Law Society Fire, Economy, Food Security & Imports, Sharing Lease Moneys

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LAW SOCIETY FIRE. The 2am Wednesday fire that severely damaged the Fiji Law Society office in downtown Suva is not thought to be suspicious.

But ABC's Pacific Beat journalist Pacific Beat's Joanna McCarthy must have raised the possibility of Government complicity for FLS President Dorsami Naidu (photo)  to say, "We have our problems with the regime But ... in regards to foul play I can't make any comment at this stage. No purpose would be served when all our powers have been taken over and the regime has taken the files which they require in regards to complaints against our members. So there's nothing really that anyone would have to gain, unless they were just being bloody minded."

On Law Society-Government relations, Naidu says "the law society continues to communicate with the interim Attorney-General, Chief Justice and other judicial officers to try and return to an official capacity within the Fiji judicial system."
   
CORRECTION. I am advised that the  FLS was stripped of its judicial functions following the replacement of the Legal Practitioners Act 1997  by the Legal Practitioners Decree 2009, not as a result of the Abrogation of the Constitution as previously stated. The 1997 Act established and defined the functions of the FLS, not the 1997 Constitution.  The FLS never had a constitutional role.

The 2009 Decree transferred the function of issuance of practising certificates and disciplinary proceedings from the FLS to the Chief Registrar. It also set up the Independent Legal Services Commission to hear disciplinary cases against lawyers filed by the Chief Registrar.

BAINIMARAMA ON THE ECONOMY
. The PM linked his comments on the economy to foreign interventions and his government's determination to build a strong nation, in line with the changes "enshrined" in the People’s Charter:

“Our reserves position remains healthy at above $1b. However we need to sustain and grow our reserve level by reducing our current account deficit. This mean considerable need to increase our exports, increase food security by growing more local foods and in the process reduce imports and this is nothing new. There have been countries in the region that have in the past years and continue to do so attack our economy in the hope that we will have election. That is not going to happen. We will have elections in 2014, hopefully with all the reforms made.”

FOOD SECURITY AND IMPORTS
.  Government's Roadmap on agriculture aims to make Fiji less dependent on food imports, bring more land into production and provide money-making opportunities for isolated,rural and mainly subsistence communities. It is hoped that more vibrant rural economies will lessen the migration to towns, especially by young people.  

Two recently announced developments are chicken farming in Kadavu that is a direct implementation of the Kadavu Strategic Development Plan 2007–2012 (that also covers roads, jetties and airport developments) in a partnership with Pacific Feeds Limited. The other development is potato farming, mainly in inland areas of the Western Division.

So far 100 tonnes have been harvested with another 200 tonnes ready soon. Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Col. Mason Smith says the local industry will be a major player in import substitution with production levels expected to more than double over the next three years. At that time marketing may become a problem but for now farmers cannot supply enough for the market. The Agriculture Department currently subsidises costs on a 50/50 basis but by year four of the project it will only provide seed potatoes and technical advice.

SHARING LAND LEASE MONEY
. The government is  looking at a proposal to equally share the distribution of lease money amongst the members of the landowning units if their native land has been leased out. Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Colonel Pio Tikoduadua said the proposal is to review Regulation 11 of the Native Land Trust Act which deals with leases and licensing of native land. As consultations continue with the stakeholders, the PS said members of the landowning units should be sitting with their chiefs and try to work out the best option for them. They should not think that if the proposal goes ahead, it will lower the rank of the chiefs. -- Based on 2010 No:1647/MOI and 2010 No:1647/MOI.

Comments

Rumpole of the Bailey said…
@ Fiji Law Society Offices fire....

It would be quite ridiculous to assume that there is everything straightforward about a fire at premises owned or leased by the Fiji Law Society. Its recent history has been one more of infamy because of the improper and sometimes corrupt conduct of its member lawyers. It was obviously and with hindsight a huge error to have had the standing of the FLS written into the 1997 Constitution. Very many FLS members blatantly disregarded the standing this gave them and they abused the trust vested in them as Officers of the Court. Yesterday, someone known to me for thirteen years waited in a courthouse for his case to be again adjourned. Having paid cash upon demand of a thousand dollars and with no receipt issued until he was told he should go back for one, this particular former FLS member continues to play havoc with the fears and the trust placed in him by poor, unsuspecting ordinary members of the Fiji public. What creeps and vultures these so-called professional lawyers are: would they stretch to setting fire to their own offices? Or having someone else do it for them? Let the very long-suffering Fiji public and the Fiji Police decide. Meanwhile, the remaining honest, hard-working and upstanding lawyers go about their daily task of instilling confidence once again in the Fiji Judicial System which they are expected to do their level best to uphold. "Honi soit qui mal y pense".
Walker Texas Ranger said…
Fiji Law Society former President Dorsami Naidu might at least do us the favour of telling the truth. Even if it is a truth many of us scarcely recognise? What exactly does he mean by his extraordinary description of a fire which took place at the FLS Offices in Suva at 0200 on Wednesday? Is he being creative with the truth or just economical? Or is he simply distorting the truth for his own, devious and distinct purposes? This man has no credibility left and those who have allowed him over many years to hold positions of trust should look to themselves and to their own erroneous judgement. He is now 'outed' as a man of little substance, a possible liar and a fraud of ethical leadership. Are all the files in the hands of the authorities? Or did some remain in place requiring consummation in a fire? The last resort of scoundrels and liars. Fiji has a history of these fires and of people who lie about them. Odd is it not that they seem often to be associated with the legal profession (in one guise or another). A Bleak House stocked with bleak people. Charles Dickens had them taped!

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