News and Opinions Friday 20 January 2012

20.1.12  WEEKEND READINGS. • Allen Lockington Column  • Vital Issues on Constitution Reform  •  Women and Government • Cherish Our Elderly

DAYLIGHT SAVING ENDS IN FIJI THIS SUNDAY JANUARY 22.  Put your clock back one hour before youe go to bed on Saturday.

GETTING OUR KNICKERS IN A TWIST. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burns! The kerfuffle over FijiTv's Premila v. Voqere popularity poll is in that league. No intelligent person should have been interested in who won. The nation is on the brink of the most important period is its recent history.  What happens over the next few months as we dialogue over constitutional — and later over electoral — reforms is likely to determine the sort of country Fiji will be for many years to come. It is vital we get it right. We do not have the luxury to be distracted by "beauty" contests.

In this Weekend Readings readers will find headings and a few brief notes on an issue central to reform such as the Role of the President, the existence of Senate, the role of the Great Council of Chiefs, and the place of the military. As the week progresses, we shall publish other issues. All Fiji citizens need to think hard and long on these issues.  Here is an opportunity to express and test your ideas, and compare them with others.  Please make full use of this opportunity.

SELF CENSORSHIP. FijiToday says the Fiji press is still exercising self censorship.  Of course it is and of course it should. Without restraint there would be no media responsibility, and Fiji readers know how long that has been missing. Think back to the "balanced" reporting of the Fiji Times on the FLP-led Government.  The question is not self censorship as such but how much of what is being censored. A trickle of articles have been published in the past few weeks that would not have been published before the lifting of PER. We should welcome this development and seek, by responsible  reporting, to turn it into a flood. Ongoing negative comments from the anti-bloggers won't help. If they genuinely want a better Fiji, they should start to publish in a more balanced way.  And don't tell me the overseas media is publishing a balanced account of Fiji news. My own experience over the past four years have demonstrated the total lack of balance in the NZ media.  They only want news and opinions that support their view of the world. Even the Australian media is better! I am ashamed.

WHERE IS RATU TEVITA MARA?  Lesley Opie posted this on Facebook:
Seems that the anti Fijian Government blog, Coup 4.5, are now not happy with Roko Ului Mara (Ratu Tevita Mara) or RUM for short.Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - Disillusioned loyalists urge Mara to 'wake up and hear the cry of the people':"Coupfourpointfive today asks the question that is on a number of people's minds: Where is Roko Ului Mara and what is he doing to deliver on his early promises of 'telling all' about Frank Bainimarama to help liberate the people of Fiji? In the interest of the people who supported him, this blog today questions the credibility of Roko Ului Mara, the former 3FIR leader who last year fled to Tonga after being charged for sedition with fellow RFMF officer,  Pita Driti....["Wow!!!]

FROM THE MOUTH OF BABES. Kelera Tallis on Facebook:
"The fourth coup happened in December 2006 when I was fifteen. The army took power. They were very violent times. The soldiers carted everyone that didn’t suit them off. There was torture in the barracks and quite a few deaths. It was terrible. These events affected us young people strongly."

It's great to have young people interested in politics.  Bless you Kelera for being so forthright on your
Facebook comments. At a similar age or a little older I was swept away with the left-wing dogma of post war Europe. I believed what my parents believed. I still hold the same basic values but my interpretation of world events have changed. Not all is as it seems and situations can rarely be painted in blacks and whites.  Fiji needs people like you — the youth vote will probably determine 2014 election outcomes — but (and it's a big but) dig deeper into your history, and don't believe all you are told when you were 15..

IF THE LAST THREE ANONYMOUS WRITERS think I'll publish their comments, they should think again and try publishing in Coup4.5 which is generally more lenient to insulting, vicious, repetitive  and unsubstantiated comments.  This blog welcomes thoughtfully critical and helpful comments.


Anonymous said…
You say: "No intelligent person should have been interested in who won." The self proclaimed AG raised it first. Your comment on him? Well done.
kahukiwa said…
'...They only want news and opinions that support their view of the world...'

I'm confused - are you talking about the NZ and Australian media or regime currently running Fiji?

Anyway, the Dominion Post ran an article today by the AG Khaiyum whatisname. The usual rant about how misunderstood he and Frank are and what naughty boys the overseas media is. So the evil foreign press does make the occasional effort Croz - even if they do choose to publish drivel.
Grown men ? said…
Agree about your comments on the Poll being a beauty parade but who is upset with all this.....the PM and AG it seems. Everyone else would have forgotten about it by now. Despite all their power and control (and cash) they thrive recognition. I'm prepared to give them that recognition if they truly deliver real democracy to Fiji and step aside (not run in elections). Only then will it be clear their goals where pure. In the mean time grow boys, get over it.
One of three not printed said…

I am one of the three. You print a sweeping statement about the corruption of past leadership. All I was doing is highlighting some of the corruption of the current leadership since the coup, it might be old ground but the PM has not answered any of these. He is quick as you are to label everyone in the past as corrupt but does not want to face any scrutiny in his own leadership or that of his team.
Where is MSG? said…
What happened to the MSG under its new enlightened leadership? It appears to have done a na sala cava?
Anonymous said…
The dialogue that is underway is making AG and his group extremely uncomfortable.

They know that Frank might get a pass but the AG is a dead man walking professionaly speaking, and so with many of his supporters.

The AG sees absolutely no profit in dialogue or elections, there is no win in it for him.

This explains the desperate and highly irrational behaviuor exhibited by the AG and his gang.
Change your Mind - Why not? said…
@ Anonymous

You appear to write with extraordinary certainty? You have made no transparent attempt to inform us why and how? Without such disclosure, what you assert has no particular merit. People are always able and must be free to change their minds at any time.

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"

British Economist John Maynard Keynes

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