Tag Archive | Fiji democracy

Pensions Questions

In response from my earlier post on the illegal regime’s raid on our pensions, I have received a communication from one claiming to be Fiji Pensioners.

Going on appearances alone, this seems to be a letter from Mr Rickman regarding his pension. Included in the material is a considerable amount of detail which, if true, should surely be kept confidential.

In my opinion, we can not discount the possibility that this has not been sent to this blog from Mr Rickman. It could easily have been sent from the office of the recipient or another who is party to its contents.

Regardless of whoever has sent this in – it is not the intention of this blog to disclose the private details of individual citizens.

If the sender hopes to have this alleged correspondence published on this blog, it will not happen.

If Mr Rickman wants this published, he is welcome to do so elsewhere.

If another party is trying to have this information published on this blog – you lose!

God bless Fiji

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Commonwealth calls for withdrawal of military from Fiji’s govt

26 April 2013, London

1. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its thirty-ninth meeting in London on 26 April 2013.

2. The meeting was chaired by Hon Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. It was also attended by Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Hon John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Hon A J Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Hon Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives; Hon Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone; Hon Bernard K Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Tanzania; Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago; and Hon Nipake Edward Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu.

3. CMAG welcomed the recent adoption by Heads of Government, and signature by The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, of the Charter of the Commonwealth, encapsulating the core values and principles of the Commonwealth. It noted that the Charter reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment inter alia to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, good governance, tolerance, respect and understanding and the role of civil society. As the custodian of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values, the Group pledged to continue to promote these commonly agreed goals.

4. The Group reviewed developments in relation to the country currently on its formal agenda, Fiji.

Fiji

5. CMAG reiterated the Commonwealth’s unwavering solidarity with the people of Fiji, and CMAG’s commitment to Fiji’s reinstatement as a full member of the Commonwealth family, through the restoration of constitutional democracy, the rule of law and human rights, in accordance with the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth.

6. Ministers expressed their regret at the Government of Fiji’s diversion from the previously-agreed constitutional process, which had earlier been welcomed by CMAG and which had attracted widespread public engagement and confidence within Fiji.

7. CMAG called on the Government of Fiji to ensure that the steps now undertaken toward restoring constitutional democracy are credible and inclusive, and similarly enjoy the confidence and support of the people of Fiji, including:

a. a transparent and consultative process to achieve a constitution that accords with Commonwealth and internationally-accepted standards for democracy, good governance and the rule of law, and that genuinely enjoys the endorsement of the people of Fiji;

b. the restoration of the structures necessary for credible elections, including an independent Election Management Body;

c. the ability of political parties and candidates to contest elections freely under fair and consistent rules and on a level playing field;

d. withdrawal of the military from involvement in government; and

e. full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with international law and without undue restriction, including freedoms of speech, association and movement, and a free and independent media.

8. The Group expressed concern about ongoing restrictions on human rights and reports of human rights abuse in Fiji, and emphasised the necessity of full respect for human rights and the rule of law, to create the environment necessary for credible elections.

9. CMAG noted the visit to Fiji undertaken by the Pacific Islands Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group on 12 April 2013, and reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to continuing to work in co-operation with regional and international partners in relation to the Fiji situation.

10. CMAG encouraged the Commonwealth to remain engaged with Fiji in appropriate ways, including the Secretary-General’s ongoing engagement with the Government of Fiji and other stakeholders, also encompassing further exploration of options for the provision of assistance to Fiji in relation to democracy and the rule of law.

God bless Fiji

Final Petition of William R Marshall

The Petition of the regime’s former Justice of Appeal has kept lawyers amused all day.

The only version currently online is in reverse order. If anyone has a copy in natural order, please send it through via Comments and it will be posted on this blog.

God bless Fiji

See how far we have fallen

The regime’s new buddies who are helping them control our cyberspace, monitor our emails and flood our blogs with anti-matter, constantly use deceptions and sleights of hand to obscure how very, very bad things are for us now in Fiji.

One of the great things about the internet is that anything sent via a server is now pretty much ‘held’ somewhere in cyberspace. We can revisit documents, images and snapshots – like long forgotten photo albums – to remember where we have been.

This letter from Human Rights Watch Asia Executive Director, Brad Adams, to Bainivore and the later Tui Vuda, back in early 2007, makes for sobering reading.

For one thing, it reminds us of what life was like under the protection of our 1997 Constitution.

For another thing, it reminds us of what life was like when the idea of innocent civilians being taken to barracks and beaten was still horrific to us.  Nowadays, we are almost blase when we hear someone has been detained, whether a leader or an ordinary person.

It reminds us of what it was like to be able to have the courage to say to the regime that we felt what they were doing is unacceptable.

It reminds us of how it felt to have fundamental rights of expression, assembly, association and to feel that we had a right to humane treatment while in detention.

February 6, 2007

Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
President Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Republic of the Fiji Islands
Government Building
Suva, Fiji

Dear interim Prime Minister Bainimarama and President Iloilo,

We write to share our concerns regarding developments in Fiji since the December 5, 2006 military coup. We urge you to ensure the swift transition to an elected government, and call on you and your officials to immediately and publicly make an unambiguous commitment that fundamental human rights will be respected and those who exercise them will be protected. The conduct of an independent investigation into the death of a person in military custody and allegations of arbitrary detentions, beatings, and harassment of more than a dozen individuals by the military should be a first step towards helping to restore confidence. In addition, we call on you to publicly state that all legal civil society groups are free to continue with their work. Finally, we urge you to protect the independence of the judiciary and the media.

We are particularly concerned about allegations that your government has engaged in arbitrary detention and abuse of particular individuals.

On the evening of December 24, 2006, Ms. Virisila Buadromo, executive director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Mr. Arshad Daud, Ms. Buadromo’s partner, Ms. Laisa Digitaki, a businesswoman, Mr. Imraz Iqbal, a businessman and former journalist, and Ms. Jacqueline Koroi and Mr. Pita Waqavonovono, both youth activists, were taken from their homes by members of the military. No arrest warrants were produced. Between the coup on December 5, 2006 and this incident, some members of this group had received threatening phone calls from individuals who identified themselves as members of the military. The six were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, where they were questioned and beaten by military officials. At least two were hit in the face in the course of their questioning, and one required a neck brace following her release. Another suffered a broken leg and broken ribs. Early the following morning, they were forced to run 10km in the rain to Lami, where they were made to dismantle pro-democracy banners. They were subsequently informed by the Immigration Department that they would not be allowed to leave the country.

The comment from you, Interim Prime Minister Bainimarama, that, “If we need to call [activists] in and say you’re speaking too much, we’ll do it,” would appear to be an unacceptable endorsement of this behavior.

Other detentions and assaults by members of the military are of equal concern. According to our information, at least two dozen people, including civil society activists, but also members of the business and media communities as well as private citizens, have been detained. None appears to have been detained with a warrant. Those detained include:

  • Mr. Kenneth Zinck, former government minister of Labour, who was detained twice (6 December, 9 January). On the occasion of his second arrest on January 9, Mr. Zinck was taken by members of the military to the Namaka barracks near Nadi after he made comments in a publication against the military regime. He was allegedly beaten during his detention.
  • Mr. Mesake Koroi, Fiji Daily Post General Manager (December 8), was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks for speaking out against the military.
  • Mr. Peceli Kinivuwai, United Fiji Party (Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, SDL) National Director (December 9), was also taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks for speaking out against the military.
  • Mr. Robert Wolfgramm, Editor-in-chief of the Fiji Daily Post (December 14), was not given a reason for his detention and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks.
  • Mr. Jagannath Sami, former Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive (December 23, and January 18), was taken to the police station in Lautoka for making statements to discredit the military.
  • Ms. Laisa Vulakoro, Musician (December 28), was questioned by the police after voicing his criticisms of the military.

We note that these actions violate Fiji’s constitution, which guarantees the fundamental rights of expression (section 30), assembly (section 31), and association (section 32). They appear to also violate the rights to be treated “with humanity and respect for his or her dignity” if arrested and detained (section 27 (1)(e)).

The death in military custody of Mr. Nakelo Verebasaga, a land surveyor, particularly merits independent investigation. Mr. Verebasaga did not appear to be suffering from any life-threatening injuries or illness when he was taken into custody on January 5, 2007 for alleged disputes with his neighbors. He too was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the barracks hospital. His body was then taken to Colonial War Memorial Hospital mortuary at 11:30am for a post mortem examination. Military officials have claimed that Mr. Verebasaga had been injured in fights the previous week, and that he had developed breathing problems en route to the barracks. As Mr. Verebasaga died whilst in the custody of the military an independent investigation is essential to establishing a credible explanation for the cause of death and the culpability of any of the military officers in charge of him at the time.

The military’s placing on leave on January 3, 2007 of Chief Judge Daniel Fatiaki and Chief Magistrate Ms. Naomi Matanipobua also raises concerns about your present and future commitment to the rule of law. These two senior members of the judiciary appear to have been dismissed because they are likely to oppose your efforts to suspend the Constitution. An independent judiciary is fundamental to the protection of human rights, and military interference in it constitutes grave disregard for the rule of law.

President Iloilo’s January 4 statement supporting the extension of legal immunity to all coup members and interim Prime Minister Bainimarama’s similar statement on January 7 send a worrying signal that you intend to prevent investigations into allegations of serious human rights abuses perpetrated by members of the military. Any attempt to grant impunity for abuses will undermine efforts to re-establish a stable and democratic Fiji for the foreseeable future.

Human Rights Watch urges that you publicly reiterate your commitments to basic freedoms as guaranteed by Fiji’s constitution, and instruct your officials to conduct themselves accordingly. Finally, you must ensure that elections consistent with international standards are held as soon as possible, and that the results of those elections are honored. Should you fail to do so, the future of human rights in Fiji remains in jeopardy.

Sincerely,

Brad Adams
Executive Director
Asia Division

How very, very far we have fallen.

How very, very badly we need to stand.

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji.

Illegal junta asks – who can we rob next?

Having realised that We The People have no more money, having pre-spent the money they’ve haven’t yet got from selling our natural resources to China and having not been able to hawk their junk bonds, the illegal regime is now hijacking our tourists, filling in the final missing colour in their rainbow of Killing The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Fiji-departure-tax-jumps-50-percent/tabid/372/articleID/240161/Default.aspx

An instant hike  in departure tax from $100 to $150 is so transparently stupid that it almost defies belief. Is this the only way they have left of paying Qorvis? iArse, you have outdone yourself, yet again.

God bless Fiji

Minfo responds to YPCN statement

In the best of Orwellian tradition, the idea that ‘you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order’ Decree if you ‘do not want to create public disorder’ is utterly fatuous.
Let’s turn that one on its head, shall we?
If the regime did not want to suppress the collective will of We The People, it should not feel sufficiently threatened by Us to warrant needing to rule Us by Decree. It would allow Us to elect Our Own representatives to debate the decree before it passes into law. But no. This tinpot regime won’t even allow Us to vote in a Personality Contest without interference.
The regime calls POAD ‘an enabling statute’. This is the same warped, twisted logic that calls the 2006 coup a ‘sunset clause’ on our native land rights. The decree is intended to DISable Our voice. The regime is interested in ENabling nothing of We The People because it fears Our legitimate voice and Our legitimate powers.
How are We The People to voice Our aspirations, Our hopes, Our dreams, which this illegal regime continues to ravage as though Our beloved country were its own personal piggybank?
When are We The People allowed to speak? If they insist on stifling Our collective voice, how else can We The People be heard other than by standing up for Ourselves and saying simply “No. No more.”
God bless Fiji
.

From: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>
Date: 16 January 2012 17:09
Subject: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT
To: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>

Government responds to YPCN LINK

GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT

The Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns released the following statement today in response to the Young People’s Concerned Network:

If the Young People’s Concerned Network seeks to represent the leaders of tomorrow, it will need to do a better job of understanding recent Fijian history and of assessing Government provisions, such as the Public Order (Amendment) Decree—which it misreads either out of a desire to manipulate public sentiment or simply because of ignorance.

To compare the Public Order (Amendment) Decree to most other government’s laws regarding terrorism and extremism, such as the United States or Australia, would reveal immediately that Fiji is in fact more liberal than other countries. The U.S., for example, under the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama, allows the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the U.S., without charge. Fiji does not even come close to this. The United Nations General Assembly further encourages all nations to be proactive in taking steps to “prevent and combat” domestic and international terrorist threats in all their forms.

To be clear: If you do not want to engage in racial or religious vilification or create public disorder, then you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order Act. The amendment is an enabling statute—one that creates a safe place for open discussion and critical thinking across Fijian society for the formation of a true liberal democratic state.

This is because throughout Fiji’s history demagoguery and religious, racial and ethnic vilification have been used openly to harass and intimidate, and at times hold Fiji for ransom. Politicians and religious leaders have used race and religion, not just to denigrate others but as a political tool of ascendency. In the process, they created public disorder, inhibiting true democracy to flourish.

The Bainimarama Government takes seriously the welfare and opinion of Fijian youth, which underscores all of its activities to strengthen the Fijian economy, create jobs, invest in education and technology, and establish the basis for a new future.

-ends-

Probes After BainiVore Loses Rigged Poll

First reported by intrepid Pacific correspondent, Michael Field, on Stuff.co.nz, this story just keeps on giving as a superlative demonstration of the regime’s ethos – incompetent, egotistical, ill-tempered, unpopular and sore losers to boot.  With this kind of attitude, does anyone truly believe these bozos will allow us elections in 2014?

Fiji’s military dictator Voreqe Bainimarama has ordered two regime inquiries after he failed to win a television text message competition for personality of the year.

The regime’s attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told a press conference in Suva that the poll result has been changed and Bainimarama is first – beating out a woman who won it on January 1, Premila Kumar of the Fiji Consumer Council.

Bainimarama, who ended democracy with an armed coup in 2006 and refuses to restore democracy until 2014 at the earliest, claims the text polling run by semi-privately owned Fiji TV and Vodafone, was undemocratic.

“The allegation is that members of the public could text in and give their vote and the announcement was going to be made on the first of January,” Sayed-Khaiyum says.

But they closed the poll on December 30 and ignored 1500 votes sent in on December 31 – and almost all of the votes on the last day were for Bainimarama. The uncounted votes appear to make up almost all of the submitted text votes.

Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji TV has apologised and on January 9 reversed the result awarding the title to Bainimarama.

But the regime has sent a formal complaint to the Commerce Commission and to the Media Development Authority “in respect of unethical practices”.

The authority was established by military decree and has dacronian powers to close down media outlets or force them to change owners – as they did to the Rupert Murdoch owned Fiji Times.

Under the revised Personality of the Year results, Bainimarama apparently scored 1700 votes to Kumar’s 464.

– © Fairfax NZ News

 

January 13, 2012

AAP

Two government inquiries have been ordered after Fijian military dictator Frank Bainimarama lost a television popularity poll.

Fiji TV reported on January 1 that Bainimarama came second in the text poll run by Fiji TV and Vodafone for Personality of the Year, behind Consumer Council chief executive Premila Kumar.

But another announcement was made by Fiji TV on January 9 that Bainimarama was the actual winner, FBC Radio reported.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says he has subsequently reported the matter to the Commerce Commission and the Media Development for unethical practices.

“The allegation is that members of the public could text in and give their vote and the announcement was going to be made on the first of January,” he said.

“Unbenounced (sic) to many members of the public, Fiji TV closed the actual polls on the 30th of December as opposed to the 31st of December.

“We understand that Fiji TV subsequently made an apology and reversing the outcome, but what we are concerned about is the manner in which it was done in the first place.”

FBC said efforts to get comment from Fiji TV “proved futile”.

Blog Fiji Today reported that the December 30 cutoff was made because of “a suspiciously large number of texts on the 31st from numbers allocated to the military”.

One number voted 23 times.

This was considered suspicious by the television station and the earlier cutoff was to avoid the results being tainted, it said.

© 2012 AAP