#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-11-11

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Regime puts Fiji's green gold in hands of new player

Kaarsten Turner Balby of the Forestland Group.
Frank Bainimarama has turned to another American company to lead another lucrative venture but like the casino deal, little seems to be known about the new player.

Bainimarama has named The Forestland Group as the  company taking over from Fiji Hardwood Limited, running what is being touted as a billion dollar industry.

Internet searches on The Forestland Group shows it has a presence in cyber space but there is little real information about it in terms of articles on it success, annual reports, pictures of its management team, especially since its website says:"TFG manages the forest resources for its affiliated Heartwood Forestland Funds across 3,338,771 acres in 21 states and 4 countries. The regional teams working in conjunction with local forestry consulting firms are responsible for the daily, on ground management activities and property oversight."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fiji makes 'urgent' ILO list

Fiji has been cited by the International Labour Organisation in a report singling out 32 cases of what it says are 'the most serious and urgent concerning the right to organize, collective bargaining and social dialogue'.

The ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association listed Fiji alongside Argentina, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Peru in cases it examined that included the murder of four workers in Argentina.

No direct mention of the attacks on Fiji trade unionists but the Association urges Frank Bainimarama's to discuss the return of an ILO Direct Contacts Mission to the country.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Casino decree but no sign of a casino

The Fiji regime has introduced a decree to protect the interests of the American company behind the proposed multi-million dollar casino, even though there is no sign of the gambling venue yet.

According to the original plans, One Hundred Sands Limited was supposed to have already started building the casino on Denarau Island.

Larry Claunch said the five star casino would open in October 2013 and have 500 slot machines, rooms 50 per cent bigger than any other resort in Denarau plus a 1600 seat convention centre.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Poverty girl poster the true Fiji

 Illustration courtesy of Discombobulated blog

CHARADE: Nailatikau and Gates perpetuate crime
It's no wonder bloggers keep taking the piss out of the regime and its supporters.

While Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum refuse to open the books and use decrees and guns to intimidate citizens, they've manufactured even more edicts to give it the upper hand in the 2014 elections.

The regime has today said Fiji's political parties need to have 20 signatures on its application to re-register, and one of them must be the party secretary. It also says the application must be accompanied by the signatures of 180 supporters. The kicker is this one: political leaders will have to declare their assets and liabilities.

Bainimarama, Khaiyum and other regime members meanwhile refuse to make public THEIR salaries and assets, built up from backhanders from Chinese deals and other perks they've given themselves since the coup in 2006.

The thuggery machinery today got a new lease of life with the  regime reappointing Epeli Nailatikau president for another three years. Nailatikau, who was sworn in under the Executive Authority Decree by another treasonous member of the illegal government, Anthony Gates, has been signing off the regime's decrees since 2009.

Continuing disquiet meanwhile over the Constitution process and the 2014 elections.

The regime last week deemed 1300 votes from its recent EVR campaign 'suspicious' yet it has kicked off 'phase two'.

Permanent Secretary for Elections, Mere Vuniwaqa, says the latest registrations will give those who have already registered the opportunity to 'verify information on the provisional roll.'

“Close to half a million Fijians have already registered to vote in the 2014 elections. We now need these individuals to help us produce an accurate voter list by checking their information and making any necessary corrections.

“Fijians who registered to voter during the first phase of registration are also encouraged to visit a designated registration centre to examine the provisional voter roll to see if their personal information has been entered correctly.”

Registrations doubled up the first time around because the enrolment teams were using standalone laptops that were never connected to a central database.

A local who has been tracking the registrations says a proper programme would have cost the regime a lot less than the Canadian system it bought.

"All registration laptops should've been connected via a mobile network, eg Vodafone, or via the web. That way duplicates can be checked. The EVR campaign was really only a way for the regime to collect names for election campaign purposes."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

British union's Fiji protest targets Twickenham rugby fans

TUC LEAFLET DROP: British rugby fans get the lowdown on Fiji 'island paradise'.

British rugby fans are getting a reality bite about the true situation in Fiji thanks to a major leaflet drop by TUC at Twickenham yesterday.

The umbrella union for 54 affiliated unions representing 6.2 million people, urged match goers to use social media to show their support for Fiji's 'repressed people and its regularly-intimidated trade union movement.'

Rugby-goers were asked to support the campaign for greater freedom for Fiji workers by tweeting #fairplayfiji to @FTUC1 (the Fijian TUC). 

The major leaflet campaign also called on rugby supporters to email the illegal attorney general to register their concern at the human rights abuses and to demand an end to draconian restrictions on freedom and human rights.

In a statement TUC says most see Fiji as a tropical island paradise, but the reality is that it's run by a military regime which has been suspended from the Commonwealth and reprimanded by the International Labour Organisation for 'widespread abuse of workers' rights'.

"The Fijian dictatorship controls almost every aspect of island life - it even appoints the team manager of its national sport. Rugby coach Aseri Rokorua is a Major in the military government and the Prime Minister's personal official.

"It is alleged that Major Rokorua has been behind violent attacks on trade union leaders and workers across the islands, threatening not just union activists but their families too. (see Coupfourpointfive's story this week called 'Fiji's sleeping bandas and rugby goons')

TUC says the Fijian economy is collapsing, 'with its people being driven into increasing poverty, yet the islands' population has virtually no means of speaking out.'

"There is no free press, the army has sacked independent judges and expelled an international human rights mission. Unions across the islands have been told they can only negotiate with employers if the police are also in the room."

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber says ironically while 'The military dictatorship is passionate about rugby - one of its senior officials is over here to manage the national team - but sadly the government is less enthusiastic about improving the lot of its people and restoring democracy to the islands.

'Meanwhile, as workers are becoming ever poorer, it is only the trade union movement which dares speak out, and for doing so its leaders and their families are living in fear of arrest and assault.'

The TUC plans to follow the Twickenham campaign with more leaflets when Fiji play Gloucester on Tuesday and Ireland A next weekend as it continues its tour of England, Ireland and Georgia.
Those rallies are expected to be outside Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium and Limerick's Thomond Park.