IS LAISENIA QARASE BECOMING A MARTYR FOR FIJI DEMOCRACY? – Fiji regime continues its persecution of the former Prime Minister – CFDFiji.org

The Corrections Service of Fiji, like every other public institution in Fiji, is controlled by the Army – it is headed by a Lieutenant Colonel. Like every other public institution in Fiji it does nothing which would not be approved of by the current alleged Prime Minister of Fiji, who is head of the Army.

A victim of the hypocrisy of lesser men?

From this we can understand the Correction Services’ latest affront to humanity by declining to transfer a sick old man to a medical facility as distinct from the rigours of the Fiji prisons. The person involved is the former Prime Minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase, who gathered the largest number of votes at the last democratic election held in Fiji.

A long time ago the current illegal Attorney General was boasting that he would prosecute Qarase and drag the case on to keep him out of public life.

Qarase has been outspoken against the regime, including stating that he would stand in any elections to be held by the regime and that he would win them, and, after the latest coup the current alleged Prime Minister agreed and conceded that if fresh elections had then been held Qarase would win them.

The following is the full list of indignities inflicted by the regime upon Laisenia Qarase:

  • He was selectively charged upon outdated offences dating back to the early 1990s whereas those who arranged for his prosecution have never been charged for the much more recent crimes which they have committed, in the current alleged Prime Minister’s case extending at the very least to murder and treason, and in the case of the current alleged Attorney General to not only treason but many other offences.
  • He was tried by an imported Sri Lankan Judge who, together with other Judges is completely discredited in the recent petition of William Marshall QC, former Judge of Appeal.
  • His appeal is being ‘entertained’ if that is the word by another like Sri Lankan import.
  • He is being refused a healthful environment  for recovery from his grave illness.

Clearly Qarase was charged to remove him from public life, by those who should not even be in public life.

The Council deplores the Regime’s treatment of Qarase.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
Cfdfiji.org

JUSTICE MARSHALL’S PLEA – Marshall QC confirms the abrogation of the rule of law in Fiji – CFDFiji.org

The 143 page petition to Bainimarama of William Marshall QC, recently a Judge of Appeal in Fiji, whose contract expired in June this year, confirms clearly what the international

Mr William Marshall QC, former Justice of the High Court in Fiji.

community already knows – namely, that the current regime has abrogated the rule of law and terminated the independence of the Judiciary in Fiji. While these facts are already very well known and proved, Mr Marshall’s additional wisdom is greatly appreciated and he has done the people of Fiji and the international community a great service in showing documentary evidence of the corrupt machinations of the Fiji regime.

In particular Mr Marshall shows how all Judges in Fiji live in fear of the alleged Attorney General and understand clearly that their fates depend upon tailoring their decisions to suit his will; how Sri Lankan judges are relied on having regard to their customary subservience to the Executive; how the alleged Attorney General has grossly interfered in many vital cases including even arranging for the bringing of false murder charges; how he has arranged the selection of compliant Judges and exclusion of those likely to be non compliant; and how he has used the legal system to harass and persecute his perceived foes. Further, his use of the courts to enforce executive wishes is transparently obvious.

Mr Marshall expressly calls for the removal of all Sri Lankan Judges including the Judge who recently convicted Laisenia Qarase.

The former Justice confirms what all international reviews have found: Aiyaz Khaiyum’s actions have destroyed the judiciary and there is no longer any rule of law in Fiji.

Mr Marshall speaks of the doctoring of evidence and distortion of litigation and prosecutions and gives full details of such doctoring and distortion.

Rightly of course Mr Marshall calls for the removal of the alleged Attorney General.

The Council whilst agreeing with that proposal notes however Mr Marshall’s apparent naivety in taking the view that the alleged Prime Minister has been kept in the dark by the alleged Attorney General, and that the alleged Prime Minister does not share the alleged Attorney General’s guilt.

With respect to Mr Marshall, the alleged Prime Minister has been fully aware from the beginning of the antics of the alleged Attorney General. It is ridiculous to suggest that Khaiyum has been acting, in legal terms.’on a frolic of his own’ – Khaiyum simply could not have done what he has done and exercised the power which he has exercised without Bainimarama’s knowledge.

The Council therefore concurs in the removal of Khaiyum but also presses for the removal of the entire regime, and of course its prosecution.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
Cfdfiji.org

US Sanctions on the Generalized System of Preferences Scheme – Bainimarama’s Appeal to Trade Union leaders – CFDFiji.org

While speaking in Lautoka on Saturday as reported in the Fiji Sun of (30/9), Dictator Bainimarama made his eleventh hour appeal on the union leaders against the looming US sanction that will end the duty free market access into the US. His unconvincing and pedantic decries can be best described as; ‘barking up the wrong tree’. He repeated the ridiculous claim blaming the union leaders for the impending sanction when the problem lies within his defunct regime.

The Regime’s blame game continues.

Simply put, the imminent US sanction cannot be attributed to any of the union leaders in any possible manner. The regime leader is emulating the proverbial ostrich the only difference being, instead of the sand, his head is deeply buried in the lies of his disgraced Attorney General.

The truth of the matter is that the Essential Services Decree blatantly violates international labor principles and standards, which is the only reason for the US sanctions. So, if the US government requires these standards be met by Fiji, how is it the fault of the union leaders? Like Fiji, Iraq is also facing the same sanction, so are there people like Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai in Iraq too? The perplexed Bainimarama ought to research issues of such nature to avoid making himself appear a complete fool.

For the purpose of clarity and emphasis, we repeat the following from a joint letter signed by Sharon Burrow, General Secretary International Trade Union Confederation on December 2 2011 to Bainimarama. In her comprehensive letter, Ms Burrow explained in great detail how the Essential Services Decree was in breach of the international labour standards, which if not withdrawn, would result in consequences in the future. Given Bainimarama’s limitations he must have ignored the letter and accepted the assurance from his Attorney General. Today he finds himself caught between the rock and a hard place. Bainimarama had the benefit of good counsel which he paid no heed to and we quote as follows:-

“The Fiji government has issued several decrees that sharply curtail fundamental labor rights in both the public and private sectors. Some of the decrees also eliminate all access to judicial review and redress for past, present, and future violations of those rights or to question the legality of the decrees themselves. These sweeping changes were made without any prior consultation with the relevant trade unions. These decrees include: State Services Decree of 2009 (No. 6); Administration of Justice Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 9); Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10); Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree of 2010 (Decree No. 14); Trade Disputes Decree of 2009 (Decree No. 10); Employment Relations Amendment Decree of 2011 (Decree No. 21); Public Service Act (Amendment) 2011; and the Essential Industries Decree of 2011.

On May 16, 2011, your government promulgated the Employment Relations Amendment Decree which amended the Employment Relations Promulgation of 2007 to exclude all public service workers from the scope of its’ coverage. Thus, roughly 15,000 workers in Fiji’s public service were divested of their important labor rights available under that law, such as collective bargaining and the right to strike, overnight.

On July 29, the government promulgated the Essential Industries Decree, which divested most private sector workers in key industries of their rights. As explained by the ILO Director General Juan Somavia, the decree has “very far reaching implications” including the “ending of existing collective agreements, the designation of new bargaining agents which may not be trade unions, and the possible imposition of compulsory arbitration of disputes and other limits on the right to strike.

Implementing regulations issued on September 9, 2011 subsequently designated the finance, telecoms, civil aviation, and public utilities sectors as essential and purports to allow the military government to include any other industries as and when it wishes.[11]

Together, these decrees are widely viewed as a direct attack on the independent trade union movement, among the strongest voices in Fijian civil society.

In the five years since you assumed power through extra-constitutional means, few steps have been taken to restore the right of Fiji Islanders to participate fully and freely in the governance of their own country. Rather than embracing the important role that civil society, human rights defenders, and trade unions play in good governance, your government has systematically repressed such groups. As international human rights, labor, and press organizations, we urge you to commit publicly to your international human rights obligations and take all necessary measures to protect human rights in Fiji.”

The letter stated – we urge your government to:
  1. Immediately repeal the Public Emergency Regulations – as your government has undertaken to do on several occasions;
  2. Repeal the Media Industry Development Decree, remove government censors from news rooms, and encourage international press organizations to work with the Fiji media to establish a mechanism for self-regulation;
  3. Revise all labor decrees, including the Employment Relations Amendment Decree of 2011 and the Essential Industries Decree of 2011, through a tri-partite process, to ensure compliance with your international obligations to the ILO;
  4. Publicly order security personnel to uphold human rights, in particular fair trial and due process rights, the prohibition on torture, and the right to free assembly and association;
  5. Investigate and prosecute all security force personnel who engage in arbitrary arrest and detention, attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and physical abuse of detainees; and
  6. Publicly commit to an expedited timetable for elections, implementing the right of all Fiji Islanders to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives and to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections.

On Tuesday, 2nd October 2012, Fiji will be facing hearing in the United States that most likely will end the duty free access for 39 companies. 15,000 to 36,000 jobs may disappear completely and all the regime leaders can do is to continue the blame game and play victim when it is the reckless Essential Services Decree that will decimate jobs and industries – an undeniable fact which the regime leader is too afraid to admit.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
Cfdfiji.org

The Military Council must Act to Oust Khaiyum and Restore the Rule of Law – CFDFiji.org

The recent spate of controversies including the shocking revelations from Justice William Marshall QC and the imminent crisis of massive redundancies that would occur once the US sanctions kicks-in; the Military Council has a solemn duty to act and oust Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum from Office of the Attorney General. 

In April 2009, Khaiyum deceptively advised the Military Council to abrogate the 1997 Constitution by taking advantage of the ailing late President Ratu Josefa Iloilo contrary to the pathway set out by the Fiji Court of Appeal for the return of democratic rule. The devious plan of Khaiyum was a self-serving charade of creating a so-called new legal order away from Commodore Bainimarama’s set commitment to the international community within the 97 Constitution. The Khaiyum plan was completely divorced from the original President’s mandate which necessitated the preservation of the 1997 Constitution. His plan was to ensure his long haul in power as Attorney General.  Seemingly, calculative and cunning plot to entrap the Commodore hopelessly beyond the point of return so that he can prolong his stay.

In it lies the ultimate betrayal of the military council’s commitment to return to early elections and a conspiracy to disenfranchise the people of Fiji of their political rights for a very long time. It is little wonder that his father Sayed Khaiyum is seeking to have the 2014 General Elections delayed to 2020.

By 2010, Khaiyum settled in his position neatly surrounded by a small group of leeches who were in it for rewarding contracts and consultancies. He went on a rampage of churning out decrees that starting to occupy public space with media under his tight control through censorship. He then started to weaken the Military Council by plotting against senior military officers who were continuously advising the Commodore to remain committed to the pledge made to the Pacific Forum and the European Union in 2007.

By August 2010, his venom had infiltrated the Council with me and Brigadier General Pita Driti accused on plotting a coup which was really a smokescreen to weaken the military council and make him the exclusive advisor to the Commodore. Sadly he succeeded.

Three and half years after the abrogation of the Constitution; Khaiyum has silenced most of the critics on trumped up charges, created a self-censoring media, stripped the workers of Fiji of their fundamental internationally accepted rights through  the essential services decrees and is gaping like an owl to see the aftermath.  It should be clear to all now that Khaiyum and his group of advisers have hijacked the President’s Mandate and the Appeals Court Ruling for their own selfish agenda.  Fiji has been under the destructive and divisive policies while the military council has been administratively incapacitated.

The nation’s debt has climbed from $2.3 billion 2006 to $4 billion in 2012. Investments are all time low at 2% of GDP and inflation running in double digits. Some 9,000 graduates are jobless and 11,000 pensioners stripped off the benefits by 50%.  Poverty has climbed to unprecedented level while the regime refuses to accept Wages Council’s Chair Father Kevin Barr’s forth recommendation to lift wages. Hospitals around Fiji don’t have morphine and other basic medicine but the health minister lectures people on their responsibility.

Law and order has shaken the fabric of the nation whilst hangers-on are having cocktail on beer budgets. 15,000 jobs will be lost soon and the regime is now befriending the rogue nation of Iran which  wants Israel eliminated.  Police officers enjoy the proceeds of crimes and prefer to sort their differences out in the night club intoxicated from the stolen cash. The nation has really been brought to its knees and it’s time for action.

It is time now for the Military Council to assert its rightful place and wrestle the control away from Khaiyum and his small group of self-serving individuals to avert the looming crisis of unparalleled magnitude which will lead Fiji into abyss of poverty never seen in her history.  We have seen enough and the curtain must fall on the satanic verses chanted by Khaiyum against the people of Fiji.

The Military Council must act now.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
Cfdfiji.org

Fjiileaks website joins blog ranks to take on illegal regime in Fiji

Fijileaks: You could sent to it confidential documents: fijileakseditor@gmail.com

Fijileaks: It also means since the 2006 coup Fiji has been sinking deeper and deeper into mess

Cartoon: It speaks for itself – dictator trying to keep afloat from the mess he has created since 2006

The Crumpled Document: It reveals his fraudulent back-pay of $185,000.

There are many others in his back-pocket – to be revealed soon on Fijileaks

Keep blogging on Fiji Today.

Vinaka vakalevu, to all.

Read on:

http://www.fijileaks.weebly.com

http://www.fijileaks.weebly.com/blog

DOING BUSINESS WITH FIJI – Be very careful with an untrustworthy regime, warns CFDFiji – CFDFiji.org

The Council For A Democratic Fiji (CFDFiji) urges the Pacific Islands Forum to be extremely vigilant in tracking the performance of the Fiji regime in its constitutional review process leading up to elections supposedly to be held in 2014.

The recent visit by the Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) was useful. It forced the regime to make clear public commitments and answer questions it does not normally have to face.

We understand the desire of the MCG to be positive about its re-engagement with the regime. But the CFDFiji warns that this should not blind it to the devious and untrustworthy nature of the dictatorship. It is known for breaking promises.

It was significant that Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama made no attempt to return from one of his expensive overseas trips to meet with the visiting ministers. This lays bare the hypocrisy of his oft-repeated calls for greater engagement with Australia and New Zealand. There was an opportunity for him to engage with both countries and explain his regime’s roadmap to elections. But he chose to stay away and leave the talking to his Attorney General, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was visibly agitated and peeved when the ministers met with a diverse group of stakeholders, including opponents of the regime. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had tried unsuccessfully to exercise some control over the people and organisations with whom the ministers would consult. His idea of dialogue is for him to indulge in a monologue.

The CFDFiji strongly endorses the statement by the Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Bob Carr, that sanctions against the regime, will only be lifted when a free, fair and credible election takes place. Any attempt by Commodore Bainimarama and the Attorney General to gerrymander the outcome will be noted and condemned by the international community. Further sanctions will follow.

The truth of the situation in Fiji is that the environment is still not right for an open and free discussion on constitutional issues. Despite the regime’s claims that the way is now clear for consultations, significant obstacles remain.

The CFDFiji joins with many other major groups in demanding that oppressive, punitive and anti- democratic decrees should be immediately removed. These curtail freedom of assembly, speech and the media and deny justice.

The offending laws include the Media Decree, Essential Industries Decree, Public Order Amendment Decree, State Services Decree and all other Decrees that limit full access to legal rights. If these are not lifted the public participatory dialogue required for a legitimate constitutional process will not be possible.

Professor Yash Ghai, chair of the newly-formed Constitutional Commission knows this. So he now has some decisions to make.

The CFDFiji, like other key stakeholder groups, believes the 1997 Constitution is still in existence. Any constitutional review, therefore, should be based on the 1997 supreme law.

A civilian government must be appointed to guide the review process and manage the elections. This takes on added importance in light of revelations that the Military is considering forming a political party. Commodore Bainimarama has not denied this.

We support the call by the leaders of Fiji’s principal political parties, the SDL, the Fiji Labour Party and the United Peoples Party, for a referendum to be held on the result of the constitutional dialogue.

The regime’s proposed Constituent Assembly to decide on the constitution, will be undemocratic and susceptible to manipulation and control.

Serious issues remain about the continuing involvement of members of the Military in numerous strategic areas of government. This means large sections of the administrative machinery are controlled by Military officers. Their ultimate loyalty is not to the civil service but to their military commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

This militarisation of government was commented on by the MCG. The Group would like it to come to an end.

In recent interview, however, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum indicated that he could see nothing wrong with army officers continuing to serve in government.

This is a very clear indication of his warped view of politics and governance issues. It is also self-serving. He knows the army officer corps is united in its dislike of him and want him out of the regime. He may feel that a statement supporting the military role in the public service will work in his favour.

 

Secretary
Council for a Democratic Fiji
5th May 2012
CFDFiji.org

Please refer to the following link for a copy of this media release.

Media Release – Letter to His Hon. Bob Carr with submissions in relation to his upcoming visit to Fiji – CFDFiji.org

Hon Bob Carr
Foreign Minister
Government of Australia
Canberra ACT
AUSTRALIA

By email

27th April 2012

Dear Minister

RE: YOUR PENDING VISIT TO FIJI

I am writing to you on behalf of the Council for a Democratic Fiji, to seek to emphasise certain vital issues which the Council would respectfully request you to consider during your meetings with representatives of the Fiji regime.

You will no doubt recall the submission recently made by the Council to the Ministerial Action Group of the Commonwealth, and you may also recall the previous submission by the Council to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting at the end of last year. I take the liberty of attaching, for ease of reference, the submission to the Group. That submission sets out the credentials of the Council and evidences its legitimate concerns regarding current events in Fiji, and also shows its representative nature as representing a broad range of interests in Fiji including those of the majority political parties engaged in the last democratically held General Election in Fiji, the Fiji Democracy Movements worldwide including those in Australia and New Zealand, and the Fiji unions and Churches. The submission also annexes the Council’s previous submission to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

For present purposes, I seek to focus upon the issue of the process of consultation regarding Constitutional change offered by the current regime, which process I understand to be scheduled to commence next month. No doubt, the regime would seek your support for that process and acceptance of its legitimacy.

However, as the Council made clear in its submissions, especially that to the Ministerial Action Group, the climate in Fiji, created and deliberately persisted in by the current regime, is wholly unconducive to and indeed inimicable towards the holding of free and democratic consultations.

It is clearly understood from study of the published decision of the Ministerial Action Group that the Group is of like view.

Assurances, promises and blandishments by the regime as to how the consultation will be conducted are in the Council’s view wholly inadequate to allay legitimate concerns regarding the issue of consultations being free and democratic, especially having regard to the past conduct of the regime and the maintenance by the Army of a firm grip upon the people of Fiji.

It is understood that it is the above consideration which has led Australia and New Zealand both to decline to mitigate current sanctions imposed upon Fiji solely by reference to assurances, promises and blandishments by the regime.

For the above reason, the Council respectfully repeats and re emphasises its viewpoint expressed to the Ministerial Action Group that consultation should only occur upon satisfaction by the regime of the following conditions precedent, whose fulfillment would be absolutely necessary to ensure that the climate of discussion would be free, fair and frank:

  1. (I)  Rescission of the Public Order (Amendment) Decree 2012 and its non replacement;
  2. (II)  Rescission of Decrees immunising public officials from public discussion;
  3. (III)  Removal of the Army and security forces from public places;
  4. (IV)  Rescission of all Decrees hamstringing or prejudicing the basic freedoms of expression, communication and assembly;
  5. (V)  Rescission of all restrictions upon leaders of parties which participated in the last democratic election which violate their freedom of expression, communication and assembly and also their rights of movement.

Above are the views already expressed to the Ministerial Action Group.

Further, in regard to item (v), the Council would wish that the leaders of parties which participated in the last democratic election be at liberty without let or hindrance to participate fully in the consultation process.

The Council would further wish that no restrictions be placed by the regime upon the publicising of submissions made during the process of consultation, and that no outcomes be visited upon the makers of same.

The Council respectfully requests that above considerations be paid regard to during your meetings with representatives of the regime.

Sincerely

 

Roko Uluilakeba Mara
For Council for a Democratic Fiji

For this document and further documents, please see the following link for hard copies of same.

 

A loose cannon threatening Fiji – Ratu Mara responds to Col. Tokoitoga’s comments – CFDFiji.org

A loose cannon threatening Fiji

Nukua’lofa, Tonga: Saturday 24th March 2012

Landforce Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, is the Fiji military’s latest weapon of intimidation aimed directly at the people of Fiji. His recent torrent of statements, obviously authorized by Fiji’s dictator, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, is poisoning the political atmosphere.

It is impossible for Fiji to embark on free and open consultations on constitutional change when the army is adopting a threatening public stance. Colonel Tikoitoga is reinforcing the warnings already given by the dictator through speeches, interviews and military parades and marches. The signal Tikoitoga is sending from headquarters is that the army is in charge, it is watching, and ready to act if the Commodore gives the order.

Colonel Tikoitoga has demonstrated once more that, like his leader, he has great difficulties with the truth and has a crude and clueless appreciation of politics.

This is very evident in his recent lectures to Fiji’s politicians about multi-racialism and claims they are clinging to the 1997 constitution because it permits them to appeal to their ethnic voters. He is also demonizing politics and threatening to wipe it from the face of Fiji society.

He is obviously staking out Bainimarama’s claim for the army to have a permanent and aggressive role in the political life of Fiji, against all the principles of liberal democracy.

He is telling a massive lie when he claims that the 1997 constitution was abrogated as soon as the Bainimarama coup was executed in 2006. This, he says, was part of the army’s “clean-up” of Fiji.

His statement underlines the dysfunctional and chaotic nature of the Bainimarama regime.

Colonel Tikoitoga plainly does not know that the number one priority of Bainimarama after 2006 was to uphold the 1997 constitution. He supposedly did that until 2009 when the Court of Appeal ruled his government was illegal. It was only then that Bainimarama purported to abrogate the constitution. By that time it had become part of his so-called Peoples Charter and it is still a bulwark of that misconceived and illegitimate document. So even though the constitution has been allegedly thrown out, it remains central to his policies. That is what is meant by dysfunctional government.

Tikoitoga appears to believe that if racial voting systems are removed from the 1997 constitution the people of Fiji will immediately stop voting on racial lines. This is stupid thinking. It will take a long time for the populace to fully embrace multi-racialism, especially after the damage to inter-racial relationships caused by the Bainimarama coup. Dictatorship, laws and decrees will not change attitudes that are deeply entrenched among Fijians and Indians.

Tikoitoga himself is a key figure in one of the most racist institutions in Fiji. Membership of the Fiji military forces is nearly 100 per cent Fijian. Tikoitoga, the new apostle of togetherness, should tell the nation what his plans are for recruiting Fiji Indian soldiers. In all my years in the Fiji Armed Forces I never heard concerns raised internally about its overwhelming dominance by indigenous Fijians. Bainimarama wanted it to remain that way. Indians were to be largely excluded, just as they have been shut out from Cabinet and other parts of government.

In his obsessive dislike of politics, Tikoitoga is ignoring the very concept of political rights. He does not understand that politics extends through all levels of society. It is part of life.

Tikoitoga continues to justify the 2006 coup, repeating all the false and phony justifications for it. In doing this recently, he made the outlandish claim that Bainimarama was motivated by his understanding of the principles of democracy!

In another outrageous statement recently, Tikoitoga maintained that the Fiji army’s role was no different from that of the New Zealand Army! He knows absolutely that this is a bold-faced lie. The New Zealand Army has never committed treason, established a dictatorship, and suppressed and brutalized New Zealanders.

The Landforce Commander is also telling lies when he says the Fiji military will not play a special part in the constitutional consultations. He is making it very clear in his public posturing that the army will act as an enforcer, to fulfill the will of its Commander. It is ready to support whatever action he takes, even if that is another coup.

The best option for Colonel Tikoitoga at this point is exile to Mali where he could offer to advise the coup leader there, Captain Sanogo, how to completely stuff up his country.

 

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
For the Council for a Democratic Fiji
cfdfiji.org
A full copy of the letter may be found here.

Open Letter to Professor Yash Ghai – CFDFiji.org

Dear Professor Ghai,

RE: YOUR CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE FIJI CONSTITUTION COMMISSION

I am writing to you to express, on behalf of the Council for a Democratic Fiji, my most respectful but grave concern regarding your acceptance of the above Chairmanship.

I must firstly explain the nature of the Council, on whose behalf I am writing to you.

The Council, as its name implies, is dedicated to the restoration of democracy in Fiji. It is a very widely based organisation having amongst its stakeholders the two major political parties who garnered the overwhelming majority of votes cast in the last democratic election held in Fiji, the Methodist Church of Fiji, the Fiji trade union movement, and the Fiji Democracy Movements worldwide.

I attach for your information marked “A”, a release issued following the first meeting of the Council in Auckland, which elaborates further upon the nature of the organisation.

The Council is concerned for the implementation of a return to democracy in accordance with the principles set out by the Fiji Court of Appeal in Qarase v Bainimarama 2009 FJCA 57, 20009 3 LRC 614. I am certain that a distinguished jurist of your stature would be familiar with those principles.

The Council, as I have said, is respectfully but gravely concerned at your acceptance of the Chairmanship of the Constitutional Commission.

There are two reasons for this stance – firstly, that the very purpose of the creation of the Commission – the creation of a fresh Constitution and supplanting of the current Constitution by the creators – appears to be incompatible with the principles set out in Qarase’s case and also with the principles set out in another seminal Fiji decision with which I am sure you are equally familiar, that of the Fiji Court of Appeal in Republic of Fiji v Prasad 20001 FJCA 2, Abu 0078 200S. The said purpose is both illegal and unconstitutional in light of the above decisions, and, that purpose being illegal all steps for the effectuation of that purpose are equally illegal and unconstitutional.

The second reason for this stance is simply that the very process proposed for the doing of the Commission’s work appears having regard to the history of the current regime and the militarisation by it of Fiji life, to inevitably be destined to be other than democratic, in other words, having regard to the history of the regime and its proclivities and the militarisation created by it, due and proper consultations by stakeholders would in any event be impossible, even if the exercise in question is treated as valid. (Which it is not).

Full copy of the letter continued here.

Bainimarama republic – The New Zealand Herald

By Andrew Laxon

An unlikely secret mission reveals how military power has overturned the country’s rule of law. Andrew Laxon reports

English lawyer Nigel Dodds was able to tell the truth as he passed through Customs on his way into Fiji last November. The 62-year-old semi-retired solicitor from Morpeth, Northumbria, was in the middle of a long-planned world trip, so he ticked tourism as the primary reason for his visit. However, the chairman of the English-based Law Society Charity was really on an undercover mission to determine first-hand whether the rule of law had collapsed in Fiji, as reports had claimed.

The evidence looked damning enough. Since Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power in 2006, lawyers who question the military Government’s actions have been rounded up and tortured. The entire judiciary was sacked in 2009 and the Government has ruled by decree since then. However international observers who tried to report on the problems have been turned away.

Dodds thought he might have more luck with a low-key approach. He figured no one would take too much notice of “an elderly gentleman tottering round the world” so, with the help of a few advance phone calls, he worked his way round the main island, Viti Levu, chatting to current and former judges and lawyers in a series of clandestine meetings in bars, restaurants and coffee shops. (Fiji’s public emergency regulations banned any meeting of more than three people without a permit.)

He tapped the brains of the British High Commission and international agencies working in Fiji and tried less successfully to get the views of ordinary Fijians, who were reluctant to speak out.

His report, published last week, was unequivocal. Fiji is effectively a dictatorship, with no rule of law, no democracy, no freedom of expression and no legal way for citizens to challenge Government decisions. Dodds sees little hope in the short-term, as the military has the power to suppress virtually all dissent and rewards those who support it. But he believes other nations can and must speak up against Bainimarama’s abuse of power, as ordinary Fijians can no longer do so.

Under the decree system, courts cannot rule on Government decisions in any way. Notices on courtroom walls remind lawyers and judges not to go down this track and if any cases do slip through the net, the Government-appointed chief registrar can simply terminate them.

“Given you’ve got no right of assembly, you’ve got a controlled press, there’s no way legally to challenge the Government,” he told the Weekend Herald this week from his home in England.

“Even people sticking up minor graffiti are charged with sedition. That’s actually happening… It’s absolutely monstrous.”

Fiji’s legal and political problems date back to 1987, when Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka led an abortive coup in May, followed by a successful attempt in September. Rabuka, who later became Prime Minister, changed the constitution to guarantee indigenous Fijians dominance in Government. Despite this, an Indo-Fijian-dominated Labour Party headed by Mahendra Chaudhry managed to win power in 1997. It was overthrown in 2000 by George Speight, who occupied Parliament and held the government MPs hostage for 56 days.

Witnesses say Bainimarama wanted the military to take over then, but was persuaded to allow the formation of a new Government, headed by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. After two coup attempts, which failed when senior officers refused to support him, Bainimarama seized power in December 2006 and suspended Parliament, which has not sat since.

According to a comprehensive 2009 report by the International Bar Association Human Rights Association – compiled from phone interviews because the group was not allowed to visit – judges soon became the victims of a series of attacks and intimidation. Justice Gordon Ward’s home was burned down while he was on holiday. The suspected arson was never investigated. Justice Gerard Winter’s car was sabotaged by the removal of key mechanical components, which could have resulted in a serious accident. Justice Roger Coventry was reportedly followed by military officers after he made a ruling awarding costs against the interim Attorney-General. The report said lawyers who spoke against the Government were taken from their homes late at night, detained in military barracks and subjected to violence.

The entire judiciary was gradually replaced with judges willing to do the regime’s bidding. Within days of the coup, Justice Daniel Fatiaki, who had provided legal advice to Bainimarama’s opponents in the 2000 Speight coup, was forcibly removed from office on questionable charges.

He was replaced by Justice Anthony Gates, who had previously supported upholding the constitution in defiance of the 2000 coup. By this time however, Gates’ reputation was severely tarnished – overseas-based judges on Fiji’s Court of Appeal found he told guests at a cocktail party that he would “put away” a prominent chief, Ratu Takiveikata, on criminal charges relating to the coup. The three New Zealand and Australian judges who ordered a retrial found Gates lied under oath when he denied in court that he had made the statement.

At the end of 2007, six New Zealand and Australian judges resigned from Fiji’s Court of Appeal, apparently because they felt they could no longer work with the military regime. Other judges resigned or let their appointments lapse in 2008, some explicitly blaming the regime for their decision.

When three Australian judges on the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision in April 2009 and declared the coup unlawful, the Government simply sacked all the judges and began ruling by decree.

Dodds’ report says Chief Justice Gates has since used his personal connections to recruit large numbers of judges from Sri Lanka on short-term but renewable contracts. It says the quality is seen as variable and independence from the regime must be difficult.

The report says newly qualified lawyers and recent Sri Lankan imports make up the bulk of staff at the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Four directors have been sacked or replaced since April 2009. The current director is former Solicitor-General Christopher Pryde, a barrister in Christchurch until 2007, who this week described Dodds’ report as spreading “false, outrageous and inflammatory allegations against the country’s judicial system”.

Dodds says he deliberately spoke to a range of people, from supporters to opponents of the regime.

He rejects the argument, sometimes put up by the regime’s supporters in New Zealand, that Bainimarama has done the country a favour, even if his methods are a little harsh.

“That’s been the excuse of most dictators, that they are actually making things better for the people and running things more efficiently.”

In a comparison guaranteed to end any prospect of a return visit, he adds: “Mussolini made the trains run on time.”

Blow by blow

December 2006:
Military commander Frank Bainimarama seizes control in a coup. He suspends Parliament, which has not sat since.
2007-08:
Senior judges and lawyers are subjected to attacks and intimidation, including torture and suspected arson and sabotage. The Chief Justice is removed from office but after two years all charges are dropped and he receives a $275,000 settlement.
2007:
New Zealand and Australian judges on Fiji’s Court of Appeal find the new Chief Justice has lied on oath.
March 2009:
The International Bar Association Human Rights Institute produces a scathing report on the collapse of the rule of law in Fiji.
April 2009:
Australian judges on the Court of Appeal overturn a finding by local High Court judges that the coup was legal. The military government sacks all judges and begins to rule by decree. It bans any meeting of more than three people under public order regulations.
November 2011:
English lawyer Nigel Dodds visits Fiji on a secret fact-finding mission.
January-March 2012:
Public order regulations are suspended but fresh decrees and arrests occur. Elections – originally set down for 2009 – remain promised for 2014.

Please see the following link to the original article on the NZ Herald Website.

The Bainimarama Brief – Crimes, Deceit and the Ruination of Fiji – CFDFiji.org

Crimes, Deceit and the Ruination of Fiji

A paper for United States Congressman Eni F H Faleomavaega

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, a representative of the CFDFiji, was present at the meeting you had with Bainimarama and his Military Council on February 19th 2007. The Council thought the discussion was largely positive, in the tactical and strategic sense. The proof of this was that you were so impressed with what you heard that you became a key backer of Bainimarama.

The extensive briefing papers he sent to you after the February 19th discussion are a useful reference point for this submission. We have copies of those documents. The CFDFiji’s examination of the goals set out reveals starkly that Bainimarama and the man who manipulates him, his “Minister for everything” Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, have given Fiji a spectacular record of failure and deception in the last five years. They are the chief protagonists in the dictatorship and make the main decisions. Sayed-Khaiyum’s counsel normally prevails.

Their leadership is disastrous. It is directed at one objective – to save themselves from the consequences of their crimes. That was Bainimarama’s driving compulsion for executing the coup.

We now look at some of the prime aims of the Bainimarama government as laid out in the so- called “mandate” he sent you. The mandate has no legitimacy because it has no proven popular support.

It is essentially fiction.

Please see the remainder of the paper here.

Ratu Tevita Mara’s Response to Announcement by the Regime on Constitutional Process – CFDFiji.org

Canberra: 9th March 2012

As expected, the constitution process announced today by Banimarama has all the hallmarks of control and bias associated with his regime. It will not pass any international test of credibility and independence.

“He is clearly embarking on a so-called consultation that will be stacked in his favour and propelled by a massive regime propaganda exercise which must be rejected ” says Ratu Mara

Two of the three people appointed initially to his Constitutional Commission to engage in a “civic education process”, should resign immediately. Professor Nandan is a prominent Bainimarama disciple who has publicly and lavishly praised his 2006 coup. Taufa Vakatale is widely-regarded as a Bainimarama supporter who has willingly accepted appointments by the regime. Their sympathies will obviously come into play during the consultations.

The Chairperson, Professor Yash Ghai, is certainly experienced in constitution-making and is familiar with Fiji. However, his role as academic supervisor to Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, Bainimarama’s chief collaborator, when Sayed-Khaiyum prepared a controversial thesis on indigenous Fijian culture, raises questions about his appointment. The same applies to his earlier role as a constitutional consultant to certain Fiji political parties.

The evidence for the planned national brain-washing is contained in Bainimarama’s reference to government collating and printing material for “civic education”.

He is intent on forcing the People’s Charter for Change down people’s throats. This has been adopted by the government as its own manifesto. But it does not have a valid mandate from the people. If the Bainimarama manifesto is to be the ideological reference point for the constitution then the manifestos of political parties with proven support should also be put to the people.

The details about the planned constituent assembly are very vague and obviously have not yet been fully thought out. But one thing can be certain, it will be Bainimarama’s creature – expected, ultimately, to do his bidding.

He should tell the people whether the army will be sitting in the constituent assembly.

Which political parties will qualify? Who will decide on the assembly’s membership?

There are real grounds for scepticism about the level of freedom Fiji citizens can exercise to make their views known. It appears that only those who Bainimarama thinks are “forward-looking” will make the grade. This is coded language indicating intolerance of dissenting views. Similarly his comments urging people not to be distracted by “petty politics and politicians” is another warning sign.

Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum are fixated on a new constitution when there are very strong legal grounds for believing that the 1997 constitution, which they purported to abrogate, is still in existence.
The Council for a Democratic Fiji which I speak for, takes the position that the constitutional deliberations should use the 1997 constitution as their framework. This would be more acceptable to the people of Fiji and the international community. Bainimarama should have no problem with the 1997 constitution because he championed it after the 2006 takeover of the elected government.

It is not surprising that Bainimarama has apparently turned his back on a referendum as a vehicle for establishing support for proposed constitutional changes. A free and fair referendum would be far too democratic for Bainimara’s liking.

Bainimarama has already poisoned the atmosphere by his recent threatening and belligerent comments about the constitutional review and his public displays of military might. He gave a radio interview about the proposed review which exposed his true feelings. In that interview he urged the former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry and “everybody else” to “shut up and listen to us”. This was the authentic voice of a tyrant who hates and fears dissent.

 

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji
10th March 2012
cfdfiji.org

Keith Locke says there’s no point believing that Fiji’s interim government has any intention of holding elections.

Forum must act now against Fiji says NZ MP

Posted at 19:19 on 04 September, 2011 UTC

A New Zealand MP says the Pacific Islands Forum must act now against Fiji’s interim government.

The Forum, without Fiji, which has been suspended for 2 years, holds its annual leaders summit in Auckland this week.

The comment, by the Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson, follows the introduction in Fiji of a decree restricting union activity as well as the banning of the Methodist Church’s annual conference for the third year running.

Keith Locke says it’s important that New Zealand and Australia take the lead at this week’s meeting of Forum leaders in committing member countries to stronger sanctions against the regime.

“If the Forum doesn’t stand up now at this meeting then it’s sending a signal to the regime that they might as well relax, that they can continue indefinitely and even bring in further repressive legislation and measures.”

Keith Locke says there’s no point believing that Fiji’s interim government has any intention of holding elections.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

The other side of the story and a plea for PIDS to check the facts offered.

Diplomacy of Deceit

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1109/S00054/diplomacy-of-deceit.htm

Sunday, 4 September 2011, 12:25 pm
Press Release: Fiji Democracy Movement.

Diplomacy of Deceit

02 September 2011

Oh what a tangled web they weave when they set out to deceive, to coin a line from the Marmion (1808).

And that is exactly what the Military Junta did, through a propagandist when he spun a make-believe fairy tale to the Representatives of the Pacific Islands Developing States (PIDS) at their Meeting in Nadi on August 31.

According to the Fiji Sun, the propagandist, a Junta mouthpiece (with tooth decay), told the PIDS representatives that the illegal and repressive regime “will lift the living standards of all Fijians.” The junta has a peculiar way of showing it since, under its power and control, living standards are not being lifted but are spiralling downwards. Some 45% of the Fiji people now live in poverty. Hunger and starvation stalk the land.

The propagandist continued to spin more lies and deceit when he spoke of sustained economic growth. The truth is that the national economy has had annual declines since the illegal Military Coup of 2006. Not only that, but unemployment has skyrocketed, the cost of living has increased by 20%, and the National Debt is unsustainable. The economy is going down the drain, and so is Fiji. “

More lies presented to the PIDS representatives include:

• the illegal regime’s stand against systemic corruption in the country. This is perhaps the biggest lie of all. The murderer commander Voreqe Bainimarama who, with his illegal Attorney-General, Aiyaz Khaiyum, pay themselves some $700,000 each annually. They keep their money in offshore bank accounts and refuse to disclose the amount to the people of Fiji.

• Corruption in the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), by the murderer Bainimarama and Khaiyum regime, has left it in a state of collapse. The future of 10,000 pensioners is now questionable.

• Public Enterprises, including Air Pacific, administered by the junta and their incompetent Permanent Secretary, are collapsing. The motto in Fiji now is: join the illegal regime, fill your pockets, and open offshore bank accounts.

• Another big lie spun is the junta’s intention to create fundamental principles in a new Constitution. It was the junta who, when Bainimarama’s coup took place, publicly announced that it fully supported the 1997 Constitution and that the Constitution would remain in force. They lied. Bainimarama abrogated the Constitution as soon as the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled, in 2009, that Bainimarama’s coup was illegal, the regime was illegal, and all acts by it are illegal.

This means that the Peoples Charter is illegal, the decrees are illegal, any new Constitution will be illegal, and the 2014 Elections will be illegal, pursuant to the ruling of the Court of Appeal. So how can anyone believe that free and fair elections will take place in 2014.

What the military junta did not tell you:

1. fundamental rights and freedoms of the people have been removed by the Public Emergency Regulations
2. the Rule of Law no longer exists
3. mass media is muzzled and censored
4. many citizens, men and women, have been taken to Military Headquarters and beaten, tortured and the women raped
5. there is a Decree and Order emasculating the Trade Union Movement
6. the Methodist Church is being repressed
7. their acts to destroy the Indigenous Rights of the Fijian People through scrapping the Great Council of Chiefs and creating a Land Bank to steal ancestral Fijian Land.

What the illegal regime also failed to tell you is that there is now a popular movement internationally, in the region, and in Fiji itself, to remove the Fiji military junta and to restore democracy, parliamentary government, human rights and the rule of law.

In Australia and New Zealand, Freedom and Democracy Movements are operating. In Fiji, a policy of passive resistance by the people, the Methodist Church, the Trade Union Movement and the Viti Revolutionary Force has begun The murderer Bainimarama and his illegal junta will fall and we, as a region, will need to work together.

So through this statement, I humbly request that the learned PIDS representatives take the time to analyse and assess the accuracy of ALL statements presented to them by the Fiji military junta and its representatives. The oppressed people of Fiji need you to know the truth, and the “truth” will help set them free!

Tuesday Choir Practice considered a threat to the Fiji Government and banned under PER.

Dear Wesley Family,
Glory be to our Father in heaven who blesses us with more than we need.
I received a call from our Divisional Superintendent last night. We wish to inform you that a further NOTICE has been issued by the Government, which is:
There shall be no meetings, worship or fellowship services/programmes permitted in all Methodist Churches from MONDAY through to SATURDAY for every week until further notice. The only services/programs permitted in Church are the regular Sunday worship services.All other services/programs are not allowed. For Wesley City Mission Church, the services/programmes not allowed are:

  • Women’s Fellowship Prayer Group who meet in Church every Monday week at 10am.
  • Suva Central Cell Group meeting
  • 10.45am Choir Practice who meet in Church every Tuesday week at 5.30pm.
  • Mid-week Holy Communion service held every Wednesday week at 1.05pm
  • Youth Fellowship who meet every Friday week in the Lower Hall at 7.00pm
Church Administrators and Secretaries, please kindly inform your Chief Stewards and Vakatawas of this NOTICE and ensure that all fellowship/ministries that use your Church premises during the week are informed as well.
I apologise about any inconvenience caused and humbly ask that you continue to pray and fast. My sincere thanks for your continued prayers for our Divisional Superintendent and for the Leaders of the Methodist Church. The Circuit Administrator will update you on any further developments. In all this, God is in control. Praise be to God!
“When Daniel learnt that the order had been signed, he went home. In an upstairs room of his house there were windows that faced towards Jerusalem. There, just as he had always done, he knelt down at the open window and prayed to God three times a day”. Daniel 6:10
In His Service,
For Wesley Division,
Apenisa Katonivualiku
Divisional Steward

They will no longer “turn the other cheek!”

Another Dictator Falls

Sunday, 28 August 2011, 9:32 pm
Press Release: Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara

BY RATU TEVITA MARA, 27 August 2011

August 23rd was a propitious day for democracy groups. It was the day the brave and valiant people of Libya took control of Tripoli from Muammar Gaddafi, the tyrant, and his oppressive and corrupt Government.

I extend my warmest congratulations to the brave people of Libya.

The oppressed and long-suffering people of Fiji are also taking a stand against Bainimarama’s evil, corrupt and brutal regime. They will no longer “turn the other cheek!”

The respected and venerable Methodist Minister, Rev Tevita Koroi, defied the military goons that were sent to take him to the RFMF Headquarters for a beating by the tyrant Bainimarama. Reverend Koroi refused to budge saying, “Shoot me if you want, but I am not going with you.”

This venerable soldier of God prevailed over the tyrant Bainimarama. It was also a victory for democracy The Dictator Bainimarama and his conman Khaiyum, cancelled the Methodist Conference because the three top Church officials refused to bow down to the military junta. The officials won a victory for democracy.

The Methodist officials were seized by the RFMF and taken to military HQ. I do not know what transpired but I do believe that their dedication to God and to his Ministry was stronger than Bainimarama, his hooligans and their guns. This was another victory for democracy.

People of Fiji, the Viti Revolutionary Forces (VRF) have also started their campaign to remove the illegal military junta and to return freedom, democracy and the rule of law to Fiji. Lend your support.

Stand up and denounce the oppressive and illegal military junta led by the murdering power mad Bainimarama and Khaiyum. Support the Methodist church. Start civil resistance now. Go on leave, distribute confidential documents and ignore orders or lend your support however you can. Satyagraha!

Together, like the brave and valiant people of Libya, we will remove, in the very near future, the tyrant Bainimarama and his evil, corrupt and brutal regime. And together, we will rebuild Fiji.

Media under tight controls after graffiti attacks.

Fiji tightens censorship rules following anti-regime graffiti

Posted at 05:48 on 26 August, 2011 UTC

Censorship rules in Fiji have been tightened today in a week during which soldiers have been photographed removing anti-regime graffiti from public places.

Today a local broadcaster aired a story about the graffiti and earlier in the week the photographs reached a wide internet audience.

Fiji’s media has operated under censorship since April 2009, when the military regime abrogated the constitution and imposed emergency regulations restricting the nature of reportage to what the interim government terms the journalism of hope.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s interim government promised to lift the regulations with the introduction of a media decree in June last year but both systems of censorship remain in place.

In a mass email today to media outlets and journalists the Ministry of Information asked for all news headlines to be sent to the censors half an hour before stories are published.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith-Johns, declined to comment on the matter.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Dear Publishers

You are hereby requested to send in all news headlines to mediamonitor@info.gov.fj at least half an hour before it is aired.

This will enable us to effectively monitor the coverage for each day.

Your cooperation will be appreciated.

Vinaka

Kalpana Prasad and Qilioani Ravunibola
Media Monitor/Censor
Ministry of Information
Ph: 990 4956 and 990 8885

A paid advertisement from fijipensioners Grey Power advertising our website was refused last week by the Fiji Times

A Biased Fiji Times Management?

http://fijipensioners.com/2011/08/25/a-biased-fiji-times-management/

Dear Grey Power Editor,

A Selina Fotu of Nasinu wrote a letter to the Editor which was published in the Fiji Times today (25/8/11) on the changes proposed by the FNPF Board and Government to our pensions.

What we found surprising was that a letter about the FNPF was actually published by the Fiji Times when pensioners’ letters have not been published at all on any FNPF subject. Moreover, a paid advertisement from fijipensioners Grey Power advertising our website was refused last week by the Fiji Times on the ground that its lawyers had advised not to publish it.

When queried, the Fiji Times pleaded the subjudice rule, that is, that the issue is before the court. Yet Ms Fotu’s letter supporting the proposed changes by the FNPF is published. We wonder- just where is Fiji Times coming from? Self-censorship? As we used to say in the good old days, ‘(Fiji Times), you’ve come a long way, baby!’.

Let us now deal with Ms Fotu’s letter to the Fiji Times editor.

First, the letter does not say whether she is a pensioner. I am sure if she was a pensioner she would not be singing this song of.,.’ I say go for it FNPF, make those changes..’

Secondly, it is curious that of all the public statements by the FNPF made in recent weeks, Ms Fotu chooses to refer to section 63 of the FNPF Act as justification for the reduction to pensions, the same one that Aisake Taito rather unconfidently cited on TV 1 when the Burness case first went to trial. Section 63 of the Act says nothing about reducing peoples’ pensions. This particular point makes us wonder whether Ms Fotu is actually someone at the top of FNPF in disguise. Of course our letter in response to Ms Fotu would never get published in the Fiji Times otherwise we could have a real debate about the FNPF Act and how it is interpreted by pensioners themselves- the duty to supply information to the beneficiaries for one- sadly neglected by FNPF.

The other point Ms Fotu makes is that ‘only 11 per cent of pensioners will be affected by the changes’. Right madam- that 11 per cent don’t matter do they? Perhaps not to you if you are being heartless and ruthless. But it matters to everyone else- we are not pensioners but we support the right of pensioners to stand up for themselves and defend and protect what is theirs- a product of their hard work and savings. But unless Ms Fotu is a pensioner, she will not understand that. She must be one of a handful of people not standing up to support the pensioners in their fight for justice. Shame on you Ms Fotu.

Grey Power supporter.

More pressure for church president Reverend Ame Tugauwe and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu to make a decision – given the new threat to close down the methodist church.

All Methodist church meetings banned, Stewards to meet

Thursday, August 25, 2011

http://www.radiofiji.com.fj/fullstory.php?id=39347

The Military Council has written to the Methodist Church banning all meetings that are sanctioned under the church constitution.

The letter from the Military Council to the Church was obtained by FBC NEWS this morning. The letter directs that all 9 meetings under the Church constitution – including the monthly, quarterly, Standing Committee, financial and divisional meetings – all be banned.

The Military Council states that ban is being enforced as the Church failed to heed or adhere to directives for the President and General Secretary to step aside – as they have a case to answer in Court.

The Council concludes that the only way forward for the Church is to look within itself and make changes that puts it on the right path.

FBC NEWS understands the ban on the 9 meetings under the constitution will lead to the collapse the Methodist church administration and severely affect funding.

Meanwhile a permit has been approved by the Fiji Police Force for the Church President and General Secretary to hold a meeting with church stewards or Tuirara levu from the different divisions.

FBC News has been reliably informed the Tuirara Levu will ask church president Reverend Ame Tugauwe and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu to make a decision – given the new directive.

The meeting is currently underway.

Report by : Apisalome Coka

Fiji government’s contribution were being withheld by the military regime until he left……….Professor Wadan Narsey

Academic says Fiji university pressured to remove him

Bruce Hill

http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201108/3300602.htm?desktop

A former University of the South Pacific economist says he has left his position in Fiji because the interim government was unhappy about his work.

Professor Wadan Narsey, who is on sabbatical in Japan, has told Pacific Beat the interim government had been threatening to withhold funds from the university.

“The problem really was that the university told me, the management told me that they were financially jeopardised because the Fiji government’s contribution were being withheld by the military regime, and also on the back restructuring of government scholarships to USP and the other two national universities,” he said.

“So there was very clearly great risk in terms of damage to the university’s financial future because the military regime was extremely unhappy with me.”

He says his decision to leave was by mutual agreement between himself and the university.

Professor Narsey says the regime is probably upset with the articles he has written about its plans to reduce exisiting pensions, which has resulted in court action.

“What has happened is that they seem to be wanting to go ahead with the plans to reduce the pensions of existing pensioners, a large group of them, more than a thousand people, and these pensioners have taken them to court and are fighting them in court, and they’re coming out clearly with statements which are challenging the whole legality of this regime as well,” he said.

“All of a sudden what might have been a doddering old academic, blathering away on the blogs and all that, suddenly it has been translated into some very real action on the ground by all these pensioners, former corporate types and very responsible people.”