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Michael Hartsell

My name is Michael Hartsell. Presently I work as a project manager at a public relations firm near Seattle, Washington. I studied Communication & Media at a university in Australia. Ok, actually a few universities. I fell in love with Fiji when I first traveled there in 1998.

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Latest posts by Michael Hartsell

3 September 2009

Commonwealth suspends Fiji

The Commonwealth of Nations has suspended Fiji from the 53-nation body for failing to hold elections by October 2010

31 July 2009

Fiji: President announces retirement

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,...

27 July 2009

Fiji: Tension rises between government and Methodist Church

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...

17 July 2009

Fiji finds foreign friends?

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...

Why did Thailand’s former PM travel to Fiji?

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...

3 July 2009

Fiji: New constitution or delaying tactic?

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.

24 June 2009

Fiji: A roadmap towards elections?

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told an audience his government will soon begin work on the country’s new constitution and a “road map” to elections set to take place in...

3 June 2009

Fiji: ‘A Christian state'?

Fiji’s government has canceled this year’s conference of the Methodist church, claiming the week-long meeting would foster instability. The move was announced from a statement from government police and military...

25 May 2009

Fiji: Reaction to detention of alleged bloggers

Global Voices previously reported that Fiji police detained and seized the laptops of three people who had been named as bloggers behind the anti-government site Raw Fiji News. The three...

22 May 2009

Fiji: Police detain, seize laptops of three suspected bloggers

Police in Fiji detained three local lawyers and seized their laptops, supposedly because of a possible connection to a popular anti-government blog. The lawyers, Richard Naidu, Jon Apted and Tevita...

21 May 2009

Fiji: EU cancels 2009 sugar subsidy

The European Union announced that it was suspending 2009 payment of 24 million Euro in subsidies to help prop up Fiji’s sugar industry. European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid,...

14 May 2009

Fiji: Convicted soldiers freed on supervision plan

Fiji’s government admitted that eight soldiers and one policeman who had been found guilty of manslaughter have been released from prison, two months into their four-year sentences. A government spokesman...

11 May 2009

Fiji: Bloggers debate media censorship

As reported here last week, Fiji’s government extended for another 30 days its “emergency regulations” that, among other things, controls public gatherings and forbids the media from printing stories that...

6 May 2009

Bloggers react to NZ Maori Party's proposed trip to Fiji

Bloggers are reacting to proposals by members of New Zealand’s Maori Party who wanted a delegation to travel to Fiji to speak with the country's Prime Minister to better understand...

4 May 2009

Fiji: Pacific Islands Forum membership had its privileges

Since Fiji's government refused to schedule elections, the country has been suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum. Fiji’s suspension marks the first time in its nearly four-decade history the Pacific...

1 May 2009

Fiji faces suspension from Pacific Islands Forum

Fiji passes a deadline set by the Pacific Islands Forum to schedule elections to be held this year or be kicked from the regional group. The group stated that if...