The Fiji Police Force has admitted they have not yet received the medical report of Vilikesa Soko, who died in police custody in August. The Director of Public Prosecutions had highlighted the issue of the medical report when returning Soko’s file to police for further investigation. What’s taking so long? The issue will not go away and covering up will not work. Any attempt to cover up just means there’ll be another crime to investigate. The days of immunity are gone.
Tourism Minister, Faiyaz Koya, is talking up tourism big time. With an elected government we can expect tourism number to grow – Faiyaz thinks we can expect six to seven per cent growth annually. But what he’s really saying, in effect, is that the unelected government for nearly eight years cost our tourism industry real growth. He named a lot of hotels in the pipeline, but he knows as well as the rest of us that hotels like Momi Bay Resort in Nadi have been in the pipeline since the Qarase Government days, waiting for the return of the rule of law.
Radio Fiji 28 October 2014, 1000 more new hotel rooms expected
Hot on the heels of Bainimarama’s careless talk about denying ‘development’ to SODELPA voters because they apparently didn’t ‘want’ it, Pio Tikoduadua, has moved to project a vision of development which Bainimarama will wreck if he thinks he can play around with genuine investment to keep it from people who didn’t vote for him. Roads can’t cut out places on their way.
Fiji Times October 28, 2014 5-year plan
The Auditor General’s report on the Education ministry has it all. What a collection of failures of what Frank used to call good governance! “Overpaid salaries, destroying of bus fare coupons and ticket butts, no segregation of duties, double payments, unsubstantiated repair works on ministry vehicles, fictitious quotations for purchase of stationary and usage of 2012 quotations for 2013 purchase”. And to top it off, no action against incompetent or crooked staff. A lot of us expected more from a former Permanent Head of the Ministry.
Fijilive October 27, 2014 Education examines auditor’s report
Ashwin Raj has enjoyed himself passing judgement on defenceless journalists and media. Now he has to face his own tribunal where others will be asking the questions. I would give anything to be in Geneva for this performance. Sadly he has Nazhat standing between him and full accountability. When it comes to accountability this duna is very slippery, but Ashwin may yet have his turn as sweating.
FijiLive October 28, 2014 A-G to lead human rights review delegation
After one year in the job Ben Ryan has shared his frustrations as coach of our Sevens. To achieve their potential the team needs more funds – close to $1m thinks Ben to carry all the training and development needed. He’s made big sacrifices to work in Fiji, and he did it because of faith in our boys potential. It would help if some of the businesses who have been doing better over the last year or two got behind the team and Ben. And the Government would be making a good investment if it could help a bit and keep its nose out of FRU management. Ben hasn’t said it, and we all understand why, but the rot started when they shoehorned their way into FRU management. But let’s not relive past fights. We should all get behind Ben. We’re lucky to have a professional of his calibre and we should make sure he has the tools to do the professional job he’s capable of.
Fiji Times October 27, 2014 Ryan speaks
The Auditor-General’s report on the purchase of a swamp dozer to assist rice farming in the Nausori district is a perfect example of why an elected government will always make better decisions. The Swamp dozer, purchased in 2012 at a cost of $45,000, was supposed to be lent to farmers to help them prepare fields for rice farming. But farmers didn’t want the swamp dozer because it was too big, had no reverse gear and was hard to control in small fields where farmers wanted to plant. It ended up being parked at the Lakena Station for almost a year without being utilized because of mechanical problems. The Auditor said the Ministry of Agriculture should have conducted research first, but isn’t the real problem that the Government thought it knew best and didn’t have to listen to the people. Now we have an elected Parliament, Ministers will have to explain what happened.
Mere Vuniwaqa has wasted no time in getting down to collecting arrears in rent owed for leases on Crown land. So far this month, half a million dollars has been collected out of the $25 million owed and the Minister has made it clear evictions will take place if arrears are not cleared. But this is only half the story. What about the arrears on Native Land? The TLTB no longer publishes figures on the arrears. The SAP computer system introduced to manage arrears was scrapped because it was supplied by Ballu Khan and nothing was put in to replace SAP. So the rent owed to land owners continued to mount.
In a story on the return of Fiji to the Pacific Forum, the Fiji Sun claimed “Fiji has been suspended from the forum since 2009 following the change of government in December 2006.” If the coup in 2006 was the reason for the suspension why did the suspension take place in 2009? What Fiji Sun is not telling us is that Bainimarama promised to hold an election in 2009 but reneged on that promise. He also promised to uphold the constitution and the rule of law but when the Appeal Court ruled that his overthrow of the elected government was illegal he threw out the constitution he’d sworn to uphold and sacked al the judges. Has Maika Bolatiki forgotten this or is he a shamless liar?
Fiji Sun 22 October 2014 ‘Fiji Still Out of PIF’
Bainimarama has claimed that people who didn’t vote for his party didn’t want “developments” so he is justified in denying them projects, which will apparently go to the people who voted for him. Is this his idea of equal citizenship? Then there’s the report of the Auditor General that his office was not allowed access to papers from the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board to show how scholarships were awarded. Were these handed out on the basis of rewards for supporters? We have an elected government now so we have a right to know and it has a duty to tell us.