#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2009-05-31

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Did Sayed-Khaiyum and Colonel Aziz hear President Obama?

The United States President, Barack Obama, yesterday delivered an iconic speech to the Muslim World and stressed the importance of democracy and religious freedom, something which Fiji's interim regime has put a stop to.

Titled “A New Beginning” Obama said - "Let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people.

"But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere," President Obama said.

However Obama's view of human rights and democracy, seem to be different to the ones held by the US Congressman from American Samoa, Eni Faleomavaega.

After a visit and knowing the absence of human rights in Fiji, Faleomavaega still wants his government to believe Frank Bainimarama is doing the right thing and is genuinely building a non-racial Fiji and moving it towards democracy.

Just recently, the right to religious freedom was taken away in Fiji, after the regime cancelled this year's Methodist church conference.

Ironically, a report on Fijilive today says Muslims in Fiji were happy with President Obama's speech, yet it is a Muslim Attorney General and Muslim advisor to Frank Bainimarama, who have both played a major role in changing Fiji's legal system to suit the regime and have made sure that Fiji residents do not have any human rights.

Ro Teimumu denies banning Bainimarama

The Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa has denied warning Fiji's interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama, from staying away from Lomanikoro.

Sources told Courfourpointfive on Thursday that following the cancellation of the Methodist Conference by the interim regime, the president and secretary-general of the church, met with Bainimarama and extended an invitation for him to speak at the conference, in the hope that he would allow it to go ahead.

Sources say the two also told Bainimarama that if he accepted the proposal, the conference would have to be moved to another venue because Ro Teimumu didn't want Bainimarama setting foot in her chiefly village.

In an email sent to Coupfourpointfive on behalf of Ro Teimumu, the head of the Burebasaga confederacy denies making a statement to anyone, banning Bainimarama from the Province of Rewa.

"Firstly it should be clearly understood that while Rewa will host the Bose Ko Viti in terms of the provision of the physical infrastructure and all the social events associated with the BKV, given our limited resourcesm the formulation of the agenda and the substantive matters to be discussed during the Bose Ko Viti, remain the sole responsibility of the Methodist Church," the email said.

Ro Teimumu said it was important that her response be verified because it "may actually do more harm than good to the people of Rewa in these difficult times".

"Furthermore the Gone Marama Bale has not discussed any issues with the general secretary of the Methodist Church or any officials of the Church and awaits the advice and position of the Methodist Church, which will be communicated to the Vanua of Rewa through the proper channels with all protocols being observed."

The Lomanikoro village was supposed to host the August conference.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Canberra protest march to start soon

Former Fiji residents now living in Australia will take to the streets of Canberra today to highlight their disgust at the political instability in their former homeland.

Buse loads of protestors from Sydney will join counterparts from Riverina and ACT to peacefully protest and deliver petitions to the Fiji High Commission, the Indian High Commission, the Korean Embassy and the Chinese Embassy.

They will then rally on the front lawn of Parliament House and deliver a petition to an official of the Australian House of Representative.

Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement President, Usaia Waqatairewa, says they've been informed that the acting Fiji High Commissioner, Kamlesh Arya, has indicated his refusal to receive the group's petition and advised them to leave it in his letter box.

"This is not surprising to the Movement given we do not even know who he represents because the Fiji Courts had previously declared the Government he purports to represent as illegal. Neither do we recognise his appointment," Mr Waqatairewa said.

A petition to urge the Korean government to adopt a travel ban on Fiji's regime, coup sympathisers and beneficiaries will be handed over to the Korean Ambassador.

The Demonstration will then move onto the Indian High Commission and the Chinese Embassy to demonstrate and deliver petitions calling for the end of their support for the illegal regime governing Fiji.

"The Movement is of the view that it is very hypocritical of the Indian Government that while it prides itself as the world's largest democracy and has just completed a peaceful general election, it then continues unashamedly to aid and abet the totalitarian Fiji military dictatorship."

Mr Waqatairewa said similarly the actions of China must be condemned.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bainimarama warned to stay away

The Marama Roko Tui Dreketi and the head of Burebasaga Confederacy, Ro Teimumu Kepa,
has warned interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama, is not allowed in Lomanikoro.

The Lomanikoro village was supposed to host the August conference.

When the military issued a statement banning the conference, the Standing Committee of the Church tried to diffuse tension with the regime, by extending an invitation to Bainimarama to address the conference.

However, according to sources, when Ro Teimumu heard of the proposal, she made it clear that Bainimarama should not set foot in the chiefly village and if he agreed to giving a speech at the Methodist conference, then it would have had to be at another venue like Nausori.

Sources say this message was conveyed to Bainimarama by Church President Reverend Ame Tuege and Secretary-General Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu when they met him yesterday.

But instead Bainimarama made it clear to them that as far as the regime, military and police were concerned, the Methodist Church conference was cancelled for an indefinite period.

The Methodist Church is the largest Christian denomination in the country with over 200,000 members.

It meets annually to discuss religious, national, political issues as well as to fundraise an average of $2.4 million to sustain its operations and activities.

Abrogation contravenes regime’s own Charter

The abrogation of the Constitution by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo on April 10th is not only a treasonous act, but also contravenes the interim regime’s own document, the People’s Charter.

The Preamble of the Charter starts by stating in bold letters - We the people of Fiji

- "Affirm that our Constitution represents the supreme law of our country that provides the framework for the conduct of government and the people."

The introduction to the Charter titled “Moving Forward Together” amongst other things states the following:

• “We believe in an executive government answerable to the Parliament, an independent Judiciary, the Security Forces that enforce the law justly and are answerable to the government and Parliament in accordance with our Constitution”.

• “We believe in a free, accountable and responsible media that reports truthfully and promotes good and just governance and national development, and holds all institutions accountable including itself”.

The draft People’s Charter has been widely circulated since August 2008 after its formulation by National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF).

For five months, the regime dispatched teams to all corners of the country who obtained approval signatures from the people through dubious means. Civil servants like police, military and teachers were compelled into giving their approval.

On December 19 2008, the President gave formal approval to the Charter claiming 64% of Fiji’s population was supporting the document.

Ratu Josefa re-iterated the 64% figure when he abrogated the Constitution saying the Charter would form the basis of a new Constitution.

His statement also contravenes the Charter preamble and introduction that emphasises the Constitution as being the supreme law.

So the regime after abrogating the Constitution, is now violating the People’s Charter by interfering in the Judiciary like the public service and imposing absolute censorship on the media – all through promulgation of decrees.

Bainimarama lied about pressure from Forum

A Coupfourpointfive investigation has revealed that leaders attending the 38th Pacific Forum Islands Meeting, held in Tonga in October 2007, did not pressure interim Prime Minister and army commander Frank Bainimarama, into accepting a March 2009 timeline to hold free and fair general elections.

This was conveyed to the people of Fiji by Bainimarama himself, through the media upon his return from the Forum Meeting.

Speaking at Nadi Airport, he told journalists the Forum was highly successful in so far as the interest of Fiji and its people were concerned.

This is in total contrast to Bainimarama’s allegations first made in July 2008 and again during his interview with Australian journalist Graham Davies on May 1st, that he was pressured by Australia and New Zealand into accepting a time table to return Fiji to democracy.

Bainimarama told Davies that the Tongan Prime Minister, who was the Forum Chair in his capacity as the meeting host, had assured him that the commitment could be reviewed and that he should make it because it would not be binding.

But his statement on 20th October 2007 made to journalists at Nadi Airport, which is posted on Fiji Government online states - “The language which has gone into the Communiqué (Forum outcome for Fiji elections to be held by March 2009 and agreed to by all Leaders), mirrors exactly what I told the UN General Assembly about three weeks ago as well as the 38th Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders”.

“I would like to emphasise that Fiji was not pressured at all in the commitments I have made."

“These commitments are exactly what I have given to the Forum and I am steadfast in fulfilling them in the interest and for the benefit of the people of Fiji."

…”Overall it was time well spent in Tonga. We will now move ahead with necessary follow up action on the commitments made at the Forum Meeting and issues raised in bilateral meetings."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Methodist conference no-goer

Senior Methodist church officials have not able to sway interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama to allow their August conference to go ahead.

A meeting was held today between Bainimarama and the church's president Reverend Ame Tuege and Secretary-General Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu.

Following the meeting, Bainimarama told local and overseas media he has not changed his mind and this year's conference is still cancelled.

The meeting lasted at least an hour and a half, at the Office of the Interim Prime Minister, located on the 4th floor of Government Buildings.

Sources say the regime will not change its decision and the Methodist Church may never be able to hold another conference while Frank Bainimarama is in power.

Methodist church operations to suffer

The cancellation of the Methodist Church conference by the interim regime is a fatal blow to the Church's operations and revenue, sources say.

The church has a membership of over 200,000 and is seen as the biggest religious body in Fiji.

During each annual conference, the church raises an average of $2.4 million through the soli and choir activities.

The money collected is primarily used for the operations and activities of the church.

The economy will also be affected by the cancelling of the conference.

During the conference, the services of taxis, buses and retail outlets are in high demand, especially for the choir competition which takes place before the start of the meet.

Coupfourpointfive has been told that Methodists all over the country are angry at the regime's decision and won't be forgetting it easily.

Sources are also worried that this decision has the potential to inflame racial and religious tension.

Since Frank Bainimarama's 2006 coup, a new religious group has formed, known as New Methodists.

The Police Commissioner Esala Teleni is one of the leaders of the New Methodist church and his brother Atu Vulaono is the leader of the church.

The New Methodist is a breakaway of the Methodist Church and sources say the indefinite cancellation of the conference is being seen as promoting the New Methodist sect.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Emergency regulations to be in place till August

Fiji's interim Permanent Secretary for Information, Lieutenant-Colonel Neumi Leweni, tonight hinted on Fiji One news, that the Public Emergency Regulations, is likely to remain until August.

Leweni told Fiji TV news the Methodist Church should not feel discriminated against after the military, police and the interim regime cancelled the church’s annual conference scheduled for August.

Leweni said the church leadership should understand that political activities are banned under the provisions of the Emergency Regulations, therefore indicating the regulations will still be in force in August.

Church leadership tight-lipped about meeting

The Standing Committee of the Methodist Church are remaining tightlipped about what was discussed when they met at Epworth House today.

The meeting was to discuss the cancellation of their annual conference by the interim regime.

The military sent an unsigned statement to the media on Saturday, stating that together with the police, they had decided that conference be cancelled because it was going to discuss politics.

Sources say at today's meeting, one of the proposals being discussed, was to allow Frank Bainimarama to address the August conference, in order for the regime to grant permission for the meet to go ahead.

Coupfourpointfive has been told that last week Bainimarama communicated with the Church leadership from Brussels, and ordered that former Church leaders Reverend Manasa Lasaro and Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi, be barred from participating in any activities of the Church.

Both Lasaro and Kanailagi are still members of the Standing Committee and are very influential in the Church’s decision making process.

Sources say the church leadership refused Bainimarama’s ultimatum, which led to the military and police cancelling the conference.

The conference was supposed to be hosted by Rewa, which is part of the Burebasaga confederacy and which Ro Teimumu Kepa is high chief.

Coupfourpointfive has been told that a delegation representing Ro Teimumu Kepa, paid a visit to Bainimarama today but it is not known what transpired at the meeting.

New magistrate in bankruptcy claim

Faizal and Faiyaz Koya, the two sons of former NFP & Opposition leader, the late Siddiq Moidin Koya, are facing a $184,000 bankruptcy claim – which sources say could have led to Faizal Koya’s decision to accept appointment as a magistrate under the New Legal Order.

The two, until 5 weeks ago jointly operated the law firm of Koyas in Nadi.

Faizal Koya was appointed as magistrate on April 20th, 10 days after the abrogation of the Constitution.

Exactly a year ago, he appeared on Fiji Television’s Close-Up program as a guest with Ro Filipe Tuisawau, ridiculed the People’s Charter and emphatically stated that the Constitution was his charter.

He emphasised if the Constitution was being violated, it was the role of lawyers like him to stand up and defend the supreme law of the country.

Documents obtained by Coupfourpointfive reveal that a judgment based on Bankruptcy Action Number 36 of 2005 was delivered by the then Nadi Magistrate Laisa Laveti on 12th December 2006.

The bankruptcy proceedings were initiated by Ba based lawyer Dr Muhammad Samshu Din Sahu Khan on behalf of Mohamed Akhtar, Trustee of the Estate of his late father Yaar Mohammed.

The bankruptcy proceedings were renewed in the magistate’s court via Action Number 7 of 2009.

Sources have told us the Koyas are disputing the validity of the amount – over $157, 000 being the principal sum plus over $24,000 in interest.

The order obtained through Action Number 7 of 2009 required the Koyas to pay $5000 on the 15th of every month and upon defaulting the payment for over 15 days, they have to pay the entire sum.

Faizal and Faiyaz Koya have not been declared un-discharged bankrupts, something that would be done and a notice to his effect publicised if upon the completion of proceedings, the Koyas declare their inability to pay $184,000.

According to sources, it cannot be established whether the $184,000 was trust funds kept by the law firm operated by the two brothers or by their late father.

But sources say due to the non-viability of the law firm’s operations, Faizal Koya may have opted to secure a regular source of income and therefore accepted appointment as magistrate despite the abrogation of the Constitution.

Coupfourpointfive has been told that given the fact Dr Sahu Khan was one of the prominent lawyers trying to pressure Fiji Law Society President Dorsami Naidu into allowing lawyers to be appointed as judges, despite the abrogation of the Constitution, it is likely the bankruptcy case will be dragged for a while because Sahu Khan is the claimant’s lawyer.

Editor's Note: Koya Bankruptcy Papers at right of blog

Church leadership meets today

Executives of the Fiji Methodist Church, are meeting today to discuss the banning of the church’s annual conference by the military and police.

The conference was to be hosted by Rewa and the high chief of Burebasaga confederacy, Marama Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Ro Teimumu was the third highest ranking minister in Laisenia Qarase’s Cabinet from September 2001 to December 5th 2006 when Commodore Frank Bainimarama and the military executed the 4th coup.

On Saturday May 30th, the military's media unit issued a statement written in the Fijian language and on an army letterhead saying both the military and police had decided that the Church conference scheduled for August could not go ahead because political issues will be discussed.

Yesterday interim Defence Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau told Radio Legend FM news that the Church leadership would have to await Bainimarama’s return to the country to discuss the issue with him.

Sources say the powerful standing committee of the church are meeting today at Epworth House, the church's headquarters, to discuss the issue and whether or not they should seek an audience with Bainimarama in his capacity as interim Prime Minister.

Bainimarama, who was in Guyana and Brussels, arrived in Fiji yesterday and has not said anything publicly on the issue.

Editor's Note: Read letter from military cancelling the Methodist Conference on right of blog.

Protest march planned for Canberra

The Sydney based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement is planning another protest march against Fiji's interim regime.

The next peaceful demonstration is to be held in Canberra on June 5th.

During the Canberra march a petition will be presented to the acting Fiji High Commissioner in Canberra, the South Korean Embassy, Indian High Commission, Chinese Embassy and Australian Parliament.

About 300 former Fiji residents living in Australia turned up to the last march in Sydney on May 24th.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Teleni sacks intelligence officer

Coupfourpointfive has been told that a senior ranking intelligence officer was sacked in April, for warning the Police Commissioner, Esala Teleni, the implications of the abrogation of Fiji's Constitution.

The President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, abrogated the Constitution on April 10, sacked the judiciary and reappointed Frank Bainimarama as interim prime minister, after the High Court found that the 2006 coup was illegal.

Sources say Tito Ilo, an intelligence officer based at the Special Branch office in Suva, was given the sack by Teleni, because of a report he wrote describing the adverse implications of the Constitution abrogation.

In his report, Ilo warned that some of the implications included the cancelling of aid from the European Union, the souring of international relations, and a risk of sanctions against Fiji being tightened.

Methodist church AGM cancelled

Fiji's military regime has cancelled the annual conference of the Methodist Church of Fiji.

A joint statement issued by the military and police, accused the church of trying to bring instability to the country.

Police spokesman Ema Mua says the crackdown follows information that "inciteful issues were going to be discussed at the conference.

The statement said the Methodist Church could not hide its involvement in politics and part of the agenda for the August conference focused on the current political situation.

Earlier this month, former Methodist Church president, Rev Manasa Lasaro, was detained after delivering a sermon calling for peaceful protests to restore democracy to Fiji.

The Methodist Church is the dominant denomination among the devout indigenous Fijians, who make up 57 percent of the total population of around 840,000.