Showing posts with label Regional hegemony by Australia and New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Regional hegemony by Australia and New Zealand. Show all posts

Sunday, December 01, 2013

X-Post: Don’t Be A “Bully” - Message To Australia & New Zealand On Trade Talks.

Source: Samoa Observer

by Lealaiauloto Aigaletaule’ale’a Tauafiafi

Green party MP Jan Logie. CREDIT: REBECCA THOMSON/
Samoa’s Minister for Trade was talking tough leading in to a trade meeting last Friday between Pacific countries and New Zealand and Australia, in Auckland.

Added to that was Pacific islands spokesperson for the Green Party, Ms Jan Logie calling for Australia and New Zealand to put the interests of the whole Pacific ahead of their domestic interests – and not “bully” their smaller island neighbours.

The trade meeting was the third consultation and update of Non State Actors (N.S.A.) on the proposed Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (P.A.C.E.R.) Plus. It follows the second N.S.A. meeting that was held in Brisbane, Australia in April 2012.

The proposed P.A.C.E.R. Plus agreement aims for greater regional trade integration between Pacific countries and Australia and New Zealand. It is seen as the way to create jobs, drive private sector growth, raise standards of living and improve the Pacific region’s economic development so that it is self-sustaining.
But last week, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, Samoa’s Minister for Trade, and Deputy Prime Minister told media that Samoa is not happy with the way things are going. He wants current barriers on trade to come down more quickly.
Samoa Deputy P.M: Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo.

Specifically he is referring to one of the four priority areas in the proposed P.A.C.E.R. Plus agreement, that of ‘regional labour mobility’. The other three priority areas being: rules of origin, development assistance, and trade facilitation.
Fonotoe wants the current regional seasonal employment scheme (R.S.E.) between New Zealand and Samoa, to also include traineeships and working holiday programmes.
“That’s a bit of the contentious issue from the New Zealand perspective, and Australia, because Australia is also part of P.A.C.E.R. Plus. So those are the issues we are looking at resolving as soon as possible so that could better access the markets in New Zealand and Australia.”

While Ms Logie this week told the New Zealand Pacific, “P.A.C.E.R. Plus is supposed to be a development agreement rather than a free trade agreement but up until now no progress has been made on development assistance. Australia and New Zealand have been saying they’ll deal with funding separately. It’s hard to see how that’s in the best interest of the Pacific.”
She added that latest figures out of the Asian Development Bank “highlight again the need for additional development support for the Pacific to adapt to climate change. New Zealand shamefully took that money out of the existing aid budget. This track record doesn’t bode well for the P.A.C.E.R. Plus.”
“New Zealand has already made a significant investment in negotiating this agreement, we need to make sure that it’s not just another attempt to bully our smaller neighbours.”

Ms Logie’s comments hit at the heart of the matter in this third N.S.A. meeting. In last year’s N.S.A. meeting in Brisbane, there was a fall-out. And it pointed to the lack of funding assistance by Australia and New Zealand to get Pacific N.S.As to provide critical input.

A number of N.S.As leveled heavy criticism about the lack of meaningful discussions and participation by non government organisations. Only one non-government organization was in attendance at the 2012 meeting, Mr Adam Wolfenden, Campaigner for Pacific Network around the region on Globalisation (P.A.N.G.) told the Vanuatu Times back in April 2012.
“The lack of funding available for key groups and no discussion of substantive issues has resulted in a consultation that has lacked critical input,” said Mr Wolfenden.
The key issues that need to be resolved according to him are “adequate funding for effective participation and real discussion about the substantive issues at regional consultations as well as adequate funding and capacity for national consultations.” The concern amongst private sector organisations was the “inability of the diverse voices of non-state actors to be present”.

Added to Mr Wolfenden’s comments were those made by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (A.F.T.I.N.E.T.). They commented that it is time for Australia to provide the money necessary for the Pacific to hear from N.G.Os. “Whilst we appreciate and welcome Australia’s provision of some funding for the N.S.A. dialogue, this consultation is an example of a job half-done,” Harvey Purse, Trade Justice Campaigner of A.F.T.I.N.E.T. told the Vanuatu Times.

“Australia has always acknowledged the constraints in the region including limited funding for consultations and the involvement of N.S.As. “However, the funding provided by Australia and New Zealand is inadequate. So we've now had a consultation that is not representative of the wide spectrum of views in the Pacific, and failed to include any critical voices. “It can hardly be seen as improving the lives of Pacific peoples when the non government sector, with their diverse expertise and views, have less representation at these key consultations than multi-national corporate interests such as big tobacco (B.A.T.), alcohol (Heineken) and finance (A.N.Z.).”

The Vanuatu report noted that Pacific Island business was well represented with the regional body the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisations (P.I.P.S.O.), several business councils and Chambers of Commerce present. However, largely absent were small and medium enterprises mainly owned by Pacific islanders.

According to the draft agenda of the Auckland meeting this Friday, P.I.P.S.O. will present and discuss the views of their Membership with regard to the nature and depth of consultation desired during P.A.C.E.R. Plus negotiations. They will discuss best practice, and provide examples of ways to strengthen consultations and make them more effective.
The stated main objective of the 2013 meeting is about finding ways for better consultation between N.S.As and national governments in the P.A.C.E.R. Plus process. And to also look at their respective roles in implementing P.A.C.E.R. Plus when it comes into force.

Criticism from 2012 was seen as the litmus test for the 2013 meeting. Will there be more than one N.G.O. in attendance? How much funding was made available for Pacific N.S.A.s to attend? Have there been funding made available for national consultations leading up to these regional meetings?

On the bigger picture, what is P.A.C.E.R. Plus? Who said it is important to the Pacific, and why?
The answer is found at the highest level. In 2009, Pacific Trade Ministers from 13 Pacific countries agreed in Apia, Samoa to negotiate P.A.C.E.R. Plus because they saw the need for a much stronger regional trade integration with Pacific super powers Australia and New Zealand. They felt that by having a trade agreement such as P.A.C.E.R. Plus, it will give them a formalized framework that will benefit each Pacific country through the creation of jobs, drive private sector growth, raise standards of living and improve the region’s sustainable economic development.

Meantime for it to work for each country at different stages of economic development, the structure of P.A.C.E.R. Plus should be flexible enough to allow countries ready to move ahead with negotiations, to do so, while countries who are not, are given more time to prepare.
And to make sure that the voices of all countries are heard, that a true assessment of their different stages of development are accounted for, it is important that a wide and diverse voice from N.S.A.'s is heard.

The process therefore, promotes gradual regional integration in a way that supports the economic development of the 13 party members while taking into account their differences.
Even though the coverage and framework of P.A.C.E.R. Plus have yet to be agreed upon, the priority areas for negotiations have been identified.
In October 2009, in Apia, Samoa, Forum Trade Ministers agreed on the common priority issues:
  • Rules of Origin
  • Regional Labour Mobility (beyond Mode 4)
  • Development Assistance, focusing on physical infrastructure for trade, trade development and promotion; and
  • Trade Facilitation, including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (S.P.S.) Measures,
  • Technical Barriers to Trade (T.B.T.), Standards and Customs Procedures.

And in 2010, Forum Trade Ministers Meeting also noted ‘the fundamental importance of shipping, aviation, telecommunications and water infrastructure to increase trade in goods and services between Member Countries’, and agreed that these were priority negotiating issues for P.A.C.E.R. Plus.


According to Article 6 of the Cotonou Agreement, non-state actors include:
  • Civil society in all its diversity, according to national characteristics;
  • Economic and social partners, including trade union organisations and;
  • The private sector.
In practice, it means that participation is open to all kind of actors, such as community-based organisations, women's groups, human rights associations, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), religious organizations, farmers' cooperatives, trade unions, universities and research institutes, the media and the private sector.
Also included in this definition are informal groups such as grassroots organizations, informal private sector associations, etc. The private sector, however, is considered only insofar as it is involved in non-profit activities (such as private sector associations, chambers of commerce, and the like).

Friday, October 25, 2013

X-Post: Pacific Politics - Lamentations from the Pacific.

Kalafi Moala writes that true freedom will come when Pacific peoples start thinking for themselves.
A cry is being heard from almost every corner of the Pacific; a cry against injustice, a cry against the harsh hand that has been dealt against us in the centuries old deliberate attempt by the powerful West and their allies to shape us and our social culture, to become like them.

In this colonization of the Pacific peoples to transform them into Western thinking and ways, the overall effect have been devastating. We’ve been abused from the back when we were not looking or when we lacked knowledge, but now we are being abused from the front, when some of us knowingly chose to be subservient rather than assertive. You annexed whole island nations like Hawaii, imprisoning kings and queens, giving the leadership of that sovereign kingdom nation to your European business friends. You took our lands and destroyed our culture, and have turned our shores into bases for your powerful military.

Many of our nations, as in Kiribati and Tuvalu, face a crisis that threatens to sink the islands from the sea-level rise effect of climate change, and our ocean environment in many places have been ruined by the same effect, scientifically proven that it is caused by global warming, a condition caused by reckless Western industrialization. Oh thou Great and Almighty West, when will you understand? When will you stop to think that what you have done and are doing to our peoples have hurt us more than helped us? You’ve set yourself up to be our problem solver. Your attitude is that you know more than we do what is best for us. It’s like a drug-based health care; the medicine often produces worse effects than the disease.

Our ancestors suffered from diseases foreign to our shores, diseases introduced to our region through your intrusions, causing epidemics that wiped out whole village populations. You fought your wars on our shores, tested your nuclear weapons on our islands, and the suffering of our peoples in French Polynesia and Micronesia is still being felt with the fatal effects of exposure to radiation. You created geopolitical divisions and partitioning among all of our island nations, so that it would be easier for you to control us. You divided us among your allies: British, American, French, Australian, and even the Kiwis were given a share.

We felt like war spoils being shared around.
Kalafi Moala

" Oh thou Great and Almighty West, when will you understand? When will you stop to think that what you have done and are doing to our peoples have hurt us more than helped us? "
You would not leave us alone because now you need someone to control, which is characteristic of your imperialist nature. But even when some of our nations have been decolonized politically, you’ve continued the re-colonization process through education, media, and other social configurations. And we have become so aid dependent, we lack the knowledge of what else to do, because we have been trained by you not to think creatively but only to think what we’ve been taught.

You mined our gas and petroleum resources, and sold them to the tune of billions, yet our people in those island states remain poor. You exploited our forest resources, and now those areas are barren and our balanced eco systems have been forever altered. You signed agreements with our governments for seabed mining, fishing rights, and to abstract whatever you need from our ocean life.

For thousands of years our peoples were proud to be self-determined and had homegrown solutions to their problems. They sailed our great ocean lanes to trade, to explore, and even to make a fight or two. But thanks to you we are no longer independent as you have given us a system of civilization that makes us dependent on you, and in the process we have lost our dignity and our determination not just to survive but to live thriving meaningful lives.

In our desperate plight to survive, in a world where you control almost everything, we’ve welcomed the willing help offered us by countries like China, India, UAE, Japan, Korea, and others from the non-Western world; but you have insulted us by saying that we are just changing aid dependency from one colonial power to another. You would rather we continue the dependency on you than on others you’ve held in spite because of their success in self-determined development. Well, for whatever its worth, we don’t recall China or India ever taking over by force our sovereign nations. They did not test their nuclear weapons on us, you did. Is it no wonder we welcome their help more than we do yours?

In a world where the standard of success set by you is measured by political, economic, and social wellbeing, rather than by meaningful relationships and its effects of peace and happiness, it is no wonder why it is so hard for us to make it in your world. Some of our people are relegated to the corners of poverty, ignorance, and high crime rate, in your cities.
Kalafi Moala

" You are the same brutal imperialist power that brought suffering to our forefathers, and we have inherited their unjust plight. "
We speak your language, learn your culture, and operate in your system of things, yet you do not respect us enough to learn our language, observe our culture and values. The solutions you have given to us is that we need to be transformed to be like you – we need to learn your systems, practice your culture, in fact, think like you do, and we then can make it in your world.

Some of our leaders, in fact a lot of our people have embraced your ways and think the way you do. They have made alliance with you, and now they have acted like you, abusing us from within, and selling out on our values. For the past two decades you have increasingly ignored the islands of the Pacific partly due to your view that our worth maybe less than any meaningful investment you make.

The Western powers headed up by the USA and UK have diminished involvement in the Pacific, handing Australia and New Zealand the responsibility to “govern and manage Pacific affairs.” These two regional powers have been outsourced the running of things for the Western powers in the Pacific – from trade, fisheries, mining, forestry, transportation, finance, border security, natural disaster management, to telecommunication, energy, climate change, environment, and many other things serving your own interests.

Now that our non-Western friends like China are becoming more involved in our region, you’ve decided to come back in, but your basic mentality, attitude, policy, and practice have not changed. You are the same brutal imperialist power that brought suffering to our forefathers, and we have inherited their unjust plight.

The basis of unjust policy and practice must be replaced with that of justice. But that is not going to happen until the mighty and powerful decide to come to their senses and forego the misguided illusion that might is right, and power cannot be unchallenged.

As the steps to a long journey begin with the first one, it is time Pacific peoples start thinking and doing what needs to be done so as to start them on their journey to freedom. This is a freedom that only them know when it happens, a freedom that restores independence, self-determination, and dignity.

Source: Pacific Politics


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fiji PM: Australian High Commissioner To Fiji, On Hold.

Treat Fiji equally: Bainimarama 
July 26, 2013 03:55:18 PM
Source: Fiji Live

Fiji will not accept an Australian High Commissioner until the Australian Government treats Fiji with equal respect, says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. In an interview with New Zealand’s Radio Tarana, he said the Australian Government does not treat Fiji with consideration and respect adding that the same treatment extends to all Melanesian countries.

“On the surface, things might seem fine but we think quite honestly that Australia always puts its interests first and tries to tell us all what to do,” Bainimarama said. “I’m not going to accept an Australian High Commissioner in Fiji until the Australian Government stops trying to damage us. “With Fiji, they’re still trying to damage our interests because we didn’t do what they ordered to have an immediate election after 2006 that would have solved nothing.”

Instead of showing their support, Bainimarama said the Aust Govt chose to punish Fiji and had been trying to damage Fiji’s reputation ever since. “Now obviously, there will come a time when the relationship is properly restored and I guess that will be when we have the election next year. “But I can tell you that if I win the election, we can rebuild the relationship but it won’t be the same relationship. “It won’t be Fiji kowtowing to Canberra.

We want a genuine partnership with genuine friends’ governments that treat us as equals and with respect. “We might be small but our vote at the UN has the same weight as Australia’s and anyone else who isn’t one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.” Hopeful for a good relationship with Australia, Bainimarama admits it would not come till “there’s a change in the mindset of Australia’s politicians.” He highlighted the recent asylum seeker crisis as a “good example of Canberra’s overbearing attitude.”

By Mereani Gonedua

 Radio Tarana Full Interview

Part 1 MP3 (posted below)

Part 2 MP3 (posted below)

Club Em Designs

Saturday, May 19, 2012


There are a few people on this site trying their best to distract and detract from the conversation and the real issues raised by this article. It is a deliberate attempt to hi-jack the conversation, and I think we know why.

The incidence of Mr Marae's arrest clearly demonstrates Australia has no regard for the rule of law and diplomatic protocol. Indeed it would use the law as a tool when it suits it, and disregard it whenever it desires. Mr Marae's prosecution is likely to fail because the Australian government clearly engaged in a kidnap of Mr Marae.

There is a very enlightening article by Patrick Oconnor in the Fiji Sun this week and the link is . In this article Mr Oconnor examines the parallels of Australia's arrest and prosecution of Julian Moti in PNG, Solomon islands and in Australia in complete disregard for the rule of law.

The South Pacific is now clearly becoming aware that Australia says one thing and does the other. It is clearly not a model democracy in the region. In fact if anything, New Zealand is a model democracy, and is way ahead by a country mile in its race relations, its observance of the rule of law, and its dealings with the Pacific Islands nations with proper respect and regard for the rue of law. New Zealand abdicated its independent voice during the reign of Helen Clark, when she became John Howards messenger girl to the Pacific, but now John Key should rescue his country and move it to a higher plane.

The AFP's expulsion from Vanuatu two weeks ago is not the first time Australian government aid workers were expelled from Vanuatu. Last year PNG will remember the spectacular expulsion of  former Australian Defence Force Lawyer, Ari Jenshel from the Attorney General's Department, for spying on the Vanuatu government. Mr Jenschel was alleged by the Vanuatu government as engaging in espionage, copying and disseminating to Canberra very sensitive Government documents whilst serving under the guise of  an Aid worker with Ausaid in the AG's Department.

Mr Marae's arrest is likely to be connected with documents that Mr Jenshel supplied.

There is a real lession in all these for PNG and other Pacific countries being recipients of Australian Aid.

Australia has used Aid to implant its spies in all government Departments of PNG to collect information and report back to Canberra. If raised, it will always deny, but the reality is quite different. We have people who have sworn an oath to serve a foreign government, whose real future and loyalties lie with that government, whose career advancement lies with ingratiating themselves with that government, who often are servants of that government, working in our government sensitive positions. They cannot serve two masters. So naturally who do you think they will serve?

That is the challenge today for PNG. Lets not make pretensions about it. We do have a public service that does not function properly because we have weakened it by politicizing it over the years. But that is not the reason why we have to sell the nation to a foreign spying agency! That should not be the reason why we should flush the national interest of PNG down the toilet.

I don't think I am expressing empty opinion because 3 years ago, an Australian Spy in the Finance & Treasury  Department was caught with many original files of very sensitive government documents in his suitcase that he had taken to Canberra. The Department was horrified. The Department sacked the ex-Australian Federal Police man who was obviously  a spy.

Today that same Ex-AFP Policeman, who was sacked by the Finance Department has been re-deployed in the Attorney General's Department in the Sir Buri Kidu Haus in Waigani. He carries on his activities in that Department in the guise of institutional strengthening.

The situation calls for a re-view and if necessary, revocation of the ECP and the Australian Aid program. The Australian Aid, if at all, should be restricted to health and education. All other areas compromises this nations security and its sovereignty. It should be shut down.

All these cases have proved that Australia has a separate agenda with its aid than that of " Helpem Pren".

Papua New Guinea with a new Government ought to be more decisive about Australian Aid, which is clearly subversive and self serving.

Mangi Gazelle

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Misery Loves Company- The Trans-Tasman Hegemony Against Fiji.

In the weeks since Fiji officially joined the international bloc of nations called Non-Aligned-Movement, the under currents of destructive destabilizing maneuvers materialized, in the form of the fugitive ex-officio from Fiji.
Tevita Mara puppeteered by the Trans-Tasman cousins and acquiesced by their loyal client states of Tonga and Samoa respectively. Such realpolitik of under handedness in the region, have substantially increased in tempo and was foreshadowed in a previous SiFM post titled: "Islanders With A Dragon Tattoo-China's Rising Influence in The South Pacific".
In the particular light of the Trans-Tasman strategic policy of neo-colonialism, the undermining of Fiji is  increasingly demonstrated with the skewed bias of the mainstream media of Australia, New Zealand that work hand in glove with certain blogs. A subtle choice of neo-colonial exploitation demonstrated in Libya and cogently pointed out in F.William Engdahl's opinion piece:
In mass media framing is a very well-researched subject. The technique refers to a technique of manipulating an individual's emotional reaction or more accurately, his or her perception of meanings of words or phrases[...] Gareth Evans' Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, in addition to being active in North Africa and the Middle East, is also directly active in Asia from their center in Australia. In short they are making major efforts to propandagize the notion of responsibility to protect under the guize of protecting various populations from what they define as "genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity...". The world community is being subtly brainwashed to accept the radical new proposition with nary a peep of serious opposition.
In fact, Gareth Evans was a former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister and during his time of office (1988-1996), the East-Timor violence occurred and legendary journalist John Pilger documented Evan's role. In addition, East Timor and Indonesia Action group (ITAN) website states:
Gareth Evans was the Australian Foreign Minister and tried to convince the international community that the Santa Cruz Massacre was a special occurrence and not a political decision taken by the Indonesian State. That is to say that Gareth Evans helped to maintain silence about the violence that was happening in Timor-Leste.
It is certainly no accident that Australia's current Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd embarked on the faulty premise of (R2P) or 'Responsibility To Protect' in Libya and categorically was one of the first politicians to broker the idea of foreign intervention according to Graham Davis' Grubsheet posting, using a neatly packaged ready-to-go, yet flawed policy designed by his predecessor, Gareth Evans.

Undeniably, with volumes of reported deaths of citizens and  NATO airstrike mistakes, have ironically penciled Rudd's Libya brokered policy as damaged goods with an expired shelf life with such an extent, that the South African President recently lashed out on the failing NATO policy and the US President is about to duke it out with the congress regarding the legality of the mission coupled with the funding aspect, buttressed by a lawsuit and a languishing economy.

In a karmic sense, the East-Timorese have learnt a great deal from the inter-actions with the Australians and in a blowback situation of sorts, have received China with wide open arms, according to a Journeyman documentary showing the East-Timorese and their China funded projects, including newly purchased Shanghai class patrol boats.

Rudd's subsequent stance on Fiji have been ridiculed by the Fiji Club of New Zealand. Also, Australia's hegemonic and duplicitous role in the South Pacific was highlighted in a recent posting by Black and Blak:

What Australia is doing in the Pacific mirrors the process of colonization and Aboriginal dispossession that has taken place on the Australian mainland and Tasmania since that process began in the late Eighteenth Century [...]

As in all exploitive processors, the original and rightful owners of a resource are forcibly separated from their property through a combination of brute force, subtle manipulation and the imposition of foreign laws that are applied favourably to the aggressors and harshly to the indigenous victims.
What the Australian government has demonstrated in the Johnson, Moti and Grant cases is a total disregard for the ‘rule of law’ and a neo-colonial indifference to the sovereignty of ‘lesser’ states which are the pretentious hallmark of an aggressive and presumptuous third rate, would be, colonial power. 
Unless the peoples of the Pacific stand up with one voice and tell Australia that its racism and selfish commercial exploitation of the region’s resources are unacceptable, the Pacific can look forward to a future of dispossession and poverty, similar to that currently being enjoyed by Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

With an incongruous display of yellow journalism, the Trans-Tasman media covered the Fiji/Tonga tensions   as  reported in a Radio Australia article  and interviewed Samoa's P.M and the interviewer almost stoking him for a sound bite that would disparage Fiji (MP3 posted below).

In an almost hyped exclamation that was exuded by the likes of Michael Field, eerily similar to the 19th century American media calls of Remember the Maine and accordingly it was Field who even published a 'tale of the tape' comparison of forces  and ushered in the accompanied media frenzy, as addressed in a Cafe Pacific blog posting.

WNYC's program's "On The Media" explains the origins of the phrase "yellow journalism". (MP3 posted below)

Samoa's P.M remarks on Fiji:

"...the parochial actions and words by Malielegaoi was glorified by the jaundiced perspective of Samoa Observer editorial, the obstinate narrative can be summed up in a 'coming of age' moment"
Evidence of yellow journalism is underscored on Croz Walsh's blog posting that berates the ex-journalist, Graeme Dobell, whose error laden posts on Fiji are published on Lowy Interpreter. Croz writes:
Dobell’s overt advocacy gets in the way of a professional approach to facts in dispute.  Dobell accepts as facts Roko Ului’s claims without recognising that these have been disputed and, in some cases, apparently refuted.  One cannot help but wonder where Dobell left his journalistic training in critical analysis. 
Fiji Times article quoted from  Fiji's Attorney General, who outlined the lack of reciprocity by Tonga, Australia and New Zealand regarding the intent of extradition by Fiji.

The excerpt of Fiji Times article:

We will not stoop to their level, says AG

Samantha Rina
Sunday, June 19, 2011
TONGA, Australia and New Zealand authorities have yet to acknowledge Fiji's extradition requests for Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, says Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
He said the least that authorities of each country could do was acknowledge receipt of the extradition orders sought by Fiji.
"They could at least acknowledge receipt of the documents we sent and say 'we are looking into it or processing it'. But there has been no acknowledgement from Tonga, Australia and New Zealand to which we recently filed extradition papers," he said.
He said extradition papers were sent to the Prime Minister's office, Attorney General's office and the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Tonga, Australia and New Zealand respectively.
"We have been facilitating a number of extradition requests from Australia and recently did so under the Hague Convention where a parent wanted their child returned.
We also facilitated another extradition request involving an American who was wanted in the United States for a crime he committed there," he said.
The AG said the Government had always and would continue to honour bilateral and international obligations regardless of the foreign policies Australia and New Zealand imposed against Fiji.
"This shows the (Australia and New Zealand) bonafide or willingness to adhere to international bilateral obligations. They're always picking and choosing their rules but don't apply the same rules when the situation is reversed," he said.
The AG said Fiji would not stoop to their level and would consider extradition cases based on merit.
Samoa's Prime Minster, Tuilaepa Malielegaoi has repeatedly and dogmatically commented (ABC interview) on Fiji' situation and inserted himself in the saga of Mara and according to a  Radio Australia article, met with him over the weekend as well as extending an invitation to visit Samoa.

Dev Nadkarni on N.Z policy:

"The action smacks of desperation at the failure of this isolationist strategy. New Zealand's reasoning for handing the man a visa despite knowing his racist past and that he was involved in beatings during the early days of the regime are as vacuous as its reasons for looking the other way in the face of its big red friend's human rights abuses."
Although, the parochial actions and words by Malielegaoi was glorified by the jaundiced perspective of Samoa Observer editorial, the obstinate narrative can be summed up in a 'coming of age' moment; a characteristic that is closely mirrored in Samoa's obtuse decision to change lanes, jump through the time-continuum and the frivolous appeal to a BSA decision to a TV investigative story.

Dev Nadkarni's opinion piece that was published in the Fiji Sun, illustrates the said game plan and the gutter level of foreign policy analysis exercised by both Wellington and Canberra.

The excerpt of Dev Nadkarni's opinion article:

The New Zealand government's handling of the Fiji situation has shown an appalling lack of imagination and exposed the brazen double standards it applies in its international relations.
It sheepishly kowtows to China's every whim, even inventing childishly naïve reasons for not meeting with the likes of the Dalai Lama when he is a visitor to this country known far and wide for its warm and friendly peace loving people. 
It has officially hosted dictators like former Pakistan strongman Pervez Musharraf with absolutely no qualms whatsoever and has refrained from making official statements on other "undemocratic" events even in the Pacific Rim, such as the Thailand coup.
Yet it has been stubborn in its unwillingness to look at the dynamics of what led to the Fiji situation despite being in a position to know better because of its long and deep involvement in the Pacific Islands region. 
All along in the years since December 2006, it has failed to accept that the single pronged "restore democracy now or else" strategy was never going to work.
It refuses to accept that its ill-advised persistence in following that tack of feverishly campaigning to isolate Fiji was always doomed to fail and has long come unstuck.
This has forced the Fijian administration led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to seek and cement friendships from the likes of China, Indonesia and other Asian powers that have been only too willing to oblige because of Fiji's strategic location in the South Pacific. 
Thanks to their expanding exclusive economic zones because of changes wrought by the redrawing of their continental shelf boundaries under the provisions of the United Nations Law of the Sea, the islands are hot property for resource hungry nations. Several island nations, along with Fiji, have opened their territories - both on land and the seabed - to prospecting firms from distant nations. 
By sticking to its unrealistic, single demand of "restoring democracy" in Fiji, without the changes that are needed to turn its polity into one based on true democratic principles, New Zealand has missed the South Pacific boat, now helmed by the likes of China. Enough has been written about how brazenly corrupt, blatantly racist and undemocratic the deposed Fijian government was. 
Its former members and supporters, now living overseas are demanding a return to that kind of administration.The Australian and New Zealand governments have played into their hands by handing out the visa to turncoat military man Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara. The action smacks of desperation at the failure of this isolationist strategy. New Zealand's reasoning for handing the man a visa despite knowing his racist past and that he was involved in beatings during the early days of the regime are as vacuous as its reasons for looking the other way in the face of its big red friend's human rights abuses. 
It has displayed appalling casuistry by bending every rule that it has put in place as regards travel to New Zealand for Fijian nationals associated with the administration - whether they are sportspeople or simply passengers wishing to transit through, though Murray McCully has said his ministry has been making exceptions regularly on a case-by-case basis. 
A big opportunity looms in the form of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) for New Zealand to change tack and bring Fiji back on the democratic track. Both are rugby-mad nations and the sports arena could well be the setting of a new beginning.The governments of both countries could potentially earn enormous goodwill of the entire region.There is some hope this will happen. In the past few weeks, the Fijian administration has been at pains to put out news releases about holding elections in September 2014. 
On his part, Mr MuCully has offered New Zealand's assistance in redrawing electoral boundaries, compiling lists and helping with the election process.Making it possible for Fijian players and fans to visit New Zealand without restrictions during the world cup in exchange for working with Fiji and convince it to stick to its September 2014 promise by providing it with the wherewithal to achieve that goal would be a win-win for all. 
*The author is editor-in-chief of the Indian Weekender newspaper in Auckland, New Zealand. He is originally from Mumbai, India, where he was a journalist and journalism academic before becoming head of the journalism programme at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

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