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Results for Opinion

Monday 19 April 2021

London, United Kingdom
The late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to the queen, was long celebrated (or parodied) for his distinctive personality. Before his death on April 9, at the age of 99, he was the United Kingdom’s grand, grumpy, and eccentric uncle – a man totally out of step with the modern world. To take just one of many notorious examples, Philip couldn’t understand why servicemen today would need therapy. Back in World War II, he observed, “We didn’t have counselors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking ‘Are you all right? Are you sure you don’t have a ghastly problem?’ You just got on with it.”
Friday 26 March 2021

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
In light of recent media reports that the Courts are imposing more suspended sentences due to overcrowding in Tonga's prison system, the following clarification is provided for the information of the public and better understanding: 1. The Courts do not suspend sentences because of prison overcrowding. 2. Provision of adequate prison facilities and related services is the responsibility of the Executive Government. 3. Upholding the rule of law and administering justice in the Kingdom is the responsibility of the Judiciary and the Courts. .... Michael Whitten QC, Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga.
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

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
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 15 March 2021

Sydney, Australia
‘Oku tatala ma’u pe e pulonga ‘o e fifili he taimi ‘oku fasitanunu e ngaahi kaupeau he halafononga ‘o e tangata ha vaaita ‘o e lau ‘ene sivilaise. ‘Oku tu’ula ai ha fifili kiha felave’I ‘o e ngaahi peau faka-mamani-lahi ‘oku ha ho’o kupenga-ope he mahina ‘uluaki ‘o e 2021. Ka, ‘oku tohoaki e tokanga kiha kaveinga ‘e ua kuo ofongi ‘e he Matanga Tonga. ‘Uluaki ko e “Corruption kills people - Hanga 'e he Faihala 'o Faka'auha 'a e Fonua”; ua, ko e “Covid-19” ‘I hono ngaahi fotunga kehekehe. Fakatou’osi kinaua ‘oku na lave’i e ‘Otu Tonga. - 'Inoke Fotu Hu’akau.
Monday 1 March 2021

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
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

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
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.
1 comment
Wednesday 24 February 2021

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is one of mankind’s most critical non-wartime efforts ever. Many countries have developed ambitious, politically sensitive, and carefully sequenced vaccination plans, but executing them successfully will be a challenge. To succeed, policymakers should build three realistic assumptions into their vaccination planning for 2021 and beyond. First, delays are inevitable. By Swee Kheng Khor
Monday 22 February 2021

Canberra, Australia
East Asia Forum: The United States abandoned economic leadership in Asia four years ago. Rather than promote and strengthen the multilateral institutions and frameworks that underpin Asia’s prosperity, the United States under President Trump began systematically undermining them: from the WTO, WHO and Paris Agreement, to military alliances with Japan and South Korea, bilateral trade ties and cooperation in regional forums. What can Biden do to instil confidence in a region still battered and bruised from four years of the Trump administration waywardness? - By the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.
Friday 12 February 2021

Suva, Fiji
We know many people are asking when vaccines will be available in Pacific countries. We anticipate that in 2021, demand will vastly exceed supply. But this doesn’t mean we should just sit and wait. PICs now need to focus on preparing, so they are ready when the first vaccines do arrive. This includes starting pre-registration for priority groups. It means making sure the systems are in place and working, for delivering vaccines and monitoring their safety and effectiveness. This requires investments to strengthen health systems, which will bring benefits beyond COVID-19. By Dr Takeshi Kasai.
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

Boston-Mass, USA
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

Tofoa, Tonga
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.
1 comment
Thursday 31 December 2020

Washington DC, USA
Corruption exists in all sectors and its impacts are universally negative, but corruption in public infrastructure is particularly nefarious for low-income countries. Estimates of losses to bribery in construction, which lies downstream from procurement, are as high as 45 percent of construction costs. In some situations, misconduct may not even be considered particularly harmful or wrong by the participants – as illustrated by the oft used term for corruption: the price of doing business. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum; corruption is enabled by the conventions and approaches that have been allowed to develop over time. By Ian Hawkesworth
Wednesday 30 December 2020

London, United Kingdom
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common to divide countries and their responses according to their political systems, with many attributing China’s success in controlling the virus to its authoritarianism. As of late 2020, however, it is clear that the real dividing line is not political but geographical. Regardless of whether a country is democratic or authoritarian, an island or continental, Confucian or Buddhist, communitarian or individualistic, if it is East Asian, Southeast Asian, or Australasian, it has managed COVID-19 better than any European or North American country. The fact remains that you were much likelier to die of COVID-19 in 2020 if you were European or American than if you were Asian. - By Bill Emmott
Friday 11 December 2020

Queanbeyan, Australia
I agree with you that the PACER Plus trade agreement is of questionable benefit for Tonga. But I do not share your concern for Tonga’s trade deficit. Over the last year, Tonga’s foreign reserves have increased about 19% to the equivalent of nearly 10 months’ imports. If the balance of trade were a problem for Tonga, its foreign reserves would be declining. - Leigh Harkness
Tuesday 8 December 2020

Cambridge-MA, USA
According to the conventional wisdom, the twenty-first century will be characterized by the global shift from American hegemony to Sino-American rivalry. But a bipolar international order is neither inevitable nor desirable, and in fact, would be deeply unstable. Its emergence would heighten the risk of violent conflict and three of the biggest challenges facing humanity would either be ignored or made worse. We should start imagining and working toward alternative arrangements. - By Daron Acemoglu.
Friday 27 November 2020

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Fakamolemole pea hufanga he fakatapu ki he Hau e ‘Otu Tonga, Hou’eiki, Pule’anga ‘o Tonga mo hono Falealea kae ‘umaa e Tonga kotoa. Kae fai atu mu’a ha fakatalanoa hei’ilo na’a tokoni ki he’etau langa fonua. - ‘Inoke Fotu Hu'akau.
Wednesday 25 November 2020

Washington DC, USA
Though it has not come as a surprise, the attack on the credibility of the 2020 election by US President Donald Trump and his Republican Party cannot simply be brushed under the rug of history. Once the norms that underpin constitutional democracy have been tossed aside, there is little left to fight for. America’s failures to address past injustices – including the subjugation of indigenous peoples, slavery, racism, and the deprivations of the poor, immigrants, and the incarcerated – helps to explain why trust in democratic institutions has been so corroded in the first place. Having been made brittle, America’s institutions have long been vulnerable to attack. By Katharina Pistor

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