News and Editor's Comments Friday 5.8.11
|Peter Thomson and UN SecGen Ban Ki-Moon|
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.