Faster Way Forward, Water, New Judge, Hillary Clinton, Forum Secretariat Blocks Report, Military Stand Firm, Consumers Pleased, Church & State
"Transition, you are absolutely right and the wonder is that the regime isn't moving faster on at least some of these fronts, even to give an appearance of progress. Little of what you suggest (see below) is difficult.
"Even a little window dressing like formally calling for submissions for a national body to prepare for 2014 would give the regime something to show the international community.
"I know that elements within the regime are pressing for the lifting of the PER but this is being resisted at senior level. Why? They're waiting to see how the Fiji Times evolves under its new ownership and are still concerned about the general level of mischief making, like the rumours of Drita and Mara confronting the PM.
"The regime has been trying very hard to get more civilians to take up official roles. I know several people who've been approached and were obliged to politely decline because they simply couldn't be barred from Australia and NZ on personal grounds.
"But you're right. The regime needs to seize the initiative and show that it's serious about meeting its commitments. Maybe it's a question of resources. The regime is certainly more focused right now on better service delivery for ordinary people in Fiji than effectively selling its message abroad.
Transition said... " Croz, I agree with most of the points above. This is exactly why:
1. The work on a new constitution, election reform and dialogue must start earlier than 2014;
2. The PER must be lifted now;
3. We need to see the military step back from civil roles (with good people stepping in) .
"Otherwise we will try and go from a controlling, censored dictatorship to democracy in a year and it won't work."
CLEAN WATER FOR ALL FIJI: NEW WATER TREATMENT SETUP. The Water Authority is urging government to purchase 50 water treatment plants costing $115m instead of the six plants presently planned for the same price. FWA chief executive officer Tony Fullman said the standalone WetSep system was a more feasible alternative to the construction of the three water and three sewerage plants planned. They will cost no more; be able to service a much wider area; they are environmentally friendly (they use solar power, treated waste is returned safely to the environment, and they will help reduce the country’s fuel import bill). Further, they will take only two years to install instead of six, and will use an area the size of a car park compared with the 15 acres required by standard treatment plants.Fullan said, “It requires minimum maintenance. We can hook it up in any village, any island and we can serve up to 10,000-20,000 people and that covers most of our islands. If we are going to go with this system, I think within 18 months, we can get the whole population of Fiji covered.” The system, invented by Waste Water Technologies Limited based in Singapore, will be trialled by WAF next year. -- Based on 2010 No: 1825/MOE.
NEW JUDGE SWORN IN. Puisne Judge Justice Graham Cottle has joined the High Court Criminal Division bench. He was appointed a UK Circuit Judge in 1993 and authorised to try serious sexual, murder and manslaughter cases. From 1995 to 2000 he lectured on law to students from the Universities of Hong Kong, Malaysia and Beijing. From 2001 he was a resident judge of the Exeter Crown Court in the UK. -- Based on 2010 No:1809/MOI.
HILLARY CLINTON VIDEO. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the East-West Center in Hawaii on America's engagement with the Asia Pacific region. Click here.
FORUM SECRETARIAT BLOCK FIJI REPORT. The Secretariat hired Dr Steve Ratuva to write the Fiji section on Pacific Good Leadership in 2008-09 but chose not to publish it. Geraldine Coutts of ABC's Pacific Beat tries to get to the reason why but I'm no wiser from listening to the interview. Anyone got any idea what this is all about? Click here to listen.
WE WILL NOT GO BACK. Speaking at the military commemoration for the three loyal soldiers who died in the 2000 mutiny, the PM said the military had to remove the Qarase government because it was taking the country back to 2000 and what George Speight and his group wanted at that time. We will not go back to the dark days of 2000. The PM thought the mindset of a lot of people has now changed, knowing that the People's Charter is a vision that will benefit everyone in the country.
A delegation of 52 men led by Ratu Saiyasi Rogoyawa from Lovoni tikina in Ovalau presented their "matanigasau" to the PM and the military asking forgiveness for their actions in 2000. Ratu Sauyasi said their burning of the Masonic Hall in Levuka was influenced by an clan member who was in the rebellious Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit. -- Based partly on 2010, No:1828/MOI.
MILITARY REAFFIRM LOYALTY. RFMF Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, speaking of the Commemoration, said the day was not only for those who died. It also commemorated those who had stood together to repel the attacks by a section of the Counter Revolutionary Warefarre Unit. “On 2nd November 2000 the members of RFMF in togetherness defended the barracks and represented the unity that existed amongst the force and the allegiance they had placed with the Commander. This morning a similar pledge was placed - and the pledge is that there is unity in the force and this unity is unquestionable.
CONSUMER COUNCIL COMMENDS CONTROLS. Council chief executive Premila Kumar says the current process and method used by the Commission in using evidence-based pricing and costing from suppliers addresses one of the weaknesses of the old price control regime. She commends the Commerce Commission for its review of the outdated Price Control Order of 1970.
CHURCH AND STATE. The Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn conspiracy charges laid against 36 Methodist church ministers but the charges against the President of the Methodist church, Rev. Ame Tugaue, and Rev.Tuikilakila Waqairatu who are charged with organising an unlawful meeting, still stand.
Charges of unlawful assembly under PER against former President Rev.Tomasi Kanailagi and Rev.Manasa Lasaro remain. Both men are itaukei racists who supported the Speight Coup in 2000. It surprises me they they have not been banished long ago from having any influence in a Christian church. They have done much to foment unrest and agitation against the Bainimarama government and I think it highly probably that had it not been for them, the mutually damaging standoff between church and state would not have occurred.