Blog Aims, Publisher

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NEW. 20/9/14. New aims will be posted shortly.
This blog is unusual in aiming to present a balanced and helpful presentation of events in Fiji as they relate to the post-2006 military coup or takeover, and ideas on how Fiji may move forward to the election of a truly representative government serving all the people of Fiji.


Balance is achieved by publishing items on Fiji  not published by the mainstream media that for the most part has only published anti-Bainimarama government articles. Taken alone both the mainstream media and this blog could be described as biased.  More balanced coverage by the mainstream media would see my blog less accused of bias.

I believe Bainimarama and those close to him are genuinely trying to build a fairer, non-racist Fiji, and much of what they have so far achieved deserves praise.

I accept that in the short term it is necessary — because Fiji's problems are deep rooted and because of the covert resistance of those whose power and priviledges have been challenged—   to place limits on the normal democractic freedoms of expression and association.

But I am conscious that the absence of checks make it too easy for Government to misuse its power. When I think this has occurred I have been critical,  but the criticism is always intended to be helpful.

My most common criticisms concern the inadequacy of its explanations to the Fiji public; its failure to release the Roadmap, Strategic Framework for Change, Auditor-General's and similar reports; its failure to consult with and include more civilians in decision-making, most particularly with responsible groups such as the Citizen's Constitutional Forum;  its failure to immediately or progressively lift the Public Emergency Regulations; its failure to advance the Roadmap process by starting inclusive dialogue on constitutional and electoral reform now, instead of leaving it to 2012; its (to me, unwise and unnecessary) knee-jerk overreactions to opposition and contrary opinions; and its  inflexible diplomatic showings with the international community. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to build a genuine, inclusive democratic if Government does not show itself more sensitive to these criticisms.

I do not believe the policies of overseas powers, and particularly New Zealand and Australia,  are helpful to a peaceful, democratic resolution of the Fiji situation. I fear their policies give heart to the racist and anti-democratic forces still present in Fiji which could lead to bloodshed and a return to the racism of Fiji prior to the 2006 Coup. Their politicking has also resulted in international agencies withholding support for the Fiji economy which, despite their claims of soft sanctions,  has impacted heavily on the ordinary people of Fiji.

The jury is still out on Fiji's future. I hope  this blog will "make a difference" and see a much better Fiji in  2014.  I doubt it will be a perfect democracy or much fairer society even then but, with understanding, it should be far better than it was under the supposed democracy of the government that was deposed  in 2006.

This is the only blog that regularly publishes pro- but critical  items on Fiji's political situation. An important feature is the large number of informative and thoughtful comments from readers.  The blog is outnumbered many times by anti-government blogs that regularly publish personal, racist and anti-democratic comments that would shame a genuinely democratic opposition.

I don't think of the blog  as my blog but some have found the title too long. To assist searches I've added 'Croz Walsh's Blog.'



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The Publisher
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Crosbie (Croz) Walsh
Horowhenua, New Zealand
My links with Fiji and the Pacific go back to the late 1950s with masterate papers in Pacific History and Geography. My masters thesis was on Tonga where I taught in the 1960s. Apart from secondments to USP and UPNG, I researched and taught Pacific Geography from 1971 to 1988, and then Development Studies (1989-1993), at Massey University, where I was the founding director of the Institute of  Development Studies. My doctoral thesis was on urban squatting in Fiji where I worked at USP in the 1970s. From 1994 until retirement in 1999, I was the founding director of USP's Centre for Development Studies.  I have also worked at the UPNG and the University of Hawaii and conducted research and consultancies on development-related topics in several Pacific Island countries, for governmental, international and regional agencies. Hobbies: golf, gardening, hydroponics, reading,family genealogy (whakapapa). Interests: politics, race relations, development, social justice.

Fiji: an Encylopaedic Atlas: Crosbie Walsh

Fiji: an Encylopaedic Atlas: Crosbie Walsh 400 plus pages for NZ$25 + postage. Email croz.walsh@xtra.co.nz
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