Latest posts by Michael Hartsell from July, 2009
Forum posters and bloggers are reacting to the announcement that Fiji’s president will step down. Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda announced his retirement after nearly nine years in office. At 88, he leaves office as the world’s oldest statesman.
The months-long standoff between Fiji’s government and the country’s largest Christian denomination became more heated last week when police arrested, held and later charged seven Methodist Church officials and a high-ranking chief for “incitement” and infringing on emergency rules regarding meetings.
Leaders of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will lobby the 15-member Pacific Islands Forum to consider lifting Fiji’s suspension to re-start dialogue with the country to provide its military backed government time to complete reforms.
Bloggers are debating the significance of the recent trip of Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister to Fiji and Tonga. Fiji and Thailand have no extradition treaties, fueling speculation that the former Thai leader traveled to the Pacific looking for asylum.
With Fiji’s government cracking down on outlets selling pirated DVDs, L. Cass pens a piece in Failed Paradise criticizing these “cheating” retailers but also lamenting their downfall
A second journalism school has opened in Fiji, this one at the Fiji Institute of Technology. But given “the climate of censorship and media paranoia in post-putsch Fiji,” media educator David Robie in his Café Pacific blog argues the standards of these new programs should face heavy scrutiny.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama outlined the plan to create a new constitution that will take the country to its next scheduled elections in September 2014.