Questions for Government, and Other Stories
Testing the Water
'On the Sideline in Viti Levu' writes: "Croz, You are always asking for helpful suggestions and often giving advice on what NZ or Australia must do. Here are a few things I think Fiji Government should do:
1. Decide if they want to be friends with Australia and NZ or not. If yes, then stop the wild outbursts and work on a plan to re-engage.
2. Be flexible - even bringing the election forward say 6 months would be signal that they are prepared to negotiate. Why the hard line on this one ?
3. Deal with some of the respective poor decisions made after the coup that continue to dog them. For example, remove Mr Kean from Navy command. You have to live what you preach. maybe hand back the back pay - no one believes the PM never took a day of leave in all his career. On Kean surely he must be replaceable? There are plenty of other examples, e.g., the soldiers released early. Also stop the army taking people to the barracks and put a professional police person in charge of the police.
4. On the media decree, give the Fiji Times 12 months to sell or scrap that component altogether.
5. Start the dialogue forum TODAY. Get a draft new voting system out soon. It's not surprising that people are becoming suspicious about 2014 when nothing is being done to work towards it. The claims of 'we are concentrating on the economy' are rubbish. Government has to be able to do both. Fifty Decrees have been pumped out so clearly they do have some resources for doing this stuff.
6. Lift the public emergency NOW. Govt promised they would. There is a lot of self-regulation happening anyway and that will continue.
7. Learn to live with critics. It's part of being Government. Don't react to everything. Accept some criticism - change things accordingly and for other criticism just ignore it.
Some of these are big asks but this government has a huge credibility problem internationally and has to get on the front foot.
On the Side Line in Viti Levu. What do YOU think about these ideas?
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DON'T COMMENT ON THESE QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POSTING . Record your comments more permanently on Na Sala Cava, and wbile you are there, check out the earlier questions.
LEST WE FORGET. A readers suggest (see comment on Wednesday's posting) that Government build a memorial in Suva for Fiji soldiers who have been killed fighting other people's wars."Surely this is something we could raise money for not just in Fiji, but from the British and Americans and those other countries for which these guys have given their lives?" What do other readers think?
TUILAEPA SAYS NO. Not unexpectedly, the Samoa Prime Minister has rejected the invitation to attend this month’s Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Suva. He said "he rejected the invitation as it’s from someone who overthrew a democratic, elected government using guns ... only Pacific Islands Forum leaders can discuss the situation in Fiji." I'm not sure what he means by this. That MSG countries are not Forum members, or that Fiji has no right to discuss the Fiji situation?
STOP INTERFERING. Prime Minister Bainimarama has called on the Australian Government to refrain from interfering with the internal affairs of this country, following a reported comment made by an unnamed Australian Foreign Affairs Official in the News Limited-owned Newspaper The Australian. The official was quoted as saying, “The people may have no choice but to stand up to him (Bainimarama) and his thugs”.
The PM said this is inciting the people of Fiji to rise against my Government, and promoting further unrest. He said "calling Government Ministers 'thugs', is derogatory, mischievous, and portrays the condescending attitude of the Australian Government.On the one hand they say they are concerned about the welfare of the people of Fiji, whilst on the other they are inciting and promoting unrest in Fiji, the Prime Minister stated.
FOREIGN MEDIA REPORTS 'DECEIPT AND LIES'. Attorney-General Aiyaz Syed-Khaiyum has also attacked the foreign media. He says it is now clear that the foreign media are breaking basic rules of journalism to get back at the Fiji government.
“All these things are reported as if they have happened but they have not, in fact they are inaccurate, they are dishonest. It would now appear that we have a situation that the media in Australia and New Zealand have decided that they will wage a campaign against Fiji and that campaign is based on deceit and lies so even though they talk about freedom of expression, of getting the right information across, the fact is they are the first ones to break those principles and values.”
Sayed-Khaiyum also lashed out at New Zealand reporter Michael Field who he accuses of constantly writing misleading reports about the situation in Fiji. He questioned Field’s so-called expertise of the Pacific.
ALLEN LOCKINGTON ASKS "Can government invite staff of the newspaper, The Australian, to come over to Fiji and see for themselves what is going on? Invite them for a week for a all expenses paid holiday and suggest that they visit the people in Waiyavi [where Allen lives] to live for one week. To mingle with us and then go back and make a report. It may just change their mind." [Unfortunately, Allen, few of the staff have anything to do with policy and the staff who do, know that "He who pays the piper calls the tune."]
NEW FIJI LIVE POLL. Will the government's land reform initiative boost Fiji's sugar industry? Yes 100%. No 0%