#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2009-08-09

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Police Officers ordered to praise the Lord

Police officers in Fiji are now answering the phones with Praise the Lord.

While police spokeswoman Ema Mua told Fiji TV this was not compulsory and police officers were doing this out of their own intiative, the Deputy Director of Operations Superintendent Erami Raibe told Legend FM this is the new approach of the Fiji Police Force.

Raibe said this is part of the christian crusade as the force is trying to change its image by adopting the Jesus strategy.

Christian Crusades in the force started in December last year and all officers, irrespective of their religious belief are compelled to attend a church service co-ordinated by the New Methodist Church one Sunday every month.

Police officers living in police quarters and barracks cannot consume yaqona or kava in their homes.

And now all police officers given duties at the switchboard or to operate telephone lines at police stations are told to say Praise the Lord, irrespective of whether they are Christians, Hindus or Muslims.

Sources have told us that a vast majority of police officers are deeply unhappy about what they feel is religious persecution by Commissioner Esala Teleni and his senior officers.

Teleni is a member of the New Methodist Church being run by his younger brother Atu Vulaono.

Bainimarama makes promises to escape pressure

Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has told Al Jazeera’s 101 East program that he agreed to the March 2009 election deadline to take the pressure off the regime.

Speaking in an interview on the program, Bainimarama said he gave the March 2009 commitment to the Forum Leaders in Tonga in October 2007, hoping that the international community would ease off its pressure on the regime to return Fiji to democracy.

A similar commitment was given by interim Ministers Mahendra Chaudhry, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to the European Union in Brussels in April 2007.

The breach of commitments to the Forum and EU have led to Fiji’s suspension from the Forum and the country is likely to be suspended from the Commonwealth in a few weeks if it continues to remain adamant about holding onto power until September 2014.

So far cane farmers in Fiji have lost $172 million in financial assistance from a $350 million grant allocated by the EU to help them increase sugarcane production.

Bainimarama’s statement is the first sign of admission from the military commander that he can lie under any circumstances to escape from promises and commitments made to returning Fiji to democracy.

It is conclusive proof that promises for work on a new Constitution to begin by September 2012 and for elections to be held in September 2014 can be ignored.

Bainimarama on Al Jazeera

The dictatorship regime’s interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama says the international community should not be surprised at the Constitution’s abrogation by the regime.

The military commander has told Al Jazeera Television during an interview aired on 30th July that they were going to throw out the Constitution anyway. The interview was aired on Al Jazeera’s 101 East program. Sources say it was also shown on Fiji Mai TV last Sunday evening. It is accessible through the internet and can be found in two parts in You-Tube titled, Fiji – dictating democracy.

Bainimarama said the regime was going to get rid of the Constitution at some stage. He implied it was a co-incidence that the Constitution was abrogated less than 24 hours after a Fiji Court of Appeal ruling declared the 2006 coup illegal and for Fiji to return to parliamentary democracy.

Bainimarama claims the ruling was unconstitutional because it did not allow ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase or him to become interim PMs.

Bainimarama forgets that a few hours after the Appeals Court ruling, he addressed the nation where he told the people of Fiji to stay calm saying the regime respected the decision of the Court.

At that time, he was basically lying to the people because the regime had already made up its mind to use ailing President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to abrogate the Constitution and commit treason.

A defiant Bainimarama told Al Jazeera that if the international community did not know that the Constitution was going to by thrown out, they know now after its abrogation.

Chaudhry prefers Nailatikau for President

Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has thrown his support behind Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to become Fiji’s next President.

In April Nailatikau was appointed by self-appointed and now retired President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to be the Vice President. He is currently the acting President after Iloilo was forced into retirement by the regime last week.

On 29th July, Chaudhry told Radio New Zealand that while it wasn’t fair to comment on Iloilo’s performance as President, Nailatikau should be the next Head of State of Fiji as “he has all the right qualities”.

Chaudhry described Nailatikau as a “seasoned person” having served as military commander, a diplomat and Speaker of Fiji’s House of Representatives, saying he hopes Nailatikau is confirmed to the position.

Nailatikau was the commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces when Sitiveni Rabuka toppled the NFP/Labour Coalition government of Dr Timoci Bavadra in May 1987. Chaudhry was the Finance Minister in Bavadra’s government.

After Rabuka’s coup, Nailatikau had requested New Zealand and Australian armed forces not to take military action against Fiji and leave the matter to sort out by itself.

This was seen by Chaudhry as complicity and support of the coup by Nailatikau because Rabuka was ranked 3rd in RFMF. Chaudhry had accused Nailatikau, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Ratu Penaia Ganilau of having knowledge about the coup and his accusations are public and well documented. Nailatikau was in Australia in May 1987.

He, like Ratu Epeli Ganilau is Ratu Mara’s son-in-law, married to Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau. Adi Koila was a senior Cabinet Minister in Chaudhry’s Labour government after 1999 general election, despite not being a coalition partner of FLP before the election.

Nailatikau served as Deputy Prime Minister in Laisenia Qarase’s interim government after the May 2000 coup that was appointed by Bainimarama.

Chaudhry and Nailatikau were colleagues in Bainimarama’s interim Cabinet for 18 months.

Sources say Chaudhry’s support for Nailatikau means he doesn’t believe in the rule of law and does not care if Nailatikau is appointed as President through a Decree.

According to sources, Chaudhry, while mildly critical of the regime in the last three months, is a political opportunist and must seen an opportunity for him to regain some power and clout in the regime under Nailatikau’s Presidency.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SCC Administrator and Permanent Secretary are cousins

The Administrator of Suva City Council Vijendra Prakash and the Permanent Secretary of Local Government, Ram Chandar, are cousins.

Sources have confirmed Chandar, who gave a character reference in favour of fraudster Joe Hewson Turagasau enabling his appointment as the Human Resources Manager of Suva City Council, were also colleagues in the teaching fraternity.

Chandar was formerly the deputy permanent secretary for Education. Sources have confirmed that Ram Chandar was also influential in getting Prakash to resign as a senior lecturer at Fiji College of Advanced Education, and leave his secure employment to take up the Administrator's post.

Prakash is also the general secretary of Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, the nation's largest Hindu religious organisation.

Meanwhile, following our revelations last night of Turagasau's fraud and his employment as SCC HRM based on Ram Chandar's favourable reference, Prakash today ordered an investigation at the City Council.

An IT expert was brought in to check all computers and go through the Council's server to try and establish which employees have been accessing blogsites - especially Coupfourpointfive.

Editor's note: Vijendra Prakash and the interim regime will not be able to incriminate any SCC employee or member of the senior management because they are innocent and have not leaked documents to us.

Just as any other responsible media organisation, we have a right to protect our sources but they definitely are not from the SCC. We regard Prakash's investigation as an exercise in futility because truth cannot and will not be suppressed.

Iloilo's statement smacks of irony

Retiring President Ratu Josefa Iloilo made some farcical comments during his farewell speech at Government House last Saturday.

Iloilo's speech writers made a fool of the Tui Vuda by making him read the following statements as part of the speech:

"We must remember national interest is not the sum of all our single or special interests....we must not forget that common good is or common interest and individual responsibility".

He went to say, "Because of fragmented pressures of special interests, it is very important that the Office of the President be a strong one, and that its constitutional authority be preserved".

The above two comments by the outgoing President make a mockery of even the illegal Peoples Charter - the very document the regime's trying to impose on the people of Fiji.

Preamble 4 of the Charter states the "Charter lays the foundation to rebuilding our nation". Therefore even an illegitimate document talks about national interest.

Furthermore, Frank Bainimarama, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and other regime leaders have accused former leaders of promoting their personal interest at the expense of national interest. While that statement can be proven to be a lie in the case of most former leaders, it is abslutely correct for the current dictators.

National interest has been sacrificed for personal interest. A good example is the retirement age. Bainimarama will retire as army commander at the age of 65 while his army officers and ordinary soldiers and civil servants have already retired in their few thousands after reaching the age of 55.

Iloilo's comment that constitutional authority of the President's office should be always preserved is also hypocritical.

It shows Iloilo, who is suffering from Alzhiemer's disease, is frail and at 89 years old, does not even know that he abrogated the Consttution on April the tenth.

Iloilo does not know that his authority was usurped by Frank Bainimarama on 5th December 2006 when he assumed executive authority and dismissed Laisenia Qarase and his democratic government.

The ailing President does not know either that the Fiji Court of Appeal on April the 9th declared the military coup illegal and the President had no special powers or prerogative authority as ruled by Chief Justice Anthony Gates and two others of existing in the Constitution and used to dismiss Qarase and his government.

Once again a ruthless regime has showed lack of compassion towards an ailing citizen, in this case the President and made him utter comments that have made a mockery of his chiefly position as well as his status as Head of State.

Monday, August 10, 2009

FNPF Board Members enjoyed exorbitant allowances

The Fiji National Provident Fund's annual report has revealed that its six board members received almost $159,000 in allowances between January 1st and 31st December 2007.

The report showed that the total amount paid to the 6 in directors’ fees was $941,000, an increase of $372,000 paid to the ousted board members in 2006.

FNPF Chief Executive Aisake Taito and new Board Chairman John Prasad declined to comment on the issue.

5 of the 6 Board members were terminated in June this year by Bainimarama.

They were Chairman Parmesh Chand, Employee representatives Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai – General Secretary and President respectively of Fiji Trades Union Congress, and Employer reps James Datta and Howard Politini.

Only Permanent Secretary of Labour Taito Waqa – regime appointee with Chand – is the surviving member from the axed Board.

When Bainimarama terminated the FNPF Board a few weeks after the December 2006 coup, he said FNPF needed a new direction to be cost effective.

Fraudster appointed to top SCC job

The nepotism at the Suva City Council is continuing with Administrator Vijendra Prakash appointing his fraudulent friend as Human Resources manager.

Documents obtained by Coupfourpointfive reveal that Prakash was aware of Joe Hewson Turagasau's pending fraud case before he appointed him to the job.

Last Saturday the Fiji Times briefly reported that Turagasau pleaded guilty at the Labasa Magistrates Court to stealing $24,872.22 in grants earmarked for projects at Lekutu Secondary School in Bua in the Northern Division. He committed the crime in 2001 while employed as the Divisional Education Officer Northern.

The minutes of the Council's meeting held on June 23rd reveal that SCC’s Director Engineering Services, Director Finance and another Director recommended that a Kaliti Mate should get the job.

However, they were overruled by the Town Clerk and Special Administrator Vijendra Prakash – himself a former Ministry of Education senior staff until his appointment to SCC early this year.

Prakash recommended that Turagasau be appointed to the job and his salary be set at $45,000 per annum and he be retired at the age of 60. He would also qualify for other privileges and benefits.

Turagasau was not asked to obtain a police clearance despite this being a requirement for newly recruited employees. The SCC was also aware of Turagasau's pending fraud case because the DPP's office had notified them.

Vijendra Prakash then got his cousin, the Secretary for Local Government, Ram Chandar, to issue a character reference supporting Turagasau.

He issued the reference on 22nd June – one day before the SCC meeting.

This is the 3rd case of nepotism and cronyism under Prakash’s leadership of the Suva City Council.

Earlier we reported that Prakash had employed his sister at the Civic Centre and also recruited relatives of dairy farmers. He has also employed his brother as a health assistant.

Minutes of SCC meeting - http://www.mediafire.com/?ytn2omgdoui

Ram Chandar’s reference - http://www.mediafire.com/?i3jgmn5mnjw

NZ Herald editorial on Fiji

Fiji's future in hands of people

At least two factors must be in place for a country to be subjected to successive coups. The first is the presence of a military force with ideas above its station and little time for notions of democracy. The second, and more important, is a populace that is fatalistic about the loss of its rights and threats to its well-being. So it is with Fiji.

Four coups within the space of two decades have engendered little outward antipathy towards military rule. Some say this reflects a traditional subservience, the product of centuries of oppressive rule by chiefs. But whatever the reason, it was fully appropriate for the Niuean Premier, Toke Talagi, to tell the Fijian people that they had a responsibility to secure the fate of their own country, and to "rise up to challenge" Commodore Frank Bainimarama's regime.

Mr Talagi, speaking in Cairns as the outgoing chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum, noted there was little that could be done to quell a mass uprising. "I wonder whether people realise you can't shoot 500,000 Fijians if they're rising up peacefully."

He was not, he said, advocating violent protests, but believed Fijians now had to take matters into their own hands for their children's sakes.

His speech attracted some odd responses, not least from New Zealand's Prime Minister. John Key described it as unhelpful, and concluded it effectively proposed trying to right a coup with another coup. "You can't have a good coup and a bad coup," he said.

Obviously, the death earlier in the week of the former Philippines President, Corazon Aquino, and the many tributes to her, had passed Mr Key by. The success of her "people power" movement, which in 1986 swept away 20 years of brutal dictatorship by Ferdinand Marcos, was the very model of the activity proposed by Mr Talagi. It inspired political change around the world, and should inspire the Fijian people.

At the moment, most remain passive. They have not reacted to Commodore Bainimarama's ongoing removal of their democratic rights, including the abrogation of the constitution, or the squashing of dissent, most recently through the arrest of a number of church leaders.

They have not responded to his refusal to meet international deadlines for the holding of elections, which has led to the suspension of badly needed foreign capital and aid, the application of sanctions, and pariah status for their country.

It appears those sanctions will have to extract a far bigger toll in human suffering and the economy to deteriorate further under the regime's foolhardy policies for unease and unrest among Fijians to grow. If that is what it takes, so be it.

Mr Key says encouraging dialogue between Commodore Bainimarama and other political players in Fiji is the right course of action, "not some sort of uprising of the people". Unfortunately, the regime has shown not the slightest inclination to heed that encouragement. Universal international condemnation of the regime has been disregarded and pledges dishonoured.

The latest casualty is a Commonwealth demand for elections by September next year. The commodore's self-appointed deadline, which keeps slipping further into the distance, is now 2014.

No one, least of all Mr Talagi, is suggesting the Fijian people stage a violent revolution. A peaceful solution must be found.

But that does not preclude widespread demonstrations by a populace no longer content to be ruled by a clutch of military officers.

The regime has shown only a willingness to sacrifice the well-being of the Fijian people. Worse is probably still to come.

At some time, the people must abandon their fatalism. They will have to send Commodore Bainimarama and his cohorts back to the barracks - once and for all.