#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-06-10

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Human rights group questions Bainimarama claim regime is rebuilding non-racial, well-governed nation

VB: Says he's keeping Fiji honest but Human Righ Watch says not .
Regime leader Voreqe Bainimarama insists he and the RFMF are 'cleaning up' as he said they would when those running the country forced his hand in 2006.

In fact, the illegal leader is so confident his motives are pure he has said: "The day when the military will be taken to prison, that will be the end of those who are behind it.”

International groups such as the Human Rights Watch are less than impressed, though, with Bainimarama's supposed record saying they do not seen evidence of the regime trying to “rebuild Fiji into a non-racial, culturally vibrant and united, well-governed, truly democratic nation.”  

The Human Rights Watch has written to Joketani Cokanasiga complaining about the police and government decision to cancel the recent Oceania Pride march to mark the international day against homophobia and transphobia.

The international watch dog says the decision has harmed the claims by the regime to build a free civil society and to “empower and uplift the lives” of all Fijians, including vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, as stated in the People’s Charter.

June 12, 2012
Acting Minister for Defence, National Security, and Immigration Joketani Cokanansiga
1st Floor
New Wing Government Buildings
Suva, Fiji

Dear Minister Cokanansiga,

I write to you on behalf of Human Rights Watch to express our concern over the cancellation of a parade in Suva by the Fiji police on May 17, 2012.

More officers arrested over drug thefts but still nothing on Toorak break-in

Investigations underway but insiders say the rot is from the bottom up
No end in sight on the mess over police officers being linked and arrested for stealing or selling drugs.
Coupfourpointfive understands three more officers have been pinged. 

Insiders say they are the boys from the special police unit based in Nabua called the 'Strike Back Unit' who work for SSP Luke Navela, the officer who was earlier accused of being involved in police scams with other senior officers.

Insiders say the latest arrests is just the tip of the investigations and that 'it's slowly going from junior officers to senior officers.'

And they say this is just the Nabua case - nothing has emerged from the CID Toorak case where a huge amount of cocaine went missing in an inside job, the one that blew open theft of drugs that have been held as exhibits.

Fiji police have officially acknowledged both thefts in Toorak and Nabua were inside jobs.

Officers getting caught out or stealing and selling drugs have renewed talk of the former police commissioner Esala Teleni being brought back to investigate and make arrests.

The first civilian has, meanwhile, been charged over the missing exhibits from Nabua and has appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court.

Nasir Hussein pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with evidence and one of unlawful supply of illicit drugs admitting he interfered on May 18 and 20 with evidence.

Four people - three of them officers - have now been charged with theft of drugs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Promises of fairness amid vows of 'we started this and we will end it'

Engaging: SDL, FLP and UPP. pic Fiji Live

The electronic voter registration will bring free and fair elections - just as the media has been providing open and fair coverage. 

Well, so the regime would have us believe.

Voreqe Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum launched the $9 million advertising campaign yesterday with media today heralding the EVR system as the leveller of all past political impurities.

Yet while Khaiyum claims the registration programme 'is the start of fair and free elections' which will fix the 'anomalies of the past', the process to bring Utopia to Fiji in this latest lap has been less than open and fair.

Look no further than at how the regime hogs the headlines, using media to push its message while bullying news teams behind the scenes.

We said it in our original story and say it again today: the regime threatened to take Fiji TV's licence after it interviewed Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry over the comment of a Constitution Commission member that political parties of the past are responsible for where Fiji is now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dodgy Australians and Kiwis abroad

By Professor Wadan Narsey

Whatever the merits of the Australian Government’s failed attempt to charge Julian Moti for “Child Sex Offences outside Australia”, that incident raises a wider legal question regarding Australian and NZ citizens who commit, or aid and abet other crimes in foreign countries.

Under the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995 (Division 272 and 273), Australian citizens, residents and corporations may be charged for Child Sex Offences or child pornography or child abuse material, even if committed outside Australia. The offences also include “benefiting from, encouraging or preparing for sexual offences against children outside Australia”.

The principle behind this legislation is undeniable: being a citizen (or Permanent Resident) of Australia not only gives the person privileges and protections in Australia and abroad, but it also imposes responsibilities on the citizen, when abroad, to follow the laws of the host country, and not bring disrepute to Australia.

The child sex legislation is also predicated on the principle that Australian citizens should not be engaging in child sex activities abroad which would be considered to be criminal under Australian laws, if perpetrated within Australia or NZ.

So why does Australia not have comparable legislation for other activities abroad, which would also be considered criminal, if committed in Australia and abroad as well?

Is the over-throw of a lawful government, support of an illegal Regime which denies its citizens' basic human rights as defined by United Nations, not as serious as child sex or international terrorism activities?

Specifically in the case of Fiji, when would Australian and NZ citizens' support for the Military Regime amount to clear support of "unlawful" activities, which the Australian and NZ governments would like to discourage?

I suggest that April 2009 would be the watershed date to separate out the legally safe "do-gooders", from those who can be said to knowingly disregard the rule of law and courts in Fiji.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Death of senior Kubuna chief as confederacy prepares to name new Vunivalu

Adi Samanunu with Ratu Tu'uakitau Cokanauto. pic Fiji Times
The eldest daughter of Fiji's first governor general has died at the age of 72 after being ill for some time. Adi Samanunu Cakobau Talakuli died at her home in Nakelo on Monday and will be buried next Friday.

First governor general. pic Fiji Treasures and Fiji Museum
Like her predecessors, including the very first Cakobau to assume a political role, Fiji's self-styled King Seru Epanisa Cakobau, she wielded political influence: she was Minister for Fijian Affairs in 1994 and 1995 and a candidate for the Vice-Presidency in 1997.

Samanunu was Fiji's High Commissioner to Malaysia and Ambassador to Thailand and was on the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 1999. 

She was also appointed to the Fijian Senate in 2006 and was made a minister outside Cabinet.

As the eldest child of the last Vunivalu of Bau, she was senior chief of the Kubuna Confederacy, but was not a member of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga.

A cousin, Adi Finau Tabacaucoro, has told Fiji Live Samununu had been sick for some time and may have had liver problems.
Epinisa Cakobau

Samanunu’s death comes as the Bau moves to appoint a Vunivalu, the position having been vacant 21 years, since November 1989 when Ratu Sir George Cakobau died.

Her brothers, Ratu George Cakobau Jr and and Ratu Epenisa Seru Cakobau, are both vying for the powerful role. It is reported a decision has been made but not yet announced.

Challenge to Chaudhry: disclose the businessmen who forced you to join regime

By Victor Lal

Among the litany of LIES Mahendra Pal Chaudhry claims I have made up in the article about his 40 page treasonous document that he supplied to Frank Bainimarama in the overthrow the SDL-FLP government in 2006, he claims that he was pressured into accepting the Finance Minister's post by certain prominent members of the business community who were anxious to have the economy put back on track.

I have dealt with Chaudhry for over a decade, first as a defender of his human and political rights (calling him a “political saint in 2001) when he was deposed after the Speight coup in 2000. But in recent years I have become one of his bitterest critics after having found out that he was hiding millions in Australian and New Zealand bank accounts from his Indo-Fijian supporters and FLP parliamentary colleagues. He fought two general elections, in 2001 and 2006, without disclosing his millions.

Heroic welcome but where's the $2million?
Like the exposure of his $2million hoard, be rest assured, that one of these days I will be providing documentary evidence to support my claims that he prepared that treasonous 40 page document to help overthrow the democratically elected multi-party government.

In his reply, also posted on his official FLP website but not bearing his famous signature, Chaudhry claims that my article about his links to the 2006 coup is “an outrageous pack of lies, sheer mischief making timed, no doubt, to sow discord between Mr Chaudhry and Mr Qarase”. 

Well, that is his standard model reply. When, in 2008, I had called on the Military Council to ignore his call for media legislation, he replied that I was a conspirator by publishing his tax affairs because I was trying to foster a division between the interim administration and the military council. He was then the illegal Finance Minister in dictator's Cabinet. Now, he is accusing me of trying to sow discord between him and the deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

For my reply, which was reproduced from the Fiji SUN, see the following website:
Qarase and Andrews. pic Fiji Times
It is curious that Chaudhry has chosen not to comment on the contents of former US ambassador Larry Dinger and his successor Steven McGaan's cables to Washington, especially Dinger's where he claimed that Chaudhry was leaning towards the overthrow of the Qarase government if SDL won the 2006 general elections. Was Dinger lying?

We may recall that in another posting recently, I had recalled the former Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes meetings with Bainimarama, as relayed by Dinger to Washington: “In late February 2006, Hughes had a private meeting with Bainimarama where he tried to dissuade him from carrying out a coup, warning that it would be catastrophic for Fiji. Bainimarama rejected Hughes’ view suggesting that unnamed Indo-Fijian businessmen had told him Fiji could bounce back from another coup in 18 months.” 

Meanwhile, in January 2008, in one of my regular columns in the Fiji SUN (then edited by Russell Hunter whom the Chaudhrys had helped the regime to deport after his Taxgate affair; we were even informed by his own moles that Hunter would be out of the country by tomorrow morning), I had written under the heading “Re-igniting Old Spat:
“Ever since his release from the clutches of George Speight and the elite Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit, Mahendra Chaudhry has maintained, without adducing any shred of evidence, that the 2000 coup was heavily financed by Indo-Fijian businessmen opposed to the socio-economic reform programmes of his People’s Coalition Government and its determination to stamp out official corruption. A number of these firms, the Fiji Labour Party claimed, were being investigated by the Chaudhry government for over-pricing goods brought under price control, for engaging in corrupt practices, and for tax evasion.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ilegal leader tries to spook womens lobby

As he is today ..and below as the Fiji Sun have portrayed him.
He's in China for a trade symposium but continues to try to steer the Constitution process, putting the boot in particular into the Womens Forum which is trying to unite women under one submission.

From the 14th meeting of China Zhejiang Investment and Trade Symposium in Ningbo (one of China's oldest cities), Voreqe Bainimarama has tried to spook the Womens Forum, describing it as 'limited' and unrepresentative of women in Fiji.

Under the headline PM to Women: All to speak up in the Fiji Sun today, Bainimarama claims the Womens Forum is 'only for those in city and town areas', and that it's trying to use women from rural areas.

Bainimarama dislikes most the way the Forum has rallied  women to present a united voice to the Constitution Commission.

He would have us believe such an act of solidarity is a crime: “For the first time, everyone will have a voice. This is a fundamental part of the constitutional formulation process that cannot and must not be compromised.” 

According to Bainimarama (pictured about the time he seized control of the country in 2006), the Constitution process is for 'ordinary Fijians, not just the elite or the well-connected.'

In another attempt at showing control, the regime has today also taken on one of the world's most gung-ho environmental protest group, the Sea Shepherd.

In a statement titled 'Radical Groups that disrupt legitimate environmental conservation not welcomed by Fiji,' the Ministry of Defense, National Security and Immigration says the global group, which is known for its skirmishes with Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean, is radical and not welcome in Fiji.

Sea Shepherd boat Steve Irwin takes on a Japanese whalers.
The satement says: 'Fiji takes very seriously the protection of its pristine environment, specifically with regard to the sustainable preservation of its waters and fisheries.'

It concludes: 'Radical international groups, such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, any similar organisation or any other related party, which seek to sensationalise esoteric fishing practices, including on so-called "reality television," do so for purposes of self-promotion at the expense of disrupting legitimate conservation work. 

"These groups are not welcome in Fiji and will not be tolerated by Government."

Monday, June 11, 2012

SDL and UPP pick off Tikoitoga 'arguments'

Political volleying continues over the legitimacy of the 1997 Constitution with the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, describing as absurd Mosese Tikoitoga's recent comment that SDL, FLP, NFP and UPP are wasting their time in pushing for its return.

Qarase says not even legal experts, including Chief Justice Anthony Gates, have been able to dismiss the legal standing of the 1997 Constitution, quoting the now much quoted:  

“It is not possible for any man to tear up the Constitution. He has no authority to do so. The Constitution remains in place until amended by Parliament, a body of elected members who collectively represent all of the voters and inhabitants of Fiji. The fundamental law represented in a constitutional document may only be changed in accordance with that Constitution.”

Qarase says the finding was much the same in the case L. Qarase & others vs J.V. Bainimarama & others - where the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled on 9th April, 2009 that the military coup on December 5 in 2006 was illegal and that the 1997 Constitution is still in place.
As well as threatening media teams who give right of reply to political parties, the regime has been working hard to quash the widespread belief the Constitution is a living document.

Qarase says Tikoitoga has obviously forgotten the regime itself once declared upholding the 1997 Constitution was a priority and that even the People’s Charter refers to the Constitution as remaining the supreme law of Fiji.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Regime threatens Fiji TV after Qarase and Chaudhry interviews

Fiji Television has been told its 12-year business licence won't be renewed if its newsroom continues to run stories with anti- government angles.

Fiji TV's board chairman, Isoa Kaloumaira, was summoned by the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, three weeks ago after a news bulletin carried a story that had interviews with the deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase and the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry. 

The party leaders had responded to an earlier story in which constitution commissioner,Taufa Vakatale, had blamed politicians of the past for what she said was Fiji's current state.

Isoa Kaloumaira
Illegal AG Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum
Kaloumaira was told by Sayed-Khaiyum that if Fiji TV wanted to continue its operations in Fiji, it had to make a decision on what type of stories the station ran. 

Fiji TV was also told the regime was going to monitor its bulletins in the month of June.

The threat of closure has been passed to the management at Fiji TV and an internal directive is now in place not to run any anti-government stories. 

Fiji TV, which is majority owned by all the Provincial Councils in Fiji and Rotuma, is now operating under uncertainty with its business licence being used as a carrot to intimidate the station.

The station pays out about 1.8 million dollars annually in dividends to the Provincial Councils of Fiji and Rotuma.

According to sources, Fiji TV's business licence is due to expire on June 30th.

Narsey: electoral fraud, voter registration and turnout targets

Submission 3 to Yash Ghai Commission
By Professor Wadan Narsey

This Submission addresses two areas that the Ghai Commission could usefully examine and comment on.
First is the continued Regime allegations that there was electoral fraud in the 2006 elections.
2008 cartoon but still applicable. pic Sacarava
Second, some advice based on international experience, on what might be appropriate and cost-effective targets for voter registration and voter turnouts in a rurally dispersed electorate such as Fiji.
The Regime selectively quotes the EU Report, pointing to disenfranchisement of certain voter groups (not stated who exactly), flawed registration processes, lack of integrity in the electoral roll,  old traditional wooden ballot boxes being used with some political parties claiming that "the boxes had sufficient gaps beneath the lids to allow ballot papers to be inserted after the boxes were sealed", no recount of some close votes, a 101 percent. voter turnout in one constituency; and electoral officials favouring the SDL.

These are the serious allegations of possible electoral fraud that the Ghai Commission must examine objectively using the facts, and either accept or reject these allegations once and for all.