Reconciliation And Unity For Fiji Day

Published: Wed 4 Oct 2000 01:00 PM
The Fiji Government has declared that Sunday, October 8 be a National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation and Unity in commemoration of Fiji Day.
Individuals and organisations are being encouraged to devote their prayers and activities for the day to Reconciliation and Unity
Minister for Home Affairs, Ratu Talemo Ratakele today said that the theme of the day is in line with the endeavour to assist with the recovery efforts from the present political crisis.
"As such, I have contacted the President of the World Council of Churches (Pacific Division) Reverend Jabez Bryce informing him of the day¹s intentions and requesting the world council¹s prayers and activities to commemorate the day."
"Financial constraints have however inhibited us from organising any other forms of activity to commemorate Fiji Day. We however, believe that Fiji Day should not fly us by and as such it must be commemorated," the Home Affairs Minister added.
"Therefore to commemorate Fiji Day through praying or participating in activities for reconciliation and unity is appropriate."
3rd October, 2000
The Fiji Trades Union Congress is deliberately misinforming and deceiving the people of Fiji about the real intentions of the proposed Fiji¹s Blue Day planned to be held on Fiji Day on October 10.
"Information obtained that was sent to the International Transport Workers Federation is tantamount to destabilisation where it called for individuals and sympathisers all over the world to fax in their protest to the President of the Republic of Fiji in a veiled attempt to solicit for funds to finance their covert activities against Fiji and its people," said a government spokesman.
The spokesman warned that individuals and organisations intending to actively participate in the supposed ŒFiji¹s Blue day¹ should take heed of the FTUC¹s true intention which is to gain support by fooling the masses and calling for the dismissal of the Interim Government to be replaced by a government consisting of Fiji Labour Party sympathisers.
The spokesman said that the FTUC is deliberately censoring the type of information it is disseminating in Fiji on the intentions of the Blue Day, while on the other hand informing its union counterparts overseas of the real motives behind the day of protest.
"Why is the FTUC informing the International Transport Workers Federation that this ŒBlue Day¹ is a Day of Protest - where supporters and unions around the world should send letters of protest to the President and picket outside every overseas Fiji mission?," asked the spokesman.
"Why is it that the FTUC has deliberately not included this information to the people of Fiji in their expensively designed full-page advertisements ?"
"Why is the FTUC not telling the people of Fiji that it¹s key demand for this Day of Protest is to have the Interim Government dismissed by the end of November or the union will call for full damaging sanctions against the Government of Fiji and its people?"
"The FTUC and its leader Felix Anthony likes to inform the whole world that the union is apolitical ­ however it cannot help but reveal itself for what it truly is which is simply another mouth-piece for its master Mahendra Chaudhry," the spokesman added.
The spokesman added that the FTUC should get the message from its unsuccessful campaign at the Sydney Olympics where it made threats to disrupt the Fiji athletes¹ parade at the opening ceremony by holding blue leaflets but to no avail
3rd October, 2000
Secretary to the Public Service Commission has today said that the recent personalized comments in the media by FPSA¹s Rajeshwar Singh about the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister¹s Office, Joji Kotobalavu, is unfortunate.
Mr Anare Jale said for the benefit of the members of the public, it is important that PSC clarify the circumstances under which Mr Kotobalavu¹s services has been extended up till now.
He said Joji Kotobalavu was the choice of Mr Sitiveni Rabuka during his appointment as Prime Minister.
"His contract was to come to an end in May, 1999 when a new government was expected to be in office after the General Elections.
"The officer wrote to the Commission on May 17, 1999 to inform that he was leaving the service on 31st May, 1999 and that in his views and as a matter of principle, the new Prime Minister should have the freedom to appoint his senior officers in particular the Secretary to Cabinet and, the Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister¹s Office."
Mr Jale said Mr Kotobalavu, in the meantime, had been offered the position of Programme Manager with the ILO, Suva Office.
In that role, he was to assist in the implementation of the Integrated Human Resources Programme for Employment Creation.
However, Mr Jale said, the new Prime Minister, Mr Mahendra Chaudhry, recommended to PSC that Mr Kotobalavu¹s appointment as Secretary to Cabinet be extended for another year to 31 May, 2000.
Mr Kotobalavu did not remain with the PM¹s office for one year as planned but on the advise of the Prime Minister, the PSC posted Mr Kotobalavu to be the Manager of the Education Commission with effect from 22 November, 1999.
Mr Jale said following the political uprising of 19 May, the Military appointed its Interim Military Government and Mr Laisenia Qarase as Prime Minister.
He said Prime Minister Qarase requested the PSC to appoint Mr Kotobalavu as Permanent Secretary to the PM¹s Office.
"Mr Qarase¹s wish has been put in effect. Mr Kotobalavu¹s contract has been extended to 31st December, 2000 and not by three years as claimed by Mr Rajeshwar Singh in the media."
Mr Jale said the Commission does not wish to dwell at length on Mr Kotobalavu¹s competencies and ability since Mr Singh never reached the level of Permanent Secretary nor Deputy Secretary during his career in the Civil Service.
The Interim Administration is likely to introduce legislative measures to protect Fiji's economic interests.
While there are a number of decrees formulated to protect the economy and security of the country, the Interim Government is looking at formulating a decree to prevent activities that can lead to the sabotage of the national economy.
The restoration of the national economy is one of the principal objectives of the Interim Government.
A government spokesperson said strict control must be put into place to prevent sabotage of the economy by those working to counter the objectives of the Interim Government.
"It is hoped that the exertion of control can be seen in a positive light, an effort by the Interim Administration to encourage cooperation and reconciliation of all people in Fiji," the spokesperson added.

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