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Showing posts from September 23, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

 Gauge the Market First
I find it rather ironic that we make education free and easy to get a degree. And some parents pay through their noses because tuition fees at universities are very high.
It is s good idea to get everyone educated, but have we thought of creating more jobs? I read with real interest that there are 9523 and out of this 858 are degree holders. If we were to put a dollar value that people had paid to get those certificates, diplomas and degrees, I bet the amount would be staggering.
While we still can, could we think of creating more jobs and not just educate people for them to only find that there are no jobs for them. And may I suggest that all tertiary institutions gauge the market and offer only jobs that are available. I have been reliably told that, that’s not the tertiary institutions job, they just educate and let someone else create jobs.
If this is true then it’s a silly way to do things. Because for one thing the market is flooded with people who hold …

Changes in Constitution-Making in Fiji Part V – Lead-up to 1987

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By Subhash Appana
The last article argued that real issues, policies and personalities had begun to gain traction in elections in Fiji by the 1980s. The 1982 elections clearly showed that by centralizing its 82-page manifesto, the NFP had mounted a credible challenge against the Alliance Party. It is anybody’s guess what would have happened had Reddy removed the Fijians historically “clubbed and ate their way to power” phrase from the Four Corners Australian TV program.

What happened instead was that the fateful phrase was seized on and twisted by Alliance strategists to stoke the flimsily-buried race card. Fijian fears of Indian domination and subjugation in their own country once again became the prime concern that drove voting. All other concerns became unimportant. One other issue emerged - foreign involvement. The significance of this would only become clear later.

Immediately after the 1982 elections fiery anti-Indian speeches were made in both houses of parliament – how dare …

Fr David Arms on the Open List System: Everything You Need To Know

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Fiji's Proposed New Open List PR System: Resolving Some Details Version 3, by Fr D G Arms, 26th June 2012
0.0    Introduction
0.1    This paper is written as a follow-on to two previous papers prepared for the National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF) in 2008, namely The Urgency for a Change of Electoral System and Electoral Reform – the Way Forward. Although these papers went into a certain amount of detail regarding how an Open List system might operate in Fiji, this one goes into more detail again and takes up some of the more pragmatic issues of how the system might be administered.
0.2    The original proposals did not tie everything down for two reasons. Firstly, the main goal was to get acceptance in principle to the proposals. If too much detail was presented, readers (especially those not familiar with electoral matters) could easily get lost in the morass of issues to be resolved. Secondly, it seemed wise to leave certain issues open so that more people could ma…

News and Comments Friday 28 September 2012

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WEEKEND READINGS • Allen Lockington Column • Fr David Arms on the Open List System  
• Changes in Constitution-Making in Fiji Part V – Lead-up to 1987 by Subhash Appana

FIJI A 'GEOPOLITICAL FOOTBALL'?
Concern is mounting in Australia about the increased influence of China in Fiji as China strengthens support for the island nation's military government. John Garnaut, writing in The Age, says Australia  has urged China to work constructively with Fiji's neighbours following an unprecedented four-day visit by China's second-ranked leader, in which he pointedly defended the military government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The leader, Wu Bangguo, denounced what he called the bullying of strong countries over small or weak ones, in what Radio NZI said was a clear swipe at  Australia and New Zealand. A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reinforced the comment by saying, "Every country, no matter whether large or small, rich or poor, is an equal me…

The Death of Mr Tom Seeto

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Lessons to be Learnt from Unnecessary Death of Tourist
The Fijian Government extends its deepest sympathy to Clarissa Seeto and her family for the tragic death of their father. No Fijian who hears her story can fail to be moved by her family's pain. – Elizabeth Powell, Permanent Secretary, Tourism.
This sad incident, in which Clarissa's father Tom died unnecessarily, illustrates only too vividly just how inefficient some services can be at critical times in Fiji. 

My account, written in the wake of last weekend's incidents concerning Fr Barr and Daniel Urai, is not to deter people thinking of visiting Fiji on holiday, but to illustrate a general lack of efficiencies, communications and backups, that unfortunately is “just Fiji” as is has been for far too long.
While these deficiencies  often cannot be blamed directly on Government, Government is ultimately responsible. Its campaign to stamp out endemic corruption needs to be extended to wiping out chronic inefficiencies, st…

News and Comments Thursday 27 September 2014

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TOO MANY IDEAS TO DIGEST. If the Alternative Vote has to be abandoned because it was too complicated and poorly understood by voters, the relentless bombardment of disparate ideas on what needs to be included in the Constitution is far worse.

There's no way an ordinary —or even an extra-ordinary— person can give them proper consideration, and order then into more and less important categories. With so many alternatives and contradictions presented, even on single issues, opponents of change could well argue there's insufficient agreement on change, so let's go back to the good old system.

Take, for example, this submission by Yavulo villagers in Nadroga (Fiji Times, 10.9.12) and count the topics covered in the submission and in the Fiji Times report. The villagers want a smaller parliament; a revised role for the military; a secular state with government following Christian principles; the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs (and "All the rights and benefits…

Fr Barr's "Arrest": Poor Communications, Tense Nerves Cause Fumbles

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A string of events over the past week have shown beyond any doubt that Fiji is not a dictatorship. Think back to the efficiency of Hitler Germany and Mussolini's Italy where the dictator finally got the trains to arrive on time.
Compare this with “efficiency” Fiji-style. Five masked men conduct a daylight bank robbery in Samabula; six prisoners escape from Naboro prison, assisted by contraband smuggled in by outside supporters ; Estonian Risto Harmet, accused of assisting Ratu Tevita Mara flee Fiji on a Tongan naval, found not guilty by the Courts; the President of the Fiji Trade Union Congress, Daniel Urai on bail for “political violence”, given permission by the Courts to attend an ILO trade union meeting in China only to be stopped at Nadi by the Border police who took so long getting a reply from Suva about his status that the plane was taking off as permission came though.
This resulted in the Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith-John moving into dam…