#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-12-04

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Telecom CEO 'quit over board interference'

Hatching and despatching: Kogadagoda and Khaiyum
The CEO of Telecom Fiji Limited, Rohan Mail, resigned over what sources say was interference by board chairman Ajith Kodagoda and the demand the company start imposing the controversial Employment Essential National Industries on workers.

It's also said the board wants to reduce staff by 40% immediately and that management have said 50% of staff are old fashioned and should be removed using the ENI decree. Expiring contracts should also not be renewed.
Rohan Mail
Sources say Kodagoda is also trying to get the board to sell TFL to an offshore company rather than try to revive what us being described as a dead horse - on the suggestion of the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.  

Rohan Mail was appointed in July last year and media reported he resigned to pursue other opportunities after just 17 months at the helm. TFL chairman Tom Ricketts thanked Mail for his 'invaluable service to TFL, acknowledging the major role he played in making it more competitive and sustainable'.

But sources say Kodagoda has been busy issuing instructions behind the scenes and that Ricketts was given instruction to make life difficult for Mail so he would resign instead of them having to terminate him.

Insiders say Ricketts has let it be known at Suva's Defense Club that he can't do anything and he is 'pissed off as he is treated like a puppet by Kodagoda.' 
He also said Mail is not leaving for better career opportunities but from frustration. Ricketts is also reported to have said TFL will never recover and that potential buyers from overseas are already being sought.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Union delegation heads to Fiji

Australian trade unions are upping their campaign against the military regime and will next Wednesday have a delegation in Fiji to investigate human rights violations.
The President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ged Kearney, says the regime has continued to defy  international concerns about the removal of workers’ labour rights and violence toward union leaders.

She says the International Labour Organisation is also concerned about the abuse of workers rights and has just passed a resolution in Kyoto condemning the regime's restriction of fundamental labour rights and the persecution of trade unionists.
 “The ILO’s regional meeting has called on its governing body to step up its actions to restore workplace rights in Fiji.

“There can be no greater condemnation of Fiji’s arrogant breaches of workplace rights than from the International Labour Organisation.”

Kearney says Suva can no longer ignore regional intervention.

“The ILO has also demanded the travel restrictions imposed on Fiji Trades Union Congress Secretary Felix Anthony be removed immediately, in keeping with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which allows for everyone to leave and return to his or her own country.

“It is unimaginable that the Fiji Government continues to defy basic human rights in the face of growing international outrage.

“Unions will not sit back and watch the oppression and violence directed at workers and union leaders by a Government installed via a coup and which has no democratic mandate.”

Kearney wants to meet with Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the three-day visit.

“The Fiji military regime continues to deny its violations are illegal or even restrictive of its workforce, so if it indeed has nothing to hide then it should be pleased to meet with me.

"The Government, which was installed by a military coup in 2006, has jailed trade union leaders with no cause and issued decrees that have deprived most Fijian workers of their fundamental international labour rights guaranteed by ILO conventions.” 

The union has also called on the Australian Labour Party to add Fiji to a blacklist including Zimbabwe and Burma.

ACTU destroys credibility ahead of Fiji visit

Australian unions to investigate human and labour rights abuses in Fiji following ILO intervention

Unions welcome commitments from Labor to restore worker rights in Fiji 

ILO Condemns Fiji Junta over Labour Rights http://www.ituc-csi.org/ilo-condemns-fiji-junta-over.html?lang=en 

2006 Coup anniversary: International union body and Human Rights Watch letter to Bainimarama

Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama
4th floor Govt. Bldgs., New Wing
Suva, Fiji
Email: pmsoffice@connect.com.fj

Re: Immediately halt ongoing serious human rights violations

Dear Commodore Bainimarama,

On the 5th anniversary of your assumption of power in Fiji, we urge you to immediately halt the ongoing serious human rights violations in Fiji and realize the promises that your government made at the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2010.

Five years after the December 5, 2006 coup d’├ętat, your government continues to deny Fiji’s citizens the right to take part in self-government through free and fair elections, as well as the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and free exercise of religion. The military and police have arbitrarily arrested and detained human rights defenders, including labor leaders and journalists, and others actually or perceived to be critical of the government. Four people are reported to have died in military or police custody and dozens of people have been intimidated, beaten, sexually assaulted, or subjected to degrading treatment.

At the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2010, Ambassador Peceli Vocea pledged your government’s commitment to improving its human rights record. Eighteen months later, your government has done little to address these ongoing violations, instead enacting increasingly abusive laws and using the police and the military to curb basic freedoms.

Public Emergency Regulations Threaten Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and Association

The 2009 Public Emergency Regulations restrict free speech, assembly and association, and grant the military sweeping powers of arrest and detention. Your government committed to cease the monthly renewal of the Public Emergency Regulations in February 2010. You subsequently committed to lift the decree when the Media Industry Development Decree (Media Decree) took effect in June 2010. However, your government continues to renew the regulations. At this five-year anniversary of your rule, we urge you to take an initial step toward improving the human rights situation in Fiji by letting the Public Emergency Regulations expire and publicly committing not to renew them in the future.

Pursuant to the Public Emergency Regulations, several trade union meetings were broken up by police this year. On August 13, police broke up a regular meeting of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) after revoking its permit to assemble.The raid occurred just after members of the FTUC met with a high-level delegation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which was in Fiji to investigate human and worker rights violations committed by your government. Since then, trade unionists report the existence of a de facto ban on all trade union meetings, as applications for meetings are routinely denied or simply never acted upon. As a result, union leaders are unable to speak to their own members, take decisions requiring meetings of executive committees, or even follow collective bargaining procedures prescribed by law.[3] In September 2011, police disrupted a social gathering of trade unionists, including Felix Anthony, General Secretary of the FTUC,as it was deemed a meeting of three or more persons without a permit.

On August 3, Daniel Urai, President of the FTUC and General Secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industries Employees (hospitality union) and Dinesh Goundar, an organizer with hospitality union were arrested and detained overnight. They were charged with unlawful assembly under the regulations for having held a union meeting to prepare members in the hotel industry for collective bargaining. A trial on those charges has yet to commence.

On July 1, the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement’s internal planning meeting was shut down by police. After the incident, the police acknowledged that a permit for the meeting was not required.

This practice has similarly been used to stifle the activities of religious groups perceived to oppose your government. While groups are required to attain a permit for a religious gathering, the terms of this provision and its requirements are applied and enforced arbitrarily. In August 2011, after approving the necessary documentation for the Methodist church’s three-day annual conference, the police cancelled the conference. The church has been forced to cancel its last three annual meetings. The police have limited the church’s gatherings to Sunday and enforced travel bans on church ministers who wish to travel abroad for church related meetings.
Abuses by Security Personnel

On November 4 , 2011, the police arrested Felix Anthony. This arrest followed the October arrest of Daniel Urai following his return from the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting in Australia. On November 7, Urai was officially charged with “inciting political violence by urging to overthrow government.” Urai was released on bail and Anthony was released without charge, following an international campaign urging their release. The trial of Urai is expected to commence in 2012. Both leaders have been banned from travelling outside Fiji, and Urai is subject to a curfew that restricts his freedom of movement within Fiji.

The military had previously detained Anthony on February 12, 2011. According to trade union officials, military officers took Anthony from his home to military barracks in Lautoka, where he was interrogated as to whether he knew of any attempts to overthrow the government and whether he supported the current regime. On February 18, military officers told Felix Anthony to meet the prime minister at a sugar mill in Ba, together with two other union officials. Following the meeting with the Prime Minister, the military officers beat the union officials for roughly two hours. The union officials were ordered to drive to Namaka military camp and were reported to have been beaten again by military officers for roughly another two hours.

On June 22, 2011, immediately following the 100th International Labor Conference, two military officers allegedly beat the president of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union - Ba Branch. The officers demanded that he submit his resignation from the union by 3 p.m. the next day and threatened further abuse.

On February 21, 2011, the military detained and allegedly physically assaulted politician Sam Speight. A former cabinet minister in the deposed Qarase government, Speight was held for three days in detention and was reported to have been badly beaten.

Media Freedom Curtailed
Your government has consistently sought to limit public criticism through aggressive censorship of the press. Your government asserts control over published media content, keeping government censors in news rooms and punishing journalists for material deemed anti-government.

The 2010 Media Decree strengthens the state’s mechanism of censorship, restricting foreign media ownership and forbidding publications which are “against public interest or order, against national interest, offends good taste or decency, or creates communal discord.” Repercussions for such material include hefty fines and or jail time. Additionally, the decree requires domestic media outlets to be at least 90 percent locally owned. This provision was widely seen as targeting The Fiji Times, which is owned by News Limited, and its editor, Netani Rika. Long perceived by the Ministry of Information as anti-government, Rika left the Times after the passage of the decree under what many viewed as targeted pressure from your government.

Unilateral Labor Law Revisions Eliminate Most Labor Rights

The Fiji government has issued several decrees that sharply curtail fundamental labor rights in both the public and private sectors. Some of the decrees also eliminate all access to judicial review and redress for past, present, and future violations of those rights or to question the legality of the decrees themselves. These sweeping changes were made without any prior consultation with the relevant trade unions. These decrees include: State Services Decree of 2009; Administration of Justice Decree of 2009; Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10); Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2010 (Decree No. 14); Trade Disputes Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10); Employment Relations Amendment Decree of 2011 (Decree No. 21); Public Service Act (Amendment) 2011; and the Essential Industries Decree of 2011.

On May 16, 2011, your government promulgated the Employment Relations Amendment Decree which amended the Employment Relations Promulgation of 2007 to exclude all public service workers from the scope of its’ coverage. Thus, roughly 15,000 workers in Fiji’s public service were divested of their important labor rights available under that law, such as collective bargaining and the right to strike, overnight.

On July 29, the government promulgated the Essential Industries Decree, which divested most private sector workers in key industries of their rights. As explained by the ILO Director General Juan Somavia, the decree has “very far reaching implications” including the “ending of existing collective agreements, the designation of new bargaining agents which may not be trade unions, and the possible imposition of compulsory arbitration of disputes and other limits on the right to strike.” Implementing regulations issued on September 9, 2011 subsequently designated the finance, telecoms, civil aviation, and public utilities sectors as essential and purports to allow the military government to include any other industries as and when it wishes.[11]

Together, these decrees are widely viewed as a direct attack on the independent trade union movement, among the strongest voices in Fijian civil society.

In the five years since you assumed power through extra-constitutional means, few steps have been taken to restore the right of Fiji Islanders to participate fully and freely in the governance of their own country. Rather than embracing the important role that civil society, human rights defenders, and trade unions play in good governance, your government has systematically repressed such groups. As international human rights, labor, and press organizations, we urge you to commit publicly to your international human rights obligations and take all necessary measures to protect human rights in Fiji. We urge your government to:
  •     Immediately repeal the Public Emergency Regulations – as your government has undertaken to do on several occasions;
  •     Repeal the Media Industry Development Decree, remove government censors from news rooms,and encourage international press organizations to work with the Fiji media to establish a mechanism for self-regulation;
  •     Revise all labor decrees, including the Employment Relations Amendment Decree of 2011 and the Essential Industries Decree of 2011, through a tri-partite process, to ensure compliance with your international obligations to the ILO;
  •     Publicly order security personnel to uphold human rights, in particular fair trial and due process rights, the prohibition on torture, and the right to free assembly and association;
  •     Investigate and prosecute all security force personnel who engage in arbitrary arrest and detention, attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and physical abuse of detainees; and
  •     Publicly commit to an expedited timetable for elections, implementing the right of all Fiji Islanders to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives and to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections.


Brad Adams
Asia Director
Human Rights Watch

Sharan Burrow
General Secretary
International Trade Union Confederation

Jim Boumelha
International Federation of Journalists

Mary Lawlor
Front Line Defenders

Monday, December 5, 2011

Five years on...

DECEMBER 5, 2006: the day a so-called corruption free regime was born. 

And still we wait for the promised Utopia.

Coup leader Frank Bainimarama announcing to journalists he had overthrown Laisenia Qarase.

Soldiers setting up roadblocks outside Laisenia Qarase's house.

RFMF carrying out the orders of Bainimarama.

Soldiers today allowing themselves to work against the citizens of Fiji.
Moses Driver forced to announce his resignation as Police Commissioner
Bainimarama and the disciples helping to keep corrupt hierarchy in power

Leaked documents show grubby workings of Khaiyum and co

Confidential documents obtained by Coupfourpointfive confirm the scale of manipulation by the illegal attorney general and close aides to gain control and to target the former police commissioner, Esala Teleni.

The current police commissioner, Ioane Naivalurua, ordered the documents to be destroyed but they were rescued from the shredder by a quick thinking boffin.  

The officer who prepared the report was demoted and then sacked.

The investigation and report (sparked by a Naboro mole who 'tipped' Khaiyum about a supposed plan to destabilise the illegal government involving Teleni, Pita Driti and Roko Ului Mara and others), was being put together for the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama.

The five-page document, prepared in January this year, shows how Naivalurua, Pio Tikoduadua (the permanent secretary for the prime minister's office), Mohammed Aziz (the chief of staff for the RFMF), and Khaiyum manipulated the system to try to eliminate Teleni and in the process sack some honest officers who were standing in their way, to gain total control of the government. 

Confirmed, too, is the spying on citizens via the so-called 'intercepting' of phone calls despite the regime and Vodafone's denial, and its ability to check bank accounts.

As is said in the Kingdom of the Devil - no one is honest: they will kill each other to gain more power and control, hurting innocent citizens in the process.