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Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 14:05 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 14:05 | SYDNEY

Pacific Island Links: PNG unrest, gender-based violence, resilient crops and more



29 June 2016 17:23

  • Unrest continues in PNG with the tragic murder of a first year student, Graham Romanong, at Unitech in Lae over the weekend. Hundreds of people covered themselves in mud and marched through his home town of Mendi in the Southern Highlands to mourn him.

  • The University's Vice Chancellor Albert Schram told ABC's Pacific Beat that an investigation is underway but initial reports are that a group of both outsiders and students are responsible for the attack.
  • Buildings were also torched at the Lae campus and on Friday at the UPNG campus in Port Moresby.


  • This follows on from weeks of student protests across PNG that led to confrontation between protestors and police in early June. Eoin Blackwell provided a comprehensive update of the situation on The Huffington Post.
  • PNG's Cabinet has approved the National Security Council's proposal to enforce a curfew on university campuses to stem the violence as Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has accused the Opposition Leader Don Polye of involvement with the protest movement.
  • Rates of gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea are among the highest in the world but there is positive momentum building in the fight against it. Here Jonathan Pryke and Kath Taplin summarise some of the progress that's been made.
  • In Fiji, the Opposition party SODELPA has been experiencing internal upsets over the appointment of former coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka as party leader. SODELPA's parliamentary leader Ro Teimumu Kepa is opposing his leadership because the party is explicitly anti-coup.
  • A landmark report on climate change, agriculture and forestry in the Pacific has found that some staple crops in the region are more resilient than those in other parts of the world but action still needs to be taken now to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
  • In the Cook Islands, the opposition was unsuccessful in its attempts to oust the current government of Prime Minister Henry Puna after calling for a vote of no confidence. 

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