Latest News Archive March 2010

Fiji Intercepts Vessel Infested with Snails

A cargo vessel that was heavily infested with live Giant African Snails was intercepted by authorities at Fiji's main wharf.

Our Telekom Working on New Telecommunications System

Solomon Islands Our Telekom engineers are currently working at their hardest to get a few things before the country will operate on the new telecommunication system which will include 2G, 2.5G and 3G servers.

Malaita Wants Independence: Premier Irosaea

Leaders of Malaita Province have expressed their disagreement with the country adopting a Federal system of government and have instead opted for Independence.
"Solomon Islands have a concern that we are not being listened to in terms of our suggestions on the scheduling of meetings and also what agenda should be on those meetings."

Australia Still Not Listening: Haomae

Solomon Islands' Foreign Minister William Haomae says Australia is still not listening to Pacific Island countries when it comes to talks on PACER plus.
"To be sure, I have a bad name. I have been deemed the Darth Vader of dolphins," said Porter in an interview.

Dolphin Broker Plans to Release 17 Bottlenose Dolphins

Chris Porter, a controversial dolphin trader with a lucrative business of capturing the animals in the Solomon Islands and selling them to aquariums, says he has had a change of heart and is planning to release his last 17 bottlenose dolphins.

Voter Registration Extended for Further 14 Days

The Minister of Home Affairs has approved a 14 day extension to voter registration sought by the Electoral Commission last week.
The area where the body was said to have been discovered by villagers.

Man Found Dead at the Botanical Gardens

Police have confirmed that a dead body has been found at the Botanical garden area in Honiara this morning.

Government Launches Diagnostic Trade Integration Study

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade will today launch a study for the future of economic development of the Solomon Islands.
Afio futsal team at the opening ceremony yesterday.

Our Telekom National Futsal Comp Kicks Off

The Our Telekom National Futsal Championship will kick off this morning after the official opening ceremony which was held yesterday at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Guadalcanal Premier Clarifies Reconciliation Process

Guadalcanal Premier Stephen Panga has said the Province is working towards reconciliation with the national government in late October this year.
President Ma Ying-Jeou says Taiwan has ceased "its diplomatic tug-of-war with China and the two sides are now working in a dignified and cooperative manner."

Taiwan is No Longer Competing With China: President Ma

Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou has become only the second State Leader to address Parliament, and he used the opportunity to highlight the importance of its relationship with the Solomon Islands and other allies in the Pacific.

Nauru wants Positive Results from Cairns Compact

PRESS RELEASE - 29th March 2010 - The Government of the Republic of Nauru wants "positive results out of the Cairns Compact Peer Review process."

Hekari Marches on to O-League Final

Papua New Guinea's Hekari United FC are the first team through to the 2010 O-League final after they beat Marist FC 4-1 at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara on Saturday afternoon to claim top spot in Group B.

NGOs in Nauru Appreciate the Cairns Compact Peer Review Process

PRESS RELEASE - 26th March 2010 - Several non-government organizations and private sector representatives in Nauru have expressed appreciation for the Cairns Compact Peer Review process which is underway in the country this week.

Australia and New Zealand Help Restore Road Links

Australia and New Zealand will provide up to 4.7 million dollars to help Solomon Islands undertake emergency repairs to roads and bridges after heavy rain caused flooding throughout the country.

Reconciliation is a Bold Step Forward: Iduri

Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Sam Iduri, has commended both Premiers of Malaita and Guadalcanal for accepting the bold step to lead the country forward towards reconciliation.
Commissioner Marshall stated that this arrest has been brought about by three months of intensive investigations lead by the RSIPF NCID.

RSIPF Commissioner Commends Breakthrough Arrest

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, RSIPF, Commissioner Peter Marshall has praised the combined efforts of the RSIPF National Criminal Investigations Division (NCID) and RAMSI PPF Advisors working in Malu'u, North Malaita, after the arrest of John Irobene Taloi in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Young Music Artist Dies

A young man, said to be a member of the popular Honiara group Ontox, died instantly and another is in a critical condition after the vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a tree.

Isabel Province Supports Federalism

Isabel representative in the Federation Constitutional Congress, Chief Dennis Lulei, says the province believes in a state government system.

Reconciliation Talks Begin

Talks for formal reconciliation between Guadalcanal and Malaita provinces have commenced in Honiara.
President Ma will today have a private audience and a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua. President Ma will also confer an Award to Dr. Sikua.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeo Arrives in Solomon Islands

The Government and people of Solomon Islands welcomed Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeo who arrived in Honiara yesterday afternoon amidst tight security.
Honorable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the Honorable Georgina te Heuheu, Pacific Island Affairs Minister, visit the SendMoneyPacific Stand during Pasifika Festival, 13th March 2010

Website Seeks Savings for Pacific Islanders Remitting Money Home

The Honorable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the Honorable Georgina te Heuheu, Pacific Island Affairs Minister, visited the Send Money Pacific Stand during Pasifika Festival, Western Springs Park on 13th March 2010, to learn how Pacific Islanders can save when sending money home to their families.

Solomon Islands Marks World Meteorology Day

Solomon Islands yesterday marked World Meteorology Day in Honiara with a government pledge to continue its support for National Meteorological Services in the country.

Taiyo Products Declared Safe

The Environmental Health Division has assured people in the country that Soltai Fishing and Processing company products in the market are safe for public consumption.

Cairns Compact Peer Review Underway in Nauru

PRESS STATEMENT - Yaren, Nauru, 24 March 2010 - There has been further progress in the implementation of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific with the commencement of the Peer Review process in the Republic of Nauru this week.
Nickel, is a metal used in the manufacture of coins, magnets and common household utensils.

Isabel Nickel Mine to be on International Tender

The Solomon Islands Government yesterday has announced that it will soon put to international tender the Nickel Mine in Isabel Province.

Gold Mining Company Relaunched

The Solomon Islands' Prime Minister says yesterday's relaunch of the Gold Ridge gold mine is a positive signal that the country has recovered from the years of ethnic tension.

Soltai Investigates Allegations of Poisoned Products

The Soltai Fishing and Processing Company Limited is currently investigating an e-mail which was circulated last week warning people of poison in the company's taiyo products.

SINUW Says Allegations Misleading

The Solomon Islands National Union of Workers, SINUW, says allegations by an assembly member of Central Province against European Union, E-U, funding assistance to the union was misleading.

Samoa Voyaging Society to be Environment Ambassadors

Press Release - Crew members of the Va'a Gaualofa from the Samoa Voyaging Society are Environment Ambassadors to celebrate the Year of Biodiversity.
Despite difficulties, government is hopeful that the cattle project will be implemented during the course of 2010.

Cattle Import Paperwork Finalizing

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) wishes to assure the nation, especially Cattle Farmers and Stakeholders that preparation towards finalizing relevant protocol requirements to import cattle into the country is ongoing.
Taiwan's President Ma will visit Solomon Islands from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th March.

Solomon Islands Prepared for President Ma

The Government and the people of Solomon Islands is preparing for President Ma's visit that will begin on Wednesday.
S.I Cricket Association member, Mr. Graeme Wilson during a cricket lesson.

Australia Supports Solomon Islands Cricket

The Australian High Commission is pleased to be able to support the Solomon Islands Cricket Association youth cricket development project, with grant funding under the Australian Sports Outreach Program

Hydropower Project to Begin

The Solomon Islands and the World Bank have signed an agreement paving the way to kick-start the Tina River Hydropower Project.

China-PIFS Scholarships 2010/2011 Intake

Press Release - 21st March 2010 - The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is offering ten scholarships to students from Forum Island Countries to study in China .

Oceania to Assist Solomon Futsal

The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Small Sided Games Office has announced a coaching course for Futsal this week.
Participants of Diversity Discussion Forum, hosted by the Australian High Commission.

Celebrating Harmony Day in Solomon Islands

On Sunday 21st March, Australia celebrates Harmony Day, with community activities held throughout the country, reflecting the cohesive and inclusive nature of Australian society and promoting the benefits of cultural diversity.
President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan will be visiting Solomon Islands among six Pacific nations.

President Ma's Pacific Visit Begins

Taiwan's President, Ma Ying-jeou has begun his journey to visit Pacific nations, one of which is the Solomon Islands.

RAMSI Commends TRC

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, has encouraged all Solomon Islanders to embrace the opportunity provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to move their nation forward.

Promoting Economic Opportunities for Women in the Pacific

Gender equality is a guiding principle of Australia's international development assistance program and is integral to all Australian Government aid policies, programs and initiatives. Australia has committed to ensuring that women and men participate in and benefit equally from the development assistance program.

Registration Officers Receives Pay

Solomon Islands, Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, yesterday confirmed that government funds required for paying registration officials have reached the account of the Electoral Commission.
Election 2010 is expected to bring more voters than before.

New Election Penalties Announced

New and bigger penalties for election offences were announced yesterday by the Electoral Commission and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

American Students Learn about Pacific Environmental Issues at SPREP

Press Release - 10 students from different universities throughout America have come a long way to learn about environmental issues in the Pacific and how they affect the lives of those who live here.

National Broadcaster Back on Air

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) is now back on-air after the Solomon Islands Energy Authority restored power supply following a long power blackout at the SIBC's Henderson transmitter.

Update 3: Fiji Begins Recovery Operations in Cyclone Aftermath

Fiji has begun more intense relief operations in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Tomas which has now passed out of the group.

National Football Team Begins Training

The Solomon Islands Senior National Football Team has started training following the announcement of the training squad in February.
The new Companies Act will introduce the concept of Community Companies, an initiative to encourage communities to work in their best interests for their benefit.

New Companies Act Introduced

Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce representatives as well as other business and legal professionals yesterday attended a special information and training session on the use of the new, modernised Companies Act.

Update 2: Fiji Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Tomas is on its way out of the Fiji group, leaving the nation to begin relief efforts for those areas affected.

Skies Clearing for Solomon Islands

The skies are starting to clear up for the Solomon Islands as Cyclone Ului starts moving away from the country.

Electricity Restriction to SIWA

The Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) has started restricting the supply of electricity to its sister State-Owned Enterprise, the Solomon Islands Water Authority (SIWA).
Acting Police Commissioner, Walter Kola, Hon. James Tora and Wing Commander, Wendy Horder handing over the letter of arrangements.

Police Vessel For Refurbishment

The Australian Defence Adviser, Wing Commander, Wendy Horder, called on the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Hon. James Tora to discuss the forthcoming refurbishment of Royal Solomon Islands Police Vessel (RSIPV) AUKI in Australia.
Assistance to the Solomon Islands by ADB will help diversify the economy away from a dependency on logging.

ADB to Help Solomons Recover from Economic Crisis

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $10 million in budget support to the Solomon Islands that will help the economy recover from the global economic crisis.
Cyclone Ului (top right), as it travels through the Solomon Islands.

Severe Weather Persists for Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Capital, Honiara continues to experience the severe weather of Cyclone Ului as it slowly moves west.

Anglican Archbishop Visits Bellona

The Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia, David Vunagi last week paid a pastoral visit to the Renell and Bellona Province.
Radar image showing the relatively large eye of TC Tomas.

Update: Fiji Tropical Cyclone

Fiji is still being battered by gale force winds and torrential rain as Tropical Cyclone Tomas continues to move through country.
Acing Commissioner,Walter Kola (left) and Deputy Commissioner Wayne Buchhorn (2nd from left) with Workshop participants and facilitators at the Kitano Mendana Hotel.

First Joint Integrity Investigation Workshop Held

Several members of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) with investigators from various government agencies are participating in a joint Integrity Investigation workshop currently held at the Kitano Mendana Hotel.
The Japanese Charge' d Affairs, Akira Iwanade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, William Haomae, during the signing yesterday.

Japan and Solomons Continue to Strengthen Ties

The Governments of Japan and Solomon Islands yesterday signed a multi-million dollar Grant Aid Agreement for the construction of a new Auki Jetty and Market worth SBD$80 million (962 million yen).
The New Zealand's P-3K Orion aircraft that came to the Solomon Islands for two days.

Royal New Zealand Air Force Passes Through Solomons

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) visited Honiara, Solomon Islands, in a P-3K Orion aircraft for two days last week as part of a 7-day patrol of the Pacific.

Hurricane Tomas Batters Fiji

Fiji is currently experiencing gale force winds and heavy rainfall brought on by Hurricane Tomas which is currently passing over the Fiji group, having already claimed one life.
Cyclone Ului, recorded yesterday as it travels South of Solomon Islands.

Cyclone Ului Eases While Heading West

The Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului, that travelled to South of Solomon Islands was said to have broken the record for the most intense ever tropical cyclones in the South Pacific Region.

Solomons to Benefit from Global Climate Change Alliance

Solomon Islands will be one of the many countries that will benefit from the European Union's Global Climate Change Alliance this year.

Government Must Spend to Earn: Dr Sikua

The Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, in response to the Oppositions claim, says the Government must spend money to earn money.

WTO Workshop for FIC Officials

Press Release - 11th March 2010 - The move towards strengthening regional capacity in World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and services negotiations took another step forward with the conclusion of a three-day workshop held in Nadi, Fiji from 8 -10 March 2010.

PM Happy With Public Support for TRC

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua says that he is pleased with the public support and progress made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC.
Meteorological Service Monitors Tropical Lows

Meteorological Service Monitors Tropical Lows

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service continues to issue special weather advises for Temotu and Rennell Bellona Provinces due to two low pressure systems.
Parliament saw fit to establish an Authority given the projected drop in the country's GDP if commercially valuable forests are logged out.

Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill Withdrawn

Parliament has withdrawn the Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill.

Leadership Code Commission Fines Leaders

The Leadership Code Commission has fined more than 400 leaders for failing to give statements of their assets and financial interests to the Commission as required under the Leadership Code Act 1999.
Sofia Macher greeting one of the victims (Serima Jas) after her testimony.

More Victims Ready to Testify in Next Hearings

The first public hearing by the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) concluded yesterday, with 19 witnesses giving sometimes wrenching personal testimony on their experiences during five years of civil conflict known as the "tension".

PM Hails Latest Trip as a Success

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has described his recent trip to Palau and Brussels as a success.

Let's Keep Voter Registration List Corrupt Free

Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, has called on the public for their support to keep voter registration free of corruption.

Watch Out For Bogus Operators

The government is warning people wanting to join New Zealand's Recognized Seasonal Employee Scheme to watch out for bogus operators.

Police Officer wins RAMSI Special Coordinator's Award for Women

Royal Solomon Islands Police Officer, Detective Inspector Florence Taro, was awarded the RAMSI Special Coordinator's Award for Women, recognising her contribution to improving the status of women both within and outside the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
Mr. Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi of Fiji; Ms. Sofia Macher of Peru (Deputy Chair); Fr. Sam Ata of Solomon Islands (Chair); Mr. George Kejoa of Solomon Islands and Ms. Carolyn Laore of Solomon Islands.

First TRC Hearing Brings Relief and Hopes for Reconciliation

Nine victims from the tensions in Solomon Islands testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, during the first day of public hearings.

ADB, AFD Work to Promote Growth, Reduce Poverty and Protect Environment

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have pledged to continue working closely together and jointly mobilize their resources to promote sustainable growth, fight poverty, and protect the environment in the Asia and Pacific region.

Pacific Women Continue to Face Challenges

Press Release - 8th March 2010 - Women in the Pacific continue to face adverse challenges despite national and regional commitments to addressing gender inequality.
Prime Minister Sikua said the payment will enable MPs to proceed with the implementation of their 2010 constituency programs and projects.

Taiwan Ambassador Releases 2010 RCDF

The Ambassador of the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan, HE George Chan had formally released the first payment of SB$10 million for the '2010 Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF)' covering 50 constituencies in Honiara yesterday afternoon.

Equality In Action: RAMSI Marks International Women's Day

Twin launches of two new policies for women and a pioneering book about Solomon Islands women in Government, Being The First, are fitting ways to mark International Women's Day 2010, RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson said.
Father Sam Ata, chairman of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

TRC Holds First Public Hearing

Victims of the tensions in Solomon Islands will have their first opportunity today to give testimony on their experiences before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC.

Level of Violence against Women in Pacific among Highest in the World

According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) statistics, women in the region suffer from a level of violence that is among the most severe in the world.
Solomon Islander, Dr Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard, one of the co-editors of the soon to be launched "Being the First."

Book Launching Celebrates Women in Leadership

A book launched in the Solomon Islands today marks International Women's Day by celebrating leadership and achievement amongst Solomon Islands women.
"He is a player that can create many opportunities and to lose your most influential player, it makes a big difference," NSW Thunder coach.

NSW Thunder Coach Hopeful for Ragomo to Return

NSW Thunder coach Jamie Amendolia is hopeful Solomon Islands star Elliot Ragomo is back from injury for their do-or-die AFC Futsal Club Championship clash with Port Authority of Thailand today.

Selwyn Students Return Due to Flooding

A number of Selwyn College students returned to Honiara last week because of flooding at the school caused by the recent torrential weather.

USP Students Receive Some Money

Government sponsored students studying at the University of the South Pacific's (USP) Laucala campus in Fiji have received FJ$375.
Mr Olmi is the third PNG High Commission senior official to be recalled from Honiara in less than one year.

PNG High Commissioner Recalled

Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Aiwa Olmi is being recalled to Port Moresby.

First TRC Public Hearing Next Week

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, will hold its first national public hearing in Honiara next week.
Mr Riumana said the ruling CNURA government is placing a lot of emphasis on Oil Palm development in the recently launched National Agriculture Policy Framework.

Riumana Highlights Oil Palm Industry to Malaysian Diplomat

The Minister of Agriculture and livestock Development, Selwyn Riumana told the new Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Madame Blanche Olbery, of the massive investment opportunities in the Oil Palm Industry.

Diplomats Sworn In

The Government has gone ahead with the proposed cross-posting of the country's diplomats in Australia and Taiwan - despite alleged dismay within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NTU Terminates 100 Tertiary Students

The National Training Unit, NTU, will terminate the scholarship awards of about 100 students under government sponsorship.
Foreign Affairs Minister William Haomae, Madame Olbery, Sir Frank Kabui and George Hiele (Secretary to Foreign Affairs).

New Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands

A new Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands has presented her letter of appointment to His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui in Honiara today.
Mr Andersen says the survey on illegal water connections in Honiara has shown that "there are more than a thousand illegal connections."

Illegal Connections Larger than First Thought: SIWA

The Solomon Islands Water Authority, SIWA, says that the amount of illegal water connections throughout Honiara is quite significant and will continue to cause water outage in most of Honiara.

EU and RAO Sign 10th EDF Regional Projects

Press Release - The management of fisheries and mineral resources in the Pacific region will benefit from 22 million Euros that will be injected by the European Union into three projects under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

PAP Plans National Convention

One of the oldest political parties in the country, the People's Alliance Party, or PAP as it is commonly known, will hold its National Convention on the first of May.

Murder Suspect Charged

Police have arrested and charged a 21 year old man over the weekend in relation to the alleged murder of a young man, whose body was found at the Panatina oval early last month.
The Charity Family Trust Fund has, in the past, taken thousands of dollars from ordinary Solomon Islanders promising huge payouts.

CBSI Warns Public: "Charity Payout is a Lie"

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands, CBSI, categorically denies the front page article in yesterday's Island Sun newspaper of a huge payout for those who have invested money in the Family Charity Trust Fund.

Pacific Economies to Perform Slightly Better in 2010, says ADB

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Building on improved prospects for the global economy, most Pacific island economies are expected to perform slightly better in 2010 than in 2009, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) publication.

Police Charge Captains of Foreign Fishing Vessel

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Transnational Crime Unit have charged the captains of the two foreign fishing vessels that were apprehended earlier this year after they were discovered to be fishing illegally in Solomon Islands' waters.

Major Honiara Road Rehabilitation to Commence Soon

The government is soon to begin a major public road rehabilitation program in Honiara city in view of the current wet weather condition which is expected to cause extra damage to existing road infrastructures.
St Vincent's is a world-class public hospital offering best-in-class services, facilities and expertise.

Reveal Your Sources: Honorary Consul General

Mr. Trevor Garland AM, CSI, has hit back at a report published in the Solomon Star that accused him of threatening to use his influence to close down the '10 beds program' between St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and the Solomon Islands if the Solomon Islands' High Commissioner, Victor Ngele, was not replaced.

Selectors are emphasising that the Senior National Team Training Squad is not the final squad.

Soccer National Training Squad Named

The list of players selected for the Senior National Team Training Squad for 2010 has been released by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Technical Department. This follows more than a week of trials and the selection process which followed in Honiara.

Police in Breach of Fisheries Act: Leni

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Nollen Leni says the detaining of two fishing vessels by the police is in breach of the Fisheries Act.