Latest News Archive January 2011

If the size of the satellite image is anything to go by then Cyclone Yasi is a potentially highly destructive storm system.

Solomon Islands Braces Itself for Yasi

Solomon Islands are bracing itself for a category 3 cyclone heading its way.

Solomon Gold Hails 'strong progress'

Solomon Gold says drilling at projects in the South Pacific and Queensland has yielded 'encouraging results'.

PIFS Appoints New Young Professionals

PRESS RELEASE - 28th January 2011 - A new group of five young people from member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum have been placed in the various Programmes of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji under the Young Professionals Scheme.
Mr Sasako says the government is aware of and welcomes the opposition's intentions to table a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

PMO Prepares for March Sitting

The Office of the Prime Minister is fast tracking preparations for the meeting of parliament scheduled for March this year.

Police Investigate Illegal Fishing by Taiwanese Vessels

Police are continuing their investigation into the Taiwanese fishing vessels that were caught fishing in Solomon Islands' waters recently.

Will NCRA Continue with Fee Free Education?

It is uncertain whether the NCRA government will provide Fee Free Education grants to students this year as the previous Derek Sikua government did.

World Wetlands Day 2011

Press Release - World Wetlands Day this year celebrates terrestrial and wetland forests and their role in our lives. The theme, Forests for Water and Wetlands highlights the intricate links between forests and wetlands such as mangroves and freshwater swamps.

Kemakeza Sworn in as Minister

MP for Ngella, Mark Kemakeza, has been sworn-in as Minister for Mines of the National Coalition for Rural Advancement government.
"The Opposition cannot claim MPs of the Independent Group of Parliament as part of their group as there is no constitutional basis for this inclusion," said Mr Sasako.

Constitutional Crises Looms?

The Parliamentary Opposition group has announced in a recent media conference that "it will defeat the budget if the Prime Minister does not call for an early parliament meeting or refuses to resign."

SIS Pacific Plan Desk Officer Workshop

PRESS RELEASE - 27th January 2011 - The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is this week hosting seven Smaller Island State and Pacific Plan Desk Officers for a workshop to discuss the Pacific Plan and their role in supporting Member States engage on issues around regional cooperation and integration.

Border Control Training for Vanuatu

PRESS RELEASE - 27th January 2011

Preparations For Pacific Arts Festival Delayed

Solomon Islands are eight months behind in its preparations for the 2012 Pacific Arts Festival.
Deputy Opposition Leader Matthew Wale says they may seek legal clarification if parliament is not recalled.

Solomon's Opposition Warns of Constitutional Crisis

The Solomon Islands opposition says the country could be plunged into a constitutional crisis if parliament is not recalled.

WB and Republic of Korea Team up on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2011 - Press Release

Lusibaea's Sentence Reduced to One Month

The Member of Parliament for North Malaita's two year nine month sentence imposed last year by the High Court has been reduced to one month one day, after being granted a 95 percent remission by the Minister for Police and National Security.
Tora's resignation means the Opposition now has 25 MPs, while the Government has 23 MPs.

Opposition Increases Number to 25

The Danny Philip led-government is facing a serious challenge from the Opposition group with the resignation of Police Minister James Tora.

More Public Talking Needed on Tuvalu's Public Order Ban

Monday, January 24, 2011 - An historic 14-day ban on large public meetings or gatherings ending this week in Funafuti must put Tuvalu's leadership on notice that freedom of assembly and expression are key to democratic rule, says the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF.
The PM challenges the opposition to bring the issue "to the floor of parliament" during the March parliament meeting.

PM Claims 24 MPs

Prime Minister Danny Philip has revealed that his government is commanding the support of 24 members of parliament, which included Ngella MP, Mark Kemakeza, who was said to have revoked his own resignation on Saturday.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon Peter Shanel (L), and Director General of the SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, after the signing of the MOU.

Rural Internet Connectivity Programme for Solomon Islands

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for the roll-out of a rural Internet connectivity system in the country.

Opposition Group Calls for Resignation of PM

The Solomon Islands opposition is calling on the Prime Minister to resign, after four ministers left cabinet and joined the opposition.

Police Joint Operation Intercepted Unlicensed Asian Fishing Vessels

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Maritime Unit patrol boat Auki have intercepted and apprehended two Foreign Fishing Vessels that were suspected to carrying out illegal fishing activities in the territorial waters of Solomon Islands.
The fundraising drive was attended by top political leaders and business houses in Honiara.

Fundraising Staged for Victims of Floods in Australia

A fundraising drive in aid of victims of the Queensland floods in Australia was successfully held at the Honiara Hotel Margarita Bar over the weekend.
Deputy Opposition Leader Matthew Wale says that the petition is purposely to see if the Prime Minister still has the numbers to remain in office.

Opposition to Lodge Petition to Governor General

The Opposition is expected to lodge the first of its petitions to the Governor General starting this week.

Conserving Forest Genetic Resources is Imperative in the Face of Environmental Change

Thursday 20th, 2011, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands -Forests play a multiple role; they are factories that produce fibre, timber and non-wood forest products; they provide water-catchment protection; they produce water for agriculture; and they are places for social recreation.
Influential MP, Hon. Bodo Detke, is one of the four that deserted the Danny Philip led government.

Four MPs Desert Government

Less than six months after taking office the Danny Philip led government is facing its first serious test.

Jailed Lawyer Released

Jailed lawyer, Charles Levo, has been released from prison following a recommendation by the recently established Parole Board.
It is understood that the visit is part of the Tina River Hydro Project feasibility study and a report on the study should be given to the Solomon Islands government by April.

Solomon Islands Going Hydro

Solomon Islands have turned to Fiji for assistance in the construction of a hydropower dam in Honiara.
Mr Tegavota also emphasized that "this legal avenue for the release of prisoners has always been there and is open to every prisoner."

"Claims are Nonsense," Parole Board Chairman

The Chairman of the Correctional Services Parole Board has described criticisms from the opposition and public on its decision to release North Malaita Member of Parliament as nonsense, saying that the release of Mr Lusibaea was on license and in compliance with enacted Laws.

Opposition Welcomes Planned Defamation Case

The Opposition says it welcomes any defamation case from the Finance and Treasury Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo.

Students Appalled at Reduced Scholarship

The National Training Unit (NTU) has announced that it can only fund 35 pre-service students for 2011.
"If it is true that it is a constitutional oversight by the Authorities, then those affected and now serving prison terms in Rove must also be released."

Naezon Calls for "Fair and Equal Justice"

Provincial Member for Malango Ward in Central Guadalcanal, Walton Naezon, says that as a Guadalcanal leader he wants to see "fair and equal justice to all citizens."

Prime Minister Acknowledges Outgoing Ambassador

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Danny Philip has acknowledged the tremendous support to the Solomon Islands by the outgoing Republic of China's Ambassador to Solomon Islands, George Chan.

Major Projects for Malaita Province Announced

The outgoing Republic of China's (ROC) Ambassador to Solomon Islands, George Chan has, last week, announced two major projects for the Malaita Province.
"Mr Lusibaea had only used enacted laws of the country to ensure his early release from prison," said Mr Muaki.

Lusibaea Released, Opposition Uproar

Jailed North Malaita MP, Jimmy Lusibaea, was released from prison on Friday, causing uproar from the Opposition Group.

Government Warns Minerals Investors

The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification has warned "dormant mines and mineral investors in the Solomon Islands" to prove themselves worthy of investing in the country within the next 24 months or have their licenses cancelled.
The flood looks to have peaked in Brisbane at 4.46m on January 13, below an expected level of 5.5m.

PM Sends Condolence Message to Australian Counterpart

Prime Minister Danny Philip has sent a condolence message to the Prime Minister of Australia Julian Gillard, the Government and the people of Australia, especially the State of Queensland, for the loss of lives and properties caused by the flash floods in the State of Queensland.

Lilo Clarifies Payment to PNG Government

Minister for Finance and Treasury, Gordon Darcy Lilo, has clarified the $3 million dollar payment made to the PNG High Commission office in Honiara for the construction of its Chancery.

SPC Teams Up with FAO to Organise Forest Genetic Resources Training Workshop

Wednesday 12th, 2011, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands

TSI: Minister Allowed Foreign Company to Profit from Illegal Act

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) has hit back at the Finance Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, stating that the "matter of illegal harvesting and export of beche de mer is a criminal offence and must be dealt with accordingly."
Mr Kemakeza said the "principle concept of this project is to ensure that the energy assistance that has come from a bilateral assistance reaches down to the rural people of Solomon Islands."

Solar Sets Must Reach Villagers: Minister

The Minister for Energy, Mines and Rural Electrification, Mark Kemakeza, cautions colleague parliamentarians who received solar sets today to ensure fair distribution of the equipment.

World Bank to Work with Government of PNG to Improve Employment and Education Prospects

Press Release - World Bank to Work with Government of PNG to Improve Employment and Education Prospects for Papua New Guinea's Youth

Tahiti Beats Solomon Islands 2-1

Tahiti has beaten Solomon Islands 2-1 in the Oceania Football Confederation, OFC, Under-17 Championship, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Opposition Welcomes Investigations Into Beche-de-mer Exporter

The Opposition welcomes the announcement by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Edmond Sikua that police have instigated investigation into the illegal exportation of beche-de-mer by Chinese businessman, Tongzi Zhang.
Mr Abana says the NCRA Government is obliged to explain to the taxpayers of Solomon Islands the purpose of the payment.

Opposition Seeks Explanation Over $3 Million Payment

The Opposition has called on the Danny Philip-led National Coalition for Reform and Advancement Government to explain a $3 Million dollar payment from the Solomon Islands Government to the Papua New Guinea High Commission in Honiara.
The certified organic virgin coconut oil is exported to Australia, Europe and North America.

Buying Price for Virgin Coconut Oil Increases

Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands, KPSI, has announced a 45% increase in the buying price for Virgin Coconut Oil.

Malaita Province Elects New Premier

Members of the Malaita Provincial Assembly has elected a new Premier to lead the Provincial executive and the people of Malaita in the next four years.
A sub-group of the North Malaita Demonstration Committee had written to the Governor General last Thursday requesting that a constitutional pardon be granted to their jailed MP, Jimmy Lusibaea.

Supporters Seek Constitutional Pardon for Lusibaea

Jailed North Malaita MP Jimmy Lusibaea may have a shot at a constitutional pardon should his case be approved by the Prerogative Mercy Committee.

Forum Highlights Ways to Link Social Enterprises with Impact Investors

DHAKA, BANGLADESH (10 January 2011) - Social enterprises are making an important contribution to inclusive economic growth and in providing opportunities for the poor in the Asia and Pacific region, but they need financing from impact investors to scale up their efforts.

Katukatu Wins Opener in U17 OFC Championship

Solomon Islands and Tahiti have won their first games of Group B of the Oceania Football Confederation, OFC, U17 Championship currently being held in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Finance Minister said whatever legal views and interpretations Mr. Abana and TSI may have, the Attorney General is the principal legal advisor to the Solomon Islands Government.

Abana and TSI Must Explain: Lilo

Finance Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, has called on the Opposition Leader Steve Abana and Transparency Solomon Islands to explain the legal basis for their claim that Cabinet abused its executive authority when it deliberated on the beche-der-mer issue.

Fangs in Court, Accused of Tax Evasion

A Chinese businessman in Honiara has denied that he failed to pay more than nine million dollars worth of tax to the government in Court last Friday.

Technical Glitch Caused Salary Chaos

Public servants were left in shock last Thursday after discovering that their salaries were either drastically deducted or reduced to zero.

TSI Deeply Concerned over Ministry's Handling of Beche-de-mer Case

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) says it is deeply concerned by recent allegations of illegal Beche-de-mer harvesting and trading by Haizhen Trading.
The record-setting price translates to a whopping USD$526 per pound.

Giant Tuna Sold for USD$396,000

A giant bluefin tuna fetched a record USD$396,000, in Tokyo on Wednesday, in the first auction of the year at the world's largest wholesale fish market.

Luxembourg Supports ADB Fund Targeting Financial Sector Development in Asia

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Government of Luxembourg has committed a further ?1.5 million ($1.97 million) to an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-administered fund set up to strengthen financial systems in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to aid inclusive growth.

Current Weather Due to a Trough of Low Pressure

The current weather situation experienced by the country is due to a trough, a low pressure extending southeast from the Western Solomon Islands to a depression over the North Tasman Sea in Australia.
"I would like to make this very clear to the people of this country, Minister Lilo as Acting Minister of Fisheries, did not compound the offence to Haizhen," Mr Lilo said.

Lilo Responds to Accusations

Minister of Finance and Treasury Gordon Darcy Lilo has lashed out at accusations of corruption leveled against him over the bêche-de-mer issue.

Government Should Discipline Investor: Chinese Association

The Solomon Islands Chinese Association says it does not want to be associated with an investor that tarnishes the name of the people of Solomon Islands, more particularly the Chinese Association.
Gordon Darcy Lilo has maintained that the government decided to allow the export provided that 20 per cent was paid in tax.

Opposition Critical of Beche-de-mer Shipment

The Opposition has condemned the Cabinet's action regarding the beche-de-mer consignment recently confiscated by police and later sold overseas.
Mr Ashley says that the former North Malaita MP committed the criminal acts in September 2000, thus were within the Amnesty period.

Lusibaea Sues DPP

Charles Ashley of ANA Legal Services has revealed that he, on behalf of his high profile client Jimmy Lusibaea, is suing the Director of the Public Prosecutions, DPP, in a separate civil case.

Lusibaea is Covered by Amnesty Act, Says Lawyers

Lawyers for jailed Fisheries Minister, Jimmy Lusibaea, say they will apply for release from Police custody through a Prerogative Mercy Committee under the Amnesty Act.

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