Showing posts from March 10, 2013

Prof Ghai 'Prejudiced from the start." I think Not

A critique of Savenaca Madanavosa's article in the Fiji Sun  by Crosbie Walsh
Once upon a time, anti-government groups found fault with everything to do with the Constitution
Commission but, more recently,  when the Commission produced a draft Constitution with which they mainly agreed, the roles were suddenly  reversed, and it is Government and its supporters who now find fault, and in the usual style of Fiji criticism, they attack the integrity of the actors far more than the supposed demerits of what the actors have done.

One such attack was recently published in the Fiji Sun. Government Former USP senior assistant registrar and postgraduate student Savenaca Madanavosa, writing in the Fiji Sun, makes a number of surprising statements against intellectuals in general and fact that Prof Vijay Naidu, the CCF and Dialogue Pacific and other groups where intellectuals are well represented made submissions to the Commission, and that this blog published by an academic has been both fo…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

                                     Kind Act

A request to parents:  Do not send your little children to the shops with $50 and or $100 notes. And please don’t send them to buy eggs. They will only drop them and make your head sore and you'll end up giving them a hiding. And as for the big notes, if they drop the change that's a huge amount of money lost.

I have seen many little children bringing huge denominations to the shops and this morning I saw a child who was sent to buy eggs. As soon as he went onto the road, he dropped the bag and the eggs broke. Lucky the shopkeeper was kind enough to call the child back and replace the eggs.

 Thank you to Motu’s store for this kind act. And to the parents: Get off your lazy backsides and go to the shops yourself, or send older children.

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 r…

The Relevance of Venezuela to Fiji

I'm breaking tradition in publishing a major article not on Fiji, but I think at least three elements in this story —Chavez's different style of leadership, his support from other South American countries despite the efforts of the U.S.A.(think MSG and Australian NZ efforts) ,  and the attempts by outsiders to smear the successes of his government— have a bearing on the Fiji situation.  We should also reflect on the role of the so-called independent media that so shapes our opinions on world events by selective reporting (and no reporting) and by lampooning leaders  of governments with whom they do not agree.  --- Croz
Published on The Nation ( On the Legacy of Hugo ChávezGreg Grandin | March 5, 2013 0 A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds up a picture of him during the inauguration of the National Assembly in Caracas January 5, 2013. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

I first met Hugo Chávez in New York City in September 2006, just afte…

Milking the Violence Video

WEEKEND READING  •Allen Lockington Column • The Relevance of Venezuela to Fiji • Ghai Prejudiced from the start. I think Not by Crosbie Walsh.

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THE VIOLENCE VIDEO.  This incident is being "milked" to the limit. Few of those protesting seem to know that the incident is in police hands and that already two security personnel have been dismissed.  The Australian Senate and the NZ Parliament have  condemned the beating,  and meetings in Auckland and Wellington were yesterday addressed by MPs, trade unionists and Amnesty International speakers, whose knowledge of Fiji,  I suspect,  is based largely on hearsay prompted by  anti-Bainimarama government groups in both cities. The speeches were on "the rule of independent law, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom …

News and Comments Thursday 13 March 2013

WHY HAVE AN  ELECTION? The PM is currently touring the Northern Division with stops in Bua, Labasa, rural Cakaudrove and Rabi. Not for the first time people in the villages he visits say they are happy with the services government is providing, so why have an election?

When this phenomena first occurred, observers said, "Ah!Ha! He's preparing the grounds for not holding an election." Others said,  "This is the iTaukei way. Always praise those in power.  It means nothing. They'll vote as the chiefs say when the time comes."  And yet others say that the work of the government in providing services to grassroots people in rural and remote areas, previously rarely visited by MPs and never at all by a Prime Minister, is paying off. People say government is listening to them, responding to their needs, and they genuinely can see no need for elections that may return politicians and a government far less responsive.

Which interpretation is correct, we do not know.…

Seeing Behind and Beyond the Beatings: Goff and Bainimarama

By Crosbie Walsh
I've said I wouldn't comment further on the bashing video until the police concluded their investigation but others, including PM Bainimarama and NZ Labour Party MP Phil Goff, have already beaten the gun.  And both, in my opinion, have  added to the wrong signals already sent about what happened and what is happening in Fiji.

The first signals. as always, came from the anti-Bainimarama blogs. These were promptly followed by journalist Michael Field,  and from him to the world.  Here are two examples from FijiToday:  "Tourism Warning……. Police or Military can now beat and torture you without reason with our Prime Ministers blessing.  Our Prime Minister says the torture was justified. “I will stick by my men, by the police officers or anyone else that might be named in this investigation.”

In fact, tourists have no more reason to fear than they ever have, there are vast differences between a severe beating and torture, no one does either without a reason, …