Latest News Archive May 2012

Survivors of the Solfish 001 during the rescue.

Prime Minister Thanks Rescue Team

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo has highly commended those involved in the operation that successfully saved 49 lives from the capsized vessel, MV Solfish 001 last week.
RIPEL chairman Patrick Wong in a recent media interview.

Investigate Wong's Affairs: SINUW

The Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW) has issued a press statement calling on the government to investigate the business dealings of RIPEL chairman Patrick Wong.

Owners Must Ensure Vessels are Sea Worthy: Yates

The Director of the National Disaster Management Office has called on relevant authorities to make sure ships are sea worthy before they can operate in the country.

World No Tobacco Day Takes on 'Big Tobacco'

Thursday 31 May 2012 is World No Tobacco Day and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is adding its voice to the global call for an end to 'tobacco industry interference' - this year's theme -in global and national efforts to control tobacco.

Improving Education and Climate Change Adaptation Across the Pacific

Australia and SPC: committed to improving education and climate change adaptation across the Pacific
Prime Minister Lilo had been in constant contact with the Acting Prime Minister Hon. Walter Folotalu, the Secretary to Cabinet and Commissioner of Police on rescue efforts on the missing boat.

PM Lilo Relived to Learn Passengers and Crew Safe

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was disturbed to learn of the missing MV Solfish 001 but was relieved after he was informed that all 49 crew and passengers had survived the ordeal.
Recovery efforts were complete early in the morning of Sunday 27 May, 2012.

RAAF Orion Plays Crucial Role in Rescue

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion gave a wave of hope for 49 Solomon Islanders stranded in life rafts with no sight of land last Saturday afternoon.

Survivors of Sunken Ship Get Treatment

Survivors of the sunken vessel Solfish 001 have been transferred to Honiara for further treatment late yesterday afternoon.

PFF to PNG Police, Soldiers: Hands Off Media

PFF Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS -- PNG Police force officers and soldiers who ordered local journalists out of the Papua New Guinea Supreme court yesterday afternoon and forced others to delete images and recordings must face police investigation themselves, says regional media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF.

Use 999 Only for Emergency: Police Commissioner

The Police Commissioner has advised the public not to use the Police Emergency number 999 to make hoax calls as this will only delay their work, especially when attending to genuine emergency calls.
The Opposition leader says the government should at least have an audience with the Taiwanese embassy to explain the purpose of the trip to avoid any misunderstanding.

Opposition Critical of Trip to China

The Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua, has described the trip to the Peoples' Republic of China by a four-member delegation, headed by the Minister for Public Service, as insensitive.

Late Cooks PM a Free Press Leader: PFF

PFF Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS-- Members of the Pacific Freedom Forum join the tributes this month to a former prime minister of the Cook Islands. Sir Geoffrey, who privatised state media and initiated regular press briefings during his leadership, died on May 8 after a short illness. He was 71.
Gary Barlow seen here at the Honiara central market.

What Cannibals?

Solomon Islanders are angered at statements made by Gary Barlow, former Take That singer, in a recent media interview about his visit to the Solomon Islands.
Opening ceremony of the Ministerial Segment of the ESCAP's 68th Commission Session, Bangkok

SG SLADE: Pacific Cannot Remain Isolated from Asia

Pacific countries cannot be left isolated from regional economic integration initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.

Accessing China's Markets for Food and Timber

Monday 21 May 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji - SPC trade project looks at challenges and opportunities
It also found that as dolphin populations in the region do not intermingle, individual populations should be managed separately.

Dolphin Exports Unsustainable

An independent assessment of Solomon Islands dolphin exports has warned the current quota is unsustainable.

RAMSI Needs to Be Clear on Transition Costs: Forau

Solomon Islands Government has expressed satisfaction with RAMSI's current transition process but wants the regional intervention mission to share information on the costs of its development programs.

French Polynesia's Bio Fetia Completes PGS Handbook

Delegates to the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) meeting in French Polynesia last week witnessed a colourful traditional ceremony to present the official handbook of the Pacific region's newest organic Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Bio Fetia to POETCom for assessment and accreditation.
Mr Lilo says that it is important to find out more about the population of whales in the oceans and for this he supports Japan's programme of scientific research.

PM Supports Scientific Research on Whaling

Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, says his government does not support commercial whaling by any country but will support Japan's scientific whaling programme.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says while this maybe a security and protocol breach, the action was necessary to reduce costs.

Protection Unit Stood Down

The Prime Minister has stood-down his police protection unit from the Honiara Hotel saying he is opting for other arrangements in order to cut costs.
Pacific Islands Join Other SIDS in Supporting the Sustainable Energy for All initiative

Pacific Islands Join Other SIDS in Supporting the Sustainable Energy for All initiative

Friday 11 May 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji - Pacific Islands join other small islands developing states in supporting the Sustainable Energy for All initiative

IMF Impressed with Positive Growth

The International Monetary Fund says it is impressed with current economic developments in the Solomon Islands.
Mr. Anderson says the increase reinforces Australia's long term commitment to the development of Solomon Islands and to overcoming poverty in the country.

Australia Increases Aid Assistance

The Australian Government says it will provide an estimated 1.8 billion Solomon Islands dollars in official development assistance to Solomon Islands in 2012-13.

Federated States of Micronesia to Access USD4million for Solar Project

PRESS STATEMENT - 14th May 2012 - The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is seeking to reduce its carbon emissions by 500 tonnes annually with anticipated savings of approximately US$486,000 in diesel costs per year through the use of renewable energy.

Small Tourism Operators Get Web Presence

A workshop is being held in the Solomon Islands to help medium and smaller sized accomodation operators get up to speed with their online presence.
School children escorting Education Ministers to the opening of the 9th FEdMM

Call for Sustainability in Pacific Education Sector

Port Vila, Vanuatu, 13th May 2012 - There has been a call for sustainability and coordination of development resources in the education sector in the Pacific region as the 9th Forum Education Ministers' Meeting (FEdMM) gets underway in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Mr. Hou says governments in the past did not have a Debt Strategy, making debt management ineffective.

Debt Management Strategy Endorsed

Finance and Treasury Minister Rick Hou says Cabinet has endorsed the first Debt Management Strategy for the country.

Cook Islands Grows Green Through Public-Private Partnership

A successful public-private partnership in Cook Islands is helping the country realise its plans to revitalise agriculture by developing organic farming. The partnership is this week (3-8 May) being highlighted at a meeting of the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) in Papeete, French Polynesia.

PM Lodges Complaint to Police

The Office of Prime Minister confirms that Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has formally lodged a complaint with the police against Dr. Derek Sikua, alleging criminal defamation.
A young child with Rubella.

Six Confirmed Cases of Rubella

Health authorities have today announced six confirmed cases of rubella all aged between 6 and 15 years old.

Law Enforcement Agencies Strengthen Information Management and Sharing

PRESS STATEMENT - 8th May 2012 - Law enforcement experts from the Pacific are exploring opportunities to strengthen information management and sharing for enhanced service-delivery.
George Petro at a training with Fiji monitors in Vanua Levu (2010) with SPREP & WWFSP
Photo courtesy of G. Petro

Pacific Islander Wins International Award for Turtle Conservation

Mr George Petro, of the Vanuatu NGO and Theatre Group Wan Smol Bag, has been recognised internationally for his tireless efforts in turtle conservation in his country.
This Project will include a major upgrade to bring Munda airport up to international capacity.

Work to Begin on New International Airport

Downer New Zealand, a New Zealand construction company, has won a contract of USD$20 million to improve transport links in Solomon Islands Western Province.

Solomons Strengthens Ties with World Bank

The World Bank and the Government of Solomon Islands signed a US$2 million grant agreement to boost the economy and support effective service delivery for the country.
A taro farmer on Niue

Niue Chamber of Commerce Optimistic about Future of Private Sector

PRESS RELEASE -Alofi, Niue, 5th May 2012 - The Niue Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about the future of the private sector on the island nation because of the improved relations with the Government.

'Just Play' Gets Bilikiki Player

The future of the OFC Just Play grassroots programme in Guadalcanal has received new energy in the form of former Solomon Islands beach soccer team goalkeeper Henry Padaverana, who was recently appointed as regional coordinator for the province.

Deputy Premier Disregards Threat by Wong

The Deputy Premier of Guadalcanal Province says RIPEL Chairman, Patrick Wong has no right to close the Lungga road because the land is owned by the Guadalcanal people.
Mr Zhang's record showed that he was fined over various months in 2010.

Government Refutes Claims by Opposition

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo said that the Opposition was wrong to correlate the actions of the government to the involvement of an Asian businessman in the beche-de-mer saga.

'Blonde Gene Found' in Solomons

Dark skinned, blond-haired indigenous people on the Solomon Islands have a gene that is unique to the South Pacific nation and was not picked up from interbreeding with Europeans, scientists said.

Cocoa Farmers Receive Training

A three day business training for cocoa farmers in Solomon Islands is enabling farmers to manage their finances properly.

IMO and SPC Focus on Safe Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Bulk Cargoes by Sea

The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO), in partnership with SPC, is running a workshop this week in Suva to assist Pacific Island member governments to meet their obligations with regard to national regulations concerning the safe transportation of dangerous goods and bulk cargoes by sea.

Transparency Welcomes its New Board

Transparency Solomon Islands has now officially announced its new Board members for 2012-2013.

Police Force Now Have Police Commissioner

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force now have a Police Commissioner who was officially sworn in this week.

Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital in Honiara

Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) yesterday declared the National Referral Hospital in Honiara, a "Mother-and-Baby Friendly".
The shipments under investigation, four of which ended up at the Port of Tampa, were said to be accompanied by shoddy paperwork that misidentified certain species.

Coral Trade Under Investigation

There are current investigations surrounding the massive shipments of coral sent from the Solomon Islands to South Florida bound for the curio trade.
Dr Sikua claims that Tong Zhi and his associate Patrick Zhang are using the registered owner of the HJJ Company "as a rubber stamp for their marine export business dealings in the country."

I Want Zhang Out of Business: Sikua

Opposition Leader Dr Derek Sikua has called on Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to ensure that Zhang Tong Zhi - the Asian caught trying to smuggle bechedemer out of the country - stops his business activities.

WHO Donates Incubators, Drug Refrigerator for Children's Ward in Kiribati

KIRIBATI, 19 April 2012 - Three state-of-the-art incubators are saving the lives of at-risk newborns in this Pacific island country thanks to a donation from the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

Inquiry Established into Teacher Absenteeism

An inquiry into teacher absenteeism in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions will start soon.

Third Visit of the MCG on Fiji Concludes in Suva


Nauru Women Seek Opportunities for Economic Empowerment

PRESS STATEMENT 29/12 - The economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite of sustainable development.

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