Showing posts from October 14, 2012

Suhbash Appana Asks What Now


Bringing it all together. The final in a series of Eight
Changes in Constitution-Making in Fiji Part VIII – 
What Now?
By Subhash Appana
This series attempted to follow contextual changes that should have played a major role in the making of 3 constitutions in Fiji – 1970, 1990 and 1997. What was done instead is that in each of the cases, change was either disregarded or the context misread. Concerted attempts were made to either freeze a changing socio-cultural tableau (1970) or force it backwards (1990). Contextual realities were thus being denied in a futile attempt to force cohesion in a changing Fijian vote base. The constitution-making processes were thus doomed to fail.
It is important to note that government in Fiji was predicated on the back of a traditional system that was shaped, fossilized and maintained by the colonial administration. The chiefly system thus formed the back of the liberal-democratic system th…

Allen Lockington Column: Frank Hilton

A True Saint What a life of service and dedication Mr. Frank Hilton has given to the people of Fiji. 
We speak and write about unsung heroes. To me, Mr. Hilton is right up there amongst them. 
Thank you Mr. Hilton for your life-long dedication to others. 
I have relatives who have come through Hilton Special School and we thank you so much for all you have done for them and for us.
If I may be permitted to say it, I think you are truly a saint. Such commitment can only come from a heart that is good and a mind that is focused. 

Happy 92nd birthday, Mr. Hilton.  I know Fiji and the world celebrates with you.

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. 
Special day for Hilton Nasik Swami in the Fiji Times
Saturday, October 13, 2012 + Enlarge this …

David Robie's Inaugural Address

To access this video of David delivering his address at the Auckland University of Technology on Wednesday,   click here.

Media blind spots overcome by ‘critical’ journalism, says first Pacific j-professor
22:54 October 16, 20120 comments
Professor David Robie presents his inaugural professorial address at AUT University last night. Image: Alex Perrottet/PMC Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet ofPacific Media Watch Restoring public trust, engaging in critical journalism, and opening the media’s eyes to common blind spots were all on the agendafor the inaugural address of the first professor in journalism studies in NZ and the Pacific. Professor David Robie spoke to a crowded conference room of almost 200 people at AUT University tonight after receiving his professorship last year. Beginning with the current so-called Hackgate media crisis and visiting plenty of other “hot spots” throughout the presentation, Professor Robie charted the course of his life’s journey through New Zealand, Af…

An Original,Thoughtful Submission by Krishna Datt

WEEKEND READINGS. •  Allen Lockington Column: Frank Hilton  • Subhash Appana concludes his series on constitution-making in Fiji by Asking What Now? • David Robie's Inaugural Address.

One of the more interesting and original submissions made to the Constitution Commission was by former prominent FLP member Krishna Datt, Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations in the power-sharing Qarase SDL-led Govenment.

Political parties
In the first part of his submission he argued that  political parties have been "the major cause of division and rift in the Fiji Society" or,  more specificially, the ideals on which the parties were first formed have been eroded and the parties  hijacked to serve the interests of their leaders.

When things go wrong, as they did in 2002 and 2006, the leaders call for "democracy" and change sides.   The situation he describes is based on his experience with the Chaudhry-led Fiji Labour Party but this should not detract from his analysis. Ind…

News and Comments Thursday 18 October 2014

A REMINDER ON DAYLIGHT SAVING. Clocks will be put forward one hour on Sunday.

THE FATHER OF FIJI'S COUPS, Sitiveni Rabuka, focussed on forgiveness in his submission to the Constitution Commission. He wanted the recall of the GCC to discuss forgiveness as a pillar character of Customary Law of the land and centuries old nature of “vakaturaga” of the iTaukei culture, and thought the GCC should be able to forgive Bainimarama and others involved in the 2006, and that a similar opportunity should be provided for the Methodist Church (although both church and state had crossed the line an interfered with each other's functions).

These events should be  followed by a truth and reconciliation commission. Rabuka also stressed the importance of good iTaukei leadership for national coherent growth and iTaukei participation in national development, adding that if traditional leaders prove inadequate, they must be replaced by those who have the confidence of the community and can lead by ex…

News and Comments Wednesday 17 October 2012

URGENT PUBLIC NOTICE. MEETING TONIGHT. A public seminar organized by the Constitution Commission and the Fiji NationalUniversity will be held at the Fiji National University Nasinu Campus tonight 17th October from 6-8pm.  All are welcome.

GHAI ON IMMUNITY QUESTION. Commission chairperson Professor Yash Ghai says some people feel issues related to the provisions of immunity should be debated.

“Most people were realistic. Any regime anywhere in the world will not give away powers unless they have an assurance for immunity.People are concerned that it is not for public debate or consultation. They said there should be a process of truth and reconciliation and that process can also deal with immunity."  In view of widespread requests there is a need to consider the issue "very seriously.”

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED. With submissions from Rotuma and the outer islands still to be counted, some 2,752 have been listened to by the  Constitution Commissioners. They have also received submissio…

Dr Shaista Shameem's Submission to the Constitution Commission

PUBLIC NOTICE. A public seminar organized by the Constitution Commission and the Fiji National University will be held at the Fiji National University Nasinu Campus  tomorrow Wednesday 17th October from 6-8pm.  All are welcome.

Dr Shaista Shameem was director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission from 1999 to 2007, and  director and chairperson from 2007 to 2009. 
Her written submissions to the Constitution Commission on 10th October are in the form of amendments to the text of the 1997 Constitution. The new Constitution is referred to as Constitution 20XX. The full draft text is available on website.  This posting comprises a summary of her main proposals. The highlighted text is mine. Ed.

Constitution 20XX represents the Social Contract between the People of Fiji and the State. The People and the State have rights, duties, responsibilities, obligations and commitments to each other. These are set out in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is considered to be the h…

New and Comments Monday 15 October 2012.

FIJIANS IN AUSTRALIA. Some 300 former Fiji residents living on the Gold Coast celebrated Fiji’s 42nd anniversary of  Independence last week. Acting Head of Mission  Ms Cheryl Brown-Irava repeated the PM's message on building a better Fiji for all.With some 65,000 Fijians resident in Australia,the High Commission will also attend forthcoming Fiji Day celebrations in Perth, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne and South Australia over the next few weekends and use the opportunity to brief Fiji Communities on the progress of Constitutional and Electoral reforms in addition to providing consular assistance.

GHAI ADVISES FIJI CAN'T HAVE BOTH. Declaring Fiji a Christian state  is incompatible with human rights.Fiji can't have both. He said human rights respected the different religions and faiths in the country. "Human rights support the freedom of worship of individuals and the right to go about as they wish, free from religious obligations ... A Christian State would restrict peop…