Latest News Archive March 2019

The Monary Panthers boss has identified six players he was interested in signing to his team.

Monary Panthers Signs Six Solomon Islander

The Monary Panthers have recruited three Solomon Islanders in a bold bid to jump from cellar-dwellers to finals contenders in the women's Canberra premier league this season.
The former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID), was alleged to have corruptly received more than $700,000 from the government.

Former Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Jailed

Last week the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development Mr. Henry Aife Murray was sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment after earlier being found guilty on 11 charges of Official Corruption by the Honiara Magistrate’s Court.
Crowded campaign rallies and long float parades have been going all weekend with boisterous political supporters decked out in party colours, waving banners and voicing their approval for their chosen election candidate.

Solomon Islands Prepares for 3rd April

Today is the last day of campaigning in Solomon Islands ahead of the National General Election on Wednesday 3rd of April.
Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa is the first female Police Commissioner to serve with the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Una is First Female UN Police Commissioner

It is a long way from her home on the beautiful Pacific island of Fiji to the conflict-ridden country of South Sudan.
"All of these types of threats to people to influence votes are wrong and they are illegal and they are against the Electoral Act."

PC Varley Condemns Threats and Intimidation to Voters

Just days out from the election in Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Matthew Varley has condemned candidates' supporters who have reportedly been inciting people to vote using threats of intimidation and violence.
“We are hopeful this new service will act as a catalyst for increased confidence in the Western Province’s tourism future, in the process attracting major investment in much needed infrastructure which the country desperately needs.”

Tourism Solomons Welcomes New Brisbane-Munda Direct Service

Tourism Solomons has applauded Solomon Airlines’ decision to commence a direct same-day Brisbane-Munda-Brisbane service on Saturday, 30 March describing the move as, potentially, a major catalyst for increased international visitation to the destination.
The decision to close the Mission comes as the current High Commissioner, Mr. Victor Ngele’s contract comes to an end.

Malaysia Mission to Close

The Solomon Islands Government is closing down the country’s High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, just five years after it opened the mission in 2013.
Speaking on behalf of the Forum chair, Nauru’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Margo Deiye, highlighted that Forum members were ready to do their part to conclude the negotiations by 2020.

BBNJ Treaty Negotiations Open in New York

Any new treaty to improve governance of the high seas must ensure healthy resilient Oceans and seas, promote greater coherence, and complement the relevant existing instruments, frameworks and sectoral bodies.
UNICEF Regional Director, Karin Hulshof in Walo community, North Malaita with a local woman.

UNICEF Addresses Open Defecation

UNICEF is working to increase the use of toilets in Solomon Islands and educate community leaders about the importance of sanitation.
The company has also created an industry association to make sure the value of the Fair Trade catch benefits the local communities.

Tri Marine Certified by Fair Trade USA

Tuna giant Tri Marine International announced the Solomon Islands yellowfin and skipjack fishery has been certified by Fair Trade USA.
Women from Western Province at a dialogue prep session.

Pushing for Equal Representation

The list of things women shouldn’t do according to Solomon Islands’ culture is long: no wearing shorts, no lingering eye contact with men, no sitting near your brothers and no speaking up, among them.
The Pacific Forum joins a number of international election observers currently in the country.

Pacific Forum Sends Team to Observe Elections

A team of electoral observers representing the Pacific Islands Forum is to observe the Solomons election next week.
RD Tuna cannery is based in Madang, a growing fish processing hub in PNG.

Government Policies Sets Positive Tone for PNG Manufacturers

The Chief Executive of the Manufacturers Council of Papua New Guinea, Chey Scovell, has given an upbeat assessment of the prospects for the manufacturing sector. He tells Business Advantage PNG that the mood, while cautious, is becoming more optimistic.
“If our MPs switch recognition immediately after the elections, we will know for sure that they have betrayed the country for their own benefit."

Chinese Deal With Former MPs to Switch Recognition After Elections Exposed

The Island Sun has reported that a major political party is negotiating secretly with China to switch recognition from Taiwan following the elections in April in return for money in the pockets of candidates.
"We females we have to earn men’s respect. I have learnt that it is better to mix and mingle with all equally, than to give space and importance to anyone in particular"

Rising Above a Male Dominated Industry

Tanny Saepio was the first female captain in Solomon Islands, and now works as a manager for National Fisheries Development Ltd (NFD).
Man Arrested for Threatening Villagers

Man Arrested for Threatening Villagers

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Taro, Choiseul Province have arrested a 34-year-old male person on allegations of arson and other related allegations at Molevanga Village, South Choiseul, Choiseul Province on 24 March 2019.
Clean up efforts after the oil spill off Rennell Island in Solomon Islands.

Concerns Over Issuance of Mining License

Transparency Solomon Islands says it's concerned about new mining licences to a company at the center of an environmental disaster.
Matthew Varley called on anyone with suspicions or information about people still in possession of firearms to come forward and report them to police.

PC Varley Calls For Surrendering of Illegal Arms

Police Commissioner Mathew Varley has called on communities in Solomon Islands to surrender illegal arms as election looms.
Peter in class at Aligegeo Secondary School in the Lau region of Malaita Island, in the Solomon Islands.

A Story of Dignity and Courage

Sixteen-year-old Peter goes to a boarding school in the Solomon Islands which has experienced water shortages for 60 years.
Captain Benjamin Totori scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute through a penalty.

Solomon Islands Beats Taiwan in International Friendly

Taiwan's national football team lost to the visiting Solomon Islands 1-0 in an international friendly Sunday in the first match played by the two teams.
Officers from Honiara boarding RSIPF Vessel Auki for the National General Elections duty in Malaita Province.

Extra Resources Poured into Election Safety and Monitoring

The local Police will assist Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMSA) to monitor boats and vessels for over loading as voters travel to provinces to cast their ballots in the National General Election (NGE) on 3 April 2019.
Dr. Chand is a founder of the University of Fiji and serves as a trustee of the Fiji Institute of Applied Studies and as editor of Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji.

Chand is SINU Vice Chancellor

Dr. Ganeshwar Chand is the new Vice Chancellor for the Solomon Islands National University.
Bobby Siarani, standing far right, is one of the four winners of the Commonwealth Youth Award.

Young Solomon Islander Recognized by Commonwealth

A young Solomon Islander is among winners of the Commonwealth Youth Awards.
The world's oldest-known tattooist's kit has tools (pictured) made from human bones, scientists have confirmed. The kit has been confirmed to be 2,700 years old by carbon dating.

2,700 Year Old Tattooing Kit Found in Tonga

The world's oldest-known tattoo kit has been discovered and it includes tools made from human bones, scientists have confirmed.
MYIBA was represented by Watson Cyrus Anikwai (L) (MYIBA member) and Hika Joseph (MYIBA Member & Advisor).

Mobile App Developed by Solomon Islanders Gets International Recognition

The Malaita Youth in Business Association (MYIBA), was one of the recipients of three awards during the Pacific Agrihack Lab competition in Tonga last year December 2018.
"Sooner or later, when we see our country hasn't been able to grow out of this relationship, we are at liberty to review our relations and to explore other avenues," said former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, who is contesting the election.

Taiwan Ties Maybe Uncertain

As politicians hit the hustings across the Solomon Islands two weeks out from a general election in the South Pacific archipelago, the loyalty of one of Taiwan's few remaining allies is in the balance.
Solomon Islands Electoral Office has decided to roll out the first ever pre-poll voting under the Electoral Act 2018, commencing with Electoral Officials and Police officers who will be engaged during polling day.

First Pre-Poll Voting Successful

The Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) has successfully executed the first ever pre-poll voting – trialing it out with police officers and Election workers.
Hon. Tanangada stood as an Independent candidate in the 2018 by-election for the Gizo/Kolombangara constituency. She polled 2580 votes ahead of former MP and Prime Minister for Solomon Islands Gordon Darcy Lilo with 1593 votes.

Uneven Playing Field for Women in Politics

Women make up fewer than ten percent of candidates standing for election this year in Solomon Islands.
Drivers and pedestrians in Honiara have also been advised to take all precaution as they travel on the roads.

Police Warns Public Over Bad Weather

The Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIPF) is calling on all residents living near the Mataniko River in Honiara and other streams to keep well away following flooding after heavy rain in the capital city yesterday afternoon.
Local RSIPF officer shares the NGE pamphlets with students who attended one of the awareness programs.

Police Continues Elections Awareness

The Maoa and Bina Harbour communities in West Kwaio, Malaita Province have assured the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) that they will work together with police during the upcoming National General Election (NGE) to prevent crime in their communities.
At 36, Florence, a mother of two, is an experienced entrepreneur who manages a successful retail business, in a country where older men dominate the business landscape, she is an anomaly.

Gender Journey in Business

After years of struggling to find a job or start a small business in the Solomon Islands, she felt poultry farming would be a profitable venture.
Solomon Islands has remained Taiwan’s diplomatic ally since March 1983. It opened an embassy in Taipei in May 2005. Taiwan has provided substantial aid to sectors such as agriculture, education, and health in Solomon Islands.

Could There Be A Diplomatic Switch?

The forthcoming national elections in Solomon Islands in April have once again raised the issue of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (hereafter “Taiwan”) and Solomon Islands.
“Following the revocation of the knighthood by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on 24th November 2016, Kemakeza will no longer be referred to as ‘Sir’,” a government statement said.

Government House Clarifies Reference to Kemakeza

Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza has already lost the knighthood title he was awarded in 2001 and should not be referred to as “Sir Allan” again.
Earlier this year the Bougainville President John Momis proposed changes to the Mining Act that would greatly increase the royalties for local landowners.

Bougainville Independence Delayed but Looming

The referendum for Papua New Guinea’s eastern region is now set for October but how its outcome will be handled remains unclear.
Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Death Toll Rises Following Mosque Attack

The staggering death toll from the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques has climbed to 50, New Zealand police confirmed Sunday, as the country continued to grapple with the emotional fallout from the atrocity.
Law reform is necessary if the country is to have an effective, modern health system that cares for all Solomon Islanders.

Law Reform Necessary for Health Sector

The Solomon Islands government is moving to change its outdated health administration laws.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) members have already begun assisting with some training for RSIPF members in the areas like logistics, operations, and communications.

Police Welcomes Australian and New Zealand Support

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) welcomes the support from the Australian and New Zealand Governments to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and is ready for the National General Election (NGE) on 3 April 2019.
The owner of a Hong Kong bulk carrier that is spilling oil in the Solomon Islands has issued an apology over the environmental disaster.

Israel Offers Support to Oil Spill

Israel is offering to send five experts to the Rennell Islands in Solomon Islands who are trained to respond to pollution at sea and shore.
One of the USS Wasp’s five-inch guns looms out of the murk of the Coral Sea.

USS Wasp Found After 77 years

The USS Wasp, an aircraft carrier that saw service during World War II from Iceland to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands has been located lying 14,000 feet deep in the Coral Sea 77 years after its sinking.
“I am very honoured and pleased to accept UNICEF’s invitation to serve as Youth Advocate in PNG. This is a role that more and more young people are taking up around the world to support UNICEF’s work to advance the rights of children and young people and I am privileged to be the first Papua New Guinean to officially take up this role.”

Miss Pacific Islands is PNG's UNICEF Youth Ambassador

Miss PNG Leoshina Kariha, the current reigning Miss Pacific Islands, has been named the first Papua New Guinean Youth Advocate for UNICEF.
Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto encourages visitors to also explore Tourism sites that are unaffected by the Oil Spill saga.

Tourists Encouraged to Keep Travel Plans

As efforts continue to stem oil flowing from a grounded bulk carrier on Rennell Island, Tourism Solomons has stressed the situation has not in any way impacted on the destination’s main tourism corridors or the country’ ability to manage its international visitors.
Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu says the biggest problem in dealing with China was the policing of local laws and issues around corruption.

Chinese Investment Fueling Corruption in the Pacific

Chinese investment is fueling corruption and causing resentment among the local people, says the Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu. He said the local people were being sidelined by increasing amounts of imported workers.
The incident was in relation to armed gunmen who attacked Maleai village injuring two people and robbing a foreign businessman of tens of thousands of dollars in cash and beche-de-mer products.

Arrest Made Over Maleai Incident

An operation comprising officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in the Choiseul and Western provinces as well as the Police Response Team (PRT) have arrested an 18-year-old male suspect in the armed robbery incident at Maleai, in the Shortland Islands on 6 February 2019.
A new partnership between ANZ and Ola Fou where they will be given the opportunity to be part of MoneyMinded and Business Basics which is ANZ’s financial literacy program.

ANZ Supports Financial Literacy for Fiji Youths

Good news for youth leaders across Fiji as they will be part of a program that will help instill in them a culture of saving.
Agapi Gkouleke, is a Biomedical Science student in the Agricultural University of Athens, and Antonia Markoviti, Law student at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; she will be graduating this July 2019.

Stories Through Tattoos

Traditional tattoo designs are no longer preserved for our own people in the Solomon Islands.
Thinking Equal - An Insight with Atenasi

Thinking Equal - An Insight with Atenasi

I am the CEO for the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry and I have been in the role for over 5 months.
MSG Observer Team Finalized

MSG Observer Team Finalized

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)Secretariat has finalised its Observer Team to monitor the National General Elections in the Solomon Islands on 03 April 2019, following an invitation by the Solomon Islands Government.
There’s no shortage of women now willing to speak about the benefits of financial literacy. Prudence is 3rd from right.

Facing Gender Challenges Head On

Prudence Tekurade is 28-year-old mother of three who saved enough from her job at SolTuna, the Solomon Islands’ only tuna processing plant, to buy a plot of land.
The clean-up of an oil spill from a bulk carrier run aground in the Solomon Islands could reach $50m.

Companies May Face Blacklisting Following Oil Spill

The Solomon Islands Government may blacklist companies involved in oil spill catastrophe following the Solomon Trader crash.
Rescue workers at the site of Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crash on Sunday, where more than 150 people were killed.

19 UN Staff Killed on Ethiopian Airlines Crash

World leaders and citizens from over 30 countries mourned the loss of those aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed on Sunday, including several aid workers from United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations.
With Canterbury health centres running out of vaccines since the start of the outbreak in late February, 3,000 MMR vaccines have been brought by Sunday and 18,000 more are to be delivered to the region by Wednesday.

New Zealand Faces Measles Outbreak

A measles outbreak in New Zealand has widened to 20 confirmed cases in the Canterbury district.
The Australian government has sent salvage experts to assist the response and vowed to help the Solomons make sure those responsible for the spill are held to account.

Slow Response Criticized

The Australian Government has criticized the slow response from firms linked to a grounded cargo ship in the Solomon Islands.
Media reports show a thick oily blanket of tar spreading over the beaches, rockpools, logs and leaves affecting human activity.

Oil Spills: When Do We Learn?

Welcome to the dirty, murky world of oil spills.
Kiwi journalist Philippa Stevenson has completed a six-month stint for the Volunteer Service Abroad, working in a small media company in Honiara.

Saying Goodbye to Solomon Islands

When you go to a place to offer help it's easy to fall into the trap of looking for what needs to be done.
“The insurer and owner of the grounded MV Solomon Trader have offered a sincere apology to the people of the Solomon Islands following the bauxite carrier’s grounding on a sensitive reef near Rennell Island,” insurer Korea Protection and Indemnity Club and Hong Kong owner King Trader Ltd said in a statement.

Solomon Trader Owner Apologizes

Solomon Trader leak on the doorstep of a world heritage site on Rennell Island in Solomon Islands could cost $5m to clean up.
Part of the women’s project involves restoring and restocking mangroves.

Protecting Forests to Transform the Future

Had it not been for the women of the Roro tribe, things might look bleaker in their lush corner of Papua New Guinea.
The report found that on average at least 5 people a year were attacked by crocodiles in Solomon Islands between 1998 and 2017 but in the first few months of 2018 alone there were 13 attacks, three of them fatal.

Crocodile Related Attacks Increases

A new report has found that crocodile attacks on people in Solomon Islands have increased significantly over the past decade and will continue to rise if nothing is done to prevent them.
A thick oily blanket of tar now covers the surface of the water and coats beaches, rock pools, logs, and leaves, with local reports saying that residents are struggling to sleep because of the smell and that some people have been burned after coming into contact with the oil while trying to clean it up.

Locals Struggle with Oil Spill Effects

A massive oil spill next to the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Solomon Islands is straining the lives of local residents who say they have been forced to drink rainwater because fresh water has been contaminated.
"We can see that there is an increase of the high tides right now and we see that it brings damage to a lot of sea walls and not only that it is damaging a lot of our buildings as well."

Kiribati Suffers While World Talks Climate

As public discussion on climate change and ways to arrest its impact continue around the world, one of many low-lying atolls in the Pacific wrestles with the issue right now.
People’s time and money are wasted just to come to Honiara looking for where the paper trail is triggering the call to consider having a constituency office set up in Shortland Islands.

Calls for Constituency Office in Shortlands

Constituents of Shortland Islands in Western Province, Solomon Islands says the absence of a constituency office back at their island is costly for their people.
Government Terminates 179 Scholarships

Government Terminates 179 Scholarships

The Solomon Islands government has axed the scholarships for 179 students studying in Fiji because of poor grades.
The RSIPF through its National Crime Prevention Department is conducting awareness meetings in communities, schools, churches and market places in an around Honiara as part of the Force’s preparations for the National General Elections.

Police Continues Peaceful Election Awareness

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have emphasised during an awareness talk to members of the Christian Outreach Centre (C.O.C) congregation in Honiara that the country wants a peaceful and crime free National General Election on 3 April 2019.
Financial security is a particular challenge for women who, with no safe place to store their savings, are at increased threat of violence or theft.

Empowering Women's Financial Future

In Solomon Islands, access to formal banking services outside of provincial capitals is non-existent.
The ship was carrying 700 tonnes of oil when it ran aground and there are fears the remaining fuel will spoil Rennell Island, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and home to many species found nowhere else.

Containment of Oil Spill Continues

Spill could damage Rennell Island, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and home to many species found nowhere else.