Showing posts from January 23, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

SCROLL DOWN TO OTHER WEEKEND READING (AND LISTENING)♦  Fiji's New Diplomacy has Implications for the Region by Dr Sandra Tarte ♦ Why the Roadmap: the Politics Under the Bridges Part II by Croz Walsh ♦ and the two long postings (and many comments) on Friday, 

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.

Secret to Life
A wise man once told his followers that he had the answer to a happy life.

His followers sat up in anticipation and wondered what their guru had to say. They all held their breath and waited and the guru picked up his cup of water and took a drink.  He took out his handkerchief and slowly wiped his mouth.

Then he said, "The secret to a happy life is a good physical work out. It is so exhilarating when you have had a …

Why the Roadmap? The Politics under the Bridges Part II

By Crosbie Walsh
Resume. In Part I that was published last Saturday I argued that the Appeal Court ruling that overturned the High Court judgement (that the Bainimarama government was legal) was a critical turning point when Bainimarama was forced to accept that the only way to implement the principles of the People's Charter was by dictatorial rule, and to ensure their sustainability it was necessary to implement infrastructural and institutional reforms that would shift the people's allegiance from their separate ethnicities to allegiance to a Fiji shared fairly by all its citizens. The Roadmap was the result.

Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. – Indira Gandhi.

Much of the Roadmap deals with economic issues — attracting and streamlining investment, tax reforms, the sugar, manufacturing and tourism industries, fiscal stringency and reducing the cost of government, agr…

Fiji's New Diplomacy has Implications for the Region

 by Sandra Tarte

Dr Sandra Tarte, Director of the Politics and International Affairs Programme at the University of the South Pacific, discusses Fiji's growing diplomatic and military relationship with China, why Fiji is establishing new embassies in non-aligned nations, the concern by Pacific Islands nations that they have lost ownership of the PI Forum, and the poor state of Fiji-Australia-New Zealand relations that she considers unhelpful to any party. The Tarte family has been in Fiji since 1871.

Click here to listen to the  Radio Australia interview.

Blocked Racist Comment, School Fees, Coordinating Aid, Kiribati-Fiji Relations, Office Rationalisation

N0081. BLOCKED COMMENTS.  Sometimes I block comments that are insulting and distasteful but sometimes it is necessary to publish one to show the sorts of people who do not like my blog (and much else besides). Here is what Boots on their throats boy wanted to leave behind on my "It's Only a (FRU) Game &  Ugly Racism" (N0065) item:
Croz, Has your little mate who is going to stand on our throats run down his hole and peed his pants? As a Fijian said to me today - why doesn't the little roti boy come into the pub here and open his big mouth? If he does I'll tear his leg off and shove it up his arse!!!"  For those who missed the original comment, it referred to the publishers of an anti-government blog who  had distorted the news. But, despite comments to the contrary, this writer and others chose to believe it was meant for indigenous Fijians.

The Ministry of Education has warned schools that school fees and levi…

Patronising Australia Day Statement, Bouncing Football, Joke of the Week, Retaining Fiji's Medical Doctors

N0077. AUSTRALIAN 'HELP' UNHELPFUL.  In one Australia Day address in Melbourne a visitor, Prince William,  spoke respectfully of the traditional owners of the land, and how wonderful Australia is with its unique way of life, its vibrancy, its straightforward ways, and its classic sense of humour.

Some 5,000 kilometres away, another visitor, the Acting Australian High Commissioner Judith Robinson departed from the usual diplomatic courtesies associated with such occasions (and incidentally with traditional ethnic Fijian courtesies) to repeat Australia's position on the political situation in Fiji.  Her "We are ready to assist Fiji make a transition to democracy through a free and fair election at the earliest opportunity" was a clear rebuke of the host government, and her wording on Australia's commitment to the "welfare of the people [note, not the usual government and people] was  more than a little pointed.

Ms Robinson  then counted out the dollars inv…

Nadi-Rarotonga Flights, More Blog Distortions, Thoughts on Village Visits, Ba Iron Sands, Sugar for Japan

N0072. AIR PACIFIC TO FLY TO RAROTONGA.  Regional tourist arrivals are expected to rise with the opening of a new route between between Nadi and Rarotonga. The service was previously provided  by Air New Zealand.

Air Pacific is in the process of reaching an agreement with the Cook Islands Government for a three-year contract on the weekly flight  that will also offer Cook Islanders direct north-bound connections to the Hong Kong service, and enable the islands to better market tourism from Europe and the UK. The international airport in Rarotonga, the largest of the nation's 15 islands, has daily internal flights to some of the other islands.

Two news items have been published on housing in Fiji late last week.  One was about the Housing Authority easing the lot of its mortgagees if they were poor or unemployed; the other was about the eviction of squatters who were thought to be drug dealers.

The anti-government blog, Fiji Today (I still hopefully cal…

Suspect Arrested, Political Football, Consumers Criticize FEA, Resort Tariffs to Rise

N0068. SUSPECT HUSBAND ARRESTED. Ranjeeta Sharma was found burned to death next to a Huntly road in NZ last week. Soon afterwards, on Friday, her husband Devesh (Daniel) Sharma and their four-year old son flew out to Fiji. A homicide investigation was launched on Saturday in NZ after it was established that Ranjeeta was alive when she was set alight, and that an accelerant was used.

On Monday a special Fiji police team, acting on a tip off from a neighbour, arrested Devesh Sharma in Rakiraki where he had been hiding. Four-year old Akash is being looked after by his mother's relatives. It is understood the Fji Police is working closely with the NZ Police who will seek to extradite Sharma once the summary of facts is heard in a Fiji court. The judge has the authority to order his extradition, under a New Zealand-Fiji agreement. If only the same spirit of co-operation marked the two countries' relationships in other regional organizations and arrangements. Photo: NZ Herald.


It's Only a (FRU) Game & Ugly Racism, Housing Authority Helps Poor, EU Extends Agreements

Reader's opinions on the new posting days and times would be most welcome.
N0065. A NEW BALL GAME. In a new development the FRU Board, on the advice of the International Rugby Board,  has  reversed its decision and will not resign over the lottery saga.

The IRB apparently think changes to management could be a contravention of the FRU constitution which "could result in the IRB having to take a determination on the continued membership of the IRB of the FRU." They have further advised that a decision on the lottery is a matter between the FRU and the Fiji Commerce Commission. 

The IRB made no mention of the inspection of the FRU accounts that suggested mismanagement and misspending (at least $150,000 is missing), and they had nothing to say on charging two different prices for the same ticket, which, surely, is at the crux of the issue. Fiji does not need anyone, at home or overseas, to condone the mismanagement of public money. Mismanagement and misuse of office are bu…

Government and the People: Three Examples

See the new (Ratu Mara) Quote for the Week in the right sidebar and scan down to the Weekend Reading postings.

GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE.The three items in this morning's posting are about recent Government visits to villages. On the first two it should be noted that the i'taukei sense of politeness and appropriate hospitality sometimes goes a little overboard in thanking people, especially those with power and influence.  This is likely to be a factor here but the message — and the comparison made with previous governments — is so often repeated in so many villages that it cannot all be hyperbole. 

Government really is doing things at rural grassroots level and its work seems to be winning support. I attempted to show the relationship between such happenings and the Roadmap in my Weekend Reading article on the Roadmap.

Yet another group of villagers has urged the PM not to hold elections in 2014. When this happened before the PM use…