Showing posts from March 17, 2013

Sincere Suggestions to the PM and Government

Given the published reactions to the Government’s draft Constitution 2013, it would be sensible to hold the promised Constituent Assembly in the terms that were decreed by your Government initially. While it may be correct that not all political parties have been registered, for various reasons as you pointed out in your address to the nation on March 21, the Constituent Assembly does not have to include individuals who represent only political parties; it could instead include their opinion-shapers and policy makers, and others in the body politic in Fiji, for example religious leaders. Everyone should be part of a publicized discussion on what the next Constitution of Fiji should look like, including people whose views we do not like or who have, in the past, expressed objectionable opinions based on race, gender or any other kind of prejudice.
For the Constituent Assembly, the Government’s 2013 Constitution can be the main document on the table for discussion but people should not…

Ministry of Information "Fact Sheet" on Draft Constitution

People should judge the new draft constitution on its merits. People who believe in efficient, transparent and honest government, equality under the law, individual liberty, and guarantees against state power will find much to admire in it.
The draft contains many of the positive elements of the draft developed by the commission chaired by Yash Ghai, but it is more succinct and leaves decisions to the discretion of an elected Parliament.
The new draft was required to ensure that Fiji had a forward-looking constitution that advanced the fundamental principles of parliamentary representation and efficient and transparent government.
The provision allowing change by popular referendum will enable the constitution to stand the test of time.
It also contains provisions to guarantee transparency, promote prosperity, inhibit corruption in Government and protect human, civil, political and socio-economic rights. It will be the centrepiece of a cleaner, fair…

Why the Constituent Assembly Was Scrapped

An Opinion piece by Crosbie Walsh
On Thursday evening the PM announced the scrapping of the Constituent Assembly that was to meet to discuss and adopt the draft constitution. I published the announcement, having laboriously transcribed it from its unpublishable pdf format, within a few hours of its release but was then accused by one reader of not commenting. 
"So Croz, No comment on the latest debacle in the constitution sham? How much longer can people like you deceitfully pretend this illegal junta is taking Fiji forward?" 
Well, anonymous "Another Giant Step Backwards", I rarely comment immediately on any major event. I prefer to wait awhile until the dust settles and visibility improves. I commend this practice to some other blogs that invariably go off half-cock before fully reading and reflecting on news from Fiji with which they disagree. .
I would, however, agree with other readers that the PM's explanation was not very convincing. Keeping promises on…

Crisis of Leadership

By Padre James Bhagwan* 
Padre Bhagwan reports on the findings of the research book "Voices of the People: Perceptions and Preconditions for Democratic Development in Fiji", published by the Pacific Theological College's Institute for Research and Social Analysis, that I briefly mentioned on Thursday with "off the mark" reports in both the Fiji Sun (that extracted findings favourable to Government) and ABC's Bruce Hill (who focused on  one issue deemed unfavourable to Government. I hope by next weekend to have a reliable summary of the report written by one of its authors, Manfred Ernst. Meanwhile, Padre Bhagwan provides much food for thought.

Last week I shared the findings of the research project on what the focus group discussion participants and interviewees thought of decision-making in Fiji. Now we now explore the state of leadership at different levels and in different spheres of society, from the family and the village to the national level, …

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Third Party Insurance

A report says that a women has been granted more compensation will receive $1000,000. She was hit by a bus in 2006 and six years later she is getting compensation. I suppose this could be the third party insurance. What about the six years the woman suffered having to leave school and maybe unable to get employment? Isn’t it funny that when one registers a vehicle one of the most important things is the third party insurance and it must be up to date. Yet when a person is bumped it takes so long to settle the case. How much money have the third party insurance people made over all the years when there are no accidents. I bet they make millions, but they challenge causes of accidents and victims when its time to pay out.

 Its time to regulate the third party insurance companies.

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…

Breaking News. PM's Address to the Nation

Listen to the Address on this link
Read the Draft Constitution on this link

 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, Sugar Industry and Lands and Mineral Resources

Suva, Fiji Thursday 21st March, 2013

My fellow Fijians. Bula vinaka and good evening to you all.

In July2009,when launching the Strategic Framework for Change, I announced that
we must have elections under a truly democratic system by no later than September 2014.

That promise my government has been committed to and will fulfil.

We had also announced,when putting in place the Constitutional process, that the new Constitution must be in place by April of this year.That promise also my government will adhere to and facili…

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 invite…

Revitalising the Copra Industry

The opening of a new Whole Nut Process centre in Taveuni is expected to revitalise Fiji's copra industry.
 This was the underlying theme emphasised by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama when he opened the centre which is housed at the Agriculture centre in Mua.
"The Fijian Coconut Industry was once a major source of export revenue – alongside sugar. It employed thousands of rural and maritime farmers and workers and brought in much needed foreign exchange."
The Prime Minister highlighted that today's event demonstrated governments’ commitment to empowering ordinary Fijians.
"As I keep repeating, we are committed to ending the neglect of past governments, to make the hard decisions necessary to empower our people and give them a renewed sense of purpose. Our vision is to improve the lives of many thousands through the development of the Coconut Industry. We believe that with the right support and a smarter approach, together we can once again make this a viable …