Showing posts from September 18, 2011


Ed. Note.  This is a wide-ranging report on Fiji's foreign and domestic affairs, and a useful summary of events over the past 12 or so months and future intentions.  I have underlined key passages to assist  skimming and reflection. -- Croz

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.
        Decent People
School has started.  Our roads are busy once again, and taxis, vans and buses once again make a little more money. Even the illegal van driver will make a little money to take hone to his children.  More cars will be on the road and the fuel retailers will also make a little more. Potholes will be a force to reckon with and will widen into trenches if we don’t repair them to international standards. People who sold savories outside schools will dust their little tables and set up shop outside school gates and make some money. The shoe, book and uniform shops will make a little money and life goes on. It’s the circle of life.

Now, it’s exam term.  Let’s support our children…

The Tongans are Coming – Are They Really?


That the rulers of Tonga have had an interest in some form of dominion over Fiji will come as no surprise to students of Fiji – Tongan relations. Derrick , in his History of Fiji , notes relations existing between the two island dates as far back as the 13th century. Importantly in the 16th or 17th century the Tui Lakeba, a Lauan high chief, married the daughter of the thirteenth Tui Tonga thereby establishing a lineage known as the Fale Fisi (House of Fiji). (Derrick p120).

PM's UN Address on Racism and Racial Discrimination

Address at the high Level Meeting of the General Assembly to Commemorate the 10th Anniverssary of the Durban Delcaration and Programme of Action.  United Nations, New York, Thursday 22 September 2011

That address will be webcasted live through the United Nations websiteat

Mr. President,

On this occasion of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, my delegation wishes to take this opportunity treaffirm its unwavering commitment towards the achievement of the objectives
of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the Durban Declaration.

Auckland Readers : Urgent Notice

Large Crowd expected for BULA FESTIVAL this weekend.

Celebrate Fijian culture in Auckland by visiting this free festival which will include Fijian Entertainment, Delicious Food, Fijian Art and Craft and more. Everybody who has travelled to Fiji in any capacity would know what "BULA" means – it is the traditional and warm Fijian greeting.
This weekend’s Bula Festival 2011 will celebrate the Fijian cultures in Auckland and is an important part of the planned activities at the Auckland Fiji Village for the World Cup Rugby.
Ellerslie is the adopted town of the Fijian rugby team and BULA FESTIVAL 2011 will be the highlight of the planned celebrations.
The venue is ONE TREE HILL COLLEGE, 451 Great South Road,Penrose and takes place this weekend on Saturday 24th of September (Time: 10am - 8pm).
Organisers expect a large crowd to attend with free entry, free parking, over 40 food and craft stalls, Fijian entertainment, an arts and handicraft display and numerous amusement …

Weekend Reading

PM's Address to 66th Session of the UN General AssemblyAllen Lockington ColumnThe Tongans are Coming - Are they Really? The PM's Address to the UN on Racism

Qantas urged to take a stand over controversial Fiji employment decree

Source: Radio NZInternational
Fiji’s Trades Union Congress leader says the Australian airline Qantas has moral and social obligations to Fiji workers at Air Pacific.

Documents leaked to a blog site reveal the head of Air Pacific commissioned a New York legal firm to draft the Essential Industries Decree at the cost of 24,000 US dollars.
The decree to limit union influence in labour relations was adopted by the interim government two weeks ago but is seen as violating international conventions.
Felix Anthony says as Qantas has a 46 percent share in Air Pacific it needs to answer to its apparent collusion with the Fiji regime.
“Qantas we believe has not only a moral but a social responsibility to workers in Fiji by virtue of being a major sharholder in Air Pacific. And I believe they need to also answer to the people of Fiji why they are condoning such actions and behaviour.”Mr Anthony says the government has failed the people of Fiji by condoning this behaviour and he’s call…

News and Comments 22 September 2011

STOP PRESS. AUCKLAND READERS. Meeting Friday. Don Brash on NZ-Fiji Relations.  See  last item in this posting. 22 September

How Valid was the 2006 Election? 

It little matters now whether the 2006 election was flawed, manipulated or completely above board but it is important that Fiji learn from what happened, and what might have happened.

An EU report found that while there were a number of shortcomings and irregularities, the election was conducted well. This view was supported by other observers, but a Commission in 2007 brought together by Fiji Human Rights Commission found this not to be so.  But the FHRC had come out in support of the Bainimarama Coup so its motives, if not its findings, could be considered to be in doubt.

The Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there remain causes for concern, notwithstanding the EU findings.

“It (the EU report) also highlights clearly and categorically that the law in fact in certain areas was not adhered to by the office of the Superviso…

Deep Concerns About New Employment Decree


I have now read the decree and compared it with the 2007 Employment Relations Promulgation, that it supercedes for the 11 "essential" industries.

My preliminary opinion is that the ENIED is
Unnecessary if, indeed, its purpose is to protect essential industriesIts major concerns are already addressed by the 2007 promulgationIt  effectively removes most of the protection offered to workers by the earlier legislation and it is very definitely seeks to undermine the influence of trade unions.
The Decree defines essential industries (Part 1,2 (a)) as those "vital to ... the success of the Fiji national economy or gross national product (GDP) or those in which the Fiji Government has a majority or essential interest."

The 11 chosen are a surprise. All are "tertiary" industries. For the time being the Decree does not directly affect primary or secondary industries, such as sugar, mining, fishing or forestr…

News and Comments 19 September 2011

Monday 19 September

PEOPLE'S CHARTER STARTING POINT FOR CONSTITUTION REVIEW, says a spokesman for the PM's office. A Committee, presumably similar to the national committee that produced the draft of the People's Charter, will produce a draft.  This will be followed by wide consultations that will finally produce a "people's" Constitution.

Zinck 'Flees' Fiji
Kenneth Zinck's flight to the land of Oz last week was quite a surprise.  Hailed by anti-Fiji government people as another high level defection, a view supported by what Zinck told ABC, the move has Fiji's Ministry of Information perplexed. They say Zinck was not even on their radar,  though he could have been for while when he was director of the infamous Fiji Rugby Union lottery.

Zinck stood unsuccessfully for Labour (FLP) in the 1999 election but won an Open (General Voter) Suva seat for the NLUP (a splinter Labour party led by Tupeni Baba) in the post Speight-coup election of 2001. He sub…