Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conversations of Jone, Joe and Jaswant : Is it really Necessary?

Another week, another grog session. The three friends are again gathered on Jone's verandah. It is drizzling, but that won't bother the three friends. Its Taki time.


Jone : Drizzling, but no heavy rain


Jaswant :  Yeah, Sun and Rain,  must be a mangoose wedding somewhere (Children in Fiji playfully refer to drizzle when sun is out as a a sign that some magoose is getting married somewhere. Why? No Idea!)


Joe : Mangoose wedding? Whats that?


Jaswant : Don't worry brother! Just Taki, thats your job !


Joe : Ill Taki Joe. So whats been going on?


Jaswant : Just the usual maan. Things just cruising along.


Joe : Not for some. Paidar for Rabuka after they took his Pajero. (Paidar is Fijian slang for walking)


Jaswant : Yeah, because they cancel his pension or something.


Joe : Yeah, his Pajero was part of his package.


Jaswant : Yeah, well, bad for him but, maybe the Pajero can go to a hospital or the Police aye. Better for people.


Joe : Se, you really think the Pajero will go to the hospital . Seti seti… just see who gonna use it.


Jaswant: But , can Fijian afford a taxpayer funded Pajero for ex-politicans ?


Joe: That's not the point mate! It doesn't look good and its an unnecessary distraction and bad publicity for the government.


Jone: Yeah, make them look bad.


Jaswant: But the Gov…


Joe: No ifs and buts. Is it really necessary? There has been a lot of good PR recently, was this really needed right now? Its counter-productive.
Jaswant: Why you alwayas use big words aye?
Joe: Here we go again. Taki!


Silence. Then , the loud crack of a thunder strike fills the air. Looks like it is going to rain after all. Not that the three friends are bothered. They just pull the mat away from the rain and carry on the grog session. Taki.


Friday, January 22, 2010

China Milk Scandal duplicated in Fiji?

The breaking news on the Fiji Milk scandal has startling similarities with the Chinese Milk crisis of 2008.

The Fiji Health Ministry's Food Unit has announced that between 10,000 and 20,000 "full cream" powdered milk packets are being removed from supermarket shelves after an investigation found that these products could contain milk replacers commonly used in animal feed into food labels .

The products under suspicion are marketed under the brand names Rainbow Instant Full Cream Powder milk and Sunrise Instant Full Cream Milk Powder. Even more disturbing is the revelation that these two brands may have been deliberately engaged in false Labelle ling to deceive Fijian consumers.
According to the head of the Health Department, Jope Tamani , "The product retailed as instant full cream milk powder failed to state that it is in fact instant full cream milk replacer which is what the product really is. There has been something added in the actual product. In most countries, milk replacers are used for animal feed."
The Milk scandal in China in 2008 also involved the use of milk replaces such as Melamine in milk products as it can be used to boost the volume of the product and is cheaper for manufacturers to source and market.

If the allegations are proven, the distributors of the product in Fiji should be properly investigated as the practice not only misleading, can also be harmful to the health of babies.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conversations of Jone , Joe and Jaswant : The Swinging Panda's!

Beautiful evening in Suva as the three friends are relaxing on Jone's front porch. Joe thinks its hot, Jaswant thinks its OK and Jone says its just right. (No one's right or wrong, It's a matter of perspective!)


Jone:  So NZ want to be our friend again aye?


Jaswant: Yeah man, see they come back to us didn't they?


Jone : Seems like it. After all that talk , they want us to be like before. What happened to all that talk about suspension and bans, se cava?


Jaswant : Se Jone, that's politics man! You say one thing, you do another thing and then you claim yet another. Brother, relax.


Jone: Yeah I know.  Looks like NZ realised things were not so bad after all.


Joe : Actually they realised that disengagement is not the way to go. With China and India building their presence in the South Pacific, its too big a risk.


Jaswant: Why you always talk high level like that huh?You think we don't about that stuff? I know that China want Fiji's uranium!


Jone : Seti Jas, no uranium in Fiji. Don't mind him Joe, something about Kaivalagi people and Kaidia people that is always there.


Joe (laughs) No worries Jas. I actually think China wants to keep Taiwan out of Fiji, but you already know about that right?

Jaswant : Yeah man. Those Taiwan gang want our tuna! And be careful of those Indonesian gang, they want our oil reserve, Only the Indians want to help us.


Joe and Jone laugh.


Joe : So its all going back to normal aye


Jaswant : See I told you. What did George Speight say huh? They just gonna talk big for a while and then "they'll be back in bed with us soon". That George faller always thinking about the bed aye?


 Loud laughter.


Joe : Looks like the pendulum has started to swing back, isn't it?


Jaswant " Yeah yeah, we know all about swinging panda's man. They from Africa. No need to va fancy.
Joe : Taki!
Jaswant : You taki M@**&^ T^&%%^ .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Citizens Constitutional Forum Release – Criticism or backhanded compliment?


The Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) issued a Press Release today in which the Forum asked for the Interim Government to preserve the judiciary's independence . The CCF acknowledged that the Judiciary continued to function following the 5 December 2006 coup as evidenced by the major cases such as the "Qarase v Bainimarama case in 2008 and the appeals case in April 2009, plus the sentencing of the army and police officers responsible for the deaths of Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga, reassured people that Fiji's courts had remained independent after the 2006 political upheaval".


The CCF has taken exception to the "reported sacking of three magistrates and the termination of employment of at least three prosecution lawyers by the newly appointed Acting Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr Aca Rayawa"


The CCF is entitled to its views and entitled to express it views and the Loyal Fijian has always acknowledged that. Loyal Fijian is also committed to a free and fair judiciary.


While on the face of it the "sackings", as described by the CCF are portrayed as arbitrary, Loyal Fijain urges all readers to have all the facts before jumping to conclusions.


It is in this regard that the IG needs to step up its game and ensure that it provides sufficient information to the people so that bits and prices are not taken out of context or even deliberately misinterpreted.


While it is possible to react angrily to the CCF press release, this would be an over-reaction. The Release is more of a backhanded compliment in that it acknowledges that the judiciary operated as it should when former PM Qarase was given his day in court. And that's the way it should stay, I think we all agree with that,


In the interest of fairness and impartiality , the full CCF Press Release is reproduced below:





18 January 2010



Media Release


Government needs to create enabling environment for independent judiciary


The Interim Government needs to take immediate steps to create an enabling environment for an independent judiciary in Fiji, so that confidence in the judiciary can be restored, says the Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF)


"In the aftermath of the 5 December 2006 coup, the people of Fiji remained confident of the independence of our judiciary. This was evident in the range of Constitutional and legal redress cases filed for judicial review, "CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said. "The Qarase v Bainimarama case in 2008 and the appeals case in April 2009, plus the sentencing of the army and police officers responsible for the deaths of Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga, reassured people that Fiji's courts had remained independent after the 2006 political upheaval".


The reported sacking of three magistrates and the termination of employment of at least three prosecution lawyers by the newly appointed Acting Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr Aca Rayawa, has renewed fears that the Interim Government maybe intimidating judicial and legal officers.


"The judiciary needs to be seen to be independent. If magistrates get sacked soon after making a decision against the government, then one may assume that this government will not tolerate a judgment that does not go in its favour," Rev Yabaki said. "Fear of losing jobs could intimidate judicial officers and law enforcement agencies into being less impartial and to be more favourable towards the government."


An independent judiciary is essential for the preservation of the rule of law in a country, as well as for safeguarding good governance principles, human rights and moral values. The lack of an independent judiciary means that people in Fiji will not be able to fully enjoy the basic human rights of the Right to Fair Public Hearing; and the Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty.

For further information, contact CCF on ph: 3308379 or fax: 3308380.





Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer



Friday, January 15, 2010

Loyal Fijian Supports the Kaila! Back to School Drive

Loyal Fijian whole heartedly supports the thoughtful and timely Kaila! Back to School Drive by the Save the Childrens Fund .

The Kaila! Back to School Drive seeks to help the needy among us who find it tough to get togther the essentials that are needed by the school kids attending school.The story of Laisani Ciri, 12, of Jittu Estate, who has worn the same uniform for 4 years touched our heart.

So this year , Loyal Fijian is urging all our readers to make a difference to the lives of children like Laisani and make a donation in cash or kind to the Kaila! Back to School Drive.

Members of the public can drop of items that are reusable for schoolchildren at the following places:

Suva - 25 Pender Street

Lautoka - Rogorogoivuda House

Labasa - Yaka Street 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rumour Mongers resort to misinformation on Pensions

The rumour mill appears to have been cranked up to full speed as talk of efforts to block pensions/FNFP annuities to so –called "dissidents" spread across the usual avenues.


The first Loyal Fijian heard of this scaremongering was at a local watering hole the other night. Stopping pensions to so –called dissidents, yeah right! That was Loyal's reaction.


And then the rumour mill got going as people returned to work after their breaks and emails started flying around and before you know it, a full blown conspiracy was being reported.


Is there any truth in it? To be honest, Loyal Fijian only reports the facts, we don't make the decisions.


But on the face of it, following on the heels of the announcement that the NZ Government has signed on to restore relations, growing consumer confidence and historically high tourist arrivals, the so-called dissidents had to come up with something,


And as usual, it appears they may they once again resorted to rumour.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Great Start to 2010 : Fiji-NZ Relations to Improve

It is a very good start to 2010.
In details reported in the media today, NEW Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully has confirmed that the governments of Fiji and New Zealand have agreed to improve diplomatic relations following talks last week.
This follows discussions between the Mr. McCully and his Fiji counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, in Nadi on Friday and Saturday.
The Interim Government has taken the right step in working to restore relations with our neighbours. NZ and Fiji can achieve a lot more by working together than being being adversaries.The New Zealand Government on its part has also recognised the need for engagement and dialogue as the only means of resolving any issues that may exist.
Similar discussions should also be initiated with our other traditional ally , Australia, to restore diplomatic relations as a start and rebuild the relationships that have existed between our countries for a very long time.
This is especially true for Military to Military links which should be restored at the earliest.
Great News for all.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Loyal Fijian 2009 Person(s) of the Year - The Ordinary Fijian

Loyal Fijian after much deliberation, consultation with Fijian from all walks of life and much reflection has decided to award its 2009 Loyal Fijian Person of the Year 2009 Award to the Ordinary Fijian.

That's right. The ordinary Fijian who wakes up at 4 in the morning and travels to the Suva Market to sell his produce, the ordinary Fijian who cleans the homes of those who have more money than time for $15 a day.

The Ordinary Fijian who works the land from dawn to dusk and still struggles to pay the school fees of their children, the only hope for them to escape the grinding poverty or the Ordinary Fijian who travels in a Pajero, enjoys overseas holidays and lives in relative security and comfort.

The Loyal Fijian Person of the Year 2009 Award is to all of you mentioned above and those not.

Here's why.

For those struggling to makes pay their school fees, the school fees has been waived, for those finding it difficult tp pay the bus fare for their children, the bus fare ha been subsidised. And for those who have no problems with access to money, well for you, it is now possible to enjoy your wealth and go to bed without the fear of waking up to the cold blade of a knife held to your neck.

Crime is down, The poor people are the main focus of the Government, corrupt practices which used to be the norm are down and out.

The Ordinary Fijian after a long time feels that they have a voice.

The Ordinary Fijian can for the first time dream of their children having a better life then they did with access to free education. Many Governments have promised but nine have delivered this before.

The Ordinary Fijian after a long time can have the same access to services that without money was denied to them.

The Ordinary Fijian who has no problems with money, and there are a fair few as the $7.50 cappuccino sold in certain Suva cafe's indicate, can enjoy their wealth and leave their homes and be sure of coming back.

The Ordinary Fijian who has lost hope at the failure of the wheels of Government to move without the rquired greasing with liberal amounts of hard currency, have an avenue to take up their case.

The Ordinary Fijian who has seen the incompetent and corrupt civil servant drink yaqona whilke they wait for serice, can now take up their case with those who have the power and will to make a difference.

The Ordinary Fijian has been the Winner. No doubt about it.