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Showing posts from February 27, 2011

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 Fiji. I thank Allen 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.

Electricity Charges
The Commerce Commission is on the road to reducing the cost of Internet charges. I wonder why? It will certainly be beneficial for customers, especially business people, because the internet is the most popular, efficient and fastest communications highway in use today.

People's Charter Pillar 1: For Discussion

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My thanks to the readerwho suggested a regular weekly posting on each of the eleven pillars of the People's Charter that will enable all readers to consider each pillar carefully, offer their opinions and comment on what has been done —and what yet needs to be done—to implement them. Here in the first week is Pillar 1. Please use the opportunity to comment and exchange opinions with other readers. Please try to comment over the next seven days. Pillar 2 will be published next Saturday. ---- N192A ---- Postscript. I have added Chapter 1 of the State of the Nation paper  on the recommended electoral reforms  at the end of Pillar 1.

PEOPLE'S CHARTER PILLAR I ENSURING SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY AND GOOD AND JUST GOVERNANCE¹
Critical Problems and Issues:
A fair and just Constitution is the basis of good governance. However, a Constitution that divides the people and separates them, which does not provide for equal opportunities, can be neither fair nor just. The world community, in declarations …

Fiji 2011: Critical Engagement and Future Scenarios (Part I) - Akuila Yabaki

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Speech given by the Rev Akuila Yabaki Chief Executive Officer, Citizens' Consitutional Forum, in February 2011 during his New Zealand tour. I consider it the most important paper to be written on Fiji this year. Photo: Rev Yabaki and Croz Walsh, Wellington, February 2011.
Part I. Introduction, Militarization of Government and Critical Engagement
Introduction
The Fiji Court of Appeal ruling of 9 April 2009 in the case of Qarase versus Bainimarama, which was contrary to the Fiji High Court judgment of 10 October 2008, stated that under the 1997 Constitution Fiji’s President did not have the powers to dissolve Parliament and appoint the interim Fiji governments in December 2006 and January 2007. The Rulings went further to add that the President could only make those decisions on the advice of the Prime Minister and the cabinet. Following this judgment, Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama resigned from his position. A day later, then President the late Ratu Josefa Iloilo (purpor…

The Rotuma Tuvalu Trade

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This report from the Ministry of Information

Government is excited about economic good times for Rotuma Island with the commencement of trade with Tuvalu this week. Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said Government is committed to the well being of Rotumans. In a past visit to Rotuma, the Prime Minister pledged to build the island economy.
The map shows Rotuma and Futuna in Tuvalu in relation to Fiji's main islands.Click to enlarge.

Lawyers Guilty, Don't Preempt Dialogue, Indian NGO to Help Amputees, Sukanaivalu Resigns

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Photo: Commissioner Connors and the Attorney-General.Fiji Times.
N0184. LAWYERS GUILTY.  Three prominent lawyers, Muhammed Shamsud-Dean Sahu Khan, Mehboob Raza and Vipul Mishra, have  been found guilty of professional misconduct by Independent Legal Services Commission Commissioner John Connors. Mitigation for the lawyers will take place on 28 April and sentencing on 4 May. Readers in any doubt about Government charges of corruption, negligence and malpractice in the legal profession, and the earlier need to sideline the Fiji Law Society, should read the full article.

Speaking last year on Commissioner Connor's appointment, Attorney-Gereral Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum said, “The Bainimarama Government is determined that lawyers gain public trust. Having confidence and trust in the legal profession assists, and is an integral part of the proper and effective administration of justice.” Today's decision is part of that process.

N0185. PREEMPTING DIALOGUE?  Although the main elements o…

Breaking News. Ratu Inoke Sentenced

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N0183. Photo: FijiVillage.
Naitasiri high chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata has just been sentenced to eight years imprisonment by High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar after he was convicted of inciting the 2000 mutiny at Queen Elizabeth Barracks. He is not eligible for parole.

Justice Goundar said Ratu Inoke was given the title of Qaranivalu to bring honour upon his people but instead he has brought them nothing but disgrace.  The judge said that by turning the soldiers against their own Commander, eight soldiers were killed, 18 were wounded and two civilians were wounded by stray bullets outside Queen Elizabeth Barracks.

Justice Goundar noted that Ratu Inoke had showed no remorse except for a plea of mercy for hnimself, and that after being released from an earlier successful appeal, he had embarked on another dangerous venture to kill the Commander. He said, “Ratu Inoke, you pose a threat to the public safety and you will continue to be a threat to the safety and welfare of the publi…

The Queen, DVD Disk, Amnesty International NZ, Radio NZ International

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WEEKEND READING.  ♦ Allen Lockington Column  ♦ Fiji 2011: Critical Engagement and Future Scanarios (Part I) by Akuila Yabaki  
♦ Discussion on Pillar 1 of the People's Charter  ♦ Rotuma Tuvalu Trade
DAYLIGHT SAVING. Fiji loses an hour of daylight (when some say it couldn't need it more) this Sunday morning.  Readers in Fiji, remember to put your clock back from 3am to 2am.

N0179. QUEEN 'DUMPED'. Lèse majesté is the crime of offending the dignity of a reigning monarch. This is what the yellow press journalists infer the Fiji government has done to Queen Elizabeth II by their use of words such as "dumped" to describe Government's replacement of the Queen's face on the new currency coins and notes. Some, including the UK Daily Mirror, have stated the change is "retaliation" for Britain's political position on Fiji. When journalists can made "big" news out of an innocuous coinage decision, we have little reason to trust them on real i…

NZ Earthquake, Treason Trial, Tui Cakau, SDL Offices, Tourism Initiatives, CCF, PER

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N0173. EARTHQUAKE CONDOLENCES. The PM signed the condolence book for victims of the Christchurch earthquake at the New Zealand High Commission yesterday. His visit to the High Commission follows his sympathy letter sent to his counterpart  John Key last week.  A formal reply is expected later when one also hopes Fiji's condolences will be reported by the NZ media. Confirmed deaths  from Christchurch now total 155 and could rise to 240. New Zealand's worst earthquake death toll was 256 in Napier on 3 February 1931.

N0174.TAGIVEIKATA TRIAL UPDATE. Monday

N0175.PM TELLS TUI CAKAU NO MORE TALKS
.  In earlier talks Ratu Naiqama told the PM to step aside and reconvene the Great Council of Chiefs to appoint an interim government.(see N014).

N0176.SDL PARTY OFFICES SEARCHED.
SDL senior executive Mataiasi Ragigia  says police searched the SDL headquarters and the staff was ordered to leave. Ragigia described police manners as aggressive, but “None of us were taken in for questioning. We …

Rantings and Ratings: Actions and Reactions on Rumour and Misinformation

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N0169. GOD, SATAN AND THE BEAST.  If you find references to God, Satan and the Beast unusual in a so-called pro-democracy protest march  call, you're  in for a surprise.  From Semi Draunitutu in Australia, read these words, quite unedited but with key words underscored,  addressed  presumably only to Christian ethnic Fijians living in Fiji.  No one else counts.

"WE ARE THE CHOSEN PEOPLE CALLED BY GOD TO MARCH THE SREETS OF SUVA TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN OUR PEOPLE AND OUR BELOVED FIJI. WE MUST BE EFFECTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE.
WE MUST DESTROY SATAN AND THE DRAGON BEAST OF THE DEMON THE COMMANDER, THE MILITARY AND AG [Attorney-General].
THE PLAN OF GOD IS NOW AT HAND.
God has spoken and his fulfilled action plan and prophecy is overflowing with results in the middle east. The “People Power” for Fiji is here the action plan, is a GRAND MARCH” through the city with placard “GOD IS GREAT FIJI IS FREE” “FRANK AND KHAIYUM OUT” ”RFMF DEAD FIJI ALIVE
‘ILLEGAL MINISTERS TO THE GALLOWS. FLEE WHIL…

Speight of Rumours

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Photo: Janus, the Roman  god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, endings and time.

N0168  by Crosbie Walsh
February must be the rumour season in Fiji, such has been the spate of stories of arrests, detentions and manhandling that have hit the blog and international media airwaves in the past two to three weeks.

I'm not sure how complete my list is but Felix Chaudhary was the first journalist to be "taken to the barracks" this year.  He was released the same day and did not report ill-treatment. Then there were stories of the arrests of  Felix Anthony, Maika Namudu and 'two  (unnamed) politicians.' The blogs reported that Anthony and Namudu were beaten up and required hospital treatment. This was followed by the Sam Speight and  Apisai Tawake stories that were taken up in interviews by ABC's Pacific Beat interviewer Bruce Hill. Both admitted to what would be seen as anti-government activities and both claimed ill treatment.

More puzzling is last Wednesday…

Ovalau Villages Welcome Developments/Charter, Police Up the Ante, Yellow Ribbon Successes

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There will be special posting on the Sam Speight detention and the role of Amnesty International NZ tomorrow.
Photo: Lovoni village, Ovalau. Tannis McCartny.
N0165. OVALAU TURAGA-NI-KORO WELCOME DEVELOPMENTS. Village chiefs told visiting  Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni, last week of the positive impact government activities were having on their communities.

Usaia Delai of Vuma village said
,  “We appreciate what Government is doing in terms of empowering the people in the rural and outer islands through the free text books and bus fares for the school children. This is something we had been hoping for years until now and we thank the Prime Minister and Dr Luveni for the support shown for children’s education and the financial empowerment of women through income generating programmes.”

Vagadaci village chief Isoa Saqacala echoed similar sentiments, saying that their village has descendants of Solomon islands and part Europeans but they all lived to…

FDN Blog Tale, FT Blog Misrepresents Choices, Minimum Wages, Aussie Travel Ban

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See new QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in the right sidebar, and scroll down to the WEEKEND READINGS.
Readers' experiences and opinions on my special Sunday posting N0160  "Too Timid to Speak Out" are especially welcome.
ANNOUNCEMENT DAYLIGHT SAVING.
The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr. Filipe Bole confirmed that Fiji will end daylight saving at 3 am on Sunday 6th March 2011, after it started on Sunday 24th October 2010.   This decision by the Cabinet means that the nation will have to switch time back from 3am (03:00) to 2am (02:00) normal time in the first Sunday next March, 2011.

N0161. FDN CAUGHT BY  ITS OWN TALE. The anti-government blog FijiDemocracyNow wrote: "Croz caught out again." They were referring to my correction of a RadioNZ report about Prof Brij Lal.   It was RadioNZ that was caught out.  I relied on them for my report, and corrected their error immediately after Brij assured me by email that he had not said what RadioNZ said he …

Too Timid to Speak Out (and a Note on the Recent Detentions)

N0160. My article on refugee applications by Fijians to remain in Australia (N0146) brought a sharp response from Too Timid.  Here is his response and the slightly edited comments of three others on what he had to say.