The Pacific Islands are now at a cliff edge. As a region, as countries and as peoples, we face some of the hardest and cruellest choices. Business as usual, more of the same and incremental improvements will be the surest way to disaster for the whole of our region. As our communities, our region struggles, this is a time to ask some hard questions...Do we have what it takes to implement policies and decisions at the pace and speed at which this is needed? By Professor Biman Prasad (article from a public speech during this week's Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Suva, Fiji).
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Results for Opinion
Thursday 8 September 2022
I read with interest Pesi's recent editorial on the dysfunction of government; the system does not work for a variety of reasons. I wonder how much of this is related to traditional socio-cultural issues. Also interesting was the recent article on Tongans educated in China. But from my foreign perspective, there appear to be immensely larger issues. - Richard Stoll.
Thursday 28 July 2022
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Today, over 5000 competitors from nations as far afield as Malaysia to Jamaica converge on Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. The Games is perhaps the most visible aspect of the Commonwealth for many of our 2.5 billion citizens. Less visible, and appreciated, is the potential of the Commonwealth to bolster trade, business and investment between our 56 members. Tonga could win every year through the Commonwealth advantage. We must also work collectively to overcome perceived investment risks within some of our developing countries. - Lord Jonathan Marland of Odstock, Chair of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
Friday 7 January 2022
Although there is much more to be learned about the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol, the motives of the participants can be gleaned from their own statements. Like far-right movements everywhere today, the insurrectionists were driven by resentment of others’ emancipation. Social transformation has been sufficient to generate the rage and resentment over phantom possessions that characterize far-right movements everywhere. An act of destruction can be used to prove that something is one’s own. For example, this psychological dynamic becomes horrendously clear when men decide to kill or disfigure the women they claim to love rather than tolerate their emancipation. By Jan-Werner Mueller.
Thursday 28 October 2021
Ko e mataamama ‘o e Fakafofonga Fale Alea tokolahi, ko e sio faasi’i (pe siokita nai) ki he lakanga ‘o hange ha ngaue ke ma’u ai ha mo’ui mo e mafai he fo’i ta’u e 4 mo ha toe fo’i ta’u e 4 fo’ou pea hokohoko pehe ai ha toe ta’u ‘e 4 kehe . . . . - 'Amelia Kinahoi-Siamomua.
Monday 25 October 2021
Fakatapu ki he Hau ó Tonga mo e Fale ó Haámoheofo. Houéiki ó e fonua, Fale Alea mo e Puleánga kae úmaá á e Tonga kotoa. Fakamolemole kae fakaaú atu á e kií fietokoni koéni naá áonga ki he kakai pea mo e kau fakafofonga Falealea temou fili mai í Novema 2021 ki hono langa hotau fonua. - Samiuela T. Tukuafu.
Saturday 9 October 2021
While candidates are campaigning for the November General Election, it is worth considering that to date, only three of the 22 legislations that were passed by the House during its 2021 session, have been enacted and assented by the King. Those three legislations included the appropriation acts, which are essential to keep government services running. The rest of the legislation, it has been pointed out, requires further work. By Pesi Fonua.
Sunday 26 September 2021
The call for Tongans to be sensible and to select parliamentary representatives who will use their money wisely, is a message that we have heard repeatedly since the first election under our new system of government that was introduced in 2010. Campaigning is underway for the upcoming General Election on November 18, 2021, which will be the fourth General Election under our so-called “More Democratic System of Government”. But most interestingly, after 11 years, we find ourselves still living in Disneyland, with politicians promoting many different interpretations of the system of government and encouraging everyone to go along for the ride. By Pesi Fonua
Saturday 28 August 2021
New York, USA
The magnitude of the United States’ failure in Afghanistan is breathtaking. It is not a failure of Democrats or Republicans, but an abiding failure of American political culture, reflected in US policymakers’ lack of interest in understanding different societies. And it is all too typical. Almost every modern US military intervention in the developing world has come to rot. It’s hard to think of an exception since the Korean War. By Jeffrey D. Sachs
Tuesday 13 July 2021
Humanity is drifting into increasing danger. Climate change is accelerating; biodiversity is plummeting; hunger and extreme poverty are rising; and the gap between rich and poor is widening. These trends threaten not only human health and livelihoods, but also global peace and stability. Reversing them will require a shared effort to rebuild, and even upgrade, the systems on which we all depend – beginning with the global food system. By Gilbert F. Houngbo
Sunday 13 June 2021
The Lavulavus’ court cases do not enhance the government’s reputation and the way the political elite in the Kingdom operate. Sad to say Prime Minister, that in your attempt to make light of the Lavulavus’ guilty verdict, you cunningly brought to the attention of the public and the world, that other schools were involved in these criminal activities. It is now your duty as the PM of Tonga to get a full investigation going. You owe it to all foreign aid donors, to explain what Tonga has done with the funds; and you owe it to every school that you have now accused, by giving them a chance to clear their names and set the record straight. - Senolita Swan
Monday 3 May 2021
The world’s current vaccination plan is very much “broke,” and nobody seems to be fixing it, despite the disastrous consequences for lives, livelihoods, and the global economy. This was supposed to be the year of recovery. But, from an epidemiological standpoint, it is shaping up to be worse than 2020, and current dynamics suggest that 2022 will be no better. It does not have to be this way. But getting onto a better path will require strong global leadership. The world has multiple effective vaccines available. But it is not moving nearly fast enough to administer them. - By Ricardo Hausmann.
Thursday 18 March 2021
London, United Kingdom
It is curious that presidents possess such unaccountable power at all. America’s founders rejected absolute monarchy and its trappings (such as noble titles), and yet the pardon power is descended from just such a monarchical power, the royal prerogative of mercy. Trump’s blatant violation of the original intent of the presidential pardon was just one of many challenges he posed to the political system established by the US Constitution. Johnson displays similarly worrying traits. Faced with such threats, courts and legislatures need to recall their true purpose: preventing the unchecked exercise of executive power. By Nicholas Reed Langen.
Tuesday 16 March 2021
Personally, I place big question marks at the choice of some of the businesses mentioned in this article. I do not have the experience with them myself that they seriously try to avoid or reduce using plastic bags. But aside from that, those who are really serious have my full support. If used wisely plastic has enough advantages in order not to want to do away with it. It is de laziness of people which is the problem. -Firitia.
Monday 1 March 2021
The debate over whether or not to turn to the deep sea to secure the resources we need for a low-carbon future has generated much public interest, but it is critical that this debate is founded upon sound science and the best data currently available. As such, I would like to correct a number of misrepresentations in the letter of Feb. 25 from the Civil Society Forum of Tonga. - Christina Pome'e, Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd.
Thursday 25 February 2021
Deep Sea Mining (DSM) of polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean is not essential for a renewables revolution. There would be massive amounts of waste produced and discharged to the ocean. The discharge plumes may also be quite toxic, with metals and processing agents. As Pacific Islanders already know - what happens in the deep doesn't stay in the deep. - Pelenatita Kara, Civil Society Forum of Tonga.
Wednesday 10 February 2021
Washington DC, U.S.A
America and China should cooperate in space. Although the United States can no longer take its extraterrestrial dominance for granted, it remains the leading player, while China’s space capabilities are growing fast. Most important, both countries, along with the rest of the world, would benefit from a set of clear rules governing the exploration and commercialization of space. By Anne-Marie Slaughter and Emily Lawrence.
Tuesday 26 January 2021
New York, USA
Just as political leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro have forced a reckoning about the historical persistence of fascist politics, so have their disastrous responses to the COVID-19 pandemic renewed the relevance of the concept of genocide. How else are we to come to grips with so many culpably avoidable deaths? As in Brazil, Indigenous communities in the US have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. By Federico Finchelstein and Jason Stanley.
Tuesday 12 January 2021
Though mainstream observers were shocked that Donald Trump increased his support among many ethnic minority groups in the 2020 election, this should not have come as a surprise. The common thread linking the Trump base has little to do with demographics, and much more to do with a personality type. As president, Trump not only deployed racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic rhetoric, but actually baked it into his policies. So why does the 45th president appeal to so many voters whose ethnic, religious, and sexual identities he has mercilessly disparaged? Unless we improve our understanding of these voters’ overriding identification with those able and willing to exercise power, and their own latent thirst for power, we risk being blindsided by it again. By Yasheng Huang.
Monday 4 January 2021
At the current pace of repatriation it will take over a year to return home all of those abandoned abroad. We run the risk of slipping into the depths of economic and mental depression, and we may see the fragmentation of our society, both at home and abroad, if we don’t immediately grasp the advent of vaccines and start building the bridges. At Easter it will be a full year from the closing of the border. It is time to prepare for the “new beginning”, the new life. By Paul Karalus.