News and Comments Thursday 13 March 2013

WHY HAVE AN  ELECTION? The PM is currently touring the Northern Division with stops in Bua, Labasa, rural Cakaudrove and Rabi. Not for the first time people in the villages he visits say they are happy with the services government is providing, so why have an election?

When this phenomena first occurred, observers said, "Ah!Ha! He's preparing the grounds for not holding an election." Others said,  "This is the iTaukei way. Always praise those in power.  It means nothing. They'll vote as the chiefs say when the time comes."  And yet others say that the work of the government in providing services to grassroots people in rural and remote areas, previously rarely visited by MPs and never at all by a Prime Minister, is paying off. People say government is listening to them, responding to their needs, and they genuinely can see no need for elections that may return politicians and a government far less responsive.

Which interpretation is correct, we do not know.  The PM says, "This is our most important task: to not just promise better access to electricity, clean water, roads and government services but provide them. Unlike previous governments, we keep our promises. We deliver." -- based on Fiji Times.

CHAUDHRY'S SHORT-TERM MEMORY.  Here's what he said in his Diwali address in 2004, surprisingly republished on the FLP website last month, as if nothing has been done to make Fiji's Indo-Fijian citizens more secure in the interim.
"Our Dharam teaches us that we must fight against injustice, that we must stand up for our rights. As a community, we need to learn from such teachings. Time and again, we as a people have been assaulted: our political rights have been taken away from us our children are discriminated against in the pursuit of their education, we face discrimination in assistance given by the state. We face discrimination in civil service jobs, the allocation of scholarships, and training opportunities. We are denied protection of our personal safety and property through police inaction and laxity. Are we going to sit back as a community and accept these injustices? It is always a temptation to take the easy way out, the path of least resistance!"

SOMEWHERE SAFE TO SLEEP. Last year overnight accommodation was provided by government for market vendors in Rakiraki. At that event, Minister Cokanasiga praised the resilience of women around the country who continue to work hard to support their families and communities. Now, Lautoka City has provided "home stay" type accommodation for its market vendors. Minister for Local Government Samuela Saumatua says the decision by the city council “is a move in the right direction.

The accommodation will also ensure the safety of market vendors especially women who have had to travel long distances between their communities to sell their produce." Previously, market vendors slept on pavements outside the market in Lautoka to be able to sell their goods for two or more days. It is hoped other towns will follow the Lautoka and Rakiraki examples.

BLOGS WRONG AGAIN.  Accused of being one of the people doing the beating in the now notorious violence video, Amani Bosenawai protests he had left the police (for stealing marijuana!)  on June 8, well before the beatings occurred. He has gone public because he fears for the safety of his children. Meanwhile, at least two Corrections officers have been dismissed for their involvement, and the Service has increased measures to prevent further prison breakouts.

. An extract from their statement on the recent violent beatings: "The Fijian police authorities have stated that they will seek to establish the facts in this case. We welcome this commitment, and urge the Government to ensure that the apparent serious human rights violations are swiftly and effectively investigated by an impartial and competent authority, and that the findings are made public.

We also call on the authorities to ensure that perpetrators – who are clearly visible in the video and should be easily identifiable — are brought to justice, and that a concerted effort is made to ensure that this type of treatment is not repeated. Victims of the abuse must have access to the necessary medical and psychological support, as well as redress. Our Regional Office for the Pacific, which is already working on torture prevention in the Pacific Island States, stands ready to assist the Government in their effort to eradicate torture and ill-treatment. We will continue to follow this case closely as well as the outcome of the police investigations.

WILL HE, WILL HE NOT?   Fiji Village reports that the PM is still undecided whether to stand for election in 2014. He has been asked this before and his answer is always the same: there are many reforms still to to complete and he wants to keep his attention fixed on them. "There has been a lot of requests thrown in my directions for me to stand in the next elections and to be part of a political party. But as I have also said I am preoccupied right now with the constituent assembly, with the constitution. And of course with the reforms, we don't have much time to complete the reforms that we had decided on. Just today, the doctors turned up to my office with a lot of issues that would affect the reforms in the ministry of health. Some we can deal with overnight but some would after five years to complete. That's why with some of the issues we need to look at in terms of reforms that have to be completed by the time we have elections. My time is preoccupied right now with all those reforms and of course the need to have them completed at least by elections because the last thing we want to do is have them changed.” -- Radio NZI 8 March.

PM WORRIED ABOUT POLITICAL PARTIES. The PM says he is worried that the proposed parties that have applied for registration are just aiming to get into power to change everything that has been implemented since December 2006.

"I’ve had a look at the some of the members at political parties that are going to stand for the elections and Fiji should be worried about this, about the membership of the political parties.
What are they going to bring to Fiji with regards to the political issues. I fear that most of them are standing just to come and change the things that have put in place in the last four-five years and Fiji should be worried about the caliber of people that are going to stand. Fiji should be worried about the caliber of political parties that are going to register or that have registered because in some of these people, we could see through them, you know exactly what they going to come and do and who knows, they not going to come and continue with the work that we have been doing in the last four-five years." -- Radio NZI 8 March.

• 500 families living in Lautoka's informal (squatter) settlements will be relocated to more environmentally acceptable sites before the end of the year.
• Minister Luveni promises Fiji will be a safer place for women and children
• PM assures Bua Province of more infrastructure development.
• Major developments in pipeline for Northern Division towns of Labasa and Savusavu.
•With the opening of the Northern Division's first government service station in Labasa, people will no longer need to visit Suva for essential government services. 
• A delegation of NZ business people and possible investors will be in Suva next week.
Proposed FLP injunction  may be ‘illegal’
The Draft constitution is now with the PM
Lau islands want a port of entry.
Brazil will open an embassy in Suva next year.


Nationalist to the Core said…
Fiji has to move forward. NZ's parliament vote on the so called torture has been called absurd by minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. NZ has alot of other tortures to condem then chat about a small island nation's criminals. We should not waste time on what others are thinking about our nation. Our nation will be built by people here and now.. the opposition can squeal as much as they want but the work done on the ground is much better than all the previous corrupt MPs and PMs and ABC's of the government! Rambo 1987 and SAS Speight 2000 have made the natives and chiefs pay a heavy price.. Another hero will suffer the same faith.. make no mistake.. talk is easy but on the ground the game is rough and the loser will pay a heavy price!! We can only move forward, if NZ and OZ dont like it .. they can take their Aid and embassies with them. We have been treated like outsiders when we try to visit these 2 countries. Our entire population is just a small town in Australia. Yet they want be part of the pacific and treat us as outsiders!! Brazil will be hosting the Football world cup and Olympics soon.. a sign of its growth and potential!! We can only look towards these partnerships.. We the people are going to change the mindset... I feel the PIF and Commonwealth are dead ... there is no way a future government should be allowed to join these groups! Bilateral agreements are far better! God Bless this nation.. times are changing and Suva definitely has improved!
Anonymous said…
The PM is worried about political parties yet he has not done a single thing to encourage new parties or new leaders. I doubt he really wants any new parties of leaders because they could be a threat to the party he will form and lead. Despite his 'undecided' line there is no doubt he wants to continue to lead Fiji. He has become relaxed in the role and enjoys the travel, functions etc. He is now playing politics every step of the way - look at his claim that no other government has done anything.
PER said…
I hope that the PM bans the old parties from standing in elections. How can elections be free and fair when old racist and corrupt parties are allowed to contest? In fact, I doubt that we need elections at all. Clearly the rule of our PM is widely accepted amongst most citizens and he has said that people ask him all the time to continue his rule. Why not install him as a life president? This would move Fiji forward quickly as he would have all the power he needs for true reforms and progress.
Con beef and rourou said…
It's quite obvious the PM will stand for election in 2014. Why else would he be doing these publicity tours in the north.

He opened a building on the Taveuni jetty that will make quite a difference to the people of Taveuni. This building was completed and ready in 2010, and has been standing idle, just waiting for the right time to be opened by the PM. It sickens me.

Nakelo said…
Con beef

Your post reminds me of when Jairam Reddy said that Ratu Mara "will come to open toilets to get votes".

This statement was twisted around by Alliance Party to shore up support from the itaukei.
Anonymous said…
pliz......and wea did you get your stupid facts that people want him to lead them.......don't know where your stats come from......seriously are you one of frankie's hippies???
Anonymous said…
PER ....

He's actually worried about going to prison and has just threatened his senior officers that they wil also 'go down' with him. We have been briefed by him. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Maybe Naboro can install him as life President of cell block D.
Anonymous said…
you seem to forget you place. Which is with you hand out. Need more money? take it out of your military budget you parasites.

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