Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Ukraine example cited in call to extend visas for abandoned Papuan students

Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono ... “As a Pacific nation we do have a responsibility to support West Papuans.” IMAGE: Tagata Pasifika screenshot APR

By MATTHEW SCOTT of Newsroom

Time is running out for a group of West Papuan students in New Zealand whose scholarships were cut — out of the blue — by the Indonesian government

The sudden removal of government funding for the Papuan students has left many of them in financial dire straits on visas that are running out.

Forty two students learned of the termination of their scholarships at the beginning of this year. With deadlines approaching they have appealed to both the Indonesian government and MPs in New Zealand to see if they can fix their dashed hopes of a completed education.

Green Party MPs Ricardo Menendez March, Golriz Ghahraman and Teanau Tuiono penned a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta requesting government to support for the students before they are deported.

They are calling for a scholarship fund to support the impacted students, a residency pathway for West Papuan students whose welfare has been affected, and an assurance that the students will have access to safe housing in affordable accommodation.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

AJI slams hacking of group chief’s accounts as attack on press freedom

AJI general chairperson Sasmito Madrim speaking to journalists ... disinformation
hacking attack on Madrim's personal WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook accounts.
IMAGE: Populis

By Vitorio Mantalean in Jakarta

THE INDONESIAN Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) has condemned the hacking and disinformation attacks against the group’s general chairperson Sasmito Madrim as a serious threat to media freedom.

In a written release, the AJI stated that the incident was a “serious threat to press freedom and the freedom of expression”.

“This practice is a form of attack against activists and the AJI as an organisation which has struggled for freedom of expression and press freedom,” the group stated.

“The hacking and disinformation attack against AJI chairperson Sasmito Madrim is an attempt to terrorise activists who struggle for freedom of expression and democracy”, the group said.

The AJI stated that the hacking attack began on February 23 and targeted Madrim’s personal WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook accounts as well as his personal mobile phone number.

Flashback: The future of the Pacific Media Centre - David Robie talks

Interview with Radio 531pi

RADIO 531pi's Ma'a Brian Sagala talks to the retired founding director of the Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie, and Tahitian researcher and advocate Ena Manuireva on the Pacific Days With Brian show about uncertainties over the centre's future a year ago. 

Since then the centre has remained in limbo -- if it even still exists after all the pledges by the AUT University administration to continue its pioneering cultural diversity media work into the future.  

And in spite of the talented staff who worked hard to keep the centre going in spite of management obstacles. 

PMC Online as it was in December 2020 - nothing has been changed or updated since.

This interview was broadcast on a Pacific Media Network (PMN) podcast, 26 March 2021. 

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