Oct 22, 2019 Last Updated 2:59 AM, Oct 16, 2019
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Whispers

  • Oct 22, 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

  • Oct 22, 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

  • Oct 22, 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the former head of the republic of Kiribati Anote Tong who after completing his 10 year term in office last year has been replaced by a new administration which sees no reason why the former leader should be travelling with a diplomatic passport and stripped of all the protocols accorded to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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Whispers

Climate Not Ready

From climate ready to climate not so ready is what has happened with the whisper that the American Government’s US$24 million climate change related programme in the region being told to close shop not even one year after it opened. Marching orders came reportedly from none other than the Trump Administration, perpetuating his belief that climate change is a hoax. Headquartered in Suva, Climate Ready was being managed by a global engineering management conglomerate with funding from USAID to assist ten island countries achieve their climate adaptation goals, by helping draft policies and climate funding applications.

More judges please

A booming mining and construction sector is causing a sharp rise in finance related cases in Papua New Guinea. That’s the word from the country’s chief justice Sir Salamo Injia who wants to boost the number of judges on the bench from the current 44 to 80. That’s a jump of about 80 per cent more judges. Sir Salamo if he has his way would also like to split the country’s judiciary into national court, court of appeal and supreme court.

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