Showing posts from November 8, 2009

An Appeal for Your Help (S.O.S.)

In two weeks time I'm giving a paper in Auckland at the Pacific Islands Political Science Association conference. The paper is titled Political Blogs on Fiji:Cybernet Democracy or What?

There are three areas where I especially need your help, although your comments and ideas are welcome on anything relevant. They are:

1. Other blogs. Anything you can tell me on where they are located and the general identity (no names needed) of their publishers.

2. Among the people you know, who reads blogs? My impression (and I could be quite wrong) is that most readers are ethnic Fijians and Others (few Indo-Fijans answered my poll questions and there's no other way I can identify readers' ethnicity). Most people only read blogs that agree with the way they think?

3. Your opinions on the indirect and direct influences of blogs, particularly on the Fiji Government, anti-Government and the "middle ground" in Fiji, and on public opinion, the media and politicans overseaas, most …

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.

The Babies' Clinic in Lautoka

Once again I am gathering support for  the Babies Clinic In Lautoka. When I first wrote about it,  I had been reassured that the road was going to be upgraded so that buses would go up Old Hospital Road and down the other side. It is now some time since then and our mothers are still struggling.

Old Hospital Road is in the heart of Lautoka City. Surely all roads should be in good condition if they are in the City? The added need is our mothers’ plight; they carry with them our “future”. Though many of the mothers who trudge up that hill in the raging sun or rain may be poor, who knows which of those poor babies will grow up…

(B) What the People Think: FijiLive Polls since 20 March 2008

 FijiLive runs an on-line poll on sporting and political issues. Here are most of the political issues polled for the past two years. Such polls are, of course, only indicative of the opinions of those who read FL and answered the poll questions, and  responses at each date reflect the news and mood at that specific time. Answers could be quite different if a question were again asked six months later. Nonetheless, there are some "constants:" 

On most issues people were evenly divided (40-60% range; topics underlined scored over 70%)) but most pollsters: (1) thought Australia and NZ should ease up on Fiji, (2) Accepted the reasons for Fiji's international exclusions; (3) thought Fiji should not retaliate, (4) were in no great hurry for elections. They thought other issues should be fixed first and that electoral reform should precede elections, (5) were not happy with former PM Qarase and his SDL party, lawyers and the Great Council  of Chiefs, (6) accepted the need to a…

(+) Fiji Times Does it Again!

This is an email I received from a reader.

Dear Croz Walsh
It was interesting reading the different reports about Fiji Remembrance Day yesterday. The Fiji Times heading Oz, NZ, Bainimarama, no show at dawn service” implies something very different to what is reported on the Fijilive website. “Politics aside: Aust, NZ join Fiji celebration.”

Fijilive says that Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama did not attend the service as he has left for a two week tour of Rome and Brussels (see below). Fiji Times did not report this fact so what is the truth? Which media organisation is reporting truthfully?

Fiji Sun reportsthat Mr Bainimarama left the country last night for a two-day tour to Rome and one week tour of Brussels to meet the European Commission (Official clarifies Rome trip.)
So is the Fiji Times mischief making or deliberately leaving out some of the facts to make Frank Bainimarama look as if he doesn’t care about Remembrance Day?

Another Fiji Times report in the same issue b…

(+) The Morality and Purpose of Media "Leaks"

There is a very interesting comment to this post. Click on Comments below to read it.

I invite you to look at this article in The Australian and further comment by Coupfourpointfive and then consider the following:

Chief Justice Gates sent PM Bainimarama a memo about the difficulties experienced by the Sri Lankan judges in obtaining transit visas through Australia. The memo was "leaked" to the media.

Within hours, Bainimarama said he would expell top diplomats from the Australian and New Zealand High Coms. But Bainimarama had threatened this action earlier, according to another "leaked"email, this time from one of the judges to the Sri Lankan Honorary Consul in Suva.

The email, and a letter to both High Coms written by Foreign Affairs Secretary Solo Mara, were then "leaked," directly or indirectly to The Australian.

A copy of this email sent to Bainimarama was also then "leaked" to the media. And a copy of the Aust.High Com's telephone con…

To Fiji Readers and Their Overseas Friends

UPDATE: Fiji access to most if not all blogspot and wordpress sites has now been restored. According to Alterego (see comments, below) who rang Kidanet (one of Fiji's ISPs) the sites were blocked following "a directive from Government.

One commentator thought me wrong to implicate Government unless I had proof (I tried, but proof and indeed much more essential information is almost impossible to obtain thanks to PER and other communication restrictions. The benefits of lifting PER far exceed the disadvantages.)

Other commentators though my post unhelpful in Fiji's present situation (I think it especially helpful at this time precisely because of the situation); that Coupfourpointfive is not a moderate blog (it's anti-government, but relative to many others, I think it moderate), and that I should remove my links to anti-Government blogs. (If I did this, I would be as intolerant as they are. It is not enough to "know your enemy,"you must also talk with them.)