Showing posts from May 8, 2011

Fiji is a Multi-Cultural Nation: Rotuma Update

Scroll down to more WEEKEND READING.   ♦ People's Charter Pillar 11 (Global, International Relations): For Discussion ♦ Rotuma: Fiji is a Multi-cultural Nation  ♦ Australia Not Getting its Way -- Karam C Ramrakha ♦  Australia Changes Tune on Fiji Peackeeping But ...  ♦ Allen Lockington Column ♦ Issues of the Past Haunt Us - PM

Rotuma lies nearly 500 km north of “mainland” Fiji and its people,  language, culture  and history are distinct.  The island was annexed by Britain in 1881 and chose to remain part of Fiji at Independence in 1970. It is administered by a council of chiefs and under the previous government Rotumans had separate representation in the Fiji Senate and parliament.  Some 9,000 Rotumans live in mainland Fiji where many have occupied senior positions in government, the army, business  and the professions, and about 3,000 live on Rotuma.

Australia Not Getting its Fiji Way–Karam C Ramrakha

Karam C. Ramrakha, a long time leading Fiji lawyer, writer and columnist and now resident in Sydney, Australia, uses his expert knowledge including his 50 years as a Fiji MP to assess the current situation.
Fiji, which looms so large in our part of the world, is quiet and recent information from Fiji reveals that few are challenging Frank Bainimarama’s rule.

People’s Charter Pillar 11 (Global and International Relations: For Discussion

Critical Problems and Issues:
· In the wake of successive coups since 1987, Fiji’s image internationally is that it is a country prone to a “coup culture”, lawlessness and bad governance.
· One of our neighbour countries has described Fiji as a “pariah state”, a label that has the power to inflict disastrous consequences upon us as a nation.
· We are challenged to regain our rightful place in the international family of nations.

Australia changes tune on Fiji’s involvement in peacekeeping but that’s all: Joanna McCarthy interviews Kevin Rudd

Two items forwarded by a reader with this note: “Listening to Radio Australia on short-wave in the evenings, I picked up two gems last night - tracked them down this morning.  1) in response to the flak Aus/Rudd has been receiving lately, he's issued an appeasing statement on Fiji UN troops (and co-incidentally there is an article in yesterday's Sun about them); 2) but he's dug in his heels generally about Fiji - we can huff-and-puff about the PI Forum and the Commonwealth being against Fiji - I wonder how many listeners know that it is Aus that engineered such opposition? And does the CMAG really 'engage' with Fiji?

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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.

Cassava Gold Mine

Issues of the Past Haunt Us: PM

Fiji needs leaders who are committed to genuine consultation, inclusiveness and accountability and have a progressive vision in moving the country forward, the Prime Minister Commodore told Macuata chiefs and provincial leaders  yesterday, repeating his long-time message that that Fiji's root problem was dirty politicians and racism.

The PM urged provincial leaders to take the lead role in developing the  leadership model spelt out in Pillar 3 of the People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress which emphasised  honesty, integrity, professional ethics and service to communities.

The Truth as Michael Field Sees it: his FRU Article

In March last year I took journalist Michael Field to task  for  his total misrepresentation of the Crimes Decree, then recently introduced in Fiji, and before that for an article that had typhoid threatening Fiji’s major tourist destination, when it was confined to a remote inland area over 50 kilometres away.   It is time to take him to task again, not because this is the first time in a year that he has transgressed, far from it, but because it is necessary once in a while to remind readers of his prominent role in misinforming the NZ media and public. 
In an article this week ,  Field makes three important errors of fact in his report on the Fiji Rugby Union, if indeed they were errors.  Here they are, with my comments: 

Australia's Pacific Fantasy and a Diplomatic Bloody Nose

Pacific Scoop: Analysis – By Graham Davis
The Australian foreign policy establishment has been plunged into an agonising debate with the gradual realisation that Canberra’s long-standing hardline approach to events in Fiji has failed.
The bipartisan consensus between Labor and the Coalition that the diplomatic cold shoulder and targeted sanctions would eventually bring the Bainimarama regime to heel has been shattered.
And now a high-level public split has emerged that would have once been unthinkable between Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and the most prestigious Australian think-tank on Melanesian affairs – the Lowy Institute.
The head of the institute’s Myer Foundation Melanesian programme, Jenny Hayward-Jones, is a former diplomat who once shared Rudd’s enthusiasm to use every means, short of withdrawing humanitarian assistance, to bludgeon Frank Bainimarama into an immediate restoration of democracy.
But while Rudd is sticking to his guns – testily arguing that it is Bainim…

Employment Relations (Amendment) Decree 2011

“Cabinet, on the strength of a submission from the  Attorney-General,  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has approved the Employment Relations (Amendment) Decree 2011. 

The Attorney-General said that the Decree amends the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 by replacing section 3 to exempt Government and other Government entities from the Promulgation with the provision that Government and other Government entities are subject to the Employment Relations Tribunal for claims under the Workmen’s Compensation Act [Cap. 94] and Health and Safety at Work Act 1996.

He said that it also inserts a new section to: terminate proceedings against the Government or any Government entity which has been brought by virtue of or under the Promulgation; and terminate any orders of the Employment Relations Tribunal or Employment Relations Court which involves the Government or any Government entity.”

Comment.  The Attorney-General is not reported as giving any reason for this amendment.  From what has been reporte…

Prof Narsey Lets Fly over FNPF — and Everything Else In Sight

A symposium to discuss the  review of the 45-year old Fiji National Provident Fund Act and Pension Scheme will be held in Suva this Wednesday and Thursday. 
Prof Wadan Narsey couldn’t wait until then.  He’s got in early and three anti-government blogs have already published his article  in which he called the symposium” a big farce, a pretence at ‘public consultation’, much like the Charter Charade organized by Bainimarama, John Samy and Petero Mataca.”   He said the panel of IMF, World Bank and ILO “experts” who will be at the symposium  are “unknown and unaccountable” and made a number of serious complaints about the operation of the FNPF Board and the mismanagement of pension funds.    Had the article stopped there, it would have served its purpose in asking questions that need to be answered.  But he went on to raise political issues only distantly related to the FNPF.   He called for the publication of a “full list of coup collaborators and supporters in Fiji and abroad” (last week…

Character Assassination Follow Up

The publication last week by the CoupFourPointFive blog of the names and photos of people they consider “pro-coup” (with hints of dire consequences to follow) resulted in an exchange of emails between some of those on the blog’s “hate list.”

It started with Graham Davis who said he was proud to be associated with the others on the list: “Unlike our detractors, we support a prosperous, multiracial and just Fiji, with true democracy for every citizen.”

Another wrote, “I am honoured to be included in this group of very exceptional people who have shown a deep commitment to Fiji.” 

Scroll down to the WEEKEND READING.♦Allen Lockington Column ♦Political Correctness (on race)-- Crosbie Walsh ♦ Charter Pillar 10 (Health Service Delivery) : For Discussion ♦ Why Australia  Should Discontinue Sanctions -- Rodney V Cole   ♦ Comment-Spam: Anti-Bloggers' Rhyme and Reason