Showing posts from October 17, 2010

Scroll Down to Weekend Reading

 ♦ Allen Lockington's column    ♦ Does the Government Accept Criticism? 
♦ The Weakness of Australian Policy    ♦ Media Freedom and Racism in NZ, I and II, 
♦ Some Lessons from Mauritius. ♦ Friday's lengthy posting --- and check out the comments under the postings.

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.

Cutting Corners
From BBC reports, BP Oil has published a report on why the oil well in Gulf of Mexico blew up and sank killing eleven men. According to the report, they have spread the blame. The report says it is a “sequence of failures involving a number of different parties" was to blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP says. Ok fair enough but lets the experts analyse the report. Survivors of the disaster were interviewed on BBC radio it has been established that the operators were cutting corners to save costs. How far that is true will soon be found. Forensic investigators will also look into the matter and then have their say.

But I bring you back home. The…

Does the Government Accept Criticism?

This issue was discussed in three comments to a posting last week. They are republished here for readers who, in not regularly checking comments to posts, can so easily miss out on one of the blog's most valuable features — the open exchange of intelligent opinions.

Debate and Opposing Views Needed said...

Croz, I noticed a growing trend from your bloggers celebrating the silencing or removal of the remaining government/military critics. I have no problem with people getting excited about the fact that Fiji has silenced pretty much everyone - that's their right to say as much. It is worry though.

What is worrying is they seem to think that removing all criticism will some how make everything better in Fiji. I suggest it won't. I suggest it makes for a complacent and lazy government.

We need critics, even biased and sometimes misguided ones have their place to draw attention to issues.

For example I at time hate with a passions the unions i have to work with. They are not pr…

The Weakness of Australian Foreign Policy

Missing the Messerschmitts: The Weakness of Australian Foreign Policy by Dr Scott MacWilliam Crawford School of Economics and Government Australian National University

Whenever the current Australian policy toward Fiji’s military regime is questioned, one standard response is along the following lines: unless there is to be permanent military rule, it is necessary to ‘keep up the pressure’ for change. That pressure supposedly is maintaining various forms of sanctions, isolating Fiji from regional forums and always repeating ‘military bad, democracy good’ as the guiding foreign policy principle.
It is time to subject the idea of pressure to serious examination, and what better way to start than with a sporting story.
During the northern summer of 1945, a series of cricket games were held between England and Australia, dubbed the Victory Tests to celebrate the end of WWII in Europe and the Allied triumph. A young Australian who was especially successful in the Test matches was Keith ‘Nugget’…

Media Freedom and Racism in New Zealand: II

Racism in NZ Media
By Subhash Appana

In the run-up to the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi there was a sudden frenzy in the NZ media to gather and show negative footage about the Indian preparations so that just before the games started the NZ public had all but decided that India would not be ready and the games would be cancelled. When the games did start and proceed without the expected disasters, many began to wonder what the clamour had been all about.

Media Freedom and Racism in New Zealand: I

Paul Henry, Media Ratings and NZ Politics
By Subhash Appana

The ganging up in the NZ media goes on as most influential media personalities continue to rue the Paul Henry saga – HenryGate – where the TVNZ breakfast show host took repeated digs at things Indian in the lead-up to the XIX Delhi Games and exposed a latent negative sentiment that appears to be gaining traction in NZ. I do not wish to rehash what happened as that appeared in my earlier piece on 17/10. What troubles me is the fact that the issue is not being allowed to rest by the same people who supported it.

Some Lessons from Mauritius

Dr Satish Chand From:
I spent a week last month in Mauritius as a guest of their national university. Right from the moment the plane landed at the airport to the moment of departure from the island, the landscape and its people kept reminding me of many islands nations of the region and Fiji, particularly.  The sugarcane fields, the mountains in the backdrop, the greenery, and the people look deceptively similar to Fiji. There were a few dissimilarities too. Three that stood out for me included the use of Creole (‘pigeon French’); the dense population; and, the notable absence of abject poverty we often encounter in many of our own islands.

MIDA Step in Media Evolution, ID Card and '666 Mark of the Beast,' Misleading NZ Travel Heading, Cakaudrove Prevaricates

WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Allen Lockington column ♦ Does the Government Accept Criticism? ♦ The Weakness of Australian Policy ♦ Media Freedom and Racism in NZ, I and II, ♦ Some Lessons from Mauritius

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS. Fiji will switch back to daylight saving time from this Sunday 24th tober at 2am. This means members of the public will be required to switch their clocks one hour ahead from 2am to 3am. It is expected to end in March 2011, a date is yet to be confirmed. --  2010 No:1568/MOI. Fiji will then be on the same time as NZ that commenced its daylight savings two weeks ago, and be two hours (instead of the present three hours) ahead of EST in Sydney.

MEDIA AUTHORITY NEARLY READY. Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) chairman Prof Subramani  expects the Authroithy to befully operational within the next month. The secretary's position has been advertised and office space obtained. Subramani said MIDA will be proactive in working with the media, and constructively help support …

Good News from Cakaudrove, SFO Threatens NZ Journalists, EU's €, Bruce Hill, Usaia's FDFM and Me

GOOD NEWS FROM CAKAUDROVE. Reports from the Cakadrove Provincial Council meeting in Somosomo, Taveuni,  are that the paramount chief of Cakaudrove, the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, who is also the head of the powerful Tovata Confederacy, comprising, Cakaudrove, Bua, Macuata and Lau, says he now agrees with changes imposed by the Government for the betterment of the country, and that it is time to forget the past and for everyone to work together to make Fiji a better place to live in.
Map from Walsh: Fiji: An Encyclopaedic Atlas, 2006, USP.

This, in my view, constitutes a major change in the Fiji political scene and offers hope of early reconciliations and faster progress with the reforms leading to the 2014 elections. Its significance is confirmed by the response of Sai Lealea,  a popular anti-goverment blogger, on his blog Fiji Coup 2006. He writes from Wellington:

"Coming from my paramount chief, this is indeed a monumental decision. It is one I will have to consider in t…

Fiji 'Refugees', Eradicating Poverty, NZTV Condones Racist Comments, Fiji Media, Fuel and Gas

FIJIAN 'REFUGEES' CLOG AUSSIE ASYLUM QUEUE. A small handful of ethnic Fijians in Australia may have genuine concerns about returning to Fiji because of their political views,  although there is no evidence that the Fiji government has persecuted any returnees, and there are certainly no instances of imprisonment, torture or deaths that would warrant concern today.  News that Fijian refugee applications are causing delays in applications from other countries where persecution is real leaves one thinking how selfish the bulk of these applications must be.  Economic and anti-Bainimarama migrants masquerading as political refugees – and, I assume, using refugee quotas far more deserved by others – says much about the gullibility and paranoia of the applicants.

USP's Development Studies Professor Vijay Naidu,  says his studies reveal economic reasons are the main reason for people leaving Fiji.“We are not having everyday political turmo…

Na Sala Cava Cakaudrove? MSG: Bruce Hill, Usaia, Natapei, IDs: Bruce Hill, Akuila Yabaki, ID Official Release, Complaints Against Lawyers, Rice Back?

THE CAKAUDROVE QUESTION MARK. The province still seems to be divided in its support for government which is understandable given the political record of its Paramount Chief the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu (photo).  But the Roko Tui Cakaudrove Ratu Aca Mataitini has confirmed that the Tui Cakau will open the Provincial Council meeting at Somosomo, Taveuni, on Wednesday, and this is a good sign. The  Bose Vanua (meeting of chiefs) meets today. Ratu Aca said proper utilization of land for agricultural purposes is one of the issues to be discussed in the two day Provincial Council meeting. He hopes the people of Cakaudrove will follow plans set by the Government which is covered under the People's Charter for Change. We hope it will also be supported by the Tui Cakau.

WHO RINGS WHO FIRST, BRUCE HILL OR USAIA? Usaia Waqatairewa of the Australia-based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement seems to get an extraordinary amount of time on Radio Australia.  He is urging the Me…

IDs, Asian Links, 'Doom and Gloom', Tourism, Domestic Violence, New FNU Campus


NATIONAL ID CARD PROPOSAL. The suggestion by Ministry of Defence and National Security Senior Official Joji Washington that Fiji should introduce an national ID card was always going to raise eyebrows. There's no question it would "strengthen the work of law enforcement, immigration, customs, bio-security, border police, AFL security, airline security, port security and outsourced security personnel." It may also prove to be efficient for the general public.

Singapore has had compulsory ID cards for many years and while they seem not to be been misused by the authorities, it could be that people have just got used to having them.  It's handy having only one number to remember for tax, pension, wages, driving, voting, travel and other arrangements. Similar suggestions have surfaced in New Zealand over the years but they have always been opposed by the civil liberties lobby who argued that liberty i…

Open Letter from Artist Stan Blanch to Radio New Zealand

Attn. Programme Manager, Radio NZ

Dear Sir,
Listening to Radio NZ via streaming on the internet from here in Suva Fiji, I was bowled over by Mike Field's comments and  disinformation this morning. I am in the progress of painting a landcape in oils on canvas and almost dropped my brushes!!!!.

What a load of complete nonsense Mike told you. Mahendra Chaudhry, former PM of Fiji, was arrested a few days ago. He is now out on a $500 bail and  has to report to a Police Station once a week until his trial.

What Mike didn't tell you that Mahendra is a trade union activist and is believed to be associated with multiple recent sabotages of sugar mills around Fiji.The men with him were also trade union organisers. Alleged sabotage has been frequent and is always associated with the boiler systems in the plants affected.

Further to this, Chaudhry is facing criminal investigation and  charges for making substantial cash gifts to his family of Government monies and secreting very large sum …