#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2010-11-21

Saturday, November 27, 2010

VAT hike hypocritical and already proving unpopular

POVERTY: Vat increase will see locals digging deeper into their pockets.


By Jone Baledrokadroka

Now that the illegal interim regime has raised VAT to 15%, let us recap the ruckus that the Fiji Labour Party member, Daniel Uraia, and chief coup apologist said about the whole idea back then when there was a parliament. This is taken verbatim from Hansard.


HON. D.U. MANUFOLAU: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to contribute briefly to the 2007 national Budget.

Sir, I am in agreement with the honourable Minister for Labour, that he will resign from Cabinet should Government further increase VAT. This will, (in view of the fact that since the existence of the SDL Government) embark on increasing this indirect tax measure from zero to 10 per cent, further increased to 12.5 per cent and now the stomach hitting 15 per cent.

Sir, VAT is a regressive tax that takes no account of an individuals' earning capacity or financial status. Through VAT, the poorest of the poor will have to pay the same as the richest of the rich. Do you consider that as a fair system of taxation? No, definitely not. Therefore, I call on the honourable Members of the SDL Government, to explain this to those who live in villages and rural areas and those earning below the poverty line wages. I am sure, Sir, they will be blessed with answers from these people.

I call on the Government to initiate a study and find out if there is limit to the VAT tax rate and of the overall rate of tax collection in this country. Sir, I call on this, because in a situation of low level of this country's development, large size informal economy and questionable use of tax dollars by this Government would seem that the country has passed a reasonable limit of taxation. If such is indeed the case, then I shudder to imagine the future we have to face.

Sir, I must warn the Government that any further increases in tax has the potential to:

(a) hurt work incentives

(b) depress growth

(c) reduce job creation; and

(d) spread poverty beyond the 34 per cent of our population who are currently living below the poverty level. Unquote.

So what has changed Mr DU Manufolau? The people of Fiji would like to know. 

Answers also need to be forthcoming from the illegal leader, Bainimarama - for it was he who used it to justify the 2006 coup and to rescind Qarase's VAT increase.

Typical of the hypocrisy that runs deep in this regime, VAT is now being heralded as critical to the recovery of the economy and in helping "the government earn more to pay off debts." 
But the regime may find itself a tad more unpopular than it would like to think. Look to Frank Bainimarama's Facebook (usually a shrine to the illegal leader) and you'll find a thread of rebellion.
These folks have unabashedly denounced the 2.5% increase and have, rightfully, singled Bainimarama out as the original sinner. It is as has been said - daylight terrorism against one's own people:



come on!!!!! give the Government back to the people. Why do we citizens have to suffer more by paying more taxes!!!!!!!!! People are already poor!!!!!

$3.4billion dollars in debt. Now I see the rational for the VAT moving up to 15%. So I was right, Fiji aint got no cash, just plenty dinau.

Consumers tighten you belts 2011 increase in vat to 15%.
VAT increased to 15%, 1 cent reduction on mob call charges ecetera, ecetera ecetera, betterment? Mmmmmmmmmm

Frank hits the circuit but with clearly very little bounce

What looks to be the first picture of Fiji's self-appointed leader since he arrived home yesterday has appeared in FijiLive.

Bainimarama was at the Holiday Inn last night for the sponsorship launch for next year's World Netball Championship, in Singapore.

The regime's leader looks a shadow of his former military hardman persona, with illness clearly showing on him.

The regime has this week adopted a business as usual approach, refusing to acknowledge or confirm Bainimarama's ill-health, despite a sojourn to China where there was clearly little evidence he was conducting business as claimed. It's believed he was seeking medical treatment for either a stroke or a heart problem.

Local Fiji media have bought into the pretence, ignoring the obvious change in physical appearance by Bainimarama, who had to cancel delivering yesterday's budget address.

His first public engagement has instead been an ocsasion of a more lightweight nature, last night's netball launch, which he attended with his wife, Mary, the patron of the Netball Fiji squad.

Picture: FijiLive, Kunal Keshneel

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bainimarama reported to be back in Fiji but is said to have scurried off adding to mystery

The self-appointed prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, is reported to have arrived back in Fiji, landing at Nadi. 
A Coupfourpointfive source says immigration confirmed to him that no one saw Bainimarama emerge from the plane but say he was whisked away to a vehicle and was driven off. 
There has been no coverage of Bainimarama after today's budget and he has not appeared on TV or radio.

Our source says that at 5.40 pm today a senior army officer confirmed to him that Bainimrama has asked the Minister of Defence to carry on as the Acting Prime Minister.

The source, who has been tracking Bainimarama's movements, says he has also been reliably told the illegal leader is "very sick and cannot talk properly", presumably as a side effect of a stroke.
Our source quotes the senior army officer as saying: "This is a sign the prime minister and commander is incapable of making decisions and deemed unfit to carry on his duties."
Earlier today, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, which is run by the brother of the illegal attorney general, reported Bainimarama was returning to Fiji later today.

Khaiyum's Budget Daylight Terrorism

By Jone Baledrokadroka

It may well pay to revisit the last elected government’s budget debate on the 2007 Appropriation Bill where a particular SDL Minister’s address foretold the bizarre situation the nation finds itself in today.

The Honourable, Ted Young, member of Kadavu, Namosi, and Lomaivuna Open now resides in Penrith, Australia and runs his own courier business with his wife. As one of the initial victims of physical and verbal abuse by a revengeful Bainimarama in the days after the 5th December 2006 coup, Young was later granted a protection visa and permanent resident status.

Ted was picked up by soldiers from his home in front of his family and taken to QEB, to be physically and verbally abused because Bainimarama, it is said, took offence to the Minister of Regional Development's speech at the 2007 Appropriation Bill debate. Unfortunately, the people will not have their representatives in parliament to respond to the 2011 forced budget in similar fashion.The speech is reproduced below, verbatim:





Hon. T. Young: A threat to economic growth, law and order and democracy around the world today, is terrorism and terrorists, of course.

Sir, the word "terrorist" as defined in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, are those participants and supporters who use violence and intimidation for political purposes.  We have a new type of terrorist here in Fiji at this point time.  It is racking havoc on the economy, threatening law and order and even, threatening Parliamentary democracy.  I am talking about none other than the current leadership in the Fiji Military Forces and their advisors. We in this august House, as elected Members of Parliament, it is our duty to see that this type of terrorism will not continue in Fiji.  However, I am appalled at the utter silence from the other side of the House.

They are supporting it.

Perhaps, these are the silent supporters that is mentioned by this terrorist.  None of them mentioned anything or condemned what the Military is trying to do in this country.  So, we take it that they are supporting what is going on.

On law and order, they are supposed to be advocates of law and order and Parliamentary democracy, which is being threatened.  It is our duty to make and uphold laws, but I have never heard any condemnation from the other side of the House on the threats by this terrorist, to come and take over this democratically elected Government.  I know the reason, Sir.  I have been reliably told that they have an alternative line-up already in the Camp, and the name of the leader of the FLP is included in it.  That is the reason they are silent.  Sir, we the Members of Parliament have a duty to stand up for law and order and Parliamentary democracy.

Sir, I congratulate the Police Force and the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP) for investigating the seditious activities of this terrorist.  I also urge them to investigate their advisors and supporters for aiding and abetting sedition in this country.

And take them to gaol!

Sir, we owe it to our people that we cut off this monster's head right now for the sake of our children in the future.  We have gone through many hard times and made a lot of sacrifices, and now, we have this terrorist twirling its ugly head in our country, in the form of the current Military leadership.  Sir, our forefathers and chiefs, who founded the Military, never even dreamt that one day, the Military will be used against its own people, in threatening democracy and their lives; threats, intimidation, fear, you name it.  Those are the tactics of cowards!

They are cowards indeed.

Sir, for those of us who uphold law and order, I appeal to the gallant men and women of our Military, never ever follow an unlawful order, let alone a treasonous one to take over a democratically elected Government, because you will be answerable in court for that.  Following orders is never an excuse to an illegal, unlawful and treasonous activity.  This has already been proven over time, in various courts all over the world, even in our Courts in Fiji, during the trial of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) soldiers.  I call on our gallant men and women of the Military, never ever contemplate following an illegal and unlawful order because that is your right and duty as a citizen of this country.  Those who want to do those illegal treasonous acts, tell them to come themselves and do it, and do not send our loyal gallant men and women to do the dirty work for them, and then at the end of the day, run away. Unquote.

Young’s quote, “ [T]hat we cut off this monster's head” unquote, was said metaphorically and not literally. Hard hitting an address as it was, it was said within the ambit of parliamentary privilege. Today, Young’s words are more poignant and even   apocalyptically resonant.

The surprising and somewhat farcical political developments within the regime the last fortnight has left many convinced of the futility of the whole ‘clean up campaign’ and ‘good governance coup’.

The announcing of the 2011 illegal regime’s national budget by Aiyaz Khaiyum is akin to a rugby hospital pass and may well spark the rampaging Fijians in seven a side fashion.

Bainimarama’s main military officers in treasonous brotherhood have deserted him.

His right wing supporters headed by Ganilau and eleven other cabinet ministers have deserted him.

His main left wing supporters headed by Mahendra Chaudhry and his Labour colleagues have been all cast by the way side.

More so, the left leaning Father Kevin Barr is up in arms over more broken promises by our dictator with another minimum wage increase deferment.

The fortnight has been a disastrous one for the dictator trying to, again, lie straight faced about his medical trip to China  under the guise of trade talks.

The budget announcement by the illegal acting Finance Minister of an unelected military regime with a track record of  four years of unaccountable rule using  tax payers hard earned money is more than an act of   daylight robbery but  as  foretold by  Young - it is daylight terrorism against one's own people.

Sayed Khaiyum delivers budget and gives the nation a little bit on the side!

The illegal Attorney General and Acting Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has delivered the 2011 National Budget Address. 

And along with the expected reforms in sugar, consumer products and a VAT increase from 12.5 to 15 per cent, Khaiyum also ventured into the sex industry.

While he was talking about duties on imported snacks, Khaiyum - well-known for his voracious appetite for illegal decrees - said 'Sex' instead of 'Snacks.'

Go figure how you can confuse 'Snacks' and 'Sex' but the masses listening to the live broadcast were doubled over with laughter over Khaiyum's faux paus.

None of the local media have reported Khaiyum's 'sexy' lunchtime comment but Coupfourpointfive has had several texts (yes, we said Texts not Sex), about Khaiyum's gaffe.

His brother, Aiyaz's radio station, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, have of course ignored the stuff up though they have acknowledged the dodgy absence of two key people, the illegal PM Frank Bainimarama and the Governor of the Fiji Reserve Bank, Sada Reddy.

Here's their coverage of the budget a short time ago:

The budget has a total revenue of $1745.7 billion against an expenditure of $1961.7 billion, leaving a deficit of $216 million. 

Capital expenditure has been set at $526 m with much of this also going towards the sugar industry.
On the much talked about $150 m bond debt that matures next year Sayed-Khaiyum announced that Singapore and Hong Kong-based brokers are acting on government’s behalf to refinance the bond.

"The US $150 m global bond raised in early 2006 is due for payment in September next year. Fund members based in Singapore and Hong Kong have been identified as government t international brokers to manage the refinancing of this global bond. Part of next year’s debt is expected to be financed through this global bond roll over. This strategy will release limited reserves in the domestic financial market for private sector investments and supplies."

On the sugar industry Sayed-Khaiyum reaffirmed government’s commitment saying 200,000 people or almost 20 per cent of Fiji citizens rely on the sector for their livelihood. 

He announced strict cost cutting measures and reforms for the Fiji Sugar Corporation and says government will work with development partners for technical assistance. 

The total allocation towards the sugar industry came to $123 m.

“An appropriate provision of a $110m has been allocated in the 2011 budget to support FSC - which will have an impact on the sugar industry as a whole. In addition $6m has been allocated for cane replanting, $1m for cane quality payment, $5m to South Pacific Fertilizers and $1.5m for the Committee for Better Utilization of Land, in total $123m has been allocated for the support of the sugar industry.”

On socio-economic and poverty alleviation issues – government announced a host of policies aimed at supporting the vulnerable in the community. This includes support to 10,000 new recipients of the family assistance scheme.

“In 2011we have allocated an addition of $3.6m to issue food vouchers of $30 a month to 10,000  new recipients. Within this schemes based on the means test - the elderly over 70 years of age who are currently not receiving any form of government assistance, pregnant mothers who are currently falling outside of the eligibility for receiving family assistance allowance and disadvantaged family and school children will be eligible. The Ministry of Strategic Planning will release final details of this scheme before Christmas.”
Government has also allocated $10 m housing assistance for first time home owners – a policy that was introduced last year but could not be implemented due to the effects of Cyclone Tomas and the Operation Kadivuka campaign. 

A 3 per cent increase on alcohol and tobacco products has been imposed. 

A notable absence was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Sada Reddy. FBC News was informed that Mr. Reddy is on leave.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was on his way from Nadi to Suva when the budget address was delivered. Bainimarama has just returned from a two week trip to China, meeting industry and business leaders there.-FBC 

2011 Budget going into lockdown

Fiji's 2011 Budget will be announced at 11 o'clock but security to the venue where the address is being delivered by the acting Minister of Finance, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, is tight.

The roads to the FIRCA headquarters have been cordoned off - the first time the country's budget has been delivered under such tight security.

The self-appointed prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, was to have been back in the country to deliver the budget but is now reported to returning later today.

It's being tipped the budget will focus on improving efficiency in various regulatory bodies. 

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation says "bureaucracy will be removed to enhance reforms – even if it means engaging the services of expatriates."

It says "Bainimarama has stated that if Fiji is to attract investors into Fiji, we must have the right environment and attitude to facilitate these investors."

Fiji Village is reporting the illegal regime is likely to focus on civil service, land and sugar reform. Pictures: FBC and FijiVillage

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pictures show Bainimarama looking like a patient rather than a leader

The self-appointed leader, Frank Bainimarama, has today continued to try to shut down talk of his health and reports he's either had a attack or a stroke.

But Coupfourpointfive has received further information that suggests yet again that all is not well with him.

We have been told Bainimarama's hand shows signs of a stroke and that  border police at Nadi Airport saw this when he was boarding his Air Korean Flight. 
We have also been told that according to a source in his office Bainimarama collapsed again (from a stroke) on Sunday, November the 21st in China.

As we said last night, some of the pictures being used in stories by Fiji media are not current. In those pictures, Bainimarama looks well. But the pictures sent back from China, after questions about his unexplained silence while supposedly on this trade mission, tell a different story.

To any trained eye, the two released photos suggest illness. And if one was to be unkind, it almost looks like he may have just thrown on clothes for the camera, perhaps even borrowed these clothes from his new Chinese friends.

Certainly, one can see that the first picture could even be in a private hospital room - see fruit, dinner-for-one place set. And why are his hands on hips in both photos? Could it be he hasn’t got a belt to hand and needs to stop trousers from falling down? Having been in a hospital patients gown?

It would certainly be strange for a Prime Minister and military commander to meet with officials from the China Railway First Company without tucking in shirt, no ties-all-round. 

Look to the picture here of Epeli Nailatikau from today's Fiji government online portal, dressed as a senior government official doing business...formal, sharp, dark suit, white shirt and tie. Not a polo shirt and casual jacket. You judge folks. 

Exposed! Chaudhry's lawyer son also benefited from his father's corruption

More on the Chaudhry family rip-offs!

Rajendra Chaudhry - the Suva based lawyer and eldest son of disgraced Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry - also benefited from his father's $AUD2 million or FJD $3.6 million.

Rajendra's father secretly stashed the money in Australian banks after collecting it in Haryana in the name of the poor Indo-Fijians and cane farmers, following the 2000 coup by George Speight.

The former prime minister was charged in July for 12 counts of money laundering and tax infringements in relation to the millions he illegally stashed in Australia. 

The 12 counts relate to offences that Chaudhry allegedly committed between the years 2000 and 2003, including lodging false tax returns grossly under-stating his income. 

One of the charges also includes gifting AUD$50,000 or FJD$90,000 to his daughter, Indra, who was living in Australia with her husband who was working there at the time.

However, we can go further than the Fiji Police Force and tax authorities and reveal evidence about money he gave to his son, Rajendra, to buy a home in Brisbane. 

Based on the evidence that we will reveal, Chaudhry would have committed an additional offence in 2005. The same would apply to his son, Rajendra, who can also be charged wit tax infringements for colluding with his father, firstly to defraud Fiji of tax revenue, and secondly money laundering. Thirdly, and worst of all, he colluded with his father to rip off Indo-Fijians by benefiting from funds collected in their name.

The facts from the evidence provided to us are as follows:

Purchase of 4-bedroom home
On 8th June, 2005, Rajendra Chaudhry bought a 4 bedroom home located at 11 Copper Street, Griffin 4503, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The home was zoned Residential A  (Urban). The owner code lists Rajendra as private person (he was then studying law).

He bought the house for $AUD 297,240 or current FJD $535,000.  The House details were as follows:  4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spaces.

Documents provided to us list the owner as Rajendra Chaudhry, whose residential address is given as 49 Bryson Street, Toongabbie New South Wales 2146. This was the upmarket home that Mahendra Chaudhry bought in 2001, where Rajendra was staying while studying law that he decided to pursue after going to Australia following the 2000 coup that deposed his father's government.

The market history for Rajendra's 11 Copper Street 4 bedroom home shows it was put on the market for rent a year later on 26th June, 2006 and a week later on 3rd July 2006 through the agency of Cavalier Realty.

On 11th January 2010, Rajendra Chaudhry sold the 11 Copper Street home for AUD$382,500 or  FJD $688,500. The new owners were listed as Dallas Earline & Shane Michael Bull; whose address is given as P O Box 3324, Bracken Ridge QLD (Queensland) 4017. The only development done at the home was the provision of 2 lock-up garages - in addition to the 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 car spaces the home already had when Rajendra bought it on 8th June 2005.

These are the issues that need to be looked at critically:

1) Who funded the purchase of Rajendra's home for $AUD297,240 or $FJD 535000 on 8th June 2005? Did Rajendra Chaudhry use his personal savings (if he had any) as he was a law student? Did he borrow the funds from an Australian bank or financial institution? The home is not mortgaged to any financial institution because the documents list Rajendra Chaudhry as the owner. So it had to be a cash transaction.

2) So did his father gift him the money and home or loaned him such a large amount? If the money was Chaudhry senior's personal savings, did he get Reserve Bank approval to move it off-shore for the purpose of buying the Brisbane home? Or is it more likely that he used funds from his $AUD2 million or FJD $3.6 million stash in Australia to fund his son's home?

3) Were those funds loaned or gifted to Rajendra? In both cases it constitutes  an offence because Chaudhry senior's AUD$50,000 or FJD$90,000 cash gift to his daughter, Indra, is one of the 12 counts he is charged with. The charge refers to the gift coming out of proceeds of crime.

4) By selling the house on 11th January 2010, Rajendra Chaudhry made a profit of AUD$85,260 or FJD$153,000. Did he declare this in his income in accordance with Queensland or Australian tax laws? Will he pay tax on profit derived rom sale in Queensland?

5) Will Rajendra show profit in his annual income tax return to Fiji Islands Revenue &Customs Authority (FIRCA) for 2010? Since he started practicing law in Suva has Rajendra declared to FIRCA his property in 11 Copper Street Brisbane? If he has, then will he repatriate the profit to Fiji in accordance with tax laws? Or if Rajendra has not declared the property, then it is also an offence, even if he declares the profit from its sale.

We will wait and see whether FIRCA and Police take further action against Mahendra Chaudhry and his son or if this matter is swept under the carpet - just as Chaudhry's secret stash was for so long.

PICTURES: Rajendra Chaudhry (top) and his home in 11 Copper Street Griffin, Brisbane, Australia. Rajendra owned the home for four and a half years and sold it in January this year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chaudhry on charges while Khaiyum lolls in dictator's lap

FALSE HERO: Not a piece of pure white cloth after all.

CHARGED: In court recently.

We can now reveal more about the AUD$2 million that Mahendra Chaudhry - the disgraced Fiji Labour Party leader and one of the beneficiaries and perpetrators and of the December 2006 - secretly pocketed after collecting the millions from Haryana following the 2000 coup that deposed his government.

But before we do that, let's look at the principal artists of corrupt and shady deals in coup-ravaged Fiji, and their role in suppressing dodgy deals after the December 5, 2006 military coup.

It is now well-established that the money was raised in the name of the poor and the oppressed Indo-Fijians, some of who were subjected to violence by the thugs of coup front man, George Speight.

Ten years later they are being subjected to oppression of a different, if not worse type - being deprived of dignity and justice as well as fair financial return in the case of cane farmers while their one-time hero, Chaudhry, is living a life of luxury with the $AUD$2 million or FJD$3.6 million stashed away in Australian bank accounts.

Frank Bainimarama's regime cleared Chaudhry of any crime in March 2008 after Chaudhry's loot was revealed by The Fiji Times and Fiji Sun more than two and a half years ago. 

Chaudhry was Bainimarama's favourite side-kick then - by virtue of his position as the regime's Finance & Sugar Minister. At that time, the staunchest ally of Chaudhry was Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum (pictured above) who told the world his friend was as clean as a piece of pure white cloth.

Two and a half years later with Chaudhry out of the regime (having being booted out in August 2008), Sayed Khaiyum is now in Chaudhry's bad books after he told the world in July that following new information, Chaudhry was charged with 12 counts of crime, including money laundering on the account of his millions from Haryana in Australia.

So in July Chaudhry was no longer as clean as white cloth. In truth, both Chaudhry and Sayed Khaiyum stink of financial and moral corruption. Like Chaudhry, Bainimarama's blue-eyed boy is stashing his pockets and bank accounts. A good example is his salary of more than $300,000 per annum, paid to him by Fiji's struggling taxpayers and processed through the accounting firm of his maternal aunt Nur Bano Ali.

The saying of "No honour amongst thieves" perfectly fits the bill for Chaudhry and Sayed Khaiyum.

While Chaudhry will soon face trial (he's due to appear in court again in January), Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum is resting comfortably in Bainimarama's lap protected by the thugs and guns of the military dictator.

But he, too, like Chaudhry, should remember that "You reap what you sow". And like Chaudhry, Khaiyum's short term gain will be long term pain for him in future.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow morning, more Chaudhry Family rip-offs.

Bainimarama fronts up to quell reports he's ailing

After silence and mystery since he started his trip to China, Frank Bainimarama has roused himself to speak to media and even have his picture taken.

The interviews and the photo follow a story in Coupfourpointfive revealing the illegal leader had collapsed and is having treatment in China.

The story was picked up by New Zealand media.

Today's interviews and photos aim to prove Bainimarama is well. This is despite several people saying they saw the self-appointed leader collapse at Nadi Airport and them insisting he is seeking medical treatment in China.

FijiVillage says it tracked Bainimarama down at breakfast and that he made a joke about the New Zealand rumours he was dead. 

He said New Zealand was running the reports because it was threatened by his rugby skills. Quote: "But while giving the interview during his breakfast, Commodore Bainimarama joked that NZ needs to watch out as he is getting ready to play against the All Blacks next year."

Bainimarama told FijiVillage he is "staying back in China for a few more days because he has some further meetings with some potential Chinese investors."

But he admitted he would not be able to make it to Suva for Fiji's 2011 National Budget address at 11 o'clock this Friday morning.

The budgets address will be delivered by the illegal Acting Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

To the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, he said he had been rounding up meetings with Chinese investors and interested parties in Shanghai in the past two days.

FBC says an aide told it Bainimarama had today met with officials "from the China Railway No.1 Construction company who are currently dredging the Rewa river and have been awarded the contract for Housing Authority buildings at the Tacirua Plains."

It says yesterday Bainimarama met officials from "the Shanghai Urban Construction Ltd - a construction company currently in a consortium with Templetec and engaging in various construction and rehabilitation projects in Fiji."

Coupfourpointfive says the FBC photo of Bainimarama does not show him looking well. In fact, he appears to be as thin as the two Chinese nationals conveniently planted next to him to prove he is in China, on a trade mission and hobnobbing with Chinese officials.

The FijiVillage picture which shows him looking healthy, we believe, is a file pic. Judge for yourselves.

Eventual demise to Bainimarama's 'New Order' just as there was to Suharto's

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE: General Suharto, left.

By Jone Baledrokadroka

Graeme Dobell’s analogy is rather useful. However, unlike the Indonesian military, the Fiji military did not play the role of great liberator of the people,  bequeathing them freedom and independence from colonialism. This oversight changes the whole complexion of the Fiji political issue.   

More so, the Indo-Fijian population still have great loathing for the Fiji military, which is part historical and part reading of Bainimarama’s lip service, given that the 2006 coup has turned into another pro-Fijian political exercise in futility. 

The guardian role now claimed by the Fiji military is more against a purported ethno-nationalist threat. Given that the military is 99% indigenous, this threat will always emanate from within the military.
The paradox of Bainimarama’s ‘New Order’ is that he will need to keep purging and rewarding his same ethno- nationalist constituency the rest of his rule - an untenable situation when one's base is always insecure. 

Size and location matters when it comes to holding on to power. Indonesia with its huge natural resource base was able to bankroll Suharto’s kleptocracy regime. Fiji does not have that luxury with a responsible China in an ANZUS surround. Bainimarama's coffers will eternally be low unless oil is found off the Tailevu coast. 

Today, Indonesia with President Yudahono spearheading a vibrant democratization process, has put paid to Suharto’s ‘New Order’ grand illusion by consigning it to the dust bin of history. 

If anything, according to Ed Aspinal the noted scholar on Indonesia, “ethnicity is losing political salience in Indonesia” and those democratic processes tend to fragment ethnic identities.”  Hence, it makes sense for a quick return  to democracy for all.

Another major weakness of the Suharto, and indeed all military regimes, is that they all lacked ideological depth. In plain, its superficiality and failure to attract committed ideologues of any leaning signals its eventual demise.
Indeed, in Fiji with an ever dwindling Indo-Fijian population, Bainimarama’s regimes quest for multiracialism and electoral reform is redundant.

Bainimarama, and his analogous Dwi Fungsi (dual function) human security role, is tracking as a recipe for disaster for Fiji, just as it was in Indonesia.

Suvavou House fire drama over

A small fire was reported to have occured on the second floor of the Suvavou House in Victoria Parade Suva.

The military regime's Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, has his office on the seventh floor of Suvavou house.

The second floor houses the Registrar of Titles Office. 

Initial reports suggested the fire was quite big but updates show the fire was small and there has been no damage.

Earlier reports also said the police had  blocked off Victoria Prade at both ends near Suvavou house but it appears the drama is over.

It is not known if Sayed Khaiyum was in his office or not when the fire broke out.

New order Fiji style: Suharto couldn't have done it better

By Graeme Dobell
The Canberra Column
Printed on The Interpreter, The Lowy Institute for International Politics

After a decade of effort, Fiji's New Order regime is settling in place, with the colonels, cronies and carpetbaggers thriving. The reality of the way Bainimarama's regime is evolving tracks key elements of Indonesia's New Order under Suharto, even if Suva doesn't use the term.

The rhetoric of Fiji's New Order is different to that used by Suharto. As a modern military man, Bainimarama is happy to promise 'a system of governance that is characterised by stability, transparency and accountability', and pledge 'adherence to the principles of the rule of law...sustainable institutions and laws that will create accountability, transparency, justice, fair play and modernity.' In his interviews, the Supremo constantly speaks of the need for 'reform' (count the references in this ABC interview).

The talk sounds wonderful. The walk leads in a different direction completely. Look at what the Supremo does, rather than what he says, and the New Order echoes keep getting louder.

Bainimarama does not have the bloody hands of Suharto. He may not be as smart as Suharto, either, and his New Order may not be as stable because it does not deliver the economic goods. But the New Order analogy reflects the trajectory of a decade and the options facing Suva's regime. The New Order expresses what Fiji's military has done, is doing, and is likely to do next.

The central role of the military is the starting point for the New Order comparison. The military is Fiji's supreme institution, standing above the president, the courts and eventually the reconstituted parliament.

One reason Bainimarama is so slow to start his national conversation on reviving the political system is the tricky issue of how to enshrine the reserve powers of the military. Having mounted two successful coups, in 2000 and 2006, Fiji's Supremo does not want to have to bother to do it again.

Bainimarama wants to change the system so the military doesn't have to resort to martial law or coups. Much better to change the Order, or even the law, to enshrine the military as the final umpire. Institutionalising the ultimate military veto will be a vital element in embedding the New Order. Bainimarama is wrestling with the issue, searching for his version of Suharto's 'dual function': the army as both a military force and a socio-political force.

The Suharto model has other attractions (and temptations): the military creating its own political party plus reserving seats in Parliament for military officers. Buying the continuing loyalty of the officer corps is crucial. Bainimarama has already put more than three dozen officers in government jobs and strategic posts across Fiji.

The Indonesian and Fijian New Orders have similar beginnings. One influential interpretation of Suharto's seizure of power in 1965 is that he didn't really face a coup attempt, but a schism within the military, with younger Javanese officers attempting to overthrow the corrupt general in Jakarta. The generals won. Likewise in 2000, Bainimarama's first need was to stop the Army going to war with itself.

The schism in Fiji's military was expressed by the disaffected troops who stormed Parliament. The military muscle in seizing Parliament and holding MPs hostage for 56 days came from the Army's specialist force, the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit. George Speight was the smooth-talking figurehead. The Fiji Times eventually referred to Speight as a spokesman, not as a leader.

When shots were fired during the siege, Fiji soldiers were shooting at Fiji soldiers. The siege threatened Fiji's political system; just as importantly for Bainimarama, the siege opened a gaping wound in the military that had to be staunched. At the foundational moment for both Suharto and Bainimarama, the key need was to confront opposing forces within the military and restore unified command. After victory, those opposing officers were sidelined and eased into retirement, or written into history as renegades and criminals.

At the birth of their New Orders, Suharto and Bainimarama were playing for their own lives as well as careers. Bainimarama escaped being assassinated by his own troops by seconds.

It is only after the unity of the military is assured that the supremo can start to dismantle or curb the other power centres that might oppose the longevity of the New Order. It took Suharto about five years after the 1965 coup to ensure that his military base was secure. Bainimarama used the time between his first and second coups for the same purpose.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ailing Frank may find all too few willing to make the sacrifice

HOLY ACT: Papal leader passes the white feather to Frank.

By Jone Baledrokadroka

Being a third generation Roman Catholic I can vouch that some of the most hilarious ‘Pope jokes’ are heard from within the church and are usually about taking the mickey out of ourselves.
As an old boy of both boys’ colleges; Marist and De La Salle Brothers, I still have a ripper of a collection and unleash them at old boys get-to -gethers for laughs. 

With the Fiji Marist Old Boys (MOB) volleyball team due in Canberra this week for the annual national Good Neighbours Tournament, MOB Canberra is gearing up to host our fellow Kai Vitis and no doubt there will be many a tall tale.

Anyway, one Easter Sunday morning as half a million of the faithful packed St Peters Square, at  the Vatican to worship with the head of the World’s largest Christian denomination on this the most holiest of Christian feast days, a Cardinal dressed in the obvious scarlet red robes and hat appeared to announce to the astonished faithfuls that the Pope had just suffered a heart attack and had to undergo immediate heart surgery.

As the Vatican clergy and staff prayed that early Easter morning within St Peters Basilica for the Pope’s life, the Arch Angel Gabriel appeared before them. 

The leader of the  legion of angels in heaven had brought a message from the throne on high that the Pope would surely die unless one of the half a million gathered within the square immediately gave his heart in transplant for the holy father to survive!

The Cardinal then astoundingly announced from the balcony of the Holy palace , that according to Angel Gabriel, a white feather (which he held high between his fingers) was to be dropped by the Cardinal onto the square full of faithful Catholics. The faithful whose head the feather fell on, would be the one chosen from heaven to sacrifice his heart and life for the Holy Father.

As the white feather was released by the Cardinal, the TV cameras set up to cover the Easter celebration Mass zoomed in on a bizarre scene .... the white feather was blown out of St Peter’s square as half a million Roman Catholics huffed and puffed at the top of their lungs!

As the China sojourn by our beloved dictator comes to an end, half a million Fijians may well be heaving a similar huge sigh of relief.

Chinese Embassy official says dictator Bainimarama is sick and undergoing treatment


A Chinese Embassy official in Suva, speaking on condition of anonymity, claims that the dictator Frank Bainimarama is ‘very sick’ and undergoing medical treatment on mainland China.

The official says that this would be confirmed when the dictator fails to present the 2011 Budget to the nation.

As we reported earlier, the dictator collapsed at the Nadi airport on his way to China. The pro-regime newspapers and other media outlets, have been quoting the dictator’s statements which, the Chinese official claims emanated from Fiji.

“Have you seen the Fijian leader on Fiji Television?” asked the Chinese official, suggesting that the dictator is too frail to publicly show his face to the nation.

According to other sources, especially in the Prime Minister’s Office, the likes of Ratu Epeli Ganilau and others are jumping ship because they are acutely aware of the dictator’s frail state of health. In other words, if anything unexpected happens to the dictator, they are hoping to re-surface in other guises to continue swindling the nation, while promising lip-service to return the nation to democracy in the foreseeable future.

When asked why the dictator has stopped visiting India for treatment, the sources in the Prime Minister’s Office claim that he fears that after he ‘liu muried’ his former illegal Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry by putting him on trial for fraud and money laundering, the Indian doctors might exact revenge by “administering wrong medicine to him”.

Basically, since making that infamous dash through the cassava patch following the 2000 mutiny, the dictator’s heart beat has been running high – non stop!

The Chinese are now trying to apply all sorts of treatment, including acupuncture, to keep the dictator going, as they themselves are fleecing Fiji in the guise of ‘aid and development’.

We hope the Chinese doctors have given the dictator a book of sayings by Confucius, of which one reads as follows: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roth was on Dictator Frank's purge list

The deportation of David Roth was on dictator Frank Bainimarama's wish-list before his departure to China, supposedly on a trade mission. And he entrusted his side-kick, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, with the job of carrying out the dirty deed.

Coupfourpointfive has established that Bainimarama wanted Roth out at any cost. The price was paid by his former army boss, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, who has lost his job in the regime's Cabinet.

The dictator tried to justify Roth's deportation with this comment: "It is unfortunate that David Roth saw it fit to engage in activities outside of his work-permit conditions," but failed to say just what Roth had done.

But sources have confirmed to us that there are three reasons for Bainimarama's blatant animosity towards the Fiji Water executive:

1) As already established, David Roth was very close to the Mara family.

2) Harry Dugdale, Ratu Mara's son-in-law by virtue of his marriage to Mara's youngest daughter, Adi Litia Mara, was employed by Roth to handle public relations work for him as well as Fiji Water. The major public relations consultant for Fiji Water is a company owned by former United Sates Embassy employee, Nirmal Singh. According to sources, Dugdale was deported earlier this year after he referred to  Bainimarama as 'dick head' during a cocktail function. David Roth was present at the drinks, conversing with Dugdale when he slanged off the dictator as a 'dick head'. Bainimarama got wind of the information and wanted Dugdale thrashed by his military goons. But Roth was 'saved' by his brother in law, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara (former 3FIR boss). Roko Ului. however, could not prevent Dugdale from being deported and advised him to leave Fiji. Adi Litia remains in the country while her husband is back in his country of birth, England.

3) David Roth was seen having lunch with Roko Ului and former Land Force Commander Pita Driti after they were "sent on leave". According to Coupfourpointfive sources, this lunch is also being seen as Roth's 'interferenc'e in Fiji's domestic affairs.

Bainimarama wanted heads to roll
The dictator, apart from wanting Roth out of the country, had also made up his mind he wanted to see a few of his trusted men given the boot. Again, this was prior to his very secret excursion to China.

Bainimarama wanted his permanent secretary, Pio Tikoduadua, to resign, which he duly did, handing his letter to Ganilau. Sources say the illegal leader is insisting Tikoduadua receive him at the airport when he returns from China, despite his resignation. Sources say it's Evil Frank's way of humiliating Tikoduadua.

On his return from China this week, Bainimarama also wants to know from Police and Prisons Comissioner Brigadier General, Iowane Naivalarua, which post he prefers. 

It's believed he fears that being the Commissioner of both Police Force and Prisons Service makes Naivalarua extremely powerful and a threat to him.

The dictator had also decided that his former permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand, who is the permanent secretary to Public Service Commission, should resign. Chand tendered his resignation more than a week ago and will leave in December.

Dirty Frank also wanted Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara to resign as Chairman of Fiji Pine Ltd, Tropik Woods, Fiji Forest Industries. Roko Ului had called it quits but last Friday appeared on Fiji Television news and speaking as Chairman, announced the payment of $1 million dividend to landowners. He also authorised a special supplement to be published in a daily newspaper last Saturday.

Sources say Roko Ului has withdrawn his resignation and and now wants Bainimarama or Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum to sack him. It's believed he's awaiting Bainimarama's return to see if he is forcibly booted out. Only time will tell if Roko Ului's defiance is genuine.

Family of Fiji Water executive packing up

Fiji Water executive David Roth's wife and two children have been overseeing the packing of their possessions.

A household items removal truck was sighted today outside the Roth's rented home in Kavika Street, Suva.

Roth was deported from Fiji last Thursday night after being declared persona non grata by the regime. The military regime's former Defence Minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, resigned after refusing to sign the deportation order. The Mara family were close friends with Roth.

Roth's deportation was subsequently signed by Acting Defence Minister of the regime, Jonetani Cokanisiga. Cokanisiga, who is also the regime's acting prime minister, is dictator Frank Bainimarama's uncle.

Coupfourpointfive understands the Roth family are  hoping to fly out of Fiji tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday at the latest to join Roth in Los Angeles.

PICTURES: A household items removal truck outside the Roth home and the home where Roth and his family lived at Kavika Place, Domain, Suva.

Bose Levu Vakaturaga has rightful place in Fiji life

As the illegal regime extends the public emergency regulations yet again, freedom advocate Suliasi Daunitutu looks at another area the illegal attorney general is trying to destroy, the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (Great Council of Chiefs).
Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s “Sunset Clause” where he wrote the Fijian Chiefly system is to evolve or be dissolved, is mischievous in its contradictory values and assumption of tradition and cultures.

He himself is of the Muslim religion, a religion bound by strict rules and tradition which I dare say, did not originate from India or Pakistan but from the Middle East and is still upheld by practicing Muslims around the world including Fiji.

I can say that the religion has evolved, too, and still endeavours to capture the core value of its belief.

There is also the traditions and culture that our Indian brothers and sisters brought with them from India.  This might have been watered down to suit their habitat and the occupants of their new environment, but the Fijian race has not interfered with those values that could so easily be seen as a tool that isolates Indians from us.

That, in my view, is also a deterrent for economical and social advancement, as the separation caused by these traditions and cultures add up to difficulty in communication and can lead to intolerance.

It is, in fact, the Fijian structure that Khaiyum seems so determined to destroy that is the one that takes the first brave steps towards the merging (or at least, partly) of the two ethnic groups.

It is only in recent times that we have noticed that the two cultures can be harmoniously intertwined and engage in unison from a singular platform such as marriage, politics, business and at the same time preserve  their individual heritage.

The Indo Fijians have also enjoyed their cultural heritage as dictated by democratic law in their own favoured way.  Weddings, deaths and marriages are also conducted by their own priests, complete in their own unique rituals.

Again, Fijians could claim that these are also reasons the two different cultures cannot merge, but the indigenous populace have chosen to ignore the differences and to accept it is “the way” they do things.

Khaiyum's arrogant analysis that we are “creatures of British rule” could make me laugh as he has forgotten his existence in Fiji is also a product of that part of Fiji’s history, the one he is trying to wipe out like the Fiji Times.

The Bose Levu Vakaturaga, might be separate institution but it is an indigenous one, and should be respected for its content and representation.  

If it is allowed to make vital decisions in the running of Fiji, then there is perfect sense in that occurrence.

I don’t see migrant Indians making an impact in the House of Commons or the House of Lords in Britain, or migrant Brits making their mark in the Indian government.

Fijians have the Bose Levu Vakaturaga, and it should be accorded the prestige and honour it deserves as those who preside in them, preside in the country and its 14 Yasanas.

And I don’t think the BLV will be making decisions that are detrimental to other ethnic groups as opposed to ones that promote the  Nation.

I respect the analysis and research work done for the his thesis, but my views are based on the experience of daily co- existence, which I have had the pleasure of living through and enjoying.

In conclusion, the problem the illegal attorney general might be mistaking as the one caused by the Fijian system could be, in my view, a combination of both.

The Fijian has a vertical structure with Chief at the top down to the common villager, which was determined through their warlord lineage and conquering capabilties.

That structure still allows the chief's daughter to marry the common villager and vice versa.

The Indians have a horizontal structure or a cast system whereby the higher cast girl cannot marry "downcast" or vice versa.

That mentallity has to change in my view or in his (Khaiyum's) words - "evolve or dissolve" . Would he be willing to let his daughter marry a lower cast girl from the squatter settlements ? I think not.

Khaiyum will make sure that what he does is best for "him and his" - and whoever and whatever they are, remain in his thoughts. But all will be revealed in time and in his actions because as we now know, his thesis was a preface to them.