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Showing posts from April 11, 2010

(+) No More Handouts: PM

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Prime Minister Bainimarama says  government will no longer offer handouts to fund church buildings and village halls.

Speaking during a recent two-day tour of Ovalau, Bainimarama said government’s infrastructure development projects are aimed at enhancing the livelihood of local communities.

“We urge members of the public to work hard. Stop relying on handouts. This government will only see that our roads, water, education and other developments are done to move us forward.”

“Government will see that infrastructure is maintained to create business and a better economy for the people of Ovalau and for the future generations.”

The PM visited five villages - Tokou, Bureta, Lovoni, Rukuruku, and Levuka. (Photo: Levuka, Fijiphotos.net)

He emphasised government's commitment to elections in 2014 and urged the people of Ovalau to rally behind the reforms and the People’s Charter.

“We are committed towards change and the Charter outlines clearly these changes. We urge you to …

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.


Minibus Service Needed
Taxi owners and the bus industry will be thankful that illegal vehicles have been taken of the road. 3,000 vehicles were booked. Of that 300 were deregistered. Many people will be without an income, but who cares eh, what they were doing was illegal. About 39 drivers got their licence suspended and four drivers had their driver's licence cancelled. Wow!

That was some operation that the LTA and Police did. Soon there will not be any illegal vehicles on the road. But like I said before, these activities have been in operation for many years and may have filled in gaps and times where legitimate vehicles dared not go.  Let’s hope w…

Repentant Rabuka, Graduates, Land Reform, Media Decree, Walsh "Dumped"

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Rabuka: I Was Wrong
Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, OBE, MSD, OStJ, architect of Fiji's first coup that overthrew the Fiji Labour Party-led Government of the late Dr Timoci Bavadra in 1987, and who later in the same year carried out another coup to stop the return to civilian rule, visited Viseisei village in Ba yesterday to apologize to the Bavadra family and pay his respects to past President the Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

His chief-backed SVT party won the 1992 election and Rabuka became the PM. He lost the 1999 election because extreme Fijian nationalists felt threatened by the SVT "reconciliation" with the Indian National Federation Party.The subsequent fragmentation of the ethnic Fijian vote and near demise of the NFP resulted in the election of Mahendra Chaudhry's mainly Indian Fiji Labour Party-led government that was overthrown a year later by the "Speight" Coup, another attempt to protect the interests of extreme nationalists and the ethnic Fijia…

Women, Economy, If Frank Ruled the Waves, Why Provincial Tours, Corruption Report, Media Freedom

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Short Briefs
The New Women's Plan of Action (WPA) 2010-2019 will see women enjoy "equal participation at decision-making levels" that are especialy important to women. The five areasinclude: employment; decision-making;violence against women and chldren; reproductive health issues; basic services such as housing, water, sanitation and transport; and women and the Law. Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni (Photo FijiVillage)said the WPA will help identify directions for Government action. The initiative is is part of Government’s Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (RDSSED) 2009-2014. Read more.

Valuable Up-to-Date Summary of Fiji's Economic Situation. Concise, balanced and revealing this World Bank report spells out Fiji's vulnerability to internal and external shocks, government reactions to them, and the "very difficult economic challenges" in the year ahead. Foremost among them is the need for
major structural reforms to impro…

Revolution, Bainimara in Lomaiviti, Media Decree, Economy, Corruption: Short Briefs

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How True! Almost Like a Revolution: Ratuva. Saturday was  the first anniversary of the Abrogation of the 1997 Constitution. Reviewing the year on RadioNZI Auckland University's Dr Steven Ratuva,  said major changes had been introduced doing away with almost all the previous governing structures: “In fact the transformation is almost total, it’s almost like a revolution, like a scorched earth policy in the way it’s been carried out. All the old institutions like the Great Council of Chiefs, the Parliament, the Cabinet, the President’s position, the judiciary, the civil service, much of those have been reconfigured.” Ratuva acknowledged the opposition to the regime but said  there is also considerable support. Some areas now have "infrastructure and assistance that was not provided under previous elected governments."
PM Bainimarama resumed his tour of provinces  yesterday by visiting Ovalau Island in the Lomaviti Group. He will inspect hurricane damage, hold consultations a…

Blog Comments and Identity Theft

ANNOUNCEMENT. Comments are an especially useful part of this blog. Over the past few days there has been a concerted attack on Comments made to posts by readers. This was done by stealing the identity of regular commentators and by duplicating and changing comments. The result was that no one know which were genuine comments and which were not. In response, I deleted obvious frauds and held back comments until I had verified them.

Thanks to Fiji Today, a generally more reasonable anti-Government blogsite, the source of the problem has probably now been identified and the threat removed.   Hoping this is the case, I have removed the verification barrier which delayed comment publication and readers will once again be able to make "instant" comments.   The usual comments rules apply.

Links to My RadioNZ National Interview 12/4/10, and Robie on Media Decree

Click on this Mediafire link and download to listen.  The interview lasted 17 minutes.
 http://www.mediafire.com/?2z0ntdfozmu

Topics discussed were the hurricane, how suspension of EU aid hurting farmers, some progress but lost opportunities in NZ-Fiji relations, the assassination plot verdict, Ballu Khan, progress on Roadmap,  reactions to the draft Media decree.

Robie on Media Decree. Listen to Prof. David Robie's views on the draft Media Decree.   He stongly opposes the Decree but understands where Government was coming from, and hopes modifications will be made.

The Draft Media Industry Development Decree 2010

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My Assessment Crosbie Walsh
Reception of the draft decree has been mixed. In Fiji, some say the decree is needed to promote a more responsible media. Some are reported to generally accept the decree but are concerned about how its powers may be used when politicians return to the scene in 2014. Others are concerned about how the military-led government will use these powers now. And others consider the decree, however used, is "draconian, oppressive [and] gives the State absolute powers of control.”