#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: NFP whip replies to budget

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

NFP whip replies to budget

"This is a budget full of smokescreens with the reality being our debt level will increase to 50.4% of our
nominal GDP or close to $5 billion"

"Where is the justification for allocating the largest chunk of our Budget towards FRA? And what is the return on such massive  injection of capital?  Has it attracted investment and created more jobs? Has it resulted in a productive agricultural sector and increased our exports?"  

The sugar industry’s best hope of recovery 10 years ago was derailed by the December 2006 coup. The military government deliberately sacrificed the injection of a $350 million grant to the industry by the European Union

NFP Whip Prem Singh addresses Budget concerns

Madam Speaker 

On 24th September last year, in my response to
His Excellency the President’s address, which was basically a blueprint for Government programmes for the ensuing year, What I said then is pertinent to what we are debating in Parliament, and I quote : 

“True nationhood, common and equal citizenry can only be achieved if we collectively start doing some of the following: 

Economic growth to generate employment; Meritocracy in the civil service and appointments being made at least in proportionate to the population of our ethnic groups; As a start having a quota for recruitment of personnel from other ethnic groups in the military, again on meritocracy to give it a semblance of multiracialism; Having bipartisan committees to collectively look at serious challenges facing sectors like the sugar industry, health and medical services 

“My point here is that its all very well to finger-wag on what should be acceptable parliamentary conduct and what it is not, but reciprocity, humanity and national interest should be our guiding values if are to succeed at bipartisanship, and not arrogance and condescension. We on this side of Parliament continue to offer our hands for bipartisanship. it is now up to the other side to reciprocate sincerity and respect in the national interest. 

Unfortunately Madam Speaker the 2016-2017 Budget falls far short of the  above principles and values. This budget is like a smokescreen, trying to camouflage the reality. The reality  is that there was no need whatsoever for a new Budget. Budgetary provisions for Tropical Cyclone Winston rehabilitation could have been made without this process.  

The reality Madam Speaker is that even without around $208 million allocation for TC Winston recovery, our true financial position is not what is being portrayed in this Budget. The revenue estimates and actual revenue illustrate this point. 

In 2014 revenue estimate  was over $2.7 billion.  But the actual revenue was $2.370 billion – a shortfall of more than $350 million.  

The 2015 budget had estimated revenue at $3.122 billion. The actual revenue was $2.552 billion –  a shortfall of $570 million. For 2016-2017, revenue is estimated to be $3.175 billion as per the estimates. But the supplementary document forecasts this to be $2.868 billion.  Two different forecasts, Madam Speaker! So which is right? 

That is why we are saying this is a budget full of smokescreens with the reality being our debt level will increase to 50.4% of our nominal GDP or close to $5 billion.  

The Honourable Prime Minister yesterday said his Government was not going to burden  the people of Fiji with more taxes to pay for TC Winston rehabilitation. But are  we not bequeathing our people and future generations with rising debt? Why couldn’t Government be more prudent with the budget process and diverted funds from allocations that do nothing towards nation building or contribute to our social and economic advancement?  

A lot of examples of wastage have been given during this debate. However Madam Speaker, I am particularly interested in budgetary allocations towards the Fiji Roads Authority because FRA’s importance was dramatised in Parliament yesterday by the Honourable Minister for Works and Infrastructure.   

From the 2013 Budget to this Budget a total of $2.726 billion has been allocated to FRA.  In 2013 the FRA  was allocated $422 million. In 2014 the FRA budget was revised upwards to $489 million. In $2015 $653 million was allocated. In 2016 $635 million was given to FRA and now almost $528 million has been allocated to FRA.  

What is the productivity or output Madam Speaker? I expected the Honourable Minister to inform Parliament how much of $2.726 billion has been used for capital construction – that is roads, bridges and jetties.  And of course how much of it has been used for management and technical expertise?  

Because $2.726 billion over a period of four years is a lot of money Madam Speaker.  And despite this massive funding, Government has failed to construct two bridges  in Suva that have been closed in the last four years. And despite the colossal funding, FRA failed to regularly check the state of the Tamavua-i-wai bridge in the last four years – a bridge that is the only link to outer Viti Levu from the Capital via Queens Road! The FRA admitted that the bridge was last inspected 4 years ago. This is the height of irresponsibility.  

Madam Speaker, in comparison to this fiasco, it took an average of four years each to build the Ba and Sigatoka Bridges after they were destroyed during Cyclone Kina in 1993 and the new Rewa bridge 10 years ago. And they are major bridges, not slides and swings! 

FRA under fire for taking so long to rebuild bridges, including Sigatoka
Where is the justification for allocating the largest chunk of our Budget towards FRA? And what is the return on such massive  injection of capital?  Has it attracted investment and created more jobs? Has it resulted in a productive agricultural sector and increased our exports?  

While Government keeps giving the largest chuck of our budget to FRA, debt continues to rise. This budget has allocated $448 million to service our debt.  

Of this the interest payments alone is almost a massive $285 million - $52.5 million for overseas loans and almost $232.5 million for domestic loans.  

Essentially, a sum of $448 million for debt servicing is $240 million more than funds allocated for TC Winston rehabilitation. If this is the Fiji First Government’s version of prudent financial management, then God help Fiji.  

In the last ten years since the military coup of December 2006, our debt has increased by more than $2.2 billion. So we are praying the price for this extensive borrowing against what is more than likely an inflated and cosmetic nominal GDP to make our credit ratings or debt and deficit levels good. How can the nominal GDP increase this year in the aftermath of the destruction caused by TC Winston?  

Madam Speaker, despite what Government says, the Budget for Republic of Fiji Military Forces continues to generate controversy. And rightly so. The total RFMF budget is $178 million including peacekeeping. Again Madam Speaker, this is only $30 million less than the allocation of $208 for TC Winston rehabilitation – a cyclone caused devastation and has caused $1.42 billion of damage and losses. We are allocating money towards what Madam Speaker – to help them make a transition and understand civilian control as stated by the Honourable Minister for Defence on 3rd September 2015 during an interview with The Fiji Times? 

And Madam Speaker, unlike other civil servants and even members of the Fiji Police Force, whose individual salaries are documented by the Public Service Commission, the salaries of our military personnel are not made public. So where is the transparency which is a prerequisite in a civilian society?  

And talking of salaries Madam Speaker, we need a well-paid and well-resourced public service. The average salaries of our nurses is $18,000 and this does not take into account their work experience. I am told senior nurses earn the same as nurses entering the profession. Similarly, our teachers’ starting salary is around $12,500. Teachers who have spent more than 25 years in the profession earn less than $25,000.

In the last 10 years the salaries of our civil servants have not been fairly adjusted. In comparison Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister’s base salary in 2006 was $106,000. Since October 2014, it is  $328,750.  The base salary has increased by a massive 210% through a Decree promulgated a few days before the start of parliamentary democracy in October 2014. 

Surely, our teachers, nurses and ordinary civil servants do not want such a massive rate of salary increase but something commensurate with their experience and cost of living accrued in the last ten years. 

Madam Speaker, as a cane grower, the sugar industry is very close to my heart.  For more than 100 years the sugar industry has been the backbone of our economy.  

For more than 100 years, including the indenture period, the sugar industry has weathered many storms and defined the national landscape. It has survived cyclones, floods, droughts, two World Wars, industrial and political strikes, and political upheavals.  

But finally, an industry which has directly or indirectly supported a quarter of Fiji’s population across races, throughout history is now bleeding to death, Madam Speaker. Industry stakeholders have run out of answers on how to revive it.  

The industry’s best hope of recovery 10 years ago was derailed by the December 2006 coup. The military government deliberately sacrificed the injection of a $350 million grant to the industry by the European Union. Had this materialized, Madam Speaker, Fiji from 2011 onwards would have been producing a minimum of 4 million tonnes of cane and 400,000 tonnes of sugar, using more efficient methods than we are using now.  

Madam Speaker, sugar is a “lifeblood” industry. It is far too important for it to be allowed to die. But this government, both as a military regime and now as the Fiji First administration, instead of providing both theoretical and practical solutions, has been adopting a fire-fighting approach, which in reality just like most fires witnessed in the country in the last two years, has destroyed the properties it was supposed to protect. 

In 2006 when the industry structure was intact and we had input of politicians in the industry, there were 18,636 active growers who produced 3.226 million tonnes of cane. The four mills produced a total of 310, 140 tonnes of sugar at a TCTS of 10.4. 

In 2015, after the military regime and Fiji First Government have been in charge of the industry for 9 years, the number of active growers had fallen to 12,872. They produced 1.84 million tonnes of cane. The four mills produced 221,934 tonnes of  sugar at a TCTS ratio of 8.3.  

So it is clear where the fault lies Madam Speaker. Not with the politicians, but squarely with this Government, which has politicised the industry like never before. People who cannot tell the root of a cane plant from its top are tasked with making decisions to the detriment of the growers and the industry as a whole.  

Much has been made of the $11 million cane development programme and the fertilizer subsidy of $9.7 million, which was a loan in the previous two budgets and there is nothing in this Budget to say it is a grant.  

The closure of the Penang Mill will cause untold misery to the vanua and people of Ra. Government has allocated $2.5 million  to cart cane from Penang to Rarawai Mill. Madam Speaker, the cost of repairing the mill would be around $3 million and these repairs can be completed within 16 weeks. This was  relayed to me by former FSC Engineers. One must recall that following devastation caused by Cyclone Ami and flooding in January 2003, the Labasa Mill was repaired in time for the start of crushing that same season.  

The growers are in a limbo because there is no clear indication from the Government on whether the Mill will be repaired at all. There is confusion following the PM’s statement to ISO in Turkey that co-generation and syrup mill projects have been put on hold. This statement comes soon after the FSC Executive Chairman repeatedly told growers that a new mill will be ready for operations next year.  

Madam Speaker in the meantime FSC continues to cannibalize the Penang Mil by stripping it of parts as if the Mill is a derelict and will be closed forever 

Madam Speaker, the massive crop rehabilitation programme following the prolonged drought of 1998 has been conveniently forgotten by many including this Government. The then SVT government, following negotiations by then Opposition National Federation Party, granted almost $43 million in rehabilitation package that increased the cane crop to 4 million tonnes in 1999. That was real, genuine and direct assistance. But the Fiji First Government has other ideas. 

Madam Speaker,  it is clear that Government thinks the Reform of the Sugar Cane Industry  Bill and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund (Amendment) Bill will rescue the industry. This is also stated in the Budget, which under-pins the long-term viability of the industry on these Bills. However this is hallucination on the part of Government.  Forget about the sugar industry if cane growers are subjugated.
This is exactly what Bills Number 19 and 20 aim to do. I declare my interest in this matter Madam Speaker, both as a cane grower and as a member of the parliamentary standing committee on Economic Affairs. But the overwhelming rejection of the two Bills is as clear as daylight. No caring government will dare to proceed with these two Bills because this will result in the death of the industry. And this is why Madam Speaker: - 

The Register of Cane Growers will no longer be in the hands of the Tribunal. It will be with Fiji Sugar Corporation.  A registration of a grower can be cancelled by FSC on its own or upon the order of the Minister for Sugar. This is the height of politicisation 

A grower cannot terminate the services of his or her employee whether it is a farm hand or cane cutter without notifying the Permanent Secretary for Sugar who can sit on the matter for 7 days while the employee continues to disregard a grower. If  a termination happens without this process, a grower  commits an offence. This is preposterous.  

Madam Speaker the Master Award provisions of the Bill is like a noose around growers’ necks. The Minister for Sugar has powers to revoke the Master Award. The Minister then can make the Master Award in consultation with the FSC and Growers Council. Both are fully controlled by Government. Where is the voice of growers? A draft Master Award will be subject to public hearings. It will be a product of Government, FSC and SCGC – all politically controlled.  

Madam Speaker, This is like putting the cart before the horse. Even if other stakeholders and representatives of growers suggest changes, such changes will only be incorporated in the Master Award if it is agreeable to both FSC and SCGC. This will not happen because of the political control by Government of both organisations.

The current master award, which continues until it is revoked, was a product of public consultation. It wasn’t a ready-made document as will be the case under this Bill. In his submission to the Economic Affairs Committee, the Registrar to the Tribunal revealed that the Quality Cane Payment will come into force next year. This is shocking Madam Speaker because growers don’t know about it.  

It will mean the unilateral revocation of the master award and the current sharing formula of proceeds from the sale of sugar of 70/30 in favour of growers will be abolished. The current Master Award must be retained and any variation in future referred to the Tribunal for determination. THE MASTER AWARD IS A JUDICIAL DOCUMENT. IT IS AN AWARD. IT IS TOTAL INJUSTICE THAT A POLITICIAN CAN REVOKE THE MASTER AWARD. THIS IS UNLAWFUL.  

Once again Madam Speaker, this Budget is a smokescreen. It camouflages the ills plaguing our nation. This is the reality.  

I oppose the 2016-2017 Appropriation Bill.   


Ratu Saikusa. said...

Ratu Isoa the sugar industry has been derailed by Rabuka and Qarase. During their era thousands of leases expired and in hatred and jealousy the hardworking Indian farmers were evicted without much notice. Those lands are lying idle and are full of lush bushes. I tell you Isoa it is our people who don't want to do sugar cane farming. You have to blame our blame. Now also the Indians don't want to do sugar cane farming. You have to blame Qarase and Rabuka also for poor roading, infrastructure as they didn't spend money on capital works.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hon Prem Singh, you have highlighted just a few of the glaring holes in FFP's budget that needs to be answered with verifiable evidence to the contrary, which will be very flimsy. I bet the response will be littered with unnecessarily jargon-filled, but really just baseless and baseless waffle from Hon Aiyaz. GDP figures need to be relooked at as well because the RBF is undoubtedly a spineless, useless and compliant institution full of lickers and suckers of Aiyaz's anatomy. The story about FRA is simple, it is nothing more than a convenient vehicle for Aiyaz, Frank and cronies to dip into. There is really nothing to show for all that money of around $1.8b allocated in the last 3 years to FRA. Otherwise we would have seen the makings of a super highway between Suva and West, plus maybe state of the art urban transport infrastructure in the capital and other cities. What a fucking lie! Curse them all including their cowardly protectors (Fiji Army) to rot in hell together with their descendents.

Shiu Pal said...

Saikusa please note Rabuka is a good man. He was used by Ratu Mara, Alliance and Ratu Penaia clan. He is a changed man. He has more Indian friends now than i-Taukei's and he trusts Indian people more than others. Please give him ago and let Biman his Deputy Leader. Past is past, bygone is bygone.

Anonymous said...

Oh "Rabuka is a good man" because he did the coups in 87 and what other year??
Fathered countless bastards all over the place!! John Snow could easily be counted!!
If Rabuka is a good man then Trump is my uncle!!

Tomasi said...

Isa...man Rabuka is a good christian ok. God spoke to him so he did what god wanted. God is always right. The ever so powerful God trusted Rabuka that he could carry out the coup and give us Itaukei our rights back. God works in mysterious ways ok. I will vote for Rabuka because God wills it. I trust God to make the right decision.

God bless Fiji,Sodelpa and Rabuka.

God bless all of you.

Concerned Fijian Indian in NZ said...

Babara Deaver again did negative reporting about Fiji. Yesterday the bitch did extensive coverage about murdered Russian couples in Natadola on TVNZ six o'clock news. The crime rate in NZ is much higher than Fiji. Today parts of Mangere Auckland was closed due to ISIS threat. The Arms Defenders were called last week in Palmerston North and today in Mangere. How will Babara feel if this is reported in China, Japan and Australia? The slut needs a big waidina banana.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Kiwi, there was nothing negative in the reporting. The Russians were butchered. Bodies were cut into pieces possibly by their own chainsaw and thrown away. This is the kind of crime present in Fiji. Everyone must know this. kai and Bai unable to do anything now. They opened doors to organised crime. Wake up. Today's Fiji is not the Fiji you left behind.

Anonymous said...

No visitor or tourist can be safe in Fiji. Crime very very high. ISIS also in big way here, set up strong network. Wait till they start attacking tourists form US and Aust. That is their plan. They know maximum damage to American and Aussies can be done from Fiji

Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen to tourists or people in Fiji. You know why? Because Fiji is a christian country and God will protect us from all Evil. God will speak to Rabuka again and bless him with the word to guide us away from the kailoma intruders and indians.

Vaka viti!!!

Isireli said...

As we all pray and wish upon our future for peace,stability and prosperity.We should all take a moment and listen to ourselves.How can our prayers and wishes be granted if we continue to bicker and belittle each other's race and creed.Good day to you all and GodBless/OneLove!!

Anonymous said...

Concerned Fijian Indian, just fuck off back to Fiji you cunt. You need a dynamite up your black ass, or go fuck a goat.

Anonymous said...

Hey, anyone know where Navi Naisoro is at? Now that Rabuka seems to bon his way back to where he should have been in the first place. Navi could be the brain to make things happen for him???? Sorry Khai you
are the target that's for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

What is Jyoti Pratibha's real job? Is she like the "Monica Lewinsky" for the ruling party? Hope they allocated funds in the budget for her knee pads.

Anonymous said...

The chunk of budget allocated to FRA is necessary. Capital work is a major government project which require more funds, personnel expertise, skills and trade, leadership and proper planning.
For a number of years to this day the ministry tasked to carry out this enormous task have always had problems in completing major projects both long and short term. Most of the projects planned to complete in a set period ran short of money so the total project was put off or put on hold to await the next budget. This is poor planning and bad leadership. If you travel down construction sites on roads, buildings, bridges etc, what you'll see are workers idling time on talking, cooking, sitting, on the phone or having grog and tea during working hours. This is time wasted.. Unproductive. Dishonest and unethical behaviours of workers- top to bottom-multiply the problem.
I bad a bad experience in the past where a team of casual workers headed by a senior officer in a ministry were tasked to carry out a government project closer to my home. A government owned pipe line was partially on my piece of land and their task was to erect a fence to secure the pipe. It started off well and just 3 weeks into the job, the task was abandoned. I made enquiries and was told that budget for that project had exhausted. That project is still left incomplete to this day. This is what I saw in those 3 weeks. The team played touch rugby and soccer while waiting for project materials to arrive. Materials were delivered after 3 days or a week or not delivered at all. Supervisor was not always available. Team were partying during meal breaks(3 times a day). After lunch they napped. This is what I witnessed. By the end of the 3rd week that project came to a premature end because funds were used up....on what? When I queried the head office I was told that the boys had to be paid.
This is why we have incomplete bridges, poor roads and delayed works on capital projects because of a work culture that needs to be addressed and dealt with immediately. The culture of obtaining false sick leave, grog drinking and lengthy meal breaks , dishonest work, etc during working hours are examples of why progress is not made.

Anonymous said...

Typicle Kaiviti work ethic. Why on earth do you think the indians were brought into work the cane fields? Majority of Fijians are Lazy. There are the minority of Fijians that do extremely well in the workplace and out do expat workers but these are the fair few.

Cant drink champagne on a beer budget old mates.

Fijians are Lazy

Anonymous said...

Mr Pal. Kubuti Rabuka

Anonymous said...

The Indentured of course were brought in not because the natives were lazy but they listened and took directives only from their chiefs not from a foreigner and his system. It's a way of life . That is a culture gradually disappearing over time because of mordenisation and progress . In the near past till today the poor work ethic we are discussing here applied to all section of community. Didn't you see in outdoor labour works workers were drinking kava from a piala. Now that is certainly not a kaiviti cup. It is Indian.

Anonymous said...

Barachods will never change

Anonymous said...

FRA is doing fuckall. Check out the management consultancy fees and try reconcile that with work done on the ground. they all laughing their way to the bank there including the payoff to homosexual pig fucker Aiyaz Khaiyum. It is our hard earned money illegally and illegitimately going down their private pockets. Make it worse they protected by the most cowardly military force in the world. They are selling arms to Muslims and Kaidia people up there in the barracks. ni yadra mai na kaiviti, o ira noda sotia era sa voli tu. era sa vakavutuka tu nodra sona o ira na muslim kei na hindu. Era sa ulu lala qai sona levu. We cannot expect much from these uneducated, overrated and cowardly glorified Fiji Military Forces establishment

Anonymous said...

Hon Prem Singh, you have hit the nail on the head and if the Government cannot respond to your fundamental questions, then it really shows how fucked up and stupid they are, and worse, assume that we are just as stupid as they are. An I fully agree that the Fiji Military Forces are no more than a bunch of illiterate, overpaid and underworked cowards who easily surrender at the first sight of armed elements but at home they walk around with medals on their chest and intimidate and kill unarmed civilians.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous July 8, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Please STOP accusing OUR Military Soldiers Boys with all sorts of abusive languages because they just carrying out orders from their seniors officers. There will be a time when those orders become so monotonous and dreadful, then disobedience, rebellious and mutiny would be the scene of the day because the ORDERS were UNLAWFUL.

Secondly, they had seen enough of personal agendas and nepotism within ranks and files of the 2 former Commanders. Promoting their own kind, family and informants.

By NOW they are fully aware of everything and realized where they stand today after the Coup’s of Rabuka and Bainimarama gone wrong in accordance to the ORDERS, INSTRUCTIONS and BREIFINGS they obeyed.


Anonymous said...

Hey i hear that Mr. Rabuka is back in politic and is running the SODELPA
party? Has he been elected by party members? Did he won the election
over Ro Teimumu?
I still think that he needs to be in that position-someone need to smarten up Bhaini and Khaiyum?

Wilson Jamie said...

Interesting selection by Sodelpa of original coup leader,Rabuka as new party leader.This leaves Fiji's two major parties with..yes..two criminally untried traitors at the helm.

First of all, congratulations to Sodelpa for it's internal democratic system of election.This would never had happened if someone challenged Voreqe and Khaiyum in FF.They would have been stripped and made to run around naked around the military barracks before bring thrown in jail and charged with treason.

The move to install Rabuka can be seen to be a master stroke..ie..horses for courses case. Na Marama has had her time at the helm and my following explanation will justify that the decision is a correct one.Party followers just have to maintain the rage with Rabuka.

Some are saying that this move will spell the death of Sodelpa but Fijians have been proven to be fickle people who would politically vote purely on self interest. By placing coup makers at the helm of their parties, FF and Sodelpa are sending a clear signal to future coup instigators that they too can be accepted politically.

In Fiji, having a party leader not smeared by coup involvement is no guarantee to an election win. A clear example was in the recent elections where the prevailing thought was that Fijians were totally against the 2006 coup and years of harsh military dictatorship.The choice of Ro Temumu as election leader to win over the coup leader was all but a forgone conclusion. She was a paramount chief, a strong Christian who was not associated with the 2000 coup and condemned the 2006 coup publicly.

But the people saw differently and voted for a person who had tortured the country,its citizens and even their neighbors for the past 9 years. Bainimarama, being a traitor, dictator and coup leader was not an election issue with voters if he could fulfill their self interest. This outcome would never eventuate in the major democratic countries around the world.The fact that voters in Fiji will overlook crimes to elect coup leaders gives confidence to people like Rabuka and Voreqe.

Fiji's democracy has been ruled by elected coup leaders for 65% of it's post independence period.What does this say about the voting population? It is clear that Fijians (Fijians & i taukei) have supported all coups carried out in Fiji depending on the promises from coup maker.In the 1987 coup, the Fijians clearly voted for Rabuka after that, in 2006 it was the Indians and others which even led to FLP & other non i-taukei organisations jumping on the bandwagon.

Where does this leave Fiji? Well, the wheel has turned full cycle because coup makers are now a part of the political landscape..Some will continue to vote for Bainimarama and their opposition will vote for Rabuka. Bainimarama cannot rubbish Rabuka (Snake) and vice versa because it is akin to pointing the finger at one-self.

If you were anti-Voreqe /Khaiyum then Rabuka is the best available option to defeat them at the polls.Soldiers will identify with Rabuka because he is real soldier and not a navy man.He has higher rank that Voreqe, a former Empire Games Fiji representative, a noted boxer, an established statesman internationally, pro vanua, pro military, pro church and pro GCC. During the mutiny, whilst Voreqe had abandoned his post in the height of battle and breaking land speed records through the cassava patch, Rabuka arrived calmly at the gates, entering and intervening in the dispute between his troops.

Watch this space as the war of words heats up because a python (Voreqe) and an anaconda (Rabuka) cannot live in the same space. In the end, the anaconda will swallow up the python.

Tamani said...

The Rabuka choice is clearly a strategy to dismantle the Bainimarama and Khaiyum regime. Rabuka is a genuine soldier for whom soldiers up at QEB can associate with. The military council has long been disgruntled with the Bainimarama's leaning towards Khaiyum and the Muslim brotherhood and the long term conflict has seen casualties such as Driti, Mara and the list goes on.

Voreqe cannot push Rabuka around because Siti clearly understands how the military operates. Bainimarama's election winning message was about a Fiji that does not discriminate along racial lines but his greatest contradiction is maintaining a military that is 99% i taukei for self interest. This may be his downfall because Rabuka can easily convince the troops of their manipulation by Voreqe and his Muslims over the past 16 years which has seen the soldiers duped into killing their own kind, harassing their chiefs, restricting the activities of the Methodist church which has the largest i taukei attendance, taking away Fijian indigenous rights (land and identity theft), responsible for the largest exodus of indigenous Fijians out of their own country by force and so forth.

At the end of the day, since 2006 Fijian soldiers were the ones manipulated by Voreqe and Khaiyum and the military is deeply divided. Voreqe and Khaiyum has perpetuated division in Fiji by their unsubstantiated scare tactics in regards to the coup of 2000 where evidence is now clear that he played a main role which eventually led to the 2006 coup

Rabuka is one shining light for the opposition and his presence will certainly have an influence up at the barracks, the Police Force and so forth.

As the next election draws near, Voreqe and Khaiyum may trump up criminally charges against him ,as they did with Qarase and other political party leaders to give FF the edge. But things will backfire if they try to arrest Rabuka.

Just Saying said...

Is it really true that Brexit will have no impact on Fiji?

A-G: Brexit has no short-term impact
Ropate Valemei
Monday, July 11, 2016
Participants at the Fiji Business Forum in Suva on Saturday.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA+ Enlarge this image
Participants at the Fiji Business Forum in Suva on Saturday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA
BRITAIN'S exit (BREXIT) from the EU might give Fiji the opportunity to deal directly with the UK.

This is one of the issues highlighted by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyun during the Fiji Business Forum in Suva on Saturday.

However, in the short to medium-term, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there would be no impact on the agreement Fiji had with the EU.

This means Fiji has a preferential quota agreement with the EU for sugar exports. Fiji will still have access to the larger EU market until the expiry of the agreement in October next year.

"Of course in the past few years, we have seen the EU pricing was below the market price that had been offered.

"Government was able to make some adjustments during the Bainimarama Government time to say that given the market price is higher than the EU price, they should also make some adjustments. Those adjustments actually took place," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

"So Brexit will do. Short to medium term will have no impact on the agreement we have with the EU. But some argue that Brexit may give us some opportunities with UK directly. So we will see."

The central bank had earlier stated that it will continue to closely monitor the developments and look out for possible negative spillovers to our major trading partner countries and align the monetary policy accordingly.

Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside told this newspaper that the impact on the country's tourism industry was expected to be limited.

"Visitors from the UK account for around 2-3 per cent of total tourist arrivals representing around 3 per cent of total tourism earnings.

"Given that Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty allows a two-year window of negotiations for new relations between UK and the EU, any adverse impact to the global economy and Fiji's trading partners will be reflected more over the medium to long-term.

Therefore, at this stage, Mr Whiteside said it was still premature to quantify the full implications of Brexit on the Fijian economy.

Fiji is part of the former colonies of the EU which include Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific when it comes to the access to the European market.

Anonymous said...

@concerned Fiji Indian in NZ, what the fuck you doing in NZ ? Go and suck Khaiyum and Bainimarama in Fiji. It's arsehole Fiji Indians like you who have given the Fiji Indians a bad name. You are someone with no principles. So we don't give a fuck about what you say. Give me what Barbara Beaver says any day!

sanchesginger@gmail.com said...

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Suomynona said...

Whatever the Dishonorable Ayarse Sodumb-Khaiyum comes up with, the opposition through people such as Honorable Prem Singh grills him right back because almost everything the current regime does is nothing but constant smokescreens to hide the stark reality of the country being run into the ground with this ever-mounting debt.

Even the recent budget announcement is bound to have its hidden flaws.

Jamie Wilson said...

Source has it that since Rabuka's appointment to the Sodelpa leadership, one VB has been tirelessly commuting between government buildings and the camp to re-enforce military support for the FF dictatorship.Given that the likes of Naupoto,Qiliho,Kean,Seruiratu etc..are now "out of the camp", the young up and coming troop of RFMF military officers feel that they do not have allegiance to the "coup mob" of 2006.

Given the recent Turkish military coup debacle, these new regular Fijian military officers have seen how devastation can be inflicted on their nation when greedy and corrupt military commanders become traitors to their own people.The Fijians also learn,"People Power" to stop military traitors overthrowing democracy as in 2006.Citizen loyal military officers should make every effort to overthrow dictators like Bainimarama and bring them to justice.

It is time to right the ship, get rid of the evil "Immunity From Criminal Prosecution" Decrees in the Constitution (No-one is above the law), throw coup beneficiaries in jail and have a major clean up of the military, government and society.Everyone who supported the coup of 2006 should be rounded up and thrown in jail.

If Turkey can do it so can Fijians...!!!Throw military traitors and their supporters in jail to face the death penalty...!!!

Anonymous said...

Idiot blog owner, commenting on his own articles and writing stupid comments like the one above.You need to get a life and go for a check up in the head.

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