News and Editor's Comments Tuesday 2.8.11

Tuesday 2.8.11

QOLIQOLI DOES NOT BELONG TO CHIEFS. Traditional rights to the foreshore and seabed belong equally to all members of the the yavusa (tribe)and not the paramount chiefs, says Kisoko Cagituevei of the PM's Office.He says according to the I-taukei Land and Fisheries Commission the  qoliqoli is owned by the Yavusa and every member has a right to it.
     He made the  clarification following complaints of chiefs giving approval for development work to be carried out - and receiving the goodwill payments without the consent from Yavusa members, adding that chiefs should stop being greedy but instead care about the welfare of their people."

. The Attorney-General has assured civil servants that amendments to the Public Service Act to be gazetted next week will protect civil servants from discrimination. While 80% of grievances brought before the Labour Tribunal are handled through mediation, the amendment will enable employees to take their grievances to the PSC and the judiciary if need be.Civil servants are not covered by the proposed Employment Regulations Promulgation.“ There are certain parts of the ERP that are beneficial. Currently the PSC Act has some wide gene able to take their grievances to the PSC and the judiciary if need be.

UNION FEES. The Attorney-General  argues that with the amendments to the Public Service Act and the protection of workers' right in law, government sees no further need to collect the $2 million a year in union fees in on behalf of the unions. Asked whether this was an  attempt to make unions defunct, he replied,“If you look at the balance sheet of some of these FPSA and some of these other unions, they’re actually quite rich – financially well off. They own quite a few assets – Sports City comes to mind. If I’m an ardent union  member, I will pay my dues. This in no way stops a person from joining a union.”

Opinion.   I am not convinced. Unions play advocacy and wexfare roles as well as addressing grievances, and many people would argue that all of those who benefit from this advocacy should help pay for it, not just those who voluntarily pay their fees. The move seems motivated partly by a wish to diminish the influence of the union leaders, and partly by the right-wing (neo-liberal) philosophy evident in a number of government actions.  I consider the move inopportune (Government needs to win support, not lose it) and wrong.

PRICES UP. Petrol will  increase by eight cents tomorrow. In the main towns, this will see unleaded petrol increase to $2.62.Taxi Union general secretary Rishi Ram said, "the increase in fuel prices was a slap across the face of all motorists, not just taxi drivers".

Bread has also gone up in price today.Urban households will now pay $1.40 for a long loaf wrapped or unwrapped, wholemeal medium wrapped or sliced bread.Prices vary in different areas due to differences in transport costs. Both increases, approved by the Commerce Commission,are due to the increased costs of imports.
FIJIAN WOMAN'S DEATH IN AUSTRALIA: MAN CHARGED It is to be hoped this will not affect their tourism industry, as Fiji critics claimed about the recent murder of a NZ national in Fiji.


Fi said…

Could you please put my concerns in your blog on these issues...

1. Why is it that foreign students don't get enough care and attention as they
deserve. The taxi driver problem continues to escalate with drivers still
bullying, cheating and not getting the meter turned on every time there's a
job. And guess what, students now have to pretend to be nice so they can get a
ride from Kennedy Avenue to the airport, and asked for $10 otherwise the driver
will tell them to get off. Ohh.. and I got another one here.. our students are
wary and distrust policemen too. One of my girl student got attacked and
robbed, and in steps a policeman who tries to date her and asks to be her
boyfriend and calls her 6 times harassing her, are we really that bad!! She
gives me his number, of course I call him, Constable Sai, married and tell him
off, he explains he was just investigating, I mean does one need to call 6
times to do that.

2. I need to know what Fiji will do with the Pension Review stuff I got thru..
are we gonna sit on it. What if trade unionists prove their VALUE f or just
this once, and try mobilising a strike, so we can see they are really doing
something.. 2 days off work for everyone....CEO FNPF says that the govt cannot
change legislation because it has to go thru parliament, then he says
immediately after that that as the law stands that the Board under the law can
change decisions seen for the benefit of the members.. How's that for a dua mai
lali and dua mai lala!! Hey, its time to stop fooling the public with all this

3. Another thing, one of my foreign friends, goes to Vodafone that someone has
been abusing her on the phone... so says if they could check who the number
belongs to. Vodafone says they can't trace the caller and they have no idea..
So why were we registered, so only some people can have access to all our details
and that the public be kept in the dark.. Isn't that just the big black wall
coming back up trying to have us hood winked or is it a case of more equal than

4. My last story, why wasn't much being said about the Japanese girl who
disappeared in Ice Bar that for 9 days, no public uproar or search was made...
It made me think of my foreign students and if I should just ask them to go to
other destinations for English classes.. The pace of police work is slow,
unproductive and really dumb answers, that my foreign students come back and
this is exchanged in classes. Security and safety of the public must be
initiated by the public, friends and neighbours, cause there's just too much
garb abs BS around that we just have to be ourselves and think positive for the
sake of sanity...

ownership said…
Thank you for reminding us that the QoliQoli does not belong to the chiefs. Perhaps you need reminded that Fiji does not belong to Bainimarama?
I can't find a single person that voted for him or khaiyum?
ovexte said…
It is union busting Croz and good on government for having the balls to break up this very destructive force in Fiji. Their leaders do very little for the vast majority of members - there main job is to maintain the rage and keep members in fear so they have the 'power'.

One thing that worries me though is the PM coming out and saying the union leaders where doing this wrong and that wrong etc etc. If this was the case why where they not charged and why was this not disclosed at the time. I still gt the impression there are different rules for when someone supports government vs not supporting them. We have seen many examples including Mahendra Chaudry and now the union leaders.
Mr XX letter to PM said…
I see from FijiLive the PM is asking people to come to him and his office directly if they have issues or questions (and not listen the mis-information from individuals, who I assume are union leaders, former soliders etc who he previously appointed but later sacked).

This sounds good. This sounds fair and reasonable. So my question (in order to clear up any mis-understanding) is this.

Dear PM

What is the total salary & benefits package (including portfolios, boards, allowances, commador etc) you currently pay yourself and members of your government ?

What checks and balances are in place to ensure this amount is reasonable ?

How does this compare to your previous salary as Commandor ?

I would appreciate this information as it would seem consistent with the People's Charter, it will put to rest mis-information and shut up the disgruntled individuals. Won;t it ?

I am worried about leaving my real name with your office. I don't want to branded 'anti-government' and suffer follow on effects. I am good at my job and quite enjoy it. My family want me to keep it. So perhaps you or your office could publish this information in the Fiji Sun. I know many people would like to know the truth rather than the mis-information circling around Fiji.

Thank you for encouraging ths question directly and I look forward to you speedy relpy.

Systemic Corruption said…
The unelected self appointed PM is telling us he is removing systematic (sic) corruption? He will start to convince me when he adheres to his own supposed standards of 'transparency and good governance' and provides information on how much in salary and other payments he and khaiyum are receiving.
Surely this is not an unreasonable request when we don't even have the right to vote?

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