Showing posts from October 23, 2011

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. 

Speed Kills
Speed kills, that’s a fact. We have so many accidents despite the many efforts of the authorities to cut down fatalities and accidents. Drivers are just not listening. I suggest that we make it a criminal offence when a speeding driver has an accident. It should no longer be a traffic offence. We have to put our foot down even if we are the first in the world. Remember a person with a criminal offence has difficulty in emigrating.
Furthermore, we have all sorts of vehicles travelling on our roads. For long haul public service vehicles may I suggest that all mini vans and buses clock their time with LTA when they leave Suva for Lautoka and vice versa? These vehicles are suppos…

Letters to Suga on the Legitimacy of Governments : Crosbie Walsh

From:Sugasini Kandiah  Subject: Fiji
Hi Prof. Walsh,

I'm currently a fourth year student at Yale University and I'm writing a paper on current politics in Fiji for my class Democracy and World Politics. I've been following your blog over the last few months and was wondering if I could get your thoughts on the kind of legitimacy that Bainimarama has as PM (especially after abrogating the Constitution and sacking the judiciary) . While his plans for reform seem very strong on paper (given Fiji's history) and he seems to have support from people (from what I've read in the media), especially the Indian community, it does seem strange to me that he hasn't called for a referendum or vote of some sort.  I'm writing mainly about how this coup is different from previous coups and whether Bainimarama's reforms will in fact make Fiji a more stable democracy (if he decides to hand over power in 2014).

Nation-Building and the Languages of Fiji

In September last year the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum  called on Government to respect multicultural and diversity by delaring all of the three languages in most common use "national languages."
This posting includes their appeal and a link that provides some background on Fijian, Fiji Hindi and Urdu, with a selection of commonly used words and phrases from each language.

The appeal is consistent with the principles of Pillar 2 (Nation Building) of the People's Charter.  Click here for a link to Pillar 2.

Weekend Reading

Allen Lockington column Letters to Suga on the Legitimacy of Governments by Crosbie Walsh Nation-Building and the Languages of Fiji

Happy Diwali Everyone


Postscript on the Air Pacific-Employment Decree Saga


Attorney-General and Minister of Tourism Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum released the following statement today:

“The call by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to boycott Fiji’s tourism and garment industry in response to the Essential National Industries Decree (July 2011) is absurd. The Decree does not apply to the garment industry, nor to the entire tourism industry—only to state-owned/state-backed enterprises and financial institutions.

“Yet, the ACTU is seeking to cripple the entire Fijian economy, a move that would severely affect the livelihoods of the very people it claims to be helping. Professional trade unionists, it seems, will stop at nothing to ensure their member dues keep coming in and that their high-salaried jobs are protected.

“What needs to be recognized is that the ACTU’s threat to hold the livelihoods of Fijians hostage is precisely the type of activity…

What Exactly is the Role of the Air Pacfic Board?

On October 1st I published a detailed argument  Why on Earth Did Government Need the Essential Industries Decree? about what is wrong about the Employment Decree and how it was approved.  More importantly, the article raised doubts about Government's style of government and how it may affect its future actions.

The Citizens' Constitutional Forum has now questioned the role of Air Pacific in the promotion of the Decree:

This from Radio NZ International: The CCF  has strongly criticised Air Pacific for its role in helping the interim regime with a decree widely seen as being anti union.

The airline’s management has drawn criticism after admitting to paying a New York law firm to draft Fiji’s Essential National Industries Decree.

The Forum’s CEO, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says it is alarming the level of influence an exclusive group of companies and individuals have in imposing law reform in Fiji.

    “The admission by the Air Pacific CEO of their role in drafting the Essent…