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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 »

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 »

Meme au bout de monde: Football victory for France reverberates world-wide

  • July 16th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

Even at the “end of the Earth”, or at least a most far-away point from France, they stayed up all night to revel in the country’s great victory.

The scene was a crowded sports bar in Noumea, New Caledonia, out in the mid-Pacific, towards 4 am local time, and 500 spectators dared to believe it was about to happen. … Read More »

Shaping up for New Caledonia’s independence vote

  • July 7th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

Opinion polls are saying electors in the independence referendum set for New Caledonia this year will strongly support staying with France.

Lee Duffield as a correspondent covered the original Paris negotiations on independence 30 years ago.

He says a meticulous deal coordinated by successive French governments has shortened the odds their way, but the sticking point is how the native Kanak people will wear any outcome. … Read More »

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