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The Forum > Article Comments > Re-rigging the Outrigger > Comments

Re-rigging the Outrigger : Comments

By Justin Liang, published 4/10/2006

Contemporary challenges for Pacific community building.

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Justin Liang writes earnestly and with plenty of scholarly background about Pacific problems, but I think he misses the mark in his overly optimistic review. He doesn't mention global warming which is likely to submerge Tuvalu and reduce the size of many other micro-nations this century. Migration is likely to be a huge social wrench for islanders. Issues such as the appropriateness of aid given to nations is not discussed. I can recall covering Australia's penchant for donating quite sophisticated patrol boats when any naval architect would tell you that 'if you can't fix a fault with a hammer don't bother sending such gifts'. The 'Pacific solution' as displayed on Nauru's Australian detention centre is left out, but it would be interesting to know what the Pacific Islander reaction to such well financed arrangements has been. Reaction to the Howard Government's refusal to consider temporary work visas would also be interesting. Is the phenomena of families sending their young men to become rugby league/union stars in Australia a reaction to this Howard snub? I get the impression all pacific islands are ruled by elites with Tongo the most extreme form. Given their unsustainably high birth rates, what really is the future for the ordinary islander. Jared Diamond in his book 'Collapse' makes some scary predictions for certain Pacific 'spots on the ocean'. It would be good to get a Pacific eye view of this future. Justin's is a beginning.
Posted by jup, Friday, 6 October 2006 12:26:52 PM
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