GANILAU RESIGNS. Ratu Epeli Ganilau has resigned as Acting PM and Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration. His portfolio and the Acting PM position has been taken over by Minister for Primary Industries Joketani Cokanasiga. An explanation may be expected when the PM returns from China next week.
TUI SAVU HAS TWO FACES. Looking one way he is a former Fiji lawyer now resident in Townsville, Queensland, where he is a government employed solicitor dealing mainly with indigenous cases. Looking the other way, he is an active member of the so-called Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement who is canvassing a regime change by armed force.
As one reader said: "That he discusses violent overthrow in Fiji while living off the Australian taxpayer is something I'm sure his employers aren't aware of and neither would many readers of your site." This is what he wrote on a recent Matavuvale Fiji's Family (sic!) Network Forum. Of course, he's not actually advocating violence. That would make him responsible. He's just floating the idea for someone else to take up. Click here.
The photos shows Tui Savu in white shirt and to his left Simione Kaitani, a former SDL cabinet minister implicated in the 2000 Speight Coup. Kaitani relinquished his portfolios to make way for Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the paramount Chief of the Tovata Confederacy and leader of the Conservative Alliance that merged into Qarase's SDL, following Lalabalavu's release from prison on coup-related charges. Birds of a feather.
Tui Savu's flirtation with violence is not new. At the Fiji Law Society Conference in 1998 held at the Warwick Hotel Savu narrowly avoided censure from the FLS when he physically assaulted his wife and verbally assaulted a fellow lawyer.
CORRUPTION LESS SINCE 2006 COUP. The Fiji Director of Transparency International Juris Gulbis, says corruption in Fiji has decreased since 2006. While Fiji has not been listed in Transparency International’s Perception of Corruption Index since the 2006 coup, Mr Gulbis says FICAC and Transparency International ensure that corruption is not rife.
“People are no longer hesitant to bring their concerns and complaints to us. At the end of the day I have to say more and more complaints lodged with us get resolved. More complaints get voiced by the people without fear or hesitation. They come to us and they freely discuss their options. They no longer feel threatened. At the end of the day people get justice.”
HOW BIG THE CIVIL SERVICE? A further reduction in civil servant numbers can be expected soon, as the Public Service Commission reviews the service to determine its optimum size and consequent restructuring that is likely to entail the realigning of roles, merger of overlapping functions, downsizing of personnel in ministries or departments of lesser significance and strengthening of human resource capabilities in areas of priority in line with relevant provisions of the People’s Charter for Change and the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.The exercise will take three months, with the target timing for completion being 28th February, 2011.
The review follows an IMF recommendation to contain the wages bill. The operating cost of the Government in the past five years was $7.25billion — at least 78% of its total budget.