#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: FLP: Where to in 2011?

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

FLP: Where to in 2011?

Yet another year has ended. It is a convention, as we stand on the threshold of a new year, to take stock of the past in order to prepare for the year ahead.

Four years have lapsed since the regime change of 6 December 2006. Much was said then about why the military takeover was necessary: to rescue Fiji from the grips of an elected government that had grossly mismanaged the economy and State finances to near-bankruptcy; was actively pushing a policy to fragment the nation along racial lines; and was closely aligned to the terrorist and fundamentalist elements in our multicultural society, not to mention the high levels of corruption and high crime rates that prevailed.

But after four years of military rule, where do we stand as a nation? Better or worse off? To gauge this, its best to view the regime’s performance in the past four years against the Mandate it received from His Excellency the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo in January 2007 when he appointed the interim administration:

• Steady our economy through sustained growth and correct the economic mismanagement of the past 6 years:

Our economic data tells the story: Fiji’s economy has contracted three years in a row: -0.9% in 2007, -0.1% in 2008 and -3% in 2009. Key exports have fallen sharply forcing Foreign Reserves to be artificially boosted in April 2009 by the 20% devaluation of the dollar. Moreover, Reserves are further boosted by withholding the repatriation of profits of foreign companies (mainly banks) as pointed out by the Asian Development Bank in its December 2010 report on the Fiji economy (Pacific Economic Monitor).

State finances – Government’s debt level now stands at 57% of the GDP and rise to a staggering 73% if the State’s contingent liabilities to statutory bodies and corporations are included. In 2010 alone (this year) the State borrowed a staggering $740 million of which $242 million was raised overseas.

Government’s irresponsible borrowings are placing an intolerable burden on the taxpayer. The provision for debt repayments in the 2011 Budget stands at $519 million. This means that the taxpayer is forking out an alarming $1.42 million per day to repay the State’s massive debts. It leaves little in the kitty for capital development projects.

One of the saddest tragedies on the economic horizon has been virtual demise of the sugar industry in the past two years under the policies and decisions of the current regime.

In two years sugar production fell to its lowest ever record of 168,000 tonnes in 2009 and an estimated 120-125,000 tonnes in 2010. Many thousands of tonnes of cane delivered to the mills have gone to waste because of milling problems and inefficiencies. In 2009 alone the industry lost close to $100m, of which loss to cane farmers stood at $70m. There is no redress to the cane farmer from such huge losses.

• Lift up the living standards of the growing poor and underprivileged of our country

Poverty levels have risen to 45% of the population according to the Household and Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES 2008/2009) – official figure released by the Poverty Eradication Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister at a workshop in Suva in April this year.

Almost as many are struggling to keep their heads above poverty; the hike in VAT from 12.5% to 15% (20% increase) from January together with increases in Customs Duty on a wide range of food and consumer items will impact negatively on the standard of living of our poor and low income families.

Government’s decision to charge increased fees for a range of medical services at its hospitals from January will place an additional burden on ordinary families.

• Eradicate systemic corruption …. And set new standards of governmental and institutional transparency

Transparency International in a survey about budget transparency in October this year gave Fiji zero out of 100 possible points, saying it is virtually impossible for Fiji citizens to hold the government accountable for its management of the public’s money.

Ministerial pays have been removed from the ambit of the Treasury; Proper procedures are not being followed for the outsourcing of public works and procurement of goods and services. Despite the setting up of FICAC, corruption remains high

• Improve our relations with our neighbours and the international community

We remain suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum; we are in a state of virtual hostility with the governments of Australia and New Zealand, having expelled their Heads of Mission; the European Union has suspended its development assistance funds.

• Take our country to democratic elections after an advanced electoral office and systems are in place and the political and economic conditions are conducive to the holding of such elections

With the imposition of the Public Emergency Regulations in April 2009, elections have been deferred to at least 2014. The Supervisor of Elections Office is hardly functional and all political dialogue has been put on hold until at least 2012. In other words, there is no move, apart from constant rhetoric about 2014, to move Fiji to democratic elections.

• Immediately as practicable introduce a Code of Conduct and Freedom of Information
There is no Code of Conduct. Freedom of Information remains even more of a dream considering the rigorous censorship imposed on the media and restrictions on any criticism of the regime as well as the curtailment of other human and civil rights under the Public Emergency Regulations.

• To continue to uphold the Constitution



This, fellow citizens, is the state of our nation today. There has been much rhetoric about “reforms” but little to show for it. In fact, our economy, financial status, infrastructure, standard of living have all slid notably in the past four years.

As we stand on the threshold of another year, there is no indication of a ray of hope that things will get any better. Indeed, all pointers indicate that 2011 may be an even more difficult year.

We can only advice courage, fortitude and extreme prudence in the face of increasing difficulties. Unless we take urgent steps to return speedily to democracy and constitutional rule, we will continue to have more of the same. That is the sad lesson we have learnt over the last 23 years since the first coup in 1987.

Not withstanding the foregoing, our best wishes for the New Year to one and all. (FLP website, January 1, 2011)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

RATU SAID.
FLP THANK FOR THE UPDATE.
FLP SUPPORTED THIS 2006 COUP.
FLP AND BANI ARE ALL THE CAUSE OF THIS COUP AND PROBLEM.
STOP PLAYING BLAME GAME. MPC /BANI/LQ /RABUKA HAD PUT FIJI 50 YEARS BEHIND.

Jimoni said...

Its a shame that polticians like Chaudary actually called for military intervention for the supposed impending collapse of the economy. This was done merely for political gain and personal agendas.It provided Vore the ammo he needed to carry out the coup. Guess the rest is history.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad summary. As a Fijian, I even feel sorry for the poor Indian cane farmers who worked so hard but had their cane left standing in the field (year after year) because of gross mismanagement by this poofter illegal government. Hopefully the Indians will learn to never ever support another coup in the future. That democracy is still the best option for them.
May God bless us all (Fijians and Indians) in 2011.

Anonymous said...

Come on Jake. Comment on this one. The truth hurts doesn't it? Mind you your allies FLP were part of the problem. Maybe they have suddenly seen the light.

Anonymous said...

The first paragraph basically says that the FLP supported the coup. The reasons given are total rubbish!...in fact the words they've used would actually accurately describe Vore's regime which had Chaudary as their Finance Minister! "grossly mismanaged the economy and State finances to near bankcruptcy" and with the Labour Party putting out garbage like that first paragraph supporting Vore its no wonder many Fijians blame Indian for these coup thus..."fragment the nation along racial lines" and of course since these military idiots have tortured and abused good citizens of Fiji there's no doubt who the "terrorist and fundamental elements in our multicultaral society" are. Please FLP....remove that fully mature 500 year Redwood log from your eyes before blaming anyone else for the state that Fiji is in due to the coup that you supported!

Anonymous said...

Chapter one Chaudry

Why did Voreqe chose a murderer like Chaudry for his Finance Minister. He has murdered Fiji over the last 40 years.
Wanted for Murder
Mahendra Chaudry
The man who singlehandedly
KILLED FIJI
Amongst all the problems that Fiji has encountered since independence many over look the real cause of the disease that has brought Fiji to its knees and wrecked the economy with associated poverty.
The disease is Mahendra Chaudry
How did he do it?
He achieved the murder of Fiji by three instruments of which he was the sole perpetrator. To the discredit of the man he is not even educated enough to know what he has done. Even to this day he does not understand what havoc he has wrought upon Fiji. He has a certain low level of intelligence but it is that of a sly dog with a dogged adherence to the old fashioned trade union socialism that has brought many countries to their knees.

Murder Weapon One
Fiji Public Service
As General Secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA) he encouraged the public service to grow into a bureaucratic, inefficient monster bereft of any idea of public service beyond self perpetuation to create a platform for MC’s own political ambitions. It grew in numbers from 10,000 in 1971 to 25,888 in 2005. This completely unsustainable size came about because successive governments who tried to contain and reduce it’s size were blocked by Chaudry as General Secretary of FPSA who called on his Australian Union Dock Workers to black Fiji vessels unless Fiji Government withdrew their plans to ‘down size’ the Public Service. Thus this cancer continued to grow unchecked to the detriment of the Fiji economy but to the benefit of Chaudry’s power base.
These activities by Chaudry were to gain the support of the civil servants in his political ambitions and he did not care (or probably did not even understand the long term implications of his action)
Guilty – Mahendra Chaudry

Chapter 2 follows

Anonymous said...

Chaudry Chapter two

Murder Weapon Two
Fiji Sugar
Given the importance of sugar to Fiji after independence the European Union initiated an aid scheme which involved subsidising sugar by up to 2 to 3 times the world price. This was introduced by the EU to allow three improvements to be made to the Fiji sugar industry.
a) The small farms were to be amalgamated to create larger more economical units
b) With the larger farms mechanisation was to be introduced
c) The sugar mills were to be modernised
Unfortunately the EU did not make these payments conditional upon the changes being introduced. As a result Chaudry, as General Secretary of the National Farmers Union (NFU), insisted that all the money went direct to the farmers with nothing deducted to implement the conditions under which it was given by the EU. All attempts to stop this by Fiji Government were blocked by Chaudry threatening a harvest boycott on every occasion. The result was $1.9 billion of EU money wasted (ref. Ridolfi EU Delegate to Fiji – 2006). The resultant outcome:
a) The farmers had an income that bore no relationship to their production. Farmers on less than 20 acres were driving around in 4 wheel drive vehicles and educating their children as lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. (anything except farming) as they knew the subsidised prices were unsustainable. To make the position even worse the Fijian landowners saw this and thought that cane farming was highly profitable, which it is not, and wanted their land back.
b) The whole sugar industry had no sustainable improvements over 40 years and is now completely uneconomic. European farmers cannot make 100 acre farms profitable – what hope for 20 acre Fiji farms in 2010?
These activities by Chaudry were to gain the support of the farmers in his political ambitions and he did not care (or probably did not even understand the long term implications of his action)
Guilty - Mahendra Chaudry

Murder Weapon Three
Political ambition
His adherence to a naked political ambition to take over Fiji has been the cause of the coup problems of Fiji. Fiji is fortunate to have the presence of other races, particularly the Indians, through whose hard work Fiji has prospered. They are dominant in the business and professional sectors. Why did Chaudry also want to take over the political control of the country by misleading his Fiji Indian followers? That ambition and his outdated socialist ideas are what have brought Fiji to its knees due the understandable reaction from the Fijian people.
Guilty – Mahendra Chaudry

Anonymous said...

Chaudry Chapter three

Murder Weapon Three
Political ambition
His adherence to a naked political ambition to take over Fiji has been the cause of the coup problems of Fiji. Fiji is fortunate to have the presence of other races, particularly the Indians, through whose hard work Fiji has prospered. They are dominant in the business and professional sectors. Why did Chaudry also want to take over the political control of the country by misleading his Fiji Indian followers? That ambition and his outdated socialist ideas are what have brought Fiji to its knees due the understandable reaction from the Fijian people.
Guilty – Mahendra Chaudry

Anonymous said...

MP Chodo shedding his old skin and the new one still looks the same and the poison still potent. Come back and face your court case chodo and spend the rest of your worthless life in jail.

Anonymous said...

Where was the call for the 'urgent steps to return speedily to democracy' when Chaudary was the illegal Finance Minister? In fact both he and Lekh Ram were adamant that the illegal regime shouldn't be rushed into holding elections, back when they were sitting amongst the thieves! They've set a new record by being two-faced as well as fork-tongued!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.11. I have been meaning to write something similar for a while on Mr. Chodo but man i would have not have done it so well. I am an Indo Fijian and i resent the fact that this conmen was supposedly representing me for so long. I see him as a thug reminiscent of a Hindi movie politician. He is the reason why a lot of Fiji is what it is. I am glad to know their are people who think like us around. In my opinion Mr. C should be tried for genocide because his actions over the years have brought this country to its knees negatively affecting thousands. If i knew who you were i would invite you for a drink. Their is hope for this nation yet as long as some of us can still see past the thick fog of BS our leaders put before us.