Thursday, April 28, 2011

[pima.nius] Tongan women's group fights human trafficking

3:03 PM |

Tongan women's group fights human trafficking


Updated April 28, 2011 16:46:57

A Tongan women's centre is printing pamphlets in Mandarin in an effort to reach out to victims of human trafficking.

This follows a court case in which a Chinese woman was found guilty of trafficking, brothel keeping and trading in prostitution.

She will be sentenced next month.

The Tonga Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, says it is looking after several Chinese girls who were victims of the scheme.

Presenter: Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Director of the Tonga Women's and Children's Crisis Centre

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: The first the Women and Children's Crisis Centre heard of this case was through a third party. And the third party was an Asian woman who's currently working in the private sector in Tonga. And fortunately enough these girls found this third party reliable enough and honest enough for them to share with her what was happening to them in the kingdom. And so this third party had contacted the Women and Children's Crisis Centre, and because she could speak both Chinese and English it was a big help, because she helped us tremendously in documenting the case studies of these young women. Now unfortunately when the case was first brought to us we were alerted about three or four victims at the time. But unfortunately as we went on and continued documenting the case studies and following through what was happening with their court cases, we only ended up with one who was confident enough to go all the way, even to the point of documenting pictures of some physical abuse that had occurred to her.

HILL: Well what was that these women were actually going through? What was the predicament they found themselves in in Tonga?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: Well in a nutshell their stories were all similar in the sense that they were brought over on false pretenses. They'd come from very poor families in China, different parts of rural China, they were told that they could come to Tonga and work in the hospitality and tourism industries, i.e., hotel, housekeeping, in the restaurant, waitressing, and that through this agent that brought them over they would have to of course pay a commission to the agent, and the rest of the money would be used to sent home however they preferred spend their income. Unfortunately upon arriving into Tonga the similarities in their stories was that passports were taken off at the airport and they were taken in and told that they were going to do something completely different.

HILL: They found themselves working in a completely different branch of the hospitality industry than the one that they expected, yes?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: That's right, and according to some of the earlier stories that we were taken account of, some of the girls were too frightened to speak up or they couldn't speak the Tongan language, their English, basic language skills were very poor. And so just being able to communicate with anybody at all for help or for some services was just a far cry for them.

HILL: Now just to clarify that, they themselves were working as prostitutes didn't they?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: Yes, sex for money. And the majority of the money that they earned was given to the agent that brought them over to Tonga.

HILL: Now the clients for these women were they other members of the Chinese community or were they Tongan men?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: No surprisingly what they shared with us is that their biggest clientele were Korean men, Korean businessmen in Tonga, and a few Indians, but they said that at that stage when we were documenting their stories, none of them had ever had sex with any of the Tongan local men.

HILL: What kind of a predicament did those girls find themselves in now?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: What we are trying to do with this third party that had contacted us about the earlier cases, we are trying to put together a small brochure in Mandarin that we can distribute throughout Tonga in the hope that these women and these young girls will be alerted about the services of the Crisis Centre. I think that's our first step. And hopefully through that process we will be able to get some more women coming to us. We've had a few in the last month or so who have contacted us by phone. Some have even invited us to a place of refuge where they're in hiding. And we know that it's quite a difficult situation because despite the fact that we want to reach out and help them and given them all the assistance we can, at the end of the day they are the ones who tell us how much and how far we can go and how much help we can given them.

HILL: So what happens to them, do they get deported back to China as a result of this, what's their status?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: Well the ones that we've been dealing with they're telling us that they want to go back to China but the thing is their passports, the agents who have brought them over are refusing to hand their passports back to them.

HILL: How big a problem is this in Tonga?

GUTTENBEIL-LIKILIKI: I thinks this is the tip of the iceberg. I think there's more going on, but because of the lack of skills from all service sectors to be able to pick up on these types of cases. I mean we've heard there are a lot of Asian restaurants that have been setup throughout the country as a front face to the public, but what's going on behind the walls of the restaurant is completely something different. Some brothels are being operated, but that's what I mean, we need the skills and the expertise in Tonga to be able to pickup on these cases. I've just come back from the Pacific where I've travelled through a few different island countries, and it's the same stories we're hearing on the ground. Asian restaurants being setup all over the Pacific with this, something else completely different going on behind the walls.


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[pima.nius] guardian | journalism competition | international development

3:01 PM |

via Pacific Journos


    • Entry to the 2011 International Development Journalism competition opens on Tuesday 3 May
    • Reddit
    • Buzz up

How to enter the awards
All you need to do is write a 650-1000 word article on an aspect of global poverty covered by the themes set, and upload it using our online entry form. The entry period closes on Monday 13 June 2011.

FAMILIARISE yourself with the Guardian and guardian.co.uk. Online, theKatine and the Global Development section of the site provides a good template of the sort of writing the Guardian values.

Judging criteria 
What the judges will be looking for, particularly in the first round of the competition:

• Clear and concise argument based on the chosen theme
• Supported by factual evidence
• That your piece meets the theme brief
• A piece that "lives" to the reader. Does it feel real? Are the people or situations described vivid and believable to the audience? 
• No patronising or sensationalist statements
• Sense that the writer has understood the subject
• Accessible to people who don't know much about the subject.
• Good writing skills, grammatically correct with an absence of jargon
• Readable from a journalistic perspective

Entry guidance

Additional/support material
Please do not send any additional material with your entry

Tips

• Familiarise yourself with the Guardian and guardian.co.uk. This will give you an idea of what we are looking for in terms of tone, style and content.

• Numerous styles of journalism – comment, news reports, personal testimonies – can come under the rubric of development journalism. For the purpose of this competition, however, we are looking for features.

• Don't be sensationalistic or use hyperbolic, objectifying language. Be measured and objective, even if you are writing about a situation that makes you angry. The experience of one person – however interesting – may not be representative of the situation.

• If you are going to write about something that is very controversial, or has not had any publicity in the UK before, you should be able to back up your facts through at least two unimpeachable sources.

• Although many people will have been to the countries they write about, it is not essential to writing a good piece for this competition. One of last year's finalists compared a situation she knew about in the UK with the developing world.

• Make sure you stick to the theme and keep to the maximum word count of 1,000 words.

• Ask someone else to proofread your story. Typos and grammatical errors are a big turn-off for judges and editors.

• One way in which last year's amateur entries stood out from the professionals was in energy, passion and enthusiasm. If you are a professional, we don't want to read cynicism and world-weariness.

For more specific tips for amateurs and professionals look below.

• Tips for amateur journalists.

• Tips for professional journalists.

. . .

jason brown
reporter, founder
JiCC | Journalism in Crisis Coalition

. . .

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[pima.nius] Gisborne Herald editorial: CAFCA should also campaign for stronger capital markets in NZ

2:48 PM |


Via Pacific Media Centre

27 April, 2011

OPINION: The Gisborne Herald has attacked Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) spokesman Murray Horton in an editorial over his scathing analysis of New Zealand's free trade and foreign investment policies in a national speaking tour that kicked off at the Pacific Media Centre.

Several readers have responded with spirited letters.

Gisborne Herald editorial:
CAFCA should also campaign for stronger capital markets in NZ
14 April 2011


Jeremy Muir

The anti-American, anti-business rant by Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa spokesman Murray Horton here this week did not once touch on the reason this country's assets are so vulnerable to takeover — our lack of domestic capital.

In CAFCA's utopia of fortress New Zealand, asset prices would plunge along with productivity and we would all be much poorer.

To be at all credible, Horton's organisation should also campaign for policies to strengthen our puny capital markets — to spur domestic capability to invest in assets and innovation.

Foreign direct investment in this country totals about $92 billion, compared to the $57 billion value of all companies listed on the New Zealand sharemarket.

The scary figure here is the second, not the first.

Foreign funding has been integral to the growth of our economy. The main issue is always what we do with this money — if we can generate a greater return on it then we are better off.

New Zealanders also buy into foreign companies and land, and need to reciprocate to expect these opportunities. There are no-go areas for foreign investors, and the key thing is having clear rules around what we consider to be strategic land or assets.

Horton singled out the demon of a potential free-trade deal with the United States, spinning a series of conspiracy theories as facts.

He is right that there is a risk of an uneven agreement but our trade negotiaters are among the best in the world. They will make sure the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is good for New Zealand, or they won't sign it.

CAFCA ignores the huge benefits of trade liberalisation.

The real utopia would be success in the Doha round of world trade talks.

Heading into the supposed final stage of negotiations, there is renewed pessimism. As the US and EU call for China, India and Brazil to open their markets to more foreign goods and services, they need to reciprocate by cutting farm subsidies and tariffs.

Part of the crowd at Horton's PMC seminar in Auckland. Photo: PMC
Part of the crowd at Horton's PMC seminar in Auckland. Photo: PMC
Letters in reply to the Gisbone Herald:

Attacking the messenger and fair trade, 23 April 2011

Dear editor,

The personal attack on CAFCA spokesman, Murray Horton, cannot go unchallenged.

Mr Horton does not "rant" - he debates and analyses issues from an informed perspective.

It is a tired and lazy habit to attack the messenger instead of the message.

The purpose of CAFCA is to protect NZ assets against foreign domination, not to prevent fair trade.

It is largely due to the wholesale plundering of NZ assets over the years, which has been permitted by governments of both hues, that we are as poor as we are now.

It is the responsibility of those who are elected to govern this country (not CAFCA) to encourage productivity and healthy investment, through wise taxation (eg a financial transaction tax to discourage speculation and to promote innovation through funded R & D, among other things).

There often seems to confusion between the concepts of ownership and investment. Ownership denotes control, whereas investment has an element of risk to the investor that accompanies support for a project.

The only point I agree with is the description of "scary" ie the totally inadequate value of the NZ Sharemerket, which has no depth in terms of the variety of companies, no NZ-based manufacturing for instance.

As a long term investor in NZ securities I have watched despairingly as good companies have been sold offshore, only to be milked of profits and assets, then discarded.

The government is now proposing to do the same with such assets as we still have.

As far as the proposed "free trade" agreement with the USA is concerned, this is just the 1980's MAI under a different name. It has little to do with trade and a lot to do with exploiting our service industries such as public health and education.

The new agreement is not discussed publicly, but negotiated behind closed doors - now this is really scary.

I remind the author of NZ's earlier foreign funding effoprts, in the 1860's, when we "borrowed" 2 million pounds to fight the land wars - and eventually repaid a total of 64 m pounds in 1954.

The catch cry in those days was that NZ suffered from "colonial cringe", but it was in fact a "debtors dilemma", and created a subservience to the lender.

We have been borrowing and living beyond our means again recently, hence the financial disaster we now find ourselves in.

Subservience to any country or thing is not desirable, be it an international corporate, or Britain, the USA or China.

We must retain control of our own destiny.

Gillian Preece
Gisborne

TPPA has significant fish hooks, 23 April 2011

Dear editor,

I think it wrong to be so dismissive of Murray Horton's expose of issues around foreign ownership and influence in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Gisborne Herald stated, "There are no-go areas for foreign investors, and the key thing is having clear rules around what we consider to be strategic land or assets," but failed to say what those might be or when the clear rules would be spelt out as we sail merrily towards the TPPA.

The TPPA has significant fish hooks if one has viewed the wikileaks material on the USA Embassy communications or has a common understanding of what the USA has extracted in similar deals.

If we want genetic engineering to be common place in NZ agriculture and forestry, if we want our primary producers to be peasants in our own land, if we want to lose sovereignty over our IP, food supply, health care and service choices, then fine, ignore Horton and CAFCA and embrace another free trade deal that reduces local ownership, NZ manufacturing and employment.

Oh, and it makes it all the easier for the oil and mineral explorers and extractors to come and harm our environment with little liability.

Steffan Browning

Free trade 'riddled with hypocrisy'

Dear editor,

Your editorial criticising CAFCA and its stand against foreign control was misplaced. It seems that anyone who expresses concern at foreign ownership is labelled as xenophobic.

I instead would call them patriotic.

The point is that New Zealand is one of the very few countries that have an open door policy in welcoming foreign ownership, be it called investment. Try going to most other countries as a foreigner to buy land.

As for free trade deals, New Zealand shows a naivety bordering on stupidity. Remember the much vaunted APEC conference of several years or more ago, when US president Bill Clinton was proclaiming the virtue of free trade agreements while signing in the US a Farm Bill designed to increase subsidies to farmers?

Free trade is riddled with hypocrisy.

Tony Orman
Marlborough


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Monday, April 25, 2011

[pima.nius] Good advice on how to deal with leaks

3:11 PM |

via Pacific Journos


This is from an article in The Guardian (UK) on wikileaks by its editor Alan Rusbridger - I thought it might be worth circulating in relation to our recent debate on the Solomon Islands "Intel" report and how the Solomon Star handled it. In particular I draw attention to the last sentence of Max Frankel's second point from his memo.
 
Sean
 
"Each news organisation grappled with the ethical issues involved in such contacts – and in the overall decision to publish – in different ways. I was interested, a few days after the start of the Cablegate release, to receive an email from Max Frankel, who had overseen the defence of the New York Times in the Pentagon papers case 40 years earlier. Now 80, he sent me a memo he had then written to the New York Times public editor. It is worth quoting as concise and wise advice to future generations who may well have to grapple with such issues more in future:
 
1. My view has almost always been that information which wants to get out will get out; our job is to receive it responsibly and to publish or not by our own unvarying news standards.
 
2. If the source or informant violates his oath of office or the law, we should leave it to the authorities to try to enforce their law or oath, without our collaboration. We reject collaboration or revelation of our sources for the larger reason that ALL our sources deserve to know that they are protected with us. It is, however, part of our obligation to reveal the biases and apparent purposes of the people who leak or otherwise disclose information.
 
3. If certain information seems to defy the standards proclaimed by the supreme court in the Pentagon papers case ie that publication will cause direct, immediate and irreparable damage we have an obligation to limit our publication appropriately. If in doubt, we should give appropriate authority a chance to persuade us that such direct and immediate danger exists. (See our 24-hour delay of discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba as described in my autobiography, or our delay in reporting planes lost in combat until the pilots can perhaps be rescued.)
 
4. For all other information, I have always believed that no one can reliably predict the consequences of publication. The Pentagon papers, contrary to Ellsberg's wish, did not shorten the Vietnam war or stir significant additional protest. A given disclosure may embarrass government but improve a policy, or it may be a leak by the government itself and end up damaging policy. "Publish and be damned," as Scotty Reston used to say; it sounds terrible but as a journalistic motto it has served our society well through history."

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Monday, April 18, 2011

[pima.nius] Vanuatu govt urged to resolve lengthy delay in publisher assault case

1:41 PM |

via PFF

----


Colleagues,

following up on the Vanuatu situation, letting you know that as part
of the forthcoming WPFD activity planned for Apia, Samoa, Daily Post
Publisher Marc Neil Jones has accepted an invite to be a lead
presenter on WPFD during the regional media dialogue session on media
monitoring.

We're anticipating a vigorous discussion on the benefits and
importance of monitoring work from this session and look forward to
sharing the results with you all.

regards, lis

On 4/15/11, Lisa Williams-Lahari <lisa.lahari@gmail.com> wrote:
> Colleagues, the www.pacificfreedomforum.org site has been updated with
> the text below. Thanks for publication/sharing widely with relevant
> networks.
>
> begins --
>
> PFF, Rarotonga, Cook Islands--Safety concerns are on the rise as
> regional media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum continues to urge
> Vanuatu's government to address the assault allegations linking
> cabinet minister Harry Iauko Iaris to an attack on Daily Post
> publisher Marc Neil Jones last month.
> "It is now almost six weeks since the Daily Post carried its front
> page coverage of the Ministers role in a group assault on Marc Neil
> Jones at the newspaper premises in Port Vila; and we've yet to see
> progress or clarity in ascertaining whether the Minister is being
> charged, and what he's being charged with," says PFF co-chair Susuve
> Laumaea, of Papua New Guinea.
> "The eyes of the region and the world are on Vanuatu and its
> leadership as the credibility of the judicial process and government
> continues to be held hostage by the lack of due process in this
> matter," he says.
> "Meanwhile, given the circumstances around the assault and the
> implications for the government of the day should the Minister face a
> conviction, we remain concerned for the safety of Mr Neil Jones and
> his family, those media colleagues who witnessed the assault; and
> others involved in the Police investigation," he says.
> A Magistrates court sitting on the case scheduled for Thursday 7th
> April came to nothing and there has been no progress apart from an
> invitation to Vanuatu media, including the Daily Post, to meet with
> the Minister this week in a conference organised by his supporters.
> "We understand the reluctance of the Daily Post to be involved in that
> conference given emotions are running high and due legal process has
> yet to be observed in this matter," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller,
> of American Samoa.
> "Had the situation been reversed, with Marc Neil Jones or any other
> citizen of Vanuatu being linked to an assault on a cabinet Minister,
> there is little doubt someone would be in jail right now. The fact
> that we have a national leader who potentially is in breach of his own
> leadership code as well as the Vanuatu law should be even more reason
> why the government must rise above its own conflicting interest in
> this case,"she says.--ENDS
>
>
> CONTACT: PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper
> | Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 |
> Email: susuve.laumaea@interoil.com PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller
> | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 |
> Email: monica@khjradio.com The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional
> and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the
> specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of
> Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free
> and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link
> between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory
> governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific
> Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the
> above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and
> bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and
> international community.
> --
> Lisa Williams-Lahari
> Media Freelancer
> Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
> Project
> Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
> Skype: lisalahari
>
> * "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
> matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *
>


--
Lisa Williams-Lahari
Media Freelancer
Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
Project
Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
Skype: lisalahari

* "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[pima.nius] Reminder PIMA Quiz Night Tomorrow

7:09 PM |

Don't forget the PIMA (Pacific Islands Media Association) quiz night tomorrow night at the Thirsty Whale in Mt Albert, Auckland.  Join us for an entertaining night with a crowd of other Pacific and Maori media practitioners.  All you need is a team of 6 to 8 people and your thinking caps.  Up for grabs are some awesome Pacific prizes.  All funds will go to the annual PIMA Conference in September 2011.

 

WHERE: Thirsty Whale Bar, 540 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings.  Plenty of parking nearby

WHEN: Arrive at 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start.  Ends at around 9.30 pm.

COST: Gold coin donation

QUIZ CATEGORIES: Sport, Current Affairs, Entertainment & Music, Culture/Tradition/Language, History, Personalities and General Knowledge

 

For more info contact: Iulia Leilua (09) 021 378 639 or ileilua@ihug.co.nz

 

 

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[pima.nius] Digital-savvy islanders grow wary of 'big man' leadership style

12:39 PM |

Digital-savvy islanders grow wary of 'big man' leadership style


Pacific Media Centre, Rowan Callick

10 April, 2011

As people in the Pacific gain access to more information in the digital revolution, they are becoming less satisfied with the levels of leadership and services in their communities. The ultimate options are unclear, but it is important to note that a debate is under way.

OPINION: The cyclone season is coming to an end for this year, yet a different type of turmoil is starting to stir the Pacific islands. A digital revolution is running through the region, with myriad mobile towers being erected providing cheap-as-chips, pay-as-you-go calls.

Facebook is running riot. People are able to check on their relatives in distant villages, farmers are setting prices after talking to informants at markets. And both the facts and the rumours about how political and landowner leaders are behaving are going feral online and on mobile - as are resulting opinions.

As people in the Pacific gain access to more information, they are becoming less satisfied with the levels of leadership and services in their communities. The ultimate options are unclear, but it is important to note that a debate is under way.

People are becoming wary of those claiming "big man" status and are looking for more accountable, lower-profile leaders focused more on long-postponed delivery of basic services.

Former PNG Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu, now busy as a corporate board member, said in a recent speech: "I see our democracy, our parliamentary system, as being at the crossroads. The next election (due next year) will be more critical than any since independence (in 1975).

"I sense that the total lack of parliamentary accountability troubles our people greatly" - as politicians and public servants seize the country's fast-growing resource returns for themselves instead of making them available for schools, clinics and roads.

In PNG and elsewhere in the Pacific, younger people, mobiles glued to their ears, are seizing newfound opportunities to discuss options for their futures, just as their peers in the Middle East have been doing.

Think-tank
A lively Vanuatu-based think tank, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, has just published an essay that says: "Where authoritarian regimes in Egypt and Tunisia have fallen under popular pressure, in our part of the world the pressure is on parliamentary democracy itself. There is growing disillusionment with current systems and the antics of political big men, who treat politics as a self-serving game."

It warns that, as has already happened in Fiji, "unless there is urgent reform a combination of demographics and new geopolitics could spell the end of democracy as we know it in the Pacific, beginning with Melanesia" - which has to date been the regional exemplar of lively democracy, compared with the more aristocratic Polynesian culture.

The institute says: "Vast amounts of time and money are wasted on supporting or toppling governing coalitions, with the net result that the populations of Melanesia are increasingly starting to feel that parliamentary democracy is a waste of time. The struggle between communal values and individual rights remains a deep faultline."

Is Frank Bainimarama's militarised Fiji becoming an attractive alternative in the region as the coup leader milks to the utmost his new chairmanship of the Melanesian Spearhead Group?

Probably not beyond the "big man" elites which last week endorsed his programme but are themselves also on the nose.

What should Australia do? The institute says: "Entering the debate on no-fly zones in Libya might be worthwhile, however, entering the debate on the future of Melanesia is essential."

But this is a debate which only Melanesians can resolve.

It may involve an evolution to presidential-type structures, and more or less devolution. It should involve more women in positions of power at every level. It will mean greater uncertainty over the next few years.

It is also a debate that Canberra - and the broader Australian community - can and should encourage, through providing resources to enhance informed discussion, and through listening to the new voices, and giving them platforms, so that the lively communities to our north shape up to take full advantage of their emerging opportunities.

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[pima.nius] PACIFIC CHURCHES CRITICIZE JAPAN RADIATION LEAK

12:37 PM |



PACIFIC CHURCHES CRITICIZE JAPAN RADIATION LEAK
Irradiated sea water poses lasting threat to Pacific environment

http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2011/April/04-12-05.htm

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 11, 2011) - The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) is critical of Japan for using sea water to cool the reactors at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station.

The PCC has sent its heartfelt condolences to the people of Japan for the loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

But it's expressing grave concerns about the radiation leaks coming from the badly damaged reactors.

In a statement, it says it's unacceptable for the Japanese government to pump sea water to cool down the reactors and then return that water to the Pacific.

The PCC says this irradiated sea water poses a lasting threat to Pacific ecosystems and the livelihoods of island communities which depend on the marine environment for their survival and sense of identity.

It's called on the Japanese Government to exhaust every measure to prevent any further radioactive material from entering the Pacific Ocean.

The PCC also condemns the use of nuclear power stations and calls on the international community to advocate for the promotion and adoption of clean and renewable energy.

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/
Copyright © 2011 Radio New Zealand International. All Rights Reserved

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Monday, April 11, 2011

[pima.nius] SAMOA: Samoa Observer editorial - Frightening campaign to silence critics

2:50 PM |


Title – 7388 SAMOA: Samoa Observer editorial - Frightening campaign to silence critics
Date – 11 April 2011
Byline – Savea Sano Malifa
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Samoa Observer, 7/4/11
Copyright – SO
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:
pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter - http://twitter.com/pacmedcentre

Opinion :
AN ASS OF A LAW
http://www.samoaobserver.ws/index.php?view=article&id=32413%3Aan-ass&option=com_content&Itemid=103

By Savea Sano Malifa, editor-in-chief

APIA (Samoa Observer/Pacific Media Watch): The idea that general election petitions may soon be outlawed in Samoa is scary.

We are looking at a people being shunted into a tight corner where their freedom to say a critical word against their government is taken away from them by a rule of law.

By then the Constitution – or is it Samoa's Supreme Law, whatever those silly words mean – will have become just a badly butchered document not even worthy of the paper it's printed on.

Last week Prime Minister Tuilaepa confirmed a submission for a Commission of Inquiry into the general elections would be tabled before Cabinet.

The commission, he said, would consider a number of issues including election petitions.

"We need to look at these issues as many countries hardly do petitions," he pointed out.  "But for us (election petitions are) continuing."

He's right. But then he should also know why. And since it appears he doesn't know – or is he pretending he doesn't for one reason or another? – then let us remind him.

Other democracies do not go through the senselessly costly hassle of having to deal with petition elections – at the taxpaying public's expense that is – for the simple reason their governments are not corrupt.

In those countries their political leaders are well aware corruption is the root cause of all their problems, so they seriously work towards avoiding it at any cost.

This is why they have laws in place – and they are very much honoured – to ensure all forms of corruption, particularly during general elections, do not exist.

However in Samoa all the relevant laws seem to be aimed at ensuring corruption is revered.

For instance, acts of corruption, such as bribery or gifts disguised as essential gestures of respect in the Samoan culture that makes it unique in the world, openly made monetary donations at  fa'alavelave or  village and family ceremonies, are a part and parcel of general elections.

And so are government-paid projects in villages and districts such as committees promoting good health, free education, and plantation roads carried out close to general elections.

Which follows if the government truly wants election petitions out of the way all it has to do is draft legislation aimed at eliminating all forms of corruption, and the problem is solved.

However it appears that is not the only problem Prime Minister Tuilaepa is struggling with.
He also wants all members of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) of which he is leader, to have complete and unquestioned loyalty to the party.

That desire of his showed up after the recent elections when from 112 candidates the HRPP fielded, only 36 were elected.

Of the unelected, some filed petitions against other HRPP members claiming corruption. Which was the spark that fired Tuilaepa's displeasure.

"I have mentioned in some of my announcements [to the party] that we need to be of one heart," he said.
"That whoever wins, let them have their five years.

"I can tell you some have done the noble thing stepping aside, and wishing the winners the best for their parliamentary term.

"But others are different," the PM said. "They have gone ahead and filed petitions."

And because of them – among others - a submission for a Commission of Inquiry into the general elections is now before Cabinet. The details of the submission are not clear.

What's clear is that those petitioners must now be living in agitated turmoil. As they're waiting for their day in court, they're aware that if they're found to have been involved in any corrupt practice at all, they'll be jailed. And so are their witnesses.
That's the law.

Which is the most frightening aspect of this campaign to silence critics of the government.
The truth is that everyone knows there is virtually no honesty in Samoa's general elections. It is where corruption is rampant.
Which follows that if petitioners are punished with jail sentences for dishonesty during general elections, what about the petitioned who are themselves allegedly dishonest during the same elections?

In Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist, Mr Brownlow says to Mr Bumble: "The law assumes that your wife acts under your direction."

Replies Mr Bumble: "If the law supposes that, then the law is an ass, a idiot!

"If that's the eye of the law, then the law is a bachelor. And the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience."

Indeed, may the eye of this ass of a law be shut by fairness, justice.

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
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[pima.nius] Expressions of Interest: Pacific writers/Contributers sought for Pacific Press Freedom Report

2:49 PM |


via IFJ Asia-Pacific office, Sydney
Thanks for sharing widely with people who may be interested. Lis

Seeking Expressions of Interest: IFJ Press Freedom in the Pacific Report
2011

The International Federation of Journalists is seeking news
journalists to write sections of its inaugural Press Freedom in the
Pacific Report. The report, a key activity of the IFJ Media For
Democracy and Human Rights in the Pacific project, will be an in-depth
overview of the status of press freedom, freedom of expression and
access to information in Pacific island nations.
A stipend will be provided for contributions to this important report.
If you are
interested in authoring a chapter of the report, expressions of
interest will be accepted up to April 15 and should be sent to IFJ
regional project coordinator Lisa Williams-Lahari
lisa.lahari@gmail.com. If you aren't able to author a chapter, but
have photographs, illustrations or a press freedom story to tell,
contact Lisa today - the more people who tell their stories, the more
complete the picture of Pacific Press
Freedom will be.




--
Lisa Williams-Lahari
Media Freelancer
Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
Project
Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
Skype: lisalahari

* "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *

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[pima.nius] The National Association for teaching of the Samoan Language in Aotearoa New Zealand (F.A.G.A.S.A)

4:44 AM |

The National Association for teaching of the Samoan Language in Aotearoa New Zealand (F.A.G.A.S.A)

Invites your participation to its

20TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2011  

THEME:  Samoan Language Place and Value in the 21st Century.

Hosted by:  F.A.G.A.S.A  - AUCKLAND BRANCH

Guest Speakers and Practitioners from various departments and industries will speak and share on the place and value of the Samoan Language in their areas of service.

There will also be presentations from Pre-schools to Tertiary Education on the teaching of the Samoa Language in their respective sectors.

Come along and you will also have an opportunity to share your views during various panel discussions.

Conference is open to everyone: Samoans and other Ethnic Groups

WHEN:  19th & 20th April 2011 – First week of the School Holidays.

VENUE:  Mangere College Auditorium-Mangere College, Bader Drive

 

For further information or registration form please contact the following:

President: Faimai Tuimauga – :     021 027 00362

Secretary: Rasela Lafaele Uili  - : 027 432 0372

Secretary: Melegalenuu Ah Sam –: 0272 797 962. 

 

 

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

[pima.nius] PR: Georgina te Heuheu - Christchurch Pacific People Hard-hit but Resilient

1:01 PM |

:


 

 

Hon Georgina te Heuheu

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

8 April 2011

      Media Statement       

Christchurch Pacific People Hard-hit but Resilient

Pacific people in Christchurch, while hard-hit by the February earthquake, are being well-supported in their efforts to recover, Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu says.

 

Mrs te Heuheu is today visiting some badly damaged sites in the eastern suburbs - home to many of the city's 12,000 Pacific people.

 

"I am interested to see how well services are being accessed," said Mrs te Heuheu.

 

"I will also be spending time at the Pacific hub, a one-stop shop for Pacific people needing information and help which the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs staff set up in Aranui," she said.

 

"This is not only a base for Ministry staff, whose own office is still uninhabitable, but for other partner agencies including the Department of Labour, New Zealand Police, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Pacific Business Trust, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, ACTIS (Aranui Community Trust), Vaka Tautua, Pacific Trust Canterbury, Pegasus Health, PACIFICA, Tagata Atumotu, Pacific Island Evaluation and the Salvation Army.

 

"This is a great focal point for Pacific people, the culmination of work done in the days and weeks immediately following the earthquake to ensure information about emergency help and assistance and support reaches Pacific communities."

 

Mrs te Heuheu said often Pacific people were reticent about asking for help, preferring to rely on their own family and Pacific community resources.

 

"However a disaster of this magnitude can stretch the resources of even the most generous communities. Help is available to all, whether from Government or from the myriad of other organisations which have pitched in to assist Christchurch people," Mrs te Heuheu said.

 

"It's important that everybody knows the help that is available, and is able to avail themselves of it. I am confident that every effort is being made to ensure Pacific people's interests are being well looked after."

 

Mrs te Heuheu is also meeting ministers from Pacific churches who have played an important part in identifying needs, offering help and ensuring congregations knew about the assistance available to them.

 

Media contact: Peata Melbourne 04 817 9878 or 021 802 206

 

 

 

 

 

 


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[pima.nius] 2011 Samoa Tourism Circular 02 - 080411 Distribution

1:01 PM |



cid:image001.jpg@01CB4609.411CD650

                                                                                                                            REPLY TO: mailto:gardenia@samoa.travel

                                                                                                                            DATE:         Friday 08th April 2011

                                                                                                                            RE:             2011 Circular – Issue 02

 

Talofa all,

 

Please find attached the 2011 Samoa Tourism Circular, Issue 02  for your information and dissemination.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Gardenia

 

 

Gardenia Elisaia

Public Relations & Communications

Samoa Tourism Authority

P.O. Box 2272, Beach Road, Apia, Samoa

T: +685 63 528| F: +685 20 886

E: gardenia@samoa.travel | W: www.samoa.travel

 

 

cid:image002.gif@01CB4609.411CD650

 

 

 

 

 

Unsubscribe!!
You are receiving this e-Circular because your email has been added to our mailing list. If this was done by mistake, or against your wishes, or if you do not need this Circular any more, you can easily delete your email from our mailing list by replying 'UNSUBSCRIBE' to gardenia@samoa.travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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