Short Briefs Mon 1.3.10


Today, Muslims celebrate the Prophet's Birthday and Hindus Holi. President Ratu Epeli Nailalatikau stresses the importance of religion in nation building and taking Fiji to a better future.

I find it strange that the RadioFiji web page invariably chooses a photo of PM Bainimarama in military uniform, just like the overseas media that seeks to stress his military role. Bainimaramana  said the lifting of sanctions was the main issue discussed between Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Murray McCully when they met last week, but "Ratu Inoke was doing the talking on Fiji’s behalf." Good. One spokesman. One voice.

PM Bainimarama has again stated the SDL, NFP, FLP parties will not participate in the forthcoming National Dialogue or be allowed to return to power in 2014. He claims ther parties are holding secret meetings and were behind the "600,000" petition.

Wages Council chair Fr Kevin Barr  expects wage increases from July 1 2010, saying the Council is trying to be fair to employers and workers. The People's Charter sought a national minimum wage in accordance with the poverty line, at present $175 a week. Some 60 percent of workers are below that. The increases will be introduced gradually.

The new $8m bridge at Naqali  opened by the PM last week will enable the eleven tikina (districts) of Naitasiri who live past Naqali to get their produce to the markets in time and also transport those who are sick to the hospital and the struggle they used to face in the old bridge will now be a thing of the past. The villages will also soon have access to electricity.

Government is exploring ways to upgrade Nadi International Airport.

The new US Embassy at Tamavua, Suva, to open next year will have cost $100 million, about one-half of which feed back into the local economy. The US Embassy is accredited to Fiji, Tonga,  Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru, and is the largest US consul district in the world which includes French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna.

Comments

Sai Lealea said…
Bula Vinaka Croz,

In case you have not heard, I thought you might be interested in what is actually the reality on the ground in Fiji, especially the ongoing abuse of innocent civilians and the violation of their human rights. Below is a report from Fiji from one of those present at the SDL offices the night they were rounded up and taken for questioning and abuse at the military camp in Suva Friday night last week.


MILITARY GOON SQUAD BACK IN OPERATIONS.

The military goon squad is back in operation behind the cover of darkness last Friday 26th Feb, 2010. At about 9pm a private vehicle drove into the SDL Party office carpark stopped for about 5mns then drove out again. There were people drinking grog at the SDL Party office including two former MP's Samisoni Tikoinasau and Mataiasi Ragigia.

After about 20mns the same vehicle Reg EY 175, Brown in colour returned with another private vehicle with about 10 soldiers full drunk and wreathing of alcohol plus 2 police vehicles with uniformed policemen stormed the SDL Party office and apprehended, abused, swore and assaulted the men who were drinking grog there. A couple sufferred injuries.

The men were taken to the QEB at Nabua and told by one Sgt Vulaono ,a brother of COMPO Esala Teleni to parade like military men and chant a loud that they are rebels of the regime and want to disobey orders of the military. They were accused of aiding and supporting the Hon Laisenia Qarase our former Prime Minister.

After one hour parade the two former MP's were released and told to go home after being forced to walk from the military cells to the main road while the rest were locked up in the military cells and released 5am the next morning.
Qanibulu said…
On this special day in Fiji, the Prophet Mohammed's Birthday and the Hindu Holi Festival of colours, may we all be reminded of richness of our diversity, a true blessing, and our common humanity.

Happy celebrations!
Anonymous said…
While I cannot confirm the above post, I can confirm that a story on the detention of two ex MPs was quashed by the censors.


BASA
Croz Walsh said…
Sai, What do you want me to do with this story? Publish it, when not one anti-government blog publishes anything positive about government or makes a single helpful suggestion on the way forward?

I had already decided to mentioned the incident, along with other news, in the next Short Briefs.

I trust you'll reciprocate?

Thanks, Basa, for your confirmation.
Lialia viavia said…
What a bloody cheek. Sai Lealea really takes the keke with this brazen attempt at "story placement". It's to your credit, Croz, that as a true democrat, you even allow him the space for this piece of SDL propaganda. Imagine if the boot was on the other foot and anyone with a pro-regime story tried to get oxygen on Coup 4.5 or some other miserable excuse for a Fiji site. They refuse even to post comments they don't agree with. Sai Lialia is an absolute menaace, a viavialevu stooge for the ancien regime who in any other dictatorship, would be tracked down and eliminated. But, of course, we are not like that in Fiji and must turn a Christian cheek and a ready ear as he drones on and on, all the while hoping that he'll be struck by lightening or drop dead from a surfeit of kakana dina. What a prat.
Ratu Sai said…
The audacity of this nudnick disseminating nothing more than mere rhetorical frippery, it would fair to say the Qarase squad will stoop to just anything in an attempt to justify their existence.

For this group of people know not of how gratuitously wicked they are in accomplishing their wickedness.
Sai Lealea said…
Bula Vinaka Croz,

I can't do better than restate again the report was sent to me by someone who was actually there. Of course the story would be censored in Fiji hence it could only be reported overseas.

I must say am somewhat shocked at the vitriolic posts of some of your contributors to my story, despite your tag as a neutral blog on Fiji.

For your info, some of us are also working away at engaging key figures in government, opposition and community here about a programme of community level dialogue based on the scenarios I had put up in my blog. A similar parallel initiative is being developed for Australia with the view to having a national/international get together to refine the scenarios as a way to contribute to governments (NZ/Aust etc) thinking to move Fiji forward.

Yes some of us are adamant that the current regime in Fiji does not have the mandate of the people and firmly believe a return to democracy is the key to Fiji and its people rediscovering their dignity as human beings.

Vinaka.
MJ said…
Sai, I think that everyone agrees that the current government does not have a proper mandate from the people, even though circumstantial evidence suggests they do have alot of supporters. However, critics like yourself always fail to mention that the Qarase government also did not a proper mandate from the people, due to corrupt vote buying, election rigging and an non-democratic failed constitution. Actions by Frank and the current government have shown that they are committed to developing a fair, non-racial government system in the future.

In defence of the posts in reply to your original post, I don't think they are overly harsh, but just pointing out the fact that your site, and other like it are very one sided. The posts in this chain are completly in line with Croz's tag of being a neutral blog. There are comments from both sides of the argument.
Dodonu sara ga said…
Sai, I don't know why on earth you'd be "shocked" at some of the vitriol directed at you. It's nothing to the damage you have wrought to Fiji's image yourself as a propagandist for the former government. Your initiative to "inform" the NZ and Australian governments of events in Fiji is aimed purely at the restoration of a corrupt and racist order that is, mercifully, now part of the country's past. The SDL is finished and exists only in the minds of craven, self interested people like yourself. From your privileged position in exile, you poison your host government's attitude towards Fiji with your malicious, pernicious campaign against the regime. The damage to investment and jobs simply can't be quantified. So vitriol is nothing compared to the fate you really deserve for trashing our country in the eyes of its neighbours with a vicious campaign of lies and distortion. Indeed, my view is that you and the likes of Tui Savu deserve to be tried for treason if you ever show your faces in Fiji again. An overreaction? Well, that's the sort of rhetoric the SDL used to employ against its opponents all the time. My advice is that you should learn to enjoy your exile because that's where you'll be staying. What happened at SDL headquarters is totally unexceptional, even if it's true. In a real dictatorship, the party's leaders would be shot.
Croz Walsh said…
Bula Vinaka Sai,
I would like to learn more about the work, in Aust and NZ, to develop a "community level dialogue" and "a national/international get together to refine the scenarios as a way to contribute to governments (NZ/Aust etc) thinking to move Fiji forward."

If you would like to write to this blog on who the "we" are, what they are doing, and how you think this will "help to move Fiji forwards",I would be happy to publish it. Your views on why you support, or do not support, Fiji governnment's initiative on the National Dialogue Forum, which seems to be a not dissimilar process, would also be welcome.

I wonder also whether we could communicate by email to establish shared common ground. I would like to know your opinion on the more extreme anti-government blogs. I see FDN is once again getting its facts wrong, this time on minimum wages, and calling poor old Fr Barr a "disgraceful hypocrite.. who knows nothing about economics." I'll have a post on this soon, but these blogs are unlikely to influence thinking people. Some members of your community level dialogue would be appalled.
Sai Lealea said…
Dodonu sara ga,

When you have the courage of your conviction to use your real name and post a photo then I will bother dignify your post with a response.
Croz Walsh said…
Nice evasion, Sai, but why don't you answer his points? They seem reasonable enough to me, and he has provided a pseudonym as required by this blog.

I look forward to this, and to your response to my invitation? My real name and photo, although a little flattering, is a reasonable likeness.
Beware the fifth column said…
Croz, we know from past experience that this "initiative" is a panicked response from exiled opponents of the regime to the current rapprochement between Australia, NZ and Fiji. They hope to derail any engagement with a campaign of misinformation designed to inflame public opinion in both countries and get these positive developments reversed. Were this to be a genuine exercise in forging a way towards the restoration of democracy in 2014, other stake holders like your readers would be invited to participate. That hasn't happened so we can only assume the worst; that the rabid extremists of the SDL and its fellow travelers in the Methodist Church and elsewhere are desperately trying to sabotage the peace process. They have every reason to do so, of course, because accommodation spells the end of any hope of a return to the old order. With Australia and NZ now evidently convinced that nothing is going to dislodge the regime whatever sanctions are in place, the worst fears of the extremists have been realised. As things stand, the SDL is banned from political activity in perpetuity and their dreams of a comeback are rapidly slipping away. Unless the likes of Sai Lealea can block the present rapprochement, the game is over. The Australian and NZ Governments will have accepted, de jure, that the old order in Fiji is dead. And with that goes all hope of recouping the privileges and rorts that characterised SDL rule. That'll wipe the smug grin off Sai Lealea's face. It's so gruesome anyway that I can scarcely believe he put a name to it.
Sai Lealea said…
Bula Vinaka Croz,

Happy to accept the invitation to communicated via email on my scenario planning initiative. As I said am actively working on it, engaging MPs and Ministers who I have worked with over the years in government. The idea is to provide an alternative dialogue at community level in NZ and Aust for those discriminated against by the regime. Will leave it at that for the time being.

As for the other posts,I have only this to say:
- SDL was legally elected to government and anyone opposed to their mandate should pursue it in the courts.
- Current illegal regime has not even prosecuted anyone successfully as we all know they're all trumped up and vindictive charges.
- The biggest corruption we know are by the regime itself; Frank's pay out, cancellation of legal pensions etc.. etc..
- If Regime has support, remove the PER and sponsor a party in an election. They lack the support and courage, that is why.
- Treason is treason in anyone's language and the regime is wholly guilty of it. Their day will surely come.
- Fiji and its people, not the regime and its handful of apologists and supporters, all want a return to a government with their mandate Not one forced on them at the point of a gun. That is the difference between those of us and some of you supporting the current illegal regime in Fiji.

Croz, I have made my point and will not resile from it. But be good to catch up when you next in Wellington to perhaps continue the debate over coffee or yaqona if you have time. Vinaka.
Jon said…
Mr Walsh

I’m surprised that you should have felt that Dodonu sara ga’s points regarding Mr Lealea are reasonable.

Firstly, by his use of the phrase “… craven, self interested people like yourself…” Dodonu sara ga appears to be attacking the man not the argument. I understand the opposite to be a central pillar of your blog’s standing.

By contrast, the comments made by MJ and you to Mr Lealea’s obviously anti government stance make far more palatable reading.

Secondly, Dodonu sara ga goes on to express the view that Mr Lealea and ‘the likes of Tui Savu’ should be tried for treason. He himself perhaps sees this as an overreaction since he goes on to explain that it is the sort of rhetoric that the SDL used to employ against its opponents. The implication being that such rhetoric is unreasonable.

Surely then, in employing the same rhetoric as he claims the SDL would, Dodonu sara qa has virtually defined his point regarding Mr Lealea’s ‘treasonous behaviour’ as unreasonable.

Finally, Mr Lealea has asked that Dodonu sara qa post his real name and photo, following which he will respond to the points raised. You have advised that a pseudonym is all that is required by your blog, however you appear to miss the point that it is not all that is required by Mr Lealea before he makes his reply.

I look forward to Dodonu sara qa posting his real name and photo, since I’m interested in Mr Lealea’s reply to his reasonably unreasonable points.
Ratu Sai said…
Up until such these people can corroborate all articles desseminated including the most spurious and fallacious figures they dont deserve anything but discourtesy.
Croz Walsh said…
Jon, I'm not particularly enhanced by his personal comments either but look at those on damage,restoration, poisoning. These deserve an answer. But perhaps Sai already has in his reply to me: elections and a return to democracy.
joe said…
Is there any "method" that is acceptable? The majority think Frank's method is the only answer, others say go to polls, restore democracy etc. We know that Qarase legitimised the SP8 coup after winning the election, so going to the polls is definitely a "high risk"
proposition. So what is the right answer. My answer is Frank. He should be given a chance to deliver. This govt may have been illegal under 1997 cons, but there is no such thing as a 1997 cons at the moment, so all is good. In fact the 1997 cons was like a 'head wind'.
Fraenkelstein returns with Lialia said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Comeuppance said…
Oh, they're out of the woodwork now, all the SDL lunies still frothing at their loss of power and privilege. All this whining about democracy makes me want to puke, Their legitimacy arose from a brand of democracy that loaded the dice in favour of one racial grouping in Fiji. That race then took it upon itself to embark on a legislative program to marginalise and disadvantage the remaining 40 per cent of the population. And they have the hide to call themselves democrats? Truth is the SDL government was a racist construct using the fig leaf of the ballot box to mask a totalitarian agenda. It was "Fiji for the Fijians" and no-one else. Well, the rest of us have cause to thank the military for bringing this charade to an end. Bye-bye Qoliqoli Bill, land title review and the freeing of the grisly Speight goons. Can you believe these guys planned to field George Speight as an election candidate? Seriously, let's recall what "democracy" really meant in Fiji in 2006. Well, you miserable bastards, you'll get democracy again in 2014. But the joy for the rest of us is that none of the ugly faces of the past will be in the candidate line-up. Oh, you'll field your own freshed-faced stalking horses no doubt but we'll be on to them quick smart. And you haven't got a hope in hell of regaining the levers of power that enabled you to gorge yourselves at Daikoku and saunter around Suva with your supercilious grins convinced your veka didn't stink. All those Pajeros and jobs for your kai vata gone vakadua. For all you exiles, it'll be a bitter winter in Wellington or Sydney or wherever as another chill sets in - the appalling realisation that you're not just temporary vulagi but need to carve out a new life. You no longer have a place in Fiji and what gives the rest of a us a warm inner glow is the fact that you did it all on your own. You were warned to back off with your racist legislative program and the blatant feathering of your own nests but gave us the two fingers. You took a punt that the guy up at the barracks with the poker face would blink first but he didn't. He escorted you from the premises at gunpoint and pointed you towards your current bleak horizon. All your own making, you tamani sized fools. And the rest of us can't stop applauding. Vinaka!
Ratu Sai said…
Sai.

Let me ask you my friend “To whose benefit” is this fallacious article you intransigently defend if it’s not the people?

What one can infer from your supposed incontrovertible letter is fact that it’s nothing more than a feeble attempt by those who stand to benefit the most.

Words of advice cease the blubbering you and ilks must now show this regime that you lot do have the intestinal fortitude to take the regime on and don’t lack the rudiments of your courage.
Jon said…
Mr Crosbie, you have recently made ever more frequent, and critical, references to the dismaying propensity for anti government blogs to incite violence, slander and misinform. This is perfectly correct of you. However it seems to me that you are now allowing the same types of postings.

In your answer to my comment about Dodonu’s personal attack on Mr Lealea you write “…I’m not particularly enhanced by his personal comments either…” but go on to justify the continued inclusion of those comments by saying that other points in the posting deserve an answer, which you then affirm have been answered in Mr Lealea’s response to you. Surely then, the personal comments posted by Dodonu don’t need to remain?

In FRWLS posting, the comments “…why don't you do us all a favour, bring this charade to a close and die…” and “…disposed of with a stake through the heart. But I've got a better idea - the notion of doing you slowly…” are also allowed to remain.

I realise that such hyperbole is based on mistaken identity, however I still believe that such remarks have no place in your blog. Particularly as they refer to a gentleman who was responsible for the book ‘The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji: a Coup to End all Coups’, which you yourself have recommended as ‘an invaluable, wide-ranging collection of papers, mainly by Coup opponents, but with no apologies for the policies of the deposed Qarase Government.’

Your comment facility notes that “Anonymous, impolite comments, and comments that attack the person and not the argument, will be deleted”. You have done this in the past, but I feel it’s important for your credibility that you do so with consistency.
Jon said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said…
Fraenkelstein returns with Lialia said (FRWLS) has questioned my identity and, without any proof, has assumed that I am Dr Jon Fraenkel. FRWLS then goes on to construct an entire posting based on this premise. This raises some interesting points and, perhaps more pointedly, demonstrates some parallels in the thinking of those who carried out the coup, citing their drive against corruption, and those who support this aim.

Firstly – the lack of hard evidence.
FRWLS assumes that my lack of reply to an earlier posting asking if I was Dr Fraenkel is proof that I am. In fact, I answered a similar question on this blog once before with the comment that while ‘Jon’ is a popular name (although, of course, not common) I was gratified to be mistaken for that gentleman. My answer to FRWLS remains the same, with the rider that no one has ever, before now, accused me of ‘hiding’ behind what is my real Christian name.

Secondly, the use of ‘straw man’ arguments.
In this case FRWLS uses the argument that I hadn’t confirmed or denied my identity as a reason for Dodonu sara qa (DSQ) not disclosing his. This is not the point. I am not interested in DSQ’s identity, I am interested in Mr Lealea’s answers which are predicated on DSQ revealing his ‘true’ identity.

I won’t go on in this vein because most readers will probably already be asleep with boredom. However I do take issue with what I perceive to be a growing hypocrisy in this blog.
(Continued)
Jon said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said…
It's interesting to see how easily some can be convinced of something that's not correct.

But hardly surprising.
Croz Walsh said…
AN APPEAL TO ALL OF YOU.
Jon is correct. Some remarks within otherwise perfectly good comments are decidely "off" and no better than the anti-government blog comments I criticise. Blogspot does not allow me to edit comments before or after they are posted, so I'm limited to either deleting all offensive comments (along with the good points they may have made) or leaving them, with a further appeal THAT EVERYONE ATTACK THE ARGUMENT AND NOT THE MAN.
Read the conditons required of all comments, and keep to them --- please.
Croz said…
Sai, I look forward to receiving your email on your "scenario planning initiative." A Wellington trip is out for a good while because of arthritis in the lower spine. Croz
Flush the Jon said…
Oh, diddums, all of you. Short of obscenity, there's nothing wrong with some entertaining invective. These thugs posturing as shrinking violets have got to you Croz.
Defame a pseud? said…
Excuse me, Croz, but how can you "play the man" if he's a cardboard cutout like your anonymous correspondents? Only Sai Lealea has real cause to complain about things getting personal. The rest are having you on. It certainly wouldn't stand up in court, that's for sure. "Jon" doesn't deserve to have his feelings spared. I don't know who he is, do you?
Croz said…
@ Defame a pseudo. The pseudo is to permit discussion and avoid Anon 1 to ... infinity. There's no need to know identities to discuss ideas and opinions. You are mistaken about Jon's identity.

@ Flush the Jon. Humour helps the world go round but it's a question of knowing where to draw the line, or pull the chain, if your wish.
Clear as mud said…
You've missed the point, Croz, You're asking for polite consideration of people taking part in your debates when, in fact, they may not even exist. They're masked participants who may even be the same person in different guises. So how they can be adversely offended by invective, however brutal, is the real point at issue here.. If I say I'm Humpty Dumpty and someone attacks Humpty Dumpty, they're not really attacking me but the construct I've created. Ergo no-one can be offended by even the most personal of attacks because they're not personal at all. They're aimed at a fictitious construct, Ergo, you are wrong to engage in censorship to protect the sensibilities of fictitious characters who deserve to be pilloried just for their recourse to anonymity. I hope I've made myself clear.

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