From The Crowd

27th January

Opinion: Avoiding each other

Families and flatters are worried about how they will effectively manage self-isolation as Omicron takes hold in the community. The government is predicting hundreds of thousands of people will have to self-isolate at home as Omicron spreads. It is urging people to prepare by figuring...

26th January

Opinion: PNG in 2022

National elections will be held in PNG in the middle of this year. Elections are held every five years, and are very popular events. Though voting is voluntary, voter turnout is just below that of Australia, where voting is compulsory. An extraordinary number of political candidates compete for offi ce. The average number of candidates per seat has grown from eight in 1977 to 30 in 2017,...

24th January

Opinion: Volcanic eruption reignites communications debate

Communication with Tonga remains intermittent after the volcanic eruption severed the kingdom’s undersea cable connection with the rest of the world. The lack of a backup service has reignited debate over previous government decisions which have been the subject of controversy and court cases. It could be weeks before services are fully restored. The 827km cable between Tonga and Fiji was cut when the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano exploded. The break...

22nd January

Opinion: Kiss and a bear hug

“Are you a hugger? So when was the last time someone gave you a bubu kiss and a bear hug? Ever since our children were little we would always hug and kiss them and tell them repeatedly how much we loved them. Even though they’re both now in their 40s, we still do it today. And we’ve continued the tradition with our...

Opinion: Big year for Fiji

Fiji took over the chairing of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) last year, and Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is hoping to host an in-person Forum Leaders Retreat in Fiji soon. After two years of leaders’ meetings via Zoom, the opportunity to meet in person will be valued. But whether it will go ahead, with the Omicron variant causing a third wave of COVID-19 across Fiji, remains...

Opinion: New ways of stalking

In April 2011, I attended one of the fi rst cybersecurity workshops in the region held at the SPC headquarters in Noumea. It was for both policy and technical stakeholders. A mixed moderate sized group attended from Fiji, with reps from various governments departments, USP, and other regional organisations. I was grouped with this big friendly bloke from Tonga who was with the...

Talanoa: Women trailblazers

Bula readers, this week, I was ecstatic when I turned on the television to watch the BBC World News headlines and there in full view on the screen was our very own Cheerieann Wilson the Fiji TV news anchor, who was describing the effects of the tragic volcanic eruption in the neighbouring Kingdom of Tonga. It was indeed a proud moment for Fiji as...

Regional focus: Volcano rocks Tonga

Volcanic eruption and tsunami wreak havoc in Tonga  The Kingdom of Tonga remains cut off from the rest of the world after a huge volcanic explosion on Saturday evening. The impacts of the eruption and the tsunami that followed were felt across the globe. The undersea fibre optic cable that carries Tonga’s communications capacity has been broken in two places and it could be...

Opinion: Tuvunia’s love for the ocean

Give Iliapi Tuvunia a pen and paper and he’d probably write a book about his experiences as a skilled fisherman and seaman. The 43-year-old father of four has known fishing all his life. He hails from the island of Kavewa, in Dogotoki, Macuata, and no, he is not a traditional fisher or Gonedau. Iliapi’s dad is the chief in the village and since he...

Opinion: One of the greats

The news of the death of Emeritus Professor Brij Vilash Lal on December 25, 2021 sent high voltage shockwaves among his friends and throughout his constituencies – the worldwide girmit studies community, the academic world of current Fiji politics, and imperial and diaspora studies generally. Within hours the tributes were pouring in as we lamented the loss of one of the greats. I don’t remember...

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