(o) Snippets: Pensions, Debt, NLTB, Prices, Brij Lal, ECREA "Widespread Dialogue" , HIV/AIDS, PSYCHIATRIC CARE

A UNIVERSAL PENSION SCHEME for people who are not civil servants or member of the Fiji National Provident Fund is being called for by Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) Director Hassan Khan (photo Fiji Village). Full story.

GOVERNMENT DEBT was $3.066bn or 51.3% of GDP at the end of June, compared with $2.769Bn and 47% of GDP at the same time last year. Cash flow data, however, showed a net surplus of $39.6m for the first five months of this year, and revenue collection increased 6.5%. Full story.

FORMER NATIVE LANDS AND TRUST BOARD General and Legal Managers have pleaded not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Vanua Development Scheme, the business  arm of NLTB,of trust funds totalling $3.7m. Full story.

A PROPOSAL BY THE PRICES AND INCOMES BOARD to control prices of 24 items has been rejected by Government. The Board claimed widespread inconsistencies in retail prices for these items. Government said the move would have created distortions in the economy, is anti-business and is not an effective means to cushion those on low incomes from inflation.Business is reported to have breathed a sigh of relief. Full report.
BRIJ LAL says "academic duty and a sense of outrage" drove him to speak out against the expulsion of the Australian and NZ High Commissioners. Speaking of his part on work leading to the 1997 Constitution, he said the constitution "that resulted was not reframed exactly as he  and his colleagues recommended."  Full report.

ECREA's CHANTELLE KHAN is urging Government "to encourage widespread involvement in an upcoming forum on the nation's future." The National Dialogue for Fiji's Future will build on the issues raised by the People's Charter and will probably not include former political leaders. Khan says she understands it can be very difficult to make progress in discussions when sectors stick to their individual agendas, but ECREA experience has shown the importance of hearing diverse opinions. -- RNZI.

THE PRESIDENT SAYS HIV/AIDS is a "profound threat in Fiji and the region,"and has called for joint efforts to fight against the disease. Senior Medical Officer Dr Ilisipeci Vereti, also speakng on the proposed HIV Prevention Treatment Decree, said the CWM Hospital is urging expectant mothers to be tested for HIV. This follows the death of several babies. Full report.

ST GILES PSYCHIATRTIC HOSPITAL has won an award from the Asian Federation of  Psychiatric Association (AFPA) for its improved services.  Full report.


Anonymous said…
Brij Lal, if the 1997 constitution wasn't what you recommended, indeed the reverse in terms of the balance between open and communal seats, then why the hell spend more than a decade defending it?

This is an extraordinarily self serving interview on the one hand and extraordinarily confused on the other. Brij "doesn't blame Frank Bainimarama" for the erosion of democracy in Fiji yet continually holds him responsible in almost every other public utterance. Que?

And if "academic duty and a sense of outrage" prompted him to speak out now, where was a similar sense of duty and outrage in the preceding years as the rights of Fiji's minorities were systematically eroded?

Frankly, Brij, I've got no idea what you stand for any more except your own self advancement , your repudiation of the struggle of your own people in Fiji for equal rights and your unseemly embrace of the misguided policies of your adopted country.

From struggling Fiji Girmit baini to smug Aussie middle class academic. One man's journey into comfortable exile and irrelevance.
Anonymous said…
Nice to see St Giles getting a prestigious international accolade for the quality of its psychiatric care. God knows there's enough nutters in Fiji who could do with its help.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous @ 5.03pm hits the nail on the head. The test is this: who chose not to speak out and up during all the years when minority rights in Fiji were being systematically undermined? Where are these so self-righteous people? Where were Australia and New Zealand who should and ought to have routinely warned two Qarase equivocally-elected governments that they were going many steps too far? So easy to shout out from the safety and security of afar or when you deem that your own 'have your cake and eat it' interests may be threatened
as you comfortably straddle two worlds. Conflicting interests have brought so many of us down. Who will be next?
Anonymous said…
Brij who??????????????