COMMUNITIES situated close to Ladeabu river in East Fataleka, Malaita have been affected by flooding which damaged their food gardens.

This follows heavy down pour on Saturday which uprooted and washed away their food gardens.

The river close to Ruru community high school burst its bank and swept all the gardens.

Reports reaching the Solomon Star said mass harvesting of food gardens took place immediately after the floods to avoid leaving the crops to rot.

The villagers had to resort to using canoes to extract what they can gather from their food gardens.

What was harvested is expected to sustain the communities for up to only a week.

As such, the communities that affected are now calling on responsible authorities, especially the National Disaster Council to immediately assess the situation.

The communities are also appealing to their Member of Parliament (MP) for East Fataleka to immediately assist the villages while waiting for any response from the government’s agency NDC.

And eye witness Wesley Rubea told the Solomon Star that food gardens close to the river bank were damaged.

He said people will have to work hard to replant their garden which was destroyed by the heavy down poor over the weekend.

By SOLOMON LOFANA, solomon star news
In Auki

State funeral held for youngest MP

state-funeralTHE casket of the late Ambunti Drekikier MP Ezekiel Anisi was laid in Parliament yesterday and viewed by few MPs and families that gathered.
Anisi, the youngest MP from East Sepik, died suddenly in Port Moresby last month.

He collapsed and died only a few weeks into the campaign period.

He was the son of former People’s Progress Party secretary-general and premier of East Sepik, the late Alex Anisi.

During his funeral service at the Rev Sioni Kami Memorial Church yesterday, it was made known that his father (late Alex Anisi) also died on the eve of the national election in 2012 (Feb 28, 2012).

At the time of his death, his election committees and coordinators were already intact and were looking for a suitable replacement.
It was then that the late Ezekiel stepped in the political arena.

Born in 1988, Ezekiel started his early education at the Wewak Hill International School from 1996-1997. He proceeded onto the public school system and did Grades 3-6 at the Kaindi Demonstration School before transferring to Mongniol to complete his primary education.
In 2005, he completed Grade 10 at Bishop Leo Secondary School.

Ezekiel then proceeded onto the Don Bosco Technical Secondary School and completed studies in motor vehicle mechanics between 2008 and 2009. The casket of the 29-year-old Anisi will arrive in Wewak, East Sepik, tomorrow.

Source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/

Giliran Sogavare kecewa pada Trump
Perdana Menteri Kepulauan Solomon, Manasseh Sogavare saat mengunjungi korban badai Winston./RNZI
Perdana Menteri Kepulauan Solomon, Manasseh Sogavare saat mengunjungi korban badai Winston./RNZI

New York, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Kepulauan Solomon, Manasseh Sogavare mengikuti langkah para pemimpin Pasifik lainnya menyatakan kekecewaannya pada keputusan Presiden Amerika Serikat Donald Trump untuk tarik diri dari Kesepakatan Paris tentang perubahan iklim. Seperti diberitakan, Trump pekan lalu menyatakan mundur dari kesepakatan yang telah ditandatangani 195 negara itu pada tahun 2015.

Dalam sebuah pernyataan, Manasseh Sogavare mengatakan bahwa Kepulauan Solomon berdiri membela solidaritas bersama masyarakat internasional dalam menegaskan komitmennya memenuhi Kesepakatan Paris. Ia menambahkan bahwa Kepulauan Solomon telah kehilangan lima pulau dan terus merelokasi penduduknya karena ada ancaman peningkatan tinggi muka air laut dan bencana badai yang terus datang akibat perubahan iklim.

Sambil menyindir Trump, Sogavare mengatakan bahwa Solomon tidak berpikir untuk mencari keuntungan sendiri dalam aksi global memerangi perubahan iklim ini. Menurut dia, masa depan seluruh bangsa ini bergantung pada aksi dan tindakan hari ini untuk mengendalikan dampak perubahan iklim.

“Perubahan iklim adalah isu global yang membutuhkan penanganan secara global pula saat ini. Kesepakatan Paris dan Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan tetap merupakan kesempatan kita untuk memperbaiki masa depan bangsa dan umat manusia. Kita tidak boleh membiarkan Kesepakatan Paris menjadi gagal,” ujarnya.

Sogavare berharap agar hasil penelitian ilmiah tentang perubahan iklim dijadikan panduan oleh Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa (PBB) dalam menetapkan kebijakan global terkait perubahan iklim.

Sebelumnya, Perdana Menteri Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, memerintahkan seluruh jajarannya untuk membatalkan semua kerjasama dengan Amerika Serikat. Hal itu sebagai bentuk protes terhadap kebijakan pemerintah AS yang menarik diri dari Kesepakatan Paris tentang perubahan iklim.

Selain itu, ekspresi kekecewaan telah dilontarkan Perdana Menteri Fiji, Frank Bainimarama terhadap pemerintah Trump karena masalah yang sama. **

Landowners finally recognised after eight years

AFTER eight years, the Kimka Sepiyan land group from the impact area of Ok Tedi Mine in Western, can get their incorporated land group (ILG) certificate.

They received it from the registrar of the incorporated land groups Judah Suka at the Department of Lands and Physical Planning on Monday.
ILG chairman David Allolim said the certificate would allow Government to recognise them as landowners of the mine impact area.

“The Government has now recognised the Kimka Sepiyan sub-tribe land group incorporated as legitimate landowners of the mine pit area,” he said.
ILG assistant secretary Sobe Jogo said the group had been trying to get a new ILG registration after the previous one expired.

“They wanted all the ILGs to be renewed so we have renewed it. When Ok Tedi mine started many years ago, there was no true landowners identified,” Jogo said.

“Now we have gone through this process and have identified the landowners of Mt Fubilan.

“There are six villages listed under the incorporated land group. Meanwhile at a recent event, Mining Minister Byron Chan said the Ok Tedi mine was the single biggest contributor to the economy of Papua New Guinea.

It had produced 12 million ounces of gold, 4.5 million tonnes of copper and 29 million ounces of silver generating a total revenue of over K56 billion from 1985 to 2016.

Clan refuses to sign deal to Mining Project

FOUR stakeholders in the Tolukuma gold mining project have signed a revised memorandum of agreement which highlights their benefits.
However, Yulai landowners association chairman George Gusi refused to sign the agreement because issues he had raised at the signing ceremony yesterday in Port Moresby were ignored.

The association represents 10 landowner clans in the Tolukuma mine area. The agreement, on benefits-sharing, was last revised in 2012.
The four who were Central Governor Kila Haoda, Woitape local level government president Joe Geru, Tolokuma Gold Mine executive Vincent Snow and Mining Minister Byron Chan.

Gusi said he was not happy with the lack of consultation by the Mineral Resources Authority and the provincial government on many aspects of the project.

“The people and I have not been given the opportunity to see and discuss the MoA,” Gusi said.

While the nation is in the election period, why are we trying to sign the MoA? We are confused as to why we are rushing to sign.”
Mineral Resource Authority managing director Arthur Samar said the agreement would not derail the process from being implemented.

“It does not derail the process. The majority (four) of the signatories have signed. One refused to sign and we respect that. We are not brushing aside their issues as everything they have raised is something we are familiar with,” he said.

“They have been consulted since day one and there is an initial document on this that we all agreed and signed.”

Source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/

Dominasi pebisnis asal Asia jadi isu dalam kampanye pemilu PNG

Port Moresby, Jubi – Pemilu nasional Papua Nugini kian dekat. Berbagai isu dalam kampanye politik dilontarkan, termasuk soal dominasi pebisnis asal Asia. Salah seorang kandidat di Port Moresby menyatakan kecewa dengan pemerintah yang terlalu mudah memberikan izin kepada pebisnis asal Asia untuk beroperasi di Port Moresby.

Sang calon anggota legislatif, Andy Bawa, menyatakan pemerintah terlalu fokus pada orang asing ketimbang orang asli PNG. “Mengapa pemerintah membolehkan orang asing datang dan menjalankan bisnis di sini? Anda dan saya tidak bisa begitu saja terbang ke Tiongkok dan lalu membuka toko di sana, sedangkan mereka datang ke sini begitu mudahnya dan membuka usaha,” ujarnya.

Ia menuding pemerintah PNG terlalu fokus menolong orang asing ketimbang membangun usaha skala kecil dan menengah bagi warga lokal agar dapat bersaing dengan mereka. “Kita punya kesempatan untuk memperbaiki hidup dan pemerintah seharusnya memberi kesempatan itu pada warga lokal dan saya ingin melihat lebih banyak lagi pebisnis lokal memulai bisnisnya,” ujar Bawa.

Ia mengaku tidak bisa hanya diam dan berpangku tangan melihat masyarakat menderita kemiskinan. Oleh karena itu, ia mencalonkan diri menjadi anggota legislatif tingkat regional. Menurut dia, masyarakat akan terus berada dalam ketidakadilan yang tercipta karena korupsi di berbagai level.

Isu yang dilatarbelakangi kecemburuan ekonomi itu mudah menyulut masyarakat Papua Nugini mengingat tingkat ekonomi pendatang yang kian jomplang dengan warga asli. Warga pendatang yang mereka sebut dari Asia itu mayoritas merujuk pada warga negara Tiongkok yang banyak bermukim di Papua Nugini.

Persiapan pemilu

Tiga pekan menjelang hari pencoblosan, kampanye kian memanas. Komisi pemilihan umum telah memperingatkan seluruh partai politik untuk memperhatikan syarat-syarat administrasi dan lainnya.

Seluruh poster kandidat dan material pencoblosan telah selesai dicetak. Sebagian malah telah dikirim ke provinsi-provinsi. Salah seorang penasihat KPU menyatakan bahwa pencetakan poster kandidat dan poster partai politik menjadi isu di percetakan paling rumit.

Pasalnya, kandidat dan partai-partai politik itu kerap bergonta-ganti gambar dan materi poster. Gara-gara hal seperti itu, beberapa jadwal pencetakan material poster menjadi terhambat.

Selain itu, ada juga seorang kandidat yang wafat saat kampanye. Hal ini pun menjadi masalah yang mempengaruhi aktivitas pencetakan. Namun, beruntung hal itu telah dapat diselesaikan.

Peringatan KPU juga dilayangkan pada seluruh kandidat agar memanfaatkan waktu kampanye yang tersisa tiga pekan lagi ini dengan kegiatan yang konstruktif dan tidak provokatif. Setiap kandidat seharusnya ikut mendukung terciptanya masyarakat pemilih yang cerdas dan bijak.

Sebagai bentuk persiapan lainnya, KPU juga akan segera mendirikan pusat informasi bagi awak media di kantor pusat KPU dan akan memberlakukan sistem akreditasi media yang bisa dan boleh meliput pemilu.

Seluruh material pemilu termasuk kotak suara dan surat suara akan mulai didistribusikan akhir pekan depan. Wilayah pedalaman Papua Nugini akan dijangkau menggunakan pesawat kecil dan helikopter.

Pemilu nasional Papua Nugini tahun 2017 ini menyediakan 10.825 tempat pemungutan suara dan 4.882 tim pemilihan untuk bekerja mempersiapkan segalanya dalam yang tersisa selama tiga pekan ini.

Sebanyak 3.552 tim akan bekerja selama satu hari saat pencoblosan, sementara 1.330 tim lainnya bekerja selama beberap hari sebelum dan sesudah pencoblosan. Tim pemilihan ini juga akan berpartisipasi menghitung suara seusai waktu pemilihan habis.

Tambahan biaya keamanan

Sementara itu, tiga pekan jelang pemilu ini biaya keamanan juga terus bertambah. Komisioner polisi, Gari Baki mengatakan bahwa pemerintah pusat telah mencairkan dana tambahan senilai 20 juta Kina untuk mendukung operasional keamanan selama pemilu.

Dana tambahan tersebut rencananya untuk mendukung penambahan pasukan ke empat wilayah rawan keamanan. Kepolisian, lembaga pemasyarakatan dan pasukan pertahanan kini tengah bersiap-siap diterjunkan ke provinsi masing-masing di mana mereka ditugaskan. Kepolisian selaku pemimpin operasi keamanan pemilu ini baru meluncurkan operasi keamanan ke seluruh penjuru negeri.

Gari Baki mengaku senang dengan keputusan pemerintah ini. Penggunaan dana akan disesuaikan dengan laporan intelejen tentang kondisi keamanan di setiap provinsi. “Tahun 2012, kita mendistribusikan dana keamanan sesuai area dan penduduk. Tahun ini kami hanya akan mendistribusikan dana keamanan berdasarkan laporan intelejen tentang status keamanan apakah risiko tinggi atau risiko rendah. semakin tinggi risikonya, dana keamanan akan makin besar untuk menunjang tenaga keamanan, logistik dan hal lainnya,” katanya.

Selain tambahan senilai 20 juta Kina, kepolisian juga akan menerima lagi tambahan senilai 10 juta Kina. Total dana 30 juta Kina ini di luar anggaran pemilu untuk sektor keamanan yang berjumlah 121 juta Kina. **

PBB tunggu delegasi baru Kaledonia Baru bahas referendum
Kota Noumea. /AFP via RNZI
Kota Noumea. /AFP via RNZI

Noumea, Jubi – Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa menunggu kedatangan delegasi baru dari Kaledonia Baru bulan ini untuk membahas proses dekolonisasi dan referendum Kaledonia Baru yang akan berlangsung November tahun depan. Masalah-masalah yang akan dibahas antara lain pembatasan hak pilih bagi penduduk yang telah tinggal dalam jangka waktu panjang di Kaledonia Baru.

Februari lalu, delegasi PBB telah menjalankan misinya mengawal proses dekolonisasi di Kaledonia Baru. Saat itu, delegasi PBB mengawasi peran komisi pemilu yang dikendalikan pemerintah Prancis yang gencar mengimbau warga Prancis yang telah tinggal lama di Kaledonia Baru untuk mendapat hak pilih dalam referendum.

Isu ini sangat menyita perhatian masyarakat. Pasalnya, ada ribuan pemilih yang dipertanyakan hak pilihnya karena mereka gagal membuktikan bahwa mereka adalah penduduk Kaledonia Baru yang resmi. Sementara, ribuan lainnya suku Kanak tidak memiliki hak pilih.

Saat itu, sekurangnya 9.000 surat undangan memilih telah dikirimkan kepada penduduk suku Kanak di pedalaman. Sebagai penduduk asli, mereka seharusnya juga diprioritaskan mendapat hak pilih.

Tiga tahun lalu, delegasi PBB juga mengirim tim observasi ke Noumea karena masalah yang sama. Dalam sebuah wawancara dengan salah satu surat kabar ternama, anggota kelompok prokemerdekaan dari Caledonian Union, Mickael Forrest memperingatkan bahwa pemilu tidak akan adil jika penentuan hak suara tidak berlangsung transparan dan kredibel.

Forrest mengatakan bahwa ia berharap ada jaminan bagi penduduk Kaledonia Baru untuk dapat menikmati kekayaan sumber daya alamnya setelah referendum nanti. Oleh karena itu, keikutsertaan penduduk asli Kaledonia Baru dalam referendum seharusnya diutamakan. Sebab, proses referendum adalah buah dari proses dekolonisasi dari Prancis yang selama ini diperjuangkan. **

THE issue of dual nationality arose this week, with people telling The Independent that staff at the Citizenship office were telling expats they had to relinquish their previous nationality to gain Vanuatu nationality.

The simple truth is that the constitution was changed to allow dual nationality some years ago – taking effect in 2014.

For whatever reason, the information coming out of that office was completely erroneous and the only change coming to the constitution was the cost of becoming a Vanuatu citizen which, remarkably, will be reduced.

Minister Ralph Regenvanu was adamant that dual citizenship is allowable under the amendments carried out some time ago. He told The Independent on Friday that he would investigate why this false information was being distributed.

In today’s edition of The Independent, there was a typo that said Mr Regenvanu said you could not have dual citizenship, when it was meant to say you can now have dual citizenship.

The Independent apologises to Mr Regenvanu and the public for the editor’s error and any confusion it may have unintentionally caused.

The paper will continue to investigate why this office is either lying or is suddenly ignorant of the constitutional changes after some years.

Vanuatu’s Sope speaks out in support of West Papua

A former Vanuatu prime minister, Barak Sope, says he is confident West Papua will become independent from Indonesia.

Mr Sope, who had been a long time supporter for independence in East Timor, was speaking after being awarded the “Order of Timor Leste” in the capital Dili, for his contribution to that country’s successful struggle for freedom.

It is the highest honour East Timor can bestow.

Mr Sope has long been an advocate for West Papua and West Papuan self determination.

Former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barak Sope.
Former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barak Sope. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

At the end of last year he was pushing for Vanuatu to become a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation to counter Indonesia’s influence.

Mr Sope said at the time Indonesia is only on the committee to ensure the subject of self determination in West Papua is not discussed.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/ 

NZ and Indonesia move towards stronger defence ties

The New Zealand defence minister and his Indonesian counterpart have signalled stronger defence ties between the two countries.

Defence Minister Mark Mitchell and his Indonesian counterpart, Ryamizard Ryacudu sign the Joint Statement on Defence Relations in Jakarta
Defence Minister Mark Mitchell and his Indonesian counterpart, Ryamizard Ryacudu sign the Joint Statement on Defence Relations in Jakarta. Photo: Supplied

The ministers signed a Joint Statement on Defence Relations on Wednesday at a meeting in Jakarta.

The statement identifies a range of areas to further strengthen the defence partnership between New Zealand and Indonesia.

They include joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, emergency assistance and training visits.

The New Zealand Defence Minister Mark Mitchell said Indonesia played a fundamental role in supporting security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The joint statement issued by both governments following the meeting made no mention of instability in Indonesia’s region of Papua, known widely as West Papua.

New Zealand-based Papua advocacy groups, and around a dozen MPs, have been urging the government to push Jakarta to do more about holding security forces in the region to account for reported human rights abuses.

A separatist conflict has simmered in Papua since its controversial incorporation into Indonesa in the 1960s.