Showing posts from January 30, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Why the Roadmap? Part III by Crosbie Walsh ♦ The two postings 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.

From Cybernet to Internet Nanny
Well, what else is new!  Some parents are using internet cafes to baby sit their children while they go out and party. Is this really true? What kind of people would do this?  I remember the times when parents would get the TV to babysit children, now it’s the internet. Furthermore, some parents leave their children with neighbours and some parents just leave their children, alone at home.

We hear of these instances when a house burns down and we find out the parents had gone to drink grog, party or gone to a church meeting. Some people leave their children at home and when t…

Why the Roadmap? The Politics under the Bridges Part III

                                               By Crosbie Walsh
Government opponents have made much of the fact that the Roadmap has not yet been published and released for pubic scrutiny, and some have doubted its existence. I have no doubt the Roadmap exists in draft form, sufficient for government planning but clearly not sufficient for release.
I suspect Government reasoning, as in all else they have done, is that the Roadmap and the Strategic Framework for Change (that also has not been published) are operational documents based on the well known principles of the People's Charter. Publication for the general public is therefore not a priority at this time. 
If this is the case, it demonstrates government's step-by-step approach to change. First, the infrastructural changesdiscussed in Part I, followed by the constitutional and electoral changes that require public participation and the publication, if by then if it has any residual relevance, of the Roadmap. We should kno…

Telling the PM, Corruption Deep-Rooted, Pacific Backs Fiji ACP Re-entry - Except Samoa, Rumour

WEEKEND READING. ♦ Allen Lockington column ♦ Why the Roadmap? Part III by Crosbie Walsh

N0106. PM TO LISTEN TO VILLAGERS' CONCERNS. The PM's  visited Ba earlier in the week to open the new road from Magodro in Ba to Nanoko Village, Navosa, commission the new solar system at Nubutautau Village, in the interior of Navosa, and listen to villagers. Commissioner Western Col Joeli Cawaki said they were expecting people from all nearby villages and tikina in the two provinces to raise their concerns with the PM, advise him on the constraints holding back increased agricultural production and tell him what they think can be done by the government to assist.

N0107. CORRUPTION IS DEEP-ROOTED. Government's "Clean Up" campaign, given as one reason for the 2006 coup, clearly has some way to go. When corruption and misuse of public office are deeply rooted in a country, it is a far harder task to uproot than Bainimarama first thought.

The  resignation this week of two Governmen…

Thank You, No Thank you, Ratu Naiqama; Revisiting the Lease Payment System

Coup 4.5 has released a statement from the Gone Turaga na Tui Cakau dated 3 January offering to help Government.

These extracts capture its essence:

“The Tui Cakau wants to open a dialogue with the PM to show him “the reality of what is happening in Fiji, [assist him] with an alternative set of advice from that which he is receiving at present [and impress upon him the] “the folly of disregarding the role of the Great Council of Chiefs and its role in national affairs in times of distress:- eg. 1874, 1987, 2000 and the present.” [my emphasis]


The Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, seems to think all the Cakaudrove vanua are behind him (which is certainly not so) and that the only way forward is to reconvene the Great Council of Chief, several of whose members were party to the 1987 and 2000 Coups.

The GCC was so politicised during the time of the Qarase government that it did nothing to warn against or stop the divisive and racist …

Infant Bank Accounts? NLTB $40m Distribution, School Fees and Funding

N0101. INFANTS SHOULD HAVE BANK ACCOUNTS.  The announcement by Native Lands Trust Board Manger Alipate Qetaki that all itaukei whose names are recorded in the iVola ni Kawa Bula (land registry), including infants, are entitled to a share of lease money, and that once tokatoka and mataqali (land-holding units) have appointed their trustees,the money will be deposited in their bank accounts, was greeted by this, to me incredible, heading and argument from the Fiji Today blog:
"Now lease money will be paid into a single account for each Tokatoka/Mataqali. This is different to the promised payment to each member and open to abuse."  Government had said all money was to be distributed equally (and not, unequally by rank, as previously) but no mention was made of how. Of course, one common tokatoka or mataqali account is open to abuse, as is all trust money, but surely Fiji Today doesn't expect every single person whose name is registered in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula to open a sep…

Litiana Loabuka nee Bainimarama, Revenue Collection, Freedom of Information, HIV/AIDS Decree

QUESTION: FIJI LIVE. Are any other readers having difficulty accessing FjiiLive? Google repeatedly tells me the site is suspicious and visiting it could harm my computer.

N0097. ALLEGATIONS OF FIJI SPORTS COUNCIL NEPOTISM. Several readers have stated, some more politely than others, that the appointment of Litiana Loabuka, the PM's daughter, as the CEO of the Fiji Sports Council, was a "further example of jobs for the boys" — and the anti-government blogs took up the chorus. This sort of accusation has followed almost every new government-related appointment.

I asked Peter Mazzey, President of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce, hotelier and Chairman of the FSC, for his comment.  He replied that the position was  advertised twice in local papers, 13 people applied and three were shortlisted for interviews by the full ten-member Board that, besides Mazzey, includes sports and youth directors and selectors, a lawyer, an accountant, the Commissioner Eastrn, and the Ministry of S…

Help for Elderly & Disabled, 40 Years Neglect, Meeting of Donors, An Apology, Govt Appointments

N0092. CLOSE TO 60,000 BENEFIT.  Nearly 60,000 elderly and disabled persons will benefit from the new bus fare concessions that will see a 50% reduction on bus fares for people over 60 and a free service for the disabled. It is hoped the non-transferable ID cards — yellow for the elderly and red for the disabled — will be ready by March.  The Ministry will rely on its existing Social Welfare database of senior citizens 60 years and above along with FNCDP database. New applications will be added onto these two databases.

N0093. FORTY YEARS OF NEGLECT.Asia Development Bank project manager and engineer Roley Hayes says upgrading work on the Tamavua water treatment plant, Suva's main reticulated water source, will cost around $100m mainly because no upgrading work had been carried out for the past 40-50 years.The work is being funded by a Government loan from the ADB.

N0094. ROUNDTABLE DONOR MEETING. Government officials met with executives from 32 donor countries and representatives of…
If you've missed it, scroll down to the Weekend Reading 
(♦ Fiji's New Diplomacy ♦ Why the Roadmap Pt II) and  check out the new Quote for the Week in the right sidebar.
N0086. A LAUGH TO START THE WEEK. It seem that if Francis Kean becomes the new chairman of the FRU, his brother-in-law the Prime Minister may become the president (again.) I don't see why one position depends on the other but Michael Field says this is so, and we should never question Michael Field even though former FRU Board member Charlie Cousins says there is no other likely candidate so Frank may become president with no thanks to his brother-in-law.

Frank certainly wants to be at the World Cup to be held in NZ, whether or not he's the president, but if both he and his brother-in-law are respectively appointed president and chairman, the IRB will pay both their expenses to New Zealand. There's only one hitch.

Sir Lancelot, the NZ Foreign Minister (and shadow Minister for Border Security) Murray Mc…