Hillary Clinton's Words and Meanings, Export Amnesty, Supermarkets Protest Price Controls

HILLARY CLINTON AND FIJI. People on both sides of the political divide claim Hillary Clinton said what they wanted her to say. The anti- people cited her assurance that the US will work with Australia to return Fiji to democracy, saying she wanted immediate elections.  The pro- people said she talked of the importance of  involving more civilians in Government knowing, as she must, that this is unlikely while Australia and NZ maintain travel bans on Government people. What both sides must know — but which neither side has said —  is that Hillary Clinton will not be telling the press what is really going on, and she most certainly would not criticize Australian and NZ policies in public. That is not what allies do. It is what goes on behind the scene that counts, and we won't know this for a while — unless, of course, CoupFourPointFive has a spare "reliable source" hidden deep in the White House.

In an article headed "Fiji Stand a Threat to [Australia's]Security Council Bid" this is what the Sydney Morning Herald  wrote. Other SMH links One Two.
The Age reported "Attempts to Isolate Fiji Fails as Washington Steps Up Contacts".
This is what Jone Baledrokadroka wrote in CoupFourPointFive

And this is what a reader wrote:

Croz, this is the content of the passage relating to Fiji in Madam Clinton's Melbourne speech:

"We are going to be working together with Australia to persuade the military government in Suva to meet its commitment to bring democracy back to Fiji," Clinton said. "In the short term, we would like to see steps that advance political freedom, such as allowing professional civilians to return to key government ministries," Clinton said in her speech.

"There's nothing here to support Australia's demand for an immediate election. It talks of "working to persuade the military government...to meet it's commitment to bring democracy back to Fiji". That is precisely what the government is doing — in 2014. These comments imply the acceptance by the Americans of the regime's election timetable. There is no time limit stated here whatsoever, as the regime's critics were expecting.

"She also says that "in the short term, the US wants steps...such as allowing civilian professionals to return to key government ministries". If anything, this is an indirect jibe at Australia and NZ. The Americans know that those countries' travel bans have been the one thing that's prevented precisely what the US wants from happening.

"Once again, the anti-regime lobby has deliberately tried to misrepresent the truth in their contributions to this site. An absolute travesty but hardly surprising. What Clinton said is the opposite of what they are claiming, tacit acknowledgment that there will be no election in Fiji until 2014. Holding Fiji to that deadline was hardly the caning the regime's critics were hoping for. So what we get again is lies born out of their utter desperation."

EXPORT EARNINGS AMNESTY WORKED. The Reserve Bank has reconciled some $900 million of export proceeds for the period 2004 to 2009 thanks to its six month amnesty. Under the Exchange Control Act, exporters are required to bring back their export proceeds into Fiji and to reconcile their export data within six months from the date of export. Many had failed to do so. FRB Governor Sada Reddy said the amnesty and more general awareness of the regulations had also contributed positively towards Fiji's healthy foreign reserves which are currently at a record level of $1.27 billion.

SUPERMARKETS DEFY PRICE CONTROL. Four of Suva's eight large supermarkets  had removed items from their shelves that should have been sold 10-20% cheaper when they came under price control rulings at the weekend. A reason given by one was that the new price tags had not been attached, but this seems a weak explanation given that they had been given three days notice. One source said the items were now being put back on the shelves, but not before launching what seems to have been a protest at no small inconvenience to the public.

Suva Retailers Association President Himmat Lodhia said “One thing we are happy about in this whole situation is that this will weed out any unscrupulous dealings that have been around." The Commerce Commission is investigatin.

One danger Government runs in giving teeth to the Commerce Commission to ensure fair pricing — and raising the minimum wage in some industries — is that there is a risk of alienating powerful business interests. There is anecdotal evidence that one or two big business people offered support to Fiji's supposedly "pro-Fijian" coups in 1987 and 2000 because they were not happy with the assumed pro-worker stance of the Baivadra and Chaudhry government.

Note:  A clarification is needed on the price controls. While everyone is happy that a number of basic food items have been cut by 10%-20% this must be kept in perspective. When the Fiji dollar was devalued early last year it meant that food prices went up by 38%.  The welcome current cut is most welcome but still does not make up for the cost of devaluation to the ordinary people.


where's sharon said…
Where is sharon? She has disappeared faster off the radar than the natadola dribble fest. surely she can come up with some spin about the loss of the IMF loan and the kicj in the teeth from Hilary?
You've lost me said…
Apparently Fiji has billions in the reserve bank but the shelves are running out of food? (billions of what - Zimbabwe $$?)sounds increasingly like zimbabwe. You've lost me?
Joe said…
""In the short term, we would like to see steps that advance political freedoms, such as allowing professional civilians to return to key government ministries," Clinton said, according to a U.S. pool reporter."

The essence of what she said above is for the military to go back to barracks and handover govt to civilians "in the short term".

"steps that advance political freedoms"
This statement speaks volumes in itself. Notice she used the plural "freedoms".
Perhaps Frank should start work on the new constitution immediately to restore some credibility in the whole scheme of things.
Jake said…
It is clearly obvious reading some of the comments a certain coterie of people is in a state of catalepsy where their Delta brain waves are emitting less than 0.1 cycles per second.

For those who emits frequencies between 15 to 80 cycles per second are well above the threshold of consciousness and therefore are able to distinguish between what the US Foreign Secretary said and what she meant.

Unfortunately we have to make allowances for those who are cataleptic and show them the righteous path only because they no other.

yes, yes, it's the content that counts said…
An unrelated matter: Thankfully the Fiji Times has changed its headline fonts. For a while there its front page was looking like a knitting club newsletter.
Proud Fijian said…
@ You've lost me said....

Please google Foreign reserve for Dummies and you will get a simple explanation.

And the shelves are not running out of food, they were deliberately kept off the shelf.
Nowhere to go said…
Croz, some of your contributors like "Where's Sharon" are crackers. Sharon doesn't need to say anything. It's all being said for her. The tide has turned, leaving the anti-regime forces high and dry. Like stranded fish on the beach, wild-eyed, gills gulping furiously. All that's left is to throw them on the fire. Yum.
Anonymous said…
@ Nowhere to go.....

What does this have to say about the nature and the ethics of many of Fiji's traders? A very great deal. At the weekend, I purchased some Sardines in oil from a known Canadian brand in an above average supermarket. They were $1.00 per tin. Previously, from the same place and the same brand, I had bought six tins at $2.75 each. Is this profiteering or is it not? At the expense of Fiji's poor (and not so poor?).

The Commerce Commission is quite correct to take drastic action. The poor in Fiji have been dealt deathly blows for years. But ordinary income citizens have also been short-changed. This must end.

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