Showing posts from September 26, 2010

Sydney Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement Rally

FDFM RALLY SATURDAY 2 OCT. SYDNEY. Posted by Sevu Waqa on the The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement website:

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

SCROLL DOWN TO WEEKEND READING 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.

Keep the Respect: Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor are now popular reading in the newspapers. I believe that when we write to the Letters to the Editor we are writing TO the Editor, hence the title,  but somehow over time the column has changed.  The Editor is bypassed and it has become the Voice of the people where anything goes.  I’ve noticed during the years I’ve been writing that  some contributors take things personally, many do not stick to the point or subject, and many target other writers.

"The End of Press Freedom in Fiji"

WHEN A PAPER BECOMES A BLOG. Savea Sano Malifa (photo)  is the publisher and editor of Samoa's largest newspaper the Samoan Observer, and a staunch advocate of media freedom in his own country where he has suffered death threats and court cases, and in Fiji. His story "The End of Press Freedom in Fiji" has been published by several outlets internationally and in New Zealand by  Pacific Media Watch Online. It is an opinion piece, mainly on the Media Decree, and Malifa certainly does not hold back on his opinions.

Between Blogs and a Hard Place

By Sudarsan Kant

The Rich-Poor Gap: Fiji New Zealand Parallels

One measure of social wellbeing in a country is the rich-poor gap: the smaller the gap, the higher level of wellbeing.  In recent years, this gap has been widening in many countries, including New Zealand and Fiji. Among my emails last week was one from the NZ Greens Party. Their proposals to narrow the gap is of special interest because they advocate many of the measures to which the Fiji Government is already committed.

Fiji Independence Day October 1 2010

FBCL - News

The US Way Forward and 2014; Three Items on Helping the Poor, One on Corruption

WEEKEND READING. Allen Lockington's column, Between Blogs and a Hard Place, The Rich-Poor Gap, Kava and US Cafe Culture, "The End of Press Freedom in Fiji": When a Paper Becomes a Blog, numerous comments and today's posting.

US WANTS DIALOGUE. During a 75 minute meeting on Wednesday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told senior Pacific Islands' Leaders that the US was committed to working closely with Fiji and the Pacific Islands. She also paid tribute to the commitment to global security by Tonga in the Solomon Islands, Fiji in Iraq and Sinai, and Vanuatu in Timor Leste. Assistant Secretary of State Asia-Pacific Kurt Campbell, who had attended the Vanuatu post-Forum dialogue in early August, told the meeting that the dialogue going forward was based on the profound recognition of Fiji's central role in Pacific matters.

In turn, Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke  Kubuabola had explained to Clinton Fiji's Strategic Framework for Change, welcomed the reopening…

Beyond the Gibberish, Possible Crusher Sabotage

Commonwealth Gibberish
Crosbie Walsh

I don't really know why the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group¹ needed to meet in New York to discuss Fiji over the weekend. It said little and achieved nothing. The CMAG expressed its concern about the "lack of progress made toward the restoration of civilian constitutional democracy in Fiji[and hoped Fiji would take]the necessary steps to enable the restoration of its full participation in the Commonwealth as soon as possible."

Photo: See footnote 3, below.

But Fiji has made it abundantly clear -- for over a year now -- that elections would not be held until 2014, and it has given its reasons. The most that can be hoped for is the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations, increased civilian involvement in government and more dialogue, with political dialogue starting before 2012. Why didn't CMAG push for this approach?

The CMAG "reaffirmed their solidarity with the people of Fiji." They said they were ready …

Seven Anonymous Comments Unpublished

If your comment has not be published, please re-send using your real name or a pseudonym.  This is just as secure as anonymous comments. We do not publish anonymous comments.

Nation-Building: Language, Flags, Symbols; Fiji Sun Squatter Heading Misleading, Squatter Policies & Solutions

NATION-BUILDING & A NATIONAL LANGUAGE. Yesterday's posting that sought to correct CCF's misunderstanding of government's intentions on a national language generate many comments, many equally confused, and at least one reader still did not understand the difference between an official language and a national language.  I explained it like this:

"Perhaps the best way to explain a national language is to consider it as an honorary title, a symbol of respect and nation-building, but without the utility value of official languages that are used in legal documents, the courts, and so on.

"The decisions to use "Fijian" for all Fiji citizens, the proposal on a national language, and today's announcement that all Govt buildings will fly the Fiji flag, are all symbolic ways intended to unite the nation."

The reader thought Singaporeans were confused by their arrangements.  I replied: "Believe me, Singaporeans are not at all confused. Irrespec…

National Language Misunderstanding, Dual Citizenship, Sugar Debts Detailed

WHAT'S IN A WORD?  GOVERNMENT AGAIN CREATES MISUNDERSTANDING. The Government announcement that it is considering a national language for Fiji (most probably Bauan Fijian) has been misunderstood -- and no wonder. It did not clarify what it meant by a national language. 

Today's press release from the Rev. Akuila Yabaki of the Citizen's Constitutional Forum provides an example. The CCF calls on Government "to respect multiculturalism and diversity [and] not to declare one particular language as the national language for Fiji, as this would be detrimental to Fiji’s image as a multicultural nation with diverse identities."

The cause of the misunderstanding will be immediately seen when considering Singapore which has four official languages -- Malay, Mandarin, English and Tamil-- and one national language -- Malay: the language of the original inhabitants. Fiji at present has three official languages -- Fijian, Hindi and English -- but no national language. To make F…

The PM's Address to the UN General Assembly

(TUESDAY 28thSEPTEMBER 2010 No:1545/PMO) Message by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama at the general debate of the65th session of the  United Nations General Assembly

Methodist Supremacists, MSG Broker Role, Development Journalism, Education & Charter

METHODISTS AND INDIGENOUS SUPREMACY. A recent comment on the blog  by "Wither the Wesleyans" is worth sharing with a wider audience.  He writes:

The current Methodist hierarchy still doesn't understand what it has to do to get the monkey off its back. And that is to cut itself loose from Lasaro and Kanailagi (photo. L - R) the two indigenous supremacists so identified in the public mind with the events of 1987 and 2000. Tugaue and Waqairatu are only caught up in all of this because of the political machinations of these two aging warriors.

The truth is they're impotent to act against them because of their strong political base among the Methodist congregation. But until they do, the Church will be at the margins of national life, kept there by a regime that is determined to crush its influence at all costs.

A sad and sorry situation but pretty much the fault of the Methodists themselves. When they gained their independence from the Australian church in 1964, a huge…

Swinstead's Fiji Times, Grassroots Women's Federation, Closer Pacific Ties with Fiji

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS are still not being published.
JOKE OF THE WEEK. A few days ago the anti-government blogs reported that Col. Pita Driti had arrested Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. One called it an early Christmas present.  Before heading overseas late last week the unarrested Bainimarama appointed Col. Driti acting commander of the military. The A-G is still out of the country.

NEW FIJI TIMES PUBLISHER EXPLAINS HIS POSITION. ABC interviewer Geraldine Coutts   asked the Times's new publisher Dallas Swinstead (photo)  how he was going to handle free speech. Swinstead:

"Freedom of speech - my original answer was my parents gave me a pretty fair idea of what you can say and get away with, and when you stepped out of line and they ran the show they knocked you over. So, I mean, I don't like that happening. I am tenacious, but I am a good mediator and a facilitator, and I will be trying to talk to people in gove…