Showing posts from May 22, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

OTHER WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Are Fiji's Courts Free of Political Interference? ♦ A New World is Possible-Fr Barr ♦ Sheep farming in Fiji  ♦  Foreign Policy and Rugby: a Strange Game Indeed (to be posted Sunday afternoon)

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.

Elocution Classes
All TV presenters should undergo elocution classes so that they can pronounce words properly. If they say that English is their second language and cannot or will not pronounce English words properly, then they should not be reading the news. They should do something else. English being their second language is not an  excuse. Proper public speaking is important in that we have children and interested people and English teachers listening. What do we want to teac…

Are Fiji’s Courts Free of Political Interference?

Fiji’s most vociferous critics have long claimed government or military interference with the courts, saying that no one can expect justice once they appear before court.  If they are government critics, they will be found guilty and probably jailed. If they are government supporters, they will be found innocent, or their sentence will be less than what is normal for their crime. 
These claims have been echoed by other, more responsible people, such as the President of the NZ Law Society, the  Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  John Key and Murray McCully are among many others who have claimed the Fiji government interferes with the courts and that justice cannot be expected in these circumstances. 
The recent breaching of his bail conditions by Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba and his flight to Tonga make the issue of.immediate importance because he  claimed he fled because he would not have a fair trial for his alleged sedition charges had he stayed in Fiji. He claimed the c…

A New World is Possible

By Fr Kevin J. Barr
Over the months since the economic collapse around the world a number of interesting statements have been made by various people – politicians, economists, churchmen, and the media as well as ordinary people who (as usual) are bearing the burden of the economic disaster.

We have heard highly regarded economists such as Alan Greenspan admit that their free market economic thinking was faulty and there was need for governments to intervene and set controls in place. The French Prime Minister (Sakozy) said bluntly that “capitalism is dead”. The British Prime Minister (David Cameron) was also very blunt when he called for “moral capitalism” that showed a conscience and would repair decades of “reckless greed”.

Sheep Farming in Fiji–a Reader’s Comment

Fiji’s announcement that it may start large-scale sheep farming drew a doubtful comment from me. I said sheep farming in the Tropics was difficult and efforts in Niue had failed.   To which a reader responded:

The Good News and the Bad News about the 10% Wage Order

Fr Kevin Barr sent  these comments to the Fiji Times in response to their request for his reactions, as chairman of the Wages Council,  to the 10% Wage Order.  He has kindly allowed me to publish his reply. The official press release is published at the end of  Fr Barr's comments

There was good news and bad news about the 10% wage increase.
The good news was that finally - almost two years after the previous increase - most of the workers belonging to the 10 industries covered by the Wages Council will get a 10% increase backdated to the 1st May (Those in the transport industry will get only 7%).

President Wide Awake, Still There, and Not “Gutless”

They’d said something  similar in February but like the other prediction last week that the world was about to end, nothing happened.  Assuming, generously, that they don’t  make these stories up, one has to ask why they publish them in advance of events that do not happen. If they really believed their own story, one would think they acted unwisely in alerting Bainimarama before Ratu Epeli acted — and not giving him time to get the the Embassybefore Bainimarama had him arrested.

PM on His Salary and other Ratu Tevita cum Blog Stories - Fiji's home on the world wide web  
Full interview by FijiVillage: the $700,000 salary; the accusations against Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Ratu Tevita getting his stories from the blogs; and words on New Zealand.

Sugar Corp Quiet on Distribution

FBCL - News
State-owned Fiji Broadcasting publishes news like this. Where are the censors?

The Second Cassava Patch Kid; and Amnesty NZ on “Torture”

On November 2nd 2000 a group of about 50 Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldiers under Captain Shane Stevens  attacked the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Suva intent on assassinating Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Four loyal and four rebel soldiers were killed.  Bainimarama narrowly escaped by fleeing  through a nearby cassava patch.  Anti-government bloggers labelled his action cowardly and called him the Cassava Patch Kid and Mr Cassava Patch Runner.
Now Fiji has a second Cassava Patch Kid …

How Would You Read This? No Elections in 2014

In a Sydney Morning Herald article Fiji tight-lipped over torture claims  by Tamara McLean, AAP South Pacific Correspondent, wrote this:I quote: “Fiji's military government is tight-lipped on accusations of torture in its barracks and claims it has no plans to hold democratic elections as promised.”

Dictatorship Crumbling,: NZ Herald Editorial


Freedom of the Press — You’re Joking!

I received an email from Claire Trevett, the deputy political editor of New Zealand's largest circulation newspaper, last Monday. “I read your very good analysis on the Ratu Tevita situation and I was hoping to speak to you at some point today to get some comments on the developing situation,” she wrote. We spoke for a while that afternoon and last Wednesday the NZ Herald published her story NZ may yet admit Fijian fugitive.

Let’s Call it by its Proper Name — Propaganda

A reader has criticised me for attacking the bias in NZ reporting on Fiji and not commenting on the restriction placed on the Fiji media that, he says, is forced to publish Fiji government propaganda.  Fair enough, I suppose, though I have repeatedly urged that PER be lifted and media restrictions cease.  There is a difference, however:  the Fiji media is not free; ours claims to be free, but still publishes propaganda. How else can the barrage of heavily slanted stories, old photos, and derogatory cartoons be classed.   
TVOne The propaganda has been particularly bad over the past few days, and continued last night in the TVOne news when....

Jim Sherlock is Still “Safe in Fiji” and the Comment that Wasn't Published

Jim Sherlock: “I’m safe in Fiji: Kiwi resort owner” Readers may remember the NZ media reports last May about Jim Sherlock and his wife Heather, former Hamiltonians who owned the Fiji Lagoon Resort in Fiji. The media  had them abused by former military security men, locked out of their premises, in fear for their lives, and relatives in New Zealand really worried.  Michael Field had them leaving Fiji with two bags. Jim finally swore they were both safe and the media had got it wrong. But the media and Field never retracted the story so New Zealanders were left believing it.  This is Jim’s comment a year on ….

Ratu Tevita's "Reputable Organizations": a Reader's Comment

 Liu Muri's remarks, of course,  do not apply to all chiefs or all Methodist clergy and laiety. His remarks pertain to the politicisation of the Great Council of Chiefs, and to those people who used the church to pursue an extreme ethno-nationalist agenda. -- Croz

Liu Muri has left a new comment on your post "Ratu Tevita Changes Colours: No Applause for Coura...":

The Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church, which Mara names as reputable organisation standing up for democracy have been the biggest culprits in erosion of democracy in Fiji.

The apolitical GCC sold its soul during Speight’s coup and sided with ethno-nationalism, proving that it was a spent force, not worthy of any reverence, as they then believed that indigenous superiority meant overriding of all other human rights. They even discounted democracy in favour of indigenous rule for Fiji in perpetuity. So I cannot see how they can now stand up for democracy which they saw as foreign flower i…