Archive - April 2002

Tue
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Apr
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US$ 1.3 BILLION NEW CALEDONIA NICKEL PLANT DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION DEAL SIGNED

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 29, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---The project chairman for the new Goro nickel plant, Pierre Alla, signed a US$ 1.3 billion agreement with Brisbane, Australia’s architectural firm of Bechtel, Technip and Hatch (BTH) Thursday, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The contract is for engineering design and construction of the new facility in the southern part of New Caledonia's main island.

The project is a joint venture with Canada’s nickel mining giant Inco.

Another nickel mining project is currently under way in northern New Caledonia. It, too, is a joint venture with a Canadian company, Falconbridge.

The Goro project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2004, will become the largest nickel mining plant in the world, with a yearly production capacity of 54,000 tons of nickel and 5,400 tons of cobalt.

Last week's contract has been labeled by local media as "the biggest ever signed in New...

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Apr
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SAMOA LAND DISPUTE COMPARED WITH ZIMBABWE’S

By Terry Tavita

APIA, Samoa (April 27, 2002 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---The Samoan government has given special permission to allow villagers to go to court to try to get back land they lost in colonial times.

The villagers of Siumu claim that 1,700 acres of their land were "illegally purchased" during the settler land-grab of the mid 1800s.

Their lawyer, Leulua‘iali‘i Orlinda Woodroffe, compared Siumu village's land grievances to the land disputes that have brought havoc in the African state of Zimbabwe in recent years.

"The illegal takeover of Siumu lands 140 years ago is synonymous with the roots of the political and civil turmoil that is experienced in Zimbabwe today," she said.

"Indigenous people throughout the world are reclaiming their rights on their native lands because of the manner in which it was taken away during colonialism."

According to Mrs. Woodroffe, the government agreed that the matter will be settled in court...

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GUAM EARTHQUAKE AFTERSHOCKS RECORDED

By Theresa Merto

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 30, 2002 – Pacific Daily News)---More aftershocks are expected to sway the island as a result of Saturday morning's earthquake, but there is no way to accurately forecast temblors.

"We have not gotten to the point where the information is reliable and accurate," said Paul Hattori, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey station on Guam.

"I was not even expecting this earthquake."

The 7.2-magnitude temblor, which caused an island wide power outage, damaged buildings and broke water pipes, shook residents out of bed at 2:06 a.m. Saturday.

As officials continue to assess damage, Hattori said more than 100 aftershocks have hit Guam since the weekend temblor, and a few more with magnitudes from 4.0 to 6.0 are expected. Since the quake, there have been at least four temblors with a magnitude of at least 4.0, while the other quakes were minor, he said.

The epicenter of Saturday's quake was 30 miles...

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Apr
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NO NEW GUAM MEASLES CASES REPORTED

By Brenda Sommer

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 30, 2002 – Pacific Daily News)---The number of suspected measles cases on island remains at 17, with four confirmed cases, according to local health officials.

"I am very encouraged no new reports have come in," said Dennis Rodriguez, director of Department of Public Health and Social Services.

"Hopefully, we have arrested this."

Three of those people have been hospitalized, Rodriguez said.

Public Health declared a state of public health emergency Friday after the agency discovered 16 suspected cases of measles.

The agency has had Public Health nurses visiting targeted areas door-to-door, assessing more than 800 residents and giving vaccinations if needed.

Rodriguez said nurses gave 101 vaccinations to people they visited during the weekend.

He has said he will not identify the targeted villages because he does not want to cause the public to panic.

The department held free...

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SOLOMON ISLANDS: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE INVOLVING RECONCILIATION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

April 29, 2002

SOLOMON ISLANDS: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE INVOLVING RECONCILIATION

In his interesting and lengthy article entitled, "Viewpoint: The Politics of Peace in the Solomons," published in the Pacific Island Report on April 29, 2002, Dr. Tarcisius K. Tara refers to the notion of "restorative justice" involving a reconciliation process leading to restoring relationships among people at all levels of society in the Solomon Islands.

I welcome Dr. Tara's support on the important need for restorative justice and reconciliation and refer him (and your readers) to an article I submitted in August 2001, prior to the review of the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA), which was entitled, "Truth and Reconciliation Needed in the Solomons." This was published in the PIR on August 28, 2001.

[See: http://166.122.164.43/archive/2001/August/08-29-25.htm] ...

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ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING FUND TO BUILD NEW ROADS IN THE MARQUESAS, DOCKS IN

TUAMOTU ARCHIPELAGO

PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (April 26, 2002 – Tahitipresse)---The Economic Restructuring Fund will allot US$ 14.7 million for the construction of ports and roads in French Polynesia, representatives of the French and French Polynesia governments announced after a meeting last Wednesday.

The road program will involve primarily the remote Marquesas Archipelago, located about 900 miles northeast of Tahiti.

A new road linking Nuku Hiva Airport to the main island settlement, Taiohae, 4.5 miles away, will be built for about US$ 2.7 million.

New docks in the Tuamotu Archipelago also will be built, for a total cost of US$ 3 million.

In addition The Economic Restructuring Fund will help expand Pape‘ete Harbor’s fishing facilities. This project will cost US$ 4.7 million.

The fund was created by France following the end of nuclear testing at Moruroa (Tuamotu Archipelago) in January of 1996.

Last year, the fund paid 40...

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Apr
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NO ARMY ROLE IN ELECTION, STRESSES PNG PM SIR MEKERE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 27, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online/Abridged)---Papua New Guinea’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party says it will not involve the Defense Force in the June elections.

Prime Minister and party leader Sir Mekere Morauta gave the assurance when he said two top changes made to the force command were to provide "circuit-breakers" and "prevent further political interference."

He was commenting for the first time on the political maneuverings surrounding the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.

The Ministry of Defense also change hands, from Kilroy Genia to Mathias Karani.

Colonel Ben Norrie and Colonel Joe Kewa were replaced by Lt. Col Jeffrey Wiri as Chief of Operations and Lt. Col. Paul Mai as Chief of Personnel, respectively.

"The Moem mutiny came as a shock. It showed conclusively factionalism and a susceptibility to the same outside influences remained," Sir Mekere said.

"If those weaknesses remained, they...

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UN AGAIN WARNS PACIFIC NATIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

BANGKOK, Thailand (April 30, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The United Nations has again warned Pacific Island states that low-lying coastal areas face a growing threat from the effects of global warming and rising sea levels.

The executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Kim Hak-Su, has urged cooperation between the public and private sectors to combat the crisis.

Mr. Kim said the negative impacts of climate change are continuing to intensify in both Asia and in the Pacific region.

He told a three-day Bangkok workshop on the issue that sea level rise is threatening the very existence of some Pacific Island states.

The meeting brought together energy and conservation experts from the public and private sectors to discuss the Kyoto Protocol and its Asia-Pacific implementation.

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

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AUTONOMY A STARTING POINT FOR PAPUAN PROGRESS

By Markus Mardius

MIMIKA, Papua, (April 27, 2002 - The Jakarta Post/Kabar-Irian)---A number of intellectuals and experts have called on the Papuan people to accept the special autonomy arrangement, which they argue is a starting point for Papua's future advancement.

Speaking during a day-long seminar on Papuan development here on Thursday, the experts were unanimous in their view that Papua, rich in natural and human resources potential, was a sleeping tiger imbued with the energy not only to catch up with other provinces but also to play a dominant role in the national economy under the special autonomy plan.

August Kafiar said the Papuan people, especially the local elite, should not spend too much time dwelling over the problems that had put them into a corner over the last four decades but should rather accept special autonomy status as a golden opportunity to develop a better future.

"You will remain stranded in a beautiful dream, surrounded by...

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DRUNK PNG POLICE BASH GRANNY: REPORT

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 29, 2002 – The Australian)---Drunk Papua New Guinea police bashed a grandmother in her house and attempted to rape her daughter in a vicious weekend attack in Port Moresby.

EM TV reports that armed uniformed police attacked the family as they slept in their house in the suburb of Waigani -- the home of the national parliament -- in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The woman says she was struck several times with a rifle butt.

She says her daughter was then dragged off to the garden by another policeman who failed in his attempt to rape her.

EM TV reports that the assault was in retaliation for an attack on a local police officer earlier in the week.

It's understood police believe one of the victim's extended family members was responsible for the attack.

Police have refused to comment on the incident.

For additional reports from The Australian, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information...

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