Wednesday, February 15, 2006

His name's Mika. He's a Tokelaun man.

We recently celebrated a birthday. Mika, pictured here, was in a particularly festive mood. The mood lasted, in spite of the smell of burning hair that eventually dominated the air around him.

He's currently in Tokelau with the UNDP as an observer of the referendum on independence from New Zealand. Just think, Tokelau can become the world's newest, and smallest, nation. It could also become one of the shortest lived, with predictions of rising sea levels giving nations like Tokelau, Niue and Kiribati something in the order of 50 - 100 years left.

Still, any opportunity for a people to democratically choose (or not, as the case may be) self governance is a good one. So let's celebrate, like Mika, whilst we can.

Update: The results are in. A narrow majority of the 600 or so registered Tokelaun voters have decided that it is better for Tokelau to remain a New Zealand territory.

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