Regional

21st November

Sheikh Ahmad steps aside as IOC member pending outcome of Ethics Commission hearing

LAUSANNE, 20 NOVEMBER 2018 (INSIDE THE GAMES) – Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has stepped aside temporarily from his roles and responsibilities as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and chairman of the Olympic Solidarity Commission,...

20th November

Pacific must reject China bullying – PFF

PAGOPAGO/PORT MORESBY 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (PFF/REUTERS) – Pacific leaders who open Forum meetings to media must reject attempts by China to reverse that practice, says regional media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF). “Pacific journalists are a normal feature of Pacific leaders events, and must remain so” says PFF Chair, Monica Miller. “We urge the...

Small island states have to ‘advocate for our collective interests’, says Singapore PM Lee

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE STRAITS TIMES) – Small island states share many common interests and concerns, and thus have to “make common cause together”, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee made this point during a dialogue between Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders and leaders from Pacific Island states on Saturday. Singapore...

Australia and Vanuatu strengthen security co-operation

AUSTRALIA and Vanuatu have announced a new initiative to build up the Melanesian country’s security capability. Announced yesterday, it will include significant infrastructure upgrades for the Vanuatu Mobile Force and Police Maritime Wing and enhanced training and leadership opportunities for all three arms of the Vanuatu Police Force. A statement from the Australian Prime Minister’s...

China defers Tonga’s loan payments as Pacific nation signs up to Belt and Road

PORT MORESBY,19 NOVEMBER 2018 (REUTERS) – Tonga has signed up to China’s Belt and Road initiative and has received a reprieve from Beijing on the timing of debt payments shortly before an onerous schedule to repay loans was due to start. Lopeti Senituli, political advisor to Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, told Reuters by email...

Xi meets leaders of Pacific island nations to further BRI cooperation

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (XINHUA) – Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Friday with leaders of Pacific island countries that have diplomatic relations with China to exchange views on bilateral ties and pragmatic cooperation. During the meeting with President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian, Xi said China appreciates the Pacific island...

Security forces storm PNG parliament over unpaid wages after APEC summit

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – A group of up to 100 Papua New Guinea (PNG) security personnel forced their way into parliament on Tuesday to demand unpaid wages, lawmakers said, just days after world leaders attended a regional summit in the impoverished island nation. “It was the armed forces, police and correctional workers. They have entered...

Saipan airport re-energised, 300 generators bound for Tinian

THE Northern Marianas’ main airport on Saipan has had power restored temporarily in anticipation of the resumption of regular night-time flights on Tuesday evening. It has been more than three weeks since Super Typhoon Yutu leveled Saipan and neighbouring Tinian, damaging most of its electricity infrastructure. At the weekend, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation was able...

PNG govt works to end Manam Island resettlement crisis

IN an effort to resolve the Manam resettlement crisis, Papua New Guinea’s government is determined to win back the trust of the islanders. It’s been 15 years since Manam islanders had to resettle on PNG’s mainland due to volcanic activity on their island. There’s been a range of problems around the resettlement, including disputes over...

Australia’s Labor to update ABC shortwave if it wins election

AUSTRALIA’S opposition Labor party says it will spend two million Australian dollars to reinstate and upgrade the ABC’s shortwave service if it wins the next election. In a controversial move early last year, the national broadcaster switched off its shortwave transmissions to remote parts of northern Australia and across the Pacific. Labor’s regional communications spokesperson...

Samoa man charged with wife’s murder applies for release on bail

A LAWYER representing a 38-year-old man in Samoa, who is charged with his wife’s murder, has applied to release the accused on bail. The deceased was the chief executive of the Unit Trust of Samoa, Sa’u Justina Fiapa’ipa’i Sa’u Lam. The accused, Kolani Junior Lam, appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday where his lawyer, Komisi...

Vanuatu opposition MP plays down motion talk

VANUATU’S opposition leader has again played down suggestions he may soon lodge a motion of no-confidence in the prime minister Charlot Salwai. Ishmael Kalsakau told the Daily Post the opposition has a total of sixteen MPs, following the defection of the Leaders Party from the coalition government amid a cabinet reshuffle. However, Mr Salwai still holds a...

Solomons govt going back to the basics for 2019 budget

THE Solomon Islands government says it is going back to the basics for the last budget of its tenure. Cuts to development spending and more resources for core ministry services were some of the promises made by finance minister Manasseh Sogavare before putting the almost $US500 million budget to its second reading last week. The...

Japan, US train Pacific countries to counter illegal fishing

JAPAN and the United States will be holding a joint training programme to help Pacific island nations crack down on illegal fishing within their exclusive economic zones. The Japan Times reported the three-week training course would be held in Japan and begin on 25 November. Officials from 12 nations, including Palau and the Marshal Islands will learn...

APEC’s future questioned after costly, acrimonious summit exposes US-China divisions

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2O18 (SBS/AFP) – With Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin absent and leaders unable even to agree a joint statement, some critics are questioning whether the annual APEC summit is still worth the effort. “The entire world is worried,” was the grim warning from Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at...

Xi: No hidden agendas, President praises ‘stable, healthy’ relations with PNG

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – President of China Xi Jinping says China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not designed to serve any hidden geopolitical agenda, nor target against anyone, or does it exclude anyone. He told the Chief Executive Officers’ Summit on board the cruise liner Pacific Explorer in Port Moresby...

O’Neill: PNG grateful for China’s support

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – Papua New Guinea would not have achieved the successful hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Summit in Port Moresby without China’s support. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping on his two-day State visit to PNG on Thursday and Friday. “PNG could not...

Australia plans to step up presence in the Pacific

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – Australia will step up its presence as the big brother in the Pacific, says Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He said this when addressing the APEC CEO’s Summit on board the cruise liner, Pacific Explorer, in Port Moresby on Saturday. “No country gets rich selling things to itself,...

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka speaking during the press conferencea at the SODELPA head office in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Rabuka: Fiji’s coup politicians should quit

SUVA (RNZ PACIFIC) – It is time for Fiji’s coup leaders to step away from politics, Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader and instigator of the 1987 military coups Sitiveni Rabuka has said. Fiji’s election, which gave another four year term to the FijiFirst party in results announced yesterday, was seen as a battle between...

Australia aims to help PNG develop quality leaders

PORT MORESBY (THE NATIONAL) – Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that Australia is committed to help contribute towards developing quality leaders for PNG. Morrison said that when opening the new building for the School of Business and Public Policy at the University of PNG. The building was funded by AusAID for more than K80 million....

New Zealand announces support for Pacific exporters

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – New Zealand will contribute US$9.3 million over four years to support the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus (PHAMA) programme, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister has announced. PHAMA Plus is a joint New Zealand-Australian initiative that will target export products of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Niue...

PNG, China sign K150 million scholarship grant

PORT MORESBY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – More Papua New Guineans will be able to receive scholarships to study in China following an agreement between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Chinese President Xi Jinping. O’Neill said a grant of K150 million (US$46 million) was signed to release about 2500 scholarships to people in the...

19th November

China seen as key for reducing illegal logging in Melanesia

CIVIL society is looking at China as the best bet for reducing illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. PNG is China’s single largest supplier of timber, large quantities of which come from illegal operations. A policy advisor with the environmental and anti-corruption NGO Global Witness says PNG’s government has largely failed to...

Australia to expand labour scheme to all Pacific countries

AUSTRALIA will expand its Pacific Labour Scheme to all Pacific Island countries, starting with Tonga. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne say the current cap of 2-thousand places will be lifted, although the new limit is not a given. Talks to allow Papua New Guinea to join the scheme have also been...

Displaced Ambaens in Vanuatu capital given extra rice by acting mayor

THE Acting Mayor of Vanuatu’s Port Vila Eric Festa has donated 50 bags of rice to feed an increasing number of people in the capital evacuated from Ambae. There are now more than 1300 displaced Ambaeans in Port Vila from approximately 10,000 evacuated from the island because of volcanic activity. The Vanuatu Daily Post reports Mr...

Casino closed indefinitely in Saipan after Yutu

THE closure of a major casino in Saipan shows how vulnerable the country’s economy is to extreme weather, the Northern Marianas governor Ralph Torres has said. The category five Super Typhoon Yutu devastated the islands of Tinian and Saipan earlier this month. In a statement, Imperial Pacific International said it closed its casino indefinitely after...

ADB stays tight-lipped on PNG Wild Cat contract case

THE Asian Development Bank is staying tight-lipped on an allegedly corrupt infrastructure project in Papua New Guinea. A company owned by PNG’s prime minister won a $US32 million ADB contract through an allegedly corrupt procurement process. This was revealed last week by the investigations network, PNGI. Wild Cat Developments, of which Peter O’Neill was the...

PNG foreign minister denies report on Chinese forced entry

PAPUA New Guinea’s Foreign Minister has denied reports that Chinese officials barged into his office during the APEC summit at the weekend. The APEC meeting in PNG’s capital Port Moresby ended in controversy, with leaders unable to reach a consensus on trade and deciding not to issue their usual joint communique. According to the ABC, four...

PNG PM says to release formal APEC statement at later date

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea will release a formal closing statement for the regional APEC forum in coming days, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on Sunday, as the 21-member body was unable to agree on a leaders’ statement for the first time in its history. In his closing comments to the forum, O’Neill...

17th November

PNG and Total sign LNG deal

Papua New Guinea has reached an agreement with French company Total on a planned second major LNG gas project in the country. PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill announced the agreement at a major business meeting in Port Moresby on the eve of this weekend’s APEC leader summit in PNG’s capital. A Memorandum of Understanding was...

Load More Articles

E-Edition