Showing posts from August 12, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Police Visibility I wish to thank the Lautoka police department for their foot patrol officers.
Please be visible at all times because your presence is a huge deterrent to any would be crook. And please keep a look out on fictitious beggars, con men and women, pick pockets and sly business people.
May I suggest that you also walk into super markets as you patrol and have a look around, you may just deter shoplifters by your presence. You represent all of society and if you happen to see expired goods on the shelves take note and report it.
Go and sit with taxi drivers and listen to what they have to say and take note. Taxi drivers are a reservoir of  information, listen to them but filter what you hear.
But thank you for being visible in Lautoka City.  

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…

Changes in Constitution-Making in Fiji

Part 1. Background to the 1970 Constitution and Early Elections   By Subhash Appana
The Ghai Commission recently began its work on re-inventing a constitution for Fiji. This is a process that we’ve gone through three times already: first during the London Constitutional Conferences in 1965 and 1969, then in the aftermath of the 1987 coup and more recently, when the Reeves Commission went on an extended mission to bequeath Fiji with a lasting constitutional framework of governance – all of these ended in failure! Here, I take a brief look at each of these undertakings in attempting to identify what is different this time around.
For those who came in late, the London Constitutional Conferences that bequeathed us with the 1970 constitution were primarily focused on charting a roadmap to independence for Fiji. Despite the worldwide movement for independence that had surged inexorably through the 1960s, Fiji was almost an afterthought on the British agenda. I say “afterthought” because when …


•  Allen Lockington Column  •  Subhash Appana's first article on constitution-making: the 1970 Constitution and Elections   •  Croz Walsh on  Indigenous Rights and the Proposed Constitution

The PM's Address to Chartered Accountants

Sheraton FijiFri. 17th Aug., 2012 DENARAU

The Attorney-General;
The President of the CPA Australia-Fiji;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you.

I am pleased to be with you here this morning at your 15th Annual Congress, the theme of which is ‘Putting Strategy Into Action’.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government, over the past few years, has been doing just that: putting a strategy into action.
It is on this basis that I would like to speak to you today about the recent political, constitutional and electoral reforms underway in Fiji.

I wish to share this with you, not to bore you, but to encourage you all as accountants, business people, and professionals to participate in these important reforms.

I would also like to share this with you, because accountants, business people and pr…

Let's Keep Our Eyes on the End Goal

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh
Shamima Ali  versus  Voqere  Bainimarama
Perhaps the debate should not be personalised for to do so may hide the issues in contention, but for the past week it's been Ali as cheerleader for three women's NGO's and Voqere as cheerleader for Government, with Constitution Commission Chairman Yash Ghai being alternately cited and chided by both sides. With the Olympics just ended, I don't know whether they are being inspired by the kick boxers, badminton, tag cyclists, shot putters or the drug testers behind the scene. Whatever.  It makes sad reading.

Unsurprisingly, both cheerleaders are talking past themselves by using different words that mean much the same thing. What, for example, is the difference between Government's non-negotiable principles that hinge on all Fiji citizens being treated equally and fairly, which Shamima says is an unacceptable precondition, and her insistence of a constitution that protects human rights and is democratic? …

SDL Submission

Listen to this youtube link

and decide for yourself.

The Fiji Situation: a U.S. Perspective

CSIS Pacific Partners Outlook , Washington - 9 Aug 12


By Elke Larsen, Research Assistant, Pacific Partners Initiative, CSIS.

Australia and New Zealand normalized relations with Fiji July 30 by agreeing to exchange high commissioners. Yet despite the Australian and New Zealand governments' claims in the press that the normalization is the result of successful steps toward democracy, in reality it is more an admission of the failure of their previous hard-line policies. Isolation had long proved ineffective in securing their goal of pressing Fiji's military regime to reinstate democracy, and a softer approach to Fiji has become the best route available to influence change.

On December 5, 2006, a coup lead by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama toppled Fiji's democratically elected government only to receive resounding condemnation from the international community. Fiji's bilateral relations with Austral…

Fear and Lack of Knowledge Driving Grassroots iTaukei Submissions

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh
The opponents of the Bainimarama government  (many of whom also oppose the  Constitution review process) say people are  reluctant to speak to the Constitution Commission because they  fear  reprisals from Government, and low numbers lend some credit to this claim. To date, however, most submissions are by individuals. The more influential submissions by organizations are still to come.  If, however, the relatively low turnout is at least in part due to fear of reprisals, it is surprising that Indo-Fijians, with far less to fear  (because most of them support what the Government is doing) have not made submissions in any number.

It is also surprising that most submissions, 95% as of last Friday, have been  made by  iTaukei.  Fear has not  prevented them from making submissions critical of  Government policies.  But the critics are right.   Fear does lurk in the wings of the Commission consultations. Its shadow is the motivating force behind  many of the submis…

News and Comments Monday 13 August 2012

THE NON-NEGOTIABLE PRINCIPLES. Those opposed to the Bainimarama government say there should be no non-negotiable principles in the discussion on the new Constitution.  Bainimarama says the principles have already been accepted by two-thirds of the people in their acceptance of the People's Charter, and they are "universally accepted" principles by most states. Here they are for readers to judge for themselves:

• A common and equal citizenry • A secular State • The removal of systemic corruption • An independent judiciary • Elimination of discrimination • Good and transparent governance • Social justice • One person, one vote, one value  • The elimination of ethnic voting  • Proportional representation • A voting age of 18.

SDL Party president Solomoni Naivalu earlier said that his party was against the elimination of ethnic voting, proportional representation, and a voting age of 18.

PM TELLS SDL TO QUIT. The PM did not mince his words in his reaction to the SDL submissio…