Archive for December, 2010
According to the Pacific Island Forum Sources, the Pacific Islanders are surviving by the remittances sources from Australia, New Zealand and The United States of America. More importantly, Australia has overtaken New Zealand as the most remittances overtaking New Zealand in providing a lifeline to the dwindling economic fortunes of the South Pacific economies.
More importantly, Pacific Islanders have realised that the very essence of their survival hinges upon the human resource exports to the core industrialised nations. The Pacific Islander will remit monies in regular amounts to their loved ones in whatever sources whether they are on welfare or working as a high roller professional, the pacific Islander will consider remittances to their families as a mandatory undertaking.
Beneath is a report release from Neroni Slade from the South Pacific Forum on the 6th December, 2010.
Remittances in Forum Island Countries PRESS RELEASE (119/10)
6th December 2010
Remittances are an important source of household income and foreign exchange for many developing countries, providing income directly to households to improve living standards.
Reducing Pacific remittance costs to be in line with global averages would represent a significant productivity increase for the Pacific.
“Remittances to both the national economies and individual families in some Forum island countries are quite significant so it is imperative that the region gets the full benefits through mechanisms that would result in a win-win situation for the sending and receiving countries,” says Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
In a report called “Trends in Remittance Fees and Charges” prepared by Australia and New Zealand and presented to the recent Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Niue, it was noted that around US$470 million was formally remitted to Forum island countries (FICs) in 2008. The primary sources of remittances to the Pacific are Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.
The report stated that “the primary remittances policy challenge is that the average cost of remitting to the Pacific is significantly higher than global averages.”
The average cost of sending remittances to the Pacific island countries is 21.7 percent of the amount remitted when sent from Australia and 15.2 per cent when sent from New Zealand. It is estimated that remitters to the Pacific pay at least US$90 million in remittance fees each year.
Following discussions of the report, the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Niue agreed “to explore and prioritise support for domestic initiatives in both sending and receiving countries to promote lower remittance costs.”
The Ministers agreed to investigate whether domestic regulatory or payment system arrangements are a constraint to lower remittance costs and reporting back to FEMM in 2011.
They further agreed to support financial efforts, consistent with the MoneyPACIFIC Goals and promote transparency in remittance costs of Remittance Service Providers operating in their countries. The MoneyPACIFIC Goals to be achieved by 2020 are that: all school children to receive financial education through core curricula; all adults to have access to financial education; simple and transparent consumer protection be in place; and to halve the number of households without access to basic financial services.
The Forum Economic Ministers also agreed to promote national level awareness of the SendMoneyPacific website (www.sendmoneypacific.org) and share experiences in improving financial awareness, especially in relation to remittance costs. The website has improved the transparency of fees and charges by displaying both upfront fees and exchange rates.
FEMM is the premier regional forum for economic cooperation in the region. Meeting documents for the Niue FEMM including the full report on remittances can be accessed through this link:
For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone 679 331 2600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 679 331 2600 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 679 331 2600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 679 331 2600 end_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Atheism and the denial of cultural traditionsTim Tufuga
Recently, I have gone onto a Samoan website and thought that at long last I was able to engage in some intellectual discussion forum amongst some intellectual Pacific Islanders. I was very disturbed with realising that the enlightened Samoan intellect in Samoa was anything but tolerant of irreligious views. I had considered the power of the Judeao-Christian faith upon the hearts and minds of a Pacific Island culture whose cultural traditions have become transformed from a pre-European animistic Polytheism religious culture into one in which a Semitic martyr from a hithero alien culture would transcend Samoan traditional religions. It behoves the intellectual mind of the indigenous thinker to find the correlation between alchemist Eurocentric contrived religion from their seemingly quaint and purportedly unattractive primitive religion of the then Samoan religion. Animism was to be tossed aside like some old fashioned garment which had worn out their lustre and appeal. The arrival of the European draped with the fineries of materialism and their version of a cryptic and enigmatic religion would woo the seemingly tardy inhabitants. Samoans were easily cajoled into the psychological warfare initiated by the European explorer and conquerer like a child bfeeling excited upon seeing a stranger arriving bearing sweets for the child to consume.
The bible on one hand thrust forward in the bravado Dutch courage of a boisterous preacher man, and a gun hidden behind his backs would portray a very acccurate image of Pacific Islander diplomacy, The formula for cultural indocrination and cultural invasion was not dissimilar anywhere throughout the South Pacific or for that matter anywhere throughout the new world where ever a European would set foot onto their virgin soils.
Samoans are not unlike any infantile child being tempted by the delictable delights of cultural development brought upon their shores by a purported superior civilisation. It would be understandable also for any person to assume the notion that a white man was indeed a superior being than a brown man. Notwithstanding the fact that cultural advancement and the aggregation of cumulative knowledge and wisdom is all based upon an ecclectic experience of explored men who have accumulated the vast combined knowledge of other cultures and simply added them to theirs likened to the English dictionary being continually updated with newly created words. The idea of superiority is based purely on the empowerment of knowledge rather by some spiritual god and or religion which would bestow the white man with a divine right to rule. For instance when Marco Polo had explored the Asian lands he brought back to Europe noodles, spices and a new knowledge of civil service or bureaucracy not yet understood by the Barbarian Europeans. This would included paper money which was considered as outrageous by Europeans. In Marco Polo’s time the European was not unlike the Samoan who having first set eyes upon a White man thought with amazement of how superior this creature from heaven was. Hence he honoured the white man by calling him a ‘Papailagi’ , a Palagi. This means the alien from the heavens, or he who has “bursted from the sky”.
Their religion would woo them so easily rendering all animsim as obsolete voodoo magic which would drive all the old religions from the villages almost instantaneously. Such a situation occured in 1830 when John Williams arrived in Savai’i Island and was given an audience to the then Malietoa, Malietoa Vainu;upo. Malietoa Vainu’upo would consequently convert his entire people to this impressive religion so long as his army of warriors would also be equiped with this superior creatures weapons in order to defeat his rivals in the war against Atua and Aana districts. The Samoans were not as naive as some people thought. But in saying that the political cunning of Malietoa would not be fully appreciated by the lesser equals who seem to regard the Semitic religion as genuine.
It is unfortunate to realise that since Malietoa Vainu’upo’s time the intellectual mind of many Samoans have regressed and have become retarded by the absolute gullibility of the lesser equals who have since accepted the Judeao-Christian religion along with its sectarian conflicts as being part of the Fa’aSamoa culture today. This distardly cultural affrontary is obscene to any truly intellectual mind whether they are Samoan or an outsider viewing the complete gullibility of an inferior child.
The reality today for any self aware intellectual atheist is one of alienation and ostracisation from the comforming mores and taboos of a deeply entrenched Judeao-Christian and or Bahai religion within Samoan society.
The atheist is much more a braver man and a thick skinned warrior to stand defiantly against the whimpy conforming massess who will never accept the fact that they have been conquered by the Whiteman and must be forced to conform to the trappings and symbols of assimilation by wearing the ‘whites’ every Sunday as an act of racial contrition to a White Preacherman’s own contrived rules. The Samoan would meekly go to his church in the middle of the village and be deeply humbled by the Beautitudes and acknowledging that he his truly a conquered.