Showing posts from April 17, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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.

Priceless Donation
On Thursday I took a few friends from Lautoka to donate blood at the Lautoka hospital. We got tested and gave 750ml of blood. It was interesting because when we arrived we were asked what patients we had come to give blood to.

There were a few men sitting outside the office and I asked them what they were there for. They said that they had come to give blood to a relative. It's interesting that people will only go up to the blood bank to donate when a relative needs blood. My friends who are taxi drivers decided that they wanted to give back to society something and they came up with a blood donation.

Someone said taxi drivers had been taking from us. Yes, but what they ga…

A Note on Mining: Lessons from PNG and Elsewhere

By retired NZ diplomat Gerald McGhie
I wonder whether the current outbreak of mining in the Pacific will produce the expected returns to governments and landowners.  The key question relates to governance. Do Pacific governments have the resources to manage the huge amounts of money at stake? The evidence to date is not encouraging.

People's Charter Pillar 8 (Reducing Poverty): for Discussion

Includes that part of Chapter 5 of the State of the Nation Report relating to poverty. For earlier Pillars, type Pillar and 1 or 2, etc in the Search this Blog facility.  I urge readers to compare these goals with what Government has so far undertaken towards their realization.
PILLAR 8. REDUCING POVERTY TO A NEGLIGIBLE LEVEL BY 2015 Critical Problems and Issues: We live in a land where there is a strong practice of faith but a strange lack of compassion and togetherness.Increasing numbers of our people are having to face a bleak future; one that guarantees nothing but poverty and hopelessness, in the rapidly growing squatter settlements in the urban areas, and in our rural communities.Almost 4 out of every 10 persons in our communities live under conditions of poverty.A large proportion of the poor, while in full time employment, constitute the “working poor”; 55% of the wage earners earn incomes that are below the poverty line.Income inequalities in our nation remain deep: the poorest 2…

Charlie Charters on the Corruption Commission

Charlie Charters was marketing manager of the Fiji Rugby Union and CEO of the Pacific Islanders Rugby Alliance in the early 2000s. He is married to Vanessa, the daughter of  Mere Samisoni, a former SDL politician and a prominent anti-government activist. My personal view is that his article is excessively negative — surely the FICAC must be doing some good — but it is published for its helpful ideas in the hope it will stimulate discussion.

I don't know whether you want to run this as is, cherry-pick or spike the whole thing. Whatever. Your discretion. But given the debate that your blog tries to engender I thought I'd make my contribution. So here goes ...

A Good Friday Reflection

This is essentially a political blog on Fiji. Readers seeing this Good Friday article may suspect a change in direction.  If they read on,  they will see just how relevant Fr Kevin Barr's religious reflections are to Fiji's political situation.
 A Good Friday Reflection  Kevin J. Barr
Too many Christians today have spiritualised the death of Jesus and are satisfied to say simply that Jesus died for our salvation – “the blood of the Lamb has washed away our sins”. While this may be true theologically, these Christians tend to ignore the stark reality of the gospel story and the real historical context in which Jesus lived, preached and died. Moreover this approach can keep us trapped in a devotional Christianity often unrelated to the world in which Jesus lived and in which he preached his message of the Kingdom.

Thakur Ranjit Singh Writes of Indo-Fijian Differences and Modern Day Inconsistences

The Indo Fijian Easter conventions should unite the people
Thakur Ranjit Singh
Easter is a time for the Christian community in Fiji to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a time, in a deeply religious Fiji with harmonious interfaith activities, when Indo-Fijians of Hindu, Sikh and Islamic faiths come together in sporting and social events, and when Indo-Fijian Diaspora from around the world descend on Fiji to show family, religious and ethnic unity. 

What is to be the Media's New Role?

Prof Subramani, Chairman of MIDA, the Media Industry Development Authority that was established under the Media Decree to monitor and work with the media industry,  says the media has to build up trust in order to win the freedom it is asking for, and trust is gradually won through performance.

Readers familiar with the biased and sensational reporting of the past, most particularly by the Fiji Times, know that Fiji's media often promoted divisions and distrust in an already divided Fiji.  They will not be surprised at that MIDA has urged the media to redefine its priorities in the context of their developmental role, and find alternatives to conventional goals and practices. The media, says MIDA,  needs to be at the forefront of nation-making, and work for progress towards a truly pluralistic and modern Fiji.

Fuel Prices Up but Contained, New e-Data Centre, Fiji Today Misreports on Sugar

PM Visits Kadavu

The PM continues his provincial visits this week with a tour of Kadavu and its outlying islands, some 90 km south of the main island of Viti Levu. He will visit  Buliya, Narikoso, Vabea and Ono tikina (districts) before journeying further to the mainland districts. There he will inspect several government projects ranging from food  security programmes, seaweed and dalo projects to basic infrastructural developments. He will also open the new Vunisea Jetty on Kadavu.

Peter Firkin and the Pickled Chippy: Who's Kidding Who?

Excuse my use of Peter Piper, the old English nursery rhyme and tongue twister, but it has,  as you will see, a bearing on a story published on Peter Firkin's anti-government blog Fiji Today.

The story was supposedly written by a young and surprisingly well educated Suva carpenter who called himself Chippy. His English is so flawless and he so methodically covers the routine, well-trodden road of objections to the Bainimarama government, that I'm left wondering about young Chippy.