#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Expulsion of ILO team typical of regime game playing

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Expulsion of ILO team typical of regime game playing

Kearney, who tried to visit Fiji last year, and Anthony
Speculation continues this morning over what exactly triggered the regime to order a high level ILO delegation to leave the country.

The fact finding mission arrived four days ago and was supposed to meet with the llegal Prime Minister and other Ministers, including the Chairperson of the Constitution Commission, FTUC and employers before departing Friday.

Helen Kelly (middle) turned back at airport.
But the three-member team led by Abdul Koroma, a judge on the International Court of Justice and a member of the ILO Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions and Recommendations, was told to leave on a flight last night. 

It has been suggested the team alienated the regime somehow but going on past performances, it is typical behaviour of the illegal government: it likes to make out it operates democratically and allows international teams to visit but ultimately sabotages their succes by sending them packing before the mission is completed.


Yesterday was almost a repeat of what happened last year in November when trade unionists from New Zealand and Australia tried to get into the country to talk to people on the ground about the regime's hardline labour decrees.

The national secretary of Fiji Trade Union Congress, Felix Anthony, says the letter from the office of Frank Bainimarama alluded the regime had already made efforts to 'overhaul social security relating to Workers Compensation and setting a National Minimum Wage' so there was no need for the ILO team to be investigate.

"Once again the regime has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted on the commitments it gives to the International Labour Organisation and other international institutions. 

"The regime having drafted the terms of reference of the mission cannot now claim that they disagree with the terms of reference. 

"Clearly the regime  is not prepared for the ILO or any international organisation to see the reality on the ground in relation to workers rights.  The truth is that the regime has trampled on trade union and workers rights established in ILO Conventions."

The Abdul Koroma delegation was a result of that aborted mission last year and a subsequent request by the Committee on Freedom of Association to the governing body and a resolution being adopted at the 15th Asia and Pacific ILO regional meeting in Kyoto, in December.

Yesterday's expulsion has prompted trade unions Australia to call on the government there to demand an explanation from the regime.

The ACTU President, Ged Kearney, and the president of New Zealand's Council of Trade Union, Helen Kelly, last year tried to visit Fiji to see first hand for themselves the problems on the ground but were turned back at the airport.

Kearney says yesterday's decision, which came after an abrupt end to a meeting between the ILO and a Government Minister, confirms unions’ serious concerns about Bainimarama regime’s ongoing disregard for human rights despite its public assurances of a return to democracy.

“This also shows how afraid of scrutiny this autocratic, non-elected regime is, in pretending to welcome the ILO but then slamming the door in its face upon arrival.

“We condemn this action and we have asked that the Australian Government to seek an urgent explanation from the regime, as its actions are completely inconsistent with its publicly articulated commitments to return Fiji to democracy and a country that respects human rights."

The regime also yesterday reportedly ordered the Sea Shepherd to leave its waters a week after the anti-whaling group's trimaran berthed for repairs.

The Brigitte Bardot skipper, Siddharth Chakravarty, says he was told by officials the vessel had to go and they were escorted out of Suva Harbour.

"The navy and immigration officials came on board and told us that we needed to depart the country. At noon, they escorted us out from the Royal Suva Yacht Club."

Fiji maritime officials have rejected this version of events however earlier this year the regime issued a statement saying 'radical international groups' such as Sea Shepherd were not welcome in its waters. 

17 comments:

Pacific in the Media said...

Coverage from last year's trade union delegation to Fiji. Ged Kearney interview with Radio Australia.

One of the leaders of the union delegation deported from Fiji, the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Ged Kearney says Fiji’s interim Attorney General is play fast and lose with the facts about why they wanted to come to Fiji.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts
ACTU president Ged Kearney

KEARNEY: He seems to be very loose with the facts actually about the leadup to the delegation. We wrote to the Attorney General following a press release that he put out saying that the Australian Trade Union should come to Fiji and see on the ground, and we accepted his invitation and said certainly we would like to come. He made it very clear in a letter sent back to us, that he did not intend to meet with us and we wrote back and said well that’s disappointing, we would be there for two days. In those two days we would very much like to meet with you and indeed the Commodore. So we made every effort we think to actually meet with the Attorney General. He mades some fairly spurious allegations about us, insisting on flying business class, which is just simply a lie, it’s a complete untruth, which is rather strange for him to do that. But further to the point on the ground he talked a lot about us having made up our mind before we went and that we would have a closed mind to the discussions and the negotiations. Now he makes out that we’re operating in a bit of a vacuum, we have to remember that the ILO sent a mission to Fiji and found serious violations of human rights and trade union rights, and indeed the Asia Pacific body of the ILO passed a resolution calling on the Fijian government to actually restore human rights and trade union rights in Fiji. Now the ILO is of course a body that represents governments, so these are all the governments in the Asia Pacific region passed that resolution as well as employers, so business groups and trade unions. So it’s not as if that we just woke up one morning and said oh we think we’ll go and give Fiji a hard time. These are very serious allegations of human rights abuses occurring right now in Fiji, and the Australian Trade Union movement know that in particular these violations have actually been targetted at trade union officials who’ve been put in jail, they’ve been imprisoned, they’ve been harrassed. Now for the Attorney General to say that trade unions are operating freely and without hinderance in Fiji is just untrue, that is simply not the case, and as I said even the ILO know that that’s the case and have said so. So I find it extraordinary that he’s trying to make out that our actions were unfounded and that we were actually going there to cause mischief. We were going there to speak with him, we were going there to speak with community groups, we were going there to speak with trade union groups. And what he has shown the world in fact is that Fiji is run by a military dictatorship who simply because you might disagree with or you might like to have a difficult conversation with him about things that are happening in Fiji they can simply refuse you entry. There was no legal grounds whatsoever for him to refuse our delegation entry to Fiji.

part two to follow

mark manning said...

Australia should enforce tougher sanctions against the regime and Fijians should stand up and fight for their rights. The RFMF soldiers should resign en-masse.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert said...

Good for Aust and NZ to see that things have not changed as much as they think they have. Anyway I see this as the backlash to the revelations that keep coming out about the illegal government. When you have members of the judiciary leaking info to C4.5 and former judges spilling their guts on internet sites that tells you their is dissent and it's wider than the regime wants to acknowledge.

SEMI MEO said...

Unbelievable!!....again, we’re dumfounded by operations of these transnational organisations whose charter seems to be glossed by self proclaim mandate as saviour of humanity..in this case..human and labour/workers rights..

Again we say, apart from a brief holiday in the tropics..WHY COME TO FIJI??? Why..why…why??

Over 250 Million children..yes children ..TODAY!..are labouring under more notorious regimes than ours, some for payment of a cup of rice and a muddy glass of water....worse still, multimillion dollars operations abetted by so called democratic Governments and other, even member of the ILO,UN and…yes…UN security council!!

These money wastes have nothing better to do..oh..the UN, ILO and the like..the can not catch Korny in Uganda after merciless killing for decades, can not negotiate humane working condition for oppressed workers big boys member of the UN..and oh…let’s go and bully the tiny dot in the Pacific..and while there drink some coconuts…good riddance…
Now where were we?...oh..yes…let keep focusing on our road to democratic elections in 2014…and Aiyuz can NOT stop that!

Oh, and the Australia Army are too occupied with her Northern maritime boarder to even think about boast from the west...lol

Anonymous said...

The arrogance of unearned power is on full display, and more will come. the world should realize that this regime will fool and flatter, but will not change its course until it has its way, Australia and New Zealand agreed to resume full diplomatic relations with Fiji, and what happens. Fiji thumbs its nose at them and seeks to establish diplomatic relations with Iran and North Korea, in hopes of getting their votes for a seat on the Security Council come 2015. Dream on.

mark manning said...

@ Semi Meo
Why do coup supporters continue to try to justify their stance with flawed arguments.
It's imperative that the Regime's New Labour Laws be challenged, as much as they should be in other Countries.
I suppose in comparison, one could argue that Fiji is losing the gains they once had, now let's see if we can't influence other Countries to do the right thing by their Citizens too. We have to start somewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=cLOZxOo5Czo&NR=1

This Regime is 50 years behind.

Anonymous said...

@ Meo,
You and Kukum are of the same ilk....arsewipe ga na arsewipe.

Anonymous said...

@ Semi Meo 10:23 AM

I also concur with your views and I'm sure more will come out eventually revealing the truth of the situation regarding the ILO visit termination.

@ Mark Manning 10:53 AM

Talk about 'flawed arguments' and views. Just because someone has a view regarding this situation why would anyone automatically brand them a 'Coup supporter' ?

All may be black or white in your simple world but for others they appreciate there is also grey !

Anonymous said...

tell the unionists to go flex their muscles in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Burma, Syria.
bloody trouble makers only interested in filling their own pockets, selfish bastards

Mosi said...

Meo

Muadulu levu. They came at the invitation of unions in Viti. Sa sivia ga na vakilakila vei koko ra luveni cebo karokaro.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 12:44 and Semibothy,
I concur that both of you are lacking in grey matter.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shepherd is a reprehensible and irresponsible group practicing its own form of environmental terrorism. This regime doesn't do much that is right, but sending Sea Shepherd on its way was the right decision.

Anonymous said...

Union leader and member should go on general strike than regime will fall.

Anonymous said...

Anon@12.44 and Semibothy. You two suit each other. The only grey in you two are your hair hahahaha. Your grey matters are no longer working. Stop supporting the devil Voceke you bastards.

Anonymous said...

Felix and gang need to pack up and disappear. They have more than enough money to live the rest of their lives pretty comfortably. I hope the government starts an investigation on these bastards.

Anonymous said...

@ Hellen Kelly,
The 2 Fijians in the photo with you are not members of any union in NZ. Their views are their own. The CTU should only take in views and stance of its members.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Ged Kearney was made aware of Felix participation with
the military regime immediately after the coup in 2006? What he did
to the NFPF and his activities as chairman of the NFPF and how &why he was kicked out of that position?
I feel sorry for Ged been used by Felix, who is acting like a Union leader,
whose been hurt badly by the decree enacted by this treasonous regime? Yes,government
needs to investigate this asseole,especially the use of membership funds and there use?
nail the bastard to the gross!!!