News and Comments Monday 26 March 2012
The Council, as its name implies, is dedicated to the restoration of democracy in Fiji. It is a very widely based organisation having amongst its stakeholders the two major political parties who garnered the overwhelming majority of votes cast in the last democratic election held in Fiji, the Methodist Church of Fiji, the Fiji trade union movement, and the Fiji Democracy Movements worldwide. Are the SDL, FLP and Methodist Church really stakeholders in his Council for a Democratic Fiji or is he simply assuming their support? And if he is speaking for them, did they consult their members?
NAITASIRI, IO SAKA, SEQA SAKA. . Naitasiri has joined other provinces in accepting the Constitution process but their chiefs have asked Bainimara to return to the old unequal method in the distribution of land rent moneys.
TIKOITONGA ACCUSES RATU NAIQAMA. Military Land Force Commander Col.Mosese Tikoitoga has accused the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu of irresponsible behaviour and an abuse of chiefly power in taking no steps to end the mutiny at the Vaturekuka military camp in Labasa in 2000 which resulted in the death of some soldiers and the imprisonment of others. Most of the rebels were from Cakaudrove.
METHODIST CHURCH STANDS BY CHIEFS. The Methodist Church stands by the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), saying national consultation should have been held before it was abolished. Church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said it was a sad day for those of iTaukei heritage to see a national institution abolished in such a manner. While admitting the GCC had had problems, he said the GCC had performed its duties admirably during its tenure and all "presidents chosen by the GCC all stood the test of time and proved themselves when they held that office."
FLP TO ELECT NEW PRESIDENT. Fiji's Labour Party will be electing its new president in July. Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said this was decided at their meeting today. Currently the party has three vice presidents - Tom Ricketts, Sachida Sharma and Lavenia Padarath. Chaudhry said they had a good discussion about the constitution consultation process at the meeting. The FLP has called for the constitutional roadmap "to be replaced by one that is truly independent and inclusive", noting that Government did not consult with any political party or civil society organizations in announcing its plan. He also said "all decrees and policies that impede freedom of assembly, association, expression and movement must be removed."
MSG SUMMIT LEADERS will meet in Suva this week to discuss issues of common interest that have been discussed by the different sub-committees. MSG Secretariat media officer Lora Napuati confirmed Leaders attending will include Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, spokesperson of the FLNKS Victor Tutugoro, PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Ano Pala, Prime Minister of Vanuatu Sato Kilman and Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Darcy Lilo.
AIRLINE TO LINK MSG CAPITALS? Plans to have a Joint Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) capitals airline connection was discussed at the Senior Officials Meeting on Friday. Foreign Ministers will discuss this and other issues on Monday.
BAINIMARAMA ON MSG. The PM waxed eloquently about the MSG last week. “We are, after all, family and it is important for us to gather and rejuvenate our ties. There are no other countries in the world like ours.” The PM noted that under Fiji’s chairmanship of the MSG, significant decisions taken at the Leaders Summit held last year included the establishment of the Regional Police Academy (RPA) and the establishment of the MSG Formed Police Unit (FPU). Other decisions include the endorsement of the Report of 1st MSG Mission to New Caledonia that took place from June 8-11, 2010 with the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation (C24) and formally recognising the work of the MSG in the decolonisation process in New Caledonia.
COURT WILL HEAR CASE. High Court Judge, Justice Angela Wati has ruled that the Court will hear the case of the 63 sacked Public Works Department workers claiming that they were unfairly dismissed. The ruling comes after issues were raised in court earlier in the month whether she could hear the case as some decrees clearly state that some matters cannot be challenged in any court or tribunal.
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