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100229.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:22 pm Reply with quote

There is some material about Nauru in another forum, which I will import in due course. Before I forget, though, tonight I met a man who was brought up there (his father was an Australian who was Chief of Police). He said that one of the side-effects of quarrying out the middle of the island was to create a micro-climate, a column of hot air rising from the denuded central area. This column of rising air is the reason why it never rains in Nauru, which is why they have to import their drinking water in ships.

100426.  Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:14 pm Reply with quote

I've never heard of Nauru until now, let alone that it is a former British Colony and the worlds smallest Republic.
See BBC Country Profile:

100455.  Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:52 pm Reply with quote

OK, since this thread has prompted all this frenzied interest (thanks, Bergerac) here are those imports:

What is the capital of Nauru?

I guess we could do better on the question, but Nauru is the only independent country in the world which doesn't have an official capital. The largest settlement is called Yaren.


Nauru lived high on the hog for a number of years by selling its accumulated birdshit reserves as phosphate fertilizer. But this eventually ran out and they found themselves economically scuppered.

So they opened their doors to money launderers ('offshore bankers', they called them) for a couple of years, but now they've all gone as well.

The only income they had after that was the rent on an office building in Melbourne, which they've now had to sell to pay off debts.

Their President is called Scotty.

They are the smallest country outside of Europe, and the smallest republic anywhere (12 miles in circumference and 8 sq miles in area).

Their top visitor attraction according to Lonely Planet is the Nauru Phosphate Corporation Museum, but "The only drawback is that the museum is not normally open: contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the key."

Everything has to be imported, including water until they got the desalination plant going.

They're suing the USA for billions of $$ in foreign aid that were allegedly promised in return for setting up a bogus embassy in China through which the Americans could smuggle defecting North Korean scientists ('Operation Weasel'). Apparently the case is going quite well so far.

In 2001 the MV Tampa, a ship on its way to Australia, rescued 460 refugees from a sinking ship and was then denied admission to an Australian port for its pains, because if the refugees' first landfall was Australia they'd be stuck with them under international law. So they all had to go to Nauru. Two of them, Iraqis, are still there. Spotting yet another opportunity, Nauru has now set itself up in business as a detention centre for refugees. You have to hand it to them.

This from Camilla, one of our picture researchers (who seems to have been asked to slightly push the envelope of her job description on this occasion):
John asked us to find out whether there are any dry-cleaners based in Nauru and whether it's true the president of Nauru has his trousers flown to Melbourne to have them dry-cleaned;

The Consulate-General of the Republic of Nauru have said there is in fact a 'cleaning' service in Nauru and the President does not fly his clothes to Melbourne for dry-cleaning. However the Nauru Embassy in Melbourne confirmed there are no dry-cleaners in Nauru and that pervious presidents have flown their suits to Melbourne for dry-cleaning but are unsure whether the present President does the same or sends them somewhere else.

So, the two slightly contradict each other, but I think it's fair to deduce from this that there are no actual dry-cleaners in Nauru but previous Presidents have flown their suits to Melbourne to have them dry-cleaned.

213622.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:17 am Reply with quote

This site rather intriguingly implies that Nauru squandered a proportion of its phosphate money on a a broadway musical about Leonardo DaVinci that lasted less than a month.

Anyone know more?

213626.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:20 am Reply with quote

From the same site:

The Noddy Bird is a symbol of Nauru. According to David, a "Noddy Bird Pro" with a gravelly voice like a movie mafioso, Nauru is the only country that hunts them. In days of yore, hunters would train the first Noddy Birds they caught, taming them to sit on perches in the bush attracting more birds with their song. Nowadays they use recordings of the birds in casette-players.

672122.  Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:29 pm Reply with quote

It was about time that this unusual island nation had an update. Discover Nauru gives this short paragraph to entice the potential tourist under the title Unique Nauru.

"Discover excellent deep sea fishing, scuba dive amazing ocean depths, take a tour of the island’s past economic mainstay the phosphate mines or simply experience a holiday in a world far from your own."

It has one of the blandist references from the CIA

As reported by the BBC May 5th 2009

"In 2001 Nauru signed an agreement with Australia to accommodate asylum seekers on the island, in return for millions of dollars in aid. However, Australia ended its controversial "Pacific Solution" of detaining asylum seekers on islands in 2008." Australia has sent financial experts to Nauru to help it overcome its problems."

672189.  Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:46 pm Reply with quote

In 1989 there was a legal case brought by Nauru against Australia, with Nauru "winning an important decision on jurisdiction and forcing a complete settlement of the claim to rehabilitation of mined-out phosphate lands."

672242.  Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:57 pm Reply with quote

I'm beginning to think this country is actually based on the plot of an Ealing comedy.

672259.  Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:28 pm Reply with quote

This extract from Wiki is QI it involved a scheme to send 1,200 asylum seekers to an island with a population of no more than 10,000:

"The detention center on the South Pacific island nation of Nauru was based on a Statement of Principles, signed on 10 September 2001 by the President of Nauru, René Harris, and Australia's then Minister for Defence, Peter Reith. The statement opened the way to establish a detention center for up to 800 people and was accompanied by a pledge of $20 million in development activities. The initial intake was to be people rescued by the MV Tampa (see Tampa affair), with the understanding that they would leave Nauru by May 2002. Subsequently a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 11 December boosting refugee numbers to 1200 and the promised development activity by an additional $10 million.

Initial plans were for asylum seekers to be housed in modern air-conditioned housing which had been built for the games of the International Weightlifting Federation. This plan was changed after landowners' requests for extra compensation were rejected.

Two camps were then built.......In April 2007 proposals were discussed whereby detainees in Guantánamo, Cuba, would be transferred to Australia, and detainees in Nauru would be processed for possible settlement in the United States."

This idea was abandoned

The comment from The Age sums up the end to the "arrangement"

672331.  Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:40 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
In 1989 there was a legal case brought by Nauru against Australia, with Nauru "winning an important decision on jurisdiction and forcing a complete settlement of the claim to rehabilitation of mined-out phosphate lands."

I'm not sure how much mention is made on the links in the thread above of Australia's financial and environmental exploitation of Nauru.

672444.  Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:50 am Reply with quote

Nauru since 21st October 1887 had been part of the German Empire prior to the outbreak of WW1. The Germans used the word "Schutzgebiet", (protectorate), for colonies. In the Pacific Ocean the German Empire included:
German New Guinea (which included the islands of Buka and Bourgainville)
Marshall Islands

In 1914 it was occupied by Australian forces. On 17th December 1920 it was mandated by the League of Nations to the British Empire. In 1947 the UN Trusteeship was vested in Australia, Britain and New Zealand. However Australia has been the dominant influence on the island since 1914.

It would appear the a sequence of blatant exploitation, poor economic management and sheer bad luck have left an island of 10000 people in a sorry state

672465.  Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:40 am Reply with quote

Not wishing to doffcock, but on the subject of badly treated islanders, don't get me started on the Chagos Islanders

672594.  Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:23 pm Reply with quote

I agree there are a few more around for example those evicted for nuclear explosions.

Like Nauru when the motive was profit the interests of others did not count.

697467.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:34 pm Reply with quote

Nauru was after Russia one of the first countries to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

751502.  Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:25 pm Reply with quote

The latest from news from Nauru concerns Sri Lankan assylum seekers.

Hunger striking Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held on Nauru say they are ready to die rather than wait indefinitely for the Australian government to process their cases.

These people were dumped on Nauru as part of an agreement with Australia for the island to house asylum seekers.


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