Turmoil from Tonga but Business as Usual in Fiji

While Ratu Tevita and Barbara Dreaver from Tonga, copied by today's NZ Herald's editorial,  are predicting the imminent overthrow of the Baimarama Government,  Bainimarama, Government and Fiji are carrying on business as usual. And support for Government seems to be growing, as evident in the PM's visit to Beqa and Kadavu, and the President's visit to Rotuma.  Read on ...

Speaking to civil servants in Vunisea, Kadavu, where he opened the new wharf late  last week, the PM  urged civil servants to be professional in their conduct and execution of duties, and to network with different ministries to ensure smooth transition of services. He said he had received reports on the laxity of service provided by certain government departments; and urged the audience "to serve the people with all their heart so that we regain their confidence in us."  

They should be asking why certain work or services are not progressing, and learn to strike a balance between family time and the hours they need to dedicate to serving members of the public, and enhance government projects and programmes on the island.  -- Based on No:1068/MOI. This has been his constant message on all provincial visits, and is consistent with Pillar 4 of the People's Charter, the improvement of Public Service delivery. 

The PM also opened the Talaulia Nursing Station at Yawe  in the northern part of Kadavu, known for its large earthenware cooking pottery made by the women of Nalotu village.  The station consists of a medical services building and nursing quarters, built by the RFMF, at a cost of $34,000. Villagers will no longer need to pay up to a $100 boat fare to visit the hospital at Vunisea for minor and routine treatment. The people and elders  of Talaulia thanked the PM and Government for the nursing station, another development that is in line with Pillar 10 of the Peoples Charter, improved health service delivery. --Based on No.1064/MOI.  

And Beqa island, as earlier reported, says it supports Government and the People's Charter. The particular significance of this endorsement is that Beqa is part of Rewa province whose paramount chief Ro Teimumu Kepa (Ratu Tevita's aunt) who staunchly opposes the Government.

And earlier in the week the island of Rotuma, that already supported the Charter,  thanked Government for what it had done in Rotuma. 

All ethnic Fijian provincial councils (other than Rewa and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu in Cakaudrove)  have now endorsed the People's Charter, the Government and the way forward.  It is also reasonable  to assume that most of the 40% of the population that is not ethnic Fijian support the Roadmap and are looking forward to dialogue.  All support, of course, is conditional, but if Government stays on course, the support should remain.  

The significance of events over the past week that revolve around Ratu Tevita is not that there is any real threat to government, or that Government will abandon the Roadmap and Elections in 2014, but that these distractions delay the very things that would win Government more approval, namely the lifting of PER and the start of dialogue on constitutional and electoral reform earlier than next year.


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