Showing posts from December 27, 2009

(o) We Made it! New Year Honours List

Well, I never!  Fiji: The Way it Was, Is and Can  Be  is mentioned in David Robie's Cafe Pacific  New Year  Honours List.

Check out the Comments on the postings, and add your own.  Comments make the blog come alive.  The record number of comments so far is 28, on (+) "The Real Frank Bainimarama Stands Up" (see below)  but surprisingly most comments were about Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

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.

For the Kid's sake

After the MIC Show, the Hibiscus Festival and the Miss South Pacific Pageant one of my grog mates said that Fiji really has talent. Then Paulini Curuenavuli, Suzy Vulaca and other international Fijian superstars sang in Suva. Then we had the Fiji Fashion Show and saw beautiful and handsome young men and women strut their stuff.

This mate of mine said that our young people can sing, dance and act and sew. He said many of our children will now try to become beauty queens and kings even models. What Fiji needs now is to show another side of these talented young men and women. We need to see them cooking home dinners and cleaning the hou…
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(o+) The Prime Minister's New Year Message

Over 35,000 people ushered in the New Year at Albert Park, in the capital's biggest ever street party.Full story.

In his New Year's message to the nation, PM Bainimarama urged his fellow citizens "to get out of our little boxes and collectively think of taking this nation we call home forward  [and] work together to move Fiji into the modern world. He said "government will continue to focus on improving the lives of all citizens in the New Year." The PM also urged people to be aware of , and to stand up to, those who continue to undermine the work of the government. Click  here.

Speaking of those who still opposed what the Government was trying to do, he said:

"I know there are some who are still working behind the scenes to undermine the coming together of our people; there are some who still think along ethnic or racial lines. I also know that there are a few who are working with some of our development partners, our international friends, and some secti…

Snippets: Dialogue Forum, Cyclone Mick,Femlink, Diabetes, Prison Reform, Anonymous Comments, Needy Children, Tourism

There are 12 Comments on this posting. See "Comments" at end..

The National Dialogue Forum on Fiji's future will convene on February 1st and pave the way to the Consultative Constitutional Forum starting in September 2012. Government has urged leaders in the church, vanua, civil groups (but not the old political parties) to participate. Prerequisites for attendance include:
Interest must focus on Fiji’s futureViews must not be inconsistent with the principles of the People’s Charter Participants must not have any pending criminal chargesParticipants must not represent political organizations based on communal representation.It is especially important, with the old political parties excluded, that Government appoint as chairperson someone well known to the Fiji general public even if (perhaps especially if) that person does not otherwise support Government.

No good will be served with the appointment of an unknown or a person seen to be a Government stooge.   Full story.

The …

NZHC Says John Key 's Words "Misunderstood"

There are 5 Comments on this posting. Check them out, and add your own.

So that's why the news was not reported in NZ's mainstream media, except for Michael Field jumping the gun in the DominionPost. The NZHC in Suva says PM John Key was "misunderstood."  He didn't say what others took him to say.

I expressed my doubts in the  22 December report of the Radio Tarana interview (o) New Zealand Initiative? "A new initiative," I wrote, " or merely a repeat of the old conditions? We shall have to wait and see, but considering it's Christmas week, we'll give PM Key the benefit of the doubt -- and keep our fingers crossed."    

But why did Key allow himself to be misunderstood, and wait so long for the misunderstanding to be corrected? He certainly said more than the HighCom concedes.  I quote: "I’m actually in the process of sending him [Bainimarama] a letter actually – for trying to engage in more dialogue." The HighCom's report…

(+) Prison Reform Part of the Roadmap: The Yellow Ribbon Programme

3 Comments so far. Others welcomed. 

A Letter from a Naboro Prison Visitor

Dear Walsh,
One of the great untold success stories of this regime is the Yellow Ribbon Programme,the new, humane and Christian approach to rehabilitating prisoners.

I've been visiting Naboro Prison for a long time. I've noticed a general cleanliness in the barracks and surroundings, the wardens more friendlier, yet still firm and professional with the prisoners. The Prisons Department won a quality circle award at the recent Civil Service Awards Night and this is a major achievement.  An inmate told me that the changes Prisons Commissioner Brigadier Ioawane Naivalurua brought in are transformational.

This Government may be illegal but it is doing more and better for this country than any democratic elected government. It also has a heart for the poor and disadvantage - something that was lacking with previous administration.

I am writing to you because your blog seems to be the only one that does not say th…

(o) Fiji's Economic Outlook Improves: Jayaraman

The following is part of a longer Fiji Timesarticle by USP Economics professor Tiruvalangadu Jayaraman.

Ten days ago, the Standard and Poors (S& P), a leading rating agency revised its earlier negative rating of Fiji. The economic outlook has now been rated as stable.It is a relief for Fiji's decision makers. They have toiled hard in the midst of challenges of all kinds: natural disasters and impact of global recession. Adverse effects of floods and fall in export earnings caused Fiji to decline by 2.5 per cent.

The stable rating given by S & P is due to comfortable foreign reserves level presently standing at F$ 1.1 billion, equivalent to imports of 5 months. The reserve position has been built through a mix of prudent policies, besides the painful decision of devaluation of the currency in April 2009. These included cautious monetary and fiscal policies. The statutory reserve requirement (SRD) ratio was once raised to 7 per cent to meet the inflationary fall out of an u…

(+) The Real Frank Bainimarama Stands Up

There are 28 Comments on this posting: a record.

An oldish (post-June 2009) Australian video interview with Frank Bainimarama, but one that spells out the consistency of his aims and confirms my belief that, whatever the shortcomings of his Government, he is sincere it what he is attempting to achieve.  Well worth listening to during this holiday period. Click here to listen.
Photo: Bainimarama with Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, another consistent and sincere man who, while probably agreeing with much of what Bainimarama is trying to achieve,  disagrees with his methods and doubts his likelihood of success.  The saddest thing in Fiji is that these two are not batting for the same team.     Also on YouTube. 

(o) Tourists from India, Air Pacific Competition and Collaboration

The Fiji media has published several tourist-related items lately. The latest is the Fiji Sun's intriguing "Chasing Indians ...The Indians are Coming. Are we ready?" front-page item on how to attract Indian tourists from the Sub-Continent.

Earlier, Islands Business published a very comprehensive report on prospects for tourism from China, now with twice weekly Air Pacific flights Nadi-Hong Kong; a collaborative code-sharing arrangement with Cathay Pacific (and links to Europe, the Middle East, SE Asia and within China itself) and a new office in Shanghai. Government's 2010 Budget set aside $23.5m to market tourism.

All worthy initiatives and well worth publishing but why has there been no media editorial or column comment on the implications of Qantas's intended sale of the 48% it owns of Air Pacific, Fiji's international airline 51% owned by Government? The airline has opened up routes , or entered code-sharing arrangments, that should see more tourists fro…

(+) Ranjit Singh, John Key and Lasting Solutions for Fiji

Fiji Needs Lasting Solutions and Compassionate Neighbours

Thakur Ranjit Singh, Waitakere City, New Zealand

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.