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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What's in a name said…
So we're all Fijians now. Let's see. The test of this will be whether the i'taukei accept the notion of sharing their name with everyone else. Given the implacable opposition expressed to this in the past, I don't think issuing a decree is going to make any difference. And it will be a brave person indeed from the other races who gets up at any public function and identifies themselves as Fijian. Good luck. There's bound to be mutterings along the lines of "na tamata/marama oqo sa sega ni madua". Translation: "this person has no shame".
The battle Fiji will lose said…
You've done everyone a service, Croz, by reminding us of what Rupert Murdoch can do to you if you cross him. It's a great pity there was no-one at the centre of government in Fiji pointing all of this out to Frank and Aiyaz before it was all too late. Or perhaps they wouldn't listen. As we're now finding out, Fiji is a speck on Murdoch's jacket to be flicked away in an instant.

Worse, the PM, his Foreign Minister and the new Minfo PS labour under the misapprehension that the Australian Government can stop News Limited's campaign against Fiji. It can't. Indeed, the reality is quite the reverse. With Julia Gillard about to go to the polls, it's News Limited that is calling the shots with canberra. So to provoke a diplomatic incident over all of this is not only pointless but the height of folly. But you watch, they'll do it anyway. They can't help themselves.

You really have no option as an ordinary person but to hold your head in your hands. So much trouble, so much potential misery, and for what? These military people might be good in a real battle but when it comes to things like this, they're hopeless. Outclassed and outgunned, they've made the classic military error of not knowing your enemy before you attack.
Brave hearts at rest said…
Isa, so sad to see so many of our boys coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq in coffins, to be buried by their grief stricken relatives in some peaceful corner of our beloved land. Our hearts go out to them, as always, and we all pray that they may rest in peace.

I think we must also do more to make Fiji a place where young men like these can see a future for themselves without having to leave to fight someone else's war. Let's face it. They're doing it for the money and for a better life, not just for themselves but their extended families who rely on their support back home.I hope this is what people also think about when they see the heart-wrenching images later this week of these brave men returning home.

I'd also ask the authorities to consider building a special monument in Suva for all those men who've died during the coalition's so called war on terror. Surely this is something we could raise money for not just in Fiji, but from the British and Americans and those other countries for which these guys have given their lives? Lest we forget.
MJ said…
Whats in a name... You are correct. Issuing the decree is not going to change things immediately. It is just the first, but very important, step on a long journey. However, I think the final destination will be better for Fiji and you have to start somewhere.
Anonymous said…
@ What's in a name.....

Well, there are more brave people in Fiji than you assume. Some of us have always referred to ourselves as Fijian. The only logical and rational thing to do. If going public on it demands courage: courage aplenty will be found.

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