according to the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission (TLFC) chairman Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula.
Ratu Vananalagi thinks many were contesting chiefly titles simply because they had vested interests. The TLTC has received many complaints about the situation but "there is nothing we can do really except to advise them on what needs to be done and it is up to the people to decide on who their true leaders are based on the blood lines.”
Of the 544 vacant clan heads posts 83 posts are from Tailevu, four from Serua, 33 from Rewa, 64 from Ra, 10 from Namosi, 42 from Naitasiri, 19 from Nadroga, 17 from Macuata, 71 from Lomaiviti, 46 from Lau, 57 from Kadavu, 44 from Cakaudrove, 28 from Bua and 13 from Ba.
AND 2189 (OR 50%) OF TURAGA NI MATAQALI (heads of mataqali) positions are vacant: 330 from Tailevu, 19 from Serua, 167 from Rewa, 242 from Ra, 41 from Namosi, 184 from Naitasiri, 71 from Nadroga, 123 from Macuata, 238 from Lomaiviti, 135 from Lau, 206 from Kadavu, 192 from Cakaudrove, 143 from Bua and 100 from Ba.
Ratu Vananalagi said it was important to fill the vacancies because effectively managed vanua need good leaders (who display) "servant leadership.” "Those who qualify for the position should consider the interest of others paramount to their own interest.We should move together with Government in addressing leadership issues at every level for the benefit of our beloved country,” he said.
EU SAYS CONSTITUTION 'SUFFICIENT' to enter a democratic process and hold elections next year. “The main thing is that the constitution is in place now, according to European Union’ director External Action Services (EEAS), Dr Gerard Sabathil. He said, “We have assessed that the constitution as sufficient-base to enter this democratic process based on general democratic elections so we expect the next step which will be the election decree.”
He hailed the progress Fiji has made in putting together the constitution and paving the way for the turn to democracy. In doing this, he said Fiji has created great expectations abroad. “We welcome this and we look forward that this expectations are fulfilled.” Sabathil was in the country last week for the first political dialogue with the Fijian Government in seven years. The EU will be monitoring the process to ensure a democratic election does takes place before it restores in full its development co-operation.
BAINIMARAMA, YABAKI AND NELSON MANDELA. The PM assures everyone there will be international observers of the election process, though he does not say from where. CCF's Rev Akuila Yabaki says they are important to ensure the elections are "transparent, free and fair,” though, while this may have made the 2006 election fairer, it did not make it fair. And Nelson Mandela, speaking of his own country, said, "If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers." The situations are not identical, of course, but ....
Something of the same mindset is seen in the comments of such groups as the International Federation of Journalists and the Pacific Freedom Forum and their local supporters who disagree with MIDA's (Media Industry Development Agency) insistence that foreign NGO workers intending to come to Fiji to run workshops on democracy should first obtain Government permission. One would have thought that they at least need work permits, and one also wonders, with Mandela, how these foreign countries would feel if Fijians wanted to run democracy workshops in their countries.
FREE EDUCATION FROM 2014. Education Minister Filipe Bole says the ministry will start to "facilitate the introduction of free education from 2014." His audience at the Seaqaqa Carnival last Friday cheered. Bole reminded parents of the importance of education and their part in the education of their children.“Education is a joint undertaking by the community at large and the Government,” he said. Government has already introduced several initiatives to make education accessible and affordable for all children in Fiji, the most recent being the "One laptop per child policy" commenced earlier in the year with ten schools already participating, and more expected by the end of this year.