Friday, February 19, 2010

PETITION BY A FIJIAN FAMILY TO FIJI'S COUP LEADER.

This is the actual petition,
from SD.


February 18, 2010.

Dear interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama,

We the Nadaku family, write to share our concerns regarding developments in Fiji since the December 5, 2006 military coup. We urge you to ensure the swift transition to an elected government, and call on you and your officials to immediately and publicly make a commitment that fundamental human rights will be respected.
We are particularly concerned that the longer the Interim Government delays the elections, the more we the people will suffer. To deny us the right to elections is contrary to Article 21 of the UDHR which states;

“. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
You are reminded that Fiji is a signatory to the Declaration.
We also note with concern the latest statement by Brigadier Driti who is quoted as saying that any act of civil disobedience by the people of Fiji will be dealt with “severely”.These types of statements only create fear and do not promote a healthy relationship between the government of the day and its people.

We as a family unit are of the view that it is our right as citizens of Fiji to demand for elections this year, and for a swift return to parliamentary democracy.

We therefore urge your IG to make a commitment for elections to be held towards the end of the year, 2010.

We also urge the government of Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, The United Kingdom, Japan, The E.U, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Forum Secretariat and other relevant NGO’s and organizations to continue to pursue the process towards elections this year.

It is our humble opinion that this great nation of ours cannot, must not, continue on the path it is taking today. To do so would only prolong the pain and suffering of our people who cannot stand up to voice their opinion due the Public Emergency Regulations, and the censorship of the media.
Copies of this letter have been sent to the three paramount chiefs of the Kubuna, Tovata and Burebasaga Confederacies, the Methodist Church, Foreign Embassies in Fiji, NGO’s and human rights groups, democracy advocates worldwide, and Fijian Political Parties for their information.
We pray that you will do what is right and just for the people of Fiji, based on the four fundamental principles of democracy, government by the people, active participation of the people, protection of human rights and above all, the rule of law.
Sincerely,

VN,
On behalf of the N. Family.
[nb: name has been suppressed for the safety & security of this family]
c.c.
Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu
Ro Adi Teimumu Kepa
US Embassy
Australia High Com
New Zealand High Com
Japan Embassy
European Union
United Nations
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre
President Methodist Church In Fiji
Mick Beddoes, UPP
Mahen Chaudhary, FLP
Raman Singh, NFP
Laisenia Qarase, SDL
Forum Secretariat
Citizens Constitutional Forum
Media(Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Daily Post, ABC Australia, RNI)
Democracy and Humans Rights Groups

Monday, February 15, 2010

Commonwealth Conversation - More Updates.

Commonwealth Conversation Draft Recommendations:
Have your say
………………………
“We began our consultations in July 2009. In November, we published our emerging findings in a report entitled, Common What? http://www.thecommonwealthconversation.org/2009/11/commonwealth-conversation-emerging-findings-published/
Now, as we prepare our final report, we have pulled Ten Key Recommendations from everything that we have heard. http://www.thecommonwealthconversation.org/draft-commonwealth-conversation-recommendations/
We hope these recommendations point a way forward for the whole Commonwealth family. But are we right?
Tell us what you think... "
The Commonwealth Conversation Team
..............................................
Have your say...Read our 10 recommendations here.
You can let us know what you think by giving each one a thumbs up or a thumbs down. You can also post your comments online. Alternatively, send your thoughts in an email to: conversation@thercs.org. Make sure you comment by Thursday 18 February, so that we can take your feedback into account as we finalise our recommendations and report. These will be published in early March.
Thank you for all your contributions...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

'Vinaka' & well done Fijian 7s Rugby Boys: That was a Rivetting IRB 7s Win.

The 7s Fiji boys have come and gone after having had a stunning performance during their IRB tour in Wellington.
The Fiji Community in Aotearoa more so, Wellingtonians are still reeling from the after effects and excitement of watching these young talented Fijian lads displayed their artful skills on the rugby field.

It was a rivetting win and we are out of words to describe the feelings we felt as we were right there. At the very least, their exceptional performance just took our breath away. It is fair to say, that all the Fiji worries overtime momentarily came to a halt. It was a superb & nail-biting game as the powerful Manu-Samoa (s) nearly dethroned Fiji, however, time was on Fiji's side as Captain Emosi & his boys were the winners at the sound of referee's whistle.
We must add, it was worth the while sitting in for those long Church services both on Monday before the games and on Sunday 7 February, 2010 to farewell the Fiji boys. The opportunity to worship with these young Fijian rugby players, as has been the tradition by the Fijian Methodist Church in Taranaki St., Wellington was awesome.
We thank 'Nai Vakatawa', Mr Niko Bower & his team , for facilitating this service on behalf of all the Fijian Community in Aotearoa.

At the very least, this service cuts across Religious barriers as we all gathered for these special occassions to pray to Divine Providence to shower these Fijian boys with the blessings they need during the 7s week. We wish you well boys in your games in Las Vegas and likewise for other 7s games you are all scheduled to play thereafter. 'Vinaka' & Congratulations from all of us.
Read more;
Ryder - Fiji Sevens bonding better writes UR7s Unlitimate Rugby.

Fiji Sevens star William Ryder believes his country's win at last weekend’s NZI Sevens in Wellington was down to an improvement in the side's team spirit.

The win was Ryder’s first since his comeback with Fiji on the IRB Sevens World Series stage, with the Bua man showing glimpses of his best form in the last three tournaments.

“To win in a Fiji shirt again is really important and to get a win in Wellington was a really big boost for us,” said Ryder speaking to UR7s.

“I don’t think we bonded together as well in Dubai and George but we more together as a squad in Wellington, we’ve worked together as a team and that’s an important difference.”

The backbone to Fiji’s win was the strength of the sides squad with Ryder himself often reduced to cameos at the end of games with the likes of Waisale Beci and Osea Kolinisau gaining starting berths.

With the USA Sevens starting this weekend, Ryder is also all too aware of the difficulties of maintaining standards on back-to-back legs.

“It’s one of the best Fiji squads I’ve been involved with. The second weekend is tough having to pick yourself up and recover from little injuries.

“We are looking forward to some good recovery in the lead up to Vegas. We will need to prove ourselves again and match our performance.”

Fiji coach Iliesa Tanivula feel other sides might want to target Fiji this weekend, following their Wellington win. Tanivula is also hoping his squad can maintain the consistency of performance that is crucial on the IRB stage.

“Winning here won’t make things easier for us as every team now will be very keen to now win in Vegas.They will target us I’m sure and we have to make sure we are ready,” said Tanivula

“It’s something we have worked on and although we have excellent individual players it is about staying together as a team and playing as a group and being consistent. That is the key.”

Both Ryder and Tanivula are excited about the USA Sevens’ move to Las Vegas, regarded as ‘The Entertainment Capital of the World’.

“It is the first time for a lot of these boys in USA, and obviously first time in Vegas too. We want them to enjoy it but keep focused on the job in hand,” said Tanivula.

“Yeah we are looking forward to it having a look at the casinos and clubs after the tournament. It’s exciting. We just need to stay together, stay as one and keep focused on winning again,” added Ryder.

Watch this video in a new windowFiji win 2010 NZI Sevens: Reaction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7hnj5CG6yQ

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Royal Commonwealth Society Commonwealth- Conversation: Latest News!

“The Commonwealth Conversation began in July 2009. Over the course of the past six months, we have heard much which gives us reason for concern, but more which gives us reason to hope. Above all, we have heard criticism and ideas which we believe can be used to construct a stronger Commonwealth for the future. Now, we are pulling together our final recommendations and a report which we will publish in early March. "

The Commonwealth Conversation Team
……………………………………………………………………….......................................................
Get Get Involved...
Who should be in the Eminent Persons Group?

Following the publication of our Emerging Findings, Commonwealth member states mandated the Secretariat to put together an Eminent Persons Group to explore options for Commonwealth reform. But who should be in it?

BBC World Debate, 'The Commonwealth at 60: does it have a future?' In November 2009, we facilitated a BBC World Debate on the future of the Commonwealth.


Is homophobia on the rise in Africa? From Uganda to Malawi, homosexuality has been the subject of much recent debate across the Commonwealth's African member states. What do you think? Is homophobia a growing problem in Africa?

'Alas, still on a shoestring' Is one of the Commonwealth's biggest problems that it is chronically underfunded? Are countries expecting too much from an organistion to which they give too little?

Islam, tolerance and the Commonwealth: Dr Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain talks to the Commonwealth Conversation team. ………………………………………………………………………..................................
And finally...
If you have any more thoughts to share with us on the future of the Commonwealth, or on our Emerging Findings report, 'Common What?',http://www.thecommonwealthconversation.org/2009/11/commonwealth-conversation-emerging-findings-published/

now is the time to do so. Our Final Recommendations will be published in early March and we don't want to miss anything important! Post a comment on our website, or send us an email.
http://www.thecommonwealthconversation.org/
………………………………………………………………………........................

Monday, February 1, 2010

Race v Racism in Fiji [VB's coup, & his ever changing reasons for it, is an expensive exercise in Futility!!]

In this article Florence, a concern Fiji citizen shares her response to the controversial arguments about Race and Racism in Fiji post 2006 coup.

LuveiViti Think Tank @myvuw.
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Read more;

My response to the treatment of Dr. Padma Lal, by the illegal interim regime (IIR) was to defend choice as an individual right - a philosophy, based on freedom, responsibility and diversity. 

ANONYMOUS, your philosophy, context and perspective are rather obscure. We have “crossed swords” on the same issue on a couple of occasions, but it is obvious you do not accept my rights to my own beliefs and values. This is not the first time you have brought up this subject of racism or accused me of it. It is popular accusations among IIR supporters, even though they clearly do not fully understand what it actually means, and are often guilty of the same thing themselves. 


In fact, they are confused, and the confusion is between the words RACE and RACISM. The meanings are quite different. But most IIR supporters, including you ANONYMOUS, Swami Maharaj calling for a non-raced based constitution as well as Dr. Richard Herr, Dr Satendra Nandan and Filipe Bole, to name a few.

RACE (or ethnicity), is a fact of life and is an objective reality. It can be counted and accounted. Race is a demographic differentiator for national statistics and research design. In that sense it is a measure for strategic, national government interventionist type policies. These are then useful for formulating strategic national development plans or Affirmative Action polices.

Where pursued, these policies have succeeded, indicating that the intentions, effects and distinctions are true. Affirmative Action Policies have often been very successful where properly conceived and implemented. For example as in America, where AA policies were used in promoting women in the area of small business to replace welfare payments. In 2008, Centre for Women Business Research (CWBR) announced 10.1million Women Owned Firms (WOF) that are 50% or more owned by women, employ 13million people and generate 2 trillion in annual revenue. These firms represent 40% of all firms or corporations in the US. 

In April 2009, new data collected by CWBR showed that Women of Color (WOC) owned 2.3 million businesses, which employ 1.7 million people and generate $239billion in annual revenue. But these firms are not achieving the same level of success when measured by revenue and employment. WOC businesses have great un-tapped potential for economic and social impact that will only be realized by clearly recognizing the specific challenges faced by WOC, so as to develop targeted programs and policies to remove those barriers. 

Differentiating markets by counting race, women owned business (WOB) clearly show the importance of strategic targeting to help create jobs and drive economic growth. Their successes demonstrate that race is a fact of life whose importance must not be discounted. In short, you cannot recognize all opportunities or support all initiatives without recognizing race.

In the 21st century where the market economy is driven by the Information Communication Technology (ICT) platform, accounting by race is statistically significant for capturing the opportunities and benefits offered by globalization – especially in terms of niche-marketing, cultural tourism and services. Entrepreneurs can localize these opportunities, holistically linking them to local systems for added value (Samisoni 2008) that is authentically country-specific, and which can help contribute to sustainable green development.

In the Fiji context, there are three main races, the Indigenous Fijians, which make up 57%, the two migrant races Indians (38%) and Others (5%). The latter, is made up of minority groups, Europeans, Part Europeans and other Pacific Islanders. Therefore our market reality in Fiji involves a multicultural customer base with distinct cultural and ethnic preferences.

These have enormous value when empowerment is energized through ownership of capital in the form of asset, skills, knowledge, networks, information, moral/spiritual, cultural, political, legal status, technical and buying power. But when ignored or glossed over by the demands of politically-correct, head-in-the-sand posturing like the John Samy’s Military Charter, they have the potential to bring the kind of ticking time-bomb problems that can erupt into race riots even in progressive societies, as seen in recent years in Cronulla (Australia), Paris (France) and Cincinnati and Los Angeles (USA).

To avoid this, race must be accounted in strategic national development plans. This was the case in the SDL Manifesto and accepted by the Multi-Party Cabinet (MPC) in the Strategic Development Plans (SDP 2002 - 2011). These were distinguished by race. They DID NOT EXCLUDE OTHER RACES. I will repeat that. THEY DID NOT EXCLUDE OTHER RACES, who also needed, and were afforded, a hand up under the Social Justice Act and Fiji Constitution. 


The statistics for Indigenous Fijian (IF) development are well documented. For example, one relevant statistic that needed strategic planning responses according to the Ministry of Health plan (2004 p. 34-42) was infant mortality (IM) in the 1st year of life. For Fijians, this rose between 1993 -2003 from 58% to 69.8%. By contrast, Indian Infant Mortality in the 1st year of life reduced from 37.6 % to 26.6% during the same time period. In 1994, IM accounted for 42% of deaths in 2003 it had risen to 83.2% mainly due to IF IM. This kind of trend simply cannot be addressed through “one size fits all”. It would simply be nonsense! 

Similar patterns were also indentified in other health areas like incidence of HIV and Aids (1989 – 2004, 84%), Gonorrhea (1995- 2004, 91% & 84%) and Syphilis (1995 – 2004, 88%; 87%). 
And they repeat again in non-health areas like Prison population demographics, and Sugar revenue proceeds.

These statistics show that the IF race is in crises. The impact is negatively compounding exponentially. All you have to do to see it, is to acknowledge the importance of race (or ethnicity). That is not racism by any stretch of the imagination. But to ignore this specifically because race happens to be a factor – well that IS racism!!

Fiji had the professional leadership in the deposed government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s MPC. The elected government demonstrated authentic leadership qualities, with education qualifications and experiences for the 21st century market needs to process the above statistics, in order to prevent the -4.4% and -6.6% GDP of the last few years.

VB’s coup, and his ever-changing reasons for it, is an expensive exercise in futility. It was based on bad advice and greed for power, money and status, and the fear of facing the consequences of his own 2001 choices in a court of law. Under this shroud of subjectivity, stereotyping and profiling, RACE, an objective strategic market differentiator has been confused with subjective RACISM.

By definition, RACISM is a social phenomenon, where one race thinks it is superior to the other and manifested as discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance and bias. To any normal person this is unacceptable but it happens and human nature being what it is, racism cannot be swept under the mat.

By contrast, the IR’s “race-nowhere” phobia is threatening to ethnically “cleanse” indigenous Fijians by dint of social-engineering annihilation. That dictatorial power cannot induce any “imaginative spark” or innovation from indigenous entrepreneurs that might be able to leverage their cultural strengths into 21st century market relevance. And attempting to legitimize this rape in the events of December 5th, 2006, shows conclusively that “one size does not fit all”.
Florence.

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

Children of Fiji & Friends of Fiji

Children of Fiji & Friends of Fiji
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