Showing posts from August 3, 2014

Faced with Little Choice

Thoughts from a concerned observer
General elections is a super spectacle, a major carnival, a solemn salutation, a grim reminder of dire consequences and a momentous occasion for electorates throughout the democratic world – it is a time to decide how one wants his/her lives to be organized and ruled for the next couple of years. Fiji is now at that juncture and as September draws near, electioneering is fast approaching fever pitch.
On the one side are a number of political parties painstakingly dissecting some of the more controversial (and popular) policies and programs of the Bainimarama government. And on the other side, is Fiji First with its track record and string of promises about more to come. If the choices had been confined to evaluations on that level, it would be easier not to take thinking to the next level. Sadly enough, many citizens think only at that bread-butter level!
These observations from a fair-minded Fiji friend with which I only partly agree. I think he conce…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Unique Style

I read with interest the article about the unique traditional storytelling chants known as Vakalutu-i-voce. The  awards has been named after Vauliasi Cagitubuna because of his unique singing style.

This could be a dying traditional art that will soon only be seen performed by contemporary artists. There are a few more traditional art and craft that are now mainly performed by the the elders. For the lucky child he or she is privileged to have these passed onto them. Modernisation and other factors will have affected how it was passed down to them. Pottery, mat and basket weaving , the meke, and traditional chants, to name a few.

While we are still on the subject, our local artists could form associations and go into the villages and settlements, while the old folk are still alive, and resurrect and document all the old traditional arts and craft and introduce them into vocational studies in schools. We teach carpentry, cooking and sewing in school, why not include traditi…

Amnesty International Being Hoodwinked By Fiji Informants

I  have donated to Amnesty International for many years but have now stopped. This article provides an example of why I have changed my opinion about the quality of their work. Their assessment of the Fiji situation is based on reports from those opposed to the Bainimarama Government. Their allegations are dated, exaggerated, and they appear to make no efforts to verify what they are told.  AA was not formed to take sides during an election campaign. - Croz

NZ: Amnesty calls on Fiji to stop human rights violations as protesters plan action

Friday, August 8, 2014 Item: 8893 AUCKLAND (Amnesty International / TV3 / Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's former military leader Voreqe Bainimarama has created a climate of fear which must be brought to an end, Amnesty International says.

Bainimarama arrived in New Zealand tonight on a private visit to campaign with local Fijians ah…

FNP and FFP Argue a Few Points: Video

Join Veena Bhatnagar on  FijiTV2's Aaina programme (Ep. 138, 8th August) as she interviews NFP's Biman Prasad and FFP's Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about the state of their party campaigns, and on the issues of citizenry, the economy, the cost of living, government appointments, and why some reports will only be released in September. The speakers, especially Biman, switch back and forth between Hindi and English, and there are English subtitles. Somewhat repetitive and some talking past each other, but a worthwhile programme and a credit to Veena and  both speakers. Conducted with civilised good humour.  An example of Fiji as it "can be".

Road Map for Panicking Parties

I had hoped to publish this on my previous post but have only now learnt how to publish photos  on my ipad using Blogger.

Yet Another Case of Former Corruption and Abuse of Office

Dakuidreketi found guilty18:50 Today

Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Ellen Stolz Suva High Court Judge Justice Janaka Bandara has overturned the decision of the assessors in the trial of businessman Keni Dakuidreketi in Suva. In his judgment, Justice Bandara found Dakuidreketi guilty on all five counts of abuse of office for purpose of gain. Dakuidreketi had used government grants to finance an IT company, called Pacific Connex, owned by Ballu Khan, through Vanua Development Corporation Limited (VDCL), a limited liability company of the then-Native Land Trust Board. At the time Dakuidreketi was the chairman of Vanua Development Corporation, the business arm of NLTB. Justice Bandara told the court that Dakuidreketi was aware that the company, PCX, was not doing well financially but yet turned a blind eye. In mitigation Dakuidreketi’s lawyers requested for a few days to make available three witnesses for the case. Dakuidreketi will now appear in court on Tuesday to confirm the availability of…

SODELPA Should Not Panic Yet

STOP PRESS. The latest gems from Laisenia Qarase according to FijiVillage reports are that it's impossible to have equal citizenry because God gave  Fiji to the Taukei; Fiji should be a Christian State because God brought Christianity to Fiji, and the reason why the election ballot papers start at the number 135 is because this Koran verse number is about justice and somehow this will help Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum  fulfil his dream.  However we may account for such nonsense - a political strategy, several slips of the tongue or merely early signs of dementia - the remarks are clearly divisive and contrary to any notion of respect and tolerance for Fiji citizens who do not share his unChristian ideas on Christianity. They seem also to be further signs that SODELPA really is panicking.

SODELPA members holding more rational democratic and liberal views should disassociate themselves from Qarase's remarks before irretrievable damage is done to the party's chances of  winning more t…

God, the Great Council of Chiefs and the SODELPA Manifesto

OpinionpiecebyCrosbie Walsh

"Our manifesto affirms SODELPA will place God in His rightful position." -- Ro Teimumu.

In other circumstances —in another century or sitting with the Taliban— I would have been mildly amused that SODELPA intends to put "God back in His rightful position" by amending the 2013 Constitution. I would have thought God was already everywhere and did not need a helping hand from a political party.

I would also have thought making Fiji a Christian state was unnecessary. The secular state protects all religious beliefs, and does not require the caveat that non-Christian beliefs will also be protected.  

So why is the inclusion of God so important to SODELPA in its intended new constitution?

It is, I think, based on two premises, both of them believed  by many ordinary Taukei.

First, the fusion of religion and chiefly authority that typified tribal society in pre-Cession Fiji is still very much alive in modern Fiji.  Obeying and respecting  one&…

Reducing Geographic Inequalities: Just Vote Winning or True Development?

A cynical reader asked why government was suddenly spending money on the outer island, and then answered himself: it's all to do with buying votes. Government opponents have been making the same claim for several years. In fact, they could go back as far as the People's Charter that established rural and outer island development as a priority.

Bainimarama's visits to remote villages and recent developments may persuade some voters that Government's doing a good job but the developments are simply part of an ongoing process, and Bainimarama has been sitting down and having a  talanoa with ordinary Fijians in towns and remote areas are an essential part of his style.  I've lot count of the number of people who have said this is the first time a PM. or a Government Minister or a senior civil servant has visited my village or my settlement and sat down iwth us and asked what we needed. And then gone back to Suva to make sure they got what they needed.  Compare this home…