New Year's Wish

Whichever way you look at it, 2011 has been either the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.

Now, five years on with a mix of much needed and long overdue decrees and some of questionable value and doubtful popularity; with much done to develop physical and institutional infrastructure; with its sterling efforts to develop the rural economy and new tourist initiatives; with a host of new diplomatic relations (but, unfortunately,  with no improvement to the old ones), and with much of what it hoped and promised still undone, Fiji now stands poised to proceed with what its friends hope will be accelerated steps towards a more inclusive democracy.

Step one must be the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations and step two increased dialogue with 'middle Fiji'.   Only then can we expect to move on to meaningful Constitutional and Electoral reforms.

The new Fiji will probably not be the one Government's more liberal supporters had hoped to see (I expect ongoing military influence, hopefully limited, at the request of the President,  to protecting the new constitution) but we expect it to be better than the Fiji that was.

It will still be a capitalist society with sharp inequalities, big business will still exert considerable influence, the propensity to corruption and abuse of office will remain, but there should be greater racial and social equality, more concern about ordinary people,  and a firmer resolve to  abide by codes of ethics,

For this to happen Government needs to follow its own advice: to be more open and transparent — and listen to those whose support it needs if its reforms are to be woven into the fabric of the new Fiji.

In the expectation that Government will proceed along these lines, I wish the Prime Minister, Cabinet and the Military Council a Happy New Year.

And whether my expectations prove right or wrong,  I wish all in Fiji and Fiji's friends overseas, a Very Happy and Much Better New Year.


WEEKEND READING
  • Allen Lockington column
  • Fiji's Human Rights Record in 2010
  • Fiji has moved and Australia must play by the new rules
  • Serulagilagi pleased with 2011
  • Why No Fijian "Spring"?  (Monday)
 Click here for flip view.

    Comments

    Anonymous said…
    Put yourself in governments shoes Croz. They have no reason to start listening now and they have no reason to lift the PER. All resistance to their coup is gone or under control. They have power like never before...and all the trappings in using money. I don't expect anything to change.
    An Apology on the road to redemption said…
    AN APOLOGY TO FIJI - a paid advertisement by Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka

    Is this the best New Year's Gift we might ever have? Is this at long last a settlement of all the wrongs done to so many in Fiji, outside of Fiji, to generations born and yet unborn?

    Why has it taken so very long? Why was it not encouraged years ago by those "Who should have known better"?

    For all of us who have suffered unwarranted family dislocation, grievous loss and harm, this ought to prompt reflection especially now, A New Year 2012, with a new direction offering new choices which cannot be denied. We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to our grand-children, to our great grand children. We must now build and construct an entirely New Way into the future. Shall we continue to harden our hearts when forgiveness is humbly sought?

    Magnanimity and nothing less must now be our suit in the ever fragile and risky journey ahead.

    "Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God"
    (New Testament St Matthew 5:8)
    yea yea said…
    Hi Croz,

    PM has just promised PER will be removed in a week. Good news. Lets hope he actually keeps his promise this time.....his track record is no good. I'm hopeful...

    I did have a little comment though...

    "You and I must not allow a few to dictate the destiny of our country for their own selfish needs".

    Strange coming from a man and a very small few who HAVE DICTATED for over 5 years now.
    kahukiwa said…
    '...but there should be greater racial and social equality...'

    Can you name one 'reform' that has actually advanced Fiji. I mean concrete, well thought out and executed policies that have been accepted by the groups they are directed at and have produced tangible and positive outcomes.

    As an example removing your political opponents by arbitrary detentions, draconian derees and outright physical intimidation does not count as a 'reform'. Dismantling or curbing the Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church had nothing to do with any reformation, it was about the removal of organised opposition, no matter how misguided their views were somtimes.

    One positive, measurable and widely accepted reform that actually advances the lives of all Fijians.
    Who paid? said…
    @ An Apology.....

    One important piece of information was missing from this advertisement:

    Who paid for it?

    Are we going back to the "Bad Old Days" when the Fiji Times posted just about anything without attribution? Is this a ploy for a comeback? If so, we should be told.
    Romeo said…
    @ Croz

    re Rambo's Apology

    I understand Rambo's apology was published in yesterday's Sunday Times. It does not appear in the Fiji Times online site. Is there any chance of the apology being put up on this site for the benefit of those who do not have access to hard copy of Sunday/Fiji Times?

    Vinaka
    sara'ssista said…
    Wishing the Military Council a Happy new year!!???...How craven and disgusting is that. Presumably human rights and freedom of expression are really only for those who reside in NZ, apparently. That fact that you even recognise their legitimacy to be in power will be remembered for a very long time.
    CICERO said…
    @ All the trappings in using money...?

    In any forthcoming consultations it must be expected that the dynamic will be towards greater freedom with responsibility.

    Should we have economic rights integrated in human rights? The Millenium Development Goals for 2015 make it perfectly plain: we should and must.

    Should all payments/allowances/per diems be made fully transparent at all times in any consultation exercise? Yes, they should and must be. No reversion to the unseemly bickering that took place a number of years ago concerning the payment of allowances. No one with any self respect would choose to be a party to that. Neither would their contribution be of any lasting use. Governance is to be seen to be in place at all levels of the consultations or it will simply prove to be a consummate waste of time and Public Money. There will be a propensity for some factions to attempt to prove this for their benefit. So....avoid their being able to achieve this end by all possible means.
    Rajeshwar said…
    Hello? A director who puts the company at risk for political reasons should be allowed to remain? Whatever happened to the idea of acting always in the best interests of the corporation? Sorry, removal from the Board is the only answer when a director starts to dance to the tune of another agenda.
    yea yea said…
    Rajeshwar should never have been on the board - another mistake by this government but you will never hear them admit it. Remember all the fuss about FNPF board members...but not a word about who was responsible for giving them those high paid roles post coup. That right it was the current PM !!!!!!

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