News and Comments 19 September 2011

Monday 19 September 

PEOPLE'S CHARTER STARTING POINT FOR CONSTITUTION REVIEW, says a spokesman for the PM's office. A Committee, presumably similar to the national committee that produced the draft of the People's Charter, will produce a draft.  This will be followed by wide consultations that will finally produce a "people's" Constitution.

Zinck 'Flees' Fiji 

Kenneth Zinck's flight to the land of Oz last week was quite a surprise.  Hailed by anti-Fiji government people as another high level defection, a view supported by what Zinck told ABC, the move has Fiji's Ministry of Information perplexed. They say Zinck was not even on their radar,  though he could have been for while when he was director of the infamous Fiji Rugby Union lottery.

Zinck stood unsuccessfully for Labour (FLP) in the 1999 election but won an Open (General Voter) Suva seat for the NLUP (a splinter Labour party led by Tupeni Baba) in the post Speight-coup election of 2001. He subsequent defied a party instruction not to join up with Qarase's SDL party; was expelled from the party although still nominally a FLUP MP, and was a Qarase government Cabinet Minister from 2001-2006. During his time in  parliament he pressed for greater representation and for the SDL ethnic Fijian affirmative action programme to be extend to the smaller ethnic groups. He lost the 2006 election and became a trade unionist.  The day after the 2006 Coup he was detained and allegedly ill-treated by the army for bad-mouthing Baimarama in Suva's Union Club.  Since then he has been a relatively low key player.

His account of being followed by a police car along Suva's Victoria Parade and his evasion of pursuit is credible but if the police were really following him, it defies explanation that, unpursued, he managed to go home to collect his passport; used a disguise to collect an air ticket in his name; travel to Nadi, and then, unchecked, board a plane for Australia.

Zinck is a personable fellow with a reputation of being able to tell a good story.  If the Aussie authorities accept his appeal for asylum, the chances are the joke will be on them. His reason for the  flight is more likely to be personal than political. He may merely have wanted to jump the visa queue. 

PACER PLUS. The offer by the Forum (read Australia and NZ) to allow Fiji to engage in Pacer Plus discussions should not be read as a more moderate approach towards Fiji.  The change in position is due only to the fact that PACER without Fiji would work as well as a bicycle wheel without its central axle. No wonder Fiji, fast strengthening its links outside the Pacific, said it was in no hurry to rejoin the Forum.

  says Police Commissioner. In another story, the force recorded 598 complaints since January.

COOK ISLAND MP URGES RE-CONSIDERATION OF FIJI IN FORUM.The Cook Islands Deputy Opposition leader Wilkie Rasmussen says the Cook Island government should use its position as host of next year’s Pacific Islands Forum, ans not be dictated to by Australia and New Zealand, to bring up the controversial issues of Fiji and French Polynesia. He says the Cook Islands could benefit from stronger ties with Melanesia and he says stronger ties with Fiji are in the interest of many nations in the region.A later statement from the Government side likened Bainimarama to the Hitlers of this world so I don't think Rasmussen is likely to change the Cook Island position.

CANADIAN INVESTORS, some of them former residents, are impressed with Fiji's development.

This monthly Nadi/Lautoka-based 40-page community paper is now  available on line and back issues since January through this link.


FRAENKEL REVIEWS 2010 FIJI EVENTS. For the past few years Dr Jon Fraenkel has provided a useful summary and interpretation of Pacific and Fiji events in Contemporary Pacific. The 2010 review (Vol.23 (2): 446-476) is the latest. The review is recommended to readers with access to the journal.  The events are factual; the interpretations are consistent with his views on the Bainimarama government.


Our Man Zinck said…
Kenneth Zinck may have indeed used the asylum issue to forgo a Permanent Residence visa. But he needs to tell the truth about what happened and make his "flight" story credible. Otherwise he will be deported from Oz to Fiji and no one will even notice since the government has gone past him and his silly posts on Face Book.

Come on Mr. Zinck, no one is interested in you anymore, get on with your life. Being angry with the government when they don't know you are angry will only give you an ulcer.
Island View said…
Wow, Mr. Walsh. Your assessment and dismissal of Mr. Zinck's motivation for the "flee" to Australia is totally unfair. If you want to report the news, then report the news and stop littering it with subjective opinion. Either I'm going to come here for balanced perspective or I won't and Ken Zinck's reputation of being able to tell a story pretty much puts him in the 99th percentile with the rest of Fiji. Everyone in Fiji tells good stories. That doesn't mean he's lying.

As for how he would have been able to pick up a passport and ticket and fly out, that is EXACTLY the kind of reality which exists in Fiji. It's the kind of lazy, embarrassing action which defines an irresponsible government. There is no organisation and control over its borders.

I would also argue that if Mr. Zinck wants to emigrate for personal reasons or whether it's for political ones, he's entitled to both. He lost his wife earlier this year and I reckon life has been tough for him on a number of fronts.

It's amazing that anyone would be more likely to believe Sharon Johns' story over Mr. Zinck. I know them both and with Mr. Zinck, at least I know what I'm getting.
sara'ssista said…
more blame the victim?? This is a well versed tactic. First reaction is to 'ask sharon' who denies the lot, probably still denies the treatment of him in 2006, then rubbish the victim, again. Doesn't he already have a visa for Aus?? Your response would only be surprise if you didn't react as you have ,Croz.
Anonymous said…
If only we can get rid of more people like zinck.Qarase will be next lol
sara'ssista said…
News!!! special audit on allegations received against Carl Ngamoki Cameron...he has been employed by Fijian Holding since June,under this regime!! So while they may say , our 'new system' has brought his alleged misdeeds to the notice of the regime for investigation, who appointed this guy and as 'the boss' no less. Yes , so many things have changed in fiji, and so many things have not.
Anil Nair said…
True Island View... anyway Mr. Zinck did a Roko Ului!

The next person to seek asylum in OZ will do a Kenneth Zinck.
El Diablo said…
All he had to do was call the Tongan Navy into Fiji waters- but it's the Aussie Visa he's after, ain't it ? Reminds of Mr Santa Ana who sold his country of Northern Mexico to the US.

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