QUICK ROUNDUP Thursday 19 September 2013

Mahendra Chaudhry's trial for failing to declare accounts to the Reserve Bank, a foreign exchange violation, has been scheduled for next year. His lawyer asked for "recusal" High Court judge Paul Madigan on the grounds that the judge had socialised with some public prosecution officials. Judge Madigan refused the recusals and set the trail for 20 January. A guilty decision could affect Chaudhry's election prospects.

Abuse of office. The work of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) continues with the conviction of former Audio Visual Commission CEO Taniela Bolea on several several changes of abuses of office between 2004 and 2007. But Bolea's "whereabouts are unknown."

Australian aid cut. The centre-right Abbott government lost no time in cutting its aid programme, and AusAID looks set to be absorbed by DFAT. This is a move similar to NZ. When the centre-right Key government was election, NZAID was absorbed into the MFAT. As a USP academic observed, "NZ punches above its weight in exporting bad policy advice."

The result will see less aid for Pacific Island Nations but this could be a blessing in disguise. Like Fiji, they may need to look for other donors, and less dependence on ANZ aid could stimulate local economies, promote more intra-regional co-operation, and see the emergence of foreign policies less influenced by their 'big brothers.'

There have been no further statements by the UFDF or its constituent parties, or by government, of a political nature.

Non-political news includes:

  • HEP for Taveuni. Work is about to start on hydro-electric power for Taveuni by Chinese contractors. The work is expected to take 18 months.
  • Methodists and Kava. The new Methodist President Rev. Dr Tuikilkila Wagairatu has banned smoking and the drinking of yaqona (kava) on Church premises, informed the wives of ministers they should not drink yaqona at all, and urged ministers to show restraint.
  • The image of Iliesa Delana, the Fiji paralympic gold medallist, is on the new 50 cent coins.
  • Bagasse is the fibrous pulp left after the juice has been extracted from sugar cane. The FSC has obtained a $19m loan from the Fiji Development Bank to fund a project that will see bagasse used to produce electricity at the Labasa mill.
  • MIDA. Matui Akauola, the Pacific Islands News Agency (PINA) manager has been appointed director of the Media Industry Development Authority that was set up by Government to improve standards in Fiji's media industry.
  • Reserve Bank Governor Barry Whiteside says the domestic investment sector is showing "strong potential growth." Not quite sure what this means. Is it growing or is it showing signs that it might soon be growing?


Anonymous said…
I only hope they cut the AusAID budget much further too.. i am bored with my tax money being thrown back in my face by banana republics with delusions of grandeur that expect to be treated with some respect while they go begging for anyone that will give them somethign for nothing and support services that they should be funding themselves!!!
Anonymous said…
Agree. Well said @ anonymous. Why should Australian taxpayers subsidise these junta morons raping their own nation and the future of their children? Australian aid should only be given to well led nations with a future like Samoa and PNG. The useless Fiji military has rooted its own nation - let them and their junta apologists fix it....oh, and keep having coups as it makes our holidays in Fiji cheaper - so keep subsidising my holidays with workers that get less per week in wages than my kids get in pocket money (except khaiyum and his aunt who are fleecing the nation with no mandate whatsoever)- all thanks to your inept military. What poorly led fools.
Anonymous said…
"....Well led nations with a future like Samoa and PNG"....What drugs are you on? I could do with some.
Anonymous said…
Judge Paul Madigan is a dog. He had taken money $50,000 from the 'XXX' Resort hotel to convict someone and there is documentary proof and email waiting for the right time to be exposed. That son of a bitch, white ass!
As for the poor useless Fijians who cry like big useless babies have no balls to do anything against the guns of bananarama, but they can take their k-knifes to rob and rape the innocent. How much all deserve to die? Let the God above oversee this happen asap.
And how fast it can happen for bananarama and khaiyum and the whole army to be put in jail for crime they did and still doing. If not wrong, bananarama and khaiyum is starting to feel sickness coming to them physically. This is the start of karma. But not the end yet.... You will see it all start from the dying from the family first, one by one.

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