Showing posts from January 9, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READING ♦ Women in Fiji by Nazhat Shameem ♦ Who's Who in Government (Still in draft.  Hope to publish it this weekend.)

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.

Double Feature. Lifeguards; the FRU Lottery

Lifeguards  I refer to drownings, road accidents and human behaviour. Human beings have the highest intelligence in the animal kingdom. Have you ever seen a dog or cattle or horse or goat cross a flooded river? Have you ever seen one of these animals drinking something that will make them drunk and scream and yell at night? During the tsunami in Indonesia all the animals  had long gone into the hills or up to safety well before the tsunami happened. The animals didn’t run to the shore to see the big wave come it. The hum…

Women in Fiji Society

By Madam Justice Nazhat Shameem
I accepted this invitation to address you at this important occasion with some trepidation.Firstly because I knew that I had to exercise great caution to avoid talking about anything that is, or is likely to be before the court.Given the current eagerness of the legal profession and other groups to bring litigation before the courts, that does not leave me with much to talk about.Secondly, the sights and sounds of judges speaking their minds in public have become a growth industry in the last year.I do not want to join the gang and add to the controversy.One of my colleagues told me very unkindly that I cannot avoid controversy, it seems to dog my steps wherever I go.So be it.If I am to be controversial, so long as I avoid the pending litigation hurdle, then at least tonight I am enjoying the experience, surrounded by women of intelligence and concern for society.The women of the Soroptimist International Club.

Small Animals Suffering, US-Fiji Relations, North Developments, The B Roadmap, Simple Stats

PHOTO OF SICK DOG REMOVED. I AGREE IT IS TOO DISTURBING. N0028. SAINT FRANCIS WOULD NOT LIKE THIS.  I'm unsure whether the shortage of veterinarians in the West  is due in any way to Fiji's political situation or its poor relations with Australia and the UK, but a concerned reader says there are now no trained vets and a severe shortage of drugs for small animals in the West Division than includes the provinces of Ba, Ra, and Nadroga and Navosa.  In the past, assistance came from UK and Australian visiting Vets to the SPCA West - which is served exclusively by voluntary help. All local vets left long ago.

Large animals fare a little better though assistance from the Dept of Agriculture in Lautoka but again the service is haphazard due to shortage of trained staff. Any developments in Tropical Agriculture and Animal husbandry require full and reliable veterinary services 24/7 365 days of the year. 

The reader says "the SPCA in the West would welcome a visit from diplomats …

PM in Namosi, Media/Blog Botch Doctor Figures, Police & Prisons, Whose Propaganda, Religio Warned

N0023. RIDE 'EM COWBOY. This item as much for the Fiji Sun photo (I couldn't resist it) as for the story. The PM visited remote Wainiyavu Village in the remote interior of Namosi province earlier in the week. The Turaga ni Koro Petero Matavutuka said: “I’ve lived my whole life in the village. This is the first a Prime Minister ever visited us. There is no road that leads to the village but still he came. We waited for him to come and experience first-hand what we face every day in order to get to the town or city to sell our produce.”

The PM said government knows the Tikina o Veinuqa has transport and service difficulties.  What is needed is a a bridge at Namado and Wainiyavu so people can easily transport their vegetables or root crops to the urban centres. Funds have been allocated for the bridge which will cost $1.2m. The PM gave 20 horses to the villagers which cost $6000. In 2010, Government had provided over $400,000 for developments in Namosi province, which included fa…

UK, French, EU Trade, Minimum Wages, Workplace Discrimination, Development Multiplier Effect

N0019.  TRADE WITH EUROPE. Primary Industries Minister Joketani Cokanasiga met with British High Commissioner Mac McLachlan (right) and French Ambassador to Fiji Michael Montagnier yesterday to discuss bilateral trade opportunities.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss issues relating to bilateral trade opportunities between Fiji, United Kingdom, and France and with the European Union as a whole.

The issues discussed included capacity building and training opportunities within the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Fisheries and Forestry; technical expertise on  legislation' market excess, and government’s focus on export promotion, import substitution and poverty alleviation.”

Help was also sought on the EU ban on kava exports and the wish to extend the FairTrade Act to non-sugar agricultural commodities. -- Based on 2011, No:0039/MPI.

N0020. MINIMUM WAGES— AGAIN. Government backed down from implementing minimum wages last year due to employer pressure. The …

Lottery Scandal, No One Indian People, Schools Name Change, Mai TV, Land Bank & Mining, Scholarships & Manpower Training, Roads, Apostolic Whoops!

N0010. LOTTERY FUNDS MISUSED. Several serious allegations have surfaced in the Commerce Commission Report in relation to the Fiji Rugby Union lottery case. The Commission says the FRU lottery bank account showed it had $104,000 The Commission findings, however, showed that as at 30th December the  balance in the FRU lottery bank account totalled only $104,000. With lottery sales  the  balance should have been  $350,000.

Some money could still be coming in from vendors but it appears that only half the tickets were sold. It also appears ticket money has been used for  airfares, accommodation, visa application and game tickets for the 2010 Hong Kong 7s for a senior FRU Lottery Director. Government  has asked the FRU Board and Executive to resign.

STOP PRESS. Bill Gavoka  has resigned as FRU chairman but remains on the Board. Rafaele Kasibulu, who will lead talks with Government to discuss its demands, is effectively the interim Chairman.


Incremental Rural Development, Averted Stike & Redundancies, Fiji NAM Membership, NZ Cattle Imports


N0005. ONGOING RURAL DEVELOPMENT. Work on the Somosomo Hydro plant in Taveuni should begin in earnest this year with the completion of the dam and site designs by Chinese investors.The $20m Chinese aid funded project was a solution to power problems on the island that was  heavily reliant on diesel powered generators. --Based on 2011, No:0005 /MOI.

Another small project is the micro hydro project in Buca, eastern Cakaudrove, that will be commissioned this month. The total cost of the project is $945,000 shared about equally between Turkish International Cooperation and the Department of Energy. It is expected that electricity will help raise local living standards, fish refrigeration, small businesses among women and better study facilities for children. -- Based on 2010, No:2268 /MOI.

And on the "big island" some 300 villagers in remote Taulevu, Naitasiri, will now have safe drinking water  thanks to eight 10,000 litre tan…

Important Announcements, Bainimarama's Steps, Bus Fares Unchanged, Government Corporate Goverance


New Posting days and times. From this week there will be no postings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays unless there is very important breaking news.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, there will be two posting, the first at noon, the second late in the afternoon. Weekend Readings will be posted at noon on Saturdays.
New article identification. From today, each item in every posting will have a unique number. This will enable readers to refer to individual items when commenting and access these items using the Search facility in the left sidebar.
New map feature.Click on Zoom Map/Air Photo Fiji tab under the main heading, and zoom in to a map or satellite photo anywhere in Fiji or zoom out to see the world courtesy of Google Maps.
New Quotation for the Week.  Posted every weekend in the right sidebar. SCROLL DOWN TO SEE WEEKEND READING.

N0001.  CAFE PACIFIC USES READERS' COMMENTS. It's great to see recognition for the quality of com…