Pacific Scoop

Archive for July, 2010

Pacific Scoop’s French Polynesia News Round-Up

French Polynesia Up-Date. (Photo, Bora Bora island.)

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Virginie Ribadeau Dumas.

This report is the first of a weekly series titled Pacific Scoop’s French Polynesia News Round-Up on politics, economics, culture, youth, urban issues, news and current affairs within French Polynesia.

New Caledonia – 26-31/07/2010

Politics: Caledonie Ensemble Meeting. On Saturday Caledonie Ensemble will held its 3rd meeting since its creation in 2008. This first reunion after the last regional elections will take place in a very peculiar political context, right after its leader Philippe Gomez, also president of the New Caledonia Government, refused to support the 2-flag proposition at the Congress. Read more »

Youth Parliament- the Waitakere College lad who represented the Westy Minister

Youth Parliamentarian, Sunil Sharma, represented Paula Bennett at the 2010 Youth Parliament in Wellington.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Thakur Ranjit Singh.

Sunil Sharma is an example of an offspring from migrant parents having the best of both the worlds. Born to Indo-Fijian parents in New Zealand, Sunil regards himself a Kiwi, but has not abandoned his mother tongue and culture of his forbears.

With a Kiwi accent, he did not know his mother tongue, but thanks to Waitakere Indian Association’s Hindi School in Henderson, he not only leant Hindi, but became proficient enough to host and be master of ceremonies in Waitakere Indian Association functions including the children’s concert, Diwali and Holi Mela. Read more »

Stripping away the Solomon Islands ‘bottom-up’ election rhetoric

Election campaigning, Solomon Islands-style. Photo: Lowy Institute

A leading Solomon Islands academic and political analyst gives a personal view of the political grand-standing and catch-cries before the national elections next week on August 4.

Pacific Scoop
Commentary – By Tarcisius Kabutaulaka

Whenever I hear the term, “Bottom-Up Approach,” being invoked by politicians, my gut squirms with uneasiness.

The term conjures uncomfortable images that make me ask: Whose bottom? Who, or what is approaching? Who is being referred to as “the bottom”?
Read more »

Engaging, witty but fails to tell how Fiji democracy betrayed its citizens

Swimming With SharksPacific Scoop
Review – By Thakur Ranjit Singh

Michael Field, a veteran Pacific journalist, offers some “absorbing accounts of first-hand experiences within this historic unrest” in the region in his latest book Swimming With Sharks, just as his publishers say.

It is packed with anecdotes, displays an engaging sense of humour, and – like James Bond and Clint Eastwood movies – is spiced with witty one-liners.

Indeed, the book being published on Monday is bound to cause quite a few ripples – but most of them are focused on Fiji.
Read more »

Papuans worried about Indonesian real intentions as crisis deepens

Neles Tebay raises the question: Why should the Papuans be deliberately left with political uncertainty? (Photo sourced from

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Neles Tebay in Jayapura.

Political Crisis In Papua As Papua is far from the Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta, the central government might not follow closely the political situation in Papua.

Or the government perhaps is not getting the full picture about the present political development in the Western half of the Island of New Guinea.

As any political change in Papua will demand a response from the central government, it is necessary for the government to be informed that a political crisis is now happening in Papua. Read more »

Re-instigate political dialogue and accept NZ offer of help for elections

Press Release:
Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF).

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) requests the Fiji government to re-instigate an inclusive national political dialogue for electoral reforms as a first step towards implementing the roadmap to elections.

CCF also calls on the Fiji government to acknowledge the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s reassurance that they are prepared to help Fiji financially or in other ways, to ensure that elections take place by 2014. Read more »

Commonwealth announces group to observe Solomon Islands general election

Commonwealth secretary general, Kamalesh Sharma.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By PMC Newsdesk.

The Commonwealth secretary general has announced an observer group to oversee Solomon Islands’ general election on August 4.

The Solomon Islands’ national parliamentary election is seen as another step toward stable and sustainable government in the Solomons, and the observer team to designed to ensure those voting can do so without hindrance nor undue influence and that votes are secure and produce an accurate result.

Since 2003 a Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has provided policing and security to ensure the Melanesian state progressed out of a tumultuous period to a fully functioning democratic state. Read more »

NZ PM hints at announcing aid boost at Pacific Islands Forum

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key hints at doubling his aid budget by 2015. (Photo by Rory MacKinnon and courtesy of

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Rory MacKinnon in Wellington.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says he may discuss NZ’s pledge to more than double its overseas aid spending by 2015 at next week’s Pacific Islands Forum – but that goal is still “a long way away”.

Speaking Monday at a post-Cabinet press conference, Key said he and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully would attend the forum in Vanuatu to discuss the region’s coordination of development and member countries’ progress on meeting the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, which aim to reduce poverty and infant mortality.

New Zealand was one of 23 countries which pledged in 2000 to commit 0.7 percent of its gross national income to overseas aid by 2015 – but with only five years to go, New Zealand’s contribution is just 0.29 percent. Read more »

US moves to give support to Indonesia’s Kopassus special force.

Kopassus: The elite Indonesian forces used in Timor and Papuan colonialism examined in a controversial new book. Photo: Kopassus

Kopassus: The elite Indonesian commando force used against indigenous peoples of Timor Leste and West Papua. (Photo by Kopassus.)

Report – By PMC Newsdesk.

The United States has decided to re-engage with Indonesia’s elite commandos the Kopassus at a time when the special force is allegedly committing oppression, human rights abuses, and killings against West Papua’s indigenous peoples.

The Obama Administration this week agreed to “gradual and limited” engagement with Kopassus ending a ten year moratorium that prevented the US from giving assistance to the organisation. Read more »

Fiji moves to embrace a Pacific brotherhood leaving Australia and New Zealand estranged

Fiji's military leader and Prime Minister, Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama. (Photo by Selwyn Manning.)

Editorial – By Selwyn Manning.

UPDATED: Events this week in Fiji have seen a new pact forming where leaders of some Pacific island states have engaged with the military government of Fiji with Australia and New Zealand absent and outside the fold.

This week in Fiji, Pacific Islands leaders who gathered at the invitation of Fiji’s military government were urged to look outside the cabal of old traditional friends and seek new trade agreements and associations with economies further afield. Read more »

Next Page »