News and Comments Thursday 12 July 2012

Friends: Villager Seremaia Waqainabete (L)Robin Narayan (R)
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES CAUSE CONFLICT. Neighbours fall out everywhere in the world but when two neighbours are of different cultures special care has to be taken to avoid conflict. On Monday the Fiji Times has a story about two young Indo-Fijan girls who had to walk to school along the beach because i'Taukei villagers would not let them take the much shorter and safer route through the village.

A  follow up story on Wednesday explained the source of the problem. The girls' father, Robin Narayan, had reported the theft of crop of watermelons, coconuts and eggplants to the police. Village turaga-ni-koro (headman) Savenaca Delai said in a village community like in Nasilai, everyone was related and when incidents occurred, they should be resolved at the community level. He said he expected, and had asked,  Mr Narayan to inform him of the incidents before going to the police but since he reported the matter to the police, the village decided at a meeting last December to close the track to the family. Mr Narayan had earlier expressed disappointment at the thefts because of his otherwise good relations with the villagers and the many times he had helped them. He said villagers had also trespassed on his land to catch mud crabs but Mr Delai said he had no right to stop them from catching crabs.

The village is waiting for an apology from Mr Narayan before opening the track. Divisional police commander Eastern Senior Superintendent Isei Vueti said the matter had been forwarded to the Commissioner Central's office but should be resolved between the two parties.

What we have here is two different perspectives on the rights of individual and communal property, and on how differences should be settled, formally through the police or informally by the community. -- Based on the Fiji Times story.

ONE AND ONE MAKES TWO.  FijiToday certainly knows its maths. On the basis of the "underwhelming" 18,000 voter registrations in week one they say that "roughly 80,000 people a week" will be need to be registered before the electronic voter registration closes in seven weeks' time.  What they did not say was that during week one there were only 20 registration centres. There are now 120.  

Government has also assured Fijians who are not yet 18, who live overseas, or whose health or age genuinely prevent them traveling to a VRC, that their unique needs and requirements will be addressed, whether during this period of EVR, or afterwards. A limited number of registration centres that will remain open after the eight-week period in August. For those Fijians who live overseas, the Elections Office will ensure that the EVR deployment plan is carried out in a credible and transparent manner.

BRITISH DEMOCRACY THREATENED. The  influences undermining British democracy are not confined to Britain. I see much of New Zealand in this report, and those shaping what one hopes is a new and better Fiji should note that democracy is not just about elections. 

DON'T PANIC but, according to Google,  FijiLive and FijiVillage may be harbouring malicious software that could infect your computer. The sites have been informed so I would expect the problem will soon be fixed. With Fiji Sun unaffected, some anti-blogger is sure to say they're been told by a "usually reliable source" with "inside" information that the attacks  have been mounted by the RFMF, conveniently overlooking the fact that the Fiji Times is also unaffected. If you have adequate anti-virus software installed, you should be okay. I would recommend which is a free progamme.


Mahen "feathering the nest" Chaudhry said…
Requesting you put the following on your home page so we can disuss:

FLP members still in police custody
17:03 Today

FLP members in Police custody
Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Christopher Chand
The 15 members of the Fiji Labour Party arrested by Police last night remain in custody.
They are still being questioned by police.
It is alleged the 15 were having a political meeting without a permit.
Under the current laws – people can be detained for up to 48 hours.
However – if the need arises for further detainment the approval of the Defence Minister will have to be sought.
The maximum time they can be detained is 16 days after the approval is given.
Meanwhile the government says it is unfortunate that certain groups continue to disregard the laws of the country.
Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns says the FLP is drawing attention to itself.
The government is reminding the FLP once again that they must operate within the laws of Fiji.

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