#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2009-10-04

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barack Obama's message to Fiji

United States President Barack Obama has sent a message to the people of Fiji on it's Independence Day.

Addressed to the people of Fiji, Obama congratulates Fiji saying "the US will continue to stand with the people of Fiji in their pursuit of a brighter future".

The message as it appears on the US Embassy website in Fiji is below:

To the People of Fiji:

On behalf of the American People, I congratulate the people of the Republic of the Fiji Islands on the thirty-ninth anniversary of Fiji's independence on October 10.

We enjoy a friendship founded on the mutual commitments of our societies to peace, freedom, the rule of law, and democratic ideals. It is through our shared commitment to these ideals that the friendhship between our countries has developed so strongly over the years.

As Fiji celebrates its Independence Day, the United States continues to stand with the people of Fiji in their pursuit of a brighter future.


Fiji celebrates 39 years of Independence

Today marks Fiji's 39th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain.

On 10th October 1970, Prince Charles handed over the Instruments of Independence to Fiji's first Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara at Albert Park, Suva.

History shows that the struggle for Fiji's Independence started more than a decade before 1970, led by A D Patel who formed the country's first political organisation the National Federation Party.

NFP's main objective was to ensure Independence and save cane farmers from the shackles of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company.

While Patel died in October 1969, his vision of an Independent nation was realised a year later.

For 17 years, Fiji experienced an atmosphere of calm, peace, progress and prosperity, until May 14 1987 when Sitiveni Rabuka let the coup genie out of the bottle.

Since then Fiji has become a Republic and experienced four coups in 20 years, the latest in December 2006 led by army commander Frank Bainimarama, who now leads the country as interim prime minister.

Under the rule of Bainimarama, Fiji's does not have a Constitution and is being ruled by Decrees.

Fiji, which as described by the late Pope John Paul II in 1986 as the way the world should be, will be ruled by Frank Bainimarama's interim regime until elections in 2014.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Claims Sada Reddy 's NZ PR cancelled

Coupfourpointfive has been told the Reserve Bank Governor Sada Reddy, a high ranking official in the interim government, was not allowed to transit through Auckland to Istanbul for the International Monetary Fund meeting on October 6 and 7.

Reddy has travelled to Auckland previously after his appointment as Fiji's Reserve Bank Governor.

We've been told Reddy was informed at Nadi airport that he couldn't travel to New Zealand because his PR has been cancelled.

It's believed that Reddy then went through South Korea to get to Istanbul.

This is the route interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama and finance permanent secretary John Prasad took as well.

New Zealand has banned all top interim government officials from travelling or transisting through the country as part of its sanctions.

It's also banned all Fiji soldiers and their families from travelling to NZ.

Meli Bogileka suspended

The administrator for the Nasinu Town Council Meli Bogileka has been suspended by the interim Local Government Ministry.

Sources say his suspension follows a similar action taken against the Town's CEO Satish Kumar by Bogileka on Monday.

According to sources both Kumar and Bogileka had made allegations about each other by sending complaint letters to the Ministry.

Two months ago Bogileka was arrested and charged for drink driving.

He was a former cabinet minister in Mahendra Chaudhry's government in 1999.

Police crusade abandoned for roadshow

The Fiji Police Force has abandoned its week long Christian crusade planned for this week in favour of what it calls a road show.

The road show is being led by the police force and not the new Methodist Church and there's conflicting statements being made by police spokeswoman Ema Mua about why this is the case.

Previously all the police crusades were led by the New Methodist Church but Ema Mua told the Fiji Times the crusade had to be called off because a majority of police officers did not support it.

But she later told Radio Legend that she was misquoted.

The cancellation of the crusade is a huge setback on earlier claims and proclamation by police commissioner Esala Teleni that the Jesus strategy was being adopted to eradicate crime.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sackings at Suva Council may not be over

More sackings are expected at the Suva City Council after that of administrator Vijendra Prakash last week.

Coupfourpointifve has been told the Permanent Secretary for Local Government and Prakash's cousin, Ram Chandar, is in line to lose his job.

Chandar had vigorously defended Prakash in local media before his sacking.

On Monday he falsely credited the refurbishment of the library in the capital city and the Suva municipal market to Prakash saying it happened under his leadership. He was briefly highlighting a report compiled after a review of the performance of the Administrators.

Sources say Chandar, who had strongly recommnded the appointment of Suva City Council's Human Resources Manager Joe Hewson despite his fraudulent activities, misled people on national television by giving credit to Prakash for the two projects because both were the initiatives of the Council dissolved by the interim regime.

Meanwhile the Town Clerk of Nasinu and a stuanch Fiji Labour Party supporter, Satish Kumar, has been suspended by the town's Administrator Meli Bogilega.

Sources say this may not be the end of the matter with both Kumar and Bogileka's necks possibly on the chopping block.

Bogileka was recently charged with driving under the influence of excessive alcohol but sources say he is likely to be investigated for nepotism like Vijendra Prakash.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FSC releases Annual Report

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) has released its Annual Report.

The report shows FSC made a after tax loss of $36.8 million compared to over $19 million for the previous year.

Page 72 of the report titled "10 year statistical review" highlights financial, production and field statistics from 2000-2009.

In 2000, FSC recorded a after tax loss of $3.3 million but in 2009 it has skyrocketed to $36.8 million. The total sugarcane crushed by FSC reduced from 3.95 million tonnes in 2000 to 2.32 million tonnes last year.

Suar production was 377,000 tonnes in 2000 but fell drastically to 208,000 tonnes last year - a reduction of 169,000 tonnes.

In 2006, before Frank Bainimarama's military coup, FSC crushed 3.2 million tonnes of cane producing 310,000 tonnes of sugar.

It plummetted from 3.2 million tonnes to 2.48 million tonnes in 2007 after Bainimarama's interim regime came into power.

In 2007 cane production declined by a massive 720,000 from 2006.

Sugar production by FSC declined by 73,000 tonnes in 2007 from 2006.

Read full FSC Annual Report - http://www.mediafire.com/?xwmymjjndyn

New agency to assist elderly

The interim government has endorsed the appointment of an agency to assist senior citizens in Fiji.

In a statement, the interim government said the agency will set up an Inter-Agency Working Committee on Senior Citizens comprising of both government and non-government organizations to coordinate, implement and monitor policy initiatives of Government in the area of Senior Citizens.

The interim minister for women Dr Jiko Luveni said that world-wide consciousness and commitment towards the welfare of the elderly is rapidly growing, and population aging is becoming an important item on the national agenda of many countries.

“In Fiji, while the proportion of the population of 60 years and older in Fiji, represents a smaller number compared to many developing countries, nonetheless, Fiji’s elderly population has increased over the past two decades with a further increase expected in the next 50 years.

“The UN projections for Fiji indicate that in 2025 the elderly would account for 13 per cent of the total population, and by 2050 about one in every four persons would be 60 years or older and about four per cent of the Fiji population would be 80 years or older.”

She said that this will ensure that senior citizens are given the widest possible opportunities to integrate into society and also ensure that the traditional respect and care for the elderly does not erode as a result of lack of public and government support.

New wages council for media

The Fiji interim government has approved that the interim Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Filipe Bole establish a new Wages Council to regulate the terms and conditions of workers in the Media and Communication Industry.

It said in a statement that the decision was based on a submission by Bole.

Bole said that following a nationwide survey recently conducted by the Labour Ministry, it had been established that while majority of the workers are engaged on a five to six-days work per week and accumulate between 40 to 45 normal working hours, workers in the journalist and reporters cadre normally work for longer hours and do not receive fair wages compensation compared to workers in industries covered by the existing Wages Regulation Orders, such as workers in the Printing Trades.

“This situation is further aggravated by the fact that most of these workers in the media/communication industry are not unionized to protect them from working under duress.

“As a result, the industry has been thriving for a very long time while reporters and journalists are forced to be content with meagre wages.”

Bole said that since no adequate machinery currently exists for the effective remuneration of workers in the Media and Communication Industry, the Employment Relations Advisory Board (ERAB) met and all stakeholders unanimously agreed that a Wages Council be established to regulate the terms and conditions of employment for the Media and Communication Industry - Fiji Govt Online

Monday, October 5, 2009

Workers rep missing from FNPF Board

The Fiji National Provident Fund is missing two worker representatives on its Board, almost four months after Fiji Trade Union Congress President Daniel Urai and General Secretary Felix Anthony were sacked.

Under the FNPF Act, the Board should comprise 6 members - two from the government, two representing employers and two representing employees.

At the moment, the FNPF Board is made up of the permanent secretary for Labour Taito Waqa, the new chairman and finance permanent secretary John Prasad, employer representatives Joe Rodan and Ajith Kodakoda - a Sri Lankan national.

Telecom HR Manager's contract not renewed

Telecom Fiji Limited's Human Resources Manager Imo Sagoa's contract has not been renewed.

A statement issued by Telecom said Sagoa, Sharon Smith Johns and Ian Lyons contracts were not renewed as part of cost cutting measures by the company.

Sagoa recently spearheaded Telecom's decision to make redundant 177 employees as part of its cost cutting exercise.

Sharon Smith Johns was the general manager of internet provider Connect - a subsidiary of TFL while Lyons was general manager Retail Marketing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

EU won't impose trade sanctions on Fiji

The European Union's Director for Development and Relations with the Pacific Roger Moore says the EU will not consider a trade sanction on Fiji because in his experience it doesn't work.

Roger Moore was interviewed on Television NZ's Q n A programme this morning.

He told the show's host, Paul Holmes he has just returned from Fiji where he met with interim government reps and political party leaders.

Moore says he was supposed to meet with Frank Bainimarama as well last Wednesday but couldn't because of the chaos after the tsunami which struck Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

Moore said he told the interim government reps that they needed to set in place an internal political dialogue in order to discuss reforms that Bainimarama was determined to push through.

"Because the strange thing is I have talked myself to political leaders in Fiji and all of them agree strangely enough on the substance of the reforms which are necessary in that country."

"The problem everybody has is just the way the prime minister is going about it."

He said nobody wanted to support Bainimarama's reforms, but wanted to support Fiji's reforms.

"It's the reforms wanted by the people of Fiji that we're ready to support, there's a coincidence between the two."

In response to Paul Holmes question of the European Union extending it's sanctions on Fiji while it continues to buy sugar from Fiji, Moore said the EU did not have any quarrel with Fiji.

"We have a contractual position for providing aid and the aid goes to the government is in breach of an agreement that we have with them so we can't deliver that aid."

Paul Holmes asked Moore if the EU should consider stopping European countries from buying sugar from Fiji, especially since the price of sugar is the highest at the moment but Moore disagreed.

"I've never seen trade sanctions deliver a satisfactory result."

Moore said the EU withholding aid to Fiji was not a sanction but a non delivery of a gift which Fiji breached by not having respect for human rights and democracy.