News and Comments 15.9.11

Well, at least someone's happy
Thursday 15.9.11
USP FIJI ECONOMY PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS.  A series starting tomorrow (Friday).   Click on the link for the programme..

EMPLOYMENT DECREE UNDER FIRE. Check out ABC story. Click   here .. 

HAS ANOTHER POLL ALSO GOT IT WRONG? The on-line news site FijiLive runs regular polls on sporting and other events. To vote, you click yes or no on the website, or you can text your vote.  Here are results of the political polls since April. Such polls are indicative more than scientific but their results are very similar to the Lowy poll results.

April 1.  Do you think Australia and NZ should lift their current sanctions against Fiji? Yes 78% 

May 7. Do you think the government's poverty eradication policies are working?  Yes  36%. 

June 11. Do you think Australia and NZ are meddling in Fiji affairs? Yes 77% 

August 4. Should religious leaders remain in their positions if they are found breaking the law? No 88%

September 3. Should Fiji be allowed back in the Pacific Forum?  Yes 75%

A WAIRAPARA COUPLE with strong Fiji connections, and regular visitors to Fiji, support what Bainimarama is doing. This story is one of several from people recently returned from Fiji. 

SO POPULAR, WHY NOT LIFT PER? CCF's Rev. Akuila Yabaki says if the interim regime is so confident of Fiji people’s support, it should lift the Public Emergency Regulations."The opportunity to take concrete steps towards democratic elections is now staring the Commodore in the face ... They were going to lift the PER anyway but the fact that they have not lifted it - is it based on what, based on a sense of fear of what might happen?” Rev.Yabaki says civic education needs to start urgently as there are potentially 200,000 young people who’ll be eligible to vote.

TOURIST DEATHS UNREPORTED. AAP's reporter Tamara McLean  claims four tourist deaths  in recent weeks have not been reported in the Fiji media, or reported only after they were reported in the international media.  These links (Fiji Times, Radio Fiji, Fiji Sun)  show this is not so. Attempts like this to undermine tourist confidence in Fiji speak volumes for the impartiality of some foreign reporters. 

OVERSEAS ANTI GROUPS IN DISARRAY. An attempt to coordinate "pro-democracy" groups appears to have created more confusion than unity. I wonder who the mysterious Andy is who claims to speak for the Methodist Church and the chiefs, or is this just another bogus claim. 

WHAT HAVE THE ROMANS EVER DONE FOR US. A reader writes, "I Imagine this is how the pro-democracy meetings would end up... late at night, huddled together, bitching about the government." Listen to the video.  You may recognize the chairman.   It's a good laugh. 

'SKINNY LITTLE INDIANS.' OH NO, WE ARE NOT RACISTS. Two more comments from the anti- blogs' favourite vulagi, Mark Manning, published so readers can better understand  how some prominent opponents think and what they really want:

"Jenny (Hayward Jones of the Lowy Institute), as sweet as she is, seems blinded to the realities in Fiji. As I often say of Academics, highly intelligent, not very bright ! They can read a book cover to cover and memorise every page, yet don't know how to tie their shoelace !"

And  ..."I'll bet my bottom dollar Jake is one of those useless skinny little indians from india !
A useless little man of no worth and little brain, struggling to get noticed but too petrified of his own shadow to divulge his true identity."



Totalitarian State said…
Do you think a state in which the people cannot vote, are repressed under a PER, and are run by the military is a totalitarian state? I am at a loss as to why you see such a situation as a good thing?
Miaw said…
@Totalitarian State

Its an interim measure to eradicate racism and corruption so prevalent under previous governments.
Anonymous said…
@ Miaw

Well said.

@ Totalitarian State

We will all vote in 2014. Haven't you been listening? Remember, patience is a virtue.
Romans did good work what has Frank done said…
Very funny Monty Python sketch.

You are probably right the pro democracy movement probably are sitting in dark corners discussing the situation in Fiji because we are not allowed to do it in the open, remember PER.

There is one big difference I cannot think of one thing on a national scale this government has done for this country that is working properly and as it should.

Frank talks about the infrastructure improvements and they are all very welcome but they are on a small scale. And often constructed at inflated prices with money that futures governments will have to pay back.

His attempts at redistributing land rental income more fairly is not working because they have not put in the infrastructure needed to run it.

His free bus fares for kids is being abused and in many areas is not running properly.

His attempts at improving the economy have been a disaster. We have had no growth for 5 years and the economy is currently smaller that it was when he held the coup.

Investment, despite all his hype about Canadians this week, is the lowest it has ever been.

No one is borrowing money as can be seen by the high liquidity. I know one serious investor in Fiji who has bought 4 plots of land in the past 4 years. He has the money and the credit and the plans to start developing them all straight away but he has put them all on hold.

Tell me the positives this regime has given us that outweighs the negatives.
sara'ssista said…
eight years is 'interim'....? even zimababwe and burma have had elections.
Totalitarian State said…
I have no patience for totalitarianism. And apparently neither does the ILO, but I'm not surprised their views are not aired on this pro junta blog.
Anonymous said…
@ Totalitarian State

Well, if you dont like what you read on this site you are always welcome to go read the other site where the so called 'democrats' sit in dark corners late into the night imbibing copious quantities of yaqona and abuse others for not agreeing with their take on things. They are led by a Soliarse Daunikubu whose statements are ghostwritten by Jon Baledroka, Jon Fraenkel and Brij Lal etc. None of these guys have anything positive to contribute to Fiji.
sara'ssista said…
And this presumption about free and fair elections in 2014...and if not , what have you all been waiting for ? What would the consequence be if there aren't elections or they are not free or fair? Who will judge the fairness? This is a dangerous presumption to make given this regime has a tendency to create their own decrees/conditions to suit their own needs.
Anonymous said…
@ sara'ssista

You assume that democracy should fall down upon us in 'one foul swoop'(apologies to Shakespeare). Remeber sister, it took the British almost 200 years of anarchy and the beheadings of many, to come to some form of democracy. The British dont have a written constitution. So does NZ. So whats the big deal?

Tonga, as one of their leading politicians describe, is only 'half a democracy'.

Democracy is a process. We had that process in place until ethno-nationalists with the support of elements within the Methodist Church and the government bureaucracy (including politicised elements within the military led by Rambo) thiught they could short-circuit the system with a coup in 1987.

After that, with Qarase et al in power, Fiji politics revolved around ethnicity. People lined up to vote on the basis of their ethnicity. At Elections, families were separated according o their ethnicity. The Fijian father went to vote for a Fijian and the Indian mother went to join the Indian voters queue. What an appalling indictment of the democracy the British left Fiji.

Come 2014, we have to take it one at a time. A cup half full is better than none at all. Dont you think? So lets phase ourselves into democracy at out own pace. Not at the pace doctated to by Australia and NZ whose own indigenous community continue to remain marginalized in the greater scheme of things.

My advice to you; reduce your expectations of what democracy in Fiji will be. All will be well. Just remain patient and retain your composure. Democracy will come in its full form, perhaps not in your lifetime.

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