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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 14:07 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 14:07 | SYDNEY

Pacific Island links: Amnesty's Nauru report, Samoan jobs, the Rock² and more

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19 October 2016 12:57

  • Nauru’s former president Sprent Dabwido remains stranded in Nauru as he seeks to travel to Australia for urgent medical treatment. His passport was cancelled by Justice Minister David Adeang.
  • Paul Ronalds, CEO of Save the Children (which delivered services on Nauru for two years) gave a wide-ranging speech on the challenges his organisation faced in Nauru at ANU last week. You can listen to the podcast here
  • Meanwhile, Amnesty International has accused Australia of deliberate torture in its detention centre on Nauru and a UN rapporteur has slammed Australia’s human rights record.
  • Samoa’s largest private sector employer Yazaki (an automotive component manufacturer) has announced it will close operations in 2017, citing the winding down of the Australian automotive industry. The company employs 740 people in Samoa. 
  • Tonga’s prime minister has expressed concern that Tonga will not be able to host the 2019 Pacific Games due to the requisite grounds and infrastructure not being ready in time. 
  • Henry Sherrell has summarised a fascinating conversation he had recently with Peter Bumseng from Vanuatu, who has participated in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer program every year since its inception in 2007.
  • Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has announced that it will help PNG build a 5,457-kilometre submarine cable network to connect 14 main cities and towns. Paul Barker notes that new cabling should be welcomed only if it reduces service costs and is cost-effective. 
  • Charles Yala, the head of PNG’s National Research Institute, delivered a comprehensive and provocative speech on the opportunities and contradictions facing PNG.
  • Fiji has lifted its ban on three foreign journalists, which include the Lowy Insititute's Nonresident Fellow Sean Dorney. Congratulations Sean! 
  • The lifting of the ban comes in the week that PM Frank Bainimarama visited Australia and New Zealand (his first visit to the latter since the 2006 coup). 
  • Finally, Niue’s inaugural Ukelele Festival ('NiueKelele') starts this week; Radio New Zealand recently interviewed one of the organisers. The tourism board also penned an open letter asking actor and wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to visit the 'Rock of Polynesia'. 

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