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Tuesday 24 Jul 2018 | 03:33 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 Jul 2018 | 03:33 | SYDNEY

Pacific Island Links: Manus Island bombshell, MSG tension, no Fiji chiefs council and more



27 April 2016 16:58

  • On Tuesday Papua New Guinea’s supreme court ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal and ordered  the governments of PNG and Australia take immediate action to end the practice. Daniel Webb, a lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre who helped advance the constitutional challenge, explains the legal context here.
  • On Wednesday PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced the PNG government would respect the ruling and 'immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements' for the asylum seekers currently held at the Manus Island centre. At the time of publication, the Australian government had not responded to Mr O'Neill. Earlier, Australia Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had indicated the government’s policies will not change and refugees will not be resettled in Australia. 
  • Fiji’s Prime Minister Bainimarama won’t be attending the upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Port Vila on 8 May.
  • The MSG meeting has already sparked controversy with Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai expected to challenge the appointment by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of a new Director General without consulting  other member countries. PNG has also since come out in opposition to the appointment made by Sogavare. 
  • The Fiji Parliament has rejected a bid to discuss the re-implementation of the Great Council of Chiefs which was dissolved in 2006.
  • On Devpolicy, Ashlee Betteridge asks if PNG’s family and sexual violence police units are working. 
  • Australian music producer and filmmaker, Tim Cole, says that there are important cultural links between the Indigenous peoples of Australia and the Pacific. He is working to document the musical traditions of these cultures in his project ‘Small Island – Big Song’.  

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