Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Muddy Excuses Galore.

The indirect cost for Rape is astronomical, however when compared with the Corruption related costs, it is a drop in the bucket.

Yet Qarase has chosen to defend the words and actions of convicted chief and Senator.
Neglecting the bigger log of financial abuse in his own political eye and is arrogant to point out flaws in others.

While the 500 pound Gorilla issue of land and it's lack of development is gathering dust in the national discourse.

Finally the matter of investments reports by native Fijian instruments of abuse, who routinely disguise their poor performance and unbridalled spending spree with more excuses for their faults. While the real landowners and other individuals of less influence are dis-enfranchised.

Club Em Designs

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Unlevel playing fields in Fiji.

Great Council of Chiefs Chairman's comments, attempts to distance themselves from the alarming statistics that they have known for ages, about the abuse.
Yet what can G.C.C really offer
the people of Fiji, besides empty talk?

Added to the woes of Fiji, is the rotten stench of corruption in Government owned companies like Fiji Pine Ltd and Tropic Woods Ltd, by individuals who are suppose to be pillars of society. The matter of the Supervisor of Election who is on study leave, raises serious questions on the approval process for his leave.

The efforts to enhance I.T education is a nice gesture that is piece-meal approach lacking more incentives and changes to the national curriculum.

Club Em Designs

Monday, November 28, 2005

Twist and Shout in Fiji Politics.

Stuck in Fiji Mud wishes to welcome the Fiji Police into cyber space by the launch of their new website.
Finance Minister is quite quick to point out the hesitation of the Private Sector to participate in the growth of Fiji's economy because of the lack of incentives that motives people.

Yet Fiji Government has the money to fly the Foreign Affairs Minister across the globe, so he can get promises of trade- neglecting the untapped wealth of potential existing in the former Fiji residents living abroad, who can drive the demand for Fiji products.

Mahogany Landowners threaten to shut down plantations is joining the chorus of other landowners frustrated with N.L.T.B, like observed during the Monasavu Land Claim which now has a new twist that only places more heat on the need for a national enquiry into the whole affair independent of N.L.T.B, despite denials and counter-accusations by Forestry Minister. The flawed wealth distribution formula in Fiji, has forced Provinces to develop their own plans.

Club Em Designs

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Muddy rhetoric from Qarase.

Qarase is launching another campaign to use land as a political football.
This is a reprehensive statment by Fiji's Prime Minster that glosses over the Monasavu debacle, Mago islanders, Yaqara landowners and Vatukoula landowners.

Yes, you have forgotten them Mister Prime Minister. Don't use the landowner's name for your pathetic policies or political agendas.

Fiji 2006 Elections has incorporated Identification Cards to ward off impersonators, highlighting a new way to conduct business.

Finance Ministry says Government will have to reduce capital investment spending. State of perpetual borrowing is now rapidly becoming the only option available to them because of the lack of imagination in Accounting.

Members of Parliament wanting an upgrade in Parliament buildings, need to remind themselves of the squalor that their own constituents live in.

It is quite in-sensitive to keep spending on the institutions especially when there is no money for the public services.

Fiji Panoramic
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Club Em Designs

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rising Aspirations of Fiji.

National Alliance Party Chairman, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.
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Fiji Government officials have now set in stone the obvious, despite the rhetoric of affirmative action, the reality is that things have not changed much. 2006 Elections will force these institutions to remember the little people.

Auditor General's demands on access receives suport from Members of Parliament.

The COLA ruling is another false promise that keeps getting churned out by a Government seeking re-election.

Making your own destiny.
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Qarase is resorting to petty attacks on his opponent just highlights the desperation in S.D.L political party prior to 2006 Elections.

Valley of the Brave.
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Club Em Designs

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Rolling out incompetance in Qarase's circle.

Qarase is returning to build bridges with Fijian party S.V.T is an indication that all is not well in S.D.L political circle.
It is apparent that that voter's respect for the S.D.L political party could not get any worse due to the record of corruption and disdain for law and order, seen in their bulldozing the controversial R.T.U Bill through Parliament.

This has prompted Fiji's crooked Attorney General, to create new Code of Conduct Rules for Members of Parliament and other Immigration restrictions that contravene the 1997 Fiji Constitution.

Resources Owner Association President calls for a transparent enquiry into Fiji Forests Industries.
Outlining the track record of lip service using trickle down wealth distribution to the landowners. Done with Fiji Government's blessings!

Fiji Mercernaries operations is being looked at closely by Fiji media after the incident in PNG.

Club Em Designs

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Water rights in Fiji is a rising issue.
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Indian Snacks in Fiji
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Nadi Town Main Street
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Revisiting past mistakes in Fiji.

Fiji's poverty levels is another rising commodity and is a reflection on the flawed state of Fiji's economic policies.
Lomaiviti Province is re-visiting the colonial land transfers and is a worrying trend that is a product of mis-trust that landowners have of Native Land Trust Board.

That's not the only back stabbing being dished out. It's shocking to hear that dishonesty is originating from Fiji Government's landmark deal with striking Nurses is not been honored.

Details of vote rigging wrapped in the enigma of affirmative action which also involves cronies of S.D.L political party with sweet-heart contracts which the Fiji Prime Minister himself had a hand in sums up the erosion of moral fibre.

Club Em Designs

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mystery Shoppers abound in Fiji.

Another indication of Fiji's progress in society is the increase in Sex crimes.

How this correlates to the social fabric of the family is unquestionable. To measure the waste in dollar terms can only be determined by a scientific based research.
Native Lands Trust Board can't seem to manage their affairs judged from the repeated media attention on the complaints from frustrated landowners. Fiji Elections is only a couple of months away, maybe the landowners can take out their frsutrations on
the S.D.L Government.

This article only underlines the extent of which Fijian language is becoming extinct due to the absence of any clear direction by Fijian Affairs Board to rectify the situation.

These cronies in Fijian Affairs Board, Native Lands Commision would rather borrow $20 million from the Fijian Trust Fund (a trust account created to receive dividends from Fijian Holdings investments) to construct a commercial building owned and operated by the Great Council of Chiefs. This business plan is painted as essential platform for the advancement Fijian participation in commerce.
A skillful attempt to camouflage the flawed supply side model or trickle down formula of wealth distribution, that ultimately abuses the trust of the Fijian people.
Now an interesting debate arises, which is more important for society, Fiji native institutions or Fijian Native Language and Culture?

Clearly nothing has be done to back up the
lip service of contributions to Viti Culture by every single department in the Fiji Government, besides these small micro-education workshops.

The COLA question is being refered to judicial enquiry another milestone in in-decision and almost parallels shifting the goal posts in negotiations.

The News of Shell Fiji closing operations is only the ripple effects of Royal Dutch Shell over estimating their current stock of crude oil.

Club Em Designs

Shell Fiji closing shop.
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Female Economist in Fiji turns heads as well as fiscal policies.
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Bula Sir! Confidence at a young age.
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Seti, Seti! MP OFa Swan and MP Naiqima Lalabalavu.
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Qarase and Indian Foreign Official signing agreements.
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Flooded Streets of Ba.
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The Wrong Way for Fiji Governance.

Fiji Police for U.N Sudan Mission
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Monasavu Landowner's lawyer, Messr Isireli Fa unleashes a full frontal verbal attack on Native Land Trust Board's history of dis-enfranchising Fijian Landowners, creating that legacy of frustration, that Politicians have used for their own advancement. Visiting American Judge drives home, certain legal concerns of constitutional infringement and perils, of any Government playing favorites with organized religous groups.

It these violations of Human Rights that is the cultural norm in Fiji Governance, which Fiji Human Rights Commission intends to rectify, once it
can confirm sustainable and direct funding from Fiji Government to demonstrate that it can meet their obligations ratified under international signed treaties.

It is alarming that, of all the law experts in Fiji Government, they have not placed any urgency to rectify the deplorable living standards in Fiji Prisons.
Precisely the justification, Judges give in releasing convicted Prisoners on bail. Maybe it's a retaliation to the actions of Fiji Prison Commissioner releasing the convicted participants of the 2000 Fiji Coup.

Recently donated Audio-Visual equipment to Fiji Ministry of Information's TV & Film unit, is only
a small quotient in creating a viable Fijian and Rotuman Ethnic TV programs.

Fiji Government must create incentives to lure creative core to Fiji's shores, if not it is fighting a uphill battle in competition with overseas T.V programs, Music imported by Fiji's broadcast media.

Here are selected letters to Fiji Times Editor.

Television deregulation

I REFER to the article where Minister for Communications Marieta Rigamoto claimed she asserted government support for freedom of expression and reiterated its commitment to deregulate the television industry.

That, she said, was evident in the awarding of a TV licence to Western Broadcasting Services Limited. She said the Government planned to establish a Fijian language channel with $70,000 of equipment from Japan.

If the industry is so deregulated, when will the second free station be licensed? — When major shareholders of Fiji TV say it's all right? — Never. When FLP returns to government — yes. The awarding of a licence to WBS is not deregulation of the TV industry. WBS will have the Australian-owned and operated PBS pay channel but it will be available only to a few viewers — those who can afford $50 a month subscription.

The majority of Fiji viewers will never be able to see it.

A donation of equipment worth $70,000 by the Japanese government is about 0.5 per cent of the $10million to $15million needed to set up a fully functioning, Fiji-wide TV service. At least that's what Ken Clark of Fiji TV said years ago.

What is $70,000 of equipment? — One digital video recorder or one camera?

How will the Fijian channel be broadcast? — Free to air as Fiji One or carried on Sky and PBS?

If it is the former, where will the millions come from for the towers, transmitter, transmission facilities, etc?

Why is the Government spending taxpayers money for a Fijian channel?

The Government will better serve everyone's interests by saving expenses and legislating to force all broadcasters to carry X amount of Fijian programs each week.

Other countries such as Australia and New Zealand maintain their localism that way.

Rani Sadler
Pacific Harbour

Education system

FIJI'S education system was imposed by the colonial powers. When the colonists left, it should have been modified to serve the needs of the people.

The changes would benefit many people. The system is failing, as proven by the high dropout rate.

Instead of having a long school break, the break should be optional. That would enable students who failed a subject to repeat it during optional break and enable them to graduate on schedule.

Students who wish to graduate early could take additional subjects during the optional break.

Because of a rigid and slavish following of obsolete rules set up by the colonial powers, a student who fails a subject is required to repeat all the subjects taken.

That is stupid, oppressive and serves no purpose. A student who fails a subject should be permitted to repeat only that subject and continue with the other subjects.

Why divide students into forms? Why not have a list of subjects that need to be completed before graduation and not be concerned about forms at all?

Students who need to work part-time should be able to do so and take fewer classes even though it will delay graduation.

Evening classes will enable working students including parents who were not able to complete school, to take classes.

It is unfortunate Fiji's school system is still following rules imposed during colonial times and fail to meet people's needs.

Frank R. Eggers

Already paid

THE Government might be attracting praise from some sectors.

It did a favour for the people by removing VAT from some items. In my view, the Government has not performed a miracle.

One will remember that when the Government came into power, there was no VAT on items and the rest was on 10 per cent.

For four years it collected 12.5 per cent tax on basic items. That is 2.5 per cent more than what we would have paid if VAT remained at 10 per cent.

What that meant was that by paying 2.5 per cent more for four years we have paid VAT for the next year at 10 per cent. The Government would have done better to refund what was already paid.

It could defend its action by saying that the increasing cost of living prompted the reaction but if I remember, the costs were quite high in 2001.

In those days, the justification for VAT was that the rich were benefiting more than the poor and that the Government intended to re-divert the money collected to poverty alleviation schemes. So what has changed now?

It is either that only few remain rich or the poverty problem has been solved. It could be that the Government failed in its plans.

At best, it can be described as four bad years of rule and one good year of campaigning. The reasons could be many but the bottom line remains that the wool has been pulled over our eyes and the Government is getting the credit for the things we paid for.

Ashneel Sudhakar

Club Em Designs

Drop that weapon or I'll physically remove it. Images of post 2000 Coup events, in Fiji.
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dwindling hope for Economic Reforms in Fiji.

The rumours of changing Fiji's electoral boundaries for 2006 General Elections must be done on an open manner transparent to all voters; not just the political parties.

Fiji Law Society is under the spotlight over the delay in investigating complaints by clients of it's members. Fiji Home Affairs Minister raises concerns of crime.
Maybe if, the Fiji Government policies actually did put money on these issues, instead of wasting public funds on propping up unsustainable native institutions that continue to abuse Fiji's archiac feudal system and there are entrenched elements, attempting to amend the 1997 constitution at the expense of a cohesive devlopment plan for all citizens of Fiji.

Memeber of Fiji Parliament raises a crucial point of what defeatsaccounting purpose of having a National Budget that S.D.L Government has forgotten, much to the dismay of development.
For instance, much of Fiji's rural areas are unreachable. Maybe it's the perfect time for Provinces to independently fund and construct their own roads and perhaps later charge the Fiji Government; road tax.

Club Em Designs

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Critical issues at hand for Fiji leadership.

National Alliance Political Party leader and also a Chief in his own right raises important points that all Chiefs in Fiji, should take heed:

Allowing educated commoners, to rise to the challenge of modernizing aspects essential for the bottom-up development and empowerment of the Fijian community.
Suva City Council incoming Mayor announces new programs to empower school leavers.
These political rhetoric may need an independent close inspection to ascertain it's merits.

Students are routinely used as a political football, like this un-paralleled action by Fiji Education Ministry to scale down
of students who sat for external exams; only adds to the public's distrust of Government.

Even international treaties signed by Fiji Government have been routinely overlooked due to the lack of enforcement of non-criminal laws like the Turtle hunting ban, conveniently set aside to celebrate a cultural event in Fiji.

This only antagonizes potential investors to Fiji. These double standards, is an indication of Fiji Government's indecision to remove the Dichotomy in entrenched mindsets. It also raise serious questions on Fiji Government's ability and integrity, to fulfill international obligations which they are signatory to.
A fact much touted by Fiji Foreign Affairs Ministry only when it only advances their Public Relation's profile.

Club Em Designs

Friday, November 18, 2005

Endless Double Standards.

Monasavu Landowner's lawyer discloses the formula for wealth distribution when Fiji Electricity Authority pays up forced by the High Court Order.

Fiji Prison Commissioner is at again releasing convicted criminals before their debt to society has been served. This P.C is a puppet to the political masters, and only presents
a damaging picture of cronyism and interference to civil service.
It's only a matter of time before the rest of those convicted for involvement in the 2000 coup are given the same Compulsory Supervision Order.

Native Land Trust Board is scheming on another way to rip off Fijian landowning units, like they did to the Monasavu case. Landowners are more educated and will demand a place at the negotiating table.

Club Em Designs

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Power hunger in Fiji.

The issue of who owns Fiji's National Anthemn is really a petty argurement for Intellectual Property owners called 'The Composers' to decide. Not bystanders!

Not even the Fiji Government can deny that fundamental international respected right, from the composers.

Qarase finally bites the bullet and distances himself from the Methodist Chruch's intentions.

Senators have come to their senses and forces the Mining Industry under the auspices of Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Minister of Home Affairs has acquired the nasty habit of speaking from the orifice of the nether regions. In the process, has tarnished the image of the entire cabinet via stupid remarks in the media.

Another issue of concern to Stuck in Fiji Mud, is the clash between individuals anchored to archaic institutions which is a barrier to independent Government, free from social stratification, which prevents social mobility for commoners.

Cultural appeasing chiefs in Fiji by the Government, is the single biggest's reason why Fiji's economy has not risen much in 30 years.
Everyone else's career aspirations takes a back seat, so does the creative core needed to rejuvenate Fiji lagging export statisitics.

With all due respect to Chiefs, but there is no way on this planet, that Chiefs can successfuly undertake that intellectual taxing capacity for the nation.

The Real Estate Agent licensing Program is now under the authority of Ministry of Justice. Penalties for Religous sacrlileges in Fiji should now be more stringent.
Also an opportunity for Government
to live up to their international obligations of human rights.

Club Em Designs

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Total Ecclipse of Fiji Politics.

The expresion of interests by overseas cell phone companies has been delivered.

It is now, prudent of the Fiji Government to dismantle these monopolies.

Fiji Mercernaries in a company called Ronin High Risks is receiving alot of flak for work in PNG controlled island of Bouganvile.

Even the Fiji Methodist Church is on the war path in politics trying to blur the line between Church and State. Fiji Electoral Commission has unveiled some amendments to the Electoral Act. These new changes must also be communicated openly even to the rural dwellers in Fiji and overseas citizens.
This also raise the question of open information sourcing within the Fiji Civil Service itself.

It is only counter productive to have Government department turf battles done on the public's tab. When there are more pressing issue of concerns for Fiji like this complex problem of land.

Conservation of energy workshops is a nice way of extracting funds from Officials who lack the imagination and know how that accompanies their job description of their present positions. Fiji Media has been given a reminder of their obligations accompanying Freedom of Expression.

Two provocative letters from Fiji Times Letters to the Editor.

Mahogany deal

For the past three years, so much has been said about the mahogany deal but until today, the landowners are still not happy with what they received.

Just recently, the villagers of Naimasimasi, Savu and Sote put up a road block to signify their frustration over the unfulfilled promised made to them by the Fiji Hardwood Cooperation Limited. (FHCL).

The FHCL should always ensure that the commodity which occupied their land for a number of years, denying them the opportunity to farm for a long time.

Through observation, it is indeed unfortunate to witness that the poor landowners are caught in the economic and political web orchestrated by unscrupulous bureaucracy and red tape at the whim of big corporations and their local agents.

At first, the lands were given in good faith by the chiefs and their people, and it is the duty of the Government of the day to clarify to the landowners the economical gain and disadvantages.

The deal made to the mahogany landowners was symmetrical to the long- awaited Monasavu claim over their land compensation.

The President at that time was the late Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, who mooted the motion to his tauvus of Monasavu, who accepted the idea through the normal Fijian traditional protocol.

However, the architect of the million dollar project failed to clarify to the landowners, what they will receive as monetary benefits.

A few weeks ago, the Monasavu landowners won their court case through their lawyer Isireli Fa for the compensation payment of $52.8million, of which 10 per cent will be paid to him.

If the Government was really honest and genuine at heart in the development of Fijian resources, not much would have been paid to their lawyer as legal fees.

On the other end, the NLTB failed miserably to fulfil its obligation as custodian of all Fijian land as stipulated in the NLTB Act.

The Monasavu compensation claim is a precedent, which will agitate fellow resource owners to be more vigilant and prudent in the future.

The total area of the catchment is 25,075 acres. It contains Native Land crown schedule A and B, Forestry Reserve, as well as Native Reserve. Monasavu was vital to the nation.

It provides 80 per cent of Fiji's power, yet the landowners were deprived of the actual compensation for a long time.

As for the mahogany landowners there is a clear resemblance that their case is another Monasavu in the making.

The Fiji Hardwood Corporation Ltd, by pursuing their own end and greedy motive, are confined to pushing this frustrated people to demand for greater payment for the use of their land.

FHCL executives should also realise that time and tide are changing fast and the young educated landowners are taking over from their elders and it will be a new transition to the investors on the negotiation table.

The coup of 1987 and 2000 has tarnished the image of the Fijian people to be more cautious and prudent over their godly given received in the guise of economic development.

The Fijian landowners are always good at heart, and investors should always be honest and fair while negotiating with them.

After six weeks of hard work, some women and youths of Savu and Sote are not paid and have to wait for three more weeks despite the number of requests made to them.

The FHCL allowed Jale Baba to operate the banned circular saw in Kasavu and the recruiting of the people from outside to work as casual labourers while the landowners were given contract jobs.

Please FHCL executives, do not forget that the Mahogany landowners are people like you, who have university degrees.

They think globally but act locally.

Evarama Rokodrava

Smoke and Mirrors

Listening to the SDL budget I wondered if money allocated really will be spent or if it will be like other things around here just smoke mirrors.

For instance, two years ago we had a brand new dental clinic built here at Navatumali (Keiyasi) at a cost of $170,000 but it still stands unused, no dentists we are told but several months ago we read that government has no vacancies to employ unemployed dentists.

Smoke and mirrors, you see.

Despite past promises, our valley road, a major artery of Fiji's fresh produce, remains a bone-jarring disgrace that quickly destroys our trucks and bruises us and our produce.

The FEA was rapidly progressing up the valley until Cyclone Ami struck and the funds were diverted. But we had been told this was all European Union development funds.

How is it that EU funds could be diverted to hurricane relief?

More smoke and mirrors?

When asked about these issues the PM told us on his last visit that he would "look at it.''

We were fobbed off.

New Guinea is building a $20million project to process cassava into fuel, instead all we Fijians get is a $20million doll's house for chiefs.

There is also no talk of including cassava (which we Fijians grow) into the new biofuel project.

The SDL said all Fijians support the Unity Bill, but no one asked us.

The only people who did speak to us are the army whose stand we support.

I can name other beekeeping and farm assistance schemes that never eventuated but are more examples of SDL's smoke and mirrors.

Fortunately we have elections coming and politicians had better have some positive plans on roads, FEA, school conditions, expensive telephones and cassava biofuel otherwise we will send them a stronger message.

We want no more "we will look at it'' smoke and mirrors.

Anei Bale

Club Em Designs