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Showing posts from November 29, 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.

Life Does Go On


I was on one of my walks around Lautoka on Monday in one of the less traveled roads when I spotted a Lady Bird amongst the wild flowers. I was delighted to see it. 

But I was surprised because I thought they had died out. I haven't seen them for awhile. I remember during my primary school days in Suva Street there were Lady Birds everywhere. When one would land on us we would sing "Lady Bird Lady Bird fly away, your house is on fire, your children are gone." How apt is that nursery rhyme - their habitat is slowly going. They seem to have disappeared like the butterfly that would be seen everywhere. When a butterfly comes into t…

(+) Sir Paul Reeves Says NZ Should Change its Stance on Fiji

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Former Archbishop of Aotearoa, Governor-General, architect of the 1997 Fiji Constitution, and currently special Commonweath Envoy, Sir Paul Reeves, says NZ should change its stance on Fiji.  The current policy of isolation has not worked and is bringing hardship to Fiji's people. Click here.
Photo: Fiji Village

(o+) Subhash Appana: Unscrupulous Reporting on Fiji

Read this damning account of media partiality in Scoop.

(+) On the Way to Land Reforms

Large areas of Fiji have never been fully integrated into the modern economy, and much land in production is used under leasehold arrangments of less than ideal benefit to either the ethnic Fijian ownwers or the usually non-Fijian tenants. The main beneficaries have been the Native Land Trust Board and the chiefs.  Land has been a political issue used to spread fear among ethnic Fiiians that the Indians will take it.  The Bainimarama government hopes to put an end to this situation by protecting Fijian ownwership and security of tenure, by bringing more land into production and making better use of present land use. This is part of the 'roadmap.'    Click here for the first steps.

NZ Aid: What is Given May Be Taken Away

One again, with the arrival of NZAid's newssheet No. 63, we are reminded  that Fiji has dropped off the map and is now somewhere south of the Pacific's "triple star." There's nothing to be done about it. NZAid is a government agency, and does what government says. But one item of news struck my eye. The Development Resource Centre is to get a new name: Global Focus Aotearoa, with a budget of $1.8m.  Development NGOs, university Pacific Studies and Development Studies departments, and development agencies generally must ever be alert to what, subtely, they may be asked to pay for governnment funding.  What is given may be taken away.

Some Budget Details

Snippets: 2000 Coup, Commonwealth, Crimes Decree, SMH, Ringing Frank, FEA, Xmas Tree

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Looking Back: Speight’s psychological warfare
"Every day, the rumours were deliberately planted by Speight’s psychological warfare machine, targeted at the military as well as civilians, as a means of inciting violence, psychological control and inducing submission. These were reinforced by Speight’s daily interviews, news of burning, violence and theft and reporting of happenings in Parliament where the hostages (members of the ruling party) were still being held. The Fijian radio stations repeatedly played nationalistic speeches by nationalist leaders and sermons by Methodist church leaders ...."
If you want to know more about the racism and shady characters behind the 2000 Speight coup read  Dr Steven Ratuva's review of State of Suffering: Political Violence and Community Survival in Fiji by Auckland University anthropologist Susanna Trnka. Better still, read the book.

What a funny Commonwealth we live in
Rwanda with no prior Commonwealth connections but 800,000 genocid…

Fiji gov't focuses on need for electoral system_English_Xinhua

Fiji gov't focuses on need for electoral system_English_Xinhua: "Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said on Friday that the general election under a just and fair electoral system will be held by September 2014.

In delivering the 2010 Budget for Fiji, Bainimarama said the primary focus of his government shall be on the economy for the next three years.

He said he has commenced the process to hold a Dialogue Forum from February 2010 consisting of people who are positive, interested and forward looking in realizing the true potential of this Pacific island nation.

'The Dialogue process will not, however, deter the government's focus on the economy."