Showing posts from September 25, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Why on Earth Did Government Need the Essential Industries Decree?

This is an important detailed argument about what is wrong about the Employment Decree and how it was approved.  More importantly, the article raises doubts about Government's future actions.
• Link to the 2007 Employment Promulgation • Link to the 2011 Essential Industries Decree
Preamble I sent a draft of this paper to contacts in Fiji, including the Attorney-General, inviting comment. Replies were received from contacts in support of my argument. I received no comment from the A-G, but the Ministry of Information supplied copies of official releases on the Decree which I have used to comment on the Government case.
The following points were made in the releases that I had either not considered or considered insufficiently. My brief responses are shown in parenthesis. Fuller comment is made where necessary in the main body of the paper .]

Wages in Fiji Today

By Fr Kevin Barr
There is an urgent need for the Wages Councils to meet to propose wage increases for the various industries to come into effect on May 1st 2012.
The Wages Regulation Orders which finally came into effect on the 1st May 2011 were calculated early in 2010 to come into effect on 1st July 2010. Hence they were about one year overdue. Moreover the proposed Wage Regulation Orders were reduced (without any consultation) by at least 5%. So not only were the WROs delayed by one year but they were also reduced by 5%.
All this needs to be seen against the background of the devaluation of the Fiji dollar by 20% in April 2009 and the increase in VAT by 2.5% in January 2011.
The devaluation of the Fiji dollar by 20% meant that the purchasing power of the Fiji dollar declined considerably. The Bureau of Statistics calculated that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food increased by 38% and the CPI for building materials by 29%. This had serious repercussions for the 60% of those in…

Meetings Monday Wellington; Tuesday Auckland

Public seminar on Re-thinking and Re-framing Civil-Military Relations in Fiji by Raijeli Drodrolagi Nicole.Monday, 3rd October, 6pm – 7.30pm, Victoria University of Wellington, 6 Kelburn Parade

Raijeli has extensive experience in policy development, lobbying and advocacy. She was Executive Director of ISIS International, a women's human rights info-com organisation based in Manilla, and has worked with NGOs, unions, employer groups and governments at the United Nations.She has Masters degree in International Law and Politics from the
University of Canterbury and currently works for the Department of Internal Affairs in Christchurch.

The seminar will be introduced by Dr Teresia Teaiwa (Pacific Studies) and Dr Megan Mackenzie (Political Science and International Relations) will make the formal response.   Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact: Sylvyetta Hanipale Phone 463-5830 or email


Weekend Reading

• Allen  Lockington Column  • Why on Earth Did Government Need the Essential Industries Decree? by Crosbie Walsh   • Fiji Wages Today by Fr Kevin Barr 

I've never come across this before but it tells me something about the mindset of some readers.  I've received five comments on these items EVEN BEFORE they're published.  All negative.  Minds already made up.   

I'll  publish readers' comments AFTER they're read the articles (not just the headings!) but not before. To publish these comments now would defeat a major purpose of  this blog which is to encourage people to THINK about issues with minds as open as possible BEFORE they publically express their opinions on what has been written.
PUBLIC SEMINAR ON ESSENTIAL NATIONAL INDUSTRIES (EMPLOYMENT) DECREE. TODAY.  Friday, 30th September, 2011   3pm.  Venue . Fiji National University.  LT01 – Valelevu Lecture Theatre, Nasinu Campus. All  welcome. Please invite a friend and come along to this seminar.

Tevita Mara Re-Writes History: It's all Khaiyum's Fault

By Crosbie Walsh
One day, ten or more years hence, someone will attempt to write a accurate history of Fiji during the first two decades of the 21st century, and blogs will be one source of their information. It would be a formidable task in any event but with the vast number of sources available in the electronic age, and with every Tomasi, Rajieli and Hari expressing opinions with no evidence, or citing anonymous information relayed from so many 'usually reliable sources', it will be near impossible to know what weight to give to give to each source.

What will make it even more difficult is that some histories are already being written, and re-written with deliberately distorted material posing as facts.

Such is the case of Ratu Tevita Mara's latest media release (also in RawFijiNews) where he has taken almost all major events since the 2006 Coup and attributed them not to who he calls the 'murderer Bainimarama' but to the 'illegal Attorney-General Aiyaz Kha…

News and Comments Thursday 29 September 2011

A COMMUNITY LAW CENTRE within the Legal Aid office was officially opened by the PM recently. The centre will assist in providing civil legal aid services on referral from Legal Aid and also double up as an important practical learning centre for 23 student advisers from USP's Law School who will provide opinions under the supervision of the Centre manager. A second second centre in planned for Nausori. -- No:1700/MOI.

14 Principles to End the Coup Culture

The Media and Poverty

Should there be a Better Ethnic Balance in the Army?

By Crosbie Walsh
Several readers have expressed their opinions on the overwhelming dominance of itaukei in the armed forces, and some have said that if Bainimarama really wanted to get rid of institutional racism, he’d be actively recruiting Indo-Fijians and the "Other" ethnicities for the army.  For the moment, I have no comment on this question but I’d like to share an earlier experience on the question: “Should there be a better ethnic balance in the army?”

News and Comments Monday 26 September 2011

26.9.11 WEEKEND READING.  Scroll down to check it out.
FRANK, PLEASE LISTEN. In a recent comment, a reader sympathetic to the Fiji Government and critical of the the extremism of the anti-government blogs, went on to say:

"On the  other hand Bainimarama ploughs a furrow that gets deeper and deeper until in time it may well bury him and his colleagues. Why on earth are they so obsessed with draconian PER stuff and act like control freaks of the worst kind.

"There you (this blog) are in the middle trying to persuade them to lighten up and present a rational and fair picture of Fiji to those of us who care. I believe Bainimarama is doing good things for the people but they are overshadowed by less sane policy decisions."

This view is echoed by many readers, all knowledgeable and friends of Fiji, and most overwhelmingly supportive of what Bainimarama is trying to achieve.

READ ACT'S DON BRASH's INTERPRETATION of events in Fiji and why NZ policy on Fiji is wrong. This…