QUICK ROUNDUP Friday 20 September 2013
VISILIA BUADROMO, Fijian human rights activist, has been appointed Secretary General of the People's General Assembly, a grouping of civil society organizations, that will meet in New York tomorrow Saturday. So, with the PM inside at the UN General Assembly and Visilia outside, Fiji will be well represented, albeit presenting different views.
CCF VIEWS ON THE NEW CONSTITUTION. Click to read.
NIK NAIDU INTERVIEW. Click to listen,
PS SALARY INCREASES. Government has indeed accepted the PriceWaterhourseCooper recommendations for 24 Permanent Secretaries, whose salaries will now range form $160,000 to $220,000. The PM has justified the increases on the basis that with the likely imminent lifting of travel bans by ANZ, if it now be possible to attract the best people for the job — if the salary is right. The string in the tail for the permanent secretaries is that they will lose all their allowance (housing, entertainment, travel, etc.) and be paid the one flat salary. This may moderate the criticism of the increases by the FLP, PDP, PDA and FTUC.
MAHENDRA CHAUNDHRY is "only" being charges with three counts of violation of the Exchange Control Act, not 12 cases of tax evasion) as earlier reported by The Fiji Times.
RACE-BASED SEATS. The FLP has confirmed that in its submission to the Ghai Commission it wanted one-third of the seats in parliament to be decided by race-voting, with 12 seats allocated to iTaukei, 10 to Indo-Fijians and 3 for General Voters. But this will not be possible under the electoral provisions of the new constitution.
ONE LONELY FEMALE. Dennis Singh on Facebook's Fiji Economic Forum notes that Australia's Abbott cabinet has just one female. Yet the Ausaid funded NGO's ... in Fiji were pushing for reserved parliamentary seats for women. The Bainimarama Government has one female cabinet minister without any need for gender quotas.
- GOLF. Fiji will host the first ever PGA tour in August nest year. The event will be an extension of the Australian PGA competition, and the purse will exceed a million dollars.
- SCHOLARSHIPS SUSPENDED. Some 220 iTaukei scholarship holders have had their scholarships put on hold due to their failing their university exams. The scholarships may be renewed if the students improve their performance.