News and Comments Tuesday 14 February 2012

FLOOD UPDATE. • The State of Natural Disaster for the worst hit areas in the Western Division has been extended for a further ten days. • Floods Cost Update. A recovery progress report has indicated that an initial estimate of damages sustained by the floods are $16.8 million. Australian Flood Relief money now stands at F$2.3m.

Why the State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree?

Government needs to keep its eye on the ball
The anti-Government blog FijiToday reported RadioNZInternational saying: “A lawyer in Fiji says the anti-defamation decree was prompted by at least one threat to sue the interim Attorney General for potentially slanderous public comments earlier this year.”

This could be true if the  alleged defamation was written but it is extremely unlikely that a case against the A-G would proceed or be successful without stronger evidence. If we are to accept this explanation, we must ask why the A-G would go to so much trouble when the lawyer slighted did not even launch defamation proceedings against him, and if he did not then, why should the A-G be afraid of him now? To accept this explanation it is necessary to accept that the A-G is afraid and seeks protection under the Decree. But this would only be temporary because the decree expires in 2014, and there's no time limit on the lawyer suing the A-G.  The story of alleged defamation may well be true, but I doubt it is the "reason" for the Decree, whose purpose remains a puzzle that, unsolved, will continue to feed ongoing speculation.

If I may speculate, my bet would be that the Decree continues what PER started:  a  means of isolating the A-G and others in Government from unwanted "distractions." With PER lifted and no Decree, one or two smart lawyers, still carrying chips on their shoulders from Government's attack on the Fiji Law Society, could tie Government up in legal proceedings that would leave it with little time for its other work. Government needs to keep its eye on the ball.  Well, it's an idea. Wonder if RadioNZ International will publish it?

DIPLOMATS MEET. Heads of Mission who represent Fiji in 14 countries will meet on Wednesday to "discuss common concerns, major government programmes and developments.”  Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the meet will provide government and heads of missions the opportunity to look at foreign policy objectives and strategic issues.

The Health Ministry has changed nurses' working hours in a bid to improve working standards and patient care. Currently, nurses in Fiji are expected to work 40 hours a week on rotational basis. The ministry has changed this in its new pilot programme, assigning nurses to only 36 hours of work a week for 12-hour shifts a day, three days a week.

"The intention is to optimise health care," ministry spokesman Peni Namotu said. "It also considers the quality of life of nurses to reduce sicknesses, eating disorders and health risks associated with a hectic work schedule." The programme has been implemented to also cater for the increase in the number of established nurses in Fiji.

In 2008, a total of 1500 nurses were registered under the ministry. There was a huge increase towards the end of 2011 and 2012 with more than 2000 established nurses registered. In March, the ministry expects another 120 nurses graduating from the Fiji National University and the Sangam School of Nursing in Labasa added to its list. In 2013, an additional 215 nurses are expected to be registered. The Labasa Hospital has spearheaded the programme with the Colonial War Memorial and Lautoka hospitals expected to begin the new nursing hours before the end of the month. -- Marvin Masi posted in Fiji Economic Forum.


unbalanced said…
@ one or two smart lawyers, still carrying chips on their shoulders from Government's attack on the Fiji Law Society, could tie Government up in legal proceedings

You really are very snide in your comments.

Perhaps a more likely scenario is that a highly principled lawyer wants to take Bainimarama to task for his many human rights abuses.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Unbalanced ... Point taken. But my speculation concerned Government's possible reason. The lawyer reference was an example to explain the reason. I could have used your example about the alleged abuses for there are indeed many principled lawyers in Fiji.
Cicero said…
This continuous bickering - for that is what it is - must cease. It has plagued Fiji for over twenty-five years. Once the bickering breaks out - forget serious business and descend into the Underworld of a petulant and time-wasting Hades of Malcontents. No focus, no sense of direction, eyes pinned on navels. Even institutions of higher learning are now embroiling themselves thus. Where is the Promised Land? Ever beyond the horizon? This is the exercise of politics by another name. Witness Pakistan, where the Prime Minister (no less and no more than an overgrown child)faces trumped up music which may prove to have some basis in fact.
yea yea said…
Really ? You mean one or two lawyers might just do exactly what government has been doing to its political opponents for almost 5 years via FICAC ?

Not sure if you are aware but you really have described government pretty well here Croz. It could have easily read...

...."a means of isolating the Qarase and others associated with former Government from unwanted "distractions."

...."With PER lifted and no Decree Government still carries chips on their shoulders
seriously said…
And your explanation makes it OK ? Seriously Croz could you just accept this one is there to give a dictator a edge over opponents when he suddenly becomes a believer in democracy in in 2014
reality said…
Dear Croz,

It does fell like you will go to any lengths to find a good reason for this latest decree. Your own posting of the CCF gives a pretty good possibility yet you really want to find a positive in it.

Could it just be that they want to slander opponents like they have done for the last five years ?

The only good in his is at least it appears government actually fear the courts now...
unbalanced said…

As you say you could have used my example but you did not.

All your snide remarks are reserved for people, actions and blog sites that oppose dictatorship in Fiji. Just for a change make a snide remark about Bainimarama, Khaiyum or Sharon. Go on I dare you.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, go on, I double dare you!
Anonymous said…
"many pricipiled lawyers in Fiji"

not one croz, not one.

EVERY single lawyer in Fiji waxes fat and corrupt on the inefficiencies of the injustice system of Fiji, bar none.

The State of Fiji is a direct reflection of
and sum of the cowardice and corruption of all who call and practice as lawyers in Fiji.
Anonymous said…
12 hour shifts has got nothing to do with patient fact it is patient contempt.

nurses will have to find their own way to work am and pm which will save governement providing transport.

a nurse will have to get up and find her way to work....4.30 to 5 am wake up....will she have breakfast?

finishes her shift 6 pm or 6am and another hour to get home... she has been up now 14 hours and arrives home nice and fresh to great the husband ,children thinks i would not like to be around a grumpy nurse.....what a disaster

you are sick and the person supposed to be looking after you has done 8 hours and is now in for an extra 4 hours cause the boss does not want to drop her off after work.....woe is me!

all these nurses are going to be perfect angels arriving at work after a perfect night/day of sleep, with perfect lives and husbands and they can all be Florence Nightingales every day of their working lives...

Sent home to die.... said…
No matter how many nurses are trained and appointed, they will be quite useless if there is no medicine nor treatment on site.

Why was an 8year old iTaukei boy sent home to die last November in the Western Division? No chemotherapy. What is being hidden? Cruel and unnecessary in the Second Decade of the 21st Century. Beyond despicable.

Meanwhile, we have no hesitation in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on flying all over the place on various airlines for no revealed reason or outcome. The outcome should be that cancer treatment and palliative care is available for all who need it and most especially small children: Our Future. This is the Modern World towards which we are supposed to have striven? Our priorities are all skewed.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the Kingdom of Heaven"

(St Mark 10:14)
Failure to Clean Own Nest said…
If the lawyers in Fiji were so principled, why is it that so many among their number still fail to:

Issue receipts for payment made in advance?

Advise their clients of Court Mentions and Hearings well in advance?

Send along incompetent or incompletely trained persons to attend Mentions and Hearing without prior advice?

This is not proper conduct by the Legal Profession. They fail to 'Clean their Nest' - they do so at their peril.
Florence Nightingale said…
You will note that the 8yr old Fijian (iTaukei) boy sent home to die without
treatment (just a Panadol or two if they happen to be in stock) is not
unique. Last night I dined with the Western Fiji Cancer Society's
hard-working ladies. Terrible stories emerged which would make one think of
Sub-Saharan Africa. There is NO HOSPICE in Fiji, No HOSPICE WARD and no
treatment for the terrible pain of those who die from cancer: mostly women
and children with cervical/breast and leukaemia cancers.

Where are we headed? No where good, let me say. In the interim and prior to
any hypothetical election, hundreds will die for lack of treatment and
worse, they will die in pain and without proper, organized attention.

Scotland has McMillan Nurses: they care for patients in their own homes with
thorough, patient and effective palliative medications. Why is Fiji
permitted to suffer growing and continuing horrors of neglect?
Anonymous said…
Given the regime are so keen on equality and egaiitarianism and a ‘race free fiji’, let’s see them appoint an indian VP or president, lets see the 35% indian affirmative action target for the army, so easy to make rules for everyone else when they don’t effect your own decision making. How about abolishing the hereditary Ratu and Adi titles as chiefly symbols and let them be awarded to outstanding and worthy citizens of all races , such as in Malaysia or other countries. How about the GCC be reconstituted and open to worthy and ditinguished citizens of any race. Why are they still moaning about wanting a ‘race free’ fiji but not even inclined to open up these exclusive institutions s to all? Have some guts, and tinker with the real symbols of power and influence in fiji

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