Showing posts from April 25, 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.

Danger in Timber

The termite problem is one that many people thought would not happen. I worked for the Customs Department for many years and during those times dunnage - which is timber used in packing or propping cargo in containers, is usually taken by people who work on the wharf for their own use. I remember when I worked in Suva in the late 70s to the late 80s anyone taking timber out of the wharf had to get a permit. The “wood” would be inspected by a then Quarantine Officer and if he saw that the timber was safe, he would issue a permit or certificate allowing the person to take it. Timber that was deemed unsafe was not allowed to be taken …

Tui Namosi Supports Government, Fiji's Suspenion Fragmenting Forum, Croz Walsh Beaten, HIV/Aids Praise

And Australia Accuses Fiji! See left column item.
The Turaga na Tui Namosicalled on chiefs attending the Namosi Provincial council meeting yesterday to support Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama's government. Photo: Fiji Village.

My Position in a Nutshell. Maverick former South Australian MP  questions Australian and NZ policy on Fiji. Peter Lewis said the country seemed to be doing well under the leadership of someone who gained absolute power without elections, and the best way forward is to take the current Prime Minister at his word and remind him of it at regular intervals, through objective remarks.

Fiji's Suspension: Forum Secretariat Says Time Not Right, Ratuva Says it Could be Too Late Already. According to RadioNZ International, the PI Forum Secretariat  says it has decided the time is not right for it to discuss publicly questions pertaining to its operation and Fiji's ongoing suspesion from membership, even though at least one member, Vanuatu, has said  i…

(+) When What's Not Good May Be Not So Bad: Some Thoughts for Minister McCully

When National became Government in NZ many hoped to see a more realistic and helpful policy towards Fiji, and or a while things looked promising. But now, having restored minimal functionality at the Suva High Commission, the relationship looks substantially unchanged.

Speaking recently  to RadioNZ International  Foreign Minister Murray McCully  said there was a lack of "good news out of Fiji" since its suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum a year ago.  He added that "the [Pacific Islands] Forum leaders  unprecedented step of suspending Fiji's membership was more about punishing Fiji for failing to comply with the organization’s democratic ideals." He hadn't expected the suspension "to prompt changes by the interim regime" but it was needed to uphold principles. [It could also have been used to warn other Pacific nations not to support or follow Fiji's example.  What was not said was that, in international politics, stability is often more…

(o+) Tuilaepa is No Fool...

Opinion: Which puppet is on 
Whose String? Crosbie Walsh
First, Tuilaepa  said that with Fiji suspended from the PI Forum, its Secretariat should be moved from Suva, hinting only vaguely that Apia was "available." Then Bainimarama replied saying the Samoan PM was trying to whip up a regional outcry so that the Forum Secretariat would be moved to Apia. But no, says Tuilaepa. New Zealand or Australia could be possible locations. Clever!

If the Secretariat is moved from Suva (which would be a logistical disaster given the physical and human investment in the Suva Forum headquarters, Suva's international diplomatic representations,  and Fij's central location), Tuilaepa is now assured of Australian and NZ support for Apia if the Secretariat is moved. And if not, he's surely earned Samoa enough new development aid brownie points to see him re-elected. 

It doesn't seem so long ago that Pacific Island nations were questioning whether Australia and NZ should even be fu…

Blog Ostrich, Ro Teimumu, Dorsami Naidu, Policeman Jailed, Tax Officer Defrauds, PM Blames SVT, SDL, Constitution on Track

Ostriches Bury Their Heads in the Sand. One of the more extreme anti-Government Blogs RealFijiNews has a confession to make.  "We have not[it writes] as a matter of principle read this illegal government’s 'Peoples Charter' since the purported abrogation of our Supreme Law last April which presumably this Charter was founded upon." Actually, the Charter preceded the Abrogation. The blog then goes on to ask where the country is heading. I suggest they read the Charter! Or this blog!

High Chief Ro Teimumu Kepa, head of the Burebasaga Confederacy that includes most of Viti Levu's south coast from Rewa westwards, parts of Ba and the island of Kadavu, was in court on Monday charged with breaching the public emergency regulations. The charge relates to activities last year when the High Chief allegedly conspired with Methodist Church ministers to host the annual Methodist conference in Lomanikoro in Rewa even though a directive was given by Prime Minister Commodo…

Short Briefs: Air Pacific, Support for Bainimarama Grows, Reforms, Rural Development

Air Pacific Expects a Substantial Loss for the 2009-10 year due mainly to the severe flooding in 2009, the devaluation of the Fiji dollar as they had to purchase goods and services from abroad,  and discount air fares because of competition in the market, whichi is now the the biggest challenge. Among positive developments, the airline has doubled the number of passengers carried over the last 9 years, from 415,000 in 2001 to over a million.

Bainimarama's Increasingly Popularity. A little bird in Suva tells me the "PM is so popular now he would likely win an election were one to be called." There's no way to confirm this, of course, but the list of government actions helping ordinary people continues to grow, as does the spate of traditional apologies and support for the People's Charter. 

Public Sector & Land Use the Most Important  Structural Reforms.Fiji’s EU Ambassador Peceli Vocea, in a meeting with EU President Herman Van Rompuy in which he updated the …

Short Briefs: Lomaiviti-e-Cake Apologies, Somare, Corruption, Transfer Pricing, Roads

Lomaiviti Methodist Minister Supports PM. Rev.Mitieli Rokolacadamu, who serves Lomaiviti-e-cake (the islands of Batiki, Nairai and Gau) has  thanked PM Bainimarama for the steps taken to  "put the Church back to it’s right path." He said some actions by church leaders had not been in the best interest of the Church.

Sir Michael Somare 
spoke at the University of Auckland last week.  Here's what he said on Fiji:
(1) His continued dialogue, criticized by some, was because of his concern for “the people of Fiji and their welfare. ”
(2) He again criticized the imposition of a timeframe on Fiji to hold elections, calling it “counterproductive”, adding that he “commends the efforts New Zealand and Australia are making in dealing with the interim government and the people of Fiji.”
(3) “We’ve tried in MSG [Melanesian Spearhead Group] to have talks with Bainimarama, chaired by Vanuatu. We’re keeping dialogue open; we want to keep our contacts very close.”
(4) He thinks that with “co…

Why Did it Take So Long?

FijiSun Newspaper Daily E News
The widow of a soldier killed in Lebanon in 1979, leaving her to raise four young children, finally receives some compensation for her loss and sacrifice. Why did it take so long?