Monday, October 26, 2015

But where is the port?

from w
The village of Nakalou is in the vicinity of Dreketi and is there a port there for sending the bauxite away? And  - how clean is my valley - after the come in and wreck the land?

Landowners look at joint venture

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
LANDOWNING units in Nakalou Village in Macuata will soon agree on a joint venture with an Asian company for the extraction of bauxite from their land.
Speaking to landowning units during a recent trip to the North, assistant Minister for Lands and chairman of the Standing Committee for Mineral Resources Joeli Cawaki told villagers that after they submitted their consent, they would meet the company to decide on the venture.
Mr Cawaki told villagers that Government would step in and assist landowning units implement conditions of the venture.
He also urged landowners to take ownership of the development of their land and its resources.
Despite the richness in the natural resources they own, Mr Cawaki said iTaukei people continued to live in poverty.
According to Mr Cawaki, iTaukei people continued to be blinded and influenced by the effects of colonialism.
Referring to the joint venture, Mr Cawaki said Nakalou would be the first place in the country whereby landowning units would directly be involved with investors.
Mr Cawaki said iTaukei people continued to give their resources to investors who made millions while the landowners only lived on the meagre unimproved capital value of leases they received on a monthly basis.
He said landowners were always missing during discussions regarding developments on their land.
He urged landowners in Nakalou to be vigilant and step forward for the development of their people.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Labasa Rotary Club

Fiji Sun don't like people to copy and paste but here's the link - about the Labasa Rotary Club.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weaving kuta

from w
It's interesting that a man from Macuata has joined the women's craft of weaving kuta. Congratulations to Mataiasi Qaronu from Nurua village in Macuata.  Also go to an article in the Fiji Sun about this man.

Exception to the rule

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Friday, October 16, 2015
THE National Women's Expo 2015 was meant for women participants only when it opened on Wednesday.
But Mataiasi Qaroru is the lone exception to this rule, all thanks to his talent which has gained him a spot in this year's event.
Originally from Niurua Village in Macuata, Mr Qaroru, who is known to weave the finest kuta (eleocharis dulcis), is today passing this knowledge to women from his province.
Mr Qaroru, 48, said his weaving was now a source of livelihood for him and his wife and allowed them to expand their micro enterprise to pig farming.
"Today, we also have a small canteen in the village, so my skills have today become a breadwinner to my family," Mr Qaroru said.
Harvesting kuta from the lakes where it grows is a tough task; it takes him about three hours to walk to the lake and back with his load. Work involved in getting a fine kuta product is not easy either.
Explaining the process, Mr Qaroru said after harvesting the kuta reeds, they were tied in bundles and carried vertically.
"Kuta grows in lakes but after harvesting we cannot allow water to touch it again. If we carry them horizontally, they would break thus the need to carry them vertically."
Four days and four nights the kuta would be wrapped so not to allow any breeze to touch them and after this they would be left to dry in the sun to give the reeds their golden brown colour before the fine ones were separated from the wide ones.
"But kuta is not harvested all year round, we only do it in April and that would be after we take some to the chief in the village as it's customary to give the chief the first harvest."
Mr Qaroru not only weaves mats from kuta, he also creates wedding gowns, wall hangings and cushion ring holders for weddings. And he is grateful for this traditional knowledge.
"I was brought up by my father's sister as she had no children and she was the one who taught me all this. I was only in Form Four at Nabala Junior Secondary when I learnt how to make kuta mats but my mum has always told me that it was a chiefly thing to do in her village of Korovuli, Sasa in Macuata."
Mr Qaroru said this knowledge had taken him places over the years. He is one of the 43 participants at the women's expo to receive a Fijian crafted licence.

Cane crushing to end soon

from w
It's a pity that some farmers cannot harvest their cane because the mill is closing too soon. Surely they are entitled to have their cane cut and sent to the mill after a year's work.

Extension to crushing sought

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
THE crushing season in Labasa ends this Saturday following the announcement yesterday by the Sugar Industry Tribunal.
"We have announced a date for this Saturday and we have done our part," Tribunal Commissioner Timothy Brown said.
"If there is a need to extend the season then it is between the FSC and the Sugar Cane Grower's Council.
"We won't be part of that discussion because we have played our part in announcing a date."
Questions sent to FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan remained unanswered. Efforts made to contact him via phone calls also proved futile.
Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said they had asked FSC for an extension.
"We are already in discussion with the ministry asking them for an extension to the season in Labasa. We have received calls from farmers in the North asking that the season be extended so they can harvest their crops," he said.
"That is why we are travelling to Labasa tomorrow (today) to see how much crops are left and meet with the mill management to discuss the possibility of an extension to the season."
Mr Chetty said consideration should be given to the farmers because they had invested a lot in their farms.
"After our meeting, we can decide whether an extension will be given for the season," he said.
The Labasa mill has so far crushed 551,000 tonnes of cane and produced 66,500 tonnes of sugar.

The latest -  they have extended the crushing season  - by three days!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Konrote suggested for President of Fiji

from the Fiji Times:
PM nominates Konrote for President

Friday, October 09, 2015
Update: 6:08PM PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has nominated the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konrote for the position of President.
Mr Bainimarama said in a statement that he would nominate Mr Konrote's name officially to the Speaker of Parliament as provided for under sections 83 and 84 of the Fijian Constitution before the sitting of Parliament on Monday.
He said Mr Konrote was one of Fiji's most outstanding and decorated military officers, and he has been awarded with numerous awards and decorations during his illustrious career.
Bio of George Konrote from wikipedia:  Major General Jioji Konousi Konrote, OF, MC, better known as George Konrote, is a retired Major-General of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and a former diplomat. He is currently Minister for Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations in the Fijian Cabinet.

Early life and military career[edit]

Konrote is a native of the island of Rotuma. His days as a pupil at Natabua High School in Lautoka, Fiji, are described in the prize-winning book on Fiji Kava in the Blood by Peter Thomson.
A career soldier, Major General Konrote enlisted into the RFMF in 1966 and trained with New Zealand and Australian defence forces, studying at institutions such as the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies and the Australian Defence Force Academy in CanberraAustralia, (where he became a fellow in 1996), and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2000.
Rising through the ranks of the Fiji Military, he commanded battalions of Fijian soldiers in their peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon during the Fiji's UNIFIL campaign, and was subsequently appointed Deputy Force Commander of the UNIFIL operation, and finally the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Force Commander in Lebanon. In recognition of his contributions in these fields, Major General Konrote was awarded with the UNIFIL Peace Medal (1978), the Military Cross (UK, 1982), the Order of Merit (Italy, 1997), the Order of the Cedar (Lebanon, 1999) and was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji (Military Division) in 1997.

Diplomatic and political career

From 2001 to 2006, Konrote served as Fiji's High Commissioner to Australia.[1] After his appointment, equivalent to that of an ambassador, expired at the end of March 2006, and he was elected to represent the RotumanCommunal Constituency at the 2006 election,[2] and was subsequently appointed as Minister of State for Immigration and Ex-Servicemen in the Cabinet of Laisenia Qarase. His role in this portfolio abruptly ended when the government was deposed in a military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama on 5 December 2006.
Despite serving in the Qarase government, Konrote became a candidate for Bainimarama's party, FijiFirst, in the 2014 election,[3] winning 1,585 votes.[4] He was subsequently appointed Minister for Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations.Jump up

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Scouting in Fiji schools?

from w

Scouts in schools?

from w
I was interested to read a statement that scouting should be in all schools. Okay, scouts is a good movement but is it for boys AND girls in Fiji?  Who would run the programs if it was compulsory in schools?  Who would find the costs? I don't think the speaker thought it through.  Of course it's great for youngsters to learn bush skills and self-reliance. In fact in the olden days the Labasa scouts would go out into the bush for a weekend armed only with a cane-knife - no bedding, no extra clothes, no food, only a knife and they had to find bush tucker, make a shelter and so on.  Nowadays I think scouting is much softer.  Peceli was a scout as a boy and much later was a chaplain to the scouts in Geelong at one stage. Our three boys were scouts and attended jamborees, two of them in Fiji locations. Our grandchildren aren't in scouts though, because there are so many sporting options for them.
 Scouting is very good, but it could hardly be made compulsory in schools.

Ministry confirms scouting as compulsory 2016 program

Talebula Kate
Monday, October 05, 2015

Minister for Education Dr Mahendra Reddy, right, during the Scouts district rally at Krisna Vedic School on Saturday night. Picture: SOLOMONE RABULU
SCOUTING will be compulsory in all primary schools from next year.
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy made the confirmation while officiating as chief guest at the Nausori Scout council district rally on Saturday night. He said every child would be exposed to the basic skills they learnt out of the scouting movement. "If we don't do this, we will be lacking in our responsibility to develop better citizens," he said. "Scouting is about building better citizens of the country. The whole movement is designed to prepare you for life beyond your comfort zones; for life you may face with without your parents and loved ones and maybe very independent," he said.
Scouting, he said was how the children would learn the little tricks and tips in life to ensure their growth, development and to become independent and better citizens of the country.

Dr Reddy commended the organisers of the rally for having it after the Fiji Intermediate and Fiji Eighth Year exams. "This one is organised at a time when we want it to be, after Year 6 and Year 8 exams."

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

from the archives of Fiji

from w
Here is a historical photo when the Fiji Council of Chiefs was formed.  The Great Council of Chiefs, Waikava, Vanua Levu. The Great Council of Chiefs meeting at Waikava was opened by Governor Gordon on 20 November 1876 and lasted nearly 3 weeks. Gordon outlined his plans for indirect rule and established procedures for future meetings. Numerous resolutions were adopted and at the end of the meeting a letter to Queen Victoria was signed by the principal chiefs. Various people came to the climax of the meeting which included a feast, dancing and a solevu. Partly butchered turtles presented before a chief’s house.  

and a second photo of some of the chiefs:  at the 

Great Council of Chiefs, Waikava
The Great Council of Chiefs meeting at Waikava was opened by Governor Gordon on 20 November 1876 and lasted nearly 3 weeks. Gordon outlined his plans for indirect rule and established procedures for future meetings. Numerous resolutions were adopted and at the end of the meeting a letter to the British Queen was signed by the principal chiefs. Various people came to the climax of the meeting which included a feast, dancing and a solevu.
Senior members of the Great Council of Chiefs with Cakobau seated at the top of the ramp above his brother Ratu Josefa Celua. The chief to his left, wearing a white masi turban is likely Musudroka, the Vunivalu of Rewa.
Waikava, Vanua Levu, Fiji. Possibly photographed by F. Dufty, December 1876. P.99842.VH

The detail of one of the photos showed Berrick, an Afro American who came to live with one of the chiefs and there are descendants of that name in Fiji and overseas.