#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-11-13

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fiji's Australian democracy chapters tackle frontline issues

Australia's seven democracy chapters are meeting in Melbourne today and the conference is being buoyed by the inclusion of the address of the Rewa chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Rewa this week reiterated its opposition to the People's Charter and remains the only province to officially and publicly do so. It has also decided not to sign over its shareholding in Yasana Holdings to the Fijian Affairs Ministry.
The controversial Council For Democratic Fiji (CFDF) will also be part of the conference with the former chairman of PSC Fiji, Stuart Hugget, representing the New Zealand group and presenting a paper.  FDFM Australia members will vote on whether or not to join the council following the public fallout several months ago over the inclusion of  Australia by New Zealand without consultation.

Two senior civil servants have also volunteered to share inside information about the Frank Bainimarama government. Both are in the process of applying for their protection visa in Australia and say they are fed up of the nepotism and corruption back home.

The other speakers are Amy Schwebel from the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Niko Nawaikua (a former barrister specialising in native land and indignenous rights), Mere Samisioni on the Mistakes of SDL and FLP and the chair of the National Conference Uniting Church, Reverend Jovili Semo speaking on religious freedom. This is his spech:
 
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN FIJI

On October 10, 1874 when Fiji was ceded to Great Britain, the chiefs of Fiji who signed the new constitution made it very clear that Fiji was to remain a Christian country. This new Fiji constitution came into force influenced by several reasons, and for our purpose, it was because of the eradication of deifying traditional gods worshipped by the forefathers. 

Within a few years after the Deed of Cession, the British saw it appropriate to bring in indentured labourers from India.  These new people from an old country that had their religions rooted in their cultures for thousands of years established their own religious institutions in the new country. They built their Hindu temples, mosques and schools. There were always interchanged of racial and religious negative remarks thus producing prejudices among Fijians and Indo-Fijians. When misunderstandings reached the national and political levels, they created disparity between the races. These rivalries sparked heated debates in political meetings, parliament, community meetings and religious gatherings. In addition to these misunderstandings, were the successes of industrious Indian farmers compared to the ‘lazy’ Fijians sitting around the villages and continuing the vicious circle of life?  The Indo-Fijian successes in commerce and education of their children have added to a marked social class in the Fiji society.

Fiji Religious Context

Fiji major religions, namely, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam have co-existed for more than 150 years. Different Christian denominations of mainly Fijian descents, made up of about half the population, one third are Hindus and 10 per cent or so are Muslims. Of course today we can add other religions; atheists and those who continue to adhere to the traditional religion of Fiji that sometimes become transparent in witchcrafts or sorcery.

The British policy of divide and rule further compartmentalised religions and the two major races and thus during all those times different racial groups perpetuated the grave misunderstanding that existed in the past years. The 1970 Constitution did not help at all because it further encouraged the paramouncy of the Christian religion over other faiths that made Fiji their home.

Established religions that are active have become part of the culture of the people.  Fijians have Christianity embedded into their life and on the other hand Hinduism and Islam have also become the way of life of Indo-Fijian migrants.  Living in rural and village settings brought the different races together.  People began to speak each others languages and eat each others food.  Roti and curry have become one of the favourite menus in Fijians and Indo-Fijian homes; dalo [taro], a favourite in many homes. Different ethnic and religious groups intensified the building of schools and societies that promoted their own religions. I remembered very well in some of the Methodist meetings, we discussed the building of more Methodist schools that were solely for evangelising the non Christians. The plan to establish a Methodist Teacher’s college and a Methodist university are multi-faceted in purpose; one of the prongs is the promotion of Christianity.

After the coup of 1987, Rabuka was proclaimed the Messiah of the Fijian lost race, like the Israelites of old. Even this old concept brought back the memories of Dugumoi, Navosavakadua and Apolosa Ranawai whose nationalistic concept was in contrast to that of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna moderate nationalistic ideals. This line of thinking expressed and elaborated during kava sessions, favoured Rabuka’s stand and those ideals that promoted Christianity, namely the Sunday issue.

The promotion of Sunday ban became more of a political issue rather than economic as was initially intended.  In fact, I headed the protest march of 1977 in the Suva streets focussed on the premise to allow time for worship in the morning and tourist boats could come in the afternoon. As one can see, more fire was added into a simple protest that became more of a political issue and at the same time victimised the Indo-Fijian population, Hindus and Muslims. This continued to the extent that the Indian Muslims were saying after the 1987 coup, that they were afraid of the Methodists.

Without doubt, the 1987 coup was geared towards the promotion of the Fijian identity which included Christianity. Many changes came about after the 1987 coup. Fijians and Christianity cannot live alone in Fiji.  The pragmatic way ahead and reality is that we have to accept that in Fiji different ethnic groups and different religions have to co-exist and look for a mutual middle way to live in harmony. 

Different groups made submissions to the Constitution Review Committee set up by the then Governor General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau in about June 1987. The different churches made their own submissions and for instance I remembered the Methodist Church in Fiji tried to maintain the preamble of the Deed of Cession, which was, Fiji to remain a Christian country. When the Fiji Constitution was promulgated in 1990, it did not take into account the concerns of racial equality made by the Fiji Council of Churches. It [FCC] was very specific on the following principles that should be provided in the new Constitution: namely:  the importance of the dignity of every human being irrespective of race, religion and every one should be treated with equal respect.  Secondly, the new Constitution should take into account fair treatment for everyone irrespective of race, religion, sex, age and status. The third important principle was the promotion of mutual recognition of and respect by all ethnic groups for one another’s religio-cultural traditions.

The Fiji Council of Churches was crystal clear with its position as above principles entailed but the dissident within the Council was the nationalistic ideologies of some prominent leaders within the Methodist Church in Fiji. It continued to maintain its pre-cession and pre-independent mandates, that is, to evangelise Fiji and that Fiji to become a Christian country by building a Christian State. This fire was further ignited and made worse by the formation of the Assembly of Christian Churches in Fiji [ACCF] spearheaded by the leadership of the Methodist Church with fervent support of the other Pentecostal churches.  The move, as I see it, was very political because it also brought into the fold the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua [SDL].  In fact the ACCF as it were, became a political wing of the SDL, and the continued proposition that Fiji should become a Christian State.  This drastic move was done in total disregard to the sensitivity of the racial and religious compositions of the Fiji society.

The 1987 and 2000 coups continue to perpetuate prejudices among the races and there are several areas we can divulge on as the reasons; it may be economic, racial, political, social and religious.  Books, articles and speakers have and will discuss those areas, I will continue with the idea of religious freedom. The 2006 coup by Bainimarama with the intention to end all coups would not end coups but would further worsen the fragile situation, create more misunderstandings, more corruptions and further impacted present racial and religious divide. More frequently, talks around the kava sessions dwell on the fear of Al Qaeda and terrorist groups operating in Fiji.

I have already highlighted religious intolerance in Fiji, that is, Christians are claiming that they are the only true religion in the world.  To put it in another word, Christianity is the way of life, not one way, it is the way. This is dogmatically intolerance.  Other religions will argue with this premise and will come up with religious ‘pluralism’ which proclaims that all religions are simply different paths up to the same mountain.  Or some use the popular saying, “All roads lead to Rome, that is, all religions lead to God.”  Pluralism therefore seems to be the norm but there are some flaws in it. We all understand that we are aware of contradictions within the great Faiths, in the case of Fiji; we have to closely look at Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.  There are small truths, but there is a deeper grander TRUTH.  For micro truths: Christianity claimed that Jesus died for the sins of the world, Hindu said that there is a recycle of life, the ‘karma’ and Islam claimed the necessity of meeting Allah’s requirements of five daily prayers.  So what I am saying is that we look from different perspectives and that is where we find the truth; and that is where we are at with the pursuit of pluralism. Whatever response we may make, agree or disagree, we continue to adhere to what we believe as truth. Even pluralism pulls us in different paths. Do we need this perception in Fiji, is a very good question?

Jesus himself said, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord! Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” That is to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...” we do this act of love and kindness to people, irrespective of race sex and religion; we are doing it to God. The Red Crescent, the Red Cross, other similar organisations and we as individuals can be ‘persons for others’ in this troubled world. Is this the way for Fiji?

Let me discuss ‘tolerance’:

It is appropriate to check a Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church that says that ‘tolerance’ or “religious tolerance is the leaving undisturbed of those whose faith and practices are other than one’s own.  It may arise from respect for the rights of another person to freedom of belief, or from indifference.” I say that tolerance does not mean mere acceptance of the people’s beliefs rather the acceptance of people who hold contrary beliefs. This is true tolerance, it is the appreciation ability to treat with friendship and respect those of whom you disagree.  That is exactly what Fiji needs.

A Christian

To conclude, I must confess [I am proud to be a Christian] that I am a Christian and a minister [talatala] but whether I live in Australia or Fiji, I must maintain the concept of religious freedom. I believe that Fiji Christians should apologise to both Hindus and Muslims and find ways for true reconciliation.  It is not sufficient that only Christians apologised to each other.  True reconciliation in Fiji is when all religious adherents come together and apologise to each other and build a bridge of reconciliation. 

The new Constitution must again clearly state the equality of every person irrespective of culture, sex and religion.  We are all equal and everyone should practice with all freedom his or her own faith, whether Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, atheism and sorcery. That is one’s individual right.

Jovili I Meo [Rev. Dr.]

Sydney

19/11/11

 
We also eprint here the address by Gone Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi for those who have not sighted it:

A CLARIFICATION OF REWA’S PERSPECTIVE REGARDING THE ILLEGAL OVERTHROW OF THE FIJI GOVERNMENT
DELIVERED AT THE BOSE NI YASANA ‘O REWA
BURENIVUDI, LOMANIKORO, REWA – THURSDAY 16 NOVEMBER, 2011


1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, THERE IS NOTHING NEW ON EARTH ABOUT DIFFERENCES OF VIEWPOINTS WITHIN ANY MEETING, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF MEETING. IN FIJI, THERE IS ALSO NOTHING NEW ABOUT DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CULTURAL LEADERS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE VANUA.

1.2    WITHIN THE TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS CULTURAL CONTEXTS THERE ARE VERY CLEAR DEMARCATIONS ABOUT THE RESPECTIVE ROLES WE ACQUIRE AT BIRTH SUCH AS THE DUTIES OF THE SAUTURAGA, THE DUTIES OF THE MATANIVANUA, AND THE DUTIES OF THE BETE, BATI, MATAISAU AND THE GONEDAU.

1.3    IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY OF ANY TRADITIONAL LEADER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELL BEING AND WELFARE OF THE VANUA.

1.4    THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WELL BEING OF THE VANUA IS TO BE ACHIEVED BY ILL GOTTEN WAYS AND MEANS THAT MAY BE ILLEGAL BY THE LAWS OF MAN AND WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD..

1.5    IN MY POSITION AS THE ROKO-TUI DREKETI AND AS THE LEADER OF THE VANUA OF REWA, I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT I FEAR MORE THE GOD I WORSHIP, THAN  THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT I WOULD ATTEMPT BEFORE GOD TO JUSTIFY AN ILLEGAL ACT SUCH AS A COUP.

1.6    I COMMEND TO YOU THAT WE GIVE THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION.

1.7    I ASK YOU AS MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, WHAT IS THE ROKO TUI DREKETI AND MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL TO SAY IF THERE IS ANOTHER COUP TOMORROW? WILL WE THEN BE SUPPORTING THE NEW REGIME? I ASK YOU TO LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE LIVES OF COUP SUPPORTERS HAVE ENDED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  HAS ANYONE OF THEM EVER COME TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE IN A QUIET AND PEACEFUL MANNER?

1.8    THIS IS A QUESTION WE WILL HAVE TO REFER TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR RESPECTIVE TIKINA.

1.9    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ON THIS ISSUE THE GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS HAS BUT ONE POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. AT THEIR MEETING IN DECEMBER, 2006, AND AGAIN IN APRIL 2007 THE GCC STATED THAT WE ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE RULE OF LAW ABD ABIDE BY THE 1997 CONSTITUTION. ALSO THE SUPREME COURT RULING IN 2009 STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE 2006 COUP WAS AND IS ILLEGAL. THEREFORE WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA CAN REST ASSURED THAT WE STAND ON THE CORRECT AND RIGHTFUL LEGAL AND MORAL GROUND AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY OUR GOD TO PROVIDE US THE WAY OF LIFE AND TRUTH.

2.0    THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF REWA’S DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER

2.1    YESTERDAY WE WERE ADVISED BY THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER THAT REWA WOULD BE DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING AMOUNTING TO $3 MILLION DOLLARS IF WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE MILITARY REGIME.

2.2    HE ALSO INDICATED THAT FUNDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE AND ITS WORK PROGRAMME AMOUNTING TO SOME $315,115.00 COULD ALSO BE WITHDRAWN BY THE REGIME SHOULD WE MAINTAIN OUR OPPOSITION.

2.3    ADDITIONALLY WE AS A PROVINCE WOULD ALSO BE DENIED SHARE DIVIDENDS HELD IN FIJIAN HOLDINGS AND YASANA HOLDINGS VALUED AT $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS OR SOME 547,000 SHARES.

2.4    WE HAVE BEEN DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING UNDER THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME TO THE TUNE OF SOME $100,000.00 ANNUALLY USED FOR BUILDING VILLAGE PATHWAYS, BUYING BRUSH CUTTERS AND ASSISTING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY HALLS.

2.5    IF SOME OF THESE POINTS ARE TO TRANSPIRE WE WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE ALL OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROGRAMME EXPENSES AND THUS I STRESS TO YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING OUR TARGETED PROVINCIAL LEVY. (SOLI NI YASANA)


3.0    THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

3.1    MAY I SHARE WITH YOU THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WHATEVER GOVERNMENT  IN POWER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS.

3.2    YESTERDAY WHEN THE DPO SAID ONLY REWA REMAINED IN OPPOSITION, I WANTED TO SHOUT WITH JOY.


3.3    WHETHER A GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED OR NOT, IT MUST LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS WITHOUT FAVOUR, WHETHER WE SUPPORT OR VOTED THAT GOVERNMENT IN OR NOT, THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGED TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF US IN THE SAME WAY.

3.4    THE FACT THAT SOME VILLAGES HAVE BENEFITTED FROM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHILE OTHER HAVE NOT IS SOLELY DEPENDENT ON HOW GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTS ITS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES.

4.0    NATIONALLY COMMUNITY NEEDS ARE ENDLESS

4.1    AS RECIPIENTS OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WE MUST ALSO REALISE THAT NO ONE PERSON OR COMMUNITY IS EVER COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH ALL THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND NO GOVERNMENT CAN EVER FULFILL ALL OUR WISHES.

4.2    HOWEVER A SINGULAR TRUTH I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU IS THAT IT IS ONLY GOD’S KINGDOM THAT CAN EVER COMPLETELY FULFILL ALL OUR NEEDS AND GIVE US PEACE.

5.0    THE DEFINITION OF GOVERNMENT

5.1    YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM THE DPO THAT WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT SO I WANT TO ASK JUST WHO IS OR WHAT COMPRISES GOVERNMENT.  THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR IT, THE CIVIL SERVANTS. THIS IS BECAUSE IT’S THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO VISIT US AND IMPLEMENT THE PROJECTS WE REQUEST.

5.2    THEREFORE I MUST ASK, DO WE NOT LOOK AFTER THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO COME TO WORK AMONGST US TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, DO WE NOT COOPERATE WITH THEM AND GIVE THEM FOOD AND SHELTER. AND WHEN THEY RETURN TO THEIR OFFICES DO WE NOT GIFT THEM WITH TOKENS OF APPRECIATION.

5.3    WE HAVE ALWAYS MAINTAINED FRIENDLY AND CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS SENT TO WORK WITH US AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS EXPRESSED THEIR GRATITUDE AS THEY ARE SIMPLY IMPLEMENTING THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID.

6.0    REWA’S CONTRIBUTION TO GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

6.1    WE CAN SEE THAT WHILE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS ROLE, WE AS CITIZENS ALSO HAVE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES. IT IS ALSO INCUMBENT ON US THE PEOPLE OF REWA TO WORK HARD TO PAY OUR PERSONAL AND OTHER APPLICABLE TAXES LEVIED WITHIN OUR PROVINCE SO THAT GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO COLLECT REVENUE TO DEVELOP OUR PROVINCES.

6.2    WE ALSO PROVIDE OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS TO GOVERNMENT TO ENABLE IT TO DO ITS WORK, IN PARTICULAR WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIVEN THE LAND ON WHICH  THE CAPITAL CITY IS SITUATED.  WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA ENABLE GOVERNMENT AND BIG BUSINESSES TO CREATE COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES AND LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.  IT SHOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN THAT THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIFTED TO OUR BELOVED FIJI.


7.0    WE DO NOT HATE CIVIL SERVANTS OR THE GOVERNMENT

7.1    IT MUST BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE DO NOT HARBOUR ANIMOSITY TOWARDS THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES AND WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE OUR VERY BEST TO MAKE THEIR TIME OF SERVICE WITH US AN  ENJOYABLE AND MEMORABLE OCCASION BY GIVING OF OUR HUMBLE BEST.

7.2    WE ALSO DO NOT HARBOUR ANY ANIMOSITY TOWARD ANY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS COME INTO POWER ELECTED OR OTHERWISE AS LONG AS THAT GOVERNMENT HAS FULFILLED ITS BASIC DUTY OF SEEING TO OUR WELFARE AND BY PROVIDING SOUND ADVICE AND LEADERSHIP TO US ALL.

7.3    NEVER BEFORE IN OUR HISTORY HAS A CIVIL SERVANT FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE  PUBLICLY BERATED US IN OUR OWN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING.  PERHAPS IT IS A SIGN OF THE CHANGING TIMES THAT HE NOW SEES IT FIT TO GROSSLY OVERSTEP THE BOUNDS OF TRADITIONAL AND CULTURAL PROTOCOL AND BEHAVE IN SUCH AN APPALLING AND BOORISH MANNER IN OUR PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.

8.0    WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS

8.1    OUR COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED MANY COUPS AND WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THE SUCCESSIVE COUPS. PERHAPS THE ONE CLEAR THING WE HAVE LEARNED AFTER ALL THESE COUPS IS THAT A COUP WILL ALWAYS HINDER PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT.

8.2    AT THIS POINT IN OUR HISTORY WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT COUPS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING POSITIVE TO OUR SOCIETY AND WILL ALWAYS RESULT IN IMPEDING PROGRESS.

9.0    THE BASIS OF OUR OPPOSITION

9.1    THE REASON WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE REGIME AND THE COUP IS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT, ONLY GRAVE DIFFICULTIES. THEREFORE WE CAN SAY THAT WE NEVER WANT TO EXPERIENCE ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

9.2    IF IT FALLS ON REWA TO EXPRESS THIS OPINION TO THE CURRENT REGIME LEADERSHIP, SO BE IT. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION, REWA IS OPPOSED TO ANY COUP.

9.3    WE CAN NOW SEE THAT OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO FACE EXTREME DIFFICULTIES IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS AND A COUP CULTURE.


10.0    LET US ALWAYS SUPPORT THE TRUTH

10.1    THIS MORNING I WISH TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT IT IS OUR MORAL DUTY TO SUPPORT THE TRUTH AND THAT WE DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE THE OVERTHROW OF A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

10.2    IF WE SUPPORT THE 2006 COUP, IT IMPLIES THAT IN THE FUTURE IF ANYONE DOES NOT LIKE THE LEGALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT, WE WILL AGAIN HAVE ANOTHER COUP.

10.3    WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT A COUP CULTURE IS WRONG, IF WE DO NOT EXPRESS OUR HONEST OPINION AND EARNEST OPPOSITION TO COUPS.

10.4    WE DO NOT HATE THE GOVERNMENT PER SE, BUT WE ARE TRULY SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS AND CAN NO LONGER MEEKLY FOLLOW ALONG.



11.0    MISTAKES THAT COMMENCED IN 1987

11.1    WE WILL LEAD OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS ASTRAY IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS. I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MORNING THAT WE STARTED TO GO ASTRAY AS A COUNTY IN 1987.  MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS 25 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN 1986, AND SHE HAS KNOWN NOTHING BUT THE COUP CULTURE. WE MUST STATE NOW AND FOR ALL TIME THAT THE COUP IS WRONG AND CAN NEVER BE MADE RIGHT SO THAT WE DO NOT CONTINUE ALONG THAT PATH

11.2    IT IS TIME TO TELL THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE COUP AND OUR SOLDIERS MUST GIVE THEIR SOLEMN OATH TO THE VANUA THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER IMPLEMENT ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

11.3    TOGETHER WITH THE LEADERS OF THE REGIME WE MUST RENEW AND CLEAR OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE IN ORDER TO AGREE ON A PROCESS TO RETURN OUR NATION TO A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

11.4    LAST BUT NOT LEAST I HAVE A PERSONAL REQUEST – “IF YOU COME TO ARREST ME, DON’T COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I AM AN OLD WOMAN, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL ME OR SEND ONE PERSON. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEND 16 MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONELL TO ARREST ME.”

11.5    TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL, I MERELY WISH TO RESPOND TO THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER REGARDING OUR POSITION – THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Officers: Mrs Compol has an aid, driver and uses DCP's car

Tonight's police awards night has been postponed until next month because of our story exposing the influence of the police commissioner's wife on police business. 
 
Kesa Naivalurua was the organiser of the event.
 
The postponement comes on the heels of fresh revelations: that Mrs Compol has an aid, an officer named Joshua from NIB, plus a driver and travels in the DCP vehicle GB: 480 despite the fact she's only a civilian.
 
She is also is said to be briefing the DCP, chief of staff police and CAO whenever the compol is not around, even dictating terms to the director HRM for the transfer of officers from police HQ.

This while husband Ioane Naivalurua clocks up another overseas trip (this time to Indonesia) on what insiders say is a $20,000 junket thanks to first class travel, accommodation and allowances.

Conman Peter Foster arrested on Gold Coast

Peter Foster. (AAP)
Peter Foster pops up again
One of Fiji's more controversial figures in recent times, Peter Foster, has been arrested in Australia's Gold Coast over his alleged involvement with a questionable diet spray company.
9 News says Australia's consumer watchdog began legal action in July against the company Sensaslim Australia, Foster and other company officers over alleged misleading and deceptive conduct and false claims about the weight-loss spray.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Foster's involvement in the Sensaslim business, which is now in liquidation, was not disclosed.

It also alleges false claims were made about Sensaslim spray being the subject of a large worldwide clinical trial, when no such trial was conducted.

Readers will recall Foster was used by the Frank Bainimarama regime to collect evidence against Laisenia Qarase and was helped by soldiers escape to Vanuatu to avoid serving jail time. 

He went underground after returning to Australia but has now surfaced in the diet spray company.


Bottom two pictures: Fiji Truth

Ro Teimumu Kepa's address to the Rewa Council: in English and Fijian


"Yesterday we were advised that Rewa would be denied development funding amounting to $3million dollars if we do not support the military regime ...... The reason we are opposed to the regime and the coup is because we see no good comes of it.... ......Therefore we never want to experience another coup. If it falls on Rewa to express this opinion to the current regime leadership, so be it."


NA NODRA VOSA NA GONE MARAMA BALE NA ROKO TUI DREKETI
VAKAMATATATAKI NA RAI ME BALETA NA VUAVIRITAKI NI NODA MATANITU.
Bose ni Yasana ‘o Rewa, vakayacori e Burenivudi – 16 ni Noveba, 2011.


1.0          NA KENA I KAU
1.1          KEMUNI NA TURAGA KEI NA MARAMA NA LEWE NI BOSE, E SEGA NI KA VOU ENA VURAVURA QO NA DUIDUI ENA LOMA NI DUA NA MATABOSE, SE MATABOSE CAVA GA. E SEGA TALE GA NI A VOU E VITI NI DAU TU ESO NA GAUNA E KOTO NA DUIDUI NI RAI MAI VEI IRA NA VEILIUTAKI VAKAVANUA KEI IRA ESO NA LEWENIVANUA.
1.2          NA NODA BULA VAKAITAUKEI E DUIDUI SARA GA NA I TUTU KEI NA I TAVI EDA DUI SUCU KAYA MAI. E TU GA NA I TAVI NI SAUTURAGA, NA I TAVI VAKA-MATANIVANUA, BETE, BATI, MATAISAU KEI NA GONEDAU.
1.3          E DUA NA I TAVI LEVU NI VEILIUTAKI VAKAVANUA ME RAICA NA NODRA TIKO VINAKA KA LIUTAKA VAKAVINAKA NA NODRA LEWENIVANUA.
1.4          E SEGA NI KENA I BALEBALE ‘OYA ME RA TIKO VINAKA KA LIUTAKI VINAKA ENA SALA CALA KA SEGA NI DODONU ENA MATAI VURAVURA KEI NA MATA NI KALOU.
1.5          ENA NOQU I TUTU VAKA ROKO-TUI DREKETI KEI NA NOQU I TUTU VAKA VEILIUTAKI ENA VANUA OQO, AU SA VIA TUKUNA VEI KEMUNI NIU SA REREVAKA VAKALEVU CAKE NA KALOU MAI NA NOQU VIA SAGA MEU VAKALOMAVINAKATAKA NA TAMATA, ME RAWA NIU TUKUNA KINA VUA NA NODA KALOU NI SA DODONU NA VUAVIRI.
1.6          EDA NANUMI IRA VAKALEVU NA KAWA KEI REWA NIKUA KEI NA SIGA NI MATAKA – NA CAVA EDA VAKAVULICA TIKO VEI IRA NA GONE E VALE NI VULI VAKABIBI ENA TAUDAKU NI KORONIVULI?
1.7          KEMUNI NA LEWE NI BOSE, NA CAVA ENA TUKUNA NA ROKO TUI DREKETI KEI NA BOSE NI YASANA KEVAKA E SANA DUA TALE NA VUAVIRI ENA MATAKA? EDA SANA BACI TOKONA TALE? NI RAICA NA I CAVACAVA NI NODRA BULA NA DAU VUAVIRI KEI IRA EDRA DAU VEITOKONI? E BAU DUA VEI IRA E CAVA VINAKA?
1.8          ‘OYA NA TARO MEDA QAI LAKI SAUMA VEI IRA NA LEWE NI NODA TIKINA.
1.9          KEMUNI NA TURAGA KEI NA MARAMA, E DUA GA NA VANUA E TIKO KINA NA BOSE LEVU VAKATURAGA - ENA BOSE KA YAVAKAYACORI ENA VULA O’ TISEBA, 2006, KA VAKA KINA ENA EVERELI, 2007 – ME RAVITA TIKO GA NA LAWA NI 1997. MEDA TOKONA GA NA LAWA”. NA VAKATULEWA NI MATAVEILEWAI LEVU ENA 2009, E TUKUNA VAKADODONU NI CALA VAKALAWA NA VUAVIRI NI TISEBA 2006. EDA YALO VAKACEGU NA KAI REWA NI DONU VINAKA TIKO NA VANUA EDA TIKO KINA KA DA SA RAI TIKO GA VUA NA NODA KALOU LEVU NI SA I KOYA GA NA SALA, NA BULA, KEI NA DINA (DODONU).
2.0          NA RARAWA NI VAKAILESILESI – DPO E REWA
2.1          SA TAU ENA SIGA E NAKAVIRI E VICA NA MALA NI VOSA KA SA VAKA ME TUKUNA VAKAMATATA VEI KEDA NI KEVAKA EDA SEGA NI TOKONA NA MATANITU EDA SANA VAKUWAI ENA ILAVO NI VEIVAKATOROCAKETAKI KA $3 NA MILIONI NA KENA LEVU.
2.2          SA VAKA E VAKARAITAKI VEI KEDA NI RAWA NI TAROVI NA I LAVO KA SOLIA TIKO MAI NA MATANITU ME BALETA NA QARAVI NI NODA VALE NI VOLAVOLA NI YASANA KA $315,115.00 NA KENA LEVU.
2.3          NA TUBU NI NODA SEA KI NA FIJIAN HOLDING KEI NA YASANA HOLDING KA RAUTA NI 1.3 NA MILIONI NA SEA NA KENA LEVU, E SA TUKUNI TALE GA NI RAWA NI DA NA VAKUWAI KINA.
2.4          EDA SA VUKUWAI ENA I LAVO NI VEIVAKATOROCAKETAKI – NA DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME KA $100,000.00 NA KENA LEVU ENA DUA NA YABAKI. OQO NA I LAVO KA SAUMI KINA NA I KOTI NI CO SE NA BRUSH CUTTER, BULI KINA NA SALA ENA NODA LOMANIKORO NA FOOTPATH, TARA KINA NA VALE NI SOQO SE A COMMUNITY HALL.
2.5          KE SA YACO KECE NA VEIKA OQORI, EDA SANA SAUMA GA NA KAI REWA NA CICIVAKI NI NODA YASANA KA VAKA KINA NA NODA VAKATOROCAKETAKI. SA KA BIBI KINA MEDA RAICA TIKO NA BIBI KEI NA NODA RAWATA TIKO VAKAVINAKA NA NODA SOLI NI YASANA.

3.0          NA I TAVI NI MATANITU
3.1          IA, AU GADREVA MEU TUKUNA MADA VAKAMATATA VEI KEDA NI SA I TAVI NI MATANITU CAVA GA E VEILIUTAKI ME CAKACAKATAKA “NA TIKO VINAKA KEI NA LIUTAKI VINAKA NI LEWENIVANUA KECE.”
3.2          E TUKUNI ENA KAVIRI NI SA VO GA ‘O REWA – VAKARE KAILA!
3.3          NA VEIQARAVI NI MATANITU YADUA, DIGITAKI SE SEGA NI DIGITAKI, ME VEIQARAVI RARABA VEI KEDA KECE NA LEWENIVANUA. E SEGA NI VEIQARAVI GA VEI IRA GA ERA TOKONA NA MATANITU SE VEI IRA GA ERA DIGITAKA NA MATANITU. E VEIQARAVI RARABA VEI KEDA KECE NA LEWENIVANUA.
3.4          IA NA CAKACAKA NI VEIVAKATOROCAKETAKI E SA QAI VAKATAU SARA GA ENA I TUVATUVA NI VEIQARAVI - ESO NAKORO E SEGA NI SE RAICA E DUA NA VEIVUKE NI MATANITU ENA LOMA NI VICA NA YABAKI, IA, E SO NA KORO ERA SA RAICA ESO NA CAKACAKA NI VEIVAKATOROCAKETAKI.
4.0          ENA SEGA NI OTI RAWA NA GAGADRE NI TAMATA
4.1          E DUA TALE GA NA KA ME MATATA TIKO VEI KEDA NI SEGA VAKADUA NI NA OTI RAWA NA VEIKA EDA GADREVA NA TAMATA ENA VURAVURA QO, KA SEGA NI DUA NA MATANITU ENA RAWA NI CAKACAKATAKA NA VEIKA KECE EDA VINAKATA NA LEWENIVANUA.

4.2          E DUA GA NA DINA AU VIA TUKUNA VEI KEMUNI ENA MATAKA EDAI, SA I KOYA NI MATANITU GA NI KALOU EDA NA SEGA NI NA QAI VINAKATA TALE KINA E DUA NA KA . EDA NA KUNEA GA KINA NA BULA VAKACEGU.

5.0          O CEI SARA MADA NA MATANITU?
5.1          E TUKUNI TIKO E NAKAVIRI NI DA SEGA NI TOKONA NA MATANITU. IA, AU VIA TAROGA MADA VEI KEDA, SE O CEI SARA MADA NA MATANITU? NA I BALEBALE RAWARAWA NI VOSA OQO NA MATANITU, NI SA IRA GA NA VAKAILESILESI NI MATANITU KA RA DAU SIKOVI KEDA MAI, ERA MAI CAKACAKACAKATAKA NA VEIKA EDA GADREVA.
5.2          E SEGA LI NI DA QARAVI IRA TIKO VAKAVINAKA NA NODA I VAKAILESILESI? EDA SEGA LI NI DA VAKANI IRA TIKO VAKAVINAKA NI RA MAI CAKACAKATAKA NA VEIKA EDA GADREVA? E SEGA LI NI DA VAKARAUTAKA NA KEDRA I VAQA LESU SE NA I VAKASOSO NI WAQA NI MAI CAVA NA NODRA VEIQARAVI?
5.3          EDA SA DAU VAKARAITAKA ENA VEIGAUNA NA NODA MARAUTAKA NA VEIKA ERA MAI CAKACAKATAKA VEI KEDA BALETA NI KAUTA MAI VEI KEDA NA VEISAU, KA RA VAKACEGU TALE GA BALETA NI RA MAI QARAVA TIKO GA NA NODRA I TAVI KA RA SAUMI KINA.

6.0          EDA VAKAITAVI TALE GA NA KAI REWA ENA RAWA I LAVO NI MATANITU
6.1          KEMUNI NA LEWE NI BOSE, EDA NA RAICA NI TIKO NA I TAVI NI MATANITU, E TIKO TALE GA NA NODA I TAVI NA LEWENIVANUA, KA TIKO TALE GA NA I TAVI NI KAI REWA MERA CAKACAKA VAKAUKAUWA ME RA SAUMA NA NODRA I VAKACAVACAVA KA VAKA KINA NA I VAKACAVACAVA NI VEIBISINISI ENA LOMA NI NODATOU YASANA, KA VAKASOKUMUNI NA IVAKACAVACAVA KECE SARA ME RAWA NI DA MAI VAKATOROCAKETAKI TALE KINA NA LEWENIVANUA.
6.2          EDA SOLIA TALE GA NA NODA QELE ME RAWA KINA NA VEIQARAVI NI MATANITU
IO, EDA SOLIA NA KAI REWA, O KEDA NA LEWE NI YASANA KO REWA - ME MAI DABE KINA NA VALENIVOLAVOLA NI MATANITU KEI NA BISINISI LELEVU ENA NODA VANUA, KA RA RAWA I LAVO ENA VUKU NI NODA QELE NA KAI REWA. OQO NA CAU LEVU NI NODA YASANA KI NA NODA VANUA LOMANI KO VITI.

7.0          EDA SEGA NI CATA NA VAKAILESILESI NI MATANITU SE NA MATANITU
7.1          E SEGA NI DA CATA NA I VAKAILESILESI NI MATANITU, EDA MARAUTAKA NA NODRA DAU MAI VAKAITAVI VEI KEDA KA DA DAU TOVOLEA NA NODA I GU MERA MARAUTAKA TALE GA NA NODRA MAI TIKO ENA NODA VEI KORO, KA DA DAU SOLIA NA VEIKA VINAKA VEI IRA.
7.2          EDA SEGA NI CATA E DUA NA MATANITU. NA MATANITU CAVA GA E MAI VEILIUTAKI, SE MATANITU DIGITAKI SE MATANITU VUAVIRI, E QARAVA GA NA NONA I TAVI – KO YA ME CAKACAKATAKA NA NODA TIKO VINAKA KEI NA NODA LIUTAKI VINAKA NA LEWENIVANUA.
7.3          AU VIA TUKUNA TALE GA NI SEGA NI SE BAU DUA NA GAUNA E LIU ME MAI VOSATAKA E DUA NA GONE MAI NA DUA TALE NA YASANA NA VEIKA E BALETI KEDA NA KAI REWA ENA LOMA NI NODA MATABOSE. DE SA VEISAU BEKA NA GAUNA, IA, AU TAROGA SE MAI SIKA VAKACAVA NA NONA WELI ENA LOMA NI NODATOU MATABOSE?

8.0          EDA SA VUSEKA KA CATA NA VUAVIRI
8.1          SA YACO E LEVU NA VUAVURI ENA NODA VANUA. EDA SA VULI SARA VAKALEVU ENA VEIKA E KAUTA MAI VEI KEDA NA VUAVIRI, EDA SA KILA VAKAMATATA NI SA VAKADREDRETAKA VAKALEVU NA NODA TOSO KI LIU NA VUAVIRI.
8.2          ENA GAUNA OQO EDA SA KILA NI SEGA NI DUA NA KA VINAKA E KAUTA MAI NA VUAVIRI. E KAUTA GA MAI NA DREDRE KA VAKATARABETAKA NA NODA TOSO KI LIU.

9.0          NA USUTU NI VEIKA EDA CATA
9.1          OQO  GA NA USUTU NI VEIKA EDA CATA. EDA SA CATA NA VUAVIRITAKI NI NODA MATANITU. EDA SA RAICA NA DREDRE LEVU…… EDA SA TUKUNA TIKO, NI DA SA SEGA NI VINAKATA MENA VAKAYACORI TALE VAKADUA NA VUAVIRI ENA NODA VANUA.
9.2          KEVAKA SA I LESILESI NEI REWA ME TUKUNA NA VEIKA OQO KIVEI IRA ERA SA LEWA NA NODA MATANITU ENA GAUNA QO, IA, MEDA SA TUKUNA SARA YANI VAKAMATATA.
9.3          EDA SA RAICA RAWA NI RA NA SOTAVA TIKO GA NA NODA KAWA ENA VEIGAUNA MAI MURI NA REVUREVU NI VUAVIRI KEVAKA EDA NA TOKONA TIKO GA NA CAKACAKA NI VUAVIRI!

10.0        MEDA SA TUTAKA NA DINA
10.1        AU SA VIA TUKUNA VEI KEMUNI ENA MATAKA EDAI, NI SA NODA I TAVI MEDA NA TUTAKA NA DINA OQO. NI DA SEGA NI TALEITAKA, NI DA CATA KA SEGA NI TOKONA NA VUAVIRITAKI NI MATANITU E SA DIGITAKA NA LEWENIVANUA.

10.2        KEVAKA EDA NA TOKONA NA VUAVIRI NI 2006, SA KENA I BALEBALE NI BACI DUA TALE E CATA ENA MATANITU DIGITAKI, ENA  BACI VAKAYACORA TALE NA VUAVIRI!  

10.3        EDA SEGA NI NA VAKAVULICI IRA NA LUVEDA KEI IRA NA NODA KAWA NI CALA NA VUAVIRI, KEVAKA EDA SEGA NI TUDEI KA TUKUNA VAKADODONU NA LOMADA NI DA SA CATA NA VUARIRI..
10.4        EDA SEGA NI CATA NA MATANITU, EDA SA WALE GA ENA LEVU NI VUAVIRI, KA SA DODONU GA MEDA SA TUKUNA NA LOMADA, KA KAKUA NI VAKAMUMURI VOLI GA.

11.0        EDA SA TEKIVU CALA MAI ENA 1987
11.1        ERA NA VAKACALAI KEDA NA LUVEDA KEI IRA NA NODA KAWA KEVAKA EDA VAKADONUYA TIKO GA  NA VUAVIRI. AU VIA TUKUNA VEI KEDA ENA MATAKA EDAI, NI DA SA TEKIVU CALA MAI ENA 1987 – NA NOQU I TINI E SUCU ENA 1986, NA KA GA E KILA ENA GAUNA NI NONA BULA  NA VUAVIRI, SA VA NA VUAVIRI, SA YABAKI 25 NIKUA. KEMUNI NA TURAGA KEI NA MARAMA, KEVAKA EDA SEGA NI TUKUNA , SE BACI TUKUNA TALE NI CALA NA VUAVIRI, EDA SANA CALA YARAYARA TIKO GA

11.2        SA KENA GAUNA OQO MEDA SA TUKUNA KI NA MATANITU NI DA SEGA NI DUAVATA KEI NA VUAVIRI KA  MERA SA YALATAKA NA LIGA NI WAU NI NODA VANUA NI SEGA TALE NI RA NA VAKAYACORA NA VUAVIRI ENA NODA VANUA.

11.3        SA DODONU MEDA SA VAKASAVASAVATAKA NA YALODA, KA MERATOU VAKASAVASAVATAKA TALE GA NA VEILIUTAKI TIKO ENA NODA MATANITU NA YALODRATOU, KA MEDA SA DUAVATA NI SA CALA NA VUAVIRITAKI NI NODA MATANITU, KA MEDA SA DUAVATA TALE GA ENA VEITARATARAVI NI VEIKA ME VAKAYACORI ME VAKALESUI NA LIUTAKI NI NODA MATANITU KI NA MATANITU E DIGITAKA NA LEWENIVANUA.

11.4        E DUA GA NA NOQU KEREKERE – “JUST CALL. DON’T COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITH 16 MILITARY/POLICE PERSONNEL”. DOU QIRITI AU GA MAI, DOU KAKUA NI LAKO MAI ENA LOMA NI BOGI LEVU KEI NA 16 NA LEWE NI MATAIVALU KEI NA OVISA.

11.5        NI MAI TIKO KINA NA LEWE NI BOSE, AU VIA VAKADODONUTAKA TIKO NA RAI NI VAKAILESILESI ENA VUKU NI NODA I LE, SA VAKA TIKO QO NA KENA LEVU.
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 ADDRESS BY THE GONE MARAMA BALE NA ROKO TUI DREKETI

A CLARIFICATION OF REWA’S PERSPECTIVE REGARDING THE ILLEGAL OVERTHROW OF THE FIJI GOVERNMENT
DELIVERED AT THE BOSE NI YASANA ‘O REWA
BURENIVUDI, LOMANIKORO, REWA – THURSDAY 16 NOVEMBER, 2011


1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, THERE IS NOTHING NEW ON EARTH ABOUT DIFFERENCES OF VIEWPOINTS WITHIN ANY MEETING, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF MEETING. IN FIJI, THERE IS ALSO NOTHING NEW ABOUT DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CULTURAL LEADERS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE VANUA.

1.2    WITHIN THE TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS CULTURAL CONTEXTS THERE ARE VERY CLEAR DEMARCATIONS ABOUT THE RESPECTIVE ROLES WE ACQUIRE AT BIRTH SUCH AS THE DUTIES OF THE SAUTURAGA, THE DUTIES OF THE MATANIVANUA, AND THE DUTIES OF THE BETE, BATI, MATAISAU AND THE GONEDAU.

1.3    IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY OF ANY TRADITIONAL LEADER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELL BEING AND WELFARE OF THE VANUA.

1.4    THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WELL BEING OF THE VANUA IS TO BE ACHIEVED BY ILL GOTTEN WAYS AND MEANS THAT MAY BE ILLEGAL BY THE LAWS OF MAN AND WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD..

1.5    IN MY POSITION AS THE ROKO-TUI DREKETI AND AS THE LEADER OF THE VANUA OF REWA, I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT I FEAR MORE THE GOD I WORSHIP, THAN  THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT I WOULD ATTEMPT BEFORE GOD TO JUSTIFY AN ILLEGAL ACT SUCH AS A COUP.

1.6    I COMMEND TO YOU THAT WE GIVE THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION.

1.7    I ASK YOU AS MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, WHAT IS THE ROKO TUI DREKETI AND MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL TO SAY IF THERE IS ANOTHER COUP TOMORROW? WILL WE THEN BE SUPPORTING THE NEW REGIME? I ASK YOU TO LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE LIVES OF COUP SUPPORTERS HAVE ENDED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  HAS ANYONE OF THEM EVER COME TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE IN A QUIET AND PEACEFUL MANNER?

1.8    THIS IS A QUESTION WE WILL HAVE TO REFER TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR RESPECTIVE TIKINA.

1.9    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ON THIS ISSUE THE GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS HAS BUT ONE POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. AT THEIR MEETING IN DECEMBER, 2006, AND AGAIN IN APRIL 2007 THE GCC STATED THAT WE ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE RULE OF LAW ABD ABIDE BY THE 1997 CONSTITUTION. ALSO THE SUPREME COURT RULING IN 2009 STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE 2006 COUP WAS AND IS ILLEGAL. THEREFORE WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA CAN REST ASSURED THAT WE STAND ON THE CORRECT AND RIGHTFUL LEGAL AND MORAL GROUND AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY OUR GOD TO PROVIDE US THE WAY OF LIFE AND TRUTH.

2.0    THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF REWA’S DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER

2.1    YESTERDAY WE WERE ADVISED BY THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER THAT REWA WOULD BE DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING AMOUNTING TO $3 MILLION DOLLARS IF WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE MILITARY REGIME.

2.2    HE ALSO INDICATED THAT FUNDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE AND ITS WORK PROGRAMME AMOUNTING TO SOME $315,115.00 COULD ALSO BE WITHDRAWN BY THE REGIME SHOULD WE MAINTAIN OUR OPPOSITION.

2.3    ADDITIONALLY WE AS A PROVINCE WOULD ALSO BE DENIED SHARE DIVIDENDS HELD IN FIJIAN HOLDINGS AND YASANA HOLDINGS VALUED AT $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS OR SOME 547,000 SHARES.

2.4    WE HAVE BEEN DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING UNDER THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME TO THE TUNE OF SOME $100,000.00 ANNUALLY USED FOR BUILDING VILLAGE PATHWAYS, BUYING BRUSH CUTTERS AND ASSISTING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY HALLS.

2.5    IF SOME OF THESE POINTS ARE TO TRANSPIRE WE WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE ALL OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROGRAMME EXPENSES AND THUS I STRESS TO YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING OUR TARGETED PROVINCIAL LEVY. (SOLI NI YASANA)


3.0    THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

3.1    MAY I SHARE WITH YOU THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WHATEVER GOVERNMENT  IN POWER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS.

3.2    YESTERDAY WHEN THE DPO SAID ONLY REWA REMAINED IN OPPOSITION, I WANTED TO SHOUT WITH JOY.


3.3    WHETHER A GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED OR NOT, IT MUST LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS WITHOUT FAVOUR, WHETHER WE SUPPORT OR VOTED THAT GOVERNMENT IN OR NOT, THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGED TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF US IN THE SAME WAY.

3.4    THE FACT THAT SOME VILLAGES HAVE BENEFITTED FROM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHILE OTHER HAVE NOT IS SOLELY DEPENDENT ON HOW GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTS ITS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES.

4.0    NATIONALLY COMMUNITY NEEDS ARE ENDLESS

4.1    AS RECIPIENTS OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WE MUST ALSO REALISE THAT NO ONE PERSON OR COMMUNITY IS EVER COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH ALL THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND NO GOVERNMENT CAN EVER FULFILL ALL OUR WISHES.

4.2    HOWEVER A SINGULAR TRUTH I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU IS THAT IT IS ONLY GOD’S KINGDOM THAT CAN EVER COMPLETELY FULFILL ALL OUR NEEDS AND GIVE US PEACE.

5.0    THE DEFINITION OF GOVERNMENT

5.1    YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM THE DPO THAT WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT SO I WANT TO ASK JUST WHO IS OR WHAT COMPRISES GOVERNMENT.  THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR IT, THE CIVIL SERVANTS. THIS IS BECAUSE IT’S THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO VISIT US AND IMPLEMENT THE PROJECTS WE REQUEST.

5.2    THEREFORE I MUST ASK, DO WE NOT LOOK AFTER THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO COME TO WORK AMONGST US TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, DO WE NOT COOPERATE WITH THEM AND GIVE THEM FOOD AND SHELTER. AND WHEN THEY RETURN TO THEIR OFFICES DO WE NOT GIFT THEM WITH TOKENS OF APPRECIATION.

5.3    WE HAVE ALWAYS MAINTAINED FRIENDLY AND CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS SENT TO WORK WITH US AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS EXPRESSED THEIR GRATITUDE AS THEY ARE SIMPLY IMPLEMENTING THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID.

6.0    REWA’S CONTRIBUTION TO GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

6.1    WE CAN SEE THAT WHILE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS ROLE, WE AS CITIZENS ALSO HAVE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES. IT IS ALSO INCUMBENT ON US THE PEOPLE OF REWA TO WORK HARD TO PAY OUR PERSONAL AND OTHER APPLICABLE TAXES LEVIED WITHIN OUR PROVINCE SO THAT GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO COLLECT REVENUE TO DEVELOP OUR PROVINCES.

6.2    WE ALSO PROVIDE OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS TO GOVERNMENT TO ENABLE IT TO DO ITS WORK, IN PARTICULAR WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIVEN THE LAND ON WHICH  THE CAPITAL CITY IS SITUATED.  WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA ENABLE GOVERNMENT AND BIG BUSINESSES TO CREATE COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES AND LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.  IT SHOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN THAT THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIFTED TO OUR BELOVED FIJI.


7.0    WE DO NOT HATE CIVIL SERVANTS OR THE GOVERNMENT

7.1    IT MUST BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE DO NOT HARBOUR ANIMOSITY TOWARDS THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES AND WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE OUR VERY BEST TO MAKE THEIR TIME OF SERVICE WITH US AN  ENJOYABLE AND MEMORABLE OCCASION BY GIVING OF OUR HUMBLE BEST.

7.2    WE ALSO DO NOT HARBOUR ANY ANIMOSITY TOWARD ANY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS COME INTO POWER ELECTED OR OTHERWISE AS LONG AS THAT GOVERNMENT HAS FULFILLED ITS BASIC DUTY OF SEEING TO OUR WELFARE AND BY PROVIDING SOUND ADVICE AND LEADERSHIP TO US ALL.

7.3    NEVER BEFORE IN OUR HISTORY HAS A CIVIL SERVANT FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE  PUBLICLY BERATED US IN OUR OWN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING.  PERHAPS IT IS A SIGN OF THE CHANGING TIMES THAT HE NOW SEES IT FIT TO GROSSLY OVERSTEP THE BOUNDS OF TRADITIONAL AND CULTURAL PROTOCOL AND BEHAVE IN SUCH AN APPALLING AND BOORISH MANNER IN OUR PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.

8.0    WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS

8.1    OUR COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED MANY COUPS AND WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THE SUCCESSIVE COUPS. PERHAPS THE ONE CLEAR THING WE HAVE LEARNED AFTER ALL THESE COUPS IS THAT A COUP WILL ALWAYS HINDER PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT.

8.2    AT THIS POINT IN OUR HISTORY WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT COUPS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING POSITIVE TO OUR SOCIETY AND WILL ALWAYS RESULT IN IMPEDING PROGRESS.

9.0    THE BASIS OF OUR OPPOSITION

9.1    THE REASON WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE REGIME AND THE COUP IS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT, ONLY GRAVE DIFFICULTIES. THEREFORE WE CAN SAY THAT WE NEVER WANT TO EXPERIENCE ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

9.2    IF IT FALLS ON REWA TO EXPRESS THIS OPINION TO THE CURRENT REGIME LEADERSHIP, SO BE IT. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION, REWA IS OPPOSED TO ANY COUP.

9.3    WE CAN NOW SEE THAT OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO FACE EXTREME DIFFICULTIES IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS AND A COUP CULTURE.


10.0    LET US ALWAYS SUPPORT THE TRUTH

10.1    THIS MORNING I WISH TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT IT IS OUR MORAL DUTY TO SUPPORT THE TRUTH AND THAT WE DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE THE OVERTHROW OF A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

10.2    IF WE SUPPORT THE 2006 COUP, IT IMPLIES THAT IN THE FUTURE IF ANYONE DOES NOT LIKE THE LEGALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT, WE WILL AGAIN HAVE ANOTHER COUP.

10.3    WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT A COUP CULTURE IS WRONG, IF WE DO NOT EXPRESS OUR HONEST OPINION AND EARNEST OPPOSITION TO COUPS.

10.4    WE DO NOT HATE THE GOVERNMENT PER SE, BUT WE ARE TRULY SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS AND CAN NO LONGER MEEKLY FOLLOW ALONG.



11.0    MISTAKES THAT COMMENCED IN 1987

11.1    WE WILL LEAD OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS ASTRAY IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS. I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MORNING THAT WE STARTED TO GO ASTRAY AS A COUNTY IN 1987.  MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS 25 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN 1986, AND SHE HAS KNOWN NOTHING BUT THE COUP CULTURE. WE MUST STATE NOW AND FOR ALL TIME THAT THE COUP IS WRONG AND CAN NEVER BE MADE RIGHT SO THAT WE DO NOT CONTINUE ALONG THAT PATH

11.2    IT IS TIME TO TELL THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE COUP AND OUR SOLDIERS MUST GIVE THEIR SOLEMN OATH TO THE VANUA THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER IMPLEMENT ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

11.3    TOGETHER WITH THE LEADERS OF THE REGIME WE MUST RENEW AND CLEAR OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE IN ORDER TO AGREE ON A PROCESS TO RETURN OUR NATION TO A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

11.4    LAST BUT NOT LEAST I HAVE A PERSONAL REQUEST – “IF YOU COME TO ARREST ME, DON’T COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I AM AN OLD WOMAN, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL ME OR SEND ONE PERSON. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEND 16 MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONELL TO ARREST ME.”

11.5    TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL, I MERELY WISH TO RESPOND TO THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER REGARDING OUR POSITION – THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exclusive: the charges and sentences of three of the VRF accused

Three of the five men accused of acting for the anti-regime group, Viti Revolutionary Forces, have been sentenced to three years and two years after being found guilty of sedition and arson.
The 39, 30 and 39 year old men are all from Semo village, with the first accused, a former police officer of 13 years, who was dismissed in 2008.
The trio were found guilty of writing anti-regime graffiti and setting fire to two police bure, two bus shelters and three sugar cane fields.
 The accused are  Lesuma Batialiva Raicebe (1st accused) Joveci Namoumou (2nd accused) and Avenai Navisalaki (3rd accused).  

Date of Hearing: 4th, 11th and 14th November, 2011
Date of sentence: 17th November, 2011
In the High Court of Fiji in Lautoka   

Sentence
(Sedition and Arson)

(1) These three accused have been charged with four counts of sedition, five counts of  arson and three counts of arson of crops. The charges read as follows:
FIRST COUNT
Statement of Offence
          SEDITION:  Contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section 67 (1)(a) of the Crimes Decree, No. 44 of 2009.
Particulars of Offence

Particulars of Offence

LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011, along the Queen’s Road at Sigatoka in the Western Division did an act namely writing of seditious words in public places, sign boards and bus shelters stating as follows: “NEW GOVT SOON”, “NEW FIJI GOVT SOON”, “CHANGE IS COMING SOON”, “PM YOUR TIME IS OVER….NEW GOVT SOON….VRF”, “PRESIDENT SACK PM NOW….VRF”, “RFMF REMOVE FRANK….VRF”, “RFMF IS SPLITTING CHANGE SOON…..VRF”, RFMF PM IS JUST USING U”, “PM UR TIME IS OVER” and “WAKE UP” with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.

SECOND COUNT

Statement of Offence
SEDITION:  Contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section 67 (1)(a) of the Crimes Decree, No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011, along the Queen’s Road at Sigatoka in the Western Division did an act namely writing of seditious words in public places, sign boards and bus shelters stating as follows: “LIAR”, “LIAR”, “PM OUT”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH N UNION TO SAVE THE COUNTRY FROM MAD PM. PM TRAITOR”, KHIYUM LIAR CHOR”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH AND UNIONS TO SAVE YOUR RESOURCES N FUTURE”, “RFMF PM IS JUST USING YOU WAKE UP B4 ITS TOO LATE SUPPORT CHURCH N UNIONS”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH NOW ITS TIME TO ACT TO SAVE THE COUNTRY”  with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.

THIRD COUNT

Statement of Offence
 SEDITION:  Contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section 67 (1)(a) of the Crimes Decree, No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011, along the Queen’s Road at Nadi in the Western Division did an act namely writing of seditious word on a billboard stating as: “PM OUT” with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.

FOURTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
SEDITION:  Contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section 67 (1)(a) of the Crimes Decree, No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011, along the Queen’s Road at Lautoka in the Western Division did an act namely writing of seditious word on a billboard stating as: “TIME IS OVER” with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.

FIFTH COUNT

Statement of Offence 

ARSON:  Contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree, No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI on the 28th of August 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the Vatudradra Community Post Bure.

SIXTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON:  Contrary to Section 362 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI on the 28th of August 2011 at Nadi in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the Nawai Community Post Bure.

SEVENTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON:  Contrary to Section 362 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 6th October 2011 and 7th October 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the bus shelter of Mango Bay Resort.

EIGHTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON:  Contrary to Section 362 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 6th October 2011 and 7th October 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the Cocomo Beach Bure.

NINTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON:  Contrary to Section 362 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 6th October 2011 and 7th October 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the bus shelter of Cocomo Beach Bus Shelter.

TENTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON OF CROPS:  Contrary to Section 364 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 26th of August 2011 and 28th August 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to a sugar cane field belonging to Subash Rama.

ELEVENTH COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON OF CROPS:  Contrary to Section 364 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 26th of August 2011 and 28th August 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to a sugar cane field belonging to Hari Nath.

TWELFTH  COUNT

Statement of Offence
ARSON OF CROPS:  Contrary to Section 364 (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

Particulars of Offence
LESUMA BATIALIVA RAICEBE, JOVECI MOUMOU and AVENAI NAVIASALAKI between the 26th of August 2011 and 28th August 2011 at Sigatoka in the Western Division, willfully and unlawfully set fire to a sugar cane field belonging to Arvin Nath.

[2]      To these charge all three accused have entered pleas of guilty and admitted a set of relevant facts.  I satisfied myself that the pleas given were unequivocal.  Consequent to the pleas and the admissions I convicted each accused of each charge that he faces.

[3]      The facts admitted by each of the accused are reproduced here in full.  The identity of persons not charged has been concealed.

          Summary of Facts

(a)  The first accused is one Lesuma Batialiva Raicebe (“A1”), 36 years old, a Private Investigator of Semo Village in Sigatoka.  The second accused is one Joveci Namoumou (“A2”), 30 years old, a Farmer also of Semo Village in Sigatoka.  The third accused is one Avenai Navisalaki (“A3”), 49 years old, a Driver, also from Semo Village in Sigatoka.  All accused persons are related to one another as they are from the same village.

(b)  A1 had meetings with an ex Military Lawyer of Delainavesi in Lami, Suva and another who is a foreign businessman.  He was briefed by the lawyer that he would be in charge of the operation for their group namely the VITI REVOLUTION FORCE (“VRF”) in the Western part of Fiji.  He was also briefed and financially assisted by the two contacts.

(c)  The first phase of the operations were(sic) aimed at doing writings against the Government, setting fire to Police Posts, government premises and vehicles and buildings of prominent businessmen who support the current Government.  This was a first phase of a 3 phase operation with the first phase was(sic) to creation(sic) instabilities, phase two was the strike by unions and the final phase was the direct intervention by members of armed forces by those against the current Government in order to prevent the country from economic doom.

(d)  After receiving those instructions to conduct some writings and other activities in order to create instability, A1 came to Sigatoka from Suva where he presently lives, and hired a car registration number CT 745 from a dealer of Cuvu in Sigatoka and then proceeded to Semo Village.  A1 then went and saw A2 and A3 who are close relatives and invited them for a cruise in the car and informed them that he will call them when he is ready to leave.

Count 1: SEDITION  contrary to section 66(1) (iv) and section

67(1) (a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(e)  In carrying out the instructions above, A1 engaged himself in seven (7) operations with two of the operations carried out by him alone.  The two operations were done between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011 along the Queen’s Road at Sigatoka.  A1 while driving in the vehicles registration numbers CT 745 and DP 520, did an act, namely the writing of seditious words in various public places, on sign boards and bus shelters with the words as follows:- “NEW GOVT SOON”, “NEW FIJI GOVT SOON”, “PRESIDENT SACK PM NOW….VRF”, “RFMF REMOVE FRANK…VRF”, “RFMF IS SPLITTING CHANGE SOON…VRF”, “RFMF PM IS JUST USING U”, “PM UR TIME IS OVER” and “WAKE UP”.  The words were written by A-1 by using a spray paint with the seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.

COUNT 2: SEDITION contrary to section 66 (1)(iv) and section

67 (1)(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(f)   In addition to carrying out these operations from Count 1, A-1 was also assisted and aided by A-2 and A-3.  Between the 25th day of   August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011 also along the Queen’s  Road at Sigatoka in the Western Division A-1 did an act namely writing of seditious words on billboards, banners, and bus shelters stating as follows: “LIAR”, “LIAR”, “PM OUT”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH N UNION TO SAVE THE COUNTRY FROM MAD PM.  PM TRAITOR”, “KHAIYUM LIAR CHOR”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH AND UNIONS TO SAVE YOUR RESOURCES N FUTURE”, “RFMF PM IS JUST USING YOU WAKE UP B4 ITS TOO LATE SUPPORT CHURCH N UNIONS”, “FIJI SUPPORT CHURCH NOW ITS TIME TO ACT  SAVE THE COUNTRY” with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.  However, A-1 wasaided by both A-2 and A-3 whereby one would drive the vehicle while the other would shake the spray cans before A-1 alone would use it  to write seditious words.  In addition, both A-2 and A-3 would assist A-1 in hanging banners written with seditious words.  At no time did A-2 and A-3 refused(sic) or withdrew(sic) their involvement.  In addition, at no time did A-2 and A-3 took(sic) reasonable steps to prevent the   commission of the offending nor alerted the authorities until they were apprehended by the Police.
 

COUNT 3:  SEDITION contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section  67(1)(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(g)  In carrying out these operations, A-1 with A-2 and A-3 between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October 2011, along the Queens Road at Nadi in the Western Division did an act namely writing a seditious word on a billboard stating as “PM OUT” with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.  Similarly, while A-1 would do the seditious writing, A-2 and A-3 would assist and aid him in driving and dropping him and later they would drive back to pick him up after A-1 had finished using spray paint to write seditious words.  In assisting A-1, both A-2 and A-3 did not take reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offending nor did they alert the Police.

COUNT 4: SEDITION contrary to section 66(1)(iv) and section

67(1)(a)of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(h) After carrying out the above writing (at Count 3) in Nadi, A-1, A-2 and A-3, between the 25th day of August 2011 and the 7th day of October, then proceeded towards Lautoka at Lomolomono where A-1 was dropped off to write the seditious word “TIME IS OVER” on a billboard with a seditious intention to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the inhabitants of Fiji.  They were in a vehicle driven by A-3 and A-1 got off and wrote the seditious word in spray paint on a billboard with the picture of the current Prime Minister.  The second accused was not involved in this offence.

COUNT 5:  ARSON contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(i)   On the 28th day of August 2011, at about 10.45pm, A-1, A-2 and A-3 left Semo village in a vehicle registration number CT 745 driven by A-2.  As they approached near Vatudradra Community Post, A-1 asked A-2 to stop near the mosque a few meters away.  A-1 got off the car and walked to the Police Post where he sprinkled kerosene on top of the thatched Police bure and placed a lighted mosquito coil with match head taped to the coil with the entire coil tied to a stick.  A-2 and A-3 would continue to drive off until they were called back by A-1.  After placing the igniter, A-1 then called A-2 to pick him up.  In sprinkling kerosene and placing an igniter on the thatched roof of the Police Bure, A-1 willfully and lawfully set fire to the Bure.  Similarly, A-2 and A-3 assisted and aided him in committing arson by driving him and dropping him and later picking him up and again.

COUNT 6: ARSON contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(j)   On the 28th day of August 2011 between 11pm and 12 pm, A-1 after willfully and unlawfully setting fire to the Vatudradra Police Bure at Vatudradra, Sigatoka in the Western Division, A-1, A-2 and A-3 then proceeded towards Nawai Police Post in Nadi.  As they drove past the Nawai Police Bure, A-1 then wanted A-2 to make a U-turn and they stopped at a junction near the Post.  A-1 got off and walked towards the Nawai Police Post by taking a side road to the school play ground and from there, A-1 made his way to the compound and with a lighter willfully and unlawfully and set fire to the Nawai Police Bure.  Afterwards, A-1 called A-2 and A-3 via mobile and they drove back to pick him up before making their way to Semo Village.

COUNT 7: ARSON contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree No.44 of 2009.

(k)  Between the 6th of October 2011 and the 7th of October 2011, A-1, A-2 and A-3 bought 2 litre gallons of kerosene and with A-3 driving, they reached Mango Bay Resort where A-1 got off the vehicle registration number CT 745 while A-2 and A-3 drove off.  At Mango Bay Resort, A-1 unlawfully and willfully set fire to the bus shelter of Mango Bay Resort by using kerosene and a burning mosquito coil.  After setting fire to the shelter, A-1 then called A-2 and A-3 and then they went onto Cocomo Beach Resort. The total value of the damage is valued at $2,000.00.

COUNT 8: ARSON contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(l)   Between the 6th of October 2011 and the 7th of October 2011, A-1 with A-2 and A-3 came to Cocomo Beach Resort and dropped A-1, and left again.  A-1 with kerosene and matches willfully and unlawfully set fire to the Cocomo Beach Bure that resulted in damages worth $300.00.

COUNT 9: ARSON contrary to section 362(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(m)Between the 6th October 2011 and the 7th of October 2011, A-1 after setting fire to the Cocomo Beach Bure, willfully and unlawfully set fire to the Cocomo Beach Bus Shelter which is near the Cocomo Beach Bure.  A-1 had again used kerosene and matches to set the Bure alight.
The estimated worth of damages were valued at $200.00.  In all counts  7, 8 and 9, A-1 was assisted and aided by A-2 and A-3.  Both did not terminate their involvement and did not take all reasonable steps to  prevent the commission of the offence.

COUNT 10, 11 and 12: ARSON OF CROPS contrary to section 364(a) of the Crimes Decree No. 44 of 2009.

(n)Between the 26th of August 2011 and 28th of August 2011, at Sigatoka in the Western Division, A-1 willfully and unlawfully set fire to sugar cane fields belonging to Subash Rama, Hari Nath and Arvin Nath respectively.  A-1 used kerosene and set the respective cane fields alight.
Damages to Arvin Nath’s cane field were estimated to be $3,500.00.      
Damages to Hari Nath’s sugar cane field were valued to be $8,400.00.

  In all counts 10, 11 and 12, A-1 was assisted and aided by A-2 and A-3.

  Both did not terminate their involvement and did not take all reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence.

[4]      Mitigation

4(a)    The first accused is 39 years old, originally from Semo Village (Nadroga) but presently living in Suva with his wife who is expecting their first child in May 2012.  He works as a private investigator, but was a former police officer for 13 years until he was dismissed in April 2008.  He expresses great remorse and regrets his involvement with “the group of people” who took advantage of his disaffection on being dismissed from the Police Force.  He initially intended to infiltrate the group as a private investigator but later became converted to their cause.

4(b)    The second accused is 30 years of age, single, and is a Farmer in Semo Village looking after his sick and elderly parents.  He too expresses his remorse in a written mitigation submission and wishes to stress that he “went along for the ride” without the fore-knowledge of the first accused intentions.

4(c)    The third accused is 39 years old, also from Semo Village, where he is married with a very young daughter.  He is a driver by profession.  He also, in a written submission, expresses remorse.  He submits that he was paid to be the driver on these individual sorties and because it was dark he had no idea of what the first accused was doing.

4(d)    The first and third accused have previous unrelated convictions which are spent.  The second accused has a clear record.  All three have co-operated and pleaded guilty from the very beginning.  In the Sigatoka Magistrates Court where charges were first laid, all three signaled their intention to “plead guilty all the way is of national interest”.  This they indeed have done.

5.       Sedition is the incitement of discontent or resistance to lawful authority.  It is the encouragement of one’s fellow citizens to rebel against their state.  It is punishable under the Crimes Decree 2009 with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment; and the actual “seditious intention” is defined by S.66 of the Decree as;

          Section 66(i)         A “seditious intention” is an intention.

(i)           To bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government of Fiji as by law established; or

(ii)          To excite the inhabitants of Fiji to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter in Fiji, as by law established; or

(iii)        To bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Fiji; or

(iv)         To raise discontent or disaffection among the inhabitants of Fiji; or

(v)          To promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different classes of the population of Fiji.

[6]      From the facts admitted, there can be certainly seen an intention to excite disaffection against the government and in particular against the Prime Minister and also to incite the inhabitants of Fiji (who would of course be reading these “messages”) to attempt to procure the alteration of the composition of the government of the State.

[7]      It matters not to these charges what the nature of the Government is, be it an absolute monarchy, a dictatorship, an elected Westminster style democracy, or even a communist totalitarian regime.  It is never for the judiciary to pass judgment on the nature of the executive or its objectives.  These two branches of government must always keep their own counsel.  The sentence on these three will be decided on the law alone as applied to the charges and facts admitted by each of the accused.

[8]      Sedition is a very serious offence in that it undermines the legitimacy and authority of the Government.  In inciting hatred and disaffection with the

Government a seditious person is inciting rebellion and political action, which in turn would lead to chaos and anarchy.  The seditious scribbling exemplified by these charges could be differently viewed depending on the “political eyeglasses” the viewer chooses to wear.  Perhaps some would and will say: it is all a bit of a laugh; perhaps some would and will say it is serious incitement to anarchy and the present fragile state of the executive cannot tolerate such insurrection.

[9]      Without wanting to express a political view and not being permitted to do so by convention, this Court must take the elements of the count charged into account, and applying these to the facts arrives at the inescapable finding that the charges are serious and subversive.  The first accused admits that the whole “billboard operation” was an initial phase to create instability to set the scene for two far more sinister “phases”.  That being so regard must be had to the sentencing principles of deterrence and retribution, as well as probably more importantly denunciation.  That is to say that the sentence must make a statement that the offence in question is not to be tolerated by a mainly obedient, complaisant population.

[10]    I take as a starting point for the sedition offences a term of 4 years and 6 months.

[11]    Both the second and third accused plead ignorance of the offences and tell me that they were just going along at the request of the first accused sometimes as a driver, sometimes as a companion.  It is difficult to believe that submission, given that these two were present in the vehicle on at least 5 different occasions when seditious writing was being sprayed on bill boards and later when buildings and crops were being set alight.  Perhaps they were coerced into acting by the authority and sway of the first accused but their admissions in the facts to be shaking spray cans and driving bring them squarely within the ambit of joint offenders and they must be sentenced as such.

[12]    Each of the second and third accused shall also serve a term of four years 6 months for each sedition offence he has been convicted of (ie. Counts 2, 3 and 4 for the third accused: Counts 2 and 3 for the second accused).

[13]    Arson is an extremely serious offence in that the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, while the maximum for arson of crops is ten years imprisonment.

[14]    Despite the serious penalty, the Courts in Fiji have set the tariff band of sentence for arson at between 2 years and 4 years imprisonment. (Lagi HAA 004/2004 per Shameem, J and Tuitokava HAA 67/2005 also Shameem, J). It is a seriously aggravating feature in this case that the accused persons set fire to police bures, buildings which having been built with tax payers monies, are used extensively in Police investigation work.  The facts admitted relating to the arson of these bures show a total disregard for the fact that they be occupied or not; no checks were seemingly made for occupancy.  I take as a starting point for arson of the bures a term of four years and I add one year for the aggravating feature referred to.  I deduct six months for the accused’s clear records making a total term of 4 years, 6 months.

[15]    Each accused shall serve four years 6 months for the Police bure arsons. (Counts 5 and 6).

[16]    Each accused is also convicted of arson of the bus shelters at Mango Bay Resort and at Cocomo Beach.  These arsons do not carry the aggravating feature of being Police property although they are constructions for the benefit of the public.  It is not revealed why these particular shelters should be destroyed but it is obviously to the disadvantage of the travelling public.  I sentence each to four years for these two arson offences.

[17]    The final arson charge is setting fire to the Cocomo Beach bure (Count 8). I am not told the purpose either that the bure was put to, nor of the reason for the arson but that too will attract a sentence of four years for each accused.

[18]    There are three counts of arson to crops (Counts 10, 11 and 12) for which all three accused have been convicted.  Again there is no information in the facts as to the relevance of the three victims of these senseless arson offences to the “grand scheme”, but the penalty being less, I sentence each accused on these 3 offences to two years imprisonment.

[19]    The total sentences to be served are therefore:
First accused  Counts 1, 2, 3 & 4:Four years 6 months, concurrent with each other.

Counts 5 &6: Four years 6 months to be concurrent with each other.

Counts 7,8,9:Four years concurrent with each other.

 
Counts 10,11 12: Two years, concurrent with each other.

[20]    This is a total term of 15 years to be served by the first accused.  Standing back, the Court realizes that this is far too long a term given his co-operation and pleas of guilty.  I therefore order that all terms be served concurrently, making a total term of 4 years 6 months.  From that term I deduct 18 months to reflect the first accused’s plea of guilty meaning that the first accused will serve a total of imprisonment of three years.

[21]    The second and third accused should serve the same sentences.  I am not persuaded that they are innocent dupes, but they are unsophisticated village farmers and there is no evidence that they were party to the political machinations and indoctrination of “the group”.  There is no evidence that they did any of the seditious writings, nor set buildings or crops alight. They will each receive a discount of eighteen months for their co-operation and guilty pleas and a further discount of twelve months for their much “lesser roles”.  They will serve a total term of imprisonment of two years.

[22]    The first accused will serve a minimum term before being eligible for parole of two years, four months and the 2nd and 3rd accused a minimum term of 18 months.

P.K. Madigan

JUDGE


At Lautoka

17 November, 2011