News and Comments Monday 26 September 2011

26.9.11 WEEKEND READING.  Scroll down to check it out.
FRANK, PLEASE LISTEN. In a recent comment, a reader sympathetic to the Fiji Government and critical of the the extremism of the anti-government blogs, went on to say:

"On the  other hand Bainimarama ploughs a furrow that gets deeper and deeper until in time it may well bury him and his colleagues. Why on earth are they so obsessed with draconian PER stuff and act like control freaks of the worst kind.

"There you (this blog) are in the middle trying to persuade them to lighten up and present a rational and fair picture of Fiji to those of us who care. I believe Bainimarama is doing good things for the people but they are overshadowed by less sane policy decisions."

This view is echoed by many readers, all knowledgeable and friends of Fiji, and most overwhelmingly supportive of what Bainimarama is trying to achieve.

READ ACT'S DON BRASH's INTERPRETATION of events in Fiji and why NZ policy on Fiji is wrong. This is the speech he gave in Auckland on Friday.

THREE NEW LANGUAGES FOR INVESTMENT FIJI WEBSITE. The site now has translations in Mandarin, Korean and Japanese in a bid to attract more investments.

THUMBS UP FOR FRIEND. FRIEND'S Fiji-Style food products are going global with the recent attainment of True Pacific label and launch of locally produced products at the True Pacific Trade Show in Auckland.Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development director Sashi Kiran said attaining the True Pacific licence was a huge boost for FRIEND's Tuvu-based factory and for Fiji.She also said the response from consumers and potential distributors was more than promising. FRIEND is a hands-on NGO based in the West that mainly assists rural women to lift household incomes.

THE FIJI SUGAR CORPORATION is considering whether to close its narrow-guage railway. I wonder whether, in addition to sugar, consideration has been given to its use for tourist trips over selected sections of the network. 

MAHOGANY. Michael Field reports in Scoop "A Fijian bid to provide the wood for the world's best guitars is in doubt after military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama was forced to cancel a press conference in Nashville with the makers of Gibson guitars.Fiji has the world's biggest commercial mahogany plantations and control of its lucrative revenues was long believed to be the reason behind the coup in 2000." But Fiji Broadcasting suggest the deal is going ahead. As for mahogany being one of the reasons behind the 2006 Coup: well, we all know of corrupt influences in the mahogany industry (Speight being one of them) but a "cause" of the Coup, that's a new one.

ANOTHER CORKSCREW COMMENT IN COUP4.5. "u shud have shot kaiyum when u had a pistol ului!!!" (Ului is Ratu Tevita Mara who fled to Tonga some months back.)

ILTB, THE I'TAUKEI Land Trust Board (formerly the NLTB) has been collecting around $40 million a year over the past three years, most of which has been distributed to owners through monthly payments. The Board has asked Government to help collect rental arrears, and is talking to owners  about reserving some lease land for their own needs.


yea yea yea said…
The situation in Fiji is much worse than you imagine Croz. Your comment above is sensible and mild on the world scale (and follows a back drop of glowing support for the coup and this government) yet despite this, if you lived in Fiji and made such comments you would be.

1. Not reported (obviously)
2. Come under the watch of police and military
3. If you where a businessme, say good by to any government contracts
4. If you serve on any boards or sporting associations your time is finished
5. If you keep saying such words you could be visited by the military. Threats would be normal.
6. FICAC would find something to help you lose cash in defending yourself

That is the reality croz. That is why there are so many anom comments. Despite all the bull at the end of the day you do exactly as the military government say in Fiji and you are OK. Step out of line and you are in trouble.

You may think of the Good Rev at CCF as a example where this does not happen but remember he is tolerated only because the methodist church hate him ! Plus he creates the occaisonal appearance of "balance".
Scott said…
Michael Field is correct: control of the income from mahogany output was a factor behind the 2000 coup. This was because mahogany planted during the colonial period had matured and was ready for harvesting by the 1990s. Not suprisingly a battle had developed over who was entitled to the revenues from sale of the timber. Should it be the Fiji government as the inheritor of state assets from the colonial administration? The basis for this position was that landholders had been paid lease money for the use of the land on which the trees were planted. Or should it be the landholders, especially the wealthiest, chiefs and others, who stood to gain substantial income from the sale of the timber on top of the lease moneys paid? The ethnic nationalists whom Speight purported to represent had no doubt what the answer should be, and that the Chaudhry government stood in their way.
The confusion in the comment on Field's story is to run together explanations for the 2000 coup and that of 2006.

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