Showing posts from February 1, 2009
Last Week in Fiji II: Fact and Opinion

[Flashback: This weekend Fiji (and Serevi) are in Wellington for the Rugby 7's. Remember Trevor Mallard's embarrassing comment that he hoped the Fiji team wouldn't get very far in the competition (because of the 2006 coup)? And then Fiji went on to thrash NZ in the finals. A double embarrassment.]

Does anyone know why the Fiji Human Rights Commission website cannot be contacted?

Floods First, Forum LaterHelp Sugar Now -- or ElseSingh and Beddoes Speak OutPeople's CharterSamoan and Ni-Vanuatu CommentaryLitigation: Qarase and the Interim GovernmentWages Up, Fares Down - Helping the PoorMinimum WagesMischievous or Just Bad Reporting - Fiji Daily NewsThe Good News: 3000 New Jobs?And from NZTV 7 Robie, Dreaver and Khan
(G) Attention Floods First, Forum Later
Interim PM Voqere (Frank) Bainimarama has called for sacrifice in the face of suspended EU loans and further sanctions following Fiji's possible suspension from the PI Forum later …
(G) Bainimarama Appeals to Media for Fair Coverage on People's Charter

Abridged from Pacific Media Centre posting. Comment on this item For full Government release, see

Iterim PM Voqere Bainimarama has appealed to the media to report the facts on the People's Charter and State of the Nation and Economy (SNE) Report fairly so people could form informed opinions and make decisions based on good and reliable information. The media, he said, had a duty and important role to play in raising awareness about the People’s Charter and the details of the proposed changes.

He noted that their previous active opposition on the work of National Council for Building a Better Fiji appeared to be based on the idea that the Charter was being imposed by a government that had no mandate But reaffirmed that the Charter process had been inclusive and participatory and represented Fiji's own way of addressing its deep root…
(+) Opinion: Fiji Needs Lasting Solutions and Compassionate Neighbours
Thakur Ranjit Singh, Waitakere City, New Zealand
This article was published in the Fiji Times, 5 February 2009.

If there are any lessons to be learnt from the previous coups, hurriedly-prepared elections and token changes to rules do not usher in real democracy.

As New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 descended on Port Moresby on the night of 26 January, 2009, carrying New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to attend Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting, we had hoped his first trip to the Pacific since coming to power would make a difference.

However the outcome of the PIF meeting was a big disappointment. We had expected and hoped for some change with a new bloke in control. But it appears that despite his right arm in plaster, John Key was still using the other arm to cling on to Helen Clark’s petticoat when it comes to determining his stance about Fiji. He still appeared to be doing that in Port Moresby as he met the Pacific…
New Feature
Last Week in Fiji I : Fact and Opinion

Aftermath Forum Decision Aftermath Fiji Times Publisher ExpulsionEmployers concerned about new minimum wagesCommonwealth Urges Local Government ElectionsThe Sunday Ban - RevivedAnnouncement on President's Political Dialogue Forum (PPDF)
Meanwhile, estimates on the cost of flood damage increased; more flooding is forecast for Navua; Waisale Serevi was sacked as coach of the Fiji Sevens (and his supporters threatened to burn down Rugby House ... and Fiji slipped off the radar in New Zealand.

Aftermath Forum Decision
The Interim Government continues to say it will not be pressured; its opposition demands immediate compliance; and some in Fiji and overseas are asking for tougher measures. So, as expected, there's little new to report, onlyto repeat: pressure must be applied, inside and out of Fiji, on all parties, not just on the Interim Government.

Fiji Times Publisher Expulsion
The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre's (PCRC) Peter E…
(-) Opinion:Interim Government's Broken Promises

Scrambled snippets [with my comments (+) in parenthesis] from Jennifer Blake's article in the Jakarta Globe.( To comment on this item, go to my source,

Bainimarama promised change and led a bloodless coup with much popular support. But his initial popularity has faded because he has failed to deliver on his promises. The embattled interim government is now making dangerous moves to maintain order. The diplomatic snub (of Forum meetings) foolishly reinforces Fiji’s isolationist position ... [It is difficult to estimate his support when the media, some NGOs, and those who stand to lose from electoral reform are so vocal. Both sides, of course, will claim majority support.] His Alleged "Broken Promises"Commitments to media freedom broken. [Hastened perhaps by irresponsible reporting]
He promised to reinvigorate the economy, yet under his l…
(-) Brij Lal says Administration Under Seige

Extracts. For full article see, "Fiji's military rule ‘can’t last 10 years’ ", FijiLive 01/02/2009

Professor Brij Lal, ANU and co-author of the Reeves Commission report which resulted in the 1997 Constitution, says the interim administration is under siege. "Don't be fooled by all (Voreqe) Bainimarama's bluster. He is ruling with guns and fear, not with popular support.

"And while he might be thumbing his nose at the region right now the government won't be able to keep it up."While suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum would embarrass Fiji and exclude it from some regional deals, the economic impact will be minimal."I wouldn't be surprised if the military has already written the forum off as a loss and moved on," he says. "The problem then remains that Fiji is further isolated and Australia and New Zealand are no closer to the democracy that they are trying to bring about."