News and Editor's Comments Friday 5.8.11

Peter Thomson and UN SecGen Ban Ki-Moon
Weekend Reading  • Allen Lockington Column • What to Do with the Military by Peter Firkins   • The Julian Moti Saga •  The Last Few Weeks by Crosbie Walsh (probably later Saturday/Sunday)

 Friday 5.8.11
FIJI AMBASSADOR A UN VP.Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson has been elected as one of 21 elected vice-presidents for the 66th session of the UN General Assembly that will run for one year from 13 September. The vice-presidents are members of the UN’s general committee, chaired by the President of the General Assembly, that deals with procedural and organisational matters of the assembly’s session. -- Based on No.1562/MOFA.
UNIONISTS CHARGED with breaking PER.  Daniel Urai and Dinesh Gounder were charged yesterday for conducting a union meeting without a permit as required in the Public Emergency Regulations (PER). And so the Government-Union standoff escalates.  
MORE ON THE METHODIST ANNUAL CONFERENCE. Yesterday, I applauded Government's move to permit a three-day conference this year. It showed good faith and good sense. And then Military spokesman, Col. Neumi Leweni spoilt it all by  proceeded to warn the Church about not jeopardising future meetings, followed by a reiteration of the Church's past political activities and a prompting to engage in spiritual matters. The Church leaders would already be aware of all this.
      Following these gratuitous comments, he urged the Church to "align itself to the Charter and the Roadmap because they are aimed at providing a lasting solution to Fiji’s socio-political and economic problems which have plagued the nation in the years between 1987 and 2006.”
     Pressing the message home in this way detracted from what some would otherwise have seen as a welcome gesture by Government.
LEWENI ON THE MILITARY. Col. Leweni went on to talk about the role of the military in Government. The Church, he said, needs to recognize the involvement of the Military in Government, especially in charting a way towards peaceful co-existence of all the different races in the country ...The Government and the Military vision is absolutely clear – everyone must all work towards peaceful co-existence. The Church is no exception.”  Many people recognize the military's positive role since 2006  but there are two big concerns: First and immediately, the military needs to recognize that other sections of the population also want a role in shaping Fiji's future. Secondly and further down the road, the future role of the RFMF must be decided by popular dialogue on the new Constitution.
[Note: Read Peter Firkins ideas on the military in this Weekend Reading.]

STRENGTHENING TIES WITH CHINA. In welcoming the new Chinese Ambassador on Wednesday, the PM  expressed the hope that bilateral relations between the two countries would be further strengthened.
EXPOSING CORRUPTION.The PM claims that systematic corruption, especially when involving people in high positions, is being rooted out by Government's reforms.  He noted also that Fiji's work on corruption has been recognized by the United Nations, and that this year alone, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption has closed 38 cases in court in which 30 were convicted.
MORE INFO WANTED? If you want more information on Government events and decisions, visit the official  Government portal, or if you are in Fiji check out Fiji Today News at 7pm on MAI TV and read Fiji  Focus is published every fortnight in the Fiji Sun.

Comments

Side lines said…
He threatens the church, scolds them for being involved in politics then says they have to support this government and the charter. I think what he is saying is don't support anyone elses politics only this government and the militaries politics. Very concerning hen thinks the military will forevermplay a role in government. No wonder people like me worry about free and fair elections.
So whom shall we revere now? said…
@ Side lines:

Church Ministers and hierarchy should never have been involved in political leadership or proselytism in the first place. What did they believe they were up to? See now the unedifying result of one of their ilk being charged in a court of law for alleged sexual assault and rape. Neither as church nor as political leaders have any of these men (and they are ALL MEN) merited the honorific 'Reverend". The $5,000 bail set by the court in the most recent case will require many new 'soli' to meet it? Worthy of a 'mockumentary' all on its own.
sara'ssista said…
And yet, this many years after claiming qarase was corrupt they still cannot even get to the point of having a trial let alone a verdict.
sara'ssista said…
To think that this colonel is going to step back into the army when or if there is an election is a poor joke. They just luv this way too much.
i-Taukei military said…
Croz
What part of 'the i-Taukei military run the country' do you not understand? Leweni doesn't have to answer to you or anyone else. Clear?
Croz Walsh said…
@i'Taukei military ... I don't know who your remark is aimed at, but your attitude seems strange for someone who presumably is working towards a better Fiji. I do not, of course, expect Col. Leweni to be responsible to me but he is responsible, and is answerable, to the President and the people, and those in between such as the PM. It would seem you are a member of the RFMF. If so, I find your aggression and arrogance especially disturbing because it plays into the hands of Government's opponents, and will leave many others wondering whether the military is really serving the people, or just themselves. You must learn to live with ideas that do not coincide with yours. This is the ONLY way forward for those who truly want to see a better Fiji in and after 2014.
Anonymous said…
@i-Taukei military

Most people are of the view that its Kai Yum who runs the country !!
sara'ssista said…
The military that is responsible to the president illegally appointed by the military?? Yes and your point croz is well taken, we don't actually want to hear from members of the military and what their actual plans and thoughts are, that would just spoil the surprise. We should all just be quiet, agree and let them get on with it and fight amongst ourselves as to who will be the most supportive and positive.
Recognition said…
Yes we should just let the Military get on with it and get more recognition by the United Nations for the good work they are doing.
Yacht Crew said…
It was a very nice idea ! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have diffused. Just continue composing this kind of post. I will be a loyal reader, thanks a lot.

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