Showing posts from June 12, 2011

What to Keep and What to Lift in the Public Emergency Regulations (PER)

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By Crosbie Walsh
Abstract. I believe Government would win much support in Fiji and overseas —and take the wind out of its opponents sails— if it lifted the PER completely. Failing this, I urge Government to increase the authority of the police vis-a-vis the military; revisit detention practices and  blanket immunity; selectively and progressively lift restrictions on meetings and assembly; and lift the PER restrictions on the media.Readers too busy to read the full article may care to use the subheadings to read those parts of most interest to them.
Some time back a reader said that with the imposition of PER 'Government had embarked on a path that is only likely to see further rumour-mongering and division in society [and prevent] the dissemination of the ideas and the goodwill that will be essential in the next few years if the aims of the 'Roadmap' are to be achieved.'
Another reader thought PER and the attitude of the military w…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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• The Camera Doesn't Lie: FDFM Links to Extremists 
• Graeme Dobell's Fiji Dilemma 
• Mara’s Charade of Democracy: Why NZ Should Not Make Him a Martyr  
•What to Keep and What to Lift in the Public Emergency Regulations

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.

The Pacific Way Fiji and Tonga are  arguing over who has sovereignty over Minerva Reef, two coral reefs  that are covered with water at high tide. Why does one or the other have to own them? How about them sharing like good neighbours?   Tonga is called the Friendly Islands and Fiji has been referred to as the way the world should be.
Then there is the issue about Roko Ului’s “rather unusual” rescue f…

The Camera Doesn't Lie: FDFM Links to Extremists

By Graham Davis in Grubsheet Grubsheet has come under withering attack for its previous posting that exposed the apparent links between the so-called Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement in Australia and indigenous extremists who staged the 2000 George Speight coup. Tempers in the diaspora of the disaffected who oppose the Bainimarama regime have been sorely frayed since we published a photograph of two supposedly independent academics at the Australian National University – Dr Jon Fraenkel and Professor Brij Lal – with Simione Kaitani, one of the coup perpetrators who’s been granted permanent Australian residency.

Graeme Dobell’s Fiji Dilemma

Graeme Dobell writes short pieces for The Interpreter, the blog for the think tank Lowry Institute.  While his experience is mainly in Asia, his journalism assignments have taken him to Fiji. His latest four-part  article The Fiji Dilemma has been widely cited in the anti-Fiji blogs, and a link is  provided here for your evaluation.

When you have read it you may wish to compare your opinions with those of someone better equipped than me to know where Dobell is coming from.  Here is what he said:

Mara’s Charade of Democracy: Why NZ Should Not Make Him a Martyr

By Thakur Ranjit Singh
Mere elections do not deliver democracy. One that does not grant freedom, equality and social justice to all its citizens is not worth defending.
A seminar was organized by the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji in late December, 2006, in Auckland, just weeks after Bainimarama ousted Qarase’s supposedly democratic government. In that presentation some four and a half years ago, this author had presented a paper and accused New Zealand and Australian government of hypocrisy, double standards and being ungrateful and blinkered neighbours because of their lack of understanding and appreciation about Fiji’s fundamental ills. NZ mainstream media, which lacks diversity in its newsrooms, was also not spared for its inability to analyze the real truth about Fiji, and appeared to be singing from the same hymn sheet of their government’s dogmatic foreign policy on Fiji’s faltering democracy and governance issues.

Murray McCully Should Read This. Steps towards a Solution for Squatting

There never has been, and there probably will never be, a simple answer to the squatter problem in Fiji. Its underlying causes are poverty and lack of land and housing people can afford. But international research has shown that for squatters to help dig themselves out of poverty and improve their residential environment, security of tenure is a must.   

An Appeal to the People of New Zealand

After being in NZ  for the last two weeks, and seeing why people do not understand what is happening in Fiji, I am reminded of Alice Walker's words in her book We Are the Ones We Have been Waiting For.

Writing of those who work to improve the world, she says:  “They are the ones who feel no joy at another’s defeat.  No satisfaction at another’s pain.  Sit for a moment and consider what it means to be aware;  let yourself feel the many ways you have been morally and politically manipulated and tricked.  Consider your own part in this.”

This made me think of groups outside of Fiji (New Zealand and Australia) that  are calling for a "return to democracy" in Fiji by opposing the Bainimarama government, while many of us in Fiji are working with his interim government to create what we see as a true democracy.

We see democracy as different from that which was practised before. Our democracy will not allow

Bainimarama Government a Curate's Egg

Barry has left a new comment on your post "News Regularly Updated":

The Bainimarama Government is such a curate’s egg!

On the good side they have started tackling many of Fiji’s longstanding problems that were avoided, ignored or actively fostered by previous governments including Racism, The Land Issue, the politicisation of the Great Council of Chiefs, the power and politicisation of the Methodist Church, the instability of the FNPF, Dual Citizenship and the neglect of rural Fiji - and they have even found time to modernise our licensing laws!

On the bad side are censorship, an untrustworthy judicial system, restrictions on freedom and a lack of

Why it is Unpleasant but Necessary to Attack Ratu Tevita

The least pleasant part of writing this blog is having,  as in the Ratu Tevita case, to attack the man.  I would far rather attack an argument, but several readers have said  I’ve ”gone over the top” and revealed my “true bias” by attacking Ratu Tevita and the role of Australia and New Zealand in helping him to spread his message.  I have no idea how representative their views are but if there are others, with open minds, who share these views, it is necessary to answer the accusation.  

There is nothing secret about my bias. It is clearly stated in the blog description in the tab Aims/Principles.  As for going over the top, that’s Ratu Tevita. I’m only calling his bluff. 

I have attacked Ratu Tevita for three reasons.  

Letter to John Key and Murray McCully from (NZ) Coalition for Democracy in Fiji 12 June 2011

Dear Sirs
Re : Application by Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara to visit New Zealand

It is understood that the Government of New Zealand has agreed to allow former Fiji Military commanding officer, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, to visit New Zealand. The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji is very much opposed to this visit, and strongly requests that the decision be re-considered.

The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji was formed on in Auckland on 14 May 1987, on the day of the first Fiji coup d'état. We have since then been standing up for the rights of Fiji people, and for justice and democracy. The group is made up of former Fiji residents, and concerned New Zealanders.

Australian High Commission Mailing List: No Interference in Fiji Internal Affair?