#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-10-14

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fiji regime stops another union meeting

Police sent to monitor FTUC meeting with PAFCO. pic fiji times
Police yesterday broke up a meeting between the Fiji Trades Union Congress  and executives of Pacific Fishing Company in Suva.

FTUC says police officers marched into the board room an hour after the meeting got underway.

It says police told the meeting they 'were under orders from Suva to stop the discussions.'

FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony says the police were uncompromising.

"We were then informed that the meeting would only continue provided the police officers were present during the discussions between the CEO PAFCO, Human Resource Manager and Line Managers, PAFCO Employees Union Executives and FTUC Executives.  The FTUC refused such an unreasonable demand."

Anthony says despite reassurances from the regime that unions are able to do their work  without interference, 'we are still faced with authorities disrupting trade union work concerning basic human rights including  workers’ rights.'

Rabuka: 2014 elections 'doubtful'

1987 coupmaker: Rabuka
Fiji's first coup maker Sitiveni Rabuka has told New Zealand he doubts the 2014 elections will go ahead.

The keynote speaker at the University of Canterbury's Democracy in the Pacific conference was yesterday reported as saying he hoped the elections would go ahead but admitted '... that hope is not based on very good grounds.'

"When we talk about democracy in the Pacific, one size does not fit all. Military has always had a presence in the Fiji culture. We think of militant ways of changing things, rather than waiting for the next elections.

"It may be that we have corporate cooperation in 2014 where together the government and the military keep tabs on our civil military relations to prevent things from breaking down again, as it has happened many times in Fiji."

Rabuka, who carried out two coups in 1987, says if elections do not go ahead, the illegal Prime Minister and the 2006 coup leader Frank Bainimarama, who is not a member of any political party, will remain in power.

''I have not seen Mr Bainimarama move in a civilian political party organisation direction, so I don't know whether he will have a party or will join one,'' he said. 

2006 coup maker: Bainimarama
''I don't know whether we will have everything in place for the 2014 elections. Whether we can meet all the deadlines and steps remains to be seen. There are still so many detractors but the programme is in place." 

Rabuka says he did not expect any future coups, given what he described as the regime's powerful grip on Fiji: ''I can't see why there should be another coup, whether there be should be anybody or another group powerful enough to execute something to counter Frank's (coup).''

Friday, October 19, 2012

Suspended Fiji lawyer in hospital

Suspended lawyers: Marawai (right) in ICU.
Suspended lawyer Kini Marawai has been admitted to hospital and is in intensive care unit  reportedly in a critical condition.

It is unclear if he had a heart or an asthma attack but sources say he has been depressed since he was suspended several weeks ago for professional misconduct, along with fellow Suva lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry.

Chaudhry's hearing with the Independent Legal Services Commission is scheduled for this afternoon - behind closed doors.

A letter (see left) advising the son of the leader of the Fiji Labour Party about the closed session doesn't say why. Chaudhry's appeal against the five year suspension will be heard  next Wednesday.

Meanwhile the chief registrar is reported to have shut down another law firm - Gordon and Co in Nadi, which is owned by the brother of Chauhry's law partner, also by the name of Gordon.

Disquiet over missing files and secret investigations

Police moles say missing prosecution files are nothing new. 

The senior ranks are outraged the Suva Magistrates Court was forced to dismiss a case on Monday because a police file never made it to court.

The director of CID has been told investigate immediately but insiders say anyone who knows the way the Fiji police work today, will know that standards at all stations, and even CID HQ, is poor.

They say investigating officers are supposed to produce duplicate dockets but since 2011 Fiji's top brass have not provided stationery to the  stations and the poor officers have to fork out from their own pocket.

"A file alone might cost a officer $30 to compile and apart from that make his way to court on number of occasions by paying their own fare - as they are not provided a vehicle.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SDL: upholding your birthright does not mean you're being racist

FIJIANS: Struggling to hang on to their land and customary rights.

Detractors might be rubbing their hands with glee, but the long awaited submission by the country's biggest political party promotes honestly - and without apology - the interests of native Fijians.

The SDL party, which reminds the Constitution Commission that it had the majority to form the country's last two democratically elected governments, makes a good case for the rights of the indigenous community.

Denouncing the campaign by the Bainimarama regime to deliberately trample on customary rights by removing traditional power structures such as the Bose Levu Vakaturaga as part of a 'bigger agenda to plunder Fijian resources', SDL says the key to a stable Fiji is recognition of the rights of native Fijians.

So, yes, there is support for Fiji to be a Christian state, for Fijian to be the first language, for parliamentary seats to be allocated according to ethnicity and population but there is also commitment to nation building and achieving 'peace and security in a multi-racial country'.
Note: C4.5 has added some headings to these excerpts from the submission to summarise the information. The full submission at end of story:

Preamble in the submission
The SDL Party has reservations in taking part in the exercise and this should not be construed as lending legitimacy to the process but nevertheless, are taking part in this exercise, for one reason and one reason only. It is the means, as opposed to the many others that are available, that the Military Regime has accepted to facilitate its return to
the barracks and return this country to democratic rule.  We are all acknowledging this gesture,  because we owe it to the people to return this  country to a democratic government.

Indigineous rights are not 'discriminatory'
It is now clear that the Regime's intentions are to remove entrenched customary laws and institutions in order to create their own idea of a unified Fiji. This will not work without the prior consultations and approval by the Fijians. History has taught us that what is imposed will never last whatever the good intentions may be.

There are less than 600,000 Fijians the world over. To take away these customary institutions is an attempt to undermine and deny Fijian cultural  identity.  The very essence of being Fijian in their own land is grounded in their culture, heritage, identity, language, resources, land, traditions and values and contained in their institutions.

There is nothing racial or discriminatory about upholding your birth right, your right to indigenous land ownership and your right to be identified with a particular race or tribal group. Fijians should not be ashamed to be identified as such. To deny Fijians these rights, is in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, 20075; particularly the ILO 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 19896; which had been ratified by Fiji.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

UPP: investigate judiciary and curb presidential power

12  The Judiciary
UPP leader: Mick Beddoes
12.1  With recent revelations raising the question of the lack of independence of our Judiciary from the Executive, there is a clear and present danger that the integrity of our judiciary may have been compromised and therefore we recommend that only a complete overhaul of our Judiciary and Ministry of Justice would allow the independence and integrity of our judiciary to be regained. With this in mind we make the following recommendations:-

12.1.1  We propose therefore that following the first sitting of all new parliaments from 2014 and beyond. A special Independent Judicial Inquest be established, made up of 3 prominent High Court Judges sourced from the Commonwealth Secretariat to:-

a.  Investigate the Judiciary and Ministry of Justice to ensure that all of the judgments and  related matters since December 5th 2006 were free of all interference or involvement  directly or indirectly of the Executive and any other institution including parliament, the police, the military and the President and where interference in cases is established,

Nailatikau to stay Fiji president until December

Nailatikau: Still in the game. pic MINFO
Epeli Nailatikau's three year term as illegal president has been extended for another two months.

It officially came to an end last Friday but has been stretched to December on the grace of the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama.

Sources say the decision to keep Nailatikau on was made at a meeting by the Military Council (meeting for the first time since 2010) - two weeks ago. 

The first draft of the new Constitution is expected to be made public in December and it's thought Nailatikau's term has been extended to accomodate this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Raqeukai: Truth Commission before 2014

Coup renegades want to get off scott free - but should they?

Fiji Constitution Submission
Local Modernist Conservatism & Land Economist Academia - 12 October 2012
By Paula D Raqeukai

Proposed Submission by Paula D Raqeukai, commoner of the Vunisekoula family, tribesman of Nakadruma/Teiteiciva, a subject of the “Tui Vanua Levu - Vanua Kingdom”, in the District of Saqani, Cakaudrove Province on behalf of the Local Modernist Conservatism Academies and Fiji Islanders ( Both Kai Viti-“itaukei”, Indo-Fijians and Others) of the Republic of the Fiji Islands

9.0 The Question of Immunity

There should be no immunity provisions in the constitution; unless approved by an elected parliament. If you really believe that what you are doing is right, stick with it to the end. The fact that the current government is seeking immunity shows that it does not believe in its own legality. It created legal arguments for its actions in 2006 (e.g. doctrine of necessity) but now it seems that such arguments were not infallible. If a government does not believe in its own legitimacy, then the proper thing for it to do is to resign in the interest of the nation. If there is no legitimacy, no morality and no spirituality, the only thing driving it is self interest.

The current regime wants immunity on one hand while on the other it wants Fiji to be secular state rather than a Christian state. How irony is that? Given the fact that Christianity in our view is the only genuine faith that allows for forgiveness, reconciliation and true love as shown by its leader, the Lord Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross more than 2000 years ago so that man can leave forever just like Him when he comes back as He had promised (His Second Comings). Thus this question of immunity can be one of the frontline issues in the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as this is our proposed before going to the poll in 2014.

However, if TRC is not an option (I hope not), then the current leaders should stand in the elections, get elected and file a motion for immunity in the new parliament. Rabuka’s immunity went through Parliament tests and so should any other coup maker. Every coup maker should be treated the same. We sincerely hope that the 2006 coup would be the last one for Fiji and we hope that a new beginning could sprout from the establishment of the proposed TRC below.

10.0 Establishment of a Commission of Truths & Reconciliation- A Way Forward to Ensure


We proposed that the best solution to Fiji’s current political problem is to establish a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC) something similar to the one set-up in South Africa in the 1990s. This proposed TRC should take place first before Fiji goes to the poll in 2014.

We feel that without a genuine TRC there will be no long term peace solution for Fiji’s political problem. We will continue to have a cycle of coups in future. We need to end this “mind sickness” now and the time is here right now in front us, we do not know what the future hold’s Fiji only God knows that because He holds our future in His hands, but one thing is crystal clear to all of us and that is we must rebuild our beloved nation NOW! Our beloved country has been bleeding from this coup sickness for more than 20 years and every time we tried to stop the bleeding it continuously overflows not from the outside causes but from the causes within the inner part of the body and that is us every individual citizens of Fiji must be answerable to this problem.

Narsey: poverty a result of regime failure to bring in new investors

In his submission to the Constitution Commission, Professor Wadan Narsey zeroes in on how coups have been a 'lose lose game' for both Indo Fijians and Itaukei.

Poverty in Fiji under the Bainimarama regime has worsened. pic Fiji Times

Employment, incomes and poverty

1.  The two most important indicators of well-being are employment and income figures. The latest figures may be obtained from the Fiji Bureau of Statistics whose 2010-11 Employment and Unemployment Survey data are still being finalised, although preliminary estimates may be requested by the Commission from the FBS.

2.   The available data on employment indicates that while the total number of economically active persons has increased between 2006 and 2011 by around 20%, the number of wage earners has changed little or may have even declined.  This is to be expected given that there has been very little economic growth between the two years.  Salary earners may have increased slightly in the public sector, because of increased spending by government and statutory organisations.

3.   The data on incomes would suggest that real incomes of the unorganized sector may have decreased by up to 30% given that there has been virtually no increase in nominal wages while inflation as measured by the CPI has been around 36%.  Given that food prices have risen in the same period by 48% and the poor generally spend more of their income on food, their cost of living between December 2006 and July 2012 has risen by probably above 40%.  It is therefore a conservative estimate to suggest that the most vulnerable workers in Fiji (who are usually covered by Wages Councils) have seen a reduction in their real incomes by more than 30%.

Bainimarama children single out 2000 coup

Dictator's children make submission to Constitution
As they say: out of the mouths of babes.

The six children of Fiji's illegal prime minister have made their submission to the Constitution Commission and surprise, surprise they endorse the politics of their father.

Dictator's children: submission to Constitution
According to Fiji Village Voreqe Bainimarama’s daughters and son pitch for the one man one vote and an 'antidiscrimination act'.

RubyAnn Sorovaki, Litiana Loabuka, Frances Lutunatabua, Ateca Whippy, Bernadette Bainimarama and Ratu Meli Bainimarama also want the removal of the electoral system to allow for what they said were changes from time to time depending on the needs and the will of the people.

Reporter Vijaya Narayan writes the Bainimarama siblings also said there should be an end to the coup culture, behaviour and mentality.

"They also said that the perpetrators of the 2000 coup were also working under the guise of the vanua and misleading people that the land and freedom of the itaukei would be taken away.

"The siblings said the rebels in 2000 were wrong and the military spoke out and said that this was wrong.

"They said there should be a clear separation between the state and religion.

"The Bainimarama siblings said Fiji should not be declared a Christian state."

Not unexpectedly Bainimarama's children don't want a return of the Great Council of Chiefs, which was abolished by the regime earlier this year.

They said all the citizens of Fiji should be called Fijians and there should be full recognition that the indigenous people are the itaukei.

The siblings said none of the institutions should be permitted to have names that denote racial affiliations and they also propose that racial categorization should be eliminated from all government records and registers.

They also propose a national minimum wage for all workers and programs to be implemented to empower people to do things themselves rather than the old culture of reliance and handouts.

They said the civil servants need to have continual performance reviews as they are there to serve the people of this country.

The Bainimarama clan also called for the introduction of a new tax for health services where every worker gets a minimal amount deducted for health care saying the threshold should be based on earnings.

Editor's Note: The Commission is at the end of taking submissions and we'll be running several that have been sent into us later today and tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2012

FDFM president tells coup apologist to wake up to the 'rotting bones that is Fiji'

Fighting on for Fiji: FDFM rally.
By Suliasi Daunitutu, president of the Australian FDFM

Suliasi Daunitutu at right.
Reading Graham Davis’s recent piece on Fiji Day celebrations makes me wonder how long he has lived in Fiji, how much of the people's feelings he is in touch with and how familiar he is with or even how he could conclude that the new design on the Fiji Airways tail is the collective sysmbolism of Fiji’s happy people.

I must admit, I didn’t know that Graham Davis was now living most of his life in Fiji, and I wonder if I’m correct in thinking that the regime pays him to put a angelic white lime coating on the cemetery filled with rotting bones that is really Fiji.

A handful we might be, but democracy advocates around the world are the only voices allowed to speak for the grassroots people. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chaudhry hearing over office closure adjourned

Farce in the courtroom over the appeal and bid for a stay of proceedings by Rajendra Chaudhry after the decision to shut him down this week.

According to Chaudhry supporters, Paul Madigan and acting chief registrar Mohammed Saneem were laughed at by a packed court house after the pair were tripped up several times as they fumbled their way through trying to justify the decision.

Sources say the hearing revealed a number of inconsistencies including:

1) The exparte hearing happened on October the 11th but the order was actually signed off earlier -  9/10/2012.
2) The order was drafted on the Independent Legal Services Commission letter head and signed by Paul Madigan but was sealed by Mohammed Saneem and came from the chief registrar's office.
3) Rajendra Chaudhry challenged the legality of the process leading to Saneem looking taken aback and turning to Madigan to save him
4) Saneem's response: "In that case I can reseal the order again and send it properly" triggered howls of laughter