Nov 17, 2019 Last Updated 9:02 PM, Oct 31, 2019

Whispers

  • Nov 17, 2019
  • Published in Sep-Oct

No UN trip for Marape PNG’s Prime Minister James Marape gave the United Nations General Assembly meeting a miss in September, saying it would cost US$352,800 to send him and 55 officials. Marape told local media he had directed that travel for most of the delegation be cancelled, as the expense was unjustifiable. Marape sent the Foreign Minister in his place. Other Pacific Island states however sent large delegations to New York.

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Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are amongst the 20 best island nations to survive a global pandemic according to a new study by Adapt Research. Australia and New Zealand top the list, with Fiji coming in at 13th, Solomon Islands at 17th and Vanuatu at 20th.The study authors said it’s more and more likely that an infectious disease could be released on purpose or by accident, wreaking havoc on humankind and the global economy. 

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Whispers

  • Nov 17, 2019
  • Published in August
Fiji’s show of support for Lam Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam was in the midst of dealing with massive protests against Hong Kong residents opposing her extradition bill as we went to print, but still had time to meet Fiji’s Trade Minister Premila Kumar. Kumar met Lam on August 15, and reassured her of Fiji’s support for the ‘One China Policy’ and ‘One Country, Two Systems’ for Hong Kong. There’s no sign that the protests will abate at this point, and the political troubles have led to the cancellation of two conferences that were due to be held in Fiji as organisers were not willing to risk participants having to transit through Hong Kong airport.

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Jeers, not cheers Texan brewers, the Manhattan Project Beer Company have come under fire for naming a beer ‘Bikini Atoll’. Marshall Islanders continue to live with the legacy of US nuclear tests on the atoll, and say the name is insensitive. The company has defended itself by saying it didn’t mean to trivialise the nuclear tests and “is creating awareness of the wider impacts” of nuclear test programs, although it’s hard to see how that aligns with the endless photos of artistically-placed beer cans and bikinis that populate its social media channels
 

Whispers

  • Nov 17, 2019
  • Published in July

SPC’s new boss, West Papua politicking, Bishop’s new role, Tone deaf in Chimbu and Palau’s security breach.

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Whispers

  • Nov 17, 2019
  • Published in June
  • No Escaping Grace

  • Airline under scrutiny

  • SPC leadership speculation

 

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Whispers

No to Sundancer movie

The length to which authorities can go to make life miserable for political foes is, well breath-taking to say the least. This is so true for the former head of the republic of Kiribati Anote Tong who after completing his 10 year term in office last year has been replaced by a new administration which sees no reason why the former leader should be travelling with a diplomatic passport and stripped of all the protocols accorded to national leaders. Even at the premiere of a documentary on Tong’s work on climate change at the international Sundancer film festival in January, the new administration through its newly appointed ambassador at the UN (who also happens to be a former president), wrote to the festival organisers to have the film removed from the silver screen.

Kiribati is overly camera ‘shy’

Still on the northern Pacific atoll, the world didn’t know of the detention in Kiribati of Canadian film maker Matthieu Rytz early this year and the way he sneaked out of the country. He’s the producer of ‘Anote’s Ark,’ a documentary on former president Anote Tong’s fight to champion the plight of his people who are at the frontline of global warming and rising sea level. Rtyz was apparently filming with his crew at an outer island in Kiribati when authorities detained him. The outside world heard nothing of the detention because it took place right about the time the tragic ferry disaster took place in the atoll nation.

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