#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-08-28

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Intel warning about IED campaign for Fiji preceded Sunbeam bus fire

SUNBEAM BUS FIRE: Company waiting for LTA results.

Fiji fire officials say yesterday's blaze on a Sunbeam bus may have been a mechanical fault but intelligence sources tipped Coupfourpointfive weeks ago that those working to bring to an end the regime, had had enough and were going to start using IEDs.

IED stands for improvised explosive device and is the military term for a low impact precision device such as that of a small battery circuit that can be attached to the fuel line of a vehicle to cause a quick fire.

An email sent to us weeks ago said: "We have had enough of talks, this IED warning is real as we have about 15 made on hand. We are not terrorists, but our threat is real." 

Sixty people were forced to flee the Sunbeam bus yesterday when the engine caught fire. The bus was on its way to Suva from Lautoka when it ran into trouble between Nawai and Sigatoka, about 11 am.

The Fiji Times has quoted the National Fire Authority chief, Tupou Saubulinayau, as saying preliminary investigations indicate mechanical problems caused the fire but they are investigating further.

The operations manager for Sunbeam Transports is quoted as saying they don't have a full explanation and are waiting for the results of a LTA investigation next week.

Sunbeam's Zahid Ali is quoted as saying they are very regretful of the incident and want to reassure passengers such an incident will not happen again.
In late July intel sources told Coupfourpointfive a plan was underway to launch an IED campaign aimed at destabilising Fiji's tourism industry in a bid to cripple the regime.  The information went like this:

People of Fiji, Hear this call and hear it well. We have seen information that we provide from the inside hit worldwide ears and eyes and many rattling in the current illegal regime about the issues of:

·   Corruption by current regime leaders
·  Torture, killings and inhumane treatment of citizens of Fiji
·   Demolition and sale of government owned institutions for self gains
People have stood up with these information from us, information that have saved their lives, helped them think outside the box and use the information against the regime. As these individuals seek restoration of democracy from outside Fiji, our chiefs and populace remain gagged and silenced, living in fear of the gun.
Businessmen are gagged through decree by the regime what to do and what not to do! We have had commanders who support this intel group but they also can't stand up due to fear of PER.
Everyone wants democracy but nobody wants to stand up in Fiji because they fear for their life and their families life. Everyone wants PER out, but how ?
This regime is blind and deaf, PER is their life line.  Tourism is our breath at the moment that keeps Fiji economy going. Mara and his group are trying with their gallant effort to cut this life line from this regime, but it’s a indirect action, our tourism is not from Australia and NZ alone, we have seen tourism increase 10 fold from asian market.
So what we do we do to get a deaf and dumb regime to listen, yes its needs a big boom. We are simple smiling people in Fiji, but when devil stands at your door, you can't invite him in. Therefore we want to tell the world, and the Fiji regime, as we always respect the value of human life, you leave us no option but to cripple you from within.
Within next few weeks, we will target all popular tourist spots in Fiji specially in Suva, Sigatoka and Nadi using IEDs’ that we have successfully made. Therefore ,we give our country men a fair warning in advance to stay clear of places where tourists go.
Consider this a fair warning in advance, stay away from Fiji or your families might not even recognize your bodies!
This is not a joke.
We have had enough of talks, this IED warning is real as we have about 15 made on hand. We are not terrorists, but our threat is real. We will blow up big holes at favourite tourist spots.

World Council of Churches: Bainimarama regime should not be interfering in Methodist affairs

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse says regime should back off.

Growing support for the plight of Fiji's Methodist Church with the World Council of Churches now denouncing the regime's interference.

The Council is made up of 349 churches worldwide with about 550 million Christians and says it is concerned about the blatant violation of freedom of religion by Frank Bainimarama's unelected government.

The general secretary of the Council, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, says the military dicatorship should not be interfering in internal church decisions and affairs.

"This is the third year in a row that the government has cancelled the Methodist annual conference," he said. "Authorities have also suspended the national constitution, restricted media freedom and detained other opponents." 

Tveit is currently in Samoa for the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Conference of Churches and a meeting of Pacific church leaders.

The general secretary of the Methodist Church of Samoa, Rev. Vaiao Eteuati (pictured left), has also called on the global church to put pressure on the regime against what he calls 'unjust actions' towards the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma.  

While other denominations in Fiji have been allowed to hold conferences and meet without restrictions, Fiji's unelected government cancelled the Methodist Church's three-day annual conference and has stipulated it meet only for Sunday services, Friday night youth fellowship, womens fellowship and cell and group fellowships.

Coupfourpointfive obtained the following leaked documents which shows Mosese Tikoitoga signed off on the ruling on behalf of the Military Council and that the documents were marked:"ensure this is monitored."
See earlier story for more information.

Editor's Note: Coming up - what happened to the Sunbeam bus that caught fire yesterday in Nadi?

Narsey: Ending our cycles of religious intolerance

PERSECUTED: Fiji's Methodist Church followers. pic superstock.com
"Today, Hindus, Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims and even Indo-Fijian Methodists, are allowed by this Military Regime to freely practise their religion. But not the indigenous Fijian Methodists."
By Wadan Narsey

For 95% of the time, the activities of Fiji’s religions have been good for Fiji’s development.  For perhaps 5% of the time, their actions have caused great harm.

Currently, the Military Regime continues its persecution of the Methodist Church, blatantly contravening Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Basic Human Rights:  “Everyone has the right to freedom .... either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Other religions in Fiji who are allowed to freely have their gatherings and functions, remain quiet.

These Catholic, Anglican, Hindu, and Muslim religious organizations are at a crossroad in Fiji’s troubled history.

They can do the difficult but right thing today, by speaking up to express their disapproval of the Regime’s treatment of the Methodist Church.  Or, wallowing in the past injustices, they can remain silent.

If religious leaders remain quiet, then the religious followers and their educated leaders, must rise to the challenge.

If both religious leaders and followers remain silent during these troubled times, Fiji is unlikely to come out of our cycles of religious intolerance.

Easy to have revenge
No doubt, many Hindus, Catholics and Muslims feel a quiet satisfaction that the Methodists are being persecuted by the Military Regime - “maleka” - “now you see what it feels like” to be persecuted!

They, of course, remember 1987 and 2000 when the Methodist Church supported the military coups that removed democratically elected governments, and demanded the imposition of a “Christian State” and “Sunday Bans”.

Temples and mosques had been burnt creating great psychological anxiety, distress and anger among Hindu and Muslim followers, many of whom began to feel that Fiji could never be their home, if they could not freely practice their religion. Many did emigrate.

But in 1987, the Catholic and other Christian clerics and adherents (and don’t forget the few conscientious Methodists like Rev. Koroi and others) earned huge goodwill from Hindus and Muslims by speaking up for their religious freedoms.

This no doubt also encouraged Hindu and Muslim participation in the Council of Churches, which played a powerful bridging role between religions and ethnic groups.

Today’s Catholics and Hindus as guilty as 1987 Methodists
Since 2006, the Catholic and Hindu religious organisations have behaved just as badly as the Methodists did in 1987.

They came out in support of a military coup that treasonously removed a democratically elected government.

The leaders of the Catholic Church, the Hindu Sanatan Dharam and Arya Samaj, and the Muslim League took prominent part in the NCBBF whose culmination was the People’s Charter, with its first paragraph swearing allegiance to the 1997 Constitution.

Many Catholics and Hindus took up positions in the Military Regime’s Boards.

They continued to support the Regime, even after the Appeal Court ruled in 2009 that the 2006 coup and the President’s actions were illegal and treasonous.

The military allegations of widespread corruption, both financial and electoral, have never been proven after five years- and are unlikely to be.

Without any public statement against what has happened since 2006 and 2009, these religious leaders remain collaborators in a treasonous military coup, and all its resultant evils: lack of accountability for hundreds of millions of tax-payers funds, destruction of the economy, draconian media censorship, and personal enrichment, to name just a few.

These actions of the Catholic, Hindu and Muslim organisations are no different today from those of the Methodists in 1987.

They have never publicly withdrawn their support of the 2006 Military coup, and they do not speak out in support of their sister Methodist Church who are persecuted.

Of course, neither has the Methodist Church ever made clear public statements admitting that their support of the 1987 and 2000 coups was treasonous and morally wrong.

And so the sad vicious cycle of religious intolerance continues, building up dams of evil for the future.

Religion is personal AND social
The purest and truest religion is between the individual “Person” and “God”.  There is no real need for religious organisations, leaders, buildings, or gatherings.

Yet all religions the world over have organisations, leaders, buildings of worship and gatherings.  These all strengthen the social bonds that the adherents have with each other, and enable them to collectively achieve many other good things in life often neglected by the State.

Despite our destructive military coups, Fiji is still one of the more developed countries in the Pacific because all our many religious organisations, have very successfully built and managed schools, technical and agricultural colleges, now universities, old peoples’ homes, orphanages, and welfare organizations.

Despite their great poverty, they also build ostentatious churches, temples and mosques, even though God has no need for physical buildings.

But one of the social benefits of religion, that even agnostics like me acknowledge, is that religious “peer group” social pressure is often the only thing that stops many ordinary humans from doing evil towards their fellow citizens.

For this valuable social aspect of religion, people must be allowed to freely gather together - to pray, to sing, to raise funds, and to discuss whatever matters they wish to discuss.  It is their basic human right to do so.

No one should be allowed to stop this basic human right, least of all an illegal Military Regime which has callously turned its tax-payer funded guns, on its own people.

Today, Hindus, Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims and even Indo-Fijian Methodists, are allowed by this Military Regime to freely practise their religion. 

But not the indigenous Fijian Methodists. 

Learning from the past

No religious organisation today can sit on their high horses and say “We are innocent”.

Many anonymous Methodist bloggers look back with great regret, to their own support of the coups in 19897 and 2000, and turned a blind eye to all the resulting injustices to others.

Today, many genuine Catholics must be wondering whether their support of the 2006 military coup has done far more damage to Fiji and the interests of poor, than the good done by small sums thrown around for social welfare and squatter housing.

Clerics who supported the Military’s alleged electoral reform after the 2006 coup, must be wondering, whether they were merely used to justify a coup, and perhaps will soon be recalled out of their little boxes, for the next Act in the Military Charade.

Many ordinary Hindus, following the Military requirement for permits to have religious gatherings like Ram Naumi, now must have great doubts about the honesty, integrity and accountability of the Military Regime, which has also destroyed the sugar industry, and persecuted their political and trade union leaders.

Ending the cycle of religious intolerance
Religious leaders have a glorious opportunity to rise above past discordance and defend the religious freedoms of all religions, Methodists and others, while all acknowledging their mistakes in the past.

Religious leaders, who know the importance of repentance, are surely ideal people to take the lead in reconciliation in Fiji today, especially as most should not have personal material agendas (although some clearly do).

It is in such difficult times that religious leaders can prove their leadership mantles, just as some did in 1987 and 2000.

Here also is a valuable opportunity for the many intellectuals of all races, who support these religious bodies, to offer their wise advice and guide the religious leaders.

If the religious and intellectual leaders fail to lead, then they place enormous burdens on ordinary Christians, Hindus and Muslims to “do the right thing”.

Usually, ordinary people can’t witness all the global nightmares of religious intolerance and violence - between Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Muslims, Hindus and Christians.

Good people of Fiji: you have an opportunity to end the cycles of religious bigotry that began in 1987.

Let not the evils of media censorship and Public Emergency Decrees, or the pernicious desire for “revenge”, stop you in this worthy endeavor.

Blessed will be they who extend their helping hands to those who are down. And doubly blessed will be Fiji.       

Melbourne's Fiji community steps up for global rally

 FIGHTING FOR FIJI: Unions and community in Melbourne.

The numbers were small but passionate. 

Those who took part in yesterday's rallies to highlight workers rights and the treatment of trade unionists, say the campaign keeps the fight for democracy visible and gives morale support to those still living in Fiji, and under the illegal rule of Frank Bainimarama. 

These pictures, today, from the Melbourne rally.

The country's two main unions, FTUC and FICTU, are meanwhile leading the way and promising to keep working together in the interests of workers.

Read joint FTUC and FICTU statement

Editor's Note: There have been comments on this forum that mainstream did not cover the rallies. That is incorrect. Note links to stories by ABC and 9News below. There may have been others, too.

Protesting against deteriorating Fijian human rights
Fiji is no paradise for workers: unions 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Regime paper work for Methodist Church restrictions: 'ensure this is monitored'

Question: What does Mosese Tikoitoga do when he's not crying about being refused a visa to attend the Rugby World Cup? Answer: He bullies the Methodist Church.
Tikoitoga is the big heavy enforcing the regime's edict to keep the Methodist Church in line. See his signature on the orders for the police to make sure the Church doesn't try to meet outside stipulated times.

The Director Operations, SSP Rusiate Tudravu, is the other bully. His is the second signature on the directive aimed at keeping the Church under thumb.

Below is a communication sent by one of the stewards to church leaders.

The Government has decided that no MEETINGS shall be permitted in all Methodist Churches until further notice.  This NOTICE applies to all of the following:
  • Any ministry meeting (Youth, Women, Men, Social Welfare, Finance & Property etc)
  • All Church and Circuit Leaders Meetings (F&P, Lay Preachers etc)

Fellowship and worship programmes are permitted to continue as usual, that is:
  • Regular Sunday service programmes
  • Friday night Youth Fellowship programmes
  • Women's Fellowship gatherings
  • Cell Group and Home Church programmes

We hope this NOTICE will not stand for long.  Updates shall be sent out by email as they come in.  If you seek further clarification you can call the Office Administrator, Eka on 3313952 or reply to this email or call the Church mobile, 9760093.  On our Divisional Superintendent's behalf, I apologise about any inconvenience caused.

(Name withheld)

Fiji's Sydney community at front of global rally

STANDING UP: Sydney pro-democracy advocates.

A show of strength today from the Fiji community in Sydney, at the rally outside the Fiji consulate.

As in New Zealand, the rally was part of a global day of action co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation.

The Australian Council of Trade Union led today's Sydney march;  ACTU has been running its own web campaign by LabourStart and Australian unions, with thousands of unionists from Australia and across the globe already sending protest emails to the Bainimarama Government.
ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence says Australians are outraged at the continued repression of human and worker rights by the military regime led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

“It is becoming increasingly unsafe for workers in Fiji to stand up for their rights, which are being removed systematically by Bainimarama as his military seizes control of workplaces.

"We will not sit back and allow the rights of Fijian workers to be trampled by this military regime.”

Lawrence says Australian unions condemned the arrest and subsequent court hearing of Daniel Urai and Danesh Gounder, as a violation of the rights of trade unions and Fiji’s international obligations.
In a show of support for workers in Fiji, the ACTU Executive recently resolved to support Fijian unions, including calling on the Bainimarama Government to restore workers’ rights by revoking the draconian Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, and to hold democratic elections.

A delegation from the International Labour Organisation last month travelled to Fiji to investigate serious allegations of human and worker rights violations.

Lawrnece said: “Independent trade unions are needed in Fiji to deliver decent work to its people, 40% of whom live below the poverty line."

MUA National Secretary and ITF President Paddy Crumlin also condemned the Fijian Government for its ongoing attacks on the rights of union members and their leaders.

"In Fiji, not only are workers' rights being attacked but union leaders like Daniel Urai are being detained by the regime for speaking out.

"The MUA and ITF have a long history of fighting for the rights of union members around the world and we won't be stopping now."
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said under the new decree, workers in some sectors had been totally disenfranchised of any rights, including the most fundamental entitlements.

“For instance, a Fijian baggage handler working 50-55 hour week for Qantas would lose up to half their pay, down to less than AU$90 a week. Qantas and Air Pacific just think they should stand by and collect profit. That is simply unacceptable."


FIJI SUPPORT: For marginalised workers and unionists.

Rallies call for a combined effort against Fiji regime

TIME TO FOR A JOINT EFFORT: CTU's Helen Kelly and supporters including Green MP, Keith Locke (middle), holding sign. Below: Democracy advocates fly the Fiji flag and supporters rally for Fiji brothers and sisters.

The message was clear today: people have to work together to remove the unelected military government of Frank Bainimarama.
At the Wellington rally, the president of the Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly, acknowledged that Fiji people on their own have not been able to dislodge the dictator and neither had the unions. She said it was time to pull together.

Today's rally in Wellington, Sydney, London and Belgium outside Fiji's diplomatic posts is the start of a united global campaign against the regime. 

Helen Kelly says today also marks the start of renewed efforts for boycotts and other industrial action saying there were a number or pressure points that could be applied. 

Individual protests will continue in coming weeks, including the Pacific Forum in Auckland and the Rugby World Cup where people will be asked to wear white arms bands as a sign of protest against the regime.

In a statement sent earlier, the Council of Trade Union and Amnesty International called for the regime to remove the Public Emergency Regulations.

The statement supported FTUC's Daniel Urai, union organiser Nitin Gounder, who were due to appear in court today charged with unlawful assembly.

Kelly said “Daniel and Nitin were detained and questioned, apparently for having met with union members about collective negotiations with hotel management and earlier in the year, Felix Anthony of the FTUC was physically assaulted.

"The regime is perpetrating a deliberate attack on trade union rights by issuing decrees making it almost impossible for unions to function and removing internationally recognized civil rights of freedom of assembly and collective bargaining.”

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand spokesperson Margaret Taylor said “the on-going persecution of trade union leaders and attacks on worker’s rights is further evidence of the Fijian government’s assault on human rights generally.”

“Amnesty International supports  workers in Fiji and the Fiji labour movement in their struggle to defend their rights and  calls on the Fijian government to immediately repeal the Public Emergency Regulations which allows it to violate key human rights while providing immunity to those committing such violations."


TUC leads London rally: 'We want regime to wake up and know world is watching'

FINGERED: Dictator Bainimarama.
Global support today for the plight of Fiji workers, including trade unionists Felix Anthony, Daniel Urai and Danesh Goundar who've been charged under the PER by the regime.

The UK based TUC is taking part in a demonstration outside the Fiji High Commission in London as part of a global protest at the arrest and court appearance of one of the country's leading trade union officials.

In astatement, titled 'Trouble in paradise for Fijian workers', it says union leader Daniel Urai is in court charged with holding an illegal meeting with his members as the military dictatorship that has run Fiji since 2006 steps up its repression of independent voices calling for democracy and reform.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Fiji may look like a tropical paradise, but it's anything but that for anyone who opposes the vicious military dictatorship. We want the Fijian regime to wake up tomorrow and know that the world is watching, horrified at their attacks on peaceful and constructive trade unionists.'

The statement continues with: "Over the past five years, unions have led the challenge to the military dictatorship which has run Fiji's economy into the ground and made it an international pariah, and seen it suspended from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum. The EU has also suspended its overseas aid programme and will consider further moves at the end of September.

Recently Fiji's military dictatorship has started to crack down on opposition groups like the unions and the Methodist Church, refusing to allow them to hold meetings, getting rid of workers' rights in the public sector and banning strikes in any sector the regime declares 'essential' like sugar farming and tourism.

Foreign Office Minister David Lidington condemned the arrest of Daniel Urai in August, saying 'the UK government believes this action will increase further Fiji's isolation from the international community. The right to assemble peacefully is at the heart of a functioning democracy and helps to improve long-term social, political and economic stability.'

At 4pm today (Thursday in the UK but Friday and the day of the court case in Fiji), the TUC is meeting with the Charge d'Affaires at the Fijian High Commission. The delegation will hand over a letter from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber outlining the TUC's concerns at the regime's clampdown on workers' rights which are currently being investigated by the International Labour Organisation, the UN body dealing with the world of work.


TWU joins today's rally against Fiji regime


Posted in: TWU NEWS
By Transport Workers' Union of Australia

30 Aug, 2011

RALLY: Friday, 2 September 2011
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
100 Walker Street
North Sydney

On Friday 2 September Daniel Urai, President of the Fiji Trade Union Congress and General Secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industries Employees, and his union organiser Nitin Gounder, are scheduled to appear in the Nadi Magistrates Court in Fiji charged with unlawful assembly. 

Both men were detained and questioned at Nadi Police Station overnight on 3 August and charged next day, apparently for having met with and advised union members regarding pending collective negotiations with hotel management.

The harassment and intimidation of unionists in Fiji is perpetrated by the military

regime of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, under a series of Decrees which have stripped away civil and trade union rights, imposed strict press censorship, abolished minimum wages and conditions of employment, and terminated existing collective agreements.

A high-level delegation from Fiji Trade Union Congress attended ACTU Executive in July and provided a comprehensive update of developments in Fiji. The delegation comprised FTUC General Secretary Felix Anthony, FTUC President Daniel Urai, and FTUC Assistant Secretary Rajeshwar Singh.

With the worsening situation and passage of further Decrees, the Director General of the International Labour Organization dispatched a senior ILO fact-nding delegation to Fiji from 11-13 August, to assess the country’s compliance with its

obligations under ILO Conventions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.

Further details regarding the deteriorating situation if Fiji can be found at:





Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fiji media banned while MSG delegates view 'promo' video

SELF-IMPORTANCE: Bainimarama at MSG meet.

DELEGATES: Treated to movie
Proof today the unelected government of Frank Bainimarama is using the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting to promote more lies about how well it is running the country.

Media were today ejected so a video could be shown to visiting foreign ministers from the 14 countries, although just the prime minister from Tuvalu was there.

The video apparently pushes how well the regime is doing and money was spent on making it to show the illegal government in a good light.

Sources also say Bainimarama told delegates 65% of people in Fiji support the controversial People's Charter.

Many will recall that when the Charter was being promoted around the country, Bainimarama said it was going ahead whether people liked it or not. 

Sources also say Bainimarama told delegates voter registration for the 2014 election is well underway. 

The regime's election plans have been closely guarded and few people believe free, democratic elections will come to Fiji in three years time.

Sources say media weren't allowed to ask any questions and say they wouldn't put it pass the regime to use villagers in its sham promotional movie to say they supported the Peoples Charter.

A treaty which was supposed to be signed yesterday has been delayed until tomorrow because the leaders of PNG, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have not arrived yet. 

The PS for Misinformation, Sharon Smith Johns, had said earlier in the week all leaders would be in the country by Wednesday.

Sources say Bainimarama did not look a happy man because of the poor turnout, a far cry from when he was prancing around when the first MSG meeting was held in Natadola.

It was also noticeable there were more police and soldiers than delegates. The police launched a special operation,Yatu Pasifika, for this meet but it was clear the soldiers were in charge, arriving in flash government vehicles.

From today's meeting came the news, too, that Papua New Guinea turned down the offer to host the first MSG Games, which was supposed to match the Pacific Games and the mini Pacific Games coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum.

Fiji's call for the removal of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, has, meanwhile, been unanimously endorsed by Melanesian countries.

The real Forum starts in Auckland next week and will be attended by the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamlesh Sharma and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Regional trade unions spearhead anti-regime protest rallies

New Zealand and Australian trade unions will tomorrow launch what is hoped will become the start of a global movement against the unelected government of Fiji.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (in conjunction with Amnesty International) are leading protest rallies outside the embassy and high commission in Sydney and Wellington.

The rallies are the result of local Fiji unions calling on overseas affiliates to support them following attempts by the regime to marginalise workers and cripple the trade union movement, as it has media and Fiji citizens in general via decrees and the Public Emergency Regulations. 

The rallies will push the plight of Fiji workers and trade unions, so speakers like the president of the New Zealand CTU, Helen Kelly, who will be speaking in Wellington, will focus on:
a) the physical assaults of union leaders
b) detention of union and church leaders
c) restriction on being able to hold meetings
e) major restrictions on the media
e) decrees removing trade union and human rights and the military presence in civilian workplaces such as sugar mills.
The rallies come as the regime continues to clamp down of workers rights.

Typically, as it has been doing with other unions, including FTUC, the regime recently rejected an  application from the Communications, Mining and General Workers Union's to organise a meeting.

Under the ILO Convention #87 which Fiji has ratified, unions have a right to conduct their affairs in full freedom and without any restriction or interference from the State.

The general secretary for the union, Attar Singh, says the ILO delegation that visited Fiji earlier this month had pointed this out to the regime and was assured by the regime permits would be issued.

The South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions is meanwhile the latest to fire a missive to Frank Bainimarama to show its support for workers and trade unions.

In the letter, SPOCTU convenor Michael Malabag urges the dictator to stop the intimidation and harrassment of unionists and to restore freedom of expression and workers rights.

SPOCTU is not the first to show its support. In recent months, the International Trade Unions Council and a swag of its affiliates have sent communications to Suva denouncing the regime's treatment of workers and unions.

The Sydney rally is outside the Fiji Consulate, 100 Walker Street, North Sydney 11am to midday.

The Welllington rally is outside the high commission, 31 Pipitea Street, Thorndon 12.30 to 1.30pm.

Australia's FDFM is also holding a public forum tomorrow night at 7pm, at the HEALS Centre, 5 Clifton Street, Blair Athol. Key speakers are Suliasi Daunitutu, Jone Baledrokadroka and Roko Ului Mara. (see flyer to the right for more information).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VRF blitzes Fiji text users with resistance message

BIG REACH: VRF text campaign.

The group giving the people of Fiji new hope has upped its campaign to rattle the regime and show people it's serious about toppling the illegal government.
Viti Revolutionary Forces today carried out a massive text blitz in Fiji, saying it reached "almost everyone."

The message urged people to support the campaign to restore democracy: "PEOPLE of Fiji, ACT NOW 2 return democracy 2 Fiji. Stand up and B counted. Support Methodist church. Start passive resistance now. VRF act for a free Fiji". 

VRF said: "If the service providers are to trace it, then it has to be in conjunction with the international networks and they would not have the capabilities or the co-operation required."

It also told Coupfourpointfive: "This is part of VRF strategy to show the capabilities, strength, leadership and the network VRF possesses."

Social media like texting, Facebook and blogs were crucial in the campaigns to topple the dictators of Egypt, Syria, Iran and Libya. They were also used in the recent London riots to mobilise and organise people.

Viti Revolution Forces says: "VRF is following its strategies and the one and only objective is to remove the regime and bring peace and freedom for people of Fiji. VRF will step up its operations as needed and it has only started. More will come and it will come as required, when the need arises to step up to its maximum capabilities."

Fiji police today, meanwhile, tried to play down the VRF burning of a police post in Vutadradra, saying it was going to be demolished anyway. 

Readers will see from the photos sent to Coupfourpointfive, though, that VRF did serious damage. (see earlier pictures)

The unelected government is also continuing to suppress the Methodist Church as it threatened to do last week, after it cancelled the Suva conference.

Members of the Wesley City Mission Church have now received a letter from their pastor, Apenisa Katonivualiku, informing them that there will no longer be meetings, worship or fellowship services. Others are expecting similar formal notification.

The only services/programs permitted in Church are the regular Sunday worship services.

The continuous attack of the Methodist Church has caught the attention of the UnitingWorld Church of Australia.

In a story headlined Fiji Government Muscles Methodist Church, the National Director of UnitingWorld,  Rev Dr Kerry Enright (pictured), says church leaders in Australia are deeply concerned  about the Fiji military interference in church decisions.

UnitingChurch is urging members to write to the Australian government expressing support for the Fiji Methodist Church and to relay their concerns about breaches in human rights.

Read the UnitingChurch Press Release

Tikoitoga cries foul over NZ visa rejection

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset with NZ PM John Key

Fiji Rugby Union boss Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga is still crying about his visa being rejected by the New Zealand government.

Last week he applied to the NZ government for a visa allowing him to accompany the Flying Fijians to the Rugby World Cup , but he could go only as far as Nadi airport because New Zealand said he couldn't enter.

Now he has gone crying to the IRB to pressure NZ to allow him in. He says he is lodging an official complaint against the NZ government to the IRB.

Tikoitoga told the regime owned station, FBC, that he knew the visa would be rejected  but the application had to be made to allow the New Zealand Government to make an official stand.

He said it is unfortunate that New Zealand has imposed politics upon an international event such as the Rugby World Cup.

"If they want to mix politics and sports then they must make it clear to the IRB and they should not be holding international tournaments if they're going to sanction who can come and play and who can’t. Unfortunately that is the stand they have taken and FRU, as such, will make its feelings known to IRB."

No doubt waiting on the sidelines to go to NZ as well are the illegal dictator Frank Bainimarama and other senior military personnel including Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Commonwealth head 'regrets' status quo in Fiji

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamlesh Sharma, says the international body regrets the lack of progress in restoring democracy to Fiji.

Sharma will be at next week's Pacific Island Forum in New Zealand and says, unfortunately, the status quo remains in Fiji.

Since Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth, there have been more human rights abuses, the beating of citizens including trade unionists, and more decrees aimed at marginalising worker rights and human rights.

Asked if the Commonwealth was considering tougher sanctions, Sharma said: "Fiji remains suspended from the Commonwealth and is actively on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group of foreign ministers (CMAG), whose recommendations continue to inform the Commonwealth's approach. CMAG regrets the lack of progress toward the restoration of democracy in Fiji, and is strongly concerned about the continued imposition of the Public Emergency Regulation, and reports of human rights abuses.

"While the suspension remains in place, the Commonwealth continues to seek constructive engagement with the Government of Fiji to support and encourage steps toward the return to civilian constitutional democracy, as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law. Meanwhile, individual Commonwealth members make their own decisions about any bilateral measures they may take in relation to Fiji."

The host of this year's Forum, New Zealand, has said the problems of Fiji will not be discussed at the gathering but members of the Australian democracy movement, Suliasi Daunitutu and Roko Ului Mara, from Tonga, intend to attend and lobby leaders.

Sharma told Coupfourpointfive, the Commonwealth is an observer to the Forum and as such, does not have a role in determining the agenda for Forum meetings. But he said: "The situation in Fiji will undoubtedly be among the issues discussed by Forum Leaders, among a large number of important regional matters likely to be on their agenda."

Fiji's trade unions are now looking to the ILO, which recently sent a delegation to Fiji, for support in the face of the regime's more recent decrees.

Sharma says the Commonwealth is aware of the ILO visit to Suva. "The Commonwealth works closely with a number of other international organisations to find avenues towards improving the prospects for the people of Fiji. We have noted the recent visit of the ILO to Fiji but have not had any direct discussion with the ILO to date."

The general secretary of the United Nations, Ban ki Moon, will also be in New Zealand for the Forum.

Mara has applied for a visa to attend the forum in Auckland.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VRF accepts responsibility for police post fires but says it's not targeting ordinary people, just the regime


VRF is taking full responsibility for the torching of police offices in the western division over the weekend.

In a statement, the group says "VRF comrades, CID HQ staff from Suva, crime scene personnel, military and forensic officers were all present at the scene of the incident - Vatudradra Police Post, No. 107 in Nadroga."

VRF says it has a very clear mandate and its plans have been mapped out by what it says is highly qualified professionals and individuals. 

"Our aim is NOT to damage and destroy any property that belongs to our own people or any private property for that matter. However, our property is occupied by thugs and murderers and they are ruining the future of our children."

VRF says its mandate is clear and it is as follows:
1) proving that regime and junta does not have the endorsement of the majority of the people of Fiji as it claims it does
2) and proving that there is a clear division within the military

Message to international observers
"VRF wants to send a clear message to the international communities about the above and to also send warnings to the international organisations and communities that the violent activities will step up to the next level, until the time they hear our cries and intervene. 

"VRF is assessing the situation locally and also internationally and listening very carefully. We are also anticipating the regime to create counter violence and VRF is in fact waiting for them and comrades are saying "bring it on Bai/ASK we are ready from inside and out". 

"At the same time we are also cautioning the general public to be on high alert as regime may try to organise attacks and blame on VRF."

The group had said it would strike out at taxi and bus operators that didn't support the call to stay off the roads yesterday but it now says it won't follow through with that. 

It says: "The word went around in the majority of the work places in public and private sector and they were eagerly anticipating a massive protest to initiate. 

"VRF also had communication with certain bus and taxi operators, who pleaded with VRF not to damage their properties as they are also against the regime and they say they will step in when the time is right.  

"VRF has considered very carefully the feedback and called off the activities against the operators FOR NOW. "

'We are not against the people'
The group says the people of Fiji will have to accept that certain sacrifices have to be made for "our children and grand children."

"We are not against you. We do not intend to harm any innocent member of the public or their property. We are against the murderers, who are running the country. 

"And, finally we are the rightful people who took an oath to provide protection to our own people. We will take you to the free Fiji for ALL in the very near future. Be ready to join the VRF and celebrations. We are there for you and for our children. God bless Fiji and pray."

VRF has neither denied nor accepted that there has been any involvement from military in its activities. A high ranking source has told Coupfourpointfive, Bainimarama's own men are part of VRF.