#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-06-03

Friday, June 8, 2012

Violation of Fiji workers' rights revealed globally

Key culprit behind loss of workers rights.
Loss of democracy in Fiji highlighted in yet another report, this time the ITUC Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights.

The survey comes as New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions reveals the employers group of the International Labour Organisation has tried to block the hearings of the worst cases of abuse of the International Labour Conventions this year, some of them in Fiji.

CTU president Helen Kelly has been at the International Labour Conference in Geneva this week, and says the ILO conference usually hears the worst 25 cases and that "people travel from around the world, some risking their safety, to attend these hearings."

"The hearings are an opportunity to bring international attention to breaches of international labour standards. Some of these breaches include deaths, arrests and dismissals on the basis of union membership."

The breaches, including the arrest of FTUC unionists Daniel Uria and Felix Anthony, is well-known to those of us following the plight of Fiji but can be viewed again, along with another important issue - how the army is controlling sugar production - in the global survey below.

ITUC workers rights on Fiji

The global media release
ACTU's response

Editor's Note: Illustration (Fiji's Very Own Boratini) was done by Discobombulated Bubu http://discombobulatedbubu.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Naval officer gets off lightly after assaulting woman

A Naval Officer who assaulted a woman has been given a suspended sentence by a Sri Lankan magistrate. Why? Because the officer holds a responsible job and a conviction might affect his chances of promotion. The other reason? Because according to the magistrate a: "Suspended sentence" was introduced into English law as 'part of a wider search for ways of reducing the numbers in prison', and because of the 'strain which the prison population has suffered'.

State v Tabakanalagi [2012] FJMC 108; Criminal Case 731.2012 (31 May 2012)

Criminal Case No; 731/2012




Prosecution : Cpl Reddy.
Accused : In person.

1. You, Vilimoni Karikarisiti Tabakanalagi are here today to be sentenced following the admission of 'guilt' on your own accord and free will in this Court on 23.05.2012, for committing the offence of 'Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm' under Sections 275 of the Crimes Decree 2009.

2. As per section 154(1) of the Criminal Procedure Decree the offence is reconcilable.
3. The victim of this case has been a 28 year old female. On 08.01.2012 she came to your place during lunch to meet your niece. She was not at home. The victim came again in the evening around 7.30 pm. But the niece was not available. It appears that the reason for her visit was that to take her mobile phone which was with your niece.
4. The second visit led to an argument and you being a 43 year old naval officer confronted with the victim. During the heated argument you grabbed her neck and pushed her against the wall. Then you held her from hair and pushed again to the wall for the second time.
5. The complainant victim sustained minor injuries due to the incident. As per the medical report the complainant sustained fresh abrasions and bruises on her body as a result of this. The matter had been reported to the police. Later you were arrested and interviewed under caution. During the caution interview you admitted the offence.

6. The Summary of Facts was read over, explained and you admitted it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FLP stung into replying to 'detractors'

Chaudhry denying coup involvement
The Fiji Labour Party has responded to our story Military Council documents link Chaudhry to the 2006 coup

In an email titled 'Reply to Victor Lal crap,' the FLP says there is no truth to the claim Mahendra Chaudhry prepared a 40-page report against SDL and PM Laisenia Qarase for Bainimarama to overthrow the SDL-FLP multi-party government.

We have printed the statement unedited: 
Lal is known for being a Chaudhry-basher. He carries a chip on his shoulder because some time back he had rendered political advice which had been ignored. He is known as a cut and paste ‘journalist’ who takes up things from here and there and paints a distorted picture."   

In this instance, Lal bases his claims on some “Military Council documents” but provides absolutely no evidence of any such document and certainly nothing that links Mr Chaudhry to the 2006 coup – no shred of evidence to back his claim.

Secondly, his article is an outrageous pack of lies, sheer mischief making timed, no doubt, to sow discord between Mr Chaudhry and Mr Qarase. 


LIE 1: No 40-page document. Lal claims Mr Chaudhry prepared a 40-page document against Qarase for Bainimarama. He never prepared any such thing document. 

Military trying to track former CRW soldiers

Speight: still in Naboro
The military and police intelligence are working overtime to establish the whereabouts of a group of former CRW soldiers released from prison last week.

The group were put on trial in January 2006 for their involvement with the 2000 coup leader, George Speight, and the mutiny at Queen Elizabeth Barracks.

Sources say surveillance teams have been put in place to track Filimoni Raivalu, Jona Nawaqa, Lagilagi Vosabeci, Ropate Nakau, Lance Corporal Usaia Rokobigi, Peni, Kalisito Vuki and Viliame Tikotani.

All were handed six year sentences, which ended last week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Officers accused of Toorak drug theft sent home on half pay

INSIDE JOB: But who - officers or top officials?
More developments in our story about the missing drugs from the Criminal Investigations Bureau in Toorak several weeks ago.
As we reported earlier, two police officers have been singled out for the missing cocaine valued at several million dollars.

They have been named to us as Rajeshni Mala and Sakeo Ganivatu, the investigating officer mentioned in a letter sent to the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, detailing a drug ring allegedly involving the police commissioner and his two deputies.

Both officers have been sent home pending investigation - on half pay.

Rajeshni Mala has also been asked to explain how she and her husband renovated their Pilling Street home recently to a tune of $10000. 

Police moles insist the two officers are being made to take the fall for hierarchy who are being protected by officials in Bainimarama's office.

Military Council documents link Chaudhry to 2006 coup

Once in tandem: Chaudhry and Bainimarama

Chaudhry prepared 40 page report against SDL and PM Laisenia Qarase for Bainimarama to overthrow the SDL-FLP multi-party government

By Victor Lal

Lynchpin: Chaudhry and Qarase pic Fiji Live
The two were regular visitors to each other's offices before the 2006 treasonous coup, with a common enemy in their sights – the democratically elected Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Mahendra Chaudhry, the leader of the Fiji Labour Party and Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the head of the Royal Fiji Military Forces, wanted Qarase's political head for self-motivated reasons.

In Bainimarama's case, he was on the verge of being charged with sedition for repeatedly threatening to overthrow the SDL-FLP multi-party Cabinet, and was also under investigation for the murders of CRW soldiers. We may recall that on 13 November 2006, he had written a letter to Qarase demanding that investigations against him (Bainimarama) and senior army officers be terminated. Bainimarama had also demanded the withdrawal of three contentious bills: the Racial Tolerance and Unity Bill, the Qoliqoli Bill and the Land Claims Tribunal Bill.

Mahendra Chaudhry, on the other hand, felt that Qarase had rigged the 2006 May general election to win political power. He had already set the tone of the general election when, a year before, he had told the FLP conference in July 2005: “If you as the voters exercise this choice then you must remain content with whatever has come your way in the past four years under the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua rule. But no, you must indeed be prepared to face even worst times because under the SDL there will be more instability and divisiveness. The economy will dip further, more and more people will be leaving our shores and the resources of the indigenous people will continue to be shamelessly exploited by bureaucrats, unscrupulous politicians and their collaborators for their own gain.”

Chaudhry also adopted Bainimarama's language when he declared,“The Government's determination to push through the controversial Amnesty Bill has created deep divisions in the nation, and leaves behind indelible impressions of an administration that backs lawless elements in society.” Fijian chiefs and the traditional way of life also came under attack from him: “It is these double standards that have and are still keeping the ordinary Fijian shackled to a now outdated system of feudal control, thus contributing to their poverty and misery, whilst certain chiefs and a large number of Fijian elites continue to substantially increase their wealth at the expense of their poorer subjects.” 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Drug duo get time but big questions linger over police thefts

Balaggan: 11 years. pic Fiji Live
One major drug case has wrapped up but another is just unravelling.

The Indian national, Muskan Balaggan, has been sentenced to 11 and half years jail after earlier being convicted of trying to export more than 520 grams of cocaine to Australia valued between $200,000 and $500,000 ($AUS).

Elton Xhemali: 10 years. pic Fiji Live
Fellow accused, Elton Xhemali, from America, has been jailed for 10 years.

Both have been given  non-parole periods of 9 and 8 years. 

Balaggan, 22, and Xhemali, 26, were sentenced in the High Court in Suva by Justice Daniel Goundar who admitted "Fiji does not have a sophisticated intelligence service to detect drug-smuggling."

He said: “Unless there is a tip off, it is easy to sneak in and out, hard drugs. In all cases, the hard drugs were for the overseas market. So Fiji is just being used by the drug-smugglers as a transit point ...."

Revealing words considering the shadow currently hanging over the Fiji police after allegations of a drug ring operating in the force, going all the way to the top.

The force this weekend revealed a second lot of drugs had gone missing and that it was yet again an inside job.

Several weeks ago, cocaine valued at millions of dollars disappeared from Toorak CID. 

Accused: Bakoa. pic Fiji Live
Two officers were originally singled out for the missing dope last week from Nabua police station but just one has been charged, Constable Kaipati Bakoa, who appeared in Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon on one count of theft and one count of interfering with evidence.

A police mole says Bakoa is a scapegoat and that while he was assigned custody of the drugs, they  went missing when he was at home. 

He puts the value of the missing marijuana at one million dollars and says "How can so much dope go missing with at least 10 officers at Nabua police station ground floor at any given time?"

He says
: "Only the Chinese and drugs cartel have the capability to buy those drugs at what intel sources say could be a discounted price of 3 million."

He reckons there is currently about one million  dollars worth of drugs on the streets and night clubs. He also claims the drugs have been shipped to New Zealand via boat or Chinese fishing vessels.

"With these kind of operations only Fiji Police and Army have the capability of moving such amount of drugs. Any other person will be caught!"

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fiji regime bends rules on public meetings for some but not others

Political parties: no one off permits. pic FijiLive
Unions: no one off permits either. pic Fiji Live
In typical carrot and stick pyschology, the regime has decided that Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Groups, including faith based organisations, will now be allowed to hold public meetings once they acquire a one-off permit.

The big stick, though, is still being wielded on political parties and unions who will need to apply for a permit if they want to gather, with the regime admiting it would probably reject the request.

It claims a one-off permit will help facilitate and encourage public discussions on Constitutional Consultations and recognizes the important role NGOs and Civil Society Groups play in the process.

So political parties and unions are not important? To the contrary. In recent months, the regime has spent considerable effort trying to undermine both groups so the decision to make things difficult for them is because it fears their power.

To get the permit, NGO’s and Civil Society Groups will need to apply to the Commissioner of Police  then once they have it, will need to inform him of the place and time of meeting at least 48 hours before they intend to meet.

The one-off permit comes with the warning that any organisation that breaches the Public Order Act by 'prejudicing peace, compromising public safety and good order, engaging in racial or religious vilification, or undermining or sabotaging the economy or financial integrity of Fiji' will be immediately stopped from holding meetings and any subsequent meetings.

But where does one draw the line about what it can or cannot say or discuss?

As with its other decisions in the past, the regime will probably make its own rules about whether one has broken the Public Act or not.