Showing posts from August 9, 2009

(o) Media Freedom Sham: Australia and the Cairns Pacific Islands Forum

To the best of my knowledge, Pacific Media Watch, the media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region, is the only media outlet to print this story of the exclusion of socialist journalists from the PI Forum meeting in Cairns.

The non-reporting of the exclusion -- and the exclusion itself -- provide further evidence of foreign government and mainstream media double-standards. The Fiji Government restricts media freedom and there's an outcry; Australian authorities restrict media freedom and that's so okay it's not even worth reporting. No wonder the general public so misunderstand the issues involved in the Fiji situation and its exclusion from the PI Forum. Ironically, most World Socialist Web postings on Fiji have been anti-Bainimarama Government!

Australia: Officials Bar Socialist Media from Reporting on Forum

CAIRNS (WSWS/Pacific Media Watch): In a blatant act of political censorship, Australian officials organising th…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular features in Connect and the daily newspapers. This is a letter to the Fiji Times. I thank Allen permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

When Poverty Disappears, Magic in the Air

I WENT to the Farmers Carnival in Lautoka to see what bargains were available. There were stalls selling food, books, sweets, clothes and a few had games of chance. From one stall came the sound of preaching but the gambling stall was more full.

Then I came across a stall that said 'Magic'. The gentleman said he was from India. He was showing a few girls some magic where money would appear in their hands and they would give it to him. Many people would come and money would appear in their hands. People were hooked.

I watched him put a die at the bottom of an upturned plastic cup and pile two more on …

(+) A Reader Writes: "Reconciliation is a Laugh With All This Work Still in Hand"

Read comments on this post by clicking "comment" at the end.

"Kamlesh Arya is quite right (see earlier Snippet post) to say that no elections should be contemplated in Fiji until an acceptable constitution is in place which treats every citizen of the country equitably (including their eligibility for posts of President and PM).

Never again are elections which have been riddled with corruption to be conducted in Fiji with the complicit acceptance of Australia and New Zealand (or any other democracy in the so-called 'Civilized World'). Our democratic rights are no different to those of any other fully-fledged democracy - are they? Be assured that some of us have now found the confidence and the determination to see an amelioration of our standing and a refusal to be used again by these two neighbour countries for their own ends.

We shall take on the corrupt and still free persons who rattle around having believed that impunity would 'let them off'. No more …

(o) Government "Cleaning Up" Appointed Boards' Inefficiencies and Abuses

A review of most of the government appointed boards and statutory bodies is now underway to ensure that they are running cost effectively and working in the best interest of the taxpayers of the country.

[This announcement is important because it is evidence Government is honouring its "general clean up" declaration, including some situations where it has unwittingly contributed to abuses of power. It is priorities of this nature that have put further discussions on constitutional and electoral reform on hold for two years, and why elections have been delayed until 2014.

Government intends to repair the "ship of state" before sending it to sea.]


Reliable sources have today confirmed to FijiVillage News that this step has to be taken to ensure that the objectives of each organisation are achieved without wastage.

Our source said one of the issues being looked at is the companies that have a number of subsidiaries and the total amount of board fees and allow…

Snippets: Great Council of Chiefs, Methodists, Police Jesus Strategy, Australian Travel Bans, MSG Dialogue Offer

Read comments on this post byh clicking "comment" at the end.

Great Council of Chiefs
PM Bainimarama told FijiLive that with the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, “there is no Great Council of Chiefs”.On whether the GCC will be part of the new constitution proposed by his government, Bainimarama said “I can’t say now”.The GCC had entrenched provisions in the 1997 Constitution with powers to appoint the President and Vice-President.

Comment: Letters to the editor thought the GCC should not be engaged in national politics as it had in the past, but thought the GCC had a important traditional role to play on matters concerning ethnic Fijians.

Methodists to Hold District Conferences
FijiLive reports that police have given the green light to the Methodist Church to hold individual district conferences on the condition that no two districts can merge. Districts are now free to have their own conferences and bazaars to raise money. Earlier, Government forcing the cancellation of this…

(+) Giving Fiji a Break: Ulli Weissbach

Well known AUT journalism professor, David Robie (who surely must deserve the title Father of Pacific Journalism, having founded or directed journalism programmes in PNG, Fiji and Auckland) has just returned from a month's Pacific soujourn. His post on Cafe Pacific, "Taking a Breather- and Giving Fiji a Break" includes links and comments on the recent PINA meeting in Port Vila, Prof. Jane Kelsey's comments on the Cairns PACER meeting, Mark Davis's interview with Bainimarama, and an interesting perspective on Fiji by NZ-based German journalist Ulli Weissbach gleaned from a three-week research trip to Fiji.

Ulli starts: "Part of my job in Fiji was to prepare the ground for a German TV foreign affairs programme on Fiji. I had a chat with government spokesperson Lt Col Neumi Leweni, who assured me there would be absolutely no problem for the German TV crew entering Fiji and interviewing the "evil dictator". To read his seven "experiences" of…

(B+)Being Able to Speak with Each Other Helps: Fiji's Several Languages

Building a modern, harmonious nation of people who can't even speak with each other, except perhaps in English, the mutually foreign language, has not been easy for Fiji.

When Ratu Cakobau ceded Fiji to the British in 1879 most Fijians couldn't even talk with each other. The languages of the western half of Viti Levu and those of the east have about as much in common as German with Dutch or Portuguese with Spanish. The western language family is divided into 12 major groupings and the east into 15. In turn, these are further divided into about 300 communalects or dialects, many of which were unintelligible to each other. Cakobau's conquests and colonial prerogatives led to the "adoption" of Cabokabau's Bauan as standard Fijian, and the decline -- but not the extinction of the languages and major communalects. Today, Standard Fijian is the language taught in Fijian primary schools and spoken by most urban Fijians.

Indian intra-ethnic communication was even mor…