Tuesday, August 30, 2011

[pima.nius] Results website frustrates Pacific Games fans

11:37 AM |

Results website frustrates Pacific Games fans

Updated August 30, 2011 10:34:54

The website for the Pacific Games is still not showing any results four days after the games kicked off in New Caledonia.

Officials are hopeful the site will be up and running later in the week.

Presenter: Campbell Cooney
Speker: Geraldine Coutts, Radio Australia reporter

COUTTS: He had 150 tablets of steroids, illegal substances, thyroid pills and diuretics and the combination of course enhances performance and then masks the drugs in the system within a 24 hour period. But the reason that the police had persisted and pushed it to court is because they don't believe his story that it was for personal use. They claim that amount was for the potential for him to deal, and so they weren't letting it go and take it lightly. And apart from everything else, they're illegal substances and officials have been overt in their message to the athletes even before they came to the games, don't take drugs because you'll be caught, because they're going to have at least 350 random tests throughout the course of the games. So beware is the message to the athletes. But yeah, two o'clock this afternoon Cam, they'll be going to court. He still hasn't been named. I guess by practice of elimination I could have worked it out, but then if we had a website that worked that gave us all the details of the athletes we could do that. But the gods are against us, the planets haven't yet lined up for the organisers of the media centre just yet.

COONEY: Yeah we'll get to the website because it is causing some problems. I'm curious if there's been any response from the Tahitian team at this stage Gero?

COUTTS: No pretty quiet, no messages at all, no press conferences, actually you could say you ring the team managers and it's no comment because it's before the courts, the usual message, they don't want to prejudice themselves before they go to court this afternoon. It's fair enough I guess, but absolutely silent, they're not even saying who it is, and I asked at a press conference yesterday if it was automatic suspension from the games, would he be sent home? And the organisers, outlook a whitewash again, wouldn't commit to that either and said no, no, they'd be an investigation, a full investigation � but it's beyond doubt, the man was caught with 150 tablets in his luggage, so it's beyond doubt he was in possession. And yet they're still committing to even sending him home.

COONEY: Alright now you mentioned there if the website was working, because I understand this is causing some major frustrations over there, the fact that it is not working, it's not giving good results?

COUTTS: Well it's not giving any results. I went on this morning in the faint hope that I'd be able to give you a medal tally. There's not a medal on it, they just cannot get it up and running, and so there are no results. So between us, all of the journalists, when we go out to the various venues and get results and all the rest of it, we bring it back and share it amongst ourselves, which is how we're getting the results that we've got. And if it's an event that hasn't been visited by a journalist, there are no results. Look Frederico(?), the guy in the media centre, he's just lovely, outstanding working his fingers to the bone, but the fact is why wasn't this tested? It should have been months ago, why did it come down to the line that it's fallen over, well it hasn't fallen over, it hasn't got up to fall over, there is absolutely nothing in the website. It's beautiful, it will do all sorts of things once it gets up and running.

COONEY: Just not give you results?

COUTTS: No, no results, so they're saying not today, maybe tomorrow, so hopefully some time this week they'll actually be able to get it up and running, then it'll be a snap, because it's a beautiful website, it just doesn't give you results.

COONEY: Alright now look Tonga's table tennis campaign has taken a bit of a stall, they haven't even made it to New Caledonia yet, they're stuck in Brisbane. Any news on what's happened with these guys or why they've been delayed?

COUTTS: Look I rang the Tongan officials yesterday, they're not really sure and are a bit sketchy, but nine of them, that's the table tennis team, other sports in Tonga are actually here, so we're only talking about Tonga's table tennis team, stuck in Brisbane. Now we've got an assortment of reasons, and I emphasis this is just an assortment of reasons, we haven't had any confirmation. One is that a number of teams have had difficulty getting visas to transit through Australia, another is that one of the table tennis teammates missed the flight, so they decided to wait for him, so they're all hold up in Brisbane. But I suggest that's not the case, I think it'd be something more official as their hold-up in Brisbane for this amount of time. So the finger maybe is pointing more towards visa difficulties, but that cannot be confirmed, this is just hearsay at this stage and there are a lot more reasons. But because they didn't turn up New Caledonia got forfeits in the men's and women's teams events yesterday. Officials say look when and if they do turn up, they'll be allowed into the competition, as long as they arrive before the start, at the various events like the singles, the doubles and the mixed doubles, if they arrive after those events have started, forfeit will come again. But really at this stage no idea as to why they're still in Brisbane. But visas look like it might be the reason.

COONEY: Alright now good results for Papua New Guinea in the pool?

COUTTS: Oh Ryan Pini, look he is an absolute champion, I think two times in the Olympics, gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He got gold last night in the 200 metres free, one of his pet events. He must have been foxing in the heats because he only got the fourth fastest time, but then in the final, floored it and came home with gold. Look I'd love to tell you about the events, because I left before they were on, but he was also to be in the 100 metre butterfly and the relay, but I don't know about that and as I've already mentioned the website, but I'm guessing that in the fly he would have done pretty well because he's had so much international competition he is being chased by all-comers now. So it's good for the up and comers to try and chase him and get there. But let's remember, Ryan Pini is now 29, so he's getting to that area of his career that he might be thinking about hanging up the togs. Speaking of hanging up the togs, in the body building thing, just going back to that for a moment, the officials warned very carefully to the men, no padding in your bathers, and for the women please cover your derrieres to at least two-thirds. This is New Caledonia, we're a Christian country, blah, blah, blah. No padding in your togs boys, and cover your derriere girls.

COONEY: Now protests yesterday I understand too, what's happening here?

COUTTS: Engla ZaZah in 500 metre mens, Fiji lodged a complaint that wound up going for three hours over Samoa, they reckon that Samoa finished out of its lane. Samoa countered by saying well if we finished out of our lanes, so did everybody else. Now that's not to suggest that they were playing dodgems and were banging into each other crossing the lane, they all started in the incorrect lanes, which was the argument that Samoa made. And so officials dismissed it saying well you're in the lane, and they said well why don't you dismiss them all, and they said because you were the only ones that had a complaint lodged against you. So that was not upheld, so then Samoa decided they'd lodge a complaint against the officials, which then made the complaints go on and on and on. So that was dismissed in the end as well. So three hours it took, it held up that particular 500 metres, and in the end, bad luck.

COONEY: Look very quickly what's on the agenda for the day, what's the big one?

COUTTS: Look I think that I'm going to go to the weightlifting because there's some big names coming up and at some stage I'd like to catch up with Dika Toua, who is the PNG women's champion. She's back for the first time now after having had a baby. So it'll be really interesting to see how she goes there. Za'a finishes again this afternoon, so the pool again will be on this afternoon, and we'll hopefully find out what's going there. But there's lots of medals on offer at the moment as the games heat up. So they'll be a variety of events and results.


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[pima.nius] COURT ORDERS TONGAN NOBLE EVICTED FROM HOME

11:35 AM |

COURT ORDERS TONGAN NOBLE EVICTED FROM HOME
'Akau'ola refuses to vacate former government property

http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2011/August/08-30-05.htm

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 29, 2011) – The family of 'Akau'ola, the Special Adviser to the Tongan Prime Minister, were evacuated under police supervision from a private property on Hala Tupoulahi on Friday afternoon, 26 August, after defying a court order to leave.

'Akau'ola and his family had refused to move from the property, a former government flat, which was among several government properties that were tendered and sold late last year.

A Nuku'alofa accountant, Sitiveni 'Esau bid for the property and won. He paid the remaining 80 percent of the total value of the property of about $160,000 on 22 November 2010, and was issued with the land deeds.

However, since November last year, Sitiveni and his family had not been able to move into their new home, because the occupants, 'Akau'ola and his family refused to leave.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tonga on 28 July ordered for 'Akau'ola to vacate the property within 28 days.

The removal time was up at noon on Thursday, 25 August, but by Friday 26 August, Sitiveni said that 'Akau'ola and his family were still at his property and had not complied with the court order.

On Friday, the Supreme Court ordered the police to "take possession" of the property.

Sitiveni said that 'Akau'ola was not at home when he arrived with the police to take possession of his property, but 'Akau'ola's wife was there. She pleaded for more time so that they could talk to their lawyer, but Sitiveni pointed out that there was a Court Order for them to vacate the property, and this time it was for him to take possession of the property, so they had to move out immediately.

"But we have no home to go to," pleaded Mrs 'Akau'ola.

Sitiveni 'Esau asks Mrs 'Akau'ola to leave his property

Sitiveni said he could not put up any longer with 'Akau'ola's delaying tactics, because even his nine months rent of $300 a month for the flat where he had been staying since November 2010 had not been repaid by 'Akau'ola, as agreed in an out of court settlement of costs on 28 July.

Sitveni had to take the case to the court because the officials from the Ministry of Public Enterprises who sold the property had not become involved in the process of removing 'Akau'ola.

Sitiveni said that he had become aware that because of 'Akau'ola's high position in government as the special advisor to the prime minister that civil servants were scared of losing their jobs if they became actively involved in the problem.

One of the reasons why the court hearing was delayed for so long was because the relevant officers from the Ministry of Public Enterprises were not available to attend the hearing.

"I can't believe that this could happen in this day and age," said Sitiveni, who said the saga was "extremely stressful - I feel as though I have run a marathon to get here."

He understood that 'Akau'ola came to live in the house when he was a civil servant, the CEO of Civil Aviation under the government of Prince Lavaka 'Ata 'Ulukalala, but had continued to live there after he resigned from government in 2007 when he became a highly-paid consultant.

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to
Copyright © 2009 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved


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Thursday, August 25, 2011

[pima.nius] No chance for Fiji dictatorship over Forum, says Tuilaepa

11:38 AM |


No chance for Fiji dictatorship over Forum, says Tuilaepa


Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Tupuola Terry Tavita in Apia

The embattled coup-installed military regime in Fiji should not be a focus in next month's Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Auckland, says the Samoan prime minister.

The question was put to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi by Savali this week if there is any chance Fiji can again be suggested to rejoin the Forum in the Auckland leaders meeting.

"What for?" asked Tuilaepa. "The regime there is getting worse."

Asked to clarify this comment, he added: "Well, there are reports that Bainimarama is paying himself five different ministerial salaries from the five different ministerial portfolios he's overseeing. That's on top of his salary as Prime Minister. The Attorney-General is reportedly also doing the same.

"And they are both being paid through an accounting firm owned by the AG's aunt- from cash paid directly from the different ministries. That system ensures that no one else knows the totality of the fortnightly salaries of the PM and his AG.

"In our democratic system where transparency and accountability prevail, the prime minister or a minister can only draw one salary regardless of that minister's many responsibilities. All the payments are in black and white. There are no grey areas.

"Elsewhere where good governance policies and best practices are absent, dictators help themselves to public money and feel no urge to go back to democracy.

"He (Bainimarama) and his Attorney-General are both into this little scam that's costing Fijian taxpayers millions of dollars. They're both looking after themselves. Why then should the Forum allow Fiji back in when the regime there is not demonstrating any genuine effort to return the county to democracy, to good governance principles – in all its forms and manifestations – the Forum upholds?"

Academic freedom
It has been alleged that University of the South Pacific's economics professor Wadan Narsey – who has presented critical, but objective, views of the military regime for Pacific Scoop and many other publications – has been forced to resign from pressure exerted by the Fiji government, through the university administration.

"It is extremely worrying when politics starts to interfere with academic independence. You then start to question the standard of education at USP and the teaching environment there.

"Especially as USP is collectively-owned by Forum countries and not just Fiji . The irony is that the pressure is coming from an uneducated military dictator who has never studied at a university."

This week, trade unions in Fiji issued a joint statement asking media outlets in the country to publish and broadcast balanced news item, instead of the one way anti-union pro-regime propaganda that people in Fiji have been receiving.

"That's the reality of military dictatorships. There is no freedom of expression, no media independence and any critical views are hushed up – silenced. It's all shotgun news now in Fiji ," Tuilaepa said.

The planned Methodist annual conference scheduled later this week has again been cancelled by the military regime with reports that some of the senior church leaders have been sent to the barracks and interrogated by the military.

"If 200,000 Christian women marched for their freedom as the Filipino women did against their own dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the Christian soldiers of the Christian army will just fold their arms and let them through. They will not dare touch their Christian mothers, aunts, nieces, cousins and sisters," Tuilaepa said.

Tupuola Terry Tavita is editor of the Samoan government newspaper Savali.

 Pacific Scoop Pacific Islands Forum stories

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[pima.nius] Tuvalu PM to remain in power

11:36 AM |


Tuvalu PM to remain in power

Updated August 25, 2011 16:23:59

Tuvalu's Prime Minister Willy Telavi will remain in power after a critical by-election fell the governments way.

Ultimately just 62 votes was the difference between the government keeping its wafer thin majority or a new administration taking power.

Presenter: Cameron Wilson
Speaker: Pelenike Tekinene Isaia, new Tuvalu MP

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

[pima.nius] The writing's on the wall

12:19 PM |

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fiji Torture Watch <fijitorturewatch@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 12:25:32 +1200
Subject: The writing's on the wall
To: lisa.lahari@gmail.com

Taken on the morning of 23 August 2011, these photos show somebody's dissent
displayed on walls and bus stops along the Suva to Nausori corridor.
Soldiers were seen painting over spray painted words that read "PM YOU LIER"
on a bus stop wall. Other road workers stood at the bus stop on the opposite
side blocking the view of large letters which read "REVOLOTION BEGINS". At
Karsanji Street, a sign mysteriously appeared in the space of 20 minutes
reading "BAINIMARAMA U EVIL LEADER"



--
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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. . .

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Leaving? Send an email to mediafreedom+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

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. . .



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[pima.nius] PNG: Mobile phones in rural villages a 'double-edged sword', says researcher

12:18 PM |


Title – 7586 PNG: Mobile phones in rural villages a 'double-edged sword', says researcher
Date – 24 August 2011
Byline – None
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Queensland University of Technology, 24/8/11
Copyright – QUT
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:

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

MOBILE PHONES IN PNG RURAL VILLAGES 'DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD', SAYS RESEARCHER

BRISBANE (Queensland University of Technology/Pacific Media Watch): The introduction of mobile phones in rural villages in Papua New Guinea is seen as a double-edged sword, with communities welcoming the opportunity to communicate but fearing it will lead to family breakdowns.

A study by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Amanda Watson has explored the way new mobile technology, in areas which did not have landline, internet or electricity access, has been changing people's lives, social structures and relationships.

"We are talking about rural areas which had little or no access to modern communication technologies and in many instances were still using traditional forms of communication such as the drum," Watson said.

Watson, who is completing her PhD with QUT's Creative Industries Faculty, said the study of almost 750 people from 10 villages found that while most people were generally positive about the communication benefits of mobile phones, it was how they were using the technology that was most surprising.

"Instead of using mobile phones for business or to improve their economic status, people related the benefits mostly to the enhanced communications they could have with family and friends who were living away from home villages," she said.

"It suggests that social uses of the technology, rather than functional uses such as searching for jobs or coordinating logistics, mark the key benefit felt by rural villagers in PNG."

But Watson said there were also concerns that mobile phone technology was leading to marriage breakdowns.

"For example we were hearing stories about someone seeing their partner engage in a private conversation using a mobile phone, either talking quietly or text messaging, and this was causing jealously and tension within the marriage," she said.

"So there was definitely this feeling that mobile phones were leading to more instances of marriages falling apart."

Watson said there were also difficulties associated with owning mobile phones such as the cost of the calls and the logistical challenges of charging a handset battery without easy access to mains power.

She said by identifying the negatives linked to mobile phones, it was hoped that policy and practices could be introduced to overcome these challenges.

"Efforts to reduce usage costs, enable easier recharging and designing more robust handsets would allow for increased use of mobile phones for a range of purposes," Watson said.

"I think mobile phone services in rural areas present a big change in these places where they've missed out on most steps in the evolution of technology, but it is an important change and worth documenting."

(cc) Creative Commons

* More Pacific media research: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/research

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

+++niuswire

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[pima.nius] Introducing the NZ Pacific Island Sports Awards

12:15 PM |



Fakalofa atu & Happy Mid-Week everyone,

Please find attached the NZ Pacific Island Sports Awards information letter from Tuigamala Va'aiga "Inga the Winger" Tuigamala (Founder) and NZPISA President Jannitta Pilisi.

The NZ Pacific Island Sports Awards Dinner and Ball on Saturday 5th November 2011 is not exclusive to Pacific sportsmen or sportswomen and their families.  All parts of NZ's Pacific community from our Sportspeople, to our Community and Culture groups, our Entertainers and Artists, our Health and Justice sectors, to our Education providers, as well as our Businesses and our Churches are very welcome.

Corporate tables start from $3,500 and include entry, dinner, drinks, entertainment and the Awards Ball.  The event will be televised by TVNZ on 4 Dec 2011.  Single ticket sales are also available from the beginning of September.  

Please feel free to pass this message on to anyone who may be interested in attending.  Apologies for double-posting.  All contact information is available in the letter.

Fa'afetai lava and kindest regards,

Lee. A for
Jannitta Pilisi BA.LLB
President - NZPISA




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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[pima.nius] FIJI: Samoa's Savali blasts 'propaganda-promoting journalists'

11:28 AM |


Title – 7585 FIJI: Samoa's Savali blasts 'propaganda-promoting journalists' 
Date – 23 August 2011
Byline – None
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Savali News, 22/8/11
Copyright – SN
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:

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

SAMOA'S SAVALI BLASTS 'PROPAGANDA-PROMOTING JOURNALISTS'

APIA (Savali News/Pacific Media Watch): The lack of balanced reporting to the point of promoting regime propaganda in the Fiji media, and the subsequent silence from media freedom groups in the region, has prompted Savali News to issue a statement.

This week, Fiji's trade union bodies asked that country's media outlets not to report what they see as one-sided pro-government news. And that, to either publish balanced news items, or nothing at all.

Pro-regime newspaper Fiji Sun, Radio Fiji and Fiji TV were named by the Fiji Trade Union Congress and the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions in a joint press release.

Asked for comment, the editor of the Savali newspaper, Tupuola Terry Tavita, had this to say: "It has been known in regional media circles for some years now that there are many so-called journalists in Fiji who willingly – and actively – promote the military regime there. They come to regional media workshops and bad-mouth the regime then go back home and voluntarily write and promote regime propaganda.

"They're hypocrites.

"Several times, it was suggested to some in the independent Fiji media to make use of regional media networks to go around the government censors. To have their stuff that can't be published in Fiji published elsewhere in the region where media freedom thrives like Samoa and the Cook Islands.

"But they (Fijian journalists) are not interested. They come up with all sorts of excuses instead. I can't believe that in this age of emails, fax machines and phone texting there is absolutely nothing coming out of Fiji. In fact, we only ever read about the truth of what's really going on there from the New Zealand and Australian media.

"It's an insult to Pacific media.The lack of leadership from Fiji-based regional media groups like PINA also contributes to this environment," said the Savali editor.

"I don't blame the Fijian journos too much as they are only taking their cue from the spineless PINA organisation whose executive is also too busy kissing up, and looking for favours, from the Bainimarama regime. You know, when the big crab crawls with a limp, the little crabs limp after him."

But he adds. "The situation in Fiji is like any other crisis elsewhere. There are those who lose out and there are those who position themselves to take advantage of the situation.
"The media also has its share of opportunists. Journalists, editors and news directors who agreeably choose to promote the regime-of-the-day.

"They've become part of the problem, Bainimarama's willing and able soldiers in the media. They've essentially become part of the propaganda machine. The regime's critics become their enemies, and those friendly to the regime become their friends also. You can easily pick that out by what – and how – they publish and broadcast the news.

"In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many of these Fijian journalists are calling up Bainimarama and suggesting news angles that make him look good.

"Savali newspaper – published by the Samoan government under the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – has been critical of the coup-installed regime in Fiji since it took power, December 2006."

* Fiji Trade Union Congress on the media:

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

+++niuswire

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PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is a media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region.

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[pima.nius] Sir Michael Somare is discharged from hospital

11:27 AM |

Sir Michael Somare is discharged from hospital

Updated August 23, 2011 17:16:21

Papua New Guinea's former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has been discharged from a Singapore hospital following a heart surgery 4 months ago and is expected to return in a few weeks' time.

His son Arthur Somare says his father's condition has improved a lot and he's now able to walk and eat well.

He says Sir Michael should be be able to return in time to celebrate PNG's 36 years of independence next month.

Presenter: Firmin Nanol
Speaker: Arthur Somare, son of former PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare

SOMARE: From the last time I saw him which was several weeks back before many of the issues started to confront us over here, he was fragile, but his recovery is absolutely fantastic. He is walking, he is eating regular meals, he's certainly got an appetite to start reading again, and keeping himself informed at this stage. And there's clarity there. I wouldn't say 100 per cent, but from a family perspective I am very, very happy with his present recovery. As of yesterday he's checked out of the Singapore hospital, he's now out of Raffles, he has a unit eight minutes away from Raffles from the hospital, he'll be there for a little while longer to ensure that all the appropriate medical care is still with him for that duration of his stay there, and I hope that in the very near future, sometime in the next couple of weeks he'll be back in Papua New Guinea again. So I'm delighted at my father's recovery.

NANOL: Any reaction when you served him the documents and told him about what is happening here, any word from him?

SOMARE: He had been briefed by Sam Abal a while back, and again we don't want to inundate him with work at this particular time, suffering the trauma of three surgeries and then being bombarded.

NANOL: After these four-five months of him being in hospital, we haven't seen any pictures of him since then, you embracing him and hugging him, him sitting on the chair, Sir Michael, that picture you put it out and it came in the front page. I mean that is a big decision the family made to put this picture out, I mean any particular reasons why that was done?

SOMARE: I think it coincides with his recovery from hospital itself. He was checked out yesterday from the Raffles hospital, we are confident that his road to recovery, his health has improved to such an extent that it's now ok to put out a picture as such, and essentially to thank the people of PNG who have been always dedicating him in their prayers. And we're delighted with the response and the support that the whole of the community give him at this particular time to give that support, we just wanted to show to them that the prayers and their thoughts and their kind commitments that they've given over these last four months were not in vain. He has substantially improved in his health, he's not 100 per cent, but he's very much on his way to restoring as good a health as you can after three surgeries.

NANOL: When will we see our old man back, that's the question that people will ask after seeing this picture?

SOMARE: I'm hoping very, very soon, as I said obviously he's still fragile and frail from three surgeries, you would be at the age of 76 years of age. As soon as we are comfortable that he can make that long journey, eight hour by airplane back bai mipela bringim em kam bek.


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Monday, August 22, 2011

[pima.nius] FIJI: Unions criticise being 'shut out' of pro-regime news

11:32 AM |

Title – 7584 FIJI: Unions criticise being 'shut out' of pro-regime news 
Date – 23 August 2011
Byline – Bruce Hill
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Radio Australia Pacific Beat, 22/8/11
Copyright – RAPB
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:

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

GOVT HITS OUT AT INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTS

MELBOURNE (RA Pacific Beat/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's peak trade union bodies have asked the country's media not to report what they see as one-sided pro-government news.

The Fiji Trade Union Congress and the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions have jointly condemned what they say is the "shutting out" of their views in the state censored media.

They have called on media outlets to either publish balanced items, or nothing at all.

FTUC general-secretary Felix Anthony says the unions are frustrated by what they see as propaganda rather than journalism.

Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speakers: Felix Anthony, FTUC general-secretary; Stanley Simpson, Fiji Broadcasting News director


ANTHONY: Reporting by the media - and in particular the Fiji Sun and Radio Fiji and, of course, Fiji TV News - has totally ignored statements by the trade unions and has gone onto a propaganda mode, just simply promoting statements by the regime. People in Fiji are simply getting one side of the story, the reporting is not balanced. It's absolutely biased and quite apart from news reporting, there's been other programmes that we have noticed, particularly on Radio Fiji, which actually go a bit further to promote the regime and we don't believe this is fair. We call for a fair media and if the media is not allowed to report fairly, then it should not become a propaganda machine for the regime either.

HILL: What is it specifically you want the media to do?

ANTHONY: To report fairly and if they are not allowed to report the trade union perspective on issues, then they should either mention that or try their level best not to give misleading news and programs to the public.

HILL: So essentially are you saying that if they can't report both sides, they shouldn't report it at all?

ANTHONY: Well yes, that could be so, but also as I've said, we've noticed that there are some media outlets that actually not only report one side of the story, but actually go a bit further to promoting the propaganda agenda of the regime.

HILL: Is it better for people to have only one side of the story or no story at all?

ANTHONY: Well, we want the people to have the truth, and if the media is unable to give that truth, then they had better not mislead people.

HILL: But Fiji Broadcasting News director Stanley Simpson says the accusations from the unions are not entirely correct. He says journalists are trying to do the best job they can - but there is government censorship and that has to be taken into account.

SIMPSON: Well, all media organisations in the country - as you know Bruce, and as Felix knows, - are working under the Public Emergency Regulations. The PER is the one that really stops us from reporting some of these issues. It's a well known fact that people like Felix, some of the stories or some of the interviews that [have] been done with him, we're not allowed by the Ministry of Information to run them.

HILL: So there is some truth to what he says?

SIMPSON: We have tried to contact, to interview Felix a number of times, ... and also [FICTU President] Daniel Urai who has just come back from Australia and New Zealand. However, our messages to the union offices in Nadi and Lautoka have not received a response. But we've spoken to people like other unionists who signed the [joint] statements like Attar Singh and Tevita Koroi. I must say that the interviews that managed to get on air were really non-controversial ones, but some of the other ones could not run. I mean it's very clear when we interview them that ... anyone who is seen by government [as possibly] breaching the Public Emergency Regulations - we tell them there's no guarantee that their interview will go on air. I mean censors come in to the newsroom and check this story or if it does manage to go online, we may get a call for it to be removed. Sometimes the reasons are given, sometimes it's not given. [They just say that] orders have been given.

HILL: What about Felix Anthony's call for news media outlets, if they can't report both sides of the story to simply not report it at all?

SIMPSON: Look, we've got to keep reporting the best we can. We need to give both sides of the story, balanced fair reporting, that's the ethics of our profession. It's not an easy situation for us, but we've got to keep reporting and I hear him say there that there is propaganda, we're promoting the government line. But in fact we report information that we feel is important to the public. This is now the government that is running the country and information that is put out is important to the people, that's what we're able to do at the moment. We do challenge it at times and what's allowed to go through, it goes through. However, at the moment, as we've said, Public Emergency Regulations [are] in place.

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

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE

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For further information or joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, visit:

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[pima.nius] PROPOSAL WOULD TRIM TONGA GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES

11:31 AM |

PROPOSAL WOULD TRIM TONGA GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES
Current 19 cabinet ministries would be reduced to 13

http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2011/August/08-22-05.htm

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 21, 2011) – Under a proposed new structure of the Tongan government, aimed to be in place by 1 July 2012, it is proposed there will be only 13 line ministries, which will include a new Ministry of Internal Affairs.

[PIR editor's note: According to the Tongan Government's website, there are currently 19 ministries in the cabinet. ]

A Cabinet Working Group (CWG) in a statement on Thursday, 18 August, said the 13 government ministries will be:

  • Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Tonga Defence Services
  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Finance and National Planning
  • Internal Affairs
  • Justice
  • Police, Prisons and Fire
  • Health
  • Education and Training
  • Commerce, Tourism, Industry and Public Enterprises
  • Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries
  • 12.Transport, Works, Energy and Communications
  • Lands, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change.

Government bodies without ministries will be:

  • The Palace Office
  • Legislative Assembly and Audit
  • Commissioner for Public Relations (Ombudsman)
  • Crown Law.

The Cabinet Working Group was formed during the Cabinet retreat to Vava'u in May and mandated to produce a new structure of government for Tonga. They were to address a major constraint on the government budget, where as much as 97percent of some line ministries budget goes on the salaries of the civil servants, leaving very little working capital for these ministries to carry out their duties.

On Thursday the CWG stated that they will present in an "interim implementation report" to the Cabinet Economic and Development Committee at the end of August, before their final report is presented on 30 November.

'Alifeleti Soakai, the Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, emphasized that these were proposals for Cabinet to consider.

CWG chairperson is Mishka Tu'ifua. Members include the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Busby Kautoke; Solicitor General 'Aminiasi Kefu; Secretary for Finance and National Planning, Tiofilusi Tiueti; CEO of the public Service Commission Dr Palenitina Langa'oi; and an undisclosed number of senior government officials.

At the Cabinet retreat in Vava'u the CWG was presented with a timetable-

  • Interim Report to Cabinet by 30 September 2011
  • Final Report to Cabinet by 20 December 2011
  • Implementation of Cabinet Decision by 1 July 2012.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/
Copyright © 2011 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved


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[pima.nius] FIJI: Regime attacks NZ journalist over death report

11:27 AM |



Title – 7583 FIJI: Regime attacks NZ journalist over death report 
Date – 23 August 2011
Byline – Sofaia Koroitanoa
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Fiji Village.com, 22/8/11
Copyright – FV
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:

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

GOVT HITS OUT AT INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTS

By Sofaia Koroitanoa

SUVA (Fiji Village.com/Pacific Media Watch): The Fiji government has hit out at international media reports on the death of a New Zealand woman in the country as inaccurate.

Permanent Secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said a recent report by New Zealand journalist Michael Field was "grossly inaccurate, mischievous, insensitive" and "deliberately misinforming" the public.

It has been highlighted by international media reports that the Fiji police force had concealed information and the Fiji media censored for the sake of the tourism industry.

Smith-Johns claimed it was clear that Field needed to check the reliability of his sources of information so he could stop publishing stories based on rumors and gossip which were written to undermine tourism, the Fiji police force and government.

Sharon Smith-Johns also refuted claims made by Field that media enquiries to the Fijian government had been ignored.

She said 33-year-old Cheslia Mary and her 61-year-old partner were on a cruise in the Yasawa group when she reportedly went missing.

Mary's body was found washed up on the beach on June 16 by two women from the Matacawalevu village.

Post mortem results confirmed drowning as the cause of death as she had been intoxicated on the night she disappeared, said Smith-Johns.

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

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE

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