Archive: July to October 2012
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China's military on parade
FijiToday blog reports an interesting article by Trevor Loudon (a New Zealander) who wrote "An Urgent Message for America". In his message Loudon attempts to explain the global implications of the upcoming US elections suggesting that America, and indeed the entire Western World, faces destruction if communist sympathizer Barack Obama is returned to office. Loudon is talking about national security and survival.
Loudon writes that a few months ago the Australian Minister of Defense, while in China, was asked by a top Chinese official if Australia would choose to stay under American protection or would they now come under Chinese protection. Loudon contends that this type of offer would not have been made if either Reagan, Bush or Clinton had still been US President. This explains the ineffective US approach to dealing with Fiji's military junta and their brutal intimidation of the Fiji people.
Loudon says that his country [New Zealand] was only saved in World War II by the sacrifice of American soldiers in the Battles of Guadalcanal, The Coral Sea and Midway. Without that huge sacrifice, NZ would have been subjugated to the Japanese Imperial Army. Loudon also argues that ex US President Ronald Reagan had it right when he said that this is the last best hope for mankind. If freedom fails in America, it fails in every corner of the globe. If you lose your military superiority, you lose your world leadership. The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Nicaraguans, the Venezuelans, the Cubans and all of their allies will carve up this globe among themselves.
However, according to Martin Jacques [an economist and author of When China Rules the World] China's military power is puny compared with that of the US. And its global political influence is still limited. Jacques says that China's superpower is economic. Its economy is already over half the size of the US economy and projected to overtake it around 2018. So when speaking of China as a superpower, according to Jacques, it is talking about the future - not now. However, the US and our neighbouring countries are mindful, some would say even fearful, of how China may react. So there is plenty of scope and possibilities now to curb China's influence in Fiji and the Pacific -- but this can only be with the right leadership. According to Loudon, President Obama is not that person.
China is already in the Pacific and Fiji, lending its support to the bainimarama dictatorship, including helping Fiji to meet its financial obligations. This puts Fiji at the mercy of China. However, China did suggest to the military council that if Bainimarama’s junta supported China internationally then China could consider writing-off the debt owed by Fiji. This is what Bainimarama and Khaiyum are hoping for as they and their friends have already helped themselves to Chinese loans. And Fiji's auditor general has been barred by Khaiyum from talking about any of it.
Loudon states that a lot of people email him and ask that if Obama is re-elected then can they come and live in New Zealand. Loudon replies, it’s a wonderful country, you’ll enjoy it, but really there is no where to run now. Just 1500 miles to the north of my country lie the beautiful Fijian Islands – great tourist destination, but they now have a Marxist government. The Chinese are training the Fijian military, building big hyro-electric dams on the islands. Figi is basically now a Chinese client state.
So what was the US plan or policy to curb Chinese expansion and influence in the Pacific. The US chose not to intervene when the dictator bainimarama first threatened and then later removed the legal and democratically elected Fiji government. The US did nothing when China increased aid to Fiji and they objected to the UN stopping the use of Fiji soldiers in peacekeeping. The New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs was at a loss -- he waited until the US decided to engage with Fiji. Then he got all intellectual and foiled a bogus coup plot -- it did get their ambassadors back into Fiji, but Fiji is still going ahead with China.
If Loudon is right, then the evil situation in Fiji could have been avoided or, more effectively addressed, if either Reagan, Bush or Clinton had still been US President. But now, its a bit late for Fiji, with China more involved with the dictator. Only an uprising by the people of Fiji, in Fiji, can make a difference now - at the ballot box or united together on the streets protesting against the oppressive and corrupt bainimarama and khaium's junta.
Escapees surrender was not military's objective
Picture copied from fijitoday blogg
There are reports that a Fiji prison escapee had his leg amputated because of injuries inflicted by soldiers, supposedly, because he had resisted arrest.
However, sources suggest that the escapees didnt have a chance. And who would resist given the overwhelming number of soldiers coming at them. The prisoners were out numbered and surrendered. However, surrender was not the military's objective. It seems that "buturaki" was the goal.
Sources said that, "as instructed by the Queen "B" bainimarama, the escapees had to be taught a lesson". This suggests that when Frank bainimarama, the dictator of Fiji, who is running from the law for treason and murder, finally gets caught then he can expect similar treatment. The sources also remarked that "when bainimarama is finally caught, there will not be enough rolls of toilet paper to save him. But then again, he never needed toilet paper, he just lets go".
Ro Temumu Kepa, centre.
The Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party's official website was launched by Na Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi - Ro Temumu Kepa, on 19th October 2012. The website address is www.sdl.org.fj
SDL was founded in 2001 by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, the last democratically elected Prime Minister who was ousted in a military coup in December 2006.
The coup was carried out by a treasonous, and poorly educated, naval officer thug who was running from the law. He is Frank Bainimarama, who is now holding Fiji hostage at the point of a gun with the help of his special group of sodomites who consist of military officers and self-serving goons.
In the 2006 election, SDL won 44 percent of the popular vote (including 81 percent of the ethnic Fijian vote), and 36 out of 71 seats. All 23 Communal Constituencies allocated to indigenous Fijians were won by the SDL, most of them overwhelmingly; the party also won 13 of the 25 Open Constituencies elected by universal suffrage. The SDL failed to make any significant inroads into the Indo-Fijian community, polling barely 2 percent of the Indo-Fijian vote, and also lost the one minority voters' constituency it had held.
Taken from/By: FBC News, Report by: Mika Loga
The FBC reports that Fiji's military junta is expecting to boost the education budget in 2013. If it happens then it is a good thing. There is no substitute for knowledge and the education helps one to understand and apply that knowledge. Even better, if that education and knowledge is used in a positive way to help others and to improve our communities and the nation.
Some people use knowledge to improve their lives and riches. Others use it in devious ways, like how to threaten a legally elected government to sign his contract as military commander and then to hold a country hostage so that he may escape from the law and that he and his relatives and friends can rob Fiji of its resources. While also lying to the nation and to the world that he is saving Fiji. This is the typical actions of Satan's little servant.
Quality education is essential for all our communities, to help improve their standard of living and livelihoods and opportunities. No longer is education seen primarily as a set of skills, attitudes, and values that we require to effectively participate in modern society - it is an essential contributor to the common good of our communities. Education is now more of a commodity that can be purchased by an employer to produce a service or a product that can be bought and sold by multinational corporations. It can also be used to build a set of skills that can be used in the marketplace or to improve our homes or to help others.
Education is a basic right and an essential prior condition for helping to reduce poverty and improving the living conditions of our communities, so it is paramount that our children get access to not only good facilities but also quality teachers, and not preachers. In a nutshell a Preacher is trying to affect a person's thinking by appealing to their heart (a technique also used by con-artists). While a teacher tries to affect a person's heart by appealing to their thinking. But a lot of our teachers are underpaid for the important work that they do. Some even having to pay out of their own pockets for teaching material.
Fiji needs teachers so that she can evolve out of this self-serving mentality of idiots who stage coups to avoid arrest and prosecution, murder unborn children, beat defenceless women, rob our national resources and threaten people with guns and sodomy. So we agree with the dictator in his statement that having a good education background is the answer to challenges brought about by rapid global development.
The question is, if there will be sufficient funding to provide the type of education needed to make a real difference and also help take Fiji out from under the dark cloud of dictatorship, corruption, economic mismanagement, high-unemployment, increased poverty, increased crime and nepotism. Or is it just more pretty talk for publicity to fool the nation and nothing really will change in education.
Khaiyum releases confidential Bio Data on Citizens and Residents to Foreign Company
We received reports that Khaiyum and the dictator's office have approved the release of national data to a foreign company.
The general directive came from Khaiyum and the dictator's office addressed to all government departments. It instructed them to release all Fiji data and information about citizens and residents to Pacific Technologies and Yalamanchili Software Exports Limited from India. The director of Pacific Technologies, located in Grantham road, Nisar Ahmed Ali, has close ties to Khaiyum.
Pacific Technologies and Yalamanchili Software Exports Limited are working in departments to extract the data on Fiji citizens and residents. It also includes their date of birth, date deceased, residential address, passport details, etc.
This is confidential information and should not be given to anyone without the express prior consent from the individual owner. So here is a prime example of "anything goes" when there is no rule of law and a corrupt dictatorship trying to save themselves from going to jail.
There is now no privacy and no security of information under Bainimarama and Khaiyum's dictatorship.
By Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara,
Council for a Democratic Fiji, 18th October 2012
Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum Lacks Credibility
The Law Society of England and Wales has credibility
The alleged Attorney General of Fiji, Saiyed Khaiyum, has in his time made many grotesque and
bizarre allegations. Yet none in any way parallels his assertion that the recently expressed view
of the Law Society of England and Wales as to the lack of independence of the Fiji judiciary
shows that that Society has no credibility.
It is not the Society, but Khaiyum, who has no credibility. His adamant insistence that the Fiji
judiciary is independent, in the teeth of all evidence to the contrary, is tiresome and repetitive -
repeating a lie ad inﬁnitum does not make it true.
Khaiyum attacks the English Law Society for its comments made ‘from thousands of miles
away.’ It is indeed true that England is thousands of miles away from Fiji; however the views of
the Society are based upon an on the spot inspection carried out in Fiji itself. That on the spot
investigation had perforce to be carried out incognito because to openly approach Khaiyum
would simply elicit the same discredited blandishments he has been uttering over the years as
to the alleged independence of the Fiji judiciary, and would enable him to bar all doors of
enquiry to stop any information being elicited from his terriﬁed staff.
Further, the views of the English Law Society match those of the Australian and New Zealand
Law Societies - does Khaiyum also say that those institutions are discredited? If that is so he
would be well advised promptly to surrender whatever certiﬁcates or qualiﬁcations he procured
from any of such jurisdictions.
The fact that the Fiji judiciary is not independent has in any event been conﬁrmed from a
multitude of sources including outgoing staff and most recently in the Marshall petition. Judges
content to remain in Fiji cannot of course open their mouths and in any event they have taken
oaths acceptable to the current regime and are on its payroll.
Khaiyum should now apologise to the Law Society of England and Wales for uttering offensive
nonsense in his attack on it.
This article by navosavakadua on October 15 has been reposted here from the FijiToday blog. It makes interesting reading especially if we remember that the dictator bainimarama has threatened Fiji a number of times through his hints that if the voters don’t return a government committed to his reforms then he might be ‘forced’ to takeover Fiji again -- in another coup!
So we are not confident that a truly non-racial military would end the coup culture. We believe the issue behind the military involvement in coups has been the self-serving interests and very poor quality of senior officers and commanders. The lower ranks follow orders as good soldiers do, so it does not really matter what their racial backgrounds are. A non-racial military is not a bad thing provided quality standards have been achieved.
Therefore, we suggest an alternative view that the selection and reappointment process for all senior officers and commanders of the army, navy, police and prisons must include a transparent vetting process. It should also be overseen by a committee that holds a public hearing for any objections. Then a final recommendation is given to the President and Prime Minister for approval. The whole process from start to finish must be open to public scrutiny.
The posted article:
There’s been a lot of talk about what we need to do to prevent coups.
Some see a strongly written constitution as the answer. If we define ‘coup’ carefully enough, so no-one can pretend that they’re not committing a coup (like Bainimarama in 2006) or add in the death penalty, then no-one will be able to stage a coup. I’m not sure if anyone really believes that the coup in 2006 was not illegal under the laws of the day, but even if they do, what about 2009? How can that be anything other than treason?
Others say we’ve got to end ‘coup culture’, whatever that means. Bainimarama himself is one of the people claiming that there must be an end to coup culture, and that’s just what he says he’s doing. Anyone smarter than him would see how ridiculous that is.
If coup culture means anything, it means that some people think treason is OK if you’re cause is good. And Banimarama has given out strong hints that if the voters don’t return a government committed to his ‘reforms needed to end coup culture’ he might be ‘forced’ to takeover again. So much for what he means by ending coup culture.
By now everyone but the few people with their snouts in the regime trough is heartily sick of coups. With the exception of a few diaspora people still twisted out of shape by the trauma of 1987 and the years following, the regime has alienated everyone – the Methodist Church, the sugar industry, the legal profession, the media, the tourism industry and the trade union movement.
The only support base the regime has is the military, their families and assorted hangers-on, all with with shady dealings based on access to the regime’s control of the levers of government.
The regime’s control of government is based solely on the military’s monopoly of armed force and unless we find a way to end this there will be no change. If the military want to intervene, what can we do to stop them? They have the guns, we don’t. If ending coup culture means anything it means changing the culture of the military.
Reading Victor Lal’s article about the Defence White Paper on Fiji Leaks yesterday, the answer finally dawned on me. We need to change the culture of the RFMF and the way to do that was contained in the White Paper – affirmative action to get a little more ethnic balance in the ranks.
It needs to be understood that affirmative action doesn’t mean lowering the fitness requirements (though heavens knows what they are when we look at the big bellies like Tikoitoga). It means removing obstacles of all kinds to recruitment and retention of of people who are not iTaukei or part iTaukei.
Indo-Fijians have always been free to join the military, but few do because the experience of those who do is so off-putting. It’s brutal in a way that even soft urban iTaukei might struggle to cope with. The culture is that of nineteenth century British traditions amplified through the prism of iTaukei culture. And it’s hard to escape the suspicion that the rigours of this system might be turned up a notch or two for the new Indo-Fijian recruit (for motives that are probably mixed, but could easily include a hint of racism).
The RFMF’s standard answer has long been to say Indo-Fijians all want to be officers and drop out if they aren’t accepted into officer training, but this is a cop-out. There are many Indo-Fijians who are able and willing to serve in the RFMF, as officers and other ranks.
A truly non-racial military would enrich the culture of the RFMF. The streak of authoritarianism that runs through the RFMF culture would be balanced by more diverse values. It would no longer have the feel of a closed club responsible only to itself.
We have long had a culturally diverse police force. So why can’t we have a diverse military? Bainimarama could have taken steps to achieve this, but he didn’t and the reason is not hard to work out. A culturally diverse military would not serve so easily as Bainimarama’s coup machine ready to follow him without question and throw out any elected regime that threatens to remove him or hold him responsible for his crimes.
The way to end coup culture is to change the culture of the RFMF
The Fiji Airways name was launched in 1951 but rebranded as Air Pacific in 1971, after investment from neighbouring countries, Qantas Airways and Air New Zealand.
Now Air Pacific CEO David Pflieger is using the savings of Fiji pensioners (their Fiji National Provident Fund-based pensions) to invest in the new branding strategy and state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft. The three A330s are scheduled to begin by next June. Meanwhile, the Fiji pensioners have had their pensions reduced, with some now receiving less than half the amount.
The new identity was created by a local artist and based on traditional Masi artwork by Makereta Mamosi [pictured holding the masi] who said that “The circle has four crosses in the corners that indicate interconnection, like Fiji Airways connects people to the island.” Some people have commented that the design portrays the Fijian culture, others think it looks like an African safari brand. And others think that the brown colour [Weber chocolate] does nothing to evoke feelings of travelling in the Pacific. However, the chocolate colour does represent one of dictator Bainimarama's true colours, that he excreted while abandoning his men to save himself. Whatever your think, the new brand is still a distinctive look.
But in a turbulent and highly competitive market can fiji airways manage to compete with the likes of Qantas and Air New Zealand?
Aviation analyst Tom Ballantyne told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the rebranding move is a sensible strategy and that while Air Pacific was originally marketed as a regional Fiji based airline, individual islands have since begun their own airlines.
Ballantyne also said that Air Pacific was left with that name where it is actually a national flag carrier of Fiji. And he thinks that in terms of promoting Fiji through its national airline it is far better for the carrier to have a national name rather than a regional name. This makes sense, but will the new name also bring about efficiency and transparency and also a fairer deal for staff.
Air Pacific CEO David Pflieger is also using excuses for the re-branding, blaming it on overseas sales agents who were so tired of having to explain what Air Pacific was and where it flew. Do these same agents also have the same problem with Virgin airlines and Jetstar, for example.
Pflieger said he also sought to overcome the airline's poor reputation for reliability and the airline was seen as one to avoid because the planes were breaking and (not) running on time, and there was really no focus on on-time performance. The planes weren't breaking! It was Pflieger's fault that planes were not able to fly on time. Pflieger was responsible for implementing his new rules that aircraft were stuck on the ground because there were not enough crew.
And how can Pflieger claim an improvement in Air Pacific's financial position when the Auditor General is forbidden from publishing their Report. This means that Khaiyum and Pflieger can lie and say whatever makes them look good, while the truth is locked away. But if Air Pacific is now doing so much better than why is Qantas still trying to sell-off its 46 per cent stake in the airline and also withdraw its four board members........
A key point for staff was that they choose to stay with the airline because of the lifestyle and being closer to their families. So they accepted the low pay levels, as compared to what they would earn if they flew for another airline. the low base pay is helped by additional allowances they earn. But Pligers has removed a lot of these allowances while he and his out of work American buddies, that he employed without international experience (they only worked domestically across america), live up the good life on expensive Denarau Island and receive high salaries and allowances beyond what they would get back in the good old USA. Pliegers American buddies are paid much higher salaries than the local, and more qualified, staff they had replaced. So where is the efficiency he talks about and the transparency that his boss speaks of. These are just lies aimed at appeasing the hearing senses of the international community.
In addition, the increase in base pay that Plieger and his Air Pacific managers claim to pay staff is a scam, its much lower than what the staff were receiving - base pay plus allowances. Plieger removed the allowances and so crew worked according to his new dictated policies. This added to the shortage of crew and the stranding of aircraft which Plieger then quickly blamed on the "breaking" aircraft.
Khaiyum's Essential Industries Decree forbids any staff complaints and challenges in a court of law.
A number of experienced crew choose to leave for other regional airlines rather then work under the dictatorship of the American executive, David Pflieger.
So will Fiji Airways make a difference. Time will tell, and especially if accurate financial reports are revealed to the public.
Prof W Narsey: Final Submission to the Yash Ghai Commission. 12 October 2012
Executive Summary of Recommendations
1. This submission wishes it to be recorded that the success or failure of the Yash Ghai Commission depends entirely on the good-will and co-operation of the Bainimarama Regime with the Commission, and in particularly, on Commodore Bainimarama who has the total support of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the Fiji Police Force, the judiciary, and all other arms of government, and therefore has the ability to put into effect most of the recommendations likely to come from the Commission's work.
2. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission to acknowledge that the end product of their exercise will NOT be any "new" Constitution but a "revised 1997 Constitution".
3. This submission calls on the Commission to ensure that their Report MUST reaffirm the fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to personal property, the right to go to court with perceived grievances, and all other basic human rights ratified by The UN Convention on Human Rights, even if the current Regime has denied these basic human rights to many Fiji citizens and residents. It should also include the principles of the equality of all races and religions, and inclusivity, which this Regime has strongly espoused.
4. This Submission calls on the Commission to inquire from the Regime whether the demands for immunity will also apply to the actions of Justice Anthony Gates when he was Acting Chief Justice following the Military's removal of the former Chief Justice (Fatiaki), and any actions and activities of the Regime's President (Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, both of whom will therefore have a conflict of interest in being required to be part of the "approval process" for the Constitution, according to recent decree 98 and 99.
5. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission clarify in its Report (and hence to the Constituent Assembly) that the Regime is requiring, through its decrees, that the immunity to be part of the revised constitution, is to stretch from 2000 to 2014.
6. This Submission recommends that it is essential that the Commission, before it makes any recommendation for immunity, recommend processes that will establish the truth concerning:
(a) the circumstances and the lawfulness of the Bainimarama takeover of government in 2006 and the 2009 purported abrogation of the 1997 Constitution; and
(b) equally important given that the immunity is to stretch back to 2000, to clarify the facts behind the 2000 attempted coup, and the later mutiny against Commodore Bainimarama.
(c) Recommend processes which may effect (b) above before any immunity provisions are discussed by the next elected parliament.
(d) Obtain international legal advice on whether immunity can be granted for serious abuse of basic human rights abuses.
7. This submission recommends that the Yash Ghai Commission, as part of their Draft Report, include the recommendation that one of the first acts of the newly elected Parliament would be to recommend a "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission" whose task would be to elucidate honestly and transparently, the events of 1987, 2000, 2006 and 2009, and all events for which immunity is being sought by the Military Regime.
8. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission to leave it to the next elected Parliament, following the Report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, to make recommendations on the nature and extent of immunity to be granted to those involved in the events between 2000 and 20014, for which immunity is being sought by the Regime.
9. This submission reiterates the recommendation in my earlier electoral reform submission that there be a large number of constituencies from which single candidates are elected to serve all who live in that constituency, and be accountable to them at the next election, and that there be a List element which will have a high probability of ensuring gender balance in parliament.
10. This submission recommends that voting will be by placing ticks or numbers on pieces of ballot paper and not by any electronic voting mechanism which cannot be monitored with any degree of confidence. This submission therefore also recommends that counting of votes must take place physically, in every constituency, so as to ensure transparency and accountability to voters.
11. This submission recommends that the Commission engage in a "voting and vote counting experiment" where by a few hundred "voters" generally representative of Fiji's voting public, go through an actual exercise of voting according to the main systems being recommended and considered by the Commission, the votes be counted by the Elections Office, and the results declared. The objective would be to obtain from the voters, the Elections Office and the political parties, the system that they feel most comfortable with in practice. and will achieve the political objectives of ethnic equality in voting and gender balance in outcomes.
12. This submission recommends that all the following contentious issues be referred to the first elected parliament to resolve, through select committees of parliament, which must present their reports and recommendations within a year of being established:
(a) the reform of the GCC.
(b) the composition of Senate
(c) the selection or election of the President
(d) the common name to be used for Fiji citizens
(e) whether Fiji should be declared to be a "Christian State"
(f) the nature, extent and coverage of immunity to be granted by Parliament.
(g) any changes to land legislation
(h) changes to the Fiji flag
(i) changes to the national anthem
(j) changes to citizenship rules
13. This submission recommends that if the Commission chooses to make recommendations on these contentious matters listed above, then each of them be the basis of separate Referendum papers on which voters may voters at the next elections. The next elected parliament may then be guided by the results of the referenda, in formulating the specific changes to the Constitution.
14. This submission calls on the Commission to state and ensure that Minority views and Reports (if any) will be allowed and published simultaneously with the consensus report.
15. This Submission recommends that all matters on which there is disagreement between the Commissioners are to be fully documented and reported to the public for full transparency and accountability to the public.
16. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission to insist that the Constituent Assembly must comprise members independently nominated by the major organisations listed in Decree 98.
17. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission to call for the removal of this paragraph 3 from Schedule 2, Decree 99.
18. This submission calls on the Yash Ghai Commission to insist that all voting in the Constituent Assembly must be by secret ballot and require two-thirds majority.
19. This Submission requests the Commission to clarify from the Regime whether the immunity being sought also includes the Regime's Chief Justice and others likely to be involved in the CJ's Tribunal expected currently to vet the Commission's Draft Report.
20. This submission recommends that, following agreement by the Constituent Assembly on the electoral reform, and the Draft Constitution, these be widely publicised in English and the vernaculars.
21. This submission recommends that elections then be held under the revised electoral system.
22. This submission recommends that the newly elected parliament then be asked to approve the Final Constitution, following resolution of as many of the contentious issues as possible, again, with a two thirds majority.
23. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed session" with the current military hierarchy and retired former senior army officers to
(a) examine their willingness to remove lawfully elected governments in 1987, 2000, 2006 and their refusal to abide by the 2009 Court of Appeal judgement. The objective of this exercise, which may be moderated by a few respected international military authorities and senior citizens, is to guide the Commission's recommendations on how to discourage the "coup culture";
(b) honestly face up to the economic impact of all of Fiji's military coups, as explained in Section 12 of this Submission.
(c) acknowledge that following every coup, there has been significant reallocation and increase of tax-payers' funds to the military, at the expense of all other more important development calls for resources such as health;
(d) acknowledge that in the long-term, there must be a reduction in resources and personnel for the military forces, separation of the income-earning roles from the others, and all done in a gradual manner which does not harm the welfare of the armed forces;
(e) acknowledge that the military does not have any role in the maintenance of internal law and order, which much be the sole domain of the Fiji Police Force;
(f) set out clearly in RFMF regulations on the proper lawful response of military personnel, should there be approaches from the Commander of the RFMF or RFMF personnel, or civilians, to instigate any kind of illegal actions against the lawful government of the day;
(g) that the next elected Parliament form a Select Committee drawn from the current and former officers of the RFMF, outside expert military advisers, and qualified domestic citizens to conduct a thorough review of the RFMF in order to plan its future in a constructive and co-operative manner.
24. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed session" with the current judiciary hierarchy and retired senior former judges and lawyers to honestly examine their willingness to support illegal governments in 1987, 2000, 2006 and their refusal to abide by the 2009 Court of Appeal judgement. The objective of this exercise, which may be moderated by a few respected international legal authorities, is to guide the Commission's on how to discourage the "coup culture" amongst the judiciary.
25. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed session" with the political parties and their leaders to honestly examine their willingness to support illegal governments at various points in time, The objective of this exercise, which may be moderated by a few respected independent social leaders is to guide the Commission's on how to discourage the "coup culture" amongst the political parties.
26. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed session" with the religious organisations to honestly examine their willingness to support illegal governments at various points in time. The objective of this exercise, which may be moderated by a few respected independent social leaders is to
(a) guide the Commission's on how to make recommendations that could discourage the "coup culture" amongst the religious organisations..
(b) see if there can be consensus on the "Christian State" issue, amongst the religious organisations.
27. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed session" with all the organisations that represent the business community, to honestly examine their willingness to support illegal governments at various points in time, The objective of this exercise, which may be moderated by a few respected independent social leaders is to guide the Commission's recommendations on how to discourage the "coup culture" in the corporate sector.
28. This Submission recommends that the Commission recommend a greater appreciation of entrepreneurs by incorporating their representatives in the upper house of Parliament with appropriate allocation of honours.
29. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed and totally confidential session" with the leaders of media organisations, to honestly confront what their roles have been in supporting the "coup culture" and to assist the Commission to make the appropriate recommendations.
30. This Submission recommends that the Commission initiate a "closed and totally confidential session" with the leaders of tertiary education organisations, to honestly confront what their roles have been in supporting the "coup culture" and to assist the Commission to make the appropriate recommendations for their future policies on the role of academia in opposing the coup culture.
31. While it is totally unlikely to have any effect whatsoever on the international agencies, this Submission calls on the Commission to make a clear statement in its Report calling on international agencies (embassies and international organisations) to clearly condemn military coups which remove democratically elected governments, and to impose all available sanctions on illegitimate Regimes.
32. This Submission calls on the Commission to clearly state in their Report, that it is not the general population which needs to be taught the importance of good governance and law and order in eliminating the "coup culture" but the military hierarchy, the judiciary, the corporate sector, the religious and social organisations, the media owners, and other elites in society, who have willingly supported and collaborated with coup makers.
33. This submission requests that the Commission in their Report, point out to the members of the Constituent Assembly, the lessons to be learnt from the NCBBF, the Charter and Roadmap exercise.
34. This submission requests that the Commission in their Report, point out to the members of the Constituent Assembly, their responsibility to not only formulate the draft revised Constitution, but the need for them to be accountable for their roles, and what their actions should be, if their Final Report is in any way modified or not followed by the Regime.
35. The submission recommends that the Commission emphasize in their report the terribly damaging impact that all the military coups have had on Fiji's incomes, standards of living, and poverty, and that far from being a "zero sum game", coups have been "lose-lose games for the major ethnic groups.
36. The submission recommends the Commission obtain the views of real estate agents on the impact of the 2006 and 2009 coups on property prices and inflows of foreign capital.
37. This Submission recommends that the Commission request the Bainimarama Regime to respond to the criticisms made in paragraph 305.
paragraph 305 The Commission may wish to obtain views from the Regime, the private sector, NGOs and academia, on a number of areas on which there is no public data available, but which clearly have a bearing on the Regime's negative impact on the economy through the subversion of good governance practices. These include, in no particular order:
* the enforced retirement at the age of 55 depriving the Civil Service of experience professions such as teachers, engineers, administrators etc.
* arbitrary sacking of many civil servants without natural justice
* the appointment of military officers in key senior positions where they do not have the technical expertise, and who have not been able to make the transition from being professional military officers unquestioningly obeying the Commander, to being civil servants who do have the responsibility to raise professional alternatives to instructions from superiors;
* the apparent lack of independence of the Public Service Commission which seems to be effectively the rubber stamp of the Regime decision-makers.
* the totally unwise financial decisions such as inordinately expensive loans in foreign currency, made by Government upon advice by private banking interests
* the appointment of foreign nationals to the most important boards of government and statutory organisations (often as Chair), such as FNPF and FRCA; many individuals appointed to multiple boards with clear conflict of interest; and many private sector individuals having a conflict of interest between their normal place of employment and contracts entered into between their employer and government.
* the apparent bypassing of environment and other planning laws for select investors, with the responsible authorities remaining totally silent and accountable to the public despite numerous public queries and protests;
* the quite improper holding of large numbers of ministerial positions by Commodore Bainimarama (including that of Prime Minister and Finance Minister) and the Regime's Attorney General. Amounting to more than ten normal ministerial positions, the consequences are likely to have been paralysis of decision-making, over-dependence on some civil servants (many of whom are now military personnel whose qualifications would not match the positions held); and moreover, given that Commodore Bainimarama's experience and qualifications are largely military, then the origin of most media statements from the Regime, indicates that the decision-making in many of his ministries has focused largely on the Regime's Attorney General, whose PR skills are obvious to the public, but not matched by technical experience or knowledge in the fields expounded upon.
* the financially disastrous and totally improper decision by Commodore Bainimarama to hold on to his position of the Commander of RFMF, which itself engaged in massive over-expenditure of tax-payers' funds (both on salary and non-salary items), while also holding the position of Finance Minister, who approved the increases in expenditure.
* the complete lack of accountability of tax-payers' funds with no Auditor General's Reports being made available to the public since 2006.
* the inability or disinclination of the Commerce Commission to control predatory pricing by large monopolies such as telecommunications giants like Vodaphone, while focusing their energies on relatively unproductive and unimportant areas such as hardware and pharmacies where there already exists some degree of competition.
* the dictatorial changes in education policy (such as the abolishing of national examinations, arbitrary limits to education fees, selective application of zoning regulations) which have been imposed on schools without discussion, with many having potentially disastrous results on Fiji's education system which has been one of the best in the Pacific, and is now seriously at risk.
Download the next file [Z Final Submission to Yash Ghai Commission 11 Oct 2012] for a copy of the full submission.
McCully points finger at UN
McCully: UN must help Pacific nations and Syria
It was interesting to read in the New Zealand Herald that in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that the United Nations must offer more support to small Pacific Island nations to maintain political stability, manage crucial fishing resources and develop renewable energy.
Mr McCully also warned that the UN risked losing its credibility because of its inability to act over Syria. But doesn't this also apply to New Zealand and Australia's credibility. They have clearly shown their inability to effectively act over Fiji.
McCully also said New Zealand's work as chairman of the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum had underlined how regional organisations like the forum relied on the UN "for solutions to challenges that are truly global in character". In that regard "we need and expect more" from the UN. This is more like passing the buck. Yes there are global issues but the region doesn't need to wait for the UN. As a region we have the cumulative brains, people and resources. We can take the lead in resolving our issues, with assistance form the UN. So why are we looking to the United Nations to take the lead, after all, this is our backyard and the issues can easily be overcome if people in key Government positions actually walked the talk, instead of just talking the talk.
McCully, among other things, also claimed that one of the most striking features of our region has been the complete lack of progress in putting lofty climate change rhetoric into any form of renewable energy practice. But New Zealand and Australia and the region have also ignored the Biketawa declaration, issued by Pacific islands Forum leaders at their meeting in Kiribati in 2000. The Biketawa declaration was developed in the wake of coups in Fiji and the Solomon Islands and makes it possible for members of the Forum to call on their colleagues to help uphold democratic principles. Prime Minister Qarase did ask for help but none arrived. However, some forum leaders have voiced their objections to Bainimarama's military junta, and they continue to do so. And New Zealand and Australia applied sanctions against the Bainimarama junta, but they are slowly being removed.
McCully also said that there was more the UN, particularly the Security Council, could do to acknowledge and support regional leadership in the Pacific and elsewhere on peace and security matters. He said it was difficult to overstate the level of frustration "of the people he represents" with the complete inability of the UN Security Council to act in relation to Syria.
But Fiji is far smaller than Syria and the forum countries have the resources and means to uphold democratic principles, as they had agreed to in 2000. But they have not done so. Now McCully is pointing the finger at the UN and accusing them of "complete inability" to act in relation to Syria when McCully did not effectively act in relation to Fiji. This, unfortunately, is the type of regional leadership we have today that is maintaining our political stability, managing our crucial fishing resources and developing our renewable energy.
Fiji Day 2012 under dictator Bainimarama
Story from fijiToday blog.
Frank’s boat is sinking but he will paddle to Ride Out the Waves
By Russell Hunter
Commodore Frank Bainimarama on December 5 2006 deposed a lawfully elected government by force of arms. This was, as he and his inner circle are well aware, nothing short of treason for which the penalty is life imprisonment. So he now seeks to be somehow spirited from the tiger’s back by a promise of elections in 2014 and the construction of yet another constitution. Even though, he has two overarching difficulties.
Part of his much-touted exit strategy is to stand for election in 2014. But the many thousands of Fiji Islanders who eagerly await their chance to remove him by means of the ballot box are doomed to disappointment. He has no intention of ceding power -not to them or anyone else.
His first problem, then, is that he has conditioned the people of Fiji (and the wider region) to doubt his word. In his takeover address of December 6, 2006 he made eleven clear pledges to the nation, none of which – not a single one – have been honoured.
Frank Bainimarama’s Race Card: The Great Paradox
He famously remarked “I don’t trust the people” – a sentiment now widely reciprocated. This does little for his election prospects and the harder headed elements among the military are well aware of it. The buffoonery of its public mouthpieces only partly conceals a well organized planning and intelligence function that is much closer to the reality of Fiji than the public statements would have us believe.
Bainimarama’s second highest hurdle is the perennial one of race. His promise to end racism and racial voting has gained deserved support among the commentariat. And deservedly so. The harsh reality, however, is that the majority of the people he illegally governs do not agree – and not just the ethnic Fijian majority. It will take more than a few decrees to end the politics of race in Fiji.
The Fijians strongly feel – with at least some justification – that they are the ones called upon to make all the concessions to a highly identifiable mono-cultural immigrant block that declines to assimilate. Why should it? Its culture has served it well since long before the Bible was thought of. The landless Indo-Fijian community – again with some justification – feel ostracised and unwanted in the land of their birth.
Multiculturalism has proved to be a power for good in Australian and New Zealand. In Fiji, however, there are only two cultures that for the most part stand back to back. This needs to end – but Bainimarama will not be the one to end it. It won’t be achieved by decree or by force, the only weapons left to the dictator as his past catches up with him
The military over which he has complete control still comprises some 99 per cent ethnic Fijians and Rotumans, though precise figures are no longer available in the new transparent Fiji. The language of the military is Fijian. In addition his actions against Fijian institutions, for example the Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church, have engendered a seething resentment among the indigenous population – which now constitutes a clear majority, adding further difficulties for his election campaign.
Again, the military planners are well aware of this and have already produced an outline series of measures to build bridges to the ethnic Fijian population. Its effectiveness is yet to be gauged.
Sadly, too, the indigenous population increasingly regard the Bainimarama coup as an Indo-Fijian plot or, worse still, as a Muslim takeover organised by Bainimarama’s “eminence grise”, the illegal attorney general and minister for many things, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. The theory that Bainimarama, the honest though gullible Christian Fijian, has been exploited by a devious Indo-Fijian Muslim is gaining traction in Fiji.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. As we now know – Bainimarama’s routine denial notwithstanding – the coup of 2006 was his fourth attempt and was driven as much by his urgent need to stay out of jail as by any “clean-up” desire. The potential for racial and religious mayhem should be obvious. Yet the dictator has done nothing to defuse this ticking bomb.
Immunity, Mutiny and Murder Charges
At the same time, any new constitution will have to contain an amnesty for Bainimarama and his collaborators. The crimes of treason and torture to name but two will be forgiven. But can it credibly afford to offer amnesty for the five murders that followed the mutiny of November 2, 2000, investigation of which the commander has steadfastly stonewalled? If the overwhelming reaction as expressed in submissions to the constitution commission is any guide, it’s clear that the population is set against any immunity arrangement.
That won’t stop Bainimarama. He can’t afford to let it. The betting in Suva seems to be that he’ll simply impose immunity much as he imposed the People’s Charter by the simple device of declaring that 90 per cent of the people supported it. Where is it now?
Bainimarama’s Fiji an economic cot
But Krankie Frankie is no longer in charter territory. An election is a quite different matter with secret voting, international observers and the desire of the people to make a statement regarding their futures. Governments (and prime ministers) offering themselves to the voters need to stand on their records. If that is so, Bainimarama is unelectable. His record stinks. As Minister of Finance he has transformed Fiji from being the powerhouse of the Pacific to an economic cot case. As Minister for Sugar he continues to preside over the death throes of an industry on which 200,000 people depend for their livelihoods.As Minister for Fijian Affairs he has dismantled institutions, alienated the Methodist Church, and angered landholders. Yes, when he arrives in the villages boasting and glad handing, they’ll tell him what he wants to hear. Some fear to do otherwise. But even he must know that they will not vote for him. He has alienated and angered the civil service by his policy of militarisation. At the same time his secret salaries remain a matter of extreme resentment. He has slashed people’s pensions for no apparent reason – the study on which this action was based remains, like much else in Fiji, secret. It’s no way to win an election and his efforts at hand-outs (for which he rightly castigated the SDL in the 2006 election) can never hope to clean up his record in the eyes of the voters.
If an election does take place, Bainimarama cannot allow a winner other than himself. Possibly his only viable survival option lies in the white house on the hill. The illegal president’s term expires in a few days and the dictator must be tempted to have himself appointed and continue to rule by decree while indulging his taste for luxury.But who would be prime minister? Who could be trusted? Or could the position simply lapse? Certainly the option must look preferable to an election he cannot win without rigging it. He once told the world that general elections in Fiji would take place on March 13, 2009, if all necessary preparations can be accomplished in time. But some days later Sayed-Khaiyum, now also Minister for Elections, told the media Bainimarama had only been joking. But these are no joking matters. Neither is Operation Jericho.
It seems that the Commission failed to see, or were persuaded not to see, a key issue with this submission that affects a lot of people across Fiji. The issue relates, among other things, to investor confidence and protection of property rights.
Investors already understand this issue, which is a key reason they are not investing in Fiji. And why would they invest in Fiji if Bainimarama and Khaiyum can easily dictate or change their minds causing them to lose their investment.
The Reddy v Reddy submission further confirms what a lot of us (including Bainimarama and Khaiyum's leeches/bakewas) already know that Fiji is under a highly corrupt and self-serving greedy buggers who have no respect for the rule of law. But these buggers (Bainimarama and Khaiyum) easily lie to the world with a straight face saying that they are about removing corruption and making Fiji a better place. What rubbish!
This latest submission will not improve investor confidence. It says that property rights are not protected in Fiji. Fiji's economy is at its lowest point ever and predicted to get worse.
This corrupt practice by Bainimarama and Khaiyum strongly suggests that the Constitution and decrees only applies to everyone else, and does not apply to them, their relatives, friends and anyone who pays them the right bribe. A lot of these corrupt activities have already been revealed for the world to see. Goodness knows what else is going on undetected.
So shouldn't the Commission be concerned about safe guarding good governance, rule of law and property rights for Fiji, among other things. They better be. Well at least we hope they are, but the reality is painting another picture.
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All of the coups have been for self serving self advancement and not for the benefit of our Fiji as a country
An interesting read on the fijitoday blog that pinpoints what a number of people have been saying all along. The coups were not about Fiji, removing corruption or being more transparent.
.......There was a lot of after-the-fact justifying of why the coups were necessary: the easiest to understand narrative was that Fijians/i Taukei had not had fair access to the economic benefits of the country, and therefore the coups happened as a logical consequence of that disenfranchisement.
......The real motivation behind those coups (and subsequent) was that there existed in Fiji a tightly associated clan of business and political figures who felt an overweening sense of entitlement, and whose jobs for life were threatened by the Bavadra victory in April 1987.
It was that unholy alliance of Coup-Enablers that conspired to create the circumstances that delivered 1987, 2000 and 2006.
Certainly there was and remains a huge number of Fijians/i Taukei who feel marginalised and passed over by the many and conspicuous benefits of development (electricity, piped water etc.). But these same disadvantaged people did not lead the coups; the coups were not mass uprisings (along the lines of the Arab Spring); all four coups were events of huge national significance (and great long-lasting economic damage) that were done in all our names but by a tiny few who self-selected themselves based on what they feared they had to lose, and who subsequently have enjoyed the huge trappings that come with high political office, salary, entitlements, pensions, or in the case of the cabal of business leaders, have enjoyed preferential tariff protection, access to loans, etc.
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Updated 8 October 2012, 11:11 AEST
Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program reports that in Fiji public hearings on the proposed constitution have entered their third and final month. And that poverty is high on the agenda at Fiji's Constitution Commission hearings.
Presenter: Geraldine Couts
Speaker: Professor Yash Ghai, Chairman of the Constitiution Commission
Wednesday final day for written submissions Publish date/time: 08/10/2012 [08:07]
fijivillage.com reports that people have until this Wednesday (10 October) to make any written submissions to the constitution commission.
The commission is requesting people to send in their submissions by post, email or drop it off at their office at the parliamentary complex. However, the commission will be in Savusavu today (Monday) and will tour Taveuni tomorrow before returning to the Central division on Wednesday. And next Monday, the commission will go to Lau and Rotuma.
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Labour situation in Fiji is no longer a domestic matter
Mark Matthews (GM Rentokil Initial)
Fiji trade unions say international community is aware of country’s labour conditions
Radio New Zealand International reports that the National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress has condemned the Fiji Government’s efforts to justify the poor labour conditions in Fiji to the international community.
However, the Khaiyum buddy and President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Mark Matthews (Managing Director of Rentokil), praised the draconian Essential Industries decree saying that it was brought in to protect businesses and industries that are critical to the national economy and that the outcomes have not impacted on workers’ rights. What bloody rubbish!
The poor performing Fiji economy is a direct result of Bainimarma and Khaiyum's corrupt practices that stops investors from investing in Fiji. Why would anyone want to invest in Fiji knowing that their investment could easily be lost by another illegal decree, just because their business competes or threatens the profitability of a competing business owned by a relative or friend 0f Khaiyum or Bainimarma. Or a business that has paid bribes to these two corrupt buggers who are milking Fiji for as much as they can and storing it in offshore accounts. Under bainimarma and khaiyum the Fiji economy is performing much lower then it has ever done under any previous government. Removing khiyum and his corrupt relatives, friends and decrees will be a step in the right direction to restoring investor confidence.
The highly paid Mark Matthews is only concerned with improving company profits at the expense of poor Fiji workers. The decree allows essential industries to give poor Fiji workers low wages and poor conditions as they see fit to achieve large profit margins.
Matthews also knows that with the decree no worker can object or do anything about how badly they are treated. If the worker complains then they are fired and they cant take the company to court over it. So Mark Matthews is a very happy man exploiting the poor Fiji workers and lying about how it has not impacted on their rights -- what about their rights to free speech, to challenge decisions in a court of law or even to ask for a small share in the profits!
There is a big gap between business profits (and the salary paid to Mark Matthews) on one side, and the low wages paid to workers on the other. This is what Father Kevin Barr has been objecting to and he had been trying to persuade the corrupt Khaiyum to give the workers a fair deal.
But we and the world already know Khaiyum's Essential Industries Decree has not improved conditions for workers in Fiji. Fiji is now at its highest level of unemployment ever, and increasing. Some people have argued that this high level of unemployment is linked to the increase in overall crime as people look for alternative means to meet their families needs. This is not an excuse for the crime increase and there is no statistical evidence to confirm this.
Meanwhile the Fiji Government has engaged its "spin doctors" (experts responsible for ensuring that the poor worker conditions in Fiji are interpreted positively by the international community). These bullshit-artists are preparing written submissions to the United States trade officials to stop Fiji from being removed from the General System of Preferences arrangement.
If the preferential trade arrangement is removed, then up to 15,000 jobs could be at risk. This will be a sad day for the 15,000 workers, but it is the result of Khaiyum's draconian essential industries decree, which is there to improve the profits of his relatives and friends.
Khaiyum cant be allowed to dictate pay and conditions to workers. Companies in Fiji and their owners must operate in good faith and pay a fair share to workers. Both parties can benefit, but it will require khaiyum and the business owners to accept lower profit margins, but a profit none the less. The workers will also receive a fairer rate for their labour and simply, this would lead to the workers having more disposable income that would lead to an increase in demand for goods and services, thus helping the economy. But bainimarama and Khaiyum's focus is about increasing the profit margins for their greedy and corrupt relatives and friends.
Therefore, if the union doesn't make a stand now, then Khaiyum will have a freehand to do whatever he wants and no worker in Fiji can do anything about it.
The Fiji trade unionist Felix Anthony says the international community is well aware of the poor labour conditions in Fiji and that the regime wants the world to believe that there’s nothing wrong in Fiji, but everyone knows what is happening in Fiji. But as we well know, it is one thing to know about a thing and another thing to actually do anything about it. Doing something about it is key. And the trade unions are doing something about it.
Anthony also said that the labour situation is no longer a domestic matter for Fiji, it’s an international issue. He says he doesn't believe that the regime is serious when it attempts to tell the world that they are telling the truth and that everyone else in the world is lying.
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Waden Narsey's speech at the Gandhi Day celebrations that the media refused to report on
The media (Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Fiji TV) do not want to have anything to do with Wadan, even for his purely educational work. The media is afraid of the type of childish tantrums and vindictiveness that Bainimarama and Kahiyum are known for, should they see it reported in the media. This makes Wadan Narsey a media "non-person" without his citizen's right of freedom of expression.
Read full speech here What would Mahatma Gandhi stand for in Fiji, today? By Professor Wadan Narsey (Chief Guest), Mahatma Gandhi Day, MGM High School, 2nd Oct. 2012.
The speech includes a great lesson for all of us about how a skinny man in a dhoti, academically weak, professionally poor, became such a great person (a Mahatma), purely by the strength of his ideas and commitment to truth, his principles and his views. If he could do it, so can we all.
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. This is not the case in Fiji because people are afraid of the intimidation and beatings quickly dished out by Bainimarama's group of sodomite soldiers led by Naliva and Rokura.
The fear in Fiji is real, but Gandhi also believed that India could be freed from British colonial rule by simply not co-operating with unjust rulers, even if it meant suffering personally. A number of people in Fiji have done this, but not enough of them.
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 than the "British white sahibs" being expelled from India. Yes, how true this is with Bainimarama (with greedy Khaiyum and his family and friends) is more corrupt than the Qarase Government he removed ever was.
Gandhi became the leader of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and he was often arrested by the British, charged for sedition, and often jailed, for years.
For Gandhi it meant total uncompromising belief in TRUTH even if it meant great personal cost to the individual. "Satyagraha" literally means "holding fast to the truth" regardless of consequences.
Gandhi believed that to close your eyes to the truth of injustice in front of you, meant that you collaborated with and supported the injustice. Gandhi also opposed the economic exploitation of people, where greedy individuals took more than their fair share of resources.
Gandhi saw economic injustice and exploitation as one of the worst forms of violence because it happened "out of sight" and was not obvious like plain physical robbery.
Read full speech here>>>
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If you cannot get through to any police station or post when trying to report a crime then please contact anyone of the following Senior police officers 24/7:
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Letter to the Editor (Fiji Times and Fiji Sun)
Professor Wadan Narsey
........We sympathise with the Police Force who come under huge pressure whenever prisoners escape, when we all know that it is society which ultimately creates the criminals and the crimes, which we then demand the Police Force deal with.
But a just society has to ensure that escaped prisoners, however badly they may have treated society, are also given a fair trial by our judiciary, and suitably punished if they are found guilty, but according to law.
Prisoners also have human rights and they also have loved ones, who are often filled with despair and shame at the crimes that their family members commit.
The condemning public might think more about the message and not shoot the messenger, Shamima Ali, who has been a brave Commissioner for Human Rights of all people in Fiji, prisoners or otherwise.
However much pain escaped prisoners may cause us (and they surely do), for us to deny their human rights to justice according to the Fiji laws, is to become inhuman ourselves.
Read full article here>>>
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The illegal bainimarama dictatorship has been mismanaging FNPF funds through Khaiyum and ajit Godagoda and they continue to do so at the cost of pensioners.
Basically Khaiyum and bainimarama and the FNPF Board can do what ever they want with Fiji workers' life savings. And they continue to do so.
The Fiji Labour Party wrote to the Fiji National Provident Fund seeking information on its decision last year to expend a further $12 million on the failed Momi Bay resort development project.
The FNPF Board spent $12m in July 2011 to buy additional land for residential lots for sale at the Momi Bay complex, work on which stopped in October 2006 after the developer defaulted on loan repayments to FNPF and was unable to pay the contractors and suppliers. Read full article here.
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United States AFL-CIO Puts Fiji on a 21 day Notice to change its Stance on Labor Rights
The American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) Hearing in the United States against Fiji for breach of labor rights and standards has ended its preliminary hearings with issuing a 21 day Notice served on Fiji to resolve the labor rights breaches or face the consequences of losing the duty free access.
This effectively means all the decrees that infringe rights and interest of workers will have to be revoked.
These decrees include:
Radio Australia has also reported;
“…in an interview with Radio Australia, the United States trade union movement has said that suspending Fiji’s access to the US market is the last resort, at least not right away, and that they would prefer the interim government work with the authorities to improve workers rights. Speaking to Radio Australia, American Federation of Labour- Congress of Industrial Organisations Trade Policy Specialist, Celeste Drake said the trade union movement in the United States do not necessarily want Fiji to be punished with loss of preferential access to the US market because of its record on workers’ rights. She said onus is on the Fiji Govt saying that the massive job losses to Fijians will only occur “if the government has absolutely no intention of working with the US government to try and improve things for workers. So it’s really all in the Fijian government’s hands.”
The regime’s leader and its rogue Attorney General must swallow their oversize egos and pride to immediately revoke all the decrees identified by ILO and open fresh dialogue with the Trade Unions and Employers without delay.
This is not a time procrastinate or massage each other’s ego. The regime must accept responsibility now for a cardinal error of judgement in promulgating such anti-labor rights laws without considering international conventions. It’s defeat for tyranny and victory for workers in Fiji.
Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
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Khaiyum, milking Fiji
The Bainimarama dictatorship has been given three weeks to present post hearing written submissions after discussions in Washington DC on the duty free access scheme for 39 Fijian companies exporting products to the US.
The delegation led by Acting Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma presented the lies to the US Generalized System of Preferences subcommittee aiming to stop the subcommittee from voting to remove Fiji from the duty free access scheme. But where is the actual solicitor General, did he and Khaiyum think that this presentation was beneath them that they send an acting person?
Sharma informed the subcommittee that the intention of the Essential National Industries Decree is to ensure the viability of specific industries that are vital to the Fijian economy. He also lied about the decree being designed to protect jobs while safeguarding the fundamental rights of workers.
What Sharma means is that the Essential Industries Decree is to protect the profitability of specific industries where the 39 company owners, who are friends of Khaiyum, can continue to export products while paying workers as little as possible. And the workers cannot do anything about it.
But Sharma is right telling the subcommittee that the decree does not destroy the trade union movement in Fiji as alleged. The union can exist but it is powerless and ineffective under the decree.
Sharma also provided more rhetoric [the style of fancy talk designed to impress its audience without sincerity, or locally as tamani lasulasu!] about workers continuing to have fundamental rights including the right to organize, form unions, independently vote for representatives, bargain collectively and develop processes to resolve employment disputes and grievances. But this is all a lie because workers or their unions can not challenge, in a court of law, any decision made by Khaiyum (and his essential industry business owners) against workers. The Fiji unions therefore exist in name only without any ability to stand-up for the workers who are not able to do so for themselves. Under the Essential Industries decree the workers must either accept Khaiyum’s decision, whatever it is, or find another job if they are lucky. Fiji, under the Bainimarama dictatorship, is in its highest level of unemployment.
Sharma also lied to the subcommittee about the successful implementation of the decree in essential industries where workers have freely organized, formed bargaining units and elected representatives. It is only claimed to be successful because it falls within Khaiyum’s range of acceptability. But the workers are not able to express their true sentiments. They can not do so, unless they want to be fired!
Sharma also talked about the constitutional processes being implemented by the military dictatorship and the nationwide dialogue process by the supposedly independent Constitution Commission that will result in the promulgation of a new constitution in early 2013. But this is all rhetoric and only for show, to con the world.
We already know about the scam behind it and that bainimarama and khaiyum have other intentions. They will control the final decision and outcome of the Constitution to suit their needs and keep them both out of jail. A case in point is the non-negotiable immunity provisions dictated by Bainimarama and khayum. But the people of Fiji have objected to it, so we wait to see what does happen.
Another lie by Sharma is about the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulation in January this year, and that Fiji is now operating under the amended Public Order Act. This is more bullshit by Sharma saying that the amendment provides internationally accepted, modern laws to combat terrorism, racial and religious vilification and other serious public order offences. We all know, that the POA is more draconian and worse than the PER and that media censorship still exists in Fiji. Remember the Fiji TV saga. Khaiyum didn’t like what they broadcast so he threatened their business licence! However, the promiscuous PS information Sharon Smith Johns continues to say there is no media censorship. If you believe the promiscuous PS information and say what you think, then watch out! You could be taken to the sodomites military camp.
Yes it’s true that if the decision goes against Fiji, then it would stop Fiji from benefiting from the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme and put 15,000 jobs at risk through loss of exports. Plus their families. But this is what khaiyum is counting on, that the subcommittee will feel compassion for the people, ignore the reality of Khaiyum's actions and vote against the sanctions. A cunning tactic, so let’s see how gullible the subcommittee is and if this exercise was only a mere formality by the US.
But the 15,000 are already suffering through low wages and poor work conditions while Khaiyum and the 39 business owners increase their profit margins!
A number of people suggest that the sanctions will ultimately be good for Fiji as a whole - a short term pain to stop dictatorial decrees, for a longer term benefit for all Fiji workers.
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Tourists not safe in Fiji
Ineffective COMPOL thrives on ceremony
Last week a New Zealand national was evacuated to NZ after he was allegedly assaulted by four people in his hotel room in Nadi.
Four people have been arrested and also charged for their alleged involvement in a series of robberies and break-ins in Nadi over the past few weeks.
But crime has increased since bainimarama overthrew the legally elected government and installed himself as dictator of Fiji. And what is the Commissioner of Police Naivalurua doing to make Fiji a safer place. His lack of leadership has already demoralized the police force and his corrupt practices don't make it any better as these acts help form the organisational culture.
But more importantly, what do the criminals of Fiji think about the police and their chances of getting away with crime? Are they so desperate, for lack of job opportunities, that they commit the crime anyway thinking that they have a good chance of not being caught. Or has bainimarama's arrogant, treasonous, brutal and corrupt actions set a new trend for criminals to follow. Only recently it was reported that the son of a senior military officer was arrested for stealing. What else is going on that Naivalurua doesnt want us to know about.......
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Crosbie Walsh says that to maintain the US trade concessions and prevent future threats from overseas unions, not to mention criticism from many Fiji citizens and the international community, Bainimarama should accept the advice of the FTUC president Daniel Urai:
Remove the decrees that limit the rights of the workers and enable the decrees to be challenged in court.
However, Walsh says that the unions have to ask themselves two important questions of honour. (1) Have they really explored all other means to resolve the problem? And, more importantly, (2) is what they are fighting for worth up to 15,000 other people losing their jobs?
But where does one draw the line when taking a stand against tyranny? Should the unions stand their ground for the long term future of Fiji and ensure the workers and people of Fiji are consulted instead of being dictated to, or should the unions just cave-in because 15,000 jobs may be lost and allow bainimarama to proceed with Khaiyum's draconian decrees that limits the right of the workers and none of it can be challenged in court. This means Khaiyum can do whatever he wants to workers to enrich his family and friends and no worker can do anything about it...... but what do you think??
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The 2000 RFMF Board of Inquiry Report that Bainimarama ordered destroyed