Showing posts from March 16, 2014

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Cyclone Warning
I visited a friend at Navakai in Nadi on the weekend.

After a few basins he said, "My tau, when the weather man warned us about the tropical cyclone, my daughter and I went and trimmed our tavioka. But the depression didn't hit us.

Then we were warned about cyclone Lusi and once again my daughter and I went and trimmed our tavioka bushes.  Lusi didn't come.

Now when we pull the tavioka to cook it takes four hours to cook."

The Best Political Party
The best political party is not one that has experienced politicians or good ideas. There are lots of experienced people who can be politicians, and we all can come up with the most brilliant ideas.

For me a good political party is one that has people who are always visible, and will smile at you when you meet or offer you a ride if he sees you walking along the road. Or stops to say hello and asks how you are doing. His car will not be heavily tinted and he will not have escorts and drive way abov…

Political Round Up: Third Week in March

By Crosbie Walsh

No earth-shaking events occurred on Fiji's political scene this week.  Internationally, the Commonwealth agreed to let Fiji take part in Edinburgh Games, but not in Commonwealth councils (a FBCL poll showed 29% not wanting to rejoin the Commonwealth) and Ratu Epeli, visiting Palau, hoped the Micronesian islands would join the Fiji-sponsored Pacific Islands Development Forum.

Locally, winds and floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Lusi have subsided but the cases of dengue fever continue to increase.  Some 24,000 people are likely to be affected before the end of the wet season, the worst outbreak since 1995.  Sugar milling figures were disappointing with tonnages less than last year, despite efforts to improve the industry's infrastructure. Lapsed leases and fewer Indo-Fijian farmers continue to take a toll. An ANZ banker expected the country's growth rate to exceed 3% this year, a figure supported by some local authorities and disputed by others, notably Dr …

Beyond a Culture of Silence

By Ratu Jone Madraiwiwi
As ever, articulate, reasoned, forthright and important, Ratu Jone's article explains to non-Taukei why Taukei so often appear reluctant to express opinions, especially when they are controversial and possibly divisive. It also offers a mirror for Taukei to consider their behaviour and, how, by implication, it impacts on Fiji politics and prospects for democracy. -- ACW.

The apparent absence of debate, particularly among the Taukei, is attributed by commentators to ‘a culture of silence’. Open, vigorous public discourse is not yet a feature of Taukei or Fijian society at large. It has been explained in terms of a cultural milieu in which authority and communal structures coalesce to muffle expression. While media controls and self-censorship have not helped, it is the epistemology, ways of thinking, of the Taukei that invites closer scrutiny.

‘Silence’ does not necessarily mean consent. It is the lack of oral and written expression about issues passing for ac…

Commonwealth: Half in Half Out

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its forty-third meeting at Marlborough House, London, on 14 March 2014.

The meeting was chaired by Hon. Bernard K. Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania. It was also attended by Hon. Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus; Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana; Hon. Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs of India; Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand (Vice Chair of CMAG); Hon. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security and Foreign Affairs; Hon. Dr. Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone; Hon. Clay Forau Soalaoi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Solomon Islands; and Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka.

CMAG welcomed the significant progress made in Fiji towar…

CCF Succession Announcement

 An anti-Bainimrama blog published an article claiming that the Rev Akuila Yabaki had been dismissed as CEO of the CCF and had been given two months to vacate the premises. They said this was due to his poor leadership and supposedly pro-Bainimarama stance (sic!).  A CCF contact thought the story had been spread by a former (anti-Bainimarama) CCF staff member who blamed Yabaki for the non-renewal of his contract.  Such is the situation in Fiji where rumour and speculation is rarely checked with the appropriate sources before dissemination .  Why? Because misinformation serves their purpose.  -- ACW
17th March 2014
Succession planning at the Citizen's Constitutional Forum
The Board of Directors of the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) today announced that the organisation is entering a planned transition phase in its leadership.  There have been some misconceptions regarding this transition, which the Board is seeking to clarify. The announcement of CCF leadership succession planni…