Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tui Namosi maintains stand on legislation

Chief maintains stand on legislation - 6/18/2008

Namosi high chief, Turaga na Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua yesterday reaffirmed Namosi’s stand against the new Great Council of Chiefs legislation.

The high chief also raised his concern on a media report about a meeting between Bulou Silivia Matanitobua and interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and later a meeting to be held at Veivatuloa village to choose the three chiefs to represent the province in the new GCC.

“I must admit we had a meeting at Veivatuloa yesterday and Bulou Silivia was there but we met to discuss our trip to Levuka to offer our last respects to the late Tui Levuka, Ratu Kolinio Rokotuinaceva,” the Namosi high chief said.

“Bulou Silivia never raised the matter up.”

Ratu Suliano said the people of Namosi had made a decision and would not change.

He said the people of Namosi were not happy with the amended legislation as it would not allow their high chief to be a member of the new GCC.

In an earlier interview Ratu Suliano said: “In my province, there is only one Turaga i Taukei and that is the Tui Namosi. There is no one else. If I do not go in, where will they get the three members from?”

The people of Namosi only supported the old GCC as it was constitutional, he said.

He said the media report on Bulou Silivia meeting with the PM and the meeting at Veivatuloa was one-sided because he was not contacted to make a comment.

Military warns Qarase on FHL - 6/18/2008

The military warned politicians not to turn the management changes at Fijian Holdings Limited into a racial issue.

Ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase claimed the military was behind the mass resignation of managers and directors of the investment company to put their own people in place.

Military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni advised Mr Qarase to stop making any more comments on the company.

“Mr Qarase has in the past played on the emotions of the Fijian people and is now doing exactly the same thing,” he said.

“It would be best for Mr Qarase to await the outcome of the investigations on Fijian Holdings before he makes any further comments.”

In a surprise move last week, some directors of the company resigned along with managing director Sitiven Weleilakeba and chairman Joe Mar.

Mr Qarase said he was informed the group was pressured to resign by the military leadership.

New company managing director Sereana Qoro said the changes were made in accordance with related operating regulations..

“In accordance with Article 78 (of the company’s memorandum and articles of association) the (interim) Minister of Fijian Affairs has the right to appoint six out of the nine directors on the board as representatives for B-class shareholders,” she said. She reassured shareholders that it was business as usual for the company.

Provincial councils and districts make up most of the members, which fall under the Class B shareholders category.

The Kadavu Provincial Council, which holds 43.501 shares, is not sure on where it stands in the company.

Chairman Ratu Varani Raiyawa said he is yet to be briefed on the province’s shares with the company.

Except for Cakaudrove and Bua all other provinces are shareholders with the Fijian investment company.

On Tuesday, the South Pacific Stock Exchange announced the suspension of the company from trading.

However, at the open of trading yesterday SPSE chief executive Jinita Prasad announced that FHL was back on the board and the suspension was lifted.

She said they made the decision after the company explained its case and proved that it worked within the requirements of its articles of association.

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