News and Comments Friday 25 November 2011
A few days earlier American investor Ken Honig left the country, accusing Biosecurity of harassment and accepting bribes when it seems probable he really had illegally imported the American iguana that is costing Fiji big dollars to eradicate.
The Australian High Commission also sprung a surprise saying that poverty had decreased in Fiji between 2003 and 2009 (from 40% to 35%), but rural poverty was unchanged at 44% with the worst poverty in the Northern and then Western Divisions.
Last week we reported that Ro Teimumu Kepa had stated at the Rewa Provincial Council meeting that Rewa would never support the Bainimarama government or the People's Charter; this week the Ra and Bua PC's passed uneventfully, but Ratu Naiqama Lalabalvu, the Tui Cakau and head of the Tovata confederacy, apparently made similar comments at the Cakaudrove PC meeting. Their stance is not new and is no surprise. Both will lose a great deal if the Bainimara reforms continue.
Both chiefs talk about legality and democracy but it is as well to remember that Ro Teimumu, and many from Rewa, visited George Speight when he held the legal and democratically elected Chaudhry government members hostage in 2000 (they did not visit the hostages), and that Ratu Naiqama supported the extremist CAMV party that sought to further Speight's agenda. The CAMV eventually joined forces with Qarase's SDL where they pushed the so called Tolerance and Reconciliation Bill, the Qoliqoli Bill and other discriminatory legislation.
Dr Mere Samisomi, former SDL MP for Lami, recently delivered a "revealing" paper to a FDFM conference in Melbourne. She asked Qarase if he'd made any mistakes. No, he said. She said the People's Charter was merely a "cut and paste" copy of earlier Development Plans (why then does she oppose the Charter?); that the 1997 Constitution was "designed" to give the Commander all the powers he needed. They just got the wrong man. (I thought the Appeals Court found the opposite), and— one for the road — Fiji is now ruled by an "unchecked military government backed by a minority Marxist political party." Well, I never.