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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Court's abuse of judicial process allows dissident Sangam officials to hold elections

In what is clearly an abuse of judicial process, the High Court at  Lautoka has granted an order to four dissidents of TISI Sangam to contest Sangam elections this weekend. 

Parveen Kumar Bala, Dorsami Naidu, Raja Kumaran and Avinash Reddy were suspended by the TISI Sangam National Council last month after they abused the election process during the TIV (Youth) Sangam meeting in May. This led to the cancellation of the AGM of the main body of Sangam - TISI Sangam. 

Bala is a Vice President of Sangam, Naidu (a veteran lawyer) is the immediate past president, Kumaran is also a Vice President while Reddy, who is a  Suva- based lawyer, is an official of Sangam's Suva branch. 

Sources have confirmed that late last Friday - around 5pm, the four (through an ex-parte action in the Lautoka High Court) obtained an order from recently appointed judge Sunil Sharma, allowing them to contest the Sangam elections, despite the suspension. 

Legal sources say this is an abuse of the judicial process because  an ex-parte action must not be entertained by the Court when there are two parties required to operate within the rules of their organisation - in this case the Constitution of Sangam.

They add the granting of orders on an ex-parte action means  Sangam's Constitution was disregarded by the judge because the suspension would have been in accordance with the Constitution. 

They also point out that in a previous and recent case taken to Court by the current office bearers of Sangam to obtain orders against the dissident group, the Court did not entertain the ex-parte action but required the other party - Bala's group - to be informed and be present in Court. 

But the judge did not adhere to this practice of fair play and justice last Friday. 

The question that has to be asked is why has the Court granted the order on an ex-parte action, in what is a blatant abuse of the judicial process? 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fiji fans shower Sevens team with love

Sea of fans eagerly waiting for team. pic fiji sun
Heroic team showered with love. pic afp

It was a welcome befitting heroes and that's the way it should've been.

The Fiji Sevens team arrived home from Rio yesterday with
Streets lined with fans
their gold medals to a glorious welcome from fans, many who decorated trees, lined roads and swarmed Prince Charles Park to show love.

Fiji is today enjoying a public holiday with the team due to get $30,000 each.

Enterprising fans: fiji times
SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has called for the boys to be also given a piece of land and a house.

Winning gold for the first time in Olympics has triggered momentous interest in Fiji with the #Fiji hashtag apparently netting more than 283 million people on Twitter with Tourism Fiji's Facebook reportedly reaching more than 175,000 fans.

Ryan being 'led' through.
But we wouldn't be Fiji without the drama.

An elderly woman, described as an 'ardent fan' by the FijiTimes was reportedly marched out of Prince Charles Park for no reason.

She said she was just waving when she was taken out.

Fan was removed for 'waving'
There have also been murmurs over the way security and police pulled Ben Ryan by his shirt as he came out with the team to greet fans. 

In his speech, Frank Bainimarama thanked Ryan for helping the team make Olympic history but in an ungracious gesture went on to say the departing Ryan might be going on to 'bigger things' but not necessarily 'better things.'

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flag to remain unchanged as Fiji Times is accused of 'inciting communal antangonism'

Accused fronting in court
We might be celebrating our first Gold medal at the Olympics but the charging of the Fiji Times and four individuals for 'inciting communal antagonism' is a reminder that life under decrees is not so golden.

The paper, three of its news officials and a letter writer for its itaukei supplement, Nai Lalakai, have been charged under section 65 (2) (a) (i) and section 53 (1) of the Crimes Decree.

It's alleged the group incited antagonism against Muslims in the following article published on 27 April:

“Ko ira na Musulomani era sega ni taukei kei Viti, sai ira nai lawalawa oqo era a curu botea na vanua eso ka dua vei ira ko Bangladesh mai Idia, kara vei vakamatei kina, kucuvi na nodra yalewa, ra vakararawataki na gone me yacova sara nira sa lewa ka sa nodra tu edaidai”

Friday, August 12, 2016

First ever gold for Fiji at Olympics

Viliame Mata and Ro Daquwaqa celebrate. Photo: Mark KOlbe Getty Image

Fiji's Osea Kolinisau scores a try
Fiji style: AP photo Themba Hadebe

Fiji has pummeled Great Britan at Rio to snatch its first gold ever at an Olympic.

The former colonial masters were thrashed 43-7.

Osea Kolinau and the team's convincing win means they will be getting some of that loot allocated for Olympic gold in the recent budget.

Well done boys!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pryde backs ruling to acquit Bala

Turning a blind eye: Christopher Pryde

As expected, Parveen Bala will get away with causing the death of a Lautoka man with Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions formally deciding not to appeal a Magistrate's decision to acquit him.

Christopher Pryde
 says his office has reviewed Rangajeeva Wimalasena's ruling and accepts the decision to acquit Bala. 

Bala, who is now Local Government and Infrastructure Minister, was accused of killing pedestrian Puna Chand in 2013 as a result of driving dangerously.

He was charged but Fiji police failed to present evidence to satisfy Wimalasena.

Bala's freedom was tipped last month when the 
Lautoka Magistrates Court handed down a ruling acquitting of the charge. 

The Fiji Village cites Pryde as saying there 'are areas of disagreement' with the ruling but the DPP's Office accepts the central premise that the State failed to prove the manner of driving was dangerous in the circumstances.