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Pacific Island links: A Current Affair, Cook Islands, Manus, PNG students and more

Pacific Island links: A Current Affair, Cook Islands, Manus, PNG students and more
Published 22 Jun 2016   Follow @jonathan_pryke

  • There has been a lot of coverage on Nauru in recent weeks. The ABC ran a story on Nauru's secret history while more recently A Current Affair was given exclusive access to Australia's detention facilities on the island nation.
  • The 'expose' from A Current Affair has been criticised for a lack of objectivity and superficiality, but it is not the hatchet job many expected. Unfortunately the reporter of the story has responded to criticism by calling advocates for refugee rights conspiracy theorists.
  • For a more authoritative reflection on the state of Australia's detention regime, read this in-depth conversation with Paul Stevenson OAM, who has spent 43 years working as a trauma psychologist. According to him the Australian government is inflicting upon people the worst trauma he has ever seen.
  • The Cook Islands opposition claims to have voted out the government in parliament on Tuesday. The country is now at an impasse as the government is digging in, saying the movement did not follow the correct parliamentary proceedings.
  • A PNG court has suspended the case against National Fraud and Anti-Corruption chief Matthew Damaru. Mr Damaru has called police infighting embarrassing.
  • Meanwhile the PNG Supreme Court wants to enforce its ruling that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal and is calling on lawyers representing detainees and the PNG government to apply for Consequential Orders that will enforce the ruling.
  • Universities across PNG are at an impasse with their students, who are refusing adhere to government and university administration demands that they return to class until justice over the actions of police two weeks ago is delivered. For a recap on events to date see Bal Kama's excellent piece for The Interpreter.
  • Three ni-Vanuatu have been killed and 10 Australian tourists seriously injured in a bus accident this week in Port Vila. The tourists were visiting on a P&O cruise ship; in 2015 almost 200,000 tourists visited Vanuatu via cruise ship.
  • A recent report from the Pacific Network on Globalisation has argued the Pacific should walk away from PACER Plus negotiations, suggesting it puts Australia and New Zealand's interests ahead of the Pacific. The Pacific Islands Forum has slammed the report, calling it a 'lopsided and inaccurate view' of PACER Plus.
  • Finally, I know we have shared this in the past, but it is still on high rotation with the Melanesia team at the Lowy Institute, so here it is again, a cover of Adele's 'Hello' by 14 year old Rosie Delmah from the Solomon Islands. It now has over 30 million views on YouTube, almost 100 times Solomon Islands population.

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