September 16, 2007

The Head Count begins...

We're sorry but we really must vehemently disagree with the Fiji Times Editorial today which urges us to support the census.

Yes it has been a while since the last one but we would ask where are priorities for the people of Fiji? Vatukoula miners have been lamenting their patch for a long time and yet we are about to splurge on an exercise that really does nothing for us. Policy formulation and reform plans (based on census results) be damned! Bread and butter cries are resonating from every corner of this country.

We are constantly bombarded with contradictory words and actions. We are told that the civil service needs to be "reformed" because it costs too much but in the very next breath the Government has committed to renting more space from the Kadavu Provincial Council (as a thank you to Rt Jo Nawalowalo for sticking his neck out and supporting the GCC Reform of course).

Not only that, we have the iPSC Permanent Secretary lamenting poor per diems and the need to use UN rates (need we remind her that UN rates are for UN officials and those countries and entities that can afford it). Then we have Mr Teleni lamenting his contract conditions (for which he gets what he wants), followed by the huge delegation about to leave for Brussels with Mr Chaudhry for more sugar talks. Oh and we cannot forget about the pretty pennies all these legal consultants are costing us. Last but not least we are told that military purchases that are more then the $10K ceiling that have been rejected by the govt tender board gets instant cabinet approval.

The junta just don't get it (when have they ever we ask?). They say that our economy needs help yet they aren't really ready to face up to the fact that they need to PRIORITISE what's best for the people. It's safe to say that they just don't care.

So in relation to counting heads and this wasteful exercise we frankly just aren't interested. In fact let's make this fun. Let's give them numbers and data that will make their heads spin.

Because the fact of the matter is they have NO LEGAL RIGHT to be conducting a census. The census we suppose could be the preparatory part for phase 2. Once they understand the constituency demographics, we subscribe to the conspiracy theory that they will then re-draw up the boundaries to help skew election results.

After all no one is holding their breath for proposed election date promises anytime soon. They have yet to put the pieces of the puzzle that they need for their "mission" together -- chief among them which is banishing the key election threat Qarase into never-never land.


Keep The Faith said...



Census paves way to democracy: PM
Tuesday September 18, 2007

The national census currently underway in Fiji is an indication of my Government's commitment to return the country to true parliamentary democracy, says interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

He said the next step is the appointment of an Electoral Boundaries Commission, which will use data from the census to configure proper electoral boundaries.

The enumerators started visiting households yesterday and will continue for 10 days.

The 2007 Census is being undertaken after a lapse of 11 years and it is expected to cost Government more than F$6 million.

The interim Government hopes to hold elections in 2009.


Anonymous said...

Fijian military regime reimposes emergency rule
By Frank Gaglioti

Fijian military dictator Frank Bainimarama reimposed emergency rule on September 5 following deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase’s return to the capital, Suva. An earlier emergency decree, declared after last December’s coup, was lifted in May. Its reimposition underscores the depth of the crisis facing the unstable military regime.

Under the state of emergency, there is a total ban on public meetings and the military can disperse any parades, demonstrations, or private meetings it deems a threat to security. Police and soldiers are also permitted to use lethal force. So far, however, there has not been a significant military mobilisation and, unlike the period of emergency rule in the months immediately following the coup, there have been no military marches or checkpoints erected on Suva’s main roads.

The state of emergency has been aimed primarily against Qarase and the former ruling United Fiji Party (SDL). “Qarase and his political affiliates have been holding public speeches and falsely accusing the Fijian military of making threats against them,” Fiji’s land forces chief, Colonel Moses Tikoitonga declared. Emergency rule, he continued, was a “proactive stance to maintain stability”.

Qarase, who was exiled to his home island of Vanuabalavu after the coup, has returned to Suva to oversee a legal challenge to the constitutional validity of the military regime. Fiji’s High Court will begin hearing the case on October 2.

While the former prime minister has declared his intention to stand as a candidate in elections scheduled to be held in March 2009, he has made no attempt to rally mounting public opposition against the regime. On his return to Suva, Qarase adamantly denied military allegations of “incitement”. “I am neutral and I have offered my service to the interim government,” he declared.

Qarase’s legal case against the military regime follows Bainimarama’s efforts to cover his coup with a pseudo-constitutional façade. The military took to the streets on December 5 last year and overthrew Qarase’s government. In a series of complex manoeuvres, Bainimarama then took over the presidency only to subsequently reappoint President Ratu Josefa Iloilo on January 5, after an agreement had been reached. Iloilo publicly endorsed the coup and formally nominated Bainimarama as prime minister.

The military dictator claimed that all his actions were legally justified and that the Fijian constitution remained intact. While obviously absurd, Bainimarama’s position was aimed, above all, at securing the support of the major powers, particularly Australia, New Zealand, the US and the European Union.

The Qarase government represented the interests of a chauvinist layer of the ethnic Fijian elite. It initiated “affirmative action” programs providing ethnic Fijian businessmen with various benefits denied to Indo-Fijians, and passed land rights legislation that gave a small layer of chiefly leaders a financial stake in coastal developments, including tourist resorts. These aspects of Qarase’s program cut across the interests of important foreign investors, as well as layers of Fiji’s ruling elite.


Anonymous said...

once they know the counts, next thing they'll do is to know how much to pump up the numbers to ensure natives are no longer a majority...they can doctor some results as they are in control, get their relatives from overseas to come here and register for elections,arrange a chineses migration scheme and start a china town ( may be with more indians as well), allow for dual citizenship and voting in elections... and it goes on and on...and ofcourse as you said redefine the electoral boundaries...the critical ones that can be tilted to swing to their favour...

Anonymous said...

What is the use of a census or democracy muchless if our people are hungry and left wanting....

How much money are we spending on doing this census which could be put into sorting out the problem in vatukoula, muchless in labasa and the outter islands....

Why are we insisting on relining the constituencies when our fijian people are suffering....

Anonymous said...

Support Fiji in these difficult times:

fijigirl02 said...

Sweet Child, of COURSE the junta doesn't care. They are taking notes from Pakistan and Burma and Tibet and are following suit. They feel they don't need to ask permission OR beg forgiveness. And as long as the people of Fiji continue to not speak up, the junta will continue as before. I agree with you 100%, but being right ain't the only thing.