#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-07-24

Friday, July 29, 2011

Court blocks Vayeshnoi from selling property or removing cash

The Lautoka High Court has issued a restraining order against the former Labour Party MP, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, stopping him from selling, transferring or removing any of his properties or withdrawing money from his bank accounts.

Coupfourpointfive broke the story on July the 14th that Vayeshnoi had fled to New Zealand after trying to pay for $50,000 worth of jewellery with a dud cheque.

Justice Sosefo Inoke today said the restraining order was issued after the lawyer for the Director of Bhavani Jewellers Limited in Sigatoka, filed an affidavit  alleging Vayeshnoi owed the business money.

In the affidavit, Kishore Raniga said Vayeshnoi gave him a cheque for $50,000 in December last year but asked him to hold it for two months.

Raniga said Vayeshnoi picked up the jewellery on May 2nd this year and when he did not pay him, he took the cheque to a bank but was told Vayeshnoi's account was already closed and the cheque was dishonored.

Raniga said he reported the matter to Sigatoka police this month and decided to seek legal action after he found out Vayeshnoi was in New Zealand and intended to stay there.

We revealed earlier this month and again this week that Vayeshnoi is trying to obtain political asylum in New Zealand, despite his denials via email, and that two other people have come forward saying he owes them money.

It's believed he is currently negotiating to transfer his personal properties, car, money in other banks and savings from FNPF.

The Lautoka court will hear the case again on August 17.

Election promises from Bainimarama from far, far awayyyyyy

Noble speeches today from the country's self-appointed leader who continues to trek the international circuit playing the role of elected prime minister. He's been in Mozambique for the 12th Special ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar, and from that country's capital has made a speech from the throne that is quite comical, such is its falseness. In the Fiji Sun today under the heading PM's Poll Path .... Bainimarama maps road to election, the dictator attempts to allay growing international fears  elections will not come to Fiji in 2014 as promised, and insists all is in hand.

THE GREAT PRETENDER: VB in Uganda last year.
We pick up the Fiji sun two paragraphs in: '“From early next year to 2013, Fiji will focus on political development issues, including electoral reform and formulation of a new constitution. From 2013- Sept 2014 the preparations for elections will be undertaken by educating the public on the new electoral system and the new constitution.”

He said he sincerely hoped that Fiji’s longstanding trading and development partners would appreciate his Government’s efforts to bring about genuine change to ensure sustainable peace, stability and democracy in our country.

The Prime Minister said that under the current phase of the roadmap, from 2009 to 2012, the Government would actively focus on economic and social developments.

This, he said, included rebuilding Fiji’s dilapidated infrastructure and increasing connectivity between urban and rural areas through building new roads and providing improved communication links.

“This will ensure that essential services reach isolated villages and communities which were long ignored,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

At the same time, he said, the Government is reforming its public sector to modernise it so as to respond effectively to global challenges.

He also updated the forum on the progress being made in the implementation of the Roadmap to Democracy, through a Strategic Framework for Change for a Better Fiji.

“My Government has pressed ahead with the implementation of this wide-ranging reform programme which addresses the country’s fundamental and deep-rooted problems,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

Meanwhile, the sugar ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states have urged the European Union and the European Commission to ensure that the funds earmarked for Fiji are immediately released to assist the affected farmers and the sugar industry, as a whole, in their adjustment and adaptation process.

At the conclusion of the 12th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar this week in Maputo, Mozambique, the conference noted failure in the release of Accompanying Measures Support Programme funds has had significant adverse impact on the Fiji sugar industry’s reform and rehabilitation programme.

The European Union had earlier said that it wanted a clear roadmap of Fiji’s return to democracy before considering the release of sugar funds.(original source Fiji Sun)          

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fiji authorities rule on New Zealander's death but questions remain

Fiji police have decided to stop investigating the death of a 55 year old New Zealand man earlier believed to have died after a beating in the rough part of Nadi.

FBC is this morning quoting Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri as saying Tony Groom died from liver complications and not from the injuries of an alleged beating. 

Sokomouri says there were visible signs of injury to Groom’s body but any investigation into his death "will now cease as the post mortem has revealed his true cause of death" and that what matters in court is the results of the post mortem examination".

The verdict, however, may not be enough for the family and friends of the charter business operator, who have been asking questions about how he died.

The family of an American CEO, Don Nicholas, are also still looking for answers from Fiji authorities about the circumstances of his death.

Mr Nicholas was surfing at Nadi and didn't emerge from the water with the instructor.

His sister has been in Fiji for more than a week now, trying to piece together how the tragedy happened and what efforts were made to recover his body but has had little co-operation from authorities.
A source told Coupfourpointfive on Monday that media and police had been told to play down the two deaths for fear of spooking tourists. 

Fiji's military dictatorship has long been sensitive about what it sees as negative reporting and has been particularly uptight about coverage that could put tourists off from visting the country and reinforcing international community impressions Fiji is unsafe.

A source has since told Coupfourpointfive that lack of police resourcing could certainly have been an issue in the rescue efforts of Don Nicholas.

And he says there was never any question of retrieving Nicholas' body because 'we are ill-equipped."

Senior officers have been saying for some time Fiji's police force is in a dire situation with officers forced to pay for basic things like paper for police reports and uniform, like footwear.

They say they work with no standard or protective equipment and have been ignoring crime because they don't have vehicles or fuel to respond to call outs - claims which Fiji locals have backed up, via blogs.

Vayeshnoi rejects jewellery debt but two others say he owes them money as well

FORMER MP: Facing more allegations.
Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi has been in touch to deny he ran off to New Zealand to seek political asylum after failing to pay for $50,000 worth of jewellery with a dud cheque, but other businesses have come forward to say he owes them money as well.

Coupfourpointfive revealed on July the 14th the former Labour Party MP and regime supporter had fled Fiji to Auckland where he was seeking political asylum but had left under a cloud.

Vayeshnoi was accused by a Sigatoka jeweller of taking $50,000 worth of jewellery from his shop, using a bounced cheque to pay for the purchase. The cheque was made out from a bank account that had been closed months earlier. The matter was reported to Sigatoka police but Vayeshnoi had already left the country.

Information obtained by Coupfourpointfive now shows Vayeshnoi is accused by two others from his hometown of Sigatoka of also owing them money. Sources say he took $7000 from a man in Nadrala and $25,000 from a businessman named Sadhu Singh in Cuvu.

Sources say Vayeshnoi called Mr Singh to pick up the repayment from his home in Olosara knowing full well he would be in Auckland that day. When Mr Singh went to his home in May at 3 o'clock, he found the gate closed. A neighbour told him Vayeshnoi had already left for NZ with his wife and son. 

The same thing had happened with the Sigatoka jeweller who says he lost $50,000 worth of jewellery to Vayeshnoi. The business man had gone to the bank to cash the cheque only to be told there was no money in the account. Vayeshnoi had gone to New Zealand by then.

The owner of Bhavani Gold Industries Ltd had been a good friend of the former Sports and Youth Minister and had previously cashed his cheques while an MP until the December 2006 coup.  In December 2010, Vayeshnoi also gave the shop owner a cheque but post-dated it by six months, telling him to keep it and that he would cash the cheque as per the date on it.

An email signed by a Lehk Ram Vayeshnoi after our July 14th story said "To whom it may concern, There is no truth in your story posted this afternoon regarding allegations of defrauding a jeweller.  I have not purchased a single jewelry from Bhavani Jewellers as stated in the story. I am on a holiday visit to NZ and not to seek political asylum as stated in the article. However, it is true that in June 2010 Coup 4.5 had alleged me in the NBF saga without any truth in it."

Vayeshnoi was refering to a story about people who had borrowed money from NBF and had not paid back the funds. On our list was one Lekh Ram who borrowed $23,000 from the NBF’s Sigatoka branch and we had asked the question: Is he the Sigatoka farmer Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, who represented the FLP from the Nadroga Indian Communal Constituency in 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2006 elections? Vayeshnoi was quick to write in to say it wasn't him. We took his word for it.

Vayeshonoi also insists he is only holidaying in Auckland. But Coupfourpointfive has it on good authority he is seeking longer residency than that, and that another former Labour Party MP is helping him to apply for political asylum. Vayeshnoi's bid to opt out of Fiji has pretty much been confirmed by the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, who has said he is aware of reports about the application but cannot discuss individual cases.

While the reported fraud has left people in Fiji upset, in New Zealand people there are angry at what they say is Vayeshnoi's gall to seek political asylum in spite of his very close association and history (he once described Bainimarama and the 2006 coup as God-sent) with the military dictatorship.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fiji's illegal PM and AG supping well as nation grapples with hikes in food prices

LET THEM EAT CAKE: The well-paid treasonous Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Voreqe Bainimarama and their mates are doing well. Can the same be said for the people?

SATED: Dictator and supporters.
Some food items and basic goods have gone up 55 per cent in the past six months according to a  Fiji Labour Party survey.

Last week's survey compared current prices of everyday items with prices in January 2011 after VAT was increased to 15% under Budget 2011. 

Garlic, onions and potatoes have come down but  staples such as sugar, sharps, butter and cooking oil have gone up. The price of flour/sharps shot up by 30% from $10.99 to $14.26 for a 10kg bag. The price of cooking oil (Punja’s Soya Bean) rose 16% from $3.56 to $4.11 for a 750ml bottle. 

The survey found that Rewa butter had gone up  21% putting at $7.34c for a 500g pack. Pre-devaluation 500g of was $3.29. The increase has been put at 123%.

The price for sugar has jumped almost 90% in six months from $2.39 (2kg bag) to $4.50. In recent years it was  was selling for 95c a kg. Cooking gas is almost $50 ($49 a 12kg cylinder) - a 31% hike from its pre-devaluation price of $37.50. 

FLP says the price of unleaded Super has jumped 60% since pre-devaluation – from $1.57 a litre to the current price of $2.50. Taken over a 6 month period from January 2011, the increase is 5.5%. 

Diesel is up almost 80% from $1.33 per litre to $2.37 ltr, rising 15% since January.
Milo has jumped 55% from $6.99 (500g) to $10.79. 

In the meat section, lamb/mutton cuts have increased in price by about 5% while Crest chicken has gone down slightly - 1.6% from $12.59 to $12.39 for a size 15. Canned fish and meat have increased by between 5-7% in price since January. 

Prices for one or two items surveyed have remained static over the six month period such as Cold Power laundry detergent and Breakfast cracker biscuits. 

Tomatoes continue to be expensive fluctuating between $10-12 a kg, despite being in season.

The FLP says its survey did not take into account market produce, prices for which have gone up 100% or more in the past six months since VAT went up to 15%. (original source FLP website)

EDITOR'S NOTE: FSC hierarchy has promised sugar pices will drop soon. But as reported by sources recently, things are not rosy at the Lautoka and Penang sugar mills. Both have had production problems his week affecting the amount of sugar being crushed.

Illegal regime's pundit called on to tell the truth in 2008 ... and now

Lots of feedback have been coming in to Coupfourpointfive about Kamlesh Arya, the man described as having no principles for truth and justice after joining the illegal regime's campaign to scare off Australian and New Zealand trade unions. We have managed to source an opinion piece from Fiji Times, that was published on May the 16th in 2008, which  shows how Arya can twist facts to suit his agenda and his total lack of  credibility. Read on, folks.


Pundit, pray tell us the truth

Unusual ... soldiers on the streets of the capital after the coup
UNUSUAL: Sokdiers on the streets ofthe capital after the coup.
Friday, May 16, 2008
ON Thursday April 10, 2008, during the public debate on the People's Charter organised by the Fiji Media Council, pro-charter and National Council for Building a Better Fiji member Kamlesh Arya, vigorously defended the military.
This is what he said: "First and foremost, the military has sons and daughters of Fiji who have taken the oath to protect Fiji from all adverse situations. It is not ignorant of the law. Their law is one of engagement after all else fails. They are compassionate to the needs of the people. They rise to the occasion when Fiji is faced with calamities and if the military was opportunist then its members would not lay their lives for the nation.

"We need to search deeper than what is on the surface to find out what has been going on since 1987."

But what Arya, the president of Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, said while answering a question from the audience totally shifted the blame from the military to certain people in the country for using the armed forces to carry out the coups since 1987.

When asked if coups or elections were more expensive to Fiji, Arya replied: "In my submission this evening (April 10), I said let us not blame the military for the coups. They were the henchmen I must say.  They were used to do somebody else's dirty job. Now in 1987 the coup was hyped up as a Fijian issue, right, for the Fijians.

"What did we get, what did the Fijian community get out of the 1987 coup nothing. In 1987 Fijians basically lost everything in terms of respect and dignity because somebody said he was fighting for the rights of the Fijians.

"In 2000 it was an indigenous issue again. What did the Fijian community get nothing. They lost much more. They lost the total dignity of people being able to apply the rule of law. Other communities have continued to stick their necks, stand and contribute to the development of the country each time there is a coup.

"So we have to do deeper soul-searching to find out why the military does, what it has done four times and I don't blame them. They are just there for manipulation by people who have vested interests."

There have been only two political parties in Fiji which have survived or experienced all four coups the National Federation Party, which was in a coalition government with the Fiji Labour Party in 1987, was removed from power by Sitiveni Rabuka in the first coup of May 14, 1987.

While the Labour party has opposed the three previous coups and called for a speedy return to democracy, it has made a complete about-turn and defended the actions of the military since December 2006.

It is therefore prudent to examine Labour's position on the coups in view of Arya's forceful defence of the army. In 2004, the Labour party and National Farmers Union launched Children of the Indus to mark the 125th anniversary of the arrival of indentured labourers to Fiji.

The book's cover had a picture of Chaudhry and his grand-daughter, taken after he and his colleague's release from 56 days of captivity after the 2000 coup.

The book, while describing the late Ratu Mara as a visionary and statesman had scathing remarks about his and the late Ratu Penaia Ganilau's roles in the May 1987 coups.

Page 144 of the book states: "It is clear there was an orchestrated conspiracy to restore power to the Eastern bloc (Lau/Cakaudrove). Rabuka was a favourite with Ratu Penaia who was his high chief. Certain events of that morning (May 14, 1987) arouse suspicion. Was Colonel Sanday deliberately lured to Government House to get him out of the way?

Second, when Speaker Militoni Leweniqila rang Ratu Penaia to inform him of the military takeover, he did not appear surprised. Also when Rabuka shortly after the takeover went to Government House to report the deed, his first words were: "Well sir, I have done it." Curiously enough, the Governor-General's only response was: "I hope you know what you are doing." Was Ratu Penaia in the know-how? It is a legitimate question.

Page 145 & 146 of the book states: "And how much was Ratu Mara in the know about what was to happen? Mara has always denied knowledge about the coup, yet he told the late Robert Keith-Reid, of Islands Business that he received a phone call at the Fijian Hotel at 9am on May 14, 1987 to tell him about the coup. 9am one hour before the coup took place.

Wasn't it his duty to warn Prime Minister Dr Timoci Bavadra, some members of Government or the police of what was about to take place?"

The above was forcefully explained to voters by Chaudhry during the 1992 election campaign who said that by entering Parliament under the 1990 Constitution would mean achieving the final chapter in the chiefs and the Alliance Party's plan to permanently entrench power in the hands of Fijians. Therefore, if Arya is right, Rabuka and the army were manipulated and used as henchmen by Ratu Mara and Ratu Penaia to carry out the 1987 coups. Following the 3rd coup of May 19, 2000, Chaudhry wrote an article in the Parliamentarian, the journal of parliaments of the Commonwealth. He spoke about the army and police in Fiji.

In the article, Chaudhry stated that the security forces posed the biggest threat to the stability of any democratically elected government in Fiji. His article was titled, The aftermath of a coup: Power grabs and destabilisation in Fiji'. He reminded fellow Commonwealth parliamentarians that he had been the victim of three coups in Fiji.

Chaudhry said: "The events of the past two years in particular have shown that neither the police nor the army can be trusted to uphold the Constitution and maintain law and order. No elected government that is not of their choice will ever be safe in this country if this situation is allowed to go unchecked. Indeed, if this situation is allowed to continue, Fiji will simply become another Indonesia where the military has formed an oligarchy with allegedly corrupt politicians and business interests."

Chaudhry claimed the police force had been infiltrated by the army and could no longer be trusted to maintain law and order. Therefore, according to Arya's theory, a unit of the army in 2000 was manipulated and used by corrupt politicians, unscrupulous businessmen and factional groups to topple Chaudhry's government.

But Arya, a Labour party MP for five years between 2001 and 2006 did not say who used the army as henchmen and manipulated them to execute the 2006 coup that removed from power Laisenia Qarase's SDL-led government.

To assist Arya in forming his conclusion, let me remind him of Labour party president Jokapeci Koroi's remarks during Fiji TV's indepth news on January 11, 2006. When asked by a reporter how did the Labour party view Bainimarama's threat to topple government Koroi replied: "I think he should do it because we're waiting, the Labour coalition government, we are waiting to complete what we started in 1999 and 2000. I know a lot of people will disagree with me."

Koroi, while claiming that Bainimarama was being intimidated by the government, said "I am not saying that I support it but you don't know what kind of takeover he is going to do and I have a feeling it's not going to be like the 2000 and 1987 coup, no."

While last minute talks brokered by then Vice-President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi prevented the stand-off between Qarase and Bainimarama into escalating any further, the coup eventually happened 11 months later on December 5, 2006 after the army's truth and justice campaign failed to prevent the re-election of Qarase and his SDL party to power after the May 2006 election.

Arya is a pundit and a man of God. He should live up to his status and inform the nation who manipulated the army and used the soldiers as henchmen to carry out the fourth coup on December 5, 2006.

Kamal Iyer is a former journalist and administrative officer of the National Federation Party.

Tuilaepa: Bainimarama lying about holding 2014 elections

TUILAEPA: You can only do so much for Fiji.
Doubts the military dictatorship will hold elections in 2014 has surfaced again with the Prime Minister of Samoa saying Fiji's illegal leader is lying and won't be going anywhere for years.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told AAP he believes Voreqe Bainimarama  doesn't appear to be seriously working towards elections.

Bainimarama promised elections in 2009 but backed off saying Fiji was not ready to go to the polls. He has since floated 2014 as the new election date but it's widely believed the regime does not want to relinquish power.

The illegal attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum (pictured below) and the illegal solicitor general, Christopher Pryde (bottom pic), are now in charge of the supposed 2014 election and critics say this does not bode well for the country.

Sources have also told Coupfourpointfive they believe the regime plans to spring a surprise election on the nation early next year.

The illegal MINFO chief, Sharon Smith Johns, told AAP plans for 2014 elections still stood and comments by naysayers are "completely irrelevant".
 "It shows a lack of understanding from certain individuals regarding the progress that Fiji is making with regards to reforms, and demonstrates a low level of understanding of the impact these reforms are positively having on the country."

But Tuilaepa says: "What the interim leader has been telling us is all lies. I don't think there's been any progress made. And 2014 is a target which no one would take very seriously because of the contrary actions which the government has taken, like filling positions in the civil service with personnel from the military.
"It's simply not realistic to come to 2014 and tell these people who have been firmly entrenched in the top echelons of the government to go back to the barracks. I don't think he's planning to go anywhere for many years to come."

Fiji's pro-democracy movement in Australia plans to make a push for support at the Pacific Islands Forum in September but Fiji may not get the time or attention it wants with the meeting having a number of more practical and winnable issues to tackle.

Tuilaepa says he didn't expect any progress that would allow Fiji to rejoin the regional meetings.

"It is the urgent wish of every forum member that Fiji comes back to the fold to rejoin the forum but you can only do so much. It's up to the Fijians to decide what their status is." (original source AAP)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More evidence of Bainimarama's evil acts with revelation of the arsonist behind the attack on home of former high court judge

ROAMING FREE: Arsonist Sitiveni Qiliho.
By Victor Lal

It can now be revealed that the arsonist behind the Deuba fire and the burning of the villa of Justice Ward, was none other than Sitiveni Qiliho, who was CSO Operations, and the dictator Frank Bainimarama's right-hand man. 

He used an RFMF van but with a private number plate, when he arrived with his military goons to burn down the villa.

To date, the Bainimarama-Khaiyum regime has not prosecuted anyone, for how and why should they – for it was one of their own very own terror chief and arsonist who torched Justice Ward’s villa to the ground as an act of intimidation and revenge - a pattern still widely pervasive in Fiji since the treasonous 2006 coup.

WARD: Now working in the West Indies.
Why was Justice Ward’s property targeted? His property was targeted because the Bainimarama-Khaiyum regime wanted to intimidate and destroy whosoever they perceived as their potential enemies. In Justice Ward’s case, the treasonist Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum had, in May 2007, called on the President of the Fiji Court of Appeal, Justice Ward, to resign.

In a statement Khaiyum had claimed that Justice Ward supported Suva lawyer Graham Leung of Howards, and wrote a letter to LAWASIA questioning as to why its president Mah Weng Kwai, had taken the post of commissioner on at the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

According to Khaiyum, on May 30, 2007 Justice Ward wrote that the events of December 5 was a ‘coup”, that our “President has no power to make laws” and consequently made “judgments about FICAC”.  Khaiyum said Justice Ward wrote to LAWASIA on the letterhead of the Court of Appeal questioning as to why Mah had taken the position.  Khaiyum had not elaborated on the contents of the letter.

It can also be revealed that Qiliho was behind the threats to SDL leader and former prime minister Laisenia Qarase. He also received a phone call on 28 August 2007, in which a person who identified himself as calling from the Fiji Military Forces Camp threatened that he (Qarase) would be killed on arrival, if he returned to Suva. The terror thug behind the death threats against Qarase was none other than Sitiveni Tukaituraga Qiliho.

Editor's Note: See the full story on Coupfoupointfive's Facebook (Qiliho behind arson attack on former high court judge's villa) or open the link below.

Read full Qiliho story

Solomons PM in the gun for backing Bainimarama

FIJI'S NEIGHBOURS: Regime supporter Danny Philip, PM of the Solomon Islands, and New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, a huge critic of Fiji. pic NZPA

MARA: Not wanted in Solomons.
Former 3FIR commander Roko Ului Mara and the democracy movement are going after Pacific nations that are supporting the illegal regime, like the Solomons.

The Melanesian country's prime Minister, Danny Philip, has been hammered for supporting coup leader and self-appointed prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and the ‘unelected, illegal and corrupt’ Fiji regime.

At his Auckland rally over the weekend, Mara singled Philip out saying: “The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands conveniently forgets that many Fijian soldiers gave their lives for that country during World War Two and now he is siding with an unelected illegal and corrupt regime.

“With the support of the Solomon Islands, [the regime] has resumed chairmanship of the MSG and its plan is to use it as a front against Australia and New Zealand.”

He blamed Philip for helping Bainimarama secure the MSG chairmanship.

Readers will remember the Fiji chairmanship was on then off, then on again thanks to the Solomons own domestic turmoils with Phillip clearly giving his backing to Fiji when he was elected as prime minister late last year.

In June this year, Philip said he would not allow Mara into the Solomons if he tried to visit, telling Australian media he couldn't afford to damage the Solomon Island's relationship with Fiji.

"We have just made peace with Fiji and the MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) group. We cannot afford to have anything else put some more cracks into that relationship. I think I'll stick to my policy of embracing Fiji for some time."

The democracy movement intend to lobby the South Pacific Leaders Forum this year for support for the Melanesian Spearhead Group to isolate Fiji.

See speeches and messages of support from the Mara and democracy rally at Papatoetoe on Saturday night.

Roko Ului Mara's speech

Fiji Economic Update

Rajesh Singh speech

Laisenia Qarase Message of Support http://www.mediafire.com/?6y7tj2d3bfxfnyd

Mahendra Chaudhry Message of Support

Fiji regime's 'veteran unionist' not so squeaky clean himself

HELPING HAND: Kamlesh Arya (right), key player in the regime's campaign to derail international trade union interest, with Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

EXPELLED: In 2009 from Australia
Insiders have revealed information about Kamlesh Arya, the 'veteran unionist', who in recent days has been supporting the military regime's campaign to scare off Australian and New Zealand trade unions from taking industrial action.

Arya, the former president of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, has been revealed as having for many years lived off the cuts he and his associates have made from all multi-million dollar constructions works done for school and Fiji University.

Sources say work on his recent Fiji University Library project in Lautoka has been done by a local company, (Engineer Procure Construct  (Fiji) Ltd), which is run by a foreign non-FNPF paying employer. The company was given a tender by Arya for more than $1.1 million while the lowest tender was $650,000.00. It is also believed the EPC director, Vijay Zutshi, is raking in millions of dollars in revenue from FEA projects and showing losses to the FTIB.

Arya, Fiji's former ambassador to Australia, is said to have collected more than $150,000 in commission from being the President of the Arya Sabha. He has also tried to reallocate other district funds to the main body of Sabha for construction deals, and when rejected by the district affiliates, made moves to have elections and have Presidents changed.

Arya has been helping the regime thwart the current interest by Australian and New Zealand unions in taking industrail action against Qantas and Air Pacific to hurt the illegal regime.

He has attacked unionsts Felix Anthiny, Daniel Urai and Rajeswhar Singh, saying: “I think some of these guys are now losing the luxuries they enjoy and they went to Australia to resurrect themselves through international imposition in Fiji to show that they that they are the high and mighty of the union movement and if they are not taken care of they will lose their status – it is going to affect their ego now." 

But as sources says he's riding the gravy train himself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fiji leadership 'damage controls' death of American and Kiwi businessmen for fear of spooking tourists

Fiji's military dictatorship seems to be going to awful lengths to protect the country's much vaunted tourism image.

A Kiwi and an American have died in the country in the past two weeks, both of them businessman, and one of them killed after being beaten up in Nadi but the regime as per its policy to hide all that shows Fiji is not a paradise, is controlling local coverage. 

It has, however, been okay with news stories about the deaths of two local men, one of them a 51 year man (Tevita Tabua) whose body was found last week in Nadi. Police now say three suspects are being questioned.

GROOM: Beaten in Nadi.
But it has been left to the countries of the New Zealander and the American to reveal the details of their deaths.

According to TV3, Kiwi Tony Groom died after apparently being beaten up in Nadi, last week. The 55 year old operated a charter boat business and had run a Greymouth motel before moving to Fiji, late last year. 

Mr Groom was being buried in Nadi today.

The other death the regime has tried to keep quiet  is that of well-known Charlotte company executive Don Nicholas, who failed to return from the water while surfing last Thursday in Nadi.

Nicholas was surfing with an instructor. Dive teams and helicopters were reportedly called out but he has not been found. 

According to information, the CEO had been visiting Fiji to take part in the "Life and Wealth Mastery" conference with famed-life coach Anthony Robbins.

Media in Nicholas' hometown have reported his death under the headline "CEO Missing in Paradise". (see news reports below)

A source says Fiji police have been told to downplay both incidents for fear of the repercussions on the country's tourism industry. He says: "Imagine what would happen if Aussies and Kiwis knew about one missing surfer and two murders in Nadi in the space of 10 days?"

Still on tourism, an update on the woes and dramas at Air Pacific and CEO Dave Pflieger, who has let former PR man Sam Pareti go in favour of Shane Hussein.

Sources say the decision to tell all in a one-sided tale of lies, lies and nothing but lies in the country's oldest daily was not such a great idea after all. All that was revealed in the Fiji Times came back to bite Pflieger in the bum, when Transport Workers Union General Secretary Kamlesh Kumar revealed all in a media statement via Coupfourpointfive exposing the CEO's porkies.

Pflieger's unpopularity has grown with reports that show he will stop at nothing to achieve his dream of a good life at the expense of his hard working employees and tax payers dollars.

He and his expatriate consultant mates have, meanwhile, effectively demoralised a company with a relatively incident free record, sought-after pilots and engineers .... all the while saying he is trying to save the national airline.

Questions continue to surface about Pflieger but our esteemed government keeps showing confidence in him; they've made him chairman of Tourism Fiji. But as time goes on, it's becoming more and more clear that he knows little about the country and is making some very poor decisions for Air Pacific. The company's financial report for 2010-2011 will make for good reading, if it is ever made public.
Editor's Note: Samisoni Pareti says contrary to reports to Coupfourpointfive, he tendered his resignation as Media Consultant of Air Pacific, and was not sacked. "My resignation is to clear the way for airline's new Manager Public Relations & Communication, Shane Hussein to come on board and no, I never applied for the job because I prefer my non full-time employee status!"

Khaiyum's aunt eyes profitable food company

The aunt of the illegal attorney general, Nur Bano Ali, is said to be hoping to buy Food Processors Ltd, the profitable public enterprise her nephew is putting up for sale.

Sources say the appointed consultant for the review and sale on approved Cabinet papers is Ali's accounting firm, which is being paid the sum of eight hundred thousand.

ALI: Well-connected and well paid.
The company has been government owned for 25 years and deals primarily with food manufacturing, specialising in processing, canning, packaging local fruits, vegetables, root crops and marine products for the local and export market.

The paper for the sale was pushed and approved in cabinet by the Permanent Secretary for trade and commerce, Saipora Mataikabara, on the orders of illegal AG, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Khaiyum recently arranged the sale of the Rewa Dairy Co-operative and the Government Printery as part of the illegal government's structural reform aimed at saying on operating costs.

Insiders say Nur Bano Ali's accounting firm was paid $700,000 just over a week ago for the final payment on the consultancy of Rewa Dairy restructure. The total payment was two million dollars.

An advertisement about the sale has appeared in the Fiji Sun. The ad below is from Fiji Trade and Investment Bureau website:

Sale of Food Processors (Fiji) Ltd

Date: 14 Jul, 2011
Fiji govt logo

Food Processors (Fiji) Ltd (FPFL) is a government commercial company and has been in operation for 25 years.  Food manufacturing is it main line of business, specilised in processing, canning, packaging local fruits, vegetables, root crops and marine products for the local and export market.
Government of Fiji seeks proposals from private investors who have the capacity to invest and improve product facilities, and provide locally processed high quality and value-added products and services.
Investors are invited to submit proposals for either full or partial equity participation in the company.
Expressions of interest must include, amongst other things:
1. A record of successfull operations in food processing business
2. Demonstrations of the ability and commitment to
  • Invest in upgrading FPFL's plant and processes
  • Expand FPFL's services so that it increases its contribution to Government's import substitution program and "Buy Fiji Made" initiative.
3. Details of strategies of interest will be treated in strict confidence and must be received no later than 3:00pm on 01 August 2011. Submissions are to be addressed as "FPFL EOI, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Enterprises" and mailed to PO Box 2278, Government Buildings, Suva or hand delivered to 4th Floor, Civic Towers, Suva, Fiji.

Source: Fiji police ready to support international union action

UNHAPPY FORCE: Inhumane conditions driving senior officers to consider walking off the job.

TARGET: Air Pacific and Qantas.
Information sent to Coupfourpointfive shows police officers are now looking at walking off the job if industrial action takes place in Fiji as some trade unions are hoping.

An inside source says the escalation of the current union campaign to get offshore affiliates involved in planned industrial action against Qantas and Air Pacific, is being monitored and followed closely with interest, by police officers.

Fiji's police have long been unhappy with the shabby working conditions and lack of resources, including having to dip into their own pockets for basic work  things like paper and uniforms.

A source says some 30 senior officers above the rank of inspector (IP) have resolved that if the unions will go on strike,"we together with 50% policemen from all divisions will join them to show our support and voice concern."

The source says officers are made to work 12 hours shifts with no protective equipment and are also required to do other shifts without any allowance. 

He says the police also continue to work with  no standard equipment and without even stationery for police files. Police officers are also forced to buy their own footwear and uniform, pay for their case files photocopy with failure resulting in disciplinary action from senior officers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

'Millionaire Fiji union leaders' debate keeps firing

ARYA: Fueling fire
The military dictatorship and trade unionists Felix Anthony, Rajeshwar Singh and Daniel Urai continue to battle it out over who has the real support and the mandate of unions.

The military dictatorship pressed on with its story yesterday that the trio have no backing to be in Australia and New Zealand seeking support for industrial action against Qantas and Air Pacific.

A statement from MINFO spokesperson Sharon Smith Johns headed "Millionaire unionists leaders' bid to self-resurrect," claimed a massive $3.5 million is collected by trade unions in subscription fees and that a significant portion of it goes on the salaries and perks of union leaders.

The regime cited 'veteran unionist' Kamlesh Arya, the former president of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, as saying: “I think some of these guys are now losing the luxuries they enjoy and they went to Australia to resurrect themselves through international imposition in Fiji to show that they that they are the high and mighty of the union movement and if they are not taken care of they will lose their status – it is going to affect their ego now.”

The MINFO statement said figures obtained from major unions such as Fiji Sugar & General Workers , Fiji Public Service Association, National Union of Hotel & Catering Workers, Communication, Mining & General workers, National Transport Workers,  Finance Sector, teachers, nurses and farmers unions show that the three union leaders have a total of about 30,000 members who pay on average $5 per week in subscription fees.

It says no tax is levied on the subs and that Anthony, Singh, and Urai enjoy free housing, travel subsidies, entertainment allowances and "luxury cars, and even to the extent of weekly fuel for cars." 

The statement said most the union bosses receive more than $100,000 in salaries quoting Kamlesh Arya again as saying it was “union thuggery.

The regime also produced a second 'veteran unionst', Viliame Kautia of the General Secretary of the Public Employees Union, who said "once elected, these leaders think they can do what they please but this is not on.”

Predictably, the regime justified its 'revelations' of the salaries and allowances of Anthony, Singh and Urai but continues to deny its own excessive salaries with Smith-Johns saying  "members are concerned union leaders are joining the Anti-Fiji Movements overseas who are trying to destroy the country instead of taking up workers issues with the Government".

“This is a national issue and the government has all the right to be concerned as it has a duty to protect the country and its citizens."

Anthony, Singh and Urai have continued to defend their motives and efforts to secure the support of overseas affiliates saying the regime is sidestepping the real issue -workers rights and the introduction of yet another illegal decree, this time aimed at putting a choker hold on the public service.

The FPSA says both the illegal government and PSC have been ignoring its calls, letters and requests since 2007, choosing instead to unilaterally impose a 5% pay cut which took it three years to restore. It says since then, the PER and the illegal decrees have stopped it and other unions from speaking out about the attacks on union members and leaders. 

More good reading below for those following the debate.

Meanwhile sources say Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has a team from police and army making sure that any union members found having meetings are detained.
They say as a front the police come and arrest them, but when they taken up to CID, the army guys are there to interview and whack them, pulling a veil over the eyes of people that police is detaining, but in actual fact they are transferring the detainees to the army for question.

FPSA says members confused

FPSA response to MINFO

FPSA Response to media release