Around the world: Fiji’s prickly government and other international stories


Fiji’s military rulers and NZ opposition criticise PM for softening sanctions, while PNG marks Independence Day.

World 02Fiji’s military ruler Frank Bainimarama continues to vex neighbouring Australia and New Zealand. After the latter’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced a softening of sanctions against Fiji, McCully was criticised by the Commodore on one side for being insincere, and New Zealand’s opposition on the other, for jumping the gun.

Meanwhile Fiji’s own Foreign Minister has said that Fiji would only consider re-join the Pacific Islands Forum-headquartered in Suva no less- on its own terms after being expelled in the wake of the latest coup.

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In The Australian, Rowan Callick puts the Fiji government’s rhetoric into perspective as he ponders the future of PNG’s relationship with Australia on the occasion of its Independence Day.

‘For all its developmental failures, with succeeding governments bitterly disappointing their own people, PNG remains a working democracy, and retains a largely independent judiciary and free media. The comparisons on all three counts with Fiji—once the model of good governance in the Pacific—are telling.’

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Radio New Zealand International reports that the long-awaited report into PNG’s Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABLs) is finally about to be made public.

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The Solomons Star reports on the launch of ANZ Bank’s GoMoney mobile phone app this week.

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In the wake of Twitter’s inaugural visit to Papua New Guinea, local service providers might be put on their guard by a story from the UK where an angry passenger of British Airways purchased a ‘promoted tweet’ to complain.