Friday, 3 September 2010

Tupuola Speculates, Naitasiri Tailevu Support Govt Work, Coconut Reseach, Marist Forum, The Grand Old GPH

PACIFIC SCOOP  & TUPUOLA. Pacific Scoop has a well earned reputation for solid journalism. When it publishes opinions they are invariably reasoned and supported with evidence and insight. Until two days ago. When it published a purely speculative article (supported by not a shred of evidence or any indication of the reliability of  unnamed sources) about a supposedly looming Fiji coup-within-the-coup.

The article was written  by Tupuola Terrence Tavita, the Editor of the Samoa Government newspaper Savali. It is not Tupuola's first trip into virtual space and I doubt it will be his last. Stories are easy to write when you can pull them out of the air. Investigative journalism takes longer.

I draw the article to readers' attention, not for its content, but for the flood of comments it generated. I urge you to read them by  clicking here. At my last count, no one agreed with him.

The article does, however, raise the possibility of a coup-within-the-coup. This is nothing new. It has always been a possibility. Support for what Government is doing and trying to do seems to be increasing (see next two items) but Fiji remains a divided nation with enough "loose cannons"  to cause immeasurable harm.

The longer overseas governments, most especially Australia and New Zealand, continue to act in ways that work against Fiji's economic recovery and internal stability -- and fail to support the government's much needed reforms --  the longer the possibility of another coup will last.  This prospect should cause Australia and NZ serious reflection: if the 2006 Coup is unable to establish the conditions for long-term stability, it will not be Fiji's last coup, not by a long chalk. As one reader observed:
The next coup d’etat will sink the Ship and all of those on board.  Without a shadow of a doubt. It will be violent and many people will be killed.  That is what the International Community’s fiddling and stand-off is bringing on.

NAITASIRI CHIEFS visited the PM today to show support for the work Government is currently undertaking. Roko Tui Naitasiri Peni Sokia said their visit had been agreed to by the Provincial Council and the Bose Vanua.

TAILEVU CHIEFS. Last week, chiefs of Tailevu also visited Bainimarama to show their support. Provincial Council chairman Josefa Seruilagilagi said the people of Tailevu wanted to thank Commodore Bainimarama for the developments that have taken place in Tailevu since his Government took over in 2006. He said some of the projects that were planned by previous governments over the last 30 years had not been completed or even started.

SAVUSAVU COCONUT RESEARCH STATION. Government's decision to establish a new Coconut Research Station in Wainigata, Savusavu, has been well received by the Copra Millers of Fiji. Coconuts provide an income for over 100,000 people in Fiji. Chairman Ilisoni Taoba said the station would help to boost, improve quality and add value to production in Vanua Levu which produces 65% of Fiji's coconuts.  Ilisoni said it takes 6,000 nuts to make one tonne of copra that sells for $650. The same number of nuts make 500 litres of virgin oil that sells for between $2 - $5 a litre, or $1000-5000, double or more what can be earned from making copra. -- Based on 2010 No: 1346/MOI.

PM Bainimarama is hopeful that the Marist Brothers Old Boys Mobilized 2010 Forum in October to be held from 23-31 October will send a strong positive message about our country. He said contributions towards Fiji in anyway by former Fiji citizens and locals shows that individuals still care and respect Fiji. He added that the Forum (and the workshop on "Good Strong Government Structures" as a means of institutional structuring which he will be opening) will provide an opportunity for robust discussions on many issues pertaining not only to the school but to the nation as a whole.

THE GRAND PACIFIC HOTEL. Empty for 18 years, Suva's jaded and near derelict icon, the historic Grand Pacific Hotel, is set to be restored and refurbished at an estimated cost of $90 million when the PNG National Superannuation Fund purchase the building from the Fiji National Provident Fund in the next few days.

. Allen Lockington's column, Bringing Fiji Back from the Cold, Australia's Meddling Part of Agenda to Dominate Fiji, Akuila Yabaki's From Paramountcy to Equality (conclusion), Curse of the Soli, Media Ethics and Media Freedom Issues in Fiji.  

Normally published on Saturday morning, this weekend's readings, other than Allen's column, will be published at 3:45pm this afternoon to allow those without a computer at home to have a quick look. Allen's column will be published at the usual time.


  1. I agree investigative journalism is difficult, in fact it is near impossible in Fiji with the PER in place, a fact you gloss over on a daily basis in this Blog.

  2. Careful Croz you are starting to sound like FB himself. Australia working agaisnt Fiji's economic economy. Perhaps you could support that with some facts ?

    Also Australia and New Zealand should get behind this coup to prevent future coups ? Can you explain this logic. Already FB claims he should have more support because previous coups have been supported. If Australia & New Zealand fully support this coup why would that not just encourage the next military man to come along and take power, safe in the knowlege that Australia and New Zealand will be with him.

    FB needs to understand Australia and New Zealand can never support his coup and nor should they. If he wants Australia's help on specific reforms he needs to find away for that to happen. A good starting point would to stop his attack on Australia, remove the PER, step the military back from everyday governmnet and appoint more civilians to government.

    FB would also do well to pulish a real road map (Croz I know you hate the continued calls for this but it would help if the world could see the detail of his plan to return Fiji to democracy).

    It becomes very tiring hearing from you Croz about what Australia and New Zealand must do. How about some focus on what the PM and Fiji must do.

  3. Croz,

    I'm not so sure that "support" for PM Bainimarama is accurate. Overseas reader would do well to remember the Fiji media remains heavily censored. Only positive reports of support for Government get reported. There is no alternative voice left in Fiji.

    A more accurate description is "acceptance" of the PM Bainiamarama and the fact he plans to be around for a long time. A acceptance of that reality means getting on with life in Fiji. Trying to argue or protest against anything in Fiji now is far to hard and far to dangerous. Individuals and families don't wish to be a target. Villages don't want to be left out or shut off. Must of the chief support is just practical, polite window dressing.

    I agree Fiji remains deeply divided and unfortunately I see no actions from this government to try and address this. Fiji in my view remains more divided today than ever. The FB and his military are largely responsible for that.

  4. Have you now just accepted the PER as a fact of live Mr Croz. I remember you had some mild objections with it earlier and even a little bit of critism for the media decree. Have you now simply fallen in line as well ?

    The scoop article comments shows that with a open media it's easy to identify rubbish as the reader have. However all you can do in Fiji is assume it's all rubbish.

  5. Who is the Military Council ?Friday, 3 September 2010 at 12:12:00 GMT+12

    It strikes me that much of the real power in Fiji today sits with the Military Council. However the membership of that council, how often they meet or what they discuss is not known. Perhaps some of this blog's reader could shed some light on who they are and what their roles are.

    If they are the over arching decision makers in Fiji today who control who is in government, who is PM, who is the president (as many of my friends suggest) then perhaps we should turn our attention to them. Are they committed to reform, are they committed to democracy and a race free Fiji. Will they let go of their grip on power to make way for true democracy or have they grown to love and enjoy it too much over the past four year ?

  6. The junta is now beginning to feel the effects of the PER and draconian censorship. They underestimate how much this has made people think about their real motives and has angered people. You can suppress what people say if you have the guns but you can't suppress their anger. It reaches a point where it will explode and all those who have created the current massive divisions in Fiji must pay the price for their actions.
    This is inevitable unless the military immediately return to the barracks and reinstate the legitimately elected government.
    And croz don't say this can't happen because it can and it will.

  7. The Military Council are the real powers behind the throne. But one of the problem with their hiring and firing of people who have made a commitment to serve the government under their stewardship is that their continual firing of those that have made the sacrifice creates animosity and resentment against the whole military and what they are doing.

    People have families to feed, they have mortgages to pay and so forth. This constant hire and fire attitude will not go well for this country and what the military is doing for the long term. It may just have a very negative effect in the end.

    The current leadership should not be using well qualified people and firing them whenever they like. If the MC continue to do this, they can lose everyone's support that in the end, well qualified people will not want to work for the current leadership. Fiji does not have an endless supply of good and qualified people to work in government and ensure that we reach the stated goal of a good government infrastructures and systems by 2014.

  8. I think what readers of this blog fail to realise is there is a cabinet that meets and that is where government decisions are made. There is too much talk about the military council and its involvement in government. the military council are not running the country.

  9. @ Tomasi

    Really, we have a cabinet of elected representatives? Fascinating. What a novel idea.

  10. @ Tomasi

    Really, we have a cabinet of elected representatives? Fascinating. What a novel idea.

  11. @ Radiolucas

    We have a cabinet whether elected or not, that's beside the point. You can wait forever for your elected representatives, we are moving on with the work at hand.

    Don't waste your money believing in your illusion that those you elected in 2006 are coming back to takeover this country. They are gone for good. Yes, FOR GOOD.

  12. @ More blame on Au ... Try this on the Roadmap. It appeared in this blog 13 months ago!

    Check out what has been done already by looking at other postings. The Search facility will help you in this.

    As I've recently stated, some people get confused because we all use the shorthand "Roadmap" and wrongly assume it is only about electoral reform.

  13. @ TheMax

    What work at hand? You mean to tell me that the military are doing some work? I thought they were just ignoring critics, shifting blame and creating international incidents?

    I don't want the last government. I just want a government that the people can elect - no more of this waste of time dictatorship.


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