Showing posts from March 4, 2012

What is a Woman? Address on International Women’s Day

Address at the Westpac International Women’s Day Celebrations By Nazhat Shameem . Suva, Fiji. 8th March 2012What is a woman? I assure you I do not know..... I do not believe that anybody can know until she has expressed herself in all the arts and professions open to human skill.” Virginia Woolf –“Professions for Women”Jodi Tor Daak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Chalo Re-(If no one responds to your call, then walk alone).” Rabindranath Tagore – “Gitabitan” 1905.

CCF Responds to Consultation Announcement: Two Releases Date

 The Constitutional Announcement
The announcement made by PM Voreqe Bainimarama this morning (March 9th, 2012) on the process and timeline for formulating a new constitution for Fiji is a step in the right direction.

The adoption of the fundamental guiding principles which have been taken on board from the handbook “Constitution: Making and Reform; Options for the Processes”, launched by CCF and Interpeace in January this year, provides a way forward for developing a truly participatory process.

The Constitional Reform Process: PM's Address, Media Release, Fact Sheet

BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT.  In the expectation that readers will wish to focus and comment on these constitution releases, Parts II and III of Preparing for Democracy have been deferred until  a later date. Allen Lockington's regular column has also been deferred.

The Prime Minister's Address

Bula Vinaka and Good Morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, today is a remarkable day in the history of Fiji. The process of formulating Fiji’s new constitution is being launched. The way Fijians have come together to rebuild, to share, to care during and after the recent floods demonstrates the capacity that we –irrespective of our individual backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions –can work together.
We can study together. We can live together as Fijians. We are one nation. And I ask every Fijian to keep this in mind and not be distracted by petty politics and politicians as we embark upon the constitutional
formulation process.
Formulating a new constitution that will be relevant to a new and modern Fij…

Preparing for Democracy I

Preparing for Democracy I: Minimal Democracy and the Coup Culture By Croz Walsh
It is too simple to claim there's either democracy or no democracy. There are many degrees of democracy and it comes in many forms, varying according to historical and other circumstances. There is no perfect or one-size-fits-all democracy but there are minimal and fuller democracies.
A minimal democracy is being able to vote every few years. Fuller democracies require a shared national ethic and an informed, aware and involved citizenry. The nationally accepted ethic, or sense of ultimate common purpose and identity, tolerates opposition, respects diversity and accepts responsibility for all members of the society.
This ethic, so hard to achieve, is especially important in a multicultural society such as Fiji where history and geography have resulted in racial, cultural and religion divisions that have detracted from a national unity of purpose, and where sharp inequalities exist between social cl…
MEDIA RELEASE: Government presents “reguregu” FOR FORMER FIRST LADY
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today led a government delegation to pay respects and condolences for Lady Lelea Cakobau, former first lady to Fiji’s first local Governor General, Ratu Sir George Kadavulevu Cakobau.
Known in the i-taukei tradition as the “i-reguregu”,  today’s condolence saw heads of government ministries and agencies pay tribute to the former first lady at the chiefly island of Bau, in the province of Tailevu.
The former first lady who passed away on 3rd March at her home in Bau after a long illness, is from the Radave clan, also from Bau.Lady Lelea was 79 years old at the time of her passing and is survived by a daughter and three sons. The funeral will be at the chiefly burial ground in Bau on Saturday, March 10.

News and Comments Thursday 8 February 2012. International Women's Day

MARCH 8. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty. This Weekend Readings will include an IWD address in Suva by Nazhat Shameem. In FijiLive today she said the Fiji justice system has let women down.

ROBBING PEOPLE OF THEIR INDIVIDUALITY  AND HUMAN WORTH. "When we stereotype people, male or female, and of whatever ethnicity, when we make assumptions about them on the basis of their gender, their sexuality or their race or religion, we rob them of their individuality, and their worth as human beings."-- Nazhat Shameen

AUSTRALIA REVERSES A STEP BACKWARDS. At about the same time as the Australian parliamentary opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop  was calling for a new direction on Fiji and open dialogue with the island nation,the new foreign minister Bob  Carr had already started to  reverse six years of hard-line Labor policy, most of it led by Kevin Rudd,  against the Fiji government. Carr is travelling to NZ to…

News and Comments Wednesday 7 March 2012

BAINIMARAMA RESPONDS TO CHAUDHRY. 'Jealous Chaudhry' asked me to publish this.  Here's the link.

FRAENKEL'S INCREDIBLE RESPONSE to Graham Davis's  interview with Bainimarama, courtesy of (just one guess, yes you've got it) RadioNZ International.

CONGRATULATIONS FIJITODAY. FijiToday has announced it "is looking for suitable candidates to become authors on this site in the run up to the next election. An approved author will be given access to post stories directly onto the site.The authors we are seeking will have views both for and against the current administration as we strive to offer a more balanced opinion in this critical time. They will have a good understanding of the problems facing us in the immediate future and be constructive in any criticism.The identity of the new authors will be kept confidential, if required, but the quality and tone of the stories posted will be required to be of a high st…

The Dodds Report: the Official Response and the Full Document

Official statment on the Dodds Report
 British Lawyer Dishonest on Fiji Justice System

Nigel Dodds, the Chairman of an obscure British NGO, Law Society Charity, has publicly spread false, outrageous and inflammatory allegations against the Fijian judicial system. The intellectually dishonest allegations follow a private visit to Fiji by Mr. Dodds in November of 2011, during which he claims to have interviewed many attorneys, judges and opposition politicians.

Mr. Dodds spent approximately four days in Fiji. Four months later, he is making an undisguised attempt to draw publicity for himself and his group as a supposed expert on Fiji’s judicial system.

Mr. Dodds never contacted the Director of Public Prosecutions or any other government official for his “report”.

“The failure to solicit any opinion from people actively engaged with the Fijian legal system strongly suggests that Mr Dodds and his organisation are either being used by certain disgruntled people in Fiji to promote a polit…

The UK 'Rule of Law Lost' Report and a Retort to the Report

POSTSCRIPT and   EXPLANATION. Several readers (see Comments) seem to think I wrote this article and, not unusually,  have accused me of saying things I have not said. To correct this misunderstaning, my main contribution was in publishing a summary of Dodds report by Eduardo Reyes, and in adding subheadings to the critique written by 'Sudden Shelley'  My only other contribution is shown in blue type.  These readers should read more carefully before they comment.

Late last year UK Law Society Charity chair Nigel Dodds made a covert trip to Fiji that concluded the rule of law was ‘lost.’  The report was written up by the Law Society feature editor Eduardo Reyes who said it would eventually be published on their website.  The main points of the report, as published by Reyes, were:
• Subterfuge was necessary because the Fiji government had refused entry to an International Bar Association delegation in 2009. [It has, however, extended an open invitatation to NZ Law Society Preside…

Bainimarama's First Interview for Eighteen Months.

This is a transcript of the interview by Graham Davis recorded on SkyTV Australia (Saturday) and FijiTV (Sunday) . Here's the link to the Youtube video.
If it doesn't work, type in Frank Bainimarama criticises Australia and New Zealand.
Opening vision sequence
• A new power play in Australia and New Zealand’s Pacific backyard. •Shunned by Canberra and Wellington since Frank Bainimarama’s 2006 coup, Fiji now has new friends… like Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, making the first ever visit to the region by a Russian leader. • The Russians are following in the steps of the Chinese, who’ve become the Fijian leader’s new best friends. • China’s Vice Premier has been in Fiji; Bainimarama has been feted in China. And all this is raising concern in Washington, where containing China is a major geo-political imperative. • It’s prompted the United States to break ranks with its Aussie and Kiwi partners in ANZUS, telling its ambassador in Suva to resume con…