News and Comments Wednesday 3 October 2012

SOLOMONS BACKS FIJI.Solomon Islands PM Gordon Lilo told the UN General Assembly that the Solomons recognises the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Fiji, and says his country will continue to dialogue with Fiji. He called on the region and the international community to support Fiji’s “Engaging with the Pacific” process and its road map to the 2014 general elections.

PACIFIC FORUM LINE COUlD BE SOLD. A NZ Government plan to sell a state-owned asset considered vital to Pacific  development is expected to be rubber-stamped this week. The Sunday Star-Times understands an urgent meeting  took place last week in Tonga, to be followed by another this week in Fiji, finalising plans to sell the 35-year-old Pacific Forum Line (PFL) to Singaporean firm Sofrana.The move has drawn strong criticism from the NZ Labour Party with foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff claiming small island nations would bear the brunt of a decision made behind closed doors. "It is being conducted not simply privately, but in secret without the chance for those people who will be deeply affected by the decision to have a say," he said. NZ and 11 island countries have equal voting rights in PFL, but practical control is exerted by NZ, Fiji and Papua New Guinea which between them own around three-quarters of the company's shares. All three are reported to favour the sale.

PRIVATE SECTOR SUBMISSION. Contrary to what the anti-bloggers say, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation chief executive Nesbitt Hazelman says the private sector wishes "to make a meaningful contribution to the work that is being carried out by the Constitution Commission." At a recent workshop busines leaders identified "fundamental issues they would like to see filter through the making of the new constitution." Hazelman said business, land and the structure of government,  especially the separation of the legistrature and judiciary, and the role of the auditor-general in ensuring that there are checks and balances in the way public funds are spent, were all discussed. The FCEF plans intends to make its submission before the October 10 submission deadline.

FORUM CONTACT GROUP MAY VISIT AGAIN.The Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group  may visit Fiji again in November. This was discussed when Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, met his counterparts from Australia and New Zealand, Senator Bob Carr and Murray McCully, in New York at the weekend.  They are attending the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

PM APPEALS TO UNION LEADERS ahead of the unions bid  to stop Fiji from benefitting from the US Generalized system of Preferences Scheme which has given certain Fijian exporters duty free access to the United States.

FIJI TO CHAIR GROUP OF 77. The ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China in New York has endorsed Fiji as its chair for 2013. In his address at the 67th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Ratu Inoke said: “I am pleased to say that at today’s Ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China, Fiji was endorsed as the Chair of the G77 for the year 2013.”Ratu Inoke said Fiji has taken on this responsibility with a deep sense of humility, willingness to work collaboratively  with all States and commitment to addressing inequalities that exist between developing and developed countries.

LOMAIVITI WANTS REFORMED GCC, LAND, FISHING SAFEGUARDED.The Lomaiviti Provincial Council  submission to the Constitution Commission proposed the re-installation and reformation of Great Council of Chiefs "as the institution [that]protects and safeguards the rights of the indigenous people of Fiji.” All provisions in the 1997 constitution that safeguarded  native land and fishing rights should be entrenched in the new constitution. “For i-taukei’s, land is our life, it is our existence, the concept of Vanua is all encompassing covering the earth, we stand on, the rivers and seas and most importantly, the people, their tradition, culture and belief,” he said.

OLDER PEOPLE who are not under any sort of pension are requesting  at least $,1000 per month of assistance from relevant authorities. [That's on a par to the NZ government pension  for a single person.]

BRIBERY IN PM'S OFFICE. A public relations officer at the Prime Minister’s Office appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday charged with bribery. FICAC is alleging that Rudra Maharaj accepted cash favours so he could influence a tender contract.


Anonymous said…
did Solomon Islands accept the legitimacy of the fijian military regime ? or are they just reaffirming the realtionship between peoples/neighbours, i don't see this as the same at all.
Desmond said…
What a bizarre request.....'pension on par with NZ??!! I can only assume this is aspirational. Given the amount of 'loans' Fiji appears willing to accept from China, what on earth makes anyone think they can afford even half/third of this..or are we now going to borrow to pay pension today...who is now suggesting 'on par with NZ government pension' is that the standard that is being applied to Fiji? Look at the average hourly rate in fiji....
Anonymous said…
Ha ha ha. Remember Sir Michael from PNG being supportive of military coup as well but wanting the rule of law uphelp in his own country when he was removed in a coup (despite court saying he was still PM). Funny how it all comes downs to 'me' and whats good at the time for 'me'.

I'm sure if Frank is a elected PM in 5 years time and someone within the military tosses him out he will be outraged despite that being exactly what he has done.
'Our Fiji', Sharon S-J, when did Fiji claim you? said…
just because i like children, doesn't mean i like all children. Just because i like a family does not mean i like the entire family or all families , especially members of that family that hold others at gunpoint, abuse them and then demand recognition and immunity. Presumbaly the Solomons PM is very gracious until his own military decide they would have other plans for him...

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