Latest News Archive March 2009

Ross pictured with Ian Stewart, PDL Toll Manager (right) and the PDL Toll team.

PDL Toll Becomes First Gold Sponsor for Great Aussie Bike Ride

PDL Toll, the logistics company supporting RAMSI, has become the first major corporate supporter of the Great Australian Bike Ride participant Ross Andrewartha.

Strong Action Needed in the Pacific to Counter Global Crises: ADB

Economic growth in the Pacific will slow to 3%, down from a record 5.1% in 2008, as the impact of the global economic crisis and falling commodity prices takes it's toll on the region, says the ADB in a major new report.

Government Confident of Changing Political Landscape

Government is confident that it will bring about fundamental changes to the current political landscape, to ensure that there is greater stability in the future.
Solomon Islands experiencing an increase in foreign investment, new buildings are being built to accommodate the increase.

Foreign Investors Increase Substantially

The Government today has announced a boost in foreign investment, two years after the Foreign Investment Act 2005 came into force.
An area close to where the body of the young boy was found.

Boy Dies from Drowning at Burns Creek River

Royal Solomon Islands Police Forensic unit and National Investigation unit officers in Honiara are investigating the accidental death of a four year old boy late yesterday afternoon at Burns Creek area.
Marovo Lagoon in the Western Province, an ideal getaway.

Visitors Bureau Chief says Solomons Will Weather Economic Storm

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) is confident that the country's tourism industry will weather the challenges of the current economic crisis and looming recession.
Pacific Blue, the latest entrant into the Solomon Islands market.

Government Opens Competition in Aviation Industry

Minister for Communication and Aviation Varian Lonamei has said the Government is encouraging competition in the aviation industry to improve international air links to Solomon Islands.
'Team Marmalade' (L to R): Anthony Carrigan, Kate Dooley, Kate Sullivan, Laura Doherty, Justin Fepuleai, Mary Thurston and Laurent de Schoutheete.

Honiara Brain-iacs Rule Supreme

Saturday night saw 110 people test their wits against Quiz Master Peter Baldwin and official Adjudicator Eric "The Hard Man" Muir as they battled to prove who were the smartest 8 people in Honiara (at least for a few hours).
Police Commissioner Peter Marshall during a recent press conference.

Peter Marshall Sworn In as Police Commissioner

New Zealand's Peter Marshall has been appointed as Solomon Islands' new Police Commissioner.
Auki town was where the RAMSI Chief met with Malaita Premier and more than twenty community leaders.

RAMSI Chief Visits Malaita

RAMSI's new Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, launched his program of provincial consultations with a visit to Auki, Malaita Province, last week.

National Women's Volleyball Team Named

The recently selected National Women's volleyball squad has been undergoing hard training at the multipurpose hall since the 19th of March.
19 year-old Mary Kuna with the bleeding crucifix in a cup at her home.
Picture by John Pangkatana

'Miracle' in PNG Drawing Crowds

A small bleeding and sweating statue of Jesus is being deemed a miracle in Papua New Guinea as many flock to see the sight for themselves.
Hon. Johnson Koli, a first term member for East Guadalcanal is also the Minister for Health.

MP Johnson Koli's Attacker Lands in Court

A man in his late twenties was today charged for punching Hon. Johnson Koli in the face as he walked out of the parliament recently.

Makira Weather Station Re-opens Soon

Since August 2000 the Makira weather station in the Makira-Ulawa Province was closed due to land disputes at its current location.
Sweet victory for the Koloale side, they now await the winner of the Auckland City versus Waitakere United match up.

Koloale Marches On!

Koloale's dream of featuring in the Oceania League final was finally realized on a wet Saturday afternoon as they beat Fiji soccer giants Ba by the narrowest of margin, 1-0 at Lawson Tama Stadium.
Such cooperation would increase the capacity of the Solomon Islands to engage in trade related activities.

Solomons Moves to Establish Economic Cooperation with Asia

The Solomon Islands Government is moving on to establish economic cooperation with four Asian Nations.

Australia Supports Kindergarten and Water Projects

The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for the Mage Kindergarten and Sulagwalu Water Projects through the Direct Aid Program (DAP).
The Government trusts that these reforms will give the political parties a greater role in governance, and therefore their capacities will require some investment.

PM Sikua Battles Political Instability

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua vows that his ruling government is determined to eliminate political instability which has plagued the nation for more than 30 years.

Region's Officials Gather for Pacific Plan Meeting

Press Statement - The first meeting of the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC) for 2009 convenes 31 March-1 April at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji.

No Wholesale Changes in New Integrity Bill

The government has indicated that the new Integrity Bill will not go after "wholesale changes," as was the case for Papua New Guinea's OLIPPAC.

Frustrated Landowners Plan Road Block at Gold Ridge

Land owners of the eastern side of Guadalcanal are planning to set up a road block, frustrated with the inaction of Gold Ridge Management to look at their grievances, one of which is the removal of the current General Manager.

Dead Body Found at Lungga River

A dead body was found yesterday afternoon, by members of the public, at the Lungga River.

Police Seek Public Assistance to Target Known Criminals

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is renewing its commitment to actively pursue known criminals for serious offences including murder and arson.

Pacific Partnership 2009 to Visit Solomon Islands

Preparations are underway for Pacific Partnership 2009, the fourth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian civic assistance missions. The mission will visit the Solomon Islands in August.

More Than 50 New Species Discovered in PNG

Scientists have discovered more than 50 new animal species in Papua New Guinea in an expedition in the country.

Australian National Investigated by Solomon Islands Police and Immigration

Police and immigration authorities in Solomon Islands are investigating an Australian national who has become embroiled in the media allegations against the Gold Ridge Mining Limited.

Iromea in Court for Burning of Community Centre

Former City Councilor, Mr. John Seti Iromea, has landed himself in court over the burning of the Burns Creek Community centre.

Committees to Finalize Discussions on Major Framework of Proposed Federal Structure

Three Theme Committees of the Constitutional Congress have resumed a weeklong meeting to finalize the framework of the proposed Federal Government System.

SIFF Acknowledges Telekom and DJ Graphics

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairperson Noel Wagapu this morning acknowledged two SIFF partners, Our Telekom and DJ Graphics for providing Polo and T-shirts to the committee.

Demand Will Decline As Crisis Worsens, Warns Hou

Former Central Bank governor Rick Hou has cautioned that the global recession and its effect on the country might be worse than the government had initially anticipated.

Solomon Islands Marks World TB Day

On the theme ' We Simply Must Stop TB', the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, through its national TB program today marked World TB Day.

Consultative Meeting Held to Change NOCSI Constitution

A Consultative meeting was held recently by the National Olympics Committee of Solomon Islands, NOCSI, to relook at the NOCSI constitution, with the aim to make it more relevant for the times.

Solomon Islands Prepares for Upcoming Climate Change Conference

Solomon Islands are one of the first countries, within the Pacific region, to formally launch the Pacific Year of Climate Change.

France to Compensate Victims of Nuclear Tests

The French government has announced that it will compensate victims of nuclear tests carried out by the government in the region and in Algeria.

Clinics Re-open But No Child Vaccination

Honiara City clinics will resume as soon as the outstanding water bill has been paid to the Solomon Islands Water Authority. The City's Deputy Mayor, Alfred Maetia, says the process to release the money for the outstanding bill is underway.

The Coral Reef: The Year that was our Pacific focus for 2008

Press Release - Coral reefs are dying living organisms.

New Office for Students Association

The Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA) in Laucala-based University of the South Pacific (USP) is complete with a new office on campus.

Government Targets 25% Reduction in Logging

The Solomon Islands Government is working on a new Forestry Bill in efforts to reduce the level of logging by 25 percent.

Unpaid Water Bills Results in Closure of Clinics

All City Council Clinics in Honiara have been closed, some as far back as Wednesday last week due to a mass disconnection of water by the Solomon Islands Water Authority, SIWA.

RAMSI Welcomes New Deputy Special Coordinator Fepulea'i

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands welcomes a new Deputy Special Coordinator, Justin Fepulea'i, a Samoan-New Zealander with significant experience in the Pacific.

New Police Station Opened

On Friday 20 March 2009, the Minister of Police and National Security led a high level delegation down to the Shortland Islands official opened the new Kulitanai Bay Police Station.

Solomon Islands Government Welcomes Cuban Doctors

The Solomon Islands Government has warmly welcomed the arrival of seven additional doctors from Cuba in light of the critical shortage of specialist doctors in the country.

SPREP Supports Earth Hour

Press Release - Vote Earth, by turning off your lights for one hour on Saturday March 28 beginning at 8.30 pm local time, wherever you live in the Pacific.

Our Telekom Signs Agreement with Solomon Host

Our Telekom and Solomon Host have signed a two year partnership agreement on Friday, paving the way for strong cooperation between the two organizations.

Food Distribution Continues for Flood Victims

As those villagers affected by the floods return to some sense of normalcy, the National Disaster Council (NDC) promised that it will continue with its food distribution programme

Visitor Numbers Dominated By Business Travelers: Kraus

The worsening global economic crises has had a negative impact on the travel industry worldwide, most, if not all, major Airlines have recorded massive decline in bookings.

Parliament Passes National Transport Fund Bill

The National Transport Fund Bill 2009 has been passed by Parliament into an Act yesterday.

Disaster Awareness in New Telephone Directory

Those seeking information about disasters in Solomon Islands and what to do before, during and after their impacts will have another source to use this year.

No Easy Way Out: NTU Director

"Getting extensions for your programmes will not be easy and students should know better by now that one has to work hard to earn his or her qualifications."

Forum Education Ministers to Consider FBEAP Review

Press Statement - Pacific Islands Forum Education Ministers will gather in Nuku'alofa, Tonga 24 - 26 March to discuss a review of the Forum Basic Education Action Plan (FBEAP) which was endorsed in 2001.

Annual Export Quota for Dolphins Capped at 100

Despite continuous warnings of possible backlash by the international community, the government has decided that dolphin export would continue, but limited to 100 dolphins per annum.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Cancelled

A tsunami warning that had been issued for some islands in the region following an earthquake in Tonga has been cancelled.

Simbo Villagers Educated on Natural Disaster Response

Communities on Simbo Island, Western Province were introduced to a series of trainings and activities to be undertaken over the next three years in the area of disaster vulnerability reduction Initiatives.

Lack of Space Hinders Sports in Schools

Lack of playing space in most schools visited in Honiara may well be the reason why children have not been engaged in physical education.

Government Seeks Donor Assistance for West Guadalcanal Highway

The effect of the February floods has left the people of West Guadalcanal with an unhappy legacy.

ADB Welcomes New Companies Act

The Asian Development Bank A-D-B welcomes the passing of a new Companies Act in the Solomon Islands.

Miners Strike, Demand Removal of GM

Workers of the Gold Ridge Mining Limited on Central Guadalcanal have issued a 14-days strike notice, demanding the removal of the company's general manager Keith Nielson.

Guadalcanal Premier Deplores Attack on MP

Guadalcanal provincial premier Stephen Panga urges his people to give leaders the respect they deserve.

2012 Arts Festival Work Well Underway

The Cultural Working Committee, tasked with organizing the 2012 Arts Festival, will be having its first meeting tomorrow, said the Director of Culture Division, Robert Au.

National Youth Policy Reviewed

A consultation workshop to review the Solomon Islands National Youth Policy and its Draft Plan of Action was held earlier this week at the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP)for Honiara youths.

Gold Ridge Mining Ltd. Needs USD100 Million to Start Operations

It has been revealed that the Australian Solomons Gold Limited will need a massive USD$100 Million dollars to re-start mining operations.

Australia and Britain Assist Solomon Islands to Get Fit

The Australian Defence Force and the British High Commission have donated over AUD100,000 in gym equipment to the Honiara City Council, to help Honiara 'get fit'.

Underwater Eruption Off Tonga Coast Generating Interest

An underwater volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga is generating interest with spectacular columns of smoke spewing out of the sea near Nuku'alofa, the country's capital.

Parliament Passes Companies Bill 2009

Yesterday, the National Parliament passed the Companies Bill 2009 into an Act of Parliament.

Australia Supports Solar Projects in Malaita

Australia is helping Solomon Islands to benefit from renewable energy, by supporting solar energy projects in Malaita.

Food Relief Distributions Begin

The National Disaster Council (NDC) through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Guadalcanal Provincial Disaster office will start distributing food relief to Poha, Veraboli, Vura and Tamboko villages today.

Government to Organize Public Forum on Dolphin Trade

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Meteorology is organizing a forum to discuss the capture of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin and its trade from Solomon Islands.

Former Police Officers Evicted From Official Quarters

The High Court of the Solomon Islands has issued a final eviction notice to 11 former police officers who still occupy government housing after leaving the force in 2004.

PIF Chair Welcomes Outcome of Fiji Political Leaders' Forum

Press Statement - The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Premier of Niue, the Hon Toke Talagi, MP, welcomes the resumption of the political dialogue in Fiji after a meeting of the Political Leaders Forum held in Suva on 13 March.

Man Charged for Assaulting Minister

A 28 year old man from Houta village in Marau, East Guadalcanal was charged with common assault following his arrest in relation to an assault on a Government Minister on 13 March 2009.

Improved GSM Breeze Mobile Coverage in Gizo

Customers in and around Gizo and Noro should expect marked improvement in their mobile service reception in recent days.

Big O'League Match in 10 Days

Solomon Islands champion club, Koloale, will play against Ba in a crucial deciding match at Lawson Tama in just over a week's time.

Australia Supports School for Disadvantaged Children

The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for the Hope Academy through the Direct Aid Program (DAP).

Human Rights Advisor: Pacific Laws Do Not Protect Women

Human Rights advisor, Imrana Jalal, says that Pacific laws on violence against women (VAW) are outdated and treat women with indifference and that Pacific Island governments need to make a concerted effort to review this legislation so that laws can better protect women.

Students Association Vote First Female President

"Leading is not about dictatorship but more on working side by side with members within your team."

Young Solomon Islander Receives High Achievement

Receiving Fiji's prestigious award for a young Solomon Islander comes as "a real surprise."

Police Search for Murder Suspect

Police are searching for a murder suspect believed to be in hiding in Malaita.

Solomon Islander Accepted at UN

In 2008 a UN Competitive Recruitment Examinations in the occupational field Information Technology, Human Rights, Finance, Programme Evaluation, Political Affairs and Environment was held in Honiara.

Opposition Claims MPs Wants Support to Oust Sikua

Leader of Opposition told Parliament that certain members of Parliament have lobbied to get support from the Opposition to support a motion of no confidence in the current leadership.

Parliament to Pass More Bills

Parliament expects to pass two legislation this week.

Flood Victims Still Waiting for Relief Supplies

The people of Northeast and East Central Guadalcanal are still waiting for relief supplies after recent heavy torrential rains destroyed their food gardens one month ago.

One Islander's Climate Change Experience

Tomasi Daunivucu, a Fijian living in a village that sits on north-east edge of Viti Levu, Fiji's main island, reveals the signs of climate change taking place in his village.

St. John Duo Visits the Solomons

The Patron of St. John Ambulance, Sub Prior Professor, Villis Marshall, and the Secretary-General PNG St. John, Douglas Kelson, are currently in the country to make a five days visit to the hospital and the government.

Results for Possible Cyanide Poisoning Released

Results on tests on three workers of the Gold Ridge Mining Limited was released today.

Companies Bill Key to Long Term Growth: Minister Hilly

The Government's introduction of the Companies Bill 2009 in parliament this week is a significant step for long term economic growth in Solomon Islands.

Low Crime Rates in Honiara

The Chief of Police has revealed that crime rate in Honiara has dropped in comparison to 2008.

Healthy Business, More Jobs

Pacific Islands must have healthy private sectors to assist in addressing the high unemployment rate which is now rife in the Pacific Islands.

Our Telekom Supports Solomon Islands Music Federation

Our Telekom has donated three Breeze Mobile Handsets to Solomon Islands Music Federation.

Government Refutes Motion to Oust Prime Minister Sikua

The Coalition of National Unity and Rural Advancement (CUNRA) regime has denied public rumors of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua.

Government Introduces New Companies Bill 2009

A Companies Bill is urgently needed to provide a solid and necessary base for the growth of our private sector, said the Minister for Commerce, Employment and Industries, Francis Billy Hilly.

New Zealand Removes Pacific Division of Immigration Department

New Zealand will remove the Pacific division of its immigration department following a report that revealed failures in the division.

Solomons Government Briefs Donors and Diplomats on Economic Outlook

The Global Financial Crisis is affecting every country in the world. Solomon Islands is not immune to the impacts of this crisis and faces similar economic challenges to those confronting all countries in the world.

Working to Address Violence Against Women in Solomon Islands

The Australian Government has released a series of reports which focus on addressing the problem of violence against women in Melanesia and East Timor.

ADB, PIFS Build Regional Cooperation

Press Statement - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 9 March 2009 establishing a framework to foster deeper cooperation to encourage conditions for sustainable growth and facilitate greater economic integration in the Pacific.

Bina Harbour Industrial Seaport Project Still on Hold

The Opposition group has questioned the government on the current status of the much touted Bina Harbour Industrial Seaport in today's parliament meeting.

D.Fenders Basketball Team Gets Assistance from Our Telekom

Our Telekom had committed SBD $14, 480 to D.Fenders Basketball Club following the club's appeal for sponsorship from the company.

Urgent Need to Grow our Economy: Hilly

"Economic growth continues to be insufficient in the face of a rapidly growing population, putting pressure on limited national resources," said Hon. Billy Hilly, Minister of Commerce, Industries and Employment during the second reading of the Companies Act 2009.

U.S. Supports Coral Triangle Initiative

The U.S. Ambassador Leslie Rowe announced the continued U.S. support of the Coral Triangle Initiative at the Senior Officials Meeting and Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby.

Second-Timer Female Kwaso Offender Arrested

Police officers from the Liquor Licensing Squad arrested a 27-year old woman for the brewing of kwaso at her home at about 11:00am yesterday.

EU Trade Exemptions to Solomons Due to Expire

An exemption which has allowed Solomon Islands companies to sell goods to European countries without the proper documentation will expire at the end of this month.

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