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Showing posts from February 16, 2014

Fiji and Australia Rapprochement

The Strategist - The Australian Strategic Policy Institute Blog      -     21Feb 2014 Reader response: Fiji and Australia rapprochement
By Anthony Bergin
Richard Herr was right to say that there was ‘no massacre of hopes’ in Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s visit to Suva to meet with Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
As Richard noted, it proved more of a love-in than a confrontation. But there’s no doubt that Minister Bishop took on a political risk with her Fiji policy shift. It’s now clear, however, that the risk was worth taking: she was praised in Suva, in the Australian media and the think tank world after the visit.
Ever since Julie Bishop announced some time back that there would be change in our Fiji policy, there were plenty of nay-sayers on the merits of shifting from our hard line position of trying to isolate Fiji. During the Rudd years in particular, such views had over-weening influence on the Australia-Fiji relationship, to our disadvantage in the region.
Be…

Political Round Up, February Week 3

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By Crosbie Walsh

The untimely death of Methodist Church President Tuikilakila Waqairatu briefly brought the country together at his funeral on Thursday with mourners from all shades of the political spectrum.

The Rev. Waqairatu sought to heal the rift in the church caused by its near  takeover by extreme ethnic Fijian nationalists. Elected only in 2012, it is too soon yet to know how successful he was in returning the church to its Christian purpose. Death only too vividly reminds us of our common humanity and temporary residence, but it is a lesson we soon forget.

Political news during the week concerned the ongoing argument between unions and government over union participation in party politics; statements surrounding the two-day visit of the Pacific Forum Ministerial Group; a policy statement and hints at a campaign strategy by SODELPA; and the PM's politically directed comments at the launch of a new boat and the new Fiji Home Finance Bank

Union officials as election candidate…

.Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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On Expectations ...

You know what I want to see in politicians vying for the next general elections - politicians who come in and tell the people what they will do for Fiji.

Not politicians who first of all run other politicians down by dwelling on their weakness or what they didn't do or did wrong.

Are there any vying politicians with the calibre I'm talking about? Or will we keep on seeing politicians who talk more about others' issues than what they have to offer.

... and Corruption
Some time ago we we told that corruption was rife in Fiji.

Let me just say that at that time it was 100%. This is speaking hypothetically. It is now a few years down the line, if a curious person like me wanted to know what percent is it at now, is there anyone out there who can tell me?

One way to probably quantify this is the service we get from government departments. Has it improved? What about applications for land, housing, surveying, VAT returns and issues sent in to departments for v…

Australian Foreign Policy: an Addendum

Dear Croz, Not sure if there is room for an addendum to the piece on Australian Foreign Policy you carried the other day. However if possible I’d like the following noted. a) The February 15 meeting of Fiji’s PM Frank Bainimarama and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was indeed historic but not for the reasons outlined in the Australian media, where the occasion was a lead news item in the press, radio and TV. b) Even Rowan Callick of The Australian missed the significance of the meeting in his story which accompanied a front page picture of the two shaking hands in Suva. Callick wrote that this was important because it represented    `a step away from the foreign policy position of the Rudd-Gillard years’. c) But sanctions, the cornerstone of the Australian stance toward the military regime, were imposed immediately after the 2006 coup by Alexander Downer, the Foreign Minister in the John Howard-led conservative coalition. The Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard –led Lab…