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Showing posts from December 23, 2012

Making a Mountain Out of a Mole-Hill

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By Crosbie Walsh
ABC Pacific Beat's radio journalist Bruce Hill's recent interview with former Fiji Constitution Commission chairman Prof Yash Ghai, published below, makes interesting reading, not only because of what Prof Ghai said about the police confiscating 599 copies of the draft constitution on Saturday December 22, but also because it reveals something of the emotional states of mind of both Prof Ghai and the police at that time, and because it shows how a supposedly neutral interviewer reveals his true colours. 

 A year ago Bruce Hill interviewed me and later phoned to ask how I thought the interview went. He asked whether I could detect his opinions on the Fiji situation. I clearly surprised him by saying yes. He was anti-Bainimarama government. Asked how I knew, I said because of the questions you asked and did not ask. 

No one could possibly be in doubt about his feelings during the Yash Ghai interview. There was no attempt at neutrality. He provided a grossly inadequ…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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                  Traditional Family  Life

Merry Christmas Everyone.

 Waiyavi in Lautoka had no power for seven days. After the third day a relative said that because there was no power it had sort of brought the family closer together. Cards and board games were brought out and the family gathered around the hurricane lantern and just sat, played and had a yarn and bonded. As the evenings would draw near the torch, candles and the lantern would be brought out and placed in strategic places.

Meals would be held early, then we’d have a little rest and of course the basin of yaqona would be mixed.

The whole family would be together.

 Because there was no electricity there was no TV, no Internet and no DVD player – these are modern day pleasures where individuals do their own thing alone, especially the Internet and Facebook.

 We now plan to things differently where the Internet and all the other modern pleasures will be put aside and we will play "Eye spy with my little eye", play c…

Leaked Draft Not Final Document

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Fiji Constitution Commission member Peni Moore has said the document  posted on the internet is not the final draft that was handed to Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau last Friday.

 Speaking to FijiLive, Moore said the "leaked" draft constitution is in fact a copy of the first draft.

 “There is one more draft,” Moore said. The preamble is wrong and some of the election section will be different, but it is close, she said of the alleged draft constitution posted online. The final draft that was handed to the president, she said “involved a completely new preamble and changes to the electoral chapter.” “And I think a bit of editing but no real change in concept, but it is not the final draft.” She said the final draft also bears the signatures of all five members of the Constitution Commission on the second page. 

The alleged copy of the draft constitution highlighted the need for a constitution and made provisions for the awarding of immunity to prescribe…

The Month that Was: December 2012

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December was another month crammed with news and comments on Fiji.

In the first half, we had allegations by the Fiji NGO Coalition on Human Rights that the police and military had  used excessive force in the re-arrest, in September, of six bank robbers. No local media outlet published their statement probably because after the elapse of ten weeks, their protest was no longer newsworthy. The event had been well covered by the media at the time (see this  Fiji Times report) and Government had launched an investigation.

They did not mention the escape was facilitated from outside and there are suspicions the trail of destruction they left across Suva was intended to trigger general unrest, that the escapees were armed when they resisted arrest, and that the prisoner who eventually lost his leg was diabetic. Information Permanent Secretary Sharon Smith-John said,"Such incidents are unfortunate and the government makes it clear that behavior of this nature is unacceptable."��…