New Blog Weapon, FNPF Wants Transparency, Campbell Bias, Russians, Crime, Economy, Udu Peninsula Road

MINOR BLITZ ON MY BLOG. There was a spate of anti-government comments to this blog last week. I've published the least offensive, but am left wondering whether it's the same two or three people using a sort of automatic comment release weapon. Most say almost the same thing. I would welcome more counter-comments.

There's a lovely poem about Frank's 01 number of Allen Lockington's Saturday feature.  Start your week with a smile.

(+) DELOITTE FNPF REPORT FUND TO GO PUBLIC. The report by international accountants Deloitte into the Fiji National Provident Fund will be made public, subject to possible legal exception,  says NLTB CEO Aisake Taito. He said this was part of a strategic plan to ensure that all people who had defrauded the national pension fund in the past years would be taken to task.

Chairman Ajith Kodagoda said they were determined to see justice was done. “This will serve as a lesson that what has happened will not be repeated. People need to know what happened here,” he said. Bad decisions in the past resulted in a succession of boards and management "running with the flow without creating ripples. Now the management has said: Look, we don’t want any of this, and we want a clean-up act both inside and outside.”

4 June 2010. ABC Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney "reflects on his assignment to Fiji and how ordinary Fijians are faring under the rule of interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama." I think readers will be disappointed with this light piece from ABC's Pacific expert. Most could have been written from his desk in Canberra. Sorry, Campbell, but I've got to ask how long were you there? Where did you go? Who did you meet other than the hotel worker and the poor man who couldn't afford neck chops and mutton flaps, and had to make do with local chicken? This was your fifth visit since 2006. Why didn't you learn more? How much did this cost ABC?

(o) HIGH RANKING RUSSIAN DELEGATION. Russia may invest in ten new projects, ranging from agriculture to the film industry, according to Ambassador Alexander Blokhin as it seeks to develop economical, political and cultural relations with the country.The delegation includes high ranking officials from the foreign ministry and ministry of industries and trade.

(G) INFLATION UP 9.4%. Fiji’s average annual rate of inflation  stood at 9.4 percent in May 2010, compared to the same month in 2009, the Bureau of Statistics said in figures released last week.

. This is the amount owed as of May 2010,  says permanent secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources, Lt-Col.Neumi Leweni.

(+) CO-OPERATION AGAINST CRIME. Defence Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau has welcomed a new memorandum of understanding between police and prisons which will see a coordinated work to combat crime. He said “The concept of institutionalising initiatives and intents has brought about sectoral divisions and turf protection amongst agencies, which is a barricade to achieving institutional objectives. Yes, such initiatives not only maximises cooperation but categorically sets out the right rhythm for the way forward in achieving corporate outcomes through optimum sharing of resources, skills, knowledge and information.” Source: Minfo.

(o) THE CHOLERA EPIDEMIC in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, is getting worse. At least seven people have died and there are now said to be as many as 600 suspected cases that have been detected since August, in coastal villages around Port Moresby. 

. The near completed 10km half-million dollar Udu Peninsula Road in the extreme east of Fiji's second island, Vanua Levu, is being praised by villagers who presently have to spend $400 for boat hire to Labasa in cases of medical emergencies, and leave costs outweighing sales for prospective fish sales. What cost $400 by boat will soon cost villagers from Vunikodi, Nabouono, Cawaro, Nukudamu and Nukusa villages $50 by bus. Improved rural roading is part of the government's Roadmap to stimulate development and lift the living standards of people in rural areas and the outer islands.

(+) AGRICULTURE'S POTENTIAL. Primary Industries Minister Joketani Cokanasiga told a consultative forum that science-based and market-driven agriculture and agro-industries remain the country's "economic backbone."

“The agriculture sector now faces many challenges and issues which need to be addressed and there are strategic issues which are currently being addressed by government such as the availability of arable agricultural land and security of tenure. Once these issues are addressed, farmers will be able to achieve production targets thereby reducing imports, increase exports, which will in turn reduce poverty and achieve economic prosperity and food security for Fiji and her citizens."


Cooney tunes, looney reporting said…
Croz, you've been far too lenient with Campbell Cooney, if I may so so. This is a staggeringly bad effort by the ABC's so called Pacific correspondent, so much so that I was wondering as I read it whether it was a spoof. Elton John, lamb flaps and waiting for the dictator? What a miserable piece of nothing, It beggars belief that the public broadcaster of a country of 20 million people can't find something more enlightening to report and certainly someone more professional to do the job. I thought TVNZ's Barbara Dreaver was bad but NZ is a country of 3 million people and 40 million sheep. The Aussies must have employed one of them as Pacific correspondent. "My government contact didn't call back". Well Campbell, my lad, what about doing what any other decent journalist would do and go round to the Information Ministry in person. Or maybe hang around the outside of Frank's office and try to collar him on the way in. Or go up to his house and ask Mary to give him a message. Holy Mother of Jesus, ABC, you call this guy a journalist? What about an interview with Sada Reddy or the likes of Ross MacDonald on the real state of the economy? No, the guy with the lamb flaps was evidently the most senior person Cooney could commune with. This guy is a disgrace but more so the organisation that employs him and sends a gormless oaf to do a real man's job. Pathetic.
Media madness said…
It's incredibly annoying to see the hatchet job done on the Fiji Rugby Union squad by the Australian media after the disastrous test on Saturday night. Not one single outlet mentioned that this was not the best team Fiji could muster. Indeed, two players who the selectors wanted were banned from Australia because of their links with the military. You'd think one of these pathetic Aussie media types would have mentioned the fact. And not just to draw attention to the liability under which Fiji was labouring on the field but the fact that Australia has these kind of bans in place for sports people who are blameless in every other way. The extent of media ignorance everywhere, and that includes Fiji, makes you wonder whether you can trust anything you read, see and hear. And that includes that Campbell Cooney fullah. He may as well have stayed at Denarau swimming in the Sheraton pool for his entire stay, judging from the story you've highlighted Croz. Very discouraging on every imaginable count.
Another automatic comment release said…

Your remarks referring to a minor antigovernment blitz on your blog are a bit over the top for someone who sets his website up to be even handed and fair minded. I’ve no doubt your blog IS thoughtful and I can’t find anything wrong with any of your bulleted remarks about what the NZ government should do.

However, the ‘spate of anti government comments’ that you refer to appear to be directed at Bainimarama’s remark that he is being asked to defer elections by the majority he’s visited recently. This remark was reported in the government’s media mouthpiece The Sun and was passed by the censors. Nothing in the report showed that it had been taken out of context – something that we might assume of a similar report in the Fiji Times.

So when a hue and cry goes up (muted obviously, since we’re still under PER) the government sees fit to issue a release clarifying that his remarks were taken out of context – and you swallow that AND ask for ‘counter comments’.

Contrary to your assertion that his opponents see this as the first sign he's not serious about elections, it’s actually the latest in a series of signs that he’s not serious:

Firstly the 5 year delay in the 2009 election, a date which he said he was pushed into making. (When has this man ever been ‘pushed’ into anything he didn’t want to do?)

Secondly the veiled threat in Kadavu that the military will be watching any government that wins the next election. (Certainly not the military’s role, but a clearer indication of his real intent.)

And now, his third intimation that elections might be delayed. (Due to popular opinion, of course. Why else?)

It’s somewhat irritating is that you should disparage those who’ve taken the time to write reasonable and concerned comments by wondering whether it's ‘the same two or three people using a sort of automatic comment release weapon’, (whatever that may be…) and then go on to write that ‘most say almost the same thing.’

Maybe they do. Perhaps because they have the same concern – that elections might not be held when promised.

If you’re seriously interested in seeing elections under a new, more inclusive and egalitarian constitution (as most writers here are) then perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to always swallow IG disclaimers over what its leading light has just said.

It’s important that the IG knows it will be called to account by those who are pro OR anti coup if elections are deferred once again in 2014. Failure to hold elections then could consign us to a generation of authoritarian rule and the history books show how, with very few exceptions, those societies end up.

Like it or not, the IG has put the roadmap and timetable in place and it’s now up to the IG, in conjunction (to a certain extent) with the public here, to ensure that it doesn’t prevaricate any longer over implementing it - right to the end.
Intolerance reigns said…
Bravo, "another automatic comment release". This used to be a place that welcomed alternative viewpoints. Now, Daath Vader Walsh wants to dominate the intellectual universe, screen would-be contributors and keep out those who don't support his views. He's also become as sensitive as Frank and Aiyaz to any contrary opinion. A great shame.
sara'ssista said…
I entirely agree with the last comment.

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