Showing posts from August 31, 2014

Racism – A Recurring Scourge of Fiji -

by Rajendra Prasad
Since the dissolution of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) in 2007 by the Bainimarama Government those of and from the chiefly clans, all over Fiji, have reacted variously. Largely, in the absence of any popular resistance, the Government decision has prevailed until now. However, with elections looming, the SODELPA Party, with ethno-centric ideology and following, is campaigning strongly to restore the GCC. Ro Teimumu Kepa, a paramount chief from Rewa is the leader of the SODELPA and holds the view that the GCC was a vital iTaukei institution and should be restored. It was established as an advisory body to the Government during the colonial era (1874-1970). However, after independence, the iTaukei elected their ethnic representatives to the Parliament and need for the GCC to provide such advisory service became obsolete. GCC not missed On reflection, such institutions are created to serve particular needs and interests of a society. Occasionally, as the society evol…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Election Awareness

At around 4 pm on Tuesday 26/8 a young man came to our gate and knocked. We invited him home and he said that he was from the elections office doing awareness on what to do on voting day.

We gave him time speak and when he was finished someone asked a question to which he answered, "Isa, so sorry, I'm not here to answer political questions, I'm just here to make people aware about what to do on elections day."

The chap was polite, soft spoken and answered all relevant questions that we asked him about the elections. And he politely abstained from answering any political questions.

And one thing we found was that you only have two goes at voting. If you make a mistake you can ask for a second copy, make a third and you are out.

But we still would like to know how parliament will be formed.

Getting Tired of Election Talk?

I went to my favourite shop in Waiyavi and asked the owner what party he was backing and who he was going to vote for.

He said that…

Fiji’s Elections 2014: From “Fiji for Fijians” to “We are all Fijians”

By Ronaldo Cocom
Ronaldo is a postgraduate student at USP from Belize in Central America. His M.A. sociology thesis is about  people of  mixed iTaukei and Indo-Fijian parentage, asking  how they identify themselves; it raises questions about the term "Fijian" and national identity , and what he calls the "racialization and politicization of ethnicity.  Ronaldo is himself  of mixed parentage, being Creole, Maya, Mestizo —and Belizean.  His blog is
The article below is about the political use of the term "Fijian" in the context of the forthcoming elections.  He favours the NFP and points to the need for "inter-cultural festivals."

The use of the term “Fijian” as a label for national identification remains a significant ideological frame in the run up for elections to be held on September 17, 2014.

By ideological frame, I refer to the fact that phrase “We are all Fijians” is represented by an array of inter-related set of…

Snippets Thursday September 4th

The Battle for iTaukei Votes, an interesting and informative Fiji Sun article that accuses SODELPA of spreading misinformation in the villages about race, land and religion, all issues that are fully protected in the Constitution. 

The strategy, according to the author, is to avoid large meetings where what is said can be challenged, and instead hold numerous small "pocket" meetings where whatever the speaker says is less likely to to be challenged. 

The article also puts to bed the notion that indigenous rights can be changed by simple parliamentary majorities.  In reality, the rights can only be changed by a 75% majority in Parliament and, as a double check,  a referendum in which 75% of the people vote for change.

Will we still be able to pray to Jesus if  FijiFirst wins? This question put to the PM tells a great deal about the malicious nonsense some politicians are telling the less educated.
"I have been asked if people will still be able to pray to Jesus if FijiFirst …

Pre-Polling: Not a Good Start

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh

Pre-Polling is causing problems that seem to be due to the tight schedule and the late announcement of pre-polling stations, situations that could have been avoided had the Electoral Decree and Constitution set more realistic targets that allowed for electoral processes to take longer than expected. The legislation apparently made no allowance for exigencies such as the need for the Electoral Office to visit some of the 500-odd prospective polling venues, or for their need to be in Court answering appeals and objections to the candidate list, both of which were very time consuming activities.

Overall, the Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission have done remarkably  good jobs. It is only in the short one week time frame, between the announcement of pre-poll venues and the start of pre-polling, that the the Electoral Office has fallen short. Given the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see that a much longer period was  needed.

Some of Government's opp…

Count Down 14 Days to Go

FIJI IS UNITED IN ITS THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS FOR THE SOLDIERS TAKEN HOSTAGE IN SYRIA BUT whoever posted the "surrendering meekly" comment on the blog FijiToday is not only insensitive and ignorant  but downright insulting.  It shows where their patriotism lies. This is their comment:
"Not surrendering meekly results in rescue by the Irish UN peacekeepers. Philippine Peacekeepers Safe After ‘Greatest Escape."
Another comment was equally distasteful, inferring that the RFMF was sending replacement for money, not because of its obligations to the UN. The comment read:

"When MONEY becomes more important than safety….. Replacing those captured while all other countries are recalling their peacekeepers as the situation is out of control." And yet another:
Fijian troops who surrendered to terrorists have made us the butt of international jokes.

With 14 Days to the Elections Misinformation Spreads

With only fourteen days left before the elections, one might have though…

The "Perfect" Elections in 2001 and 2006

With some politicians criticizing almost all of the arrangements being made for this year's election , a quick flashback to the 2001 and 2006 arrangements could be instructive:

 Here's what Phil Mercer wrote of the 2001 election:
"Almost a third of all ballots have been cast in Fiji's first post-coup general election with some voters making extraordinary efforts to get to one of the 157 polling stations dotted around the islands. One 89-year-old man climbed a mountain and walked a further 8km (five miles) down a dirt track, before wading across a river to have his say at the ballot box.

"Election officials are reporting no major problems but have apologised to voters after complaints about long, slow-moving queues. They are also investigating claims that two polling station supervisors were found sleeping on the job, leaving hundreds of people waiting outside. "
And this was the report about the 2006 election in The Sunday on May 7:

"Despite the supervis…