News and Comments Wednesday 6 March 2013
ONE POLL DOES NOT A PM MAKE BUT over 140 consultations in Greater Suva indicate that "Most people want the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, to continue leading the country after the 2014 elections" according to Strategic Framework for Change Co-ordinating Office representative, Kisoko Cagituevei. He said this particular group wanted the PM to form a party, contest the 2014 election and continue leadership.
Cagituevei said a common point raised in meetings in these areas is the ability of the present leadership to stop corruption in Government. People told the team from the Co-ordinating office they were happy with the services provided by the current Government. Many said that before they were only visited by politicians when the nation was preparing for an election and a lot of promises were made just for their votes. Most people were still waiting for what was promised to them by those politicians.
Cagituevei warned them to expect more such visits in the lead up to the 2014 elections. “We have advised them not to be easily swayed by these people and they should be firm on what they believe in.” The consultations are a testament to Government’s commitment to addressing core issues faced by the people every day. People are encouraged to attend the forums to not only listen to but more importantly, to air their concerns.
BRUTAL VIDEO. The Fiji Police Force says it has started a thorough investigation in relation to a video that has gone online on a number of websites showing two handcuffed men being brutally beaten up by a group of men. Read more. NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully speaks with his Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola about the \video.
This blog will make no further comment until it is known whether or not the video is genuine and the thugs are police or army.
WHERE DO THEY CONJURE UP SUCH BIGOTED RUBBISH? Nacanieli Rogoimuri, a Bainimaramaa opponent now living overseas, wrote this on Facebook: "Zarina, my dear, when I made the decision in 2006 to openly challenge this illegal regime, I had also considered the consequences. Of course I miss my extended family in Fiji, but that is the price I seriously considered to pay for my stance. ... In the meantime, Zarina, do me a favor and write to your muslim family members, who are controlling voreqe and the military, and warn them that their time is nearly over."
Comment. Poor diddums. Missing out on so much, and all due to those sneaky Indo-Fijian Muslims.
PRACTICAL HELP FOR WOMEN. Nazhat Shameen's article on women and the law published on Saturday drew a comment from "Willing to help" asking that I publish a contact address for those who may need assistance. I recommend women who need practical help send a text message to 9998591.
FIJI'S FIRST GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR WOMEN. Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has named Fiji’s very first Goodwill Ambassador for Women, Ms Nazhat Shameem, who is well known in the legal fraternity and Fiji's first woman DPP and High Court judge. The Minister said the new position is an enterprising initiative that will greatly complement the Ministry’s role to advance the gender equality and elimination of violence against women and girls.
“Shameem is highly respected for her work in women’s empowerment. It will enable her to use her position of influence to garner support and public interest in and debate around issues that affect and impact on women’s lives. She will also share her skills, expertise and time to advance the cause of gender equality and elimination of all forms of violence against women and children. She will also be nominated from the state onto international bodies that work in the area of women and gender equality,” she added.
CHILD LABOUR ABUSES.The Ministry for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment's child labour unit has registered and investigated 121 cases of child labour so far, and recovered $8,370 owed to the children. Two employers have also been charged for employing children against the provision of the Employment Regulations Promulgation 2007 and Regulation 2008 and the matter is before the Employment Relations Tribunal for adjudication. Other cases are pending. The Ministry acknowledges the assistance of the European Union and International Labour Organisation (ILO) in helping Fiji address child labour issues through the project Tackling Child Labour through Education (TACKLE). The TACKLE project led to the establishment of the Child Labour Unit in June 2011.
CORRUPTION. The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has succeeded in obtaining 43 convictions it took to the courts since its inception in 2007. More would have been achieved were it not for so many cases being adjourned. In 2012, FICAC recorded 9,817 complaints, out of which about 500 have the potential to make it to the courts.
- The EU is ready to help Fiji elections if it is needed.
- Housing Authority. For the first time ever the HA is offering discounts to entice homeowners to make prompt payments.
- 'Yes, I paid him'. A man supposedly working for a proposed political party has admitted that he paid a man to collect names and signatures of people living in Vatuwaqa, Suva, for the proposed Fiji Labour Party.
- Dialysis still too expensive.
- Fijians in Victoria, Australia, known as Fiji (Fijians) Aid Melbourne (FijiAM), have donated $5,000 to the PM's Relief Fund, saying they are happy with the work being carried out by the Government. Overall, they have donated $70,000 in cash, food, clothing and other essential items for help Fiji's recent natural disasters..
- Aussie High Commissioner. There seems some doubt about whether has acccepted the nomination of Margaret Twomey —which would be a pity.