Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A bridge too far away

from w
I am puzzled by an article in the Fiji Times about the bridge at Vatuadova village (our village) as the writer talks about an old bridge and now another one to be built.  Actually there was once an old bridge but in recent years and with some fanfare a new bridge was built and launched, but then some heavy trucks or something damaged that new bridge. Now instead of fixing half of the bridge, they are putting up another one?  After the damage, yes there was only one-way traffic, but do they really have to put up another bridge, instead of fixing that 'new' bridge.

Bridge to improve traffic flow

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, October 01, 2015

Traffic flow is expected to improve after the completion of a temporary bridge at Vatudova by Fulton Hogan Hiways. Picture: Supplied
TRAFFIC flow will ease after Fulton Hogan Hiways completes the construction of a temporary bridge at Vatudova, along the Labasa-Seaqaqa highway.
And motorists have given the company a thumbs up on the new development.
A few motorists this newspaper spoke to said they would no longer wait in line for oncoming vehicles to pass through the bridge.
Businessman Shalendra Kumar said the new bridge would cut travelling time.
"We won't have to wait for at least five minutes at the bridge like when we were using the old one because of one-way traffic," Mr Kumar said.
"This company is doing very well in maintaining our roads and bridges in Labasa."
A statement from Fulton Hogan Hiways said the new structure was a 30m single-lane bailey bridge built beside the existing bridge, which had been partially closed because of a structural failure on one lane of the bridge deck.
Fulton Hogan Hiways Natua depot manager Nokati Ceguvinaka said the main challenge was the congestion of traffic as the bridge was on the main road and used by everyone.
The statement said the new bailey bridge would remain in place allowing two-way traffic to proceed.

This would mean that both bridges would be open to allow for a twoway traffic.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thursday in Cardiff

from w
It will be exciting to see Fiji play Australia in Cardiff this week.  Where is Cardiff? Cardiff (Listeni/ˈkɑrdɪf/WelshCaerdydd  [kairˈdiːð, kaˑɨrˈdɨːð]) is the capital and largest city in Wales and the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom.[2] The city is the country's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales.   So I expect Fiji's PM Bainimarama will find some excuse to travel to Cardiff to watch Fiji play. I am sure there will be some fine Methodist singing from the spectators.

Rugby World Cup: Wallabies and Fiji ready to entertain in Cardiff

Updated about 5 hours ago
With Australia and Fiji pledging to stick to their traditions of attacking rugby, Cardiff should be in for a cracking Rugby World Cup contest when the Pool A rivals clash at the Millennium Stadium on Thursday morning.
The Wallabies, winners of both previous World Cups played in Britain, finally get their campaign under way six days into the tournament and will be strong favourites to start with a win over the Pacific Islanders.
After Japan's victory over the Springboks on Saturday, however, no one is taking anything for granted and Fiji showed enough in its defeat against England to suggest that it is capable of an upset if everything comes together.
Playing under a closed roof should facilitate the famed running game of both sides, even if some players in the first two matches in Cardiff have complained that the humidity can make the ball slippery.
Australia coach Michael Cheika has long made it clear that the Wallabies will never play conservative rugby on his watch,whatever the conditions.
"That's the way we play, to play with attack," Cheika said on Monday.
That's the way we play, to play with attack. It's part of our identity. We're not going to change our ways just because it's a World Cup.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika
"It's part of our identity. We're not going to change our ways just because it's a World Cup."
Australia will aim to unleash the likes of full-back Israel Folau, but first it must secure the ball. To that end, Cheika has selected twin openside flankers in David Pocock and Michael Hooper.
The last time the pair started together was in Australia's August victory over the All Blacks in Sydney to secure the Rugby Championship.
"I'm not trying to claim there is any brilliant rocket science behind it," Cheika added. "You just have two very good players."
Fiji has some potent attacking weapons itself, not least hulking winger Nemani Nadolo, who the Australians know very well from Super Rugby.
Regardless of the threat with ball in hand, however, Nadolo or fly half Ben Volavola must make the most of any points on offer from the kicking tee.
Flanker Dominiko Waqaniburotu has been ruled out of the match after being suspended for a dangerous tackle against England and coach John McKee has made three other changes to freshen up his pack.
"Now it's important we pick up a win," said lock Tevita Cavubati.
"We need to enjoy it as well, because that is when we express ourselves most. We don't want to go into our shells now. We also know that one upset will change the pool altogether."


  • Australia: 1-Scott Sio, 2-Stephen Moore, 3-Sekope Kepu, 4-Kane Douglas, 5-Rob Simmons, 6-Scott Fardy, 7-Michael Hooper, 8-David Pocock, 9-Will Genia, 10-Bernard Foley, 11-Rob Horne, 12-Matt Giteau, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 14-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 15-Israel Folau.
    Replacements: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-James Slipper, 18-Greg Holmes, 19-Will Skelton, 20-Dean Mumm, 21-Nick Phipps, 22- Matt Toomua, 23-Kurtley Beale.

  • Fiji: 1-Campese Ma'afu, 2-Talemaitoga Tuapati, 3-Manasa Saulo, 4-Tevita Cavubati, 5-Leone Nakarawa, 6-Peceli Yato, 7-Akapusi Qera (captain), 8-Netani Talei; 9-Nikola Matawalu, 10-Ben Volavola, 11-Nemani Nadolo, 12-Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 13-Vereniki Goneva, 14-Waisea Nayacalevu, 15-Metuisela Talebula
    Replacements: 16.-Viliame Veikoso, 17-Peni Ravai, 18-Isei Colati, 19-Nemia Soqeta, 20-Malakai Ravulo, 21-Nemia Kenatale, 22-Joshua Matavesi, 23-Asaeli Tikoirotuma.
  • Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A strong view on Fijian languages - from the West

from w
An interesting viewpoint comes from Sabeto in the western side of Fiji, a writer not happy the way that the Bauan language become the Number One Fijian language. A good article from the Fiji Times today.

Diversity of Fiji's tongues

Pauliasi Don Natabe
Friday, September 18, 2015
As we have all learned in our homes and schools, the Vunivalu of Bau sold our country to the British in 1874, setting in motion a century and a half of alternating progress and chaos. What was left out of our history books and dinnertime conversations, though, was that this upheaval has led to the slow death of many of our dialects.
Today, the State-endorsed vosavakaViti, or iTaukei language, is a form of continued colonisation of our many dialects by Bauan, and it is responsible for the deaths of dozens of languages in Fiji.
By using the term "vosavakaViti when in fact referring only to standard, modernised Bauan, we ignore and deliberately cover up the linguistic diversity of indigenous Fijians.
How many speakers of vosavakaViti understand me when I say that qi rarawa du valevu ina lequ dania na kea sa vamatenia lequ tatanivanua na tatavaBau? Or are you going to tell me that is only a "dialect," and is not vosavakaViti? Because I am sad that Bauan is killing my language.
Let me tell you how a language colonises a neighbouring one.
It starts with the colonisers themselves, the British.
First, they choose a local group that has already converted to their religion and seems quite compliant to British interests — ie the Bauans, under Cakobau.
Then, though the group does not have military control over the area they claim to rule (Colo and Nadi regions), for example, remained firmly outside of Bauan control for several decades after cession), they give the local group weapons and formal recognition by the British government.
Eventually, the resistance to the Bauan government broke — and as a reward, the British ensure the legacy of Bauan domination by institutionalising their dialect as the "national dialect", despite the fact almost no one spoke it outside of Lomaiviti prior to cession.
And today, 140 years later, the term vosavakaViti is commonly understood as meaning the Bauan dialect — as if they are the only ones who speak Fijian.
The arrogance of it amazes me, much like the crowning of Cakobau as Tui Viti.
Even here in Nadi region, we have the annual Bula Festival. Bula is a Bauan word! How would kai Suva feel if we demanded they change the Hibiscus Festival to the Kulu Festival?
From the moment an iTaukei child is born, he or she faces a barrage of languages. At home, children learn one or two Fijian dialects depending on where their parents are from. And when that child goes to school, he or she will be told these languages are not recognised as vosavakaViti, as Fijian, by the school. Only standard, modern Bauan is vosavakaViti.
This iTaukei child carries this new, invasive language home with him or her, mixing their school-taught Bauan in with their language at home. Thus, rural iTaukei children speak three languages. They speak their local language in their village, are instructed by their teachers in Bauan, and finally, they must learn English in order to comprehend the Fijian school curriculum.
Languages and dialects
Even the fact that we use the term "dialect", and not "language" to describe our oral traditions is demeaning.
When compared using the Swadesh list, a linguistic tool that uses basic, cross-cultural phenomenon to determine the differences between languages, tatavaSabeto and vosavakaBau have less than 60 per cent in common, less than many other language pairs.
Take Spanish and Portuguese, which originate from the same Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Spanish-speakers and Portuguese-speakers can communicate using their own languages and be understood by each other yet both are recognised in their own rights as full languages by everyone in the world, not as dialects of one another.
The same cannot be said of tatavaSabeto and vosavakaBau, which are not mutually comprehensible, and are instead placed inside a false hierarchy, whereby TatavaSabeto is merely a "dialect" of the national Bauan language.
Every day, non-Bauan dialects in Fiji are being neglected in favour of Bauan in homes, offices and schools, silently endorsed by every government since independence.
Every day, as public services strengthen and interregional marriages increase, Bauan and English gain stronger footholds in households across Fiji, pushing out the languages of our ancestors.
And Fiji's beautiful rainbow of spoken word, from tatavaSabeto to vosavaLau, slowly melt together into gray, English-speckled vosavakaBau.
We cannot let this happen. We must save our languages, before it is too late.
* Pauliasi Don Natabe is studying geography part-time at USP. He lives in Sabeto Village and is the assistant director of Sabeto Kidz Club 2015. The views expressed are his and not of this newspaper,

Thursday, September 03, 2015

walking on eggshells regarding Western Papua

from w
It's interesting that a man from Western Papua has turned up in Suva for a meeting, though he's not invited. It's a touchy subject for Fiji - how to be friends with Indonesia, and how to be supportive of a Melanesian brother.  For now, the man was not allowed into the forum. The story was in the Fiji Times.

Freedom fighter shown the way out

Siteri Sauvakacolo And Solomone Rabulu
Friday, September 04, 2015

WEST Papua will apply to be a member of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, even though freedom fighter Octovanius Mote was denied entry into the PIDF meeting currently being held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
Mr Mote, the General-Secretary for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, was part of the Solomon Islands delegation.
Prior to the opening of the summit, he was told that he would not be part of the meeting and to leave the Grand Pacific Hotel premises.
PIDF interim secretary-general Amena Yauvoli said he was not aware of a West Papua delegation and he would also not comment on political matters.
"I am free in this Melanesian land, I am home, I don't care if I am not part of the meeting," Mr Mote said.
"Everybody is behind us in the West Papua fight and no nation can stop us and even though I might not be inside the meeting. It doesn't matter to me, it's too late, our solidarity groups are there."
Mr Mote said he was told he was not in the right place at the right time when he was disallowed from being part of the summit.
Mr Mote said opportunities such as the PIDF gave him the confidence to lobby leaders and gather more countries to rally behind their fight for freedom.
"We will apply to be a member of the PIDF next year, we also ask the leaders to form a fact finding mission and conduct human rights assessment in West Papua and we also ask leaders to call on the UN Secretary-General to call on a special envoy to conduct human rights assessment.
"The West Papua issue is not a local issue anymore, it is a Melanesian issue, it is a South Pacific Forum issue so I have to convey my gratitude to all my solidarity groups because we all work together. As I said, West Papua issue is a human right issue and it's an issue of all human beings who have a heart."

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The final four designs for a NZ flag

from w

The final design will be chosen from these four - all looking good to me.