Fiji appoints all-local PS make-up, including six women

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Former Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Director Ashwin Raj is the new Permanent Secretary of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation in one of 13 PS appointments confirmed today.

The latest appointments also mean that all the PS’ roles will be held by Fiji nationals, six of whom are women which is also a significant development Chairman of the Public Service Commission Vishnu Mohan says as the country works towards achieving gender parity.

Mr. Raj will assume the role on 12 December, replacing Ms. Jennifer Poole who resigned to pursue other interests, according to a Fijian Government statement.

Ms. Salaseini Daunabuna who has been appointed PS of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management starts on the job next Monday, 21 November 2022. She replaces Mr. David Kolitagane who has been appointed Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia.

Ms. Mere Siqila-Lakeba waits until 15 December to take on the post of PS Waterways and Environment. She was previously Director of Fisheries in the ministry where she spent 17 years, and is currently Country Director of Conservation International, Fiji.  She replaces Joshua Wycliffe who has vacated his post due to unavoidable family circumstances in his home country of India.

Director of Labour Standard Services Atish Kumar will take over as PS Employment Productivity and Industrial Relations from 1 January 2023. He replaces Mr. Osea Cawaru who is retiring from the Civil Service upon the expiry of his current contract.

Director of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport Seema Sharma has been appointed PS Local Government, a role she will take up from 15 December 2022. She will take over from Mr. Shaheen Ali who has been acting in this capacity since 19 February 2021.

Mr. Ali who remains in the PS Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport is one of eight PS who will continue in their current roles for another three years upon the expiration of their current contracts.

Retaining their posts also are Yogesh Karan, Office of the Prime Minister, Sugar Industry, Immigration, and Foreign Affairs, Susan Kiran with the Ministry of Civil Service, Sanjeeva Perera for the Ministry of Housing and Community Development, Taitusi Vakadravuyaca for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services, Raijeli Taga rejoins the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Manasa Lesuma with the Ministry of Defence, National Security and Policing and Garisau Penesio Nonu Baleinabuli (Pene) with the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries.

Ms. Tupou’Tuah Baravilala remains the acting PS for Communications.

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