Showing posts from June 17, 2012

Fiji at the UN: Small Country, Big Voice

The sight of Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, chairing the General Assembly is yet another reminder that although Fiji is a relatively small country, it punches way above its weight. This week, Peter has been Acting President of the General Assembly, conducting the everyday business of the UN from the famous podium that has produced some of  history’s most memorable images – from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat waving his pistol to Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev banging his shoe. Along with hundreds of speeches from everyone from Che Guevara to Nelson Mandela, from the Queen to Frank Bainimarama.
Click here for the remainder of the  Grubsheet article #99 SMALL COUNTRY, BIG VOICE

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

              Go Local

Fiji has beautiful beaches and land marks that are just sitting there in our back yards which tourists pay to visit. And yet we, the locals, don't even know the beauty of Fiji. May I suggest that we go local and travel Fiji to the Yasawas and Mamanucas, to Vanua Levu and the Lau Group, to the Highlands of Fiji where we have little inns and stay at hotels along the Coral Coast and enjoy Fiji.

The New Forum

I was hoping the new forum would assist people to think about the new constitution and prepare submissions for the Constitution Commission. I also thought  the collection of opinions on separate issues could assist the Commission.   It still can but so far not one person has made a comment.  Would you please start the ball rolling this weekend?

Mining Dilemma

Mining, and especially opencast and submarine mining, always raises issues that only specialists can answer. A new mine will create jobs, royalties for landowners, income for shareholders, tax revenue for government, and put more money in the local economy.  But the main benefactors are usually the mining companies that send much of their profits offshore, and the mine may also create costly environmental hazards that far exceed its benefits.

This is the dilemma that Fiji now faces as it seeks economic growth in a depressed global economy. To flourish, it cannot continue to rely on tourism, a recuperating sugar industry, and smaller contributions from remittances, garment manufacturing, timber and Vatukoula gold. The new focus on mining, if successful, will greatly assist Fiji's economic recovery.

Namosi Copper and Gold
The Tui Namosi has called the proposed copper and gold mine in Namosi "a blessing" but environmental groups and some landowners are far from convinced. T…

RFMF: Our Role

Yesterday I queried the PM's statement that the RFMF would continue to monitor events after the 2014 election. While this does not necessarily presume the military will "stand over" or attempt to reshape each and every event, the assumption preempts the recommendations of the Constitution Commission and Assembly on the future role of the military.  And for this reason alone,  the PM should desist from such statements and Col. Tikitoga must learn not to rise to every provocation by Gvoernment opponents.
There is a question in the new blog Fiji Political and Constitutional Forumon
on the constitional role of the military.  Please have a look at it and write your opinion.

This article from the Fiji Sun
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) poses no threat to anyone, one of the top officers said.However, he said it had instilled confidence in all Fijians and investors since taking over leadership in December 2006.
RFMF spokesman and Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tik…

Announcement: Find Your Way Around The New Format

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New and Comments Friday 22 June 2012

A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. -- Wikipedia.

CHAUDHRY KNOCKING DOWN A STRAW MAN (or whipping up a storm in a teacup. Take your choice). According to the FLP website, a meeting last  Saturday of 40 members from Ba, Tavua and Ra (not a large turnout in FLP heartland) were "adamant that we do not need to write up a new constitution." They thought the 1997 Constitution should be "retained and amended or added to where considered necessary by the genuine representatives of the people through a forum which should be created for the purpose. This forum should complement the work of the Constitution Commission."

Lack of Racial Parity in Voter Registration Clerk Appointments

FijiToday is to be congratulated for questioning why only 160 of the 1,059 newly appointed clerks are Indo-Fijian or Other races. With so few ITaukei speaking Hindi, registration will inevitably face the same problems as in the 2001 and 2006 elections when ITaukei officials also dominated registration.

News and Comments Wednesday 20 June 2012

THE WORDING MATTERS. Opponents of the Bainimarama government and the constitutional dialogue process on which Fiji is soon to be engaged, have picked on the PM's statement after launching the electronic voter registration awareness programme: "I don’t have time for critics right now except to say that we started this process and we will see it to the end. You can tell Chaudhry, Beddoes, Qarase, the women’s forum that we started this and we will end it." He was referring to demands that the military step down and the country return to the 1997 Constitution.

CCF Media Release 19.6.12

New Procurement Decree Lacks Good Governance

The Procurement (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (“Regulations”) promulgated on 25th May 2012 raises serious questions about the extent of accountability and transparency in the government’s procurement practices and how tax payers funds are being spent by the State.

Mick Beddoes and the Other Races

Opinion Crosbie Walsh
I really can't believe it. As the country struggles to achieve some degree of common purpose before 2014 and a non-racially based election (a non-negotiable element according the military-backed government), Mick Beddoes is calling for the retention of race-based seats in Parliament because it's "too early" to abandon racial voting.* 

His reasons?

Individual and Institutional Racism
He says, "It will take two or three elections before prejudices and mistrust between different ethnic groups completely die out in the country." Which dream world does he live in? Racial prejudice completely gone, of its own volition, within 15 years? I'd predict two of three GENERATIONS for most OVERT prejudices to die out, and even then some people will still be prejudiced.