PM on Racism and Elections; Graham Southwick on the EU's 'Never-ending' Story

N247. THE PM ON RACE AND ELECTIONS. Fostering racism should be stamped out so that the country can move forward, the PM told Nakalawaca Villagers in Tailevu last week.

“Na veivakaduiduitaki vakamatatamata e vakadukadukalitaka na noda vanua (Racism corrupts our country).“E kune e loma ni politiki, ka kauta mai na veilecayaki e na noda vanua. E teteva na veimata tamata kei na lotu. E dodonu me vakawabokotaki. E vakataotaka na toso. (It is rife in politics and creates uncertainty among people. Racism is found in religious societies also. It should be stamped out. It affects growth and progress).

He said the People’s Charter was built on removing racial differences.

“This Government wants to remove racial discrimination so that we can live together peacefully. This is the charter — one country and one people. We should learn to love each other and appreciate each other’s race. This is your country and this is your land. No one can take them away from you but what this Government wants is to shape a Fiji every citizen will enjoy living in.We are working on these grounds to pave a way for the 2014 elections.”

He said citizens of this country should elect good politicians for the 2014 elections. “Select politicians who can move the country forward so that we gain prosperity. Don’t just elect anyone. We want a Fiji for everyone.” 

He said the voting age should be dropped to 18 to allow youths to raise their choices and voices in the formation of their government. “Soldiers go to war at the age of 18. They fight and die for our country but they are not given the freedom to have a say in how to run their country.”

“That is why we are working hard to make changes before the elections. This Government is for you the people, but you should also change for the better. Watch what is happening around you; the prices of food you buy, the state of frozen foods in the shops and supermarkets, the cost of hardware prices and so many things. Be alert so that you can also change and move forward."

Bainimarama is the first Prime Minister to visit Nakalawaca and Namara. His next visit will be to Kadavu island to inspect the progress of Government-funded projects and meet the people.

N248. EU'S 'NEVER-ENDING LIST.' Fiji Fish Company head Graham Southwick  says the recent EU audit may pave the way for fish exports to the EU but he wonders whether it’s worth meeting the EU's remaining conditions. The EU still needs to clear fisheries exporters and it’s asked them to fulfill an extensive list of conditions.

“Now they’re talking about having to upgrade not only the factories, they want to upgrade the boats and then they want to upgrade the trucks ... Where is the thing going to end really, upgrading the airport or the aircraft? ...We don’t have any finite list that we can say, ’OK if we do these 10 things that we can go to Europe’. At the moment the list seems to be never-ending.”

Southwick says Fiji exporters have asked for a final list of conditions so that they can work out how much it’ll cost to come up to EU standard.
[Sounds a bit like the battle to get Australia to accept NZ apples! All's fair in love and war "free" trade.]


Dictatorships never succeed said…
I would suggest to you that Fiji has never been more divided than it is at present. This coup has created great mistrust and potential unrest. The only people in denial about this are coup perpetrators and collaborators. And yes, at the moment they have the guns, therefore the power, and are silencing all who do not agree with their tactics.
Such dictatorial repression over people is simply not sustainable. We have seen this in Iraq, Egypt and now Libya. Dictators and their collaborators who try and destroy democracy are being crushed. The free world will see to this - today, for example all pro democracy freedom fighters are celebrating the bombing of Gaddafi's compound. And more to come. Join us in our celebrations Croz? Destruction of dictatorships!!
2014 its on said…
First great to hear the PM confirming 2014.

Second I would like him to confirm his original promise of not standing in the election. Otherwise his efforts to ensure none of the previous parties and players in politics are removed will be seen as POLITICS on his behalf. Eg ensuring he has no opposition in 2014.

I would like to also here him say he WILL ACCEPT the outcome of a election and ensure a coup never occurs again under his watch. This is a big ask given he was responsible for the latest coup but if he does everything he says he is going to do then there should be no need for a coup.

Finally how about a commitment to reduce military spending over the next four years. That would be truely inspirational leadership and quite frankly shut up all those who think he does not preach what he thinks.
tratal said…
As a practical step in removing racism could i suggest the PM look to change the military membership so that it is more representative of the community. For a start he will have to stop addressing them only in Fijian.
no more military racism said…
We applaud Bainimarama for removing racism? Particularly if the most unrepresentative organisation in the country, the military, immediately gets both a racial balance, and some semblance of gender equity? And absolutely agree with the previous person - no more speaking only in i-Taukei. Either in english, or in hindi as well.
Racists never succeed said…
No, I believe you are wrong. The country was definately more devided prior to the latest coup. Its just that the racists were in power. The remaineder of the country could not say or do anything about it (they tried in two elections), because if they did the racists took over with guns.
who's who said…
tratal - First, more non indigenous Fijians need to apply to join the Military then they need to pass the tests, then they can be accepted. Promotion of removing the racitst mindset among the population has never been as proactive as under the current regime.
God is our Witness said…
@ Racists never succeed said.....

We attended a funeral this week where in a eulogy in tribute to a remarkable woman and grandmother it was publicly said that Fiji had never been 'More peaceful for a long time'.

So, who is to contradict this? When we left the Church we did not say that this was untrue. As God is our witness.
Examine the evidence said…
@ Racists never succeed.....?

Are you quite, quite sure? Some of them appear to. National Treasures Incorporated have not done too badly despite:

Sounding the trumpet of racial supremacy loud and clear for at least two years or more

Insisting that the use of the English Language in Fiji was 'de trop' unnecessary and contrary to national development

Winning the Westpac Businesswoman of the Year Award regardless of the above

There is a requirement that serious issues of racism should not go away until they have been fully explored, made perfectly transparent and the taxpayers' who unwittingly may have paid for some of the excess, know that they have.

Mere Samisoni is a demonstrated racist of long-standing. She is happy to avail herself of the freedoms permitted in other areas of the globe but requires Imperfect Democracy at home. Okay - let's be quite clear about this. Double standards all the way. That is generally known as hypocrisy. But it is also criminal conduct when the evidence is sufficient. Time now to examine the evidence?

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