News and Comments Thursday 30 May 2013

AUSTRALIA'S BEEN VETOING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF LOAN MONEY TO FIJI. This revelation by a prominent Australian academic, Director of ANU's Development Policy Centre, Prof Stephen Howes, comes at the same time as Australia announced an increase in aid to Fiji (see below). We appear to have a kangaroo that is jumping in opposite directions. Prof Howes called the Australian action "hypocritical."  He added that there was also international cost to having the World Bank and ADB impose sanctions on Australia's behalf because it would reinforce the impression that those organisations were the instruments of rich countries."

The explanation for this apparent "hypocrisy" might be that World Bank and Asia Development Fund money loans go to Government to spend on infrastructural projects that help all in Fiji, while most AusAID goes to approved NGO's and targeted local projects that enhance Aussie generosity.Or am I too unkind?
I'TAUKEI SCHOLARSHIPS TO CONTINUE. The government has today confirmed that it will continue to give i'Taukei scholarships to i'Taukei and Rotumans. The People's Charter Council had earlier recommended that all scholarships should be merged and there should be no more race-based scholarships. Awards were to be made on the basis of merit not race. There is, of course, a good argument that positive discrimination should continue in some areas but if it is to be based on race and need, Kai Solomoni and other part-i'Taukei Melanesian people would have a far greater claim than most Rotumans and a large number of i'Taukei. I see no good reason why the children of the i'Taukei and Rotuman elite should not have to compete with others on the basis of merit.

BAREFOOT GRANNIES. Solar energy  equipment for ten villages in  Cakaudrove, Macuata, Bua, Kadavu, Ba and Ra were delivered last week. Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said, "After their return from the six months training from Barefoot College in India, the solar grannies have been eagerly waiting for this equipment. The waiting days are over, the villages that have lived without electricity for years are now ready to solar electrify and overcome the years of darkness. As part of their work plan, the solar grannies will also train the youths and men in the village on acquiring solar electrification skills.”

INTERNET IN TAILEVU SCHOOL. The Internet project launched at Naiyala High School last week will see over 170  students of Naiyala High School and 11 villages in the Wainibuka district with easy and free internet access.  Minister for Education, Filipe Bole said that the internet provision will allow for students to surf  educational resources online and databases to assist with learning. But villagers from around the nine schools will also be able to access to the internet. Meanwhile 11 more primary and secondary schools in Ra and Nausori Education District will have access to the internet services by the end of June. Until recently, the area serviced was one of the more inaccessible areas in Viti Levu, stretching from Korovou to Rakiraki, but major improvements to Kings Road have changed that. Twenty schools will also soon receive two new desktop computers with free internet services for six months. 
AUSTRALIAN AID UP 18%.  The Australian government will provide a record $F105.5million ($A58.2m) in official development assistance to Fiji in the 2013-14 financial year. Australia's Counsellor for Development Assistance in Fiji Joanne Choe says this demonstrates the Australian government's unwavering commitment to the people of Fiji.

The recent Labour Ministry roadshow in the Western Division dealt with 90 cases of allegedly unpaid wages and successfully settled 59 of the  cases. Labour Minister, Jone Usamate said “this was achieved through further investigation and inspection of workplaces carried out by the ministry’s Complaints and Resolution Team (CRT) and the District Offices. The Ministry recovered a total of $185,339.92 arrears of wages for 73 employees who were made redundant from a prominent resort after the effects of cyclone Evans at the end of last year.

Overseas investment is likely to result in  over 1,400 new jobs in the near future. Investment Fiji CEO,  says that mining and agriculture are the main areas of interest. Investment Fiji has registered 41 foreign investment projects in the last three months. These projects are valued at $351 million which is an increase of over 80% from last year. Manufacturing, wholesale and retail and agriculture sit on the top three sectors that overseas investors are most interested that are expected to create the most employment opportunities.

A MELANESIAN COMMON MARKET? PNG's  Trade Minister says he wants to see a common market established in the Melanesian Spearhead Group of nations before it is extended to the wider Pacific. Richard Maru says he is against PNG being part of the PACER Plus scheme, which is strongly favoured by New Zealand and Australia, because the trade imbalance means there is no benefit for his country. As well as PNG, the MSG group includes Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Mr Maru says he wants to see trade among these states bedded down first.

have been repaired in the span of one week, according to  the Fiji Roads Authority.4,726 for the Central Eastern, 1,950 in the West  and 1,351 in the Northern Division..  Many of the potholes had not been properly repaired in the past. Reconstruction and resealing will also be done by FRA to help bring pothole maintenance to something more manageable.


La La Junta Land said…
You forgot to mention that ships of gold are heading to the regime ravaged nation of Fiji as you report on your cut and paste of 'let's pretend'.
Anonymous said…
did you notice bainimarama begging china for money? this, after poor png gave fiji money. you must be proud of this third rate nation croz?
Anonymous said…
all those indigenous animal species standing under that flag that is a symbol of dying affection. what no abo!

hey where's rabbit, sheepy, buffalo, cow , camel, goat, horse, deer and the ferral pig.
Anonymous said…
and certainly no mongoose! Thank goodness!
Anonymous said…
@la la junta land
How bitter we are when things slip out of our grasping claws.
Bitter and twisted said…
Yes!And how bitter we are when we cannot benefit from government work/contracts/legal work/pay packets.
Kavita Sharma said…
The answer is that they go to 4.5 blog and post all sorts of lies about people who does not even have time to read such blogs.
All those who were making financial gains from Qarase government and were kicked out by Military are the once crying foul.

Munro Leys is a good example, they are now doing all cases against the Government for half the price or in some cases they are just charging filing fee. How desperate they are to get Bainimaram's attention. Remember they were doing same things with Qarase till Bale gave all Government jobs to Richard Naidu & Co. at Munro Leys.

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