Monday, August 29, 2011

Tongan Kiwi a winner

Valerie Adams celebrates setting a new championships record 21.24 to win gold in Daegu (Getty Images)

from w
Congratulations to the Tongan/Kiwi lass who won the shotput at the IAAF in Korea yesterday. A great representative of the Pacific. She threw over 21 metres.
Women's Shot Put - Final - Threepeat for Adams, with a 21.14m Area Record
Valerie Adams celebrates setting a new championships record 21.24 to win gold in Daegu

Daegu, Korea - Valerie Adams lived up to her billing as one of the warmest favourites in the World Championships by clinching a hat-trick of World titles and did so in style by equalling the championship record thanks to a humdinger of a final round throw. With the gold medal in her pocket and the pressure lifted the giant New Zealander found the distance she has promised all season to fire the metal ball 21.24m – to match the same distance as Soviet Natalya Lisovskaya achieved when she snared this title in 1987.

Adams then punched the air in delight and sprinted out of the back of the circle mysteriously picking up a piece of paper and pointed at it and bouncing up and down in a jig of joy.

Behind, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who struggled to find her absolute best, took a second World silver with a best of 20.05m and 0.03 back in bronze was Jillian Camarena Williams, who plundered the USA’s first ever medal in this event.

Yet really this was all about Adams and it is worth evaluating her success in statistical terms. Besides setting a new personal best and an Area Record it was also the widest winning margin at 1.19m in the history of this event and the longest throw outdoors for 11 years. She also claimed a hat-trick of World titles – to match the achievements of the German great Astrid Kumbernuss - and the Kiwi also became the first woman in history to claim an IAAF World Championship Shot Put medal in four successive editions (she also won a bronze in Helsinki 2005). Given the fact she is still just 26 the potential for more records being broken in future seem imminently possible.

Yet looking back on her 21.24m throw it is hard to imagine that in the first half of the competition she was struggling to find her form and looked vulnerable to defeat.

Adams had opened with a sloppy 19.37m and it was Lijiao Gong of China who held the lead after the first stanza by just 0.01 from Camarena-Williams with 19.64m. Ostapchuk was third (19.58m).

The second round saw Adams and Gong both foul while Ling Li – who is coached by Kirsten Hellier, the woman who formerly guided Adams – catapulted up the leader board into the gold position with 19.71m.

It was in round three, though, the shape of the competition changed as the quality stepped up a notch with two familiar faces and one rising star.

Adams finally found her range with a 20.04m effort to take control and Russia’s Yevgeniya Kolodko, the European Under-23 champion, improved her personal best by a full 0.45m to post 19.78m to briefly move into silver. She was quickly relegated to bronze, though, as Ostapchuk advanced to 19.87m.

Round four saw Camarena-Williams the early leader come back into the medal frame in spectacular fashion as she produced a stunning 20.02m – the second longest throw of her career – within a whisker of the gold.

Yet Adams slammed the door firmly shut on anyone with any pretensions of challenging for gold when she fired the metal ball out to 20.72m with her fourth effort which all but the title.

The penultimate round saw more flip-flopping in the race for the minor medals. Gong briefly usurped Ostapchuk and moved into bronze with 19.97m only for Ostapchuk to respond with 20.05m to leap two places back up to silver.

The final round was all about Adams’ throw and in another nice touch she is now a three-time World Shot Put champion just like her mentor, the Swiss Werner Gunthor, who won the men’s World title in 1987, 1991 and 1993.

Steve Landells for the IAAF

Fiji, Aussie Rules and also SPG

from w
I've been looking up news on the web about the Opening Day of the South Pacfic Games in Noumea which is today. The Fiji team there has about 150 athletes and staff. Radio Australia has some photos, and a video on the opening ceremony. The flagbearer is Tulo, a weightlifter. Our family are interested in South Pacific athletics as one of the young men in our family has been a champion thrower. We can't watch the SPG though and we are watching the International Athletics meet in Korea which has three hours of TV a day on SBS2. It's a great way to watch the world champions.

From Fiji Times today: Special treat
Emoni Narawa In Noumea
Monday, August 29, 2011
+ Enlarge this image
Team Fiji members at a church service hosted by the Fijian community. Yesterday was rest day at the Pacific Games. Picture: ATU RASEA in Noumea
TEAM Fiji was hosted to a special BBQ lunch by the Fijian community in Noumea yesterday. The athl├Ętes had their church service at the Noumra Assemblies of God Church before enjoying a lovely luch at the Keondo Beach outside Noumea.

Team Karate, Fiji women's rugby, basketball, volleyball and few sevens rugby players were hosted to a lovely reception on the beachside.

Fijian community secretary Mr Damutoro said it was another way of showing their support to Team Fiji.

'We did this to show our support the team. Despite the fact that we are here for a long time, Fiji is always be in our hearts and we cherish all these athletes that will represent Fiji at this Pacific Games,' he said.

Mr Damutoro who is from Nadroga has spent more than 20 years in New Caledonia. His son Tomu is married and also lives in Noumea. Tomu has two daughters who wore Fiji t-shirts to show their support during the Fiji and Tahiti soccer match on Saturday.


Thursday, August 25, 2011.

The Fiji team participating at this year’s Pacific Games left our shores this morning for the games venue in New Caledonia.

The first lot of 157 athletes and officials flew to New Caledonia this morning via a chartered flight with Air Pacific.

Sports Minister Filipe Bole who was the Chief Guest for the athlete’s farewell to the games gave some encouraging advice and reminded the athletes of the reason they are chosen to participate in the games for their beloved country Fiji.

“I salute you all for braving cold mornings, hot afternoons and difficult circumstances, to push yourselves to perfect that run, that lift, shot or swim.”

“I trust that you will do Fiji proud whether in victory or defeat. True sportsmanship is about expressing what you have been trained in, to the best of your abilities and within the rules of the game,” Bole said.

Air Pacific is the official airline for Team Fiji and Chief Executive Officer Dave Pflieger was on cloud nine while name three of their staff participants to this years games.

“I would also like to note how proud the Air Pacific family is to have three of our own, be a part of Team Fiji at the Pacific Games.”

“James Lenoa, one of our Logistics Officers and something of a household name in karate circles, is part of Team Fiji.”

“Stanley Ooms, a Second Officer on our B747 aircraft, will be giving his all in the paddling competition, and Captain Henry Stephen, one of our B747 Captains is a Team Fiji official for shooting,” added Pflieger.

The second team will be leaving for New Caledonia this Friday while the third and final contingent will leave for the games venue on the 3rd of next month.

The Pacific games will be staged from the 27th of August to the 27th of September.



Meanwhile there's move afoot to get Pacific people more interested in another football code - Aussie Rules and a Fiji team was in town recently for this sport. Here's a news item from Radio Australia about this.

Australian football looks to Pacific

The Australian Football League is hoping for new recruits from the Pacific region. [ABC]
Last Updated: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 14:31:00 +1000

The Australian Football League says it hopes investing in the Pacific Islands will help provide a new generation of elite footballers. The AFL has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian government to help develop the code overseas, including in the Pacific. Under the deal, the league will hold at least one exhibition game in the region every year and the government will help the league find sponsors for offshore events.

The AFL's international development manager, Tony Woods, says he sees big potential in the Pacific. "We've been investing in the Pacific for some time," he said. "We're investing in development in the code in PNG, all the way round the Pacific through to New Zealand. It's really exciting for us. For us, it's almost an untapped market in terms of the potential for talent.

"Also there's great participation in the Pacific - we find that kids just love playing our game."

Friday, August 26, 2011

The distribution of TLTB money

from w
Some changes in the distribution of lease money to members of Fijian clans have not been accepted by everyone it seems as at least one group has decided that the leader does require a better share because of the numerous responsibilities he or she has to fulfill. Yet the law is the law, the police are saying. A young man free of all care should get the same amount as the older man who is responsible for numerous obligations. I can see that one rule fits all, does not seem fair in Fijian rural society and that taking away the more generous portion diminishes the opportunity by a chief/leader to serve his or her community wisely. The acronym TLTB is the new title of the older NLTB.
From Fiji Times today:
Clans legally bound

Serafina Silaitoga
Saturday, August 27, 2011

TRADITIONAL clans including its trustees are legally bound to implement the equal distribution formula of lease payments, says the iTaukei Lands Trust Board.

TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki said the requirement for equal distribution of proceeds of premiums and rents were embedded in law under the Regulation 11 of the iTaukei Land (Leases and Licences) Regulations which became effective on January 1 this year.

"TLTB and all trustees of mataqali and yavusa funds from TLTB are legally bound to implement this distribution formula.

"Funds for community schemes which are approved by the Minister for iTaukei Affairs are first deducted under assignments under Section 14(3) of the TLTB Act.

"However, the balance has to be distributed to all living members of a landowning unit equally."

Mr Qetaki made comments in response to the decision by a yavusa in the district of Seaqaqa to continue to give the yavusa head his share under the old distribution system.

He said the onus to comply with the policy and law rested squarely with the TLTB and trustees of bank accounts.

"There are legal implications associated with non-compliance if and when complained of and detected.

"The consequences are potentially serious as it also amounts to breach of trust responsibilities.

"As for the Tikina Council resolutions, it is most unfortunate.

"The senior staff of the provincial council and government officials present ought to have provided advice, so that any resolutions made are implementable under law and not contrary to law."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A consultation of Fiji Indian Methodists

photo taken at the last Consultation of some of the delegates:
from w
It's good to hear that the Consultation is taking place in Suva at Dudley Church this week. The last time this international group met was in Dandenong, Melbourne and was a very fine meeting of old and new friends and we really enjoyed meeting friends there. Very best wishes to the delegates from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.

Hindi-speaking Methodists meet in Suva


One hundred local and international members of a Hindi-speaking Methodist Fellowship will converge at Dudley Church in Suva for three days of worship, sharing and discussion on the topic “The Roots and Fruits of Mission: Revisiting the Legacy of Indian Mission” from tomorrow.

The fellowship meets every two years, providing a forum for members to evaluate and focus on situations in different Hindi-speaking congregations.

The consultations are hosted alternately by the Indian Division in Fiji and member fellowships in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Founder of Hindi-speaking Fellowship Consultations and former president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Dr Daniel Mastapha said each consultation was unique and had its own identity.

“These consultations are the celebrations of our faith, in an atmosphere and an environment of worship service, Bible study and fellowship with one another and around the meal table in a cordial and friendly atmosphere,” he said.

He said the gathering was a consultation and not a conference because there was no executive power.

“Minutes are not kept, only reports. There is no Constitution because delegates are the centre of the consultation and celebration.”

Fourteen years after its last gathering at Dudley Church, named after the woman whose legacy of compassion and boldness in mission marked the beginning of a caring mission to the children of the “Girmit,” her spiritual descendants of this mission will meet and catch up. They will join in fellowship and ask themselves the questions “Where to from here?” and “What is the future mission of the Indian Division as the winds of change blow in Fiji?”

The Consultation will also include a Bhajan Festival and welcome dinner, combined worship services and the dedication of “Pauline Campbell House”, named in honour of the founder of the Fiji Methodist Church’s Deaconess Order and champion of the cause for women to be allowed to be ordained ministers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A welcome and farewell church service

Methodist Church president Reverend Ame Tugaue, left, and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu at last night's church service. Picture: ATU RASEA

from w
It's rather unique, but that's Fiji of course. Last night the Methodist folk in Suva had an interesting evening - a welcome to delegates and a farewell to delegates at the conference that wasn't a conference. And two of the clergy with 'difficulties' were there.
from Fiji Times today:
Padres stay

Timoci Vula And Mary Rauto
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE Methodist Church decided to keep its leadership - including president Reverend Ame Tugaue and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu - for another three years. After accepting the State's cancellation of the permit for the three-day conference that was scheduled to begin in Suva yesterday, the church was allowed to induct 11 executives in a special service last night. Church acting general secretary Reverend Tevita Banivanua said the church was thankful for permission to have last night's service.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, at a press briefing yesterday, revealed why the conference was cancelled following a meeting with Mr Waqairatu, Mr Banivanua and Reverend Apete Toko at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on Monday night.

He said former church president, Reverend Josateki Koroi, was also personally approached but "said he was not ready to attend that meeting". "We had a lot of give and take, and take all sides of the meeting to make sure no political agenda was brought to the meeting," Col Tikoitoga said.

He said the meeting would allow for a platform to negotiate on the conference proper with a fair range of senior reverends, and also address the continued involvement of Mr Waqairatu and Mr Tugaue.

Col Tikoitoga said the two must step down because they faced charges for breaching the Public Emergency Regulation (PER).

He said the church executives disagreed with that and maintained a person remained innocent until proven guilty.

"Reverend Ame Tugaue was willing to step down but Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu refused.

"We ended the meeting with no clear direction so we cancelled the meeting altogether," Col Tikoitoga said.

"We do sympathise with them (followers) deeply but we have to do this for the sake of the people in Fiji.

"The general public must be made aware that the Government has the right to issue or withdraw a permit. We thought it was the right thing to do.

"I must also say that politics is still very rife in the Methodist Church, some politicians at the helm of the church still haven't recognised the Government or the Prime Minister.

"Some reverends are working very hard to bridge this gap," Col Tikoitoga said, adding it was the politically-motivated few in the hierarchy of the church that were "disrupting the forward movement of the church."

Unless that changed, he said there would be no "forward movement".

Col Tikoitoga said given that it was a church, it was the morality of the position that should have counted more.

"That's where we were coming from, you can't have an accused person leading the conference," he said.

He said Government had "exhausted all its avenues" and now the onus was on the church to decide on its next move.

Suva Circuit Minister Reverend Sakaraia Koli, in his message at the church service last night, apologised to the 1000 delegate members if they were disappointed that things did not turn out as planned.

He thanked them for coming and told them to thank God for whatever difficult situations they faced.
And on another issue, there's a need for a forgiveness process to take place in regard to something that happened many years ago when there was a kind of coup within the church and much unpleasantness towards Rev Josateki Koroi, who is now aged eighty and standing firm and preaching strongly. One of his sermons is quoted in a blog by Discombulated Bubu. Always an individual thinker, Jo.

Church vows to clean up
Mary Rauto
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
ONE religious denomination has taken it upon themselves to clean their house.
Methodist Church assistant secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said since the overthrow of former church president Reverend Josateki Koroi in 1989, there had never been a reconciliation.
"The Methodist Church has been troubled by what happened in its history in 1989 there was a church coup, where the president was removed from office," he said.
"From then on we have been trying to go through reconciliation.
"We feel that what is happening now in the church might be a good time to look at what is wrong because we have not cleansed ourselves properly from our past sins.
"That is needed to be done."
Mr Nawadra said while some of the ministers involved have passed on, Mr Koroi and Reverend Manasa Lasaro were still around.
"It would be a good thing to see them come to a reconciliation relationship before they go on ahead or we might go first," he said.
"That's our hope that we will try to do that.
"The plan of that is not with us right now but we will talk about that later on."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Methodist Conference is on but...

from w
The Fiji media and blogs are busy with cautious tales of tomorrow's start to the Methodist Conference in Fiji that has been banned for a few years. It's hard to see why mild-mannered Methodists are treated differently from other Christian organisations in Fiji. The agenda is structured and barely even touches on social justice issues - it's mainly housekeeping matters, elections and receiving reports, and of course having tasty meals and yarning with friends you only see once a year.

From Fiji Village today:
Govt officials/Military to be part of conference
Publish date/time: 22/08/2011 [13:13]

Military and government officials will be part of the Methodist Church of Fiji conference as observers.

Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni said they want to ensure that the church follows the conditions set and deals with activities of the church and the spiritual development of its members.

Lieutenant Colonel Leweni said the military and the government hopes that the church members do not discuss political issues in the conference starting from tomorrow.

He also makes it clear that the church’s current President Reverend Ame Tugaue, General Secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and executive Reverend Manasa Lasaro are not allowed to chair any of the meetings during the conference.

The Methodist Church conference will be held from tomorrow to Thursday at Suva’s Centenary Church.

The first item on the agenda tomorrow is the election of the new President and General Secretary.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

Thursday, August 18, 2011

High tides and Pacific Islands

from w
This morning we attended the launch of a photographic exhibition about the people of Tuvalu and Kiribas with reference to their difficulties with the sea rising. Oxfam organised the three exhibitions and the local Member of Parliament, Richard Marles, spoke at the launch. He is passionately interested in the Pacific Islands peoples and is currently on the Pacific desk for the Australian government. Only two Islanders were at the launch - no meke, no lovo - Keleta Avene who is from Tuvalu and Peceli from Fiji. I think the topic is very important and in Fiji the sea surges along the coast of some of the Fiji islands has been noticeable. There is something in the talk of 'climate change'.

Below are the notes on the web about the exhibition:
Oxfam’s Land is Life: Photographic climate change exhibition comes to Geelong

Oxfam Australia is a non-profit organisation working towards a just world without poverty through contributing to long-term development projects, responding to humanitarian emergencies and campaigning for change.

Oxfam is currently raising awareness of the impacts of climate change through the Land is Life photo exhibition, which will be showing free of charge in Geelong throughout August 2011.

Land is Life powerfully illustrates the impact that climate change is having on people of the Pacific Islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu, whose land is being slowly eaten away by storm surges, unpredictable weather and the salination of arable soil.

This free photo exhibition shares a story of human determination and resilience in the face of great adversity. Rodney Dekker, award-winning documentary photographer and multi-media storyteller, has captured how climate change affects daily life on these fragile islands.

Land is Life is showing free of charge at:
• National Wool Museum - 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong: 5 - 14 August
• Geelong West Library - 153b Pakington St, Geelong West: 15 - 25 August
• Belmont Library - 163 High Street, Belmont: 15 - 25 August

Congratulations Dilkusha

Congratulations to Dilkusha for winning the senior category of Tadra Kahani - the excellent song/dance/drama competition between Fiji schools.
from Fiji Village today:
Dilkusha Methodist High School win 2011 Tadra Kahani
Publish date/time: 19/08/2011 [08:01]

The Tadra Kahani with connect Junior and Senior division trophies have both gone to schools located along the Nasinu/Nausori corridor.

With their theme "Environmental Exploitation" and first timers to the dream story stage show, Dilkusha Methodist High School were crowned the new winners of the 2011 Tadra Kahani with Connect in the senior division last night.

Not only were they overall winners, Dilkusha Methodist High School also scooped the awards for the Best Concept Award, Best Set Design and Best Audience Response.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Teacher Kavita Sharan said it was through dedication and perseverance that contributed to the win.

Lomary Secondary were the first runner up while Suva Grammar school was second runner up.

In the Junior division, Rishikul Primary School walked away as the new champion.

Class eight students Janette Kumar and Priyanka Nambiar said that they were shocked with the announcement.

Meanwhile, International School Suva were awarded the best design backdrop, Best Costume, hair and makeup, Best writing while choreography award was Saint Marcellin Primary, Best soundtrack award went to Saint Agnes Primary School.

Story by: Selina Navuso and Sofaia Koroitanoa

Meanwhile down on the farm - Animal Farm perhaps - there are stirrings of stories in at least two of the blogs concerning the current Methodist Conference in Fiji - stirrings that the current Methodist leaders have been asked to step down, even before the meeting starts. Whether this is just a kitchen talk story or not I do not know. Only time will tell. Certainly the constitution of the church does not allow for 'live' people to step down!

Fiji govt requests church leaders stand down from conference next week

The Methodist Church of Fiji will hold a second meeting on Monday to discuss an apparent demand by the interim government that three church leaders stand down before next week’s annual church conference.

It’s the first annual Methodist Church gathering in three years following a ban imposed by Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime in 2009.

The deputy general secretary, Tevita Banivanua, says police phoned the church yesterday singling out the Reverend Ame Tugaue, the General Secretary the Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, and the Reverend Manasa Lasaro.

“What we have heard was that they will not be allowed to lead or chair the meeting. We have requested a letter that if this is the actual word of the Prime Minister, please put it down into writing because in our permit there is no such condition.”

Tevita Banivanua says the reason the police gave is that the three church leaders are facing court charges for having conducted a meeting which contravened the public emergency regulations.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

---------and the Fiji media are running the story in various ways. This is the spin from Fiji Sun. Though the approach over recent years has been 'softly, softly', it seems that is still not enough.

Step down


Three top clerics of the Methodist Church in Fiji have been asked to step down from their roles in the church’s annual conference. A directive has been given to the church by the Government for the trio not to control the meetings.

The members include church president, Reverend Ame Tugawe, general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and Reverend Manasa Lasaro.

Military spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Neumi Leweni yesterday confirmed that the Government had instructed the church that the trio refrain from chairing the meetings which is expected to begin on Tuesday. He said they had been reliably informed that there were elements within the church that had planned to utilise the church conference to instigate instability.

“We only ask the church for them to step down and not been completely axed from the meeting,” Lieutenant-Colonel Leweni said.

Church assistant general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said they had no choice but to ensure that they went ahead with the conference. However, he said the fate of the three leaders would be known once the members were informed tomorrow. “We have accepted the directive from the Government and we are going to discuss this matter tomorrow,” he said. He said Reverends Tugawe, Waqairatu and Lasaro were still part of the meeting. “They have not been told not to be part of the meeting but step down from their roles in the meeting.”

The three were earlier charged with contravening the Public Emergency Regulation (PER) and the Public Order Act.

Reverend Lasaro allegedly attended the Methodist Church Standing Committee meeting at Epworth Hall in Suva on July 17, 2009, breaching the conditions of the approved permit.

Church assistant general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra assured Government that there would be no political interference. “We can assure Government that we will not use the church conference to discuss political matters,” Reverend Nawadra said.

Government last week raised its concern that the church would use the conference to instigate instability.

“I have also warned members that we will not entertain any political talk during our three- day meeting.”

The conference will be held at the Centenary Church in Suva from August 23-25.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Indigenous Peoples Day

from w
Last Tuesday was a special day, August 9th, but it seems to have been overlooked in the Fiji press except for an article in today's Fiji Times. Yet, how important it is to give respect for First Nations. Perhaps this isn't a priority for some people, but I think it is most important. Here is an article I found on google with a focus on indigenous women that I think is relevant for Fiji.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – 9 August 2011

Message from UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2011.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we salute the extensive contributions they make to their societies through traditional knowledge, cultural and linguistic diversity and vital role as the caretakers of the planet. The theme for this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, “Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future,” provides a real opportunity to bring the voices of indigenous peoples to the global stage.

Despite their wealth of knowledge and wisdom, many indigenous communities live in situations of poverty and discrimination. While indigenous peoples number approximately 370 million and make up 5 percent of the world’s population, they are 15 percent of the world’s poor, and about one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people.

Women in indigenous communities are the most marginalized. They often lack access to education, health care and land, and are subjected to violence, including in the contexts of trafficking and armed conflict.

Yet, women are also the agents of change in their communities. Indigenous women have worked relentlessly to mobilize and push international actors to recognize the challenges they face, and to guarantee their individual and collective rights and sustainable development for their communities.

Supporting the voices of indigenous women, and their economic empowerment, political leadership and ending violence is a cornerstone of our work at UN Women. We will continue to support the leadership and engagement of indigenous women in the years ahead, including in international forums such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, UN Women urges renewed commitment to advance the status of indigenous peoples worldwide, including indigenous women, through meaningful engagement in decision-making, efforts to end gender-based violence and improving women’s economic standing. Only then can we move towards sustainable development and ensure real impact on the well-being of indigenous communities.

“We need to strengthen women’s self esteem and make them feel valued for their identity and culture”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thinking about bleak Britain

from w
We are appalled to see on our TV screens the violence in London and other cities in England and just wonder why groups of quite young people are acting so outrageously. Today's Melbourne Age newspaper letters to the editor and the cartoons all seem to point in one direction - that is of the situation of theft by the powerful banks and the large companies - when compared with the sudden outbreaks of theft by British youth who are often underprivileged - though not always. Somehow their dreams of a good life have been shattered and a simple trigger started the burning and destruction that has hurt many decent people in their ocmmunities. So what are the causes of this? Sending these young people to gaol certainly does not solve the underlying problems.

Click on an image to see enlarged enough to read the comments.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Babasiga guys in Geelong

from w
This morning Peceli, our grandson Jordan and I represented the local Fijian community at a gig to launch a Multicultural plan for the City of Greater Geelong. The Premier of Victoria did the main speech and about 150 people stood politely to listen to the good words by various speakers then clapped a bit when a hip-hop group Against Racism launched their skills. Many of us signed a mandala with good wishes. It was a great morning and we are proud that our city can embrace diversity in such a way. More photos on the Geelong Visual Diary blog.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Welcome to Labasa

from w
Two items in today's Fiji Times concern the ships that come to Malau bringing tourists and also goods. Seems like a good thing for Labasa.
Tourists need more time to shop

Maneesha Karan
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

TOURISTS need to be given more time to visit the town because this will provide them with the opportunity to visit shops and spend, says Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Ashok Karan.

Mr Karan said such was highlighted by tourists during their visit to Labasa last weekend. "Services and recreational activities for tourists is expected to gradually increase in Labasa given the frequency of cruise ships visiting Labasa but more time needed to visit shops is something that was pointed out by tourists themselves," Mr Karan said. "In the previous two visits, it was experienced that tourists were not left with much time to visit shops and spend money. We would like tourists to have sufficient time to spend in Labasa Town because this will allow the local businessmen to get something in return," Mr Karan said.

Labasa Macuata Tourist Association president Paul Jaduram shared similar sentiments. "They definitely need more shopping time and this concern was raised by the tourists," Mr Jaduram said. "We have some elderly persons on the cruise therefore we have to be mindful of their schedules and not tire them out." He said this concern would be discussed in their meeting next week.
Malau cuts freight costs

Maneesha Karan
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

BUSINESS houses in Labasa are utilising Bligh Water Shipping services from Lautoka to Malau. The service has saved businesses transportation costs from Nabouwalu and Savusavu. MV Suilven embarks on its third trip to Malau today.

Sales manager Roberta Lepper said business was steadily booming as forecasted.
With school holidays jusy two weeks away, students have booked tickets.
"The number of passengers using the service has increased as we had expected," Ms Lepper said. "We have on board some trucking companies such as CJ Patel and those transporting sugar across, and the ship also transports fertiliser to the North," she said.

Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Ashok Karan said business houses noted a drop in freight charges. "Businesses are saving freight costs which would have otherwise been transported from Lautoka to Suva, then shipped to Savusavu or Nabouwalu and then transported to Labasa via road," Mr Karan said. "The direct boat service is saving businessmen road costs." The transportation of machinery and plant equipment to Viti Levu has been made much easier too, Mr Karan added. "The Lautoka-Malau is also much safer compared to Savusavu where the waters have high turbulence," he said.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Isa, farewell John Tukua

from w
A friend told us this week of the passing of a beloved Anglican pastor, the Rev John Tukua. A lovely man who came from Macuata and worked in Geelong, Australia, then the family moved to Wellington, New Zealand. Our condolences go to the Tukua family in Wellington and other places.

From a Wellington newspaper:

TUKUA, Rev John. On 27 July 2011 our beloved Husband, Dad and Grandpa passed away at Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt. Our rock and hero. We will miss him so much but his spirit will always be in our lives and we draw strength from what he has given us. Dad, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and you have kept the faith. Rest in Peace "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way". Psalm 37:23 Very Much loved by Isimeli, Lai Leng, Joshua and Esther Tukua; Beverley, Gabriel, and Joseph John (JJ) Penjueli; Gabrielle, Allan, Ashley and Madison Boag; Dorothy, Manaia, Iesha and Isaiah Opai; and Joel Tukua. Messages for the Tukua Family can be placed in John's on line tributes book at or posted to c/- PO Box 44-176 Lower Hutt. The funeral service for Rev John will be held at St. James Anglican Church, 71 Woburn Road Lower Hutt on Wednesday 3 August 2011 at 10:30am followed by interment at the Akatarawa Cemetery.
And we've told from a New Zealand friend that Ela, John's wife, passed away two weeks later. Amazing. Here are the notes from a New Zealand newspaper about Ela.
Ela Silayawa Tukua

TUKUA, Ela Silayawa. Our beautiful, courageous Mum and Grandma passed away peacefully on 12 August 2011 at Te Omanga Hospice, surrounded by her family. Aged 73 years. Dearly loved soul mate and wife of the late Rev John Tukua (deceased 27 July 2011). Treasured mum of Isimeli and Lai Leng Tukua, Beverly and Gabriel Penjueli, Gabrielle and Allan Boag, Dorothy and Manaia Opai, and Joel Tukua. Cherished Grandma of Joshua and Esther Tukua, Joseph John Penjueli, Ashley and Madison Boag, and Iesha and Isaiah Opai. Your path was long and tiring, but you never gave up hope. We know that Dad awaited you and understood your need to leave. You've left behind your children's tears, loving memories of the years, of joy and love, of courage and faith - a life well spent. We know that you are now at peace, with Dad and in God's loving arms. Messages for the Tukua Family can be placed in Ela's online tribute book at or posted to c/- PO Box 44-176 Lower Hutt. The funeral service for Ela will be held at St. James Anglican Church, 71 Woburn Road Lower Hutt on Wednesday 17th August 2011 at 10.30am followed by interment at the Akatarawa Cemetery. Harbour City Funeral Home FDANZ Tel (04) 570-0111

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Conference now three days

from w
Well, keeping a mild face on things, the Fiji Methodist Church leaders are now allowed to meet for more than one day.
From Fiji Sun


Government has given the green light for the Methodist Church in Fiji to hold its annual conference for more than a day. Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama approved the permit yesterday morning allowing the church to meet for three days later this month.

Previously, Government had only granted a day's permit for all church meetings including the monthly circuit meetings and quarterly meetings with the condition that no political issue is discussed at those meetings.

The Church's deputy secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra yesterday expressed their gratefulness for the decision.

He said what had transpired in the past between them (Government and church) had been a lesson for them.

He said this year’s conference was an opportunity for them to discuss their way forward.

“We are so thankful to Government for giving us the extended time where we plan to touch only on the main items selected which are required by our constitution,” Reverend Nawadra said.

“Part of our programme is to have forward thinking where we will try to have our strategy for the future.

“What has taken place has taught us some lessons and we want to see that as part of our discussions and how we can move on forward from here given the situation that we have just gone through,” he said.

Commodore Bainimarama had initially banned all church gatherings saying that the church was politically involved, especially their leaders. He also said that the church was rather a money making institution with the high amount of money levied to its members.

Reverend Nawadra said to have been allowed the meetings (including the extended time) is a bonus for them given the initial order that the conference should wait until 2014.

Only the choir and the soli competitions are still being banned.

“The whole meeting that used to be held is still not being entertained this year. We want to take one year at a time and it is part of our next year’s plan to seek approval,” Reverend Nawadra said.

He said a letter was sent to the PM requesting that the one day time that was allotted to them be extended to 24 hours.

The conference is schedule to take place from August 23-25 in Suva.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Why is KFC closing down in Fiji?

from w
Radio Fiji reports that the KFC outlets are closing down in Fiji so I wonder why. Perhaps the clients can no long afford the high costs of purchasing a fast food meal - such as Kentucky Fried Chicken - for a family of eight or more! Our grandchildren really like fried chicken so one of the lads decided to make up his own recipe - with a bit of help from the internet - and he certainly had trouble making breadcrumbs. Then he decided to make a marinade with flour and soy sauce and - okay- the chicken turned out tasty. Chickens are not expensive where we live because we can buy wholesale from a nearby factory - though we don't ask questions about how the chickens were raised, in cages or roaming free. Better not to ask.

KFC outlets in Fiji face closure
Monday, August 01, 2011

Taken from / By: Google

Prominent fast food outlet KFC is on the verge of closing down operations in Fiji. Sources have confirmed to FBC News that the global fast food giant Fiji franchise is taking steps to close down its three outlets in the country. Two outlets in Suva and Nadi are already displaying signs that they are re-locating, however we have been informed KFC may soon cease to operate. A statement from the KFC head office in Hawaii is expected soon.

Report by : Edwin Nand
and from Fiji Sun on Tuesday:

writer : RACHNA LAL

All Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) lovers will be in for a surprise as all their outlets in Fiji may remain closed until further notice.

This was after Kazi Foods Corporation Fiji announced the suspension of all their business operations in Fiji with immediate effect.

KFC general manager Steve Johnson, in a letter dated July 29 to all KFC-Fiji suppliers, informed them of this closure. While he attributed the decision to suspend the Fiji operations to rising costs and deteriorating sales, Mr Johnson said the ban placed by Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) some months ago on importation of key ingredients also impacted their business. “The decision by BAF to ban importation of a key ingredient used in the making of the Colonel’s Original Recipe Chicken, delivered a fatal blow to our business,” he said. “The milk and egg is used widely in 170 countries worldwide without any conditions and health risks to consumers and we have been regularly importing it since KFC opened its doors for business almost 10 years ago,” Mr Johnson said.

He revealed that BAF imposed 15 prerequisites some months back before any new import approval could be granted. “The company fulfilled 14. The manufacturer and our Singapore supplier is at a loss to understand the motive and real purpose of import restriction.” Mr Johnson said the company would dispose their assets in the event KFC failed to resume operations. “We will revert to all our suppliers, small and large, as to how we propose to pay off the debt that may be owed.”

KFC opened its first restaurant in April 2002 in Suva slowly expanding to KFC Centre Point at Laucala Beach outside Suva and KFC Namaka in Nadi.

KFC also opened its first Pizza Hut Restaurant to compliment KFC in July 2007 at Centre Point location followed by Suva and Namaka locations.

According to the KFC-Fiji website, every day more than 12 million customers are served at KFC restaurant in 109 countries and territories around the world.
KFC operates more than 5200 restaurants in the United States and more than 15,000 units around the world.

Pizza Hut, on the other hand, serves nearly two million pizzas a day in its 12,000 plus locations. It has an estimated four million customers worldwide. Questions sent to BAF remained unanswered when this story when for press. Meanwhile, a statement from KFC’s head office in Hawaii is expected to be released tomorrow.
and from Fiji FBC:
Fiji Bio-security accuses KFC of false claims
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has clairified that they are not responsible for the closure of KFC outlets in Fiji and says the global fast food chain has employed mischievious public relations tactics to divert blame.

The Authority says they have not put any ban on the importation of KFC's key ingredients as claimed by the company.

Chief executive Elvis Silvestrini says KFC's consignment of milk and egg mix is temporarily held up because Veterinary Certification is required from KFC assuring that the products are free of diseases - and safe to bring into Fiji.

Silverstrini says this is consistent with international obligations and the conditions for all imports into the country.

He says they have held-up 2 cartons of KFC’s ingredients because they did not provide a Veterinary Certificate with its last consignment.

Silverstrini adds KFC's move to blame BAF is a tactic to divert attention from the fact that KFC's closure is due to rising costs and deteriorating sales - as they themselves have admitted.

Silvestrini says KFC had been given a number of options by the Authority to clear their consignment, and were informed at every stage of the process abou the import requirements.
Report by : Ritika Pratap