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Showing posts from January 27, 2013

Politics, the Reforms and the Economy

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Pacific Scoop: Analysis – By Professor Biman Prasad in Suva

Fiji government budgets since 1987 have been prepared in the shadows of political instability and suspicion, coups, and uncertainty of the future. Even General Elections held under the 1997 Constitution, which was based on power-sharing, failed to fully allay the concerns. The People’s Coalition’s 2000 budget was implemented against the backdrop of rumours about another coup and continued protests by the ethno-nationalists.

There is no doubt that the last seven budgets since 2006, including the revised 2007 budget, have been prepared against an environment of dominated by fear, mistrust and uncertainty of the future.
In delivering the 2008 budget, the then Interim Finance Minister, Mahendra Pal Chaudhry, blamed the SDL government of mismanaging the economy and claimed that the country was on the verge of bankruptcy.

This may have been an exaggeration, even though the situation wasn’t rosy. Since the 2000 coup political …

Australia and Fiji by Richard Herr

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Why Carr needs the velvet glove more than the iron fist31Jan 2013 By Richard Herr
On my flight home from Fiji recently, I was struck by the continuing negativism of the arguments regarding Australian relations with Fiji. Rowan Callick’s commentary in the Weekend Australian is another example of a tough line on Fiji without any positive proposals. The one element of novelty in Callick’s piece, however, is the suggestion that Carr’s ‘soft’ approach toward the Government of Commodore Voreqe (‘Frank’) Bainimarama is the reason why Fiji has slipped the leash and gone feral recently. But this belies the evidence of the past six years. When has the Bainimarama Government ever been on an Australian leash or even responded positively to pressure from Canberra?

Having viewed the changing events in Fiji fairly closely in a variety of roles over the past six years, I find it difficult to see how the tactics that have failed to have any influence on the course of Fiji’s return t…

A Clarification and Further Apology from Fr Barr

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Dear Croz, Greetings from Fiji! Sorry I have not been in touch recently but I have been busy and did not have access to my internet.  Our system has had some problems. You are obviously aware of the events of the past few days and the misunderstandings and misinterpretations that seem to have arisen. You might like to publish this statement on your blogsite.
My comment on the flag was not intended to be disrespectful to Fiji, government or the PM.  As reported, the rumour intended to be a humourous dig at the growing Chinese influence in Fiji about which I had previously expressed some concern to the PM. Some, including the PM, seem to have taken the letter as an insult and I again apologise if they have seen it as such.  It was not my intention. Also, unfortunately, my confidential letter to the Archbishop and a few close friends got into the hands of some anti-government bloggers who publicised it widely and made me appear to be anti-government. Again some misrepresente…