Showing posts from April 24, 2011


Scroll down to the main postings ▼ WEEKEND READING.♦Allen Lockington Column ♦ Graham Davis on Ratu Tevita and much more♦ Fr Barr reflects on the Fiji National Provident Fund Symposium  Sunday 22.5.11KEY HAPPY WITH NZ's POSITION on sanctions and travel ban. No change for charity trial or World Cup. USE BIKETAWA DECLARATION. This is CCF's Rev Akuila Yabaki's suggestion to resolve the Tonga-Fiji standoff. The Declaration provides Forum leaders with several options to resolve or contain conflict. The Forum Economic Action Plan Eight Principles of Good Governance and the 1997 Aitutaki Declaration obliges Forum Leaders, including Tonga, to respect the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of another member state.

HAS NZTV1 BREACHED Broadcasting Standards Authority requirements with its constant use of old film footage showing armed soldiers in the streets (some from the 2000 Speight coup)  as backdrops to current news items on Fiji, and presenting hearsay (Ba…

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.

Water Ransom Well here is an interesting twist to things. We read (FT 24/4) that the Water Authority of Fiji is investigating a water ransom allegation. Some residents of Nasau in Nadi allege that they are being held to ransom by WAF workers who have asked to be paid to turn on water. If investigations find this to be true and the men are charged, what fate awaits them? I ask this because there is a law that’s states that a person will be heavily fined or spend up to ten years in prison in found guilty of tampering with water meters. 

What penalty is there for the ransom holders?  In my opinion this is worse than someone tampering with water meters. This is fraud because they are asking for money f…

The Mauritius Miracle by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University and a Nobel laureate in Economics. His latest  book, Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy, is available in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

NEW YORK – Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care – including heart surgery – for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis.

People’s Charter, Pillar 9 (Knowledge-Based Society) : For Discussion

Readers are asked to consider and comment on Government’s progress towards these goals.

Critical Problems and Issues:
In the wake of the coups since 1987, and with persisting  political instability and a growing sense of insecurity, our  nation has lost, through emigration, substantial numbers  of its experienced professionals and skilled workers. The  skills gap that has emerged cannot be readily filled  because new entrants to the labour force lack expertise, education, experience and training. Over 10% of Fiji’s children aged 5-14 years do not attend  school. More than half the total numbers in final year of primary school do not progress to secondary education. The need to address access and equity issues to support  social justice and promote unity and harmony. The difficulty of access because of poor infrastructure in rural  and remote areas combined with the meagre incomes of  most families are among the major factors contributing to …

Reserve Bank: Macroeconomic Policy and Monetary Policy Changes

Reserve Bank Macroeconomic Policy Committee Press Release 28 April 2011
Click on the  link to download.

Reserve  Bank Announces Monetary Policy Changes
The Board of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, at its monthly meeting on 28 April 2011, agreed to reduce the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 1.50 percent from 2.00 percent.

While announcing the board decision, the Acting Governor and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Barry Whiteside stated that “while the rising crude oil and food prices pose ongoing concerns for households and businesses in the economy, the current settings of slowly improving domestic demand and a healthy foreign reserves outlook validates a continued accommodative monetary policy stance”.

Dispute Resolution for Customary Lands: Some Lessons from Fiji
Keresi R. Fonmanu, Lisa Ting,  Ian P. Williamson* ABSTRACT
Customary land tenure involves a complex and detailed array of tenure rights which are often difficult
to reconcile with western systems of land tenure. Land disputes arising from customary land tenure are
costly, time consuming and often hinder the operation of governments, land administrators, developers,
investors, proprietors and land users. These disputes may be the result of the customary system or the
result of the tensions of a dual tenure system. This paper discusses the experience of Fiji in addressing
disputes involving customary land and proposes a framework for resolving disputes in customary land.

Revolution and State Failure

By Sudarsan Kant

Among the many discoveries awaiting State prosecutors and investigators in the post-Mubarak era is the billions of dollars that were whittled away by the regime during their three decades in power. The revolutions in the Middle East underscored the rage of ordinary people who were justifiably fed up after decades of abuse and neglect by governments and demanded change from the status quo. The State had simply failed on a comprehensive scale to deliver basic goods and services to its citizens, while enriching venal and brutal elite with largesse bordering on the obscene. 

Jumping at Shadows: the Purpose and Effects of Rumours

Rumours will continue to flow as long as Government maintains PER and restrictions on the flow of information, and to this extent they have only themselves to blame when false and misleading rumours— that are invariably anti-government—spread doubt and uncertainty among the public,  as  is their intention.  

Two rumours have been circulated by anti-government bloggers over the past few days.  One was that police Chief Operations Officer, Henry Brown, was taken to the Barracks for questioning, possibly about corruption, but was subsequently released.  This rumour was refuted by Police Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri  who said Brown was not only still the Chief Operations Officer, “He is on the ground as we speak. ” 

This was followed by the rumour that  the PM’s brother-in-law Francis Kean had been replaced as Navy Commander.  The PM denied this, saying “He is still the Navy Commander but has got an extra job.”

Fiji Today helped circulate this rumour under the heading: “ More jumping at shado…

China Helps Reduce Livestock Feed Dependence

Fiji’s dependence on imported feed for its ducks, goats, pigs and cattle will end later in the year when, thanks to Chinese assistance, the country will operate its first feed mill at Koronivia Research Station between Suva and Nausori.  This will mean that in times of drought and flooding, feed in store will be able to feed the country’s livestock. At such times imported feed can make up more than half the cost of operating farms.   The mill will process  local agricultural waste and by-products such as refuse from municipal markets and sugar cane tops and turn it into feed pellets. Source: Xinhua. This is another example of an infrastructural development that is part of the Roadmap.  The map itself may not have been published (as countless readers have pointed out and which, in my opinion, it should have been) but the route that is being followed is crystal clear.

Itchy Grass: Predicted 43% Drop in Sugar Production

The anti-Government blog Fiji Today reports that  a weed is infesting cane farms in the Nadi area. The weed is nearly a metre tall, has sharp thorns  and can only be handled with gloves on. The Sugar Industry Research Institute —that so far has received  no  information from farmers about the weed—  thinks it may be Rottoboellia that will need to be cut out and  sprayed with Veltar K4 to destroy it  for good.   Meanwhile, Fiji Today has predicted a possible “43% drop in sugar production.” They are clearly advised by a  statistician who is a probability genius. 

A Multi-Ethnic Cadet Force: Is This Where to Start?

Nasinu Secondary School put on a fine display for visiting  reviewing officer and chief guest Land Force Commander Mosese Tikoitoga yesterday. The Ministry of Information said, "History was rewritten as the whole school participated in a cadet pass out parade."

With a school roll of 570 and a location in an residential area where all races are represented, why couldn't we see a Fiji-Indian face in the parade?  We understand the history behind a Fiji military force that is 99% ethnic itaukei, but if history was really rewritten at Nasinu yesterday, we'd have expected a start to have been made towards making the military multi-ethnic. Very disappointing, given the People's Charter goals.

Why the Fiji Time is Offline

My thanks to this reader who supplied this information -
I have a close friend who still works at the Fiji Times and this is the
situation: if a journalist doesn't add his byline as required by the new
media decree, these are added by sub-editors as they layout pages etc.
However the way that the website had been formatted by News Ltd to
automatically pick up and upload stories, meant bylines added by sub-editors
were not always showing up on the website layout. There were additional
problems with photobylines, that would appear in the newspaper, but would
not format correctly and were not being automatically picked up for the

And to this reader who asked -
... Why doesn't Fiji Times print why they are offline?

Women’s Centres: Great, but are they Really Open to All?

Raibeca Women’s Centre is situated at Tacirua, north of Suva. A recent report by  its president Mrs Filimaina Nacobi  reminded me of the plans for helping poorer women outlined by the Minister of Women, Dr Jiko Luveni, that I published in September last year.  It is well worth a re-read because, in this case,  it allows us to monitor Government intentions on social justice with respect to women and poverty.  

The Raibeca Centre belongs to the umbrella Fiji Women’s Federation that links some NGOs to the Ministry.  As the elected president of the Raibeca Centre Filimaina sits on an ministerial Advisory Committee that  is charged with the implementation of government's Women’s Plan of Action (WPA) 2010 to 2019(see the September post for details).

Cheerful Headings from the Anti-Bloggers: Have a Happy Week

Coup2006 (Sai Lealea, Wellington). ♥ Sign petition to UN and stop Abusive Fiji Military ♥ Fiji dictator and son free riding it at Hong Kong Sevens (from Coup4.5)  ♥ Illegal PM orders officials on to FBC for talkback – what a joke! ♥ Illegal regime to appoint seven new magistrates  ♥ Sister of QEB Goon waiting for New Zealand visa (from Coup4.5) ♥ Patel and Mau handed prison sentences ♥ Illegal regime cabinet approves money grabbing infringement notice ♥  Rewa’s Bose Vanua to make final decision as illegal threatens stance
CoupFourPointFive (team, Auckland).  ♥ Easter bunny free ride (to Hong Kong Sevens) ♥ ‘New police uniform will make us laughing stock’ ♥ Sister of QEB Goon waiting for New Zealand visa ♥ Magistrates quit citing ‘personal reasons’
Fiji Today (‘Peter Firkins’ and team, Fiji?).   ♥ Permanent Secretary for sugar, Manaqsa Vaniqi talks up confidence in sugar ♥ Suva City Council forces businesses to get trading permit at 24 hrs notice, Small man with big power syndrome strik…