Posts

Showing posts from March 25, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Image
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.

Allen reflects on the flooding that is currently affecting the West.

    Take VAT Off Flood Relief

The West is once agan being ravaged by flood waters. I pity the people who have been affected. Just when they were recovering the floods hit us again.
Some people will be wondering what is happening. In the past we would be hit by one hurricane that would last for about four hours and that's it. We wait till the next year and brace again. But this is not even a hurricane and it has caused more damage and grief than a cyclone or hurricane.
Our finances will now be stretched even further and the big companies and organisations that have given thousands of dollars may not be able to give once a…

2011 Was Not a Good Year for the Workers of Fiji

Image
By Kevin J. Barr
In an address in early August 2011 defending the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said: “The Bainimarama Government, as you can see from our track record, has been on the forefront of improving wages for those workers who have been on the margin of poverty.” (Fiji Times 8th August) However, this statement is far from the truth and needs to be addressed.
I wish to take a brief review of 2011 from the viewpoint of the workers of Fiji. It may have been a great year for employers and investors but not for the ordinary workers of the country.

Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) a colonial invention by Victor Lal

Image
This article published in the Sun in November 2006 is especially pertinent now while people are again talking of the Great Council of Chiefs, chiefly authority, custom  and land.
'Wherever I go now,’ the first British colonial governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon wrote, ‘the natives shout Woh! and crouch down, as before their own great chiefs, and they admit and understand that I am their master’.

His house was declared tabu: all persons passing it on the road or sailing before it in canoes, gave the tama, or shout of respect to a high chief. The people had no choice, for it was Gordon who had created the Bose Levu Vakaturaga or the Great Council of Chiefs, and had come to see himself as chief of the Fijian chiefs.

The GCC is, therefore, merely a colonial invention, which Gordon had created in order to rule Fiji through the chiefs. In fact, there was nothing new about Gordon’s invention, for the British had devised similar institutions, to rule Africa through the African chiefs on…

`Known unknowns’ and ANZ Sanctions on Fiji

Image
              By Scott MacWilliam

A recent Press Release by a New Zealand based consultancy firm 36th-Parallel.com has brought to light a potentially perverse consequence of ANZ diplomacy toward Fiji’s military regime. This diplomacy, it will be recalled, included requesting the United Nations to reduce or eliminate completely, the part played by Fiji soldiers in peace-keeping missions. Deployment overseas played a major role in training, including internationalising the attitudes of soldiers, and providing remittances which boosted foreign income for the country and relatives.

Thanks to the document recently issued by 36th-Parallel.com one response of the regime to this form of sanctions is now receiving wider circulation: see http://36th-parallel.com/2012/03/dispatch-fiji-regimes-ppp-defence-commercial-arm-targets-msg-states/ . To cite the opening paragraphs:

`Fiji’s military-led government is actively promoting a commercial-wing of its defense (sic) network as a recruiter and agen…

Seizing Control or Restoring Parity? QANTAS and Air Pacific

An anti-blogger writes in Fiji Today:

While Sayed-Khaiyum is busy trying to dress up his takeover of the Qantas influence over Air Pacific decision-making, the Business Times, a Malaysian business paper with no interest in our politics, has a headline which says it all: “Fiji seizes control of Air Pacific”. No-one is fooled. It’s yet another attack on the investment of a long time investor. This sends a signal to the world that no investment is safe in Fiji. Khaiyum is the biggest single obstacle to economic growth in our country. Either Bainimarama is too stupid to understand this or he has no say, because Khaiyum has some kind of hold on him through evidence of corruption. NAVOSAVAKADUA

I do wish anti-bloggers would provide hyperlinks to their sources,  It only takes a couple of seconds and it would allow readers to check their claims. The unnecessary absence of sources is a form of deceit.

The Business Times heading was correct but it was not the Business Times, as Navosava…

News and Comments Thursday 29 March 2012

Image
QANTAS POWERS OVER AIR PACIFIC REMOVED. Government has changed airline ownership rules in a new Civil Aviation Ownership and Control of National Airlines Decree which now takes away the veto and super-majority rights given to Qantas, that owns 46.3%,  in Air Pacific. Government owns 51%. Despite its minority shareholder position, Qantas had previously  maintained effective control of Air Pacific through super-majority and veto rights over significant areas of the company including the appointment of the Air Pacific Chairman, Deputy Chairman, annual operating budget, any expenditure, new air routes, variations to Air Service schedules, management appointments, employee incentive schemes including bonuses, and numerous other key areas of oversight, control and decision making.

TIKOITOGA WRONG, CHAUDHRY RIGHT. Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry was "sacked from his ministerial portfolio [in the Bainimarama] because of nonperformance.” Cha…

Muslim Network Stealing iTaukei Land: Targeting Racial and Religious Intolerance

Image
Note for readers not fully versed in English.  Much in my comments is satire.
THE DISINFORMATION CONTINUES

A recurring theme in the anti-blogs, and Coup4.5 in particular, is the Muslim threat to Fiji. And the local instrument of this Muslim  penetration is the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.  Well! With a name like that, it's obvious, isn't it?  Anti-blog readers already know that this Shaitan/Tevolo has his horns into Bainimarama, a misled but otherwise likable (see photo) Christian itaukei. Here's my take on their latest disinformation published on Friday (24/3/12) under the heading "Bainimarama makes merry while Khaiyum steals Fijian land."

Giving the landowners all of their money
Khaiyum's theft is apparently evident in the Cabinet decision to pay all land lease moneys equally to all landowners. This, according to Coup4.5,  undermines the chiefs and the Native (now ITaukei)Trust Board that previously kept close to 90 percent of rentals.

At a Bose Va…

The Soqosoqo Ni Who Party?

Image
By Crosbie Walsh
In August 1939  German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Stalin wrote to Hitler expressing the hope the Pact would "mark a decisive turn for the better in the political relations between our two countries."  But both sides saw the Pact as a temporary expedient as they prepared for war. So too with Chaudhry and any reciprocal moves by Qarase.

Chaudhry's decision to "join hands [with the SDL...]to front and campaign against the government" has similarities to the Nazi-Soviet Pact. It reads well but that is all. Chaudhry's record suggest his move is motivated more by a determination to return to power than it is to salvage "the country from a government which suppresses the people through despotism."

"We have to save the country," says Chaudhry. "Whatever is happening here is before all of us. We have a government which dictates to the people…

News and Comments Tuesday 27 March 2012

Image
HONG KONG SEVENS WIN celebrated.

NAMOSI MINE.  A decision on whether to proceed with the controversial mine is expected next month.

MSG. Melanesian Spearhead Group foreign ministers met in Suva yesterday before the leaders' summit on Friday. The adoption of the skills Movement Scheme which aims to source skilled labour from within the Melanesian Spearhead Group region is one of the issues to be discussed.

COCA COLA BUYS FIJI BREWERIES.Beverage company Coca-Cola Amatil  will spend A$58 million (about F$108m) to buy the Fijian beer and spirits business unit formerly owned by Foster’s. The Fiji business comprises brewery and distillery operations in Fiji and Samoa.

PINA. The Pacific Islands News Association media summit began at the Lagoon Resort, Pacific Harbour with a series of workshops yesterday. More than 100 journalists from around the region will converge to discuss pertinent issues regarding the media industry.

MERE SAMISONI. The Court  yesterday declined the application of the D…

News and Comments Monday 26 March 2012

Image
EXTRACT FROM RATU TEVITA'S LETTER to Prof Yash Ghai appealing to him NOT to chair the Constitution Commission.
The Council, as its name implies, is dedicated to the restoration of democracy in Fiji. It is a very widely based organisation having amongst its stakeholders the two major political parties who garnered the overwhelming majority of votes cast in the last democratic election held in Fiji, the Methodist Church of Fiji, the Fiji trade union movement, and the Fiji Democracy Movements worldwide.        Are the SDL, FLP and Methodist Church really stakeholders  in his Council for a Democratic Fiji or is he simply assuming their support?  Andif he is speaking for them, did they consult their members?

NAITASIRI,  IO SAKA, SEQA SAKA. . Naitasiri has joined other provinces in accepting the Constitution process but their chiefs have asked Bainimara to return to the old unequal method in the distribution of land rent moneys.

TIKOITONGA ACCUSES RATU NAIQAMA.  Military Land Force Comma…