#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-09-30

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Narsey: Where would Gandhi have stood on Fiji?

The following is part of an address made by Professor Wadan Narsey to students at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School on Mahatma Gandhi Day (October 2 which has now been made International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations), posing the question 'Where would Gandhi have stood on Fiji if he were alive today?'

Gandhi's great principles and beliefs
What was there about Mohandas Gandhi that led so many  great leaders to admire him so publicly?
The Head Boys from Ratu Sukuna Memorial School and MGM High School earlier spoke so eloquently about Gandhi, and the Principal of MGM in her speech referred to  Ratu Sukuna as an icon, after whom RSMS is so suitable named. 

I remind you that we in Fiji are in desperate need of icons like Ratu Sukuna, and students, as I describe the major challenges that Gandhi took on in his life in South Africa and India, I want you to think about the kinds of challenges he might have taken up, were he in Fiji today.

Beyond "non-violence" to "non-co-operation" with oppressors Gandhi is world famous for advocating "non-violence" in India's fight for independence from British colonial rule.  

But Gandhi believed that you had to go beyond nonviolence: there also had to be resistance against the oppressors and injustice, through "non-cooperation" and other peaceful means.

Gandhi believed that India could be freed from British colonial rule by simply not co-operating with unjust rulers, even if it meant suffering personally.

Gandhi believed that injustice persisted because victims co-operated: the day that all victims stopped co-operating with unjust rulers - that was the day that the unjust rulers would have to depart.

But note it is interesting that Gandhi believed that non-violent non-co-operation would be even more necessary after independence, because the "brown sahibs" (i.e. Indians themselves) might be worse economic exploiters of the common Indian people, more greedy and corrupt that the "British white sahibs" being expelled from India.

Friday, October 5, 2012

FLP leader's lawyer son suspended

The son of the leader of the Fiji Labour Party could be getting a start in politics sooner rather than later after being suspended today from practising law for the next five years.

Rajendra Chaudhry and fellow Suva lawyer, Kini Maraiwai, were both suspended after being found guilty recently by the Independent Legal Services Commission of breaching protocol. 

Chaudhry was found guilty of one count of professional misconduct and one count of unsatisfactory professional conduct: Maraiwai of two counts of unsatisfactory professional conduct and one count of professional misconduct.

Justice Paul Madigan ruled Chaudhry be suspended until March the 1st in 2017, that he also be publicly reprimanded and pay costs of $1,000.

Fiji unionists warned to watch their back

The trade unionists who spearheaded the campaign to get the United States to look at removing Fiji from the list of countries who enjoy preferential duty free privileges, are being warned to expect the regime to retaliate.

The illegal government has been given three weeks to present written submissions to the United States Trade Representative Office following a hearing in Washington DC on Tuesday.

The regime has already argued the breaches cited in the AFL-CIO petiton are unfounded and is understood to be pushing for the U.S. to resolve the matter informally, pointing again to its supposed reforms, including the 2014 elections, and pending legislation on a new minimum wage.

The Frank Bainimarama government is said to be reeling from the union campaign to get the U.S. to punish it for the way it has allowed Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum to systematically strip workers and unions of their rights via decrees.

Regime moles say trade unionists Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai should be watching their backs over the illegal government's current predicament despite them saying they shouldn't be blamed for something Bainimarama and Khaiyum brought on themselves.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Regime has 21 days to save U.S. duty free rights

Daniel Urai and Felix Anthony. pic Digital Journal
Fiji has been given three weeks to present submissions after a hearing in Washington DC on the duty free access scheme for 39 companies exporting products to America.

The American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) hearing against Fiji for breach of labor rights and standards ended its preliminary hearings yesterday.

The hearing was the result of a petition by the Fiji Trades Union Congress supported by regional and international trade union movement in response to the regime's hardline decrees.

Regime delegation: 21 days deadline
Fiji's delegation to the Generalized System of Preferences was led by Acting Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma, who defended the Essential National Industries Decree as legislation aimed at 'ensuring the viability of specific industries that are vital to the Fijian economy'.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Correspondence shows Smith-Johns and Davis working glove in hand

Smith Johns: Fronting regime's Fiji Independence celebrations
An email that clinches the modus operandi of  Aussie expats Sharon Smith-Johns, the regime mouthpiece, and Graham Davis, 'independent journalist'. The email has been printed as it was sent to us and because people are bound to ask, we can only say we have no reason at this stage to doubt its authenticity. It has come via a most reliable source. Bloggers will recall the controversial SDL submission was the regime's 'big story' recently and that Davis went all out to use it to try to discredit the country's biggest political party.

Graham Davis at Pina.pic David Robie.

From: sharonsjohns@gmail.com
Date: August 15, 2012 5:38:00 PM GMT+12:00
To: Graham Davis <grahamdavis@grubstreet.com.au>
Subject: SDL submission


Here is the link I promised you.


The speaker clearly says this is the SDL submission so you can really lay into them. He also comes across as a fuckwit and his partner looks like a shoe shine boy.

I showed it to the PM and I have not seen him laugh so much in ages. He believes this will really kill all credibility of the SDL and they are now dead.

I spoke to your colleagues at Qorvis and we believe we have got the right level of commentators on Grubsheet, we have pretty much shut down the dissenters, but let me know if you feel we need to get more debate going.

Let's meet up next week when you are over so we can have a few wines, that Shiraz you gave me last time was to die for.


Sharon Smith Johns

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Information, National Archives & Library Services of Fiji

Ph (+679) 3301806 | Mob (+679) 9905558 | Fax (+679) 3305139 | Web: www.fiji.gov.fj |

GPO Box 2225, Government Buildings

Suva, Fiji Island

Military medics only allowed to see escapees

The first two escapees allowed to be seen by the public.
We've seen two but what about the other three?
Fiji authorities yesterday delivered Tevita Sugu and Josaia Usumaki to the Suva Magistrates Court but the other three escapees are reportedly under 'medical supervision.'

The injuries sustained by the runaway Naboro prisoners at the hands of the RFM were clearly evident when they emerged. One was using crutches and the other hobbling - both clearly needing help to get to and fro.

All five were supposed to appear in court on Monday but did  not because of their injuries. State prosecutors yesterday told the magistrate, Janaka Bandara, that Solomoni Qurai, Epeli Qaraniqio and Isoa Waqa were still unfit to attend court and needed more time to recover.

Coupfourpointfive has been told by reliable sources that no public doctors and nurses have been allowed to where the escape prisoners are being treated at Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
Military doctors and medics only have been allowed access and to look after them - with not even trainee doctors and nurses allowed in the ward raising questions about the true state of the well-being of the unseen prisoners, especially the last one to have been recaptured, Isoa Waqa.

Editor's Note: Sugu and Usumaki are accused of resisting arrest and intimidation and police maintain one of the other prisoners accused robbed the Bank South Pacific’s Samabula branch. State prosecutors want to move the case to the High Court but have yet to make full disclosures.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sons of a senior military and prisons officer behind taxi-robbing gang

Police at Marist Grammar.pic Fiji Village
Irony at its worst with the police commissioner visiting Marist Grammar to warn off brawling students, urging them to respect the law.

A 19 year old has been charged with assault and will appear in court tomorrow, following a spate of incidents including brawling at Service Street and Sukuna Park last Friday, an attack on a school bus and the assault of a head boy.

A curfew is also in place with Fiji Village quoting the school principal as saying no Marist student should be seen in uniform in Suva after 4 o'clock.

But this is not the first incident involving law breaking students.

While Iowane Naivalurua is warning Marist students not to break the law, in July - high school students at Nabua Secondary School, who were part of a criminal gang - were found to be the sons of a senior military and prisons officer.

After three weeks of investigation, Police arrested and started questioning the group of boys who had formed a group to rob random individuals and taxi drivers.

Investigations revealed the boys robbed individuals of amounts ranging from $50 to $190. Their total loot over a three week period was about $2500.

Monday, October 1, 2012

FTUC: regime only has itself to blame for the GSP trade hearings

The Fiji Trades Union Congress has responded to statements from the illegal leader, the Ministry of Information, Fiji Sun and the illegal Attorney General regarding the United States GSP Trade Hearings.

National secretary Felix Anthony says the statements appear to deliberately attempt to instil fear in people and to again play the blame  game, singling FTUC out for the predicament that the regime finds itself in. 

"The people of  Fiji will not be bamboozled with the overnight 'love' the regime and its supporters appear to have developed for workers in Fiji."

Anthony says over the past three years, the regime has systematically repressed trade union and workers’ rights.

"These rights are universal and are clearly stated in the Core ILO Conventions, which the regime has promised on numerous occasions to respect, the last being at the United Nations General Assembly. 

"The ILO reports of the Freedom of Association Committee and the  Committee on the Applications of Standards have clearly stated the violations and requested that the Regime  act upon the recommendations of the Committees.

"The regime has to date not acted on the reports. When  the ILO mission on invitation of the regime arrived in Fiji to assist the regime to comply with the Conventions, the regime was quick to expel the mission."

Crocodile tears at the eleventh hour

GAME PLAYER: Bainimarama last week.
Has the illegal prime minister really appealed to trade unions to back off from petitioning the  US Generalized system of Preferences Scheme to withdraw the duty free access to Fiji exporters?

He and supporters have certainly tried to blame the Fiji Trade Union Congress leaders Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai for its current demise but the regime has no-one to blame but itself.

Over the weekend, Frank Bainimarama told the Divisional Crime Prevention carnival he was disappointed by the action of the trade union's which could hurt Fiji exporters and lead to job losses. (39 companies are affected and a loss of 15,000 jobs has been touted).

Bainimarama has not spoken directly to FTUC and has only made the 'appeal' via a news story, so we're inclined to think that while this might look like a softening (and some might say a first since 2006), it is lame and typical of his modus operandi.

Bainimarama happily allowed his hand-picked attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, to manufacture and impose the punishing Essential Service's Decree with no consultation and no regrets because it suited him.

Fiji has been now forced to send a delegation to Washington where it will tomorrow defend the FTUC action, but it was warned a number of times about being fair to the labour movement, even as recent as last month, when it sent the ILO delegation packing.

The Auckland based Council for a Democratic Fiji rightly notes in a statement released today that Bainimarama's 11th hour appeal is unconvincing.

"The truth of  the  matter  is  that  the  Essential Services Decree  blatantly  violates international labor principles and standards, which is the only reason for the US sanctions. So, if the US government requires these standards be met by Fiji, how is it the fault of the union leaders? Like Fiji, Iraq is also facing  the same sanction, so are there people like Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai in Iraq too?"

Bainimarama was warned as early as December in 2011 by Sharon Burrow,   General   Secretary   International   Trade   Union   Confederation   in a letter that the  Essential Services Decree was in breach of the international labour standards.

AS CDFD says, Bainimarama chose instead to accept the assurances of Sayed Khaiyum, and today he finds himself resorting to the blame game.

Burrows letter had said:

BURROW: Letter had warned of mplications
“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.

"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”.

Bainimarama was also at the time urged to show leadership in a number of areas including ordering security personnel to uphold human rights, allow free assembly and association, investigate  and  prosecute  all  security  force  personnel  who  engage  in  arbitrary  arrest  and detention, investigate attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and physical abuse of detainees - none of which he agreed to.

Huge anticipation over Naboro escapees court appearance

Isoa Waqa
The first of the Naboro escapees are expected to appear in the Magistrates Court in Suva this morning but which ones remain to be seen.

Police have been forced to issue a statement saying the escapees are all alive after talk one of them (named as Waqa Isoa) had died in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

Another, who had his leg broken, was said to have had it amputated.

Police spokesperson Rusiate Tudravu has told media it's all lies and “I want to assure the public that all the recaptured escapees are alive,” adding “If you want to know the truth, you have to contact the Police.” 

There is no excuse for the lies, but police only have themselves to blame for the 'confusion' over the situation with the escapees and their state of  health.

They and the media have deliberately downplayed the messy campaign to recapture the escapees and the brutal treatment meted out to them when they were caught.

Even yesterday, they were still insisting the beatings were allegations and defending the use of force saying members of the joint security forces operation were injured.

The regime's denials were propped up by the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, who said security forces deserved support. 

Editor's Note at 1pm: Neither Isoa Waqa nor the prisoner with a broken leg appeared in court today. In fact, there was no mention of Waqa in media stories today which referred only to four prisoners and naming them as Tevita Sugu, Solomoni Qurai, Epeli Qaraniqio and Josaia Usumaki - all of whom according to the police prosecutor were still under observation in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. Fiji Village says the case will be recalled next Monday with Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili wanting to see an updated medical report by Friday.