News and Comments Monday 29 October 2012

JAMES ANTHONY.  If you are old enough you could well remember James Anthony, Felix's brother, now an  academic in Hawai'i. You will remember him for his part in the strike and Suva riot of 1959 and his jaundiced 2008 report on the media for the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

I first met him at a conference to launch the Pacific Studies Centre at Auckland University some 26 years ago. His address to the meeting was pure venom directed at Europeans. Together with Maori extremists who had gatecrashed the meeting he divided participants into "us" and "them."  The activists had a right to speak (if they had paid their fee) but not to to insult participants and  tell  Pacific Islanders to  go back  to the Islands.  Both sets of racist extremists hijacked what could have been a meeting of unity in which all the races present demonstrated their goodwill towards Pacific Islanders and the new Centre.

Later that day, the Maori extremists told all non-indigenous people to leave a conference session. They had no right to do so. They had not organized the conference and they were not Ngati Whatua, the tangata whenua of the Auckland area. I refused to leave and was physically threatened by Zac Wallace, and the late Epeli Hau'ofa made an honorary indigenee out of Vijay Naidu and told him not to leave. Thirty years on James Anthony still has some venom left. What a sad and bitter man he seems to be.  In an email to Prof Yash Ghai, he wrote:

"Attempts at Fiji Constitution making under your leadership have failed.  You owe it to yourself, your colleagues on the Commission and the country to resign--immediately. I am greatly saddened (not to mention embarrassed) by your obvious clumsiness. I do not think that Ratu Joni can refloat your sinking boat. Nice try though. You do have rather a large ego so it is likely that you will stay on, come up with some kind of souped up Constitution, present it to the current Military government and then head back to your nest. The smarter set in the Military will take one look at your work product and laugh.  For the country's sake and that of future generations the Military brass will relegate your work product to the shredder and give the armed forces the perfect excuse to continue to provide the country with stability and stay in power." And so it went on to end with the  signature James M. Anthony, Ph.D.

Comment. It is most unusual for an academic to express himself in this way.The language and rhetoric are polemic, and of a type more suitable for use by  politicians.

RATU JONI: THE PREDICAMENT. People have reacted strongly to Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi's apparent endorsement of a Christian state, a view no doubt helped by the Fiji Times which featured the Bau submission with a large photo of Ratu Joni, thus making it appear he personally supported Fiji being made a Christian State. He tells me he wished the Fiji Times had published my Friday blog article which more accurately conveyed his position.

Some such as James Anthony see  Ratu Joni's subsequent appointment as an advisor to the Constitution Commission to be a Government plot to win the support of the conservatists. Others, on the Government side, have questioned his appointment because of his previous status as Vice-President and his supposed support for a Christian state.

Chairman Professor Yash Ghai  said  it is false to conclude that Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi is in favour of a Christian state just because he was part of the delegation from Bau that made the submission. He said the views were those of the villagers, not necessarily Ratu Joni, and he  reminded critics  that  Ratu Joni has been employed as an advisor, not a decision maker.

Professor Ghai was clearly delighted with Ratu Joni's appointment. There is no lawyer among Fijian members of the Commission and Ratu Joni has knowledge and experience of law in many capacities, particularly as a lawyer, a judge and as Vice President. His knowledge and sensitivity to iTaukei is well known, as is his commitment to a multicultural Fiji.

Two people I have spoken to agree that Ratu Joni does not support a Christian State but think he was unwise to be present during the Bau submission. One of them thought he should have persuaded his fellow Bauans to drop that part of the submission.  There is little doubt he could have done this by forcing his views on the others.  But this is not Ratu Joni's way.

Rumours circulated over the weekend that later proved to be false. Government had forced Prof Ghai to sack Ratu Joni.  I found this difficult to believe because Prof Ghai assured me on Friday that Government is not interfering with the work of the Commission, and this is good news. But Government must also not interfere with the advisers and secretariat staff who support the Commission's work.

I hope wise heads will be advising Government to retain  faith in the process and in the goodwill and good sense of Prof Ghai and his team. Government's mana among thinking people will increase in direct proportion to their inclusion in the constitution process.

On some occasions Government has shown itself to be overly sensitive to criticism.  But there is criticism and criticism.  There's  repetitive negative criticism that is intended to detail the Commission — and Government along with it. And there's  responsible criticism and comment that will enrich the work of the Commission and the Assembly to follow.

Many people already share the PM's vision of a united Fiji, and the more people who are included and engaged in discussions during the Constitution process, the more people  will take ownership of the process and influence others to support it also. What started with the People's Charter could end with a People's Constitution.

DISINFORMATION #9. On April 18th the FijiToday blog published an article under the heading "Police Commissioner is Next?" The article predicted the Police Commissioner's appointment would not be renewed because he is, and I quote, "a non performer according to the advice given to Prime Minister." The grounds for this accusation included:

• Corruption (pot plants at police HQ, illegal towing of vehicles at night from Suva City Scam, etc.)
• Liaison with AFP with help of NIB (national intelligence bureau) on the coup documents against the Prime Minister. IP Waqa last month delivered documents to AFP while on the trip to Australia.
• Increase in Crime by 40% from October 2010 to date

Further, the article claimed three senior officers (Henry Brown, Pariniappa Goundar, Unaisi Vuniwaqa) were soon to be sent on "indefinite leave" prior to dismissal, and a further four senior officers(Rusiate Tudravu, Ravi Narayan, Luke Navela Wainu, Luke Rawalai) "will be also sacked shortly...After all these terminations will be made the last one on the list is: the police commissioner. It is suggested that the police commissioner will be given a diplomatic posting in Asia region which was advertised this month."

It is now late October and all of the FijiToday predictions has been shown to be wrong. FijiToday is the most balanced of the anti-blogs but have we seen a correction or apology? No way. This example is typical of the way the overseas anti-Government blogs spread false rumours, allow them to fester, and almost never admit they were wrong.

Comments

Eating each others vomit said…
Croz
Great to see junta supporters eating each others vomit. They are like a bunch of feral dogs aren't they? Oh, and when you deceitfully say 'government' do you mean 'junta'? Or do you prefer the 'people's junta'? How's the vomit taste old boy??
Shazzer & Grubby Part 1

Darling Grubby,

You have been very quiet this past week. I have not heard from you. Are you still sulking because I made you work last weekend writing the RFMF submission to the Constitution committee? I thought at the very least you would have rung me up to congratulate me on my winning an award at the PSC jamboree last week. I got the award for the most imaginative Aiyarse Licking.

You have also been quiet on Grubsheet and have not added anything new for over a week. I did not get Qorvis to take you on just so you can retire early. Well I did, but not this early. Come on get with the program and start earning your pay as deputy propagandist in chief.

What a couple of weeks we have been through. It seems as if everything is falling down around our ears. I don’t understand it myself. I have been putting out all these press releases about how much money the Bainimarama dictatorship is spending on new infrastructure developments but it seems as if none of that money has really been spent properly.

Suva is nearly cut off from the rest of the country with 2 bridges closed. The traffic has been a nightmare and getting to work has been really slow. But I don’t mind because I am sitting pretty in my brand new 4 wheel drive.

It would not be so bad if it was just 2 bridges. But it turns out 30 bridges are in urgent need of repair. This new roads chap, Rudge has really been throwing his weight around. If he carries on like this he might end up as the foundations of one of his new bridges.

He said the road works carried out by Naim is very poor and their contract needs to be renegotiated. He obviously did not realize this contract was negotiated by Aunty Nur and they have complied with the most important part of the contract and paid lots of money to her company Aliz Pacific.

China Railway Company number 5 is not paying their staff FNPF. But we all know they have made regular payments into Frank’s New Presidents Fund.

The FSC is paying the interest on its $80m loan using another loan. The FEA has introduced rolling power cuts for Suva. You know when it has got to that stage it means there is no money in the bank. Still we can’t complain we are getting paid.

I know where all the money is going. I was having a chat with Razim Buksh, director, Fiji Finance Intelligence Unit and he told me a rather alarming story. He discovered a bank account in BSP. $20,000 is being paid in every week by Aliz Pacific, Aunty Nur’s company. That’s over $1,000,000 a year. He did a bit more investigating and discovered that no tax was being paid on this money. 10 minutes after his conversation with FRCA he got a phone call from a Colonel we all know and love. He was told to stop all investigations on that account and given another 9 accounts that were never to be investigated. He was too scared to give me the name on the account but said the first name rhymed with bank. I can’t think of anyone but if you have any ideas let me know.

The AG is really slacking at the moment. He had 2 weeks off sick and then as soon as his doctor gave him the all clear he took a holiday to Europe. Air Pacific had organized a business class return flight to Brussels for $10,000. But that was not good enough for our jet setting minister of tourism. He got his secretary to make a few changes to his itinerary and before you could say First Class the price was up to $43,000. I think part of it was for excess baggage, he did not realize how expensive it is to transport gold bullion by air all the way to Switzerland. Still we managed to get a good story out of it about him chairing a meeting.
Shazzer & Grubby Part 2

The boys in green had a good idea to save money. They decided that if all prisoners only had one leg they would not be able to escape. So they have just tested it out and amputated the leg of one of the BSP bank robbers. In theory it is a great idea but as ever they don’t think things through properly. They are now going to have to add an extra 2 feet to every prison wall in Fiji because as we saw in the Olympics one legged Fijians are the best jumpers.

There will be a big bust up next week. There is a plan to ship all Fiji government data to India. The idea is that they will use advanced profiling and data mining techniques to dig up dirt on our opposition. The general directive came from Khaiyum and the dictator's office addressed to all government departments. It instructed them to release all Fiji data and information about citizens and residents to Pacific Technologies and Yalamanchili Software Exports Limited from India. The director of Pacific Technologies, located in Grantham road, Nisar Ahmed Ali, has close ties to Khaiyum. Needless to say the contract was not tendered.

All was going smoothly until Eliki Salusalu Manager Government IT Services and Joketani Cokanasiga the Minister for Defence decided this was a national security risk and stopped all shipping of data. The AG is in a rage and is going to try and get them removed from their positions next week. He probably wants to be Minister of Defense himself but I think the colonels will have something to say about that.

Our new best friends North Korea have been in the news this week. Apparently a minister displeased their dictator by having a drink when the nation was in mourning. The directive went out “Leave no trace of him behind, down to the last hair”. So he was dispatched not by a firing squad but by a mortar. I would not want to be one of Cokanasiga’s hairs next week.

Grubby please give me a call I miss you. More importantly I need your help writing a grammatically correct press release.

Hugs and Kisses

Shazzer

This is to inform the public that this letter is a piece of fiction. However, some of the people and events mentioned are real.

Please note my winning a public service award was not rigged, I really am a very good Aiyarse Licker.

The Army has ordered extra mortar bombs; they will arrive just in time for the elections
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie, it’s a great shame that the scurrilous remarks by James Anthony have been given the oxygen of publicity. However on the whole, it’s not a bad thing for you to have displayed the self indulgent man for what he is – a poorly tempered person, probably dismayed that his own idea of his importance isn’t matched by those with whom he seeks to curry favour and lacking the ability to express himself gracefully and with respect.

I had the displeasure of reading his vacuous media report a few years ago – a report which was replete with the same sort of inanity that he has displayed in his latest letter to Professor Ghai. Your comments about him here are further proof that he has rendered himself insignificant in the scheme of Fiji and the negotiations that are taking place here. This country needs people who are prepared to work together, no matter what their political persuasion or skin colour. It doesn’t need offensively divisive loudmouths.
Anonymous said…
Croz, please delete this ridiculous posting about Sharon Smith Johns and Graham Davis. What has it got to do with the topics here? I don't find it funny at all. It is just cheap rubbish from some low level, low life smartass.
Anonymous said…
@ 1.40
Croz,
Respect the fact you do post this stuff.

All leaders are fair game, past, present and future.

You take the job, take the money, then sure as hell take some flak.
Lesley said…
This guy James M Anthony with a Ph.D is an academic? Sure doesn't sound like an academic. How rude and disrespectful he is. His email to Prof Yash Ghai doesn't deserve "brain space". The likes of him think they know what is best for Fiji - yet they don't even live in Fiji! What does James M Anthony have a Ph.D in? Makes you wonder how the Anthony brothers were brought up. Something must have affected them badly to be so angry with life's circumstances for so long. Both brothers seem so very angry and bitter. Sad really. Life is too short for such stuff. Terrible what James M Anthony with a Ph.D did 25 years ago.
Anonymous said…
FijiToday Blog is full of unjustified stories - although some fact could be true but again manipulated to become half-truths.

Readers must be very careful when reading it as it's purely Coconut Wireless of the lowest order.

Their main objective is only to thrive on hatred and evilness of people.
Sad little creatures said…
Congratulations to Fiji today on continuing to give real news on Fiji and Fijians (and sometimes indo-Fijians). With Coup 4.5 you are really ripping into the treasonous pigs. But was has happened to the junta groupies and other festoring sores? Asleep at the wheel or given up? Looks like mongoose wireless of the lowest order is crippled? Such is life for those who thrive on cowardice, racism, hatred and junta evilness. No wonder there is so much poverty and corruption in the homeland?

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