, Youth, Women, Demography, Statistics, and Culture.

Drawing on his experience as program manager, he emphasizes a holistic approach, whereby all SPC programs work closely together to face the challenges of the region.

"The major challenge I see for the region, and also the greatest potential benefit, is globalization. In an increasingly complex world, you need to synthesize all information across the whole spectrum of social sciences in order to...

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Fri
28
Apr
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GUAM AGENCY PROBES DRUMS OF TOXIC WASTE

By Jay Pascua

HAGATNA, Guam (April 27, 2000 -- Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA) is continuing to investigate the discovery of drums containing possible hazardous materials on Chamorro Land Trust Commission (CLTC) property in Dededo.

GEPA Administrator Jesus Salas and CLTC head Ron Teehan met recently to share information.

GEPA spokesperson Grace Garces said 25 percent of GEPA employees, or nine investigators, were detailed to the investigation. Three land trust employees were also present during the meeting.

According to Garces, more information was revealed. Garces would not release the newly obtained information.

"Right now we are trying to ascertain the facts from the allegations," Garces said.

She added that the goal of the agency is to seek out the responsible party or parties and is proceeding cautiously to ensure the case is not jeopardized.

According to GEPA, the drums sit...

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Fri
28
Apr
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TECHNOLOGY TRAINING FOR NORTHERN MARIANAS, GUAM, HAWAI‘I, AMERICAN SAMOA

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 26, 2000 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---Hopeful that the U.S. Schools and Library Division (SLD) will approve its requested 82 percent e-rate (education rate) discount this May, the Public School System (PSS) is now faced with a major decision: what to do with the e-rate equipment when it arrives.

According to the CNMI coordinator for e-rate application, Nic Sablan, training on the use of the new technology is badly needed for PSS teachers and staff. The training would involve learning how to maximize the use of telecommunications and computer equipment.

Areas in the Western Pacific region such as Guam, Hawai‘i and American Samoa that are also eligible for the e-rate program reportedly have the same technological concerns.

"We have a similar need with these entities. Our e-rate equipment will be very similar, so that's why we're collaborating among us," said Sablan. "We will be learning how to use video...

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