Pacific News Briefs
MAY IS ASIAN AMERICAN & PACIFIC ISLAND HERITAGE MONTH
In proclaiming May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, U.S. President Donald J. Trump said, “This month, and every month, we honor the more than 20 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who call America home, including those living in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and we salute those who have served and are currently serving our Nation in the Armed Forces. Together, we will continue to make our country more prosperous and secure for all Americans.”
The media release points out that Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have contributed immeasurably to our Nation’s development and diversity as a people. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we recognize their tremendous contributions, which have helped strengthen our communities, industries, Armed Forces, national security, and institutions of governance. Through their industriousness and love of country, our Nation has enjoyed the privileges and enrichments of multiple innovations and societal advancements.
Asian-American/Pacific Islanders include people from all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
About 5% of military members are of Asian-American/Pacific Islander descent.
(Source: White House Website)
CALL FOR VANUATU-CAUGHT TUNA TO BE PROCESSED BY VANUATU
Vanuatu's Minister of Fisheries Matai Seremaiah has made a call for all Vanuatu-caught tuna to be processed at the country's Sino-Van Fish Processing Plant.
The plant has not processed any fish since it was built 14 years ago because Port Vila has no facility to accommodate fishing boats.
The ministry's acting director general, Benjamin Shing, says Vanuatu does not enjoy the maximum benefit from its lucrative tuna industry as tuna is offloaded to be weighed then shipped abroad.
Shing was speaking on behalf of the minister to mark World Tuna Day earlier this week.
SAMOA GETS FIRST FEMALE DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF
Monalisa Tia'i Nafo'i is the first woman to be appointed as deputy police chief in Samoa.
Her appointment to second in command comes after 14 years in the force. She was appointed ahead of two male police superintendents who had applied for the position.
The appointment was announced at an executive and management meeting.
The deputy police chief rank had earlier been abolished and replaced by four assistant commissioner roles.
It was reinstated after friction between the Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil and other senior officers, which led to the police chief's suspension in 2016.
He was later reinstated.
CHINA HAILS RELATIONSHIP WITH SAMOA AS MODEL FOR PACIFIC
A top Chinese diplomat says the relationship between China and Samoa has become the model for Beijing's co-operation with Pacific Island countries.
The assessment was given to a visiting Samoan parliamentary delegation by China's special envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum, Du Qiwen.
Du said while China's engagement provides important opportunities for development, there is a trade imbalance between Samoa and China which is being addressed.
He said, however, China is doing its part to reduce the South-North development gap by increasing assistance to developing countries.
Du said to this end China's assistance programme was available to eight Pacific countries as concessional loans or grant funding.
He said China respects the freedom of choice of island countries and it is paramount to Beijing that the assistance is received voluntarily.
Du rejected claims that such loans were being used to bolster China's influence, describing such criticism as coming from narrow-minded people.
SAMOA POLICE RAID QUESTIONED AFTER IT NETS NOTHING
The Ministry of Police is tightlipped on a raid they conducted in Aleisa on Sunday, which resulted in no arrests and no drugs.
Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, declined to comment when he was contacted for a comment.
However, police officers, who attended the raid, expressed concerns about the information they received.
One senior officer told the Samoa Observer they were unaware of the raid. He said their cell phones were confiscated as usual procedures.
“However, upon arrival at the area where we were supposed to look for a brick house, it was a shack and the elderly man and his son were scared to see us armed and surrounding their residence," he said.
“I am for one thankful that nothing happened and what comes to mind is the lack of appropriate scouting and gathering of the right information prior to executing this search warrant."
(Source: Samoa Observer)
GROUND BREAKING FOR PACIFIC CLIMATE CHANGE CENTRE
The Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) is scheduled to break ground on 11 May 2018 at the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) Campus, Vailima.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, SPREP Director General, Leota Kosi Latu and Konoike Construction Project Manager, Hiroyaki Tango are expected to officially break ground on the site.
The PCCC is funded by Japan International Corporation Agency under a bilateral grant from the Government of Japan to the Government of Samoa.
It will act as the regional hub for climate change action in the region. It will also serve as the physical node of the World Meteorological Organization Regional Climate Centre in terms of practical training for met services and applied research.
According to the SPREP website, the concept of the PCCC was first endorsed at the 2012 SPREP meeting held in Noumea, New Caledonia.
In 2015, PCCC was officially approved at the Pacific Leaders Meeting in Japan. At this meeting, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, formally stated in the declaration, “Japan’s intention to provide comprehensive assistance, in collaboration with SPREP including the development of the Pacific Climate Change Centre and capacity-building which supports the efforts for tackling climate change by the Pacific region as a whole.”