She said if she got another term she hoped to rectify this. Dame Meg said the Pacific is not an easy place for women leaders and the region is way behind in terms of political representation. The secretary general, who is from Papua New Guinea, said the recent PNG election, in which no woman was elected into parliament, was a case in point. Dame Meg said she thought since PNG had a proportional voting system the chances of women getting in would be higher.
slain officers’ relatives block highway
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – The Papua New Guinea police commissioner, Gari Baki, has called on the relatives of two slain policemen to reopen the Highlands Highway. The two officers were on duty in Wabag in Enga Province when they were killed during this year’s elections. The relatives have blocked the key road at Wabag for nearly a week demanding compensation. But Baki said they could not be allowed to hold the nation to ransom. He said it was not a responsible way to address the issue and the tribesmen of late policemen Jimmy Golang of Jiwaka and Alex Kopa of Chimbu provinces should not resort to such tactics to seek compensation. Baki said the police constabulary had not paid compensation in any form whatsoever for officers killed in the line of duty in its 128 year history.
PALAU LEADER HAS BIGGER FISH TO FRY
PALAU – Security issues in the Northern Pacific mean Palau’s president Tommy Remengesau cannot attend this week’s Forum leaders meeting in Samoa. The PACNEWS agency reported that the threats by North Korea have highlighted Palau’s strategic military value in the region. President Remengesau is travelling to Japan to discuss security issues with the US allies while his vice president Raynold Oilouch represents Palau in Apia. Remengesau’s absence will mean at least three Pacific leaders will not be at the meeting, with both New Zealand’s Bill English and Fiji’s Frank Bainimarama forgoing the event.
Drug rehabilitation centre planned
AMERICAN SAMOA – Authorities in American Samoa say a drug rehabilitation centre is among plans to tackle the territory’s drug crisis. Government officials were called late last week to testify for a Senate bill that would require all government employees, including contractors and elected officials to be tested for drugs and alcohol. The bill offers offenders the opportunity for rehabilitation. Muavaefa’atasi John Suisala of the Department of Human and Social Services told senators the government was working to set up a rehabilitation service and detox centre. He said his department provided two counselling programmes that deal mostly with court referrals. Senator Fai’ivae Iuli Galeai said at the moment the only option for rehab is jail. RNZI’s correspondent in Pago Pago reported some families in the territory have had to pay to send their family members with drug problems off island, usually to Hawai‘i, but this requires court endorsement, and monitoring.