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New Caledonia – do the French public want to “set it free”?

  • August 31st, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

 Things may be coming to a head over the coming New Caledonia referendum, the independence struggle in Australia’s own region, but there’s only lukewarm interest in France itself, says Lee Duffield.

After reporting from Noumea last month, he has been walking the streets in France this week asking people about New Caledonia – and getting some blank stares. … Read More »

Leader Profile: Ralph Regenvanu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu

  • August 1st, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

Lee Duffield interviewed the Foreign Minister at Port Vila in Vanuatu on 23 July 2018. He found a frank and open, and informing account of current issues in Vanuatu.   … Read More »

Taking a stand on media freedom in the Pacific

  • July 26th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

When the host county Nauru banned the pool broadcaster, ABC, from the Pacific Islands summit set for September, it was condemned widely for an attack on freedom of the media.

Lee Duffield paid a visit this week to Dan McGarry, head of the Vanuatu Daily Post, who took a lead, declaring his outlet would no longer go. … Read More »

Vanuatu digs in on Chinese presence – Foreign Minister says it’s “great”.

  • July 25th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

The Vanuatu foreign Minister, Ralph Regenvanu, has welcomed the intensified Chinese investment and aid efforts in his country, while conceding it does come with some extra diplomatic pressure.

In an extended interview with EUAustralia, at his Foreign Ministry office, Mr Regenvanu took stock of incidents upsetting the Australian government, and many Australians, like the story of China wanting a naval base in Vanuatu, which his government has denied. … Read More »

A vote to clear the air on independence?

  • July 22nd, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

The long-awaited referendum in New Caledonia is approaching quickly.

In the final instalment of a three-part series, Lee Duffield in Noumea assesses some of the options and omens. … Read More »

Who decides in New Caledonia?

  • July 20th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

In this second of three articles from Noumea, Lee Duffield (picture) learns about multi-cultural New Caledonia and the events that led to their referendum on independence now just four months away.

What is the shape of decolonisation in the present time, now long after the rush to independence that went on in countries around the world from 1960 to 1980? … Read More »

New Caledonia celebrates Bastille Day and thinks about independence

  • July 20th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

In France’s most far-flung territory, New Caledonia, the Bastille Day celebrations this year were as normal, though technically at least, those might have been the last as the national day.

Lee Duffield who is in New Caledonia watching the lead-up to the referendum on independence set for 4 November, says a “yes” vote would overturn decades of deal-making and compromise.

It is the first of three articles. … Read More »

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