Fijian Identity, Tourism, Radio Oz, School Farms, the Provinces, Japan, Femlink, Anti-Govt Blogger

WHO Am I? Fijian Identity.  Fiji’s Attorney General says all Fijian nationals are Fijians, not just indigenous groups.  But Viti Landowners and Resource Owners Association's Ratu Osea Gavidi says the issue is very complex and the term should not be prostituted.“There are those people who immigrated to Fiji over 150, 200 years ago who even then, they are third and fourth generation of those, still have not been able to understand and practise fully what it takes to be a Fijian.” [Ethnic Fijians had no common name for themselves until the late 18th Century when Tongans provided this name to European explorers. i-Taukei is more authentic and appropriate.]

SO-CALLED Political Uncertainty is Not Fiji's Main Tourism Problem. If you think it's only Fiji having to offer ridiculously low tourist packages, read about the competition from Phuket, Bali, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and soon, the Cook Islands.

READING the Alphabet ABC-wise. "Unlike the rest of the ABC, which is funded directly from Treasury, Radio Australia and Australia Network get their money from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Is it any wonder that for all their protestations of editorial independence, they parrot the official Australian line?

Australian Network is under even more pressure nowadays as DFAT decides whether to renew the ABC's contract to provide a satellite service or give it to Sky News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and a gaggle of other Aussie media players. It's like the old saying; If you're Caesar's wife, you not only have to be clean but seen to be clean. With its external broadcasting, Australia is hopelessly compromised." -- This information from a reader who commented on an earlier posting.  Check out the Comments to individual posts. Most make good reading.

AUSTRALIAN Government-funded ABC has sent itself a self-congratulatory message, applauding its role in Fiji, on World Press Freedom Day.  I'd join them were it not for the "freedom" shown to my comments on Fiji by the ABC and RadioNZ.

FIVE Government School Farms -- at Ratu Kadavulevu, Queen Victoria, Adi Cakobau, Bucalevu Secondary and Vunisea District  -- have received tractors and other agricultural equipment valued at $330,000 as part of Government efforts to increase productivity. Fiji is now pushing 'buy Fiji made' produce.

REWA Province is grateful to government that many of their pending development projects will eventuate this year. Provincial Council Vice-Chairman Pita Tagicakiverata  said the Council has for many years discussed projects to be undertaken within the province, but the outcome has always been the same. No work was ever carried out.

NAMOSI Thanks Mining Company. Provincial Council Rt. Romanu Matanitobua thanked a mining company in inland Namosi, where there are "good" copper and gold prospects, for providing employment and helping with the education of many of their children.

MOTURIKI, Bau, Verata Qoliqoli. Moturiki Island, close to Ovalau, is concerned about the the extent of Bau and Verata traditional fishing grounds that leave the islanders with  little room to fish. Government is looking into their complaint.

JAPAN'S Ambassador in Fiji, Yutaka Yoshizawa, has  assured Fiji of Japan's ongoing bilateral and economic assistance but wants the country to return to democratic rule.

FEMLINK Pacific's Quarterly Report, click here. The NGO has a very impressive website funded by AusAid.

ANTI-G0VERNMENT Blog Hyperbole
. A quick glance at anti-government blog FijiDemocracyNow had me thinking: Good! They are reading and may be influenced by my blog. If only. They wrote: "Crosbie Walsh's coup apologist site contains some interesting information about the termite threat that's threatening to cause houses across the country to crumble into dust. Allen Lockington has revealed that the normal ..."

They inferred wharf inspections have been less thorough since the Coup (which is not what Allen said), hence Government is responsible (which it is not) for the threat of houses crumbling to dust across the country (which they are not). The terminate infestation is localised and Government is taking steps so see it remain so). The bloggers  could not see the contradiction in their own argument: a coup apologist publishing an anti-government article. Such people would have us believe all of Fiji's problems started in December 2006. Oilei!


Prodding the hornet's nest said…
Aiyaz is a bloody fool. By raising this issue publicly without any formal consultation, he's raised the hackles of the very people the regime needs to win over to its multi racial agenda. The truth is many indigenous Fijians - and probably an overwhelming majority - regard the term Fijian as theirs. And many non-indigenous Fiji citizens agree. What is wrong with the term "Fiji islander" for everyone else or "Fiji citizen" for that matter? We don't need a national brawl over this issue, especially at this delicate time. And it's certainly not something to be imposed by dictatorial decree. Surely it can only happen, if it ever does, through consensus. Some would argue it can only happen if the Fijian people themselves bestow the moniker on others in a formal process vakaturaga. IF they're so inclined. In any event, this is hardly a way to move things forward. Aiyaz doesn't seem to realise that he has no real mandate whatsoever for anything he does, aside from his formal appointment by an illegal regime. Yet he tours the country like an eastern potentate and is garlanded at a host of openings and other public events as if he's an elected leader.
His sole legitimacy comes from a decree from Government House and his star status in the eyes of his patron, the dictator. He doesn't even have the backing of all members of the Military Council, notably Pita Driti. The Brigadier is apt to launch into a tirade of expletives whenever the AG's name is mentioned. So to provoke the indigenous population any further than he's already done is utter folly. It's not just Aiyaz's standing at stake but the interests of other races and especially Indo-Fijians. We've always had a hornet's nest in our backyard. Why go out and wilfully prod it?
Qoliqoli madness said…
The Moturiki case is a snapshot of the problems that already exist with existing qoliqoli arrangements. Can you imagine what would have happened if money had also been involved? This was the ultimate folly of the Qarase Government's Qoliqoli Bill, its potential to pit Fijian against Fijian in the carve up of the nation's spoils. Any sense of equality of opportunity would have gone out the window as those mataqali with the ability to extract more money than others got richer by doing nothing. And the sense of grievance by those even with land and coastal resources but no means of capitalising on them, was bound to eventually boil over. Now, all Fijians are being told by the dictator that they need to work for a living rather than sit around the yaqona bowl waiting for the handouts to arrive. Is it any wonder, then, that they still prefer Qarase and the SDL? I fear none of this is going to change before the next election and no amount of hectoring will shift the indigenous sense of entitlement. Even if it's to the detriment of other Fijians.
TheMax said…
@ Prodding the hornet

Sorry a lot of indigenous Fijians by now are not really bothered by the name anymore. Indigenous Fijian mindset have changed for the better and they realise that the correct name for them in the indigenous dialect is i-Taukei. I am an indigenous Fijian myself and I don't really care whether everyone in Fiji uses the word Fijian as the common identity for all citizens. It sounds right too for everyone to use. no problem with the name.
When a Fijian isn't a Fijian said…
TheMax, much as I appreciate and respect your own willingness to share the name Fijian with your fellow citizens, surely it's not just yours to bestow? Not everyone feels as you do and I think this is all an unnecessary distraction when the emphasis ought to be on what's needed to return the country to democratic rule in 2014. That means persuading all indigenous people to embrace the idea of a truly multiracial Fiji, not alienating them with a sideshow like this one. You may not feel strongly about the issue but many others do. Vinaka.
Invictus said…
If the Fijians prefer being identified as such than lets identify the indians and others as taukeis.

After all it was Captain Cook a british who named this pacific Islands we know as Feejee.

Up until the 1970's the indigen inhabitants was know as Natives.
TheMax said…
Oilei, I think some people's mindset are still stuck in 2006 with the Qarase crooks. Indigenous Fijians have moved on and are now seeing the truth and the light much more clearly. The least of their worry right now is a name change to identify them. Please let's all move forward.
Optimistic to the max said…
TheMax, gee I wish you were right but I suspect you're on happy pills and have an over stimulated sense of optimism. If the issue of other races embracing the term Fijian is the least of indigenous worries, as you put it, how come Ratu Osea Gavidi made such a fuss about it in the first place? Incidentally, these are comments that got past the censors and we can be sure that others feel exactly the same way, maybe stronger, but have had their voices quelled. You are such a strong supporter of the regime that I guess your wishful thinking is to be expected. But that doesn't mean that people back in the koro feel the same.
TheMax said…
Ratu Osea is one of those that are still stuck in the past thinking that the word or name Fijian was a God ordained name for the indigenous i-Taukei. They haven't learn that other indigenous races such as the Maoris of Aotearoa are using their own indigenous word to identify themselves. Why can't indigenous Fijians do the same? BTW, the argument about the common name for all citizens of Fiji has already been resolved. All citizens of this country are now called Fijians whether you like it or not. End of story. move on please.
Dictator rules said…
Yes sah, Colonel Max!!! I forgot. The new Fiji. How silly of me.
Sleeping dogs said…
TheMax, I don't think you can just dismiss Ratu Osea and others as part of "the old thinking". This is what they think and whether it's old or not doesn't matter. To dismiss them as irrelevant isn't just unfair but very unwise under the circumstances. They still claim to represent majority Fijian opinion and for all we know, perhaps they do. That's the problem with dictatorships - no way to gage what people really think. I agree with previous posts. Why open Pandora's box if there's a chance of getting your fingers crushed? We can decide on a collective name for Fiji citizens after democracy returns.
TheMax said…
@ Sleeping dogs

The younger indigenous generations are not hung up with the name. They are much more up to date with the rest of the world. That's much more important then the rant of a colonial mindset.

As I said above, Rt Osea still thinks that the name Fijian is a God ordained name for the indigenous Fijians. I am an indigenous Fijian myself and I have come to learn that it would rather be better to call ourselves the Taukei because it's much more relevant and has a deeper meaning to the indigenous Fijians than the word Fijian itself. Rt Osea was brought up in the colonial era and his mind lives in the colonial thinking. Frank Bainimarama and the current RFMF leadership are more up to date with the trends of the world today.

In Australia everyone is called Australians. so is in New Zealand where all citizens are called New Zealanders. The Maoris are the natives of New Zealand and they call themselves with their own indigenous name. So it is just right to call everyone in Fiji Fijians while the indigenous Fijians are called Taukei. I don't see any problem there. Let's modernise our thinking and remove those colonial leftover thinking that are still dragging everyone backward.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
If 'democracy' brought about the loss of F$327m to the Fiji National Provident Fund and its members, it must surely be debatable when and how Democracy will return? The funds written off did not go missing by themselves. They were greatly assisted by persons deeming themselves to be democrats but acting as oligarchs. Taxpayers and workers funds, some allegedly filtered overseas: money laundered?

It takes an oligarch to know an oligarch. In whose interest did they serve? Whose pockets did they allegedly fill? Tell us.
Proud Fijian said…
With all due respect I question Ratu Osea Gavidi's genuine concern for Fijians.

He was the one who brought the OTIC scamsters promising $6 million dollars if Fijians invested the other half with land and mineral resources.

there was also an application for In Nadi courts for Ratu Gavidi to be declared bankrupt by Khans owners of Khans service sation in Nadi.

Usual politicians tring to use the press for political mileage.
Count 'em and weep said…
PF, you've missed some zero's. It was $6 BILLION that was promised, not a mere $6 million
Cut the colonial crap said…
TheMax, will you lay off all this crap about a colonial mindset. Fiji hasn't been a colony for 40 years and managed to stuff up its independence all on its own. People like you need to "own" your own failings at nation building - as the shrinks might say - rather than engage in some kind of transference that your comments imply. Anyway, what's wrong with a "colonial mindset" when it comes to nostalgia for the benefits of colonial rule? Maybe you weren't around at the time but anyone who was remembers that Fiji was arguably a lot better run and a lot happier under the Brits than it is now. Don't allow some left-wing, white hating academic to convince you otherwise.
Corruption Fighter said…
Since we're all Fijian now, shouldn't we be changing all our national institutions names, doing away with the artificial adjective 'Fiji". The Fijian National Provident Fund can now become the Fijian National Provident Fund, serving all Fijians.

And the Fiji Military Forces can now become the Fijian Military Forces, but hang-on, I'm getting confused, that what they are already!

Until the military is truly representative of the whole population of Fiji, no-one can feel fully secure in calling themselves Fijian.
fijikiwigal said…
@Prodding the hornet's nest May 5, 2010 7:35:00 AM

I like your explanation as it is one of those that touches the core of the Fijian people not the wannabe Fijians which includes those echoing their racial preferences here to called such. In essence to be a Fijian in the ethnic sense one would need to look the type i.e fuzzy hair, speaks the Fijian language or mother tongue & for those that don't their mothers or fathers can fluently, be written in the 'Vola Ni Kawa Bula', and can name their links to their genrational Communal lands etc.

All those that falls outside this can all go to blazes for all Fijians care.

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