Showing posts from March 18, 2012

President leaves for Tonga

MEDIA RELEASE: FIJIAN President leaves for King’s funeral
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau departed this afternoon for the Kingdom of Tonga to attend the funeral of the late King George Tupou V. 
Accompanied by the First Lady, Adi Koila Nailatikau, His Excellency will represent Fiji and join regional leaders next for the state funeral of the late monarch.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had highlighted that the passing away of King George would be a loss for not only Tonga but the whole Pacific island states.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said Fiji together with fellow Pacific neighbours, would miss one of the region’s great leaders.
He assured his counterpart in Tonga Lord Tu’ivakano that Fiji would continue to strive to maintain its traditional links and bilateral cooperation with the Kingdom of Tonga, especially in common priority areas.

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

                     Levuka Public School

I know of many schools in Fiji that have excellent ex-students associations. The ex-students who have returned after leaving school to give back to the place where they got their education usually come back because of their desire to lift standards of the school and also help out in sports and facilities.

One of the best moments is the school reunion where people come back after many years and many children later to see how their friends are. We all prosper in different ways and for those who were dedicated they return slim and with a happy family with the children attending their old school.

Some schools have been dependent on theses old scholar because…

When Violence Threatens

#63 WHEN VIOLENCE THREATENS   By Graham Davis  – March 19, 2012
Grubsheet’s burgeoning number of opinion pieces on Fiji are largely designed to counter what we regard as the continuing failure of the mainstream regional media to come to grips with the reality of events there. They’re especially aimed at an Australian audience, to highlight what we regard as the folly of Canberra having turned its back on Fiji since Frank Bainimarama’s coup five years ago. A lot of these pieces are picked up by the mainstream media – The Australian and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, for instance – or disseminated to a wider regional and global audience through the Pacific Scoop service of the Auckland University of Technology and Pacific Islands Report from the East West Centre in Hawaii.

Some are written as news stories but most are shamelessly opinionated, strong expressions of our own views based not only on on a life-long association with Fiji but having reported political events there for the …

Qarase's “Association of People United”

Past Relics in a United Fiji                                                    By Subhash Appana

I read with increasing interest, and not a little bit of trepidation, the recent release by former PM Laisenia Qarase on his party’s always-multiracial political platform and purported broad-based support. This was in response to Graham Davis’ thought-provoking piece titled “Rumblings of the next eruption in SDL talk” where he questioned whether a race-based party, like the SDL, would be allowed to field a supposedly reformed and race-inclusive Qarase in the next general elections.

The King and I

                        By Crosbie Walsh

I first met the King in the 1960s in the days when his grandmother Queen Salote III was alive.  It was at the opening of the Tungi Arcade in Taufa'ahau Road.  He was not long returned from Sandhurst and he would not let me leave until we had finished a bottle of whiskey together.  The next day he went surfing. I stayed in bed.

Media Barons and Democracy

Fiji has it own example in the Fiji Times which has tried to influence political events, but this BBC review of the wiles of media barons Hearst, Beaverbrook, Murdoch and others makes the Fiji Times' efforts look tame.

"...on the one hand, a free press, devoid of censorship or any other form of government interference or regulation, is vital to the successful functioning of any nation that claims to be a democracy; but on the other hand, those freedoms may be abused by rich proprietors who use their newspapers to promote their own political agenda, or by journalists whose ethics are at best dubious and at worst deplorable"

A Point of View: Power struggles, politicians and the press

The Disinformation Blogs

WEEEKEND READING • Allen Lockington Column • When Violence Treatens by Graham Davis • Qarase's 'Association of People United' by Subhash Appana  • The  King and I by Croz Walsh • Media Barons and Democracy - BBC.

                             Opinion by Crosbie Walsh

There are indications of panic in the anti-blog newsrooms.

 Despite their efforts to liken the Fiji dictatorship to the military dictatorship in Burma, there have been no protest marches or public immolations. Ordinary Fijians seem to be going about their daily lives in normal ways. From the perspective of the anti-blogs, things are moving too smoothly. The Constitution reform process has been generally well received. The media is publishing commments hostile to the "illegal" Government by former politicians Qarase, Chaudhry and Beddoes , and even Rabuka has put his two-cents worth in. The Methodist Church hierachy and the CCF have aired views critrical of Government on the demise of the Great Council …

CCF Says 'Let the People Decide' about the Great Council of Chiefs

Media release
The decision by the Bainimarama government to formally de-establish the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) on the eve of constitutional consultations is a concern which challenges the government’s earlier assurances that all Constitutional issues must be openly debated and discussed with the people of Fiji.

Government Advice to the Fiji Times

The Fiji Times has asked of Government questions pertaining to the voter registration and election process that amount to wondering why we are not “doing it like last time.” If it is not plainly evident, the last time failed.

Anticipating Attempts at a Derailment of the Constitution Dialogue Process

Opinion by Croz Walsh
The Bose Levu Vakaturaga or Great Council of Chiefs that was abolished last week was a government body established to advise government on itaukei affairs, but in recent years it exceeded its brief by partisan involvement in national politics. In 2006 it comprised 55 members; 3 chiefs nominated from each of the 14 provinces, 3 nominated by the Council of Rotuma, 6 by the Minister of Fijian Affairs in consultation with the President (who was appointed by the GCC on the recommendation of the the Prime Minister), the Prime Minister, the President and Vice-President (also appointed by the  GCC), and former 1987 Coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka was a life member. None of the chiefs was elected and all of the members were itaukei.

 The PM's abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs (and my posting suggesting the abolition had pre-empted the actions of the Constitution Commission and Constitution Assembly) have drawn a wide range of responses.

Bainimarama's decision t…