JOURNAL OF PACIFIC STUDIES
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Vol.28 no.1, 2005(9)

Title: In the wake of the Leonidas : reflections on Indo-Fijian indenture historiography

Author: Munro, Doug
Subject:  Fiji|historiography|indenture|Indians|Indo-Fijians|plantations
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 93-117

Abstract: The historiography of Indo-Fijian indenture came into its own with the publication of Ken Gillion’s Fiji’s Indian Migrants in 1962. A work of ‘balanced’ scholarship, it contrasts with the more ‘emotional’ A New System of Slavery (1974) by Hugh Tinker, which places greater stress on the iniquities of the indenture system. These two texts set the terms of discussion when the centenary of the arrival of Indian indentured labourers in Fiji, in 1979, gave impetus to further study by historians from the University of the South Pacific, notably Ahmed Ali, Vijay Naidu and Brij V Lal. This article evaluates the ongoing state of scholarship and asks why the momentum has not been maintained.

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Title: Alternance et renouveau politiques en Polynesie francaise : L'importante annee 2004

Author: Saura, Bruno
Subject:  Tahiti|Polynésie française|élections|politique et religion
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: f. 1-21

Abstract: L’année politique 2004 à Tahiti a connu de grands bouleversements. Les élections territoriales du mois de mai, pour le renouvellement de l’Assemblée (qui investit le président du gouvernement) ont vu pour la première fois la victoire d’Oscar Temaru. Challenger de longue date de Gaston Flosse, Oscar Temaru a mis de côté son programme pour une indépendance immédiate, au profit d’une pause idéologique de quelques années visant principalement à rompre avec l’exercice autocratique du pouvoir de Gaston Flosse; également, à mettre en place un réel développement durable. A la tête d’une majorité fragile, Oscar Temaru n’exerce pourtant le pouvoir que trois mois, puisqu’il est renversé en octobre 2004. Sa chute provoque de vives réactions non seulement à Tahiti, mais également en France. Le 15 novembre 2004, le Conseil d’État annule les elections aux îles du Vent (Tahiti et Moorea). De nouvelles elections partielles, tenues le 13 février 2005, donnent à nouveau une majorité fragile à Oscar Temaru, qui est réélu président de la Polynésie française le 3 mars 2005 et qui forme, le 7 mars 2005, un gouvernement de seize ministres. Basé sur un rappel des faits de l’année 2004 et des premiers mois de l’année 2005, le présent article explique les raisons de l’ascension d’Oscar Temaru, puis de sa chute et finalement de sa ré-election. Il note le regain d’intérêt pour la politique, avec la formation de plusieurs partis et surtout l’émergence d’une nouvelle génération politique. Il insiste sur la non neutralité de l’Etat français dans le processus électoral (notamment par l’adoption d’un mode de scrutin visant à favoriser Gaston Flosse), et explique les liens entre politique et religion à Tahiti.

Original information

Title: Power switching and renewal in French Polynesia politics : the importance of 2004

Author: Saura, Bruno translated by Bless Flores
Subject:  Elections|French Polynesia|politics and religion|Tahiti
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 1-22

Abstract: The year 2004 saw great upheavals in the political situation in Tahiti, and may prove to be a very important year in the history of French Polynesia as a whole. The May elections for the Territorial Assembly, and thus for the President of the territory, resulted for the first time in the victory of Oscar Temaru. A long-time challenger of the outgoing President Gaston Flosse, Temaru had suspended his programme of immediate independence in favour of an ideological breathing space of several years, with two aims: to break Gaston Flosse’s autocratic grip on power, and to set up real and sustainable development processes. Oscar Temaru became President at the head of an unstable majority in May 2004 but lost power to Gaston Flosse in October 2004. He was re-elected, again with a fragile majority, in the February 2005 elections. This article, based on the facts of 2004 and early 2005, reveals the metropolitan French government’s lack of neutrality in the electoral process (notably by adopting a system intended to favour Gaston Flosse). It examines the relationship between politics and religion in French Polynesia; highlights cultural factors in French Polynesian politics, notes the emergence of young potential leaders, and thereby explains the reasons for the political rise and fall and rise again of Oscar Temaru.

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Title: Book reviews

Author: Tuimaleali'ifano, Morgan
Subject:  
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 135-160

Abstract: [ Abstract not available ]

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Title: Obituary, Jayantha S. Wimalasiri, 1936-2005 : an exemplary academician

Author: Qalo, Ropate
Subject:  
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 89-92

Abstract: [ Abstract not available ]

Original information

Title: The RAMSI intervention in the Solomon Islands crisis

Author: Moore, Clive
Subject:  RAMSI|Solomon Islands
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 56-77

Abstract: The paper gives an up-date on the situation in the Solomon Islands [as in May 2005] and attempts to assess both RAMSI and the future needs of Solomon Islands. The paper argues that there is a disjunction between what RAMSI sees as its tasks and abilities, the capability of the present government, and the needs and expectations of the citizens of the nation.

Original information

Title: Quong Tart and early Chinese businesses in Fiji

Author: Ali, Bessie Ng Kumlin
Subject:  Chinese contract labour|Chinese migration; contract labour, nineteenth century|contract labour|Pacific|overseas Chinese
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 78-88

Abstract: In examining the activities of the Chinese who settled in Fiji during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this article throws light on why the Chinese were attracted to Fiji and how Chinese settlement occurred. It considers Quong Tart’s interest in employing Chinese labourers to work in Fiji for a company he was hoping to establish in these islands. Other Chinese also had similar ideas. None of their proposals eventuated and Chinese labour did not come to Fiji in large numbers. Yet Fiji’s economy was developed through Australian corporate capital dependent upon Indian indentured labour. That the Chinese presence in Fiji remained limited partially reflects three shaping factors: the attitude of the British Government towards the Chinese living and working in Fiji; the colonial government’s perception of its responsibilities to the indigenous population arising out of the Deed of Cession (1874); and the influence of Australian colonies upon British policies in this matter. The intention of Quong Tart to establish a company employing Chinese labour is analysed. In this context, the activities of the Chinese companies and Chinese traders already in Fiji are illustrated through emphasis on some prominent Chinese in Fiji in the late nineteenth century.

Original information

Title: Volume 28 no. 1, 2005 - Contributors

Author:
Subject:  
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 161

Abstract: [ Abstract not available ]

Original information

Title: Big picture, myopic gaze : histories of the Solomons' crisis

Author: Bennett, Judith A.
Subject:  contemporary history|custom|kastom|electronic communications|historiography|Solomon Islands
Volume: Vol.28 no.1, 2005
Collation: p. 118-133

Abstract: The paper reviews two recent histories of the political upheavals in Solomon Islands. Both give clear accounts of the apparently unstoppable descent into mismanagement and corruption that culminated in the landing of a 2000-strong Australian-led Pacific intervention force in July 2003. Clive Moore’s account invites discussion in terms of influential antecedents such as the tradition of endemic fighting, Christianity, and resources—or the lack of them. Jon Fraenkel adopts a more political perspective, discussing ‘hot potatoes’ such as the ‘purity’ of kastom, and the simplistic opposition of ‘indigenous’ and ‘introduced’. In terms of hopeful elements of Solomons’ society, Moore’s account is assessed more favourably. Both writers are cautiously optimistic about the future, though both are thought to have downplayed the nation’s over-reliance on ‘rescue’ by outside donors, rather than pulling itself up by its own bootstraps as it were. The role of electronic communications, as ‘information hub’ and as future historical source, is canvassed, as also is the space for more personal, ‘lived experience’ histories by Solomon Islanders.

Original information

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