Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Scroll down to other Weekend Reading
• The Camera Doesn't Lie: FDFM Links to Extremists 
• Graeme Dobell's Fiji Dilemma 
• Mara’s Charade of Democracy: Why NZ Should Not Make Him a Martyr  
•What to Keep and What to Lift in the Public Emergency Regulations

 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.

The Pacific Way
Fiji and Tonga are  arguing over who has sovereignty over Minerva Reef, two coral reefs  that are covered with water at high tide. Why does one or the other have to own them? How about them sharing like good neighbours?   Tonga is called the Friendly Islands and Fiji has been referred to as the way the world should be.
Then there is the issue about Roko Ului’s “rather unusual” rescue from somewhere in the seas. And now we are irked by the fact that New Zealand has granted him passage. So what, for goodness sake! Let him go! New Zealand is also a neighbour. Their people have been coming to Fiji for visits and we have been going over there because our relatives live there, or to play sports, work or have a holiday. For goodness sake, let's be good neighbours. We practically live next door to each other yet we are doing things the wrong way.

Fiji has blood ties to Tonga. Let’s do some soul searching and sit and talk about the issue the Pacific way. The Pacific has a proud history of being together as a family. It may well come to an end if we adopt the confrontational ways of the west.

How about we simply sit around the tanoa and have a good old heart to heart talk. Roko Ului has been given too much publicity. There are more pressing things happening in Fiji that we can concentrate on. Like — to draw a random one out of the hat — why the company that is repairing the roads in Sabeto are taking so bloody long. They say the weather is hindering their progress. Let me tell you about when Dillingham, Wilkins & Green, the company that made the Suva-Lautoka Queens Road. They just did it and finished in time – rain or sunshine.With today's better equipment we be better road makers.  

In those days the roadbuilders were on modest pay and they didn’t have all the highfalutin academic qualifications that many possess nowadays. They didn’t have the kind of machines we have today. Don’t blame the weather, please.  You should have been prepared for it. And back in those days the wheel tax was $15 a year. That's all we had to pay, and the roads were good. When the Department of Roads fixed a pothole it never saw the light of day again. Potholes would appear, but not the old one. Today old pot holes appear time and again even after they are repaired. I wonder if we are using inferior material and methods or whether management is at fault. Yesterday's "band aids" fixed the potholes.  But I digress.

Back to the reef, Big Brother sanctions and the Roko Ului issue. Can't we please handle these issues in a better way? Here is my plea to the powers that be in New Zealand and Australia. Do you know what you are doing to Fiji, to the people? Are you really sure? Your travel ban on some rugby players seems odd. You let others like Roko Ului travel. Why not ban all of us and be done with it? I ask the question again, who do you intend to hurt, the government or the people?  Your sanctions will not sway our government, even if you carry on till Kingdom come. 

Let’s sit, talk and listen to each other.  It’s called the Pacific Way.


jambalaya said…
Although, some of your reflections strive to be funny and cute; Let's face it, some of your comments should only be shared with immediate family or your grog swiping buddies in Lautoka, simply because it comes across as grossly naive and riddled with over generalizations.

More so, for this issue of Minerva reef. One should project the absurdity of Allen's suggestions (that the Fiji and Tonga should share the reef)to determine its validity.

In that vein, Allen's suggestions is fitting as both countries sharing the same language, sharing the same flag, sharing the same passport and I shudder to think, sharing the same king and his waist line.
Seizure said…
Did Maafu have the Pacific Way in mind when he waged his battles in Fiji? The Pacific Way of Ratu Mara assumes that Pacific Island neighbours will maintain traditional protocol and good manners in their relationship with each other. In that regard, Tevita Ului and the Tongan government have blatantly breached the code.The problem with grog swipers, Allen is that their thinking tends to become as muddied as the brew they drink. There are international laws in place to decide on the Minerva Reef and New Zealand's attitude to Fiji is just as confused as that of local grog swipers who like them do not bother to do their homework. Are your mixers washing their hands with soap, Allen ?
Anonymous said…
The volcano may have erupted in tonga, but fiji were the first to get to cevaira/minerva through all the soata, and planted the flag in no-ones land. Where were the tongans then ay.

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