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Showing posts from December 20, 2009

Snippets: Rotuma, Micro-Credit, Tourism, NLTB, Intellectual Property, Free Textbooks, Cyclone Donors

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Rotuma set to trade with Tuvalu
From mid-January farmers on isolated volcanic Rotuma (population 2,800 and 390km NNW of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu) will trade directly with independent Tuvalu (pop.12,000 on nine atolls) nearly 300km further north.Click on map to enlarge.  Some 400 Rotuma farmers, organized in 20 groups with 20 members each, are expected to generate $18,000 a month from their food exports. This new venture follows Rotuma being declared a port of entry and the provision of new port facilities by central government.

One can only wonder why this "regional development" initiative was not launched by the British when the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Rotuma and Fiji were colonies. And if not then, sometime earlier during the nearly 40 years since Fiji Independence. Full story.

Chief surprised with development
Radio Fiji report
Rotuma High Chief Gagaj Maraf says he is so overwhelmed with the government's development work undertaken on the island.

Gagaj Mara…

(+) Bainimarama Resilient and Resolute, Rightly So

Story by Rajendra Prasad in Indian Newslink.  Click here.

(+) Bainimarama Says 2009 was a "Positive Year"

Click here for full story.


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.
Christmas  Cake

by Anonymous

2 kg flour
 1 tsp mixed spice
250grams butter
1 cup brown sugar
Vanilla essence
4 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup dried fruit
1 cup mixed peel
                         1 cup cherries                            
1 40 oz Rum

Method

Heat the oven. Grease cake tin. Make sure the rum is ok.  Mix flour, spice and dried fruit. Break eggs. Scoop from the floor.  Pour into flour mixture. Make sure the rum is still Ok.
Hic, pour misture into tin.
Toss cake misture into oven. Make shure the rum ish hokay. Bake for 30 minutes.

Make sure rum ish Ok.
Remove cake. Run screaming to tap to cool fingers, blessing the oven.

Pick cake from floor. Make …
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A Very Happy Christmas Everybody



Photo: labotzstamps.com
Read what readers say. Click "Comments" below.

(o) New Zealand Initiative?

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A new initiative or merely a repeat of the old conditions? We shall have to wait and see, but considering it's Christmas week, we'll give PM Key the benefit of the doubt -- and keep our fingers crossed. Radio Fiji made one error with the PM's name. It is Key not Keys but it only takes one Key to open most doors.

NZ PM Wants Dialogue



New Zealand Prime Minister John Keys (sic!)  has told NZ Media that he is seeking renewed engagement with the Fiji Government.

Speaking to Radio Tarana this morning Keys says he wants to have dialogue with Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimama.

"I’m actually in the process of sending him a letter actually – for trying to engage in more dialogue. We have been a bit disappointed with the way things have gone this year. We are not – anti-Frank Bainimarama. We do want to see democracy restored in Fiji. And we are prepared to do whatever it takes – as financial sources and human sources – to allow that to take place."

And in wh…

ABC Radio Australia News:Stories:Cyclone damages Fiji dairying

ABC Radio Australia News:Stories:Cyclone damages Fiji dairying

UPDATE
Damage in Fiji's Eastern Division - where authorities say losses from Cyclone Mick were most extensive - has been initially estimated at $US3.6 million. The National Disaster Management Office says the Western Division is next in the damage toll, with an estimate of $2 million. There were 23 primary schools damaged in the Western Division and 16 in the central division.The Fiji Times reports six secondary schools were also damaged .
Read what readers say. Click "Comments" below.

Cyclone damage to Fiji crops extensive

Cyclone damage to Fiji crops extensive
Read what readers say. Click "Comments" below.

Cyclone Assistance "Demonstration of Australia's Friendship"

The Australian Government has announced it will provide $100,000 to assist those affected by Cyclone Mick, and  further assistance if required.  The statement said "The funding is a further demonstration of Australia's friendship and commitment to the people of Fiji." A similar amount, with similar provisions, was also donated by New Zealand. Read what readers say. Click "Comments" below.

Snippets: Sugar and Cyclone Mick, Economy now "Stable," Tourism - New Planes, Transport, Ex-Prisoners, Lau is Part of Fiji

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 Sugar industry suffers (another) massive blow
Most sugar cane to be harvested and crushed this season was damaged by Cyclone Mick and the floods that followed. Full story. The Lautoka mill and Rarawai mill (photo) at Ba were also badly damaged. Reports indicate that there has also been a substantial damage to cash crops in the Western Division. Once Fij's main overseas money earner and major employer,the sugar industry has been long overdue for restructuring. Problems with land leases, the optimal size of farm units, transportation, and outdated machinery, have been compounded by falling world sugar prices,  uncertainty over preferential prices under the Lome Convention and Cotonou Agreement (that gives former European colonies the same price as subsidized European farmers) and, more recently, the withholding of EU and Commonwealth assistance -- for political reasons -- to modernize the industry. If anyone needs a visit from Father Christmas, it is the sugarcane farmers of the We…