#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-10-23

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Qantas grounds planes and says it'll lock out striking workers

A Qantas plane at Nadi. pic Fiji Times

Alan Joyce pic BBC
The impasse between the Australian airline, Qantas, and three leading unions has come to a head with Qantas now saying it's grounding all international and domestic flights.
It follows industrial action from unions representing Qantas pilots, engineers and ground staff: ALAEA, the TWU and AIPA.

The airline, which owns 46 per cent of Fiji's national carrier Air Pacific, says all Qantas workers in Australia belonging to the unions will also be locked out from Monday.

The union's campaign has hit Qantas hard. Reports are claiming the financial impact to date is $68 million and that Qantas is losing about $15 million a week.

Approximately 70,000 passengers have been affected and more than 600 flights cancelled, most of them domestic.

Qantas says the lock-out will continue until the ALAEA, the TWU and AIPA drop what it says are the extreme demands that have made it impossible for agreements to be reached. 

But the Australian Government is less than impressed with the airline's decision saying it was told about Qantas' plan for the first time this afternoon.

The country's Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, has expressed frustration, saying the Government is extremely concerned about the future of Qantas, its workforce, and also the travelling public.

Albanese says he is disappointed by Qantas' decision "made on a Saturday morning with notice to the Government mid-afternoon, one day after an annual general meeting."

The airline's decision to ground the entire Qantas fleet  has also been criticised by the AIPA (the Australian and International Pilots Association), who says CEO Alan Joyce has "gone mad".

AIPA vice president Richard Woodward says the move was "premeditated, unnecessary and grossly irresponsible".

"No one predicted this, because no one thought Alan Joyce was completely mad.  

"This is a stunning overreaction. It is straight-up blackmail. I knew he was trying to kill Qantas but I didn't know he wanted to do it this quickly.

"This is a grave and serious situation and the board should move to sack Mr Joyce immediately. This is the saddest day of my 25 years with Qantas." 

Woodward says the AIPA's industrial action has been limited to making brief, positive in-flight announcements and wearing red ties.

Joyce, who has described the decision as 'unbelieveable', is reported to have been given a two million dollar pay rise just yesterday.

The Qantas subsidiary, Jetstar, flies to Fiji everyday and offers attractive holiday packages to Australians. 
(sources BBC, ABC, AAP)

Qantas CEO has 'gone mad' says pilots

Labour row grounds Qantas


Friday, October 28, 2011

'Risky' nature of Air Pacific deal canvassed at board meeting but ignored

Word from inside Air Pacific is that Wadan Narsey’s piece about FNPF’s risky loan of $200 million to fund the national carrier's three Airbus A330’s is on the money yet again. 

Sources within the airline and on the board who have been unable to vent about the way the airline is being run because of CEO David Pflieger’s direct line to the illegal AG, have revealed that the risky nature of the venture was canvassed during the board meetings to discuss the purchase of the new aeroplanes.

One member in particular was very vocal about the deal and advised Pflieger that leasing was a preferred option because of the huge cost involved in buying new and the fact that the airline was not performing well (strange when Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Air Pacific continue to promote record-breaking arrivals and the fact that 68% of visitors are being brought into the country by the struggling airline.)

This board member also pointed out to Pflieger that leasing provided the opportunity to upgrade aircraft as newer models come online. 

The safety record of the Airbus A330 was also widely canvassed and is well-documented:

As of June 2011, the Airbus A330 has been involved in thirteen major incidents, including six confirmed hull-loss accidents and two hijackings, for a total of 338 fatalities.

The following are notable accidents and incidents:
* On 30 June 1994, on a test flight an A330 owned by Airbus was simulating an engine failure on climbout. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Toulouse, killing all seven on board.
*On 24 July 2001, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Two SriLankan Airlines A330s were destroyed among other airliners and military aircraft.
*On 7 October 2008, Qantas Flight 72, an A330-303 (VH-QPA), suffered a rapid loss of altitude in two sudden uncommanded pitch down manoeuvres causing serious injuries while 150 km (81 nmi) from the Learmonth air base in northwestern Australia. After declaring an emergency, the aircraft landed safely at Learmonth. 106 people onboard were injured, fourteen seriously. A year after the incident Qantas still did not know what caused the computer malfunction.
*On 1 June 2009, Air France Flight 447, an A330-203, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people on board, disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean 640–800 kilometres (350–430 nmi) northeast of the islands of Fernando de Noronha. All passengers and crew were killed. Malfunctioning pitot tubes provided an early focus for the investigation.
*On 25 December 2009, a passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, an A330-300, attempted to detonate explosives in his underwear while the flight was in the air. Passengers and crew subdued the perpetrator, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
*On 12 May 2010, Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771, an A330-202, crashed on approach to Tripoli International Airport, Libya, on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. All but one of the 104 people on board were killed. The sole survivor was a nine-year-old Dutch boy.

FRU punishes players and selectors for Rugby World Cup disaster

REGIME HIERARCHY: Leading from the front? We think not. pic MINFO

So the military regime can clean up when it wants to.  In a harsh move following on from the disastrous Fiji campaign at the Rugby World Cup, the Fiji Rugby Union has dismissed the Flying Fijians team and  selectors.

The decision was announced by the FRU chairman, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, who said it was part of seven recommendations the board approved at a meeting last night. 

FBC quoted Tikoitoga today as saying: "The board has also agreed to dismiss the current national selectors and we will choose our next selectors from the group of contracted coaches from the major unions. The board has also agreed to put some of our permanent staff on temporary employment."

The first two players to be told they had been given the boot were coach Samu Domoni and High Performance Unit manager, Talemo Waqa. 

Fiji Village is, meanwhile, reporting that the FRU has also identified the players who it says did not abide by their contracts while in New Zealand. It says these players went out night clubbing and "will face the consequences with their final payment of $15,000 dollars to be deducted."

Players were to be paid $30,000 all up: $15,000 before the tournament and the rest after. All vacant posts will now be advertised and some people will be able to reapply but pay cuts are tipped. The position of CEO is expected to be appointed in January.

Fiji's performance at the tournament was the worse out of all of the Pacific teams; so bad that it no longer has automatic qualification and will have to earn a place in the next World Cup in 2015. 

Critics have blamed the regime for Fiji's shabby performance saying the military takeover of the FRU months before the tournament was responsible for destabilising the Flying Fijians' campaign.

No waiver for Fiji, Zimbabwe as CHOGM opens in Perth

After almost a week of investment and bilateral talks, the leaders of the 54-member Commonwealth countries will today begin a summit to consider proposals recommended by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Council (CMAC). 

But Fiji and Zimbabwe remain suspended until ‘genuine democracy through transparent electoral process’ is restored. 
At a joint briefing yesterday at the Media Centre in Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Karma listed the agenda as the reform of the association, economic transformation, food security, human rights, women as agents of change, climate change and the plight of small and vulnerable states. 
Gillard, who first addressed the press, said: “Our unique strengths and diversity — from the smallest nations to very large, and its representativeness with 54 states across six continents; its vibrancy and promise, are bonded by common values. 
“Organisations such as the Commonwealth bring countries together to discuss issues such as food security, climate change and sustainable development. 
“We have a new sense of purpose and promise.  We will continue to promote traditional values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We will be discussing issues bordering on food security, global economy, G-20 and climate change. At the end of the day, we want to speak with one voice. 
“We have had a very successful business forum, the most successful in the history of the Commonwealth.” 
Sharma said: “What we are going to see at the CHOGM is the Commonwealth genius of finding the way forward on our agenda of reform, renewal and resilience.

“Emerging issues and reports will be formally received by leaders on Friday (today) and attended to accordingly. 
“Whatever decisions the leaders arrive at will reflect the expectations of the Commonwealth citizens.  The aim is to build consensus on contemporary concerns, striving to strengthen the culture of democracy, to promote resilience and sustainable development, and to embrace and celebrate diversity. 
“This will make a difference in the lives of our citizens. This CHOGM will raise the bar for our engagement on each of our three aspirations — democracy, development and diversity. The programmes we devise here will see their expression in practical action that changes  the lives of millions of people in all our member countries. 
“The consensus agreed here and the solutions achieved here are something which will have global potential, which can contribute to the outcomes of other global summits. Commonwealth priorities naturally pay special attention to reflecting and articulating the concerns of small and vulnerable states.” 
On the fate of Fiji and Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth, Sharma said: “We are watching very closely the situation and their readiness to promote genuine democracy through free, fair and transparent electoral process. When they restore democracy to their countries, the leaders will take necessary decision on their return.” 
While Zimbabwe has been under a ‘doctored’ democratic environment, Fiji is being managed by military junta since 2006. 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Narsey: FNPF bakes pie-in-the-sky

By Dr Wadan Narsey

Two recent media releases indicate that the FNPF Board and Management (at the instigation of the Military Regime) are digging the hole deeper for FNPF, with no accountability to the owners of FNPF, and media censorship stopping all public discussions.

The first is the bad restructuring of the $303 million loan by FNPF to Natadola Bay Resort Limited (NBRL); and the second is the massively risky $200 million loan to help Air Pacific buy 3 Airbuses in 2013, completely contradicting the most recent advice by recent consultants (Promontory) on sound investment policy for FNPF.

Why interest free indefinite loan to NRBL?
The 2011 FNPF Report states that the $303 million loan to NBRL is being restructured so that while $100 million will draw an interest of 8% pa, the remaining $203 million will become an indefinite loan, and interest free.

FNPF will effectively in its accounts, give a $16 million subsidy annually to NBRL- some 40% of the total value of all the pensions currently being paid annually.

This is terrible accounting practice for three reasons.

First, any decent accountant or economist would advise that all transactions between a parent company and a subsidiary should be done at “arms length” with subsidiaries being charged the same interest rate that other borrowers are being charged.

To convert $203 millions into an interest free loan will artificially increase the apparent profitability of the subsidiary (NBRL), while reducing the apparent performance of the rest of FNPF.

Second, by not charging interest on the large loan, NBRL is being given no incentive to repay the loan as soon as possible- especially when it is “indefinite”.

Third, if in future, this Military Regime’s forced takeover of private assets at Natadola and vested in NBRL by Military Decree is legally and successfully challenged, then the assets of NBRL will become logical targets for litigants.

The books for NBRL should therefore show its true worth- not artificially inflated through interest rate subsidies given by FNPF, which may then be claimed in future by legitimate litigants.

Which financial institution in the world, gives an interest-free indefinite loan like this? Who dreamt up this scheme?  Who in FNPF management agreed to go along with this? Why would the unelected, illegal FNPF Board Members agree to this subterfuge to show the NBRL in a better light. Is it to allow more “write-backs” on asset value of this bad investment?

Pie-in-the-sky loan to Air Pacific
Another far more dismaying media announcement has been the $200 million loan by FNPF to Air Pacific. 

If the current management at Air Pacific know what they are doing this loan may turn out OK for FNPF.

But for FNPF owners who are already facing a massive cut to their pensions, there are many dismaying aspects to this incredibly risky loan.

First, the FNPF Management and Board have no capability to assess whether this proposed investment of more than a billion dollars by Air Pacific will be a sound investment, in an incredibly complex and competitive aviation market, in which Air Pacific is just a minor player, already floundering.

If Air Pacific’s future is so good, why has Qantas been wanting to sell its more than 40% shares in Air Pacific? David Pflieger is surely talking with tongue in cheek when he says he had to work hard to convince FNPF of the soundness of the loan. He is surely talking with tongue in cheek that he had to give a premium interest to FNPF in order to secure the loan.  Really?

Why then were the Fiji commercial banks, which are also flush with money, not convinced by the premium interest? Because, like any sensible business-person, they know that the presumably higher interest rate paid for a few years, is not good enough if the borrower goes bust and a large part of the principal is not repaid.

Second, no commercial banks have as yet agreed to lend the money and the FNPF loan is instead being used as a “deposit” or “collateral” in order to facilitate loans from European credit agencies.  This is terrible business practice for FNPF.

It should be the other way round: If they were to give a loan at all, FNPF should wait until the private commercial lending agencies, who are financially far more astute in lending to airlines than FNPF management and Board, have put in their $800 million, on which FNPF could  then piggy-back with $200 millions.

For FNPF to fork out the initial $200 millions as deposit or collateral, would suggest that the European credit companies were not prepared to trust Air Pacific’s own financial projections on the viability of their billion dollar purchase.

Would the European credit companies trust FNPF’s judgment of the viability of the proposed Air Pacific purchase, enough to give a billion dollar loan? Of course not.

So why may European credit companies be more inclined to give the $800 million loan if FNPF throws in $200 million which is only 20 percent of the total purchase price of the three planes?  There are at least three reasons.

First, in the global aircraft manufacturing market, the biggest rivalry is between Airbus (backed solidly by Europe), and Boeing (backed solidly by United States). Of course, European credit companies (with prodding from their governments) will try to facilitate any loan to purchase the three Airbuses.

Second, they would know that once FNPF is hooked into the loan, our “cash cow” (which annually receives  16% of the total wages and salary bill of the country), can be called on for more funds to be thrown down the well should Air Pacific not be able to repay the loan.

Third, they also may have an understanding that the illegal Military Regime will pledge Fiji taxpayers’ money to under-write Air Pacific’s borrowings.

Why else would the illegal Attorney General (Khaiyum) be making statements on Air Pacific’s behalf?

Notice that no statements are being made by the Chairman of the Air Pacific Board (Mr Nalin Patel) who is smart enough to stay out of sight while Khaiyum prances around in the limelight. Or is it that Nalin may have been backing Boeing?

It is not reassuring to FNPF Members to hear the voluminous spin that is coming out of the leading players in this deal.

The CEO of Air Pacific declares that this purchase would be a “milestone” for the Fiji public (let us not think about “millstone”). He also declares that the Airbus would be especially “designed” to showcase Fiji.  Oh, really?

I hope he is only talking about the colours on the inside and outside the planes, and a few fittings. The only possible real Fijian influence on the structural design of the Airbus, would be to convert the Airbus into a sluggish takia sailing against the wind or a water-logged bilibili., which would well reflect the current state of Air Pacific’s finances.

The Airbus Vice President is reported to be advising us: the Airbus is the “best plane” for Fijian passengers to fly in.  What else could this glorified saleswoman say, just having sold three incredibly expensive planes to a financially troubled airline whose management has absolutely no accountability to its real owners?   We simple natives can forget all the other comfortable planes that we have been flying in for decades.

Khaiyum proudly declares that FNPF putting a $200 million down-payment on a very risky billion dollar purchase by an airline that has gone into a loss-making situation is just like Singapore’s pension fund which invested in Singapore infrastructure, proving that “Fijians can think outside the box”.  Yeah!  Just before the Fijians fall into that coffin box.

Aiyaz Khaiyum’s astonishing slick vacuous spin goes on day after day, on subject after subject, while he and Bainimarama play Russian Roulette with FNPF and Fiji people’s lives.

FNPF not learning from mistakes
Despite all the spin coming from Aisake Taito and his management colleagues, they are not learning from their past mistakes. They are not thinking about what FNPF can  do if the borrowers are not able to repay the loans.

Fiji’s commercial banks, will quite sensibly not lend a penny to the loss-making Fiji Sugar Corporation Limited, or to  the loss-making Air Pacific, for a very good reason: should these shaky borrowers fail to repay the loans, the lender would be stuck with collateral which they cannot re-convert back into cash.

Nor would the banks want to take over these enterprises and run them back into profitability, as that is not their business, even if they had the skills.

FNPF has already made huge mistakes with loans to FSC, which it cannot conceivably take over even if the loans are never repaid.

It has also made huge mistakes at the Natadola project which was taken over after the 2006 coup, and large amounts of good money was thrown after bad money by Regime/FNPF appointees such as Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai (now suddenly heroes for the democracy movement).

FNPF Board and Management now plan to repeat their mistakes with a huge loan to Air Pacific.

If Air Pacific fails to become as profitable as they need to be to repay the billion dollar loan they envisage, FNPF will be in no position to take over the Airline business.

You can also be sure that the European credit companies will ensure first rights over the collateral should Air Pacific go bust.

Pflieger and his mates will walk away from the mess having made their money, just as many other Military Regime appointees have done from a whole range of public enterprises in Fiji, since this unaccountable Bainimarama Regime seized power.

Nobody will be held accountable.

Continuing FNPF Board and Management Unaccountability
FNPF recently paid huge consultancy fees to Promontory to advise on how to run the FNPF.  Promontory said what I have been saying for a long time:  FNPF investments and loans must be managed solely in the interests of the contributors and pensioners of FNPF.

FNPF is not there to try and solve the development problems of Fiji (as Khaiyum thinks) nor to be a cash cow for the government of the day (Military Regime currently).

FNPF has no business going into risky investments like loans to financially troubled enterprises like FSC or Air Pacific, especially when the collateral will  not cover the loan if there is default.

The fact that the FNPF Board and Management continue to make these risky loans clearly proves that all their rhetoric about FNPF reform etc is just hot air, spin, lies.

The FNPF management continue, on a daily basis, to make outrageous policy statements which only the Chairman of the FNPF Board should make (even if he is illegally appointed).

The “employees” of the FNPF, have become the bosses, defiantly telling the owners how they, the employees, are going to restructure the fund, allegedly in the owners’ interests, regardless of what the owners say or think.

The FNPF Board and Management completely thumb their nose at the Fiji judiciary which is supposed to be hearing the Burness case in February 2012, by making statements that are surely sub-judice.

And why is the judiciary hearing to be in February 2012?  Of course, that will give another four months to Khaiyum and the FNPF Board to get their FNPF Military decree signed by the illegal President, thereby preventing the judiciary from hearing the case.

Will any of these FNPF Board members’ personal assets be at risk if  FNPF makes losses on the  Air Pacific loan?  Of course not.

No FNPF Board Member or Military Regime member has taken personal responsibility for the mess at Natadola.

They will also walk away from the current mess, just as Bainimarama, his Military Council, and Khaiyum, who are really behind all these FNPF Board and Management decisions, will walk away from the mess they are creating in Fiji.

As always, the FNPF contributors and pensioners, and taxpayers, will be left to pick up the pieces.  Whatever is left.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CHOGM told worst abuses of workers' rights in Fiji and Swaziland

FLAGGING INJUSTICE AT HOME: Fiji's Australian community.

Commonwealth Trade Union Group calls on CHOGM to ask the UN to stop using Fijian soldiers as peace keepers around the world and to condemn the regime's Essential Industries Decree
The Australian Council of Trade Union says more than a quarter of countries represented at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth this week have failed to allow basic industrial rights for workers.
ACTU President Ged Kearney (right) says a survey by the Commonwealth Trade Union Group shows workers’ rights are being ignored across the Commonwealth, with the worst abuses occurring in Fiji and Swaziland.

The CTUG, representing over 30 million workers in 30 countries, is calling on the CHOGM to suspend Swaziland for wholesale violations of democratic rights and to ask the United Nations to stop using Fijian soldiers as peace keepers around the world, as well as condemn the already suspended Fijian military dictatorship's Essential Industries Decree.

Ms Kearney: “Workers’ rights are human rights. Without them, people cannot defend their economic and political freedoms. They are as central to democratic societies as they are to free trade unionism.

"The Commonwealth prides itself as a organisation that supports democracy and human rights, but this survey shows many countries are falling short, with 14 countries having failed to ratify at least one of the eight core ILO conventions.

“In the Pacific region, Fiji’s unelected dictatorship is imposing draconian restrictions on workers’ rights and trying to remove unions from workplaces. It is becoming increasingly unsafe for workers in Fiji to stand up for their rights, and we need more international pressure to stop further erosion of constitutional rights in Fiji.”

Ms Kearney says other Commonwealth countries have also failed to protect workers’ rights.

“India has not ratified the child labour conventions or the conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. Shockingly Australia, New Zealand and Canada have not ratified one of the two conventions on child labour.

“In Malaysia the Government is seeking to take away workers’ rights to unionise by classing more workers as self-employed or contractors. In other countries, such as Malawi and Zimbabwe, union officials are subject to persecution and violence by government.”

Simone McGurk, Secretary of the West Australian peak trade union organisation, UnionsWA, says CHOGM leaders need to listen to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group if the Commonwealth is to survive.

“It’s timely that CHOGM’s own advisors are saying that they need to address human rights if the Commonwealth is going to retain its relevancy. Trade union rights are central to a vibrant and active society. We call on the Commonwealth to ensure that workers are properly represented in all member countries."

Notable cases of abuse of unions and workers rights:
*Fiji Trades Union Congress Daniel Urai, arrested in August for holding a so-called illegal meeting with union members in the only current member state of the Commonwealth suspended because of the military dictatorship, part of an increasing pattern of repression including a new Essential Industries Decree which bans strikes and collective bargaining in the energy, media, finance and airline industries

*Mduduzi Gina, General Secretary of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, where trade unionists and political opponents of the last feudal monarchy in Africa are regularly arrested, beaten and prevented from demonstrating - including union member Sipho Jele, who died in suspicious circumstances in police custody

*Abdul Halim bin Mansor, Secretary General, Malaysian Trade Union Congress, where trade unions are facing a new law to take away workers' rights by disguising employment relationships as self-employment and sub-contracting

*Ms Vimbai Zinyama, Parliamentary Officer, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Zimbabwe, which left the Commonwealth after it was suspended, where trade unionists continue to be harassed by pro-Mugabe forces

*And Chinguwo Paliani, Malawi Trades Union Congress Research officer where demonstrators including trade unionists were violently attacked recently by the security services.

ACTU: widespread abuse of workers' rights

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Air Pacific to buy three new Airbuses with the help of FNPF funds

COSTLY OUTLAY: Three new air buses on the way, paid in part with FNPF funds.
Announcing the deal, Pflieger said 85 per cent of the money is coming from offshore investment and it is the first time in 60 years the company has bought three brand new aircrafts.

In justifying the ambitious purchase, he said the Airbuses burn 45 per cent less fuel than jumbo jets, are equipped with the latest cabin seats and excellent in-flight entertainment systems and 30 per cent more cargo room.

All in all: "The new aircrafts will dramatically improve the appeal and effectiveness of Fiji’s national carrier in achieving its goal of becoming the airline of choice in the South Pacific."

Pflieger's el patron, the illegal attorney general and the Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, piped up to say the purchase demonstrates to the the world Fiji and Fijians can think outside the box.

But Air Pacific’s trumpeting about purchasing wide body aircraft for the first time is misplaced. Pflieger has a very short memory: his predecessor, John Campbell, ordered EIGHT brand new B777 wide body airplanes only to be shot down by Pflieger on the advice of his consultants.

More worrying is the financing of the deal: what collateral is being offered to the Euro financiers funding the remaining $1.6 billion?

Note, too, that the Air Pacific purchases follows members telling FNPF CEO, Aisake Taito, they're nervous about the risky deals their money is being invested in.

Sadly, it seems our retirement fund is a piggy bank for whoever or whatever the illegal regime decides; with mates and fellow corrupt operators, begging bowls in hand, at the front of the queue.

The question must be asked: how will we benefit by investing in an airline that is already struggling to make ends meet? 

Also of concern is this: it seems the European Union has been working behind the scenes to ensure Air Pacific obtained the Airbus aircrafts, with Euro concerns lending the $1.6 billion remainder needed to acquire the aircrafts.

Everybody wants a piece of Fiji’s pie and nobody gives a hoot about the effects on the country or the fact that the illegal regime has helped itself to yet another dollop of our money and we don’t have a say.

Pflieger spins another yarn
Editor's Note: Inside sources at Air Pathetic have revealed the airline knew there would be backlash from agriculture and garment industry exporters. 

In fact, they were prepared for it. But what they were not prepared for was the extent of it and the fact that the country’s oldest newspaper would splash the effects their new flight schedule would have on exporters on the front page on three occasions.

Pflieger was apparently raging mad when he saw the front page articles: so riled he came up with a rebuttal but in doing so revealed yet again the liar that he is. Remember, this is the same Pflieger that told his employees he knew NOTHING about the decree Air Pacific paid for and he co-authored, as the heroic Shalend ‘Fiji Leaks’ Scott revealed.

On October 14 he said: “Air Pacific acknowledges that adding a B737 to its fleet and retiring a B767 aircraft will decrease weekly cargo capacity once it implements the new schedule changes for Australia flights in January of next year”.

On October 24 he totally contradicts himself by saying: “Once we implement our new tourism friendly schedules in January, we will still have far more freight capacity than needed to meet textile cargo demand, as this cargo can still be sent via air freight on our B737 aircraft.” 

On October 14 Pflieger also said his ‘freight department has been consulting with affected stakeholders for some time and will continue to do so”. The Fiji Times says exporters maintain they were never consulted, backed up by garment manufacturers.

FLOP GUNS: Flying high with taxpayer's money ... Khaiyum and Pflieger with spin doctor Shane Hussein.

UN agency urged to drop Bainimarama from Geneva summit

Swearing allegiance - but to what?
More international opposition today to dictator Frank Bainimarama taking the podium to promote the so-called achievements of his illegal government.

The UNI Global Union, which represents 900 trade unions and 20 million workers worldwide, is calling on the International Telecommunication Union to withdraw its invitation to Bainimarama to address the ITU World Conference today in Geneva. 
The ITU is the United Nations agency for information and communications technologies.  

Bainimarama recently attended the UN's Generaly Assembly in New York and has now been invited to speak at the Broadband Leadership Summit.

UNI has, however, written to the ITU reminding it that Bainimarama is a dictator trying to legitimise his rule.

In a strongly-worded letter to the ITU secretary-general, Hamadoun Touré, UNI's general secretary, Philip Jennings, says Bainimarama was left off the invite list for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth this week because of his illegal takeover and poor human rights record.

Jennings says: “The invitation to the Commodore brings shame on the ITU by giving a public and global platform which he is now using to legitimate his regime." 

He adds: “[Bainimarama is] a leader who has no democratic mandate but took power by force.”

In his letter, Jennings also points out to the ITU that the International Trade Union Confederation has reported the regime’s oppression of trade unions and recent efforts to marginalise it.

Jennings offered to hold an emergency meeting with the ITU as soon as possible to discuss the matter further.

Bainimara's inclusion at the Geneva ITU summit has also been criticised by the international officer for the British Trade Union Council (TUC), Owen Tudor.

On the TUC blog site under the heading "Commonwealth: Fiji pretends there was a better party to go to, anyway", Tudor says Bainimarama would rather attend the Geneva summit than the CHOGM meeting in Australia because he doesn't have to explain the regime's oppressive behaviour, especially the newly-introduced Essential Industries Decree.

Tudor says Bainimarama would be made to account for the way he is running Fiji and in particular the recent anti-worker and anti-union decree.

"The Decree is the latest in a long line of repressive measures introduced by Fiji’s military dictatorship, and is another example of what got Fiji suspended from the Commonwealth in 2009. Which is the real reason Frank is in Geneva this week instead of Perth: his peers don’t want him there – suspended countries can’t attend.

"However, straight out of the guide to being a dictator (in this case remarkably similar to the guide to being a whining teenager with no friends) Frank maintains he’s too busy because he’s been invited to a much better party down the road.

"The Commonwealth Trade Union Group delegation (the largest ever at a CHOGM) will be urging the other Heads of Government to include some rather stiff words about Fiji and its repression of trade unions in their final communique. And the International Trade Union Confederation has agreed an action plan to step up our solidarity with Fijian trade unions, whose President Daniel Urai is in Perth to tell delegates about how he was arrested just for meeting with his members."

Commonwealth: Fiji pretends there was a better party to go to, anyway
UNI protests against the ITU invite to Frank Bainimarama
Phillip Jennings letter to the ITU

Monday, October 24, 2011

Senior officers reveal Fiji police chief's salary and monies

  1.  WIDE OPEN: Ioane Naivalurura (left). pics MINFO

Senior police officers continue to expose the unpopular Fiji police chief, Ioane Naivalurua, today revealing the monies they say he's getting.

Officers have him down as currently costing the police force and taxpayers $417,500 as a result of his salary, commissions and what they say is rash police spending.

Figures sent to Coupfourpointfive show Naivalurua earns a salary of $97,000 and was allocated an entertainment allowance of $40,000 in the 2011 budget.

Naivalurura has had five overseas trips this year, each of them costing $5,000 at a total of $25,000.

Senior officers say the military appointed police chief has also commissioned several unnecessary capital projects, including the painting of police posts at $30,000, police uniforms from United Apparel at $75,000 and police scooters earlier this year at $8,000.

But they say he has pocketed a $20,000 bonus for hosting the recent Crime Free Workshop, which was sponsored by Vodafone to a tune of $100,000. 

He is also said to earn $87,000 as chairman of the Fiji Post board, plus $35,000 in commission from tenders for Post Fiji.

Naivalurua was made police commisioner a year ago and critics say he's a beneficiary of the 2006 coup having taken a year’s leave before the takeover happened coming aboard through masipol with Frank Bainimarama.

He then helped remove his predecessor, Esala Teleni, former senior RFMF officers Roko Ului Mara and Pita Driti with the help of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and the Permanent Secretary for the illegal government, Pio Tikoduadua, and is now enjoying the perks with his family.

Senior officers say his monies have been moved about in an ANZ account - and the account of his son who is currently enjoying a Chinese scholarship.

Henry Brown
Critics say Naivalurura is also building a new office in HQ which will cost taxpayers $150,000 instead of using the office at Suva HQ and the one allocated to him at the New Wing at Government House.

The spill on Naivalurura comes as the police re-arrest two men facing charges of writing seditious comments; the men had been released on bail by the Suva Magistrates Court.
Jagath Karunaratne and Mosese Bulitavu were re-arrested by a special unit with the police now claiming they face fresh charges, including conspiracy to treasonous offences and attempts to destabilise the Government.

Police chief operations officer assistant Commissioner Henry Brown, who has been revealed as engaging in fraud on this blog previously, claims the police has “strong evidence” of an attempt to burn down the city of Suva. 

IT speciliast Jagath Kuranaratne at front left
Brown has been quoted as saying: “Police have recovered evidence including homemade bombs (Molotov cocktail) linked to the investigation. Police are expected to bring in other prominent people linked to the investigations.”

Karunaratne and Bulitavu had been released on strict bail conditions with three co-accused Usaia Koroi, Waisale Daganayasi and Eroni Takape. The five men are accused of conspiring to write seditious words in public places and billboards along the Suva-Nausori road corridor in August. All have denied the charges.