Showing posts from July 24, 2011

Ratu Tevita Mara's Auckland Speech, the FDFM Roadmap and My Comments on Both (with a Commentary)

Speech given at the Rally for Democracy in Fiji, Auckland, Saturday 23 July 2011.

I would like to thank Ratu Mara for providing me with the opportunity to examine his opinions in this way. My observations are shown in red. I regret, however, that the media were refused admission to the meeting. -- Croz Walsh.   My error.  They were refused access to the  Wellington meeting.

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.

A Layman's Look at Rugby Once again thank you Fiji TV for the live Fiji - All Blacks game.

But here goes. Prior to this game, questions were asked if we were gonna beat the All Blacks or were we gonna loses miserably. Backed with the thought that we lost to Tonga and Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup and then we played an unconvincing game against Nadroga, many fans had very little to “place their bets” on. Even before the game, people were saying that the coach should go and that we lacked what it takes to become a champion side.  Well, who can blame the Fiji fans, we didn’t look like a convincing winner, to say the least. One win, against Samoa, does not spell anything, if we came back from…

Reserve Bank Annual Report for Year Ending 31.12.1010

FRB Governor Barry Whiteside said that while the global economy has recovered from the worst recession in 60 years,downside risks (including high crude oil and food prices, unemployment in advanced countries and possible overheating in emerging economies) still exist.

Domestically, economic growth of 0.6 percent in 2010 was broad-based, while the 2.7 percent growth anticipated for 2011 is expected to be driven largely by the turnaround in the agriculture & forestry,
manufacturing and fishing sectors. “Early indications show that 2011 will be another challenging year as much of Fiji’s performance will depend on developments abroad as well as the success of its own reform programs”.

PM's Poll Path

The PM says absolutely nothing new in this reported statement.  This blog has been repeating the dates he mentions over and over again. For those who may have missed, failed to heed or refused to believe these postings, here it is again: To 2011 infrastructural and institutional reforms; 2011 Constitutional reforms, 2013 electoral reforms (finished before September, one year ahead of the elctions, then the September 2014 elections.  Doubters, make a note in your diary: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
PM's Poll Path Nanise Loanakadavu in the Fiji Sun

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has set the country’s path to a general election in 2014. Commodore Bainimarama, who is also the Minister for Sugar, revealed Fiji’s way forward in his presentation at the 12th Special ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar at Maputo, Mozambique, earlier this week.

Why Bother Helping the Disabled and Powerless

The Bainimarama government has been active, some might say hyper-active, in several areas of social concern. They have, for example, passed legislation and formulated progressive policies on domestic violence, prostitution, several areas affecting poverty (e.g., the minimum wage, family benefits, fewer school expenses), the elderly. affordable housing, squatters, the empowerment of women, and people with disabilities.

If I were to believe, as his opponents claim, that Bainimarama is a dishonest man who is paying himself  and his cronies excessive salaries and pocketing perks at the taxpayer's expense, and if I also believed he has no intention of holding elections in 2014 but intends to rule Fiji indefinitely, I'd be struggling to understand why his government  bothers to pass so much legislation — there seems to be a new promulgation or decree every second week —and why, in particular, he is giving so much attention to the  least powerful in Fiji society, women, the poor and…

News and Editor's Comments Friday 28.7.11

WEEKEND POSTINGS • Allen Lockington column •  Tevita Mara's Auckland Speech
•Reserve Bank 2010 annual report

Friday 28.7.11

HUGE INCREASE IN VKB REGISTRATIONS.The Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB) determines itaukei membership into a yavusa (tribe) or mataqali (clan), verifies access to mataqali-owned lands and is also an avenue to justify title holders within iTaukei communities. This year has seen a huge increase in registrations, 4039 compared with 2049 last year. The increase is thought to be due mainly to Government policy changes that will (a) see lease money paid directly to landowners, and (b) compensation paid to resource owners for land leased, directly or through the Land Bank, in development ventures such as commercial farming and mining. People who are not registered by yavusa and mataqali will miss out on distributions.
MINISTER EMPHASISES FIRST LANGUAGE IMPORTANT. Education Minister Filipe Bole is right in stressing the importance of conducted classes in the first language for ch…

"Plot to Lobby (Solomon) PM Against Bainimarama"

Plot to lobby PM against Bainimarama Solomon Star Thursday, 28 July 2011 13:53
Ratu Tevita Mara. (Photo:
FIJIAN political fugitive Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara is planning to lobby Prime Minister Danny Philip to turn against Fiji interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the Pacific Media Watch reported.

It has been reported the Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement led by Ratu Mara and Fiji's former Land Force Commander Jone Baledrokadroka admitted that in-order for their plan to be successful, they have to gain support from all the MSG leaders.

News and Editor's Comments Thursday 27.7.11

Thursday 27.7.11
LEVY ON FISH EXPORTS HELP LOCAL JOBS. The imposition of the $350 levy per tonne trans-shipped from Fiji imposed by the  2011 Budget will result in more on-shore processing. Currently, some 30% of Fiji's total catch is trans-shipped at the expense of local jobs. ... BUT ELSEWHERE FISHERY WORKERS FACE HARDSHIP. An unknown number of Pacific Fishing Company (PAFCO) workers have been laid off for two months while renovations are made to align standards at the Levuka factory with those set by the US Food and Drugs Administration. No provision has been made to pay the workers for this forced time off work. IT'S GOOD NEWS that other fish processors will help PAFCO to maintain supply, ... AND NICE that US housewives will not be inconvenienced—  as the Fiji Broadcasting release below shows,  ... BUT who is going to maintain the workers and their families? 
Fiji Broadcasting reports: "Local fish processors have vowed to back PAFCO during its partial closure, ensuring tha…

Work Together to Empower Marginalised Women

Government’s commitment to economically empower marginalised women has seen numerous socioeconomic developments around the country, undertaken by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.

In particular, the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni’s perseverance to reach out to ordinary women at grassroots level to hear out their plights right at their door step, has been applauded at both national and international level.

TheCatholic Women's League president Mrs Susana Evening, said efforts of the Minister for Women, through the Fiji Women’s Federation (FWF) to strengthen the ties between Government and Non-Government Organizations, has greatly motivated numerous women groups in Fiji to work together for the betterment of disadvantaged women.

News and Editor's Comments Wednesday 27.7.11

Wednesday 27.7.11 

JUSTICE IS BEING DONE. Government's overseas opponents constantly claim the Fiji judiciary is not independent and the judiciary constantly proves them wrong.
     On Monday the anti-blogs claimed  Radio Fiji had withdrawn an item on David Burness, the 75-year old FNPF pensioner who is challenging proposed cuts to pensions. The MOI assures me they did not censor the item, and yesterday's news gave reason to believe them. The following is based on an —uncensored— report published by Fiji Village.

    Government had asked the court to strike out Burness's application. Justice Pradeep Hettiarachchi refused Government's request, saying the matter was of significant national importance. But he was not convinced pension cuts were a human rights issue, as Burness, who seems likely to lose 64% of his pension, claims.
      The Judge refused Burness's application for an injunction that would have temporarily stopped FNPF action.  At this pointd he could hav…

News and Editor's Comments Tuesday 26.7.11

Tuesday 26.7.11
PENSIONERS THREATENING COURT ACTION against FNPF board members. Dr Shaista Shameem, legal counsel for the protesting pensioners, has also written to the PM in his capacity of Minister of Finance. She has pointed out the proposed cuts run counter to Pillar 8 of the People's Charter.  The protesters have challenged the authority of the appointed Board members and requested an independent enquiry.
MARA LASHES OUT at everyone,  except the Great Council of Chiefs, the Methodist church, and the way things were before 2006. Do not be fooled. 
TIMBER THEFT ALLEGED AND CORRUPTION. The alleged theft by one Ba company of 600 cubic metes of pine trees from another Ba company shows all the signs of possible corruption, with a government official, the Assistant Roko Tui, apparently siding with the alleged thieves, threatening the victim, and interfering with police efforts to obtain information from the I-taukei Lands Trust Board and the Department of Forestry. The Fiji Independen…

Mara's Contradictory Appeals: He Can't Have it Both Ways — or Can He?

Ratu Tevita Mara's appeals to others for action against Fiji seem to be increasingly unreasoned or devious. Take your pick.

Gone are his relatively moderate earlier calls for a regime change by peaceful means.

News and Editor's Comments Monday 25.7.11

NOTICESFrom today, NEWS and Editor's Comments replace the Daily News feature. My intention is to publish News daily Monday to Friday. The Daily News postings from 17-22 July may be read by scrolling down this page. Earlier Daily News  may be read by using the Archives or Search facilities.  • TO RECEIVE POSTINGS AUTOMATICALLY BY EMAIL use the right sidebar facility. See also links to the People's Charter, the Roadmap for Democracy and the Strategic Framework for Change. • SCROLL DOWN TO WEEKEND READING.
Monday 25 July FIJI v. ALL BLACKS. It's commendable but ironic that Fiji, with its struggling economy and high levels of unemployment and poverty —  made that much worse by NZ policies —  played a charity match to raise money for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal on Friday. Fiji lost 14 to 60, with the last two NZ tries questionable. A good result from the skilled and gutsy underdog. If Minister McCully was watching, we know which team he would be supporting,  but I wonder w…