Showing posts from March 28, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in I thank Allen and Connect for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

 "Sugar is Sweet and So are You*"
Where do we expect to see sugar production in twenty years time? The use of sugar will never cease. It is used in every walk of life. Many people have asked why the sugar industry is dying. There is a simple answer – sugarcane farmers no longer have land to plant on. It’s all gone back to the landowner. They have their reasons for leaving it idle, it’s up to them.

One sugarcane farmer and his family now have jobs in various companies around Lautoka. They often go back to visit the landowners and have a basin of yaqona with them. They are still friends. They have a meal together then they organize another “sitting…

(o+) How to Kickstart the Economy: Government Needs to Set in Motion, and Sell, a Credible Process

Several people responded to Rajendra Prasad's account of his Fiji trip. One, signing himself Tears of Tedium, thought Rajendra's reflections  a "once-over-lightly approach to the Fiji economy."

"Talk to anyone in the business community," he said, " and they'll tell you new investment is zero. That, coupled with the dismal outlook for sugar, continuing EU sanctions, cyclone fallout, etc. ought to be ringing loud alarm bells. Cheap airfares aren't going to save the country either, only destroy Air Pacific as a viable carrier." 

I replied: "I'd be pleased to hear ... what advice you'd give to local and overseas protagonists ... what, realistically, do you advise to 'take Fiji forward'?"

He did not comment on the role of overseas protagonists, and thinks Government is the only local protagonist (I think him wrong but we may define protagonists differently. Stakeholders would have been a better word) but this is how …

Media Talks, National Dialogue, EU Sanctions, Methodists, Corruption ....

Short Briefs

Government has moderated its position on the Media Decree talks due to start on April 7th next week.   Contrary to the earlier announcement that the Fiji Times and FijiTV would not be included, the consultation will be open to all media stakeholders.

This is a significant move  that will be welcomed by all who have urged government to be more flexible, more inclusive and more consulative on a number of issues. It is also good PR.  Consultations on the Media Promulgation Decree will be held in Suva on Wednesday, Labasa on Thursday and Lautoka on Saturday. It is expected the the emergency regulations (PER) will be lifted once the Decree is in place.
Photo credit:
National Dialogue Forum. Citizens Constitutional Forum CEO Rev.Akuila Yabaki is one of many people waiting for government to announce a new date for the convening of the National Dailogue Forum delayed from last month due to Hurricane Tomas. “We are unaware of the reasons for the dela…

Lutunacevamaca's End of World, The '600,000' Petition

Short Briefs

The end of the world is nigh.
Senior Pastor Laione Lutunacevamaca Dip Th., MABS, of the Kuriakos Christian Centre in Nadi claims to have been told by God that a disaster on a scale previously unknown will strike Fiji from all directions at 2:30pm on Friday 23 July 2010, and he has warned people to prepare themselves.

His warning, with numerous quotations from the Old Testament, is currently being re- and re-cycled around Fiji by email thanks largely to people taking time out from their government duties to use office computers for this "higher" purpose. I am informed the prospect of the disaster is causing fear and alarm among some sections of the population.

For this we must  thank people such as Mosese of the FICAC, Inosi of the Fiji Development Bank and Maraia of the Civil Aviation Authority. With only three plus months to go before the disaster, I suggest they -- and the many others using government time and equipment in this way -- ask government for unpaid…

(+) Just Back from Fiji

Author of Tears in Paradise, the 125 year story of Indians in Fiji, Rajendra Prasad, has just returned to New Zealand from Fiji.  This is what he had to say of his trip in Indian NewsLink, NZ's highest circulation Indian newspaper.
During my recent visit to Fiji, I was amazed at the widespread normalcy powerfully evident, in most urban centers, depicting the social, political and economic pulse of the nation.
Fiji has not escaped the impact of the global recession, and is additionally suffering the sanctions imposed by Australia and New Zealand against the Interim Government led by Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. The Reserve Bank of Fiji devalued the Fijian Dollar to sustain liquidity. Fiji is struggling but not panicking. As Australia and New Zealand ease their sanctions and as tourism picks up, the country’s economic performance may be better this year. Further, the expected high price for sugar may assist in restoring stability, notwithstanding the decline in sugar o…