30 May 2024

Pacific news in brief for May 30

4:44 pm on 30 May 2024
Vanuatu international airport, April, 2023

Photo: RNZ Pacific - Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor

Vanuatu - visit

A top Chinese Communist Party official, Liu Jianchao, has met with Vanuatu's prime minister and president on a visit to the Pacific Island nation.

Liu leads the Communist Party's body in charge of managing ties with foreign political parties.

Reuters reported both countries agreed to work together to further develop relations, and strengthen cooperation, such as under the Belt and Road initiative.

Fiji - plan

Fiji government's new development plan will address long-standing issues in health and infrastructure.

It will be released in the coming months and will cover the three, five and a 20-year plan.

Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad told The Fiji Times the coalition government has inherited neglected infrastructure which needs serious work.

He said the Nausori Health Centre which serves around 70,000 people was recently refurbished.

Fiji - bail

Former Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been denied bail in the Suva High Court.

Bainimarama appeared in court with convicted for police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho on Thursday.

FBC reported lawyers for the two had appealed that the sentence imposed on them earlier this month be suspended, pending the determination of the appeal against conviction and sentence.

The two were jailed on 9 May for their roles in blocking a police investigation at the University of the South Pacific.

Bainimarama, 69, was jailed for a year had been found guilty of perverting the court of justice, while Qiliho had been found guilty of abuse of office.

Solomon Islands - visitors

Tourism Solomons says its first quarter visitor numbers have increased on last year.

Figures released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office for the first quarter of the financial year show 4903 visitors, an increase of 24 percent on the same period in 2023.

SIBC reported while the numbers fall short of the 6042 achieved in quarter one in 2019, Tourism Solomons acting chief executive Dagnal Dereveke said concerted marketing efforts in tandem with Solomon Airlines were obviously paying dividends.

Papua New Guinea - census

Thousands of tablet devices have arrived in Papua New Guinea, ahead of the National Population Census.

The National newspaper reported the counting period runs from 17-30 June

Administrative services minister Richard Masere said they are allowing for about 60 days of data cleansing to make sure there is no duplication of data and that accurate data was collected, before the population figure is announced in August.

Papua new Guinea - police

More than 60 police cadets from PNG are heading to Australia to enhance their policing and leadership skills.

Deputy police commissioner, administration, Dr Philip Mitna said between May and August, four contingents of police cadets would undertake a two-week placement with the Queensland Police Service.

The National newspaper reported there are hopes the cultural exchange will deepen the relationship between Australian and PNG police officers helping them better tackle transnational crime.

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