Showing posts from October 24, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Readers are reminded that ANONYMOUS COMMENTS will not be published.
WEEKEND READING. Scroll down to  ♦ Scott MacWilliam reviews Michael Field's Swimming with Sharks ♦ Thakur Ranjit Singh on Brij Lal's book about Jai Ram Reddy ♦ Subramani on Misconceptions about the Media Decree ♦ Marist Spirit Leaves Mark.  

See also Friday's postings. The decision to remove CoupFourPointFivefrom my 'moderate' blog list produced some interesting and revealing comments.

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. Scenic Route
It's amazing what you see and experience on a drive from Lautoka to Nadi. For me the drive is scenic all along the 25 kilometer or so drive.

Book Review: Michael Field's "Swimming with Sharks"

Subramani on the Media Decree and Overseas Journalists' Misconceptions


Brij Lal's Book on Jai Ram Reddy

The life of Fiji’s statesman Judge Jai Ram Reddy: Dr Brij Lal’s “In the Eye of the storm.” -- by Thakur Ranjit Singh
India’s first Prime Minister and Indira Gandhi’s father, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru once said that history is always written from the viewpoint of victors. So is true about Fiji’s history, especially those relating to the suffering of the indenture and the trials and tribulations of its descendants.

Marist Spirit Leaves Mark

Stop Press on CoupFourPointFive

CoupFourPointFive's posting today on Driti and Mara is incredulous. They write that the two military leaders were reinstated after they apologized to Bainimarama for plotting to depose him. The blog must take their readers for fools if they think they will believe this. Someone plots to depose you; they say sorry and all is forgiven?  The blog should just admit their first report was wrong, rather than trying to wriggle out of it with another tall story.  Errors happen all the time when one relies on unsubstantiated, anonymous rumours.

Their second posting was on Sharon Smith-Johns and it is deeply offensive and libellous. The accusation was first published months ago on another anti-government blog and has no more substance now than it did then.  I am quite frankly shocked that a once reputable anti-govenment blog should have stooped so low.

CoupFourPointFive no longer meets the criterion of a 'reasonable' anti-Government blog and for this reason I have removed  the lin…

'Disgusting' Comments, ABC and RNZI Slips are Showing, Sugar Suing, MSG Laughing Stock

WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Allen Lockington's column ♦ Scott MacWilliam reviews Michael Field's Swimming with Sharks ♦ Thakur Ranjit Singh on Brij Lal's book about Jai Ram Reddy ♦ Subramani on Misconceptions about Media Decree ♦ Marist Spirit Leaves Mark.

have drawn comments from readers on this blog. Check out both sites.

ABC INTERVIEW PINA. ABC's Geraldine Coutts bowled several leading question at Matai Akauola of the Pacific Islands News Association in an interview yesterday.

Geraldine: Fiji's still got censors in every newsroom. 
Matai: They have been removed. 
Geraldine: Fiji's second to last in the International Press Freedom ratings.[Let's not mention Mexico and the Philippines where journalists have been killed.]... Matai:It depends how you look at it. We want to move on.
Geraldine: Fiji journalists are at risk... Think of the molotov cocktails ... Fiji media still suffering from ... x and y.
Matai: …

Fiji's Muslim League Thanks Fiji, and PM's Address to Da’Wah Council

'We’ve Been Treated Well' The Fiji Muslim League has applauded the Government for the equal treatment Muslims have enjoyed over many decades.
League national president Hafizud Dean Khan (photo, right)  said Muslims living in Fiji have not suffered the indignities or bigotry many Muslims around the world face.He made the comments at the presidential dinner of the 26th Executive Meeting of Regional Islamic Da’Wah Council of South East Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) held at the Natadola Intercontinental Golf and Spa on Monday night. The Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was the guest of honour.
“You hear about western countries where there are protests about Muslims building a school or a mosque or the Muslim wearing a ‘hijab’ or a veil or whatever. We don’t have that situation in Fiji,” Mr Khan said.
“Muslims feel free and we are only six to seven per cent of the population. Yet we feel this is a Muslim country, although not strictly because it’s a country for everybody.”

Scholarships by Merit and Need, Not Race and Influence; CoupFourPointFive Going Downhill

MAJOR CHANGES TO SCHOLARSHIPS.  Major changes are expected in the present race-based scholarships funded by government.

Up until now Fiji has had two separate scholarship pools, one for i-taukei and Rotumans, the other for Indo-Fijians and the minority communities. There is no financial cut-off point for itaukei and Rotuman applicants, anyone can apply irrespective of what their parents earn. But for Indo-Fijian applicants their combined parents' annual income must not exceed $10,000, and for Other Ethnic applicants $15,000.

It does not take a wizard to see how this worked. The ethnic Fijian elite had their children's education subsidized by government, using taxes paid for by all communities. Their children, given generally better schooling and parental support) would be likely to obtain higher higher school grades. These grades and their parents' "connections" meant they were more likely to be awarded scholarships than children from poorer itaukei families, wi…

The Rumours and the Mara-Ganilau Multiracial Vision

See New QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in Right Sidebar
'Smoke Without Fire' has left this comment on your post "Pita, Tevita and the Cheshire Cat":

I can understand the speculation about Pita Driti, Croz, because there have been constant rumours of tension between him and Bainimarama, mainly over the PM's unwavering support for Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Driti can't stand Aiyaz and doesn't care who knows it. But taking on Frank would be an entirely different matter and Driti simply doesn't have the numbers on the Military Council to mount a plausible challenge. He'll be only too aware that the last person who took on Frank, Jone Baledrokadroka, barely escaped with his life and has to be content nowadays with fueling the rumour mill from the safety of the ANU in Canberra.

But let's just look at Tevita Mara, aka Roko Lui, and what motive he might have for moving against Frank. Even if you buy these rumours — and that's all they are — I don&#…

Pita, Tevita and the Cheshire Cat

PITA DRITI AND RATU TEVITA ULUILAKEBA MARA. There has been much speculation over the significance of these two senior military officers taking extended leave.

Those opposed to the Bainimarama government claim the situation reflects serious divisions in the military and an attempt by Bainimarama to forestall action against him. Those promoting this interpretation include the blog CoupFourPointFive (that first published the story), former Land Force Commander Jone Baledrokadroka (now studying at ANU), RadioNZ International (that most unusually cited a blog as its source of information!) and journalist-cum-blogger Michael Field with his usual bag of weighted words and colourful phrases.

Field writes: "Key members of a colonel’s clique that backed Fiji’s 2006 military coup have been sent on indefinite leave by military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama amid wild rumours of further action. Two key figures were dumped yesterday following the unexplained departure of another last month as Bai…

Japan Will Assist, MSG Chair, Fiji-US Relations, Namosi Gold, Carnival of Lights

NOTICES.  1) Reminder: Anonymous comments will not be published. 2) Fiji Daylight Savings started yesterday. 3) Check out the Weekend Readings and comments. 4) Tomorrow posting: Driti on leave?

JAPAN READY TO ASSIST. Japan's willingness to assist with the electoral and other reforms could herald a major improvement in its recognition of the ongoing developments that will lead to elections in 2014. The offer was made by Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara during discussions with his counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola last week.

Mr Maehara emphasised the importance of the election date and urged Fiji to try to engage the international community in its reform process. Other bilateral relations issued discussed were Japanese Official Development  Assistance (ODA), trade and investment relations, and the possibility of Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Funds being managed through the Japanese Embassy in Suva. Japan will discuss this possible arraangement with the Pacific Islands Fo…