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Showing posts from November 22, 2009

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in www.connectme.com.fj/news/opinion. I thank Allen and Connect for 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.

Meet the People

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will soon be touring the West. I'm sure the people of Lautoka will be thankful to actually meet him. We in Waiyavi would love to have a talanoa session with him. No politics just a simple good old talk about this and that. I know Ratu Epeli has a huge sense of humour, well, we have some jokes that will make him smile even laugh.  And some that will roll the eyes.

But can the entourage tour Lautoka - on foot. That is how you will get to meet the people, Sir. Please don't just meet the tree top people. We at the grass roots would love to meet you also.

Likewise all City Fathers around Fiji should take time…

Full text of 2010 national budget address - Fiji Times Online

(o) Possible Explanation for Blog Blocks

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It seems there are some very real concerns about national security  and, from the PM's comments in the Fiji Sun, blogs could be part of the issue. Two important events are taking place: the Attorney-General's two day meeting at the Warwick Hotel on Cybernet Crime, and the announcement of the Budget.  Both events will attract a lot of attention. Anti-Government activists  wishing, for example, to deter more tourists from visiting Fiji could well target one or both events.  I also understand that there are widespread rumours of a "political party" seeking to more actively destabilize Government.

If this information is accurate, I still think a better option for the PM is it make it public rather than blocking blogs and other means of communication. This leave people -- most importantly the Fiji public -- guessing about causes, and prevents those who support him from doing so  more publicly.  I understand that the blogs are now (Friday morning) unblocked!


I will not comme…

(o-) Blocking Blogs Blocks Brains

Unless Government has evidence that blogs are actually formenting rebellion (and not just talking about it from time to time), the intermittent and indiscriminate blocking of all blogs, coming as it does on top of the National Spectrum Decree, detracts from the credibility of Government's Roadmap.  PERS should be progressively lifted (as urged many times in this blog) and not tightened with the blocking of blogs.  Prime Minister, don't do this. You are shooting yourself in the foot.

This letter from a Friend

Dear Croz,

A previous attempt by the government to block websites foundered when it came to those users who have Connect as their ISP, since Connect seemingly refused to adhere to the government’s alleged instruction.  However over the past 2 – 3 days it’s possible that further pressure has been brought to bear since I’m now unable to view several websites without going through proxy servers.  Certain websites seem to have the technological nous to circumvent the ban o…

Election Office Starts 2014 Election Countdown

(o) IMF Prepared to Give Fiji a Loan

(o+) Nick Naidu and Simon Jackson on the Spectrum Saga

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SEE 'SPECTRUM SAGA' BELOW FOR UPDATES SINCE MONDAY.


Radio Australia'sBruce Hill interviews Nick Naidu (NZ Coalition for Democracy in Fiji) and Simon Jackson (Head of Streamcom whose report led to the National Spectrum Decree.) Naidu says outsiders should do nothing to help the Fiji Government. Jackson thinks the Government is on the right track with the Decree. November 25th. 2:00 EST.  Full report

Some extracts below:

NAIDU: ... the timing [of the Spectrum Decree] is quite interesting, it's a time when shortly after  the media has been censored [actually it was in April] and it appears that the censorship hasn't worked as well as the regime most probably wanted it. So could this be a way to further control or muzzle those organisations or media outlets that were not playing ball with the regime.

It's very sad that while the people of Fiji the average person is suffering, and poverty is getting out of control, unemployment at its highest level, the economy…

(o+) Snippets: IMF, Land Reform, Labasa's New Health Unit, Violence against Women, Constitution Retentions, Corruption Suspicions

THE SPECTRUM SAGA IS UPDATED DAILY, 
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING NEW.
SEE UPDATES AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE.


AFTER TWO WEEK OF CONSULTATIONS IN FIJI,the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Government that rushed civil service reforms could result in the loss of experienced manpower. The retirement age policy that  saw 2,044 civil servants go home earlier this year was part of the Civil Service Reform. The IMF also advised Government to stop borrowing, and reduce its reliance on the Fiji National Provident Fund as a source of finance. Full story.

WORK ON A LAND DATABANK has started at the Ministry of Lands and Minerals, working closely with the Native Land Trust Board. The work is part of the Ministry's 2010 - 2014 Strategic Planlaunched in Suva on Tuesday. Outcomes will assist land reform aimed at better land use and accessibility, needed to save the sugar industry and open more opportunities for tourism and agriculture. The reforms, part of the 2010-2014 Stategic Plan, wil…

(+) Public Sector Corruption

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Fiji was left out of Transparency International global survey on public sector corruption because there was not enough data.Its last ranking was at 55th place.

Dave Aidney, Chairman of Transparency International Fiji, said he is disappointed but Government is making progress. A major problem is finding good prosecution lawyers as some of those charged are hiring Queens Counsels and are being let off on technicalities. Fiji is also updating many of its integrated Acts in an effort to reduce corruption. Attorney General and Minister for Anti-Corruption Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed no approaches were made to his office by Transparency International when the annual survey of the 180 countries was conducted.  Full story.

Former Post Fiji Top Guns Go on Trial
Radio Fiji announces the trial on corruption charges of two former Post Fiji executives. Full story.

(+) "Sayed-Khaiyum and Tappoos Strike Deal": What Deal?

Forgive the grammar but it gets curiouser and curiouser this almost daily manufacturing of non-news bent on showing just how rotten the Fiji Goverment is. Now Coupfourpointfive reports what it calls a "clear case of conflict of interest."

Here's the  story. Attorney-General Sayed-Khaiyum's family investment company has sold a "personal property, including a large residential block of prime land in the heart of Suva city to business tycoon Tappoo Group of Companies...The price remains undisclosed [but] Coupfourpointfive has established that it was sold at an inflated price, in return for concessions and benefits from Sayed-Khaiyum who is also tourism minister."

Come on. Where's the "clear" conflict of interest? Why should the price be disclosed? How did your informant know an "undisclosed" price was "inflated"? Where was he sitting when he heard Khaiyum and Tappoo discuss "concessions and benefits"? You do nothing …

(o+) The Spectrum Saga

UPDATED DAILY, WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING NEW.
SEE UPDATES AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE.


An Only Too Typical Story of Collusion between Inside "Sources", Blogs, the Media and Politicians: Twelve Days in November


"There's no denying that if you think them bad, they are bad and nothing they say or do will convince you otherwise."- Anon.

It all started a month or so ago when Streamcom NZ was hired to review the use of Fiji's airwaves.

Government was concerned about airwave efficiency and suspected earlier underhand dealings in their allocation. They must also have been aware -- but not necessarily influenced by knowing -- that the Fiji Broadcasting Commission (FBCL)  wanted an entry to TV and that MaiFM, recently awarded the 2010 Soccer World Cup televion rights, could only reach some urban areas using UHF. They needed a VHF channel to cover Fiji. 

D-Day. Thursday 12 November.  The President signed the National Spectrum Decree (No.48 of 2009). Its purpose  (clause…

Snippets: Name Changes, Crime, Bomb Threats, Child Welfare Decree, National Spectrum Decree

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(+) SCHOOL NAMES THAT DENOTE RACIAL AFFILIATIONS (Fijian, Indian) are to be phased out, as recommended in the People's Charter.Head of the Strategic Framework for Change, Filimoni Kau (photo Fiji Village), said they had informed the Education Ministry of this directive and the onus was on the Ministry to inform all schools.

Work is also underway on the process of having a common name for all Fiji citizens(with indigenous Fijians to be called i-Taukei) and the abolition of race-based entry qualification for scholarships. Kau said common name consultations requires a lot of work. The outcome will be included in the new constitution.Full story.

(+) SUVA'S REPORTED CRIMES HAVE DROPPED to 1360 from 2285 at the same time last year, and work between Police,City Council and the public hopes to make the capital crime-free.  Initiatives include community involvement in four "crime watch" zones; crime prevention committees; and an aggressive approach towards addressing crime whic…