National Unity and Cultural Diversity, ASEAN, Indonesia, Thailand Support Fiji Reforms, PACER Plus

NATION-BUILDING AND LANGUAGES. Nation-building involves more than establishing a common identity and calling all Fiji citizens Fijians. It also involves recognizing and strengthening the different cultural identities that make up the national whole, and arguably the most important task here is the maintenance and development of the nation's languages.

The Ministry of Education, through its Curriculum Development Unit, has developed syllabuses for the vernacular languages, namely i-Taukei  language, Rotuman, Hindi and Urdu from Class 1 to Form 7. The courses developed  include oral communication, reading, comprehension, writing, language studies, literature, culture study, research and learning resources such as newspapers. Where schools lack suitably qualified language teachers, they will be provided by the Ministry.

The Ministry also supports less used languages such as Telegu, Tamil, French and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). At school, children should be given the opportunity to express themselves freely in their own languages without fear of victimization. -- 2010 No:1202/MOE.

I welcome this news but wonder what is being done about local Fijian dialects (Bauan is not the true mother tongue of many Fijians) and without official help many dialects will soon be extinct.  I also wonder what is happening about teaching conversational Fijian and Hindi in all schools. Much was made of this a year ago but I've heard nothing since.
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to explore the potential of investment cooperation with ASEAN, especially in fisheries and tourism, to help grow its economy. ASEAN members comprise all ten countries of SE Asia, with a combined population of 580 million (9% of the world's population).  Its aims to accelerate economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of peace and stability in the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully. -- 2010 No:1213/MOI

INDONESIA AND THAILAND SUPPORT FIJI's Fiji's reform agenda, would welcome more conciliatory moves from Aust and NZ, and would support Fiji's bid to become an ASEAN Observer. These sentiments were expressed to Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola who  attendedthe Special Asian and Pacific Ministerial Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in Jakarta, Indonesia, last week. -- Based on 2010 No:1170/MOI.

SO MUCH FOR PACER PLUS. Australia would have Pacific Island countries believe they will benefit by free trade arrangements under Pacer Plus. But they haven't even got free trade with New Zealand.  For years they have prevented NZ apple imports on the pretext that the apples could introduce disease into their own apples industry, which NZ denied. Finally, after years of unsuccessful negotiations, NZ took the case to the World Trade Organization (WHO) which ruled that Australia is breaching international laws in restricting New Zealand's ability to export apples there. End of the matter? No way. Australia will contest the ruling. Against all the evidence, they say they fear fire blight, European canker and apple leaf-curling midge. They would have us believe it has nothing to do with the powerful apple lobby putting pressure on government, just as the curtailment of NZ potato exports had nothing to do with the Tasmanian potato lobby.  Pacific Island governments would be wise to take heed. No wonder Fiji  has decided to stay out of PACER Plus talks

PRISON 'UNPALATABLE:' CHIEF JUSTICE. Senior judges, social welfare and PWD officials inspected the Suva Correction Centre at Korovou, Suva, at the weekend, and found the overcrowded conditions unacceptable, mainly due to the high proportion of remand prisoners. Plans to build a new remand facility have a long way to go.  Meanwhile, some remand prisoners have  to be taken to Naboro,  due to the overcrowding of Korovou.


Anonymous said…
Roadmap to democracy

Dear Croz,
I hear much talk about "the roadmap" and its all in a positive tone from government and some bloggers. Other blogger seem to critise it. I'm keen to make up my own mind so thought a good place to start would be to read the roadmap. I started on the governments own website - nothing came up when doing a search in general or by filtering through the many speaches. A more broad google search brings up 100's of references to "the Roadmap" but no actual source document. Most recently there are many reports or countries accepting or acknowleging the roadmap and I read a update was given at the Natadola meeting.

I would appreciate greatly if you could publish the actual roadmap or provide a link to the actual roadmap so I can read it and make some judgements. it would also be inteesting to read the update on progress if this presentation or the speach is available - perhaps a reader has this.

Thanks and hoping Croz (or another reader) can help.

Anonymous said…
Unpalatable prison.

Hang on a minute, how can that be. I thought Suva was now crime free ?

I heard it from the voice of god himself, the police commissioner.
Anonymous said…
Pacer PLUS

Lets me get this right. First Fiji PM and AG yelled and screamed and cried foul of being left out of Pacer PLUS talks. They where very upset and as usual everything was Australia's fault. Now that there is a opportunity to re-join they don't want to play. Spoilt brats are starting to believe there own bloated press.
Anonymous said…
Why does the PM always address his troops in Fijian ? Because for all his blubber about multi racial and culture and free and fair he has to keep the troops Fijian (oops i-Taukei).
Anonymous said…
Praise the lord.

Suva is now crime free thanks to the new police commissioner. Therefore we shouldn't waste too much time on prisions. As existing prioners are rehabilitated under the yellow ribbon project and released the problem will be solved.
Anonymous said…
The link on Fiji staying out of PACER is not working. Please get it on.
Proud fijian said…
@ Anonymous

try this link:
Croz said…
@ Roadmap to Democracy ... Thanks for this. Will publish something tomorrow.

@ Proud Fijian ... Thanks also. Your link is to the People's Charter.
Joe said…
OMG, language is most important in nation building? I think having a racial balance in the military will prevent future "nation trashing", to be of prime importance. On the roadmap issue, how come the Natadola attendees, Thailand and Indonesia have all seen and supported it, but the very people that it is intended for havent got a clue what it is all about.All we have seen is decree after decree after decree, expulsions of diplomats, academics, news editors and detaining of people in general. We have also seen developments and I commend the govt for that, but having said that, any govt could have done that anyway. If this govt is congratulating itself for striking a $5M deal with the Chinese, may I remind you that the French did the same in the Rabuka era. Nuclear powered countries are after a strategic base in the Pacific. "A THIN END OF THE WEDGE"
Son of Fiji said…
Jeez Joe, that racial balance in the military argument really is a load of crap. I don't imagine that the military was a career path that was at the top of the agenda of my Fijian brothers & sisters of Indian ethnicity... even before Rabuka's time. Those that were, who went through the physicals, probably did get in. And that's the thing Joe... getting in on merit, not race, is the priority here.
Using your pathetic argument, why don't we demand a racial balance in Accountants, or Lawyers, or Business ownership, or Jail cells, or... you get the drift, boy.
Also, you seem to be throwing this "any govt" phrase out alot - are you that naive? Did/do you even live here? Wake up man.

God Bless Fiji.
Radiolucas said…
@ Joe

Though another question, you may still want to ask, is why Fiji has such a large military in any event?!? To defend against Kiribati?
sara'ssista said…
@ son of fiji...again this regime has had four years to demonstrate it is realistic of indians to join fijian military.. does all the other rhetoric about a non-racial fiji look like a sick joke when the very powerful military can't either stomach the idea of other sharing the spoils or feels , again,that it is exempt from its own pronouncements. Why haven't they been actively trying to address this imbalance ?? Because they don't feel they should have to. BTW can bainimarama speak hindi??
Joe said…
@Son of Fiji said...
Your theory of "physicals" does not hold any water as the whole world saw Frank's skinny son holding a gun which appeared larger than him, outside the gates of the official PM's residence, live on TV, on that fateful day of Dec 2006. Are you suggesting that the whole Indian army is under nourished? Have you seen the Gurkhas? Go get your facts right m8.
As for your argument about Lawyers, Accountants and Business ownership, They are achieved by sheer hard work and sacrifice.
As for jail cells, I would rather not come down to your level of literacy to argue that.
Joe said…
@Radiolucas said...
That is a very good point, and "downsizing" the military should be Included in the "roadmap" that we are yet to see. If there is such a thing as a roadmap, I am sure it has a speed limit of under 5km/hr.

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