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Showing posts from February 3, 2013

Most Likely Outcome: Fiji, a "Guarded" Democracy

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If you read nothing else this weekend, please read  Dr Paul Buchanan's article.
Apart from one factual error (on the composition of the Constitution Commission) this a sound analysis of political possibilities and probabilities in Fiji.  I have to say this because most of what  Dr Buchanan has said on one analytical article, I have been saying in "bits and pieces" for the past year or so.

Hence my constant references to what is realistically possible; the futility of the "absolutist" opposition of the old political parties and the trade unions; the need for  criticism of Government to be helpful;  the self-imposed irrelevance of international actors such as Australia and New Zealand; the futility of sanctions; the need to grasp the full, longer-term picture beyond the shifts and changes of individual events; and my prediction that the military will insist on a constitution that fulfills its "vision" and will sit in the wings after 2014 to ensure the co…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Main Issues Ok. Enough about rugby.

 The general elections are just around the corner, right now no one is talking about issues but talking about how politicians and their parties should behave.

Here's my list of things that I think we should consider:

1.       Women’s role in government
2.       Minimum wage
3.       Free education – no building and book fees and no other fees usually imposed by managements.
4.       Renewal of land leases.
5.       The continuous fluctuation of the price of fuel including LPG gas.
6.       Unemployment
7.       NDCs
8.       Moving industry to the rural areas to curb urban drift.
9.       Incentive scheme to all wage earners. Merit payments.
10.   Introduction of backyard gardens to be mandatory where possible.
11.   A seedling back to preserve our vegetables and root crop, to be prepared for natural disasters.
12.   Moving villagers prone to flooding to higher ground.
13.   Curb rising utility bills.
14.   Introducing more vocational schools.
15.   Encourage …

Fiji's Telecommunications Revolution

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MEDIA RELEASE: BIG RISE IN NUMBER OF FIJIANS WITH INTERNET ACCESS

The  "game changer that gave ordinary Fijians access to all aspects of the telecommunications revolution."

The number of Fijians with Internet access will rise by more than 60,000  by the end of this year as more of the  Government’s Telecentres come on line.

 The PM says the number includes 5,000 additional school children who will benefit from regular access to the Net at more than 20 community Telecentres all over Fiji.

 The PM was  speaking at the opening of two more Telecentres today in the Central Division – at Baulevu and Tailevu. Both centres have been established in local schools (Baulevu High School and Tailevu North College) and will provide a range of telecommunications services for hundreds of residents of the surrounding areas.

They will be used by schoolchildren during school hours and by the rest of the community after hours and on weekends.

The Telecentres are part of the  Government’s telecommu…

News and Comments Tuesday 5 February 2013

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WHAT IS TRUE? "Okay, I ask you if any of this is true. How can you know? I haven't given you enough information even to ask better, more sensible, more meaningful questions. The better question is, 'Having heard what I told you ... is it likely to be true?' Let me suggest these categories: true, untrue, likely to be true, unlikely to be true, and, there isn't enough known to answer likely or unlikely." --Elliot Perlman, The Street Sweeper.

NO SURPRISES ON MILITARY.  PM Bainimarama has  reconfirmed that the RFMF will be represented in the Constituent Assembly  and hinted that the military's submission, ignored by the Constitution Commission, has been considered in the new draft constitution. This should  not, however, be taken to mean that the military has political aspirations.  Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga  says the military as an institution will not support any political party "even if  Prime Minister and Army Commander Commodore …

News and Comments Monday 4 February 2013

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THE "NEW" SDL, RO TEIMUMU  AND MICK BEDDOES.  The acronym stays the same but the old SDL is now the Social Democratic Liberal Party and its patron is still Ro Teimumu Kepa whose Constitution Commission submission wanted the 1997 Constitution, Senate and the Great Council of Chiefs reinstated,  Fiji to reaffirm itself as Christian, no immunity for Bainimarama, and further protection for the "indigenous way of life."  Mick Beddoes, having dissolved the UPP, is now applying for membership. He thinks his experience in politics will help the SDL should they choose him as a candidate in the 2014 election.

CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.  With Government's release of its changes to the Ghai draft constitution already  late, people are asking whether invitations  to participate in the Assembly will also be late, and, more importantly, whether the deadline for the acceptance of the constitution will provide sufficient time for full and proper discussion.

The draft is reported to …

CCF Wants Budget Transparency

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Media Release, Citizens’ Constitutional Forum Limited, 1st February 2013

Open Budget Survey a Wakeup Call for Government

The CCF maintains its call for government to practice Transparency and Accountability on the back of a poor 2012 Open Budget Survey rating released yesterday.

Authorities on Good Governance ESCAP define Transparency as decisions taken and their enforcement being done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions. This definition includes openness of the decision-making and enforcement processes as well as access to and distribution of information.

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum reiterates its calls on the Bainimarama government to initiate urgent steps to make public the Auditor General’s reports and reports from the Public Accounts Committee available to the people of Fiji.

The recently released assessment by the Independent Open Budget Surve…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Slipping Away

 There was so much hype with this being the best 7s team and that they were well prepared. Just after all the praise and the reality that Gordon Tietjens and the Australians bought their teams to learn from us.

Anyway, what could have gone wrong with the boys, are they not listening to the coach? We see that they don’t seem to have a game plan and played individually. They didn’t seem to gel as a good team should. Where did all the goodness that was evident in the Uprising Sevens go? We have been falling lower and lower in performance on the international scene, now we will play the bowl for the first time ever, somewhere we should never be seen. I’m glad that there is nothing like the wooden spoon to contest, because we could even fall that way, because its not impossible.

But the boys have done what they possibly could do and like Africa we are slipping away. But I congratulate the other teams that have grown from strength to strength and now sit where we once sat.

And to …