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Wed
11
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CURRENT FIJI TO CANADA FLIGHT SERVICE TO END

NADI (June 10, 1997 - RADIO AUSTRALIA) ---Fiji's major weekly flight service to Canada is ending. Canadian Airlines International and Air New Zealand say their joint service agreement will conclude on October 26.

The two airlines have been sharing capacity on flights that interconnected at Honolulu.

Passengers fly Air New Zealand between Nadi and Honolulu and Canadian Airlines International between Honolulu and Canada (Vancouver and Toronto).

Canadian Airlines International regional manager, Steve Rice, says the arrangement is ending because of Air New Zealand's new alliance agreement with United Airlines. He says Canadian Airlines International will continue to provide services for its Fiji customers to Hawaii and Canada after October and currently is reviewing a variety of service options.

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Wed
11
Jun
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EASIER ACCESS TO FSM FOR MARSHALLS AND PALAU CITIZENS PLANNED

PALIKIR (June 2, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS) ---The FSM government wants to make it easier for citizens and nationals of the neighboring republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands to visit the Federated States of Micronesia.

Currently, travelers from other Micronesian countries are issued 30-day FSM visitor's permits, renewable for an additional 30 days.

FSM President Jacob Nena has proposed that the Congress amend the current law to allow Marshallese and Palauan to make visits of up to 365 days, similar to that permitted citizens and nationals of the United States, including visitors from American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

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Wed
11
Jun
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US AMBASSADOR TO SOLOMONS ENCOURAGES US BUSINESS PRESENCE

HONIARA (June 10, 1997 - PACNEWS) ---The United States Ambassador the Solomon Islands, Arma Jane Karaer, says she would like US business presence in the Melanesian country to grow.

The Port Moresby-based Ambassador says the investment by the Bank of Hawaii in the National Bank of the Solomon Islands has been a welcome first step.

Karaer was speaking at Government House during the presentation of her credentials to Governor General Sir Moses Pitakaka.

She said her country, through the Joint Commercial Commission, formed with the South Pacific Forum countries, has committed itself to facilitating expanded business ties between the United States and the Pacific Islands nations.

The JCC Secretariat is located at the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program in Honolulu.

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Wed
11
Jun
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COOKS PM WANTS MORE ACTIVE PRIVATE TOURISM SECTOR

AVARUA (May 31, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS) ---The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Sir Geoffrey Henry, also is Minister of Tourism, and he's concerned that local businessmen aren't taking a more active role in developing the Polynesian country's visitor industry.

Envisioning 100,000 revenue-generating visitors a year to the Cooks within a decade, Prime Minister Henry says he's disappointed with the quality of the visitor industry's existing organizational and business plans. They're not yet strong enough, he adds, to allow his government to relinquish control of Tourism Cook Islands to the private sector, as was contemplated several months ago.

He says non-action by the visitor industry "has been a real disappointment to myself and my officials."

Meantime, Sir Geoffrey says there are 918 hotel rooms in the Cook Islands that need to be filled. When the new Vaimaanga Hotel opens, there will be an additional 200 rooms.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister and Minister...

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Wed
11
Jun
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PRIME MINISTER RABUKA SEES MULTI-ETHNIC FIJI GOVERNMENT SOON

SUVA (June 9, 1997 - RADIO AUSTRALIA) ---Fiji's Prime Minister, Major General Sitiveni Rabuka, says his country could have a multi-ethnic government within a month.

Rabuka was referring to a bill introduced in Parliament today which would amend the constitution to create Fiji's first multi-party cabinet in a decade.

The present constitution, agreed to following two military coups in 1987, guarantees that ethnic-Fijians hold power and ethnic Indians, who make up 45 percent of the population, are excluded.

Rabuka said he planned to bring five opposition members into his cabinet, but was waiting for the bill to go through Parliament before seeking nominations.

Introduction of the bill follows agreement last Friday by Fiji's High Chiefs to the constitutional changes. Under the agreement, 46 seats of the 71 in the House of Representatives are to be reserved on a racial basis, with 25 seats open for election by all voters.

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Wed
11
Jun
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FSM VICE PRESIDENT FALCAM VISITING FOUR STATES

PALIKIR (June 10, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS) ---New Federated States of Micronesia Vice President Leo Falcam has begun a series of courtesy calls to each of the four FSM states. He's calling his visits --to the governors and other top officials of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap-- a "new bridge" between the national and state governments.

Falcam's goal is for the month-old FSM administration in the capital of Palikir to forge a more cooperative and beneficial working relationship than has been achieved in the past between the country's two highest governmental levels.

Meantime, Pohnpei State Governor Del Pangelinan says the "new bridge" will pave the way for better communication and improved working relationships among state and national leaders.

During a recent meeting, Pangelinan requested assistance from Falcam to help Pohnpei resolve its current fiscal crisis. The Pohnpei Governor suggested that his state government be allowed to use foreign assistance funds...

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Wed
11
Jun
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REPUBLIC OF CHINA ASSISTING TONGAN AGRICULTURE

NUKU'ALOFA (June 11, 1997 - PACNEWS) ---The governments of Tonga and the Republic of China have signed an agricultural cooperation agreement designed to boost Tonga's agricultural development.

The accord was signed in Nuku'alofa today by Tonga's Prime Minister, Baron Vaea, and the Republic of China's Vice Foreign Minister, Tzen Wen-hua.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Baron Vaea said Tonga has benefited significantly --both socially and financially-- from the Republic of China. He said the new agreement marks the Silver Jubilee of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were established in 1972.

Tzen Wen-hua responded with a tribute to the friendly relationship that exists between his country and Tonga. He said both countries share common ideals in their efforts to promote the well-being of their people.

Meantime, Tonga's Director of Agriculture, Haniteli Fa'anunu, says the government of the Republic of China has dispatched a special...

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Wed
28
May
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TONGAN HEALTH MINISTRY DENIES BAD FOOD ACCUSATIONS

NUKU'ALOFA --A spokesman for Tonga's Ministry of Health has denied reports that Tonga and Papua New Guinea top the list of Pacific countries with the greatest concern over consumption of inferior meat and out of date food items imported from New Zealand and Australia.

In an article in the New Zealand Herald newspaper, New Zealand and Australia are accused of dumping their inferior meat products in the Pacific island countries, particularly mutton flaps, Radio Tonga reports.

The spokesman says the accusation may not be true, adding that mutton flaps are a popular and a cheap source of meat to many people in the kingdom. He says the ministry advertised warnings of health problems connected with the consumption of fatty mutton flaps and other meat products, but the decision to buy or not to buy lies with the consumer.

The spokesman says the problem of overstocking by stores is the main reason of out-dated products, and he does not believe they come as expired...

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Wed
28
May
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MARSHALLS TO GO AHEAD WITH NUCLEAR WASTE PLANS

SUVA --Greenpeace is disappointed the Marshall Islands government has decided to go ahead with a feasibility study to establish a nuclear waste facility on one of its islands.

Marshall Islands cabinet minister, Litokwa Tomeing, announced Thursday that a US company, a subsidiary of Babcock and Wilcox, has been hired to conduct a feasibility study which is expected to take two years to complete.

Greenpeace's Bunny McDiarmid said conducting a feasibility study does not make a bad idea into a good one. "Storing nuclear waste on a low lying coral atoll in a region prone to cyclones and considered the most vulnerable to climate change is not solving the world's nuclear was problem," she said.

The Marshall Islands is the only county in the region that has not signed the Waigani Convention that bans the import of radioactive waste into Pacific Islands countries.

The Marshalls government has responded to regional and local opposition by giving assurances that a...

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Wed
28
May
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PNG DEFENSE FORCE RUNNING OUT OF FOOD

PORT MORESBY --The Papua New Guinea Defense Force is facing a critical shortage of food as a result of its continuing serious funding problems.

Defense Force authorities told a media briefing Friday the force currently cannot provide three meals a day, reports NBC.

The briefing followed a day off given to soldiers at Murray Barracks because there was no food in the barracks mess. Staff of the Defense Department have requested and are waiting for extra funds to be released from the Finance Department.

Only last week Acting Finance Secretary Issac Lupari, while saying Papua New Guinea economic growth has improved, admitted the Sandline payout of some K20 million ($US14.6m) has created some cash problems for all government departments.

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