Showing posts with label Fiji. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiji. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

X-Post: Whale Oil- Whale in Fiji: Speaking with Leighton Smith

by Whaleoil on September 5, 2012

I was in at NewstalkZB this morning and Leighton Smith grabbed me on the way past and we spoke for a few minutes on my observations in Fiji.
Have a listen [podcast posted below] to my observations on Fiji.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

X-Post: The Strategist- The Dragon In Our Backyard: The Strategic Consequences of China’s Increased Presence in the South Pacific.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s decision to attend the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in the Cook Islands this week signals the growing strategic importance of the South Pacific. Clinton’s attendance may also be a response to China’s increasing presence in the region. The consequences of China’s advance in our immediate neighbourhood are most significant for Australia, which is facing a situation where it may, for the first time in more than 70 years, find itself with a power with interests not necessary aligned to its own in its backyard.

China has been active in the South Pacific for four decades, mostly driven by its competition with Taiwan for diplomatic recognition. Although a truce (of sorts) has held for the last few years, China and Taiwan have engaged in ‘chequebook diplomacy’ to win the favour of South Pacific states. While this competition remains important, China now appears to have strategic interests in demonstrating its ability to project global power via its increasing influence in the region. And, regardless of their small size, each independent South Pacific state has a vote in international organisations, which China can seek to persuade them to use in pursuit of its interests.

China’s efforts to penetrate the South Pacific were given a boost after Australia and New Zealand’s attempt to isolate the Fijian regime after the 2006 coup. The Fijian regime responded by adopting an explicit ‘look north’ policy and sought a closer relationship with China, which other regional states have followed. After Australia and New Zealand supported Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum, the Fijian regime focused its attention on the Melanesian Spearhead Group, from which Australia and New Zealand are excluded. China seized this opportunity to gain influence, sponsoring the creation of the Group’s Secretariat, and building its headquarters in Vanuatu.

China’s most significant strategic interest in the South Pacific is military access, the most important aspect of which is signals intelligence monitoring. For example, China built a satellite tracking station in Kiribati in 1997, although it was subsequently dismantled after Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition to Taiwan. The Chinese fishing fleet operating out of Fiji is also said to provide cover for signals intelligence monitoring, particularly of United States’ bases in Micronesia. China is also seeking naval access to the region’s ports and exclusive economic zones, engages in military assistance programs, and is negotiating access to facilities for maintenance and resupply purposes.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, has said that: ‘China’s increased presence in the Pacific is fundamentally welcomed by Australia’. However, China’s growing military presence may pose several risks to Australia. As China becomes a more assertive international actor it could respond militarily if members of the Chinese diaspora are threatened, as they were during the riots in Solomon Islands and Tonga in 2006 (PDF). Questions then arise about what would happen if Australia also responded to such an eventuality: would the Chinese and Australians cooperate? Or could the situation lead to a stand-off?

The most serious risk is that Australia’s near neighbours could come to owe allegiance to a power with interests that do not necessarily align with those of Australia. Indeed, the 2009 Defence White Paper noted that Australia has a strategic interest in ensuring that Indonesia and South Pacific states ‘are not a source of threat to Australia, and that no major military power that could challenge our control of the air and sea approaches to Australia, has access to bases in our neighbourhood from which to project force against us’. Given the extensive nature of Chinese involvement, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine such a scenario.

The vulnerability of Australia to a major power establishing a foothold in the region was graphically illustrated during World War II, when the Japanese managed to penetrate as far as Papua New Guinea.
Australia (often in cooperation with New Zealand and the United States) has belatedly responded to China’s increased presence in the South Pacific. Australia has increased its diplomacy in the region, on top of its already extensive aid, military, policing and governance assistance.

Most positively, Australia announced in July that it is restoring full diplomatic relations with Fiji, and easing sanctions it imposed on the military regime. Given the strategic issues at stake, it is vital that Australia continues to devote its energies to this issue in similarly positive ways.

Joanne Wallis is a lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, where she also convenes the Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Security program.

Source: The Strategist

Club Em Designs

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Fair Exchange Is No Robbery.

The magazine Island Business reports that  the dead line for comprehensive accord for Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific African Caribean Pacific (PACP) and the European Union (E.U) has been shifted to 2012.

Fiji's position on EPA.

PANG paper  (PDF) on EPA.

Fiji Sun article quotes from Pacific Island Forum chair, on the pending negotiations. The excerpt of Fiji Sun article:

Pacific ACP should work together
writer : RACHNA LAL

The need for the Pacific African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to work together in the negotiation of a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has been highlighted at the meeting in Papua New Guinea.Trade Ministers from the Pacific ACP Group of States are meeting in Port Moresby to finalise positions, including market access offer and arrangement in preparation for the next round of negotiations for an EPA with the European Union (EU).
Secretary general of the Forum Secretariat Tuiloma Neroni Slade said, with the exception of Fiji and PNG, who have signed an interim EPA to protect their key exports to the EU, all other Pacific ACP countries continue their engagement as single region.
“The Pacific ACP States and the European Commission agree that the interim Agreement is a stepping stone towards a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and that is the basis for our continued engagement.
“We need to ensure that the comprehensive Agreement provides the Pacific ACP States an improved framework and greater market access relative to the interim Agreement,” he said.
Pacific ACP countries and the European Commission have been negotiating the PACP - EU EPA since 2004.
Mr Slade pointed out the European Commission has indicated that they will not be interested in meeting with the Pacific region or offering the region flexibilities on contentious issues unless the region submitted revised market access offers in the required format.
He therefore announced eight Pacific ACP State have submitted their conditional market access offer to the EU and work continues in the remaining four countries to develop their market access offers.
“This now empowers the Pacific ACP region to demand of the European Commission reciprocal focus and seriousness about the negotiations and show flexibility.
“The offers submitted by these eight countries are conditional on the satisfactory resolution of a number of unresolved contentious issues. These include the issue of development co-operation provisions, export taxes, infant industry, standstill clause, the Most-Favoured Nation provisions, the non-execution clause, taxation and governance issues, market access and rules of origin for fisheries products amongst other issues.
Mr Slade further proposed lifting the Kava ban placed on Kava-producing countries.
“We are now at that juncture of the negotiation where we need to look into all the unresolved contentious issues and determine the impact that these issues would have on our economies if they stay unresolved.
“We have to consider a proposal from the Kava-producing countries suggesting that we actively pursue with the European Commission, through the current negotiations, lifting the ban currently imposed by a number of EU members on the import of kava.
“The kava industry is certainly very important in a number of Pacific ACP States and has the potential of channeling development benefits at the grassroots level.
“We need to determine the best way forward in supporting this initiative,” he said.

Roman Grynberg On A.C.P Negotiations

  • The ‘A’ (Africa) is too important to Europe’s prosperity and something more coherent and intelligent than the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will replace it.

  • The EPA is so weak, fragile and ill-conceived in Africa that other rising powers will be able to have much better access than the EU to Africa’s resources.

  • C & P, due largely to their complete irrelevance to the commercial interests of the EU will surely be dealt with in the context of the EPAs, but the EU, like India and China, will continue to need access to Africa’s vast resources.

  • The Caribbean and the Pacific are being increasingly differentiated from Africa.

  • After 2020 the ACP group will become part of post-colonial history [...]And that makes the C (Caribbean) & P (Pacific) redundant in the equation, argues Grynberg, who until 2009 was the Director of Economic Governance at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

  • Pacific Island Forum position also is reflected in the sentiments by former Caribbean diplomat, Sir Ronald Sanders that appeared in the Jamaican Observer article:

    The 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries should use the strength of their combined numbers and access to their natural resources to demand a voice in global economic and financial arrangements that directly affect their economic well-being and the welfare of their people.
    With resources ranging from oil to gold, diamonds, timber, bauxite and a range of natural resources to which the rich countries of the world want access, the ACP countries miscalculate the clout that they could exercise in unison to demand a better share of the world's wealth.

    They also underestimate how powerful a force they could be in international organisations if they could agree to vote together. Effectively, they could be a blocking force or a strong bargaining entity with the rich and powerful countries that need wider support to achieve their own national ambitions. They could also bargain more strongly and with more advantageous results if they could agree - and adhere - to standards that they would apply to foreign investors who now play them off against each other.
    The problem is that, even though the agreement that established the ACP allows the grouping to bargain collectively with any third party, the ACP has confined its activity to negotiations with the European Union (EU). Further, the group lacks unity - a fact well known to the EU and to other rich nations. This lack of unity has been exploited by the EU, and others, to keep the ACP divided and weak. Therefore, the group has failed to realise the enormous potential it has for bargaining more effectively for its member states.
    Of course, there is an argument that the interests of ACP countries are so diverse, and even competitive, that it would be difficult (some would argue that it would be impossible) for them to agree on objectives and negotiating positions that would serve their collective interests.

    However, another perspective of the EPA negotiations with EU was published in Island Business (I.B) magazine article.
    The excerpt of I.B article:

    TRADE: The future of ACP, Europe relations

    What happens after Cotonou expires in 2020?

    * Makereta Komai 

    ACP–EU relations have been in existence for quite a while but what great gains has it achieved, for at least one of its small islands member in the Pacific, Palau, asks its former Vice President, Sandra Pierantozzi. Pierantozzi is one of hundreds of contributors in an online discussion on the future relationship between the rich global north (European Union) and its former dependencies in the global south (African, Caribbean and Pacific). 
    The online discussion has generated vigorous debate so far. Reactions have been posted from various parts of Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific and Europe.“To me, it’s a mistake to group so many countries from several very different and distant regions of the world together. “Within each region are so many countries, peoples, cultures and so on, with just as varied socio-economic needs. “I agree that trade, not aid, is the best way to develop these countries to a self sufficient level of development. “However, applying the same guidelines and levels of assistance, financial and in kind, to resource-rich African countries and resource-limited small islands nations in the Pacific and the Caribbean may be more destructive than helpful,” said Pierantozzi. 
    Could this spell the fragmentation of the 79-member ACP group into its three different regions, ending the world’s largest North-South political and economic co-operation? Judging from the various comments posted in the online discussion, there is a growing feeling, at least in Europe that the Europeans are only interested in the natural resources of Africa, now being aggressively pursued by China and India.
    “The ‘A’ (Africa) is too important to Europe’s prosperity and something more coherent and intelligent than the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will replace it, said Professor Roman Grynberg, also posting on the discussion forum. “The EPA is so weak, fragile and ill-conceived in Africa that other rising powers will be able to have much better access than the EU to Africa’s resources. 
    And that makes the C (Caribbean) & P (Pacific) redundant in the equation, argues Grynberg, who until 2009 was the Director of Economic Governance at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
    “C & P, due largely to their complete irrelevance to the commercial interests of the EU, will surely be dealt with in the context of the EPAs, but the EU, like India and China, will continue to need access to Africa’s vast resources.
    “The Caribbean and the Pacific are being increasingly differentiated from Africa. After 2020 the ACP group will become part of post-colonial history,” according to Grynberg. 
    But Vanuatu’s top diplomat in Brussels thinks otherwise. Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy holds the view that “the EU will not let go of the ACP easily because of the close political, social and economic ties built over 35 years”.“The writing is on the wall for us and it’s no secret that the status quo must change fundamentally. “While we hope to count on Europe’s generosity, we must take full responsibility of our own development,” said Ambassador Joy. 
    For us in the Pacific, we can determine our own future with the EU if “we remain fully and meaningfully engaged with them in the coming years”. And this means concluding the Economic Partnership Agreement at the earliest time to show our commitment to the partnership. “While no size fits all in terms of the negotiations, the Pacific needs to find the right formula to reflect the collective interests of its 14 members in the EPA talks, said Ambassador Joy.

    Some political commentators say the only hope for small islands nations in the Caribbean and the Pacific would be to establish Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union. 

    The Caribbean as a region, through CARIFORUM, initialled an EPA with the EU in 2008, while the Pacific is attempting to conclude negotiations and sign up by December this year. Some, from both sides of the equation, are asking for an honest clarification from the EU on how it wants to further the development co-operation with the ACP after 2020.

    One respondent said the ACP could become a slimmed down ‘niche’ entity—perhaps without the Caribbean and Pacific members, who are already working on separate EPAs with the EU. 

    Whatever form it will take after 2020, the new entity could become the trade arm of the African Union, suggested the respondent. 

    Or as this respondent said, the key question is whether there is still a role for an ACP configuration. However, he suggested a radical reshuffle of the current set-up.Then there are those who have sentimental attachment to the 35 years of development co-operation between the two groups and see a future in the partnership.Former Director General for Development at the European Commission, Dieter Frisch commenting on the same online discussion said, “The relationship is evolving and will remain relevant and substantive beyond 2020. 

    “There is no use predicting the end of a privileged relationship as long as no other and better and politically feasible model has been drawn up.”Frisch said the question of the raison d’être of the ACP-Group was their right from the outset: on the European side many of us were indeed surprised when in 1973 six Caribbean and three Pacific countries decided to join forces with the Africans. “While they had some problems in common with Africa (e.g. sugar), their main motivation was political, being part of an important group of 46 negotiators led by Nigeria—a member of the then just founded OPEC—and sharing its bargaining power.The director of ACP General Affairs at the European Commission, Klaus Rudischhauser said the Cotonou Agreement is not “done and old but rather active and working very well”.“This is why it can be used as a very good model. Compared to the partnership of the EU with Africa as a whole, Cotonou is different and more established, it is the most wide-ranging agreement of the EU,” Rudischhauser said.
    ACP’s comparative advantage
    EU’s expanding global agenda has nothing to do with the ACP, apart from further marginalising the group while exposing them to more exploitation. 

    The earlier the ACP group realises that development can never be achieved through aid and preferences the better, he added.

    The expanding global agenda is meant to protect and enhance EU interests without necessarily promoting the ACP-EU relations where interests in other regions are more important. As a consequence, the new global agenda can only drive the last nail into the coffin of an already hopeless relationship that has not helped the ACP group to attain any meaningful development.
    “We see the emerging economies becoming more active in the ACP countries by way of exploiting the available resources with impunity. ACP countries have continued to export commodities and unprocessed raw materials to the emerging economies and importing poor quality products, like it has always been with the EU, wrote Edmund Paul Kalkyezi.
    He strongly supported a move towards forging a new partnership with emerging economies like China and India.“They should review the relations with all their trading partners and determine the development path they want to take even if this means abandoning the EU.
    ACP, which consists of countries from both ends of the political and economic spectrum, is assessing its strengths and weaknesses to determine its future, in nine years time.The ACP group could assert itself as a global player based on its collective human and natural resources, its historical links with the EU as well as its proximity to emerging economies. 
    A member of the European Parliament, Ska Keller said South-South co-operation is crucial if the ACP is to stay relevant in the transformed geopolitical environment now facing the globe. “I do find South-South cooperation crucial in light of the experience the emerging donors have in fighting poverty in their own country. “The ACP and EU have lots of common interests to bring forward on the global agenda, like the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, the preservation of public goods, etc. These are aims that can only be achieved together,” said Keller.
    The ACP-EU relations can serve as an example to other regions in the world. It is about identifying the positive things that work and expand these to other regions in the world. 

    Future perspectives post-2020

    On 6 June, the ACP celebrated its 36th anniversary in Brussels. It was an opportune time for Secretary-General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas to reiterate his challenge to the 79-member group to re-assess its place in the world as its key partner, the European Union, undergoes changes.

    “I need not remind us that our world is changing with breathtaking rapidity. “Globalisation imposes new competitive pressures on the economies of our member countries even as the rules-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) international trading regime no longer accommodates the privileged trading arrangements that we once enjoyed with Europe.

    “We also face a new era of uncertainties. The New Europe, with its changing institutional architecture and emerging geopolitical priorities, poses a challenge for us to reassess our place in the world.“While we appreciate the support we have continued to receive from our EU partners, it is evident that we must take our future into our own hands while embracing a South-South cooperation and the opportunities opened up by the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil.”Hope is not lost within the ACP. It has a nine-year timeline to come up with various options and scenarios for the group after 2020. From this year, the ACP Secretariat will engage in an outreach and consultation campaign to elicit opinions and ideas from all stakeholders which include the EU and ACP regional organisations, other developing countries and organisations of developing countries (G77, G24 & Non-Aligned Movement).
    Submission of a report on the outreach exercise, including conclusions and concrete proposals will form the final future perspective of the ACP Group, according to the draft report of the ACP Committee of Ambassador’s Working Group tasked with the future perspectives of ACP.A study will be commissioned to examine the continued relevance of ACP as a group in the new and evolving global environment. The study will also review ACP’s privileged relations and co-operation with the EU, taking into account the second Revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the Lisbon Treaty as well as relations with other development partners.
    So does the ACP-EU relationship have what it takes to survive? As one respondent puts it…“The status quo is not good enough, dramatic changes will have to occur if the relationship is not to be subsumed by EU’s other partnerships in the developing world.”

    *Makereta Komai is the Editor of PACNEWS, the news arm of Pacific Islands News Association.     

    What prompted the review 
    When it was signed in 2000, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and the European Union was widely viewed as offering an ambitious and innovative agenda that would enhance political dialogue, encourage the participation of non-state actors and result in a more effective development cooperation framework. 
    It therefore went beyond the narrow trade and aid focus that was the hallmark of earlier ACP-EU treaties, right from the first post-independence framework agreed in Yaoundé in 1963 through the four successive Lomé conventions implemented between 1975 and 2000.Increasingly however, it appears that a constellation of global changes and internal dynamics has thrown the future of the partnership wide open.
    A key driver in this has been the adoption of the new Lisbon Treaty in 2009, under which the EU has embarked on fundamental institutional reorganisation to strengthen its position as a global player. This includes a review of all existing EU partnership agreements on a geopolitical basis and along regional lines that has undermined the unity of the ACP Group and heightened doubts on the relevance of the ACP-EU framework.
    Further complicating these internal dynamics is the growing political and economic muscle of the emerging powers, which has opened up new avenues of cooperation for developing countries.  It is not surprising that one of the very first actions taken by the incoming ACP Secretary General, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, was to appoint an Ambassadorial Working Group on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group after 2020.    
    —By J Laporte

    Given the various observations on the Pacific ACP negotiations with EU regarding Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), no word has been mentioned by regional observers on the current debt crisis in the Euro zone and the Greece like contagion, of which, even the U.K is not immune to, according to Daily Telegraph article.

    Furthermore, the multiplier effects of the euro zone debt crisis in the Pacific region, to which the EPA is viewed. Given that the EPA deadline has since shifted to Dec 2012, the space of time may be a unique opportunity for Pacific ACP states to reevaluate the status of global economy and strongly prompt for re-negotiation of terms.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    He Who Rides A Tiger Is Afraid To Dismount.

    In a follow to SiFM post, Croz Walsh's Blog posting outlines the cognitive dissonance in Mara's sojourn of the Pacific, which seeks to wrestle the big tent philosophical approach from the existing Government.

    Croz writes:

    His stance is clear but his reasoning is notconsistent. Which goes back to whether it's reasoned or devious. If it's reasoned, it's unwittingly contradictory; if it's devious, the contradiction is deliberate.

    On the one hand, he claims that more than half the military and most grassroots (ethnic?) "Fijians" want to get rid of Bainimarama, using hearsay to support his claim.

    Fiji government opponents say people in Fiji are too afraid to talk. If this is true, how can Mara, in New Zealand, have any idea of the extent of opposition to Bainimarama? They can't both be right. Like most information, veracity depends on its source. Mara's sources are Mara supporters, and we have no idea how representative they might be.

    One must also ask, had this level of opposition to Bainimarama existed when he was in the military, why did he not use it. It is, after all, much easier to launch an attack from within Fiji with 400 troops at your back than it is, troop-less, from without.

    On the other hand, he calls for military intervention by Australia and New Zealand. But why, going back to his earlier claim, is this needed if more than half the military and ethnic Fijians really want to get rid of Bainimarama?

    Mara's interview on TVNZ program Tagata Pasifika(video posted below).

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Lau Provincial Council's Newest New Chair.

    FBCL - News

    Bole is new Lau Provincial Council Chairperson

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Filipe Bole is the new chairperson of the Lau Provincial Council – replacing Adi Ateca Ganilau who was elected into the position yesterday.

    The decision was made this morning after government asked the Bose ni Yasana to reconsider the leadership of the Council – following an outburst by Adi Ateca against the Peoples Charter and the government at yesterday’s close of session.

    Commissioner Eastern Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni told FBC News government made it clear that assistance to the province and the people of Lau would continue and not be affected – but they would not be able to work with Adi Ateca after the comments she made.

    The delegates were asked to deliberate further on the stance of the chairperson – due to her outburst yesterday – in which she clearly showed her intention that she is not willing to work with government.

    That’s the gist of government’s message this morning – that if this is the stance of the chairperson, it is unfortunate and government will not be able to work with someone who does not see eye to eye with government’s development plans.

    Leweni adds the Council was given an hour to discuss the issue and after deliberations appointed Education Minister Filipe Bole as chair.

    He says they had no problem with Adi Ateca’s election as chair until she made the outburst.
    Prime Minister’s Office official Kisoko Cagituivei told FBC News Adi Ateca agreed to step down after Leweni told the Council government could not work with her.

    The forced resignation of the Adi Ateca Ganilau, the elder sister of the fugitive Tevita Mara, was an inevitable outcome, following her unwarranted remarks.

    Adi Ateca Ganilau steps down from Chairman’s post
    Publish date/time: 13/07/2011 [13:11]

    The chairperson of the Lau Provincial Council Adi Ateca Ganilau who was appointed yesterday has stepped down from the post in the last hour.

    As the final day of the Provincial Council meeting continues in Nadi, Education Minister Filipe Bole has now been appointed as the Chair of the Lau Provincial Council while his deputy is Roko Josefa Dalainauluvatu.

    Adi Ateca Ganilau stepped down after one hour was given by Commissioner Eastern Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni to the 40 official council members to sit together at the meeting venue and discuss the importance of development in the province and the benefits of supporting the People’s Charter.

    Lieutenant Colonel Leweni addressed the council members this morning after Adi Ateca said that she does not support the People’s Charter and the leadership.

    Lieutenant Colonel Leweni told Fijivillage after his speech that the Chair and members of the Provincial Council should think of the people of the province of Lau and set other issues aside that would hinder the developments in Lau.

    He also said people should remember that the Provincial Councils are governed by the I-Taukei Affairs Act and are fully funded by the government.

    The Lau Provincial Council had supported the People’s Charter when it was first taken around to the councils.

    Lieutenant Colonel Leweni said he cannot say why Adi Ateca decided to reject the Charter yesterday despite the earlier endorsement of the council.

    Story by: Vijay Narayan and Tokasa Rainima

    Ganilau's departure from helm of the Provincial Council, is in no uncertain terms, a recognizable and irreversible flushing out of individuals with ties to Tevita Mara (currently in Australia) and the final nail to the coffin of the Mara clan, politically speaking.

    PM directs return of reef to Oneata

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Taken from / By: Google

    Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has instructed Fisheries Permanent Secretary Commander Viliame Naupoto to freeze all licenses and regulations with regards to the qoliqoli rights of the people of Oneata to their reef - known as Bukatatanoa.

    Oneata elders told the PM on the island last night that the qoliqoli rights to the reef was given to Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara to manage in 1979 - as he was to advise them on how best the reef should be utilised.

    However two years ago, according to the elders, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara informed them that the Bukatatanoa reef qoliqoli rights now belonged to the Tui Lau, and this was gazzetted through the Department of Fisheries.

    FBC News has sighted documents that the reef was gazetted to the Tui Lau in 1994 under then Native Fisheries Commissioner the late Navitalai Navunisaravi.

    Oneata elders say this was done without their knowledge, nor were discussions or meetings held on the matter, and they did not raise the issue further - out of respect.

    However last night, the elders raised their concerns with Bainimarama who directed that all rights governing the reef be re-looked at, and that only the people of Oneata would be able to use and manage the reef.

    Report by : Apisalome Coka

    The Mara legacy of decade long dominance to provincial affairs in Lau, has overlapped to questionable business ties. 
    One particular case of Bukatatanoa reef involving the Mara clan's sense of patrimony, that abuses their cultural authority to a degree bordering on criminal.

    Bainimarama reverses Mara rule
    Writer : Losalini Rasoqosoqo in Lau

    Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has reversed a decision made by the late Tui Nayau, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.
    This is over the ownership of Bukatatanoa Reef at Oneata
    Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, on a week-long tour of Lau, met Oneata islanders on Tuesday night.
    During the meeting, he ordered proceedings to start for the return of Bukatatanoa Reef to Oneata islanders after it was gazzetted in 1994 that the reef belonged to the Tui Lau, Ratu Mara.
    The reef was given to Ratu Mara to manage then through his status as Tui Lau. The elders told Commodore Bainimarama that the fishing rights to the reef was given to Ratu Mara to manage in 1979, as the Tui Lau.
    Fiji Sun gathered that it was gazetted to the Tui Lau (Rt Mara) in 1994 under the then Native Fisheries Commissioner, Navitalai Navunisaravi.
    The elders say this was done without their knowledge, nor were discussions or meetings held on the matter. They said two years ago, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, son of Ratu Mara, informed them that the Bukatatanoa Reef fishing rights now belonged to the Tui Lau.
    Ratu Tevita is now labelled a fugitive after he fled to Tonga recently while facing a sedition charge.
    Commodore Bainimarama told the elders that the traditional fishing grounds, their rights and ownership, would be given back to the people of Oneata.
    He told them that there would be no more licenses issued for fishing in their traditional fishing grounds or i qoliqoli.
    Prime Minister Bainimarama gave instructions to the Fisheries Department Permanent Secretary, Commander Viliame Naupoto, for all fishing licenses to be stopped so that the people of Oneata can enjoy their rights to the Bukatatanoa, a reef believed to be rich with seafood.
    Commodore Bainimarama met Oneata islanders at Waiqori Village.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Land Destroyer: Globalists' Australian Nexus

    Land Destroyer (L.D) post provides a fitting follow up to earlier SiFM posts, here and here and there.
    Hat tip to L.D

    A globalist rat's nest amidst the rise of Asia.

    by Tony Cartalucci Bangkok, Thailand July 5, 2011

    Meet the Lowy Institute. Filled with big business interests and perhaps the most degenerate, depraved minds humanity has yet produced, it poses as an "independent international policy think tank," whose objective is to "generate new ideas and dialogue on international developments and Australia’s role in the world."

    The word "independent" is somewhat confusing, but what is clear is that it is yet another Fortune 500 run policy and propaganda clearinghouse serving not Australia, but rather the global corporate-financier elite.

    Notable corporate members include JP Morgan, Rothschild, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, and Cheveron. While Australian brands like Qantas, BHP Billiton, and the National Australian Bank appear more "indigenous" in nature, the reality is that their boards, like everything in the globalist realm, are an ongoing game of musical chairs between all of the worlds globalist, multinational corporations. For example, BHP Billiton's board of directors alone features Jacques Nasser, formerly of Ford Motor Company and JP Morgan, John Buchanan formally of British Petroleum and Vodafone, Carlos Cordeiro formally of Goldman Sachs, David Crawford formally of Bank of America, and the list goes on and on.

    The Lowy Institute's board of directors is something to behold. Sitting at the top, is 80 year-old, accused tax evader, Australian-Israeli Frank Lowy, after whom the institute is named. He currently oversees the Westfield Group, was a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and sits upon the board of directors of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) - not of Australia, but of Israel. Joining him is son Peter Lowy, who is also a Lowy Institute board member, a RAND Corporation trustee, and a board member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council - not of Australia, but of the United States. Also on the board amongst several others, is Professor Ross Garnaut of the University of Melbourne as well as Australian National University (ANU), Ian Macfarlane formally of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Goldman Sachs, and Temasek Holdings, Professor Robert O'Neill of the corporate-stacked International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and a former head of ANU's Strategic and Defense Studies Centre.

    On Independence of Lowy Institute:

    "Lowy Institute is nothing more than a collection of banksters, criminal conspirators, and multinational multi-corporate interests. It is a institute of big business, by big business, and for big business. What is alarming is the vast reach it has within Australia's universities and the alleged "free-press." The name Australian National University comes up more than once and various members of Lowy's staff are also contributors to both Australian and international papers and television networks."

    Perhaps most disturbing however is the inclusion of Brookings Institution's Martin Indyk, the co-author of the, frankly speaking, insane "Which Path to Persia?" report where Indyk, fellow Lowy associate Michael O'Hanlon, and others conspired against the nation of Iran to fund known terrorist organizations, engineer fake street protests, buy off members of the Iranian military, and even attempt to provoke Iran into a war it was disinterested in fighting - not for national security, but for what Indyk, O'Hanlon, and others called, "American interests and influence throughout the Middle East."

    It then appears that the Lowy Institute is nothing more than a collection of banksters, criminal conspirators, and multinational multi-corporate interests. It is a institute of big business, by big business, and for big business. What is alarming is the vast reach it has within Australia's universities and the alleged "free-press." The name Australian National University comes up more than once and various members of Lowy's staff are also contributors to both Australian and international papers and television networks. Also alarming is the "cross pollination" reflected in Lowy's staff between the institute and other notorious corporate-funded corporate-serving organizations like the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, the fraudulent Harvard Belfer Center, and the warmongering Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Our People: Ties to globalist think-tanks and the media.

    Dr. Khalid Koser: Non-Resident Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

    Dr. Michael Fullilove: Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, Rhodes Scholar, has published articles in The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, Slate, The Daily Beast, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, the Australian Financial Review, The Spectator, The Washington Quarterly, The National Interest and Foreign Affairs.

    Whit Mason: International Crisis Group while in Kosovo, then speechwriter for the UN Kosovo mission, and USAID in Pakistan.

    Paul Kelly: Editor-at-large of The Australian, previously Editor-in-Chief of The Australian. Is a regular commentator on ABC television (Australian Broadcasting Channel).

    Dr. Michael Wesley: Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    Fiona Cunningham: Interned at the Belfer Center at Harvard University and the International Crisis Group.

    Fergus Hanson: Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Own Harries: Published over 200 articles in leading journals and magazines, including Foreign Affairs, Commentary, New Republic, Harper's, OrbisIt should be noted that the "National Interest," Harries' own publication, features such warmongering, illegal conspiratory articles as "Free Baluchistan," and "The Chinese Cozy Up to the Pakistanis" where it is suggested that the United States should fund and arm rebels inside Pakistan to carve up the nation to balk Chinese-Pakistani relations.)

    Contamination of Opinions?

    "Indeed as we see, regarding just the Lowy Institute alone, it contaminates an entire region's news, media, universities, literature, research, studies, and of course, through the papers and propaganda it produces with the clout it puts behind them, the region's politics and laws as well. The global corporatocracy is everywhere, affecting everything, perhaps so profoundly it escapes one's notice.

    Ties to the Australian National University

    The Lowy Institute appears to maintain close ties with all of Australia's prominent universities. The Australian National University, however, is one that is stumbled across over and over again, with Lowy co-hosting events, tapping ANU's professors for research papers, and airing its propaganda under a pseudo-academic light. Additionally, many of Lowy's own members have been drawn from ANU's alumni as well as prominent heads of various ANU departments.

    Martine Letts: Lowy Institute Deputy Directory, appointed to the ANU Council in 2004.

    Professor Hugh White: Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow, professor of Strategic Studies at ANU. Also a regular columnist for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Professor Warwick McKibbin: Lowy Institute Professional Fellow, Director of ANU Research School of Economics, and also a Non-Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    Dr. Milton Osborne: Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University.

    Professor Alan Dupont: Senior Fellow at ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.

    The first search result that comes up within Lowy Institute's publication archives is an interesting document titled, "Thai studies in Australia." Under "Specialists Consulted," no less than 9 "specialists" came from ANU, including the notoriously intellectually dishonest Andrew Walker of ANU's "New Mandala" blog. Walker is fond of taking regional corporate agendas and shoehorning them into something resembling that of academia to lend them legitimacy they'd otherwise lack. He is also adept at giving the corporatocracy talking points a decidedly liberal spin, drawing in well intentioned people to consider his "work" when otherwise they'd be revolted.

    Walker spends his time berating Thailand's self-sufficiency economy, suggesting that encouraging people to be self-reliant agriculturally, the very principle that throughout history has produced the strongest, most resilient nations on earth, somehow excludes them from participating in the "national economy" as well as participating in "electoral democracy." He and his partner, Nicholas Farrelly, post up articles promoting the very worst aspects of the corporate-financiers' NGO creep into sovereign Asia, as progressive and justified.

    Right on cue, as National Endowment for Democracy-funded "Bersih 2.0" was preparing for mass demonstrations in Malaysia, Walker's "New Mandala" blog posted the following, "The biggest threat – as perceived by the present administration – to Malaysia’s internal security is a demand for free and fair elections." What Walker failed to research and tell his readership, was the fact that Bersih is on record, with organizers themselves admitting to it, having received funds from the National Endowment for Democracy-funded National Democratic Institute, as well as from globalist bankster George Soros' "Open Society" foundation. The threat then, contrary to what was written on "New Mandala" is not "free and fair elections," but rather foreign-funded sedition led by globalist-stooge, Ibrahim Anwar.

    Lowy's propaganda outfit

    Walker's "New Mandala" blog also dutifully hits on all the key talking points being pushed by the global corporate-financiers. When an ex-Reuters journalist penned his disingenuous, conveniently timed Wikileaks-based hit piece titled, "Thai Story," Walker was right by his side providing an outlet and badly needed legitimacy for his hackery. But in addition to Walker, there was the Lowy Institute's propaganda mouthpiece, "The Interpreter." After the July 3, 2011 Thai elections, the Interpreter chimed in with "The danger of a Thai civil war" where the globalist, degenerate-filled, elitist think-tank skipped past their client-stooge Thaksin Shinawatra, and laid the blame for Thailand's current political turmoil on the nation's revered monarchy. Citing Marshall's 3,000 unverified, unsubstantiated Wikileaks cables, who Marshall himself claims, is only "believed to have been downloaded by US soldier Bradley Manning in Iraq," the Interpreter suggests it is "journalism of the highest order."

    Adding insult to injury, for those who understand how this network operates, the Interpreter cites fellow degenerate, corporate-serving globalist think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations to bolster their claim.

    The Interpreter maintains a partnership of sorts with other globalist connected rags like "The Diplomat" who echo the globalist consensus on any given issue and itself boasts partnerships with corporate-funded global think-tanks like the Soros-funded Foreign Policy Centre. There is a reason why the Interpreter, the Diplomat, and Andrew Walker's "New Mandala" blog are all on the same page along with other corporate-serving propaganda outfits like CNN, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. It is because beneath the veneer of objectivity and academia, lies what is an obviously self-serving agenda propagated by a self-evident, omnipresent global despotic corporatocracy.


    Upon the Council on Foreign Relation's seal is the word VBIQVE, Latin for "everywhere," and manifests itself in the common English word, ubiquitous. Indeed as we see, regarding just the Lowy Institute alone, it contaminates an entire region's news, media, universities, literature, research, studies, and of course, through the papers and propaganda it produces with the clout it puts behind them, the region's politics and laws as well. The global corporatocracy is everywhere, affecting everything, perhaps so profoundly it escapes one's notice.

    However, upon seeing this network exposed, the people involved, their history of promoting an unaccountable, self-serving agenda at everyone's expense but their own, we can begin rendering moot the false legitimacy they foist upon society with their fancy logos, lofty titles, disingenuous liberal-esque spin, their insufferable arrogance, and entire institutions co-opted or even contrived to serve their own ends.

    We can begin by exposing these charlatans, stooges, and crooks for what they really are. We can boycott the corporations that fund and perpetuate these unsavory, dubious, and often well-hidden agendas. We can also begin to replace this nefarious network they've constructed by becoming self-sufficient on a local level. There is good reason why ANU impostor-academic Andrew Walker, along with the Wall Street Journal and the Economist are so adamantly against Thailand's attempt at implementing nation-wide localism - it is because it will set a viable example for all nations to follow out from under the squatting parasites that make up the global elite.

    Tony Cartalucci is a geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His work aims at covering world events from a Southeast Asian perspective as well as promoting self-sufficiency as one of the keys to true freedom.

    Other works by Tony Cartalucci.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    A Tale of Two chiefs: Mara, the Father and Mara, the Son

    From Whale Oil Beef Hooked.
    Guest Post — A Tale of two chiefs: Mara, the father and Mara, the son 
    by WHALEOIL on MAY 27, 2011 Thakur Ranjit Singh 
    This com­men­tary, through his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tives, analy­ses the flight of Bainimarama’s for­mer right hand man, Ratu Ului Mara to Tonga and the dis­ap­point­ing role of media.

    As the Air Pacific’s French built turbo prop ATR 42 glided into Apia’s Fale­olo Inter­na­tional Air­port, I was over­joyed with the prospect of vis­it­ing Nukualofa.
    The year was 1988, in the after­math of Sitiveni Rabuka’s coup in Fiji which had an interim gov­ern­ment. I was an inter­nal audi­tor with the Car­pen­ter Group of Com­pa­nies which owned Mor­ris Hed­strom (MH) stores in Fiji, Apia (Molesi), and Nukualofa. I, together with my fel­low audi­tor Chat­tur Singh was sched­uled to audit MH Nukualofa after the Apia stop. 
    T. R Singh On NZ Govt. Policy

    "New Zealand Gov­ern­ment and John Key should take heed of this rev­e­la­tion. They have been warned not to bend rules to wel­come Ratu Ului, who still has con­nec­tions with the Mil­i­tary per­son­nel in Fiji, thus fur­ther dis­tanc­ing and pro­vok­ing Fiji."
    How­ever, this dream of vis­it­ing Tonga was dashed when Tonga imposed a racially dis­crim­i­na­tory rule that Indo Fijians from Fiji were pro­hib­ited from enter­ing the King­dom. Then, Fiji’s interim Prime Min­is­ter was Ratu Ului’s father, Ratu Sir Kamis­ese Mara who was defeated in 1987 Fiji’s elec­tions by Dr Tim­oci Bavadra’s Fiji Labour Party. Bavadra’s gov­ern­ment was over­thrown on 14 May, 1987 in a coup exe­cuted by Rabuka just after a month in power. 
    It had been widely spec­u­lated and also exposed by Rabuka that Ratu Sir Kamis­ese Mara was aware of the coup and had given his bless­ings for the rape of democ­racy in favour of indige­nous supe­ri­or­ity and ethno nation­al­ism. Mara Senior claimed he accepted the posi­tion of Fiji’s Interim Prime Min­is­ter because he could not stand by and watch his house burning.Ratu Sir Kamis­ese remained silent and failed to raise any objec­tion against this bla­tant racism by his cousins in Tonga against half of his sub­jects in Fiji. It there­fore should not now come as a sur­prise at accu­sa­tions that the Ton­gan gov­ern­ment aided and abet­ted the escape of Ratu Ului to Tonga by breach­ing Fiji waters, sup­pos­edly in a sea res­cue mis­sion. 
    The evi­dence from the murky waters sug­gests that Ratu Ului may be less than hon­est about his escapade. His check­ing into a hotel under a false name, hid­ing his iden­tity, the cus­tom­ary pro­to­cols of fish­ing alone by a chief, and the fail­ure of respec­tive New Zealand and Fiji navies to detect any dis­tress sig­nals indi­cate that the truth is some­where out there.This case also exposed New Zealand main­stream media’s blind depen­dency on a polit­i­cal blogsite, Coup Four Point Five, which hardly resem­bles a respectable, free and inde­pen­dent media. This site has anony­mous and face­less pub­lish­ers and edi­tors whose cred­i­bil­ity has been under scrutiny by var­i­ous aca­d­e­mics and this author because of their selec­tive, unsub­stan­ti­ated and unbal­anced news-postings. 
    This is Qarase’s SDL Party site tasked with get­ting the racist régime back into power under the sham of democ­racy. It is such ques­tion­able blogsite that the main­stream New Zealand media, includ­ing NZ Her­ald and TVNZ, have relied upon as a source.The Indo-Fijian bash­ing angle is used once again. With Tonga’s his­tory of racially humil­i­at­ing Indo-Fijians in 1988 with ban on entry, it is no won­der Ratu Ului had a field day in using the race card as well, where he said that Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum, Fiji’s Indo-Fijian Attor­ney Gen­eral was solely call­ing the shots in Fiji. 
    What a gullible media fails to realise is that Fiji’s mil­i­tary is 99.95 per cent indige­nous Fijians. Of the 21 Per­ma­nent Sec­re­taries, only three are Indo-Fijians, only two min­is­ters are Indo-Fijians and other top ech­e­lons of the civil ser­vice com­prise of some 80 per cent indige­nous Fijians. Yet, Ratu Ului, sup­ported by NZ media, wishes us to believe that one Indo-Fijian had Frank Bain­i­marama in a trance. Ratu Ului is degrad­ing and sham­ing his own race by say­ing that Khaiyum single-handedly manip­u­lates Fiji’s admin­is­tra­tive, polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary machin­ery dom­i­nated by indige­nous peo­ple. This is the biggest insult hurled on indige­nous Fijians since the uncer­e­mo­ni­ous flight of Ratu Ului’s’ father from the Gov­ern­ment house.Ratu Ului’s defence of the Great Coun­cil of Chiefs (GCC) and the Methodist Church as sav­iours of democ­racy is highly laugh­able. 
    These two insti­tu­tions have been the biggest threat to democ­racy, human rights and social jus­tice in Fiji. I still remem­ber, how in 1987 after Rabuka’s coup, the church­go­ers from the Methodist Church used to go and man the road­blocks which were put in place to per­se­cute non-Christians. Dur­ing 2001 Fiji elec­tions, the Assem­bly of Churches, led by the Methodist Church, took out paid adver­tise­ments, urg­ing indige­nous Fijians not to vote the hea­thens and non-believer Indo-Fijians into the lead­er­ship of the nation. Is this the Methodist Church which is now iden­ti­fied as the defender of democ­racy? The Chiefs were so immensely engrossed in pol­i­tics, sup­port­ing ethno-nationalism of George Speight that the non elected GCC lost all its cred­i­bil­ity, respectabil­ity and neu­tral advi­sory sta­tus. The GCC which had been an ini­tia­tive and legacy of the British colonists had been ban­ished by Bain­i­marama after 2006. 
    Its absence had hardly been felt by the rank and file indige­nous peo­ple in the last five years.Ratu Sir Kamisese’s son, now absconded to Tonga, appears to suf­fer from mem­ory loss. In 2000, the GCC and the Methodist Church hier­ar­chy fully backed George Speight in cru­elly remov­ing his esteemed father, Ratu Sir Kamis­ese Mara as Pres­i­dent of Fiji. 
    In a hugely undig­ni­fied man­ner, Ratu Sir Kamis­ese had to flee in the night, fear­ing for his life. He was trans­ported by navy boat to the safety of his home in the Lau Group, never to recover from this humil­i­a­tion. He died a very sad, bit­ter and lonely man.  What Mara’s son Ratu Ului for­gets is that this was the unkind­est act of betrayal by the Fijian chiefs against one of their great­est chiefs. 
    Today, for con­ve­nience and expe­di­ency, Ratu Tevita Mara has heaped insult to the mem­ory of Ratu Sir Kamis­ese by embrac­ing and prais­ing those who had dis­graced, humil­i­ated and indi­rectly exter­mi­nated Fiji’s great­est polit­i­cal leader– his own father.Nowhere in the NZ media has there been any reports that other promi­nent busi­ness­men, bureau­crats, civil ser­vants and chiefs have gone through Fiji’s jus­tice sys­tem, so what was par­tic­u­lar about Ratu Ulai who absconded. There is hardly any men­tion of inves­ti­ga­tions and alleged fraud of $3 mil­lion from Fiji Pine Commission. 
    New Zealand Gov­ern­ment and John Key should take heed of this rev­e­la­tion. They have been warned not to bend rules to wel­come Ratu Ului, who still has con­nec­tions with the Mil­i­tary per­son­nel in Fiji, thus fur­ther dis­tanc­ing and pro­vok­ing Fiji. Any such action less than six months before the Rugby World Cup, in which Fiji plays, and the gen­eral elec­tions, are not advis­able. With a siz­able Indo-Fijian pop­u­la­tion and Indi­ans and Asians sym­pa­thetic to Fiji’s cause of self deter­mi­na­tion, Key needs to play his cards wisely, before offi­ciously embroil­ing in a domes­tic squab­ble of Pacific relations. 
    NZ needs to be reminded that despite his­tory bestow­ing him with this hon­our, Ratu Sir Kamis­ese Mara had not really been that last bas­tion of mul­tira­cial­ism and social jus­tice in Fiji. Nei­ther is his son Ratu Ului Mara. 
    (Thakur Ran­jit Singh is a polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor and had been through Rabuka’s and Speight’s coups. Dur­ing the lat­ter, he was the pub­lisher of Fiji’s Daily Post news­pa­per, which has since been closed because of past gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence. He was AUT/PIMA Pasi­fika post­grad­u­ate scholar in 2009/10).

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