28 Dec 2022

Pacific news in brief for December 28

5:35 pm on 28 December 2022
A delegation led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was at the airport to receive the casket of Solomon Islands Ambassador to China, John Moffat Fugui, who died in Beijing on December 22.

An official delegation led by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was at the airport to receive the casket of the Solomon Islands Ambassador to China. Photo: SIBC

Two Iranian warships in French Polynesia's exclusive economic zone

The French military said it had established contact with two Iranian warships in French Polynesia's exclusive economic zone.

The France Pacific Command in Papeete said the small frigate and its larger support vessel were spotted by the navy's Falcon 200 aircraft.

It said the ships communicated that they intended to cross the zone south of the Marquesas Islands.

According to the French daily Le Figaro, the ships were identified as the Jamaran and Makran, which is a tanker.

It said they set off on October 1 for the navy's first circumnavigation of the globe.

It also said that last year the Makran accompanied another Iranian warship to the Baltic Sea to join a Russian naval parade in St Petersburg.

Thousands of students in PNG will miss out on a spot in a tertiary institution says Polye

Papua New Guinea's Higher Education Minister Don Polye said this is due to limited spaces, not ineligibility.

The National reports that this year, around 31,000 grade 12 students sat tertiary exams.

According to online selection results, of 27,902 applications filed through the national online application system, only 11,126 were selected for tertiary education according to their choices.

A Department of Higher Education staffer says 16,777 were eligible and would be considered through the national admission pool to fill 8,335 Government-funded spaces available in the 62 institutions.

Polye said the Government was working very hard to address these limited spaces, by creating avenues to enable students to take different pathways such as Flexible Open Distance Education and he was now looking at creating online learning.

Solomon Islands Ambassador to China dies

The Solomon Islands government has formally received the casket of its Ambassador to China, John Moffat Fugui.

The 61-year-old died in Beijing on December 22 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

His body was transported home on a special chartered flight from Beijing.

An official delegation led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was at the airport to receive the casket.

Samoa police investigate three deaths

A 38 year old-man has been charged with murder in Samoa following the death of his daugther.

The man allegedly beat the twelve year old-girl to death at a home in Palisi, Apia.

He is now at Tanumalala Prison awaiting a court appearance later next month.

Meanwhile, a family dispute in Savai'i led to the death of a 29 year-old man. His brother in law has been arrested and charged with murder.

The accused has been held in custody at Tanumalala Prison and will appear in court on February 6.

In a separate incident, a man is in custody charged with murder after an off-duty female police officer was shot dead.

The man is alleged to have shot and killed Mele Segisolo Lapana during a drinking party at his residence at Aleisa village.

The Samoa Observer reports that, according to the Police Commissioner, the 31 year-old police officer was found dead at the scene of the crime after police were notified around 2am on Christmas Eve.

The alleged shooter is scheduled to appear in court on January 30th.

Head of Tokelau labels new year a 'new dawn' for Tokelau

Faipule Siopili Perez said this Christmas marked the third such gathering under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, this time, Tokelau has Covid-19 at its border.

Perez said despite the anxiety and worry that brings, he shares gratitude and blessings in the knowledge that Tokelau is the last nation in the world, alongside Turkmenistan to have so far kept the virus out of the community.

He said the general election is to take place in January.

OFC partners with NZF

Oceania Football Confederation has partnered with New Zealand Football (NZF) to deliver coaching diplomas in Oceania.

The Pro-License is the global standard for elite level coaching requirement for top leagues around the world.

Andy Boyens, Technical Director at New Zealand Football, sees delivering this course as the next logical step for coach development in New Zealand.

He said they want coaches from NZ and Oceania to be able to go to the top level of the game.

The head of education and high performance at the confederation said as the game grows across Oceania, it is important that coaching standards improve as well.