Showing posts from December 18, 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.

Leased Vehicles
Government has received 132 new motor vehicles under the new lease arrangement and it will cost us $10 million. I believe the leasing a vehicle is better then buying a new one, because it is cheaper. is it?

May I suggest that all government vehicles in whatever department or organisation has them are maintained to the highest standards. There have been times when I see a vehicle with a GN number plate and marvel. I say to myself, that the department must have made a profit to be able to buy a new car. Then a few months later I hear a vehicle rattle pass me bellowing black smoke and I cringe and say, “Oh the poor car.”

If the car could talk it would wheeze back and say, “Blame my…

Interests and Values in NZ's Pacific Foreign Policy

New Zealand International Review January – February 2012
Interests and values in foreign policy: a practitioner’s view 

Gerald McGhie* critiques an aspect of Professor Robert Ayson’s inaugural lecture, focusing on the Pacific.

Diplomacy relies on an informed calculation of consequences, which in turn are guided by a comprehensive and on-going appraisal of national interests and values. The role of values is not to provide abstract and universal principles for New Zealand’s foreign policy decisions. It is rather to illuminate and control conceptions of the national interest. In the Pacific, where New Zealand, unusually, is a major player, the closest attention must be paid to the essential balance between interests and values.

Fiji Human Rights in Perspective

2010 Human Rights Reports: Fiji (US) Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

My thanks to Fiji Today from whose website I have uplifted this report. Readers will note that things are not perfect in Fiji. Some human rights matters have improved, some have worsened and some have not changed.-- Croz 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Ten Pillars of the Charter: Some Observations

By Dr Sanjay Ramesh 
Dr. Sanjay Ramesh is an honorary research fellow at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney. His email is

PM on Land Use and Landowners: Speaking at Tropik Wood Mill Opening

A Very Happy Christmas to all readers. Let us continue to  hope that the moderation, positivism, balance and good intentions shown by contributors to this blog have some influence in the year ahead on those who are shaping Fiji's future.

CHRISTMAS WEEKEND READING • Allen Lockington column • Fiji Human Rights in Perspective • Interests and Values in NZ's Pacific Foreign Policy by Gerald McGhie
• Ten Pillars of the People's Charter: Some Observations by Sanjay Ramesh

News and Comments Thursday 22 December 2011

Try looking at the blog differently.  Click Flipside view at the top of the side column.

Government twittering on. Government recently launched a Twitter page with the handle @FijiRepublic . This page
In addition to Twitter, Government has expanded his social media outreach to YouTube .  The PM (@FijiPM) and Attorney-General (@FijiAG) have also launched their own pages. These developments seem to be a result of the new Government PR consultancy. While welcome, they can never be a substitute for informed interaction with the public which will only be attained when PER is lifted, and we see the print and voice media publish substantial articles on issues of public concern. With the PM and AG, of course, having the right of reply!

The UNDP Direcor in Fiji launched the National Policy Framework for the Elderly yesterday.  Another launch, on Wednesday. will mark the completion of the Badrau SquatterDevelopmnent in Ba. More information will be published if and when it comes to hand.

Democracy and the Fijian Chiefly System

Democracy and the Fijian Chiefly System:  Pragmatism, Compatibility and Contradictions*
By Subhash Appanna** Abstract.
Fiji, once held as a shining example of multi-cultural democracy, is now considered a pariah by most of its traditional “partners” because of what is considered to be “continuing political instability” emanating from coups that have plagued the Pacific island state since 1987 when the gun was first accepted as the instrument of choice to change government within a democratic framework. At the centre of all major political decisions, from 1874 (when Fiji was ceded to Britain) to 2006 (when Commodore Bainimarama took control of government), lay the Fijian chiefly system. This paper critically examines the changing role(s) the Fijian chiefly system has played historically right from the time the chiefs were engaged by beachcombers to establish some sort of a centrally-organized authority in a fragmented Pacific Island (pre-1874), to the signing of the Deed of Cession (1874)…

A-G Responds to Australian Union Allegations

Fiji's stand against threats of 'Hardship"*
'I love Fiji - as does the president of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fijian unions, and business houses, all of whom stand united against individuals and organisations that openly and selfishly seek to disrupt our economy and create 'hardships' for all Fijians.

The Fiji Times, the Chaudhry Government and the Speight Coup: an Analysis

By Thakur Ranjit Singh
On 15th December 2011, I graduated with Masters in Communication Studies (MCS) with Honours from Auckland University of Technology (AUT). My thesis was based on Speight’s coup of 2000 on Chaudhry government.
My choice of thesis was not very difficult, because as a former Publisher of the Daily Post newspaper, I was aware that sections of Fiji media were not fair to Chaudhry’s government. I wanted that to be substantiated by a comprehensive and in-depth content analyses of the Fiji Times (hereafter referred to as FT) during one-year rule of Chaudhry government. 
The analysis showed that FT projected Chaudhry as an “Indian” government which could not be trusted to safeguard the interests of the Fijians. It failed to inform the common people about the safeguards enshrined in the 1997 Constitution which stipulates that no Prime Minister, at his own whim, could implement any changes affecting native land and laws protecting the rights of the indigenous people. FT also …

Government's Agricultural Policies Beginning to Bear Fruit

(Monday 19th December 2011, No:2263/MOI) AMA FINDS OVERSEAS AND LOCAL MARKET FOR LOCAL PRODUCTS In the 2012 National Budget, Government allocated the following to address food security and non-reliance on overseas producers :
·     Export promotion programme $1m
·     Food Security Programme $1m
·     Rural and Outer Island Development Programme (ROI) $1.75m
·     Cocoa Revitalisation $200,000
·     Rice Revitalisation $600,000
·     Cottage Industry $100,000
·     Livestock Rehabilitation $1.5m
·     Dairy Development Programme $2m Government’s import substitution and export finance facility initiative is “bearing fruit” and allowing local farmers to find a local market for produce that once could only be imported from overseas.  Many imported products have seen an increase in fiscal duty either to give local products an edge and allow local producers to develop their businesses. Through the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA), local farmers are venturing into other p…

News and Comments Monday 19 December 2011

19.12.11    Expert says original Fiji pension scheme unsustainable
An expert who has been brought in to assist Fiji with controversial pension scheme reform says change is long overdue. Changes to Fiji National Provident Fund being made by the interim government include refunds on original sums invested, cuts in payouts and top-ups for pensioners on lower rates. Geoff Rashbrooke, a New Zealand actuary, who specialises in superannuation systems says the current scheme is not sustainable.

He says as far back as 1992 the International Labour organisation warned the dividends were set too high. “If they’d acutally made the changes 10 years ago maybe even 8 years ago they wouldn’t have needed to cut the pension, but it’s now gone on for so long that the adjustment had to be made. They’ve finally addressed something that previous boards and previous governments elected or military regimes have not been prepared to look at.”

Geoff Rashbrooke says the way the system had been operating was a t…

A Reader Comments on John Samy's Reflections

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "John Samy Reflects on the Charter Progress and Whe...":

We can hear a sense of sadness and disappointment in John in this interview. One can understand thisafter his sterling efforts to resurrect Fiji into a modern State for all, only to see his Charter being used as facade of decency to hide behind, and behind it to revert to abuse of power, greed,corruption and plunder even surpassing the deeds of of old. When Frank met John first to genuinely ask for advice and assistance to build a "Better Fiji, apparently his first remarks to Frank was, "But you don't have the mandate to Change". His advice was that mandate can only come from the People. While Frank was never going to return to the much abused Parliaments of old to consult, his advice was to call together an Assembly of the People represented through their political leaders, leaders from the communities, members of his Government who would im…

Weekend Reading Spread over Two Days

Subhash Appanna : From Democratic Dictatorship to Democracy in Fiji 
Jioji Kotobalavu : An Argument for Elections, Power Sharing and a Government of National Unity

Fr David Arms : An Accountable Electoral System
                                                     Allen Lockington's usual column
John Samy :  Reflections on the People's Charter and What Could Still Go Wrong (video)