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Showing posts from June 20, 2010

FemLINKPACIFIC WPHS Report: Women Define Poverty

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Labasa, Fiji Islands, 23 June 2010.
Some 21 local women’s club leaders from Bulileka, Cogeya in Bua, Dogoru, Naleba, Naodamu, Vunimoli, Vunicuicui and the Anglican Association of Women provided a multiracial perspective on definitions of Poverty which they believe the state needs to consider in the formulation of national budget systems in Labasa yesterday (22 June) as femLINKPACIFIC teamed up once again with our partners the Pacific Center for Peace Building to consult, document and broadcast local women’s perspectives linked to a peace and human security framework in the lead up to a community radio broadcast in Labasa on June 26. Photo: Sharon Bhagwan Rolls. Fiji Village.

The consultation also marked the start of our new research project “femPOV” in partnership with the Australian National University and the International Women’s Development Agency.

Parmesh Chand on Public Sector Reforms

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The Public Sector Reforms:  1. The Overall Plan
Edited extracts from my  Interview with Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary Public Service Commission. Vinaka, Tui, for this transcript. . Parmesh Chand: The public sector reforms encompass finance reforms, labour reforms, public enterprise reforms and civil service reforms. The public sector as such is broader than the civil service. It covers quasi and statutory authorities and is much more than the civil service.
I was involved in the public sector reforms before when I was CEO Public Enterprise but now I’m involved in the Civil Service Reforms which focus on organizational reform, human resources, manpower development or talent development.

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in www.connectme.com.fj/news/opinion. I thank Allen and Connect for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

Abandoned Children
The story of baby Jim Black, five-year old Joka and three-year old Box is heart wrenching. Who would want to abandon children? Let alone a six month old baby. The parents have to be insane or extremely traumatised. They may have been praying for a miracle to happen, and an angel to arrive to rescue them. But the angel Sera Nalavasa is struggling herself. The picture of the children and Sera carrying baby Jim Black tells a story. The kids must be wondering where their nau and ta have gone to. What has happened to them, what will happen to the kids? Oh the heart weeps for these children.What can we do about poverty in Fiji with people’s de…

What Reserve Bank Doing to Help Small Business

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An extract from Reserve Bank Governor, Sada Reddy's, address to last week's Indigenous Business Council meeting.

Now let me briefly highlight some of the work that the Reserve Bank is doing in the areas of small and micro enterprise development. Most of the work in this regard ties in with your Council’s role in developing Fijian businesses.

In April 2009, we made some institutional reforms within the Reserve Bank which resulted in the establishment of a Group called the Financial Systems Development and Compliance (FSDC) Group. One of the major roles of this Group (amongst others) was to ensure the development and provision of microfinance services to the greater Fijian community. After a little more than a year of its establishment, we have witnessed a lot of exciting developments.

Some Sanity at Last: Sevele to Meet Bainimarama

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Radio Australia reports that Tongan Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele is meeting Bainimarama this weekend.  Tonga has tended to be the odd man out among  Polynesian nations in the Pacific Forum, by following a more independent position than those that always support New Zealand.

Sevele is also thought responsible for Bainimarama's supposed first "broken promise" when, at the Forum meeting in Tonga, he announced there would be elections in 2009.  The story goes that  the Tongan PM persuaded Bainimarama to come up with a date to placate Australia and New Zealand, saying it could always be changed later. This was the genesis of the "broken promise."

Extract from the Radio Australia report:

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Fred Sevele, will hold meetings with Fij's military backed leader, Frank Bainimarama, this weekend.

Dr Sevele says he wants to ensure the interim government in Fiji is aware its neighbours still want to help, despite political differences. &q…

New Aussie PM: Implications for Fiji; Blog Misinformation: Fiji NOT Left Commonwealth

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See end for Weekend reading.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK. The deputy general secretary of Fiji's Methodist Church, Reverend Tevita Banivanua, said that in his own personal opinion the best place for the minister who predicted the disaster is a mental hospital. Radio Australia. Bainimarama said something similar before the doomsday date?

'THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING.'
The Australian Labor Government's mini-coup that saw 48-year old lawyer Julia Gillard (photo)  become Australia's first woman PM when she replaced 53-year old lawyer Kevin Rudd came out of the blue, but  it is unlikely to produce any more surprises, at least for the Pacific. This is the view of Myer Foundation/Lowy Institute think-tank researcher Lisa Roberts:

“With regard to Australia’s relationship with Pacific Island states, we believe it will be business as usual. Ms Gillard will take on the role of chair of the Pacific Island Forum. Rudd did little in his time as chair, so we hope that Gillard will …

False Prophet, Non-Aligned Fiji, Pacific Hub for Arabs, A-G Telecommunications Appointment

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FALSE PROPHET.  Read The Fiji Times's Zero Plus One report. Correction to my earlier report.  Gavoka was arrested under the Public Order Decree, not PER.  This is what one reader wrote: " We all agreed that the arrests were perfectly justified and justifiable. Allen Lockington, rightly in my view, describes the e-mails as an ‘act of terrorism’.  The whole prediction/prophecy charade was a cover for what is really intended.  Destabilisation and eventually……..terror?    This man Gavoka, whom I know, is educated and perfectly capable of bearing responsibility for his actions.  He knows what he is about.  His Church, Pastor and so-called Christian activities are all part of the ruse: terrify the people, use the Bible to effect, then bring down government.  To Hell with the ordinary, credulous people, the education of our children, the provision of services to the people at large and the sick and elderly."

FIJI NOW PART OF NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT. This was confirmed by t…

'Whaleoil' on Travel Bans, Gavoka Jailed, Yabaki

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NZ Blogger 'Whaleoil' on Travel Bans

Right-of-centre political satirist Whaleoil posted this on his blog after the McCully-Smith fiasco in Auckland:

Murray McCully was asked if there was any move to relax the travel ban placed on leading members of the regime, Mr McCully said: “We have nothing to reward.”

"On the other hand we certainly haven’t gone out of our way to try and help Fiji return to democracy. Instead New Zealand and Australia have placed impediments in the way of progress.

"Why won’t the NZ and Australian Foreign Ministers admit that the travel bans are not working? They have been in "place for nearly 5 years now and it hasn’t altered the Commodore’s stance one bit. Fiji simply doesn’t care anymore what the “rest” of the world thinks and is moving on to fresher, newer pastures – leaving NZ and Aus­tralia behind. All the travel ban has done is stop good, capable Fijian civilians from taking up government positions because a lot of them have family…

Lutunacevamaca, Gavoka Warn Fiji: Zero Hour is 2:30 Today

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Flashback. Blog posting March 30. Senior Pastor Laione Lutunacevamaca Dip Th., MABS, of the Kuriakos Christian Centre in Nadi claims to have been told by God that a disaster on a scale previously unknown will strike Fiji from all directions at 2:30pm on 23 June 2010, and he has warned people to prepare themselves. You may read his full pronouncement here.

The day has arrived. Governnment seismologist Sakaraia Vunisa says there's no need for people to panic. "This is somebody’s prediction, somebody’s prophecy or somebody’s dream or whatever. There is no need for people to panic about the so-called 23rd June prophecy."

But people are panicking, writes regular columnist Allen Lockington in an email received today. "The prophecy has rattled many people in Fiji. Tomorrow it is supposed to hit the east coast of Fiji. From what I hear even many religious denominations took it seriously."

And among those helping to spread the panic is Bill Gavoka, FRU Chairman, known s…

Arab League Friends, More Judges, NZ Law Society Refuse Fiji Ad., Momi Decree, Civil Service Reforms

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(+) NEW FRIENDS IN MIDDLE EAST. Fiji Sun  editorial(abbreviated.) 
In case you hadn't noticed, the Government is not just strengthening and building relations throughout Asia, in Russia, and with such Non-Aligned Movement leaders as Cuba. Another growing partnership is being forged in the Middle East. The PM and Attorney-General are in the United Arab Emirates this week for a meeting between the League of Arab States and Pacific Islands nations. Their presence emphasises the importance the Government places on these ties.

The meeting is organised in cooperation between the Arab League and the United Arab Emirates to will discuss ways to boost trade, investment and ties between the Arab states and Pacific Islands nations.

The Government is also known to have followed up on an official visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in February. This includes on the Pacific Islands Partnership Programme the United Arab Emirates is developing. It wa…

Melanesian Spearhead Group Plus ... Minus, Divided and Multiplied

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Opinion – Crosbie Walsh
Fiji will host and chair the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting on 22-23 July, and an invitation has been issued to other Pacific Island Forum nations to attend, making it MSG Plus.
Australian-based Prof. Brij Lal thinks Fiji is attempting to hijack the MSG in response to its suspension from the Pacific Forum, and he could well have a point, though hijack is too strong a word. Suspended from the Forum, excluded from PACER and PACER Plus negotiations almost certainly due to Australian and NZ persuasion, Fiji has merely struck back.
The Forum Melanesian nations were never totally happy with Australia and New Zealand's hard line on Fiji and on more than one occasion have sought a more conciliatory approach. Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga have also expressed doubts; and the north-western Micronesian states (Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia) have said nothing. Only Samoa (for its own reasons) and Cook Islands and Niue (wit…

Some Legal Backlog, Brij Over Troubled Waters, NLTB WakeUp, Transport Charges

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600 COMPLAINTS AGAINST 136 LAWYERS. That's the number called by Chief Registrar Ana Rokomokoti who said 350 of the 600 complaints were unresolved cases inherited from the Fiji Law Society. She said out of the 398 lawyers with practising licences, 136 had one or two complaints against them. In some cases the complaints went as far back as the 1990s. Public expectation was high and the challenge to her Unit was to clear the backlog as soon as possible.

BRIJ OVER TROUBLED WATERS
has left a new comment on your post "Public Service Reforms, Monitoring Charter Progress...":

Talking of public service reforms. I got a real shock this morning to read that Dr Brij Lal is the new permanent secretary for education. Surely not. Could it really be that the Girmit prince of the ANU had done an about face and joined his enemies in the regime? I wondered why no-one was making a fuss about it until I learned that there's another Dr Brij Lal in Fiji. This one has been in charge of al…