|Unions says only one poll counts .... the general elections.|
The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions says the Lowy Institute should be condemned for conducting a survey about the regime in an environment where people's rights are restricted.
FICTU says that people in Fiji are trying very hard not to get on the wrong side of the regime for fear of reprisal, given the poor human rights record of the regime and suppression of strong and credible voices.
Its General Secretary, Attar Singh, says any voice opposing the regime is censored and most organisations operate under censorship for fear of being closed down.
"The Lowy survey was conducted in August when the decrees to wipe out trade unions, workers rights and employment conditions won over several decades was introduced.
"A renowned and outspoken academic lost his job and two trade unionists were arrested for carrying out their normal work. The Methodist Church was refused a permit to hold its conference and Hindus had been told to obtain permits to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.
"The experts at Lowy should have known that was the worst time to carry out such a survey. The fact that they carried out regardless questions the motives given its proximity with the Forum leaders in Auckland."
Singh says security of life, property and jobs are most important to people of Fiji today. They will not risk these by speaking about anything against the current regime, its activities or better alternatives to even their friends or work colleagues, let alone strangers conducting a survey.
He dismissed the Lowy survey as unreliable saying it does not correctly depict the real picture of what is happening in Fiji.
"All it has achieved is given a false sense of legitimacy and momentary satisfaction to the military regime and its supporters. And the regime has readily interpreted the results as a mandate to rule and delay elections forgetting that mandate to govern can come from a real poll which is the General Elections."
FTUC has also rejected the poll.
Editor's Note: Sources say the CEO of Air Pacific, David Pflieger, in conjunction with the regime appointed attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, have enlisted the use of public relations consultants from Europe and USA to secure organisational support for both the Essential Industries decree which has now been officially introduced and any subsequent Air Pacific initiatives. Coupfourpointfive has been told US$120,000 is being paid to one PR consultant for three months work on this lobbying campaign. This, after paying US lawyers to draft the decree both in its original form and its current state.