|Inspired from Above|
"God Bless Akuila Yabaki. This guy is a national treasure. Reading all this reminds me that for all his opposition to aspects of the regime, he and Frank aren't too far apart on the big issues. Indeed, some of this looks like a government manifesto, or at least a manifesto the government could have produced were it as sensible as the good Reverend.
"It's immediately clear from Yabaki's comprehensive tour of the horizon that none of the national problems he identifies could have been resolved under an indigenous supremacist government like the SDL. Ergo, something had to break the cycle and that something is arguably Frank Bainimarama if our "democratic" institutions weren't capable of reform. So if you take that premise as a starting point, a lot of these ideas start to make sense, even if the devil is in the detail, as it always is. Why Yabaki and the CCF haven't been dragged into the heart of the reform process is beyond me. Frank ought to be embracing the CCF, not treating it with suspicion. If he and Yabaki could sit down with the likes of John Prasad and come up with something everyone could agree on, it would be no bad thing.
"Even if some compromises had to be reached, Fiji could then present the world with a blueprint that carries a legitimacy and credibility that the current "roadmap" sorely lacks. Yabaki's problem is that the regime sees him as the opposition, someone with the gall, the cojones or the courage ( depending on your point of view ) to speak out when no-one will, as in the recent ABC Australia piece on Fiji.
"But I'd ask the regime this: Is there anyone in Fiji more thoughtful, more sensible, more suitable or more able to command widespread community respect than Yabaki? For a start, the fact that the Methodist hierarchy hate him so much ought to automatically qualify the man for sainthood. This thoughtful treatise also shows that he has the intellectual capacity to grasp the essence of the nation's problems. A man of God unconstrained by religious dogma and prejudice. A fearless crusader for basic human rights, not the "human rights" masking an agenda of self interest pursued by others in Fiji. On the evidence of this piece alone, give that man a round of applause and a bigger job."
[Ed.Forgive me, Akuila, for touching up your photo with the light from Above.]
MORE FEEDBACK FROM WEEKEND READING included his comment: "Citizenship Studies for all pupils and students should be an essential part of Education for Life. The sooner it is introduced in Primary Schools with an understanding of the Flag and the National Anthem, how they were designed and how they came about, who was responsible, the better it will be for us all. And the parents also should have Citizenship Studies leading to a Course in Civics. This might also be taught in Schools. To establish a synergy and congruence between: School-teacher-parent-pupil."
LOCAL ISSUES, LOCAL SOLUTIONS. This was two-thirds of the theme of the annual meeting of
the 39th Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP)held in Brisbane last week. The remaining theme was regional cooperation. The conference reconsidered the suspension of Fiji Police from the PICP and resolved that this should continue. The effect of the suspension has been that PICP continues to interact with Fiji Police on humanitarian and operational issues such as HIV/Aids and Human Rights as well as disaster response development. The PICP has not engaged with Fiji Police on any new projects or initiatives.
So much for two-thirds of the meeting's theme. Drug smuggling, Human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and child pornographic were not specifically mentioned. Given Fiji's geographic location and well developed air and sea transport system, lots of regional cooperation are needed to plug the loopholes. The world's criminals must be delighted with the PICP decision which, of course, was not political.
CAUTIOUS ACCOLADE FROM UNEXPECTED SOURCE. “I believe if the Acting Commissioner [of Police] takes his responsibilities well, he will weed out all those people who were allegedly appointed only because they belonged to the new Methodist Church or came in because of provincialism and have no qualifications.” Click on the link to see who said it. The new Acting Police Commissioner Joeli Baleilevuka has certainly got off to to a quick start: The "Jesus Crusades" have stopped; he's looking at questionable police appointment under his predecessor; he's promised more police on the streets, and more protection for tourists and increased work on a "Crime Free" Fiji.
ETHICAL JOURNALISM. Fiji news organisations have to face reality and make ethical and professional decisions in the “dramatically changed” media landscape, a regional workshop in Tonga on building a vibrant Pacific media has been told. Stanley Simpson, news director of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation said that a major ethical question confronting journalists over the past year had been: “How do we report and practise the principles of journalism under a censored environment?” Read the full report.
YOUTHS URGED TO TAKE UP AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES. The Agriculture Ministry is
calling on youths to take up agricultural businesses. Permanent Secretary Colonel Mason Smith who launched this year’s Fiji Development Small Awards said they are encouraging youths who would like to enter the field to enquire with the ministry and micro finance banks.