PM: SI will speak for Taiwan

PRIME Minister Rick Hou says that Solomon Islands will continue to speak for Taiwan in the international community.

Mr Hou made the remarks during a dinner to mark 107th national day of Republic of China (Taiwan) at the Alvaro de Mendana hotel on Tuesday night.

“Solomon Islands will continue to advocate and support for ROC/Taiwan to expand its international space and contribute to the world community by speaking out for Taiwan’s interests on the international stage,” PM Hou said.

He added that over the past years Solomon Islands has continued to support Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations and its affiliated specialized agencies, such as the World Health Organisation, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Prime Minister Hou said that he is very optimistic about the positive direction, which Solomon Islands – ROC/Taiwan bilateral relations is heading.

“This is manifested by the increasing number of high–level visits made by government representatives of both the Solomon Islands and ROC/Taiwan in each other’s respective capitals,” he added.

He added that in May of this year he made a state visit to ROC/Taiwan during which he had very fruitful and in-depth discussions with his counterpart Madam President Wen on various bilateral engagements.

“These visits made between both our countries representatives is a reflection of the value placed on our relationship,” he said.

Mr Hou said that it is his wish that the ever expanding bilateral relation is one filled with blessings and durable friendship and prosperity.

“Your Excellency, the people of Solomon Islands are very appreciative of the much benevolence of Grant and technical assistance, and expertise your country has graciously provided to us.  “During some of our darkest times, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has always remained steadfast and firm with Solomon Islands.  And for that, we are truly grateful to your country and your people,”

he said.

Taiwan ambassador Roger Luo said that his government will continue to work stronger with Solomon Islands.

“My Government vows to work even closer with SIG in order to advance the livelihood of Solomon Islanders. We are confident that our bilateral relations will remain robust and continue to grow from strength to strength,” he added.


PM: SI-Taiwan friendship steady

PRIME Minister Rick Hou says the bilateral friendship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan is growing steadily and cordial over the years.

He was speaking during the celebration of the Taiwan day hosted at Mendana Hotel one Tuesday night. Taiwan day falls every October 10 commonly known as ‘Double ten’.

“Solomon Islands and Taiwan established diplomatic relations 35 years ago and over these years our friendship has grown steadily allowing us to jointly see the best of the sunlight and the worst of the storms, signifying Taiwan’s outstanding role as a traditional and loyal friend to our country,” Prime Minister Hou said.

He added he is confident that this relationship is based on mutual and beneficial constructiveness, social cooperation and a shared vision for progress and prosperity of our peoples.

“My government is committed to maintaining and further consolidating and strengthening our relations,” he said.

PM Hou said that politically Taiwan has displayed worthy assistance in the creation of cooperative arrangements in various sectors over the years and Ambassador Luo has made mentioned of some important areas of assistance provided by the Taiwan government in the last 12months.

“On this note, allow me to acknowledge and express deep gratitude for Taiwan’s support in its engagement as a trusted partner and realising our national priorities and ambitions through support towards tangible developments such as:

–        People to people engagements

–        Medical programs and rural assistance, especially in supporting the country during period of the shortage of medical supplies recently;

–        Agricultural programs through the Taiwanese technical mission in Honiara and now in Malaita;

–        Trade and investment;

–        Offering of fully funded scholarships that continuous to assist in building and upgrading our human capital;

–        Climate change; and;

–        Infrastructure, in particular the assistance towards our 2023 Pacific Games Main Stadium and funding towards the construction of the National Crafts Centre at the National Art Gallery.

PM Hou said that the two mentioned infrastructure project support programmes will boost Solomon Islands sportsmanship and craftsmanship around the region and will foster the growth and development of the sporting and cultural industries in the Solomon Islands.

He said that his government looks forward to the grand opening of the national crafts centre in early November 2018 – signifying yet another milestone achievement towards efforts in their cooperation.


Ireland’s former PM appointed head of B’ville referendum commission

Ireland’s former prime minister, Bertie Ahern, is in the country to be briefed on the progress of the Bougainville referendum.

The referendum is scheduled for June 15 next year.

Ahern, who has been appointed chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, met Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato at Gamato’s office in Port Moresby yesterday. Gamato is the acting chief referendum officer.

Ahern also met Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Minister assisting the PM on Bougainville Affairs William Samb and Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.

He is also expected to meet Autonomous Bougainville Government President John Momis today in Port Moresby and the head of heads of missions of Australia, China, France, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, European Union and United Nations tomorrow at the UN office.

Ahern will travel to Bougainville on Saturday to meet members of the ABG in Buka for two days. He will return to Port Moresby on Monday and leave for Singapore on Tuesday.

Source: The National PNG

Policewomen told to rise up for conference

THE 11th policewomen’s conference will be held in Enga in 2020, it was announced yesterday.

This was confirmed by national policewomen’s coordinator Maryanne Yabara in Wabag.

Yabara, a first-time visitor to Enga to scout for a conference venue, said she was impressed with the environment of Wabag and many places like Sirunki Lodge, Sopas Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Nursing College and the hospital. She admitted she first thought of Enga as a “no go zone” but she had found the people to be “very friendly and welcoming”.

Yabara said the 11th policemen’s conference in Wabag would be bigger than the last event in Kimbe because members from the Highlands and Mamose regions would be travelling in by road. Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas welcomed the event being held in Wabag. Provincial police commander Joseph Tondop, who is the patron for this conference, encouraged female officers to rise up as equals with their male colleagues.

“We will be hosting a very important event so you must rise up and show your strength in policing roles,” he said.

“We are grateful to hear that Enga has been chosen as the next venue.”


China’s aid seals bond of friendship

THE Chinese government continued to add on to its generous donations to Papua New Guinea with 50 coaches, 35 mini buses and nine fire engines for Apec 2018.

Chinese ambassador Xue Bing said during handover in Port Moresby yesterday: “Our assistance is to seal the bond and true friendship China has with PNG, this small token should consider the success of the upcoming Apec meeting in November.”

“China and PNG enjoy a very good relation in terms of political trust among both leaders and their people. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visited China in June and invited Chinese President Xi Jinping for the leaders’ meeting. Both sides are working together to prepare for the event and it will be a success.

“China’s aid purpose is to improve PNG’s local economic development, after Apec the vehicles will continue to benefit the people which is the reason for China to assist.

“We don’t want to have any personal interest, our relations is transparent, our cooperation is transparent and we will continue to improve that.”

Source: The National PNG

Vanuatu raises West Papua at UN
Vanuatu raises West Papua at UN
Vanuatu raises West Papua at UN

The issue of West Papua, was raised by Vanuatu at the United Nations 72nd General Assembly with exchanges of the Right of Reply between Vanuatu and Indonesia.

Vanuatu Ambassador to the United Nations, Odo Tevi, made the following statement as Vanuatu exercised its Right of Reply to Indonesia on its recent statement.

“Vanuatu agrees with Indonesia that allegations, of flagrant, systematic and widespread Human Rights violations, negligence of civil, social and political, economic and cultural Rights cannot be taken lightly,” said Ambassador Tevi.

“When Papuan Civil Society organizations and International Human Rights Organizations such as Amnesty International, report with great diligence to the United Nations, cases on gross Human Rights violations, it is crucial that these allegations be examined and investigated thoroughly by Human Rights relevant mechanism.”

He said this is the basic reason why Vanuatu welcomed the news of the visit to Papua last year of the UN Special Rapporteur of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“The Special Rapporteur was able to see with its own eyes that Papua was lacking behind other parts of Indonesia in many aspects. However, the former High Commissioner for Human Rights said in his last statement at the Human Rights Council that he was concern that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the Indonesia Government invitation to the office to visit West Papua was still not honored.

“Vanuatu would encourage Indonesia to renew its Invitation, this time to the new Human Rights Commission, to organize a visit to Papua by the Human Rights Commission, and to take place in the near future.

“This is important to provide an objective assessment of Human Rights issues in West Papua. It is also important for this body to know that Vanuatu is not alone in raising these concerns at the United Nations but other members as well.

“Historically, Vanuatu’s stand on Human Rights abuses, decolonization, and the wrong of apartheid has always been strong and for these reasons, Vanuatu will continue to do the same”, Ambassador Tevi concluded.

Indonesia’s response was published in the Daily Post yesterday.

Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua

Vanuatu’s prime minister Charlot Salwai, a long time supporter of West Papuan self-determination, told the General Assembly in New York that decolonisation must remain on the UN agenda.

He said the Human Rights Council must investigate human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.

The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, told the assembly’s 73rd session that the Pacific Islands Forum supported “constructive engagement” with Indonesia on the issue.

While Tuvalu’s prime minister Enele Sopoaga continued his call for recognition of the indigenous people.

“The United Nations must also engage with the people of West Papua to find lasting solutions to their struggles.”

Indonesia rejected what it called attacks on its sovereignty with vice president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla demanding respect for its territorial integrity.

“Indonesia strongly deplores the attempts of one country to support or even worst become part of the separatist movements,” Mr Kalla told the Assembly.

“This act of hostility has no place in the UN system. An act which is clearly in violation of UN principles. Indonesia will not let any country undermine its territorial integrity. Like any other sovereign country, Indonesia will firmly defend its territorial integrity.

Without naming Vanuatu, Mr Kalla said that for far too long Indonesia had “chosen to build friendly relations with this particular country, including in showing our solidarity and sympathy during difficult time”.

“But when such hostile acts continue, Indonesia will not remain silent,” he said.

Indonesia denies Vanuatu’s claims of flagrant abuses against Papuans by the country’s military forces.

In its right of reply, Indonesia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dian Triansyah Djani targetted Vanuatu’s links with the West Papuan independence movement.

“This country argues that based on these factors injected into their minds by criminal individuals that the two provinces (Papua and West Papua) have to be debated at the United Nations,” Mr Djani said.

“We fail to understand the motive behind Vanuatu’s intention in supporting a group of people who have striked terror and mayhem in so many occasions, creating fatalities and sadness to innocent families of their own communities.”

He said Vanuatu’s accusation of abuses in Papua was unacceptable.

“No country in this world is free from human rights or development challenges. But accusing others of human rights violations when one has so many problems of its own is like the pot calling the kettle black.”

In rejecting Vanuatu’s push for West Papuan self-determination, Indonesia has referred to a United Nations resolution from 1969.

Resolution 2504 took note of the so-called Act of Free Choice, a controversial referendum which was the culmination of the former Dutch New Guinea’s incorporation into Indonesia.

The West Papuan independence movement says that because the plebiscite was not formally approved by the UN, and was not based on universal adult suffrage, Papuans should be granted a legitimate self-determination process.

Vanuatu was not alone in urging the UN to address Papuans’ historic grievances.

The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, also told the general assembly’s 73rd session that Pacific Islands countries supported “constructive engagement” with Indonesia on the issue.


Vanuatu masih pertahankan status Non-Blok
Salah satu pesawat Forum Fisheries Agency yang baru ditempatkan di Samoa dan Kepala Komisi Polisi Samoa, Hans Joachim Keil. - RNZI
Salah satu pesawat Forum Fisheries Agency yang baru ditempatkan di Samoa dan Kepala Komisi Polisi Samoa, Hans Joachim Keil. – RNZI

Port Vila, Jubi – Dalam menanggapi laporan yang tidak habis-habisnya, mengenai rencana Australia membangun pangkalan di empat negara di Kepulauan Pasifik selama beberapa hari terakhir, Vanuatu dengan jelas kembali menegaskan status non-militernya.

Ketika ditanya apakah pernah ada diskusi antara Australia dan Vanuatu mengenai fasilitas militer apa pun, Menteri Luar Negeri Ralph Regenvanu mengkonfirmasi kembali kepada Daily Post bahwa “kami belum didekati dengan rencana ini”.

Menteri Regenvanu lalu menyatakan sekali lagi posisi kebijakan Vanuatu sejak dulu, “kami tetap menentang militerisasi apa pun di dalam perbatasan kami, dan menegaskan kembali komitmen kami terhadap status Non-Blok.”

Meskipun pengumuman di media Australia pada akhir pekan lalu mengumumkan bahwa “Australia telah menempatkan dan mengerahkan pesawat patroli maritim di Samoa dan Vanuatu untuk melakukan pengawasan”, Menteri Luar Negeri Ralph Regenvanu memberitahukan kepada Daily Post kemarin, bahwa tidak ada personel RAAF atau peralatan yang ditempatkan di sini.

Laporan pangkalan militer itu tampaknya berasal dari salah satu pengumuman, yang dilakukan di Forum Kepulauan Pasifik di Nauru awal bulan ini. Saat itu, Forum Fisheries Agency (Forum Badan Perikanan Kepulauan Pasifik; FFA) mengumumkan meluasnya kemampuan pengawasan udara di Pasifik, berkat penambahan dua pesawat King Air B200 di Vanuatu dan Samoa.

Pesawat itu didanai oleh Kementerian Pertahanan Australia, tetapi mereka tidak membawa persenjataan sama sekali, dan keduanya menggunakan nama dan logo FFA sebagai penanda . Kantor Komisi Tinggi Australia, juga mengklarifikasi bahwa tidak ada personel RAAF yang akan terlibat dalam pengoperasian atau pemeliharaan pesawat, yang akan ditempatkan di Vanuatu.

Pesawat-pesawat ini berisi peralatan pengintaian canggih, yang tentu saja dapat digunakan untuk berbagai tujuan. Kedua Pesawat adalah bagian dari program senilai AU $ 10 juta, yang dialokasikan untuk menyediakan bantuan pengawasan udara, dalam memerangi penangkapan ikan ilegal di Pasifik. (Daily Post)

Tiga negara Pasifik minta PBB akui Taiwan
Presiden Palau, Tommy Remengesau Junior, berbicara di hadapan Sidang Majelis Umum PBB. -RNZI/ UN
Presiden Palau, Tommy Remengesau Junior, berbicara di hadapan Sidang Majelis Umum PBB. -RNZI/ UN

New York, Jubi – Presiden Palau telah bergabung dengan rekannya dari Kiribati dan Nauru, untuk meminta PBB akui Taiwan.

Perjuangan Taiwan untuk mendapatkan pengakuan internasional telah melemah tahun ini, dengan tiga negara beralih untuk mendukung Beijing.

Hanya 17 negara – sebagian besar negara-negara kepulauan kecil di Pasifik dan Karibia – masih mengakui Taiwan.

Presiden Tommy Remengesau mengatakan kepada Majelis Umum, bahwa penting bagi PBB untuk mengakui Taiwan.

“Kami mendesak PBB untuk menemukan solusi agar dapat melibatkan Taiwan dalam semua prosesinya, termasuk ICAO dan WHO. Pemerintah saya percaya dengan tegas, bahwa pelibatan Taiwan dalam sistem PBB, sangat membawa keuntungan bagi pekerjaan PBB dan agenda pembangunan berkelanjutan 2030 dan agenda lainnya.”

Pemimpin dari Kiribati dan Nauru, dalam orasi mereka, juga menekankan bahwa PBB menjadi tidak relevan dengan mengesampingkan lebih dari 20 juta populasi yang tinggal di Taiwan.

Baik Taiwan maupun Tiongkok telah menggunakan diplomasi ‘buku cek’, untuk mengambil hati sekutu mereka selama bertahun-tahun, namun kekayaan Tiongkok yang lebih besar dan fokusnya dalam menyediakan proyek infrastruktur besar-besaran, mulai mendominasi dalam beberapa tahun terakhir.

Sebelumnya Remengesau, Kiribati juga mendesak PBB untuk mengakui Taiwan, menekankan bahwa tema Majelis Umum tentang kepemimpinan global dan tanggung jawab bersama, mewajibkan mereka untuk melakukan hal ini.

Dia mengatakan tema pertemuan itu menyiratkan bahwa PBB adalah satu keluarga, jadi sudah seharusnya Taiwan dimasukkan dalam proses-proses dan diskusi internasional.

Sementara itu, Presiden Nauru, Baron Waqa, mendukung sentimen itu dan mengatakan PBB seharusnya relevan untuk semua orang, termasuk orang-orang Taiwan.

“Orang-orang Taiwan harusnya diperlakukan sama dengan orang-orang dari negara lain.”

Taiwan kehilangan kursinya di PBB pada tahun 1971.

Palau, Kiribati, dan Nauru adalah tiga dari enam negara Pasifik, termasuk Kepulauan Marshall, Kepulauan Solomon, dan Tuvalu, yang mengakui Taipei. (RNZI)

Call for consultation in PNG as plans for an Australian navy base are raised
Major General Jerry Singirok Photo: AFP
Major General Jerry Singirok Photo: AFP

A former Papua New Guinea military commander says any proposal to create an Australian military base there should be debated in parliament.

Australian media have been reporting that its government is hoping to establish a naval presence at the PNG Navy base on Manus Island.

It would be, in part, an effort by Canberra to counter a growing Chinese presence in the Pacific, which it is growing increasingly anxious about.

PNG defence minister Solan Mirisim has confirmed negotiations are taking place for a base and training facility.

Former commander Jerry Singirok told EMTV says any decision must be widely debated in the public.

He said Australia has neglected PNG for a long time, and placing military personnel in the country may not be the best approach.