Showing posts from July 22, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Look to Ovalau
Business, it has been said, is starting to go up again. Having said that, could a reporter go to Levuka and see how the Pacific Fishing Company is doing and print it in the papers, please? Perhaps Fiji TV would like to do a Close Up programme.

I lived  in Levuka on Ovalau from 1985 to 1989 and Levuka was a  busy little town. PAFCO was thriving and foreign fishing vessels were coming to Levuka in the hundreds. Business was thriving. I have been reliably told by a good friend that he notices a difference, perhaps we need to take a look and see what changes have taken place. We have the look North policy. Can we have a  Look to Ovalau policy?

Can someone tell us  how PAFCO is faring? It will tell us how Levuka and Ovalau and the Lomaiviti Group are faring.
Foreign Actors
I’ve been reliably told that foreign actors in Fiji bring more than the eye can see (No pun intended). For one, their presence in Fiji shows that it is safe to travel here, unlike what our neighbours' g…

Ratu Joni's Constitution-Making Address

"While I mourn the manner of the passing of the 1997 Constitution, by force of arms on 5 December 2006 and then by purported abrogation on 10 April 2009, I recognise a new opportunity to build afresh.  And this time, there is a very real prospect of laying a foundation that lasts."

Constitution-Making in Practice* by Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi

The making of a Constitution consists of process and content. The matter of content has been exhaustively dealt with by lawyers and constitutional experts alike. However, the issue of process and the focus and detail in which it ought to be pursued has been left unattended until now. Michele Brandt, Jill Cotrell, Yash Ghai and Anthony Regan have remedied that lack in Constitution-making Reform Options for the Process. This handbook published under the auspices of Interpeace is destined to become a seminal work, so practical, relevant and apposite are the issues considered and the options discussed. Now that it is in print, it seems unimagin…

Navosavakadua's Political Reconstructive Surgery

GOOD  STORY, POOR HISTORY. Blogger Navosavakadua writes opinion pieces in FijiToday. They are invariably persuasive and logical —if readers concede his initial premises and prejudices.

 In this week's posting on the immunity question he asks why Bainimarama wants immunity for people associated with the 1987 and 2000 coups. Why not limit immunity to the 2006 events?  The "reason", he tells us, is that Bainimarama knew about Speight's planned 2000 Coup but "did nothing to stop it. Instead, he "deliberately left the country, returning to try to take advantage of the chaos." Without immunity taking in the 2000 events other plotters might "reveal his secret role"  in the Speight coup. Further "evidence" of his involvement at that time is that the "troops involved in the siege of Parliament continued to be paid [and] no action was taken until he had deposed the President, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, while positioning himself to t…

Squatter Upgrading: The Lagilagi Project

 I enclose an article on the Lagilagi Housing Project.  We  recently signed a contract with FORTECH for the first stage of the project (what we can currently afford).  They hope to commence mid July.  The basic civil works have already been completed by Multi-works at government expense.-- Fr Kevin Barr.

The People's Community Network Housing Project  at Lagilagi (Jittu, Suva)
Fr Kevin J. Barr
The People’s Community Network is a registered Non-Government Organisation representing a group of 162 squatter settlements throughout Fiji. It works on the understanding that squatters are part of the city and should not be evicted and sent to the outskirts of the city. Rather they should be assisted to gain secure land tenure where they are living (or on available land closeby) and erect decent housing for their families. To do this they need to build up their savings and participate in decisions for their development.
Lagilagi Housing Project
The People’s Community Network has initiated a …

News and Comments Friday 27 July 2012

WEEKEND READING. • Allen Lockington column • Ratu Joni's Constitution-Making Address • Squatter Upgrading, the Lagilagi Project • Political Reconstructive Surgery
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE DIALOGUE PROCESS THIS WEEK?  The week opened with a dispute between the Attorney-General, who said an immunity provision must be included in the new constitution, and Commission Chairman Prof Yash Ghai, who said  a forced provision would not last. 

It ended more cheerfully with the launch of the 68-day national consultation tour heralded in with dances, poetry, artwork and ideas presented by primary and secondary school students, and the start of receiving oral and written submissions from the public.

Yesterday the five-member Constitution Commission team of Prof Ghai, Penelope Moore, Christina Murray, Professor Satendra Nandan and Taufa Vakatale, were sworn in by acting President and chief justice Anthony Gates. Seealso related story.

The Chief Justice reminded the commissioners of their difficult ro…

Step by Step: From Commission to Assembly and Tribunal, and Elections

The constitution and political dialogue starts this week with the the work of current Constitution Commission and their recommendations to a Constitution Assembly early next year,  and concludes with the recommendations of  a Tribunal to the President.  

Attorney General  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum spells out the steps:

The composition of the Constituent Assembly, to be appointed in January, will be reflective of the diversity of the people of Fiji. It will  look into the draft  forwarded to it by the President after it is presented to him by the Constitutional Commission. The process will be guided by the Fiji Constituent Process (Constitution Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012 that include the " non-negotiable principles set out by the Prime Minister during his historic announcement in March."

These principles and values are universally recognized and aspired to. Therefore, these principles and values are non-negotiable. They are:
• A common and equal citizenry;
• A…

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum: How to be One Hundred Percent Right and Wrong at the Same Time

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is one hundred percent right in condemning those parts of the Tutaka report that questioned the general independence of the  judiciary and one hundred percent wrong in taking the Citizens' Constitution Forum to court for publishing the article, written by one of their young overseas volunteers, that reviewed the dubious report of UK lawyer Nigel Dodds Fiji: The Rule of Law Lost – An Analysis of the Law Society Charity Report 2012, Dodds briefly visited Fiji last year and consulted only lawyers opposed to Government.

The Attorney-General is right 
The Attorney-General is right because while everyone can criticise specific judgements of a court, no one can question the general independence and integrity of the judiciary without being liable to charges of contempt. This is not a peculiar Fiji practice introduced by the Bainimarama government; it is common practice in all countries where the legal system  is based on Britis…