Showing posts from January 6, 2013

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

That Itch

I read with extreme amusement the article about the DHL driver who was fined for scratching his ear. I must say if this is true then it has to be the joke of the year though I bet the Land Transport Authority is not laughing.
I wonder how many drivers have been booked for speaking on their mobile phones? I am on the road almost every day and I see lots of drivers, men and women alike, having a running conversation on the phone with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding the phone. Every so often the person will leave the wheel and gesture or change gear.
How many people have been booked for talking on a mobile phone?
Then again, what about vehicles that have manual transmission?  One hand must leave the wheel to change gears. 
And as for the itch, should a driver stop to scratch? Will we soon see vehicles stopped all over the place with drivers scratching themselves?
Goodness gracious me, you know what, this is wh…

Keep Cool! This is a Time for Clear Thinking

This short article should not be written by an outsider.  It can so easily be seen as patronising, which it is not. But what is said needs to be said, and is especially important at this new crossroad in Fiji's recent history. -- Croz Walsh

The road from December 2006 to the promised elections in 2014 was never going to be an easy one. The potholes and patch-overs have proved to be far worse than those on Fiji roads.  And, as with the roads where cyclones, floods and poor workmanship, have often undone the good work, so also in the political scene.  Promising steps forward have too often been followed by too many steps back.

The annoying thing is that the causes, as with the cyclones and floods,  can be easily identified but no one seems able or willing to do anything about them.  First one or another of those capable of finding solutions, whether it be Government, opposition to Government, an NGO or a foreign government, manages to put their foot in it, which in turn produces ac…


The news conveyed in the President's and the PM's address to the nation tonight was entirely predictable, and probably unavoidable.

The choice was between going to the Constituent Assembly with a draft that would have been opposed by  pro-government representatives making consensus. or even majority decisions, unlikely, or going back to the drawing board. Government legal people will now look at the draft, retaining its indisputable good features and removing those features unacceptable to Government, to come up with a new draft for debate  by the Constituent Assembly at the end of the month.  

The people will still have a say. The Ghai draft and the new draft will be available for discussion but the more divisive recommendations will have been removed.  It is probably not very  helpful to ask who caused this but one must ask who, realistically, would have expected anything different.  Had the Ghai draft been more realistic, and not so obviously intent on sidelining the milit…

PM's Address on Constitution

Commodore J. V. Bainimarama, CF(Mil), OSt.J, MSD, jssc, psc Prime Minister of Fiji and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, the Public Service, People’s Charter and Change and Progress, Information, iTaukei Affairs, Provincial Development, Sugar Industry and Lands and Mineral Resources __________________________________________________________________________________
LIVE ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON FIJI CONSTITUTION ___________________________________________________________________________ State Room 10th January, 2013 Government House
Your Excellency My fellow Fijians
Bula Vinaka and Good Evening to you all.
I firstly wish to thank and acknowledge the leadership and wisdom shown by His Excellency our President. Our vision to create a truly democratic nation under an elected parliamentary system will be etched in history, thanks to His Excellency our President.
As requested by His Excellency, the Government's legal team will amend the Gha…

President's Address on Constitution

HIS EXCELLENCY RATU EPELI NAILATIKAU CF, LVO, OBE (Mil), OStJ, CSM, MSD President of the Republic of Fiji --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------LIVE ADDRESS TO NATION ON FIJI CONSTITUTION -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- State Room 10th January, 2013 Government House
The Honourable Prime Minister, My fellow Fijians
Bula Vinaka and Good Evening to you all.
As you are all aware, the Constitution Commission chaired by Professor Yash Ghai presented the Draft Constitution to me on Friday 21st December 2012. This Draft Constitution is what I shall refer to as the Ghai Draft in my address …

The Constituent Assembly

Part II. Likely Points of Contention By Crosbie Walsh

Even before the Assembly meets concerns have been raised about whether its membership will be truly representative. 

At one time, the FLP seems to want the political parties to be more heavily represented but now both Chaudhry and Beddoes say they will not serve on the Assembly. Perhaps they knew they would not be invited. The PM decides who from the political parties he will accept and, given the two gentlemen's erratic behaviour, it could be best for Fiji if they were not their party's representatives.  Or perhaps they seek to prove the Assembly is not representative — because it does  not include them. Who knows?

 They remind me of when I was very young playing with daisies. We'd sit in a circle and strip the flowers one petal at a time, calling "she loves me, she loves me not." Only when the last petal was pulled would we know whether we were loved or not.
Concern has also been expressed, and rumours aboun…

The Constituent Assembly

Part I. The Facts and Some Opinions By Crosbie Walsh

Despite the constant sniping, mainly by Mahendra Chaudhry, first at the legality and credentials of the Constitution Commission, then at the refusal of government to release the draft constitution for immediate public discussion, and now at the composition and credentials of the yet-to-be appointed Constituent Assembly, some 300 people and organizations have put their names forward hoping to be be chosen as members of the Constituent Assembly that is scheduled to start deliberations next week. 
 The Assembly is probably the final opportunity in the lead up the 2014 elections for Fiji to "get it right."
This second article on the constitution dialogue process comes in two parts. Part I summarises the main provisions of the Constituent Assembly Decree, and Part II, to be published tomorrow, will deal with parts of the Decree and the draft constitution that are likely to be most contentious.
The Decree The Assembly was establis…

'We listened to all'

Nasik Swami  in the Fiji Times, Monday, January 07, 2013

THE work to draft Fiji's new constitution by the dissolved Constitution Commission, its chairman Professor Yash Ghai and members has always been neutral.
These were the comments made by one of the commissioners of the dissolved commission, Penelope Moore following various media reports questioning the commission's neutrality.

Ms Moore said various questions were surfacing following the fact that Prof Ghai talked to political parties.

"I think they (media reports) were questioning Yash Ghai and the fact that he talked with political parties. To be honest, we talked with every possible person we could talk to," she said.
Ms Moore said the reason Prof Ghai communicated with any other people outside was to hear their views.

"The word neutral is interesting. I think they (media reports) are meaning our opinions. Definitely our opinions came from what we learnt from the submissions," Ms Moore said…

News and Comments Monday 7 January 2013

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.The game is to stir up emotions, polarise people and make rational debate and compromise impossible.  Sadly, rational debate and compromise are two foundations of democracy, and actively discouraging them has resulted in an increasingly dysfunctional Government. -- Letter in the NZ Listener. 

NO AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER: MORE WASTEFUL TIT FOR TAT. One can only deplore the short-sightedness of the Australian government's refusal to issue a visa to the head of the Fiji National Provident fund who wished to visit Australia on FNPF business, and the equal short-sightedness of the Fiji government to issue a visa to the incoming Australian High Commissioner in retaliation. Such behaviour gets neither country anywhere and comes as especially bad news at this stage of the constitution dialogue.  Australia's ability to influence outcomes are now reduced to zero as is Fiji's ability to use Australian influence to moderate opposition within Fiji.

Graham Davis has…