Showing posts from December 12, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

SCROLL DOWN TO OTHER WEEKEND READING.  ♦ 'Eakalafi Moala and Baroness Onora O'Neill on Media Freedom ♦ Graham Reid's third and final article on his Fiji visit ♦ Fr Barr on NZ Aid and Neo-Liberalism  

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.

Vinaka Vakalevu  Police Commissioner I am a regular at the Lautoka Market where I sit and have a basin of yaqona with my mates.. I am the youngest. The market, in my opinion is a place where every citizen of Fiji rubs shoulders. I have met and made so many new friends there.  I have also seen the odd the funny and the strange there. Every so often I see a police officer come along on patrol and we greet him or her. We know that police officers are not allowed to consume yaqona but for c…

'Eakalafi Moala and Baroness Onora O'Neill on Media Freedom

Media, a Destructive or Constructive Force in Peace and Development? Lessons from Tonga *
By 'Eakalafi Moala CEO, Taimi Media Network 
(with a concluding note by Baroness Onora O'Neill)  "  I believe in media freedom, but I also believe in media responsibility and media accuracy and commitment to truth. I also believe that Pacific Island media is under no obligation whatsoever to follow a Western format, as in politics, of media coverage based on conflict."

Graham Reid's Third and Last Article on his Fiji Visit

NZ freelancer Graham Reid concludes his three-part story of his visit to Fiji, telling it as it was told to him by locals as he moved around Suva and travelled along the Coral Coast. 

Versions of the Truth

NZ Aid's New Direction, Neo-Liberalism, and Poverty as a Structural Problem

Fr Kevin Barr's "rushed comments" on last weekend's article by Gerald McGhie on NZ Aid. Fr Barr is the Chairman of the Wages Councils.  You should read McGhie's article if you have not already done so.

Namosi Visit QEB, Taveuni Road, Long Outdated Penalties, Child Labour, Education and Poverty, Wage Increases

NEWS SUMMARY. Today's news items show —  Namosi supporting Government, an appeal to Taveuni farmers to take advantage of a new road, the updating of exchange control penalties unchanged for 30 years, work to eradicate child labour and government's related efforts on education and poverty. There's also some good news for the police, nurses, builders and the economy.

Photo: Joske's Thumb and Namosi Highlands from Suva Harbour.

NAMOSI GIVES PM 'CHRISTMAS PRESENT'. Some 200 Namosi people led by former SDL politician the Turaga na Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanotobua, visited the QEB yesterday to express support for Government and the military.

Receiving them, PM Bainimarama likened their visit to an early Christmas and New Year’s blessings. He thanked the vanua of Namosi for its continued support and took the opportunity to stress the importance of choosing the right people to lead the country after 2014.

“Everyone need to know the People’s Charter for…

Spies in a Teacup, Fiji New MSG Chair, Public Service Rationalisation Continues

NEW ZEALAND SPYING — SO WHAT?  Among the thousands of Wikileaks revelations comes the story that NZ was spying on Fiji in 2000 and 2006 and had the capacity to listen in to cell phone conversations. I wouldn't be too surprised or concerned because I suspect most countries engage in such spying. It makes sense to use all available technology to better inform your diplomacy.  My larger concern is with NZ's misinformed diplomacy.

In Suva the PM seemed not at all surprised and PermSec Information Sharon Smith John  said they knew along along. NZ spying was no surprise says they knew all along. It was only NZ that was denying it.

She said Fiji has nothing to hide and New Zealand could go on listening if they want. “Let them listen to what the government has to say...We know where the Roadmap is taking us.We know of elections in 2014. We know when the constitution will come into place. We talk about this openly so let the NZ government spy on us and pass that information onto Amer…

Race, Racism and the 2014 Election

By Crosbie Walsh
In the relatively moderate anti-government blog FijiToday a Pita Massam writes to publisher Peter Firkin  raising interesting questions on race, racism, legislation and the 2014 elections.

Pita writes about an IndoFijjian business friend who says he can think of no one who would be acceptable to both i'taukei and IndoFijians as prime minister. "Both Qarase and Chaudry are way too polarised to be allowed to stand and the PM has promised to exclude them anyway."

Further, his friend doubts any "village Fijian would vote for a “Mongoose” and that is 30% of the total vote. No Settlement Indian would vote for a “Tu” and that is 18% of the population."

"He proposes a question to ask to gauge the level of racism bred into the current population. Would you be happy if your daughter married a Fijian or Indian? He believes that an almost 100% of parents would say “no way.” This will not change in the six years as proposed by the current Government. …

Australia Only Helping Criminals, March Ban Reviewed, Community Self-Help, Bangladesh & Sigatoka,

AUSTRALIA TOLD ISOLATING FIJI ONLY HELPS CRIMINALS.  Solicitor-General Christopher Pryde told Pacific Islands legal officers meeting in Brisbane last week that  Fiji has rejected Australia’s Framework for Law and Justice Engagement in the Pacific because its policy of isolating Fiji and withholding assistance and co-operation meant that proper attention  could not be given to transnational crimes including money laundering and human trafficking.

He said, “NZ, Australia, and the Forum and Commonwealth Secretariats, in particular, need to review their policies of isolation and non-co-operation with Fiji and work for the common good for the whole of the Pacific region and leave aside their political differences." The isolation policy played into the hands of criminal elements in the Pacific.”

The Solicitor-General was also critical that the three day meeting was chaired exclusively by the Australian Attorney-General’s Department. Other member states were consulted to s…

Spearhead Reconciliation, US Ambassador, Tui Cakau, Methodist Conferences Again - Just, Qarase's Sermon, NZ Law Society May Help

PIGS WITH TUSKS. Newly elected Vanuatu PM, Sato Kilman,  left for Honiara earlier today for the meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. He was  accompanied by Foreign Minister, Georges Wells, the chairman of national Council of Chiefs, Gratien Alget, and six paramount chiefs representing six provincial governments. Chief Alget and the six custom chiefs will perform a custom ceremony tomorrow to reconcile Vanuatu with Fiji, donating pigs with tusks, mats, kava and food. The  meeting should see Vanuatu hand over the MSG chairmanship to Solomon Islands for it to pass it to Fiji. Photo: a custom chief.

MCGANN AGAIN. There seems to be some confusion about the US Ambassador's recent location and his present status in Fiji.  The Fiji media reported that he had be called in to see Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola but a reader said he was already in Washington.  Then we had a statement from the Ambassador (presumable from Washington) saying that he was updating people th…

Corruption, Transparency International, Melanesian Spearhead Group

NEW QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in right sidebar.
WHAT I BELIEVE ON FIJI. I have updated my position vis-a-vis the Bainimarama Goverment. Click on the AIMS-PRINCIPLES tab above.

ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY. Last week those who knew about it celebrated International Anti-Corruption Day.  In Fiji, the anti-corruption watchdog Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) organized an event in Sukuna Park where FICAC’s deputy commissioner, Mr George Langman appealed for everyone's help: “The task of eradicating corruption cannot be done alone by FICAC. Though we have been mandated to carry out this task, we need your support and co-operation.”

He said FICAC fights corruption in two ways: by investigations and prosecutions, and by what he described as "aggressive awareness campaigns." The toll free mobile line has been one effective tool made available to the public. We have taken people to court within 48 hours of receiving a call through a toll-free line.”

So far 41 cases have been …

The March That Wasn't

By Crosbie Walsh
For most of last week we were the victims of a preposterous hoax that rolled out of Sydney's FDFM blog to Wellington's Fiji Coup 2006 blog (and Auckland's CoupFourPointFive) and on to its final destination in Suva.

There was to be an anti-Government march on Friday at Sukuna Park of some 10,000 to 20,000 people (including 10,000 school children!), timed, purely by accident, to coincide with an authorised Human Rights march of women and children.  Government banned both the real and unreal marches — just to be sure.

The ban, however, did not stop Fiji Coup 2006 blogger Sai Lealea,  strengthened from singing Psalm 91:1-16, urging the troops onwards from behind.

"We will March tomorrow in force," Sai wrote from Wellington, "and let the government know that we mean business and will not be deprived of our rights to be heard by the President. To all ordinary men and women of Fiji – the cancellation only depicts that Frank Bainimarama’s government…