Stories about Oceania from April, 2009
Fiji: New rule creates thousands of retirees
A recent government decree in Fiji orders all civil servants 55 years and older must retire Thursday, April 30. The new rules affect any person working within Fiji’s government, police force and prisons service. Previously, those workers would be employed until turning 60.
Global Health: Swine Flu Threat Spreads Worldwide
Confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu, which was detected in Mexico earlier this month, have now been found in at least seven other countries around the world. The World Health Organization says that this outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency of international concern."
Fiji's expats create democratic movement
A group of ethnic Fijians living in Australia pledged support for Fiji’s return to democracy and called on Australia’s and New Zealand’s governments to apply more political and economic pressure to the new order of Frank Bainimarama. Members of the meeting also called on people of Fiji living elsewhere to help support the country’s political restoration.
Fiji: Diplomatic maneuverings
Last April 20, members of United Nations Security Council called the abrogation of Fiji’s constitution and the firing of its judiciary a “step backwards” and declared the country should hold elections as soon as possible. A few of Fiji’s bloggers blasted the UN for issuing statements that produced no concrete results such as trade sanctions.
Australians divided by Durban II boycott
The decision by the Rudd government of Australia to boycott the United Nations Conference on Racism in Durban was a controversial one. GV author Kevin Rennie gathers reactions of Australian bloggers.
Fiji: Devaluation debate
The past week bloggers in Fiji have had a lot to say about the devaluation of the Fiji Dollar. On April 15, the Reserve Bank of Fiji devalued the Fiji Dollar by 20 percent, making it cheaper compared to other currencies. This means that more Fiji dollars are needed to purchase goods from outside the country. For overseas buyers, products in Fiji will now be less expensive.
Australia: Playing Political Bingo with Boat People
An upturn in the arrival of refugees to Australia by boat has brought tragedy and controversy. The issue of border protection that dominated the 2001 Federal election has re-emerged with extra venom. A refugee boat has exploded off the north west coast.Three people are dead, two are missing and more than thirty have been injured, some with very serious burns.
Fiji: The calm after the storm?
Last week Fiji's President nullified the constitution, fired the entire judiciary and appointment himself head of state and the armed forces. He then re-appointed the military-backed government of Frank Bainimarama. Bloggers of all stripes are now sifting through the debris of a completely changed political landscape – one that will see the Bainimarama government remain in power until at least 2014.
Fiji: ‘The Media has been Muzzled’
In relation to the press, Fiji's new government installed “information officers” at newspapers, television and radio stations to enforce regulations against publishing any story “negative in nature” regarding the extraordinary recent constitutional events. In a letter to media organizations, the government pointed out they should broadcast “news that is pro-Fiji.”
Fiji: President gives former PM new five-year mandate
One day after nullifying the constitution and appointing himself head of state, Fiji’s President swore in Commodore Voreqe Frank Bainimarama as the country’s Prime Minister. After being sworn in, Bainimarama re-appointed his former government, and he will now have executive authority with emergency power
Fiji's President voids constitution, calls for elections in five years
Less than 24 hours after a Fiji court declared the country’s military backed government to be unconstitutional, Fiji’s president has voided the country’s constitution, made himself head of state and dismissed the country’s judiciary. The issue stems from a Thursday, April 9 court ruling stating the military leader Frank Bainimarama...
Fiji: Court rules military government illegal
Fiji’s bloggers are reacting to a recent court ruling that deems the country’s military-backed government illegally came to power in December 2006. The court asks Fiji’s President to appoint a caretaker government to rule in its place until elections can be held.
Global: Switching off the lights for a sustainable world
On Saturday March 29, many people around the world turned their lights off from 20:30 to 21:30 local time, in a symbolic act to show they care about the environment. See how Earth Hour was portrayed by those who observed it.
Australia: Indigenous Rights Declaration Approved
Australia’s government has endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a year and a half after voting – along with Canada, New Zealand, and the United States – against the September 2007 document. Reform Wollongong City Council, a blog from Australia, writes: On Friday 3 April...
Fiji's chief system debated
After a local academic argued that Fiji's chiefly system holds back the country's democratic progress because it could allow certain people to grab resources for themselves, Luvei Viti: Children of Fiji counters the organization of chiefs binds society together and offers solutions for handling disputes, especially at the village level.