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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beddoes: Rule of law must apply to everyone



An opinion piece by Mick Beddoes, of the United Coalition for a Democratic Fiji
 

When we fail to apply the rule of law equally to every citizen our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.      

                            
On May 1st Mr Chaudhry will be sentenced and if it involves a custodial term then he will be the second of our democratically elected Prime Ministers to be sent to prison for offences that can only be described as misdemeanors when we compare it to the capital offences committed by the usurpers of our democracy in 1987, 2000 and 2006.



Speight serving time - but what of others.
Both of our former Prime Ministers have already been disqualified from participating in the 2014 elections as a direct consequence of their convictions and Mr Qarase has already served his time. Yet two of their 3 usurpers, not only remain free, they are eligible to contest the general election that has been denied to the two Prime Ministers they over threw.



The third usurper, a civilian, was charged and sentenced to death, which was the penalty for treason at the time. His life was spared when the death penalty was removed for capital crimes by parliament and George Speight is still serving his life sentence for his part in the 2000 coup.



On the other hand the other two usurpers of our democracy,
Qarase: Sent to jail by regime.
both former military commanders, remain free and despite being responsible for the overthrow of the 1987 and 2006 parliaments, both of them are eligible to contest the 2014 elections, because of the immunity they enjoy which protects them from having to ‘face up’ to any criminal charges for carrying out coups and over throwing the elected governments of the people in 1987 and 2006.



If the rule of law is supposedly applied equally to all, why is George Speight in prison while the 2 other coup leaders are free and able to contest elections? What was different about the 2000 coup from the 1987 and 2006 coups? How have we justified such an unfair application of the rule of law in this instant?



How can we as a society, think that it is somehow fair and just to punish our democratically elected leaders as harshly as we have done for their misdemeanors, which are unrelated to their term in office, while at the same time remain silent and just accept the imposition by the usurpers of a blanket immunity that protects them not only from the capital offences they committed against the state, the constitution and the people in the past, but which extends to crimes they are yet to commit in the future? 

Chaudhry: Waiting sentence.
And if that is not enough, we even give them the freedom to take part in general elections, without having answered for their crimes.



There is something fundamentally wrong with us a society if we believe it’s ok to have the usurpers of our democracy, elected to our House of Representatives, where they can help make laws and dispense justice to the very people whose livelihoods, rights and freedoms they abused and suppressed, while all the time being protected from prosecution for overthrowing our previous parliaments. 



Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhry are now disqualified from contesting elections for their misdemeanors; every other citizen who is registered to vote and eligible to contest the elections is subject to disqualification for various offences as stated in Sec 56 of the 2013 constitution.  It is only the usurpers of our democracy and those other citizens who have aided and arbited them in the removal of our elected governments who will not face the kind of scrutiny that other citizens will be subjected to because they enjoy immunity from prosecution. 

This is what the regime means about everyone being equal.



The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents. But so long as we keep rewarding the wrong doers and try to make excuses for their actions as being necessary then we fail to apply the rule of law as we are obliged to do and consequently our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.



‘History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people’. Dr Martin Luther King Jr

 

Mick Beddoes

Sabeto

Nadi

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fiji police drag feet on election decree breaches








Two more complaints have been filed against Frank Bainimarama for breaching the regime's own decrees, aimed at annihilating the political parties at the September poll.

Fiji police say they are investigating but our question is: Will there be a quick outcome as when the chair of the Media Industry Authority, Ashwin Raj, decided without a hearing that Ratu Timoci Vesikula had made a 'hate speech' and that Fiji TV was wrong to run it?

Raj ruled within a day of receiving the complaint from Sharon Smith Jones of the Fiji Ministry of Information.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum listed as buying Fiji First domain
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji and Mick Beddoes filed the complaint about Bainimarama campaigning without first registering his party on March 30 and for using the country's coat of arms on his campaign bus on April 1.

Another two complaints were filed yesterday (one of exerting influence on party officials and the other that Bainimarama doesn't have the required 5,000 signatures yet is in full campaign mode), but there has been no comment other than police acknowledging complaints have been made. Par for the course.

Bainimarama has been using government and taxpayer resources to vote hunt, for at least two years, if not longer, bringing us to another discovery: there is  evidence his strategist, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, bought the domain name Fiji First several years ago - 2009, according to some sources.

Bainimarama revealed only recently he was going to the polls under the banner Fiji First, a name we now know has been around since 2008 and the 2012 Constitution consultations.

Question: When was the plan for an election hatched? - and was the domain name bought in anticipation of installing Bainimarama 'legally' in government, even before they started manufacturing decrees?

Another question: Is Qorvis still being paid $1million in Fiji taxpayer dollars to fund Bainimarama's campaign?

Ashwin Raj speaks of the need for media to play fair, but it's the political parties who are getting the raw deal.

In recent days Fiji Village made a big fuss about SODELPA youth leader, Pita Waqavonovono, getting ticked off for using swear words in a tweet about Fiji First.

In another story, a second SODELPA official, Tupeni Baba, was cited as 'complimenting' Bainimarama for his campaign style of going out to the people.

The Fiji Sun, meanwhile, trumpeted 'True democracy is a high turnout at the polls' plus the line "The prime minister has shown it pays to get out among the people."

It only pays though, it seems, when Bainimarama gets accolades and not a talking to, as Timoci Vesikula gave him at the Tailevu Provincial Council meeting.


Be prepared for more 'fair play rulings' while genuine complaints are delayed or buried.

Editor's Note: C4.5 did not run the Vesikula speech and the MIDA reaction at the time and takes the opportunity to publish both at this time. We will also try to catch up on some of the debate that came about as a result of the 'mixing water and kerosene' comment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fiji coup leader again caught for breaching electoral decree


BLATANT BREACH: First it was the coat of arms, now it's this.

Fiji's self-appointed prime minister has been caught for a second time breaching the Electoral Decree as he continues to chase votes for the September 17 election.

Frank Bainimarama's Fiji First Party is clearly promoted right at the top of the Elections Office page. 

We quote from the Decree:

Section 113  Prohibition on use of State resources to campaign
 (1) It shall be unlawful to use State authority, including law and tax enforcement authorities, to pressure or intimidate political opposition.

 (2) It shall be unlawful for any public officer to conduct campaign activities.


Bainimarama and his Party are already being investigated by the Fiji police after using the country's coat of arms on his campaign bus the first week he outed his party.

The complaint has been brought by Mick Beddoes of the United Front for a Democratic Party.

Beddoes has also complained about Bainimarama campaigning before he registered his party.

The name Fiji First was already taken.
There is also the question of the 2006 coup leader snaffling the name Fiji First, which had already been registered by two other people.

Readers can go to the Elections page itself to see how Bainimarama's propaganda team, Qorvis, are using government resources unfairly to get votes for him. 

We'll also keep a track on how long it stays up there. 

http://www.electionsfiji.gov.fj/shortlist-for-voter-registration-assistant/


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bonuses for Fiji Airways staff but what of FNPF loan?

PFLIEGER: Led the borrowing spree.
Profit shares and bonuses for Fiji Airways management and staff but no mention of National Provident Fund pensioners being repaid.

Fiji Airways borrowed millions from FNPF to use as collateral for the purchase of three new Airbuses when it was still operating as Air Pacific.

The CEO who hatched the plan with the illegal attorney general, Dave Pflieger, has since fled these shores but his successor, Stefan Pichler, has revealed staff are in line for
PICHLER: Handing out the bonuses.
more than $1.25M in profit-share and bonuses.


Pichler says 67 in management will get $4,000 while 810 non-management employees will get $1,400 each.

Staff are also expected to be get  quarterly performances bonuses of $1,200. 
Workers employed by the subsidiary Pacific Sun (soon to be Fiji LINK) all qualify for the share payout.

Pichler says the profits are due to a 2.5 per cent increase in passengers and were approved by the Board last year.

David Pflieger and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum borrowed $200 million from FNPF to fund the purchase of the new planes at a cost of $1.8 billion but the Airbuses are owned by a company registered in Ireland as Waqavuka Financing Ltd, which leases the aircrafts to Fiji Airways.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Khaiyum funnels $40,000 into lame dance show to save brother

FBC's new dance extravaganza all over the place.
A small but deadly little gem about convenient deals behind the scenes between the Khaiyum Brothers.

Riyaz Khaiyum and Sandeep Narayan.
Moles have revealed the illegal attorney general,  Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, bailed younger brother, Riyaz Sayed Khaiyum, out of the Fiji's Dancing Superstar show because it was a big flop.

The older Khaiyum gave the head of FBC News $40,000 to allow the last two episodes of the show to go to air after Ganesha Productions and producer, Sandeep Narayan, ran into money trouble - despite the show the getting prime spot, just after the News.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Booklet drama shows race on for grassroots vote

CCF BOOKLET: Under attack. Below: Khaiyum's selective memory.
Ironies on ironies but as those who've been fighting for a true return to democracy know, it's par for the course.

In another important battle in the lead up to the September elections, the illegal attorney
general is waging war on the Citizens Constitution Forum again, claiming a booklet it is distributing is 'misleading, full of lies and damaging.'

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum claims the CCF is trying to cause disquiet among landowners, denying there will be compulsory acquisition of land.

He insists the regime's 2013 Constitution makes it clear that if the state no longer requires land for public purposes 'it must give back that land.'

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chaudhry concedes he's had the $1.5m but will it be enough for a get-out-of-jail card?

The verdicts of two important cases expected tomorrow - that of bail variation for Sri Lankan national Jagath Karunaratne and the verdict on Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, breaching the Exchange Control Act.

Karunaratne is accused of sedition after allegations he and four others wrote anti-government graffiti in Nausori and Suva, in 2011.

Karunaratne wants to be able to report to any police station and to have his curfew lifted.

Chaudhry's situation is murkier.

Coupfourpointfive followers will know the charges revolve around the $1.5 million Chaudhry collected in India during a visit rallying for support for the victims of the 2000 coup.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Election date and party named as Bavadra's daughter rekindles NFP links

DRAUNIDALO: NFP's new president

So we've been told at last: the name of Frank Bainimarama's political party and the date the election will be held: Fiji First Party and September 17.

It follows the release of the overdue Electoral Decree 2014. 
 

More on the decree later but significant development today with the announcement by the National Federation Party that lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo, has been elected president.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New names touted for Fiji election



Names are starting to emerge from the rival camp for the elections.

Self-appointed prime minister Frank Bainimarama has announced Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Jiko Luveni, will run in his party - yes, the same party that has yet to muster 5000 supporters and be officially established.

Another one to poke his head out from the woodwork is the illegal health minister, Dr Neil Sharma, who says it’s a 'distinct possibility' he will stand.

Police moles say the former police chief, Esala Teleni, is also thinking of fielding his own party, using his brother's new 50-thousand strong Methodist Church as his support base.

Monday, March 24, 2014

SODELPA leader wades in on 'neutral prayer' controversy

Coup leader Frank Bainimarama has yet to announce his party policies let alone his political party but one issue already causing controversy is the possible introduction of a so-called 'neutral prayer' in state schools. 

The 'neutral prayer' was suggested by Bainimarama after a Ministry of Education senior official, Mesui C Folau, wrote to Suva Grammar saying that under the 2013 Constitution teachers, as public servants, are not permitted to conduct prayers in schools.

The leader of the Social Democratic Party, Ro Teimumu Kepa, has since taken up the cudgel saying the illegal government needs to come clean on its 'web of confusion over its policy of a secular state.'