News and Comments Thursday 26 April 2012
“ The past still weighs heavily on us and many may find it difficult or impossible to forgive and forbear. And it is true that it cannot be forced, imposed or usurped. It is the prerogative of the victim and those who have been wronged. But the state of unforgiveness and vengeance is a cold, desolate place in which no one should linger too long. I have no mandate to speak for anyone but myself and I do so from compassion for both sides in our schism.” -- Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi at the January book launch of Notebook on Constitution Making and Reforms by Constitution Commission Chairman Yash Ghai and others.
CORRUPTION: Extortion and Abuse of Office by FNPF Official. Assessors in the Suva High Court were unanimous in recommending the conviction of former Fiji National Provident Fund CEO Olota Rokovunisei of extortion and abuse of office. While employed as the FNPF general manager and chief executive officer in 2006 Rokovunisei had accepted $22,773.18 for performance of his duties, a reward beyond his proper pay and emoluments. On the second count of abuse of office, he had without authority authorised a $20,000 per annum payment as responsibility allowance to the then FNPF deputy general manager Foana Nemani.
CORRUPTION: Fraud by Post Fiji Officials. Two former staff of Post Fiji Limited Matarino Madogo and Kautanagauna Seaqaqa had earlier been convicted on two counts of conspiracy to defraud last year. They were each sentenced by Magistrate Usaia Ratuvilito to 18 months imprisonment, in which one month was to be spend in custody with the balance of 17 months suspended. Yesterday the FICAC (Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption) appealed to the Court that the sentence was inadequate and too lenient. The case will be recalled on May 31.
CORRUPTION: Abuse of Office by Fiji Ports Officials. The case against former Fiji Ports Corporations Limited chairman Sialeni Vuetaki and his deputy Alipate Naiorosui will be heard on July 26.The two face charges of abuse of office for allegedly approving a $177,000 pre-retirement allowance for former Ports chief executive Herbert Hazelman. Vuetaki and Naiorosui have pleaded not guilty to one count each of abuse of office brought against them by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.
RELATIONS WITH 63 UN COUNTRIES. Fiji can now formalise diplomatic relations with all UN member states after Cabinet approval. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said regardless of differences on specific issues or approaches, Fiji’s approach has always been and will remain that of engagement. He said formalising diplomatic relations with all UN countries is in line with Fiji’s foreign policy philosophy and strategy of engaging in dialogue with all partners in the international community. Cabinet has endorsed diplomatic relations with 63 countries so far this year.
PM's TEAM IN INDIA. The PM's current visit to India for a meeting of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) is expected to bring benefits for agriculture and flood relief measures. The PM has also visited ten Fijian women who are currently training to become solar engineers.
DISEASES IN FLOODS AFTERMATH. Over 60 cases of communicable diseases have been confirmed since the floods in the West, including 7 cases of leptospirosis, 12 of dengue fever and 12 of typhoid, and from January there have been 160 confirmed cases of dengue fever, 117 of typhoid and 236 of leptospirosis. The cases are too dispersed to be defined as epidemics.
GREATER SUVA HELP FOR SQUATTERS Squatters and informal settlements will benefit from development work planned for areas within the Lami to Suva boundaries. Greater Suva Area Committee Chairman Chandu Umaria says the pro-poor project nincludes plans to dredge rivers adjacent to squatter and informal settlements to protect them against flood-prone rivers. He says settlements like Wailea, Koronivono, Kalekana, Qauia, River Road, Salim St and Bangladesh are some of the few areas already earmarked for the project. They have been chosen because they urgently need assistance which they themselves can’t afford. [Bangladesh is actually in Nasinu close to the urban area boundary with Nausori. It was until recently included in the Suva Urban Area for census purposes. I assume the GSAC's authority includes the "new" Nasinu. The geographically unified approach to the Greater City's infrastructure is long overdue and most welcome- Croz]
A NOTE TO "DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR". I do not publish generalised hate attacks on women who have chosen to work alongside the Government. Try Coup4.5.