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Showing posts from August 22, 2010

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.
Mother of all Festivals
In previous years young women become queens in the Hibiscus Festival, or like my bubu (granny) used to say Na Adi Senitoa, vying for the prestigious crown. Then power house Vodafone Fiji appeared on the scene became the major sponsors and with the fantastic minds doing the organising and preparations, they took it to another level and now it’s called the Mother of all Festivals. 
But they were all queens in my book, only one becomes Miss Hibiscus. Now we have Kings, teens and Ladies in the lineup also. No matter who wins the prized crown, all participants will take something away when they leave. In other words they will ha…

Timor Leste's Growing Ties with China. Any Lessons for Australia re. Fiji?

“Alarm bells” ring for Australian government over deepening China-East Timor ties

From Paramountcy to Equality: Constitutionalism, Dialogue & Ethno-Political Conflict in Fiji

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Rev.Akuila Yabaki.
CEO of Citizens’ Constitutional Forum

Introduction
Fiji has had a turbulent political history with five coups in just over 20 years. Conflict between the two major ethnic groups (Indigenous Fijian and indo-Fijian) has often been blamed for this instability, but the reality of the situation is much more complex. Broader social problems, such as poverty, access to education, lack of good governance and a struggle for wealth, land resources and power, have contributed to the political instability.

Citizenship Education in Schools

My understanding is that the Fiji Ministry of Education is working on language and citizenship education curricula for all schools in the expectation that they will assist nation-building.  In this context, this brief article on the English experience could be of value. The article is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_education.

Prime Minister, Please Help Us to Believe You

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Steps to the 2014 Elections: Suggestions from a Reader
A reader,  Side Lines in Viti Levu, is worried about 2014  and thinks Government is not receiving sufficient feedback with the Public Emergency Regulations  in place. PER makes Government less aware of public concerns.  He is not anti-government, though he's unhappy about some things done and not done.  He's prepared to support Government if it is genuine about elections in 2014.   The PM says he's open to pro-Fiji suggestions. This overseas-based vulagi thinks balanced pro-Fiji comments like this need to be heard by the PM and those close to him:

The only thing we have that separates [PM Bainimarama] from other dictators is a promise he will have elections in 2014. I do hope he keeps that promise and that he holds everyone around him accountable to that goal. There are many things I don’t like about this military regime. They have made many mistakes and broken many promises but no progress is ever made without co…

Forum Mistake, New Solomon Is. PM, Teleni's Resignation, No Place Like Fiji, Decentalising Developments

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NEW SOLOMON PM:  FIJI's ISOLATION A MISTAKE.  The new Solomon Islands PM Hon. Danny Philip says the decision by the PI Forum to isolate Fiji was a big mistake.
He announced that Solomon Islands will engage in direct talks with Fiji. Noting how Fiji's history differed from other former Pacific colonies, he hoped to discuss with PM Bainimarama the areas of electoral reform now being embarked upon. He said "it is the genuine commitment that is important, not the exact number days, months or years it will take to hold democratic elections."
FIJI CONGRATULATES NEW SOLOMONS ISLANDS PM. PM Bainimarama has congratulated the new Solomon Islands PM , Hon.Danny Philip, saying that he looked forward to their meeting at the earliest opportunity to exchange views on matters of common interests.
“Fiji and Solomon Islands have enjoyed very close and cordial ties for many years.   Our strong relationship has proven to be one of the most significant and unwavering partnership t…

Reeves, McCully, Howard in Fiji, Link to Afghanistan, La Nina Drought

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MORE ANONY-MOUSES. Thoughtful comments of all political persuasions are welcome on this blog unlike almost all the anti-government blogs that talk but do not practise free speech. However, despite constant reminders and appeals, some people still refuse to add their real or pseudo-name to comments. If you are one of these people and wonder why your comment has not been published, the reason is that from now on only "very good" interesting anonymous comments will be published. All other anonynous comments will be rejected. Just click the Name/URL button and write your "name."  It's as easy as that and totally confidential.
REEVES MEETS BAINIMARAMA. The Commonwealth's Special Envoy, Sir Paul Reeves, is currently in Fiji to have further meetings and met with the PM yesterday. No further information is presently available. Photo: Sir Paul (centre) at the PIPSA Conference in Auckland earlier this year. Sitiveni Ratuva, far left.

MCCULLY MET KUBUABOLA
in Suva on …

OzNZ Hamper Progress, Oz Election, China Cement, Lau Targets, Mismanagement, Corruption, Levuka Bid, Sugar & Inflation Down,

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CHIEF JUSTICE CRITICISES OZ, NZ.  Fiji has made some ground in restoring their sacked judiciary, but Australia and New Zealand have slowed the process down, Fiji's Chief Justice Anthony Gates says.

Gates said there had been "satisfactory restoration" in Fiji since self-appointed Prime Minster Commodore Frank Bainimarama sacked the judiciary in 2009, the FijiVillage website reported. "There are no magic wands available for this process however," Gates said in Suva on Monday."Australia and New Zealand have hampered our progress in restoring the judiciary at all levels.In the world, this assault on, and interference with, a neighbouring states judiciary is unprecedented." --Sydney Morning Herald/AAP/Pacific Media Watch.


I WOULDN'T PUT MY MONEY ON IT. Commenting on Australia's election outcome, the PS of Information Sharon Smith Johns said, “One clear signal that came out from the voters was that they were frustrated by the Labor Party’s policies a…

Murdoch's News Ltd Wages Hostile War on Fiji

Government Press Release 2010 No: 1304/MOI/
“News Limited, which owns the Fiji Times, continues to wage a hostile media campaign against Fiji, this time directly targeting the nation’s tourism industry and economy”.
This comment was made by the Permanent Secretary for Information, Ms Sharon Smith-Johns in response to articles on Fiji published recently in News Ltd owned newspapers.
“In recent weeks, News Ltd newspapers have published numerous articles on Fiji, all of which perpetrate negativity about Fiji.” 
Ms Smith-Johns said, “It begs the question that most in Fiji are asking. Is the Australian Government using News Limited as a tool to punish Fiji and cripple our economy? These stories are so unbalanced it boils down to nothing but propaganda”.  
“They have embarked on a campaign to manipulate the facts and news to hurt the people of Fiji but we are also taking action through the proper channels and using whatever means is at our disposal.”  
In response to these, the M…
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ANONY-MOUSES. A reader questions why I'm letting people comment anonymously when I said I wouldn't. Frankly, because I've given up.  I still want people to use pseudonyms. It's so simple. Just click the Name/URL button and write a "name" before posting your comment. It's absolutely confidential. There's no way anyone, including me, can know who you are and if people use and stick with a pseudonym, comments and discussion will be more useful. It's not easy conducting a conversation with a mouse.

Don't Give Me that Nonsense about the Media Freedom in the Mickey Mouse Press
Q. What does the Fiji Times, the Townsville Bulletin, the Australian and the Courier-Mail have in common?
A. They are all owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd and they've all employed Rory Gibson as editor, editor-in-chief,  chief sub-editor or senior journalist at some time or another.

Rory has the reputation of writing humourous articles. If you're a kookaburra,  yo…

Bainimarama's Northern Tour, China Unsettles Oz, Aid, Tourism Dollar

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BAINIMARAMA'S NORTHERN TOUR. It's interesting what the PM's provincial tours reveal other than necessary but huge rural infrastructure spending. For the North, this included roads, small loans access, phone coverage and bauxite mining in Bua as reported on Friday. And in Cakaudrove new and upgraded roads, rural electrification and upgraded Savusavu and Taveuni hospitals.

But from Macuata we also again learn of concerns about illegal logging that seems to be linked to bribes and corruption. Nothing seems to have been done to rout it out since the PM's last visit. And from Cakaudrove we learn about rumblings and animosity among the vanua, though what exactly the media did not report. Commissioner Northern LtCol Inia Seruiratu did, however, tell the people to sort out their own problems, saying that Government will only step in only when needed.

“Government respects chiefly decisions that holds the people together,” he said. Government interference could add to animosity.…