Bainimarama on Elections, ABC's Bias, NZ Sanctions Against Dancers ....

Short Briefs 3.3.10
Scroll down to Assassination verdict.
NZ Travel Ban Continues. Two Fiji performers to the Pasifika Festival in Auckland have been denied visas by the New Zealand Government. The two performers, Patricia Naisara and Samu Cama, were rejected because their fathers are in the Fiji Military Forces. That means the Vou Dance group will only have nine members instead of the regular 11 to perform on the closing day on March 13. The festival starts on March 6 and is an annual celebration of Pacific peoples in New Zealand. The Vou Dance group will be the only Fiji representatives there. (See comment by Kiwi Injustice in the "A Close Examination of Some Anti-Government Blog Postings.") Photo: Fiji Times.

Bainimarama's "Good" and "Bad" Ideas on the 2014 Elections
 Bainimarama wants to see new young faces, "with new ideas to be running the government," for the 2014 elections.

In a FijLive interview, the PM urged the younger generation not to shy away from politics but rather be a part of it. “What we want is young people to be involved in the National Dialogue Forum and be part of the government. They need to change their mentality about leaving the country in the hands of older politicians."

He also said Government is going over the names of people who had applied to be a part of the National Dialogue Forum, which had been expected to begin a month ago, following numerous applications from former politicians. This seems to mean that although the former political parties, based on race-defined electorates, will not be invited to the Forum, selected individual politicians, who may form new non-race bound parties, will be welcome. This is good news.

Later. however, Bainimarama is reported to have said no person who has been a politician since the 1987 coup will be allow to be a politician again.  This is bad news.

"Balanced" Reporting, Yet Again. RadioAustralia reported something of this Bainimarama's position when ABC radio journalist Campbell Cooney, provided short extracts from Ted Young, former SDL politician and strategist now living in Australia, Brij Lal and Cde Voqere Bainimarama. Former FCBBF technical head John Samy was also mentioned but was not interviewed.

In the interests of unbiased journalism and with an eye on Australia fair play, I decided to timed them. For those against the Government: Brij had 64 seconds in two bursts, Ted 33 seconds; while for those for the Government, Voqere had 14, and John apparently had 0.

New Water Supply to Rural Areas. People in rural areas will no longer be required to pay one-third of the costs of piped water installation while the State pays the other two-thirds. PM Bainimarama says the traditional system is unfair when those living in urban areas don’t pay a single cent. The one-third requirement caused delays of several years as rural communities sought to save the necessary money.

The Native Land Trust Board has ruled that "goodwill" payments made to landowners before leases are confirmed are illegal.

Homosexuality Decriminalised. The Pacific Coordinator of UNAIDS, Stuart Watson, says in dealing with HIV Aids and other sexually transmitted infections, Fiji's Crimes Decree, that has decriminalised homosexuality, is a huge step forward.

Miners at Vatukoula gold mine who were laid off in 2007 and continue to remain unemployed will receive a $1.6 million payout next week.  Link.

Fiji has kicked off 2010 with a 37.6% jump in international visitor arrivals – the best figures the destination has recorded for the start to a new year’s business since 2008.

Comments

Who will lead? said…
It's good to see Frank encouraging younger people to contemplate careers in politics. The clock is ticking away and there's been precious little national debate about what sort of individuals should take the country forward after 2014. Croz, you could do a lot worse than call for your readers to nominate prospective candidates or even individuals of achievement who should be encouraged to enter public life. The other important message in this interview is that elections will happen as Frank has promised. He'd hardly be making comments like this if, as his critics allege, he has no intention of handing over power in four year's time. I suspect that the National Dialogue Forum hasn't gone ahead because they still can't find an appropriate chair. They were talking about an outsider but have since gone quiet on the whole thing. Anyone know what's happening?
The ABC of biased reporting said…
Don't expect Radio Australia to be anything other than biased. The head of the ABC's Asia Pacific News section, Marco Bass, is virulently anti-regime and this attitude permeates the entire organisation. The ABC is also heavily influenced by veteran Pacific correspondent, Sean Dorney, whose closest contacts in Suva include the scented Pathan, Imrana Jala, and her tasi pori handbag of a husband, Saki Tuisolia. Dorney made a name for himself with his perceptive coverage of PNG for many years yet has never been able to grasp the complexities of Fiji beyond what he's spoon fed by the local human rights and media luvvies. Radio Australia calls its daily current affairs program Pacific Beat. But its collective finger is only on the pulse of local dissidents and those in Australia like Brij Lal who toe the official line on Fiji. The fact that Canberra has changed tack diplomatically hasn't yet registered with this gaggle of media idiots. But then they'll have been told by their DFAT contacts that "nothing has changed" so that's what they duly believe. Like the Lowy Institute, the ABC has been a puppet of Australia foreign policy and, in any event, will need a decent interval to wipe the egg off its face before singing a new tune. It's also a bastion of the left in Australian politics. And like every organisation of its type, preaches "democracy" while rigidly enforcing a strict leftist orthodoxy on everything from climate change to regional politics. Its journalists are invariably timid careerists who know that any deviation from the corporate line will result in being sent to the figurative salt mines. So to expect any independence of thought from them is futile. It doesn't help when the Fiji Government has been singularly inept in dealing with them and putting its case more cogently. But that's another story.
Time to strike back said…
I think the regime should tell NZ that it intends to halt any steps towards reengagement until this ban is lifted. It's high time to call their bluff and this is ample cause for outrage. These young people have no choice in the careers their fathers have undertaken. And there's no evidence whatsoever that their fathers are even senior enough to influence outcomes in the regime. So how on earth can NZ justify targeting them? They're artists who are grown adults. They can no more influence their fathers than their fathers can influence them. This is a scandal that gives the lie to the official NZ line that it wants to lower the temperature in its relations with Fiji. With this callous and utterly unjustified decision, the mercury has gone through the roof. We don't want relations with a country like this. So, Prime Minister, bring the whole process to a grinding halt. These kiwis deserve to the plucked.
Rip Van Croz said…
The best tourism figures since 2008? Wow, Croz, that's amazing. So long ago. I know the years get shorter when you're a qase like you so don't quite understand what's happening here. Did you really mean 1988? Lol
Anonymous said…
@ Rip Van Ulukau ..

Croz understands perfectly well - the increase is over the same period in 2008 which was when the previous record was set.

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