Showing posts from January 2, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Allen Lockington column ♦ The Eleven Pillars of the People's Charter  ♦ Critique of Jone Baledrokadroka's Ideas on Legitimacy  ♦ Fr Barr on VAT ♦ When is an Indian Not an Indian by Crosbie Walsh  ♦ The extensive posting published late on Friday. And don't forget to read the comments to postings. They are just as important, informative — and controversial.
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.

Mosquito Repellent
After the recent rains we in Waiyavi Lautoka have been attacked by mosquitoes galore. It's a natural phenomenon. They breed and hatch seven to eight days after the rains. With everything so green and roadside grass and many back yards with healthy grass, the mosquitoes have lush homes.

The Eleven Pillars of the People's Charter

This is a resource page  to  assist readers to check the separate developments that are reported almost daily on this blog against the aims of the People's Charter that are also incorporated in the as yet unpublished Strategic Framework for Change and the Roadmap.

When is an Indian Not an Indian

By Crosbie Walsh  (a Causasian, once English New Zealander with Maori, Pacific and Indian overlays) Note: editorial changes have been made to this article since it was first posted.
The Bainimarama government recently decreed that all Fiji citizens would be known as Fijian and ethnic Fijians as i'taukei.  The move, in line with Pillar 2 of the People's Charter*, which is intended to help nation-building, was understandably objected to by many "Fijians," not because they were not i'taukei — which they demonstrably are — but because they had got used to this name, bestowed on them by Tongans, as exclusively theirs. All other citizens, excepting Rotumans,  were vulagi (visitors) no matter how long their ancestors had lived in Fiji. 

Jone Baledrokadroka's Ideas on Legitimacy, Negotiation and Mediation

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh Photo: Jone Baledrokadroka.

I quote Jone Baledrokadroka, a former senior RFMF officer now living in Canberra with a scholarship to ANU, writing in CoupFourPointFive:

VAT has Increased to 15%

Kevin J. Barr This  short article, and an earlier one by Fr Barr on his assessment of the 2011 Budget on the poor, was submitted to two Fiji newspapers. Both chose not to published them.  Whether this was due to direct or self-censorship is beside the point. There is a need for public discussion on such issues.

Building a Social Safety Net, FSC's Alleged Negligence, Some Crook Pharmicists, Lottery Zero Point Five

WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Allen Lockington column ♦ The Eleven Pillars of the People's Charter 
♦ Jone Baledrokadroka's Ideas on Legitimacy  ♦ Fr Barr on VAT.

BUILDING FIJI'S SOCIAL SAFETY NET. Food vouchers of $30 a month at a cost of $7.5m were introduced in March 2010 and initially affected 27,000 needy people. In the December 2011 Budget Government announced a further allocation of $4m and a widening of criteria for rural families to cater for another 10,000 people.

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni (photo) said the additional money will allow assistance to people 70 years and over, and families with children, the sick and infirm, and pregnant mothers living in households where the annual income is under $10,000. The measure is one of several that go some way towards providing a welfare net to Fiji's more needy families. Other measures include:
Raising the income tax threshold from $9,000 to $15,000School bus fare subsidies and free …

Naivalurua, Fact and Speculation; Ratu Joni Needed in Fiji, if only by E-mail

Ioane Naivalurua (photo) has just signed his contract with the Public Service Commission today, so he's likely to be Police Commissioner until September 2013, but CoupFourPointFive obviously doesn't think he'll last that long.

It says he's on Bainimarama's hit list — "It is widely believed Bainimarama doesn't want Naivalurua presiding over both [prisons and the police] because he wields too much power and is therefore a threat."

Despite the blog's forewarning, PSC chairman Josefa Serulagilagi said Government was grateful to have a highly motivated, experienced and dedicated officer such as Brigadier General Naivalurua assume the role of Commissioner of Police.

“This is a very critical position in the public service, which not only demands exceptional leadership qualities and skills but also someone who is prepared to go that ‘extra mile’ in our quest for changes and reforms to build p…

Why Government Needs Fuller People Empowerment NOW; Land, NLTB, VAT, Tourism

ALL LAND LEASE MONEY WILL BE DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY    Previously, the NLTB took 15% of lease money as administration cost. After that, 30% went to chiefs at different levels (5% to the Turaga i'Taukei, 10% to the Turaga ni Yavusa and 15% to the Turaga ni Mataqali). The other landowners — the ordinary people — then shared the remainder.  --  Fiji Sun.

Doing the Right Thing — the Wrong Way   Citizens Constitutional Forum's CEO, Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says that while his organisation welcomes a greater democratisation in the distribution of lease money to indigenous landowners, more consultation is needed.

He says discussions were talked about but due to media censorship he does not know if any have taken place, and the CCF has been unable to obtain a copy of the relevant decree to examine the details. Rev. Yabaki said “it’s a painful change and therefore there will be people who will feel undermined in terms of their authority but that sort of thing should be all the [more] reasons…

Two Thoughtful Comments: On Collective Memory and Conventional Media Practices

Moment of assassination of US President John F Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963. Photo credit: 

COLLECTIVE MEMORY Ni bula, Croz, e na vakatawase has left a new comment on your post "The Tongan Elections":

A great piece, Croz, and yet more evidence that the youthful naivete so prevalent in the island media is no substitute for the age and experience of an old hand like you. When you've been in these parts for nearly half a century, you're fully entitled to express whatever opinion you like, however much it offends the critics. Anyone who remembers the Tofua and the Matua, let alone sailed on them, or negotiated the raised centre aisle of a Fiji Airways De Havilland Heron deserves to be heard with respect.

A recent editorial by Fred Wesley in the Fiji Times reminded me of how little collective memory is brought to bear on current events. In a piece on someone who'd managed to reach the ripe old age on 101, Wesley wrote in apparent awe th…

PM's 2011 Message, Great Council of Chiefs Political, Fiji to Complain NZ Misreporting Bainimarama's Death, Coup4.5's Mr X

PM'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE. "We must all work together and not shy away from taking tough decisions." Click here.

. For many years the GCC has been a body that exerted considerable influence on Fiji politics.  It appointed the President and Vice-President, appointed nearly one-half of the members of Senate (that could veto legislation), and "approved" the SVT and later the SDL parties to represent ethnic Fijians in parliament. It supported Qarase's Qoliqoli and Reconciliation legislation, and after the 2006 coup refused to appoint a Vice-President nominated by the Bainimarama goverment which led to its suspension. 

Government is committed to removing politics from the Great Council of Chiefs, and wants chiefs, not politicians and civil servants. These comments were made by the permanent secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office, Colonel Pio Tikoduadua while confirming that the re-convening…

"A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee"

2011 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, SCHOOL TERMS, see left sidebar.  New QUOTE FOR THE WEEK, see right sidebar.
NZ COMMITTEE'S NON-REPORT ON FIJI. The multi-party NZ Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee was charged in March 2006 to investigate and to report to Parliament on NZ's relations with Pacific Island nations. This it did in December 2010 following numerous consultations and a visit to four Polynesian islands. Few of its ten members had any prior knowledge of the Pacific but they were assisted with advice from MFAT. The report covers 96 pages.

The single page on Fiji and the country's  rare mention elsewhere shows that Fiji was peripheral to the Committee's main interests, but clearly it had to say something. Of the 116 written submissions I can identify only three from people with Fiji knowledge. Not surprisingly, the report provides no new insight into the Fiji situation, and makes no recommendations on NZ-Fiji relations.

In essence, it merely restates the already wel…