Showing posts from May 15, 2011

Turmoil from Tonga but Business as Usual in Fiji

While Ratu Tevita and Barbara Dreaver from Tonga, copied by today's NZ Herald's editorial,  are predicting the imminent overthrow of the Baimarama Government,  Bainimarama, Government and Fiji are carrying on business as usual. And support for Government seems to be growing, as evident in the PM's visit to Beqa and Kadavu, and the President's visit to Rotuma.  Read on ...

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.

Manhole Covers
Here is a suggestion for the city and town councils regarding the missing manhole covers. For the covers that have been removed, replace them and weld the cover shut. When you need to use the access the passageway all you do is to get a blow torch and cut the welding away. 

For the grating that have been removed, fill the chamber up with cement so that there is just a slip big enough for water to flow through, that way you don’t have to keep replacing the  metal and its will be cheaper to cut away the welding. 

And lastly, all metal is exported, I had suggested in a previous letter for all metal to be inspected by the authorities before being stuffed into a container. And just like th…

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga

By Graham Davis

A bizarre rerun of the political intrigues of the 19th century South Seas aristocracy is being played out at a stately royal residence on the waterfront of the sleepy Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa. Consular House was once the home of the British High Commissioner to Tonga and the lion and the unicorn still gaze majestically down from the wall in the foyer. But now the timber tropical pile with its push out shutters houses the region’s latest and most celebrated political refugee – a Fijian chief who’s sought sanctuary with his distant kinsmen, the monocle-wearing King George Tupou V.

The Fiji National Provident Fund Symposium, Reflections by Fr Barr

Fr Kevin Barr considers transparency and accountability, a just living wage, and compliance as they apply to the Fiji National Provident Fund, and sends me this email:
“I was happy enough with the media coverage of the FNPF symposium.  A lot of good work had been done by the consultants but the reality is hard for many to accept. 

Readers' Comments on Military Rule and NZTV Coverage of Recent Events

Don't like military, don't like ...
Croz – What I don’t get is this. Opponents of Frank Bainimarama and the military takeover in Fiji do so because they don’t like military rule .  Attorney-General  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum  is civilian. Ratu Tevita is annoyed that Bainimarama chose the AG over Ratu Tevita and Colonel Driti . Doesn’t that tell you something? 
That Frank Bainimarama is prepared to go against military advice if he thinks it is not for the good of Fiji and its future. I do wonder if there is a little bit of jealousy here. In fact - is Ratu Tevita throwing all his toys out of the cot because he couldn’t get his own way. Something just doesn’t add up.
You would think that Oz and NZ would be pleased, a bit, that Frank B has chosen the AG over two military officers. Cheers,  Tamaki
Tamaki, The AG is an Indian.  This makes him a fair target for racially-motivated attacks. Croz
Why  does NZTV use old photo footage from the Speight Coup?
Cornelius has left a new comment o…

Yabaki Certain Elections in 2014

In an interview with Radio NZ yesterday,  Citizens'  Constitutional Forum CEO, Rev. Akuila Yabaki, spoken positively  about the planned new constitution and said he is certain elections will be held in 2014. 

Among the proposals likely to be in the new constitution, he mentioned voting to take place  on one day, getting rid of race-based voting, and reducing the voting age to 18 years.

Lest You Forget...FLP Remembers 19.5.2000

The 11th anniversary of the 2000 coup today serves as a stark reminder of the heavy price our nation has paid in terms of the suffering, and the social and economic degradation that coups and political instability have inflicted on us. Four coups within a span of 19 years have given us the ignominious tag “Coup Coup Land”. Three of these coups (1987 and 2000) were carried out under the pretext of protecting indigenous rights when the perpetrators well knew that Fijian rights and interests were well entrenched under the country’s 1970 and 1997 Constitutions.  Events since then have showed us that greed, power and vested interests played a more significant role in these coups than any threat to indigenous rights and interests.

Michael Field’s Latest Attack on Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Shows He Knows Very Little about Him, Muslims, Indians or Fiji

If his latest blog posting “Profile of a megalomanic*: Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum”(that he would not dare to publish in the mainstream media), NZ journalist Michael Field shows that, despite his trips to India, he knows nothing about Indians and Muslims, and even less about Fiji’s Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.  Taking his statements one at a time, he writes:

Someone's Not Telling the Truth

FBCL - News

Someone's not telling the truth.  Tongan, Ratu Tevita and Kadavu hotelier stories do not tally. And the NZ Navy said it had heard no distress signals.

Earlier statement by the PM: "We have confirmation that Ratu Tevita Mara was extracted by the Royal Tongan Navy Patrol Boat, Savea on 9 May 2011 from within Fiji's territorial waters. Preliminary investigations nullify the claims of a search and rescue mission off Southern Ono i Lau, however we can confirm that the illegal extraction of Ratu Tevita Mara took place one Nautical Mile North West of Cape Washington in Kadavu. The Fijian government takes strong exception to such breaches of Fiji's sovereignty. I intend to communicate with the Tongan Prime Minister within the next 24 hours about these breaches."

Imprecise Reporting Does Not Help Understanding

Sometimes stories from Fiji are misunderstood because they are poorly reported. Here is an  example:

Speaking at the Cakaudrove Provincial meeting that ended yesterday, the "Roko Tui, Ro Aca Mataitini said although [the Tui Cakau] Ratu Naiqama was not at the meeting he had given his apologies saying he could not attend because of personal reasons."  So far, so good.  The mainstream media cannot speculate on the likely cause of the Tui Cakau's absence but we know he is less than keen on the Baimarama government.

Fiji Village  then went on: "Roko Mataitini added that despite Ratu Naiqama's absence, the members were told, whether they like it or not, they still support the People's Charter."  I have no idea what this means? What does "despite" mean in this context? That the Tui Cakau supports the Charter? And who are they that may "like it or not" and who are "they" that "still support" the Charter. Some tikina (dist…

Ratu Tevita Changes Colours: No Applause for Courage

The claims and demands become even more incredible. A chameleon would blush. 

Ratu Tevita, who fully supported the 2006 Coup and was at one time referred to as Bainimarama's right hand man, now says soldiers were duped in supporting the coup.  Well, if this was so, he played a major part in duping them in 2006 and continued to do so for the next four years.

What’s more, having fled Fiji leaving his colleague Pita Driti to face the music and his wife and children to make do, he has made  a  direct appeal over the internet to the soldiers he used to command to rebel.  

Graham Davis’s Views on the Ratu Tevita Saga

Graham Davis is Fiji-born Australian journalist. My underlining.

Fallout from Ratu Tevita’s Defection: Some Media Coverage

The unabated negative news published by the overseas media, and the total absence of any balanced or positive news, must be affecting the confidence of some readers about the stability of the Bainimaram government and Fiji’s future. That, presumably, is its intention.  Ratu Tevita’s defection is a massive publicity  blow — but it is unlikely to have changed anything in Fiji. He was suspended from the military last October and nothing changed then.  I hold with what I wrote in the previous posting: Ratu Tevita's defection was due to self-interest, not principle, and those in the know in Fiji know this. Here are some other reactions:
TV1’s Petra Bagust interviews PM John Key (extract. part on Fiji)

Ratu Tevita Mara Flees Fiji: Why and What Effects?

By Crosbie Walsh Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, popularly known as Rokoului —until recently the fourth highest ranking officer in Fiji military, son of  revered former PM and President the late Ratu Mara, brother-in-law to the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau,  and former close associate of PM Bainimarama— has fled to Tonga.  A Tongan patrol boat the  Savea, that Tonga says (and Fjii disputes)  responded to a distress signal, south of Ono-i-Lau, took him to Nuku’alofa 370 km away where, because of his high status, he has been accommodated by the royalty.   He has now made a statement accusing Bainimarama of being a dictator and calling for his removal. This is what he had to say .There are obviously two big questions to ask about this high profile defection: Why did he do it and what will be the effect?