Showing posts from July 29, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Every so often we read about school children who have to walk miles to get to school.
One old timer said, “We walked everywhere. We walked ten miles to school and ten miles back home. We walked to town, walked to the plantation, we walked all over creation. What are these children complaining about?”
A young man asked the old timer, “What did you most like about school?”
“Walking” was the answer.
The old timer went on to become a Fiji rep in rugby, soccer and boxing. He said all the walking made him fit. He is 89 and still has a vice-like handshake. He has slowed down on drinking yaqona but still loves his whiskey. If someone else is buying! 

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. 

An Appeal from Allen

Bula Croz, would …

Graham Davis on the Qarase Judgement

WEEKEND READING. Three articles from Graham Davis.  Allen L. and I are having a weekend's rest.  Thank you, Graham.# 124 A GROSS BREACH OF TRUST By
Graham Davis – August 3, 2012Posted in: All
Laisenia Qarase prison bound (Photo:Fiji Village) The jailing of the former prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, for corruption is a personal tragedy for the man who once held the highest elected office in the land. But it is also a powerful lesson for all Fijians that the days of looking after yourself and your kai vata(associates) at the expense of the wider community are over. The pursuit of personal interest and the interests of relatives, extended family, village and province are so ingrained in the national psyche that Qarase seems to have convinced himself there was nothing wrong in what he did. How else to explain the total absence of “remorse or repentance” cited by Justice Priyantha Fernando when he said he had no alternative but to send Qarase to prison.

Qarase farewells his …

Race Relations in Fiji; Fiji's Role in the Pacific

Two postings by Graham Davis in Grubsheet.


In the first he reflects on Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi's statement about race in in Fiji today,

# FIJI’S “VITAL” PACIFIC ROLE In the other he publishes The Australian article on an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report that urges the Australian government to do much more than restore diplomatic ties with Fiji.  The authors of the think tank's report are Dr Anthony Bergin and Prof Richard Herr, two well known and respected commentators on Pacific affairs.

Qarase Sentenced to 12 Months Jail

This article, republished from Fiji Village, provides a detailed account of the Qarase case and the judgement.

My own view is that while there is no doubt about Qarase's guilt, his  imprisonment, though relatively brief and subject to appeal, will produce fresh charges that the  judiciary is biased and Qarase victimised. Much play will also be made of his age (71), his diabetes, and the ill health of his wife.
Justice Fernando took these and other mitigating factors into account in declaring a one year sentence (it could have been three years) but it is a pity Qarase did not receive a non-custodial sentence.  
However, whatever the sentence, those opposed to the Bainimarama government,  will continue their efforts  to divert attention from  what should be the main issue: the seriousness of  a  crime that  illustrates how some members of the iTaukei elite have used public office to advance their family's pecuniary interests at the expense of other iTaukei.  The judge commented on …

News and Comments Wednesday 1 August 2012

BUT THERE ARE NO ELEPHANTS IN FIJI. The very different interpretations given to this week's  diplomatic rapprochement of the Australian, NZ and Fiji governments will remind discerning readers of the delightful Indian story of the seven blind men describing the elephant. This Wikipedia  summary of the story is well worth reading for itself and for the insight it provides on different philosophical systems.

Our Fiji "elephants" are represented by Coup4.5 that chastises Australia and NZ for "rewarding the Fiji military dictatorship";
Brij Lal  who thinks "too much has been conceded too soon";
the ACTU president Ged Kearney who is "sceptical";

Sticks and Carrots, a blog reader, who, for some reason known only to himself, thought it was an excellent move because it "will further isolate bainimarama and the Fiji military."

Former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer, however,  welcomed the move saying the "endless stand-of…

NZ, Australia to restore Fiji diplomatic ties - World - NZ Herald News

Navosa wants to quit |

Qarase found guilty, judgement tomorrow

Kubuabola to meet Aust/NZ counterparts