#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-03-06

Friday, March 11, 2011

MILITARY SHAME! Sam Speight's statement and photos proof of shocking treatment at hands of RFMF

"I was on the cement floor lying face down receiving blows to my back and head and my head being stepped on by a boot the soldier whom I identified as Penioni Naliva was armed with a M16 rifle and I was shocked when I felt the metal barrel of the gun forcing my shorts down from the hip exposing my buttocks and to my horror he attempted to force the point of the gun into my rear end. "
UNDESERVED: Former government minister Sam Speight at Redcliffe Hospital in Brisbane.

On the Unlawful Detention and Torture
Of Samisoni Speight Tikoinasau
(Deposed Member of Parliament Fiji)
on  21st February 2011-23rd February 2011

Monday 21st February 2011
On the evening of Monday the 21st of February 2011 at approximately 2215hrs I was at our SDL party Head Office in Suva when a group of men arrived and called for me to come out of the office. The men were in civilian clothes and I was ordered to get into a waiting utility vehicle. There were other collegues of mine present when I was apprehended and whose identities I will not disclose for obvious reasons.

I was seated at the rear seat between two men one on either side of me. In front were the driver and a man in the passenger seat. The driver then spoke to someone on his mobile and then I was whisked away. After a twenty minute ride I saw that we were approaching the route to the Fiji military barracks at Delainabua, Suva and soon after we arrived at the top entrance to the military camp at around 2240 hrs. As we entered the gate the vehicle stopped and I was told to disembark. I was then led to the guard house where there are holding cells and to one of which I was placed.

There was nothing said to me at all as to why I was being detained and as I settled into the cell I began to survey my surroundings. The cell measured roughly four feet by five feet by ten foot high with a grated window at the six foot mark of the wall. The cell was concrete in nature with a thin single sponge mattress of dirty condition with no pillow or warm cover. The walls were also dirty. 

Late on Monday evening a soldier came to the door of the cell and began asking me about a certain DVD. He threatened me verbally with the intention to harm me.

Tuesday 22nd February 2011
I spent the whole day in the cell with virtually no meals and without a shower. There was no movement that evening and as it approached midnight I decided to go to sleep.

Wednesday 23rd February 2011
At around 0300 hrs I was sharply awoken by loud shouting and the feel of boots to my head. I was ordered to crawl on my stomach along the narrow corridor towards the guard room. As I was crawling severe verbal abuse and kicks were directed at me until I was lying on the floor (on my stomach) of the guard room proper. These men numbered five or six in total with a few of them wearing scarves to conceal their faces.

They then proceeded to interrogate me about the existence of a certain DVD containing material that was in their view critical of the military regime. I acknowledged the existence of the DVD and they continued to exert more pressure in the form of torture tactics in their efforts to ascertain the source of the DVD and to whom I had passed the discs on to.

As I was lying on the concrete floor hot water was poured beside my hips and legs to intimidate me and the continued use of an M16 rifle butt on my back and head. There was no let up in the torrent of abuse and threats to kill me. I was at one stage made to sit on a chair where I was slapped and punched. I was made to lay my hands on a table where they proceeded to bend all of my fingers and thumbs backwards to almost breaking point resulting in excruciating pain. With the blows to my face and head I experienced moments of dizziness. As part of this assault one of them had armed himself with a chair and threatened to smash it on me. I was then dragged outside the guard house onto the road and ordered to run along the road in the camp and then to run onto a field which I presume to be a parade ground. The soldier ordering me to do this was in possession of an iron road barricade shaped as an X.

As I returned to the guardroom I received more blows and swear and abuse of a very violent nature. An extremely disturbing and humiliating element of the violent treatment that I was receiving was the incident where as  I was on the cement floor lying face down receiving blows to my back and head and my head being stepped on by a boot the soldier whom I identified as Penioni Naliva was armed with a M16 rifle and I was shocked when I felt the metal barrel of the gun forcing my shorts down from the hip exposing my buttocks and to my horror he attempted to force the point of the gun into my rear end. I immediately turned over and asked him what was he trying to do and to which he responded by swearing and confirming his intentions. I struggled to my feet and was further assaulted. I heard one of the assailants cautioning the others to be careful that I did not incur any visible injury. I interpreted this as their efforts in trying to conceal the physical abuse that was being inflicted upon me.

The assault and interrogation seemed to last forever and the swear words used in the Fijian language were of the most degrading imaginable. This continued until I was ordered to go back to the cell and they left. A military police on duty came to see how I was and apologised for the treatment that I had received. I asked him what the time was and was told it was around 0420 hrs. During the course of Wednesday the 23rd I was not given any medical treatment and I did not eat anything. I felt that my face was swollen and bruised with swelling to my fingers that were subjected to bending; I had very severe and sharp head pains to my neck, back and body. There was also swelling sustained to my head.

At around 2230 hrs on the Wednesday evening the military police on duty informed me that they had been advised that I was to be released. One of the men who had been part of the beatings and interrogation appeared and warned me not to engage or try and do anything to oppose the regime and that next time I would be taken out of the camp in a coffin. He swore at me and told me to find my own way home.

I walked out of the military camp and made my way slowly to the main road being careful to try and avoid traffic coming out of the camp in case they changed their mind to have me re-detained. My family picked me up from lower mead road and from there I asked to be taken to the hospital in Suva. There was no resident doctor however I was attended to briefly by a contracted intern who gave me a pain killing injection. I left the hospital at around 0130 hrs in a disorientated state was taken to Nadi airport to catch a flight to Australia for further medical treatment and to avoid further illegal persecution.
Thursday 24th February 2011
I arrived in Brisbane Australia on the morning of Thursday the 24th of February 2011 and was taken to Redcliffe Hospital for medical checks.
Whilst resting at Redcliffe Hospital, I received information from Fiji that officers of the regime had been out searching for me again.

Friday 25th February 2011, Brisbane Australia
I was informed on Friday the 25th of February by associates in Suva, that the SDL Party headquarters was raided by the police searching for Pro-Democracy Information. Following the raid, the office was shut down on orders of the military regime.

Despite the regime’s efforts to stifle the work of the SDL Party and its supporters, I am certain that our campaign to pursue the restoration of democracy in Fiji will only become stronger both in Fiji and from overseas. I have also been reliably informed that I will be at great risk of being further detained by the regime should I return to Fiji.

The death threats, extreme verbal abuse, violence, humiliation, intimidation and trauma experienced at the hands of Fiji’s unlawful military dictatorship over the 3 nights and two days of unlawful detention without any avenue for legal redress is an experience that will remain with me and my family and one that I hope others will never ever be subjected to.

*NOTE - The two soldiers who were identifiable to me out of the six and who were responsible for the beatings, interrogation and abuse were one Penioni Naliva and Siwatibau Rabuka. I was informed by sources within the military camp that these soldiers are part of a special HIT SQUAD acting under the direct orders of Frank Bainimarama.

I want to thank family and friends for their concerns and prayers and those associates who facilitated the passage to Australia.
My humble appreciation to the medical staff at Redcliffe Hospital, Brisbane for the excellent medical care and clearances that was rendered to me. 

Editor's Note: Coupfourpointfive would like to thank the family of Sam Speight for sharing this important information with us in the interest of exposing the unjustified and illegal treatment of Fiji citizens at the hands of military soldiers. We apologise for the need to use the photographs and the revelations in such an explicit manner, again in the interest of discrediting once and for all the denials of the RFMF and the regime regarding its treatment of Sam Speight and others. Vinaka Vaka Levu.

Leading rating agency gives regime's junk bond a B

By Paul McBeth

March 11 (BusinessDesk) – Fiji’s military regime has turned to the junk bond market to refinancing existing debt and gain working capital this year.

The South Pacific military dictatorship, ruled by Voreque Bainimarama since a 2006 coup, sold US$250 million of five-year unsecured bonds to refinance US$150 million of notes maturing in September. The balance is expected to fund capital works.

The bonds were sold at 9%, with a third of the bonds going to Asian investors and the remainder to American and European accounts, according to reports.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s gave the issue a sub-investment grade ‘B-’ rating. That matches Fiji’s foreign currency rating, reflecting the agency’s view that the lack of hard data and the country’s persistent fiscal and current account deficits leave it vulnerable to default.

Still, S&P have Fiji on a positive outlook, contingent on improving the government’s books and attracting foreign aid.

New Zealand’s relationship with Fiji soured after the coup, hitting rock bottom at the end of 2008 as the Pacific nation expelled Australian and New Zealand diplomats. Since then, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has been working to improve relations since and he hopes to informally meet Bainimarama this month.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee supported the government’s diplomatic approach to Fiji, in a report on New Zealand’s relations with South Pacific nations, saying Fiji’s survival is in the interests of the region. It shied away from offering any specific strategies on the relationship, other than supporting the return to constitutional government.

“While we support the absence of restrictions on tourism, trade, or investment, we note that the private-sector investment needed for the country’s long-term development is unlikely to occur in the current environment,” the report said. “We also note that those who leave Fiji represent the skill loss the country can ill afford.” (BusinessDesk) (scoop.co.nz)

Melbourne, March 11, 2011—Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it has assigned its 'B-' long-term senior unsecured debt rating to the US$250 million five-year bond issued by the Republic of Fiji (foreign currency B-/Positive/C, local currency B/Stable/C). 

This bond issue replaces the US$150 million notes that are due to mature on Sept. 13, 2011, and are expected to fund capital works.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned a recovery rating of '4' to the 
bond. This is in line with our policy to provide our estimates of likely recovery of principle in the event of debt restructuring or a debt default for issuers with a speculative-grade rating.

A recovery rating of '4' indicates our expectation of a 30%-50% recovery in the event of a payment
default. According to our criteria, bonds with a '4' recovery rating are rated on par with the issuer credit rating. We have therefore equalized the
rating on Fiji’s bond with the ‘B-’ foreign currency sovereign credit rating.

The issuer credit ratings on Fiji reflect our opinion of the country’s
persistent fiscal and current account deficits, as well as deficiencies in  available data--a factor that complicates our analysis. 

These factors are offset, in part, by Fiji’s improved external indicators. The delay in the return to democratic rule in Fiji has already been reflected in the ratings, and our forecasts assume a status quo. 

However, we believe that diminished institutional transparency and independence, as well as decrees that weigh on civilian and media freedoms, weaken the prospects for investment and for donor re-engagement and thus the nation’s growth prospects.

The positive outlook on Fiji’s foreign currency rating reflects our view of
the improvement in Fiji’s external position, including in the level of foreign exchange reserves. 

An upgrade of the foreign currency rating could follow improvements in one of several areas, including strengthening Fiji’s political institutions, improving donor relations, enhancing growth prospects through labor or market reforms, bettering the external indicators, or placing the government’s debt trajectory on a steady downward slope.

On the other hand, Fiji’s ratings could stabilize at current levels if none of these developments materializes or if external or domestic shocks
sharply reduce Fiji’s international reserves from current reported levels.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Ben Padarath pictures: proof military soldiers beat Fiji citizens

Padarath pre and post beating!

Yes, we find it hard to believe, too, that is the same man. But we've been assured the injured individual in the wheelchair below is definitely the same guy on the left.

This is Ben Padarath before his beating at the hands of QEB military goons, abuse that we have been told was meted out on the orders of one Major Ben or Penioni Naliva.

The Padarath in the wheelchair is post-beating, outside the Suva Court with his lawyer Rajendra Chaudry, accompanied by a police officer, about a week and a half ago.

Remember, we reported that Padarath ended up in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital
with a number of injuries, including burns caused by hot water used by military soldiers during his interrogation at the Queen Elizabeth barracks.

The beating took place the week of February the 12th, when we ran our original story.

Cynics and regime supporters, and the military itself, of course, have tried to rubbish coverage of a recent crackdown involving youths, journalists, trade unions and former government ministers.

Doubting Thomases have preferred to believe Fiji soldiers or police would never abuse  innocent citizens saying it's lies generated by those trying to discredit the regime and individuals trying to get quick visas or residency in Australia.

But word is spreading, despite the protestations of the likes of Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitonga this week.

The US based online newspaper, The Bula Tribune, secured the photo of Padarath in the wheelchair and has spoken to journalists who interviewed Padarath. Bula Tribune says Padarath revealed to them that he was sexually violated with a bottle.

Padarath originally came to the attention of military because of the $400,000 fraud allegations involving the Ghanian businessman and lawyer, Renee Lal, who was also beaten with a bottle about her head.

But he's also been in their range over the failed plot last year to overthrow the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama.

Coupfourpointfive is urging anyone who is unfortunate enough to end up in the hands of soldiers and police to document any violence and abuse, be it mental or physical. 

We also encourage people and their families and supporters to photograph the injuries and to see a doctor for the purposes of reporting these crimes against humanity to the right international authorities.

Narsey dispels myths of regime's 'record' foreign bond

When failure is called success, while they dig our hole deeper
By Professor Wadan Narsey

The Military Government has announced with great fanfare that their “roadshow” in Hong Kong, Singapore and London, had successfully raised F$500 millions in foreign bonds to pay off $300 millions on a foreign bond raised in 2006, with the remaining F$200 millions allegedly being set aside for capital projects (The Fiji Times, 10 March 2011).

Khaiyum claimed with joy “This is a clear indication of the level of confidence that investors in the international market have in Fiji’s economic development and progress, ongoing reforms and future prospects”. What rubbish!

The Permanent Secretary Finance, Filimone Waqabaca (left), said the Government was happy to “showcase” the ANZ bank internationally (really?) for supporting Government in difficult times (but what did ANZ put in, and what will ANZ get?).

Waqabaca also made many euphoric and supporting statements for the bond conversion with dubious economic logic.

The Acting Governor of the Reserve Bank, Barry Whiteside, safely noted that foreign reserves will be boosted by the new borrowings, and hopefully suggested that FNPF might even benefit. Perhaps, but only for a short while.

All in all, if the media are to be believed, the bond conversion appears to be a great successful WIN-WIN venture for the Khaiyum/Bainimarama Government and Fiji, doesn’t it?

Yes, it is a success for Bainimarama and Khaiyum - because they have managed to pass the buck to the future generations.

And Bainimarama and Khaiyum are digging Fiji’s future generations deeper into the Public Debt hole, with a higher proportion now denoted in very scarce foreign exchange. Meahwhile they turned down a less costly but more sensible loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Failure to pay the US$150 million bond

Why did we borrow this F$500 million in the first place?

Because the Military Government was unable to repay the US$150 million bond undertaken in 2006, whose local value rose to F$300 million after the 2009 devaluation.

Why cannot they repay?

Because the Bainimarama Government refuses to cut recurrent expenditure, especially the bloated military budget, in order to achieve the level of fiscal surpluses needed to repay that US$150 million bond.

So the magical Bainimarama/Khaiyum solution for the debt you cannot repay: borrow again to repay that $300 millions!

AND to make it worse, borrow even more (another US$100 million) so as to pass on an even bigger burden (US$250 million) to the future generations.

But why did this Military Government not borrow the US$150 million or US$250 million from IMF at a much lower interest rate?

Because the IMF would also have required them to reduce their recurrent fiscal expenditure to manageable levels, and probably there were other conditions too difficult for this incompetent regime to implement.

Higher interest, higher public debt, now owed in foreign exchange
How can you call successful, the conversion of a bond which was originally costing us 6.875 percent interest, into a bond now costing us a higher 9% interest?

AND to borrow overseas another US$100 million ($F200 million) also, to be repaid at a higher 9% in foreign exchange, when its domestic borrowings from FNPF was at a much lower 6% at the margin?

The repayments on this F$500 million bond will also have to be in foreign exchange, which the Fiji economy has great difficulty in earning. We may have healthy reserves now, but that is largely a result of the total lack of domestic investment and stagnant domestic incomes and demand.

Our export earnings can only rely on tourism, water, gold and fish exports.

The sugar industry’s net foreign exchange earnings are not only lower because of the destroyed industry, but also because FSC itself owes large amounts overseas, which have now also been shouldered by the Fiji taxpayers, courtesy of the Bainimarama Regime.

With the devalued Fiji dollar, the increase in foreign debt will increase the burdens on taxpayers who are already being squeezed by FIRCA struggling to increase revenues in a stagnant economy, while facing higher inflation.

Should we devalue even more in the future (God forbid), the burden on Fiji’s tax-payers of this US$250 million bond, will be even higher.

False capital investment justification

How misleading of Khaiyum to claim that the extra $200 millions borrowed will not be used for recurrent expenditure but for capital investment.

That statement would have been true, had recurrent expenditure been at the appropriate lower level.

That statement would have also been true, had the Military Government not already wasted hundreds of millions in all its badly managed projects such as at FSC and other contingent liabilities which are going to come home to roost, sooner or later.

Make no mistake, the extra $200 million is being borrowed to maintain the bloated Bainimarama Regime’s recurrent budget. That capital expenditure Khaiyum talks about would have been incurred in normal times, any way.

ANZ and international confidence in Fiji?

Contrary to Khaiyum’s claim, the financing of this bond is not an indicator of broad investor confidence in Fiji.

As the data from the Fiji Bureau of Statistics and RBF clearly show, the Fiji economy has been badly failing the real test of confidence in the economy for the last four years: private sector investment has been less than 7% of GDP and has dropped to around 3% currently, when it should have been around 15% to 20%.

These bond buyers are merely confident that Fiji has enough foreign reserves to repay the interest and principal when it becomes due.

What about ANZ? Of course, ANZ has some excellent investment initiatives in Fiji with have much growth potential, such as its call and data-processing centres.

But ANZ must have made their cut out of this deal? What percentage of the bonds did ANZ buy?

And if the ANZ's Norman Wilson (left) was so confident in the Bainimarama/Khaiyum management of the Fiji economy, why didn’t ANZ International lend Fiji the whole US$250 million?

Will ANZ now expect future tax and other benefits from a Military Government which was so grateful to have on its “road-show” a multinational bank whose representative
“Wilson was able to give its side of the story” on the Fiji economy, and convince the other bond buyers? What Fiji story did Wilson, indeed, give?

The Reserve Bank and FNPF

Of course, the Reserve Bank will now have some higher reserves, for a few years, until the debt become due again, when it will all go, and they might need even more.

Of course, FNPF might benefit if it is able to invest some of its funds off-shore. But these funds can be forcibly brought back anytime the Reserve Bank wants.

And any benefits to us FNPF shareholders, will of course, be paid for by all the tax-payers of Fiji, of whom FNPF shareholders are only a part.

The PS euphoria and justification

It is extraordinary that the PS Finance, Waqabaca, is reported to have said that his emotion at the bond sale was “one of elation, we were overjoyed, we were happy with the outcome”.


Happy that after the Bainimarama Government failed to repay the old debt, happy that the public debt and burden on tax-payers was being further increased, happy at the significantly higher interest rate we taxpayers will be paying?

Waqabaca claimed that they borrowed overseas because they wanted to “avoid a crowding out effect whereby Government does not restrict private sector demand for domestic finance”.

But “crowding out” only occurs if the available domestic finance was already being fully used by the private sector, which might indeed be “crowded out” if government barged in offering higher interest rates.

The reality has been that domestic investment demand has been so low for five years that the financing institutions (private banks as well as FNPF, FDB and Home Finance) have been desperate to lend their cash to anyone credit-worthy.

As for not wanting to “increase domestic interest rates” - well, were interest rates to rise, the biggest beneficiary may well have been FNPF, which has for decades been a captive lender to Government at low interest rates, much to the private banks’ relief.

This while higher domestic interest rates would provide the appropriate discipline on the uncontrolled borrowings by this reckless Military Government.

Civil Servant Coup Collaborators

If Khaiyum and Bainimarama tried to reduce recurrent government expenditure in order to repay the 2006 bond, they would have faced resistance from the civil service and especially the military officers and rank and file whose support has been bought by grossly inflated salaries, promotions, appointments to higher civil service positions, and other perks.

This damaging bond conversion into a bigger Public Debt allows Bainimarama and Khaiyum to avoid the flak that would come from painful fiscal discipline today, while thoroughly enjoying their party in the meantime.

One can therefore expect the public relations spin from Aiyaz Khaiyum who is on a personal fairy-tale roller coaster ride, playing around with hundreds of millions of dollars of Fiji tax-payers’ funds (not his own or his father’s, as Indians say), trotting around the globe at tax-payers’ expense, feted and supported by sycophant prominent members of the business community, who naturally also get the benefits they want.

But Fiji’s tax-payers should not be receiving an unnecessary PR exercise and faulty economics from civil servants like Waqabaca, who ought to know better.

One of the tragic consequences of the Bainimarama coup has been that inexperienced civil servants without any depth of knowledge or experience, have been rapidly pushed up the ladder into enormously powerful positions, where they are easily misused.

In their gratitude to their Masters for the rapid promotion, so many civil servants (mostly indigenous Fijian), have been prepared to enthusiastically spout all the rhetoric and public relations spin, justifying the decisions and policies of this illegal Military Government - whether it is the Pillars of the Charter, the supposed grand electoral reform, or this foreign bond conversion which is going to be so damaging to the future generations.

Assisted by a censored or pliant media, these civil servants also thereby irresponsibly encourage the public to swallow all the spin- hook, line and sinker, and be totally lulled into a false sense of complacency and well-being.

The Fiji “road-show” indeed, goes on, while our future slowly erodes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reports: Sayed Khaiyum to marry Gavoka's daughter

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum announced today a record breaking international bond but there was no mention of the special bond between him and the daughter of one of the people done over by the regime, Bill Gavoka.

Word is Sayed Khaiyum is marrying Gavoka's daughter in just over a week, on March the 20th.

Gavoka, the former chair of the Fiji Rugby Union and other board members, was forced to resign recently amidst claims of incompetency and fraud. 

The highly publicised resignation came after the regime threatened to starve Fiji rugby of funds for this year's World Cup in New Zealand, if Gavoka and his board didn't quit.

Gavoka was also once the head of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, so this is the second job he's lost, and is said to be spewing over the nuptials between his daughter and the man behind the illegal decrees that's helped keep citizens under thumb.

Gavoka is understood to have disowned his daughter, who works at the Sheraton in public relations or marketing in Nadi.

It's believed Sayed Khaiyum catches a flight on a week day to see her, returning the same day.

We wonder if his wooing comes courtesy of the Fiji taxpayer. He is after all the regime's Tourism Minister and in charge of Air Pacific and Pacific Sun.
According to Sayed Khaiyum the 5 year bond announced today is at 9% and was arranged via book runner ANZ and is valued at US$250 million or FJ$500 million. Watch this space.

Tikoitonga: No abuse in camp - come and see for yourself!

EN FORCE: RFMF troops at QEB grounds.
The RFMF has resorted to inviting Australian and New Zealand media to visit the Queen Elizabeth barracks to prove its soldiers are not beating and torturing Fiji citizens.
In a second day of denials, Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga has again rejected outright that soldiers beat and abuse locals.
In an interview with FijiLive, he insisted Fiji was doing well and there were no problems: “If we had security issues and problems, then we would not be having increased number of tourists, investments etc."

Tikoitonga went on to make accusations of his own. He said: “There is more abuse in Australian detention centers than could ever happen in Fiji."
He urged media in Australia and New Zealand to come and see firsthand how well the country is doing.

“I personally invite Australia and New Zealand to Fiji to see how Fiji has increased Tourism, investment etc, stop speculating,” he said.

Unfortunately, for Tikoitonga the beatings are documented and well-publicised thanks to revelations by freedom blogs and human rights groups like Amnesty International making sure the international community hear of the abuse.

A source within the junta last week confirmed to Coupfourpointfive that the regime has imposed another crackdown and is using the PER to round up people who oppose it.

The source said as long as the PER is in place, the military would use it to intimidate people and consolidate its hold on the country and its citizens.
But Tikoitoga today tried to shift the blame on police saying the Military only assists police in apprehending people when they are asked to and when the PER has been breached.

“All investigations are done by police and not us,” he said.

Tikoitoga also denied outright the former Land’s Minister Sam Speight, who is also known as Samisoni Tikoinasau, was beaten by military soldiers. He said: "That is not true."

Earlier, he was quoted thus by FBC:
"My friend there is a lot of accusations on the government by the same people who have continued to propagate against government activities here in Fiji, and unfortunately like I said they are airing their grievances in the wrong forum. However, I would be the first to testify that the military forces are not taking the lead in any investigations or any arrests. Any investigations or arrests in Fiji now are being handled by the Fiji police force. They do need help every now and again and under the Public Emergency Regulations that are in place in Fiji; the Fiji military forces does go out and help impose arrests where the police want our help, and we have done that. But we've handed over all the people that we got and given to the police, and the police take the lead in the investigation which is the right thing to do. I'm not sure where the complaints are coming from."

Regarding last Friday's failed Free Fiji march and the organiser's claim it was due to increased police and military presence, he said:

“I've never heard of that alleged demonstration. Like I said, the Public Emergency Regulations that are in place now would require anyone who wants to hold such public meetings to make an application to the Fiji police force. And if they assess that it was not safe to do so they would not allow the process to go on, instead of trying to saturate the place it would be easier to say that the meeting won't go ahead because of associated risks. But I didn't hear of any demonstration, neither were we involved in trying to saturate the area. Like I said, there's a Public Emergency Regulation in place that doesn't allow for the gathering of the public.” 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

All eyes on disgraced regime as word of beatings and torture spread

"There is no assault or implication, or confirmations of any assault ... you know, there would be some minimal force used if people [resist] arrest."

Land Forces Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, was back out today defending the regime and pedalling the line that RFMF soldiers don't beat citizens.

Tikoitonga's lame assurances came as regional and international media zoomed in on the Frank Bainimarama regime, and its recent brutal crackdown on citizens.
Australian, New Zealand and British media all picked up on the recent beatings and torture of a number of people (revealed by freedom blogs), ranging from youths to former Cabinet Ministers, journalists and trade unionists.

Amnesty International, of course, has brought its considerable weight to bear, highlighting in the past week the mistreatment of locals by soldiers at the QEB barracks.

Yet, Tikoitonga today claimed no beatings had occurred, and insisted the people behind the allegations had a political agenda.

He told Radio Australia the Fiji military is only involved in arresting people, if police request their help and when the public emergency regulations have been broken.

Naively and predictably, he went on to say the people making allegations should be using the legal system to air their concerns and not just the media.

He then went on to justify the violence on citizens as necessary and acceptable under the PER.

"There is no assault or implication, or confirmations of any assault ... you know, there would be some minimal force used if people [resist] arrest.

"The mere fact that they have disobeyed the public emergency regulations is testimony to the fact that they have different agendas."

Spoken like a true dumb soldier following the orders of someone who has lost the plot. 

Like the despotic Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, the world knows Frank Bainimarama is a dictator who is using the army, illegal decrees and the Public Emergency Regulations to stay in power.

The world also already knows of two of the soldiers behind the beatings, both of whom have been identified to Coupfourpointfive as Major Penioni Naliva (top left) with Bainimarama and Captain Aseri Rokoura (above right).

Chaudhry's wings clipped

CHAUDHRY: Travel denied.
His luck had to come to an end sooner or later and it seems it has.

Murmurs were heard the last time the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, was allowed by the courts to travel offshore.

If memory serves right, on that occasion it was medical treatment in Australia. Before then, a conference in Hawaii.

Chaudhry has seemingly pushed his luck asking to be allowed to travel to the US for his sister's 70th birthday.

Not mincing his words, Justice Daniel Goundar revealed the other day the court is concerned about the frequency of Chaudhry's travel, especially since he hasn't entered a plea to the charges of tax evasion filed against him last July.

Goundar also said that if Chaudhry can't figure out the allegations against him – the normal procedure is to enter a not guilty plea. 

TAKIVEIKATA: Outside court last year.
Perhaps, the man whose truly lost his freedom and who has the people's sympathy, is Inoke Takiveikata.

The Naitasiri chief has been sentenced to life after being  found guilty of inciting the 2000 rebellion.

As we said earlier, Takiveikata has been jailed but the biggest crim of the Pacific, Bainimarama, roams at large playing with electric guitars.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Anthony under curfew and Speight seeks refuge in Australia

Updating our earlier story on the recent crackdown by the regime ... trade unionist Felix Anthony has been placed under a curfew.

Anthony is not supposed to drive and can only go from home to office and vice versa. No other business or pleasure.

The Trade Union Congress stalwart was taken into custody and beaten in a recent sweep by the military goons.

Meanwhile, the former Cabinet Minister, Sam Speight, has told the newspaper, The Australian, he plans to apply for a protection visa.

Speight, who is also known as Samisoni Tokinisau, escaped to Australia after he was beaten by the military goons for distributing Suliasi Daunitutu's anti-regime DVD to villagers. 

The president of the National Farmers Union, Gaffar Ahmed, is another seeking refuge in Australia.

Ahmed was beaten when Bainimarama was visiting the Ba sugar mill a few weeks ago. The reason? For saying the regime was "fooling the farmers by not telling them the real situation of the mills."

Ahmed is now in Australia, where he is believed to be seeking medical treatment.

COSY MOMENT: Felix Anthony with Bainimarama at the opening of the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in 2009. FARMER'S MEETING:  Gaffar Ahmed (centre).

Regime bites: 'No split in the Military'

THIS DUET IS A FLOP: Bainimarama and Sayed Khaiyum.

“I am aware of where those critics are coming but I know for a fact that everybody is together in the military," he told FijiLive. "No, I doubt that there’s a split in the military."

In recent days, Coupfourpointfive has publicised information that shows disillusionment of Bainimarama's flawed leadership reaches the highest echelons of the military regime. 
We have revealed that the regime is fragile and senior officers have woken up to the fact the self-appointed military government of Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Kahiyum is a sham and want out.

Tikoitoga today continued to prop up the regime defence lines, denying there were more criticisms than praises.

He told FijiLive: "There’s a few that goes on blog sites and we can’t take those people seriously but the Commander when he moves around to villages and other areas, he gets a lot of praises for this government and what it has been doing.

"You know the civilian community are coming out strong and saying there is a better government than what it was before.”

Tikoitoga went on to claim that even some provinces are now calling for the cancellation of the 2014 elections saying it's indicative of the support the illegal government enjoys.