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Showing posts from March 6, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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WEEKEND READING.  Scroll down to ♦ For discussion — People's Charter Pillar 2  ♦ Critical Engagement and Future Scenarios (Part 2) by Akuila Yabaki.  I would rate Akuila's comments as "essential reading". ♦ Friday's posting on the huge global loan.
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.
N207.
Evaluating ourselves
Wonders never cease in my life. I was having a tanoa of yaqona with one of my older relatives and we got talking about schools and how they operate. He said when he was in boarding school back in 1962 every Saturday the whole school would gather in the hall and the teachers, including   the priests who were also teachers, would sit at the top and the students would air their grievances. The students would be…

People's Charter Pillar 2 (Nation Building) and State of the Nation Paper Chapter 2: For Discussion

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N206.   DEVELOPING A COMMON NATIONAL IDENTITY AND BUILDING SOCIAL COHESION
Critical Problems and Issues: We lack a common national identity and unity as citizens of Fiji. Beginning with our colonial legacy of “divide and rule”, and the institutionalisation of communal identities, our people have tended to identify more strongly with their religions, ethnicity and by their various communities or provinces than by nationality. Racially divisive leadership has contributed to the situation that we are now a fractured and fragmented society. We have tended to focus on the differences that divide us rather than on our common shared values and interests. We must change for our common good, as one nation and as one people, through our shared vision and values for a common national destiny.

Fiji 2011: Critical Engagement and Future Scenarios (Part II) - 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.
Part II. Critical Engagement (continued) and Future Scenarios Part I was published last Saturday. N205.
Charter The April 9, 2009 Court Case was a significant event in the impact it had on the CCFs engagement with government. Without any constitutional basis to support the actions of the Bainimarama government meant that CCF would have to disengage itself completely in its parallel work with the State and discontinue its involvement with the Charter and the Charter process.
That does not, however, diminish in any way the States commitment to the Charter which though much criticized, mainly by those who knew very little about its content, objectives and principles, was actually in our view, though a product of an illegal regime was in fact good and progressive in principle.
The d…

The Pros and Cons of Government's Huge Global Loan

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WEEKEND READING. ♦ Allen Lockington column
♦ For discussion — People's Charter Pillar 2  ♦ Critical Engagement and Future Scenarios (Part 2) by Akuila Yabaki.  I would rate Akuila's comments as "essential reading". There will be no 6pm posting today.
By Crosbie Walsh  Photo: Fiji Village. Posting N204.

Government has announced that it has been successful in raising a 5 year international loan of US$250 million (F$500m) at 9%. Some 60% the loan will be used to repay the US$150m (F$300m) borrowed in 2005 by the Qarase government which is due for repayment in September. The remaining US$100m will be used to finance priority capital investments earmarked in the 2011 Budget to generate economic activity, macroeconomic stability and a prudent fiscal position in the medium term.

The new loan is not uncontroversial. A reader says “At 9% interest (three times the going rate) and the way this is structured will always bring out the lenders of last resort. If it is a test of anyth…

Women: Holding Up Half the Sky

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N0200. FOURTEEN NEW WOMEN'S CENTRES. Speaking at the International Women’s Day celebration in Bua, PM Bainimarama said Government has approved the building of women centres in the 14 provinces and semi-urban settlements which will act as the hub to establish the infrastructure for empowerment of women through the enhancement of leadership and programme management skills.

Bainimarama said the representation of women in boards and committees is progressing. “Since 2008, for example, more than 300 women, mostly in rural areas, have become members of Hospital boards" and there are now almost a thousand  female students are enrolled in tertiary institutions around the country under various government scholarship schemes.

The PM urged all women to make use of the educational, vocational, training and income generating programs facilitated by Government, and advance the rights of women by taking advantage of this period of reform to shape a better future for the women of Fiji.

He we…

Detentions, Beatings Denied: Military Rumours, Chaudhry Denied

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Readers are urged to read and comment on the Pillar 1 of the  People's Charter and Chapter  1 of the State of the Nation paper  published on Saturday. Scroll down.
N0195. MORE ON THE DETENTIONS.Former SDL Cabinet MinisterSam Speight  says he'll seek asylum in Australia.  Speight's sister said he'd been treated in Brisbane Hospital after being allegedly beaten by the military in Fiji.

Military Land Forces Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga has denied Speight and others were beaten. "There is no assault or implication, or confirmations of any assault...you know, there would be some minimal force used if people [resist] arrest."

He added that "the mere fact that they have disobeyed the public emergency regulations (PER) is testimony to the fact that they have different agendas." He thought their statements were part of their political agenda.

Clarifying the military's role, he said the military is only involved in arresting people, if police request …

Corruption Engraved in System, Asia Development Banking Funding

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Photo: Rotten apples in a barrel.
N0193. CORRUPTION ENGRAVED IN THE SYSTEM. Corruption has been engraved into the government system for a very long time and is going to take time to get rid of,   says RFMF Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga. He said that for the last three or four years, “We have tried our best and we continue to do the most that we can ... It will take a bit of time to get everybody into it but there’s a major shift since we started until today.”

This is one of the reasons why “We are continuously replacing people, shifting people around, trying to find a way out of this mind set,”

“You see [in the PM's] speeches and in all his visitations and in any opportunity that he gets to speak in public, he continues to stress the importance of working effectively and produce what the government wants them to produce [in this regard.]”

Sara'ssista, a predictable, regular contributor, thinks Tikoitoga gives "an hilarious insight into the regime's an…

Amnesty Imprecision, Walking Out of Poverty, PM Touring Northern Division, Electronic Voter Registration, Al Jazeera Better

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Scroll down for WEEKEND READINGS. See new QUOTE FOR  THE WEEK in the right sidebar.
N0188. THE PROTEST THAT WASN'T. I have no complaint with Amnesty International reporting alleged torture for political reasons.  This is their job, and I support it.  But they should exercise care with what they are told and not inflate the story.

While awaiting their NZ CEO's reply to my enquiry about their sources and steps take to verify what they are told, here is a comment on their latest press release.

Headed "Torture and Detentions in Fiji" (UA:51/11 Index ASA 18/002/2011 Fiji) they report the alleged "detention and torture ... [of] ... seven young men from a settlement outside Suva" and presumed it took place because they were talking about the demonstration (see below) and then went on to say they "feared more people [would] be arrested and subject to torture and ill-treatment in the next few days as the military attempts to prevent plans for a peaceful protest …