#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-11-25

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fiji regime keeps accused citizens hanging

Jagath Karunaratne
More proof emerging the Fiji judiciary is compromised, so what of the charges of sedition and treason the regime is still trying to make stick on a number of citizens?

Well over a than a year later all are out on bail but cannot leave the country, meanwhile the regime hasn't even made full disclosures.

Shalend Scott
All have been charged with inciting violence and trying to bring the illegal government down and include the five men charged with writing anti-regime graffiti last year, trade unionist Daniel Urai and the deposed SDL MP, Mere Samisoni.

Also left twisting in the wind is the former Air Pacific worker who blew the whistle on the corrupt alliance between David Pflieger and the decree makers.

A second former magistrate has now publicly confirmed there is no guarantee of justice in Fiji.

In a letter revealing his shock, Greg Bullard says the Fiji judiciary and the Independent Legal Services Commission works primarily to deliver decisions favoured or already approved by the illegal attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Chief Justice, Anthony Gates.

So obvious is the miscarriage of justice that Bullard is compelled to say decisions made by the Independent Commission 'will be appealable on the basis that the Commissioner (Justice Paul Madigan) is not independent' and there is the possibility of 'some very large damages claims made, if and when, a new government is formed.'

Mere Samisoni
It is crucial supporting evidence but what of the questionable cases against those accused of treason and sedition?

Jagath Karunarate, the IT specialist accused of writing graffiti about Frank Bainimarama, has not even been able to visit Sri Lanka to attend to important family matters.

Mataiasi Ragigia

Now a Fiji citizen, Karunaratne was called in again this week by CID and is expected to be summoned again next Monday. It's whispered he'll be asked to front in court the following day, when trade unionist Daniel Urai also reappears on his charge.

Four others are accused along with Karunaratne: Mosese Bulitavu, Eroni Takape, Usaia Koroi and Waisale Daganayasi.

The regime's case hangs on a statement by Taniela Ligairi, the son of the former CRW leader, Ilisoni Ligairi, who says Karunaratne and Urai had lunch with him and urged him to talk to his father to topple the regime.

Daniel Urai
The 38 year old pilot, Shalend Scott, a former Air Pacific union official, is also expected to reappear again next week.

Scott, who was secretary of the Fiji Pilots Association, was arrested as part of a union crackdown after Coupfourpointfive revealed David Pflieger helped the regime draft the Essential National Industries decree.

Like some of the others, each time Scott makes a court appearance, the public prosecutor asks for more time to prepare for the case.

Seventy year old businesswoman Mere Samisoni, who is charged with three others (Apete Vereti, Semisi Lasike and Mataiasi Ragigia who died several weeks ago) was finally permitted to travel to Australia for urgent dental treatment recently, but only after a long and public battle.

It will have been a year in January since Samisoni was detained.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Egypt and Fiji: both struggling over Constitutions and battling dictators

Tens of thousands of Egyptians are gathering again at Tahrir Square.

Sukuna Park: all too quiet
A population difference of almost 81 million sets Egypt and Fiji apart but politically they're at similar places.

Like Fiji, Egypt is drafting a new Constitution. And like Fiji, it's not going well.

Egypt had until recently been working towards democracy, albeit slowly, after last year toppling longtime dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Contempt ruling could see jailing of Fiji journalist

Wesley with Dallas Winstead
Fiji's oldest newspaper is fighting for survival again.

The Fiji Times has been found guilty of contempt of court by the regime biased judiciary and faces a $500,000 fine and its editor, Fred Wesley, being sent to jail for six months.

It was charged over a story that appeared in a New Zealand paper last year quoting the Auckland based Oceania Football Confederation secretary-general, Tai Nicholas.

Wesley with Brian Flaherty
Nicholas told the Star Times there was no judiciary in Fiji and that the place was run by a military regime. 

The regime doesn't like the world to hear the truth, so used the media decree to go after the paper when it printed the story unchanged the next day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Baledrokadroka: danger of military-backed one party state

With Fiji’s military rulers promising to send the country to the polls in 2014, JONE BALEDROKADROKA examines whether elections will be free and fair and the hope for democracy in a state built by military muscle.
In 2006, Commodore Voreqe Frank Bainimarama overthrew Fiji’s democratically-elected government led by Laisenia Qarase. Having ruled by decree ever since, the military regime now promises democratic general elections in 2014 under a new constitution. The Pacific Islands Forum meeting in the Cook Islands in August 2012 acknowledged in its communiqué that the “interim government has made progress towards democracy”. However, the path in this progress towards democracy has been fraught with allegations of continuing military oversight and interference in the constitution-making process.

Delivering the keynote address at the Democracy in the Pacific Conference in October this year, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the  Hon Murray McCully noted that “this year Fiji has taken some encouraging steps to prepare for elections in 2014”. The foreign minister went on to say:

IUF petitions sugar body to drop Bainimarama as chair

IUF petition already has 4000-plus signatures
Another international labor based campaign has been launched against the regime and bloggers have their chance to step up and have their say.

The International Union of Food workers has a petition underway aimed at stopping the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, from chairing the International Sugar Organisation.

Bainimarama will be in the United Kingdom for the ISO's annual meeting in London, due to start tomorrow and run for two days.