Showing posts from August 15, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READING. Scroll down for Allen Lockington's regular column, International Reports Not True: US Resident,  Fiji a Volatile Paradise, PACER Plus website links, Fiji, India and the World,  State Intervenes to Save Infant. And the late general posting on Friday.

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.

Trapping Dogs I congratulate the Nasinu Town Council for its initiative in once again trapping stray dogs. But guess what? Many stray dogs are not really strays. They have homes. They should rightly be called street dogs and their owners called street dog owners. In Lautoka we have stopped trapping because we have run out of euthanasia medicine.

Well, looks like the medicine is back in st…

International Reports Not True: US Resident

A Report from Fiji Jim Bandy: ALSO Island, Udu, Vanua Levu  Commodore SSCA, Director ALSO Island Ltd.
My wife and I have been in Fiji since 2001.

We continue to hear via the international news things that we do NOT find true in reality. The current Government, we believe, is a making a serious attempt to clean up corruption and give all Fijian Citizens equal rights. These are monumental tasks as corruption ran very deep and previous governments have promoted limited rights for anyone other than Indigenous Fijians: Indo Fijian, European or Vulagi (anyone other than Fijian or Indo Fijian).

As Economy Falters, Fiji Becomes a Volatile Paradise

Wall Street journalist Neil Sands paints a gloomy picture of the Fiji economy to which a reader adds a comment calling for more transparency and more education so that ordinary people know what's going on, and why. The original article was published in the Wall Street Journal, part of the same Rupert Murdoch stable that owns the Fiji Times.

PM Tells Bua PC About Reforms

Reforms ushered through by the Government of the day will help the nation of Fiji achieve sustainable economic development in particular democracy with good and just governance says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Fiji, India and the World

Political Crisis in Fiji and India's Concerns Political Crisis in Fiji and India's Concerns Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
The tiny island nation of Fiji located in the South Pacific Ocean is back in the news again. Fiji, frequently referred to as a ‘land of coups’, is coming out of its international isolation thanks to the help it receives from China.

Fiji’s and China’s mutual attractions are understandable. Fiji was expelled from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum for its failure to establish liberal democratic rule. Politically isolated in the international community both at the regional and multi-lateral levels, it has found an apt ally in China to ward off any further pressure including in the form of United Nations Security Council resolutions. As a permanent member of the UNSC, China can veto any resolution against Fiji brought by the United States and Great Britain.

PACER Plus Website Links FYI

State Intervenes to Save Infant

The Solicitor-General, Mr Christopher Pryde, made an urgent application late yesterday (18.8.10) in the High Court before Justice Wati in order to allow doctors at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (“CWM”) to perform life saving surgery on a 6 month old infant. The infant who had developed an infection in its leg needed the urgent surgery to prevent the infection spreading. The parents had refused to consent to the procedure and the Medical Superintendent at the CWM contacted the Attorney-General’s Chambers for assistance.

Mr Pryde said “The court has an inherent jurisdiction in cases such as these to override the parent’s objections to allow doctors to perform necessary life saving medical treatment. The state made an urgent ex parte application to the High Court last night and was granted the necessary orders to allow the doctors to operate on the infant. Had the doctors not operated, the medical opinion was that the child would, in all likelihood, not have survived.”

Other orders …

Bua Developments, Pacer Stalled, Bahrain, Crime Free, Tax Evasion, Mahogany Basics

WEEKEND READING. Allen Lockington's regular column,International Reports Not True: US Resident,  Fiji a Volatile Paradise, PACER Plus website links, Fiji, India and the World,  State Intervenes to Save Infant.

. Major infrastructure projects in the coming months will include upgrading of roads, water infrastructure and other facilities, and a new Fiji Development Bank at Nabouwalu to allow farmers access to small loans. Further, talks  are underway between the government and Vodafone Fiji for total mobile phone coverage in Bua; the Native land Trust Board has given the green light for bauxite mining that will commence by the end of this year; and an unspecified $12 million project is also expected to get underway soon.

These developments were announced by the PM and Commissioner Northern, Col.Inia Seruiratu, during their visit earlier in the week. They stressed that the people needed to play their part in the development of the provide and farmers had to us…

Comment Quality, Dorsami Naidu, Rural Electrification, Poverty, Land Safe; Forget Elections

CRITICAL BUT HELPFUL. Thank goodness. The quality of comments to postings has improved  with critical but helpful and forward-looking comments once again outnumbering the  totally negative and unhelpful. Thinking... Not Sleeping again leads the pack with the observation that those commenting on "progress" or the lack of it are talking past each other because they are talking about different things. Top Five Top Spin Items also makes what I think is a valid criticism of Government, and comes up with what they could say.

Both these readers are, I think, basically supportive of what Government says it intends to do.  They are just not very impressed with some of the ways they're going about it. The saddest and most disturbing feature of the present political scene is that Government has given very little indication that it welcomes the opinions of people who, with only a little encouragement,  could be its friends.

DORSAMI IRONY. Fiji Law Society president, former MP and ant…

Travel Warning, Cakaudrove & the Charter, Signs of Progress, Rewa Dredging

TRAVEL ADVISORY. The Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned people intending to travel to New Zealand to delay unnecessary travel because of an outbreak of swine flu and higher seasonal flu levels that have seen doctor's surgeries overflowing and have caused several deaths. Veteran Travel Consultant Mick O'Field of Pacific Parachute Tours Very Ltd has advised tourists to take out extra insurance policies because local hospitals are severely under-resourced and they may need to be repatriated to Fiji for treatment if they become seriously sick. He said his firm was offering discount insurance and parachute prices.

Meanwhile, Balaba Deliva on FijiOne said, "In a press conference fed via satellite from Wellington, W.H.O. Regional Co-Directors Dr Phil and Dr Oz both said the situation was serious, was serious. Dr Oz also thanked the Fiji Red Cross for its donation of flu vaccines."

Ms Deliva reported that pedestrians interviewed in Cumming Street said …

Double Dipping, You Just Can't Win, Qarase Court Update

DOUBLE DIPPING ACCUSATION. Some of the anti-government blogs are circulating the rumour started, I think,  by Pacific Journalist Michael Field on his blogsite that the PM and A-G are receiving exorbitant salaries. My guess is that Field has used simple arithmetic to add the salaries of several of their respective ministerial portfolios.

Thus, Cde Bainimarama is the Prime Minister, the Minister for Public Service, People's Charter for Change; Minister for Information and Archives, Minister for Finance and National Planning and Sugar, Minister for Provincial Development, Indigenous and Multi-Ethnic Affairs.

And Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Electoral Reform, Public Enterprises and Anti-Corruption, Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communication.

The rumour is totally untrue. They receive salary for only their more substantive position.  Field and the rumour-mongers may, however, care to note that Cabinet now comprises 11 members compared with 36 in…

The Charter, the Strategic Framework for Change, the Roadmap and Ministry Plans

This article, provided by the Fiji Ministry of Information, describes how the People's Charter is  being implemented via the Strategic Framework for Change, the Roadmap, and Ministry Corporate Plans. 

1. People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress

In September 2007 the Interim Government launch a national initiative to ‘Build a Better Fiji for All’ through the People's charter for change, peace and progress”. The President officially launched the People's Charter initiative in October 2007 and took steps to establish a 45 member National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF).

The committee was board based with representatives and leaders of all major organizations (community, social, civic, religious, business, political). The work was to be independent of the Interim Government. One of the first steps was to prepare a comprehensive, facts-based, diagnostic, forward looking report named the State of the Nation and the Economy.

The report was to provide a list…

Slowly Rooting out Corruption, Look North Division, New Health Centre Ovalau

FOUR COURT CASES LAST WEEK.The wheels of justice may grind slowly but Government is gradually rooting out corruption, professional misconduct and abuse of office.  There is still a long way to go.
Three former Native Land Trust Board executivesare charged with defrauding the NLTB of $3.7 million and a Government grant of a further $1m by causing the payments of these funds to support a defunct Information Technology System called MYSAP. Three prominent lawyers are charged with nine counts of alleged professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct. The alleged offences occurred in 2004 and 2005 and concern the sale of land in Ba province.The case will be heard from 16-23 November.The case of three men who are alleged to have defrauded Tropik Wood Industries Ltd has been transferred to the High Court in Lautoka. The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)  claims that in April last year their action caused the Tropik Wood board of directors to deliver the o…

Correcting Two Errors on the Charter Process

We recently ran a series of critical but helpful short pieces  by a reader who called himself Thinking ... Not Sleeping which is now also published in Na Sala Cava for your further comments.  

In #7-8 of the series Thinking ... Not Sleepingwho was a participant in the People's Charter discussions made two statements that I found puzzling: he claimed that John Samy had written  the Charter, and that the public voting was a "complete joke."  I referred these two statements  to a knowledgeable and very fair-minded friend in Fiji who was also involved with the Charter.  I have added the sub-headings to Vatu's reply:

Registrations, Aust-NZ-US-Fiji Relations, Elections and the Constitution, Youth and Grassroots Empowerment

Government needs to spell out the positives and  provide  assurances on the negatives.
Fiji seems to be having a bout of registration mania with everything except stray dogs now requiring registration. The need to register higher education institutions is obvious. It is surprising it was not always a requirement and yet only nine of the nation's 75 institutions are so far registered.

The Telephone Service Decree also makes sense requiring telephone and mobile phone users to register, and for this the deadline runs out next Sunday. But the details required raises concern, and could easily be abused by the authorities. Those registering are required to provide their name,date of birth, permanent home address (or address in Fiji if visiting), photo identification and parent or guardian's signature if the customer is below 18 years of age.But now we hear that the government wants those with driver's licences and bank accounts for similar inform…