CBN News recently reported that Australia has thwarted a so - called "demonstration killing plot" by ISIS.
Police there detained 15 people who allegedly planned to publicly behead a random person in Sydney and Brisbane before draping them in the ISIS flag.
One of the 15 was quite senior in the ISIS network. Their goal was to demonstrate the reach of this militant group.
I believe if ISIS is in Australia then they probably are in Fiji too.
Muslim clerics in Egypt and now Saudi Arabia (FT 19/9) have said that ISIS had nothing to do with Islam.
US modern day prophet Rick Joyner (Prophetic Perspectives) saw a vision recently which agrees with this.
He said ISIS has demonised individuals and the demons came straight out of the bowels of hell.
ISIS and Qatar
With news doing the rounds around the country and abroad that Qatar allegedly paid a ransom of $US20million ($F37m) on humanitarian grounds to free our soldiers, nothing officially has been said from either sides.
Recently it has come to light that Qatar, America's close ally, together with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has become a terrorist funding trouble spot.
The US says that it does not have evidence that the government of Qatar is funding the terrorist group now known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but it does believe that private individuals in Qatar are helping to finance this group and others like it.
Qatar is the world's richest country per capita and has the highest human development in the Arab world.
It is recognised as a high income economy by the World Bank.
We in Fiji will always be thankful to the government of Qatar in helping release the soldiers.
Coincidence or what
An interesting observation has come to light following a close scrutiny of the final results of the general election.
Both the candidates issued with numbers 279 and 297 polled the highest votes for their respective parties.
Is this a mere coincidence or is there an inherent connection arising from the confusion of the two numbers?
I guess only the voters themselves can best answer this question.
There may be other similar resemblances that others may have noticed.
We cannot also ignore the fact that about 3000 votes were declared invalid as well.
I believe the biggest contributor to FijiFirst Party as victory is the swift economic development that has taken place all over Fiji in the past few years.
People have seen the mark to believe. Individuals who believe themselves to be economically better off now than they were before or have a brighter private economic expectation of the future under FFP leadership.
More decisive in the thinking of voters who turn towards FFP are the sense of security, safety and being accepted as equals in this country, something that other parties also promised in their manifestos.
Special attention by the press and media especially in the past two weeks before the election also took its toll. Despite the above, one must note the absence of opposition to debate the need for public expenditure which in the past eight years guaranteed speedier service which legitimises governance.
Now that an elected government is in place the need to debate public expenditure is mandatory.
The question is will the speed of government service be the same or constrained.
Mind you past military coups have often been rationalised in terms of elected governments inability or incompetence to speedily meet people's (or some people's) need.
WHEN the water settles in calmness I would sincerely urge our leaders for there is still time to take a moment of self consciousness and re-look at the path we've come this far.
As a matter of fact our leaders can reflect on our purpose here, where are we heading to and for what have they set their goals to achieve.
LYnda Tabuya was brave enough to admit that the election was fair, probably after sitting back and taking stock of the electoral process.
This was after her People's Democratic Party had gathered with other losing parties and alleged discrepancies in election.
I feel that she may have been coerced into that situation.
Ms Tabuya you have just stepped out of the darker side of politics and congrats for that.
Rifle Range Lautoka
With the first sitting of parliament about to proceed it should be made compulsory that all proceedings be televised and on live web streaming.
An agenda to the routine order of business on each sitting day should also be made available online.
In this time and age the accountability and productivity of those we have voted in can and needs to be monitored by the nation.
It'll also take control over decorum.
Basically we would like to make an informed decision on who should stay and who should go next time around.
Transparency at the heart of it all.
The question has been asked ... what do you want the new government to address?
Here are some requests from my friends and I:
1. First of all, if there is to be an opposition in parliament, please have time to listen to them, don't bulldoze your way over them;
2. Stick to the promises in the manifesto;
3. Try and find ways to get rid of Import Excise Tax that was introduced by the Qarase government when they introduced zero duty and VAT on basic food items;
4. Don't make water free, but introduce a monthly bill and not a three month bill;
5. Check on how valuable is the degree, diploma and certificate that is being issued by a university in Fiji;
6. Reduce import duty on basic "whitegoods items" that are no longer luxury but household needs;
7. Increase alcohol and tobacco products' prices really high for the sake of the ordinary family and the drunk who has a tendency to abuse his wife and children;
8. Infant milk is duty free, yet the price for a can is way beyond the ordinary families paying capability, instead of giving free milk to students, how about giving new mother free infant milk.
(Conditions shall apply);
9. FEA to introduce solar panels for homes in the urban areas to supplement the feed for fewer powerlines.
(P'rap, some reduction in the CEO and executives' pay would suffice); and
10. Give water tanks to people earning below $20,000 but on a payment basis.
Power of prayer
The nation prayed for the safe release of our soldiers in Syria. We united as one and our prayers were answered. Can we unite once again as a nation and pray for rain especially in the drought-stricken burning West? I bet my dollars worth if we again unite as a nation, our prayers will be heard.
The Bible says "The fool says in his heart "there is no God." I believe we have one such person in Fiji and he contributed to this column on Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Congratulations to Prime Minister Bainimarama and his newly-appointed government. We look forward to the progressive improvements that will be implemented in the next four years. Thank you, Mr Bainimarama for reassuring the nation of a new and true democracy for our country in your interview on Saturday, September 20 on ABC News. Congratulations!
Finau Naigulevu Turaga
Fact: Earth is dying. Fiji is in drought. Others will follow. Floods too. Citizens are short of water. Questions: How many million litres of water are - and have been - bottled and exported from this country? And with what long-term surface and geological effects? Answers please. Suggestion: As a matter of priority create a Ministry for Climate Change and Water Sustainability.
Free and fair
I notice in the Scottish vote for independence held just one day after the Fiji election of September 17, there were no questions raised about it being free and fair and there was no need for any international observer group to monitor the vote. That's how true democratic voting should take place.
Those yellow 100m markings at Nasese foreshore are fading and need repainting. Attempts to split that single-pack into two columns of three is becoming a nightmare of a challenge when distance run is unclear. Well, that applies to some, not all. Otherwise, Nasese is the place to be to avoid heart-attack.
CongratULATIONs to the Suva soccer team and officials for winning the 2014 National Soccer League. Suva is one of the most consistent teams in Fiji. Hats off to the coach, players, team manager and other officials for putting Suva soccer back to where it belongs.
YOUR SAY: Religion and water
I was bemused to read the recent letter (FT20/9) by Nick Rodriguez in response to something previously written by Simi Cagilaba. Why bemused? Well, I can't, for the life of me, figure out what kind of constructive purpose a message like that would have for anyone else other than, perhaps, some supposed strange cathartic exorcising of Nick's ghosts from some kind of religious upbringing.
I have not tracked back to read Mr Cagilaba's letter to understand what compelled Nick Rodriguez to write but I doubt that his three possibility model - i.e God either grants prayers, denies them or invites us to wait - was an attempt to sell non-believers on the idea of believing.
So why adopt the sneering tone of someone supposedly rational pointing out supposed foolishness and childish, simplistic logic? Why the ridiculing with reference to Ra? It's obviously ridicule as I doubt that there are any followers of ancient Egyptian religions around any more.
The atheists who somehow can't resist the instinct to mock theists - seemingly without any self-awareness about the emotional loading this betrays - seem to love resorting to such references to antiquated deities of extinct religions as if this somehow proves how preposterous all forms of faith are. These minions of the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchins show little capacity for original thought.
Perhaps they imagine that they are doing the rest of us favour by somehow delivering us from the supposed misconceptions of having faith in anything - in their naive premise that this somehow brings about some kind of improved outcomes in the world as if religion alone is the source of all forms of backwardness and suffering. But one only has to observe the spite with which their mockery is delivered to see that one doesn't need to subscribe to a religious belief to be a narrow-minded fanatical and dogmatic bigot that atheists are as capable of possessing an inquisition-like mentality, equally prone to pontificating and engaging in self-righteous rants.
The recent number of letters highlighting peoples concerns regarding the present water situation clearly voice the disappointment of many.
Here's some observations regarding water supply in Fiji.
For a family of four who use a washing machine almost daily, maintain a clean drive and car, regularly shower and are sensible with water their total usage cost is $5.76 per month. A cup of black coffee in a popular cafe in Suva is $5.90.
The water costs for that same family are only 3.5 per cent of the cost of electricity plus gas that they would consider essential energy needs for cooking and lighting.
In the past year, eight repairs of which one still leaks, have been undertaken by WAF to underground leaks along a short stretch of road which only has nine houses supplied by this length of underground pipe.
Water in Fiji is far too cheap, there is no incentive for conserving it and maintenance costs of the system in places far outweigh any revenue earned from consumers in those places. The WAF need to vastly increase the cost of water for those consumers that use over a certain amount, the additional income generated then used to assist expansion of the network, storage and maintenance.
As I sat there in deep thought early yesterday morning, contemplating the exciting challenges facing the world's newest democracy, I heard a very faint sound ... a eureka moment in history happening right behind me as our cistern, long parched, bone dry like the martian landscape, gurgled to life again.
I'll spare the esteemed readers of The Fiji Times the exact details of what I did next, but within moments I was up screaming out to my dear wife with joy, "Water, water, Lami has water again".
For the first time since polling began and we had cast our votes, husband and wife came together as one, casting aside our political differences we joined hands and flushed the toilet.
What a relief and a joy. Our prayers were answered.