News and Comments Tuesday 31 January 2012

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FIJILIVE POLL. Is Government doing enough to support the flood affected victims in parts of the country?  Yes 50% No 50%.

THE COST OF THE FLOODING.  A recent NZ report put it at $20 million. I've no idea where they got this figure from. Reports from Fiji estimate the total known cost so far is about $33m, with the sugar industry reporting $18m in damages. There has been significant damage to sugar's support infrastructure such as the tramlines, bridges, and most importantly, the new season's crop. Damage is reported from all four sugar mills - Lautoka, Rarawai(Ba), Penang (Rakiraki) and Labasa. Ba province also lost an estimated $5m worth of crops followed by Nadroga with $771,000 and Rakiraki with $308,000. Areas flooded for more than eight hours have lost all their food crops.

Damage in most areas has not yet been assessed due to inaccessibility. Damages to roads and bridges were also substantial.  And that's before lost earnings, especially from tourism,  are taken into account, and more heavy rain is forecast. This is a major disaster, for Fiji and for Government's efforts to improve physical infrastructure, exports and food security.

Simione Kaitani is one of the most outspoken members of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement that wants Fiji to "return to democracy." To understand what this means for his intended future for the people of Fiji listen to this 2003 discussion between publisher Thakur Ranjit Singh and the former SDL Minister who was at the forefront of the 'Speight' 2000 Coup that held PM Chaudhry and most ministers of the FLP-led government hostages until they were released thanks to the intervention of Commodore Bainimarama.

Yet on Facebook yesterday, what did Simione say? "I categorically, again, and again and again and ... DENY any personal involvement in coup 2000... the video clip here is an attempt by Riyaz [Sayed-Khaiyum) and TRS [Ranjit Singh] to gather evidence to nail me for prosecution..." Bro, you didn't need them to set you up. You did a perfect job yourself.

AND NOW THEY REMEMBER. One of the most vitriolic anti-blogs Raw Fiji News has suddenly turned on Qarase’s SDL party ex-General Secretary Jale Baba who they say has changed sides and now "warms up to dictator Frank Bainimarama." 

They now say he "embezzled large sums of money while he was in office... he was also well known for his womanising and ended up impregnating a young lady who worked for him as a volunteer in the SDL office... was also involved with Peter Foster, a well-known con-man who was initially used by Frank & Co. to infiltrate the SDL party [from whom he] "received money and other perks from Peter Foster for passing on SDL information."

They have now remembered these sins of one of their own.  Is it because he is now reported to be "lending his support to team Frank by propagating [sic!] alongside Sharon Smith Jones [God help her!] in his spare time"?

. Thirty-one JPs were sworn in by Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, last week. The installation is part of Government's efforts to improve services to people living in rural and maritime areas to help facilitate public contractual matters, such as opening bank accounts or obtaining passports.

RADIO NZ INTERNATIONAL.  Apparently Fiji has complained that RNZI reported the Samoan PM saying there would be no Fiji elections in 2014.  I've no idea why they published his opinion. It's hardly newsworthy, he's said it before,  but then this would not be the first time for either RNZI or Tuilaepa.  My complaint is that they did not also publish the contrary view of the American Samoa representative to the US Congress, Senator Eni Faleomavaega.


1 Samoa 2 Samoa... said…

Tuilepa is a respected regional Prime Minister. That is why his opinion was printed. Why they did not print Faleomavaega’s article I can’t answer. But perhaps he never even sent them the story. His piece ran in one Washington DC newspaper. Doing a Google news search I can’t see it anywhere including the Hill newspaper. By the way how did you come across the article?

FYI It ran in the Fiji Sun today. To paraphrase

“My complaint is that they (the Fiji Sun) did not also publish the contrary view of the Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.”
yea yea said…
A disaster - yes I agree. But what a perfect excuse the PM and his team now have to cover up their own failures. Sugar not lived up to promises...blame the flood. Infastructure not yet happening...blame the floos. Consultations on constitution...they have to wait because of flood.
Charlie Charters said…
Croz, for someone with an academic background I continue to be surprised that you quote these ridiculous polls - as if an internet vote allowing everybody as many votes as they want, voting from within the country and outside, is reason to think that half of the country believe that the Govt is doing enough. After reading your piece I voted ten times within a minute, and was able to swing the poll three points one way, then four points back again. Enough already.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Charlie ... If you've been following the blog regularly you will know I place very little weight on these polls for the reasons you stated. See my earlier posting on the FijiTV Personality of the Year poll. They are unlikely to be representative but they could be indicative. On this particular poll, I was surprised to see 50% (before you voted!) thought Governemnt was not doing a good job. We can only speculate on the reasons: an honest opinion or a means of showing general diaapproval for Government? A sign that text messages are not being traced or a fearless expression of opinion?
sara'ssista said…
It begs the question...if so little weight is given to polls , especially if they are unfavourable, why report and solicit comment on them?
Condescending Charlie Charters said…
Arrogant Charlie Charters thinks we are stupid and only he can discern the reliability of polls.Typical condescending ex-expat attitude. Enough already.
Charlie the democrat said…
Brilliant discovery by Charlie Charters that Fijilive online voting can be swung by individuals voting multiple times.

Who would have thought? The bigger question is why is Charlie's knickers in a twist over some trivia?

Could it be because of his dislike for the Bainimarama government?

Laisenia Qarase's ouster seems to have deeply affected Charlie and galvanised him into action.

One wonders why.

Happy-go-lucky Charlie never displayed such strong political feelings before -- certainly not when Speight and his mob took over Parliament, where they held prayer sessions in the day and orgies at night, and were being supplied free bread to keep their energy levels high as they destroyed the economy.

I do not recall hearing anything from Charlie on behalf of the hostages held at gunpoint and being assaulted.

Not even a peep was heard from Charlie then!

I wonder what has changed?
Anonymous said…
charlie is only making noise now because his mother inlaw mere samisoni is about to get what she deserves,charlie was probably driving the truck that was delivering the free bread in 2000

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