Agricultual Scam, Chinese, Kai Solomoni Injustices, Fiji Helps Australia, Bio-Diesel, Girmit Announcement
AGRICULTURAL Scam 2001. The Court of Appeal has dismissed all nine grounds of appeal filed by former Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, Peniasi Kunatuba who is serving a four year sentence for his role in the $16 million agriculture scam of 2001. Judges Justices John Byrnes, Paul Madigan and Priyantha Fernando all ruled that Kunatuba had been lawfully convicted and properly sentenced. Agricultural implements distributed in the "scam" were used to buy ethnic Fijian votes in the 2001 Election.
CHINESE Businessmen have expressed an interest in two FNPF projects, the Momi Hotel and the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
KAI SOLOMONI Injustices. In February last year my post "Solomon Community Wants to Return "Home" described the terrible injustices done to the descendants of Fiji's first indentured labourers, from what is now Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Yesterday I received this comment: "Thanks Walse for the blog. I am one of the decendants and what you have highlighted is true and I hope that one day we will be recognized and not seen as outsiders."
After six or more generations in Fiji, with no knowledge of their paternal ancestor's islands; with Fijian mothers and a largely Fijian culture, language and lifestyle, they are still seen as "visitors" and are not recognized as Fijians by ethnic Fijians. In pre-Contact Fiji they would have been "absorbed" generations ago. Their continued exclusion today is the result of the fossilisation of an idealised homogenous culture that did not exist. Traditional Fijian practices were far more flexible than the colonial-interpreted law used today. Click here to read the original post.
FIJI Helping Australia. The Suva High Court ruled last week that a child abducted by the father and now living in Fiji be returned to Australia and placed under the care of its mother. Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum pointed to the obvious irony: Australia made the application for the child's return to the very same courts they tried to undermine by placing Fiji judges on a travel ban.
BIO-DIESEL Has Teething Problems.Koro Island's Bio-Diesel Mill opened recently by the PM is having difficulty selling the new product to wary villagers. It's also likely the "strong" 20/80 blend with normal fuel will cause mechanical problems for newer vehicles that, without adaptation, require a 5% blend. There's a bright future for copra bio-diesel in Fiji but the infrastructural "mix" is not yet right.
ANNOUNCEMENT. Indo-Fijians in New Zealand will be celebrating the arrival of their ancestors from the Asian, Indian and Afghanistan sub-continent at Fickling Centre, Three Kings, Auckland, on Friday May 14, 2010 from 7pm to 9pm.