Latest News Archive March 2011

Christopher Laore Wins Shortland Seat

Christopher Laore has been declared the new Member of Parliament for Shortlands by the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui.
The reduced rate is good news for RSE workers and the Pacific states that lobbied for the change.

NZ Reduces Tax Rates for RSE Workers

Solomon Islanders working in New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme will now enjoy better take home pay after the New Zealand government announced a cut on personal tax rates.
Mr Shanel called on the MSG Secretariat to prepare a concept paper to be considered at the next MSG Summit.

Shanel Calls for MSG Economic Union

Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Peter Shanel, has called on the 18th meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) of countries - Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and FLNKS/New Caledonia - to form a Pan-Melanesian Economic Union.

Sikua Gives Notice for a No-Confidence Motion

Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition Group, Dr Derek Sikua, has wasted little time in asserting himself.

Three-Quarters of Coral Reefs At Risk

As published in the SeaWeb Ocean Update March 23, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 3
"The Public Accounts Committee has done its task to vet the budget but we as parliamentarians must go through it with a fine tooth comb," said Dr Sikua.

2011 Budget Flawed: Sikua

Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition Hon. Dr Derek Sikua has described the "2011 Appropriation Bill 2011" as a flawed budget for lacking detailed information about each budget line.

Australia Announces New High Commissioner to Solomon Islands

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, today announced that Australia's next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands will be Mr Matthew Anderson.
Australian High Commission Third Secretary, William Ewing, with young volleyball players in Gizo, Western Province.

Australia Boosts Volleyball in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Volleyball Federation (SIVF) has commenced its 'Volleyball in Schools' development program with the support of a SBD$75,000 grant from the Australian Government under the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP).

RAMSI and Government Reconcile over Titinge incident

The Solomon Islands Government and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) yesterday joined together to take part in a Titi Ulu or traditional reconciliation ceremony with the family and village of the late Harry Lolonga.
Mr Lilo said that an issue that the government has put significant budgetary support to is the complex land tenure system.

Lilo Delivers 2011 Budget

Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, has presented his SBD$2.2 Billion dollar budget to Parliament.

Open Relationship Huge No for Solomons Culture

Open courting is a huge no for most cultures in Solomon Islands societies. Although today's generation seem to be challenging such cultural taboos.
RAMSI has confirmed it will be held in Pachakuri, on Guadalcanal's Weather Coast, the home village of Late Harry Lolonga.

Reconciliation Ceremony between RAMSI and Family of Deceased

A reconciliation ceremony is to take place today between the Solomon Islands government, the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI, and the family of the man who died after Tongan soldiers fired shots during a callout last year.

Fifth Round of PICTA TIS Negotiations

PRESS RELEASE - 25th March 2011 - The fifth round of Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) trade in services negotiations was held in Koror, Palau on 16 - 18 March 2011 to negotiate further the provisions of a trade in services agreement amongst the PICTA member countries.
L-R, Ken Kwan, Sir Thomas Chan, Deputy PM Maelanga, H.E Ingruber and Fr John Lamani.

SBD$700,000 for Queensland Flood Victims

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Maelanga was amongst other dignitaries invited to witness the handover of a cheque of more than SB$700,000 to the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Frank Ingruber on Friday at the Honiara Hotel.

Police Completes Family Violence Workshop in Isabel

Police, community representatives and local stakeholders united for a four-day Family Violence Workshop at Poro Village in the Gao/Bugotu region of Isabel Province from 21 to 24 March 2011.

TSI Concerned Over Allegations of Misuse

The head of an anti-corruption watchdog group in the Solomon Islands says allegations of misuse of millions of Australian aid money are a real concern.
"Solomon Islands will always support any resolution that aims to protect human rights and therefore Resolution 1973 is fully supported," Minister Agovaka said.

Solomon Islands Backs UN Resolution on Libya

The Solomon Islands Government has today joined the International Community to support the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1973 on the crisis in Libya.
Mr Lepani, a respected diplomat in Canberra, lashed out at the exorbitant spending on Australian-based contractors and consultants.

PNG Diplomat Lashes Out at "Aid Fraud" Report

Papua New Guinea's senior diplomat in Australia took a huge swipe at the $450 million foreign aid program yesterday, declaring half is frittered away instead of delivering lasting benefits.
Eighty more houses being built by RAMSI throughout Solomon Islands - 50 funded by the Australian Government and 30 funded by the New Zealand Government - will be handed over in the coming months.

New Houses for the RSIPF, First of Many

The keys to the first lot of new police houses were formally handed over to Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) officers and their families today, in a ceremony to mark an important milestone in the strengthening of the RSIPF.
Help in need: For AusAID, food and shelter was a priority after the tsunami in the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Highlighted in "Aid Fraud" Report

Australia's AUD$4.5 billion foreign aid program is plagued by record levels of fraud, with millions of dollars being stolen by corrupt officials and overseas agencies, The Daily Telegraph reported.

PM Faces Defamation Case

The Prime Minister Danny Philip and his former press Secretary Alfred Sasako will face the Court next month in a defamation case.
Premier Lilo thanked Ms Duncan for Australia's support, which he said made a big difference to the people of Western Province.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Visits Western Province

Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Alison Duncan, paid a call on Western Province Premier, Hon George Solingi Lilo, at the start of a six-day visit to Western and Choiseul Provinces last week.

PM Philip Welcomes New ROC Ambassador

Prime Minister Hon. Danny Philip has welcomed the Republic China's (Taiwan) new Ambassador to Solomon Islands, H.E Roy Wu, on Tuesday.

PM Philip Opens Western Provincial Assembly Meeting

Prime Minister Hon. Danny Philip on Tuesday has officially opened the Western Provincial Assembly Meeting in the provincial capital, Gizo.
Mr Abana, now in his second term as MP, contested for the Prime Minister's post in early December, loosing narrowly to Prime Minister Danny Philip.

Abana Steps Down as Opposition Leader

The Opposition Leader, Hon. Steve Abana, has stepped down as Leader of the Opposition Group.

WHO Says Very Little Radiation Risk to the Residents of Pacific Island Countries

MANILA, 19 March 2011-The World Health Organization (WHO) has assured the Pacific island countries that there is very little risk of their being affected by any international spread of radioactive material from the stricken nuclear power plants in Japan.

Fares and Freights Set to Rise

Sea fares and freight charges are set to rise in the coming weeks as fuel prices continue to spiral upwards.

Bracelets Helps Family Escape Poverty

Jack Tata is an inspirational story, despite his lack of education he has managed to set up a small business that generates income for him and his family.

Partnerships to Bring out the Best in Addressing Food Security Issues

Partnerships and synergies that will bring out the best in agencies dealing with food security issues was the focus of a workshop which was carried out at the Secretariat of the Pacific (SPC) in Suva, Fiji.
"I am proud that this project is proceeding to open up new opportunities for the people of Malaita in terms of trade and improved sea transportation," Minister Fiulaua said.

Fiulaua Heralds Beginning of Major Auki Project

The Minister for Infrastructure Development (MID) Hon. Jackson Fiulaua will lead a high level delegation to a ground breaking ceremony to begin the Auki Market and Jetty Project today.
School children across the country would be affected should teachers choose to go on strike.

Union Deadline Today

The Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, SIPEU, and the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association, SINTA, has given the Government until days end today to respond to certain demands put forward by the two powerful Unions.

Samoa Represents Small Islands Development States on Climate Fund Committee

Press Release - The Green Climate Fund of 30 billion dollars to address climate change in developing countries was a topic for discussion at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Alofi, Niue this week.

Drilling Success for Solomon Gold

Solomon Gold was on sparkling form on Friday as news of further prospects of quality gold at its Meriguna prospect on Fauro Island.

Memorial Service for Earthquake Victims

A memorial service to remember the victims of the earthquake that recently struck Christchurch was held at St. Barnabas Cathedral yesterday.

Koloale Regains Pride with Win

Koloale has regained some bragging rights with a 1-0 win over Vanuatu's Amicale.

Pacific Climate Change Roundtable Welcomes Input from the Civil Society

[PCCR]17 March, Alofi, Niue - The voice of the Civil Society is being raised loud and clear at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Alofi, Niue this week.

Solomon Islands Entering High Risk Period, Says Expert

A new report says Solomon Islands are entering a high-risk period for conflict and needs an external security guarantee to ensure stability.
Minister of Health and Medical Services of Solomon Islands Hon. Charles Sigoto (L) and his Vanuatu counterpart Hon. Steven Don Ken.

Historic Health Deal Signed

Solomon Islands and the Republic of Vanuatu have signed a historic health deal in Honiara yesterday.
Minister Don Ken told Prime Minister Philip that Vanuatu is experiencing "a critical shortage of nurses," and the current arrangement will help improve the situation in his country.

Vanuatu Health Minister Here to Sign MOU for Nurses

Vanuatu's Health Minister Hon. Steven Don Ken is currently in Honiara, a visit organized purposely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with his Solomon Islands counterpart to permit Solomon Islands Nurses to work in Vanuatu.

We Are Committed to Improve Gender Equality: PM

The National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA) Government is committed to developing a Solomon Islands where there is gender equality that enhances women's rights.

Forum Reference Group on Sexual and Gender Based Violence

PRESS RELEASE - 15th March 2011 - CONCLUSION OF THE SECOND MEETING OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM REFERENCE GROUP TO ADDRESS SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (SGBV)

NDMO Yet to Confirm Damages from Tsunami

The National Disaster Management Office, NDMO, are still trying to confirm reports that some houses have been damaged by tsunami waves, caused by the Japan earthquake.
Telecommunications Commissioner, Nic Williams, says that his office is working hard to launch this new phase of licensing to ensure that consumers get a better deal.

Telecommunications Market Opens for Local Businesses

A new type of telecommunications license is to be introduced in Solomon Islands allowing local businesses into the industry for the first time.

Father Faces Charges of Incest, Rape

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has arrested and charged an elderly man from Kakabona in North West Guadalcanal for allegedly raping his 13 year old daughter.

Isabel Reports Damages from Tsunami Ripples

Unconfirmed reports reaching the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) state that the massive tsunami that struck Japan may have reached the Solomon Islands.

PAC Scrutinize Billion Dollar Budget

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has started inquiries into the NCRA government's SBD$2 billion dollar budget.

Niue Hosting the Biggest Climate Change Conference for the Pacific

Press Release - Over 100 people will gather next week in Alofi, Niue to discuss an issue that is at the forefront of the region - climate change.
The devastating tsunami was triggered by a massive earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale.

PM Philip Sends Condolence Message to Japan

The Prime Minister Danny Philip has expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Prime Minister, the Government, and the people of Japan following Friday's devastating tsunami.
Prime Minister of Vanuatu and Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Hon Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu (right), delivers the keynote address.

Pacific Islands Forum Launches 40th Anniversary

Press Statemtent - SG: "we must learn from the lessons of our past"
Devastating images of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan flashed across TV screens in Honiara.

Solomon Islanders in Japan Safe

A Solomon Islands student studying in Japan says Solomon Islanders are safe following the 8.9 magnitude earth quake and tsunami in Japan on Friday.

Taiwanese Doctor Seeks to Patent Findings in Solomon Islands

The Network of the Indigenous Peoples of Solomons, NIPS, strongly supports the position of the Solomon Islands Research and Ethical committee to refuse or quash a patent application in the United States.

Fono Looses Election Petition

Former member of parliament, Fred Fono has lost his petition case against current member of parliament for Central Kwara'ae, Jackson Fiulaua.

Greenpeace Pressure Forces Princes, Asda to Create Oceans-Friendly Sourcing Policies

Press Release - Amsterdam, 9 March 2011: Following a Greenpeace campaign that ranked Princes at the bottom of a tinned tuna sustainability league table for the UK market, the tuna giant has today announced that it will switch to supplying tuna sourced from non-destructive methods.
Honorary Consul of the State of Israel in Honiara, Leliana Firisua says the visit is a fulfillment of the Israel Government's ongoing assistance to Solomon Islands.

Experts From Israel to Visit Solomon Islands

The Israel Government has confirmed that a second team of specialists will visit Solomon Islands for two weeks starting on the 21st of this month.
Senator David Feeney and Deputy Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Maelanga MP.

Solomon Islands Government Welcomes Australian Parliamentary Secretary

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, has spent four days in Solomon Islands observing the RAMSI mission and discussing its progress with Government Ministers.

Mother of Two Arrested for Fraud

Fraud Investigators from the National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) of the RSIPF have arrested and charged a 35 year old woman from Barasipo village, Vonavona Lagoon in the Western province, for allegedly defrauding her relative's bank account with one of the commercial banks in Honiara.

Man Arrested for Raping 10 Year Old Girl

Detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit have arrested a man from Piava Village, Gatokae Island in the Marovo Lagoon for allegedly raping a girl believed to be aged between 10 and 12 years old from the same village.

New Software to Support Management of the World's Largest Tuna Fisheries

Better informed fishery managers make better management decisions. This is the idea behind the software package TUMAS (TUna MAnagement Simulator), which lets anybody take control of the world's largest tuna fisheries - those of the western and central Pacific Ocean.
Mr Sisilo is adamant that there has to be some binding commitments on the part of ANZ to ensure FICs' access to their labour markets is secure and predictable.

Sisilo Leads Delegation to PACER Plus Talks

Solomon Islands' Trade Envoy, Robert Sisilo, will lead the Solomon Islands Delegation to the third meeting of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus) to be held next week in Koror, Palau.

Government Policy Aimed at Advancing Gender Equality

The Solomon Islands Government is committed to addressing gender inequality in the country.

Budget Reaches PAC for Scrutiny

Detail estimates of expenditures for the 2011 budget are now before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Teachers Threaten to go on Strike

The Solomon Islands National Teachers Association (SINTA) has threatened to stop work if the Ministry of Education fail to reinstate teachers' outstanding salaries.

Resource-Rich Economies Lift Pacific's Performance - ADB Report

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The recovery in the global economy will help the Pacific economies improve in 2011.
TCSI Commissioner Nicholas Williams says he hopes Bemobile will now focus its time and energy in "satisfying its coverage commitments, and avoid wasting more time before the courts."

High Court Refuses Bemobile Application

The High Court has refused to grant Bemobile any injunctive relief in two cases it brought against the Telecommunications Commission of Solomon Islands (TCSI).

International Women's Day Celebrated in Honiara

With the theme "Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology: A Decent Work for Women," women in Honiara joined women around the world in celebrating International Women's Day 2011.

Australia Supports Solomon Islands Women

The Australian High Commissioner Frank Ingruber calls on both women and men to support the 100th International Women's Day celebrations in the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Hit by Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 hit off the Solomon Islands on Monday, March 7, 2011, at 9:38 a.m. local time.
"The high demand in the international market is really the main driving factor why there is now a high price of copra," said an economist at the CBSI.

Price of Copra Soars

In its January monthly Economic Bulletin, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands has reported that the international price for copra has strengthened following strong growth in the international market.

Forum to Move Beyond Basic Education for Girls

PRESS RELEASE - 8th March 2011

Students in PNG Still Waiting for Allowance

More than 20 students studying at the University of Papua New Guinea in Waigani are still waiting for the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea to release their allowances.
Revenue collection during the tensions was just $136 million dollars.

RAMSI Congratulates MOFT on Revenue Collection

RAMSI has congratulated the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) on collecting more than one billion dollars in revenue in 2010, the first time in the history of the nation.

Climate Change May Halve Pacific Islands' Coastal Fish Catches

Friday, 04 March 2011 - Heads of Pacific Islands' fisheries agencies heard today that climate change is predicted to cause big declines in coastal fisheries resources in the region, with potential production cut by as much as 50% by 2100.

EU Provides Budgetary Support for Climate Change

The European Union will provide $2.8 million Euro in budgetary support to assist the country in addressing some of the adverse effects of climate change.

Renbel Province Approves JV Plans with South Korean Company

The Rennell-Bellona Provincial government has approved a plan to form a joint venture with a South Korean company to catch and market tuna overseas.
(L-R) Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Gordon Darcy, Belgian Ambassador Patrick Renault, Governor General Sir Frank Kabui and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs George Hiele.

Sir Frank Greets New Belgian Ambassador to Solomon Islands

The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Frank Kabui today welcomed a new Belgian Ambassador to Solomon Islands at the Government House in Honiara.
Independent research carried out for Axiom showed the deposit held close to 160 million tonnes of nickel ore, with an estimated value of almost $60 billion US dollars.

Australian Company Secures Nickel License

An Australian mining company, Axiom, has secured what it describes as "one of the world's largest nickel deposits under a 50 year deal in Solomon Islands."

7th SPC Heads of Fisheries Meeting: Climate Change at the Forefront

Four important fisheries meetings are being held at SPC Headquarters this week.

Government Revenue Hits SBD$1 Billion

The Ministry of Finance and Treasury has achieved a historical earning of more than $1 billion Solomon Islands dollar in revenue for 2010.
HE Mr Frank Ingruber, congratulating Mr Lamani on his selection and presenting him with travelling documents and other material for the internship.

Joel Lamani Selected for Journalist Internship in Australia

Paoa FM's General Manager and radio presenter, Joel Lamani, was amongst a number of Pacific radio journalists selected to participate in the prestigious Douglas Gabb Australia Pacific Radio Journalist Internship Program.

Visitors Bureau Happy With Increased Flights

General Manager of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Michael Tokuru, has welcomed the recent announcement of an agreement with the Australia to increase flights between the two countries.

Support for Climate Change Adaptation Core of First World Bank Strategy for Kiribati

Washington, DC, March 1, 2011 - The World Bank Board today approved the first Country Assistance Strategy for Kiribati. The strategy, which was developed in consultation with government, donors and civil society, puts climate change at the centre of the three-year plan.
The Bank believes a computer scanner or a highly sensitive color photocopier may have been used to produce these counterfeit notes.

Fake Notes in Circulation

Counterfeit SBD$100 dollar notes have surfaced again in Honiara and the Central Bank of Solomon Islands is calling on the public to assist in identifying the source of the false bills.

Assessment Team Sent to Tikopia

The Temotu provincial government has confirmed sending an agriculture assessment team to Tikopia and Anuta where people's livelihoods are reportedly devastated by the effects of cyclone Atu which recently hit Vanuatu.

Kivori Village, Confronting the Reality of Climate Change

The term 'Climate Change' is not just an abstract to the people of Kivori, it is their daily challenge.

Bemobile Denies Being in Breach of License

Bemobile has denied claims it has breached its coverage obligations as contained in its license.
Earlier, Mr Williams expressed uncertainty as to whether or not Digicel will apply for the third telecommunications operator license.

Neutrality of Telecommunications Commission Questioned

The Office of the Leader of Opposition has expressed concern over the neutrality of the Telecommunications Commission of Solomon Islands following an alleged secret meeting between the Telecommunication Commissioner, Nicholas Williams and an official of the Caribbean based telecommunication company, Digicel.