Short Briefs: Milk, Poverty, SDL Pensions, Tuilaepa, Methodists, Somare, Unoffical Villages, Asylum Seekers

Sweetened Milk. Government has made an irresistable proposal to Fiji's 235 registered dairy farmers. They will receive government subsidies for milk production, directly access assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, manage their own co-operative, and retain their shareholdings in Rewa Dairy. The farmers supply about 11 million litres of milk a year, all which will be purchased by Rewa Dairy.

The Poverty Eradication Unit of the PM's Office held a workshop, addressed by a World Bank expert, on impact assessment yesterday.  The Qarase and Bainimarama governments have  paid out $1.5 billion from 2000 to 2008 towards poverty alleviation but poverty levels continue to rise.  The Roadmap, I think rather unrealistically,  aims to greatly reduce poverty levels by 2014.  Very major changes are needed to the Fiji economy, wage levels, land tenure, housing, institutional structures and the empowerment of the poor, to significantly reduce poverty.  At best, World Bank tweeking will only help Government keep better tags on how its money is spent.

SDL Parliamentary Pensions Cut.  The cut now affect 35 former SDL MPs and Cabinet Ministers. Parliamentary pensions should not be confused with the ordinary, contributory,  FNPF pensions which are unaffected.

PM Bainimarama
thinks Samoan PM Tuilaepa's constant attacks on the Fiji Government are because he wants the Forum Secretariat to relocate to Samoa.

Methodist Church top leader
s have decided not to resign because they don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past when the church’s constitution was by-passed. [The Constution does not allow resignations?] This follows calls from within the Church for them to resign to help improve relations with Government that accused the leaders of being politicized.

Methodist Church Members
have been asked to pay $60,000 towards the court expenses of Church officials who broke the Public Emergency Regulations.  The Ministers are due to appear in Court tomorrow. The charge against seven of them now involves their attempt to hold the 2009 Conference in defiance of PERs.

Sir Michael Somare may seem to have been batting simultaneously for two opposing teams by making contrary statements on Fiji in Wellington today, but this is often the Pacific Way when offence is to be avoided.

Unofficial Fijian Villages to be Official. Cabinet has addressed the longstanding anomaly of "unoffical" Fijian villages, that have mostly grown up on peri-urban Native land, and remained unrecognized because of the absence of guidelines to assess their eligibility. To be eligible a village must be on the Native land of its parent Yavusa, the landowners must have agreed to surrender their rights, and the villagers must be from one yavusa and have a recogized leader.

Asylum Seekers. It seems some former Fiji citizens now in the USA having failed in all else are now seeking to claim political refugee status in order to remain there. In one recent appeal it was ruled: "The critical question is . . . whether circumstances have changed sufficiently that a petitioner who previously did not have a legitimate claim for asylum now has a well-founded fear of future persecution." The appeal was rejected. Apparently things are no worse in Fiji.


Avoro said…
Apparently there is an estimated 10000 Fijian citizens including Indians seeking or have been rejected immigration status.

However in NZ and Aust the figure is way higher, most if not all of Qarase's rogues and are currently deemed overstayers hence the reason for their desperation.

I say round them all up and send them back it just might save the NZ and Aust taxpayers having to further fork out for their welfare.
Tuilaepa the lepper said…
Anyone who'd want to move from Suva to Apia would be mad, let alone the Forum Secretariat. Samoa seems desperate to seize Fiji's mantle as Pacific crossroads and take advantage of its political upheaval. But it's a half country in every sense, unable to stand on its own feet without the massive injection of funds from Samoans living abroad. The Samoan PM heads a sad backwater with too many Fa'afafine in skirts and overly tattooed thugs armed to the teeth with illicit weapons. He should concentrate more on scraping his pathetic country off the mat after the recent tsunami than make gratuitous comments about Fiji. The Polynesians have always resented the power and influence of their Melanesian neighbours and sensing Fiji's weakness, have been emboldened to make a drunken lunge for power. They need to be reminded that they're perpetual wannabes, with no hope of ever being taken seriously. Whatever their outrageous posturing at the moment, they're only really good at fire dancing, pub brawling and fruit picking in NZ. Their beer isn't bad either but, really, that's about it.
Repel the riff raff said…
Avoro, do we really want all these rejects back in Fiji wandering our cities, towns and villages looking surly and spoiling for a fight? I'd rather the regime shot a few SDL ringleaders so these exiles would have a better chance of gaining permanent asylum elsewhere. Let's also do what the Cubans did in the 1980s. Put all our political undesirables on Manoa Rasigatale's ocean going canoe and force them in the direction of the great south lands. It worked for the Cubans in getting the US to finally take notice. Why not play the same game with the Aussies and Kiwis?
Rendering to Caesar said…
So this is where the Methodist Church soli goes, straight into the pockets of lawyers. Sixty-thousand dollars? Whoa. Somebody is getting very wealthy with all those small denomination coins and notes placed in the Sunday plate. It's obscene. The Methodist hierarchy should be ashamed and regular parishioners should rebel.
Croz Walsh said…
I urge people commenting NOT to use any word or phrase that hints at violence, even when intended only figuratively.
Anonymous said…
somare may seem...???this where pacific islanders and other get themselves into trouble....if you are going to play at politics and government...then go beyond yur cultural tow faced approaches to issues...offence...what a load of garbage...this military has no problems with insulting and offending anyone when it suits. Let not hide deception behind feigned respect and not wanting to offend. They happily offend western governments, diplomats and politicians when it also suits. As it happens somare is no great friend of accountability either given his record of closing the moti inquiry that was looking into his own conduct.

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