Showing posts from July 17, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READINGS. • Allen Lockington column • Fiji Needs Democracy But Not with Democrats Like These by Thakur Ranjit Singh • Surfing Decree   • The Politics of Sabotage by Graham Davis
See also Friday's postings: • The Nation Needs Healing by Hassan Khan  • Bruce Hill's interview with UTW secretary and Qantas CEHO over Qantas and strike action.
NEW ZEALAND READERS. Listen to Radio New Zealand on Sunday.  See details below.

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.

Proud to be a Fijian
A lot of our citizens represent our country in many ways overseas. We have sports people, dignitaries, people working for private companies and we have our soldiers in the British Army serving in the Middle East, Afghanistan and other countries. …

The Surfing Decree: Catch a Big Wave

By Fred Wesley,Editorial in the Fiji Times

THE State's Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree appears to have had a positive impact on the lives of villagers on Malolo Island.

Fiji Needs Democacy But Not with 'Democrats' Like These

By Thakur Ranjit Singh
As the race for democracy in Fiji intensifies, it has reached new heights of political expediency where hitherto diametrically opposed political animals are seen drinking from the same pail.
In addition, we are witnessing the genesis of a new adage that declares that a foe’s opponent or enemy is actually a political friend.

However, what still remains uncertain is the model of democracy that can be expected from those whose definition of democracy rests in self-interest or their ability to clamber back onto the gravy train from which they were jettisoned by the military takeover in 2006.

The media coup by the military fugitive Ratu Tevita Ului Mara – who arrived in New Zealand this week – has taken the fight for democracy to a higher level.

The Politics of Sabotage

By Graham Davis
Fiji’s tourism industry – a vital pillar of the local economy – could be set for a battering as Fiji-bound flights are targeted by Australian trade unionists acting in support of their Fijian counterparts. Members of the Transport Workers Union are threatening to disrupt flights to Nadi operated by Air Pacific and Jetstar – the two carriers servicing the route associated with the national airline, Qantas. Virgin flights will not be affected.The threatened campaign is clearly designed to cause havoc with schedules and deter Australian holidaymakers from choosing Fiji as their destination. The TWU says it’s in protest at the alleged beating of union officials in Fiji and a series of military decrees that have eroded the rights of workers. But here’s a link to a piece by Crosbie Walsh – the New Zealand academic blogger – that raises some disturbing questions about the premise of that campaign. Have Australian union bosses been deceived by their Fijian counterp…

ABC'S Bruce Hill Interview Union Head and Qantas CEO on Fiji

Union to challenge Fiji industrial action banUpdated July 22, 2011 10:52:02  Radio Australia's Pacific Beat
Australia's transport workers union has vowed to fight a court ruling saying they can't take action against the national carrier, Qantas, over what they see as the suppression of union rights in Fiji.

Nation needs healing: Khan

Avinesh Gopal in the Fiji Times
Friday, July 22, 2011

THE Fiji Council of Social Services is ready to partner with the Government to combat social ills, threat to peace and human security in Fiji. It says the revelation by the Health permanent secretary Doctor Salanieta Saketa that more than 400,000 people in Fiji are affected by malnutrition and that there are 365 cases of HIV/AIDS were social horror stories that required immediate attention.

Mara bans media from recording community meeting

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 9:20p.m.
By Lloyd Burr NZTV3 News
Fiji’s runaway military chief Ratu Tevita Mara invited the media to a community function tonight then banned them from asking or recording anything.
Mr Mara organised the function to allow Fijians living in New Zealand to ask him questions about his former boss, Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime in Fiji.
But on arrival, members of the media, including 3 News, were informed that a recording ban was in place and they could only sit in on the meeting.

Watch Laura Frykberg's report from NightlineMedia were also told they could not ask questions if they stayed for the meeting.
Earlier today, at another meeting, Mr Mara condemned media censorship.
“With the media censorship in Fiji, nothing is getting out and the international community does not know anything about what he is doing,” he said.
Mr Mara’s spokesperson, Pro-Democracy Movement president Sai Lelea, also said that he “would like to acknowledge the role the press pla…

Shocking FNPF directors fees paid to Fiji unionists

 See also my personal comments in today's NEWS "Anthony Urai Took Exorbitant Fees" where I wonder why this information is only now being released.
Fiji Union leaders were paid shockingly high directors fees – as high as $180,000 - when they sat on the board of the Fiji National Provident Fund and its subsidiaries from 2007 to 2009.
Audited documents by KPMG obtained by FBC News show that union leader Felix Anthony received $185,934 over a period of three years – when he sat on the FNPF board and its subsidiaries. 
Other Union leaders like Daniel Urai were paid in excess of $156, 287 while James Raman was paid $150, 576. FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Singh was paid a total of $47,533. FBC News understands this was on top of the annual salaries they were paid for doing their normal union jobs. 
They also received other perks such as free mobile calls. 
Government found out about the way the unionists were paying themselves directo…

CCF Calls For Amicable Solution To Govt/Unions Stand-Off.

MEDIA RELEASE 20th July, 2011

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum is concerned with the tactics applied through the Trans
Tasman Trade Unions to hijack the Tourism Industry for early Fiji elections.

The threats by the Australian and New Zealand Trade Unions to enforce travel bans and
boycott flights to Fiji, in pursuit of speedy elections are punitive actions that will only derail
the gains made through the processes of dialogue and jeopardize the current stated road map.

CCF however, maintains its stand for speeding up the processes of preparation for election in
September 2014.

This means immediate credible steps must be taken by the Bainimarama Government in
support for its continued public statements that free, fair elections will be held in 2014 after a
constitution is drawn up beginning in 2012.

The CCF believes that a home grown solution is needed and calls on the Prime Minister to
address the nation and tell the people what steps will be implemented to restore democ…

Union Calls for Secretary's Immediate Resignation

CIVIL Servants have called for the immediate resignation of the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA) general secretary, Rajeshwar Singh .

The FPSA members who are civil servants say Mr Singh has no mandate to speak on behalf of them when there was no consultation done on the issue of  seeking  support from fellow unions in Australia and New Zealand.

“We will also be writing to the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to express our support for the Government and to also take action against these anti-Fiji union leaders,” the FPSA members said.

Lies Undermine Country: PM and A-G Respond to Anthony Accusations

Certain People are Undermining the Country: PM
The Prime Minister says there are certain individuals that are currently undermining the country however most Fijians are loyal to Fiji’s new vision.

Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama made these comments while officially launching the “Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign” last night in Suva.

He said some people are currently overseas trying to do things that would affect the Fijian economy but he said majority of the Fijians do not support this move.

Two Readers' Suggestions and Qualified Support for (the Interim) Government

Two readers, who like me, support the PM's goals but with reservations about some of the methods have these comments I thought worth elevating to a posting so more readers would see them. Your comments are also invited, and on the original posts.

FIJI: Nation needs support for peaceful return to democracy

Arvind Kumar in Pacific Media Watch
AUCKLAND (Indian Weekender/Pacific Media Watch): Two former Fiji academics have called for a better understanding of Fiji politics, saying no efforts should be spared in working towards a smooth, orderly and swift transition to democracy in Fiji.
Democracy and restoration of civil rights are important for Fiji but they should be achieved without any unwarranted violence, according to the former University of the South Pacific academics.
Literature academic Dr Som Prakash and ex head of journalism Shailendra Singh said that with the defection of senior military officer Ratu Tevita Mara, and with the rumoured intention of lowering national pension thresholds, the political situation in Fiji could best be described as delicate and disconcerting.

Felix Anthony and Australia’s Transport Workers Union: Defence of a Basic Right for Some — or the Devil Take the Rest?

What has  Felix Anthony, national secretary of the Fiji Trade Unions Council, been telling his Australian counterparts? 

Fiji Vows to Continue Infrastructure Developments

Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama vowed on Friday to continue infrastructure developments to hit back "international political tactics" that limits Fiji's ability to source funding for the projects.

Daily News July 17 -on

NOTICE. THE EXPERIMENT THAT DIDN'T WORK I had wanted to keep the NEWS at the top of the page but the only way to do this was my updating the same post every time I had more news. This resulted in a very long posting, that sometimes resulted in me exceedng the maximum characters allowed on a page, with the result that some older but recent postings could not be read, and it resulted in so many comments that it was hard to know which item they were commenting on.  So,  from Monday items up to July 22 will be archived, and the NEWS (no longer called Daily News) will be dated by the days they are posted.

WEEKEND READINGS. • Allen Lockington column • Fiji Needs Democracy But Not with Democrats Like These by Thakur Ranjit Singh • Surfing Decree   7 The Politics of Sabotage by Graham Davis NEW ZEALAND READERS. Listen to Radio New Zealand on Sunday.  See details below.

Friday 21.7.11 AUST NZ UNIONS BACK OFF. letter from Air Pacific seems to have caused the unions to think again about actio…