News and Comments Friday 20 April 2012
MAY 2000. Negotiating or supporting?
COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE. Police Commissioner BrigGen Iowane Naivalurua is worried about the 49% increase of complaints in the last quarter of this year saying that it shows some officers have failed to conduct themselves properly.Some have failed to complete reports, while others showed dishonesty in their investigations. But it also shows the public are not afraid about complaining, as the anti-blogs claim. The quarter also showed a 52% reduction in reported crimes against women and 24% rfeduction of reported crimes against children.
- DISINFORMATION #4. POLICE COULD COMPLAIN ABOUT FIJITODAY. While on the police, a FijiToday post on 6 April headed "Police Commissioner is Next?" said, "As stated earlier last year the Police commissioner term is about to expire on the grounds that he is a non performer according to the advice given to Prime Minister." The article also claimed investigations were proceeding and enforced leave would follow for four senior officers. including "• 1694 SSP Unaisi Vuniwaqa, the Director Human Resources", and the sacking of a further three. The post was then mysteriously withdrawn with no explanation offered. For readers' information, Assistant Commissioner of the Police Inspector-General Isikeli Vuniwaqa is currently in Vanuatu with the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) secretariat for a three-month secondment period. All the other officers are still employed. And the PolCom and the PM seemed to be getting on very well together in their recent tour of the West.
ANTHONY SAYS POLICE BEAT THEM UP. trade unionist Felix Anthony told ABC's Pacific Beat that he and other unionists have been beated by the police. He also supported Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s comments that some unionists are being detained. Police Director Operations SSP Rusiate Tudravu said they stand ready to look into the allegations and will investigate the matter thoroughly if he would lodge a complaint. FijiVillage is trying to speak with Anthony about when these alleged incident occurred and whether he has filed a complaint.
METHODISTS ARE WAITING a permit approval to hold a secretariat meeting. Letters sent to the Police Commissioner from January have received no response and their lawyer says that all attempts by him to get a meeting with the commissioner have been unsuccessful. The Church also wants to discuss their annual conference that is scheduled during the second term school break. Director of Police Operations SSP Rusiate Tudravu said they are discussing the issue and will respond to them shortly. “It’s just that we have been busy during the flooding and the Commissioner will be discussing this with the church later.”
SUBSTANTIAL ASSISTANCE TO FLOOD-AFFECTED CANE FARMERS. Government has
approved a scheme that will grant $2,500 per hectare to assist farmers replant sugarcane damaged by the recent floods. Government will also assist farmers throughout Fiji by offering an interest-free loan of $1,250 per hectare with a further grant of $1,250 per hectare to replant sugarcane.
PM's FLOOD RELIEF APPEAL. Some $1.5m will be released this week to provide food for flood-affected families. $1.9m were released earlier. At the beginning of the week, the fund stood at $2.4m and donations continue to trickle in.
SOME 2,500 NEW JOBS will be created if American company Gibson Guitar establish a factory in Fiji,as CEO Henry Juszkiewicz expects. Fiji's mahogany is apparently ideal for the production of high quality guitars.
GOVERNMENT REPLIES TO COMMONWEALTH'S CMAG.The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) expressed concern that restrictions on human rights remain in place under the Public Order Amendment Decree and other decrees, and urged Government to restore full respect for human rights, including freedoms of expression and assembly, and access to justice.
Government responded by saying the Public Order Amendment Decree does not have any restrictions other than those followed in many other countries. The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said people need to be better informed on the laws that some other countries have in relation to terrorism offences.
Earlier, the Commonwealth extended the suspension of Fiji'smembership but said it is ready to provide technical assistance for constitutional consultations and election preparations.
ANZ JOURNALISM INADEQUATE IN PACIFIC SITUATIONS. Geraldine Coutts of ABC's Pacific Beat was interviewing AUT Professor David Robie on peace journalism.
COUTTS: "Is part of this, David, recognising covert censorship, because there are a lot of governments across the region who will put out press releases and expect them to be reported on?"
ROBIE: "Well, I think it's a means of actually dealing with censorship. Censorship has been in the Pacific for a very long time, of course. There's been a lot of focus on the overt censorship under the current [Fiji] regime. But it goes back a lot further. It goes right back to 1987 when there was a period of censorship after the original coups with Rabuka. And there's been fairly blatant self-censorship right through the Pacific.[Peace journalism courses are] "really a focus on providing tools to journalists to report in more depth and actually sort of coping with a situation when they're facing censorship and conflict." AUT courses derive "from what we've experienced in the Pacific for the last two decades, as a methodology of actually dealing with conflict situations. The type of journalism which is most prevalent in, say, Australia and New Zealand for example, is rather inadequate in coping with the complexities of the Pacific region. So what we've tried to do is give a lot more context and background to the reporting for the region."
MOMI BAY INVESTMENT DIRECTOR JAILED. Former Bridgecorp director, who was also a 50% shareholder in the Fiji-based company that Bridgecorp was lending money to for the Momi Bay hotel complex investment, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment on ten counts of making untrue statements in investment documents. When Bridgecorp went bankrupt 14,500 NZ investors lost NZ$400million, and the Fiji National Provident Fund lost F$121million. The FNPF would lost more but for Government action.