Monday, July 16, 2018

Contrasting accounts of Indonesian genocide and betrayal in West Papua


A local chief in red sunglasses and bra talks to his people about the dangers
of Indonesian administration plans for Okika region. Image: Peter Bang

BOOK REVIEW: By David Robie

TWO damning and contrasting books about Indonesian colonialism in the Pacific, both by activist participants in Europe and New Zealand, have recently been published. Overall, they are excellent exposes of the harsh repression of the Melanesian people of West Papua and a world that has largely closed a blind eye to to human rights violations.

In Papua Blood, Danish photographer Peter Bang provides a deeply personal account of his more than three decades of experience in West Papua that is a testament to the resilience and patience of the people in the face of “slow genocide” with an estimated 500,000 Papuans dying over the past half century.

With See No Evil, Maire Leadbeater, peace movement advocate and spokesperson of West Papua Action Auckland, offers a meticulously researched historical account of New Zealand’s originally supportive stance for the independence aspirations of the Papuan people while still a Dutch colony and then its unprincipled slide into betrayal amid Cold War realpolitik.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Nauru, Fiji and Pacific Facebook gags criticised in Asia-Pacific media freedom summit


Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire talks about the global threat against journalists.
Video:
Café Pacific

By David Robie in Paris
WHEN Reporters Without Borders chief Christophe Deloire introduced the Paris-based global media watchdog’s Asia-Pacific press freedom defenders to his overview last week, it was grim listening.

First up in RSF’s catalogue of crimes and threats against the global media was Czech President Miloš Zeman’s macabre press conference stunt late last year.

However, Zeman’s sick joke angered the media when he brandished a dummy Kalashnikov AK47 with the words “for journalists” carved into the wood stock at the October press conference in Prague and with a bottle of alcohol attached instead of an ammunition clip.

RSF’s Christophe Deloire talks of the Czech President’s anti-journalists gun “joke”.
Image: David Robie/PMC
Zeman has never been cosy with journalists but this gun stunt and a recent threat about “liquidating” journalists (another joke?) rank him alongside US President Donald Trump and the Philippines leader, Rodrigo Duterte, for their alleged hate speech against the media.

Monday, July 9, 2018

This week in history - the Rainbow Warrior bombing as told to ABC's Nightlife


Journalist, media educator and author David Robie ... Rainbow Warrior bombing reflections
after 33 years. Image: PMC
Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk
PACIFIC environmental and political journalist David Robie has recalled the bombing of the original Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior 33 years ago in an interview with host Sarah Macdonald on the ABC’s Nightlife “This Week in History” programme.

Dr Robie, now professor of journalism and director of the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology, wrote the 1986 book Eyes Of Fire: Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior that has been published in four countries and five editions.

LISTEN: Terrorism in Auckland in 1985

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