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Showing posts from August 25, 2013

Former Ghai Commissioner Says Why He Supports the 2013 Draft Constition

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Member of the Ghai Commission now supports the 2013 Constitution.

‘The basic principles on which a pluralistic, democratic society can be structured in Fiji are clearly and carefully enunciated. They provide the necessary vision but for any functioning democracy you need a clear eyesight, too.’
––– Dr Satendra Nandan

By Dr Satendra Nandan

Fiji now has a new constitution—the fourth since independence in 1970. The final version was published on August 22, 2013. It becomes law on September 6, a day before Australia goes to poll.

The general elections based on the constitution are scheduled for not later than 30 September 2014, almost exactly a year after the Australian elections.

It’s a 98-page document—half the size of the Independent Constitution Commission’s draft presented to the President of the Republic of Fiji on December 21, 2012 by its chair Professor Yash Ghai.

Like the Ghai draft which resonated with many ideas of the 1970 and 1997 constitutions and the Peoples Charter…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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                 Rugby Reps

Good to see Mr.Koli Rakoroi still trim and active with the Fiji Rugby Union. Many former Fiji reps simply fade into oblivion and are forgotten. It would be good to have a TV programme about  our former Fiji reps to find out how they are faring.

In big countries their reps often prepare themselves business-wise or in education because the playing careers of rugby players only spans perhaps ten to fifteen years if they are lucky. After that, if they do not have regular day jobs to go back to, they could live in poverty and be forgotten.

Vinaka Koli Rakoroi.  You are a good example for rugby reps.

Manhole Covers
Isa, two men were caught red-handed on CCTV stealing manhole covers. This should be a lesson to thieves because it is costing taxpayers a lot of money to replace the covers.  Its also good that the men have been locked up because the theft of manhole covers has caused many accidents and injuries to people who step into a manhole.

In Waiyavi the…

New Pacific Islands Development Bloc Takes on Australian Dominance

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By Kalinga Seneviratne
A new Pacific islands forum will seek to challenge the dominance of Australia and New Zealand in a regional body. The new grouping’s approach is being billed the “Pacific Way”, and also the “green and blue” way for its commitment to environmentally sustainable oceans as well as land.

The new Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) challenges the Pacific Island Forum (PIF), a 16-member inter-governmental organisation which includes 14 Pacific Island countries plus Australia and New Zealand.

The PIF is headquartered in Fijian capital Suva. Fiji itself was suspended from the PIF in 2009 after naval commander Voreqe Bainimarama grabbed power in a coup in 2006 and refused to hold elections.

Bainimarama, now prime minister of Fiji, said at the launch of the PIDF earlier this month that people “have largely been excluded from the decision-making process,” and that the PIDF would do it differently.

“It has been no secret that Commodore Bainimarama has great …

For and Against: Coups and the 2013 Draft Constitution

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METHODISTS NO MORE SUPPORT FOR COUPS.The Methodist Church will not support any future coup as part of its policy and regulation under the church’s draft constitution. Church legal adviser Rev. Solomone Vakaliwaliwa presented the review of the constitution to the members of the conference at the Centenary Church yesterday. He said action will be taken against church ministers who show their support to any coup, and church ministers should resign if they want to enter politics. Church President Rev. Tuikilakila Waqairatu said the review of the church’s 1984 constitution, expected next year, is the way forward for the church to clean the defilements of its past.

In 1987, the then President of the church Reverend Josateki Koroi was ousted by Reverend Manasa Lasaro after the coup. Following this they pushed for the Sunday ban to restrict all public events on Sundays and also openly supported the 1987 coup. Leading up to the 2000 coup, there were also reports of some Methodist Church minist…

News and Comment Wednesday 28 August 2013

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PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY.  Party spokesperson, Nirmal Singh said members want the party to be agents of change.

Speaking about the Constitution, he said the party recognizes efforts towards the elections, the constitutional provision for one person, one vote and one value, reducing the voting age to 18, removing racial considerations from the constitution, strengthening right of itaukei on land ownership.

But they thought the people could not build a truly democratic Fiji with the military having total responsibility over the security, defense, and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians.That is the role of an elected government and parliament. He said the military must be answerable and accountable to the government and to parliament.

[The Constitution does not give the military total responsibility. The relevant clause reads, "It shall be the responsibility of the RFMF to ensure at all times the security, defence and wellbeing of Fiji and all Fijians." It is an introductor…

NEWS AND COMMENTS MONDAY 26 AUGUST 2013

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METHODISTS URGED TO UNITE.   Former Church President Rev. Dr Ilaitia Tuwere said they should put away their differences and reconcile. They should listen to each other and work for a common goal for the betterment of the church and the nation. He was speaking at the induction service of the Church President Rev.Tuikilakila Waqairatu at the Centenary Church yesterday.

 Rev.Koroi was ousted from the Church President's post by Rev. Manasa Lasaro after the 1987 coup.  Following this, the church supported the 1987 and 2000 coups. They also took a hardline approach after the 1987 coup and called for the Sunday ban. The Methodist Church conference starts this morning.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
"You've met the internet, haven't you? It turns out that when people are given a chance to argue anonymously, it takes about 15 seconds for the debate to descend into a virtual screaming match, leaving everyone both angrier and stupider." -- Mark Straub in online journal The Pessimist.  …

Parties to adapt to change: Naidu

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Professor Vijay Naidu's views on the electoral provisions of the Constitution,republished from the Fiji SunAugust 24, 2013 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: By ROSI DOVIVERATA
The changes made in the new constitution regarding Fiji’s electoral system means that political parties will need to reinvent themselves to appeal to voters at the national level.
Professor Vijay Naidu, a longtime academic and head of the School of Government, Development and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific said much will depend on how people vote next year.
He said while the previous orientation towards ethnic electorates and ethnic based appeals are not likely to disappear, political parties and independent candidates will need to cast their nets more widely if they wish to obtain seats in the new parliament in sufficient numbers to form government.

50-member parliament
“The increase from 45 to 50 is welcomed as this may mean less onerous demands on indivi…