Showing posts from July 19, 2009

Snippets: Political and Economic

Political News

The Ethnic Fijian Teachers Association, whose leaders have on several previous occasions taken an anti-government stance, has been criticized by Ministry of Education Filipe Bole for encouraging the recruitment of teachers for Australian schools, and warned disciplinary action will be taken if the recruitment includes serving teachers, whose loss would adversely affect education in Fiji and Government plans for education improvements. The Minister reminded the Union that FTA members are first and foremost civil servants, and that Government has invested heavily in their training. There are no objections to the recruitment of retired teachers. The Minister saw the Union's actions as anti-government. -- Based on Fiji Live.

US Ambassador Steven McGann (photo) has advised 30 new Peace Corps volunteers not to meddle in Fiji's political affairs, citing Pres. Barrack Obama's statement that no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any othe…

(+) Ro Teimumu's Actions Deliberate, Calculated and ... Clever

UPDATE. Ro Teimumu, charged with Contravening Public Order Act, Breaching of Public Emergency Regulations and Inciting against Public Order by publishing a letter on the internet, was released on a bail of $500 yesterday.

The Revs Ame Tugaue and Tuikilakila Waqairatu, charged with Contravening Public Order Act and Contravening permit to hold meeting, have also been released on $500 bail orders, asked to surrender their passports, and told not to associate with former church presidents Manasa Lasaro and Tomasi Kanailagi, who will appear in court today. -- Information from Coupfourpointfive.

No matter how much her supporters may protest this is not the way to treat a chief, even if she did break the law; no matter whether she spent the night in police or army custody; whether the Public Emergency Regulations are "right" or "wrong," or the Bainimarama regime legitimate or otherwise, there can be absolutely no doubt that Ro Teimumu's action in publishing a public …

Snippets: Vatukoula, Fatiaki, Evangelizing, Chaudhry, Rotuma Acts, Media Impartiality

Going For Gold. For an update on the troubled gold industry and the mining town of Vatukoula, and plans for the future, click here.

Fatiaki joins Madraiwiwi in Vanuatu. Former Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki, removed from office by Bainimarama in 2006 on charges that were later withdrawn, is the new Chief Justice in Vanuatu. Fatiaki is one of a number of Rotumans who have distinguished themselves in a number of private and public positions in Fiji. [Rotuma, annexed by Britain in 1881 and today part of Fiji, is 500km north of Lautoka. Culturally distinct from ethnic Fijians, Rotumans in Rotuma and Fiji proper were represented in parliament by one MP.The island is administered by a council of elected members and chiefs which nominated one member of the Fiji Senate.]

Rotuma Acts Reviewed. Marieta Rigamoto, Rotuman former Information Minister, thinks Government's decision to review the Rotuma Act and the 1959 Rotuma Lands Act is a great opportunity for Rotumans to comment on legislation th…

(o+) Ro Teimumu, Methodist Ministers Being Questioned

Ro Teimumu, paramount chief of the Burebasaga confederacy, former Minister in the ousted SDL-led Government and an outspoken opponent of the Bainimarama Government, and at least four Methodist clergymen, including the controversial Revs Kanailagi and Lasaro, have been taken in for questioning about their rumoured plans to proceed with the Methodist Church's August Annual Conference in Rewa, to be hosted by Ro Teimumu, despite Government's refusal to grant the assembly a permit during the Public Emergency. Last week the Church broke the conditions of a permit, that required the non-attendance of Revs Laraso and Kanailagi, by holding a standing committee meeting in Suva. It was apparently at this meeting the decision was made to proceed with the Conference, with or without Government permission. The Government position is that Kanailagi and Lasaro (and no doubt others) will use the Conference for political purposes which, in Fiji's present political climate, could threat…

(G) Bainimarama on Media, Socio-Economic Infrastructure First, then the Constitution and Elections

Speaking at Nadi yesterday, PM Bainimarama said Fiji would have have what he called "a modern day constitution" well before the 2014 elections, but that Government's focus for the next three years will be be on improving "socio-economic and infrastructure conditions throughout the country.” This will include encouraging the private sector and the media to join Government in initiatives that will be pro-growth and pro-poor.

Work on the new constitution will start in September 2012, two years before the elections. It will include provisions that “will entrench common and equal citizenry, it must not have ethnic-based voting; the voting age shall be 18; and it must have systems that hold elected governments accountable with more checks and balances." Public consultations on the constitution will include discussionon the “size of the new Parliament, the appropriateness of a bi-cameral system, the term of office of a government and systems of checks and balances”. B…

(o) Snippets: Madraiwiwi, Sogavere, Keys, Garments, the Nadi "Sorcerers"

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, now a member of the Solomon Island Truth and Reconciliation Commission, believes Fiji may one day benefit from a similar commission to tackle unresolved issues such as “interethnic and interethnic tensions arising out of May, 2000 and earlier, unresolved issues from the mutiny and other deaths in custody, and religious intolerance”. Fiji Live.

Dual Citizenship. Fiji citizens will no longer need to renounce their Fiji citizenship if they become citizens of another country. The provision will be of special value to Fiji citizens living overseas, particularly those who left for reasons of insecurity following each of Fiji's four coups.

PSC Cuts. A Public Service proposal of a voluntary redundancy package offered to some 5,000 civil servants close to retirement could cut 20% off current civil service costs, if approved by Government. Fiji Live.

Solomons v. Samoa.ABC reports that Solomon Islands opposition leader Maaasseh Sogavare has strongly criticized Samoan PM …