All Archive August 2009

Protecting the Natural Heritage of Samoa

Press Release - As fairytales go, Hamelin used a pied piper and pipes to rid the town of rats. In real life, Samoa is using a helicopter and rat bait.

Samoan Court Rules Road Switch Will Go Ahead

Samoa's Supreme Court has ruled that the switch from right to left-hand driving will go ahead, rejecting the lobby by a group wanting to stop the switch.

New Correctional Centre in Auki

The new Correctional Centre in Auki, Malaita is expected to contribute to the economy of the provincial capital and the province.

New Bishop for Temotu Province

A new bishop has been chosen for the Anglican Diocese of Temotu.
Swampy taro is the staple crop of the small atoll islands which are being affected by salt water intrusion as a result of climate change.

Solomon Islands Signs PACC MOU

The Solomon Islands has signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC). This brings the total number of countries who have signed the PACC MoU to 10.

ADB Emergency Loan to Help Rebuild Fiji's Flood-Affected Rural Economy

28 August 2009 - MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending an emergency loan of $17.6 million to help rebuild damaged infrastructure and revive economic activity in rural areas of Fiji that were badly affected by floods earlier this year.
Miss Charity 2009 went to Miss Rugby Sevens, Miss Susie Lam, who had raised $50,500.

2009 Miss Charity Crowned After Colorful Float Parade

It was a gloomy and cloudy day but luckily no rain falling. The float parade started from the town ground field near the construction site of the new rugby stadium. All the beauty contestants could not wipe the smiles from their face as their floats headed towards the Lawson Tama Stadium.

Police Takes 'New Approach'

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is starting a new community approach in three locations in the country.
Mr Moti, a former lawyer, was Solomon Islands attorney-general between July 2007 and December 2007.

Sogavare May Not Have to Give Evidence in Moti Case

Former Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare may not have to give evidence to support the defence of former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti, who is facing child sex charges.
The Commission has been formed to probe how customary lands on Guadalcanal Province were acquired before the ethnic conflict of 1998 and 2000.

Commission of Inquiry Into Land Dealings Begin

A Commission of Inquiry has begun in Solomon Islands into Land Dealings and Abandoned Properties on Guadalcanal.

TRC Begins Awareness Workshop

About 80 church, women, youth and traditional leaders from all over Guadalcanal province are attending a three day workshop on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC.
Dr Sikua said despite huge profits being earned by the company, services continued to drop.

Telecommunications Market Opened to Competition, Bill Passed

Parliament has passed the Telecommunications Bill 2009 bringing an end the dominance of Our Telekom in the local telecommunications market.
The Court has confirmed that the matter is listed for hearing on September 16th.

Date Set For Judicial Review Into PEC

The High Court has set a hearing date for the Attorney General's application for a judicial review of the executive and legislative action of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission, PEC.

Asia's Progress on Millennium Development Goals Remains Mixed - ADB

Asia and Pacific countries continue to make broad progress in reducing extreme poverty but hunger still remains widespread and many economies are struggling to meet other Millennium Development Goals (MDG), including reductions in maternal mortality rates and access to sanitation, latest available data show.
It is understood that SIPEU's push came about after the new proposed increase in parliamentary entitlements.

TDP Gives 21 Days for Negotiations

The trade disputes panel, TDP, has ruled in favour of the government, allowing a 21 day period for negotiations, against a 14 day period suggested by the public service union.

Monopoly License to Telekom Was an Obstacle: Wale

Education Minister, Mathew Wale, has described the exclusive license granted to Our Telekom to operate as a monopoly in the country's telecommunication industry as "an obstacle to progress in information and communications technology and services in Solomon Islands."

Airport Needs Urgent Repair: Wickham

Permanent Secretary for Aviation and Communication Jeffery Wickham has told overseas media that facilities at the Honiara International Airport currently meet minimum safety standards but are in urgent need of repair.
Names of the 74 lives lost in the tragedy, engraved in marble.

Tonga Holds Mass Burial at Sea for Victims of Shipping Tragedy

The island kingdom of Tonga held a mass funeral at sea for the victims of the MV Princess Ashika tragedy yesterday.

Digicel Pacific Limited Expected to Launch Service April 2010

Digicel Pacific Limited is expected to launch its mobile phone service in Solomon Islands by April 2010.

GRML Recognizes SINUW

Gold Ridge Mining Limited, GRML, has officially recognized the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers, SINUW, as representing the local employees of the company.

Swine Flu Deaths in Tahiti and New Caledonia

Tahiti and New Caledonia have had recent cases of deaths resulting from influenza A (H1N1) or Swine Flu, as it is more commonly known, prompting the French government to send medical and technical reinforcements.
Mr Marshall says the issue should be looked at from a welfare perspective, as opposed to bringing in law enforcement.

Welfare Agencies Should Address Plight of Beggers: Police Commissioner

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall says it is not the role of the police to chase people who are begging on the streets of Honiara.
The Prime Minister explains that before government could make a counter offer, it must fully understand the SIPEU log of claims.

No Counter Offer Made to SIPEU: PM

The prime minister says government has not made a counter offer to SIPEU log of claims because the Union was not willing to discuss with government "a framework for negotiation."
L to R: Mrs. Jenny Au (Administrative Coordinator), Mr. Moses Tengemoana (Major Sponsor - Tengemoana Construction), Mr. Ryan Burns (FIBA Oceania ZDO) and Mr. Moses Au (Tournament Director).

Tengemoana Construction Sponsors End Year Basketball Tournament

FIBA Oceania has shown its support to the organizers of the upcoming Tengemoana Construction Basketball Tournament that is planned to be held in Bellona Island, Rennell Bellona Province in December later this year.

RAMSI Farewells Officer

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI, has bid a final farewell to the young Participating Police Force officer, Sisiliah Puleheloto, lost in the recent ferry tragedy in Tonga.
Mr Ete said, all SIPEU members, including those coming under the Essential Services Act must now return to work immediately.

SIPEU Calls on Members to Resume Work

The Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, SIPEU, has lifted its nation-wide strike action, and called on all its members to resume official duties by 1pm this afternoon.
Flights will be affected with the Civil Aviation going on strike.

SIPEU Moves Ahead With Strike

Reports are emerging that the Civil Aviation has gone on strike despite claims by the government that the matter has been referred to the Trade Disputes Panel.
The tragic MV Princess Ashika on the seabed as captured by a Remote Underwater Operating Vehicle.

Families of Shipwreck Victims End Vigil As Search Ends

The families of the victims of the Tongan vessel, MV Princess Ashika, ended their 17-night vigil on Friday. Earlier, the country's Police Commander, Chris Kelley, announced that the aerial and surface search for survivors has ended.
Proposed strike is not likely to take place midnight today.

Strike Threats Referred to TDP

The proposed strike by the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union (SIPEU) to go ahead midnight today is not likely to take place, as yet.

People's Alliance Party to Contest National Elections

The Peoples Alliance Party says it will contest the coming National Elections in 2010.
Western Province in ruins after the April 2, 2007 tsunami.

Solomons to Benefit from Australian Tsunami Warning System: Minister Lilo

"Human lives and valuable properties will be saved in an event of any future tsunami that possibly will strike Solomon Islands once the Australian Tsunami Warning System (ATWS) is put in place around the country," says Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Meteorology.
Prime Minister Sikua (l) congratulates new PNG High Commissioner, Aiwa Olmi (r).

PM Sikua Welcomes New PNG High Commissioner

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has welcomed Papua New Guinea's new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands in Honiara today.

PNG Pulls out of Pacific Mini Games

The Papua New Guinea Athletics team won't be part of the Pacific Mini Games in the Cook Islands in September.

Police Leaders Discuss Way Forward for the RSIPF

More than 40 Provincial Police Commanders and Directors of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, attended and completed a week of Strategic Planning Workshop in Honiara from 9th of August 2009 to the 15th of August 2009.
Our Telekom has the option to shut down fixed lines outside of Honiara once competition is introduced in the market.

Government to Pay Our Telekom

Finance Ministry has confirmed it will pay 109-million dollars in compensation to Solomon Telekom instead of the previously announced 84-million dollars.

Police Women Making It Happen

Six police women currently working in the Solomon Islands will travel from the tropics to far Western Australia for a conference in Perth next week.
Prime Minister Sikua is urging SIPEU to call off the strike threat.

Cabinet to Discuss Strike Threat

Cabinet will meet today to discuss issues relating to the nation-wide strike threat by the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, SIPEU.

SIPEU Threatens Nationwide Strike

Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, SIPEU has threatened to call for a nationwide strike by its members as of midnight Sunday August 23 if Government fails to meet its demands.
The Temotu Provincial government will this weekend send a team to assess reports of food shortage in parts of the Temotu Province.

Temotu Province Faces Food Shortage

Reports are emerging of a possible food shortage crisis in remote parts of Temotu Province.
Reverend Bishop Lima says Mr Maeliau's teachings and ministry has fundamental errors contradicting the church's biblical foundation.

Controversial Church Leader Expelled

The South Seas Evangelical Church has expelled Michael Maeliau from the church.

Concerted Action Needed Now to Help Stabilize Pacific Economies, Says ADB

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Economic growth in the Pacific region in 2009 is expected to dip below earlier forecasts, but will remain positive at 2.8%, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) publication released today (17 August 2009).
If appeal not successful, Moti will go to trial November.

Moti to Appeal Charges

Former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti has been given until [today] to file details of his application to have child sex charges against him dismissed.
The Commission of Inquiry is part of national reconciliation policy to resolve problems.

Commission of Inquiry into Land Transactions

The Commission of Inquiry on land transactions and acquisition on Guadalcanal prior to the ethnic tension era is expected to start soon.

City Discourages Begging: Mua

Honiara City Mayor, Andrew Mua, says the council discourages people to beg for money on the streets of Honiara.

Parliamentarian Speaks on Death Penalty

Parliament Member for Lau Mbaelelea Walter Folotalu has spoken of plans to revive the death penalty if people do not stop killing one another.
Making money in Solomon Islands will now be under strict guidelines approved by the Government.

Foreign Investors Must Meet Strict Guidelines to Qualify for Tax Exemptions: IRD

Any person or company seeking to invest in Solomon Islands can make an application for a tax exemption but no investor has an automatic right to an exemption, according to the Inland Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance.
Managing Director of the Premiere Real Estate Company, Mrs Julie Gegeu Haro.

Female Entrepreneur Marks Special Occasion

Managing Director of the Premiere Real Estate Company, Julie Gegeu Haro, last Friday, marked a special occasion in her life and business.

Business Law and Administrative Reforms Steering Committee Launch 2009 Work Plan

The Business Law reforms and Administrative Reforms Steering Committee has launched its 2009 work plan and started resuming it series of meetings yesterday at Mendana Hotel.

Taiwan Dietician Warns Against Excessive Use of Coconut Cream

A visiting dietician from Kaoshiung University hospital inTaiwan dr Meng-Chuang Huang has warned Solomon Islanders against too much intake of coconut cream.

Premier Irosaea Urges to Stop Arrogance

Malaita people have been placed on the anvil with a recent call to respect other ethnicities by Malaitan Premier Richard Namo Irosaea.

Solomon Islands Receives Education Assistance From PNG

The Solomon Islands Government officially on August 6 had received a Grant Assistance of K4 Million (SBD$11 Million) from the Papua New Guinea Government for the education and training of Solomon Islands students studying at various Papua New Guinea tertiary institutions.
Burning of China Town in Honiara, April 2006.

New Constitution Will Help Prevent Ethnic Tension: Lepping

Chairman of one of the key groups involved in drafting the country's new constitution, Sir George Lepping says once the it becomes law, there is likely to be less ethnic unrest.

TSI Disapproves Demands for Increase COLA From Government

Chairman of Transparency Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, says whilst the demands of trade unions for salary and COLA increases are understandable, the country could face total break down if everyone takes on the same kind of behaviour as MPs.

Medical Training On Diabetes, Hypertension and Gout Concludes

A lot more medical workers should now be able to provide information and health care needed for the prevention and management of diabetes,hypertension and gouts.

Police Arrest More People Over GPPOL Burning

Police have arrested an additional two young men yesterday morning at the Koli area in relation to the burning down of the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited's Head office at Tetere on July 25.
He said the motion tasked the parliamentary house committee to conduct public hearings on that particular entitlement.

We Are Listening to Public Outcry: Sogavare

Opposition Leader, Manasseh Sogavare, says the massive public outcry concerning the proposed parliamentary entitlements, including the much debated $50,000 dollars terminal grant for MPs spouses, has not fallen on deaf ears.

PNG Terrain and Weather Slows Rescue

The thick jungles of the Owen Stanley ranges, near Kokoda in Papua New Guinea, and bad weather are slowing combined efforts to recover the bodies of 13 people, including nine Australians, killed in Papua New Guinea's worst air crash.
Mr Fahey with GYLN's Charles Ratu, former Solo Idols Fay Indu and David Auna and 2009 Solo Icon contestants.

Workshop for Solo Icon Contestants

A two-day workshop is being run by Australian music producer, Kelvin Fahey, for past and present Solo Icon contestants.

Governor General to Attend Malaita Day Celebrations

The Governor General Frank Kabui will officiate as guest of honor during the Malaita Province's 26th Second Appointed Day celebrations in Auki tomorrow.

Police Minister Tables Criminal Procedure Code Bill in Parliament

The Minister for Police and National Security James Tora has tabled the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill 2009 in parliament yesterday.

Government Denies Reports

The Solomon Islands Government is denying reports that two Fiji officials sneaked into last week's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Australia by using Solomon Islands passports.

Report on Violence Against Women

Australia has released a new report detailing an action framework to end violence against women in the Solomon Islands.
A report is expected to be tabled at the Budget Meeting at end of this year on the Terminal Grant for MP Spouses.

Parliamentary House Committee to Investigate Terminal Grant to MP Spouses

The Parliamentary House Committee will conduct an inquiry into the recent Parliamentary Entitlement's Commission (PEC) decision to award a SBD50,000 Terminal Grant to the spouses of Members of Parliament.
Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Solomon Islands, H.E. George Chan with Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua.

Taiwan Disburses Third RCDF Payment

Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Solomon Islands, H.E. George Chan today has released the third payment of Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) of SBD$2.2 million.

Grade Six Exams On Amidst Uncertainties

Thousands of standard six students this morning sat their secondary entrance exams.

Solomon Airlines Confident in Service

The Solomon Airline says despite the intense competition in the airline industry, they are confident in the delivery of their product.

Call for Scrapping of Entitlements for MPs

The Solomon Islands Council of Trade Unions and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry are calling for entitlements of members of Parliament to be scrapped.
Government works hard to have Draft Federal Constitution ready before Parliament dissolve: Sikua.

Government on Draft Federal Constitution

Prime Minister Derek Sikua says his government will try its best to have the Draft Federal Constitution ready before Parliament is dissolved in April.
Flowers are thrown over the last mooring place of the MV Princess Ashika.

Search Ongoing for Survivors of Shipping Tragedy

The search for survivors of the sunken ship, MV Princess Ashika, is still ongoing as numbers of passengers reported to be onboard the vessel when tragedy struck increase.

Greenpeace Captain Arrested in Pacific Campaign

The captain of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, Vladimir Votiacov, was arrested by Cairns police last week after taking part in a blockade of the Hay Point coal.
Mr Fahey is the President of Hardrush Music - a company specialising in the promotion of independent music across cultural and language boundaries to world markets.

Australian Music Producer Arrives Today

Australian music producer, Kelvin Fahey, will arrive in Honiara today ahead of the Solo Icon Grand Final on Sunday 16 August.

Parliament Passes 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Bill

Parliament has passed the 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Bill in its Second Reading.

Teachers Will Not Boycott Examinations: Hatimoana

Teachers will no longer pursue a planned boycott of standard six exams on Wednesday this week.
CRU is the body responsible for the management and coordination of Constitutional Reform Project.

1st 2009 Draft Federal Constitution Released

The 1st 2009 Draft Federal Constitution is now available for public viewing.

RAMSI Fears PPF Officer Lost in Tonga Ferry Tragedy

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) today confirmed that a member of RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF) was among those believed to have drowned in this week's Tongan Ferry tragedy.

Correctional Service Achieve Major Milestone

The Correctional Service of Solomon Islands achieved a major milestone this week with the completion of a training course that will equip staff to assess and evaluate the performance of correctional personnel.
By country of origin, visitors from Australia made up 51 per cent of the total visitors in the second quarter of 2009, followed by New Zealand (7%) and USA (5%).

Solomon Islands Visitor Arrivals Grow by 23 percent

The Solomon Islands visitor arrivals by air grew by 8 per cent to 4,832 visitors to Solomon Islands in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.
The project has taken Parliament to a new level.

UNDP Parliament Project to Continue

The United Nations Development Programme Parliamentary Strengthening Program does not end when Project Manager Warren Cahill leaves.
Mr Wale said both termination exercises involved students at the USP Laucala campus.

Fifty Six Government Scholarships Terminated

Minister for Education Mathew Wale has confirmed in Parliament that the scholarships of 56 students studying at USP in Fiji have been terminated, out of 74 students on the initial list for termination.

Search On For Six Year Old Boy

A six year old boy has been reported missing at Lungga River since Monday.

Solomon Islanders Take the Lead on Corrections Training

The Correctional Service of Solomon Islands achieved a major milestone this week with the completion of a training course that will equip staff to assess and evaluate the performance of correctional personnel.
The World Bank will be working with SIEA to make the agency's management more effective, improve its financial performance and increase the reliability of power.

Efforts to Improve the Solomon Islands Energy Agency Push Ahead

The Solomon Islands Energy Project (SISEP), which aims to assist the Solomon Islands Energy Agency (SIEA) in improving the supply and reliability of electricity to Solomon Islanders, has been making significant progress.

Cancel New Parliamentary Entitlements: TSI

The new Parliamentary entitlements will cost approximately $50 million dollars over a four year term of Parliament, bringing the total costs of the Parliamentary entitlements close to $200 million.
Acting Prime Minister, Fred Fono, denies cuts to provincial grants.

Government Lifts Reservation on Grants

Acting Prime Minister, Fred Fono, has told Parliament that Cabinet has lifted the 35 percent reservation it had imposed on national grants to the provinces.

Search on for Survivors of Sunk Tongan Ship

The search is on for more survivors of passengers of MV Princess Ashika, which overturned in Tongan waters late Wednesday, with fears that women and children were unable to make it out of the sunken ship.

Teachers Association Threatens to Boycott Exams

The secretariat of Solomon National Teachers Association, SINTA has threatened that its members will boycott standard 6 exams if government continues to ignore a 7.5 percent cost of living salary increase it had already promised teachers last year.
Services offered include primary care services, optometry (eye exams, glasses) and basic dental care (cleaning, examinations and extractions).

Pacific Partnership Offers Free Medical Services

The United States Pacific Partnership mission will offer free medical and dental care on Guadalcanal and Malaita over the next 13 days.
Acting Prime Minister Fred Fono says the Government is presently seeking legal advice from the Attorney General's Chambers.

Government "Looks Into" Public Concerns

The Government is studying public concerns on the newly introduced increases in entitlements of Members of Parliament.

High Court Rules in Favor of Former PS's

The CNURA government stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars following a High Court ruling that government wrongly terminated the contracts of six former permanent secretaries in January 2008, shortly after it came into power.
The "custom money'' from the Solomon Islands was laid on Kennedy's grave in a ceremony attended by members of the Kennedy family in November.

Custom Money from Solomon Islands Laid on Kennedy's Grave

Worlds apart yet united by fate, the Late John F. Kennedy and Solomon Islander Eroni Kumana shared a special friendship, one that was forged during the WWII Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands.
Wayne Suliana, the Fijian national among the 24-member crew, which also includes 11 Tuvaluans, of German container ship, Hansa Stavanger.

Pacific Island Hostages Freed

The crew of a German vessel that had been captured by Somali pirates in April, among which were a Fijian and 12 Tuvaluans, have been finally freed after a ransom was paid.

40th Pacific Islands Forum Opens with Concern for the Situation in Fiji

Press Statement - 5 August, 2009 - The situation in Fiji remains a concern for the Pacific Islands Forum as Leaders gather for their 40th Forum in the Australian northern city of Cairns.

Response to Economic Crisis must be Pacific Tailored - SG

Press Statement - Cairns, 4th August 2009 - A regional conference addressing how to tackle the impact of the global economic crisis on countries in the Pacific region has been told that any response to the crisis must be a Pacific tailored one acknowledging the special challenges of the region.

Solomon Islands Fans Await Bilikiki Homecoming

It has been a long wait but Solomon Islands fans will finally get the chance to welcome home their Bilikiki heroes today when they arrive in Honiara with the OFC Beach Soccer Championship trophy in tow.

Finance Minister Says Bill Necessary

The 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2009 of about 80 million dollars is necessary in light of the current uncertain economic situation as a result of the global financial crisis.

Government Respects Private Sector: Fono

The Acting Prime Minister Fred Fono says the CNURA government respects the private sector.
The latest swine flu case is being quarantined at RAMSI's Aspen Medical Centre.

Three Confirmed Swine Flu Cases, Authorities on High Alert

There are now three confirmed cases of the A H1N1 Swine Flu virus in the Solomon Islands. Health authorities are now on high alert and are urging the public to remain calm.

Leaders Arrive in Cairns for 40th Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have started arriving in Australia's northern city of Cairns for the 40th Forum which official opens on Wednesday 5th August 2009.

Solomon Airlines A320 Aircraft Arrival Delays

Technical issues have delayed the much awaited arrival of a 320 Airbus aircraft which Solomon Airlines has leased from Strategic Airlines in Australia to operate the Honiara Brisbane route.

Court of Appeal Dismisses Appeal

The Solomon Islands Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Clement Rojumana and John Maetia Kaliuae against a Magistrate Court committal order for both men to stand trial in the High Court on allegations they illegally granted citizenship to 25 Asians in 2003.