News and Comments Thursday 21 March 2013

PEOPLE'S CONSTITUTIONAL FORUM 2013. The Citizen's Constitutional Forum and Fiji Women's Rights Movement are co-convening this forum that started yesterday. Readers will be able to follow the final day's discussion this  Friday, 22 March from 9am to 5pm  by this live streaming link. The Forum will  provide an opportunity for discussion, debate and negotiations on the constitutional content, including for greater public participation. It aims to:

1. Sensitisation to the processes of the Constituent Assembly to encourage greater people’s participation for a sustainable constitutional democracy.
2. Enabling greater people’s participation in the democratisation process and promotion of active citizenship.
3. Development of discussion and understanding of constitutional content on fundamental areas including the national and local government, bill of rights, public accountability, land rights/access, electoral systems and nation-building.

Some 50 representatives have been invited to attend the sessions which are divided thematically. On the final day, the papers will be presented and debated in the one big group. Decisions by voting will also be made to reach group consensus. The result will be used as a lobbying document for members of the Constituent Assembly.

. The recent launch of "Voices of the People: Perceptions and Preconditions for Democratic Development in Fiji" that reports on 2011-2012 research by the Pacific Theological College’s (PTC) Institute for Research and Social Analysis   makes interesting reading. Here the Fiji Sun reports all the positives while in the item below the ABC sought comment on what it say as a negative.  The research conducted in 2011-2012 41 used focus group discussions involving 330 participants, and conducting 82 in-depth interviews, on the issues decision-making, leadership, citizenship, the rule of law, and democracy in order to understand what the people of Fiji think of, and what their vision is, for good governance — in the form of democracy, or otherwise.

According to its findings, rural i-Taukei men supported Bainimarama and said he was brilliant and was able to break the barrier between the people and the government. For rural Indo-Fijian men, many said Bainimarama was appropriate for the position in the current situation that the country is facing and his attempts to move around the country and meet the people was labeled as a positive move. The research showed that many believe that Bainimarama listens to the people’s problems and acts upon them. It stated that the current government even though it is not elected, it is doing a good job for the people as there have been many developments going on around the country. The research contained differing views from people of various backgrounds, including past and present politicians from different political parties and former military commanders. -- Based on a report by Mereani Gonedua

. Landforce Commander LtCol Mosese Tikoitoga, Land Forces Commander  was interviewed by ABC's Bruce Hill on research by the Pacific Theological College's Institute of Research and Social Analysis that showed many people want a smaller military subservient to the elected civilian government.The study also showed Fijians want the military to continue playing a part in international peacekeeping operations, and maintain its role in national development through disaster relief and building infrastructure.  It is interesting that ABC and Fiji Today extracted this topic from the research and ignored all others, while the Fiji Sun (see above) did the opposite.


in pictures.

VIOLENCE IN FIJI: REMEMBERING MUANIWENI. With so much attention on the recent beating of escaped iTaukei prisoners Ranjit Singh remembers Muaniweni when an Indo-Fjian community was terrorised by iTaukei thugs and no one in Amnesty International, the Australian Senate and the NZ parliament said a word. 

NZ COMPANIES INJECT MILLIONS. NZ companies injected $342million (US$191 million) into the Fijian economy from 2005 to 2010, adding mileage to its third spot ranking as one of Fiji's top five investors behind China and Australia.

OFFICIALS SACKED FOR ABUSE OF OFFICE. Eight officials of Water Authority of Fiji have been suspended over allegations of abuse of office.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK. "I doubt the Coup 4.5 blog could survive the law in other countries. Yet some diplomats from those countries say they use the blog to gather intelligence!" -- A Reader's Comment.


Fiji: Zimbabwe of the Pacific said…
Congratulations Coup 4.5. Like Michael Field and and his excellent investigative journalism you are ripping the heart out of the cowardly junta as it stumbles to nowhere in an environment of increasing corruption and further decline of the rule of law. Well done for exposing Fiji under the junta as it further slides to grief like the Zimbabwe of the Pacific.
Winx Club Games said…
now daymn aye, that is just crazy :\
Anonymous said…
Ranjit Singh, you should hang your head in shame - having worked for Amnesty, and now talking of just vengeance. Many of my own family members who were direct victims of George Speight's mens' violence in Tailevu and other rural areas have condemned the beatings of the escaped prisoners. The day police and other security personnel take the law into their own hands, that is the end of Fiji. I think it is time you spoke out against Frank Bainimarama, appeared on TV and called him a dictator etc and then take a flight to Fiji, and see what he will do to you - hang your head in shame for supporting the recent violence - and stop calling Indo-Fijians "My PEOPL" - you thug of a man - Pandit my arse! Fiji Pandit - where does it say in the scriptures that a pandit in Fiji should be the cheerleader of State violence?
Bill Carson said…

Would you rather escaped prisoners get escorted to Government House, have tea and bread with the President and then sent back to jail, as happened in 1987 ??

Get real.

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