Showing posts from August 17, 2014

Bullshit Prevention Protocol: Testing the Truth of Reports

By Crosbie Walsh

Yesterday (Friday) I published several social media comments, most, but not all,  anti-Government. In my opinion all of them  should have been removed by the social media publishers because they were highly personal, racist, excessively intolerant —and most likely untrue.

Unfortunately, this is not going to happen unless there are laws in place to make social media publishers responsible for what is published, and unless progressively heavy fines, and even site closures, support the laws.  Until this happens,  I fear for the future of responsible reporting.

Meanwhile, internet users are left as the only ones able to assess the likely truth of what is published in the social media.

Here are some tips on how to check validity:

First, examine your own views. Do not dismiss an item  because you disagree with it. It could be true, or at least contain some truth. You should ferret it out.

Secondly, ask what you know about the media. How is its credibility record? What are it…

Bleeding Wounds of Racism in Fiji

By Rajendra Prasad
Since their arrival on May 14, 1879, racism has been the scourge of our people in Fiji. The British used it both mentally and physically to overwhelm the Girmitiyas during the Girmit era (1879-1919) to create a mindset that they were serfs born to serve the interests of their white masters. To give vent to their evil intent, they even enacted legislation, “Masters and Servants Ordinance” to legitimize their privileged position as ‘masters’ and define the place of Indians as ‘servants’. If there was any doubt, the whips that they ritually bore on their backs in the toiling fields made them realize and accept their servitude. It was a deeply brutalizing and dehumanizing experience and when Girmit ended on December 31, 1919, the whips ceased but the toil for their livelihood, in the new era, 1920-1970 remained onerous. As if this were not enough, they became victims of systemic racism that hounded successive generations until 2006. It was a long and heartbreaking walk t…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Shark Fin

"According to conservationists sharks are endangered because of threats that are the result of human activities including shark finning and getting caught in fishing gear. These are apex predators (at the top of the food chain) and play an important role in the health of the oceans." (Source - See the World)

In the provisions of Part 3 of the Customs Tariff Concession code No. 249 (i) it states shark fin may be imported duty free by operators engaged in 100% export.

The normal import duty, for shark fin under is 15% Customs Duty and $15 VAT.

Do we really want to encourage the shark fin trade by offering concession on exports?

Let's join the fight and curb the shark fin trade.

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 remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.


Misinformation on the Social Media: a Fiji and International Problem

It may seem harmless but...

Opinion By Crosbie Walsh

The social media — Facebook, Tweet and the blogs— provide an increasingly  important source of information and misinformation. Some 300,000 people, or 34% of the population, already have internet connections in Fiji and the number is growing.

Anyone can say anything, or draw anything,  about anyone and anything in the social media. There is no obligation to source or verify information, and many comments are one- line gut reactions that seem to express the prejudices, hatred,  fears and little-considered views of the writers. The most blatant racist, sexual, personal, political and religious view are published.

There is no means of checking the credentials of those making comments. A person who believes the Americans did not put on a man on the moon  is provided with a stage as large as that of the scientist who can prove it.

Those running these internet sites are, or should be, obliged to remove personal, libellous and factually wr…

What do Party Policies Say on the Judiciary,the Internet and Health

Parties For Independent Judiciary
Registered political parties believe in an independent judicial system.
The Social Democratic Liberal Party, Fiji Labour Party, National Federation Party, One Fiji Party and the Fiji United Freedom Party have all expressed and highlighted this in their party manifestos.
Here are what the parties have to say about an independent judiciary.

One Fiji
Party Leader Filimoni Vosarogo while launching their manifesto last Friday in Suva said the party understood that the importance of the independence of the judiciary from any form of interference.

SODELPA said they would ensure the independence of the judiciary and widen the sources of overseas recruitments to the judiciary.

A Labour government would set up an independent judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed by the President to investigate allegations of interference and manipulation of the judiciary.
A Labour government, they highlighted, would enhance the independence of the Courts, J…

Will this Election Be Won on Lies?

Will This Election Be Won On Lies?July 30, 2014 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: 
Go to the towns, markets or sports arenas, the people of Fiji are one happy lot, the writer says. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai by Rajendra
(Rajendra Prasad is the author of Tears in Paradise – Suffering and Struggles of Indians in Fiji 1879-2004)
I spent a week in Fiji (9th to 16th July) and saw a nation on the move to claim its place among the democratic nations of the world. On September 17, 2014 Fiji will go to the polls to elect its first Parliament after the military coup of December 5, 2006. It will be held under the new 2013 Constitution, which is strikingly different to all the previous constitutions. The 1970, 1990 and 1997 Constitution advocated ethnic voting whereas the 2013 Constitution has removed this provision and every citizen of Fiji is now on one roll.
The basic precept of such provision is “one person, one vote, one value” for all. Equality and dignity of every citizen …

SODELPA Policies Prepare the Ground for Racial, Religious and Political Intolerance

APPEALS TO RACISM, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND VIOLENCE. The Fiji Police say they are aware of the racial and religious vilification, the calls for violence and the call for the FijiSun to be "burnt to ashes", published on some Facebook pages by people who support SODELPA. Ro Teimumu said these are not official SODELPA statements and called for more tolerance.

But, intentionally or not, SODELPA's  policies on  race and religion prepare the ground for these expressions of intolerance and the probable arson noted in the next item. Similar sentiments led to the 1987 and 2000 coups.  Ro Teimumu needs to do more than call for tolerance.  To improve SODELPA's tarnished image. she needs to strongly condemn the intolerance, set an example with her own statements,  and lead the call to bring the perpetrators to justice.

POLITICAL ARSON? Residents  of Cunningham Stage 3 in Suva were rudely awoken yesterday to find a church hall earmarked as a polling station in flames. Th…

Differing Reasonably and Politely

Veena Bhatnagar's moderation (or chairmanship) of the recent Aaina  debate (Ep.138) on Radio Fiji between NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad and  FFP spokesman and current Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has been furiously debated on the Fiji Economic Forum blog.

Most people  said she put forward her own opinions, was biased against Biman,  curried favour with Aiyaz, and should not have moderated the debate knowing that she would soon become a FijiFirst candidate. 

I argued that her impeding candidature was irrelevant and that everyone has biases.The only thing that mattered in this case was whether she was fair and professional.  I thought she was.  She certainly interrupted Biman when he spoke too lengthily but no more than a good chairperson would. Click on this link to the programme to make your own judgment.

What impressed me most about the debate was not so much the different views on the issues raised, but the tolerance, respect and good humour shown by both participants, whi…

Monday 18 August: 30 Days to Go

THE 14-MEMBER ELECTION OBSERVER TEAM  will be co-lead by Australia, India, Indonesia and PNG.  The Australian team  will be led by  the Hon. Peter Reith, an experienced former Cabinet minister with a strong interest in supporting democracy internationally. His team will comprise  a bipartisan group of current and former parliamentarians, as well as experts and officials, some of whom will soon start work in Suva.

"The Multinational Observation Group will have freedom of movement throughout Fiji and will communicate with the Fijian Government, political parties and other social and political organisations in Fiji. As invited by Fiji, it will assess whether the outcome of the general election broadly represents the will of the Fijian voters." -- Based on Island Business.

But Joseph Swanson writing in the blog Fiji Economic Forum thinks the the Observer Group will fail in its mission:  "This is how we will be cheated during the elections.....if the election bal…

Party Policies on Crime

Police Commissioner Bernadus Groenewald Farisha Ahmed
There are mixed views on crime rates in the country.
Nevertheless, all parties have strategies in place on ways to go about curbing crime in the country. Below is an overview of who’s going to do what. Fiji Labour Party
Fully equip the Police force with the requisite equipment and professional and technical skills to effectively combat all kinds of crime.
n In regards to the military, Labour believes that the armed forces must remain under the control of the government exercised through cabinet and the minister responsible and their deployment either in Fiji or abroad to receive the approval of Parliament
n For judiciary, a code of conduct would be considered for holders of all high public offices based on the Bangalore principles and judges and magistrates would be required to deliver their rulings within six months of the conclusion of hearing. Peoples Democratic Party
The party’s manifesto claimed it was no secret that in the past ei…