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Showing posts from November 11, 2012

Three Temporarily Unwise Men

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Fiji Report #6 Part III. The Prime Minister Commandore Voqere Bainimarama By Crosbie Walsh
In other circumstances I would have been delighted to have had a 40-minute interview with Fiji's Prime Minister, especially as he talked most of the time, but as it turned out, I left feeling a little short-changed and so disorientated I forgot to ask for a photograph. Now my grandchildren will never believe I met a prime minister who will one day be argued about by Pacific historians giving their slant on his contribution to Fiji in the early part of the 21st century.
The interview started well. In a relaxed mood Voqere Bainimarama would make a pleasant companion. He is so full of life and vitality and he obviously enjoys a good joke. I could see why he's so popular with many ordinary people.
He asked how many blogs supported his government. I said two if he counted mine as one of them. He seemed pleasantly surprised and was not all surprised when I told him there were at least a doze…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Don't Criticise the Critics

The Fiji Sevens team management should not talk about the critics, They should concentrate on the games, Let the critics be.

I believe the team's strength is faith-based.To come out saying things against people who criticize, puts one in the same spot as the critics.Just concentrate on winning all the legs of the tournament and the critics will eventually shut up.

And did we see Jim Wainiqolo utter prayer words on TV? A man of faith indeed.Vinaka Jim and the boys. If you play like this all the time, you will win all the time.

         Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, celebrations will be on peoples minds, how will you be celebrating your Christmas? Will it be the usual booze up? Will it be office parties? Social club parties? Will you be away from home and the children left to be on their own?

Think again, rethink how you will celebrate Christmas, go home, celebrate with your family, especially your children.
Allen Lockington is a self-emplo…

China and the Pacific

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New breed of ambassadors move to quell fears of Chinese expansion
WELLINGTON: In a panelled reception room at the Chinese embassy in Wellington, a young official extends her arm to the banquet table and urges you to eat. Try it, she insists. This is the best Chinese restaurant in town.
The occasion is a gathering of middle-ranked Chinese leaders intent on furthering diplomatic ties with New Zealand.
The hostess is the new face of Chinese diplomacy here. Like many of her colleagues, she is young, attractive, smart - and far less inclined to stand on ceremony than her predecessors.
When the sale of a chain of dairy farms to China's Shanghai Pengxin company sparked a backlash against Chinese direct investment in New Zealand, it was these young ''ambassadors'' who were knocking on the media's door, wanting to put their government's case.
Six of them crowded into the Fairfax office at Parliament in Wellington one day, briefing papers balanced on thei…

Pacific Women's Network Against Violence Against Women

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Women and girls with disabilities face highest risk of violence
NADI, Fiji (16 November 2012) – Women and girls with disabilities remain one of the most invisible groups in the Pacific and face the highest risk of violence, a regional meeting on violence against women and girls in Nadi has heard.
Speaking at the sixth quadrennial meeting of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women, two representatives of people with disabilities told of the immense difficulties all disabled people face, and how these difficulties were compounded for women and girls.
The five-day meeting heard from Sai Tawake of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC RRRT) and Naomi Navoce of the Pacific Disability Forum.
Ms Tawake said while several Pacific countries are parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, implementing the articles of the treaty has been slow.
Of the Pacific countries that have signed the convention, only two have agre…

The World's Poorest President

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Jose Mujica: The world's 'poorest' presidentBy Vladimir HernandezBBC Mundo, Montevideo In today's MagazineHas the Mormon mystique been lifted?Xi as in 'she'Who first called it a 'fiscal cliff'?The myth of breakfast, lunch and dinner It's a common grumble that politicians' lifestyles are far removed from those of their electorate. Not so in Uruguay. Meet the president - who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay. Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown with weeds. Only two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog, keep watch outside.
This is the residence of the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, whose lifestyle clearly differs sharply from that of most other world leaders.
President Mujica has shunned the luxurious house that the Uruguayan state provides for its leaders and opted to stay at his wife's farmhouse, o…

Weekend Reading

Allen Lockington ColummChina and the PacificThe World's Poorest President Pacific Women's Network Against Violence Against WomenThe Three Temporarily Unwise Men: Part III.  The Prime Minister

News and Comments Thursday 15 November 2012

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BEWARE OUTSOURCING. A thousand people will lose their jobs with the Fiji Roads Authority in the next few weeks as the Authority outsources work to the overseas contractors, though many of them will be re-employed on contracts. New Zealand experience shows that this in vogue neo-liberal economics sometime, but by no means always,  saves government money, and always leads to less job security for workers. Whether that prospect is worth the risk in Fiji is doubtful.

NAILATIKAU REAPPOINTED FOR FURTHER THREE YEARS. "There is no better person than Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to take Fiji to the elections and beyond." These were the words of the PM, who also referred to Ratu Epeli as "a caring man and a people’s President and one who understands what has befallen us in the past and what needs to be put in place to rectify those shortcomings."

GAY ASYLUM SEEKER FEARFUL. One of the three Fijian nationals protesting on the roof of Sydney's Villawood's immigration detention c…

Three Temporarily Unwise Men

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Fiji Report #5
Part II, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
By Crosbie Walsh
No introduction is needed for Fiji readers. Ratu Joni is almost as well known as the Fiji flag. But for some others, Ratu Joni is the Roko Tui Bau, second only in rank to the Tui ni Vunivalu of the Kubuna confederacy that embraces most of the eastern half of Viti Levu and the Lomaiviti island group,1 He is a direct descendant of Ratu Seru Cakobau who ceded Fiji to the British Crown and Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna who some consider the father of modern Fiji.

He has law degrees from Adelaide and McGill. He resigned as a High Court judge in protest at the Speight Coup and was appointed Vice-President in 2004 to replace his disgraced kinsman Ratu Jope Seniloli, jailed for his part in the Speight Coup. Ratu Joni was dismissed as Vice-President in 2006 by Bainimarama.

In 2008 he accepted an appointment on the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission and in 2011 he was made a law lord by the late king of Tonga. He is widely…

PM's Diwali Message

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Every child in Fiji grows up with a sense of excitement about Diwali. All over the country, candles are lit and Fijians celebrate with their families, friends and neighbours.

We have a national holiday to mark the occasion because we join our Hindu brothers and sisters to commemorate the Festival of Light.

The essential message of Diwali is the triumph of good over evil. Light is cast upon darkness, justice reigns over oppression. It is a message of deep significance for all Fijians.

Like all of our religious festivals in Fiji, it is also a time to reflect on the spiritual aspect of our lives and the strength we derive from our beliefs.

For me, Diwali symbolises the light we must all shine on our shortcomings as individuals and as a nation and overcome them.

In this Festival of Lights, may we all find peace and joy and a renewed commitment to caring for each other. This is the central message of all our religions that we must all embrace to build a unified nation and a better, strong…

The Political Use of Sugar Statistics

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PLEASE SEE CORRECTIONS AT THE END.
I once read a book called How to Lie with Statistics.  If you know how —or even if you don't— it's easy. Compare two unequal periods or two dissimilar items; quote percentage changes instead of numbers or vice versa; select one statistic and not another; produce a graph with its zero base chopped off, leave some statistics analysed, or publish the correct statistics but examine them to produce  erroneous or limited explanations.  And that's just for starters.
Mahendra Chaudhry and the FLP website do not lie in their presentation of Fiji Sugar Corporation figures for 1994 to 2011, and much of their explanation for falling production cannot be argued with, but they were rather selective in their use of the figures and interpretations.  Which, I suppose, is to be expected since the unstated intent of their article  "Lowest even cane production" is to discredit the FSC and, by extension, the Bainimarama government, and maintain thei…

Three Temporarily Unwise Men

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Fiji Report #4 Part I, Professor Yash Ghai
By Crosbie Walsh
I didn't know which title was better. Three Wise Men, when, as things turned out, they clearly weren't, or Bermuda Triangle where ships disappear without trace. So I settled on Three Temporarily Unwise Men. Normally wise, but in this one instance —the kerfuffle about Ratu Joni's short term Constitution Commission consultancy— decidedly unwise. My assessment, of course, comes with the benefit of hindsight. and being a bystander allows me benefits the three wise men did not have. 
I was there, at that moment in history, when the Yash Ghai-Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi-Voqere Bainimama saga finally came to a head. In fact, I was waiting outside the PM's office as Prof Ghai and other commissioners left, all looking positively downcast. I suspect strong words had been spoken by both parties. And then I was there, in the PM's office, part way through my own interview, when the PM pointed at the tape recorder and asked…

News and Comments Monday 12 November 2012

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DIWALI CELEBRATIONS 2012. General Secretary of the Sanatan Dharam Mahamandal of Fiji Govind Singh says sharing the spirit of Diwali in a multiracial, multicultural and multireligious country like Fiji is an  enriching occasion for all.

He said this year's celebration was special with the nation trying to write a new constitution in the hope that everyone would be able to live and prosper with dignity and humility.
"Diwali festival is a joyous occasion for both Hindus and non-Hindus alike, this stems from the fact that the message for Diwali and the prayers associated with it are very special, very powerful, meaningful and has a universal appeal," Mr Singh said.

He called on all Hindus and people of Fiji to recommit themselves to building a peaceful, progressive and dynamic Fiji that would become a leading nation in the South Pacific.

"The human body itself is like the temple, church or mosque and one needs to nourish it with truth, peace and good health.It needs to come…