Showing posts from November 7, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

♦ Dream come true for Beqa and Yanuca Islanders 
♦ Graham Davis interviews Fiji's leaders in May 2006: "Fiji - Democracy by the Gun" 
♦  Croz Walsh asks questions about the American mid-term elections, democracy and lessons for Fiji. 
♦ And the long posting on Friday, with all its 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.

Missing  Link
 When I saw the Fiji Times headline “Missing link”, I thought we had found our ancestral missing link. Then I read more and found something more profound. We'd lost our original copy of the Deed of Cession. How on earth could we have lost a document that is such an important part of our heritage and history?

It's probably a sign of how so man…

The American Mid-Term Elections Ask Questions about Democracy, and Lessons for Fiji

by Crosbie Walsh

Two years ago Americans elected their first Black president and the world looked, very briefly, as if it might become a better place. Voter, and particularly young voter, expectations were high. America would become a fairer society with health reforms that would enable poorer Americans to receive free medical treatment when required; US troops would be withdrawn from a war in Iraq in which they never should have been engaged; and relations with the Muslim world would see a solution to the Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine conflict. It was still an American Century. 

From the Archives: "Fiji — Democracy by the Gun," Interviews by Graham Davis

The link below is to interviews conducted by Graham Davis (photo in Queenstown, NZ) in early May 2006 for the Nine Network's now defunct Sunday programme,  prior to the Fiji May elections and  only a  few months before the 2006 Coup. Those interviewed included Voqere Bainimarama, Mahendra Chaudhry, Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes, Deputy Prosecutor Peter Ridgeway, Nationalist leader Iliesa Duvuloco, and 2000 (Speight) Coup conspirators Maciu Navakasuasua and Jo Waqabaca. It makes interesting reading in terms of what was to follow, and helps explain attitudes today.

In the interview  Bainimarama brands  Qarase  a liar and expresses a preference for his main opponent in the forthcoming election, Indo-Fijian Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry. The military chief is enraged that in a recent speech Qarase  had said there was no guarantee that the coups of 1987 and 2000 wouldn't be repeated if Chaudhry won the election. The interview sheds new light on the shadowy instig…

Dream Come True for Beqa & Yanuca Islanders

Travelling by punts to mainland Viti Levu will soon be a hurdle of the past for students from Beqa and Yanuca islands. Students from these islands attending secondary schools in Navua and Suva will have a secondary school of their own by early 2011.

Leweni's 'Ghost,' Commerce Commission Backpedals, Sugar, Tourism, Sophie Foster, India Gift, Fiji Democracy Now

REMINDER. Anonymous and repetitive comments are not published.

. Well, well, another anti-government blog rumour has proved to be untrue.  LtCol Neumi Leweni really did go on leave as the Military claimed. He was not dismissed as the blogs claimed. He will resume duties with the Fiji Military Forces next Monday. This is in line with statements previously made by the Prime Minister, that any Military Officer  seconded to serve in the Government would return once they have completed the duties they were assigned. Since 2006 LtCol Leweni has at various times served as Consular to the Fiji Embassy in China and more recently as the Permanent Secretary of Information and Permanent Secretary of Lands.  -- Based on 2010, No:1866/MOI.

The Commission has readjusted the prices of basic food items resulting in an average reduction of 9% compared with the 13% when the reduction was announced last week. More expensive food items and those that have no subs…

CCF Workshop, Provincial Meetings Roundup, NZ Law Society Accepts Invite

URGENT NOTICE. CCF workshop on 'Dialogue on Land Use 2010 and beyond', Waterfront Hotel, Lautoka this Thursday and Friday. CCF Chief Executive Officer Rev Akuila Yabaki said, “The land issue is fraught with serious stumbling blocks which we must overcome in order to reach a solution for future generations,” CCF Chief Executive Officer Rev Akuila Yabaki said. “We need to recognise that land is a divisive issue not only between communities but also among the iTaukei, because the distribution of productive land among the iTaukei is uneven and changing circumstances have placed significant pressure on those families and mataqali that lack sufficient land to sustain a livelihood."

Reports on Provincial Council Meetings  Common themes emerging from recently held provincial council meetings are the need:  ♦ to take full advantage of government development funding; ♦ to encourage local economic efforts; ♦ to push education; ♦ exercise caution over the proposed village bylaws,♦ and …

Coup of Many Colours, Kerr Says Australia Needs to Rethink, Kubuabola Responds to Gillard, Lomaiviti Meeting, Budget Day, Invite to NZ Law Society

See new QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in the right sidebar.

COUP OF MANY COLOURS. I was reminded by a comment to Sanjay's weekend article of how the 2006 Bainimarama coup has been relabelled over time. It started in 2007 with Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi saying indigenous Fijians saw it as an Indo-Fijian counter-coup. By 2008 it had become an Fiji Labour Party coup. By 2009 it was an Indo-Fijian Muslim coup,  and now it's apparently an Indo-Fijian business big business cum Muslim coup with possible Al Qaeda links.

The commentator wrote: "The fact is that all political parties lost out because of the coup, except the National Alliance Party of Ratu Epeili Ganilau. Then again, the military has made it clear that no previous political parties or party-affiliated individuals will contest any future general elections. Indigenous Fijian provincial chiefs slowly realised that Ro Temumu Kepa and Mere Samisoni style resistance was futile and as a result, the chiefs that wanted Bainimaram…

Mainly on Australian NZ Policy & the US, Crime in West, Geothermal Possibilities

AUSTRALIA'S POLICY HAS BACKFIRED. This is the claim  of Sydney Morning Herald Asia-Pacific editor Hamish McDonald. He writes that Australia's campaign to isolate Fiji's military regime has resulted in the US and other powers sidestepping Canberra to build influence with the Fijians.

The tough policy of the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd - inherited from the Howard government - towards Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister installed in a coup, is failing and could damage his campaign to win a United Nations Security Council seat for Australia.

A switch in approach towards Commodore Bainimarama, to hold him to his promise of elections in 2014 and help in preparations, is likely to be discussed when Mr Rudd and the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, meet the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, in Melbourne today.

The emerging policy failure in Australia's sphere of influence will damage Canberra's diplomatic clout. ''If…

Hillary Clinton's Words and Meanings, Export Amnesty, Supermarkets Protest Price Controls

HILLARY CLINTON AND FIJI. People on both sides of the political divide claim Hillary Clinton said what they wanted her to say. The anti- people cited her assurance that the US will work with Australia to return Fiji to democracy, saying she wanted immediate elections.  The pro- people said she talked of the importance of  involving more civilians in Government knowing, as she must, that this is unlikely while Australia and NZ maintain travel bans on Government people. What both sides must know — but which neither side has said —  is that Hillary Clinton will not be telling the press what is really going on, and she most certainly would not criticize Australian and NZ policies in public. That is not what allies do. It is what goes on behind the scene that counts, and we won't know this for a while — unless, of course, CoupFourPointFive has a spare "reliable source" hidden deep in the White House.
In an article headed "Fiji Stand a Threat to [Australia&#…