NEWS AND COMMENTS MONDAY 26 AUGUST 2013
|Photo credit: Fiji Live.|
Rev.Koroi was ousted from the Church President's post by Rev. Manasa Lasaro after the 1987 coup. Following this, the church supported the 1987 and 2000 coups. They also took a hardline approach after the 1987 coup and called for the Sunday ban. The Methodist Church conference starts this morning.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK. "You've met the internet, haven't you? It turns out that when people are given a chance to argue anonymously, it takes about 15 seconds for the debate to descend into a virtual screaming match, leaving everyone both angrier and stupider." -- Mark Straub in online journal The Pessimist. [To avoid being considered stupid, I again urge all people making comments to use their real name or at least a pseudonym.]
THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF FIJI will be hosting a panel discussion on the role of the Central Bank in supporting economic growth. The seminar will be held on Thursday 29 August 2013 at Tower 11, Reserve Bank of Fiji building at 5:30pm. For more information, contact Mr Matia Tuisawau, Reserve Bank of Fiji,
Telephone: 3223311, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PM. Beware! You may easily think that when 'the PM' is mentioned in the Constitution, or by people writing abut the Constitution, they are writing about Voqere Bainimarama. They are not. 'The PM' refers to anyone elected as PM in 2014 and many more elections thereafter. So when, for example, the press write that the 'PM Can Make the Call' on emergency powers, they mean all future Prime Ministers, one of whom may, or may not, be Bainimarama.
CONSTITUTION AIMS TO RESOLVE OLD ISSUES. The A-G on this and the absence of the old political parties at the briefing session.
SANATAN. The Shri Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji has welcomed the 2013 Constitution.
THE NATIONAL YOUTH PARTY, now with the required 5000 plus members and $5000, is about the register as a political party. Their Board endorses the constitution as "the best constitution for Fiji."
RABUKA SAYS ACCEPT THE CONSTITUTION. It's time to move on.
BUT HE'S NOT HAPPY WITH THE OLD POLITICAL PARTIES. In a fuller item in the Fiji Sun, former PM Sitiveni Rabuka said, “Now we have a constitution that we all contributed to and we must support it." He said he was not happy that the political parties had decided to stay out of the constitution briefing that was called by the Government. According to Mr Rabuka, their decision was uncalled for and they should have gone to the briefing to hear what was in the constitution.
“To stay out of the briefing is really uncalled for especially when they will be major players in the 2014 elections.” He said staying out of the briefing would not help them as they prepared for the elections.“The constitution has set the way for the 2014 elections.”
Mr Rabuka said changes could be made in the constitution but there are proper procedures to be followed. “There will be no changes made by airing their concerns and seeking the support of their international counterparts.” Fiji’s main opposition political parties – the Fiji Labour Party (FLP), the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) are rejecting the constitution.
Mr Rabuka has urged these political parties to lend their support and contest the elections as changes can only be made in parliament.
POLITICAL PARTIES ANSWERABLE TO THE VOTERS. Political parties will be answerable to voters for not attending the briefing on the new constitution, says the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, adding that it is unfortunate that politicians see the new constitution as a political document instead of taking the opportunity to participate.At the end of the day there is a process that needs to be followed and the constitution will be put into effect.
Referring to demands the Yash Ghai draft constitution be implemented because it was "the people's draft", he said: "Frankly, we do not know of any person who made a submission to the Ghai commission that said let's have 140 member people’s assembly, that going to be unelected. How can that be the people's view? The Ghai draft would [also] have allowed for same sex marriage. The majority of the people that you would go to in Fiji will say that they don’t agree to same sex marriage, so these three political parties are they advocating same sex marriage?”
FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION. The new 2013 constitution has broadened the interpretation of the law on right to equality and freedom from discrimination. It now also protects marital status and pregnancy. Other rights covered are gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, primary language, economic, social and health status, conscience, sex and age among others. This also applies to the private sector too. Previously certain clubs could for example discriminate women coming to their clubs, now that’s not allowed. I think one club practices that at the moment..Women cannot go to one section of the bar or the pub”.
Saiyed-Khaiyum elaborated on the sexual orientation rights. “The law of marriage will prevail over the unfair discrimination on sexual orientation. So in other words if someone is gay or homosexual whether male or female, they cannot say we need to be married because you have an unfair provision there. What this says is that the law of marriage will take prevalence over that particular provision”.-- FBC.