SOLDIERS COMING HOME. The bodies of two soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan while serving in the British Army are coming home.The body of Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce will arrive at Nadi Airport on Friday and will be laid to rest on Saturday at Nakaulevu village, Nakelo in Tailevu. The body of Corporal Taniela Rogoiruwai will arrive on Monday and will be laid to rest on Tuesday at Nauluvatu village, Nakelo in Tailevu.
PROUDLY i-TAUKEI, PROUDLY FIJIAN. A Fijian Affairs Amendment Decree has been gazetted which sees all written laws amended by replacing the word "Fijian" with i-Taukei for indigenous Fijians. "Fijian" will now be used for all Fiji citizens irrespective of race. The change will not please everybody. It is not easy to getused to new names. But it is actually an older and more accurate nomenclature, Fijian being a corruption of Viti, the name given by Tongans. Citizens of all races will now be able to proudly proclaim themselves Fijian, removing the ambiguity that previously existed. The decree was signed by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday.
WHO IS RUPERT MURDOCH? For your information, click here to read of his political relationships. The cartoon below shows only a small part of his business interests.
FIJI RETALIATES. Some questions about the Australian government's position on Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd releases that threaten the Fiji tourism industry. Read link.
RATU INOKE KUBUABOLA asks about the role of the Australian High Commission in Suva in relation to Australia's position on the Media Decree.
MOMI BAY RETHINK. The Fiji National Provident Fund, major owners of the unfinished Momi Bay project, has already been forced to write down around $55 million from the project and an attempt last year to auction off the property failed after the bid stopped at $44 million, well short of the $88 million FNPF put into the project. The superannuation fund now wants to sell the project or engage in a joint project with a suitable party. It is understood that the multimillion poject to "develop residential lots and own one of the unique hotel and golf course resort in the South Pacific" may attract an exclusive incentive package from Government.
EXPORTS UP. The Reserve Bank reports that domestic export earnings rose by 74%in January compared to a 41.8 percent decline in the same period in 2009. The growth was led by fish, timber, gold, mineral water, sweet biscuits and garments.
UNPAID RATES. Unpaid rates, rentals and accounts have been a longstanding feature of the Fiji financial scene, with some debts dating back many years. A year ago Government placed special administrators in charge of somke municipalities and their work as debt collectors seems to be paying off. Some $16 million of municipal rates owing to government was collected in the first three months of the year, which leaves another $22 million.
Acting permanent secretary for Local Government, Maraia Ubitau, also put the increased collections down to the restructure and reforms undertaken within local town councils, particularly the administration of towns.
REVISED BUDGET STIMULANT. USP Senior Lecturer in Finance Dr Rohit Kishore thinks the Revised Budger for 2010 will stimulate growth and revive the economy.
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