Pacific Islanders speaking at climate change forum in Brisbane

Oxfam Australia has just http://www.oxfam.org.au/media/article.php?id=599 released a report on the impacts of climate change in the Pacific.  It details impacts which are already occurring for some Islands in the Pacific region. The report’s release is timed in the lead up to the http://www.smh.com.au/environment/global-warming/pacific-islanders-cry-for-help-20090726-dxio.html upcoming meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, being held next week in…

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Blogs try to counter censorship in Fiji

In May 2007, months after Fiji had suffered its latest coup, I noted reports that the military was trying to prevent access to anti-government blogs. Now the transition to a military dictatorship is complete, the censorship crackdown on the local media has been redoubled, leaving local blogs and other websites as a crucial source of uncensored…

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Papua New Guinea

I don’t think most Australians – myself included – pay as much attention as we should to the people, issues, countries and cultures in our own region.  This lack of adequate attention usually extends to the political level. It’s a positive thing that Kevin Rudd has made a formal visit to Papua New Guinea so…

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the Power of Blog

The most recent edition of The Humanitarian, the newsletter from the Australian Red Cross, contained an article titled “Can blogging save the world?” Saving the world is a somewhat large expectation to put on blogging, but there is frequent speculation about just how significant it is or might be in the future. The clearest demonstration…

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Nauru, again

I’ve just returned from a quick two day visit to Nauru – my fourth in four years. I had a look at the recently renovated facility where the refugees are staying and met with many of them. There has been a different situation each visit I’ve made, and this one was no different in being…

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Fiji & Free speech

Continuing with the theme of free speech, the situation in Fiji seems to be getting worse – hopefully that is just the pathway to things getting better. A report today quotes the military as warning that anyone who speaks out against the nation’s new army leadership will be taken in for questioning. This follows on…

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The slow motion coup?

The situation in Fiji is one where local knowledge of the nuances and impacts is essential. This piece I wrote in January on mutterings of a possible coup is a reminder of just how long the issue has been bubbling away. For the last month or so, it’s felt a bit like watching a slow…

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Nauru says no more?

I’ve written a few times before about the two Iraqi refugees who were stuck on Nauru without any future and without any legal rights, and the Australian government’s apparent willingness to leave them in that situation indefinitely. One of the men is now in Australia, having been brought here last month for health reasons on…

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and then there was one ….

I flew back from Canberra this evening in time to go see Julian Burnside speak at the AGM of the Qld Council for Civil Liberties. I’ve heard him speak a number of times now, but he is always worthwhile listening to – one of the best public speakers I’ve experienced. He gave a brief outline…

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Another Fiji coup?

Reports have emerged again about the possibility of another coup occuring in Fiji. I don’t know what the chance of this really happening is, but I am sure the underlying issues are more complex than is likely to be portrayed through most media reports. You can read an interesting perspective on the dynamics in Fiji…

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Dunedin

I’ve only been to New Zealand once before, and this was the first time I’d been to the south island. It’s probably the most southern part of the planet I’ve been to so far. The University of Otago in Dunedin was hosting the politics conference I spoke at. It dates back to the 19th century…

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