Sunday, July 31, 2005

Muflow of Lies from Qarase's Government.

The race aligned policies in sucessive Fiji Governments is the underlying cause to Fiji's political uncertainity, according to a journalist cum lawyer Mssr Richard Naidu.

G.C.C has missed the opportunity says Pacific Concerns Resources Centre. Realistically G.C.C has a documented track record of doing just that. Does the Fiji have to wait for the G.C.C's moment of inspiration?
Can we decentralize the decision making and empower the grass roots to fulfill their own destiny on a level playing field with unmovable goalposts?
This underlying atmosphere of racial mistrust is disconcerting for Fiji's future.

Added to Fiji's woes, is the inept performance of monopolistic organizations that compounds and excelebrates the digital divide with worthless turf battles at the expense of the masses. Placing much publicized projects like Yaqara at the bottom of the must-do list for potential venture capitalists in Fiji.
The brewing issue of land is another dimension that needs to be resolved independent of the abusive and conniving Native Lands Trust board. The lack of data complains a NGO foundation called Foundation of People of the South Pacific. So use the unemployed people in Fiji to collect your data, lady, because they are literate too.

Rural primary schools in Fiji show their worth. Fiji Government give them your undivided attention.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Baseless lip-service in Fiji Politics.

Fiji's Police Commissioner is quitely seething at this R.T.U Bill. This Bill also will receive the baptism of fire when confronted with land issues in Fiji.
This grand Fijian coalition designed by Old Farts like these people in the collage, are gearing up for the 2006 elections with their racial based incentives.

Qoroniasi is up to his old tricks of tampering with existing laws for his own agenda. However Fiji Womens crisis Centre won't let that happen without a showdown in Court.

Qarase's Ministers continue to churn out concentrated dosages of gooey lip-service for the battle against Corruption and Multi-racialism. Mssr Tavola, refer your attention to international accepted precepts used in 'Freedom of Information' or 'Whistle Blower' Laws.
Great Council of Chiefs Chairman does not need to explain their baseless and unsubstantiated decision to support the Bill. Everyone knows that the institution, as well as the Provincial councils are POLITICAL PUPPETS. Just protecting their own interests.

The Fiji Labour unions are also expressing the anger at the honesty deficit within Fiji Public Service. No wonder skilled migration of Health workers from Fiji, is on the exponential rise.
National Alliance Party Chairman and former Chairman of Great Council of Chiefs is moving towards a society of inclusiveness in Fiji which is dratically needed to move forward in todays global village. We need to re-think, re-evaluate all previously held conceptions in Fiji's template of Politics. Obviously change is needed but there are Elements of Danger in Fiji who do not want to decentralize power, decision-making and control. These people defend their turf with tooth and nail.
The race card used by succesive Fiji Governments is a political 'Red-Herring' for failed efforts in multi-racialism. Fiji Times Editorial comments on the modern trends of mobile manpower. Human capital is on the move from Fiji. Too bad, Qarase et all can't stop them. Their despotic policies are in fact accelerating this outflow.

More selected letters to Fiji Times Editor.

Chiefly wisdom

THE wisdom of the august Great Council of Chiefs is questionable as most of them do not pay basic tax for the simple reason that for most of them are unemployed or unemployable villagers.

Why does this government pay so much priority in appeasing the non-taxpayers of this country?

The debate on the Unity Bill should start with the assumption that taxpayers have the last say rather than the least say. There are only two constants in this world — death and paying tax, all others including politics and chiefly wisdom are superfluous.

Jone B Raiva

Title disputes

I THANK Justice Devendra Pathik (FT 16/7) for referring the title dispute of the Tui Vuna back to the Native Lands and Fisheries Commission.

After all the commission has the evidence and power to decide on the validity of cases that come before it. Perhaps the dispute over the Tui Nadi claim could be resolved in the same manner because it has been dragging on for too long.

As an illustration, taking chiefly disputes to court is like one faction pulling the head of a cow and in the middle are lawyers milking the cow for all she's worth.

I wish all High Court judges followed Justice Pathik so that all pending chiefly disputes are resolved quickly by the commission without interference from the High Court via an injunction. Some lawyers are getting fatter from the amount of milk they're drinking.

Alipate D. Tuidraki

Feeding Fiji

AGRICULTURE Minister Ilaitia Tuisese recently said Fiji could save $300m in costs if farmers produce vegetables for the tourism industry.

Let us be realistic. Were Fiji to be self-sufficient in fruit, vegetables and a wider range of meat/fish products, we would save more than $300m. With a will, I am sure the way forward can be found.

However, the types and quality of produce must meet customer expectations, otherwise the exercise will be in vain.

We all want to eat what we enjoy, not what is thrust at us in the name of import substitution. Witness the amount of root vegetables flown to Fiji military outposts to accommodate the needs of our troops so that they may enjoy their favourite product, unobtainable in their locale.

Years ago I was fortunate enough to attend an Asian Productivity Organisation review of the tourism product in Thailand. There in the northern hinterlands of that land, Thais grow among other things, quality fruit and vegetables ranging from peaches, pears, and rhubarb to asparagus, broccoli and zucchini on land not dissimilar in height above sea level, and of equidistance from the equator to Nadarivatu.

This program was put together by USAid as a drug substitution effort. The production well serves the Thai tourism industry by providing quality product for demanding customers.

Another area renowned for quality of its beef is Taveuni, in many ways similar in quality to Vanuatu beef. Raviravi once produced quality prawns. I know it can be done because once upon a time it happened at Nadarivatu and Taveuni.

However, it needs enormous dedication from the hotel industry, political will from the leadership and commitment from the growers and distributors.

There have been many failed efforts in the past for one reason or another. However, if international hotels in China make it work through budgeting and placing orders for local food a year in advance, it can surely work in here.

Let's look at the Chinese model. It may just work to Fiji's advantage as well.

Kevin Mutton

No strikes

STRIKES (FT 23/7) are always depressing.

Invariably they represent a destruction of wealth, often a loss of customers and jobs. There has to be a better way of resolving differences. A strike in a public sector utility causes hardship to everyone.

Everyone is inconvenienced. Fragile and sick people are endangered, businesses lose money and possibly customers and tourists are driven away.

The strikers lose income. Often the losses are never recovered. A strike in a private sector industry like tourism costs the operators money (and encourages them in future to invest in other countries).

It drives away tourists, and again the strikers lose income. Once customers and money are lost, they are never recovered. All contracts of employment should contain binding "no-strike" pacts.

There must still be a way of resolving disputes. A "no-strike" pact must not become a charter for bad employers. A viable alternative is a contract of employment which stipulates that disputes must be settled by legally-enforceable binding arbitration.

This is a big step for both parties to take: Both employer and worker seem to be giving up the right unilaterally to say "no".

But it does provide a way of eliminating the destructiveness of strikes, which is no benefit to the employer, employee, customer and everyone else.

"No strike" contracts of employment and binding arbitration are standard in many industries in the US and in most of the private sector in Britain.

It will only succeed if both parties have faith in the arbitrator. The choice of arbitrator must be specified in the contract.

For example, a high court judge from an independent country might be a sensible choice.

The real danger with an arbitrator is that he will simply recommend a middle path compromise between two positions.

This leads to more inflated demands, and ultimately causes national inflation, which effectively is a tax on age and on savings. There is a way to avoid this by specifying "pendulum" arbitration, where the arbitrator has to find for one claim or the other.

This tends to result in both sides trying to make their position look reasonable and usually leads to a rapid agreement without arbitration. Pendulum arbitration is an unusual addition to labour relations but it is normal in a law court, where a judge (or jury) has to decide if someone is guilty or not.

Someone cannot be half guilty — either they killed someone or they didn't. I worked with pendulum arbitration for 10 years. It was a breakthrough in terms of labour relations, losses against the employer, losses against the worker and lost customers.

There is a better way. Lets get rid of these stupid strikes where nobody wins.

Peter Chadwick

Defence Ministry

WOULD it be possible for the army to come under one ministry to be named the Ministry of Defence?

The minister should preferably have a military background. Thus when the minister, a political appointee, gives the army commander a directive, it should be seen as an order.

The present stand-off between the army and the Government saddens me in that while they should be working together, they are at loggerheads over a damn Bill. Could this be because the minister is a civilian? If the minister had a military background he or she would see the commander's point of view.

And this will also enable the army to have a direct voice in Parliament.

Allen lockington

Friday, July 29, 2005

The distant horizon of Real & Transparent Democracy in muddy Fiji politics.

I'm not the only one condemming G.C.C's decision which has no factual basis designed by truth-impaired individuals like Fiji's crooked Attorney General.

So after G.C.C disregarded the public's view and glossed over the contentions raised by Fiji Law Society and Fiji Military. Now the G.C.C wants people to respect their decision and unify. Well let me tell you something about respect G.C.C, it's a two-way street.
That respect must also weigh on the G.C.C decision which is so far divorced from reality, they could be on the planet Mars.

That idea to out-source security to an Israeli private security firm is taking fire already from all quarters in Fiji. Deja Vu of P.N.G and Sandline International- a British security firm contracted to protect the Diamond mines there.

Selected letters to Fiji Times Editor of Sat. July 30th edition.

Our future

WATCHING Hotel Rwanda starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo made me realise how fragile our political situation is.

I wonder what the future holds for our young generation who will be fathers and mothers of this land. It scares me reading newspapers and watching TV about the political crisis in Fiji. Are we at war against our neighbour and the vanua?

What happened to the days of chiefly loyalty and respect? Is this going to be the guilty generation in the future? Can the country assure the future generation of this land that our future is stable and blood will not spill on the vanua?

The Bible (Corinthians 13: 4-8) says love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, hope and always perseveres. Love never fails but who will be responsible for our future?

Salanieta Delailakeba

Blaming Christians

THE testimony of a former Hindu who converted to Christianity that Hindu Rayman and idols are powerless, is indeed offensive.

People who make such comments lack commonsense. As Christians, we are supposed to share the love of Jesus Christ, not condemn but respect people of other faiths.

The speculation that churches are behind the desecration of temples is baseless and offensive. People who break in, steal and desecrate temples are thieves. They target churches too.

Hindus in Fiji have all the freedom to freely practise their faith without fear of persecution or incarceration, unlike Christians in India and in Islamic countries who live in fear all the time. In India, Christians have been forced to convert to Hinduism by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Recently, about 500 Hindu villagers attacked members of a church in Karnataka where they sexually molested female members, burned Bibles and bashed the pastor and his wife, who bled profusely. In January 1998, Dara Singh, a Hindu activist, attacked an Australian missionary who was sleeping with his two sons in their vehicle.

The group beat the three unmercifully with their fists and clubs. Then they set the vehicle on fire and watched the three roast alive.

What I am trying to say is that Christians and the churches are not going around berating Hindus, burning their places of worship or houses.

Even when we had the coups, Fijians, mainly Christians, and Indians lived peacefully. There was no religious rioting. It is wrong to think that churches or Christians are involved in sacrilege.

Emmanuel Prasad

Modern design

IN the centre of Suva a large and expensive building has been built.

It is a jewel of modern architecture yet demonstrates little in regards to the culture and style of Fiji. Suva is the business centre of the South Pacific and as such, could be a monument to exquisite taste in the combining of modern and traditional designs.

An architect of vision is desperately needed for the proposed new downtown market building, before Suva becomes a duplicate of so many faceless cities.

GB Willow Albert,
Waidroka Bay

State lies

THE opinion piece 'State's lies and deception' (FT 26/7) written by the head of the School of Social and Economic Development at the University of the South Pacific, is a dubious testament to scholarship in his field.

Even if the motive was purely political, his pedantic and convoluted diatribe against the Prime Minister deserves no amnesty from criticism.

Bill Miller

Army's stand

THE stand taken by Voreqe Bainimarama and the army against the Government and the Unity Bill in the name of national security and justice is, in my view, a disguise and an attempt to prevent the truth from being told — that the 2000 coup was a military coup disguised as a civilian coup.

In order to save their souls, the Commander and military will go to any lengths to protect themselves, even appeasing Mahendra Chaudhry and the Labour Party from taking further court action against them and bullying, threatening and belittling the Government and everyone else in their way everytime they feel like it.

How ironic that Commodore Bainimarama should be singing the tune of justice.

Why didn't he apply justice in 2000 when he had the power and authority in the world to have the Labour Government reinstated after they were set free from captivity?
That is the question all right-thinking people should be asking the Commander.

Lydia Underwood

Woman PM

IMTIAZ Ali (FT 23/7) said Fiji needs a female PM. The suggestion may not sit well with many but I believe Mr Ali's comment represents a cry from the heart of a young nation.

We cannot deny that we have lost our cohesiveness. It happened when political fathers brought about disruption, disunity and disenchantment among us.

Like insecure, deprived juveniles, we bicker and quarrel among ourselves, floundering between arguments and ideals and ending nowhere in the process. Some took offence at the remark by the Commonwealth secretary-general that Fiji was a nation of children.

He was correct because we have yet to come of age in politics. Before it happened, the rug in the family room was pulled from under us by a group of irresponsible fathers.

The comfort and security the country needs to settle and grow is not there. If we do not make it available, juvenile delinquents will grow into irresponsible adults who will be of little use in society.

I read with dismay that tourists were told to stay away from Fiji because of the political uncertainty.

Do we know what we are doing and where we are going? The warning was over the top but on one hand it is our fault for behaving in a way that created a wrong impression of us to the world. What will it take for Fiji to settle and grow? It takes a responsible parent with a lateral thought process and unwavering commitment to the common good.

When Corazon Aquino became president of the Philippines there was a huge celebration. Her victory signalled the end of Marcos and people danced in the streets.

A TV reporter asked a young man in the crowd what was it about Ms Aquino's victory that made him happy? He replied: "Because our country needs a mother."

DGM Robinson

Bill for voters

MUCH has been said about the Unity Bill. It causes goodwill and reconciliation to a certain race while it means fear and uncertainty to another group.
Where one stands in his opinion we must not forget there is a group whose voice is not heard. These are the bystanders or silent minority.
Each voter should be given a slip of paper on election day to tick if they support the Bill. That way, unless one does not want to vote or is not eligible, all citizens of the country are guaranteed their voice is heard.

Seleisitino Caucau

GCC Support

DR JONA Senilagakali (FT 28/7) may have pre-empted the decision of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga which supports the Unity Bill. The council cannot go against the will of the people if it wanted.
The Bose Levu Vakaturaga was enshrined in the 1997 Constitution as a counter-balance to the increased political representation granted to Indians.

When it comes to brass tax, the Bill eventually became a struggle along racial demarcation, with 99 per cent Fijians supporting it and 99 per cent Indians opposing it. If the GCC opposed the Bill, it would be seen to be supporting Indians over Fijian interests.
The chronology of events Dr Senilagakali listed and the stand the august body took, proves it will never go against its people. It means the Bill will sail through Parliament.

If you are in jail because you do not like Indians, the Bill will be your get-out-of-jail-free ticket. Expect members of the Opposition to boycott the debate.
The burden of proof now falls on victims. First, they have to overcome the stereotype that will come their way because of their opposition to the Bill.

Proving that you were a victim of the coup would be like proving a back pain — impossible. Unless there is a radical departure from the status quo, the SDL will win more than 39 seats in 2006.

I take my hat off to the Prime Minister for devising an excellent strategy and winning the election one year before it is held. But whether it will be good for the country is another question.

Praneet Singh
Sacramento California

Finance post

I READ with interest media reports on the inaciton by the Public Service Commission to appoint a new chief executive for the Finance Ministry.

Two months have passed since eight candidates were interviewed. Why has the PSC not given a recommendation to the PM? At one stage, the PSC chairman and CEO were away overseas — one reason for the delay. Before that, the chairman went overseas on a private visit, not connected to his post.

Before that, the excuse they gave for the delay was that the post had to be re-advertised because of a lack of suitable candidates. At one stage, reports said "an expatriate may fill the position".

Word on the grapevine says that in the interview of eight candidates by five members of the commission, Paula Uluinaceva topped the scoresheet but the CEO felt he was too young. Now we hear the CEO is trying to recommend someone from his old school.

In my analysis, the CEO is acting like that because: Mr Uluinaceva is from Kadavu and not from Lau and hence is not eligible. If the CEO concurs to the promotion, Mr Uluinaceva will be paid more and be his senior. The CEO's shunning of Mr Uluinaceva shows he is threatened by a young and capable executive, and

It also shows his inefficiency, considering that he is the final recommending officer for about 300 posts in the so-called senior executive service as compared to more than 23,000 posts delegated to ministries and departments.

Please CEO (PSC), give Mr Uluinaceva a fair go. He is young, dynamic and will prove himself. If you feel he is only the Acting Deputy Secretary, the fact the CEO post will be contracted alienates the requirement of serving 2-3 years. Let justice prevail.

Aminio Bale
Qauia Village

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Blind leading the blind in Fiji politics.

Great Council of Chiefs have shown their adherence to convoluted policies of SDL/CAMV which are counter productive to Fiji's national cohesion. G.C.C have also demonstrated their case of being obsolete in modern governance. It also means that their own chiefly titles are no longer safe from being challenged by democracy and market forces.

These two architects of chaos ( Qarase and Qoroniasi) have painted a target on their backs. All gloves come off now and so does the last straw of respect for them and the ancient order of G.C.C and N.L.T.B.

The idea to create a corruption organization in Fiji is a toothless tiger without the "whistle blower" laws or "Freedom of Information" laws. Nothing less will suffice.

The idea to overhaul the entire Fiji Public service is following my sentiments. So this corruption organization is another example of expanding Government without the financial resources in place.

Engineering robotics in Fiji by U.S.P technology students opens up the industrial creativity that Fiji needs in the knowledge economy. Something that Fiji Government, G.C.C, N.L.T.B knows zero about. That is the future for Fiji, not bloodlines or archaic institutions like them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition is the biggest joke in Fiji.

The wake up call for all chiefs by the Fiji President, who is a chief in his own right is exactly what I've been saying on this blog. My point of contention is that, nobody knows whether the chiefs are already considered 'a decoration' by urban based Fijians.

Qarase is lashing out at critics of the provincial councils, in supporting the R.T.U Bill. I will challenge his comments. When the provincial council cannot even keep accurate accounting records or have their accounts audited by independent auditors. What is this R.T.U Bill for them?

Fiji Great Council of Chiefs is struggling not to be perceived as obsolete. They need to step up and apply technology to Fiji culture. Youths are fast losing their ability to speak native language due to the overwhelming media influences. So take your time G.C.C. By the time, they get to the issue, it would be too late.

The idea to have an Israeli firm to set up a private army in Fiji, to protect politicians will not be received well by Fiji military.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The muddy concept of Pax-Fijiana.

Methodist Church Indian Division Superintendent calls for the amnesty provision in the R.T.U Bill to be applied across the board in Fiji. The creative financing programs for Government projects is undergoing change. I applaud their decision to adapt new measures. However, as I keep reiterating that more is required. This is just the peak of the foothills that lead to the Alpine mountains.

Government Supplies Department is on the verge of being redundant. This is a wonderful milestone in the right direction for Fiji. Albeit, reform in Government is still in it's infancy. Furthermore, the volatile ripples of mistrust propogated by the R.T.U Bill will undermine this crucial transition.

The main restrictions for progress in Fiji are these colonial era instituions like N.L.T.B which must be made redundant also. They are just receiving too much handouts from Fiji Government and in doing so, keeps the rest of the population in poverty.
Having the Fiji Government cabinet to decide in absolute; is unconstitutional, simply because the local Government have their own financial obligations to keep their operations running, which the public need. They have to pay overheads, pay their staff, keep maintaining their assets.
The final decision must come from a Parliament vote. not from some back-room-dealings in cabinet. That is the root cause, of loose Governance and a hinderance to tranparency in Fiji.
The cycle of corruption compounded by the coup culture, highlights the depths of woes within the Fiji Government. More will arise, without 'Whistler Blower'laws, dedicated readers might have noticed me, repeat this.
Unions are up in arms over the Fiji Government's lack of integrity and honesty, in dealing with industrial conflict. S.D.L/C.A.M.V have signed their own death warrant in their political careers by ignoring the union's concerns. Despite Qarase having support from 14 provinces who basically bludge off the Fiji's treasury and contribute very little to economic growth.
So much cynicism against Qarase's Government that they have become the butt end of jokes in Fiji.
Another day in Paradise, another dollar for a Fijian restauranteer. Perhaps the first Taukei to formally declare his entrepeneurial vision in Fiji.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lack of substance from the muddy S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition.

Fiji Government will be continually plagued by corruption unless legislation for Whistler blowing and Freedom of Information Laws are enacted.
Fiji's economy is projected to have 4% inflation by offcials in the Reserve Bank of Fiji. Without factoring in the rise in the current fuel prices is just another indication of incompetance.
The employment growth to be achieved by the S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition as promised by Qarase is another twisted fact which is not shown in Fiji's second quarter economic data.

The inability of Fiji agricultural industry to diversify it's products will be another nail in Fiji's coffin. We have a legimate potential to create export market for the dwindling Sugar industry. Yet, these same layer of "old farts" think they know better for Fiji.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lowering of Standards by the Prime Minister's office in Fiji.

The 14 provinces of Fiji whose members are all unelected, blindly support this R.T.U Bill. Obviously they are gravely mistaken, if Qarase thinks the provinces speak for all Fijians.
Splitting people into different camps of opposers and supporters. This divisive Bill has also pitted family against family, upsetting the cultural equilibrium within Fiji. It hijacks the essence of Fijian culture for the unlawful removal of democratic leaders and in the process undermines the existing traditional authorities of paramount chiefs.

The agurement by Bill supporters that, to remove the R.T.U Bill is denying democracy is such a pathetic application of democracy. It is selective "Mickey Mouse" Democracy. On one hand, Qarase claims that this Bill follows traditional protocol. However he glosses over the fact, that taking the 2000 Coup effectively removed his traditional paramount chief (the late president, Ratu K. Mara) from power.

Basically, on both counts, Qarase's justification fails the consistency and morality test and his arrogant actions flows against the grain of Viti culture, that is respect for their chiefs. The type of muddy rhetoric, that Fiji media are not pinning Qarase for his inconsistencies. Well I am doing precisely that!

Fiji Government's confused duality status makes a mockery of transparancy, the very key-words that punctuate numerous Government press releases. Actions speak louder than words!

So the Fiji Government continues to be a gate keeper
of information in Fiji,
hindering democratic processes, like freedom of association. Reader beware! These are exactly the type of individuals that clog up of the system of change in Fiji.
Chaining people to ignorance and poverty, for their own gain. Someone please remind the ignorant Commissioner Central of the 'freedom of association' IS guaranteed under Fiji's 1997 constitution. These same 'old farts' want to change the constitution, under the guise of reconciliation. Even though changes in
are being implemented. The wrong priority is used to identify archaic laws in Fiji. Further to that, the lack of Fiji Government's perpetual funding to these programs is another Archilles heel.

TO: Fiji Prime Minster, L. Qarase.
FROM: Stuck in Fiji Mud.
SUBJECT: Standard of writing from Prime Minister's office is a deviation from societal norms, like the R.T.U Bill.

The so called disucussion paper written by L.Qarase and his staff and published on Fiji Government website exemplifies, below par standard of writing.

a.)The document is NOT a paper, as they claim; because it lacks any reputable reference system normally used in publishing documents from any Government office, regardless of country.

b.) The document lacks a bibliography, a table of contents, an abstract statement or a concluding one. The document does not attempt to academically prove anything. It only gives one side of the story, which categorically defines the document as a SPEECH. It does not educate people on the legal or religous justifications, that many people keep hearing from Qarase et all.

c.) The statistics quoted by L.Qarase cannot be substantiated without a reference. For all the readers know, those numbers or events quoted in the document could have been randomly selected to 'sex-up' the contents.

d.) The words used in the document are far below the vocabulary expected of a reasonably educated person. It is also quite basic for such an important issue for Fiji, as Qarase claims it is. Poor quality for something that crucial, sums up their rationale. Or lack of it!

e.) The degree of excellence in the writing, expected at the Prime Minster's office level; indicates the quality of the staff within it. Any bonafide graduate of a liberal arts program would have identified and rectified those elementary mistakes, at the draft reading stage. Failing to appear on anyone's radar screen can only signify the absence of any reasonable work-ethic, of staff in the Prime Minister's office.

The entire document is clearly an ill-conceived piece of writing, designed for dubious politicial purposes. It was created in a highly flawed manner and the errors in the writing is another embarrasment to the calibre and services provided by the entire Fiji civil service.
One of these errors appears on the pseudo-title page and demonstrates the hunger for
power by the writer(s). The correct title for Prime Minister used in Commonwealth nations: " The Honorable Prime Minister, Minister of .....(department name)....( then the incumbent's name).."
This is the original title as appeared in the posted document: " The honorable Laisenia Qarase, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Fijian Affairs..."

The writer(s) of this document, are people who parade around in the Government buildings in their cheap suits, neglecting the quality of their work. Judging from the mistakes within this document, it can be concluded that the writing calibre cannot be distinguished from similar results rendered by high school drop-outs.

Generally the document is nothing more than, a disapointingly 'lowering of standards' within the Prime Minister's office. I will be anticipating an improvement immediately, to prevent any further embarrassment to the P.M's office, by the ingrained ignorance of the staff.

Yours faithfully

Stuck in Fiji Mud.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Muddy pools of mis-representations from S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition.

More words of wisdom from outgoing U.S ambassador Mssr David Lyons regarding Fiji's complex socio-political situation. Labour party's chaudary claims greed was the cause for the 2000 coups.
Everything in Fiji needs constant review. Leading to the drop
of basic services, especially in Fiji's obsolete medical system. Fiji's V.P re-hashes the dualistic quandary that misleads most rural and uninformed Fijians.

Selected letters to the F.T Editor of Sunday July 24th 2005.

Unity Bill
THE Bill seems to be a repetition of a law created by the Fiji Law Society but this one seems it was created to protect people who break the law. One should understand that whatever is reconciled in us should not be taken again to the law. We are just human beings.

Those who are still hurt from the previous coup should adjust to the environment. Otherwise, they are free to settle elsewhere because this is a democratic country.
Let's move forward and build this nation for the benefit of the next generation. Let's forget the past and work together to make Fiji a better place.

Losana Tunabuna

Redundant goods

In March, I read an article in your paper about the shortage of basic items in many small schools.

I believe some of the shortage can be taken care of if the schools are supplied with redundant goods from Australia, including computers, books and writing paper and material.

I can arrange to have the items picked, delivered, storage and distribution to the needy schools in Fiji.

Roger Brown, Sydney

General elections

The coalition of major Fijian political parties to fight the next election is worrying. It is merely to propagate the Fijian cause to stop any Indian or non-Fijian political party from ruling the country.

What surprises me from the Fiji One news is that the brain-drain behind the move and drafting of the memorandum of understanding is the work of none other than Tomasi Vakatora.

Isn't he the person who headed Vakatora Holdings which owed NBF $1,350,000 when it collapsed in 1995? Should this country have faith and support for people in the community who heaped debts only to pass it on to the taxpayers of this country for settlement?

A prominent and vocal official of the Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei, Ema Druavesi, owed $129,882 and Druavesi Holdings $149,949,. She is featured in the coalition and was listed as a National Bank of Fiji debtor in The Fiji Times of June 19, 1996.

Can we, the taxpayers of this country, trust these people who have passed on their debt to be paid by us? No wonder the price of consumer goods, fuel and other daily essentials continue to go up.

Adi Nunia Kula

What's her problem?

WHAT is Adi Koila's problem? Everyone in Lau is permitted by law to sit and listen to the official meeting of the Lau Provincial Council.

Adi Koila can attend the meeting if she asks to address the council on a particular subject. It will be up to the council and chairman to agree or disagree with her request.

But it is really a no-brainer what the Government is trying to do with its Unity Bill to get rid of the stigma of the 2000 coup. Anyone with a bit of brain would realise it. The Bill only concerns the 2000 coup, not before or after.

Why is she acting as if she wants to have revenge on the government of the day for ousting her late father from office? It was not the Government that was responsible. It wasn't George Speight either.

Instead, she should be pushing the Commissioner of Police to investigate the person who forced her father out of office - army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

She should be ticked-off with him and not the Government. If her aim is to claim the Tui Lau title she's got something else coming. The title of Tui Lau is decided by the Lau Provincial Council. If it wants, the council can appoint a commoner to be the Tui Lau or even Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

Jone Kama
Toronto Canada

Bold stand

I COMMEND the army commander for his bold stand against the Unity Bill and his summary on it — 'Bill work of warped minds'.

Hence, I would like to suggest that the commander set his house in order because it was the army officers and members of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit who perpetrated the 1987 and 2000 coups.

They were the ones who held guns and emptied the armoury at Delainabua. Why don't we give the Bill, with all deleted clauses on amnesty, a chance?

Unity Bill

TO those trying to force the Bill down our throat, can they guarantee there will be no more coup in Fiji? If no, then the Bill has failed in its prime objective — to prevent instability. Will it be used to favour those who remove the regime the day?

Deducing from the political climate, the Bill has promoted no reconciliation, unity or tolerance but divided and tore the nation apart. I look forward to a Bill that can make my life simple and peaceful.

Ravind Naidu

Friday, July 22, 2005

Muddy tracks around the circle of political dis-enachantment.

More labour insurrection in Fiji. No more Mister Nice guy from the Fiji Unions who have members of multi races fed up with this Mickey Mouse type of industrial relations. Begining of Fiji's industrial birth pains.

Placing scrutiny in Fiji's cash crop- Sugar which is on the decline.

Qarase is trying to paint this controversial R.T.U Bill in different colors. No one is buying that one, sir!
The Police will and Fiji Military have that covered already and initial evidence points to your S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition.
U.S academic raises an Utopian Theory on protocol in Civilian/Military chain of command. It does not factor in the coup-culture and the volatile racial equilibrium in Fiji.

This rip-off deal by a fly-by-night security firm in Kuwait should prove a point that Fijians should start their own security enterprises, since they already posess the skills. Maybe this would be the new export template to diversify Fiji's export industry to include human capital. However the current work environment in Fiji requires a overhaul to prevent cases of abuse and red-tape in Fiji's civil service.
There is a campaign to Kill Mis-information in Fiji that hijacks the issues of native rights, inciting nationalism for political advancement. More efforts of that regard are required in the multi-media industry in Fiji.
Especially to counter rhetoric from pseudo-political organization hiding behind the title of Policy Enhancement. The heritage foundation is a big donor to the Republican party (G.O.P) to the political pundits. So they must follow the White House talking points. Welcome to policy Intiative forums using the U.S style, University of the South Pacific.

Fiji Times Editorial is trying to get action done via it's static position.

More juicy perspectives of fed up Fiji Citizens as appeared in the Letters to the Editor-Sat. July 23rd 2005 edition.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kill Mis-information in Fiji politics.

The R.T.U Bill divisive has claimed more victims. Soqosoqo vakamarama a non-entity in Fiji politics are going against the cultural grain which they frequently wave around inconsistently. Technically violating Viti culture. Generally women are not allowed to comment, participate or meddle with political matters in Fiji.
So everyone in Fiji applies culture for their own agendas.

Another large union federation warns Qarase's Government on the R.T.U Bill. Fiji's civil service has always played games like this with the Fiji unions. But the Fiji Nurse unions won't tolerate this deception in agreements.

This gate keeping role of Government is being addressed by Citizens Consitutional Forum spokesman.

Me Inc. That is the template which Fiji Youth should be investing their time in, claims Fiji Development Bank C.E.O. But in an environment of monopolies, that model of free-enterprise cannot succeed in Fiji.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Chronic mis-representations in Fiji politics.

Fiji's Police Commissioner may not be vocal of his dislike for the R.T.U Bill. But his actions lately, show his dislike for it.
So does the actions of Fiji Women's N.G.O's.
The rate at which Fiji's the 'bean counters' overlook numerical accucracy in their operating procedures. The more occurences of over-spending of Fiji's treasury.
The migration of skilled nurses from Fiji shores is only one dimension of the problem, of the lack of an adequate living wage scale in Fiji that factors in the high taxes and under par basic services of water, electricity and telephone bills. Need I say more.
The layer of old farts in decision making positions in Fiji have placed an artificial ceiling on low income wages while neglecting to rein in excessive salary levels of Executive pay scale.
Fiji Civil Service has a unit called Higher Salaries Commision which monitors the salaries of all executives in every state and private organization. This unit have developed a formula that projects a straight line graph on the incremental increases that they think Fiji's economy is capable of sustaining.

The same people are at it trying to prevent Fiji from developing. Home Affairs minister is caught with his pants down by interfearing with staff selections which affects people's liveli-hood. Good people willing to speak out against injustice in Fiji.
Senator Koila Nailatikau, daughter of the late Fiji President Ratu Mara lashes out at the inconsistencies of Qarase's idealogies and brings up the neglected public infrastructure which should be a higher priority, if Qarase was serious in being a statesman. S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition policies reverse the long standing tradition of multi-racialism in Fiji, spits on the pedestal of human rights and thumbs their noses at international opposers to this R.T.U Bill. When transparent dialogue is warranted.
Koila asks an important question: Why can't Qarase et all, unable to function without the coup perpertraitors? The same question which Kotobalavu, the C.E.O of Prime Minister's office evaded, goose stepped. Typical yes-man and echos the used diatribe that R.T.U Bill is important in the long term interest of Fiji. You're entitled to your own opinions, Mssr Kotobalavu, whether or not it is the god-given truth, is debatable.
N.L.T.B is obviously trying to justify it's role in changing native agricultural land into commercial property. Imagine it took them all this time to implement it. The N.L.T.B complains of lack of funding, yet the Fiji National Provident Fund is seeking viable projects to invest their surplus funds in.
The logical option of having F.N.P.F invest in this particular kind of landowner commercial projects is NOT being widely adapted for an age old reason.
The policiy of creating stumbling blocks for the financial independence of commoners. Social stratifying the chiefs interests by giving them carte blanche in Fijian Holdings under the smokes screen of Fijian supremacy and Affirmative Action. Which realistically is a voter-buying scheme.

That Nadi landowner, creating the Westfield city project is not subscribing to the N.L.T.B's colonial template of selective social engineering. Good for him. I wish every landowner in Fiji shared his vision. Maybe the political problems will diminish drastically due to shared wealth, leading to financially independent Fijians and lower unemployement and crime.
Fiji Reserve Bank is releasing a new definition of "foreign reserves" which may take years to filter down to the actual working class of accountants and bankers. How does this affect Fiji's macro-economy has not been outlined by the Fiji Reserve bank.

Fiji's agricultural Minsiter is raising an entrepreneurial opputunity that has escaped the imagination of successive Fiji Government policies. Past agricultural projects have failed due to the lack of project oversight and reporting as well as the abscence of qualified and industrious personnel.
The root problems within Fiji Agricultral Ministry still exists. The time for excuses is over, it's time that these C.E.O take some responsability in their decisions. Fiji's laws should also penalise officials who are not performing.
Even Fiji lacks a comprehensive energy policy. Qarase touts this Bio-fuel concept but
files the project under maybe. If Qarase at least used the same urgency used in bulldozing the R.T.U Bill in Fiji, to push this project forward just shows how backward the entrenched mentality in Fiji's decision making roles.
Neglect Engineering, Science and Techonology and one accelerates their own economic demise.

The misconception that having Fijians at the helm of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society( P.I.C.I.S.O.C) will bring success in Fiji's internet capacity cannot be serious considered. Due to the fact that this organization will have to intiate the reformative policies of combating the digital divide in Fiji.
It is a fact, that Moore's Law concludes that the power of microprocessors will increase exponentially every 18 months. USA's bandwidth increases every 2 years.

I believe, Fiji bandwidth capacity will not be expected to expand much until the Telecomunication monopoly in Fiji is removed. Reforms is a necessary evil, if Fiji wants to be a economic juggernaut in the South Pacific. Not undertaking reform of multi-industries, Fiji's dream will remain just that. Successful action, requires self-discipline. Like this office of the Ombudsman in Fiji. They should at least consider opening another permanent office in Vanua Levu, to cater for the population base. This underfunding of crucial state oversight mechanims, is being deliberately financially strangled, to propogate this culture of cronyism and corruption in Fiji.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mud overfloweth.

G.C.C members must be reading my posts, in their decision to get the better grasp on the legal wording by seeking other opinions other than Fiji's crooked Attorney General.

An article in Fiji Sun by Victor Lal, a former journalist in Fiji and now reading law at the University of Oxford dissects the legality issue.
The Editorial also praises G.C.C's decision to seek other advice on R.T.U Bill. Fiji Labour Party condems Kotobalavu of the Prime Minister's office saying the Bill is an internal matter.

This is what can be achieved by the Taukei when control are transferred from N.L.T.B to the landowning unit. Now imagine if every landowner operated according to this template?This man proves that N.L.T.B is the stumbling block, root cause of all ethnic bad blood and political upheavals in Fiji.
Even the Fiji Times editorial echos my sentiments.
Stealing from the dead is the end result of under paying workers and not legislating a minimum wage in Fiji.

Monday, July 18, 2005

People who break the law in Fiji, require neccessary roughness. Like so.

Qarase had a damage control meeting after threats from Fiji military.
The plans by Fiji Government officials to out-source a new Commander from Australia is a plausible denial. Adding more fuel to the fire of volatile resentment which currently exists between the two entities.
At least the G.C.C is being prudent to seek alternative advice on this divisive R.T.U Bill.
S.V.T poltical party is placing their support squarely behind Fiji military commander.
Fiji Police Commissioner is lashing out at the layer of burearacracy in Fiji public service. It just adds to the litany of comments in regard to reform being delayed in Fiji, by old farts wearing 'dead men's' shoes.
The F.T editorial of Tuesday July 19th condems this muddy layer of incompetance in Fiji.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Mud surfing on Cronyism, Abuse and Exuses in Fiji's civil service like the comments by C.E.O of Prime Minister's office. Pictured here with new wife.

The deviation of law as instigated by this Bill is a dangerous precedent. For sake of arguement, what if the perpetraitors of the 2000 coup operation was actively financed by Al-Qaeda. Would they still be recepients of the amnesty provisions designed by the crooked Attorney General?

How about if those currently held in custody for the coup charges, by some remote twist of fate was found in possession of hard drugs and accused of a prior offense of sex with a minor. Will their new offences fit the amnesty clause?

How about if the same people stormed a meeting of Great Council of Chiefs and forcibly disrobed every member and paraded them under the blue skies of Fiji. Will the G.C.C then, still want to endorse the Bill?

Having both camps( supporters and opposers) advice the G.C.C is the only way to prevent the institution from being swayed to the agendas of the corrupt. Even if their translation of the R.T.U Bill is published, the contents of the translation must be scruntinized by an independent body, to ensure no mis-information of the legal wording.

The comments of the C.E.O of Fiji Prime Minister's office is beyond the pale of comprehension and shows how far Kotobalavu is isolated from reality on the ground. Human Rights is an international concern, that is why Fiji is a signatory to international treaties. If Fiji wanted to operate independent of other nations, then why take the time in sending diplomats to the U.N? Fiji is not a nation in a vacuum. It must abide by it's obligations. No lip-service or rhetorical comment by any civil servant can change that indisputable fact.

The Fiji Government is seriously out of money to pay for it's obligations. How can Fiji go on living beyond it's means. Even water which is a basic human right is not forthcoming in suburbs of Suva.

Selected F/T Letter to Editors of Mon July 18th 2005.

What is Government afraid of?

This latest effort of the Government to rein in the debate on the Reconciliation Bill is contradictory, counter-productive and truly pathetic.

The Prime Minister spends a great deal of his time wooing foreign business people and investors in the hope of encouraging more of them to bring their money into the country. And yet, when these same people voice their concerns about the destabilising effect of the Reconciliation Bill, the Ministry of Home Affairs tells them to shut up or be kicked out of the country.

According to the Ministry, expats' work permits forbid them from engaging in political activities in Fiji. I have yet to locate the source of this restriction. However it raised a number of questions.

First, the Ministry clearly assumes that engaging in political activities including making public statements about matters of public interest. But that is an activity protected by the right to freedom of speech, which is a constitutionally guaranteed protection enjoyed by everyone in the country, not just citizens.

Secondly, as the Fiji Employers Federation has pointed out, the current sorry state of local politics is not just a matter of passing interest for many business people and investors. It hits them right in the hip pocket.

Businesses do no flourish in an unstable environment because instability increases uncertainty and multiplies financial risk.

Having failed to control the RFMF Commander, and as more dissenters in the indigenous community voice their objections to the blatant railroading of provincial councils, the Government now appears to be venting its frustration at the mounting public opposition to the Bill on a group it sees as more pliable.

Peter Ridgway was perhaps the first to experience this. We have yet to learn to what extent his ejection from the country has damaged Fiji's relations with Australia but we can be sure that our Government's ingratitude and rudeness did not go unnoticed.

What a shame it would be if the many wonderful expatriates from all over the world who grace Fiji's shores stopped coming. How much poorer would we be without them.
They contribute enormously, not just to our economy but in every sphere - enriching our diversity and overall quality of life.

It is only natural that expats should speak our on matter affecting them and the Government's hostile reaction is really a measure of its inability to withstand criticism. Since the Prime Minister says the debate is healthy, let everyone participate.

What is he afraid of?

Rev Akuila Yabaki
CCF Executive Director

Be truthful

Since my letters (FT 25/4, 11/5) the only response from FNPF came from its public relations officer (FT 22/4) who, by implication, induced the readers to sail with Sinbad to the Seven Seas. This is an insult in the highest order to all the contributors who are members and beneficiaries of the FNPF.

They have been rubbished, ignored and not told what they wanted to know, which is their right.

What game is the chief executive officer and board of directors of the Fiji National Provident Fund playing? They must not lose sight of the fact that primarily all of them are servants of the contributors who are member and beneficiaries of the fund.

I must keep on reminded the FNPF board of directors and its CEO not to forget that as custodians of the members fund they must ensure that there is adequate retirement funds for its members. They must also tell members in a very clear explanation the method and logics the FNPF administers the distribution of each member's dividend include of 6.5 per cent.

FNPF explained that it would undertake a 12 months awareness program to register people who would hitherto considered by them as employees.

The fund is roping in more employees now to contribute and become members of the fund. What about spending three to six months to explain in this column to the members how they administer the FNPF members' dividend income.

Any person who understands the virtue of responsibility must consider duty bound to explain to members who the fund is answerable to what they want to know within their rights.

Why the evasion? Why are they silent? It is one year now since I questioned the CEO and he is not talking. Has he been instructed by the board to shut up? If you think that in the passage of time I will give up questioning you , you are making a mistake.

Come down from you ivory tower and tell the members how you administer the distribution of dividend income. Once again I shall wait for your detailed explanation.

Manu D Korovulavula

Spot on editorial

I fully agree with your editorial comment (FT 12/7) and the issues that were highlighted on the amnesty bill.

Your suggestion that the PM needs to set aside his personal dislike of the military commander and accept the fact is indeed what the people of this nation have been looking forward to for a long time now.

It may be a big task for the PM but it is high time he came out of the world of assumptions and saw the reality for once. The country cannot afford the consequences of the PM and his government members' unfounded dislike of a capable person like the army commander.

Fiji has gone through one of the most trying times any country can go through and the citizens of this country owe a great deal of gratitude to the military for the stability we enjoy today.

Had not it been for the tireless efforts of the army, the judiciary system that is in place now would have been replaced with the law of the jungle.

To ridicule the views of the people who saved the country from a major disaster is really dumb and it just goes to show the shallowness and greed prevalent in some people at the helm of leadership in Fiji.

The commander, like most of the citizens of Fiji, would not like to see the country held to ransom by power hungry goons as in 2000. His outbursts are an indication that he senses trouble and a chance of the events of 2000 repeating if the amnesty Bill goes through.

The people who are hell bent on seeing the Bill through parliament will sleep in comfort of their homes if an event like 2000 surfaces. It will then become the job of the military to steer the country back to normalcy.

The people of Fiji should throw their support behind a person like the army commander who is trying his best to avoid taking the country back into the doldrums, rather than opportunist politicians who will take cover at the first sign of trouble.

The commander is trying to wake us up to the face that prevention is better than cure and he should get the support he deserves

For starters, I would like to assure him that he has my family's support for his good intentions and we are grateful for his organisation's efforts in giving us a stable environment to live in.

Sarita Kumar

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fountains of muddy bias from supporters of this R.T.U Bill.

Chaudary condems Australia's foreign Minister who is not exactly a saint himself, especially after engineering the take over of East Timor's rich oil fields.

Fiji military is deploying more personnel for rural advisory roles on the controversial R.T.U Bill.

It is abundantly clear that most of Fiji's chiefs and their provinces blindly support this Bill demarcating them from the grass roots people who reject the provisions in the Bill.

Too bad that this Ministry of Reconcilaition C.E.O is not giving Fiji citizens, a fair and balanced perspective of the Bill, selectively ommiting dangers of the amnesty clauses.

The Fiji President should be given veto powers in the passage of any Bills in Fiji parliament. Having the position as just a rubber stamp authority is quite a waste of time and money.

C.A.M.V party president is another of those louts in cheap suits, who has conveniently forgotten the events of 2000 which some of his members were actively involved. That is the rotten state of Fiji politics.

Another of these scoundrels and bush lawyer Mssr Kitione Vuataki, should be arrested for inciting racial conflict in an already volatile situation in Fiji.

G.C.C is obviously out of sync with the cultural matters for Fijians. Especially, phasing out burdening funeral and wedding obligations that keeps the Fijian race chained to the feet of petty chiefs.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Muddy creeks of Excuses and Abuses in Fiji Politics.

The case of V.A.T ( Value Added Tax)has been overturned by Fiji Appeals Court in favor of Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority. This is not the end of legal avenues for the plantiffs who have disclosed their intentions to take the matter up to Fiji's Supreme Court.
The real motives for the policies of Affirmative Action driven by Qarase's S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition was, as predicted
fueled by dubious motives.
On the other end of the intelligence spectrum, Fiji's Vice President continues to be vocal of the need for community cohesion in Fiji.
The comments by a Israeli trained security to defend Qarase's Government came under a blistering attack from all quarters.
Plans for the grand Fijian coalition also was scrutinized by political writers of Fiji Sun.
Fiji's Home Affairs Minister is not backing up his threats to discipline military commander for heated and vilifying comments against the S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition. Empty threats by the Minister as usual because of fear of retaliation not by the military itself but from right thinking Fiji citizens who have Commander Bainimarama's back.

Fiji Labour party lashes out at comments by Fiji Government officials against expatriates voicing their opinions on the R.T.U Bill. Police state indeed! More disputes into native land titles shows that N.L.T.B is not doing their job. Just give administration role back to the landowners.
More people regardless of race join the migration train out of Fiji because of harsh policies and low wages.
The comments by a N.Z consultant did not fall well on those old farts sitting on the board of directors of state enterprises including the draconian Chairman Isimeli Bainimarama. Sometime it only takes a new perspective to identify the root problems hidden from the de-sensatized view of these unqualified directors.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Muddy tracks from the Fiji Prime Minister's Office.

The comments by FMF commander of another coup has created more problems.

11 of 14 provinces in Fiji, who support the Bill can't say that they have their mandate without a scientific referendum in their respective provinces.
The time for having only a select group of unelected individuals to decide on matters that could affect everyone in Fiji; is an indication of ingrained colonial mind-set that is undemocratic and not transparent. Maybe Fiji's military should consider using their media cell to create talking points to be broadcast over the radio spectrum or T.V and maybe the internet in Fiji.
F.M.F Commander and officers seriously need to embrace technology, to enable their message in reaching rural Fijians, further and faster. Case in point, this stuck-in-fiji-mud blog!
It is a window of opportunity to break the Fiji Government's gate keeping role that has been abused for mis-information. Holding back the tide of change, for their own wicked agendas. Well, two can play that game!
The parting words of former U.S envoy on Fiji's political landscape should at least be an eye opener for the stakeholders, if they're wise to listen.

The efforts by Fiji Government officials to lash out at expatriates commenting on the R.T.U Bill highlights the immature mentality that may become an institutional norm, is the bigger concern.
Yet in light of all these factors, Finance officials in Fiji are adamant that they can still meet their target growth rate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Muddy Layer of Double Standards and Lip Service in Fiji Public Service.

The creepy R.T.U Bill continues to face ongoing opposition from all quarters in Fiji. That baseless comment from Foreign Affairs Minister on the benefit of democracy and how freedom of speech is practiced in Fiji is an indication of that. Certainly doesn't jive with the fact that the ancient order called Fijian Affairs Board only wants the Qarase's Government to brief the provinces on the Bill. Isn't that a contradiction? Politically Gate-keeping per se!
It is fortunate there are level headed individual within the Fiji Government like the learned Vice President- Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi who unravels the Race card that Qarase is wielding for political advantage in the eve of 2006 elections.
Well that's how Qarase runs things. Especially for these spoon fed, colonial babies like Fijian Affairs Board and Great Council of Chiefs really don't have any real financial sucesss to show the Fijian race, besides this addiction to colonial practices and cultural backward work ethics, that is an eternal drain to the Fiji's public treasury that can be better used for water and electricity problems for everyone.
Qarase's indicates the Bill may be amended is the signal of S.D.L/C.A.M.V's self-cavitation from public pressure locally as well as internationally.
Continued criticism against this grand Fijian coalition of political parties from the 'ivory towers' of elements who advocate social and racial segregation in Fiji politics.
The lack of money is hampering legal aid. This uncreative mind-set in Fiji Public service that is quite shocking. This problem is easily solved with a Law insisting ALL Lawyers be placed under a prescribed amount of time in hours; dedicated to 'pro-bono' work for Fiji's low income earners. This work program should administered by a special unit created within the Fiji Law Society and Fiji Justice Department. The costs should also be tax deductable in Fiji tax systems to be effective with a severe penalty, for defaulting Law firms.
Minister for Home Affairs, Vosanibola needs to check himself into a mental institution. He blames the Fiji media for creating this atmosphere of uncertainity regarding the R.T.U Bill highlights how far he is divorced from reality. S.D'L/C.A.M.V needs to re-examine their own agendas because they are neglecting the fact; that they are servants of the people. Not the other way around.
Be nice to the people on your way up because those are the same people, one will meet on your way down!

The issue with sticking to rules and laws is often taken lightly in Fiji by the very people who should be the pillars of society and yet are they very first ones breaking the same rules they just enacted.
Simple cause and effect, because there is No "Whistle blower" legislation or "Freedom of Information" laws as a mechanism for checks and balances. The absolute trust given to Fiji Government officials have been used and abused for too long. It should end now, to prevent the primary deviation from societal norms which gives rise to the erosion of Fiji's moral fibre leading to political instabilities like the cycle of coups seen in Fiji. The end result is anarchy as labelled by Military Commander; which this R.T.U Bill will definately be a catalyst for more calamity in Fiji.
The debate on living wages in Fiji in order to survive in the rising cost of living is needed urgently. Fiji's inability to create a datum of basic wage levels continues to drive the skill migration from Fiji's shores. These colonistic policies need to be be rebalanced to attract the best talent so that Fiji's economy can compete by creating world class products. Nickel and diming, won't do at all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Muddy tracks down another garden path tour in Fiji politics.

Fiji Military Commander is threatening immediate action in the most heated tone ever, if S.D.L/C.A.M.V tables the controversial R.T.U Bill in Fiji.

Departing U.S envoy Davd Lyons expressed reservations on hints of political upheavals in Fiji. It has been raised time and time again that land is the cause for Fiji's political problems. Who has been the administrators for
the same land? Native Lands Trust Board.

The plans by these recycled Politicians for a grand Fijian Coalition party is an exercise in futility.

The financial protections in Fiji that has received alot of media attention still has to live up to it's reputation. Money talks and Bull shit walks!
The Provincial Council supporting this R.T.U Bill have denied being led on by the Qarase's Cabinet. Yeah right.
The true gauge of independence is action. Having most chiefs suport the R.T.U Bill does not mean all chiefs in Fiji blindly support it.

F.T Letters to the Editor- Weds July 13th 2005

Getting it right

THE National Bank of Fiji saga cost the country over $200million. We are still paying the price for high level corruption. Who ended up in jail for this mess?

As a former court reporter I recall the only person who did time in jail was some obscure branch manager. He became the scapegoat to appease the public outcry. I covered that trial. None of the head honchos who dipped their hands in the public purse was successfully convicted.

Compare that to the success of prosecutors working on the files from the crises of 2000. Chiefs, soldiers, villagers and even former parliamentarians are finding that the rule of law does apply to them without any discrimination of status or creed.

We are finally getting it right. If the Prime Minister has been quoted correctly (FT 9/7) then all the hard work will be to no avail. Whats wrong with retributive justice? If he wants to play the Christian card, my argument is that it is perfectly legitimate and biblical.

As for the time factor, let justice be slow and sure. Expediency is a poor foundation to build this countrys future on. Who knows what greater cost we might have to pay then?

Josua Tuwere

Health service

THE death of a six-year-old boy of Sigatoka raises some questions about our health system. The father of the boy claims that treatment at the Sigatoka Hospital was delayed because the X-ray machine was not working.

However, the doctor claims that all the proper procedures were followed, including admitting and observing the patient. Admit and observe until when? When the situation worsens? Whose duty is it to see that chemicals to develop X-ray films are in stock?

If an investigation is lodged on the case, many excuses will be put forward by the authorities.
Does any anyone count the cost of human misery and suffering? What makes it worse is that sometimes such cases can be avoided.

Neelesh Gounder

Meddling pastors

OVER the past weeks, some members of the Association of Christian Churches in Fiji have been hogging the airwaves on radio talkback shows, defending the Unity Bill.

I understand that the apologists are paid by the Government, and who pays the piper, calls the tune. I have no problem with that but what bothers me is that while trying to explain away the amnesty clause in the Bill, they are showing that they are fools.

They were insensitive and intemperate in their replies and became irritable when queried by some listeners. They sounded like there was a bee in their bonnet. In some instances, they were so worked-up and got carried away that I started to think they were quoting from Mein Kampf instead of the Bible.

I was disgusted by some callers, not because the traits were bad but because they were unbecoming, as men who declare themselves to be in a special relation with God dau lotu, vakabulai, vakabauta. The Unity Bill contains riddles which can enthrall the uninitiated and the riddles are best explained by lawyers and politicians, not priests and reverends.

The meddlesome priests and reverends must learn to separate themselves from politics because theirs is a different calling. They taint not only themselves but the denomination they represent when they are seen and heard to curry favour with politicians and parties.

There is a lesson here for the church, especially the Methodist Church it must not allow itself to be used by the Government. It must take its cue from its wiser and older mother church, the Catholic Church.

The history of the Methodist Churches foray into politics since 1987 has been a convulsive event for the church. They have nothing but disasters to show for it. Now they have a chance to redeem themselves and restore faith and credibility in their institution.

The Methodist Church must remain firm and steadfast and shine its light brighter at the grim prospects the nation faces in the form of the Unity Bill. When anarchy and darkness envelope the land, it is the church that must be the beacon that points the way to safety.

Penisoni Gauna

Monday, July 11, 2005

Mudslide of Opposition to Lies, Mis-representations in Fiji Politics.

Fiji's Minister of Home Affairs braces himself against his critics. Is he sure he will win his seat in the next elections.

The showdown for the hearts and minds of voters is heating up in the wake of this controversial R.T.U Bill. Qarase is playing the race card and accussing the efforts of Fiji Law Society as Anti-Fijian. Qarase is losing it, big time. He is realistically grabbing at straws, politically speaking.

This interesting legal case between the state of Fiji Vs New Zealand Pacific Training Centre(NZPTC) raises the important issues of Governance. It is good that a clarification to the powers of the Exexcutive branch and the Parliament with regard to this V.A.T tax which has been severely bothersome and enslaves the low income earners and the poor. I agree with the plantiff's position: There can be No taxes without representation! That was the same cry during the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Fiji Military Comander continues his verbal assualt on the main master minds behind the R.T.U Bill: None other than the crooked Attorney General Mssr Qoroniasi Bale and Mssr Apisalome Tudreu both veteran civil servants and seriously past their use by date by decades.
They are the same old boy network who hamper social mobility by clogging up the system in Fiji with their despotic ideas.

Britain's efforts to reduce its foot print in the Pacific is drawing concern from Fiji's Foreign Minister who obviously thought this honeymoon would last forever. His reactions demonstrate Fiji Governments post-colonial mentality of over-reliance on tied Foreign Aid. His old school policies is counter produtive to Fiji's economical maturity which is still anchored to the pre-indistrial age.

One of the issue that has been rehashed so many times in Fiji public is the issue of calibre of the board of directors of state enterprises in Fiji, which is another joke in theory and field applications.

F.T Editorial Article is really putting heat on the S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition. It also raises the concern of this artificial digital divide deliberatley kept in place, so that Fiji Government can sway opinions. The result: 9 provinces support this R.T.U Bill, yet most of urban dwelling ethnic Fijians reject this Bill outright. The question of the formulaic ratios of rural based electoral seats and urban based one in Fiji will be the next legal wrangle after this R.T.U Bill has been sorted out. It is an indication that Fiji is growing up as a community. Change is constant.

It is the cognitive dissonance that has chained the rural dwellers of Fiji to development obscurity.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Muddy layer of Mis-information in Fiji.

The arrogant S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition have encountered an unified opposition to the R.T.U Bill passage. I salute Fiji Military Commander!
Frank Bainimarama is not mincing his words against the present Fiji Government( S.D.L/C.A.M.V coalition). Straight shooters like him are a rare in Fiji and the nation is desperate for more people of that outstanding mould. People with the moral courage to question the colonial entrenched Fijian cultural establishment.
Let's change the status quo in Fiji!

Floreat Viti.

This R.T.U Bill is creating division within the ranks of Fiji Lawyers too. I believe these Taukei Lawyers who support the Bill are naive and fail to recognise the damaging indirect affect to the rule of law and order. If these Fijian Lawyers want to create a splinter group, go ahead. That's the beauty of democracy, they want to change. This new organization will never be recognised beyond the bridge of their noses.

This type of social responsibility advocated by Fiji Tourism Resource Owners Association is not on Fiji Governments agenda, simply due to the policy of propping up Chiefs and other colonial styled entities.

That is why the landowners in Fiji are evolving their business plan to take their destiny into their own hands. Good job! I feel that people are slowly coming around to new alternatives other than the over-relying on the crumbs from the dinner table of Native Lands Trust Board.

Fiji Education Department should not micro manage the funds of the E.U. Instead a new agency should be created for that exact purpose. The trouble with having the Ministry of Education being in control, in could possibly siphon off funds to an obscure slush fund, ready for the pickings of corrupt officials in the organization.

This fire in the Suva rubbish dump has underligned the under strength of Fiji's scientific capacity. The model of research launched by Pacific Forum Secretariat must be adopted now, in Fiji Government.

Leadership workshops like this in Fiji is a step forward but not the final solution to all problems. I reckon it's another theoratical harangue with little applications to the real world of racial conflict, corruption, poverty. This workshop cannot guarantee a place in the negotiating table of the G-8 goup of nations. That is the real demarcation of leadership on his planet. Do get me wrong, I'm not against the workshop. It just doesn't change the greater equation in terms of the global trade policies and trade barriers to third world countries.

The failure of this Yaqara Movie Studio project is evidence in itself, that the plans of the brain child, Mssr Phillip Gerlach was over optimistic, lacking the fundamentals of establishing a creative industry in Fiji. I beleive Mssr Gerlach, is misleading the Fiji Government for his own gain. Realistically he is NOT a major player in the movie-production industry. Never has been!

When you compare his name with the likes of Mel Gibson, who purcased Mago Island from a consortium of Japanese developers. The legal debate on the ownership will eventually ignite a huge legal battle, especially after Qarase annouced the move to return the Fishing rights ownership back to the Fiji natives or Taukei(landowners).

Fiji Senator Atu-Bain raises the issue of double standards used by Qarase in Parliament's March sitting.
Land alienation in relation to this large hotel developments can also (as we know) extend to very large areas, the whole islands in fact or significant part of these islands can be lost to big up market hotel developments as Turtle Island, Wakaya and now Mago Island, 2,000 hectares of land sold to Mel Gibson for around $15 million when the original owners have been struggling for years to reclaim their ancestral home.

I would just like to say here, this whole case really disturbs me because I have many memories of working in the National Archives back in the 1980s when there were groups of landowners coming in to the National Archives looking up the old records in relation to their ancestral homes. That included a group who came up to look for records on the theft of their island, Mago.

It is disturbing to see how people who have been struggling to reclaim their home for so long, have now been told by the honourable Prime Minister, that he can do nothing about the sale that is taking place. These islands are lost forever to indigenous owners and are used for the private gain of millionaires. Is this really the kind of development we should be supporting? Is this really in the best interest of the indigenous communities?

This move by Mel Gibson really moves the lime-light away from Yaqara project to obscurity. One will also notice the comments by Mssr Gerlach that he is slowing changing his tune. First he was all about Film production. Now it's about Resort development in the same Yaqara location.
The idea to out-source talent overseas to the Boards of state companies in Fiji, is a new approach worth considering.