Showing posts from June 19, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Weekend Reading. Scroll down to see •The Fiji Media Environment • The Military and the Civil Service • Growing the Service Industry
• The Head that Wears the Crown • Faith in the Future

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.

Passport Shortage Many times I have been asked the question – why do we run out of passports? There are 800,000 of us in Fiji and if all of us were to be given a passport each it wouldn’t take five years. But as it is almost each year we run out of passports. As shown on TV, Director of Immigration Nemani Vinuwaqa said that the company that makes them is to blame because they print passports according to priority.

The Military in the Civil Service: CCF Press Release for Discussion

Lack of a succession plan
The Citizens Constitutional Forum notes the recent appointment of senior military officers within the civil service raising questions on how these reflect on the succession plans put in place by the Public Service Commission and the growing militarization of senior government positions.

Faith in the Future by Rodney V. Cole

Rodney Cole has a life-long association with Fiji and the Pacific Islands. He was born in Suva,  educated at  Suva Boys' Grammar School and was later District Officer in Lau, Lomaiviti, Navua and Suva, and Secretary for Finance in the colonial government.He was from time to time a member of the Legislative and Executive Councils and Council of Ministers, Financial Adviser to the Fijian Affairs Board, member of numerous boards and committees including Chairman of the Fiji National Provident Fund and Alternate Governor for Fiji of the Asian Development Bank, and  he held a Commission in the Fiji Military Forces. 

‘O thou of little faith wherefore doest thou doubt’ (Matthew 14.30-31).  Who will remember the plaque placed by the RNZAF on the rock breakwater at the Laucala Bay seaplane base to confound those doomsayers who said it would never survive the war! It survived well beyond the war. 

Much the same could well apply to those who continue to carp against the current Fiji Government…

Analysis: An Overview of the Fiji Media Environment.

By Stanley Simpson*
SUVA (Pacific Media Watch):  The media landscape has changed significantly since 2006 – for better or for worse depending on who you speak to, and who is making the observation.

The first major change of course – is that we are not free – or as free as we were prior to 2006.

The Head that Wears the Crown

By Karam Chand Ramrakha* 
How does the saying go? Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. So far Fiji’s PM  Bainimarama has enjoyed an untroubled run.  He has the country firmly under his thumb. Dissenting forces, or areas of possible dissent, have been neutralised. For once no one is cursing the Indo-Fijians for Fiji’s problems. The two coups of 1987 and 2000 were based on a supposed Indo-Fijian takeover of Fiji and were claimed to have saved the embattled indigenous Fijian race. 

Growing Services Speech, ANZ's Michael Rowland at Australia Pacific Islands Business Council

Australia Pacific Islands Business Council
Growing Services
Michael Rowland, Speaking Notes
Nadi, Fiji – 20 June 2011

The Human Rights Some People Choose to Forget

Mal has left a new comment on your post "How Many Human Rights Abuses are Acceptable?":

During the attempted Coup in 2000 my father was beaten up, his wife threatened, his house ransacked,items stolen, his ute stolen and wrecked. Many of the participants of these events were ferried around in Rewa Dairy vehicles supplied by Sam Speight so his recent beating up by the army is not a Human Rights abuse but justice finally served.

Some really really bad things happened in Tailevu during that time, far worse than anything that the military have done since 2006.Those events of 2000 have been swept under the carpet by supporters of the SDL and the anti Bainimarama factions. Only the most biased of individuals can claim that it hasn't been.

Prasad says Media must Help Fiji to Heal

The news media has an important role to play in uniting a fractured nation such as Fiji, says economist and academic Dr Biman Prasad.

“Media needs to become a force for unity – not disunity as we have sometimes seen in the past,” he said, speaking at a recent Lions Club dinner.

Dr Prasad stressed that a real start to a stronger nation could only be achieved once media censorship and the public emergency regulations were lifted. This, however, came with responsibility, he said.

How Many Human Rights Abuses are Acceptable?

"What level of Human Rights abuse is acceptable? At what point will you say enough is enough?"A reader complains I have not answered this question, despite several promptings. I have delayed because this has the hallmarks of a non-question, that will be considered unanswered whatever is said. Here is my answer:

It is not possible to briefly answer this question to the satisfaction of the reader. What appears to be a simple request for a concrete figure (presumably '0') is in fact a loaded request to put a figure on an abstraction. I am asked to make a value judgment in the absence of common agreement on whether each HR is of equal importance; whether each is always applicable, irrespective of the circumstances; whether everyone's HRs are of equal weight and importance, irrespective of individual and communal circumstances;whether it is ever justifiable to deny some HRs to some people; and whether some HRs can justifiably be temporarily suspended for the 'com…

Civil Service Skills Shortages

The Public Service Commission is currently working on a Scarce Skills Retention Policy for Civil Service. Public Service Commission permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand said over the past years government has lost considerable qualified and skilled personnel to private and regional organization’s, adding that the absence of qualified staff in Ministries affects Government’s ability to deliver the required services to the public.

Pacific Islands Regional Busines Council Address

"Creating Regional Economic Growth through Integration" Address by Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Monday 20 June 2011, Radisson Resort Fiji.

Main points: • All agreements must most benefit the weaker parties • PACER plus will have minimum benefits with Fiji excluded • Get existing agreements working before PACER plus • Expand relationships beyond tradional parties

Frankly, this is a road to ruin for Fiji

Frankly, this is a road to ruin for Fiji. � Fiji Today FijiTodays Open Forum Blog

By Michael Field with elements of truth. Take your pick. At least he sees Ratu Tevita Mara for what he is. Thanks Fiji Today for this.

Samoans Playing with Fire

The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries is a cornerstone of international law yet that principle is being flagrantly breached by Samoa in its dealings with Fiji. In a remarkable development, the Samoan Government has publicly endorsed a campaign spearheaded by the renegade Fijian military officer, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, to remove the Fijian leader, Frank Bainimarama. In doing so, it’s set the scene for an even bigger rift between the two countries with potentially serious consequences for the entire region.

Click this link to Graham Davis's Grubsheet to read the full article and comments.