Wednesday, December 19, 2018

This is How some SODELPA members are Whipping up Hatred and Divison

It would seem SODELPA's Youth Group are acting as its stormtroopers. Waqavonovono and other ageing youth need to be constrained by more moderate SODELPA members.  -- ACW

TLTB denounces claims made by SODELPA Youth members and some protesters at Tamavua Village
By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 19/12/2018

Add caption

Development currently at Tamavua village
The iTaukei Land Trust Board has made it clear that nothing sinister is going on as far as the leasing of the land at Tamavua Village is concerned.
TLTB Chief Executive Officer Tevita Kuruvakadua has denounced claims made by a group of protesters, which included some members of the SODELPA Youth Group.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Fiji's Christmas Political Pantomime

Jon Apted, SODELPA/NFP petition lawyer pn205
SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka's address on Parliament's opening day was a well rehearsed mix of polite well wishes to Government alternating with quick jabs in the ribs, the deepest one heralding the future court challenge  of the election results.  The stage was set for the pantomime that followed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pacific Islands Weekly: Rugby, Cook Is., USP, Samoa, Solomon Is., Tokelau, Vanuatu

Rugby. A proposed Pacific-based Super Rugby bid fails as Fiji pulls out.

Cook Islands. Rarotonga. Major water supply upgrade.
Proposed law on  long stay visitors.
Miss Cook Islander placed in world's top 30. Watch video/

Fiji - USP
High level talks between USP. Australia and NZ, the University's main benefactors, finished last week. The main item for discussion  was the USP's Strategic Plan 2013-18.

Fiji. Ghosts and pools on Taveuni
Election  results petitioners' difficulties in serving petition.

Kiribati Pre-School development.

Samoa, The original green banana shipment to NZ didn't  make it to supermarket shelves because some cases were found to contain ants.  The shipments have resumed.

The Unit Trust of Samoa, which has local and foreign investors,  will be providing $25m for the new parliament building.

Solomon Is. The problem of separating traditional gift giving and corruption.

Tokelau. New inter-atoll ferry.

Vanuatu Battling superstition in a country where 4 out of 5 blind people need not be blind.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Universal Human Rights: the Corollary of Rights is Duties

Article 29: Duty to Your Community
So far, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has concentrated on rights that every person has simply by virtue of being born human. Now Article 29 says the corollary of rights is duties. We all have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.

What Can We Learn from the Maori Santa Incident?

Robert Herewini played the role of Santa pn201

Last Sunday's Santa Parade in Nelson which saw Santa in a korowai cloak and none of his traditional gear has sparked debate across the country.

Trivial as it may seem, the responses could tell us something about ourselves?  

The Sikh "Night Riders"

Night riders: The Sikh community's Free Kitchen helps the homeless

With freshly-made Indian meals, the crew hit the roads in their jeep. Photo/Rebekah Robinson/North & South

Rain or shine, the Sikh community’s “Free Kitchen” brings food and warmth to the homeless.

I’m sitting in a black jeep with four Sikh men driving through the streets of South Auckland at dusk. With an orange scarf protecting my crown chakra in traditional fashion, I let their sing-song chant wash over me. Driver Delpreet Singh explains the continuous prayer keeps them focused on their mission: service.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Outsiders Can Usefully Say

Comments from  long-time Australian journalist Mary-Louise O'Callaghan on the passing of foreign journalists who lived and worked in the Pacific and the opportunity now to  hear from Pacific journalists with analyses from their perspective came as a little surprise.

Where has she been for the last few decades? Or by "Pacific" is she  thinking only of  PNG and perhaps Western Melanesia?   In  the wider Pacific local journalists have long been presenting news that reflects their perspectives and their agendas, though they do tend to be swamped in our media by our journalists who see the Pacific from New Zealand perspectives.  It's a rare Kiwi voice such as Prof David Robie who identifies with and usually reflects Pacific news priorities.

But it was her next statement when she wrote of  an "insight only an indigenous member of an indigenous society can have" that caused me to pause and reflect a little longer,

Indigenous? Only indigenous? Which Indigenous when they disagree? Think of Fiji. What of others born and raised in the Islands?  Have they no insights?  

True, indigenous people  have insights into their society, as we all do of our own societies, and some of the insights only they can know, but sometimes other influences may  impair  indigenous and local insights for political, religious or other purposes. And sometimes, on some issues,  the insights of outsiders may better analyse  a society.
I'm not thinking about the comments on the social media about my postings by anti-FijiFirst activists.  I'm thinking back to New Zealand in the 1960s when an outsider, an American Jewish sociologist, saw things in our society that that we either did not or did not want to see.   Many of us reacted very strongly, telling him to go home and fix his country's problems before telling us what to do about ours.

David Ausubel  wrote a book The Fern and the Tiki (1960) in which he said our race relations were not as good as we (Pakeha) claimed.   Bill Pearson wrote a review of the book in the Journal of the Polynesian Society (December, 1960), reprinted below,  which I invite you to read while reflecting on what insiders and outsiders can say and do.

I think Ausubel's observations  are as sound and pertinent now as they were then,  Note that he observed three Pakeha responses (overt racism. racism denied (assimilation), and equal relationships)  and a defensive and offensive response by Maori.   -- ACW
David Ausubel (1918-2008) 
 Dr Ausubel admits that the racial situation is, in relation to that of some other countries, reasonably good (pp. 155-6, 211); he complains, however, that the situation is not nearly so good as most pakehas like to believe, and that the worst feature is 'the national self-delusion which blocks recognition of the existence of a problem' (p. 156).

He was surprised at the frequency of frankly anti-Maori sentiments; he soon could define the outline of a common pakeha stereotype of the Maori as lazy, shiftless, unreliable, improvident, happy-go-lucky, with such occasional concomitants as living off social security and family benefits, being sexually promiscuous and frequently drunk. Behind patronising attitudes he found a deep-seated belief in Maori inferiority, a belief partly reflected in the ignorance of and indifference to the history and traditions of local Maoris, and more seriously reflected in unwillingness to understand current problems the Maori people are facing.

Many pakehas are willing to accept Maoris as equals only if they conform to European values and standards, while other pakehas may deride them for attempting to act otherwise than they are expected to.

Many pakehas, too, are unable to distinguish between the enforced segregation of a minority and segregation that is desired by them: thus, some pakehas, in the name of an abstract equality will advocate the abolition of the four Maori seats and the Maori schools at the same time as they are complacent about the exclusion of Maoris from the more desirable suburbs.

For most pakehas integration means assimilation and they dislike any perpetuation of distinctively Maori values and traditions since it offends their desire for complete conformity. Dr Ausubel is right to point out that a nation that boasts of being a modern welfare state should be ashamed of the standards of health and sanitation that exist in some rural Maori communities.

Besides this critical survey of the attitudes of a majority to a minority, Dr Ausubel recognises the existence of a number of pakehas who live and work unselfishly among Maoris, speaking their language, knowing their culture and traditions, and working with them for their advancement.

Turning to the attitudes of the Maori, Dr Ausubel finds a range of attitudes, from shyness and suspicion through a relatively benign hostility and some surviving bitterness over confiscations to sullenness in reaction to pakeha prejudice.

He also discusses the attitudes of Maoris to themselves, attitudes formed in the context of pakeha prejudice: feelings of inferiority and self-contempt, as well as an increasing attitude of pride in being Maori.

Sex and Racism in Australia

Australia is not a focus of this blog but these two problems are universal.


Who's responsible for rape and sexual asaault? Some disturbing Australian figures.

More disturbing news from across the ditch.      White genocide fears.
See also,  Colour Blindness
And better presentation of coloured people on TV

Friday, December 7, 2018

Weekend Reading 8-9 December

Sex and Racism in Australia

What Outsiders Can Usefully Say

Sikh Nightriders

The Maori Santa Incident

Thursday, December 6, 2018

SODELPA on the Way to the Promised Land?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Take Global Warming Seriously, or Else -- a String of Biting Comments

Sir David Attenborough speaking at the conference.
Listen to video. See link  below.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a dramatic appeal to world leaders Monday to take the threat of global warming seriously and to act boldly to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures before the end of the century.
Guterres, who spoke at the opening of the UN climate conference in Poland, called climate change "the most important issue we face."

"Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption," Guterres told delegates from almost 200 countries who gathered in the city of Katowice.

Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough echoed his warnings, telling the gathering that the "collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taking against global warming. Listen to the video.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

“This is not the Voreqe Bainimarama that I have known for many, many years" -- Pio Tikoduadua

In happier days. May they return.  pn198
Pio Tikoduadua (Lt.Col. retired) was the FijiFirst Minister of Infrastructure and Transport in  2014 and a close friend and colleague of PM Voqere Bainimarama. He resigned a year later when he disagreed with the expulsion of colleague Dr Neil Sharma who had voted with the Opposition on a health matter. He joined the National Federation Party in 2017 and was recently elected to Parliament.  

Please note that is it my emphasis on sections of his speech reported in The Fiji Times
Note also my previous posting pn197  "What the FijiFirst Government can do, starting now,  to win the next election " that covers some of the same ground,