Pacific & West Papua Feed

West Papua students ordered home from NZ

A Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned in applying pressure on West Papua
Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned in applying pressure on West Papua

SRI KRISHNAMURTHI
| Radio New Zealand | Pacific Digital Journalist
| Edited

AUCKLAND - West Papuan students are facing a difficult time in New Zealand after Indonesia terminated their scholarships and ordered them home.

Master of Communications student Laurens Ikinia told RNZ Pacific said he his dreams of a brighter future have been shattered by the Indonesian government.

Continue reading "West Papua students ordered home from NZ" »


Australia is alone in the south-west Pacific

A forum
Cartoon - Fiona Katauskas

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Despite visits past and planned to Honiara by Australian ministers and United States officials, Solomon Islands went ahead to sign a security deal with China.

Details remain sketchy, but a leaked draft says it will allow Chinese security forces to assist Solomons security forces when needed, including protecting Chinese businesses.

Continue reading "Australia is alone in the south-west Pacific" »


Contesting views emerge in Solomons duel

A Kurt Campbell (AFP)
Kurt Campbell (AFP). China says the US is pushing Australia aside to intervene more directly in the Pacific Islands region

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It seems Kurt Campbell, the United States Indo-Pacific coordinator, will still visit the Solomon Islands this week even after the country declared it had already entered into a security pact with China.

A last ditch effort by Australia failed to change the mind of the Solomons leadership as the Morrison government was strongly criticised for its ineffectual Pacific Islands policies that it is claimed, not altogether credibly, to have enabled China to gain a military foothold in the Solomons, just 2,000 km from mainland Australia.

Continue reading "Contesting views emerge in Solomons duel" »


We’re really pawns in The Great Game

APAUL OATES

Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the world by Clive Hamilton & Mareike Ohlberg, Paperback, Hardie Grant Books, 2020, 448 pages. Kindle $8.42, Paperback $24.25. Available here from Amazon in Australia

CLEVELAND QLD - Chek Ling (Still the bell tolls: Brisbane’s Kristallnacht) raises an extremely relevant issue.

It’s an issue that Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands need to take an interest in and understand.

Continue reading "We’re really pawns in The Great Game" »


Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?

KEITH JACKSON

A Capture
Manasseh Sogavare and Zed Seselja pose stiffly for a photo after what seemed like a waste of time and jet fuel. Zed appeared to drop into Honiara empty-handed to praise Manasseh for a statement he made a couple of weeks ago and to express concern anyway

UPDATE

NOOSA – Australia’s international development minister Zed Seselja flew to Honiara today to reiterate his government’s previously expressed ‘growing concerns’ about the Solomons’ warming ties with China and a mysterious naval facility the Solomons knows nothing about.

It's highly unusual for a minister to travel overseas during the caretaker period of a national election, so reasons portentous looked at hand.

But now Zed's back to Aus, the trip appears more as a bit of campaign fluff to try to show Morrison et Fils are on the ball when it comes to pushing back against China.

Continue reading "Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?" »


Dom’s poetry features in winning NZ play

Laufiso My Grandfather is a Canoe award presentation
'My Grandfather is a Canoe' director Marisiale Tunoka (centre) with musicians (from left) Oliver Tafuna’i, Waisea McGoon, Lopeti Sumner and Siaosi Kei

KEITH JACKSON

DUNEDIN - A play of Pacific cultures, voyaging and love, My Grandfather is a Canoe, including the poetry of Michael Dom, has won the prestigious Dunedin Fringe Festival’s Touring Award.

The award means the play will be performed at Christchurch’s Little Andromeda theatre in July and at the Auckland Fringe Festival in September.

Continue reading "Dom’s poetry features in winning NZ play" »


Papuan hope is legacy of long dead Russian

Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe (centre) meets Russian Ambassador to Indonesia  Lyudmila Vorobyeva  Jakarta  Monday (Tribun Manado)
Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe (centre) meets Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobyeva in Jakarta (Tribun Manado)

YAMIN KOGOYA

BRISBANE - Russian president Vladimir Putin has been invited by Papuan governor Lukas Enembe to visit the Indonesian province later this year.

The invitation was extended when Enembe met Russian Ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Vorobyeva, last week and has triggered heated debate in social media.

Speculation is also rife about whether Indonesia — as chair of the G20 group of nations — will invite President Putin to attend the global forum in Bali later this year.

Continue reading "Papuan hope is legacy of long dead Russian" »


China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?

KEITH JACKSON

Sogavare and Xi
Manasseh Sogavare and Xi Jinping - security deal caused an Australian meltdown

NOOSA – In late October 2010, then United States’ secretary of state Hillary Clinton was in Honolulu nearing the end of a comprehensive tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

In two weeks Clinton was to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, and high on her agenda were discussions about military cooperation and action “to respond to a more complex maritime environment”.

Continue reading "China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?" »


Sogavare: China military for Solomons ‘nonsense’

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)
Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)

ROBERT IROGA
| Asia Pacific Review | SBM Online | Edited

HONIARA – Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has denied that China is being allowed to establish a military base in his country, which is 2,000 kilometers north-west of Australia.

Sogavare confirmed a security treaty had been finalised with China but said “there is no intention whatsoever to ask China to build a military base.

Continue reading "Sogavare: China military for Solomons ‘nonsense’" »


Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why.

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

"We share with our Pacific family culture, the principles of democracy and freedom, and these are things that are very important to the Pacific Island peoples” – Peter Dutton, Australian Defence Minister, Today

“Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door” – Peter Dutton's bad joke about (a) sea level rise in the Pacific and (b) what he sees as his Pacific family’s lack of attention to punctuality, 11 September 2015

CAIRNS – It is my personal observation following 35 years in Melanesia that Australia has hopelessly missed the mark when it comes to development assistance, and it continues to do so.

The total fixation on trying to build the capacity of central and sub-national agencies to the exclusion of an equal focus on communities has sunk almost every initiative you can name.

The heart and soul of every place in Melanesia is the community and its land - not a government agency or a politician.

Continue reading "Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why." »


Violence against Asian-Pacific women in the US

Capture CAROLINE MIMBS NYCE
| Senior Associate Editor, The Atlantic

WASHINGTON DC - One year has passed since a gunman took the lives of six Asian women and two others at spas in the Atlanta area.

The shooting spurred new activism and awareness around violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States.

Continue reading "Violence against Asian-Pacific women in the US" »


In the Pacific, growing wariness of China

Capture 1
Samoa prime minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa skipped a recent summit between Pacific Island leaders and China (AFP)

CHARU SUDAN KASTURI
| Al Jazeera | Edited extracts

DELHI, INDIA - Flanked by senior diplomats in Beijing, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi addressed leaders from Pacific Island nations last October.

The president of Kiribati, prime ministers of Fiji, Tonga and Niue, and the foreign ministers of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia and Solomon Islands appeared in windows on a screen, their video summit meant to herald a new promise in China’s relations with their region.

Continue reading "In the Pacific, growing wariness of China" »


Call for urgent action on W Papua child killings

Relatives carry boy's body (Benar News)
Relatives of Makilon Tabuni carry his body to be cremated in Sinak village, West Papua, last month (Benar News)

NEWS DESK
| Asia Pacific Report | Edited

AUCKLAND - West Papuan leader Benny Wenda has praised the bravery of Ukrainians defending their country while condemning the hypocrisy of a self-styled ‘peaceful’ Indonesia attacking innocent civilians in Papua.

“The eyes of the world are watching in horror [at] the invasion of Ukraine,” Wenda said in a statement.

Continue reading "Call for urgent action on W Papua child killings" »


What about West Papua? It’s our Ukraine

AMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - It took less than a week for the world to come together to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sanctions were applied to Putin, oligarchs and the Russian Central Bank, there was a suspension of SWIFT banking services and weapons and aid money were supplied to Ukraine.

Continue reading "What about West Papua? It’s our Ukraine" »


The quiet militarisation of the Pacific

The Vanuatu government borrowed money from China to fund the Luganville Wharf (Slone Fred  Stuff)
The Vanuatu government borrowed money from China to fund the Luganville Wharf (Slone Fred,  Stuff)

LUCY CRAYMER
| Stuff New Zealand | Edited extracts

WELLINGTON, NZ - When the media started reporting in 2018 that China might seek to use the Vanuatu wharf for military vessels, the foreign minister at the time, Ralph Regenvanu, denied this was a possibility.

“There was nothing in the contract around this idea that we would have to lose the wharf if we couldn’t pay back the loans.

Continue reading "The quiet militarisation of the Pacific" »


New strategy boosts US presence in PNG

L128 approaching Lombrum Naval Base
HMAS Labuan approaching Lombrun naval base at dusk. The landing craft made many visits to PNG between 1973 and 2005. She was retired in 2014 after a remarkable 43 years in service

BEN JACKSON

SUNSHINE BEACH, QLD - Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island states can expect more attention from the good old US of A as the Biden administration continues to push the ‘undo’ button on Trump era isolationism.

There has been a marked increase in US engagement in the region following the launch of its new Indo-Pacific strategy in mid-February.

Continue reading "New strategy boosts US presence in PNG" »


US Coast Guard & PNG: Those who defend must also protect

Crew of coastguard cutter
Crew of Coast Guard Cutter 'Stratton' on patrol in Fiji's exclusive economic zone, February 2022

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - When the US Coast Guard sailed into Fairfax Harbour, Port Moresby, last Thursday morning to be welcomed by Papua New Guinea’s defence minister Win Daki, there was at least one person feeling disgruntled.

“We are getting ourselves into a serious blunder of a lifetime,” said business leader and national affairs commentator, Corney Alone.

Continue reading "US Coast Guard & PNG: Those who defend must also protect" »


China rejects Pacific ‘debt trap’ accusations

China Embassy in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon  Stuff)
The embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon,  Stuff)

LUCY CRAYMER
| 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" »


China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service

ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)
ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)

HENRY BELOT
| 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" »


US Solomons embassy aims to counter China

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken in Suva at the weekend - new Solomons embassy required before China becomes “strongly embedded”

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Solomons-China reveal huge cooperation program

John Fugui
John Fugui, Solomons first ambassador to China,  meets Director-General of Oceanic Affairs Lu Kang, Beijing,  July 2021

KEITH JACKSON

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: The Pacific response - January 2022

Covid snapshot 2 February
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" »


Memo USA: Being a better partner in the Pacific

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mathew Diendorf
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)

ALAN TIDWELL
| 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" »


China is outfoxing US in the Indo-Pacific

FlagsSYED 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" »


Capturing the mind: Anatomy of a Papuan genocide

Yamin Kogoya
Yamin Kogoya - "Papuans have been dislocated from the centre of their cultural worldview and placed on the fringes of the grand colonial narrative"

YAMIN KOGOYA

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" »


Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again

Aid
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)

STEPHEN HOWES
| 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" »


Pacific whanau must be honoured

Dr Damon Salesa … We need to honour … and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific (Radio New Zealand)
Dr Damon Salesa - "We need to honour and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific" (Radio New Zealand)

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Papua’s long betrayal: 60 years of repression

Morning-star-flag
"Every drop of Papuan blood leaves a trail leading to the perpetrators, the crime scenes and, eventually, to Papuan statehood"

YAMIN KOGOYA

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" »


Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?

Arson - Morrison flanked by announces deployment
Foreign minister Marise Payne and prime minister Scott Morrison in Canberra yesterday afternoon announcing Australia's troop and police deployment to Honiara

KEITH JACKSON

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?" »


Bribery makes the Pacific’s wheels go round

Most corrupt country
Port Moresby - PNG is the most corrupt country in the Pacific, but some of the others are giving it a run for its money

JOSHUA MCDONALD
| 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" »


West Papua presses for a Green State Vision

Bonny Kaiyo
Bonny Kaiyo - "The Green State Vision will make ecocide a serious criminal offence"

BONNY KAIYO

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" »


Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China

China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons
China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons

CLEO PASKAL
| 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" »


Canberra looks away while West Papua aflame

Funeral of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau
Funeral of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau allegedly killed by Indonesian security forces (AWPA)

NEWSDESK
| 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" »


‘Morrison not listening’, say Pacific leaders

Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa
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

KEITH JACKSON

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 Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Last week’s meeting of Pacific Island foreign ministers with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, saw China commit to increase 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.

Atthe meeting China announced three Pacific Island initiatives: the establishment of a reserve of emergency Covid supplies, a poverty reduction and development cooperation centre and a climate action cooperation centre.

Continue reading "China’s Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling" »


Former Oz leaders apologise to Pacific

Bob Carr  ex Singapore foreign minister George Yeo  Kevin Rudd  Malcolm Turnbull
Bob Carr, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull at a function honouring former  Singapore foreign minister George Yeo

KATE LYONS
| 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" »


Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific

Capturetop
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" »


Marape's Papua 30 seconds. God knows the outcome

West-Papua-FlagYAMIN KOGOYA

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" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks

Language - Children on the Takuu group of atolls also known as the Mortlock Islands (ABC)
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville

KUʻUWEHI HIRAISHI
| 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" »


AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China

Aukus subsKEITH JACKSON

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" »


UN boss says Pacific voices must be heard

António Guterres
António Guterres - "You have been raising the alarm, and your voice must be heard loud and clear"

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
| 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" »


Fencemending: France, Australia & the Pacific

French President Emmanuel Macron
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

DENISE FISHER
| 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" »


Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism

James Bhagwan  general secretary  Pacific Council of Churches (Radio New Zealand  Jamie Tahana)
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)

JOHNNY BLADES
| 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" »


An open letter to our Pacific friends

Capture
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

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

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" »


Pacific step-up or business as usual?

Webinar host Prof Meg Keen  Senator Zed Seselja and Dame Annette King (
Webcast host Prof Meg Keen,  Senator Zed Seselja and Dame Annette King (Ben Bohane)

LEONARD LOUMA
| 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?" »


Does the Pacific want Australia to lead?

Richard Marles
Richard Marles - the only Pacific-themed photo of him I could find. Slightly out of focus, which seemed appropriate

KEITH JACKSON

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?" »


Pacific leaders seek strong regional solidarity

James Marape in a virtual conference (Prime Ministerial Media)
James Marape in a virtual conference (Prime Ministerial Media)

NEWS DESK
| 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" »