News and Editor's Comments Wednesday 27.7.11
|David Burness and lawyer Shaista Shameem|
JUSTICE IS BEING DONE. Government's overseas opponents constantly claim the Fiji judiciary is not independent and the judiciary constantly proves them wrong.
On Monday the anti-blogs claimed Radio Fiji had withdrawn an item on David Burness, the 75-year old FNPF pensioner who is challenging proposed cuts to pensions. The MOI assures me they did not censor the item, and yesterday's news gave reason to believe them. The following is based on an —uncensored— report published by Fiji Village.
Government had asked the court to strike out Burness's application. Justice Pradeep Hettiarachchi refused Government's request, saying the matter was of significant national importance. But he was not convinced pension cuts were a human rights issue, as Burness, who seems likely to lose 64% of his pension, claims.
The Judge refused Burness's application for an injunction that would have temporarily stopped FNPF action. At this pointd he could have dismissed the case because of "various procedural errors in relation to his application against the FNPF, the Attorney General and the Republic Of Fiji."
Instead, he gave he gave the Burness legal team 21 days to file documents relevant to the case.
DOUBTING TUILAEPA. I'm not sure why the international media so often report the Samoan PM's opinions on Fiji unless it's because they like what he says. It's not that he has any special, or even ordinary, knowledge of the country. His recent comments that trade sanctions would not hurt ordinary Fijians (because they grow food crops or go fishing in the sea) show just how ignorant he is. Unlike Samoa, many people live in urban places and in the interior of its two main islands. Land and fish are short in the former, and fish other than ikadroka in the latter.
This time he says Bainimarama is lying about elections in 2014 and is 'doing everything he can’ to hold back democracy. He says he can't take the 2014 elections as serious because he can't see any progress towards it and because he has filled civil service positions with military people.
He appears to be in denial about the impact of travel bans on civil service recruitment, and not to have heard of the Roadmap or the constitutional reforms due next year that will establish parameters for electoral reforms. The Roadmap never scheduled political dialogue before next year.
WOMEN'S CHICKEN FARMS. About 120 women in Naroi Moala village, Lau, now have some financial independent following the establishment of a poultry farm in April. The farm, part of Government's food security policy, was established with help from the of Social Welfare. A further 15 poultry projects costing $200,000 are planned.
THE EXPANSION OF HEALTH SERVICES has put more stress on nurses. The Minister tells nurses what is being done to relieve the situation.
ILTB OWED $24 MILLION IN OVERDUE RENTS and some accounts go back 20 years!
WHEN TWO ANONS IS BETTER THAN NONE. From one, this question: "Is Roko Ului still on the Vola ni Kawa Bula (register of landowners)? And this by a wit: "Coup 4.5 – better known as Four and a half men."