Archive - April 2001

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TEACHER SHOT DEAD BY GRADE 5 STUDENT IN PNG

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 27, 2001 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---A teacher was shot dead by his Grade 5 student in Tari, Southern Highlands province, after questioning the student about his absence from the Catholic Church-run community school.

This is the second shooting death of a teacher in the Tari area of Papua New Guinea in the space of three months.

The National Catholic Education Secretary, Matthew Kalabai, condemned the killing.

"You only hear such stories in the United States but now it is happening in PNG," Mr. Kalabai said. "The National Catholic Education Secretariat is calling on authorities in the province, especially law enforcing agencies, to come down hard on people who have little respect for human life."

The Catholic education secretary of Mendi diocese, Joe Sui, yesterday named the dead teacher as Ignatius Ayale, who was teaching at the Poroni community school.

Mr. Sui said Mr. Ayale was interviewing a student...

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INDONESIA JOINS AS FORUM DIALOGUE PARTNER

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS STATEMENT April 28, 2001

The 16-member Pacific Islands Forum has accepted an application from the Republic of Indonesia to be admitted as a Dialogue Partner.

The President of Kiribati and current Forum Chairman, HE Teburoro Tito, has officially informed Indonesia of the decision, following consultations with other Forum Leaders in recent weeks.

The move means that Indonesia will now be able to join the next annual Post Forum Dialogue meetings, scheduled for Nauru in mid-August this year.

The Post Forum Dialogue is the main consultation vehicle between the Forum and its development partners on multilateral assistance and other matters, and usually follows the main Forum Leaders summit.

The Post Forum Dialogue itself is held at Ministerial level.

Indonesia becomes the eleventh Dialogue Partner, joining Canada, People's Republic of China, European Union, France, Japan, Republic...

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WORLDWIDE FUND FOR NATURE FINDS RED EAR SLIDER TURTLE IN IRIAN JAYA

JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 26, 2001 – Indonesian Observer/Antara/Kabar-Irian)---Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) researchers have discovered the existence of the endangered red ear slider (Trachemya Seripta Elegans) in the Borarsi area of Manokwari district in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province.

The freshwater turtle belongs to the world's biggest "Emydidae" family, besides those of "Geoemydae, Trynychidae, Kinosternidae" found in Central and South America, WWF researcher, Jhon Maturbongs, pointed out yesterday in Manokwari, Irian Jaya, as reported by Antara.

"Researchers have so far found two species of sliders in Indonesia - the 'trachemy scripta elegans' and the 'trachemy terrapen'," he said.

"They have also discovered startling new evidence that indeed the female slider has a higher shield than the male slider," he added with obvious enthusiasm. Jhon said the researchers have scored a second victory in this discovery, after their first when they found a slider,...

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WORK ETHIC: MARSHALL ISLANDS

EDITORIAL

Marshall Islands Journal Majuro, Marshall Islands

April 19, 2001

Early last year, the Journal published a story about then new President Kessai Note suggesting that government workers simply show up to their offices on time and, uh, work. To emphasize the story, we titled it "Kessai’s radical action plan: Show up, do your job." The work ethic had bottomed out to such a degree that it almost did seem like a radical idea to ask people to come to work on time and to work eight hours a day.

Sadly, almost no one in this country would expect to find any government employee in their office at 8:00 a.m. Nine-nine percent are still drinking coffee or dropping kids off at school at that hour. Eight in the morning? Heck, try 9:00 a.m. Only eternal optimists would even considering trying to schedule a meeting in a government office before 10:00 in the morning. The government’s standard time-wasting policy for meetings is 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Start late...

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Seeking Proposals

DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT BOARD Cook Islands

April 27, 2001

The Cook Islands is flourishing as a tourist destination.  The industry is buoyant and the forecasts are very promising.

Demand for accommodation however is not being satisfied and there is an urgent need for more investment particularly at the high end of the market.

Escapa Developments Limited is a wholly locally owned company.  It is currently bringing to completion the construction phase of a 32 room four star hotel complex on Rarotonga’s premier site on Muri Beach.  This site has room for further development.  There is also a matching (2 ¼ acres) vacant property contiguous to it, which is on the market.

The demand for more accommodation combined with the outstanding location, land availability and quality of the current development are compelling reasons for canvassing the market, at this time, to determine whether there is investor interest in structuring an enterprise to embark...

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AIR NIUGINI WINS NARITA RIGHTS, EYES MELANESIAN CONNECTIONS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 27, 2001 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---Foreign Affairs Minister Bart Philemon announced that the Japanese government has approved Air Niugini’s request to begin weekly service to Narita International Airport in Tokyo starting in May 2002.

A PNG delegation led by Ambassador Aiwa Olmi held talks in Tokyo with Japanese government authorities regarding traffic rights between the two countries.

Air Niugini managing director Peter Roberts, who was at the meeting, said the direct weekly Port Moresby-Japan service would move the increasing quantities of tuna being exported from PNG to Japan.

Ambassador Olmi also noted that passengers and freight from Japan would use Port Moresby as a transit point to other Melanesian countries, using this Air Niugini service. This would indirectly assist other Melanesian countries to increase their links with Japan, he said.

Also at the meeting were representatives from the Department...

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MARSHALL ISLANDS’ JACKLICK HELD HONOLULU MEETING WITH U.S. MILITARY

MARSHALL ISLANDS’ JACKLICK HELD HONOLULU MEETING WITH U.S. MILITARY

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (April 27, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The Marshall Islands and U.S. governments convened at U.S. Pacific Command Headquarters, Camp Smith, earlier this month for the annual High Level Joint Committee Meeting (JKCM). The JCM meetings are one of the mechanisms in the Compact (of Free Association) to address defense issues.

RMI delegation head, Minister Alvin Jacklick, conveyed the government’s openness to the U.S. government in addressing defense and security issues of mutual interest for both governments. The discussions on the key issues generally revolved around the RMI-US military relationship and the infrastructure and social well-being of the Ebeye community, a Foreign Ministry release said.

A positive outcome of the JCM meeting was a cooperation commitment made by the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Interior to work with the RMI government toward addressing...

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MONEY CRISIS HITS SOLOMONS’ PARLIAMENTARIANS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 29, 2001 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA)---Lawmakers in Honiara for the current session of Parliament have been asked to leave their motels -- because of problems over payments.

MP for East Kwaio Alfred Sasako told SIBC that at least two MPs have already left for their home provinces because they could not afford to stay any longer.

He said motels in Honiara that agreed to accommodate the MPs had done so in good faith on the understanding the government would at least foot half of the bills at some stage during the session.

The eviction of MPs from the motels came ahead of the vote to be taken on the controversial bill to extend the life of Parliament from four to five years.

In another financial development, public servants in some government ministries and departments did not receive their pay on time.

This is due to the government's current financial problems. It follows two years of Guadalcanal-...

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EPA GIVES U.S. ARMY GREEN LIGHT TO PROCEED WITH PLAN TO CLOSE JOHNSTON ATOLL

CHEMICAL WEAPONS DISPOSAL FACILITY

JOHNSTON ISLAND, Pacific Ocean (April 25, 2001 – U.S. Army)---The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IX has granted the U.S. Army conditional approval of its plan for closing the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), the nation’s first facility designed for chemical weapons disposal.

The Army completed disposal operations at JACADS in November 2000 and has since been preparing to close the facility in accordance with environmental regulations.

To obtain full EPA approval, the Army will submit health and ecological risk assessment plans and sampling and analysis plans by mid-October to ensure that environmental standards are met.

Closure activities involve disposing of the facility‘s hazardous waste, cleaning the facility, sampling waste, and assessing risks for future use of the surrounding land areas.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which governs the management and...

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PENTAGON CONSIDERS NORTHERN MARIANAS AS MILITARY SITE

By Gemma Q. Casas

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 27, 2001 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---A U.S. Defense Department official said the Northern Marianas is being considered as a site for U.S. military bases in the Pacific.

Frederick C. Smith, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, made the comments in a letter to the CNMI’s Washington Rep. Juan N. Babauta.

Smith said: "As you note in your letter, the decisions that the U.S. will soon be making regarding our defense strategy and force structure are highly complex. Should there be a need to realign forces or activities in the Pacific region, the availability of locations in the Northern Mariana Islands will certainly be considered."

Last month, Babauta told federal authorities that Tinian could be an alternative site for U.S. military bases in Japan's Okinawa, where the Americans are under increasing pressure to cut back their military presence.

Babauta,...

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