News and Comments Monday 7 November 2011

IMF CONFIRMS FIJI ECONOMY ON THE MEND. The International Monetary Fund, previously doubtful of Fiji's chances of economic recovery, now thinks the economy is on an "upward trend." Visiting official Dr Koshy Mathai spoke highly of government reforms, tourism sector performance and the "recovery of sugar cane production."

“The data we have this year has given us a totally different picture of the situation. The last time the team came was in November 2010 and the sugar industry was at one of its lowest but this year we were fortunate enough to be in the west and talk to some of the farmers and the sugar stakeholders and everyone is so positive,” he said.

“We are very pleased to hear some of the reforms that the Fijian Government is doing and we have met with a lot of people over the last two weeks and they have given us a lot of positive feedbacks on what the government has done in respect to the land policies, infrastructure, civil service reforms, public enterprise reforms and other policies,” Dr Mathai said. -- Based on Nos:2018 and 2019/MOI.

CONSTITUTION TALKS SOON.The A-G says discussion on the Constitution will start in nine months.

NIK NAIDU CALLS 'FLIP FLOPPERS' HYPOCRITES. And that includes church leaders like Rev
Josateki Koroi and the trade unionists. Read the text or listen to his interview by ABC's Bruce Hill.

Felix Anthony has joined Daniel Urai in custody. Does that leave only Attar Singh to go?  Since Government knows exactly who is opposing its policies, why doesn't it keep the suspects under close observation and prevent them from leaving the country where they foment anti-government feelings, and threats to the country's tourism industry? I wouldn't approve such a tactic but it would cause less damage to Fiji and its trade union movement than passing potentially crippling legislation like the Emergency Industries Decree — and then arresting its opponents — after the horses have bolted. Police have not yet charged Anthony but Fiji law allows detention without charge for up to ten days.

TOURISM NOW 34% OF GDP. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the $49 million  Worldmark Resort Denarau Island Stage 3 Development on Sunday, the PM said Fiji will continue to provide and improve the industry environment for the benefit of all, whether it is the developers, the land owners, the hotel operators, the employees or those that provide ancillary services.

KING'S ROAD. This in Facebook: " Billy Nadakuitavuki -- Just been to Ba and back on a one day trip from Suva . . . the Kings road is almost complete and fantastic [way better than the Queens road] . . . thanks to uncle Frankie. Previous governments failed to give us this basic need . . . glad they're lost forever!"

COOPERATIVE EFFORT BY SQUATTERS. Some  164 residents of Lagilagi settlement in Jittu Estate will soon own a house of their own thanks to cooperative work between the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, the People’s Community Network (PCN) which will construct single or two bedroom houses for the residents, and the 164 families in the settlement who are required to pay only $12,000 over a period of 12-14 years for the construction of their own homes.

This is the first time communities of a settlement have taken a lead role in building their homes at Jittu Estate. Youths from the settlement will be trained to assist with construction works. The project has received $1.5 million from Miseror, a German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation, and Government will provide $1 million for civic works and $400,000 will be injected for construction of other buildings during the next three years. The Fiji National University has been contracted to begin the work.--  Based on No:2017/MOI.

 WEEKEND READING. If you have not already done so, read what UN Ambassador Winston Thompson has to say about Fiji's  new international linkages;  what Wadan Narsey has to say about FNPF loans, and what a Lowy Institute writer has to say about "Bainimarama's shadow."


Contractor said…
Frank's government completed the King's Road? Uh...please.
That road has been built over the span of twelve years. The fact that it was completed during Frank's reign is neither significant nor newsworthy. In fact, responsibility for the road changed multiple times under the current regime's rule until the Chinese were commissioned to do it, taking away jobs from the Fijian people at a time when they were needed most.

Croz: Let Frank's people work the spin. You need to remember impartiality.
yea yea said…

The economy being on the improve will no doubt be celebrated news to Government. Lets not forget though that the last 5 years of pain is a direct result of the action of the military who are the current government. So in many respects they are looking like getting back to 2005/2006 levels in a year or so. In other words they have done nothing other than to recover from the destruction they caused.
Cleaned up said…

Urai has now been charged. When will this government take some responsibility - this is a person THEY APPOINTED to board positions at FNPF. The previous people removed in the clean up campaign. When will they admit they "cleaned up" and replaced them with much more "dirtier" people.....we have seen this again and again.

Urai charged with urging political violence
Publish date/time: 07/11/2011 [12:09]

Fiji Trades Union Congress president Daniel Urai has been charged with urging political violence and inciting antagonism against the Fiji Government.

Police have confirmed in the last hour that the charges Urai faces also relate to any person urging others to overthrow by force or violence, the Government of Fiji or the lawful authority of the Government of Fiji.

Urai was taken in for questioning last Monday after returning from Australia.

Police confirmed that Urai will appear in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress Felix Anthony was taken in for questioning in relation to similar investigations last Friday.

Assistant Police Commissioner Henry Brown is expected to comment later on whether Anthony is still being questioned.

ACP Brown had earlier said that more people are expected to be taken in for questioning in relation to this ongoing investigation.

Story by: Vijay Narayan & Selina Navuso
moving forward said…
Dear Croz,

I have been following the situation in Fiji for some time. What I don't understand is how being againist something governemt does (anti-government) can be a crime. Is this the crux of the whole "taking Fiji forward". A state where any disagreement ina crime ?
Dictator 101 said…
Very scary that the new definition of a "suspect" is someone who opposes a government policy. Wow secretly there must be a lot of suspects in Fiji !

This is very concerning. I read the interiew Thompson and he said they still saw Fiji as democratic. Now way ? how could he is anyone who opposes a government policy is a "suspect". That sounds like a dictatorship in every sense of the word.
nestsped said…

I know you are not a fan of Wadan or his views so i appreciate you printing his article. I suggest readers also take a look at his latest peice on Coup Four & Half.

Regular Reader
don't get excited yet said…
We might be getting closer to a day when work on the constitution begins but comments from the AG and PMs office in recent days are a concern.

The AG said the PER would be lifted when the constition work begins. That sounds very pre-meditated and a lot like another hollow promise made by the PM. Why not lift it now and let reasoned thought start to progress.

The PM's office said government (I assume the military ?) will ensure devlopment work continues for the next five years after the 2014 election. How can he promise that unless 1) he is certian this government will stay in power or 2) it has already been decided the new government will answer to the military.

I'm not feeling confident we will get to anything close to "free and fair elections" and I doubt very very much the PM or military will accept the outcome of a election unless it involves them.
late said…
Any one remember the PM saying the economy and sugar would all be fixed by 2009 !!!! Still waiting and the IMF would do well to wait for real numbers rather than quoting a few farmers.
what they heard - is that reality said…
"we have met with a lot of people over the last two weeks and they have given us a lot of positive feedbacks on what the government has done"

I wonder if the IMF team are aware that ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS are tolerated by the current government and that anything negative could see a individual held for more than a week without charge and possibly charged under the wide powers of the PER.

Croz - you have even suggested in todays post that any person with 'anti government'views are 'suspects' and should be monitored by I assume the police and military. So in this environment would the IMF actually here another view ? I don't think so.
bansin said…
The AG may have promised constition work will start in 9 months but the link you have included quotes only Colonel Tikoduadua. He says a few things that worry me. I have cut and paste them below :

1) "government will see to it that reforms follow through within the next five years" so this government plans to be involved beyond the elction - that worries me.

2) he said the the constituion must include "systems that hold elected governments accountable with more checks and balances". If there are going to be consultation then we should not have the PM's office saying that this and that are a "must" otherwise the consultation will just be a farce again.

3)again "systems that hold elected governments accountable with more checks and balances". This worries me because I take it to read that the Military will have powers beyond 2014 to remove future governments, appoint leaders etc. The very same military that allows no checks or balances on its own work ???

Colonel Tikoduadua said consultations would be extensive and not confined to political parties.
Yea yea said…
Looks like Urai has been charged !

Get this, apparently he has been encouraging people to“overthrow by force or violence, the Government of Fiji or the lawful authority of the Government of Fiji.”

Ummm - Isn't that exactly what this government did to get into power ?
economy spin said…
The mission said Fiji’s expected growth rate of two percent for 2011is by far the best result of the past five years. In other words IF FOR THE FIRST TIME we meet our forecaste it will be a good year RELATIVE TO THE PAST BAD 5YEARS.

The report also says medium term growth prospects appear relatively weak. The IMF team says there have been many promising initiatives, including policies on land and in the civil service and sugar sector. It says it’s critical these initiatives are followed through.

In other words we like the promises now we need to see some results !
Anonymous said…
If a person like Prof Wadan Narsey can use a forum like coup 4.5 to express his views, one would indeed be right in questioning his discretion in choosing a forum that operates at a gutter level. It is the forum of and for the racists that purport to be great advocates of democracy when they were the ones that were behind the past coups, using the cover of the Army to hold the nation to ransom. Now that the Army has dislodged them and they are no longer the beneficiaries of the the power, positions and perks as in the past, their desperation can well be understood. It is evident that Professor Narsey cannot distinguish between the grain and chaff and has sullied his stature - you are judged by the company you keep, Professor!!
sara'ssista said…
just an open question ... can you have an independent judiciary where the 'law' that is applied is derived from decrees and an illegal appointed and self serving military regime? Not to mention that in all modern democracies you don't have magistrates and judges on contract... we see now why... don't we?
Anonymous said…
Well Fiji never had a democracy. The last AG, Q Bale, in the Qarase Govt was disbarred from practicing law for failing to uphold the moral and ethical values required to be observed by the law practitioners and yet he was chosen to be the country's top legal officer. If such things were okay during the era of 'democracy' don't expect an authoritarian regime to operate like a true democracy. At least it has stopped the roadblocks, needless eviction of people from land, stopped the Methodists and the GCC meddling in politics, the sugar industry is on the mend, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation claimed that Fiji is among the top two-thirds of the most entrepreneurial-friendly economies in the world. Not bad!!
sara'ssista said…
stopped others medling in politics but don't mind meddling themseelves? Road blocks? where have you been? Lok at the popel this regime has appointed , a convicted criminal(manslaughter) as head of navy etc, FLP mebers now facing charges, govt board members facing charges? and their families tend to be doing rather well out of this coup...oh please.We got the paymaster from the illegal AG's family(which has never been explained) talk about jobs for the accountability whatsoever except what is written in the blogs...oh yes....'versions of democracy'... giving the reweiriting of history during the Qarase years, where was the popular rioting? the censorship? the immunity? the reason we know what went on is because it was widely reported and discussed openly. There were ALWAYS other choices to deal with a government that has lost it's way. This regime would have you believe theirs is the only way. Still locking up unionists and activists are we?

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