From The Crowd

Honiara riots – The cruel ironies of 2021

IF you’re foraging for irony and surprise in the ashes of Honiara’s riots, there’s plenty to be found. For a start, there are the two main political antagonists: the Prime Minister, Manessah Sogavare, and the...

6th December

Heading in the wrong direction – Riots in the Pacific

The riots in Solomon Islands last week have thrust the small Pacific country into the international spotlight. What is their cause? A useful source is the public opinion survey conducted by the survey firm Tebbutt Research in April and May of this year on behalf of an international NGO, the National Democratic Institute, with funding...

5th December

Behind the News: Democracy under siege

Last week, an international report classified Fiji as a “weak democracy”. Titled The Global State of Democracy, the report by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) provides a snapshot of the global democracy landscape. The report looks at categories like “democratic weakness” or “weak democracy” to denote how low, countries including Fiji scored between 2015...

4th December

It is the same old boring story; Government can barely write a speech for the President

We have just finished a week’s debate following the annual opening of Parliament. The opening of Parliament follows the tradition in Britain when the Queen speaks to her Parliament. The “speech from the throne” is written by the Government. The purpose of the speech is to tell Parliament – and of course the people –...

Double delight in Dubai

It was a thrill for rugby fans to see international sevens back on the TV screen after a long spell — well, if you’re talking about the World Sevens Series. The last time we watched sevens was from Vancouver in March 2020 and, more recently, from Tokyo during the Olympic Games. World Rugby took the...

US stands with the Pacific: The fight against climate change

As a Pacific nation ourselves, the US has deep and long-standing ties to the Pacific Islands, who are not only our neighbors but also our friends. Our countries share an enduring commitment to freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and regional peace and stability. We fought side by side during World War II to...

2nd December

Opinion: Gender-based violence

The COVID-19 pandemic affected lives, plagued economies, left millions without jobs and income and deprived us of social relations as we used to know. In this context, one issue found fertile soil to dramatically grow — violence against women and girls. In Fiji alone, there was a recorded 606 per cent increase in calls to the national Domestic Violence helpline between February and April,...

1st December

Villagers left behind – People up in arms over no internet access

A lack of phone and internet connectivity in rural Cakaudrove is hurting families, damaging small farming businesses and resulting in parents relocating to ensure their children get an education, villagers say. Villager and community worker Lote Saro said 1000 people in and around Tunuloa and Natewa were affected. Despite promises from mobile phone companies and...

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