TSI Calls for Reform of Electoral System
Quoting Solomon Times on Line – 19 February 2020
“Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) calls for urgent reform to the electoral system to reduce the influence of political financing/monetization of National General Election giving both men and women who do not have access to funding a fair go.
“TSI says the Office of the Electoral Commission must consult, involve and accommodate people’s participation, in the planned reforms to avoid “a mismatch of the dreams with the realities on the ground specifically where our voters are and their importance in this process.
"Face to face civic awareness on the importance of National General Election is a must in this electoral cycle."
Copyright @ 2020, Solomon Times on Line.
Saudi envoy meets Solomon Islands PM
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 19 February 2020
“PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare recently received a courtesy visit from the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Solomon Islands His Excellency Mesaad Ibrahim Al-Sulaim at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
“H.E Al-Sulaim used the opportunity to reaffirm Saudi Arabia’s commitment to assist the Solomon Islands in its development aspirations, a statement from the Prime Minister Press Secretariat said.
“The Ambassador stated that Saudi Arabia is committed to strengthening the relationship between both countries.
“Acknowledging climate change impacts as a strong concern for the Solomon Islands and other small island countries, the Prime Minister reiterated the urgent need to continue the fight against NCDs in the country.
“The fight against the impacts of climate change is so close to our hearts and while we have a great concern with its impacts in our country and to our pacific neighbours, we are also concerned with the high number of deaths caused by NCDs,” he stated.”
Copyright @ 2020, Solomon Star News.
PNG parliament passes whistle blowers bill
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 18 February 2020
“Papua New Guinea's parliament has passed a law giving protection to whistle-blowers.
“Every MP in the house on Tuesday voted in support of the 2020 Whistle Blowers Bill.
“The Bill, introduced by Justice Minister and Attorney-General Davis Steven, aims to provide protection for those in the public sector to report corrupt practices.
“Mr Steven told the house the bill is just one of various steps the government is taking to tackle the country's corruption problem.
“A bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption was also tabled in parliament on Tuesday.
“It has to go to a parliamentary committee before being voted on by MPs.
“Earlier, Prime Minister James Marape said the ICAC bill would create an independent institution working free of political interference to hold the corrupt to account.
“He said the ombudsman, the judiciary, police, and Transparency International would be asked to assist in establishing the commission's structure.”
Copyright © 2020, Radio New Zealand
Names of 6 Cooks' former soldiers added to Commonwealth War Graves records
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 19 February 2020
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has added the names of six Cook Islanders to its records.
It did so at the request of the New Zealand Defence Force, which accepted the six died of tuberculosis contracted during the First World War.
.The Cook Islands News reports their names will now be read during Anzac Day commemorations in New Zealand and inscribed on the Roll of Honour at the National War Memorial.
The men died shortly after the war upon returning home to the Cooks.
The Commission honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World wars, and ensures they will never be forgotten.
Copyright © 2020, Radio New Zealand
18 February 2020
Indian Government establishing a centre for Information and communications technology at the Solomon Islands National University.
The Indian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, H.E Vijai Kumar, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Hon. Jeremiah Manele signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to establish a centre of excellence for Information and communications technology (ICT) at the Solomon Islands National University ( SINU).
Through the MOU, the government of India will supply the computer hardware, software, resource books, course materials, and related resources and SINU will provide facilities to accommodate the ICT Centre. The government of Solomon Islands will facilitate the clearance of the equipment and deal with the tax and customs duties.
According to a related article in today’s Solomon Times on line news slot, from which I quote:
“H.E Vijai Kumar highlighted that Indian technical experts will be at SINU to install the equipment and his government will fund two IT experts to run the centre and deliver training for two years. The Indian government will also send six Solomon Islanders to India to undertake six months Master program in advanced IT courses.
“Hon. Jeremiah Manele said the government and people of Solomon Islands is appreciative of India’s generosity and gift and value the friendship established since 1987.
“The vision is to create a pool of knowledge workers and generate employment opportunities by producing world-class IT professionals to attract investment into the Solomon Islands and generate revenues through software export,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.
Coinciding with the introduction of broadband internet technology and services in the Solomon Islands, the Indian Government’s initiative and help will be highly beneficial to SINU’s department of Computing Studies.