Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific island links: Chinese aid, the Panguna mine, Kato Ottio and more

Links on updates across the Pacific islands region.

Bougainville (Photo: Jeremy Weate/Flickr)
Bougainville (Photo: Jeremy Weate/Flickr)
Published 10 Jan 2018 

By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program.

  • The Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has accused China of providing unfair loans to Pacific nations and building 'white elephants' to grow influence in the region.
  • A volcano on Papua New Guniea's Kadovar Island has erupted after lying dormant for at least 300 years, forcing 700 people to evacuate and raising concerns of a possible tsunami if the eruption escalates. 
  • Still in PNG, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was attacked and injured in Enga Province in what is believed to be violence related to sorcery.
  • Tongan King Tupou VI has officially reappointed 'Akilisi Pohiva as Prime Minister, after the King unexpectedly dissolved Parliament and called a snap election in late 2017, which Pohiva's Democratic Party went on to win.
  • Attempts by Bougainville Copper Limited to reopen the Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, the source of the decade-long conflict on the island in the 1990s, have been shelved indefinitely after a vote by landowners.
  • ABC's Pacific Beat reflected on some of the successes, comebacks and controversies that shaped the emerging music scene in the Pacific in 2017.
  • Stephen Howes and Sachini Muller look at the rapid growth of Australia's Seasonal Worker Program, which is attracting increased interest from Pacific Islanders.
  • PNG Kumuls rugby league player Kato Ottio collapsed and died at training in Port Moresby earlier this week at the age of 23, sending the rugby league community into mourning:

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