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Voting in Samoa by-elections underway

Voting is underway for six by-elections in Samoa. The by-elections followed the election petition process after the controversial general poll held on 09 April, which led, eventually, to the FAST Party assuming power. The long-time ruling party, the HRPP, which trailed FAST by one seat after the poll, then lost seven seats in the petition process. The six constituencies are Sagaga 2;...

Siaosi Sovaleni is top bet for Tonga PM

By Iliesa Tora in Nuku'alofa Tongatapu 3 representative and current Education Minister Siaosi Sovaleni or Hu’akavameiliku is the top bet to become the country’s next Prime Minister. Following the November 18 general election Sovaleni has been rated by many Tongans here as the best choice for the top post. He raked in a total of 2,084 votes of the total 2,502 votes...

Australia sends troops and police to Solomon Islands as unrest grows

Australia is deploying more than 100 police and defence force personnel to Solomon Islands, where anti-government protesters took to the streets in the capital, Honiara, for a second day running in defiance of a lockdown order. The Australian government said the deployment would support “riot control” and security at critical infrastructure, a day after demonstrators attempted to storm parliament and...

Australian Federal Police personnel touch down in Honiara

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have touched down in Honiara, the first of a series of deployments coming in from Australia to help maintain peace and security in Honiara. The first group consists of 23 members of the AFP's Specialist Response Group. Another 50 AFP officers will be deployed to support critical infrastructure tomorrow, as well as 43 Defence Force...

“Parliament right place to unseat me”: Solomon Islands PM Sogavare

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare says any move to remove him from power can only be done on the floor of Parliament. He made the statement at a televised conference last night. The Prime Minister said he has faith and respect in the democratic process of the country and would defend it with his life. “I am elected as the Prime...

Fiji offers support to Australia’s operation in the Solomon Islands

-Fiji stands ready to support the Solomon Islands government alongside its Australian Vuvale following the second day of uncontrollable riots in Honiara. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Thursday spoke to his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and expressed support for Australia’s positive response to a direct request for assistance from the Solomon Island government under Article 2 of Australia’s Bilateral...

Australia ‘does not take a position’ on internal matters within Solomon Islands

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne says Australia “does not take a position” on the internal matters of the Solomon Islands. Violent protests have broken out in the capital Honiara as citizens are calling for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s resignation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday responded to Sogavare after he wrote to Morrison, deploying ADF and AFP to assist in...

Pacific Islands Minister confirms ‘concerns’ for Australian businesses in Solomon Islands

The Pacific Islands Minister has confirmed there are concerns for a number of Australian businesses near the unrest in the Solomon Islands. Pacific Islands Minister Zed Seselja says there are no reports of Australians in danger in the Solomon Islands but there are “concerns” around Australian businesses as the Morrison Government deploys Defence Force personnel. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced...

Role of Culture and religion in influencing positive Environmental behaviours explored

The role of traditional and cultural practices and religion in influencing positive environmental behaviours amongst Pacific Island communities was discussed during the sixth day of the Third Clean Pacific Roundtable (3CPRT). Alannah Smith of the Cook Islands’ Te Ipukarea Society, shared how the people of Rarotonga have returned to subsistence living as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has...

Solomon Islands’ slippery slide to self-implosion

By Transform Aqorau The riots in Honiara Wednesday, disturbing the city’s normally quiet atmosphere, were unexpected but not surprising. Someone made reference to a possible protest that would coincide with the convening of parliament, but details were sketchy and social media was tightlipped about a protest for a change. Arguably, the riots are a culmination of a number of flashpoints that...

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Solomon Islands media boycott Chinese foreign minister’s visit to Honiara

Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) has issued a boycott notice to its members for the PRC Press event scheduled for Thursday. MASI President, Georgina...

China seeks Pacific Islands policing, security cooperation – document

China will seek a region-wide deal with almost a dozen Pacific islands covering policing, security and data communications cooperation when Foreign Minister Wang Yi...

Solomon Islands journalists shut out of China foreign minister visit, raising secrecy concerns

Pacific journalists have raised serious concerns about secrecy surrounding the upcoming marathon tour of the Pacific by China’s foreign minister, who will be visiting...