Forum Mistake, New Solomon Is. PM, Teleni's Resignation, No Place Like Fiji, Decentalising Developments


NEW SOLOMON PM:  FIJI's ISOLATION A MISTAKE.  The new Solomon Islands PM Hon. Danny Philip says the decision by the PI Forum to isolate Fiji was a big mistake.

He announced that Solomon Islands will engage in direct talks with Fiji. Noting how Fiji's history differed from other former Pacific colonies, he hoped to discuss with PM Bainimarama the areas of electoral reform now being embarked upon. He said "it is the genuine commitment that is important, not the exact number days, months or years it will take to hold democratic elections."

FIJI CONGRATULATES NEW SOLOMONS ISLANDS PM. PM Bainimarama has congratulated the new Solomon Islands PM , Hon.Danny Philip, saying that he looked forward to their meeting at the earliest opportunity to exchange views on matters of common interests.

“Fiji and Solomon Islands have enjoyed very close and cordial ties for many years.   Our strong relationship has proven to be one of the most significant and unwavering partnership that has continuously contributed to our mutual prosperity and well-being of our peoples. Under your able leadership, I believe that our Governments will continue to work closely to promote sustainable development and jointly address issues of common concerns.

“Moreover, I am confident that with your firm determination, the Solomon Islands will continue to play an essential role in strengthening the Melanesian Spearhead Group cooperation and community building in our region. I also trust that our long-standing cooperation in various regional and international fora will be further enhanced for our mutual benefit.
 
“On behalf of the Fiji Government and its people, I extend my hearty congratulations to Honorable Danny Philip,” Commodore Bainimarama said. -- 2010 No: 1337/MOI.
TELENI'S RESIGNATION. Cdr Esala Teleni resignation as Police Commissioner comes as no surprise and had been welcomed by some readers of this blog.  The Commissioner will perhaps be best remembered for his Christian Crusades and the compulsory attendance of police officers at parades when his brother's New Methodism was "forced" on officers of all religious persuasions. Government thanked Teleni for his services to the Fiji Police Force and to the nation. He is succeeded by Joeli Baleilevuka as Acting Police Commissioner, and will not return to the military.

THERE'S NO PLACE ON THIS PLANET LIKE FIJI,
" said outgoing Indian HighCom  Prof. Prabhakar  Jha.  He said he'd travelled all over the world, and visited  almost all villages on the  mainland. The love and understanding he has seen amongst the various races in Fiji is something that cannot be found elsewhere in the world and it needs to be preserved. Prof Jia took up office in September 2007. He has said time and time again, that only Fiji can solve its problems and no one else. The international community must allow Fiji to resolve its problems without outside interference.

DECENTRALISING DEVELOPMENT
. The latest development initiative to reduce population
pressure on Greater Suva and the West  and develop outlying economies is  Government's $20m funding of a  new Fiji National University campus  to be constructed in Labasa next year.

Comments

On the side lines in Viti levu said…
I worry about 2014

PM Frank Bainimarama is currently a Military dictator. He took power in 2006 with the guns of the military. No amount of spin can change that fact. He also remains a military dictator and perhaps more so today than he was in his first 3 years when some attempt (poor as it was) was made to work within a constitution. The only thing we have that separates him from other dictators is a promise he will have elections in 2014.

And I do hope he keeps that promise and that he holds everyone around him accountable to that goal. There are many things I don’t like about this military regime. They have made many mistakes and broken many promises but no progress is ever made without compromise. I can forget and even forgive the mistakes and sins of the last four years.

Now what about that promise of an election in 2014 ?

I personally need a lot more than that promise. I hope that the PM is genuine in this promise. If he is genuine I think it would be easy to demonstrate that to the many doubters like me. He also needs to convince the rest of the world. Here are some simple things he could do fairly quickly. (with my last posted ideas now in the dustbin I will keep it to only three this time).

1. This week - Publish a public confirmation that elections will be held in 2104. A letter to the people of Fiji published in all the papers would be a great start. This letter should be signed by the PM, his government ministers and most importantly all of the Military council.

2. With in two months - Publish an actual roadmap to democracy and then report quarterly on the progress made to that road map. Have the road map progress audited by an external overseas agency. I don’t want to hear another speech. I want to see an actual plan on the steps, dates and times to take Fiji to free and fair elections. Sure, public service and government enterprise reform is important but I want to see the roadmap that covers the detail on the move to democracy. At the moment people can see some economic and structural reform in Fiji but no evidence of any progress to democracy.

3. Before Christmas 2010 – Have the framework in place for a genuine political dialogue forum. This should include the appointment of a reputable chair and invite list with no pre-conditions on attendance. A key task might be agreeing new constitution.

At the same time as taking these steps I would like to see the PM being more involved in the running of his portfolio. I recently heard him speak in the north and it was very clear he was none the wiser on how the sugar industry worked than when he took power 4 years ago. Back then it was understandable (life spent as military man) but now as sugar minister he has to emerge himself into the detail and get on with the task of fixing it.

I also think the PM and his cabinet are getting too comfortable. The PER is creating a very sheltered world for government. They don’t need to work hard to have the answers. They don’t need to understand the detail so they can debate big issues. The PER makes them believe there own BS. They are becoming extremely sensitive to overseas critics simply because they now never hear any at home. The PER removes a critical ingredient in anyone’s success – FEEDBACK.

I worry that….

If this government can carry out structural and economic reforms and the economy turns around (this is a big if) then the PM will claim that his coup has been validated, his style of running Fiji works and that elections are not necessary. We should keep moving forward with him.

OR

If the economy has not turned around and structural reform is not completed then the PM will defer the election under the claims Australia and New Zealand have stopped progress so he needs more time.

PM – please help us believe you.
Support means ? said…
It's important to not confuse 'support' for Fiji as being support for a coup or a military dictactor. The smaller countries are smart enough to know that Frank could be around for a long time - well beyond 2014. Therefore it makes sense that they continue to talk with Frank and support some of his stated purposes. They know as Frank does that while he is no threat to Australia he could be to other Island countries.
Bye bye said…
"Police religious activities suspended"

This is a positive move as any blind full could see the police was being used for a personal agenda. It's a shame this was aloud to go on for nearly fours years in direct contradiction to the stated aim of this government and the charter. I guess the PM had to look after is close allies with plum jobs post coup and ensure he or his military and friends where never investigated for anything. It will be interesting who now gets the top job.

It certainly does not now look like a resignation. PM should come out and explain the real reasons and ask FICAC to investigate but i guess thats too much to ask. The gang who over thru the elected government will alwys need to look after each other.
Anonymous said…
@ Bye Bye..

For two and a half hours this afternoon, fires raged around McDonalds Nadi restaurant and adjacent open spaces extending as far as Tadra Flowers Compound. These fires appeared to have been deliberately lit. THey threatened business houses and private homes and, at one time, threatened the Fiji Gas tank at the rear of McDonalds. The Police were called repeatedly to attend in case it was necessary to evacuate. The Fire Brigade was called: they attended for about half and hour and then went off "to lunch". What is going on? This requires urgent attention by someone in charge: NOW
IN THE GULAG said…
@ Anonymous re Bye Bye...

The test of any developing nation is its Police Force (not its military). By any measure or yardstick, the Fiji Police are found wanting at present. Is this due to the fact that many were forced into religious belief they found unpalatable, even unwelcome? Hardly suprising. Religious Freedom is a most basic Human Right. The right to unbelief is also a basic Human Right. Enforcement of belief is tantamount to torture and was held to be so in Soviet Russia and Communist Eastern Europe. Read Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago" for starters. Then try any history of the Stasi in East Germany for seconds.Has this led many in the Police Force into renegade or non-compliant conduct?
It seems so.

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