The chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has postponed the PNG leg of his Melanesia tour.
Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI
The tour, his second as chairperson, is to discuss the restructuring of the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu and the revision of MSG Membership Guidelines with other MSG leaders.
Earlier this week Mr Sogavare met with his Vanuatu counterpart, Charlot Salwai in Port Vila and also with FLNKS spokesperson Victor Tutugoro.
Today he is to meet with the Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in Suva.
Fiji's Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama. Photo: RNZ/ALEX PERROTTET
Following that meeting Mr Sogavare was supposed to fly to Port Moresby to meet with PNG's prime minister Peter O'Neill.
But this leg of the tour has now been postponed until February.
Mr Sogavare, who flys back to Solomon Islands on Sunday, said he would not be releasing a statement on the outcome of the tour until he completes the PNG leg in February.
The MSG secretariat in Port Vila has been plaqued by issues with funding and its overhaul was recommended by an independent review commissioned because of persistent funding problems and the review of membership guidelines has arisen over the issue of West Papuan membership to the Melanesian Spearhead group.
Solomon Islands and Vanuatu favour West Papuan Membership while Fiji and Papua New Guinea support Indonesia’s view that it should represent West Papuan interests in the group.
2) ’Syringe terror’ prompts Papua Police to intensify security
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Thu, January 19, 2017 | 08:41 pm
Jayapura Police will intensify security measures in the Papuan city on the heels of reports that several residents have fallen victim to random syringe attacks while riding motorcycles or walking on the street.
The unidentified perpetrators reportedly usually target women on motorcycles or pedestrians.
Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tober Sirait said his office had investigated the shocking incidents to ascertain the motives of the attacks and content of the syringes. The police have sent blood samples drawn from victims to a forensics lab in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
“There is concern among the public that the syringes have HIV and the motive is to spread the virus,” Tober said Thursday.
Tober said rumors had circulated that many victims had gone to hospitals after being attacked, but many did not file a police report. Another rumor was that there were dozens who had been attacked, but they had neither reported the incidents to the police nor gone for a medical examination.
He said the police had only received reports from two victims, one of whom reported a syringe attack on Jan. 6 and the other on Jan. 13. “Both are women. The one on Jan. 6 said she was walking alone when a motorcycle cornered her and then [an individual] stabbed her in the back,” he said. The second one said she was struck with a needle while riding her motorcycle alone on the way to pick up her child from school. (evi)