News and Comments Friday 11 November 2011
WEEKEND READING. • Allen Lockington Column • Return to Sender Address Unknown: What some readers think • Time for a New Policy Approach on Fiji? • Super Yachts Super Idea
ANTHONY. Trade unionist Felix Anthony was released from police custody yesterday
afternoon but may be brought in again for questioning if the need arises.-- Based onNo:2054/MOI.
CHINA NOT NEW IN FIJI. UN Ambassador Winston Thompson is asking why the talk about China’sgrowing dominance. He says China's diplomatic and development presence has been in Fiji
for 40 years. “I think their intentions are development oriented. They want to benefit
from trade and development possibilities from the economic zone – the exploitation of
the seas around us and the mineral resources on land.” Taiwan also is in Fiji, not in a
diplomatic capacity but as a trade partner.
GOVERNMENT AND THE NEW TAXI FARES. Government has made two official releases on the new increased taxi fares. The first (No:2056/AG) said there has not been a taxi fare
increase in many years. And, as part of this agreement,that requires the use of meters,
issuing of receipts, displaying of driver identification; and discounts for the elderly
and disabled, there will not be another taxi fare increase for another four years in
Fiji, barring the world price of crude oil increasing to over US$155. The statement
claimed that taxis in many areas were previously not using meters, and charging nearly
three times the proper fare. This agreement will guarantee that tourists and locals both
receive proper and equal treatment and services – fair and consistent, in line with
transparent business practices supported by the Fijian Government.
Partially-informed reports on the taxi fare increase also claim that Fijians are now
forced to travel on public transportation – namely, buses. It is important to note that
taxis are a form of transportation of choice. The Government certainly encourages
Fijians to take advantage of available public transportation.
The second statement (No:2030/MSWWPA) said that yellow ID cards used by senior citizens
and the red ID cards could be used by disabled persons for bus fare concessions and for
the 20% discounts on taxi fares up to 20 km.
Some 482 disabled persons had already been issued with red Bus Fare ID cards and 21,724 senior citizens with the yellow Bus Fare ID Cards. Other cards will be issued as requests are received.
COUP4.5 CONTINUES TO DENY POLL VALIDITY. Meanwhile, Coup4.5 continues to deny the validity of another poll, the Lowy poll that showed two-thirds of the people polled supported the Bainimarama government. They say the journalist Iris Wielders who lived in Suva in 2007 and 2008 has been roped in by the Lowy Institute to support its poll results. (See Fiji:Engagement is the Only Way.) There is no way Coup4.5 can admit the poll's accuracy. To do so would prove them wrong, and largely redundant. .