News and Comments Monday 23 April 2012

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        Peni Moore Fifth Commissioner 
The PM has announced the name of the final member of the five-member constitutional commission. It is Women’s and children’s rights and community activist, Penelope (Peni) Moore.

A veteran of the civil society and NGO movement, Ms Moore worked with SPCA for years, after which she became the first co-ordinator for the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement from 1987 to 1993. Since then she has been the creative director at Women’s Action for Change (WAC).In her 18 years at WAC, Peni has engaged marginalised communities throughout Fiji, empowering women, providing mentorship to juveniles at risk, and rehabilitating former prisoners.She also serves as a commissioner in the Fiji Legal Aid Commission.

As the last commissioner on the constitutional commission, her appointment creates a majority of females on the commission — a ratio that is a first in Fiji’s history, and perhaps one that is also a first for many nations.

The chairperson of the Constitutional Commission is world-renowned constitutional scholar Professor Yash Ghai; the second international member is human rights and constitutional expert Professor Christina Murray; and two of the three distinguished Fijian members are Taufa Vakatale, the first female deputy Prime Minister of Fiji, and Dr Satendra Nandan, academic, writer and former member of parliament.-- Based on MOI release.


ON HER APPOINTMENT TO THE COMMISSION PROF MURRAY SAID: “Clearly to have proper public consultations, the public has to be able to speak freely. And from what I understand of Fijian politics at the moment, something is going to have to be done about that. Of the members of the commission, the only person I know is Professor Ghai, and I know that he will be insistent as chairperson that the process is open and that it gives people a real opportunity to contribute.”

NZ VISITOR ARTICLE on the floods. What a tourist said.

NEVER AN OPPORTUNITY LOST
. Those opposed to the Bainimarama government continue to focus on only the sensational and "bad" news.

The FNPF was late paying pensioners last week.  Mick Beddoes called it "disgraceful."  NFPF expressed deep regret saying the delay was due to a "processing problem."  Some 90% of pensions were paid on Friday and he remainder should be paid today. The good news is that Radio Fiji  reported pensioners were furious.  This would not have happened two months ago.
 • The Methodist Church jumped the gun saying the police had refused a permit for a meeting later this week. But the Police Commissioner said he has not made up his mind and has asked the Church for a copy of their agenda.  Both positions were also reported on Radio Fiji. A possible permit denial would seem an unjustifiable measure by the police, unless one considers the active role many Church leaders have played in fermenting unrest in 1987, 2000 and since 2006. The Church needs to rebuild its reputation as a Christian religious body and refrain from ethno-politics.

WORK AHEAD FOR SUGAR INDUSTRY.
The Fiji Sugar Corporation will focus on repairing the rail transport system, cane access roads and the Rarawai sugar mill before they declare a crushing date this year.

GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS. LISTEN TO 
Graham Davis, Brij Lal and Tui Savu on ABC. If you've not read it, you may also care to read my four part analysis of Ro Teimumu's letter to the PM on the Great Council of Chiefs. Perhaps start with the last part, published last Thursday.  Many things claimed for the GCC were doubtful or untrue.  


THE PM ON FORMER POLITICIANS. The PM  said he was not surprised at the speed former politicians rushed to comment on the constitution consultation process, but they appeared not to have learnt any lessons from the past six years. “What is surprising to me though, is they are still coming up with the same old politics that has been the cause of all the problems in the past in Fiji.” They are still focusing on race and racial discrimination while what Government has been trying to do is move away from the emphasis on race and create "an even playing field for everyone... We really don’t want these people to come back and bring in the same old same old dirty politics that has not done us any good in the past.” His Government's policies have "been geared to hand over a new, better Fiji to the politicians coming in after the 2014 election."

Comments

Level Playing Field said…
Croz,
I am interested by this quote by Bainimarama that you published without comment or analysis.

“They are still focusing on race and racial discrimination while what Government has been trying to do is move away from the emphasis on race and create an even playing field for everyone.”

I assume this comment is directed at Qarase, Chaudhry and Beddoes. I have looked at all their public statements and can see no focus on race and racial discrimination. In fact I can’t see anything about race at all. Qarase and Chaudhry seem to have taken on board the last 6 years and are looking at working together. Their actions are the opposite of the dictator’s words.

Perhaps you could analyze Bainimarama’s speeches in the same way you analyzed Ro Temumu’s letter, so we can really find out what he is truly saying and whether the rhetoric is backed by the facts.
Anonymous said…
'But the Police Commissioner said he has not made up his mind and has asked the Church for a copy of their agenda'...just like any other country eh. China?

When this regime focusses on the good things that previous governments did , you may have some sort of argument, but how naive, really.This constant moaning about negativity from regime opponents is just funny when the regie cannot even bring itself to admit any errors or failures. So we will help it.
Says it all said…
Croz
The appointment of junta supporter Peni moore on the so called constitution commission says it all. I doubt that this 'constitution commission', in which the people of Fiji have given no mandate whatsoever, will ever see the light of day.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Says it all ... So you know Peni, do you, or are you a mystic presuming to know what she thinks? I think your assessment is wrong but even if it were correct, she is one of five. Which of the other four would you also label junta supporters? You also seem unaware that anyone can offer their opinions to the Commission which will then report to the Assembly. Neither may have all the people you think should be there, but it could be far more representative than you presume.Many people will give the review processes the benefit of doubt until more is known. It is sad that you are not one of them.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Level playing field ... What have they said about having a different system of voting than the old race-based system?
Croz Walsh said…
@ Anonymous ... Given the previous record of the leaders of the Mehodist Church, the request is not unreasonable. As I said in my posting, the Church needs to return to its Christian roots and not engage in ethno-nationalism. No doubt you disagree but these leaders, to their eternal shame, did not condemn events in
1987 or 2000, or the consequences that followed.

You may care to read this earlier article on the Church http://crosbiew.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/fiji-military-seizing-methodist-church.html or heed the words of Rev Josateki Koroi who was ousted as Church President in 1989 by Rev Manasa Lasaro:

Interview on ABC August 2011.
HILL: Would it be fair to say that the Fiji Methodist Church has two main factions; one which is a very strongly Fijian ethnic nationalist side, and the other which you're identified with, much more religiously oriented and moderate?

KOROI: Yes this is my stand and when I was against this breakaway, led by Lasaro, they were really a nationalist group and I stood against that and that was the main cause of the split within the church.
Anonymous said…
No, what the regime is saying is is not to engage in politics at all and you tend to continue to refer to 'church leaders' with the same brush you paint all of the previous Qarase government as racists because it fits with your pro regime stance. I can only presume that under all the various decress this regime has at its disposal surely using racist language and fomenting hatred is a crime? So i am sure they could be charged, if they can't be charged, then back off.

'When this regime focusses on the good things that previous governments did , you may have some sort of argument, but how naive, really.This constant moaning about negativity from regime opponents is just funny when the regie cannot even bring itself to admit any errors or failures' I note you weren't inclined to address this comment. I wonder why.

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