Showing posts from February 12, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.
Settee quality 

Fiji and the French Connection

Graham Davis Keeping the Pacific French (photo: Graham Davis)
The presence of a French military aircraft over western Fiji surveying the damage from the recent widespread flooding has again highlighted the close ties between France and the government of the Fijian dictator, Frank Bainimarama. In stark contrast with Australia and New Zealand – which have shunned Fiji since Bainimarama’s coup in 2006 -  France has continued to engage with the regime and provide it with vital assistance. The Fijian military especially values France’s willingness to give it an aerial reconnaissance and search and rescue capability it simply cannot afford.

Rabuka Needs to Tell the Whole Coup Story

By Arvind Kumar
AUCKLAND (Pacific Scoop / Pacific Media Watch): Almost 25 years after committing treason by carrying out a military coup against a democraticallyelected government, Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka recently apologised to the Fiji public.

Claunch Foresees More Investment Opportunties

Promise of democracy opens up investment opportunities in Fiji Ginanne Brownell | 10/02/2012 1:44 pm | (0 comments) Political tensions have long kept Fiji off the investment map, making it difficult for the country to capitalise on its natural beauty and its bountiful resources. But with martial law lifted at the beginning of 2012 and the promise of free elections in the coming years, can Fiji convince the rest of the world that it is finally a safe place to invest?

Fiji and Investment Fiji PM looks to forge a central role within south Pacific Ginanne Brownell | 10/02/2012  From tourism to mining, Fiji’s prime minister, Commodore Josaia 'Frank' Voreqe Bainimarama, outlines where he sees Fiji’s investment future, and explains how the island's attributes and location could see it become the central business destination within the south Pacific.

Keeping Ambassadors in Touch

MEDIA RELEASE: Consultations to Strengthen Fiji’s Foreign Policy
A consultation forum designed to boost Fiji’s foreign policy will also see a shift in ideas for engaging with the international community.

News and Comments Friday 17 February 2012

WEEKEND READING • Allen Lockington Column • Keeping Ambassadors in Touch • Fiji and the French Connection • Rabuka Needs to Tell the Whole Coup Story •  Claunch Foresees Investment Opportunities • Fiji and Investment
AMENDED DECREE DRAWS CRITICISM. Serelisoni Moceica in the Fiji Times (abbreviated.) The Citizens Constitutional Forum and Fiji Media Watch have come out strongly against the State Proceedings Amendment Decree. FMW executive director Agatha Ferei said the decree challenged the independence of the media and limited the people's freedom of expression of citizens."FMW does not support the amended decree," she said.

"This is because in granting immunity to the press, the decree suppresses the freedom of the media to operate independently."Ms Ferei said the decree also prevented balanced and transparent reporting because people would be disallowed from sharing their views openly. She pleaded with media organisations to stick by the Media Code of E…

News and Comments Thursday 16 February 2012

CHAUDHRY MAY CONTEST 2014 ELECTION. Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said he will contest the planned 2014 general elections if the party wants him to stand again. Chaudhry has retained his seat since the 1987 elections and led th16.2.1 FLP coalition to win the elections in 1999 when he was appointed Fiji’s Prime Minister. Chaudhry has told Pacific Beat that he may contest again but it all depends on the FLP.

[I'm not sure Fiji needs any of the old politicians or, indeed, the old parties, with their personal antagonisms, adversary tactics, and appeals to racial loyalties. One would think that new faces, fresh collaborative ideas, and genuinely multi-racial parties are what is needed.]

  The Fiji Trades Union Congress has  raised concern on the State Proceedings Amendment Decree. National Secretary, Felix Anthony said the decree basically allows the media to print the criticism from the government and gives a whole…

News and Comments Tuesday 14 February 2012

FLOOD UPDATE.• The State of Natural Disaster for the worst hit areas in the Western Division has been extended for a further ten days. • Floods Cost Update. A recovery progress report has indicated that an initial estimate of damages sustained by the floods are $16.8 million. Australian Flood Relief money now stands at F$2.3m.

Why the State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree?

The anti-Government blog FijiToday reported RadioNZInternational saying: “A lawyer in Fiji says the anti-defamation decree was prompted by at least one threat to sue the interim Attorney General for potentially slanderous public comments earlier this year.”

This could be true if the  alleged defamation was written but it is extremely unlikely that a case against the A-G would proceed or be successful without stronger evidence. If we are to accept this explanation, we must ask why the A-G would go to so much trouble when the lawyer slighted did not even launch defamation proceedings against him, and if he did not then, …

News and Comments Monday 13 February 2012

 Check down for the Weekend Readings.  13.2.12
IS THE STATE PROCEDURES (AMENDMENT) DECREE NECESSARY? The Decree seems to give Ministers and the State absolute immunity from civil suit and criminal prosecution for speech and published word. The media is covered by the same immunity for publishing what the State Ministers say. However, incorrect reporting of Ministerial speeches does not cover the media nor does the publication of other people's words and speeches if, for instance, they are defamatory.

I do not know whether this adds to powers under the original State Proceedings Act which this Decree amends, and I have no idea why the Decree is seen to be needed at the present time. It would seem to be in the same order as the Essential Industries Decree: unnecessary, repressive and unlikely to win friends.  Government needs to fully explain the need for its decrees and post them promptly on their website.   The A-G's assurance that the powers will not be abused is not enough. C…

One Fiji: A Letter in The Fiji Times

One Fiji has left a new comment on your post "Weekend Readings":

This letter in today's Fiji Times perhaps deserves to go on the main page:

One Fiji

IT is so heart warming to note some of the good traits we still have as Fijians. I still see young and old men, when buses are full, giving up their seats to the elderly, to the young and to women and children regardless of race or ethnicity - it just happens instinctively.

I still see cars (no matter who is driving) pull over to the side whenever a hearse drives by with a funeral procession in tow - a sign of respect to the passed one - not something often seen in other lands.

I still see different ethnic groups cheer and cry and rally together whenever our rugby national teams take onto the field for yet another competition and feel the unseen patriotical bond we all share as one nation.

I still see everyone come together whenever we face natural disasters to help out our brother or sister in their time of ne…