News and Comments Wednesday 17 July 2013

ANOTHER COUP4.5 OGRE STORY. Coup4.5 is at it again mischievously "interpreting" news events to put their own spin on what is supposed to be happening, based on the most slender of evidence, and Michael Field is worse for repeating these dubious stories. As a professional journalist he needs to distinguish carefully between his outbursts on Facebook and his responsibilities to Fairfax NZ. 

This time the heading reads "Fiji regime bullies Fiji TV into appointing media censor 'news manager.' Click  here for full report.  The "evidence",they say,  is based on "monitoring posts and speaking to our sources" and is based on two threads: the dismissal a month ago of a TV sports announcer and the return from Beijing  of  Major Neumi Leweni.  Put these two unconnected events together with rumours that Fiji TV is about to undertake major organizational changes and  Coup4.5 has its story.   It is evident, they claim, that "the regime is firmly on a path to making the station another puppet, just like the Fiji Sun and Fiji Broadcasting Commission."  The anticipated path will see a "purge of Fiji TV personnel" and  their replacement with staff  headed by Major Leweni.

The story is a complete concoction. Fiji TV has just had its licence renewed for six months at the company's request while it undergoes a restructure. And there is no suggestion of Leweni going anywhere near the place. He doesn't know anything about running a newsroom and the whole notion is laughable.

My take on the story is that it is yet another exercise in Coup 4.5 (and Michael Field) mischief  designed to trigger alarm and dissent.  But I could be wrong.  Coup4.5 says: "We have established that Fareed told Patel that if Fiji TV wants its licence to be permanent instead of the current 6 month extension, then Leweni must be appointed news manager."  The validity or otherwise of the story will be evident if Leweni is or is not appointed news manager. Watch this space.

VILLAGE DEMARCATION LOOKS AT FUTURE PLANS.Government will soon demarcate boundaries in i-Taukei villages to deter land disputes and allow for better future planning. Government has committed close to $348,566 to the project to ensure that all villages in Fiji are demarcated and gazetted as full i-Taukei villages by 2016. The Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela said the work was being done in order of provinces with three provinces in the Northern Division already completing this process.

“It has been taken for granted over the years that, this is an i-Taukei boundary and the elders decided that the boundary is from here to there but when the idea of village bi-laws came in it could be easily challenged through the law,” Mr Kaunisela said.

Mr Kaunisela said thorough consultation processes are carried out with all villages in order to explain the reasons behind the land demarcation. “When we go into the villages we sit with them for about an hour and explain the work we are doing and why we are doing it,” Mr Kaunisela said. Mr Kaunisela added the talanoa sessions enable the villagers to think about future developments and amenities such as footpaths, reticulation systems and sewerage before the boundaries are drawn up.

He said in past, houses in villages were built in an ad-hoc manner but through the demarcation process, villagers  are now advised to have a systematic way of building within boundaries. The project has received a further boost with a separate budgetary allocation of $100,000 for the demarcation of un-surveyed land; while $148,586 has been provided for demarcation of village boundaries.

Divisional commissioners play an important role in formalising the demarcation process through witnessing the signing of a declaration forms by village elders on the agreed boundary. “We bring this (form) and present it to the i-Taukei Board where they formally declare, that the village has officially fully become an i-Taukei village and is then gazetted in the official gazette,” Mr Kaunisela added. We prepare what we call the Registrar of i-Taukei villages, something like the Registrar of i-Taukei lands so we do the RTL and the RTV as well.” The Ministry is currently working on demarcating villages in Kadavu. -- MOI.

FLP TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED. The Fiji Labour Party has been temporarily suspended for failing to comply with a key financial requirement of the Political Parties Registration Decree.

ADVERTISING COSTS COMPLAINT. The Commerce Commission is expected to make a decision today on the official complaint of the three political parties regarding the advertising cost of the declaration of their assets and liabilities.

SODELPA SEARCH FOR LEADER. The Social Democratic Liberal Party expects to gather the list of names of nominees for the new party leader from the four divisions by the end of next month. Former PM, Laisenia Qarase will be on the selection committee but he cannot become the leader because under the Political Parties Decree, a person is disqualified from being an office holder of a political party if that person, has in the five years preceding the date when he or she applies to be an office holder, been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than six months. 

BA TOWN SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR Arun Prasad has been sacked following allegations of corrupt practices. Mr Prasad ha denied the charges.

STRIKE COULD CRIPPLE SUGAR INDUSTRY. Radio Australia reports sugar industry expert Dr Padma Lal as saying the proposed strike by Felix Anthony's Sugar and General Workers Union, prompted by the mill workers not having had a wage increase for seven years,  could cripple the industry, timed as it is right in the middle of the crushing season.  Lal says  government could take the approach that  'This is an important industry and we can't actually be hostage to unions also... not be dictated to by people outside... who may not be seen to have the interest of the country at heart."

Anthony is a long-time Government opponent and not the easiest of people to deal with, but it is hoped Government will handle the issue with more wisdom than it has earlier union issues. And seven years is a long time to go with no wage increase. 

NZ NOT TO PRISSY CLEAN. "The (NZ) Law Society has just issued a report that makes this country sound distinctively Albanian in its trajectory.  In the society's assessment, our Parliament has just passed five laws that remove the courts' constitutional role of judicial review, three giving the Cabinet unjustifiable powers, three that give rise to serious human rights  concerns and five laws that the government's own Attorney-General, Christopher Finlayson QC, refused to give a tick to under the Bill of Rights." -- NZ  Listener, July 6-12, 2013,  p. 14.   In an unprecedented move, New Zealander of the Year,  Dame Anne Salmond, had this to say. Click here.


Supporting great journalism said…
Another excellent article by Michael Field. These junta bullies and their cowardly supporters have nowhere to hide with his courageous and spot on investigative journalism. Well done.
Anonymous said…
Holy Moley, do keep taking the tablets old bean. Excellent? Courageous? Pass the sick bag, Asenaca.
Anonymous said…
Oh please dont do this to Chaudhry. I am volunteering to pay his $6 grand for declaring his $3.8M. in the Fijisun. Pls send acct no. via this blog. We want MC to contest this election. Pls send your begging bowl to Rajen in Sydney, I will do the dirty work for you again.
Anonymous said…
We will do you slowly boy Chaudhry, you will go to jail closer to election time, keep adjourning.
Anonymous said…
Croz, thank you for showing us another devious fabrication by M. Field. How can he peddle such nonsense. As you rightly state he is not qualified for a media job and our government would never appoint him beyond his competence. What we have seen since the take over of a corrupt and incompetent regime in 2006 is a consistent filling of key posts on the basis of merit and qualification. Field's story is irresponsible and has one objective only: to smear the credentials of our government in the area of transparency and accountability.
Junta watch said…
There is no debate in this junta blog. It behaves like the junta it slurps over - anyone with a non junta view is just bullied. Total rubbish.
Anonymous said…
piss off then a***h**e
Too little Too late said…
Dame Anne Salmond would appear to have merited her nomination as New Zealander of the Year. Why?

The virus of 'letting democracy slip through their fingers' seems to have spread to the Land of the Long White Cloud. 'Speak Up' as Malala would have us do. 'Stand Up' for principles and values which are consistent with democracy and participation of all equally in governance. "A quiet, obedient and docile population, a culture of passivity and apathy, a meek acceptance of what politicians say and do: these things are not consistent with democracy".

No they are not. They are also a sign of a failure of imagination, creativity and vision. We are surrounded by them...daily. Our education system has been a dismal failure for many. Only the brightest and the best have achieved and they leave as soon as they may for more rewarding environments. So what has befallen PM John Keys? He and others like him failed to act while the going was good. The Women Parliamentarians' Conference in Nadi held at Fiji Mocambo in March 2000 was the time to have done so. Too little, too late! For chaos was coming on right under our noses. Did we scent the air?
Korvis Kaos said…
You certainly have rattled the cages of the junta fools and facists Michael? Even a couple of the bottom feeders have emerged from the polluted swamp?
Moving One Iota - Salman Rushdie on Fiji's bigotry of Domain said…
A propos of nothing above but relevant to most, is this OP-ED dated Thursday June 8 2000 frm the New York Times and discovered today inside a copy of 'Shalimar The Clown' published in 2005 by the author, Salman Rushdie. Rushdie was under fatwa of the Ayotollah Khomeini when he wrote the Op-Ed piece entitled: "FIJI's BIGOTRY OF DOMAIN": 'When will Indians be allowed to put down roots?'

One or two paragraphs will give a clue as to how acutely he addressed the issue of "a gang of usurpers against Fiji's Indian community in general and the deposed Indian-led government, whose ministers it now holds hostage, in particular. By one of the bitter ironies of the age of migration, the insistence of the gang's leader, the failed businessman George Speight, on the basic cultural importance of land is very easy for people of Indian origin to grasp. However, he gives the land what might be called racial characteristics, plainly assuming that it is, in its very nature, ethnically Fijian - and so tips over into bigotry and folly."

The piece ends thus:
"The choice facing Fiji's remarkably inept political class may therefore soon become a stark one: abandon the fundamentally racist notion that your land is ethnically tied to one racial group, or lose the best of that land to those who find your bigotry, and your weakness, impossible to bear".

This is June 2000 - have we travelled far since then, ideologically or philosophically? It seems, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"?
We have scarcely moved on one iota? For he expatiates further:

"British Indians have fought to be recognised as British; Uganda's Indians were grievously wronged when Idi Amin threw them out as foreigners. Migrant peoples do not remain visitors forever. In the end, their new land owns them as once their old land did and they have a right to own it in their turn".

Ghoose watch said…
Did you stub your toe again or just fall over your own shadow? Wanker!

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