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Showing posts from August 8, 2010

Weekend Reading

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Allen Lockington's Column
Australia, New Zealand and the Forum "Straitjacket"
The Big Push into Rural Fiji
Timor Leste Journalists and Self-Regulation
Engaging with Fiji: Another Opportunity Lost
Friday's Briefs include -Ramadan, The Week's Rumours, Visible Governing, Dorsami Naidu Found Guilty,Sunil Kumar Acquitted, Shipbuilding Potential, Soldiers to Train in China, Australian Bluff and Cheek; PINA and PacMA

Also check out Na Sala Cava (Which Path for Fiji) by clicking orange icon in right side bar.

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.

Homeless in San Francisco
When I read the story about Kolinio Waqairawai I was shocked. I said: how in the world did a citizen of Fiji become homeless in San Francisco?  What a  terrible fate. People usually migrate to greener pastures. What happened to the  pastures he went to? But full marks to his family and other Fijians who have tried to bring him home. There are a few like him right here in Fiji. Proper homes were given to them but they seem to prefer the streets, and keep returning there despite the good efforts of church and charitable organisations,  private individuals, and government agencies.

But let me bring you closer to home. Many people mi…

Australian, New Zealand and the Forum "Straitjacket"

The Big Push into Rural Fiji

Feature article fromIsland Business on Small and Micro-Enterprises by Dionisia Tabureguci

Timor Lese Journalists and Self-Regulation

Dr Clinton Fernandes of the University of News South Wales say East Timor journalists need to regulate themselves or be regulated by government.Had Fiji followed the course he recommends some years ago,  when there was absolutely no effective regulation, the regulatory provisions of the Media Decree would have been unnecessary.

Engaging with Fiji - Another Opportunity Lost: Dev Nadkarni

Despite the unchanging rigidity of their isolationist approach towards Fiji, the political leaderships in Australia and New Zealand would now have all but realised that trying to keep Fiji out of the South Pacific regional equation was never going to be a tenable strategy. 

Ramadan, Rumours, Governance, Lawyers, Australians Turn Cheek, Shipbuilding, Soldiers, PINA & PacMA

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MUSLIMS CELEBRATE. Fiji's 55,000 Muslims are observing the month of Ramadan which started on August 10th.

THIS WEEK'S RUMOURS.  There would still be anti-government rumours, of course, even without the Public Emergency Regulations (PER)  but with PER in place it takes that much longer to refute them before they have achieved much of their purpose: to discredit, distract and destablize governnment.  The absence of "free airwaves" also makes the task of checking on the reliability of the rumours much more difficult.

This week's rumours raised questions on whether the government's Roadmap really existed; the Military Council had called for Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum's resignation (always a popular one when they are both overseas); the PM and other Cabinet members with more than one portfolio were "double dipping," and  whether the Attorney-General's Aunt was involved in corrupt practices. I wonder what next week will bring. It's already s…

Charter Points the Way, Aussies on Fiji, Chinese Investment, Tuvalu Studies PSC, Unemployed Training

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CHARTER POINTS THE WAY. National People's Charter Advisory Council Chairman Josefa Serulagilagi stressed that, while there is progress, the eleven pillars of the charter need to been seen incorporated in the running of government and the lives of the people. He was speaking this morning at the  fifth meeting of the Charter Advisory Council. He also expressed concerns that some government ministries and departments are acting like politicians and looking after their own agenda and interest and not focusing on the task at hand.


PINE HARVESTS SHOULD REDUCE BUILDING COSTS. Fiji Pine Board member Ratu Jolame Lewanavanua said that harvesting of the pine plantations in Gau, Kadavu, Lau as well as other areas commences in two weeks' time should mean cheaper timber prices for the local market.This is in line with Government's plan to provide current and new home owners affordable options.

AUSSIE OPPOSITION WOULD   open negotiations with Fiji's military ruler Frank Bainimarama f…

Public Emergency Regulations, Poverty, Race & the Charter, NZ Policies, Sugar Costing

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PER, A BROKEN PROMISE,  Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in June, Ambassador Peceli Vocea said:

"The calls for the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations are contained in Recommendations 27 to 35. I am pleased to convey that Fiji generally accepts the content and intent of each of these recommendations. The Government of Fiji in February this year has pronounced that it will lift the Public Emergency Regulation as soon as the Fiji Media Decree is promulgated." And again."The Government of Fiji has pronounced that it will lift the Public Emergency Regulation as soon as the Fiji Media Decree is promulgated." But then it didn't. Why did it change its mind?   Was it a wise decision?

I put these questions to the Sharon Smith John, the PS for Information:

Q. Why was it not lifted when the the Media Decree took effect, as previously promised?
A.It was decided to let the media work with the media decree before lifting the PER.

Q. Why is it now being extende…

What is the Roadmap?

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A reader asks what is the Roadmap?  He'd searched the web on Fiji but found no reference to any such document. A recent issue of Fiji Focus written for the general public by Permanent Secretary of Information, Sharon Smith Johns, provides an explanation and  a quick introduction. 

This blog has published 78 items that concern parts of the Roadmap. Scroll down left side bar to "Labels/Index" or write "Roadmap" into the "Search this Blog" facility. A link to the full draft document, and a further explanation by PM Bainimarama,  is also provided below. 
Another reader writes of few signs of progress. Fair enough.  But many of the projects in the Roadmap (and indeed in the plans of all governments) are incremental, showing change and improvements only gradually.  Fiji's problems were never going to be fixed in a day. Think. Corruption. Efficient Public Service. Housing. Land development. 

Government has decided to give prior attention to these physical…

China is the way for Fiji, we should forget about Aust, NZ, USA:PM

Click here for story.

National Unity and Cultural Diversity, ASEAN, Indonesia, Thailand Support Fiji Reforms, PACER Plus

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NATION-BUILDING AND LANGUAGES. Nation-building involves more than establishing a common identity and calling all Fiji citizens Fijians. It also involves recognizing and strengthening the different cultural identities that make up the national whole, and arguably the most important task here is the maintenance and development of the nation's languages.

The Ministry of Education, through its Curriculum Development Unit, has developed syllabuses for the vernacular languages, namely i-Taukei  language, Rotuman, Hindi and Urdu from Class 1 to Form 7. The courses developed  include oral communication, reading, comprehension, writing, language studies, literature, culture study, research and learning resources such as newspapers. Where schools lack suitably qualified language teachers, they will be provided by the Ministry.

The Ministry also supports less used languages such as Telegu, Tamil, French and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). At school, children should be given the opportunity…

Calls for Australia and New Zealand to Change Approach to Fiji

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Scroll down to check out the "Weekend Reading," and click on the orange icon in the right side bar to visit new material on our companion blog Na Sala Cava,  if you have not already done so.

 Most do not support Bainimarama but this is what they say: All of them! Click on diagram to enlarge.
The Pacific Forum showed major cracks in the approach to Fiji no matter how hard they were patched up for public presentation.  Most Pacific leaders think Australia and New Zealand need to re-think their approach which one Australian observer (see below) said had achieved none of its stated  aims. In the items below one Pacific Islander writes of lack of "sensitivity," another of "coercion," another of "individual engagement" with Fiji with or without Australia and New Zealand, and a former diplomat with Pacific knowledge writes that the Forum without Fiji is like  "Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark."  The diagram of the Change Model when the first…