News and Comments Friday June 1, 2014

Pathetic Coup4.5 attacks Prof Yash Ghai
WEEKEND READING.  • Allen Lockington Column 
• What to Do About Poverty and Destitution -Croz Walsh
• What We Need to Grow the Economy - Biman Prasad
• On Leadership Qualities and Ratu Sukuna - Masi

DISCREDIT THE MAN AND DISCREDIT THE PROCESS: ANOTHER COUP 4.5 ATTEMPT. They always assume people whose opinions or actions with which they disagree are motivated by personal advancement or monetary gain, and never, of course, reflect on whether these could be their own motivations. 

Their latest victim is Professsor Yash Ghai, the chairman of the Constitution Commission.  A little while back they gave him the benefit of doubt but now, less sure of how he may act, they have started their usual character assassination, and it will not stop for while.   Who, they ask, is picking up his tab? "We can only surmise the Union (sic!)  Development Programme (UNDP) constitutional consultant hopes to obtain funding from his own international governance body."



His own governance body, inferring something underhand? This is absolute nonsense. UNDP is not Prof Ghai or anyone else's governing body. He is an independent consultant who may, as with all consultants, be hired for one-off independent consultancies. He does not work for UNDP.

But he is also, they say (and I quote) "a qualified lawyer who presumably cherishes the rule of law and respects legal decisions of the nation’s courts... Why is he so determined to add another notch to his already impressive CV at the expense of legality in Fiji? It's obvious (they claim)  that in his pursuit to obtain a hefty consultancy fee from the UNDP, Ghai is willing to ignore the Fiji Court of Appeal ruling and embark on the illegal mission of drafting a new Constitution. Isn't it time he told us what he is charging to help legitimise a process that is clearly illegal?"

Nonsense again.  Prof Ghai is fully aware of the Fiji situation. What he is hoping to do is find a way out that is acceptable to the majority of Fijians. Could Coup4.5's fear of the Constitution process be because they could be the minority and Fiji may not be returned to the way it was under Qarase in 2006?

FORMER PM QARASE REPLIES to my criticism.

 ANOTHER "DEMOCRACY" FAN. "Croz, You continue to amaze us Fijians at how shallow and naive is your appreciation of what the real situation is in Fiji! Liu Muri is spot on to say it says all about you in that you write in support of a dictatorship in Fiji with no thought as to the impact of their rule on the Fijians. The human rights abuse and thuggery plus the corruption and rule without transparency

I for one will be keen to meet up with you in Fiji if you dare set foot here on return of democracy because you are no friend of democracy but of totalitarianism and mob rule like Bainimarama has been. You are a bitter and discredited palagi who just doesn't want to accept wrong when it stares you in the face. Leave Fiji to us Fijians and try to retire in peace in Levin or wherever you are in NZ. on Fiji's "New" Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Take your Pick."

The irony and double standard seems to escape him. Thuggery is wrong unless he's the thug?

GOVERNMENT DISAPPOINTED BY QANTAS ACTIONS.
Government cut Qantas board members in Air Pacific from four to three and Qantas withdrew all four, accusing Government of trying to take over the national airline. Government categorically denied that it has any intention of taking control of the airline, and said the recent Civil Aviation Decree was designed to ensure that Fiji complies with the Chicago Convention and Bilateral

Agreements that require national airlines that fly to other countries to be “owned and effectively controlled” by the citizens of that country.

Interestingly, this very point was made by Qantas earlier in the year when they themselves argued to the Australian International Air Services Commission that Virgin Australia was not under the “effective control” of Australian citizens and hence ineligible to transfer capacity on the Indonesian route as Virgin had requested.

Fiji’s laws regarding the ownership and control of its national carrier are now the same or similar to those that exist in many other countries,including the EU countries, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ and the USA.

Government reiterates it has no interest or intention to nationalise any company in Fiji, and that Qantas  will enjoy the same rights as a normal minority shareholder.-- Based on MOI release.

VOTER REGISTRATION AND CONSTITUTION CONSULTATIONS. Listen to the A-G.

PROVINCIAL COUNCILS AND TIKINA (DISTRICT) REPRESENTATIVES.The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs confirmed that the only people who can appoint or remove tikina representatives are the villagers who elected them, not Provincial Councils.

BOLLYWOOD FILMING IN SUVA
.  This is the  first time a high level Bollywood film has been filmed in Fiji.

FNU DECLARED SMOKE-FREE ZONE. Fiji National University students and staff  found smoking in any Fiji National University premises now face a spot fine of $200.

NADI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
. A multi-million dollar upgrade is planned.

Comments

enemy of the people said…
croz
You are an enemy of the Fijian people. Come back to Fiji when it is free again and without your military thug protection and you will be dealt with accordingly. the treatment of gaddafi and his feral family was a wonderful example of how didctators and their families should be treated. Like gaddafi you only have a big mouth with guns behind you!
Balance! said…
How interesting you did not think it worthwhile to post Qarase’s response on your own blogsite. Yet you find the space to post Grubby’s utterings in full.

I do not think you are living by your blogs aims.

“This blog is unusual in aiming to present a balanced and helpful presentation of events in Fiji as they relate to the post-2006 military coup or takeover, and ideas on how Fiji may move forward to the election of a truly representative government serving all the people of Fiji.”

Qarase’s response is all about moving Fiji forward to an election.
Laid Bare said…
I think it is fair to ask who is paying Yash Ghai. His involvement in the Kenyan constitution was totally transparent and one could see how he was selected and how much he was paid for his services and by who.

His involvement in fiji is murky. I am sure it is all above board but all we know for sure is he was Khaiyum's tutor in Hong Kong. We do not how he was selected. We do not know how much he is being paid. We do not know who is paying him.

Khaiyum always likes to keep his cards close to his chest. The problem with that is it allows a lot of room for speculation.

In the intersts of the new constituion it is absolutely imperative that everything is conducted with total transparency and that includes more details on Yash Ghai's involvement.
Anonymous said…
clearly the irony is lost on you as a regime supporter willing to go to emabarrasing lengths to interpret and explain away actions of this regime wher there is no personal cost to you whatsoever nor sacrifice.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Balance ... You must have overlooked the link I provided to Qarase's rebuttal. It's in the very same posting as that on which you comment. Readers who wish to read it only need to click on the link. Neither can I follow your argument. His plan is to return to how it was with one small amendment to the SDL constitution. How is this taking Fiji forward? Seems to be paddling backwards to me.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Laid Bare ... The Constitution process, and Prof Ghai, will probably be paid by Government and UNDP. There's no secret about this. It's really irrelevant how much he's paid, and, with respect, it is none of your business. That's a matter between Prof Ghai and those who contract his services. You may find this strange but it is the way all consultancies work.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Anonymous ... You must be a newcomer to this blog, or a very one-sided reader. Name another blog that provides the balance of this one. As for personal costs and no sacrifice. You're joking! The blog is not self-producing.
Anonymous said…
Dear Professor Walsh

I dont see why you could not run Mr Qarase's statement in full and let your commentators decide - yes, you have provided a link, which takes us to Fiji 2006 website. I thought you always complain that the above website and others are anti-regime, especially C4/5, which you labelled as "pathetic".
Laid Bare said…
@Croz
You do not know who is paying Yash Ghai and hence you use the word probably.
It is important to know who is paying someone and what their terms of reference are. You are often beholden to the person who pays you. If this information is not in the public domain then people like me will use it cast doubts on the whole constitution consultations. However, if everything is out in the open and there is nothing hidden then the murkiness disappears and confidence is restored.

Your beloved Fijian Minister of Elections understands this only too well. That is why he turned down the offer by ANZ to fund voter registration. They were worried the paymasters would have influence over the process. My concern is the same; if Khaiyum is the paymaster what influence will he have over Yash Ghai?
Balance! said…
@Croz
Of Course I saw your link. It is a lot less prominent than the way you give full page coverage to Graham Davis. If you look at the guidelines for political balance in NZ for example it is not just running the stories but also the balance in where they are positioned in the media that is also important.

Qarase is moving forward and the country will move forward quicker under his leadership than it has under Bainimarama.
Bainimarama’s current major issues – As opposed to his issues when he held the couop - seem to be the removal of communal voting and the removal of racism from politics.

Qarase seems to have accepted both of those willingly. He has accepted 1 man 1 vote. He is also looking at ways to work with the largest Indian party in the country. That looks to me that he has embraced multiracialism.

Whether you like it or not SDL and FLP both still have a lot of support on the ground and if they work together they will be unstoppable.

Bainimarama’s support can only go 1 way and that is down. In the Lowy poll he had a 60% + approval rating. But that was after 3 years of media censorship. There had not been 1 word of criticism about him, his government or his polices. If Media Censorship has truly gone then we will see a lot of criticism in the media for his failing policies on the economy and the sugar industry in particular.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Anonymous and Balance ... I trust you have also complained that Coup4.5 did not publish or provide a link to Graham Davis's article. Get real. The balance is across all media (including the blogs), not just within my blog. And of course, to offset the lopsised coverage of the other blogs my blog has more neutral and pro-Bainimarama postings. But even then many contain criticism of his government's actions. If you can't see this, I'm sorry.
Balance! said…
@ Croz
You make the following claim: ‘This blog is unusual in aiming to present a balanced and helpful presentation of events in Fiji’

To live up to this claim this blog needs to be balanced.

On the other hand Coup 4.5 makes no such claim to be balanced and so is not required to be.

It appears to me that despite your claims to be balanced you are very pro Bainimarama. I suggest you change either the stated aims of your blog or you balance the content. You cannot have both without appearing to be a hypocrite.
Anonymous said…
So if the identity of the paymasters is important, please do tell us who is funding the NGO's in Fiji? And what are the conditions precedent to the supply of the funds? Does an NGO have to have a stated anti government position to qualify for donor funds from the rich countries? And while we are at it, who paid for the court cases of qarase, angie heffernan and draunidalo?

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