News and Editor's Comments Tuesday 26.7.11

The reality of a balanced media
Tuesday 26.7.11
PENSIONERS THREATENING COURT ACTION against FNPF board members. Dr Shaista Shameem, legal counsel for the protesting pensioners, has also written to the PM in his capacity of Minister of Finance. She has pointed out the proposed cuts run counter to Pillar 8 of the People's Charter.  The protesters have challenged the authority of the appointed Board members and requested an independent enquiry.
MARA LASHES OUT at everyone,  except the Great Council of Chiefs, the Methodist church, and the way things were before 2006. Do not be fooled. 
TIMBER THEFT ALLEGED AND CORRUPTION. The alleged theft by one Ba company of 600 cubic metes of pine trees from another Ba company shows all the signs of possible corruption, with a government official, the Assistant Roko Tui, apparently siding with the alleged thieves, threatening the victim, and interfering with police efforts to obtain information from the I-taukei Lands Trust Board and the Department of Forestry. The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)  says they are aware of the allegations and are addressing the issue.
REFEREE STEREOTYPES TEAMS. An interesting NZ Herald article suggests a subconscious attitude could have given the All Blacks three tries they did not deserve. Think wider than rugby. Such views could influence other inter-ethnic contacts, and bilateral relations between countries.
HALF A BILLION SPENT ON ROADS. Over $500 million has been spent on road  in the last three years. I hear that the now improved Kings Road, that circles east from Suva to Lautoka, has already resulted in new economic ventures in villages along the road. Government's costly investment in infrastructure is starting to pay off.
WORKER COMPENSATION. The Ministry of Labour is progressively whittling down the backlog of claims dating back to 2001. That's eleven years!


Wot Censorship said…
Careful Croz,

Your lead story got removed form the FBCL website very quickly yesterday and has not been seen anywhere else or in the papers.

The censors have obviously ruled it is not in the national interest for the people of Fiji to be aware of this threatened court action.
Moving forward? said…
As each day goes by I'm struggling to see any benefits for Fiji from this coup and control by an unelected military regime? As for the proposed elections in 2014(8 years after the coup) where are any signs at all of dialogue and preparations for these?
Are we at the point of losing hope?
Anonymous said…
How can Shaista Shameem make these arguments against the team and process she has supported every step of the way. She wanted the coup, the removal of the constitution and rule by decree so surely she has to just accept any FNPF changes.

If a court or government where to accept her arguments now then almost every government decision to date could be challanged.
Yea yea said…
Good luck with that argument Dr Shameem, perhaps you forget this is the beast you created !
drowning not waving said…
It amazes me that the likes of Dr Shameen would try and use such arguments and threats now. Way way too late for that. She of all people should know that this military government is above the law (they are the law) and can decree anything they like any time. And no decree can be challanged. Even if she has sime success in the courts all government has to do is sign off a new decree over-rinding what ever decision is made. The PER also helps because it stops debate and any one who questions a decree could be taken in for some friendly military talk.
Snake said…
@ Wot

I can't find this story anywhere in the fiji press now. I guess government does not like the words "threatoned". Dr Shameen must surely be finding herself on the outside now rather than the original coup inner circle. I wonder if she actually thinks she has a chance with this case or is it about trying to now distance herself from the coup team ? It is all very strange. Is she the next Mara ready to jump ship ?
Charter chatter said…
why bother pointing out where this government ignores it's own charter ! If you start doing that you might read the first line that says the constitutionis the supreme law (ooops government already ignored that one big time). A more detailed read talks about accountability and transparency (ooops again, still we have no detail of government salaries or audit reports since 2006).

PM love the charter...only when it suits.
Sugar sugar said…
Interesting that our PM is call on the The European Union (EU) to "immediately release sugar funds to Fiji to assist affected farmers and industry stakeholders in their adjustment and adaptation process". Yet he is not prepared to do anything immediately to return Fiji to democracy. In fact his attitude is democracy can wait until 2014 and any pre work can wait until 2012. Perhaps if he got to work immediately he might have some hope in convincing the EU. Otherwise anoth tax payer funded waste of money trip.

By the way does anyone remember the PM's promise that the sugar industry would be a key interim government priority and be fixed by 2009. Any elected member would have been thrown out by now for such poor performance. !

This comes following the presentation by Fiji’s Prime Minister and Minister of Sugar Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama at the 12th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar currently underway in Maputo, Mozambique.

Commodore Bainimarama in his presentation said, like all other ACP suppliers, Fiji’s earnings from the sugar exports to the EU was barely sufficient to meet the on-going industry operating costs and making it extremely difficult to divert any resources for the ongoing restructuring and rehabilitation work.

The cooperation of the EU in this regard is essential not only to seriously and sustainably face the new conditions resulting from the reform but will ensure Fiji continues to reliably supply to traditional buyers in the EU on a sustainable basis.
Onto it said…
@moving forward

On the side lines said…
@ Moving forward & @ Croz

Where there are people there is always hope.

But I share your concern. There may be a new constitution and elections but the likelihood of any "inclusive dialogue" is some where between 1 and 0 (out of a hundred).

The problem is government does not have enough supporters to include in the dialogue and they would only "inlcude" supporters in any dialogue. They have shown over the last five years they do not and will not entertain any alternate views. This will make handing over to a new government very difficult.

Many think business confidence will be restored by a election. I would argue it will be a few years post a election before we see any confidence because everyone will be watching to see what the new government does and worrying how the military and former government memebers react. Assuming of course the new 'elected government' is not the same one as now. They may actually get elected in my view not by any grand corruption but by not allowing major parties to run, not giving new parties enough time to form, not allowing any platform (eg media) for opposition and a big bag of promises and handouts before the election.

Mr Croz - interested in your thoughts. Perhaps some discussion about what beyond the election and what role will the military play ?
Case Study said…
It is interesting to see how so many people now are trying to distance themselves from the Bainimarama military regime? Fiji is rapidly becoming a classic case study in how to get it wrong.
Democracy is not perfect, we all know that. But anything, anything is better than being ruled by guns and intimidation. Fiji is on a very slippery and dangerous downward spiral.
SOE said…
@ Case Study and 'The Rest':

The "Dangerous downward spiral" is absolutely evident. Asking gratuitous questions at this stage is a waste of time and space. The deed has been done. The "injusticiable" has been imposd.

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"

John Maynard Keynes

The oft quoted economist. It is the economists who now must be paid heed. Railing against those who may now see the light is unhelpful.

Are we in the grip of the insane? Or the purely evil? Or the banal evil? Hannah Arendt applied this banality to Hitler and all his works.

And if we are not, tell us why there are numerous reported Korean adults sitting in classrooms of particular schools? How did they get there? Alongside our children?

What manner of disgusting new scam is this? Who is responsible? Who has lost the plot? Whose pockets are now being filled?

Insanity and evil are evident. This is another step too far. But the FNPF was also a step too far? How many more steps towards the abyss? It is already in view.

The injusticiable is what it suggests: a parody of justice. Nothing is injusticiable. Common sense alone tells us so. Magna Carta tells us so and is evidence.

"There is something rotten in the State of Denmark".

(William Shakespeare 'Hamlet')
Case Study said…
@ SOE, cc Croz

SOE, I would like to respond to your comment but I have no idea what you are trying to say?
Scanning through this blog there are a number of similar incoherent comments?
Adults in Schools - fund-raising? said…
@ Case Study....

Is fund-raising in schools now to be restricted because Korean adults are now sitting alongside children in some Fiji schools?

Who is permitting this and is this a new form of funding in education? We should be told.

Our children would never have been permitted to sit in a classroom beside adults from no matter where.

Pleading ignorance of this practice is insufficient. Someone is benefitting and it is NOT Fiji's children.

By all means introduce Adult Education - it is sorely and urgently required. But do this at Evening Sessions as is done elsewhere in the world making use of scarce resources.

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