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Showing posts from April 29, 2012

2014 Election Plan Underway

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From Islands Business
Bainimarama outlines non-negotiable issues

Ricardo Morris

When Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s announcement for a constitutional process finally came in early March, it felt both exciting and vaguely familiar.
Exciting because it seemed like the military-led government was sticking to its promises; vaguely familiar because of the other announcements that followed; familiar too because, true to form, Bainimarama already had very clear guidelines on how the process would work—including the unsurprising fact that the new constitution “must be premised on the fundamental values and principles set out in the People’s Charter for Change”.

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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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.

       Man from Outer Space

I was listening to an audio book which went like this. All over the world radars recorded the flight of a foreign object hurtling its way to Earth. The US was the first to locate it but scientists were skeptical that it could be a cloud formation or a malfunction in the radar. But then China and Russia also spotted the object and via radio they asked each other to verify the sighting. Then other countries of the world started calling in and it was confirmed that an unidentified flying object was on its way to earth. The world was in chaos.

The Church and Politics

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Religion is a powerful force in Fiji. Here Fr Barr, from a Christian and Catholic perspective,  considers what others have said on its actual and intended role, most especially in societies experiencing political oppression or conflict. **
By Fr Kevin Barr  We often hear the words: “The church should not meddle in politics”, or “Religion and politics don’t mix”.

It is a fact that, throughout the course of history, the church and religion have been used for political purposes by those in power (or those claiming power) to validate their claims or policies. For example, in South Africa, the government used theological concepts and biblical texts to justify the system of apartheid.

Marc the Edge of Reality

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A "straight from the shoulder" account from  Graham Davis in which he disputes Dr Marc Edge's account of the recent PINA meeting in Fiji.  Brutally frank perhaps but sometimes some things just have to be said.

From Grubsheet #71 EDGE OF REALITY By Graham Davis – April 28, 2012

Sometimes in a long career in journalism – and Grubsheet has been a scribe for nigh on 40 years – one reads or hears an account of an event at which one was present that bears so little resemblance to reality that one’s jaw drops in utter astonishment. So it was with the account given to Radio Australia on Thursday by Dr Marc Edge –the Canadian-born head of journalism at the University of the South Pacific – of last month’s gathering in Fiji of the Pacific Islands News Association, the region’s preeminent media organisation. Dr Edge and Grubsheet were both among the delegates at Pacific Harbour on Fiji’s Coral Coast.  But our recollections of what took place are so vastly at odds that I wo…

:Creativity and Innovation in Education: Fiji’s Future

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Keynote address by Professor Biman Prasad * delivered at the Annual Delegates Convention of the Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) held in Suva Civic Auditorium on 1st May 2012.
The President of the Fijian Teachers Association, Mrs. Merewairita Moci, General Secretary, Mr. Maika Namudu,The Hon Minister for Education, Mr. Filipe Bole, Excellency’s Members of the Diplomatic Corps. Members of the Fijian Teachers Association,General Secretary- FICTU- Mr. Attar Singh,Invited Guests Ladies and Gentlemen

McCully and Carr Take Heart from 'Bold' Fiji Statementnt

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Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet in Suva
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his Australian counterpart Bob Carr have received strong assurances that Fiji is well on its way to democracy and have acknowledged that Fiji “is in a state of transition”.

McCully, who is Chair of the Forum Ministerial Contact Group visiting Fiji, today  said the outlook was “very positive” but there was still concern over basic freedoms being observed. “We were encouraged by the reports we received today about the firm intention to hold elections in 2014 and the reports about the machinery put in place to make those elections possible,” he said.


Many reassuring voices
“We found it reassuring to receive those very strong statements from a number of levels of the administration here.”
The visiting group released a statement which welcomed assurances that the constitutional consultation will be opened to all, that the elections would be free and fair, and that that there would be no med…

Pacific Ministers Fiji Visit

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I don't know what happened to my original post. I tried to change the line spacing and it disappeared. So here's Graham Davis's take on the visit - Croz # 72 PACIFIC FORUM FIJI COMMUNIQUE By
Graham Davis – May 1, 2012Posted in: All
Bob Carr in Suva after the MCG talks Australia’s Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, is among a delegation from the Pacific Forum that wound up a day-long series of consultations in Suva today with the Fiji Government, opposition figures, non-government organisations, trade unions and other civil groups. The communique below acknowledges, for the first time, that the Bainimarama regime is serious about holding elections in 2014 and has a cogent plan to deliver them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t signal any immediate change in the Forum’s hard line stance against Fiji. So called “smart sanctions” will continue to apply and Fiji will continue to be suspended from the Forum. Much will depend on the written report that the Ministerial Contact Group ev…

Disinformation #5. Nazhaat Shameem and Daniel Gounder in the Crosswires

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 A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole.

Of course the blogs are also part of a concerted plan to attack and intimidate the judiciary to decide in a particular way in various politically interesting cases before the court.  So in fact the blogs are intended to prejudice the course of justice by distracting from what the evidence is, and by undermining the public's trust and confidence in the judiciary. -- Nazhat Shameem.


In a posting on April 18th,  the blog Coup4.5 accused former High Court Judge Nazhat Shameem and Judge Daniel Goundar of what they claimed to be a serious breach of legal ethics. They said their behaviour would "come back to haunt the corrupt former high court judge and her lapdog, Fiji's hanging judge Daniel Goundar." I thought the accusation worth investigating.

The accusation was that some 3½ years after the judgment in …
Media freedom in the Pacific: THE RHETORIC AND THE REALITY
Marking UNESCO World Press Freedom Day - check the attached flyer for more information. 7.00-8.30pm, Thursday, May 3, 2012
WT1004, AUT Tower, AUT University

CCF’s Role In The Constitution Making Process

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As an independent civil society organization, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum is putting in place strategies to incorporate issues relating to constitutional development processes through our ongoing civic education program.

The timeline set by the State from May to July to provide citizens with civic education prior to drafting the constitution is unprecedented and should be welcomed as a positive step.

The legitimacy of the process is based on the inclusivity of all citizens and they must be empowered to openly participate and take ownership in drafting the constitution.

News and Comments Monday 30 April 2010

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 MISS FIJI CONTEST REVEALS RACIAL PREJUDICES. "The decision to award the title to Torika Watters, who is of mixed European-Fijian heritage, prompted hundreds of racist and violent comments which had to be removed from the official Miss World Fiji Facebook page." -- The Telegraph.

 A reader 'Racist agit-prop on social networking' (see comment on Guy Threllfell's Saturday posting] called reactions to her election "a saddening episode (in which) the entire world may now see and read through a variety of media 'Fiji Racism'.

'Racist agit-prop referred to Facebook comments by a prominent "female lawyer" that could be seen as "tantamount to a criminal offence under the Crimes Decree #44 of 2009. This person may yet be found to be 'aiding and abetting' a crime of racial hatred by conspiring with others."

'Racist agit-prop' urged  "the Fiji Police Cyber-crime Unit take a closer look at what has been said…