PACIFIC BRIEFS

Tuesday May 30, 2017 Written by Published in Regional

FOREIGN MINISTER ON VISIT TO FIJI

FIJI– New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee is travelling to Fiji for talks with Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

He said he’s looking forward to discussing a range of issues including defence, disaster risk reduction and New Zealand’s aid to Fiji. He will also meet the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor. Brownlee visited Fiji as defence minister in 2014. The visit comes as the Royal New Zealand Navy patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea continues its six month deployment in Fiji helping with maritime security and fisheries protection.

LEGAL EFFORT TO FREE NEPALI REFUGEES

MICRONESIA – A lawyer in the Federated States of Micronesia says she’ll go ahead with legal action to try and set free four Nepali refugees detained in Pohnpei. The men have not been allowed off the main wharf on the island since they arrived nearly a year ago and are living on a rickety fishing boat. Before that they were held in a similar situation on neighbouring Yap awaiting determination of their refugee status. Marstella Jack, a former FSM attorney general, said a meeting with the Justice Department about the men had been postponed. “Because these refugees have been in detention for an unreasonable amount of time I’m just going to go ahead and ask the court for their removal from detention through a writ of habeus corpus,” she said. Jack said churches are among those who have offered to look after the men as they wait to be resettled.

WANTOKS put vanuatu on the map

VANUATU – The Vanuatu Prime Minister says the men’s Under 20 football team have put the country on the world map. Charlot Salwai confirmed that the Council of Ministers will organise a formal reception to recognise the players and management of the Vanuatu Football Federation for their performance at the World Cup in South Korea. He made the statement on Sunday in front of more than 1000 football fans who gathered at the Independence Park in Port Vila to welcome the team home. The Wantoks were narrowly beaten 3-2 against both Mexico and Germany either side of a 7-0 toweling by Venezuela during their maiden appearance at the FIFA under 20s tournament. Prime Minister Salwai said he was very proud to see Vanuatu’s name appearing on TV screens worldwide during the tournament.

TUVALU GETS NEW TIDE GAUGE

TUVALU – Tuvalu has officially unveiled its new tide gauge. The gauge, which is funded by Australia, will allow the monitoring of tides, sea level and land movement and provide real time weather observations. It is one of 20 tide gauges installed and providing vital ocean and climate information around the Pacific. The gauges around the region are a major component of the Australian government’s work with Pacific Island countries on adaptation to the impacts of climate variability and change. The device, which is at the new Tuvalu Wharf in Funafuti, is to be officially launched by the Minister for Communication and Transport, Monise Laafai.

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