Latest News Archive May 2013

‘My first though was that I was having a heart attack,’ Walsh says. ‘It was just this intense pain like I’d never felt before. I couldn't breath, I couldn't move, I thought I was going to die.’

Head of EU Mission Shares Experience on World No Tobacco Day 2013

To recognize World No Tobacco Day, Head of the European Union mission in Solomon Islands, Eoghan Walsh tells his story of his battle to give up smoking.
Villagers Benefit from Regional Solar Project

Villagers Benefit from Regional Solar Project

With kerosene, diesel and coconut shells as sources of lighting for their homes, the residents of Kiu village on the island of Malaita in Solomon Islands were truly emotional when celebrating the completed installation of 180 solar home systems.
 Mrs. Matanga says that as long as the fugitives are still at large, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will continue to dedicate police resources to find them.

Hunt for Fugitives Will Continue

Acting Police Commissioner Junita Matanga says operations to hunt down Edmond Sae and other known fugitives will continue, “however long it will take.”
SAMOA: A truck driver at the scene of an accident went on to assault and threaten reporters. Police refused media requests for assistance. In a separate incident, an officer smashed a phone being used in a public place
 Photo : Samoa Observer / Nicola Hazelman-Siona

Samoa Police Actions Need Investigation - PFF

PFF | Rarotonga - Failing to intervene in a minor assault on reporters and smashing the phone of a young boy shows police in Samoa need training in freedoms enjoyed by all citizens, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.
Minister Ghiro clarified that the ministry could not extend the harvest period because only Cabinet had the right to extend the time-frame for harvesting.

Beche-de-mer Ban to Be Re-imposed After May 31st

The Government will reinstate the ban on beche-de-mer at the end of this month while warning that anyone harvesting the marine resource after May 31st is regarded illegal.
Nicholas Coppel adds, Solomon Islands as a sovereign independent state “cannot have people from overseas running its affairs forever.”

RAMSI Transition Decision Based on Sustainability: Coppel

The Decision by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to begin its transitional phase after 10 years of operation is because it respects the sovereignty of Solomon Islands, and also because it is simply not sustainable in the long run.

Bringing Safe Water Supply to Ambae and Aniwa Island in Vanuatu

Press Statement - 28 May 2013 - The Government of Vanuatu will be able to access US$4,000,000 from the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund to set up a solar powered desalination plant in East Ambae on the Penama Province and Aniwa in the Tafea Province of Vanuatu.
Australian volunteers working in Solomon Islands met visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary Matt Thistlethwaite.

12 New Australian Volunteers Arrive in Solomon Islands

Twelve new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, non-government organisations and community groups.

Guadalcanal Holds Further Consultation on Proposed State

The Guadalcanal State Constitutional Committee (GSCC) has announced that it will commence its consultations throughout the province as of June this year.
“Now this is crucial because it will enhance transparency in the way Solomon Islands develop its natural resources in the mining sector,” said Prime Minister Lilo.

EITI Meeting Successful: Lilo

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo describes his recent engagement in the Extractive Industries Transparency International, EITI, global conference in Sydney Australia as fruitful and a successful one.

PSC Promotes Gender Mainstreaming Awareness among Permanent Secretaries

The Solomon Islands Public Service Commission, in partnership with the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), convened the first ever government-wide gender training for all permanent secretaries in the Solomon Islands government on Friday.

Trade Surplus Recorded for April

Provisional trade in goods balance for April 2013 registered a surplus of SBD$25 Million dollars from a revised deficit of SBD$108 million dollars in the previous month.
Mr Ngele receives his credentials from Sir Frank on Friday.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Malaysia Commissioned

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Malaysia, Victor Ngele has been commissioned on Friday, promising to render undivided loyalty to the Government and people of Solomon Islands.
Lagoon Survey Reveals Kiribati’s Wartime Past

Lagoon Survey Reveals Kiribati’s Wartime Past

A survey of the South Tarawa lagoon has revealed some potentially explosive secrets from its past as a major battleground of World War II. The survey was designed to identify battle debris that still litters the floor of the lagoon seventy years after the infamous Battle of Tarawa in 1943.
Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo will give a key note address at the 6th Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Global Conference, in Sydney, Australia this week.

PM Attends Global Transparency Conference

Prime Minister, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo will give a key note address at the 6th Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Global Conference, in Sydney, Australia this week.
Temotu’s premier, Father Charles Brown Beu, says about 600 people have had to return to the coast because there is nowhere else for them to live.

Tsunami Victims Return to Coastal Settlement

Residents of Santa Cruz Island in Temotu province hit by earthquakes and a tsunami in February have been forced to return to their flattened coastal settlement.
Tomoyuki Yamashita was an Imperial Japanese Army general during World War II. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore.

Hunt on for Lost Wartime Gold

A hunt for millions of dollars in lost Japanese wartime gold worthy of a thriller movie plot is unfolding in the Solomon Islands.
56 Hop Rod represents the new edgy sounds coming out of the Solomon Islands.

56 Hop Rod Tops Pacific Chat

With a blend of reggaeton, hip hop and pure Pacific soul reggae, 56 Hop Rod has shot to the top of the Pacific Top 20 with their catchy new song, “Secret Lover.”
Solomon Islands take leading role in major UN vote.

With Solomon Islands Support, French Polynesia Back on the Decolonization List

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says he is thrilled with the news that the United Nations General Assembly has voted to place French Polynesia back on the UN list territories that should be decolonized.
Ensuring that the right skill sets carry forward is critically important, with seven out of ten Solomon Islanders under the age of 29 and the working-age population set to increase by 30 per cent in the next decade.

Research Finds Mismatch in Job Market

A recent finding in a World Bank report titled Skills for Solomon Islands, 'Opening New Opportunities,' finds that there is a mismatch between the demand for skills in current job opportunities and the supplied labour force.
SPC Supports Seaweed Farming in the Pacific Region

SPC Supports Seaweed Farming in the Pacific Region

SPC, through the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project, has been working with seaweed farming communities in the Pacific to identify new export markets for their products.
Alisa's book covers in a recent Sunday market in Honiara.

Exposure to Creative Development

Being told that she would never be able to make a living from art has done little to lessen Alisa Vavataga’s passion to paint.
The Earth Island Institute continues to warn against the resumption of live dolphin export, saying it will negatively impact the fishing industry.

Solomon’s Dolphin Exporter Plans to Resume

A prominent dolphin exporter in the Solomon Islands says he plans to resume live-exports next month.

FFC85 Meeting Officially Closes

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon. Alfred Ghiro has hailed the recently concluded Forum Fisheries Committee 85 Meeting in Honiara, describing it as “constructive and collaborative”.
Prime Minister Lilo praised the PNG government for making such a decision which he described as reflecting PNG's recognition of the development needs and aspirations of Solomon Islands.

PM Lilo Welcomes PNG’s Multi-million Kina Assistance

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has welcomed a twenty million Kina assistance from his Papua New Guinea counterpart Peter O'Neill in Honiara on Friday.
The report says if GRML does not implement any of its recommendations then it should shut down its operations immediately.

Report Recommends a Shutdown of Gold Ridge Mining Operations

An independent environment audit into Solomon Islands Gold Ridge Tailings Dam recommends that the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) should shut down its operations, install the water treatment plant and discontinue any further extraction of water from Chovohio River.
The Nguvia Kindy students, teachers and few mothers were also present to witness the handing over of the items.

PNG Families Assist Two Kindergarten Schools in Guadalcanal

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) community working and residing at Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) today (Thursday) donated some items to the Nguvia Kindergarten and Ngalimbiu Kindergarten schools in East Guadalcanal.
‘We sometimes eat once a day because we have no food, the rain floods the gardens and the crops are damaged. We cook what we can save,’ says Madada, 69, a retired nurse.

Improving Food Security Concerns in Solomon Islands

The situation in Choiseul province is one that is becoming increasingly familiar to communities throughout the Pacific. Increased weather variability linked to climate change, including more droughts and more floods, is impacting livelihoods.

Seven PFAs Set for Solomon Games

Seven (7) Provincial Football Associations (PFAs) have met the deadline to confirm their participation in the three football disciplines for the upcoming 2013 Solomon Games competition.
Solomon Islander Joins Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament

Solomon Islander Joins Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament

A Solomon Islander has been named as one of the inaugural participant of the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament.
"The main focus of the PPF’s work would continue to be the strengthening of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)," RAMSI Special Coordinator Nicholas Coppel said.

RAMSI Police Here for Four More Years

The next four years of RAMSI’s police operations have been guaranteed with the allocation, announced in this week’s Australian budget, of nearly AUD$500 million in funding for the Regional Assistance Mission.
“Different communities, institutions and ministries should become involved, because it is the only way we can break the cycle of the disease,” said Dr. Tenneth Dalipanda, under secretary for health improvement.

Calls for Better Waste Management to Control Dengue Outbreak

City and health authorities in the Solomon Islands are calling for effective and consistent urban waste management as they battle to control a serious outbreak of dengue fever, the world’s fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, which was identified in the country in February.
Labor government Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed that defense spending is set to increase despite Australian troops withdrawing from Solomon Islands, Afghanistan and East Timor this calendar year.

Australia Commits Half a Billion to RAMSI Transition

The Australian budget for the coming 12 months sees an increase in budgetary support to the transition of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Dr Ramofafia said the ministry will ensure the country's tuna resources and other marine resources are sustainable for future generations.

Maintaining a Tuna Industry in Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands tuna industry is growing and the Ministry of Fisheries is committed to ensure the country's tuna resources are sustainable, says the Ministry of Fisheries Permanent Secretary Dr Chris Ramofafia.
In 2000, he became one of a handful of Anglican primates to be knighted at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth for his service to religion and the community in Melanesia.

Sir Ellison Pogo Passes Away

Sir Ellison Pogo, former archbishop of the Anglican Church in Melanesia, died May 13 at his home in Honiara of lymphoma, which had been diagnosed while he was in Auckland during last October’s Anglican Consultative Council meeting.
Local economists say that while economic growth is important it is equally important to look at economic development indicators.

Economy Expected to Grow by 4%

Solomon Islands Economy is expected to grow by 4 percent in 2013, building on a strong performance in 2012.
Juanita Matanga says policing is not without its challenges but it is important that the community is accurately briefed about the state of the force.

No Split in Police Force: Matanga

The acting commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Juanita Matanga denies that the force is split over the departure of the former commissioner Englishman John Lansley.

Voter Registration for Western and Choiseul Provinces Opens in June

Voter registration prior to the Western and Choiseul provincial elections this year will open on June 3 and elections likely to take place in September.

DPM Maelanga Announces 2013 SINU Sponsorship Deal

Acting Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Maelanga today announced a major Government initiative to sponsor students studying at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) this year.
Leading the women is Nina Nawalowalo of The Conch. She is the first Fijian theatre director to produce works which have been performed at international festivals including the New Zealand and Sydney International festivals.

Community Theatre to Help Build Courage Among Women

For years, female survivors of domestic violence in the Solomon Islands have been afraid of saying anything in public, unable to find a way to stand up to the oppressive abuse they experience on a regular basis at home.
(Left to Right) Jonathon Ogle, division manager for Matson, Glenn Bennett, Managing Director of Silentworld, Craig Vegar, Sales manager for Matson, Meyric Slimming, CEO Silentworld, the Captain of the Imua, Captain Glorioso and Rusty Leonard, Matso’s head of Stevedoring.

New Ship Opens Opportunities

It’s like a shopping mall of the high seas, an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and most of all a wave of new opportunities for the Solomon Islands.
The Gizo upgrade follows infrastructure work on the Munda airfield and is the latest in the government’s upgrading of aviation infrastructure around the country.

Gizo Flights Suspended Due to Nusatupe Upgrade

Solomon Airlines has announced the suspension of flights to Gizo from May 26 to August 21 due to the upgrading of the Nusatupe airstrip.
“The funding will support relief efforts that occurred from the day the tsunami occurred including providing relief supplies, transport and distribution as World Vision was the first and largest to respond to the emergency in the province,” said Dr. Catford.

EU Provides Support to Temotu Tsunami Relief Response

The European Union (EU) yesterday gave 178,900Euro to World Vision, providing much needed support for the Temotu tsunami relief response and recovery.

Vanuatu National Provident Fund team visits SINPF

A delegation from the Vanuatu National Provident Fund, consisting of its chairman, general manager and investment director are on a tour of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund.

Vanuatu Must Look Into False Arrest

PFF | Rarotonga | Cook Islands - Charges of terrorism laid and dropped against a journalist in Vanuatu over a Facebook comment need independent investigation, states the Pacific Freedom Forum.
During the eclipse, the moon goes directly in front of the Sun completely blocking it out treating Solomon Islanders to a beautiful display of the solar corona.

Get Ready for Solar Eclipse

Solomon Islands will be treated to a solar eclipse on 10th May 2013 when a ring of fire will appear across a narrow band of locations.
Minister Hou said that while the SIG needed to seek additional revenue, this measure is intended primarily to ensure that “SIG meets the objectives of both the Public Health and Finances.”

Government Increases Tobacco Excise Duty by 20%

The Minister for Finance and Treasury, Hon. Rick Hou has announced that the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) has increased excise duty for Tobacco products by 20%.

Samoa Ratifies PICTA Trade in Services Protocol

PRESS STATEMENT - 08th May 2013 - The Independent State of Samoa has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Forum Island Country to ratify the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) Trade in Services (TIS) Protocol.

Authorities Work to Repatriate I-Kiribati Men

Immigration and Foreign Affairs Officials are currently liaising with their counterparts in Tarawa, Kiribati to repatriate two I-Kiribati men who were rescued over the weekend.
Director of the National Medical Laboratory, Alfred Dofai said that what is left is not enough.

Dengue Spikes as NRH Face Blood Shortage

The number of confirmed dengue cases continues to rise and the National Referral Hospital (NRH) fear there could be increased fatalities due to a shortage at the blood bank.
On the Weather Coast, KGA is collaborating with local farmer support groups to increase crop diversity, introduce climate resistant crops and promote contour farming, which involves tilling land along lines of consistent elevation on hill slopes to reduce the speed of rainwater run-off and prevent soil erosion.

Climate Change Makes Life Tougher for Solomon Island Farmers

Life is difficult enough for communities on the remote southern Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Sustaining a livelihood from the land is a daily struggle on the steep coastal mountain slopes that plunge to the sea, made worse by the absence of adequate roads, transport and government services. And now, climate change is taking
SolTuna Limited is the country’s sole tuna processing and canning processor based in Noro, Western province.

Possible USD$10 Million Funding For SolTuna

SolTuna Fishing and Processing Ltd in Noro, Western Province, of the Solomon Islands may soon see changes and expansion to its current infrastructures worth USD$10 million (SBD$80m).
Dr Kabutaulaka says there are avenues other than the “unceremonious release of such an important historical document.”

Pressure Groups Should Have Used the Courts

With growing public debate over the delay, and the subsequent unofficial release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report, local academic based in Hawaii, Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, says pressure groups should have used the Courts.
Police Threaten to go on Strike

Police Threaten to go on Strike

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police force (RSIPF) are threatening a two weeks sit-in protest if the Government fails to appoint a new police commissioner within the next three months.
Sogavare Praises Fiji’s Move towards Democracy

Sogavare Praises Fiji’s Move towards Democracy

Solomon Islands former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says the Solomon Islands is satisfied that Fiji is on the right track to democracy.
The Hamilton resident claims that what he did has “brought joy to many Solomon Islanders who have longed to read the report.”

Fr Brown Maintains His Decision Was Right

Fr Terry Brown has told Radio Australia that he is not concerned about Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo's recent statement, that upon his arrival his office will meet with the head of the Anglican Church.

IRD Launches Tax Compliance Focus

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue Mark Bell on Tuesday has announced the launch of Inland Revenue’s Tax Compliance Focus for 2013 to 2015.
A mechanics student provides a demonstration to AusAID Director General Peter Baxter.

Australia-Pacific Technical College Launches New Home in Honiara

Honiara will soon benefit from its own Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus following the launch of a SBD14 million (A$1.9 million) partnership between APTC and Honiara’s Don Bosco Technical Institute today.

SI-PNG Negotiations on IPPA Concludes

Senior officials from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have concluded the 3rd round of bilateral negotiations on the Investment Promotion Protection Agreement (IPPA) in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The meeting started on Monday and concluded on Tuesday 30 April 2013.
He says that people would like to see wide and fair consultations over the geothermal system throughout the entire island.

Savo Islanders Fear for Safety As Drilling Set to Begin

There is fear among the people of Savo Island of the possibility of a volcanic eruption once drilling to set up a geothermal system commences.

Solomon Airlines Airbus to Manila for maintenance

Solomon Airlines has advised that it’s Airbus aircraft, H4-BUS will be ferried to Manila again to undergo maintenance, which was scheduled to start last month.