Friday, November 27, 2009

Commonwealth Conversation: REPORT PUBLISHED.[Click header to view 'Taste of Fiji. Commonwealth Conversation].

Luvei Viti (Children of Fiji) Community group was priviledged to have co hosted one of this Commonwealth Conversation in Wellington on 23 October 2009. Submission from this Conversation had been duly submitted to the Commonwealth Conversation Team in London. We were pleased to have Mr Darryl Stevens, President of the Commonwealth Trust in Aotearoa, New Zealand to open this forum.

It was an invigorating and thought provoking discussion where we focused on the areas specifically defined by the Commonwealth Conversation Team. Fiji post 2006 coup became a key component of our discussion in our effort to try and find a way forward in helping the people of Fiji. We received great words of encouragement from the Commonwealth Conversation Team especially Zoe & Alex who guided us through the process. We firmly believe as Fiji is our homeland and most of us still holds Fiji passport, it is in our earnest interest to find a way forward for the people of Fiji other than the feeling of hopelessness of being caught up in the instability of what coup brings onto to a Nation. Luvei Viti Think Tank@myvuw
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CommonwealthConversation: earliest findings published

After an intense few weeks, we are delighted to publish the emerging findings of the Commonwealth Conversation. In our report, we say that the Commonwealth must be bold to halt its declining profile, and to do this must focus on three Ps: Principles, Priorities and People. You can download 'Common What?' here, and see the full press release below. Remember, the Conversation is not over. We welcome your reactions to our report, so please keep posting online.
……………………………………………………………........
Commonwealth must be bold to halt declining profile
As world leaders gather for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a new global public consultation shows that the association risks fading into irrelevance unless leaders take bold action.

Conducted to mark the association's 60th anniversary, the Commonwealth Conversation has so far engaged tens of thousands of people across almost all of its 53 member states via online and offline activities. The emerging findings of the Conversation are published today by the Royal Commonwealth Society in a report entitled "Common What?".

The report presents evidence that the Commonwealth has a worringly low profile amongst the public and many policymakers. Less than one third of people in the Commonwealth could name anything the association does and the majority of those could cite only the Commonwealth Games. Many policymakers who took part in the consultation struggled to identify any area in which the Commonwealth clearly and distinctively adds value. Those working within Commonwealth organisations seem frustrated that the association is being neglected by member governments and lacks an ambitious vision for its future.

Research for the Conversation suggests that the Commonwealth is more often valued by Anglophiles and those who are nostalgic for an imperial past, than those committed to the internationalist values of the association. The report suggests that rebuilding the Commonwealth's profile is a critical and urgent challenge.
It recommends a renewed focus on:
1. Principles. There is widespread confusion about what the Commonwealth stands for today. Adherence to the values it purports to uphold is patchy at best. Its principles must be re-articulated in a way that captures public imagination, clearly distinguishes the Commonwealth from other international bodies, and directly informs its work in meaningful ways.

2. Priorities. While the Commonwealth does good work in many areas, it is seen as spreading itself too thinly, diluting its impact and identity. There are consistent calls for it to focus on where it can add value in a crowded international marketplace of organisations. The Commonwealth must identify and deploy its unique strengths if it is to thrive in the 21st century.

3. People. The Commonwealth's network of civil society organisations is unparalleled. Yet, many of these bodies urgently need to engage a younger generation or risk dying out. They must become more innovative, more coordinated and better-resourced.

Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, said:
"This is a wake up call for the Commonwealth. After 60 years of fantastic work, the Commonwealth has to choose between quietly retiring or boldly revitalising itself for the 21st century. Leaders meeting in Trinidad this week need to do more than issue long communiques. They need to convince a new generation unfamiliar with the Commonwealth that this association can tackle global challenges in a meaningful way."
Among thousands of contributions to the Conversation, the following said: "The Hon. Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia: "If the Commonwealth is to survive as an effective organisation, it should not be shy and retiring."

Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England: "I think the Commonwealth isn't known that much to the younger generation. We need to talk about the Commonwealth in a more positive light."
Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer and politician: "(The Commonwealth) is a historical thing but I don't know if it is of any direct benefit to Pakistan. It should be more of an effective forum."
H.E. Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of Kenya: "We don't hear the voice of the Commonwealth loud enough. It is a very well established body, but I do feel that it needs a sense of renewal."
Contacts For all media enquiries, please contact Joanna Bennett on +1 868 374 4355, joanna.bennett@thercs.org.
RCS Headquarters, London: Alex Try,
conversation@thercs.org,
+44 (0) 20 7766 9235.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coconut Dictator says The Economist. What would Coup Apologist like Crosbie Walsh & Thakur Singh say to this, Fiji citizens wonder???

Images: Dr Mere Samisoni.
Just before we take you to the article by The Economist which appeared in the United Nation Foundation website, we would like to just echo a few points on Professor Crosbie Walsh. There has been many for and against articles, blogs written about Fiji saga & the military dictator, Frank Bainimarama.

When we did a quick research into who is blogging what for Fiji, post 2006 coup, we have found that these two personalities name, Crosbie Walsh & Thakur Singh come up in the top fives of those propping up this 2006 illegal regime. We will not go into gory details but one can google search their names to get a glimpse of their rhetorics. Well at least Aotearoa allows people to express their views openly and so we get to hear first hand read [if we care] about what these two coup apologist are on about. Just to be sure you are on the same page as us, below you will find a piece written by an old student of Cros Walsh. As for Thakur Singh, we will run an article on him in due course.
To give you another take, heres an exerpt from Dr Mere Samisoni's blog re her old lecturer, Prof Crosbie Walsh; quote,

by Luvei Viti Think Tank @myvuw

"Dr Mere Samisoni Debunks Walsh Crosbie’s take Fiji’s saga.
<7/11/09>

I was actually Crosbie-Walsh’s student for one unit, Development Studies, when reading for my MBA at USP. Whatever Crosbie-Walsh’s personal opinion of me as a student, I survived his teaching methods to achieve my Doctorate, amused that he still feels the need to mark my work: “in a rambling disjointed statement … she then calls for elections.”

If my expression so offends Crosbie-Walsh, he may wish to remember that I, like most Pacific people, have English as a second language. I can express myself in English, but everything else, thoughts, analyses and aspirations, are ka dina Fijian. How interesting that an appointed Professor of Pacific Studies finds it necessary to get snobbish in the face of true Pacific thinking.

The issue stated in my analysis is that in the vision, mission and the selection of Epeli Nailatikau, democracy has been raped by the illegal illegitimate regime. To quote Brij Lal when interviewed by ABC, after he was verbally abused and ejected by the Military, no rape is good.

Crosbie Walsh needs to understand, is that there are now many local Pacific experts with much more to offer the process of modernization of their respective countries and the Pacific as we find our own road to development. We don’t need the gun, and we don’t need a self-seeking pseudo-dynasty.

Look at the process when our legitimately appointed Vice President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, was unceremoniously removed along with the people’s legally elected Multi Party Cabinet led by the SDL deposed Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Since the coup of 2006, there has been a consistently invasive pattern of interference by the Executive over the Legislator. We even have an illegally appointed judiciary. Successful government must have separation of powers between the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, and that separation must not be interfered with. Our situation in Fiji, from Nailatikau’s illegal appointment right through to lack of qualified judges and insufficient medical supplies, is a direct result of the jumbling of those powers with a heavy dash of military interference. Accordingly, for public good, one cannot be Judge, Jury and Executioner.

Looking at his blog, Crosbie-Walsh clearly supports a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to governance, as does the illegal regime. But how can this illegal government measure its performance if it refuses to see our communities in all their diversity? It’s like giving a value for the average income in Fiji but only using the income figures of the richest 50% and neglecting to factor in the entire working population (including unpaid workers). An illegal regime can cook up all kinds of faux statistics, but what really counts, is what happens on the ground, and what the people want.
My “Miscarriage of Justice” article is a call for elections and stands for action, in light of the IIR continuing to the rape our democracy with the appointment and swearing in of the illegal President, and possibly enduring past 2014.

The negative side of human nature – greed – has unjustly tarnished the good reputation of the Fiji Military Forces and those highly decorated professional soldiers, who would vote the illegal Voreqe Bainimarama out. This is not theoretical rambling but real life manipulation of the few against the best interests of the many. I hope the International community will continue to pressure through TRUTH and DEMOCRACTIC RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF FIJI."
Dr. Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni, SDL elected Member for Lami Open Constituency (deposed )
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Comments on Article by The Economist "Coconut Dictator".

luveiviti Think Tank responded to one-tok in this article & wrote:
Nov 20th 2009 5:47 GMT

Quoting "One-tok wrote: Nov 13th 2009 5:22 GMT This article, nicely written in Australia, rubbishes the dictator but fails to explain in details what he intends to do." unquote.
The tilte of this article says it all and must state clearly that One-tok has got it so wrong. Its a wonder, the MSG group did not know whether they were 'arthur or martha' in giving their support just like what One-tok has showed here. Evidently, the idea is Sir Michael Somare & his group of MSG have supported Bhaini-in pajamas and so he must be doing good for the Indigenous populace. Thats so incorrect. As a case in point heres a link to our blog where we have cited the human rights abuse & brutality to the first people or Indigenous Fijians and we are of a 'Melanesian Storck'. Heres the link
http://luveiviti.blogspot.com/

Questions we ask are as follows;
1. On what grounds are the MSG and people like One-tok supporting this Coconut Dictator?

2. Has someone really researched the Human Rights abuses this regime is doing to the Indigenous people in Fiji of which they are closely connected with their Melanesian brothers i.e Solomons, Port Vila, PNG & New Caledonia?

3. How can One-tok blatantly overlook these important points?

4. The Coconut Dictator publicly stated in one of his international interviews that the Indigenous Fijian people were 'stupid'. How can he stoop so low to say such thing?

5. An Indigenous representation by the Coconut Dictator's high Chief from his village paid this man a visit with other village elders to stop the coup and give Fiji back to the people [this was before Easter rulling in April 2009] Following Traditional protocols, these Chiefs & elders took with them a valued 'Tabua' or whale's tooth which is used as a ceremonious gift given only at prestigious traditional events or trying to appease warring factions as in this case. The Coconut Dictator, Frank Bainimarama, arrogant as he is, threw the 'valued Tabua' back at the elders. The rest is history.

In Traditional Indigenous Fijian Culture, if this low level response is given to those visiting elders & Chief who had the best of intentions, it is said, that the sheer act of Bainimarama throwing the 'Tabua' back in such a manner will result in his Curse for the rest of his life. This can only be lifted if he atones himself.

To conclude, no matter what the Coconut Dictator tries to do, his days are numbered and one that is tagged with "Fijian Curse' on his head.
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Below is the One-tok's response to Economist postings of the blog titled 'Coconut Dictator'
One-tok wrote:
Nov 13th 2009 5:22 GMT
This article, nicely written in Australia, rubbishes the dictator but fails to explain in details what he intends to do. I don't like the tit for tat approach but Australia's heavy hand approach to the Pacific, especially Melanesia, deserves a tough stance by the islanders. It's about the Melanesians rise-up to the Australian bullying attitude and protect their interests. We have enough of the heavy handed approach. Look at the Solomon Islands, they are running everything since 2003. For whose interest? Ask Canberra.Anyway the coup culture won't spread to the islands. It's not a bacteria
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Nov 12th 2009 CANBERRA
From The Economist print edition

A coup leader who is tough on the outside, softer underneath

FIJI’S military strongman, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has thumped down his fist. He will restore relations with Australia and New Zealand only in 2014, he says, having booted out their High Commissioners on November 4th. He justified the expulsions by saying the countries were interfering in his efforts to replace judges he sacked when he abrogated the constitution in April.
This latest diplomatic crisis, as with previous such episodes, led to a ratcheting up of repression at home: Brij Lal, a persistent critic of the regime and a distinguished historian of the Indian diaspora, was taken to a military barracks, harassed and thrown out of the country. This week, the authorities started jamming anti-government bloggers, who have proliferated since the coup of December 2006.

Mr Bainimarama’s belligerence has divided the region. Kevin Rudd, Australia’s prime minister, gave warning that Fiji might spread its “coup culture” across the Pacific. Some Pacific island leaders, though, who think Australia and New Zealand are being overbearing, are more sympathetic to Fiji’s coup leader.

But while he talks tough in the region, back home the commodore is in trouble. Fiji’s economy is reeling. Sugar, its mainstay for over 100 years, has been devastated by big cuts in European Union preferential prices; the industry is failing to meet agreed shipments to the British company Tate & Lyle. Other export industries, including garments, bottled mineral water and gold, also face difficulties. Only tourism fared well in 2009, as Australians and New Zealanders stayed nearer home instead of going to Europe and America. The recent expulsions risk turning some of them away again.

Mr Bainimarama’s political position is being eroded, too. In August, two of his rivals—once arch-adversaries—joined forces against him. They are Laisenia Qarase, whom he deposed as prime minister in 2006 and who retains strong support amongst the 57% of the population who are indigenous Fijians, and Mahendra Chaudhry, who resigned from the government last year and whose Fiji Labour Party has long been the party of choice for the 37% of the population who are Indians. The two men want fresh elections by October 2010.

Of those politicians who remain in the commodore’s cabinet, most have no credibility, having been rejected at the last poll, held in 2006. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, who became president on November 5th, had his nomination as vice-president rejected in 2007 by the Great Council of Chiefs, then the appointing authority for both posts. As Mr Bainimarama made clear in July when he acknowledged that Mr Qarase would win an election if one were held soon, he has strong reasons for delaying both election and diplomatic normality until 2014.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Matters of Public Interest: A sneak preview of what goes on behind the social scene while some Families try to recover from Deep Hurts.

This is Alanieta Rabaka's image crying over her dead son Rabaka who was beaten and died due injuries sustained at this beatup by army personnel.
We have also ran an excerpt of testimony by another relative of one other Fijian man that got beaten to death.
Vinaka TK,
one of those that died in the mutiny was my uncle..i could not provide proof of the extent of injuries he sufferred as i only wish now i had a camera then..but on th scale of the injuries he sustained i wont ever forget as i was there in the mortuary to dress him up before his final journey to the village…
could i have answers to the following questions?
1. his face was rather flat as his nose is not in structure?
2. his head injuries..skull was soft and could not be operated upon?
3. his eye missing in black blood?
4. as we lifted him, his jaw came loose and blood oozes out of mouth..part of tongue missing
Isn’t this murder???
I must assure all family members of the murdered citizen we will expose them RFMF to levels never been done before.T.KorodrauDemocracy and Freedom for Fiji – USA.”










































SHOULD THE FIJI ARMY BE SCRAPPED?
Posted by viti_surf on November 5, 2009 at 1:09pm in World Issues

Fiji military torture revealed in murder trialGraphic accounts of how Fijian soldiers - including two Fiji sevens players - beat a man to death and sexually tortured others are coming
out at a murder trial in the western city of Lautoka. Nineteen- year-old Sakiusa Rabaka was beaten to death by the army just month after military commander Lautoka.

Nineteen-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka was beaten to death by the army just a month after military commander Voreqe Bainimarama staged his December 2006 coup.

His mother, Alanieta Rabaka, mounted an emotional and drawn out regional media campaign to get justice.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Australian Prime Minister John Howard took up the case.Last year eight soldiers and a police officer were arrested.
The military had attempted to move the soldiers overseas on United Nations peacekeeping duties but they were taken off a plane just before departure.

In the High Court in Lautoka, Justice Daniel Goundar and a panel of assessors have heard that
Mr Rabaka, and other men, were seized by soldiers on January 24, 2007, and taken to the military camp at Black Rock.

  • He was returned home seriously injured next day

  • and later admitted to hospital.

  • He died on February 22.The Fiji Times reported today that

  • one witness, Josua Saunaqali, told of being subjected to military torture.

  • He was ordered to strip to his underwear and perform oral sex.
The military accused them of buying marijuana.
  1. Mr Saunaqali said they were told to strip to their underwear
  2. And made to run to three points at which three of the accused were waiting to whip them.
  3. When they failed to keep up with the pace, they were beaten.
  4. They were made to duck-walk carrying a piece of timber.
  5. They were also made to crawl on their stomachs without using their arms.
  6. They were beaten and kicked though out.
  7. He said Mr Rabaka was not able to stand the torture and was groaning in pain.
  8. Mr Saunaqali said they pleaded for the torturing of Mr Rabaka to stop because he was just a young boy but it continued.
  9. Mr Saunaqali said he failed to complete a drill and a soldier kicked his chin.
  10. He said a soldier ordered him and another friend to perform oral sex on an unnamed man.
  11. He said he recognised Fiji rugby player Napolioni Naulia as part of the squad.
  12. Those on trial are police officer Patrick Nayacalagilagi and Talone Lua, Ulaiasi Radike, Etonia Nadura, Ratuinaisa Toutou, Joeli Lesavua, Jona Nareki, Ilaisa Kurimavua and Naulia.Nareki played for the Fiji Sevens in the 2000 Dubai Sevens and Naulia for the team at the South Pacific Games two years ago.
  13. Army Restricts Media Coverage
Some tried to fight back their tears – after all this is Fiji’s fourth coup in two decades.
RFN There seems to be no special need for our Terrorist Army to participate in peacekeeping, the same job can be done by women in any event, one thing that our illegal government got right in the Fiji Sun this week was that the RFMF, under Frank are just that, "peacekeepers", not soldiers, they only act like soldiers to terrorize unarmed civilians within Fiji, apart from that, they are nothing special.
Don't forget that the United Nations needed us in the past because it is cheap and saves American lives not because our RFMF are the best, so don't be so vain.
According to the United States Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice
""...UN peacekeeping is cost-effective... it represents less than 1 percent of global military spending...All of these factors make UN peacekeeping an effective and dynamic instrument for advancing U.S. interests. It relieves the burden on our brave men and women in uniform. It saves American lives and American dollars over the long run."
In fact, if we had it our way, we would get the entire RFMF to resign from Franks Tal-Qaeda Terrorist Military Forces and join Global Risk, more money less bull shit.Vote YES/NO and your reasons why Fiji should still have its Military Forces.

Reply by Andrew Steinway on November 5, 2009 at 5:54pm
Sa da matalau na sarava na i taba..Sa yali na rokovi kei na dokai.. sa kune votu e matadratou na kocokoco kei na veivakalolomataki

► Reply by STEE on November 5, 2009 at 10:15pm
Au sa kaya oti... Da via lua na raici ratou na duri tu i cake ya...!!Dou kitaka jiko nomudou self promotion...!!E na tini ga i Naboro...!!

► Reply by Kasanita Kamakorewa Lindell on November 5, 2009 at 9:28pm

Reason to celebrate???Lest we forget!!!@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
► Reply by Viti N on November 5, 2009 at 9:41pm
so this is where our money is going to?......to the family of alcoholics!!!! kasou tiko o PM kei radini PM....isa lei...turu sara la na wai ni mata!!!

► Reply by Nix on November 6, 2009 at 1:21am
@ Kasanita sa yawa na i taba..o rau sara ga na marama mai Falvey Rd Raiwaqa ya lolzz. Manchie and Maraia rau ex Saint Joseph and Grammar.......Raiwaqa takalaka lolzz

► Reply by Justin on November 6, 2009 at 1:26am
Nix you sound like a bird mate,,,seriously are you a girl???or kasei as in qauri????the way you speak up there on your comments.....

► Reply by LOne rAnger aka StRYka on November 6, 2009 at 2:17am
lol!!!! osoo tobo tale ni kasei o Nix lmao!!!! kida tiko vei iko @ justin hahahaha...

► Reply by Justin on November 6, 2009 at 2:29am
haha,,LOne rAnger segai da wilika ga na style ni comments koya cakava tu ya o koya da kila saraga ni vosavosa ni kasei,,,hahaha

► Reply by Tevita Korodrau on November 6, 2009 at 2:36am
Bula justin,Bro au kila ni toso vinaka tiko.Keep those feelers up pretty useful in sensing these wannabes.

► Reply by LOne rAnger aka StRYka on November 5, 2009 at 11:22pm
reading from this picture.....koila must be thinking......." isa na vale nei ta"eveli " " " ........" fark macawa saraga na ose ya"bai " " " ........" I hope this jockey (eveli) won't fire my ass ( or is it the other way around lol!)Mary " " " ........" will they be serving dom perignon champagne today"

► Reply by Viti N on November 6, 2009 at 12:05am
as they say in lil NZ...tobo tale tu o van damme!!!
posted frm MVVL by anonymous

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fiji: Tourism Behind Barbed Wire From Viti Levu & Vanua Levu says Andrea.

We must add some whispers have indicated we need to do something to help boost Fiji's tourism otherwise Fiji will loose out. How many years since this coup happened? Yes, thats right 03 years going four, [December 2006 & we are about to enter 2010].

No matter what we say or try and do, the damage has been done by the sheer act of Frank Bainimarama executing the 2006 Coup followed by his little co-ordinated mini coup within a coup in April this year, 2009. We as Fiji people, whether ones in Fiji or abroad, this is the reality.
The regime has willed Fiji to its current state, a Failed State and made worse by the arrogance shown to the Australian & New Zealand Diplomats who had been recently expelled by Fiji's regime. We are often told by some living in Fiji, leave Fiji to us to sort out. Our response to that as Fiji people living abroad, some of us still hold Fiji passport and still cast our votes in the Fiji election. Some are landowners in their own right within their Fijian Communal system and lease funds from their land are deducted for tax purposes and used/or misused and abused by those that wield power.

Evidence of blame game to centre stageas evidenced in recent articles posted by several Fiji bloggers re 'toing & froing' amongst the 'Fiji Judiciary trio' i.e Tony Gates, Khaiyum Aiyaz, Anjula Wati as well as the Coup-maker himself who now has shifted the blame to Tony Gates saying he, Bainimarama was only acting on a memo.
To add salt to Fiji's injury, most recent comments which filtered through to blogosphere, noted in Sai Lealea's blog, quote;
" ONE of Fiji’s sacked judges has predicted that the conduct of Chief Justice Anthony Gates has reached the stage where he is likely to leave the country before it returns to democracy.
Francis Douglas QC said Chief Justice Gates appeared to be “the conductor of the orchestra” in recruiting Sri Lank1an judges to fill the gaps caused by the dismissal of Fiji’s judiciary.

“It is likely that he went to Sri Lanka and recruited the judges because he has a place there,” said Mr Douglas.

“I suspect he intends to retire there so I don’t think he is too worried about what will happen to him if a democratic government comes to power.
“I can’t speak for him but he would probably leave before any election is held.”
Along with fellow Australian silks Ian Lloyd QC and Randall Powell SC, Mr Douglas formed a three-judge bench of the Fiji Court of Appeal that ruled in April that the government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama was illegal. Chief Justice Gates, who was among those dismissed the day after this ruling, was one of the first to agree to return to the bench despite the fact that the constitution had been overturned.

When Mr Douglas had joined the Fiji bench just before the upheaval of April 10, he believed Chief Justice Gates was trying to do his best for the country’s judicial system.

There had been hopes that a working legal system would foster the development of “a kind of culture that would lead to the restoration of democracy”.
But he said the position of the Chief Justice was now “almost untenable”.

While the Chief Justice might leave the country before an election, Mr Douglas said members of the Bainimarama regime might need to be offered pardons in order to persuade them to return Fiji to democracy.

“As a matter of Fijian law, they are in breach of the constitution. So if a democratically elected government were to be brought to power I think that could amount to old-fashioned treason or something of that nature,” Mr Douglas said.
http://wwwfijicoup2006.blogspot.com/
Luvei Viti Think Tank group.
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Read more about Fiji Tourism behind Barbed Wire,
Tourism Behind Barbed Wire From Viti Levu and Vanua Levu December 27, 2007
By Andre Vltchek
"Welcome To Paradise!" says flight hostess of Air Pacific, as the planetouches down at Nadi International Airport. From the moment you arrive, the word"paradise" will be continuously repeated; you will not be able to escapeit for one single hour. It will scream from the advertisement billboards, from thepages of glossy airline and tourist magazines and brochures. "Have your ownslice of the paradise for reasonable price". "Invest in new development:your luxury villa in Paradise". "Dine in Paradise". "Swim inParadise". "Honeymoon in Paradise."

Just a few miles from the center of the second largest Fijian city - Lautoka - childscavengers are working in the middle of enormous garbage dump, trying to make livingby separating filthy objects of at least some commercial value. They are surroundedby appalling smell, flies and desperate looking dogs. At the entrance to the dump,big billboard is warning that trespassers will be prosecuted. This spectacle isapparently not for those who came to spend thousands of dollars seeking Eden.

And "Eden" it is, but some 20 miles from Lautoka, on reclaimed land thatis called Denerau Island. It used to be a backwater, full of mangroves and serenetranquility. Now you can choose from several luxury hotels: Westin, Sofitel, Sheraton,Hilton, Radisson. There is a golf course; there are tennis courts, private luxuryvillas, marinas, posh steak houses and cafes, souvenir shops and delicatessen. Everynight, visitors are offered lavish shows consisting of traditional "meke"dances.

It goes without saying that the paradise of 21st century is not "public":it is guarded; it has its own gates and armed security personnel. One has to bea foreigner or extremely rich (quite probably corrupt) Fijian or a member of themilitary (whose top brasses are both rich and corrupt, making astronomical moneyfrom "peace missions" abroad, often sending active-duty or retired soldiersas mercenaries on dubious missions to the hotspots all over the world) to have anaccess to this exclusive club - several square miles of manicured lawns and gardens,of perfumed servants and relative safety and security.

Last week, just a few miles outside the gate, on the access road to the 'Paradise',a young woman was dragged by her hair to the bush and brutally raped. Poverty andfrustration are fueling a culture of violence. Military government is increasinglyarrogant and spiteful towards its own people and international community. The racialdivide between native Fijians and Indo-Fijians is growing. Prices are rising astronomically,making Fiji one of the most expensive countries on earth.

But bright yellow catamaran are still cruising between Denerau and splendid Yasawaand Mamanuca Island Groups; sprinklers are irrigating gulf courses and hotel gardensand evening shows go on, dancers performing in front of mesmerized audience.

Fiji is witnessing new type of mass tourism, which can be described as a "tourismbehind the gate", or in some places even as "tourism behind the barbedwire". In Asia and Oceania the trend is already established in the places likeIndonesian Bali, India, Sri Lanka, even Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

"The entire situation is obscene", explains Joseph Veramu, head of LautokaCampus of the University of South Pacific and the leading Fijian novelist: my 'guide'to local slums as well as rich estates. "We have new developments here, called'Fantasy Island'. There is so much poverty in Fiji, but the rich are insistingon living in their dream world, in their fake gothic and neo-Roman fantasy. Of coursethe people in Fiji are aware of terrible and deep injustice, but so far they arenot able to organize themselves. But that's the story of this part of the worldin general."

'Veidogo' means 'swamps', but it is also a name of the new settlementoutside Lautoka. Nobody knows exactly how many people live here, as there is noofficial census conducted in the poorest areas. There is no road connecting Veidogowith the rest of the world. During the rainy season, narrow path leading to Sireli,suburb of Lautoka, can easily change to a muddy creek. Houses are built from cartonand plywood; some have metal sheets used as roofs. There is no glass in the windows.

"Most of our children don't go to school. And in the rainy season theycannot pass through the dirt. The nearest school is 3 kilometers away", explainsMs. Nahalo, Veidogo slum dweller. "Most people here are working at the garbagedump, earning between 50 and 60 Fijian dollars a week (30 to 40 US dollars at thecurrent exchange rate). This has to sustain entire family, with the prices constantlyrising. This settlement doesn't even have electricity and our drinking wateris rationed. We are receiving no help from this - military - government. Previousgovernment at least came here and showed some interest, but not this one."

The second largest Fijian island - Vanua Levu - is one hour by plane away from Nadi.Although the island is poor, it hosts some of the most exclusive and expensive resortsin the world. One of them, connected with the town of Savusavu by dirt road, iscalled "Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort". After my brief workon Vanua Levu, I decided to visit the resort and talk to the staff. Surprisingly,the place didn't look more exclusive than the chain luxury hotels on DenerauIsland, just smaller. But the room rates here start at 575 US dollars, climbingto astronomical 2.400 dollars per 'luxury' room per night.

"We are doing well; our occupancy is around 80%, although elsewhere in Fiji,tourism is very hard-hit", explains Greg Taylor, General Manager. "Militarycoup last year had almost no impact on the bookings; just a few cancellations, butnothing substantial. There are almost no Europeans and no Asians staying here. Onaverage we have 45% Americans and 50% Australians visitors. Those coming from theUS never heard about the coup. Those from Australia heard too much about it, aretired to read about it and ready to go to Fiji again."

The taxi driver who is taking me to and from Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resortis not as relaxed about the situation as the general manager. He is swearing at the military and the situation his people have to endure: "It is good for thesuper rich. They come to my miserable town and see how dirty and poor it is. Theytake some snap-shots of the children on the street, of the market and dilapidatedbuses. Then they drive on this unpaved road, check into the luxury of the resort,close the door behind them and enjoy feeling so rich and privileged. I think theycome here in order to feel the contrast. If they are rich, it makes them feel evenricher in poor Fiji. If they are not rich in Australia or the US, they feel richin Fiji, anyway. Why else they would build so many luxury and exclusive resortson this struggling island? I heard that they have much more beautiful beaches inAustralia and New Zealand and that prices there are lower. Then why here?"

It is very difficult for two worlds with such different standards of living to coexistnext to each other in comfort and harmony. Tourists staying at one of the posh resortsof Fiji can easily spend in 24 hours more than entire unprivileged Fijian familyin one entire year. This, naturally, creates tension, or simply leads to over-chargingand cheating. And it is happening not only in Fiji, but also all over Southeast,South Asia, and South Pacific.

Latest political and consequently economic developments brought gloom and desperationto the Islands of Fiji. One has to look at the faces of ordinary men and women ofFiji to detect frustration and fear. But they are forced to or at least paid topretend. They pretend that they are happy, that the greeting "Bula!" isgenuine; that they are true content men and women of the Paradise. Because paradiseis what sells. People of paradise are supposed to fit to a stereotype: they areexpected to be simple, 'friendly', poor but content, always smiling.

"...Passengers of shipwrecked canoes were almost always inevitably killed andeaten", explains cheerfully huge billboard at Sofitel Hotel. Cannibalism, whichwas wiped out in Fiji by Christians only 130 years ago obviously sells. Souvenirstores are offering wooden forks that were used to torture victims and to consumehuman flesh. Grizzly but titillating account goes on:

"Generally, those eaten were enemies killed in war, but other categories ofpeople (conquered people, slaves) could also be legitimately killed to acquire a'bokola' at any time. This was necessary because certain regular eventsrequired human sacrifice: the construction of temples, chief's houses and sacredcanoes, or an installation rites of a chief..."

"Then, as now, the best cuts went to the chiefs and priests", commentsa laconically bored to death intellectually looking hotel guest, who apparentlystudied cannibalism in detail. "Christians never wiped cannibalism out, anyway.They just changed the menu. The rich here don't have to stick forks to the humanbody, anymore. There are different ways how to kill, destroy or consume human being."

I don't know the answers to the questions raised by the taxi driver in Savusavu.All I am certain of is that there are more and more fences, barbed wires and gatesin both Asia and Pacific. And that the gap between the rich and desperately pooris deepening at alarming speed, while we are told that everything is fine, thatwe should enjoy traveling, that we should all love each other and live happily andharmoniously under wise guidance of the markets and free trade.

ANDRE VLTCHEK: novelist, journalist, playwright and filmmaker. Editorial Directorof Asiana Press Agency (www.asiana-press-agency.com), co-founder of Mainstay Press(www.mainstaypress.org), publishing house for political fiction. His latest novel- "Point of No Return" - describes life of war correspondents and cynicismof post-colonial arrangement of the world. Andre lives in Asia and South Pacificand can be reached at:



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Re Posting Tumeke's blog: Fiji coup "new legal order" repercussions.[Update]

ThanksTumeke for again being right on point with this article which really ties in what Raw Fiji News ran on its blog titled "Army still wants Adolf Khaiyum out : Coup Four Point Five".

These regime seems to be ducking for cover and looking for ways to 'right their wrongs' it appears. Its lets wait and see says the resilient Fiji people who patiently watches these regime play on centre stage. But for how long is on evryone's lips now? The clock ticks while Fiji & people wait for that doom's day which is not so far away as predicted by those veteran bloggers monitoring Fiji's saga.
Luvei Viti Think Tank group
----------------------------------------------------------------------
read more from Tumeke's:

This is a thug regime run by witless bullies and a treacherous, rogue Attorney-General behind the scenes conducting it all - with a Christchurch lawyer as his right-hand man. And this is all part of what they are signing off on. Arbitrary arrests, disappearances, incommunicado detention, the list goes on. --]






The Attorney-General is the one behind the coup and the "new legal order" that has purportedly superseded the constitution.

He's the one making it all happen. Unfortunately his right-hand man, the Solicitor-General, is a NZ lawyer and is collaborating with this military junta and the string-pulling Attorney-General.

It's incredibly sordid. Some of the old judges who sold out and have sworn their treasonous oaths to a junta that has as it's defining centre piece policy never having an election again are now bleating that the anarchy they have enabled is having personal costs to them. They are complaining.

They are lucky the NZ authorities don't arrest them. They are lucky they are all not struck off the law society's lists - but , oh, that's right - they abolished that in Fiji too. They can manipulate things inside Fiji, but there's no reason the NZ government should let them get away with it when they come back here and pretend they aren't part of an illegal and anti-democratic military government who have torn up the constitution.

They are part of the problem. It is their decision to join the regime - plenty haven't.

Ideally, they should be arrested on Fijian warrants for treason or swearing an illegal oath or whatever the relevant Fijian crimes are - signed by the appropriate judiciary still sworn under the Fijian constitution - and acted upon in NZ. NZ should hold these treasonous suspects for the future constitutional government of Fiji to deal with when it is restored - they can be repatriated to face the constitutional judicial process of Fiji once one has been re-established.

Via: wires yesterday. Lectures on media freedom from the Attorney-General.
Note the huge difference between the censored and self-censoring above .fj article and the tone of the context of the .org report:
















The absurdity of this thuggery. From an rss feed at the time of the latest coup (Fiji's fifth?):






From a Fiji news report a month or so back when they had men from the military over their shoulders and couldn't report on anything at all with any perceived potential political connotation or suggestion:
posted by Tim Selwyn

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Foreign Diplomatic Relationship with Fiji Hits Bottom of the Barrel: "Fiji's Self Elected Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama Botches Again!!"

By Luvei Viti Think Tank group@ myvuw
Fiji people really need to take an intensive close look at the damage this regime is doing to Fiji's relations with Foreign Nations more so now with the most recent announcement. Frank Bainimarama, coup leader, now self elected Prime Minister of Fiji, has again expressed pointedly negative views about the two big Pacific neighboring Nations, New Zealand & Australia.

Is this another Faux-par?
Certainly not, Bainimarama, as Fiji coup leader, together with his 'inner circle' had the concept of insulting both these two Nations in their back pockets and had been been noted to be 'drip feeding' hints overtime in the recent months.
These Fiji regimes' arrogant and proud prickly ' inner circle' had the notion that it cannot be seduced into dancing the same tune with these two Nations. This attitude is very 'UN-FIJIAN' and anyone in their right mind and who are from Fiji will know what we are implying here.
The thrust of the recent announcement to expel foreign diplomats in Fiji and who are from New Zealand & Australia by Bainimarama resonates these points and can almost be likened to that of what happened in India during the British rule, quote, "transfer of power in India, and the collection and publication of the papers of many key Indian players in the processes of decolonisation."as observed in 'Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India, by Stanley Wolpert'
We believe, it must be noted, to those who may not be aware of the complexities of the relationship within the Fiji societies more so between the Indigenous Fijians and Fiji Indians exists vast range of differences in their thinking and attitudes towards Leadership and Governance. Fiji's Colonial Masters saw this and knew that the two races were 'poles apart' and may very well pose big problems in the future as is the current state, if it does not get reigned in. Fiji's late leaders were able to maintain peace in their effort to master this by exercising their insight, forbearance, consistency, perserverance, persistence and constancy.
Was Trouble Brewing in Fiji?
100 years plus after Fiji's Deed of Cession & ultimately its Independence from Great Britain in 1970 Fiji has enjoyed being guided into civilization under the British Rule. Did the Brits know about these impending issues that will one day haunt Fiji as it is doing now? Perhaps the learned ones or those valued thoughts from 'Turaga ni Vanua' (s) and Fiji elders, who are often forgotten, can point a way for us in this instance.
The fact is, Bainimarama & his 'inner circle' have driven Fiji far deeper into trouble, jeopardizing the Nations relationship not only with New Zealand and Australia but the Commonwealth Nations and other Super Powers within the International Communities. In a nutshell, Fiji's future generation will have to work extra hard to rebuild a Free & Better Fiji from the remnants of these two decades of Coup de tats and their type of governance. Meanwhile, how will Bainimarama & his regime regenerate confidence in their leadership?
Is Fiji weakening its Government to Government Diplomacy?
As noted by a US expert [PHK] in Whirledview, quote,
"Government-to-government diplomacy is an ancient and essential function, but public diplomacy is a newer tool that only governments with good things to share and relatively little to hide can use effectively. As the diplomatic tool par excellence of democracy, public diplomacy operates by precept and example.
Public diplomats disseminate information that can stand up to critical or even hostile examination—and when truth penetrates secretive or corrupt regimes the hold of tyranny erodes. Conversely, should an exemplar of good governance fall into patterns of deceit, dishonesty, abuse of power, corruption or hypocrisy, the way back is difficult. Credibility has been lost. " unquote.
Indeed, one can only deduce for themselves the outcome of Frank Bainimarama's most recent outburst on its bigger neighboring Nations, New Zealand & Australia.
--------------------------------
Read more about Australian's take on Bainimarama's recent Diplomatic Botch.
Excerpts of article below:
"Fiji expels Australia's top diplomat."
BRENDAN NICHOLSON AND JOEL GIBSON, November 4, 2009
AUSTRALIA is expected to formally expel a senior Fijian envoy today after Fiji's self-appointed Prime Minister ordered the high commissioners of Australia and New Zealand out of his country.
Commodore Frank Bainimarama said yesterday that he had told his Foreign Affairs Ministry to tell the Australian and New Zealand governments to recall their heads of missions within 24 hours.
"I have also informed them that our high commissioner in Australia is to be recalled with immediate effect,'' Commodore Bainimarama said.
Australian high commissioner James Bartley and New Zealand's acting high commissioner, Todd Cleaver, were expected to leave within hours.

Asked last night if he would formally order Fiji's acting high commissioner, Kamlesh Kumar Arya, to leave, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said he would make a considered decision today.
Mr Smith said he was very disappointed by Commodore Bainimarama's actions.
''It is very difficult to engage in dialogue when the other side won't have a conversation with you,'' Mr Smith said last night on Lateline."
In the same article, Michael Field & Tracy Watkins says this for NZ's reaction,
read on;
"Mr McCully said yesterday that he was disappointed at Fiji's action, which came as New Zealand and Australia had been making efforts to improve relations.
Australia had recently stepped up its representation and New Zealand had been considering similar moves.
Commodore Bainimarama accused both countries of being dishonest.
"They claim to be our friends yet on the other hand they failed to recognise the efforts that we are making in being a good international citizen,'' he said.

"That is why I cannot understand why Australia and NZ are engaged in dishonest and untruthful strategies, to undermine our judiciary, our independent institutions and our economy.''
The announcement came two days after Fiji's Australian Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, said Australia and New Zealand had counselled seven Sri Lankan judges against taking up appointments in Fiji.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the judges were merely advised that once appointed they would be subject to travel bans in place since April when Fiji's constitution was abrogated and the judiciary sacked.

It said travel bans had been relaxed in the past on humanitarian grounds.
Some of the Sri Lankan judges were due to arrive in Fiji on Monday via South Korea, after they cancelled their planned transit through Australia, thinking that they would not be allowed in.
With MICHAEL FIELD and TRACY WATKINS
Source:
The Age

Monday, November 2, 2009

Is Fiji's Military leader becoming Trapped by some Viscious Cycle which he cannot Escape From? Or Has He Missed the Plot? More on Fijigirl's Blog.

Fiji PM says Pacific grouping to strengthen

Posted on October 30, 2009 by fijigirl

Fiji’s interim Prime Minister says he is being encouraged by some Pacific Island Forum nations to include them in next year’s Melanasian Spearhead Group meeting. It is Fiji’s turn to chair the MSG next year, and it is considering giving observer status to some island nations outside the group to enable them to attend the meeting.

Traditionally MSG membership is restricted to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. But since Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth, Fiji is barred from meetings such as PACER Plus.

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama says Fiji’s needs a forum to discuss issues of common interest to the whole region.

Presenter: Geraldine CouttsSpeaker: Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji’s interim Prime Minister

BAINIMARAMA: What is happened is a couple of leaders of the rest of the Pacific Island nations have come to see me, saying that there is now no forum for us to talk bilaterally and multilaterally, so they thought it would be a good idea if we they can talk to us in a forum such as that. Fiji will be chairing the MSG next year, so there has been some suggestion that in that MSG, I could also invite the rest of the Pacific Island nations to come as observers, not only as observers, but also be an opportunity for us to discuss issues that affects us.

COUTTS: So that you would conduct your own Pacific Island Forum without Australia and New Zealand?

BAINIMARAMA: No, no, I would be conducting the MSG Grouping meeting, but we will be inviting the rest of the Pacific Island nations, because that is what they want me to do.
COUTTS: Who wants you do to that?

BAINIMARAMA: I’m sorry, I am not at liberty to let you know, but the fact of the matter is that I have been approached by a couple of them to say that it would be a good idea for me to call them as observers, so that we can have a forum to talk on issues affecting a whole lot of us, including Fiji. As you know, we have been removed from the forum, so there is no forum that we can all talk.

COUTTS: It does seem that you want to get everybody together, the Pacific Island nations, including the MSG and hold talks of your own that would be similar to that of the forum?

BAINIMARAMA: Yes.

COUTTS: Who approached you? I know you cannot talk?

BAINIMARAMA: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I am not at liberty to tell you

COUTTS: Yeah, I understand that, but I was just wondering because you met with a lot of the MSG leaders for a golf tournament recently, was this what was discussed then?

BAINIMARAMA: Yes, but remember I also met a lot of Pacific Island nation leaders in New York a month back.

COUTTS: So will Australia and New Zealand be invited to the forum meeting when you host or chair the MSG next year?

BAINIMARAMA: No, no, this is MSG meeting, it is not a forum meeting. It is not a Pacific Island Forum meeting. It’s a MSG meeting which Fiji will be chairing next year and so there has been a suggestion which I take very seriously in inviting the rest of the Pacific Island nation, countries to come and be observers, that way it would be an opportunity for us to talk as a group on matters affecting Fiji and the rest of the Pacific Island nations, because there is no forum such as that now.

COUTTS; That includes Fiji?

BAINIMARAMA: That’s includes Fiji.

COUTTS: So have you sent out the invitations yet for this meeting?

BAINIMARAMA: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I need to talk further on that with the rest of the MSG group.

COUTTS: And so will you restrict it, when you send out the invitations, will it include countries other than Forum island countries, like the northern Pacific, would you invite them as well?

BAINIMARAMA: I really don’t know what we’re going to do in the next 12 months, before we have this meeting. But if the meeting ever comes up, then of course it will be made public.
COUTTS: So what kinds of issues would you like to discuss, that you feel that you haven’t been able to discuss?

BAINIMARAMA: Well issues, issues that also includes Fiji, but which we don’t have a forum to talk in right now.

COUTTS: So because Fiji is suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth. You have tried to find another outlet so you can have discussions, so you can proceed. Is this is the first step for you actually saying you don’t want to be part of those organisations again?

BAINIMARAMA: Well no, we just want to continue talking with the rest of the Pacific Island nations and I guess with the rest of the Commonwealth countries. If we are suspended from Australia and New Zealand forum, I am sure there are other ways we can move forward without getting too involved in what Australia and New Zealand wants.

COUTTS: Now funding is always an issue and a lot of the funding comes from Australia and New Zealand and also from the EU. There is a story that is going around at the moment that the EU has offered Fiji a parcel of money, in excess of 200 million dollars, but Fiji has turned that down?

BAINIMARAMA: Eh I really don’t know that at this stage. No-one has offered Fiji any of that kind of amount in the last two, three months.

COUTTS: But money that has been offered, and Fiji turned it down because of the conditions attached?

BAINIMARAMA: No, as I said, I don’t know any of that type of offer. I have never been offered any of that kind of funds in the last, or Fiji has not been offered any kind of that funds in the last six months.

COUTTS: And is Fiji looking to the association of small island states for more support, because it seems after the climate change meetings, a round of the that some of the Pacific Island nations are adopted positions that more closely align those of the small island states, than it does the forum nations statements on climate change?

BAINIMARAMA: Well, you must understand that we share the same problems in climate change. Fiji and the rest of the Pacific Island nations, small island nations like Fiji.

COUTTS: So are they getting together on a formal basis then to make a presentation in Copenhagen with the Association of small island states

BAINIMARAMA: We are going to go to Copenhagen, with our own agenda, the agenda that has been endorsed by the small island nation forum in New York.

COUTTS: And s o what will you be putting to Copenhagen when you go?

BAINIMARAMA: Well, what we discussed in New York and that was what was discussed by the small island nations. But you must understand that we come from the same area. Geraldine, I have got something coming up very soon, so can we finish this off now?

COUTTS: Certainly, may I ask you one more question? You have appointed now Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as your president. When will that happen and for how long will he remain president?

BAINIMARAMA: Initially for three years, so the cabinet people will be coming up in the next cabinet meeting on Tuesday and we will finalise all those issues.

COUTTS: So can we expect to see a vice president appointed shortly?

BAINIMARAMA: Eh no, there will be no vice-president.

Fiji Girl's comments below;

Oh brother. So we got thrown out of the Commonwealth, the Pacific Forum, the ACP sugar benefits, and countless other international alliances and aid programmes so that this idiot could be the small fish in the MSG.
Fresh, free and fair elections NOW.

God bless Fiji

Bula, No'oia, Kia Ora, Warm Greetings, Namaste

Children of Fiji & Friends of Fiji

Children of Fiji & Friends of Fiji
Down memory lane

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