News and Comments Monday 11 June 2012

Scroll down to see Weekend Reading. 

Today's News and Comments includes: Queen's Birthday, Blog design issues, SLM Party, Chiefly conflicts and ethics, Save the Pacific petition, Govt's heavy hand on environmental activists,   Laila Harré, Michael Field,  Electorate boundaries, Australia's invasion plans.

QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY. Today Fiji celebrates the Queen's Birthday that is celebrated on different dates in other Commonwealth countries. In an earlier article Graham Davis asked the question: Elizabeth,  Queen of Fiji? PM sends her Fiji's congratulations. Click here. 

NEW BLOG DESIGN. I've made a number of changes that I hope will make for easier reading.The News and Comments feature will now be for shorter items and there will be separate posts for longer articles, using the "read more" facility.  This will give longer postings more individuality and make it easier to target comments. The idea is have more postings on one page, and keep older postings closer to the top.  I may also remove some of the items in the sidebar. Let me know what you think as the week goes by.

SLM PARTY READY TO GIVE IT ANOTHER GO. Joketani Delai has announced the Social Liberal Multicultural Party of the Republic of Fiji  will stand in the 2014 elections. They would have been happy to stay with the old constitution and doubt the new old will last, and they are appealing for donations. Joketani won 49 votes in the Cunningham Open electorate in the 2006 election.

RESOLVING CHIEFLY CONFLICTS.The Ministry of the ITaukei Affairs is working on a traditional leadership mandate (TLM) to help solve the disputes on chiefly titles for ITaukei people. The Ministry says disputes on chiefly titles have affected leadership in villages, tikina (districts) and provinces, and too often chiefs have been  "elitist, parochial, divisive, extremist and self-centered. This has done little to advance the interests of our ordinary people." Guidelines on proper leadership, based on the People's Charter, are spelt out in the article.

The Minister of ITaukei Affairs is also working on a code of ethnics.


GOVERNMENT HEAVY HANDED ON ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS. I think Government has gone way too far on this and wonder if it's more concerned about its Japanese connection than Pacific and global oceanic sustainability. 

LAILA HARRÉ ON FIJI. Former NZ Alliance MP, trade unionist, and ILO worker in Suva Laila Harré, who spent much of her childhood in Fiji, has just been operated on for breast cancer. I thought  this NZ Herald report inspiring. Many in Suva will remember the Harré family and her father, anthropologist Dr John Harre, who worked at USP and later at FIT. Laila also has some words on the effect of sanctions and local views on the Bainimarama government. See article on cancer in Fiji..

MICHAEL FIELD. I see Michael is now following me on Twitter but blocks my access to his Tweets. I note, though, that he lists Coup4.5 as a "similar blog." An apt description!

ELECTORATE BOUNDARIES.The A-G  says  a Constituency Boundaries Commission will finalise electorate boundaries once the Constitutional consultation process and the finalising of the draft constitution are concluded. He seems to favour the recommendation of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji to use the existing division boundaries for proportional representation on multi-member constituencies. This proposal has the advantage of making some electorates less obviously ITaukei or Indo-Fijian but it would also result in fewer electorates, and hence less local influence, and moreinfluence  for the bigger parties, which may or may not be a good thing. 

WHEN AUSTRALIA CONSIDERED INVADING FIJI. Graham Davis  discusses recently released information on Australian invasion plans in 1987 and 2006


Attacking our diggers said…
If you, Davis and the military junta dictatorship you both support want to attack OUR diggers, so be it. We WILL remember them...and you as well my friend.
Lesley said…
1.@Attacking our diggers - Eh? You don't make sense.
2. Good on the Fiji Government for not wanting Radical international groups, such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Fiji. Their protest actions are quite crazy and stupid and dangerous.
3. Michael Field - well he should not block you Croz. Come on Michael - stop being so mean to Croz, let him follow your tweets.
4.Laila Harre - yes her article was inspiring and very brave. Trust she is ok now. Interesting what she said about Fiji. I felt her observation on her time in Fiji was a bit tepid but good to read that she is more positive compared to so many others like her here in NZ. I hope she has a word to her friends in the NZ Trade Union and informs them about her 2 year stint in Fiji.
I read the Comments said…
Please can you have a link to the comments and the number on the front page as you did before.

After I had read the story once it is good to be able to go straight to the comments.

Croz Walsh said…
@ I read the comments ... It's still there though "Post a Commment" may ber a little harder to see. Please try again an let me know how you got on. Cheers, Croz
Charlie Charters said…
Sorry to play the pedant but the Graham Davis article does not discuss 2006 invasion plans but a broad array of hypothetical situations, mainly involving confrontation with China, but also a possible invasion of Fiji and PNG too. These were wargamed by the Australian military not in 2006as you say, but - as Graham makes clear - in 2009.

Why is this significant?

Because on FB David Robie and Thakur Ranjit Singh have drawn the parallel with Graham Davis's revelations and the Black Hawk crash, claiming the crash showed the military's plans were 'ill-fated' when in fact the helicopter had crashed almost three years before the plans came into being.

Facts ... irritating, when they get in the way of a good yarn!
Tinted Windows said…

You may remember you mocked Dr Mark Hayes for talking about Bainimarama driving around in an armed convoy. I bumped into the PM twice a couple of weeks ago and it is true.

First time he came into a shop accompanied by 2 bodyguards; both had rather prominent bulges on their hips. Outside there were 3 large 4 wheel drives with 4 people hanging around beside them. They were in civilian clothes but beige waistcoats with lots of pockets and desert boots were all in evidence. I waited to see what happened and Bainimarama got into 1 with Government plates. The other 2 vehicles which drove off in convoy had private plates. All had very blacked out windows which made it impossible to see in.

I then bumped into the same 3 vehicle convoy in Ratu Sukuna Road.

It seems to me Dr Mark Hayes was right Bainimarama does drive around in a convoy and at least 2 of the bodyguards are armed.

All previous prime ministers only had 2 cars in their detail and typically the second car only had a driver and was there as backup in case the first car had a puncture or broke down.

Perhaps you could find out why Bainimarama needs such strong security. After all if we believe what we are told he is the most popular leader in Fiji’s history.
Anonymous said…
FYI i am sure that anything 'negative' will be denied by the PS of misinformation and we can be sure Croz will be perfectly happy with that. No investigation, nothing to see here eh, a regime denial is good enough for me.
Jai Ho said…

I have a problem with an ex-politician such as yourself making public political statements in the guise of an academic.

May I remind you that your party, National Federation Party, failed to win a single seat in the last couple of elections.

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