Showing posts from December 5, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

SCROLL DOWN TO OTHER WEEKEND READING ♦ Gerald McGhie on The Vexed Question of External Aid   ♦ Graham Reid's second article on his Fiji visit  ♦ Teaching Men and Boys by Sharon Bhagwan Rolls  ♦ The 2011 Budget: Claims and Counterclaims  ♦ And Friday's long post.

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.

Cyclone Control From records when there is a cyclone alert, civil servants are usually told to stay at home, or there could be some kind of instructions, for their benefit. Some years ago during a cyclone civil servants were told to go home, it was because government cared for their welfare and of course they had other responsibilities. And that they should go home and perhaps secure their homes. Government offices were to be secure…

The 2011 Budget: Claims and Counterclaims

I will try to publish this item today or tomorrow but I still need to read, and digest, the 90-odd page 2011 Budget Supplement that I only received yesterday.   Sorry. Insufficient time.  Will publish next Saturday or possibly earlier.

The Vexed Question of Effective Aid by Gerald McGhie

Gerald McGhie is a former NZ diplomat who cut his Pacific teeth  with a three-year posting to Samoa in 1960. Later postings included Consul General in Hong Kong, High Commissioner in PNG, Ambassador in Moscow and Seoul. He was also Acting HighCom in Zimbabwe and Tonga, and led the NZ component of the ANZ peacekeeping mission to Solomon Islands.  

More recently he has been the National Director of the NZ Institute of International Affairs, Founding Director of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Hon.Vice-President of the NZ Institute of International Affairs, and until this year Chairman of the NZ Chapter of Transparency International.  He was awarded  the Queen's Service Order (QSO) in 2004.

Graham Reid's Second Article on his Fiji Visit

The second article by NZ Journalist Graham Reid on his visit to Fiji.  The first article was published last Saturday.

Teaching Men and Boys by Sharon Bhagwan Rolls*

On the eve of World Human Rights Day, listeners to the suitcase radio broadcast on 89.2FM in Labasa were reminded that faith based organizations and men are key partners in championing the cause of non-violence:

The Lies of March, UN Move to China, USP Cuts Income, New Churches, Jailed For Heeding Lawyer, A Compliment, RBF Reddy Resigns

WEEKEND READING  ♦Allen Lockington column ♦ Gerald McGhie on The Vexed Question of External Aid  ♦ Graham Reid's second article on his Fiji visit  ♦ Teaching Men and Boys by Sharon Bhagwan Rolls  ♦ The 2011 Budget: Claims and Counterclaims.

CANCELLATION OF MARCH. The annual Coalition of Human Rights march planned for tomorrow in Suva has been cancelled because of a warning to American citizens from the US Embassy that the march could be used by anti-government elements and become unruly. The planned march was of women, children and families to show their support for human rights.

The Ministry of Information blamed the American Embassy of causing confusion by issuing an alert based on an "anonymous blog which suggesting the march was not going to be a peaceful one."

The MOI does not normally "react to this type of information because it has proven time and again to be inaccurate and detrimental to the country. However, on this occasion for reasons unknown,  the Americ…

EU to Engage, Kisan Sangh Supports Sugar Reforms, More Fiji Water, Rural Development, Soqosoqo Vakamarama Welcomes Funding

EU WILLING TO ENGAGE ON ROADMAP. The European Union has indicated its willingness to engage more with Fiji on its Roadmap for the Return to Democracy in 2014,  according to  Fiji’s ambassador to Brussels Peceli Vocea, who said a letter outlining the EU’s position has been signed by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commissioner Development Andris Piebalgs.

“That’s a very interesting development." he said. "I think a letter was just sent to Fiji signed by the Commissioner Development, and Catherine Ashton, that they are looking forward to working with Fiji on the roadmap – with regards processes Fiji may need to put in place for 2014.” He described the letter as a very important gesture, and a very important development for Fiji with the EU.

FIJI'S OLDEST UNION SUPPORTS GOVT REFORMS. The Fiji Kisan Sangh (Farmers'Union) has called on cane growers to get together and support government’s plan to reform the suga…

USA, Fiji and the UN, Vanuatu and the MSG, Chaudhry, 70 New Laws, Sugar

THE PACIFIC MEDIA CENTRE has a new website. Check it out.

The US Suva Embassy has clarified this issue.  The visas were not exactly refused; they needed a longer application time. The Embassy said names of key supporters of the coup are  on the Department of State visa watch list, and those on the list have to be cleared by Washington, a process that could take three weeks. There can be no complaint about this. It is the right of all sovereign nations to determine who is allowed to enter — or stay — in their country.  One might have hoped for a better outcome, given Hillary Clinton's promising overtures, but it was not to be.

Some readers have misunderstood my position. I was disappointment with the "decision" but my main concern was the effective denial of access to the United Nations.  The Embassy also addressed this question, saying that "while the US takes seriously its obligations under the UN Charter to facilitat…

Call for UN Involvement, US Blocks Fiji's Open Access to UN; ACP- EU Fact Finding Mission

CALL FOR UN TO GET INVOLVED. Great, I thought.  RadioNZI has at last published something other than its usual  condemnation of Fiji. The email alert read: "Call for United Nations to get involved in liaising with Pacific neighbours. A New Zealand businessman with extensive interests in Fiji is calling for the United Nations to be brought in to help resolve the strained relations between ..."

So I clicked their website to read the rest of the story and this is what I got: "Error!Invalid Story ID<\p>. News Content © Radio New Zealand International ." We are left wondering why. 

SAD, VERY SAD.  Hillary Clinton's recent visit to Australia and New Zealand, — and her comments on a fresh engagement with Fiji — led optimists to think the US would take a lead in finding more appropriate policies on Fiji  than the failed policies of Australia and New Zealand that in four years have produced no positive results.  But now, with the US failure to issue three visas to F…

Trees, Wadan and the Blogs, Two New PMs, Teachers, Multi-Ethnic Devolution, AusAID, Debts, FNPF, Fiji Water

NEW QUOTE FOR THE WEEK. See right sidebar. Scroll down for Weekend Reading.

TREES, GIFTS FOR THE FUTURE. More than half a million trees have been planted around the country in response to government's “Plant a Million Trees – A Gift for the Future" initiative, and another half a million trees is expected to be planted to ensure the full implementation of the campaign. --  FBCL News.

The Blogs FDFM copied by Coup4.5 wrote:
"  Quoting the work of Nadan (sic!) Warsey (sic!) ... the military will have busted its annual budget by $700,000,000 if it's allowed to continue until 2014." What Wadan actually wrote was: "Roughly, between 2000 and 2010, the military has illegally overspent by $225 million ...If the present trend continues ... the military will have taken  ... some $700 millions over and above their normal pre-2000 allocations between 2000 and 2014."

There are four elements: 1) Wadan's "normal" pr…