There was no joy for Taiwan in September, as it lost the support of two of its Pacific island supporters in quick succession in Solomon Islands and Kiribati. The Solomons, under the leadership of newly-elected Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, had telegraphed its intentions, and so its decision was no surprise, although it was subject to accusations that due process, and in particular the approval of the Foreign Relations Committee, had been bypassed.
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There’s less than a month to go until the results of the independent investigation into allegations of abuse and mismanagement at the University of the South Pacific are to be delivered. The details of the Terms of Reference for the investigation have not been made public, and it is unclear whether staff and students will have a chance to make submissions. Meanwhile USP students across the region are about to start studying for their second trimester exams. The university’s leadership and member states owe it to them to ensure the that the investigation is robust, free of political interference and transparent.
FOR someone who is still in the honeymoon period, James Marape is saying the right things. His words match his actions, so far.
Marape has said that he has accepted office as independent Papua New Guinea’s 8th Prime Minister with humility. The first morning he woke as Prime Minister, Marape posted on his official Facebook page:
“It is a privilege to be the chief servant of this nation of a thousand tribes. I don’t promise I will be answer to all of our nation’s problems, but I do promise I will give my very best effort to make a difference!”
SO Israel Folau will learn of his future as a professional rugby football star in Australia in early May. That is when the threemember tribunal will convene his code of conduct hearing for breaching allegedly his contract with Rugby Australia (RA).
Folau, according to RA committed a high level breach of the professional players’ code of conduct, warranting termination of his employment contract. That “high level breach” is actually the words that the player posted on 10 April on his personal Twitter and Instagram accounts, stating: “Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.”
The furore those words caused continued unabated to this day, with people from all walks of life, shade or colour, weighing on the wrong or right of what this player of Tongan descent wrote. Judgements, solicited or not, rained down on the rugby footballer because of his judgemental social media posts.