Showing posts from September 13, 2009

Three Notices: Polls and Blog

1. The polls on the President's Political Dialogue Forum, SDL/FLP participation in the PPDF; the People's Charter and the police Christian Crusade closes on Monday. Please vote now. To access, click HERE on Public Polls on Fiji's Political Situation.
2. There's a new poll on"Comments" on this blog. See lefthand column. You may select multiple answers.
3. The pro-Government blog realfijinews has been resurrected.

(o+) Just Back from Fiji: Maori and Cook Island Journalists

Russell Brown of NZ TV7 interviews Radio NZ's Richard Pamatatau and Maori TV's Julian Wilcox, recently back from Fiji where Julian had an interview with Bainimarama and talked to people in the streets of Suva, and Richard (having just missed out on an interview with Bainimarama) went walkabout to talk to people in an urban squatter settlement, the cane fields and a Fiji village. This link, with commentary by respected Pacific journalist, author and teacher David Robie, is from David's Cafe Pacific.

This is an important interview because it records off-the-cuff reflections by two people of Polynesia descent and sensitivity. They were by no means enthralled with what they saw and heard, but they were sufficiently "in touch" with Fiji's sensitivities to produce programmes that few Europeans seem able to emulate.

My comments on some of the things they covered:

Neither saw any indication of an oppressed people, and people spoke to them freely, but both seems nervo…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in I thank Allen and Connect for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

A Helping Hand

Hello there. To be truthful I have a lot of respect for the former Prime Minister and likewise I also have a lot of respect for the Army Commander. Yet I take no sides. By the way I have a lot of mates in the SDL top brass .... I suppose they will accept a bit of constructive criticism from time to time because it keeps one on track.

But its good that my letter has generated some reaction. As for bitterness ..... this is one word that is most certainly not in my book ..... you may have read many of my letters that were against the Army and likewise this one was against Laisenia Qarase's reaction. Before the Coup I was a constant critic of …

(o) PM Seeks Ideas on Budgets for Next Five Years

In a request that doesn't seem like the normal approach of a supposed dictator, PM Bainimarama has asked members of the private and public sectors to help Government formulate Fiji’s budgets for the next five years.

“I want consistencies in policies and long term goals to provide investor confidence to help you and me plan our government, our businesses, our lives, and our country,” he said while opening a one-day Public and Private Consultative Forum on the 2010 Budget this morning. Those attending included representatives from the private sector, civil society, trade unions, professional organizations, members of the financial services sector, and Government. The Forum theme was “Growing the Economy and Reducing Poverty through Public and Private Sector Partnership." “I know there has been some disgruntlement over certain policies over the past couple of years. But we are not here to look into the past. We are here to look at our future,” he said. Fiji’s economic growth …

If Democracy is about Voting..........Please Vote

(o+) Is the Tide Turning in Fiji's Favour?

Commonwealth may help but Australia and New Zealand seem to have lost the plot

RajendraPrasad* writing in IndianNewsLinkquestions the Commonwealth's suspension of Fiji ("when many of its members are fake democracies where the elites throttle the freedom and rights of their people with reckless disregard for upholding the democratic ideals") but he thinks the Commonwealth has the resources and expertise to help Fiji in restructuring its democracy but first it must more fully understand the situation. The process must not be rushed, as it is vital that people clearly understand the intents and motives for the changes.

Second, it must work on the premise that a new Constitution needs to be formulated and, in so doing, it must accept that a new approach is needed because the previous Constitutions had basic flaws that contributed to Fiji's ongoing political instability.

Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and China

While the Commonwealth seems to be playing a vigorous …

Link to Maori TV Interview with Bainimarama

Thanks Coupfourpointfive for this.

For NZ readers, the interview may be heard again on Maori TV at 10pm Friday.

(o) The Folly of Canberra's Stand Against Fiji


Ni bula vinaka,
Attached is the text of the speech I gave at the Australia-Fiji Business Council in Sydney yesterday. The gathering was well-attended by business and government representatives from Australia and Fiji. My speech was preceded by one from a representative of Canberra's Department of Foreign Affairs who said it was "a myth" that Canberra wasn't involved in dialogue with the government of Fiji. I believe my speech proves the opposite to be the case.

The Australia Network News (ABC) reported on the days events.In reporting my criticism of Australia's "smart" sanctions, they chose to focus on "travel bans on members of the military regime", when in fact the thrust of my criticism of these bans was on the way they stop well-qualified, well-intentioned citizens of Fiji from taking up positions of community service. One need only think of an organisation like the FNPF board, sitting o…

Blog's Trivial Error or Deliberate Distortion -- Again?

Almost all remaining blogs on the Fiji political situation are anti-Government; most do not mince their words, in English or in Fijian; passion is often more evident than reason, fact and evidence but, when they get it wrong, questions have to be asked about their standards.

Malaysian Former PM Blasted for Supporting Fiji’s Tyrant, reads the RawFijiNews, headline, that then claims: "We have been reliably told that certain international organisations and pro-democracy bodies have slammed Malaysian former PM Tun Mahathir bin Mohamad (photo) for warming up to Fiji’s murderous tyrant Frank Bainimarama during his recent visit to Malaysia."

Reliably told? Certain organizations and bodies? Why is it so difficult to name them, and provide the sources of this information? Are the Fiji-based "international" or more representative international? Why the secrecy?

"These sources", the Blog continues, "also say that Frank’s claim in today’s Fiji Sun that Malaysia ba…

NZ Readers: Bainimarama on TV Tonight (Monday) 8 pm

Bainimarama is interviewed by Maori TV, Current Affairs, at 8pm tonight (UHF 12, I think, and Sky Channel 19).

He's not the most polished of pubic speakers, but you should be able to form an opinion on whether he really has a vision for a better Fiji, or whether he's merely seeking to retain power as some of his detractors claim.

Photo: shapesandsizes

(B) How Credible Is Peter Foster's "Fiji Truth"?

Thakur Ranjit Singh closely examines ten allegations made by convicted conman Peter Foster which, if true, implicate a number of prominent people opposed to the Bainimarama-led government in the planning and execution of the 2000 Speight coup, the murder of John Scott, and election fraud in the 2006 election.


Fostering and Adding Credibility to Peter Foster’s “Fiji Truth”
Thakur Ranjit Singh

The mountainous scrap heaps of respectability, chastity, trust and reverence are littered with skeletons of priests, swamis, mullahs, Rabbis and other guardians of faith, godliness and goodliness on whose good character we are prepared to will our lives away. Despite this, at one time or the other, they end up betraying our trust.

Yet, we are so unprepared and unwilling to listen to people with shady past and who happen to be the other side of the chastity coin. We are so preconceived about such people who could deliver thoughts, opinions, view and revelations that strangely may hold great…

New Poll Questions

Four new poll questions have been added to our companion blog, Public Political Polls on Fiji's Political Situation. Please click the link on the left (or go to to vote and comment. Your answers are totally anonymous.