Posts

Showing posts from August 5, 2012

Victor Lal Asks Questions about Indo-Fijian Identity

Image
GOPIO meeting and question of identity in Fiji
By VICTOR LAL
The appearance of some to be “Fijians” at the Global Organisation of Peoples of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in Chennai, India, if the recommendations of the Peoples Charter is accepted on the issue of a common name (Fijian) for all Indo-Fijians, should be of great concern to the National Council for Building a Better Fiji, and the Interim government, which wants to make Fiji a truly non-racial island.
If our immediate neighbours, Australia and New Zealand, are imperialists and colonialists and, therefore, have no right to meddle in our internal affairs, why should India be allowed to poke its long nose from faraway South Asia into the affairs of Fiji, and even has reportedly paid the airfares of the citizens of Fiji to attend the GOPIO conference in Chennai. On what grounds did some participants qualify for invitation from the Indian government to attend the GOPIO conference?
On the other hand, why are Fijian institutions, like the G…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Image
Good Show
The Agriculture Show being held in Lautoka has been an inspiration to many people. A taxi driver who is a very good friend wants to become a farmer again but he has no land. His family had to vacate the land when their lease expired a few years ago. He wonders if the lands department will soon advertise vacant land available in Lautoka so that him and his family can go back to farming. He still has callused hands and is muscle bound from doing hard labour on their farm. Sadly he will soon lose all that and could even develop a pot belly. Farming kept him and his siblings all fit and healthy and they ate vegetables that they grew. He was also a supplier to Lautoka market a hotels but all that is gone.
Anyway, as I made my rounds amongst the wonderful tents full of vegetables and animals, a friend said that a civil servant had mentioned that after seeing all the root crop and vegetables, he was thinking of resigning and going back to his land that lay unused back in the villag…

Nik Naidu Interview

Image
Selwyn  Manning of 36th Parallel interviews Nick Naidu of the NZ Coalition for Democracy in Fiji


http://36th-parallel.com/2012/08/selwyn-manning-interviews-coalition-for-democracy-in-fijis-nik-naidu-on-fijis-slow-walk-back-to-democracy/

My quick notes on what was said:

Australia-NZ relations.  Nik expects the restoration of diplomatic relations to lead to ANZ asking the Commonwealth and EU to resume aid to the sugar industry.

The economy generally. Nik thinks they have all had a disastrous effect, especially on the poor, but he did not said how. Selwyn mentioned money from sugar (which has decreased), peacekeeping and tourism (which have increased).  Nik thought remittances from overseas relatives have increased. 

Cause of coups. He said all three coups have been about money and power, with  failed politicians and others adversely affected by a government not of their liking  turning to the military to mount a coup so they could regain their power and money. In other words, he sees no e…

Thinking About Political Parties in Fiji

Time to Party
By Sudarsan Kant

Thoughts on the roles of political parties in a democracy and the essential roles of the winning and losing parties.
“Thinking about political parties ought to be as important as getting the constitution right or registering everyone to vote in the upcoming elections.” ___
The Bainimarama government is understandably nervous about the Machiavellian machinations between the major political parties as they prepare for the upcoming general elections, given the historical baggage they bring to the electoral process.

Be that as it may, the government needs to encourage and educate the broader public about the importance of adequate representation via political parties and the responsibilities and obligations attached to both the voters and the parties that represent them.

Shadows from Fiji's past
For members of my generation our political awakening occurred in the shadow of the National Federation and Alliance Parties which occupied the political stage in the p…

News and Comments Late Friday 10 July 2012

WEEKEND READING. • Allen Lockington Column • Interview with Nik Naidu • Thinking about Political Parties by Sudarsan Kant  • Victor Lal on Indo-Fijian Identity

THE SDL KERFUFFLE.  It was an SDL submission but more will follow.See Grubsheet  for an update.

OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE: PUBLIC SERVANTS CAN PARTICIPATE IN CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS

In an unprecedented move, the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has today announced that public servants, as Fijian citizens, should also have a say and participate in formulation of Fiji’s new Constitution to take our country to General Elections in 2014.  This has never happened before neither for the 1990 nor the 1997 Constitutional Review processes.

The Head of Government said that this decision is in line with his earlier public statements that all citizens must have a say and all are at liberty to exercise their rights and make meaningful contributions to the process underway for the 2014 General Elections.

He said that public servants c…

Peter Williams QC and Fiji

Image
Opinion by Crosbie Walsh
Peter Williams QC is arguably NZ's most able criminal lawyer ever, a liberal, principled, kindly man, much respected for his work on prison reform and other humane activities. I share this respect with my fellow countrymen but on Fiji, where he is currently defending former SDL politician Mere Samisoni against a charge of sediton,  I have to differ.

I think he has been lured, as was Helen Clark, by semantics to assume democracy means the same everywhere, and all military dictatorships are intrinsically oppressive.

There are many things that are not right in Fiji but the situation  is not, as he claims, "as simple as that." Rather is it a hall of reflecting mirrors where reality and reflection can be so easily confused and where most firm judgements, and views on what is "right" or "wrong" and who is "good" or "bad",  need qualification and revision.

 During  his recent interview with ABC's Dominique Sch…

Who is a Fijian and Who is a Christian? The SDL Submission

Image
Preamble
This article examines two key words in the SDL submission to the Constitution Commission: Fijian and Christian. 
I have delayed publication of the article until now because subsequent to Fiji Village publishing its report on the SDL submission on Monday, ABC's Bruce Hill said the SDL denied it was their submission, and Prof Brij Lal thought it highly unlikely. In other words, the submission was either a fake, possibly fabricated by the Bainimarama to bring the SDL into  disrepute, or it was the product of only a few SDL members. My initial reaction was that the Fiji Village report was genuine. The reason? Most of the submission's recommendations had been expressed by SDL leaders before.  The only significant exception was the recommendation that Fiji become a Christian state.  However, this has been a long held position of extreme iTaukei nationalists and I reasoned its inclusion could have been a consequence of the inclusion of the extremist Matanitu Vanua (CAMV) party …

News and Comments Late Tuesday 7 August 2012