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Pacific Islands links: Cyclone Gita, mines and independence, an African judge in PNG

Links and stories from around the Pacific by The Interpreter team.

Tropical Cyclone Gita, 11 February 2018 (Photo: Antti Lipponen/Flickr)
Tropical Cyclone Gita, 11 February 2018 (Photo: Antti Lipponen/Flickr)
Published 14 Feb 2018 

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

  • Tonga and Samoa have been hit hard by Cyclone Gita, with Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa and its 100-year-old Parliament building destroyed by the storm. Australia and New Zealand have already dispatched emergency supplies and teams to help assess the damage.
  • 40 refugees from detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island have left for the US as part of the refugee resettlement deal. To date, 130 refugees have been resettled.
  • The Autonomous Bougainville Government in PNG has granted its second mining exploration license to controversial Filipino company SR Metals. PNG Mine Watch has been highly critical of the company, citing previous instances of corruption and environmental violations in the Philippines.
  • Shaun Gessler reviews the book Large-Scale Mines and Local-Level Politics: Between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea, reflecting on the role of mining in New Caledonia and Bougainville as the two prepare for independence referenda in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
  • Justice Oagile Key Dingake from Botswana has become the first African judge to be sworn into PNG’s Supreme Court. This comes as controversial judge Sir Bernard Sakora resigned from the Supreme Court, after 25 years on the bench. He was arrested and charged with judicial corruption in 2016.
  • The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has slammed the PNG, Indonesian and Fijian governments after a week-long visit to the region. RNZ’s Dateline Pacific looks at some of the issues raised in the visit including freedom of speech, corruption and human rights abuses in Indonesia’s West Papua province.


Pacific Research Program

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