Editorial comment – Week of events

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Attorney-General Siromi Turaga meets with Acting Commissioner Fiji Corrections Service Salote Panapasa and wishes her success in her new role and congratulated her on becoming the first female officer to do so. Picture: SUPPLIED

The suspension of Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, and the head of the Fiji Corrections Service Francis Kean yesterday continues what has been an eventful month so far.

They were suspended by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission.

As they await a Tribunal hearing that will deliberate on complaints levelled against them, we look up to those who have been given the task of acting in their absence to rise up to the challenge.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said if the suspension of the duo – and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem – was upheld by a tribunal ruling, the posts would be advertised.

We see Assistant Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew acting as COMPOL.

Assistant Commissioner Corporate of the Fiji Corrections Service Salote Panapasa, who has served FCS for 37 years, has been appointed Acting Commissioner Fiji Corrections Service, and Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa, the Manager Legal at the Fijian Elections Office is now the Acting SOE.

The two women have won accolades by taking up the responsibility, becoming the first women to do so in Fiji. This latest turn of events came in the wake of the events of last week.

The army commander Major General Jone Kalouniwai had made a statement, was later summoned to meet with his line minister Pio Tikoduadua, and the former attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum arrived back in the country from holiday, and was subsequently interviewed by the police this week.

For whatever it is worth, let’s stay focused on keeping our economy churning, and living our lives.

Let’s be mindful of the threat of COVID-19, especially the latest variant. In saying that, the mood of the nation has been like a roller-coaster ride from last week.

Today we look forward to some sports excitement at the Australian 7s tournament in Sydney, and at Prince Charles Park in Nadi when the Fijian Drua take on the might of the Melbourne Rebels in a pre-season trial match.

The national 7s side bombed out of the main competition last weekend in Hamilton, New Zealand, so fans will be looking up to them to come off with a blinder this weekend.

In Nadi, attention will be on the form of the Drua. Following last season’s campaign, fans are actually keen to see changes this afternoon, and will be eagerly looking forward to some exciting moments.

In soccer, our Baby Bula Boys have lost the chance to play in the World Cup in Peru, however, we are encouraged by their overall effort in the play-offs this week, and look forward to the governing Fiji Football Association’s development plans for them.

It certainly has been an eventful two weeks so far. We say stay well and stay safe.

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