Showing posts from September 19, 2010

Weekend Reading

Fiji bloggers fail to offer ‘credible alternatives’ for country’s future, says academic
Blogs in Fiji have have largely escaped the grasp of the iron fist controlling the rest of the country’s media, but they have not fulfilled their potential as a forum of “free and constructive discussion”.Pacific Scoop Report – By Hamish Fletcher

Although blogs provide a space for political dissent in Fiji, they are failing to generate a “positive dialogue” about the nation’s future, says a prominent political commentator.
Blogging has long been a way of publishing anti-government material in Fiji and of bypassing the self-censorship of the mainstream media which are often unwilling to rock the boat.
More recently, it has become political weapon in defying Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s media decree and his efforts stamp out criticism to his rule.

However, emeritus professor formerly at the University of the South Pacific and political observer Crosbie Walsh says that instead of offering …

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen 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.

Don't Waste Foood, Please
$100,000 with of cassava gone bad, that’s terrible. With so many people caught at rubbish dumps scrounging for food and so many beggars on the streets and people going from house to house asking for jobs so they can put food on the table and we have this.

May I suggest that in such incidents the root crop or whatever is channelled to a local area of government to be distribute immediately to the poor free of charge.

It’s better than letting it rot!

Sugary Mess, IMF Money, Itaukei Empowerment, CSO Electricity, More Termites

ANONY-MOUSES, PLEASE!  "Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Military Spies in Oz; Media and Blogs. "Please re-post with a pseudonym. Anonymous comments will not be published.

JOKE OF THE WEEK. "Commodore Frank is closely guarded by an elite group of armed body guards [and] travels in an armoured vehicle convoy." -- Dr Mark Hayes, Australian journalism tutor. [Seeing this, a reader wrote: "Why don't you ask when he was last in Fiji?]

MOST "BACKFIRING" HEADING. "Recalcitrant Oink is a Truly Ignorant Cretin."-- anti-Government blog Solivakasama. A not untypical heading that says much about its composer.

SUGARY MESS: GOVERNMENT PROPS UP SUGAR INDUSTRY. Government is a major shareholder in the sugar industry but instead of reaping dividends, it's been propping up the industry though direct loans and guarantees that enable the FSC to raise other loans that, hopefully, will result in successful restructuring, mill upgrading, a…

Military Spies in Oz; Media and Blogs: From Sublime to Ridiculous and Venomous;

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Grassroots & Democracy, Fiji Times & PER, Villag...": Please re-post with a pseudonym. Anonymous comments are not published.

DISGUISED MILITARY SPY ON OZ FIJIANS. A rumour spread by anti-Government Fijians in Australia is that the Fiji government is sending disguised military people to spy on them.  Even ABC's Bruce Hill found this difficult to digest. Read the full story.

Fiji Village also reports on the story,  discounted by Permanent Secretary at the Prime Ministers Office Colonel Pio Tikoduadua. " Some Fiji residents," it said, "who are on tourist visas in Australia and are seeking political asylum, are now starting to allege to the Australian media that there are some Fiji soldiers in Australia who are spying on the Fiji community there."

"On a panel discussion on Radio Australia, some Fijian overstayers assisted by a Pastor Livai Leone and the Fiji Freedom Movement based in Au…

PER Again, Fiji Times News, International Peace Day, Takiveikata & Chaudhry Cases, Tele Stats

HERE WE GO AGAIN.HEAR NO EVIL,SEE NO EVIL. SPEAK NO EVIL. The Public Emergency Regulation, in place since April last year, has again been extended for another 30 days with effect from today. Many observers were hoping that with the Fiji Times sale, and progress on other fronts, some wise person in Government would have said 'Enough is enough.'

If there are good reasons to continue these never-ending renewals (and the Media and Public Order Decrees are insufficient to contain them), and well there may be, Government needs to spell them out, and tell  us why they are needed now when they were not needed before April last year?

How on earth can intelligent people be expected to trust and support a government when they are kept in the dark about the reasons for its actions?

. Australian Dallas Swinstead, the publisher of the Fiji Times from 1976 to 1980, has been appointed the new publisher as the Motibhai Group officially took over ownership of the newspa…

Grassroots & Democracy, Fiji Times & PER, Village Bylaws Dialogue

KEEPING THE PEOPLE IN THE DARK. CCF's* Mosmi Bhim is at ANU (Aust. National University) in Canberra for a month on a human rights and governance scholarship awarded by either ANU or the Australian Government, I am not sure which. She is spending most of the month examining the Fiji Government Decrees. 

Mosmi's general position has always been opposition to the 2006 coup while recognizing shortcomings in the former government. She is, in my opinion,  part of Fiji's "middle ground" that Government needs to win if its plans for the future are to be sustainable.  

In a recent Radio Australia interview she said that both the current military regime and past Fijian leaders had successfully prevented the grassroots population from protesting the lack of democracy in the country. She thought this could be because of the problems of infrastructure and development that we have, which prevents people ...receiving enough critical information to make up their own minds whet…

Police & All Senior Appointments, Rudd Again, Mill.Dev.Goals, Suva's Electric Cars

TO COMMENTATORS. In addition to using your real name or a pseudonym, you also need to say something.  Sarcastic, snarky and other comments along the lines of 'I love Bainimarama' or 'I hate Bainimarama' merely convey a position; nothing new is said and the comment is not worth publishing.  They are like an argument between eight year olds: 'Tis', says one; 'Tisn't,' says the other.
NAIVALURUA's GOOD BUT ... A reader writes on the recent Police Commissioner appointment: "Iowane Naivalurua is certainly a very competent chap who has done admirable work at the prisons. However, from past experience with Savua and more recently with Teleni, the one significant way to demoralise and undermine police morale and to politicize the police is to bring in non-professionally qualified and experienced individuals from outside the police force. The sooner the police are able to attract better quality officers and the sooner a couple of them are identified …

Rumours, PER, Commonwealth Games, Chinese & Thai Help, Afforable Housing, Wages

Commentators on NZ Sanctions and Wesleyans please resend, using a name.
See new QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in right sidebar.  Also new link to Fijianatimes.  

DON'T LISTEN TO RUMOURS. "Don't listen to rumours. They are dangerous."   This was the slogan heard on Singapore radio and TV in the early 1960s when this small country was not yet free of racial tensions, civic unrest, and unfriendly neighbours --  a country then not too different from Fiji now.

In a weekend posting ABC journalist Bruce Hill wrote a humourous but telling article on his recent visit to Fiji where rumour abounds. He was correct in inferring that PER (The Public Emergency Regulations) leaves the field wide open for rumour.

But what he did not say, which is equally true, is that some rumour is deliberately manufactured to create political instability, j…