Monday, March 29, 2010

The Voice of the People & Return Fiji to Elections.

Date: Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 7:45 AM

Subject: Letter to all in the Interim Regime
This letter has been sent to all those in the Interim government as a petition/warning/request for them to consider the voice of the people and return Fiji to elections. The letter is being circulated internally by a few people on the ground, and they will try to send copies to all that are directly involved and also those who are indirectly participating in the illegal adminstration.

After this, we will await their response before we launch our second plan that we have promised to deliver this year. and I will encourage all those who are behind the movement to commit now as Fiji is sinking into economic, political, spiritual and social quicksand.

Me da yadra mai ragone, sa davo na Matanitu, davo na Lotu, davo na vanua, me da duri na Kai Viti.
Canberra, ACT. 15th March 2010

This letter serves as a reminder of your untenable position in this illegal regime. As such it is also a request for you to reconsider your position by taking into account the ramifications of your contribution to our Nation.

It has been three years and two months since the Regime took over the democratically elected SDL government. In that time, a lot of things have happened with most bearing negative results. As you might be aware, a petition was handed over to the Interim Prime Minister by the Nadaku family, demanding a return to the polls this year. That petition was accompanied by a letter with representation of more than 600,000 citizens and friends of Fiji who endorsed the idea.

The recent UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was also of the idea that Fiji’s human rights violations has to stop, and that a democratically elected government was in the best interest of the people and the economy of the country.

There was unanimous vote from the council that Fiji lacked basic human rights and the need for the restoration of democracy was extensive.

The Commonwealth, PIF, EU, Australia, NZ have isolated themselves from Fiji as a result of the takeover and will only fully commit to Fiji’s recovery if the requested election took place this year.

This letter serves as a follow up to the petition, and the peoples’ voice has been heard.
If you ignore this request than it could be used against you later in a court of law, as you have been advised and forewarned about the illegal administration you are serving.I am requesting that you forfeit your position in this administration and refrain from taking part in further activities proposed by this interim government. Your participation does not assist our country in any way but rather confirms your position as a coup apologist.

The state of the country’s economy, the world’s concern, increasing isolation from our Pacific Island neighbours, the sugar industry and EU funding are but just a few of these reasons for an election that the Regime is ignoring, choosing to upgrade infrastructure which has seen them go on a borrowing spree.

Their request for a $1billion loan from the IMF compounds this. The Nation cannot afford to be like this any longer. The longer we have this Regime running the government the longer the people will suffer and our state of affairs deteriorate
Colonel D

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ethnicity has a Significant Correlation to Business Success says Dr Mere Samisoni.

Written by Dr Mere Samisoni.
A mother, grandmother, astute business woman, an academic, wellknown elected politician in Fiji during PM Qarase's Government until coup 2006 by Frank Bainiramama. Dr Samisoni cites both 'Timmons’ Entrepreneurial Process Model' & the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna's famous 'Three Legged Stool' theory in her thesis, giving us a parallel view of both concepts. We congratulate Dr Samisoni for such a well written piece. It certainly has given us all an indepth insight & a perspective that can be well received in view of her valuable connections to Fijians & being a Fijian herself.
Vinaka. Luvei Viti Think Tank at VUW
International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)/International Trade Centre Workshop on “Economic Opportunities for Pacific Women in Business” 15 -17 March 2010, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Improving Economic opportunities for Pacific Women in Business.

“This presentation will draw on my experiences as a Member of Parliament, successful business woman, Doctoral Dissertation researcher and other relevant life experiences that have helped to shape my past actions and future intentions to increase the opportunities for potential and practicing business women, in Fiji and the Pacific.”

I would like to start with a well-known story from the Gospel of Matthew 25:14-30. This is one of my favorite stories from the Bible because it shows clearly that God gives us the ability to achieve should we choose to do so. I am sure you will recognize the story, known as the Parable of the Talents (or loaned money).
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a rich man traveling to a far
country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately
he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.
Through the Parable of the Talents, Jesus tells us that if you use what is given to you, you can multiply it even more. Interestingly for us, Jesus actually associates the quality of “faithfulness” here with a willingness to take business risks. Whether your talents are physical, intellectual, financial, moral/spiritual or relational, whatever is given to you, however small it is – steward it, invest in it, use it and multiply it. And you will gain back more.

One of the main themes of my presentation today is entrepreneurship. I want to outline the difference between ‘the business perspective’ and ‘the entrepreneurial perspective’. The
business perspective focuses purely on money. It is largely disconnected from the greater public good, or wider public values. The business perspective prioritizes money! Everything else is
secondary. The entrepreneurial perspective on the other hand, has a more holistic, integrated and strategic approach. It takes into account its customers’ values linked, for the empowerment of people. The entrepreneurial perspective acknowledges that people are a resource. It therefore focuses on opportunities that arise from change. But it views those opportunities from a holistic perspective - not only in terms of customer needs and desires, but also their values. And it harvests that information, to create intellectual capital, which can add value and even produce higher profits.

This holistic strategic approach that acknowledges the importance of human values, means the Entrepreneurial perspective will be far more in touch and in tune with the modern world, than the pure profit focus of the Business perspective. In focusing on valuing people (as opposed to purely money), three opportunities arise to support and sustain this perspective. These are leadership, innovation, and integrated markets (linked by data, information and
Leadership refers to two things: 1. Human resources in an Organization (i.e. recognizing talent through motivation, training, ward [Skinner 1971, 2002; Miner 1971, 1978]), and; 2. Leadership of the Organization that focuses employee efforts, business systems and process on customer
demand and values.
Innovation refers to innovation in products and use of resources, both financial and information.
Integrated Markets refers to access to market information based on market differentiation (which includes finding new markets within your customer base). I will discuss these in more depth throughout the presentation.

An entrepreneurial perspective will acknowledge that its production and existential activities are linked, to impact the surrounding world. These impacts happen on many levels: in the personal
sphere of the entrepreneur at individual level, in the organization itself and in the surrounding community. Therefore the entrepreneurial organization has an impact personally, nationally,
regionally and globally through leadership, information management and process levels. Throughout this presentation I will refer to these multi-level impacts (Gartner & Brush 2003), which are simultaneous and “wave-like” (Toffler 1980). This is also, known as “clustering and networking” Carlsson & Mudambi 2003; Bolton & Thompson 2004; Porter 1990, 2006; Drucker 2005, 2008; Morris, Kuratko & Covin 2008.

There is a lot of theory involved in the materials I will discuss here, but I don’t want to focus too much on the background theory, so please note there is a bibliography.

The world, in which we Pacific women in business operate today, is a very different one from what we grew up in. The proliferation of Information Communication Technology or ICT (Sexton and Landstrom 2000) has changed the world. Easier access to information, global markets and social networks in cyberspace, have all been catalysts offering opportunities to entrepreneurs to
innovate, using ‘human values as capital’ (van Praag 1996; Arendt, cited in Porter 2002; de Bruin and Dupuis 2003).
The business perspective accepts money as the only form of ‘capital’ that really matters. But under an entrepreneurial perspective, ‘capital’ is not only financial, but can also be social,
economic, technical, moral, ethical, spiritual, political and informational. The main issue is to figure out how to link up, cultivate, utilize and leverage this capital for added value priorities.

There is something else that is important with this entrepreneurial perspective. In fact it is a distinguishing characteristic of the entrepreneurial spirit. You may have heard the saying “There is no such thing as failure. There are only early attempts at success”. Entrepreneurs look at business opportunities in a way that allows them to fail, but in learning from that failure, it takes them one step closer to success. It is also highly entrepreneurial to always have an
exit strategy. That will help ensure you live to fight another day. If a plan does not work, try something new. The ability to fail and start again by learning from the business disappointments in the market is a key process to sustaining successful business practice.

To give you a practical example of this, look at Hot Bread Kitchen, my own company. People look at Hot Bread Kitchen as a successful organization, and that is what we are. But we are successful
because all along the way we have had little failures from which we have been able to recover, learn with positive reinforcement and keep moving forward.

A common problem in the Pacific, something I am sure every person in this room has faced, is theft. Sadly, it happens. When it happens in my company, we have learned from past mistakes and developed a system of managing the tangibles as well as the intangibles – the what’s and the why’s.
We have positive reinforcement for those employees who work hard and do not steal. For those who do steal, we have a very strict but fair counseling and discipline procedure. We do it this way because human values are important. You look after the good in your people and they will look after you. You are fair to them, and they will be fair to you. It is called role modeling.
This human resource management philosophy may sound simple here in this room, but putting it into practice day in day out must be a conscious process that is followed up within the company on a daily basis.

This inculcation and reinforcement of positive values at the grassroots is significant since entrepreneurship itself is nothing if not the triumph of human values (persistence, improvement) over the volatility of the market.

Now a worldwide phenomenon, entrepreneurship entails the idea that there are certain persons, perhaps only about 5-10% of the general populace, who, due either to natural make-up or
environmental upbringing, are dreamers, planners and, most importantly, innovators. They universally possess the drive, the focus and the resourcefulness to get a project from dream to
business plan, to financial backing to implementation. And they have the resilience to persistently pursue this process, through failure after failure, but always learning, until they hit commercial ‘pay dirt’. They build ‘win-win’ relationships within the business context to sustain business success. From this core value, evolve emotional intelligence or maturity (Naboro-Baba 2006; Goleman 1998; Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee 2002) to an authentic leadership style (Goffee & Jones’ 2000, 2005) that is positive, entrepreneurial and dynamic.

am an elected Member of Parliament of the Government of Fiji. As you all know, our government was illegally deposed in a military coup-d’etat in 2006. My countrymen and women, both at home and abroad, look forward to the day when Fiji returns to democracy. As a member of Parliament, my life skills and experiences working with indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand, were invaluable in helping me gain insights into the plight of indigenous peoples in a westernizing world, and how we can best lift ourselves above the dependent poverty line.
How, can we, empower our poor? You will have heard the saying ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for one meal. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.’ Fiji’s legally elected overnment, with its multi-party cabinet, had in place strategic development plans to achieve this. According to the current illegal military regime, these plans were “racist” and they are fond of accusing our
elected government of racism.

The same leadership style, of raping our democratic human right to elect our representatives in Parliament continues today through media censorship, human rights abuses, Public Emergency
Regulations, dismantling of the Great Council of Chiefs, prohibitions on the Methodist Church, and governing by illegal decrees to name a few. The aim of the IIR is to remove race-based politics. The IIR is practicing negative reinforcement. One of the main pillars of my
thesis rests on the work of Skinner (1971) who argued for the benefits of positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement.

Let me explain an important point, because it is as relevant in your own countries as it is in Fiji. Race and ethnicity is important to personal identity. Race, or ethnicity, is a fact of life. It is an
objective reality that can be counted, measured and incorporated in the strategic business plan.

Race is a reliable demographic differentiator for national statistics in research and development design. It is vital, to form strategic development plans or Affirmative Action policies. In my Doctoral research, which I will touch on later, I proved that ethnicity has a significant correlation to business success by employment, profit and survival of the firm.

Racism, on the other hand, is subjective and basically boils down to an unfounded belief that races can be intrinsically inferior or superior to one another. Likewise, racism can also contend that a person is inferior or superior by virtue of their race.

In Fiji, there are two main races: Indigenous Fijians (58%), Indo-Fijians (37%) and the 5% balance is made up of minority groups including Europeans, Part-Europeans and other Pacific Islanders. Fiji’s market rests on a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multireligious base with distinct cultural and ethnic preferences.

The statistics for Indigenous Fijians (IF) are appalling. In the Ministry of Health Report 2004, infant mortality (IM) for IF, in the decade from 1993 – 2003, rose from 58% to 69.8%. In other
words, 69.8% more indigenous babies were dying in their first year of life than 10 years before. By contrast, Indo-Fijian IM fell from 37.6% to 26.6% during the same period. In 1994, IM accounted for 42% of all deaths. By 2003, 83.2% (83%) of all deaths were due to
These types of statistics are crucial to finding a way to beat poverty.

Similar patterns were identified in other areas of health for IF: HIV and Aids rose between 1989 and 2004 by 84%; 91% of reported Gonorrhea cases in 1995 and 84% of reported cases in 2004; 88% of syphilis in 1995 and 87% in 2004. These depressing statistics are echoed again in prison population demographics, to show that we IF are in crisis.
Meanwhile, the IIR is trying to eradicate ethnic measurement from all systems of government. This “head in the sand” approach is not any kind of solution. At worst, it could become a form of virtual ethnic cleansing by omission, because whether the regime bothers to monitor or ignore it, our situation will only get worse. We are neither inferior nor superior to any other race. We have strengths and weaknesses, but without interventionist type policies (Verhuel, Audretsch, Thurik & Wennekers 2002), we are in trouble and will continue to be a source of political instability and a liability to the state, and therefore the region.
We know from examples overseas that interventionist type policies can work. For instance, in North America, in 2008 the Centre for Women Business Research (CWBR) announced 10.1 million Women-Owned Firms (WOF - 50% or more owned by women) employed 13
million people and generated $2 trillion in annual revenue. Thesefirms represented 40% of all firms or corporations in the USA. Many of these firms could credit affirmative action policies as either helping to grow, or even start, their businesses.
In April 2009, new data collected by CWBR showed that Women of Color (WOC) owned 2.3 million businesses, representing 1.7million employees and generating $239billion in annual revenues. But these firms are not achieving the same level of success when measured by revenue and employment. WOC business have great un-tapped potential for economic and social impact that will only be realized once research can clearly identify the specific challenges
faced by WOC, and develop targeted programmes and policies to remove those barriers.

The Strategic Development Plans (SDP 2002-2011), which our elected government of Fiji had introduced, cataloged the needs of those it intended to help by their race. The plans did not exclude other races. I will say that again. THE PLANS DID NOT EXCLUDE OTHER RACES. All disadvantaged communities in Fiji were specifically addressed under the Social Justice Act 2001 and the 1997 Constitution (now purportedly abrogated). The illegal regime’s accusations of racism against our elected government are disingenuous, over-played, and are simply a propaganda, a red herring to distract from their own illegality and illegitimacy. Denying ethnicity in this context is as wasteful as taking your one talent and burying it.

I had always enjoyed school, and in my nursing studies I was a very enthusiastic student. But, family came first, and so my academic studies were put on hold. After the children had all left home and the Hot Bread Kitchen was well established, I felt the time was right to give myself another shot at academic studies. I took business studies units at the University of the South Pacific, and enrolled in the first Master of Business Administration cohort. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it wasn’t enough for me and a few years after that I was able to enroll for the Doctorate of Business Administration studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. My dissertation looked at the success factors of entrepreneurs and I was able to identify 185 universal success factors and their local market indicators for Fiji. I wanted to show why it is that some business people succeed where others do not. I used Timmons 1999
Entrepreneurial Process Model as a basis for the research and found it dovetailed nicely with Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna’s indigenous social model for Fijian knowledge (epistemology), language and culture, known as the Three Legged Stool (1980).

My dissertation is available to whoever wants to read it, but basically my main findings of universal success factors that are relevant for Fiji entrepreneurs, are: employment; turnover/profit; ICT leverage; innovation; opportunity; source of capital; loan equity
to capital; loan structure of the firm, motivation (satisfaction, own capital, work from home, own boss); type and size of business; age of firm; religion; products; and communication.
Local market indicators, which measure these universal success factors, are: education type and level; race/ethnicity; diversity and emergence of markets; religion; pricing policy; teambuilding
leadership management styles, and; board of directors experience.
Success factors and their market indicators highlight the good business practices and qualities that integrate these important factors into the strategic business plan and its exit strategy.

For these reasons, the main characteristics of successful organizations, identified for Fiji are: high-tech/high-growth/highmoral firms with a turnover range from $50,000:00 to $1.9M per
annum; employ a range of 1-99 staff; and target a gross profit margin of 20-49%.
Given that Indigenous Fijians (IF) make up 58% of the population and own 93% of land and sea resources, leveraging the strengths and social networks of IF cultural, ethnic and religious society, will open up market opportunities and differentiate competitive advantage. Certainly, the prospects for leadership, innovation and market opportunities in State, Indigenous and Community Entrepreneurship (de Bruin & Dupuis 2003) are achievable in the context of Fiji’s pre-coup SDP (2002-2011)

Figure 1.3: The entrepreneurial process model [Refer original pdf file]
Timmons’ Entrepreneurial Process Model recognizes the internal “brand value” of trust based relationships, from soft social capital (van Praag 1996). It interfaces in the vernacular with Ratu Sukuna’s three-legged stool. The legs represent: 1. Kalou (God or spiritual identity and transcendent values that build win-win relationships, teams and leadership); 2. Matanitu (government or administrative leadership to access market opportunity)and 3. Vanua (land and sea resources, accessed through information and finances).

If implemented in a proper business plan, Ratu Sukuna’s social model has potential to leverage the collectivist/holistic culture and knowledge base of the IF market via its own social capital
foundation into a more entrepreneurial dynamic within the Internet age. This will be, to both Fiji’s, and the IF’s competitive, comparative and collaborative advantage (Porter 2006; OECD
2007). In this process, Skinner (2002) like Ratu Sir Lala (1980) recommended cultural literacy as key to understanding and tolerance between ethic groups.
My finding on race or ethnicity (Samisoni 2008) was significantly correlated with business success by employment, profit and survival of firms. Gender was not significant though.
The significant correlation of race/ethnicity and religious diversity to entrepreneurial business success in Fiji should be celebrated. It needs to be viewed as a metaphor of eco-biodiversity where all life has a place in an “open friendly system and environment” where “win-win” relationships predominate to benefit public good.

I learned about freedom of choice and empowerment from early childhood, watching my divorced mother cope with 6 children on a meager £6 a month family allowance from my father. My dear mother’s upbringing was based on bible teachings and principles of Christian love, since she herself only attended formal school education up to class 3. My grandparents on Mother’s side were lay preachers, of Tongan and English ancestry.

My mother’s moral and spiritual “soft” capital has stood me in good stead throughout my life – from the dusty paths of the village, to my studies overseas, to raising my own family, to running my own business, and to representing my constituents in Parliament. My mother taught me important lessons about human values.

If there is one thing I would want you to remember about my talk, it is that human values have a vital place in the world of business today. The old paradigm, where money is seen as the be-all and end-all, is coming to an end. Innovation and understanding of markets based on human values, brings a moral compass back into our business decision-making process. It centers and balances the “risks and benefits” to sustain our humanity in the business model.

In closing, the one piece of advice I would give you today is on authentic Leadership. “Always be true to yourself first”. Stephen R. Covey’s (2005) quote, comes to mind. He said, "Putting first things first means organizing and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you."
8. Thank you, Tenkiu tru, Tanggio tumas, Tank yu tumas, Malo, Mahalo, Fa’afetai tele, Ko rabwa, Sulang, Kanlangan, Faka’aue, Dhan bhat and Vinaka.
Samisoni 2008, Factors Influencing Entrepreneurial Success In Fiji:
What are their implications? Thesis URL site: 66

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TVNZ says New Zealand ready to help battered Fiji [Click to watch TVNZ video clip]

New Zealand is ready to help Fiji as soon as Cyclone Tomas passes and damage can be assessed.
Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully say help was on stand-by for the battered Pacific country.

"Obviously we are going to wait for the storm to pass through for a damage assessment to be undertaken, and then at that point we will go on and look at what they options are for New Zealand," Key says.
"But it would be my expectation that if there is as significant damage as we anticipate, that New Zealand would step up and help Fiji. We did that recently and would be there to help our friends in Fiji again."

McCully says "we've got everything on standby".
read more;
It is noble for Aotearoa to be ready to step in and help Fiji after assessing the cyclone damage, as echoed by both the Prime Minsiter John Key & Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Hon Mr McCully.
Thank you New Zealand.
Luvei Viti Team.

Monday, March 8, 2010

'Vinaka' & Thank you:'Commonwealth Conversation Team' for your Leadership in this Forum for Commonwealth Family

Dear Commonwealth Team,
Please, accept this as our sincere thanks for having put together such a vibrant forum where all people from all walks of life were given the opportunity to connect and share their thoughts about being in or out of the Commonwealth.

It was an honour & priviledge for Luvei Viti (Children of Fiji) Community in Aotearoa & those Fiji people from Fiji & around the world who sent in their emails and blogs to be submitted with our report to the Commonwealth Conversation Team. Just knowing that we can look back in time and know that CC team had given us this valuable opportunity to share our thoughts and aspirations about the Commonwealth is a blessing in disguise.

Compiling those reports & trying to meet the deadline for October 2009 was a challenge in itself. For those of us finetuning the final report, the task gave us a sense of achievement and a feeling of belonging to the Commonwealth fold even though when deep down we knew Fiji's membership had a question mark against it. Nevertheless, Zoe & her team guided us through with care, listening & hearing our stories.

Though our troubled, Nation, Fiji is just a blob in Oceania, the Commonwealth Conversation Team gave us the leadership and the platform which enabled us to echo & pen what matters to us on this side of the globe when it comes to the question of being under the Commonwealth. At the very least, we believe, the voices of the ordinary Fiji peope worldwide had been heard.

Thank you for this awesome opportunity. We will follow with keen interest any developments spearheaded by the Commonwealth Conversation Team. The term 'Conversation' has now become a Global Buzz word!!
Vinaka Vakalevu.
Luvei Viti (Children of Fiji) Think Tank Team at VUW.

Read more;
Commonwealth Conversation: Final Report Published.

After eight months of consultation, today we draw the Commonwealth Conversation to a close with the publication of our final report, 'An Uncommon Association, A Wealth of Potential', which sets out ten key recommendations. You can see a Summary of these, or for the more ambitious amongst you, the Full Report online. Below, you can read our press release.

We hope that you will judge these findings to be an accurate representation of all that you have told us over the last few months. We are enormously grateful for the selfless contributions of so many people around the world. Without your enthusiastic participation, this project would not have been possible. The time for talk is now coming to an end. But it is imperative that all those with ambition, those willing to challenge the status quo, those who want to see the Commonwealth thrive over the coming years continue to question, to push, to act.

When we published our draft recommendations on the Conversation website, the mood of one commentator was jubilant: "I'm so happy that we did something and that we are in the process of forming an organisation that considers the public's view with great care and concern. Thank you for letting us participate in all these discussions and for bringing us together." To him we say, this is only the beginning...
The Commonwealth Conversation Team

Weakening Commonwealth needs dose of ambition
The largest-ever public consultation on the future of the Commonwealth concludes with a call for bold reform and greater investment if the 54-member association is to avoid being marginalised in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

'An Uncommon Association, A Wealth of Potential', the final report of the Commonwealth Conversation, is published today to coincide with annual Commonwealth Day celebrations around the world.

Once a major player on the world stage, the report argues that the association has neither the clout nor the resources to fulfil its potential. Its official institutions, charged with promoting development and democracy across its member states, have a workforce half a percent of the United Nations and an annual budget one percent of that of the UK Department for International Development. The Secretariat's budget has dropped by 21 percent in real terms within the last twenty years, despite the number of Commonwealth members rising from 48 to 54.

The report also argues that additional funding will be no panacea. The association is perceived as failing to live out its values and principles. Bolder leadership, more ambition and innovation, and a better use of its unique strengths will be crucial to its long-term survival.

Run by The Royal Commonwealth Society between July 2009 and March 2010, the Commonwealth Conversation gathered the opinions of tens of thousands of people through a range of methods including a website, opinion polling, surveys, events and online focus groups. Its final report contains ten recommendations for the whole Commonwealth "family":

1. The Commonwealth must "walk the talk" on the values and principles it claims to stand for.

2. The Commonwealth needs stronger leadership if it is to have a meaningful voice on world affairs.

3. The Commonwealth is often seen as anachronistic and fusty. It needs to become bolder and much more innovative in the ways that it works.

4. To attract more investment and correct misperceptions of being largely ceremonial, the Commonwealth needs to prove its worth by measuring and demonstrating its impact.

5. The Commonwealth must stop spreading its limited resources too thinly and instead identify and exploit its unique strengths.

6. Greater investment is needed if the Commonwealth is to fulfil its potential.

7. The Commonwealth is a complex association. It must clearly communicate its identity, purpose and achievements in an accessible way.

8. Lengthy Commonwealth communiques and statements appear unfocused and unattainable. They must be used to set priorities.

9. The Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments. The interaction between the two requires significant improvement.

10. The Commonwealth is often seen as elitist. It must reach wider, become less insular and engage beyond narrow Commonwealth circles.

Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Dr Danny Sriskandarajah said:

"The Commonwealth needs a bold 21st century makeover. At its founding, Nehru had ambitious hopes that the Commonwealth could bring a "touch of healing" to the world. But, today, the Secretariat's annual budget is less than what British people spend daily on health and beauty products.

More money will help, but to fulfil its potential, the Commonwealth must make more innovative use of its resources and networks. I hope the results of this consultation will act as the catalyst for change."
What will happen to the website?
The Commonwealth Conversation website will be maintained as an archive for the foreseeable future, so that all the content and your comments can continue to be accessed.

For more up-to-date information about the ongoing work of the RCS, see

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Infamous Cassava Patch Hero from Fiji!!

One only need to google search Fiji news and instantly get loads of hit stories regarding the attemtpted 'bonoci' of Bainimarama's dash for the 'tapioka' patch. Is'nt that shameful that it has come to this level.
The regime in Fiji has indeed made sure that this story line hits the press in a big way. So what is the fuss all about? This is a well staged act by the regime to make such big sing-song about this issue. Who cares!! Fiji people will be more interested in what happens to the people being named and charged. After all the hardship Frank Bainimarama has caused the Fiji people will forever hang over Bainimarama's head now for the rest of his life.
Most Fiji people would like to just get on with their lives, put food on their table for their families, get a job, see normalcy returned to Fiji, bring back democracy, have speedy election etc etc..
It is obvious that Bainimarama & co have chosen well to put this story on centre stage in order to try and justify their actions.
by Support Fiji Democracy Now & Fiji Truth: Na Dina Movement.
P. bula, Make sure na memorial qori me qai biu toka kina nona record na Komada e a cici mai ena keba,Cassava patch Soldier.. Me gauna keda sa yali kina mera kila na nona kawa ni dua na war hero o tukadra(vb),hero dau cici(run) taudua!
► Reply by Norman 2 hours ago
Ni bula.Au varogoca tiko na gauna ni Vakribamalamala ena Viti FM.Qai ulutaga tiko na kena sa mai vakatarai tu ena gauna qo na vawati vaka tagane kei na tagane,yalewa kei na yalewa.Era qai qiri tiko yani na tamata.Na programme dau 1 hr na kena caka tiko.Ia nikua sa 30mins ga..Au kila sa tarovi beka baleta na levu ni tamata era sa qiri tiko yani baleta ni sa levu ga e saqata na vakasama ratou cakava na Matanitu qo.Sa tu na dina!!Levu era qiri yani era sa bai saqata saraga.Sa qai ca tale..
► Reply by SD 2 hours ago
Hours remain for sentencing of 8 men

In less than four hours, the eight men convicted of the charge of conspiracy to murder the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will be sentenced by High Court Judge, Justice Paul Madigan at the Suva High Court.

In their mitigation yesterday, the eight men asked for non-custodial sentences, saying they had played a minimal part in the meetings that were conducted. Several character witnesses were also presented, with the defence counsel and the eight convicted men hoping that non-custodial sentences are handed down today.After the mitigation yesterday, Justice Madigan stressed that he will seriously consider the degree of participation of each of the eight men when considering the appropriate sentences to be handed down.While making submissions on the sentence yesterday, DPP Lawyer David Toganivalu highlighted two previous cases on conspiracy to murder charges, and informed the court that in a case in Australia, two conspirators were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment while in another case for a similar offence, two men were sentenced to 9 and 12 years imprisonment.

Toganivalu stressed to Judge Madigan that the sentences must be a deterrent to the eight men and to others who may be thinking of committing such an act.Justice Madigan questioned Toganivalu on whether he thought there are others who may try such a thing.He replied that there may be like minded people in our struggling communities who must be deterred from trying to carry out such a crime.The eight will be sentenced at 3.30 this afternoon.

► Reply by SD 1 hour ago
Thursday, March 4, 2010

Khan hits out at Madigan commentBallu Khan and his lawyer have denied he had anything to do with the plot to assasinate Frank Banimarama and say he should should not have even been mentioned in the court case against the eight men, who have been found guilty of trying to kill the military leader.

Khan (pictured) told New Zealand media today that it was wrong for Justice Paul Madigan to have linked him to the case yesterday when he found the men guilty.

In delivering the verdict of the five assessors, Justice Madigan said: "I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt each of you conspired with others and Ballu Khan to murder Commodore Bainimarama."
A short time ago, Khan told TV One News the claim was outrageous.

Earlier, he told other media: "We never planned anything, they [the military] came up with the plan and it was like they themselves were planning something. We were the collateral in case something went wrong."

Khan was arrested and severely beaten by authorities two years ago, but won a permanent stay of proceedings against him.

In theory, he cannot be retried, but Fiji courts are working by military decree now and Justice Madigan was appointed under those circumstances.

Justice Madigan accepted evidence from Fiji Military Intelligence that Khan was going to use arms and explosives from New Zealand.

The Fiji High Court was also told the New Zealand High Commission knew of the plot and supported it. The plotting was said to have taken place in Mr Khan's Suva home, which he denies.

Khan's New Zealand lawyer, Peter Williams, QC, travelled to Fiji to help secure Khan's release and bring him back to Auckland. Tonight, he supported Khan's comment the Fiji High Court had no legal evidence to connect him to the failed assasination plot.
Posted by Pacific in the Media

► Reply by SD 1 hour ago
This is what I mentioned before, the shamelessness displayed by the Regime in condemning people even before they are proven guilty in a "proper" court of law. The verdict handed down by the assessors was suspect, with all the wrong statements and perdjury occuring along the way.

There is the residing judge with a not too spectacular record and then there is Bainimarama behind the scene manipulating everyone like puppets on strings.

We await the sentencing by Madigon, and hope the appeal is instantaniously requested. In the meantime, the people of Fiji should be watching this drama with eyes and mind wide open as this is what they have come to accept as the right thing for Fiji now.

When they are silent, the whole world will assume that they are happy with conditions, PER and personal rights violation included.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Delai Nabua Military Goon Squad attacks Fiji Political Parties.


The military goon squad is back in operation behind the cover of darkness last Friday 26th Feb, 2010. At about 9pm a private vehicle drove into the SDL Party office carpark stopped for about 5mns then drove out again. There were people drinking grog at the SDL Party office including two former MP's Samisoni Tikoinasau and Mataiasi Ragigia.

After about 20mns the same vehicle Reg EY 175, Brown in colour returned with another private vehicle with about 10 soldiers full drunk and wreathing of alcohol plus 2 police vehicles with uniformed policemen stormed the SDL Party office and apprehended, abused, swore and assaulted the men who were drinking grog there. A couple sufferred injuries.

The men were taken to the QEB at Nabua and told by one Sgt Vulaono ,a brother of COMPO Esala Teleni to parade like military men and chant a loud that they are rebels of the regime and want to disobey orders of the military. They were accused of aiding and supporting the Hon Laisenia Qarase our former Prime Minister.

After one hour parade the two former MP's were released and told to go home after being forced to walk from the military cells to the main road while the rest were locked up in the military cells and released 5am the next morning.

Sa dri yani turaga naita. Ni qai valiliga cake yani ena nomuni sites.

Loloma bibi,


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

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