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Christianity? Religion of Indigenous-Fijians? Sunday, February 27, 2005 |

Of late there has been a lot of debate on whether Fiji should be declared a christian state. Especially since the current government promised consideration for it in their manifesto.

Honestly, I am sick of indigenous-Fijians pretentious "holier then thou" attitude towards other religious and non-religious citizens of this country. Bloody hell! Every where you go nowadays, there are people praising the "almighty".

Take for example today. I know it is a Sunday, the "lotu, lotu" day for Christians. They have lots of churchs they can flock to, all around the country. And they do. So what you may ask is the problem? Well, for starters, I got up at around 10, switch my TV on and what do I see? Some stupid Christian evangelistic show from either Australia or US. This is a norm, might I add. This one day of the week, the christians of this country go beserk. It's impossible to avoid them.

For goodness sake, Christians, stay of the box! Why can't I watch something more entertaining like the ABC AsiaPacific on our only free to air TV channel? Why do I have to be bloody evangelised over the box. The box that belongs to all the citizens of this country not just some self -righteous, deluded Christian evangelists.

Since the stupid governments of this country have given Fiji TV an exlcusive licence to broadcast the only free to air channel in Fiji, the least they could have done was to setup some broadcasting standards. The contents of this free to air channel is almost exclusively from overseas.

To make things worse, I walk into Dolphins food court in town to have a quite lunch, what do I have to put up with? Yes you guessed it, blaring christian hyms from the speakers in the food court. Looking around me, I couldn't see anyone, who even remotely looked like the church going type. For crying out loud, this is a public place, not a "christians on sunday" only place. Why the hell do I have to put up with this evengelistic crap.

[breathe, breathe, breathe]

Enough with the ranting for a moment, but one thing puzzles me... Before the arrival of Christianity into this country, how did the Fijians manage? Had they not had any religion of their own? I wish it were true, but I am sure there was something. Like the hill tribes of Papua & New Guinea.

When the May 2000 coup happened, lots of coup supporting Fijian leaders subscribed to the view that democracy was a foreign flower. What is Christianity, I ask? More like a foreign disease, if you ask me...

I wish there was cure...

Deja Vu? |

In 1987 following the coup, the Rabuka government introduced, the so called affirmative action and gave out lots of business licences, taxi permits, bus service operator licences and of course loans to the indigenous-Fijians.

What happened in the ensuing period since, can hardly be called a success story. The National Bank of Fiji collapsed. There is still only one amongst 72 bus operators who is an indigenous-Fijian. Another coup happened in May 2000 and that was because some indigenous-Fijian leaders felt threatened by the dominance of indo-Fijian businessmen.

Since the May 2000 and after the August 2001 elections, some $20 million was swindled by the Agriculture ministry and we have another racist government implement yet another affirmative action plan.

Good luck I say.... after the reading the following article on www.fijitimes.com today, I am not sure how this round of affirmative action is going pan out.

Following 1987, we have seen the government departments dominated with indigneous-Fijian labour, yet the private sector remains out of reach for them. Why? Handouts don't make for a good business plan for any affirmative action. It just helps the rich and the cunning, take advantage of the not so savvy entrepreneurs.

Oh, and not to mention the state of government departments and services. I'll leave that for another blog. Things are certainly rotten in this state.

Now, onto the inspiring article...

FIJIANS should change their attitude and learn to appreciate the assistance provided by the Government, Transport Minister Simione Kaitani says.

He said assistance provided by the Government had been abused adding that most Fijian people had taken for granted assistance under the Affirmative Action or Blue Print by helping other races cheat the governing authorities concerned.

Using the Land Transport Authority as an example, Mr Kaitani said many Fijian people had applied for more than one taxi permit on behalf of Indian businessmen.

An authority board member who wished to remain anonymous said the board was investigating a case in which a Fijian man had applied for 16 permits for his Indian friend.

The member said the incident took place last year and such incidents were only fooling Fijian business people as they did not realise they were being used by their friends of other races. Mr Kaitani said such problems were not new.

"It is nothing new because these kind of cases have happened before. And now we will have to be strict because while we try to help them, they just turn their back on us by cheating which benefits them financially as they can be paid by the Indian business people for getting permits," Mr Kaitani said.

He said the Government's purpose of the Blue Print was to help uplift the standard of Fijian business.

"Out of the 72 route licences for bus companies with LTA, Fijians only own one while 71 belong to Indian business people.

"And the Fijian people who abuse the privileges provided by the Government, don't see this.

They just satisfy their greed and it doesn't look nice on the Fijian people," Mr Kaitani said.

He has called on the Fijian people to be honest and be grateful for the Government's assistance.

The strict laws he will discuss with LTA, as Transport Minister will include heavy penalties such as fines.


No more coups in Fiji...Yay! Wednesday, February 16, 2005 |

Well! The military seems to be talking tough in stating that no more coups shall be allowed to happen in this country again. I hope they mean to carry out what they're saying... for obvious reasons.

You can never be too sure with these things in Fiji though. There have been three coups already and with such a track record that this country has, I will hardly be surprised if another does happen again.

The first and the second coup was Mr. Rabuka's (a military man) doing. The third, was done by the CRW (Counter Revolutionary Warfare) unit of the military led by the bunch of thugs that now are serving time.

The current situation between the government and the military is doing nothing to cement the assurances by the military. The loudmouth secretary in the PM's office is as antagonising as ever. The military security provided to the PM has been pulled out by the commander without warning. With such men in positions of power and such tit for tat actions by the military and government, it doesn't do much for investor confidence in this country.

I have my fingers crossed though...

Honeymoon? Monday, February 14, 2005 |

Aaah! So now I know why the Prince of Wales is coming to Fiji. Silly me for slating the government having to spend so much money for his visit. He is coming here for a good cause. According to "The British High Commission ... Prince Charles would spend most of his two-day visit in Nadi. The trip focuses on environmental sustainability, excellence in public service and community integration." What a noble cause indeed.

I mean the Prince is not here on a Honeymoon! No, he is the foremost authority on environment, public service and the community and his trip is going to benefit our society a great deal in terms of his expertise.

For goodness sake! Enough with the nonsense. Mr. Charles should pay his own way, get his own guards, have a romping good time with Camila in some 5 star hotel and go away!

-----------
On another note, the Chinese community leader in Fiji, believes Chinese nationals should be allowed in the country for any purpose including work, visa free. He reckons the Chinese have a wealth of business experience that could help boost our economy.

Our Chinese community leader is right. Just walk around the Victoria Parade (Suva) after dark. Chinese businesses are everywhere. Massage parlours, prostitutes, karaoke bars, restuarants which double as gambling dens and I am sure drug selling freelancers. I didn't see these business minded Chinese nationals a few years ago, until the relationship between our government and China recently, started to really warm up.

What are we expecting next, a new wave of indentured labourers?

---------
Then there was the case of a former journalist with nothing better to do then to impose his views of morality on general public. Mr. Josua Tuwere feels that the new program "Desperate Housewives" soon to be broadcast on Fiji TV is too "adulterous". So what is he doing about it? Well, anything a righteous minded person would do, collect signatures for a petition to stop the "offensive, with a lot sexual content and immoral teachings" show to be stopped from airing.

Come on Mr. Tuwere! Things can be quite simple, if you don't like it, don't watch it. I mean such offensive, adulterous and immoral programs are abound in Fiji. Just pop into an average DVD rental shop and you'll get to chose from a whole range. Heck, they've been available on VCR's for years and a lot of them even been shown in Village 6.

What may be equally offensive though, are the music videos (amongst others) broadcast on Fiji TV on Saturdays, specifically targeted at the younger audience. Have you even seen those skimply clad women, gyrating their hips in the faces of those rap stars? Mind you, I can't even see the artistic value in them to keep my TV tuned on. If I really wanted to see something like a black american rapper flaunting his wealth and fantasies in his music videos, I'd rather get porn. At least it is a little bit more honest (porn I mean).

Mr. Tuwere, be a little bit more balanced in your opinions and actions. Perhaps, that's the reason you are a "former" journalist :-)

Fiji will spend FJ$400,000 on Prince Charles' visit !!! Sunday, February 13, 2005 |

What the f*#@? Who the hell is this Prince Charles? Is he the world's most powerful man? Has he ever done anything for Fiji which as brought in FJ$400,000 worth of revenue to Fiji? Why the hell is this government full of asslickers, spending such a huge sum on his visit? Will such a spend bring in at least double of the sum of money into Fiji i.e. is it an investment spending?

What is absurd is that it will cost us $200,000 per day of his visit! A guard of honour will welcome him at the airport!

Now, if this government spent that much money on Sir Richard Branson, or some other rich businessmen, it would make sense. After all, they may consider some direct investment into this small and poor country of ours. I can't for the life of me see this as a worthwhile spending.

Quite simply, it goes to show the height of lunacy this government has come to!

Below is an excerpt from the Fiji Times article (Saturday, February 12, 2005)

THE Government will spend $400,000 to cater for the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles two-day visit to the country next month.

Home Affairs Minister Josefa Vosanibola said Cabinet endorsed the planning committee's plans for the royal visit yesterday afternoon.

"Cabinet endorsed the proposal by the committee which I chair. They have approved a budget of $400,000 for the two-day visit," Mr Vosanibola said.

He said Prince Charles would be greeted at Nadi Airport with a guard of honour and be traditionally welcomed by the people of Viseisei, Vuda.

"The people of Viseisei, Vuda, will conduct the veiqaravi at the airport," Mr Vosanibola said.

He said there would also be a reception for Prince Charles at Denarau, which would be attended by dignitaries.

"Four hundred people have been invited from the diplomatic corps to attend the Denarau reception," Mr Vosanibola said.

He said the Prince would visit Castaway Resort in the Mamanuca group on his second day of the tour before heading to Lautoka.

"At Lautoka, he will meet Bechu Prasad, one of the oldest citizens of the country," Mr Vosanibola said.

"Then there will be a guard of honour retreat and he will meet the people as he had wished."

Mr Vosanibola said the Ministry of Information would provide more details today.

VAT Increase! Saturday, February 12, 2005 |

Below is one of the letters to editors to FT on Saturday, February 12, 2005. I reckon he's hit the nail on the head.

Increase VAT so that the rich can help the poor! Absurdity has it's limits, but this is beyond words... Rote Jone cements his reputation as one of the most incompetent buffoons that has been in charge of our money. This is the same guy that has been asking for supplementary budgets. What the hell is he spending the money on? Half assed, affirmative action?

I am so amazed at the reason given for the increase in Value Added Tax by the Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kubuabola.

He says there was a need to increase VAT because those who were rich would pay more and assist the poor. How on earth is this reason justified?

Can someone from the Ministry of Finance explain to me how does this work? With the increase in VAT two years ago and now the ever increasing price of goods and services, everyone feels the "pinch" and the worst affected are the poor who are barely able to make ends meet.

Has the minister done a survey to find the percentage of rich people in Fiji and if so how does he classify someone who is rich and how has the increase in VAT contributed to reduce poverty in Fiji?

Does this mean there are more rich people than the poor.

The reason stated by the minister makes me wonder if this was the real reason for the increase in VAT.

How much of the increased revenue that was allocated to help the poor and if so why has the poverty rate gone to 15 per cent.

If the minister really wants to make the rich pay and help reduce poverty than the increase in vat should be been placed on the luxury items which only the rich can afford rather than on basic food items.

The Minister should think before he makes a comment. Fiji's literacy rate is increasing so be careful how you word your statements and remarks. Elections are just around the corner.

Vijay Krisha
Nadi

Westernisation is worrying out Assistant Minister for Culture. Friday, February 11, 2005 |

The article below appeared on the fijitimes.com on Friday, February 11, 2005.

I hope our minister doesn't start losing sleep over it, for it may become tragedy.

"Mini-skirts, mini-shorts, tight jeans, tight t-shirts"... hmmm. I can't see it as such a bad thing. I wear "tight t-shirts". It is comfortable. I don't have much of body, but what I wear is what makes me comfortable. How dare someone tell me that is not my culture to dress as such? What is my culture and tradition? One which looks back more often then progress at a decent pace. Cultures and traditions change over time, so do people. The minister needs to realise that there are more important cultural issues then how people dress. We as taxpayers can't seriously be paying someone to standup and tell us how our fashion styles are an issue? What next, ban "Mini-skirts, mini-shorts, tight jeans, tight t-shirts"?

When it comes to language, I hope our minister realises that our primary language in this country is English? It is a language something that has been acceptable by both major ethnic groups in Fiji for eons, and suddenly it is an issue? What's the point of using a language (both Fijian and Fiji-Hindi) is under-developed? Our education system is based on the English language, yet a large number of school leavers level of English at best is poor. This affects in their ability to further their knowledge on anything since all written materials worth any literature value are available only in English. There isn't a problem if our youngsters aren't using Fijian or Fiji-Hindi. The languages have quite simply no real attraction. Perhaps in a few generations it will die a natural death. Survival of the fittest is reality, Minister!

Not to mention some of the the other issues that our minister could have focused on. Such issues as:

  1. Content of Fiji TV (a monopoly in Fiji) and how it affects our beloved culture and tradition
  2. Content of Print and Radio mediums
  3. Creation of state institutes which have a genuine and practical interest in Indig-Fijian and Indo-Fijian
Anyway here goes the article...

CULTURE and tradition has been affected by westernisation and something must be done about it, says Assistant Culture and Heritage Minster Nanise Kasami Nagusuca.

In her maiden speech yesterday, she said there had been a change in dressing and hair style by young Indigenous youths. Instead of wearing a sulu-i-ra, they opt for tight jeans and t-shirts which was introduced by westernisation.

She said for Indian female youths, wearing sarees have become something of the past because they want to wear mini-skirts and tight mini-shorts. She added the Fijian and Indian language was hardly spoken by the young people and this had to be seriously looked into.

Mrs Nagusuca urged the members of parliament to speak in their own language and Fijians in their dialect while presenting in Parliament.

She said the members were role models and should lead by example and if they do likewise it would be a step ahead on enriching our culture and language.

She added multiracialism and diversity could be achieved if both races worked together and help preserve their culture and heritage.

Mrs Nagusuca said she was privileged to be associated and work with a group of matured, forthright and never say die politicians.

"This dedicated group of men and women are charged with daunting task of governing this country through the most difficult period in our history," he said.

She saluted the Opposition members for accepting the duty to challenge the government constructively for the betterment of the nation.

She hoped the opposition members would conduct their task with honourable intention since they were honourable members of the House.

43% Administrative Costs !! Tuesday, February 08, 2005 |

The NLTB (Native Lands Trust Board) must be providing the best service imaginable when compared to other similar organisations around the world. Surely when someone is charged 43% of their earnings as Administrative costs, the resulting service must be better then that which you get from our 5 star holiday resorts.

Then again, why am I surprised? Which such exorbitant fee structures, it no wonder has managed to create the rift between the landowners and the tenants. It is a perpetual problem. The landowners are never satisfied (and justifiably so), with what little they get from the tenants. However, can we really blame the tenants? The NLTB is not in the business of passing on the earnings of land onto the owners but creating political problems which perpetuate the myth that the Indo-Fijian tenants are the ones at fault. It is an organisation although entrusted with the land of the Indig-Fijians, is more interested in starting up IT companies and filling the coffers of the rich executive management of the organisation....

Below is an article which in the fijitimes.com on Monday, February 07, 2005. The bold bit is what I am referring to.

PRIME Minister Laisenia Qarase has condemned the illegal takeover of properties by landowners but admits that ministries and departments could have compounded the problem by not doing their jobs.

Reacting to the forceful closure of Nawaicoba Public School at Nadi last week by landowners, Mr Qarase said his government did not condone anyone breaking the law. "The Government will never support those taking the law into their own hands," he said yesterday.

"But in some cases lack of communication or failure by some civil servants to perform their duties result in the unfortunate circumstances."

Mr Qarase said while there were rules in government departments to resolving conflicts, there was no guarantee that such problems would not resurface. "Take the coup for instance. We all thought that it wouldn't happen again after 1987. There are some things that you just cannot control," he said.

The landowners from yavusa Lewevunaniu of Yako Village took over the school after the Ministry of Education failed to pay them the agreed premium of $55,000.

Classes resumed when the ministry gave $30,000. The Native Land Trust Board told the clan they would only receive $17,000 because $13,000 would be deducted for administrative costs.

Now, the clan is threatening to close the school again if they do not get the full sum.

Assistant Police Commissioner Crime Kevueli Bulamainaivalu said takeovers by landowners were becoming common now and the police force would no longer tolerate it. "If they have grievances, there are channels to follow like the NLTB and the Ministry of Education in this case. But when they don't, then we will investigate, arrest and take them to court to face the music," he said.

He cited three cases in the past where landowners were charged for illegally taking over property or trespassing.

At Vitogo in Lautoka, landowners were arrested and charged when they tried to repossess a property before the lease expired.

At a resort in Yanuca, landowners were arrested and charged with trespassing and uprooting plants and root crops.

And at Sabeto, Nadi, landowners were arrested and charged after they threatened to close down a school if the lease payment was not made.

"These incidences are becoming common and we are not going to tolerate them," ACP Bulamainaivalu said.

"For Nawaicoba we are monitoring the situation very closely and will be charging people as soon as investigations end."

Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa said the ministry should have been more proactive in checking its records on land leases and the payment of premiums to avoid situations the school there now faced.

And that, she said, was something the ministry would emphasise this year.

"Both sides have to play their part," she said. "The Government started paying premiums from 2002 in accordance with the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua's manifesto launched in 2000.

"The schools themselves should be paying the balance.

"But some of them think they can claim for lease payments for the years before 2002.

"That is something that should be clarified."

NLTB spokesman Nimilote Naivalumaira said he would be able to comment today.

The Rotten State Thursday, February 03, 2005 |

What I am trying to do through this blog is to provide a political commentary about the state of affairs in Fiji. Affairs in terms of politics, big businesses, racism and infrastructure deterioration.

I am not involved in politics of the country, don't belong to any political party and dont vote in elections (even though it is compulsory). I am just an average citizen trying to make sense of all that is going wrong in this country. Corruption, crime and racism is rife. Religious tolerance is non existent.

The state of affairs in this country may not be as bad as in Haiti or some of the African states, but it is still bad enough to be given international prominence.

Over the coming weeks, I will blog on about things. My reference points are the fijitimes.com and fijilive.com.

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