Showing posts from October 10, 2010

A Reminder: Your Ideas and Suggestions are Important

Na Sala Cava is the companion blog especially designed for readers to express their views on specific issues. I invite you to visit the site by scrolling down and clicking on the orange man and divided path icon in the right sidebar.  I have added a new question, suggested by K.R.: What is wrong and what can be done about the sugar industry?

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

♦ Allen Lockington's column ♦ A Stock Take on Fiji October 2010 ♦ White Media, Brown Aotearoa  ♦ Fiji 'Regional Telecommunications Hub' ♦ Remittances and Island Economies ♦ Australian Parl. Sec, on Pacific Islands Affairs   ♦ Ambassador Thomson's Fiji Day Address at UN Luncheon — and the long posting on Friday

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.

Did We Miss Anything?
The Commonwealth Games are progressing  well in New Delhi despite media predicitions. It is sad that the world media pounced on the negatives instead of telling the world all that was good about how the Indian government had prepared for the games. They could have shown some of the stadiums and what was in store f…

Ambassador Peter Thomson's Fiji Day Address at UN Luncheon

Address by Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Fiji to the United Nations, to the Fiji Day Luncheon, New York, 13th October, 2010.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.  May I welcome you here today in some of the languages of Fiji, ni sa bula vinaka, noa’ia e mauri, salaam aleikum, namaste.  

Any of you who have experienced India, will recognise that last greeting as the beautiful Hindi invocation of peace.  In the early 1970s, when I was a Fiji district officer in the rural province of Navua, a local pandit told me that the namaste invocation means, “the highest in me greets the highest in you.”  I suggest to you, that in the halls and committee rooms of the United Nations, it is this invocation we should pass amongst ourselves as we go about our daily work in the cause of international upliftment.

A Stock Take on Fiji – October 2010

Subhash Appana reflects on a second visit to Fiji within nine months.
I recently went on a short trip to Fiji to present a paper on “Creating an Enabling Environment for Indigenous Business in Fiji” at the USP-organized conference on Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship in the South Pacific Island Countries (16-17th September 2010).  The landmark event was opened by PM Voreqe Bainimarama who again pledged the support of government to any initiative that would help the country haul itself out of the economic doldrums that the ongoing global recession has induced all over the region.

White Media, Brown Aotearoa

Lack of Diversity in NZ Media a Curse on Fiji By Thakur Ranjit Singh
An analysis of the NZ Herald editorials over the last two years will show that the stance of the paper on Fiji and the Pacific is the same as that shared by the NZ government. I am not too sure who sings from whose song sheet, but the fact remains that there is only one song sheet from which the mainstream media and the NZ Foreign policy on Fiji are decided. To a great extent, this is because of lack of diversity ,not only in the NZ Mainstream newsrooms, but also in policy-making government departments in an increasing cosmopolitan Aotearoa. Consequently, we end up with a blinkered vision of Fiji and the Pacific.

Fiji "Regional Telecom Hub" -- China Daily

Increases the bookmark twitterfacebookdiggGoogleWindowsliveDeliciousbuzzfriendfeedLinkedindiigoredditstumbleupon Source:China Daily

With modern infrastructure and a favorable business climate, Fiji is a hub for Chinese foreign direct investment

As the "Gateway to the South Pacific", Fiji is a small country that is thinking big as it bolsters its reputation by attracting major trade and investment from economic giants like China.

Interview with New Australian Parliamentrary Secretary for Pac Is Affairs

In short, on the surface, no change towards Fiji and no Australian pressure on the Melanesian Spearhead Group. A major concern seems to be that other Pacific nations do not copy Fiji. But, below the surface, surely Australia must be aware of Bainimarama's Look North policies and how they may affect Australian influence in the region.  Read on.

Remittances and Island Economies

Two researchers show how remittances from overseas kin help the smaller Pacific economies but have a proportionately smaller influence on the larger countries.

Melanesian & SPC Musical Chairs, The Big Mouth, Contrary Economic Predictions

WEEKEND READING. Allen Lockington's column, A Stock Take on Fiji Octobere 2010, White Media, Brown Aotearoa, Fiji 'Regional Telecommunications Hub', Remittances and Island Economies, Australian Parl. Sec, on Pacific Islands Affairs. Ambassador Thomson's Fiji Day Address at UN Luncheon . K.R.Fred. Thanks.

HAND-WASHING DAY. Some 1,500 people washed their hands with soap and water simultaneously at Veiuto Primary School today as Fiji joined with other countries to celebrate Global Hand-washing Day. Poor hand-washing behaviour is linked to pandemic H1N1 influenza, typhoid Fever, food and water borne diseases.

MSG MUSICAL CHAIRS.It's rather confusing. Two weeks back the Vanuatu PM's office stated the next Melanesian Speadhead Group meeting will be held in Solomon Islands, which could result in the Solomon's PM becoming its chairman. This was strongly denied in Fiji where Bainimarama was  adamant the meeting will be held in Fiji, when Vanuatu will hand over its cha…

Wanted Balance, Solutions Not Negatives, Rotuma-Tuvalu Trade, Wages, Sick Comments


WANTED: BALANCE, SOLUTIONS.  NOT WANTED: POSTERIORS, NEGATIVES. The Permanent Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith-Johns has refuted media reports made by Professor Warden Narsey on the state of Fiji’s economy and poverty levels.“He has contradicted his own figures, ignoring the positives and only discussing the negative,” Ms Smith-Johns said.

“Let’s look at his figures, Mr Narsey’s own data reveals that poverty in Fiji has indeed been reduced between the period 2002-03 to 2008-09.  However, in a recent interview he states that the future for the Fiji Economy looks extremely bleak and poverty looks set to rise further.” The Permanent Secretary said at the national level, poverty levels had fallen from 35 per cent to 31 per cent. 

Breaking this down into rural and urban, the urban poverty has declined from 28 per cent to 19 per cent a major reduction of 9 per cent, however in the rural areas poverty has raised from 40 per cent to 43 per cent an incre…

Law Society Fire, Economy, Food Security & Imports, Sharing Lease Moneys

K R.FRED. Please tell me more about your confidential comment.

LAW SOCIETY FIRE. The 2am Wednesday fire that severely damaged the Fiji Law Society office in downtown Suva is not thought to be suspicious.

But ABC's Pacific Beat journalist Pacific Beat's Joanna McCarthy must have raised the possibility of Government complicity for FLS President Dorsami Naidu (photo)  to say, "We have our problems with the regime But ... in regards to foul play I can't make any comment at this stage. No purpose would be served when all our powers have been taken over and the regime has taken the files which they require in regards to complaints against our members. So there's nothing really that anyone would have to gain, unless they were just being bloody minded."

On Law Society-Government relations, Naidu says "the law society continues to communicate with the interim Attorney-General, Chief Justice and other judicial officers to try and return to an official capacity with…

Australia, Fiji & China? What After the Military? Tuilaepa's Tsunami Dollars?

Australia Driving Fiji into China's Arms  by Richard Herr*
Canberra should lose no time in repairing relations with Suva.

Fiji celebrated the 40th anniversary of its independence from Britain last week. Sitting under the protection of a pavilion, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, ministers and the diplomatic corps were untroubled by the teeming rain that soaked the parading troops and schoolchildren who provided the spectacle for the occasion.

But not all the storm clouds were over Suva's Albert Park that day. Australia's high commissioner was missing from the diplomatic reserved seats, a casualty of tit-for-tat expulsions in the course of the troubled relationship between Canberra and Suva since the December 2006 military coup.

Adding an edge to Australia's diplomatic absence, for those who read the commemorative program, was the logo of the embassy of the People's Republic of China. It was the only state listed as an official sponsor.

The entire planet is making …

President's Address, Rika to ANU, Work for Elderly, Fruit Flies, More Anons

PRESIDENT'S FIJI DAY ADDRESS. President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau paid tribute to all the leaders who over the past 40 years had contributed to the development and modernisation of Fiji.On Fiji's relations with the international community, he said, "We have been criticised and shunned by some for determining our own destiny, but we will not be deterred. We will work closely with those who care to consult with us and to understand our deep complexities.We will embrace their assistance in helping us to find suitable solutions [and] to those who have closed the doors on us, we will tirelessly seek through quiet diplomacy to reopen those doors, including those doors of the Commonwealth."

NETANI TO NOT SO IVORY TOWER. During the Viet Nam war, anthropologists in northern Thailand and Laos were unsuspectingly passing on information about the Hill Tribes that helped the US war effort.  Over a longer time period, banks of audio equipment in laboratories at the East-West Center in …

The Times They Are A Changin'

* The Heading: For Bob Dylan's lyric, click here. SEE NEW QUOTE FOR THE WEEK by Machiavelli. Also new: POPULAR RECENT POSTINGS. Both in right sidebar.                SCROLLDOWN TO SEE WEEKEND READING.

In many ways the recent stories of the Fiji Times —and the stories around the Fiji Times— have epitomised the dilemma that is Fiji, with all its apparent contradictions and the need to rethink values and attitudes once taken for granted. If a just way forward is to be found, most dichotomous thinking in terms of black and white, and moral absolutes on right and wrong, can no longer remain unquestioned.

Whatever our attitude to the 2006 Coup and the Bainimarama government, the situation requires that we abandon our rigid right or wrong positions and look for the shades of grey that may produce the outcomes required for a Better Fiji, better than in 2006, better than now. To do this, we may need to compromise in order to stand firm; balance media responsibility against media freedom, and…