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Showing posts from August 21, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Weekend Readings • Allen Lockington Column • Michael Field's Dubious Reporting • Samoan Observer criticises Barbara Dreavers's reporting,  and by far the most important and interesting,  • Dr Brij Lal's reflections on Sir Paul Reeves, who died last week, his work on the 1997 Constitution. and his work for Fiji.
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.

Cooking on Fire
Waiyavi is a beautiful place just before daybreak. As I stand from my vantage point in the dark looking down over the many homes and just before the first rays of the sun start to peek over the hills I see little specks of fire in the distance. And as the night turns to day I see little plumes of smokes snaking up from many homes.

As I take a brisk stroll in …

Another Michael Field Report Seen as "Deliberately Misinforming the Public"

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A reader commented that the Fiji media is only reporting one side (the Government side) of issues, and Felix Anthony has  said the same.  In an ideal world ...

Sir Paul Reeves and Fiji by Brij V Lal

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Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO (6 December 1932 – 14 August 2011) was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and the 15thGovernor-General of New Zealand from 22 November 1985 to 20 November 1990. He is of pakeha and Te Ati Awa (Taranaki) descent. In 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the Commmission of Enquiry that made proposals leading to the 1997 Constitution, and during 2009 and 2010 he was the Commonwealth's Special Envoy to Fiji.  During this time he urged Bainimarama to engage in dialogue with his opponents and the NZ Goverment to moderate its stance on Fiji. 
In this article, special to this blog, Dr Brij Lal, who shared Sir Paul's work on the Commission of Enquiry and who has never lost touch with him since,  reflects on the man, the Constitution, and Sir Paul's work for Fiji. Vinaka, Brij.

The Samoan Observer on Barbara Dreaver's Reporting. No different than on Fiji

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See also the report on, and criticism of, Michael Field's coverage of a tourist death in Fiji. Croz. Barbara Dreaver: The evil side of journalism

Weekend Reading

Weekend Readings • Allen Lockington Column • Michael Field's Dubious Reporting • Samoan Observer criticises Barbara Dreavers's reporting,  and by far the most important and interesting,  • Dr Brij Lal's reflections on Sir Paul Reeves, who died last week, his work on the 1997 Constitution. and his work for Fiji.

Methodist Administration Meetings Banned

All administrative meetings of the Methodist Church have now been banned  other than a meeting with church stewards or Tuirara levu from the different divisions that is currently underway. It is understood the meeting will ask church president Reverend Ame Tugaue and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu to make a decision on whether they will step down. Earlier reports were than Rev Tuqaue had offered to step down but not Rev Waqairatu.
The demand comes from the Military Council that has special powers under the PER regulations. They claim that both clergymen face charges under the regulations and should therefore not be eligible for senior church appointments. The ban on the meetings will sorely affect church administration and  funding.

See also earlier postings.

The moral issues here are:

(1) The circumstances and the extent to which any government may make demands on a church, or for that matter any other civil organization;
(2) The circumstances and motives of th…

Methodist Church Clean Up 'Long Overdue' Rev Koroi Tells Fiji Times

The Rev Koroi, always a moderate church leader, tells of when he was ousted as President by present Church leader Manasa Lasaro after the 1987 Coup. He says today's  problems can be traced to these earlier political events, and tells how the media story of his being forced to go to the Barracks got it wrong.

Fiji Military Seizing Methodist Church Leaders | Stuff.co.nz

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Click to read Stuff story Fiji Military Seizing Methodist Church Leaders | Stuff.co.nz 
Story amended.
The difficulty for overseas readers in reading this is that they will equate the Methodist Church in Fiji with the Methodist Church (and other churches) in Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere.  They do, of course,  share similar spiritual roles and both are engaged in "politics."  But there the similarly ends.

"Politics" for overseas church leaders means working to promote social and moral issues for the perceived benefit of all the population. "Politics" for the Fiji Methodist leadership means advancing what they perceive to be the interests of ethnic Fijians (or, more precisely, perceived traditional relationships) with scant regard for other races, many of whom are neither Christian nor Methodist. Some 95% Fiji Methodists are ethnic Fijians. Some 43% of Fiji's population is not ethnic Fijian.

To better understand the situation one needs to trace i…

News and Editor's Comments Tuesday 23.8.11

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Tuesday 23.8.11

SO RUGBY LOCK Leone Nakarawa was granted a visa after all and I suppose some people would say it was a sort of compromise, though hardly the ideal Pacific Way. Nakarawa resigned from the army and Minister McCully fast-tracked his visa application. See separate posting on the launching of the Flying Fijians Official World Cup song.

PER SYMPTOMATIC OF LACK OF TRUST. A reader writes, "What is needed is a form of conversation where the participants are able to accept that the opposition is well intentioned and motivated by a genuine desire to help Fiji adopt sustainable democracy.
   The trouble is that there is little trust between the most articulate elite groups. The least privileged in Fiji seem to be the most comfortable with conversing with people on all sides of the political divide.
   The most privileged have the greater number of vested interests, thus the lack of trust. The PER seems to be symptomatic of this fundamental lack of trust."

JUDGE CORRECTS INJ…