Showing posts from July 1, 2012

News and Comments Saturday 7 July 2012

STOP PRESS.  Graham Davis's take on the Qarase and Chaudhry manoeuvres. Link

WEEKEND READING.  • Allen Lockington Column • Taking Power to the People  • The Constitution-Making Handbook  • Are Girls Smarter than Boys? I was hoping to write on a letter in the Fiji Times by Navosavakadua that linked communal seats to i'Taukei identity, and on the FijiTV/TV Decree issue, but time ran out. I hope to have time next week. CLICK ANYWHERE ON POST TO READ IN FULL.

IF YOU WERE TO REPORT ON FIJI, IS THIS WHAT YOUR FOCUS WOULD BE?  Matt Siegel, a Sydney-based  American  journalist correspondent for the New York Times, recently spent nearly two weeks in Fiji during which time he travelled freely around the country, accompanied by his camera man, and he had lengthy interviews with PM Bainimarama,the A-G Sayed Khaiyum, and former Fiji Times editor Netani Rika.His media releases so far (a NY Times article (link) and an interview by ABC's Bruce Hill (link), focus almost entirely on the relat…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On*


Criminality and  Insanity
The alleged gang rape of a mentally-challenged 12-year old girl brings to mind that we are still not out of the dark ages in Fiji. We live in the 21st Century yet we seem to harbour the Darks Ages in our lives. For some that is.

In this day and age, the convicted have rights. When they are sent to prison  get counseling, three solid meals a day, exercise, a roof over their head, access to facilities, and more. In one of my mate's words – they are pampered.

But what of the victims they  have violated? How many of them have they given  a life sentence? How many of those sexually molested will never  trust a man again for the rest of their lives?  What of the person who is now handicapped because of a violent robbery resulting in the amputation of a limb or the  person so mentally scarred that they can no longer contribute positively to society?

I am part…

Taking Power to the People

What Sort of Development: Making Grandmothers Solar Engineers

 While the Fiji Electricity Authority continues to expand its grid into rural areas  and while government experiments with village wind and solar energy,a Japanese company could soon be approachedto help provide solar energy in a big way. The solution for providing cheap, sustainable electricity may be to invest in the Grid Solar Power Solution specifically aimed at rural areas and outer islands provided by the Japanese company, Inter Action Corporation.  Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola hopes to interest local companies in investing in the product.

While solar energy is the obvious technology, less obvious is the means of installation and maintence: outsider, top-down assistance such as that of Inter Action Corp., or a down-up approach that comes from grassroots ownership, with the installation and maintenance carried out by the villagers themselves?  

The Barefoot University
Fiji currently has six village women in India learnin…

The Constitution-Making Handbook

The Handbook was written by four specialists in constitution-making, one of whom was Prof Yash Ghai who will head the Fiji Consititution Commission. Here is the link to download.   Between them, they have assisted constitution-making in 13 countries—Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, Iraq, Kenya, Maldives, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka,Timor-Leste and Uganda. This is a profile of the authors. Readers should find the handbook as useful reference as work on the Fiji constitution proceeds.
Michele BrandtMichele Brandqt is a constitutional lawyer. She launched and directs Interpeace’s Constitution- making for Peace program, which develops tools and resources to improve constitution-making practice and provides technical assistance to both international organizations and national actors. In this capacity she has also organized several international workshops on key constitution- making issues. Michele has spent over a dozen years directly assisting processes…

Research Shows Girls Are Smarter than Boys But ...

There's an important message for all of us in this posting but, given the special attention now being given in Fiji to issues of gender equality, I thought some readers may wish to follow up on the message. 
Jenica Rhee <> wrote:
Hi Croz,The graphic I was referring to lives here:
Let me know what you think. I’d love to get your thoughts, and feel free to use it as you’d like!
Thanks again,

EMBED THE IMAGE BELOW ON YOUR SITE<a href=""><img src="" alt="Girls in STEM" width="500" border="0" /></a><br />Created by: <a href=""></a>
Click h…

News and Comments Late Wednesday 4 July 2014

NAMOSI MINING?  NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is Fiji's only domestic NGO working solely for the conservation and sustainable management of Fiji's unique natural heritage. This is a  link to their website.  Their views on the proposed Namosi mining development may be seen in this link.   

My efforts to find an expert who would spell out the pros and cons failed, but the NFMV article spells out the environmental concerns. The big question, to this uninformed layman, is how technically well equipped the Fiji Government is to handle negotiations with the Joint Venture, and monitor the mine if it is approved. And if the JV decides not to proceed, will the Chinese step in? 

If the mine goes ahead, what Fiji needs is the most favourable deal for the landowners and Fiji, and the best regulated mine thereafter.  This will not happen if Government does not listen to geologists, botanist,…

CCF Always to the Fore

The Ctizens' Constitutional Forum has been the  watchdog of constitutional and human rights since it was founded in the aftermath of Rabuka's 1987 Coup.  This Wednesday it is launching a booklet on constitution development, co-hosting a youth lecture (click to enlarge  poster) and opening a page on its website dedicated to constitutional issues.

Does Coup4.5 Advocate Violence?

Not openly and directly, but insidiously it would appear, by allowing advocates of violence to comment on its site. It could block comments that contain violence if it chose to do so. The site has comment moderation enabled but all  it asks is that readers keep their comments "decent."

It is also quite clear from the conditions of service that guide bloggers on most blog servers that  it should block such comments. Wordpress conditions, for example, state that an account holder is "fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the blog" and further that contributors must ensure their comment "...does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities ..."

Here are two examples of published comments that clearly put Coup4.5 in breach of the generally accepted blog conditions:  .

Both comments, published on June 28th, refer to an article on Constitution Commission members…

News and Comments Monday 2 July 2012

IS IT THE OLD STYLE POLITICS AGAIN OR ARE THEY JUST STILL ADJUSTING? A founder of the Fiji Labour Party and former Minister, Krishna Datt, may form a  new political party or join an existing party if substantial changes are made ahead of the 2014 elections. The "existing party" is obviously the FLP, and the "changes" he wants include removing FLP party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.  He says the new generation of voters will be looking for educated responses and and less table banging and thigh thumping. 

While this is a time for cooperation not confrontation, his group will not condone unilateral impositions, non-transparent actions that undermine human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association.The group is made up of former politicians, academics and civil servants who are willing to take part in the 2014 elections.

Mahendra Chaudhry  responded on the FLP website in typical style. Datt's remarks smack too much of "political vendetta.&qu…