The embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon, Stuff)
| STUFF NZ
| With Joanne Holden (Cook Islands), Dorothy Wickham (Solomon Islands), Lisa Monovo (Fiji) & Talaia Mika (Samoa)
WELLINGTON, NZ - Drive from the airport to Nuku'alofa, Tonga, and on the side of the road, you’ll see a ‘China Aid’ sign erected outside a school.
Take the road between Nadi and Suva, and you’ll spot a recently-built hospital made with Chinese money. There is a sign etched into the peach wall to remind passers-by: China funded it.
Continue reading "China rejects Pacific ‘debt trap’ accusations" »
ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Edited extracts
CANBERRA - The managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation says Pacific public broadcasters have raised concerns about Chinese government pressure to carry state-controlled news content.
As China increases its influence in the region, David Anderson told a Senate committee on Tuesday the ABC is planning to expand its operations in the Pacific and play a greater ‘soft diplomacy’ role.
Continue reading "China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service" »
Antony Blinken in Suva at the weekend - new Solomons embassy required before China becomes “strongly embedded”
NOOSA – Cold on the heels of the Solomon Islands and China establishing diplomatic relations and, coincidentally, just a day after the disclosure of a broad-based cooperation plan between the two countries, the United States has announced its intention to open an embassy in Honiara.
The US had an embassy in the the country between 1988 and 1993, when it was closed.
Continue reading "US Solomons embassy aims to counter China" »
John Fugui, Solomons first ambassador to China, meets Director-General of Oceanic Affairs Lu Kang, Beijing, July 2021
NOOSA – In September 2019, the Solomon Islands ditched diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favour of the People’s Republic of China.
In return the Chinese pledged support for the Solomons in moving “forward in the development path it has chosen for itself”.
Now, eight months after John Fugui was installed as the new ambassador to China, he has revealed what form that pledge will take.
Continue reading "Solomons-China reveal huge cooperation program" »
Covid in the Pacific - January headlines
PSC NEWS DESK
| Australia Pacific Security College (PSC)
CANBERRA -The rapid spread of the Omicron variant within the Pacific has seen community transmission in the previously Covid-19-free countries of Palau, Kiribati, Tonga, and Solomon Islands.
The Omicron variant has led to a significant increase in the number of cases throughout the Pacific region to start 2022, with the majority of countries now seeing community transmission of Covid or having cases in quarantine.
Continue reading "Covid: The Pacific response - January 2022" »
Pictures exercising in the Pacific, the US Navy V-22B Osprey has vertical and short takeoff and landing capabilities (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mathew Diendorf)
| War on the Rocks | Edited extracts
Link here to Professor Tidwell’s complete and comprehensive essay on the challenges and opportunities facing the US in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. It is also a timely note to Australia, whose own Pacific strategy has become less than clear - KJ
WASHINGTON DC - The United States’ Indo-Pacific coordinator, Kurt Campbell, recently grabbed attention by saying that the US may soon face a “strategic surprise” in the Pacific.
He appears to have had in mind agreements and basing arrangements between Pacific Island countries and China.
Continue reading "Memo USA: Being a better partner in the Pacific" »
SYED MUNIR KHASRU
| South China Morning Post
DHAKA - Beijing understands that economic security created through trade is more enduring than when done through military superiority.
China has deepened ties with Singapore, signing 14 new deals at an annual bilateral cooperation meeting held on 29 December.
Continue reading "China is outfoxing US in the Indo-Pacific" »
Yamin Kogoya - "Papuans have been dislocated from the centre of their cultural worldview and placed on the fringes of the grand colonial narrative"
CANBERRA - The colonial notion of ‘civilising primitive Papuans’ has distorted Papuan perceptions of the world and themselves.
This distortion began with how New Guinea and its people were described in early colonial literature: unintelligent pygmies, cannibals and pagan savages – people devoid of value.
Not only did this depiction foster a racist outlook but it misrepresented reality as it was experienced and understood by Papuans for thousands of years.
Continue reading "Capturing the mind: Anatomy of a Papuan genocide" »
Australia will cut its foreign aid next year even though the impacts of the Covid pandemic are still hurting Pacific Island nations (Development Policy Centre)
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Australian government reversed its earlier policy of cutting aid, and started to increase it.
Aid increased from $4.29 billion in 2019-20, before the pandemic, to $4.56 billion in 2020-21, the first year of the pandemic (amounts adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2021 prices.)
Continue reading "Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again" »
Dr Damon Salesa - "We need to honour and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific" (Radio New Zealand)
NOOSA – The new vice-chancellor of Auckland University of Technology (AUT), is keenly aware that he has broken through another glass ceiling.
The son of a factory worker, Dr Damon Salesa made New Zealand history last week as the first Pacific person to be appointed to head a New Zealand university.
Continue reading "Pacific whanau must be honoured" »
"Every drop of Papuan blood leaves a trail leading to the perpetrators, the crime scenes and, eventually, to Papuan statehood"
CANBERRA – Yesterday, 1 December, marked 60 years since the State of Papua came into being.
In the centuries preceding 1961, Ortiz de Rates, a Spanish explorer, renamed the island ‘Nueva Guinea’ (New Guinea)’ on 20 June 1545 and, hearing of his alleged discovery, other Europeans followed.
Continue reading "Papua’s long betrayal: 60 years of repression" »
Foreign minister Marise Payne and prime minister Scott Morrison in Canberra yesterday afternoon announcing Australia's troop and police deployment to Honiara
NOOSA – As people in Honiara awake to a likely third day of riot, arson and looting , 43 Australian Defence Force personnel will join 23 Australian Federal Police in the Solomons’ capital “to provide security and stability” according to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, .
Foreign minister Marise Payne says the deployment disagreed the intervention was an intervention and also said it was not to support Solomons’ prime minister Manasseh Sogavere’s faltering government.
Continue reading "Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?" »
Port Moresby - PNG is the most corrupt country in the Pacific, but some of the others are giving it a run for its money
| The Guardian | Extracts
Link here to the full story
SYDNEY - One in three people across Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands region paid a bribe when using a public service in the last year, according to a report by Transparency International.
And one in four people have been offered a bribe for their vote in the last five years.
Continue reading "Bribery makes the Pacific’s wheels go round" »
Bonny Kaiyo - "The Green State Vision will make ecocide a serious criminal offence"
PORT MORESBY - The wealthy countries of the world have agreed on a 'Green State Vision’ at COP26, which ends in Glasgow today.
Indonesia signed up and now has the hard task of navigating what this means for itself and especially West Papua.
It is the restive province of West Papua that carries the bulk of Indonesia’s forest richness, which the country has now ratified and agreed to protect.
Continue reading "West Papua presses for a Green State Vision" »
China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons
| The Sunday Guardian | Extracts
NEW DELHI - In September 2019, the Solomon Islands switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The central government made the decision without public consultation, and it was widely unpopular, particularly in the most populous province, Malaita.
Continue reading "Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China" »
Funeral of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau allegedly killed by Indonesian security forces (AWPA)
| Asia Pacific Report
AUCKLAND - The Australia West Papua Association has protested over the “lack of any concern” by Canberra over worsening clashes in the Indonesian military crackdown on pro-independence groups in West Papua.
Joe Collins of AWPA has said in a statement that the harsh ‘behaviour’ of the Indonesian forces would lead to the instability that the Australian government fears.
Continue reading "Canberra looks away while West Papua aflame" »
Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa at the Glasgow summit - “Sir David is so sharp and ever more passionate about our natural environment,” says Juffa
NOOSA – Scott Morrison’s announcement in Glasgow that “technology will have the answers” to saving the world from climate change has generated widespread disapproval from world leaders.
And his offer to increase Australia's climate funding by $100 million (K260 million) a year for the next five years to cover all Pacific Island and South-East Asian countries also left his audience cold.
Continue reading "‘Morrison not listening’, say Pacific leaders" »
China's foreign minister Wang Yi chairs the first China-Pacific Island foreign ministers' meeting, held virtually last week
NOOSA – Last week’s meeting of Pacific Island foreign ministers with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, included commitments by China to increase its activity in addressing Covid, poverty reduction and climate action.
Wang chaired the meeting which included Soroi Eoe of Papua New Guinea, senior ministers from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Henry Puna, secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Continue reading "China’s Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling" »
Bob Carr, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull at a function honouring former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo
| The Guardian | Extracts
SYDNEY - Former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, have accused the Morrison government of “cynical indifference” and “empty rhetoric” when it comes to climate action.
They said the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 was the “bare minimum” that needed to be done.
Continue reading "Former Oz leaders apologise to Pacific" »
Naomi, a support staff member at World Vision in Papua New Guinea (Nelson Kairi Kurukuru)
DANE MOORES & JONATHON GURRY
| Devpolicy Blog
MELBOURNE - The socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are devastating communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste as much as the virus itself, and sometimes to an even greater extent.
In late 2020, World Vision surveyed 752 households (with an average of six people per household) in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
Continue reading "Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific" »
CANBERRA – Two Melanesian leaders recently addressed the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York: Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape and Vanuatu's prime minister Bob Loughman.
Both expressed concern about human rights issues in West Papua. In Marape’s case this took only 30 seconds of a 42-minute address while Loughman spent several minutes taking a more assertive approach.
Continue reading "Marape's Papua 30 seconds. God knows the outcome" »
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir', a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence
AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa’, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.
Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.
Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville
| Hawaii Public Radio
HILO, HAWAI’I - New linguistics research by suggests the original settlers of the Hawaiian Islands came from a small chain of low-lying atolls just east of Bougainville.
Language professor William ‘Pila’ Wilson of the University of Hawai’i has uncovered evidence that Hawai'i’s first inhabitants may have migrated from Papua New Guinea's Mortlock Islands .
Continue reading "Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks" »
NOOSA – The Australian mass media and opposition Labor Party have “missed the point” of the AUKUS pact which saw the Morrison government dump a huge submarine contract, says Mike Scrafton, former senior adviser to Australia’s defence minister.
Writing for Pearls and Irritations, Scrafton forecasts that, under Australia’s new strategic arrangements with the United States and the United Kingdom, there will be a major step-up in the US militarisation in Australia.
Continue reading "AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China" »
António Guterres - "You have been raising the alarm, and your voice must be heard loud and clear"
| United Nations Secretary‑General
NEW YORK - Your [Pacific Islands Forum] nations are confronting a dual crisis of climate change and the Covid‑19 pandemic. Both threaten Pacific lives and livelihoods.
If we follow the current path, the consequences of climate disruption for the prosperity, well‑being and the very survival of Pacific communities will be severe.
Continue reading "UN boss says Pacific voices must be heard" »
French president Emmanuel Macron - his vision of France as a partner in the Western alliance confronting China in the South Pacific would have been stung by the inept AUKUS announcement
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
CANBERRA - There is more at stake for the French-Australian relationship in the Pacific than just money after Australia last week cancelled a contract with France’s Naval Group to build new submarines.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison indicated that the $90 billion (K230 billion) contract with France, signed in 2016, included ‘contractual gates’ at which critical decisions. Like this could be made.
Continue reading "Fencemending: France, Australia & the Pacific" »
Rev James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches - "Australia is not acting in the best interests of vuvale, family" (Radio New Zealand Jamie Tahana)
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Edited extracts
AUCKLAND - Australia's new security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom has touched a nerve at the core of Pacific regionalism.
The AUKUS alliance, announced by the leaders of the three countries late last week, finds them seeking strategic advantage in the Indo-Pacific region.
Continue reading "Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism" »
| United Liberation Movement for West Papua
PORT VILA, VANUATU - Happy 46th independence anniversary to Papua New Guinea.
We send a message of solidarity from your brothers on the other half of New Guinea. We are there with you in spirit for this great celebration.
Continue reading "Border ‘will fall like the Berlin Wall’" »
Who would want to have these three as family? Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton share a cruel joke at the expense of Pacific islanders, their attitudes and hypocrisy on public view
TUMBY BAY - On behalf of all concerned people in Australia I would like to extend a sincere apology to the nations and people of the South Pacific.
We apologise for the misguided, inadequate, cowardly and reckless actions of our Australian federal government in failing to take seriously the dire consequences to you of climate change.
Continue reading "An open letter to our Pacific friends" »
Webcast host Prof Meg Keen, Senator Zed Seselja and Dame Annette King (Ben Bohane)
| Asia and the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY – After working at senior levels in the Papua New Guinea government, sitting across the table from New Zealand and Australia in the tough work of diplomacy, I have seen how both countries engage.
I thought revealing a recent discussion on the Pacific Step-Up in a webcast hosted by the Australia Pacific Security College which featured Australia’s Pacific minister, Zed Seselja, and New Zealand’s high commissioner to Australia, Dame Annette King.
Continue reading "Pacific step-up or business as usual?" »
Richard Marles - the only Pacific-themed photo of him I could find. Slightly out of focus, which seemed appropriate
NOOSA – The book's title is a strained pun and the 2,000 word extract he allowed the Sydney Morning Herald gives the impression he’s struggling to kick an invisible ball at hidden goal posts.
And, if this chapter is any indication, 'Tides that Bind: Australia in the Pacific’, by Australia’s deputy opposition leader Richard Marles, is a strange piece of work.
Continue reading "Does the Pacific want Australia to lead?" »
James Marape in a virtual conference (Prime Ministerial Media)
| PNG Bulletin Online
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has joined leaders of the Pacific to call for stronger solidarity, a renewed Covid-19 response and tougher action on climate change.
Marape joined 12 other leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum as it convened on Friday in a virtual retreat to mark the last 50 years since its establishment in 1971 in New Zealand.
Continue reading "Pacific leaders seek strong regional solidarity" »
The message was clear and strong from Pacific leaders at COP21 in Paris in December 2015. The world was made aware that the Pacific islands were pressing hard to ensure their survival and limit global warming
| Griffith Asia Insights
BRISBANE - Over the last 10 years, the Pacific small island developing states have demonstrated, through various significant events, how they can prevail in the international climate change negotiations if they work together.
This has been possible also because of distinguished leadership from individuals and countries.
Continue reading "Pacific climate diplomacy – strength in solidarity" »
Indonesian military police assault a disabled Papuan man using a Derek Chauvin-like chokehold. In a rare instance of upholding justice they have been detained pending the results of an investigation.
CANBERRA - Shocking video footage showing brutal and inhumane treatment of a deaf and dumb Papuan man has emerged from the Jalan Raya Mandala, near Merauke in Indonesian Papua.
The video linked to here shows an altercation between Steven, aged 18, and a food stall owner.
Two security men from the Air Force Military Police (Polisi Militer Angkatan Udara, POMAU) intervene one grabs Steven and pulls him from the restaurant.
Continue reading "Papuans demand justice, not cheap apologies" »
Fiame Naomi Mataafa (UN Women, Ellie van Baaren)
| ANU Reporter
CANBERRA - In April, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa caused the political equivalent of an earthquake for Samoa.
The long-serving and immensely popular politician had taken on a political powerhouse in the country’s national election – and won.
Continue reading "A crack in the Pacific's glass ceiling" »
PNG prime minister James Marape receives 15 ventilators donated by the Chinese government
JULIA HOLLINGSWORTH & BEN WESTCOTT
CNN Digital Worldwide | Edited extracts
Link here for the complete analysis
HONG KONG - China and Australia have found another battleground for their deepening diplomatic standoff: the Pacific islands' pandemic response.
Canberra has hit back at Beijing's claims it is derailing the rollout of Chinese vaccines in Papua New Guinea, the most-populous Pacific nation.
Continue reading "Covid is now a China-Australia power play" »
NOOSA - The more infectious, faster moving Delta variant of Covid has been identified for the first time in Papua New Guinea.
The Delta strain is currently proving hard to control after breaking out in Australia’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. It has killed three people so far.
Continue reading "Lethargic Australia drops ball on Covid " »
| Kurumbi Wone | Edited extracts
CANBERRA – When I came to Australia 20 years ago, I was gifted a book, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, written by an American academic, Ruth A Tucker.
I had been told that my fellow West Papuans and I were the people ones to receive the good news of Jesus. This book narrated how that happened.
Continue reading "We need a New Jerusalem" »
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga speaking during the online 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM)
| Sunday Bulletin
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape wants Japan, Australia and New Zealand to establish an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of the fight against Covid-19.
Marape made his appeal at Friday's 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting, which was held virtually.
Continue reading "PNG wants Japan-Pacific economic bubble" »
Recovering in a Singapore hospital, Papuan governor Lukas Enembe urges his people to remain calm, united and not be easily provoked by political gamesmanship
CANBERRA - Indonesia's most troubled province, Papua, is on the brink of more mass demonstrations and provincial government buildings and offices are being barricaded.
This is in response to the likelihood of civil strife following the controversial appointment of Papua’s provincial government secretary, Dance Yulian Flassy, as acting governor.
Continue reading "Papua tense as elected governor replaced" »
Dr David Robie - "I have never experienced something as blatant, destructive and lacking in transparency as this"
| Café Pacific | Edited extract
Link here to read the complete illustrated chronicle of the Pacific Media Centre by its founding director Dr Robie
AUCKLAND - It really is bizarre. After 26 months of wrangling, stakeholder representations and appeals by Pacific Media Centre (PMC) to Auckland University of Technology, in the end the innovative unit remains in limbo.
In fact, sadly, it seems like a dead end.
Continue reading "Savage assassination of Pacific media jewel" »
Papuans in Jayapura mourn the death of Pastor Allan Nafuki, one of the staunchest leaders of the movement to make West Papua part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group
CANBERRA - Whenever I ring home to West Papua, my village people ask about rumours they have heard of an upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting.
What they want to know is whether West Papua will be accepted as a full member.
I tell them I do not know, and, dispirited, they say to me they will continue to pray for it.
Continue reading "Melanesia's tragic rejection of W Papua" »
JIM ELMSLIE & CAMELLIA WEBB-GANNON
| The Conversation
WOLLONGONG - “Destroy them first. We will discuss human rights matters later.”
These are the reported words of Bambang Soesatyo, chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly to the Indonesian military (TNI), last month.
Continue reading "West Papua on verge of bloody crackdown" »
West Papua armed group -Indonesia now labelling freedom fighters as 'terrorists'
CANBERRA - The Indonesian government has officially labelled the OPM (Free Papua Movement) and the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) as terrorist groups.
This came at the height of a string of shootings and murders in Papua's highlands in recent months that last week led to the killing of senior Indonesian intelligence officer, General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha.
Continue reading "Indonesia is turning Papuans into terrorists" »
Del Abcede and David Robie at the Pacific Media Centre
| The Spinoff | Edited extracts
AUCKLAND - Since 2007, the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology has built a solid reputation for its research and reporting on issues throughout the Asia Pacific region.
It has also been a productive training facility for Pasifika journalists and academics.
Continue reading "Pacific Media Centre still in limbo" »
Standing side by side - the Morning Star and the Kumul
| Facebook | Extracts
OXFORD, UK – Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare fought for the dignity of indigenous Papuans. It was an 84 year lifetime in which his story blessed freedom fighters in Melanesia. He was born for a purpose.
West Papua walked in the shadows and its independence leaders embraced the drama and watched with pride as Papua New Guinea surged ahead.
Continue reading "W Papua leader pays tribute to Sir Michael" »
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson - "Respect is taught and driven home in every aspect of our lives"
LAGIPOIVA CHERELLE JACKSON
SAMOA - When the editor of the Lowy Institute’s, The Interpreter, called leaders of the Pacific Islands ‘toddlers’ and referred to the stance by Micronesian Leaders as ‘tantrums’, it could have easily been yet another condescending article by an Australian journalist who thought he knew better than all of us put together.
But this time, it was different.
Continue reading "Why that Lowy incident will be remembered" »
Independence leader Benny Wenda - "In West Papua, the whole essence of our humanity is being reduced to nothing”
| John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations
SYDNEY - Not far from Australian shores, a colonial-type genocide prompts silence.
Commercial and military interests plus preoccupation with a global virus ensure that colonisation continues, and human rights are ignored. Who cares?
Continue reading "West Papua: living in constant fear" »
Maureen Penjueli - Australia and New Zealand's absence at the recent crucial Pacific Islands Forum meeting challenges their commitment to the region
| Pacific Islands News Association
SUVA - The decision by Micronesian leaders to withdraw from the region’s premier political body, the Pacific Islands Forum, is a move of tectonic scale whose impact will reverberate across the region.
The withdrawal comes on the back of a bruising leadership contest for Secretary-General of the Forum.
Continue reading "Where is the ‘mana’ in our Pacific Way?" »
Lowy Institute building in Sydney
CANBERRA - An Australian government supported think tank has been accused of racism and infantilising Pacific islanders following commentary on the departure of five Micronesian nations from the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Sydney-based Lowy Institute has faced a barrage of criticism over views expressed by the managing editor of its online The Interpreter magazine, Daniel Flitton, who compared a major regional dispute to a “toddler’s tantrum” and said Pacific island nations have “some growing up to do”.
Continue reading "Lowy feels heat over ‘tone-deaf comments’" »