December 04, 2009

No YOU Are Wrong Sir Paul

This chap and his recent views disappoint and concern us greatly. So much so, we can hardly believe that he was one of the key architects of our Constitution.

No Sir Paul, YOU are wrong. And bloody damned well wrong too.

The foreign policies of Australia, New Zealand, USA, EU, Japan, the PIF and the Commonwealth and all the bigwig countries in relation to Fiji ARE working and that is why Fiji's military junta continues to be isolated. They detest it. Any treasonous usurper would feel the same because the validation of their rule comes under serious scrutiny especially when they have all forms of dissent clamped down domestically.

Reeves' notion that the travel sanctions are not hurting Bainimarama's inner circle of military supporters is also totally false. It annoys the hell out of them that they cannot enjoy their ill-gotten means abroad in Australia, NZ and the USA -- its Psychology 101!! This nouveau illegal "elite" need to feel bigger, better and more powerful than the common people (because the strutting on the streets with their AK47's phase is over) and what better way to do that then to splurge and be seen to splurging abroad.

And to add insult to the injury Sir Paul suggests that Fiji needs incentives to return to democracy. This is downright ridiculous. There will never be enough money to entice the Treasonous Terrorist that is Frank Bainimarama, to return Fiji to it's people.

Why it was only3 months ago when Sir Paul himself expressed his disappointment at the treatment Bainimarama dished out to him and for him to now suggests that NZ should pander to his whims should be seriously questioned.

Now if Australia and New Zealand really want to step up SMART sanctions they should consider opening up the seasonal worker schemes to non-junta-related Fijians.

Sir Paul's media statement below:
Reeves Urges Re-Think Of NZ Foreign Policy On Fiji
Friday, 4 December 2009 - 8:20am

Wellington, Dec 3 NZPA - Former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves -- who helped rewrite Fiji's constitution -- has called for a re-think on New Zealand's foreign policy over Fiji, including the controversial sanctions.

Sir Paul told a Pacific policy conference in Auckland that Fiji needed incentives, rather than punishment, to move to democracy, Radio NZ International reported.

The sanctions against Fiji were not working and did not affect the military, he told the conference at Auckland University,

Foreign policy needed to offer a range of incentives and encourage the military government to "engage".

Coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama had stated he wanted democracy, so he must be asked what help he needed.

Dr Rod Alley of the Centre for Strategic Studies separately said there was no point in the Government trying to speak directly to Cdre Bainimarama.

Dr Alley said Sir Paul Reeves' meeting with Cdre Bainimarama showed any discussions with him were unlikely to result in a start to dialogue within Fiji, and a more subtle approach was needed.

"The man's conduct lately has been pretty obdurate and these options of somehow getting a line to Bainimarama are going to take patience."

December 03, 2009

Budget Shows We Are Going Backwards: Narsey

Prof Wadan Narsey takes to the airwaves of Radio Australia and breaks down the military regime's budget fairytale again.

Since March this year, Narsey has been sounding the alarm about the imminent risks to our pension fund which the military regime is using as a cash-cow of convenience, with no immediate plans to repay the debt to us.

He also breaks down the statistical rhetoric versus the reality of the picture that the stats paint.
Fiji's economist blasts interim government's budget
Updated December 2, 2009 17:57:35

A leading Fiji economist says figures provided in the country's budget show the country is going backwards. University of the South Pacific economist Professor Waden Narsey says although the military and police have seen their budgets boosted since the 2006 coup, Fiji is actually going to see its GDP decline by two and a half per cent. He tells Bruce Hill that overseas investment has dropped by 50 per cent since the coup, the country is producing less food which means it has to pay for imports, tourism is down by two percent and the government has resorted to borrowing to pay for everything.

Listen to the interview here.

NARSEY: Well the data that has been given out with the budget documents indicates that we are just still going on the downward slide. We have a six-and-a-half per cent decline in GDP in 2007, just about zero percent growth in 2008, and now it is confirmed, that there is going to be about two-and-a-half percent decline at least this year. So when you combine that with the fact that the STID investment fees, the investment board data on the amount of investment that they have approved, it just simply shows a steady downward decline from 2006, as of about just over one billion dollars. It is down to about 400 million dollars in 2008, and we are not being given the figures for 2009.

Now this is only the investment project approved. Whether what fraction of this has been implemented is anybody's guess, because the chances are that most of the foreign investment are on hold, because people are very, very insecure about the climate here.

HILL: Well, what about domestic production? I mean obviously the more you produce in terms of raw materials and food domestically, the less you will have to pay in bringing in terms of exports. How is Fiji doing with growing its own food?

NARSEY: Yeah, well it seems that the data is very clearly indicating that we are going backwards. I mean the sugar output for instance, and that's the key agriculturral output is certainly declining since 2006. It is at record low levels now. The production of other food crops are showing a general downward slide and what is worse of course is that the proportion of total consumption, even those things where we are supposed to be mounting import substitution effort, the percentage being produced locally has been going down. for instance, for rice, for dairy products and even for something like beef. So the real economy is not going and tourism which was a great hope. I think the 2009 arrival figures will be barely below the 2006 arrivals. So despite the very, very large amount being pumped into the market of tourism, combined with the global crisis and all that, that tourism is not going to show any great dramatic growth. All these budgets for the last two or three years always had very, very rosy projections about the future and none of these projections have ever been realised. So why would anyone want to believe the military government's projectiions about what is going to happen in 2010 or 11 or 12.

HILL: Well, if things are going backwards as you suggest, how is the government actually functioning on a day-to-day basis? Where is it getting its money from?

NARSEY: Well, what they are doing basically is they have increased expenditure in two particular areas, especially military expenditure which has gone up by 28 million dollars per year compared to the very healthy position even in 2006, and the police have also gone up with all kinds of ways, and the revenues have not been growing. In fact the revenue has been very, very stagnant in real terms. So essentially what the government has been doing is borrowing. They are going to borrow almost 500 million dollars this coming year. They have increased the public debt as a proportion of GDP, expect to be rising from 2007. I think it is about 52 per cent this year.

The tragedy also is that in the last three years, they have made the terrible mistake of borrowing abroad, which means that there is a larger part of our public debt has been denominated in foreign currency, which has been got to be paid for by export earnings which are not going. So we are looking at problems ahead and really what this government is doing is instead of curbing in their current expenditure and all that, they basically are borrowing and passing the burden onto the next generation.

HILL: How long do you think the government can keep paying for its activities through borrowing? Is there some point at which it hits the wall?

NARSEY: Well, the problem is that they have got a cash cow in Fiji which is our National Provident Fund, which is the only pension fund for Fiji and governments through the Reserve Bank, they have forced the pension fund to bring back all the international investments, which means the pension fund has a real problem on its hands. The private sector is not going, so there is very few bankable projects to lend to in the private sector and so what the essence is to lend to the only other borrower that can lend to which is government. And already something like 80 per cent or more of its loans are to government statutory organisations and it is at a very, very dangerously high level. The IMF has to be warned that they should not be investing any more in government securities. The problem is they are unable to invest abroad. They have to invest somewhere or those funds will lie idle and end up in Europe and it will be a burden on the other interest earning assets they have. The very end of lending to government and the tragedy of course also is the permanent secretary of finance. It is a New Zealand citizen who has been appointed without going through the PSC. He has been made the chairman of the pension fund board. So basically the ministry of finance is going to borrow from the pension fund and you have got the borrower and the lender basically being the same people.

December 02, 2009

The Real Budget Analysis

If ever there was a time when truth to power needed to be spoken, it was during the recent illegal budget announcement.

Unfortunately no one holds a candle to Prof Wadan Narsey and his bold analysis of the true budget story.

Prof Narsey's verdict is available on both Coup 4.5 and RFN and is a Must Read.

Local accounting firms have apparently also made public their various analyses on the budget, namely: G.Lal & Co; Ernst & Young; KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Interestingly we do find it most interesting that the regime's "pliant handmaiden" the illegal Reserve Bank chief, Sada Reddy has lashed out at "some" accounting firms stating that they were:
"giving false information on the economy, which is deterring potential investors."
Just like everything this illegal regime does, they fail to recognize the irony in every statement and accusation they make.

New Decree (Spoof )

Seeing as we are governed by an illegal regime that throw out new decree's at any/every turn in an attempt to legitimize themselves, here's a decree we found decreeing (and decrying) their illegal and treasonous functions.

Executive Authority of Fiji Decree 2009



IN exercise of the powers vested in me as President and Commander in Chief of the Republic of the Fiji
Military Forces, I hereby make the following Decree:

This Decree may be cited as the Executive Authority of Fiji Decree 2009.

. I, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, as President and Commander in Chief of the Republic of the Fiji Military

Forces hereby appoint Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as Chief Censor and Self-Serving Master of corruption with Unrestricted Licence to Rip Off Funds, Goods and Property anywhere within the Fiji Islands.

. Until such time as a Parliament is elected in accordance with a Constitution yet to be adopted, the
aforementioned Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum shall exercise the following powers:
to tell the illegal and treasonous Prime Minister what to do next;

to appoint family members and friends to whatever positions take their fancy;

to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Fiji by Decree acting in accordance with
day to day requirements of keeping a firm lid on everything that other people don’t have to know;
to exercise the executive authority of Fiji which ever way he bloody well likes.

No question as to the validity of this Decree or any other Decree shall be entertained by any Court of
Law in Fiji.

In this Decree:

"Constitution yet to be adopted" means the full written Constitution to be drawn up to replace the Fiji Constitution Amendment Act 1997, to be adopted by the people of Fiji in such manner as the abovementioned Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum may just possibly in the future determine once he has formally taken over the reins of power from the truly awful and repulsive Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.

Dated this 30th day of November 2009.

Illegal President and Commander in Chief of the
Republic of the Fiji Military Forces

December 01, 2009

You Have Been Subliminally Warned

When we blogs noticed that access of Fiji-based audience of our blogs was found wanting, we should have known it was a sign of things to come.

Now the illegal military regime has announced a new decree criminalizing Internet or cyber offences. Which, if, argued by their FICAC shoddy lawyers could mean anything internet-based. And certainly inclusive of blogs.

The decree has been lauded by the illegal President and former coup-mongerer & high court judge, Nazhat Shameem who seems to be boldly showing her hand now more than ever.

But the subliminal warnings have been very loud from the illegal military regime. Inner circle member, and also illegal Reserve Bank chief, Sada Reddy is a key proponent as well as the treasonous ring leader himself. Hell even the now sans bible-pounding Police Force pitch their views while conveniently ignoring an instance of the same crime that they and their ilk were party to. And as twisted ironies can only go in Fiji, way back in March 2008 the heinous internet crime against Graham Leung was vociferously denounced (as an attempt to appear "independent & impartial) by the treasonous Director of Human Rights at that time, Shaista Shameem.

The fact of the matter is that in the current environment of media censorship, the blogs are offering views on the state of play of things happening in this country. Some blogs are pro-military regime in slant, but they too have their place in the global world of freedom of expression and information. At the end of the day, the people must decide who they trust enough to want to hear from.

What remains to be seen is how far and how fast they can manipulate this decree to lock down the blogs.

A Christmas "Warm & Fuzzy"

Ah the seasonal nostalgia.

An old vid, a great song and footage of the times, sights n sounds that is the Fiji we all know and love.

November 26, 2009

In the name of the Illegal President

In case you missed it, last Thursday the Fiji Times ran an Op-Ed piece written by historian Dr. Morgan Tuimalealiifano of the University of the South Pacific on the very tongan and very illegal President, Rt Epeli Nailatikau.

Dr. Tuimalealiifano's piece points to a quiet "revolution" having taken place because the illegal President did not possess a Vanua Title. Unfortunately he either forgot to mention (or to give the author the benefit of a doubt, it may have been censored) that the appointment also defied the legal parameters of the Constitution, and the Great Council of Chiefs own internal negotiating processes -- a key common trait in historical take-over's led by militant army general's of yore.

Dr. Tuimalealiifano asserts that this change (or revolution)
"may appeal to modern oriented Fijians. Unfettered by a vanua title, will this make the President more accessible to ordinary citizens from all walks of life. He seems so."
Regrettably nothing could be further and as far removed from the truth. Just because Rt Nailatikau is accessible at the local watering holes like the Defence Club or that he prefers to walk the streets, does not make him truly "accessible" or a true "man of the people".

Modern Fijians may prefer that traditional forms of governance have their own space as far away as possible from modern systems of governance (and never should the twain meet), however many of these modern Fijians would also prefer that such a revolution happen within the confines of a legal process -- such as the Constitution -- and with transparent, participatory consultations.

Totally unlike what Bainimarama et al have wrought before us.
In the name of the (ILLEGAL) President
Morgan Tuimaleali'ifano
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stories about the new President (Fiji Times November 5 and 6 2009) make for interesting reading but your readers may have been a bit confused by the new President's Tongan connections. His distinguished Tongan connection is well known and given his recent elevation to Fiji's highest office, a reminder of the ancient relations between Fiji and Tonga might serve a useful purpose. It also serves as a reminder of how often our circumstances (now and future) are determined largely by forces outside our control.

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau's well known Tongan connection is perhaps too well known for the Mataqali na Tui Kaba. Like anyone else, he had nothing to do with the way his pedigree panned out. Some might explain it in the stars, others the waywardness of the heart.

His grandmother, Adi Litia Cakobau, was the daughter of Bauan Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua and Tupoutu'a of the Veikune family of Vava'u, Tonga. The story goes, in 1908, when the lovely Adi Litia was visiting Tongan relatives, she was seen and approached by the impetuous Tongan king, Tupou II.

The product of this brief romantic encounter was Ratu Edward. He was born in Bau in 1908 and was the second son of Tupou II, the oldest being Vilai, born in 1898.

Ratu Edward was given the Cakobau name from his maternal great-grandfather's side. When he visited Tonga for the first time in 1934, he was nicknamed Tungi Fisi in recognition of his high rank in Tonga. Queen Salote Tupou III and Princess Fusipala were therefore his half-sisters, and his son, Ratu Epeli, is therefore a cousin to the late king of Tonga, Tupou IV. The current king, George Tupou V, is the great-grandson of King George II. This material is available in Elizabeth Wood-Ellem's Queen Salote of Tonga, The Story of an Era 1900-1965, published in 1999.

On the other side, Ratu Epeli's great-grandfather, Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, is of the Mataqali Tui Kaba of Bau, one that has been under siege from within since November 25, 1989.

The Tongan connection also runs deep in his wife's pedigree. Adi Koila's paternal grandmother, Lusiana Qolikoro, was one of eight striking daughters of a Tongan Wesleyan church minister and his kai loma or part-European wife of the Miller family. These and other intriguing details are told by Deryck Scarr in his Tuimacilai a Life of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara launched in October by Papua New Guinea's Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and our region's elder statesman.

Ratu Epeli's elevation to the highest office is important in another way - for what it signals about transformative changes taking place in Fiji. His appointment by the Bainimarama government in some ways represents a revolution, a quiet one yet nevertheless a revolution.

Why "revolutionary" your readers might well ask? Because the constitutional author of such appointment, the colonially instituted Great Council of Chiefs has been disregarded. In a tit for tat, the GCC had rejected Ratu Epeli's nomination and in turn the GCC has been shown, if Bainimarama is correctly reported, the "Mango Tree".

But more than that, for the first time since independence, a Fijian Head of State has been appointed without a vanua title. Not that being without vanua title can prevent an appointment, and although Ratu Epeli's genealogy is impeccably aristocratic, his appointment marks a significant shift in Fiji's social arrangements.

Under the imprimatur of the GCC, the past four heads of state have maintained the principle of equity among the three 19th century Confederations. The first was Ratu Sir George Cakobau, installed as the Vunivalu na Tui Kaba title and titular head of Kubuna. The second was Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, the Tui Cakau titleholder and titular head of Tovata. The third was Ratu Sir Kamiese Mara, bearers of Tui Nayau and Sau ni Vanua ko Lau titles of Lau, again of Tovata but undoubtedly taking cognizance that his wife, Adi Lady Lalabalavu Litia, was Roko Tui Dreketi, the eminent chieftain title of the Rewa-based Burebasaga.

Right to his grave, the enigmatic Sakiasi Butadroka of Rewa, decried his chieftain's being cast in the shadow of her imperious, towering but lesser ranking husband. The principle of rotating the office of head of state among the titular heads of the three confederations appealed to the vanua sense of history and fairness.

The fourth and recently retired President was Ratu Josefa Uluivuda Iloilo, Tui Vuda, a major district chief from the chauvinistic Yasayasa Vakara in the West, the fourth confederacy, with close affiliation to Burebasaga. Through Ratu Josefa, Burebasaga got its full tenure of government house!

With the principle of rotation established in this way, would Ratu Epeli Nailatikau's appointment been confirmed in the next appointment by the GCC?

The appointment of Ratu Epeli as the current and fifth head of state, returns the position to Kubuna. However, the recycle marks a radical departure from the established practice. Not only is he the first without the blessing of the GCC but he is also the first without a vanua title. Could he be setting a pattern for future heads of state or is his appointment merely an anomaly that will be corrected in time? He has the Naisogolaca inheritance and vasu to the Qaranivalu of Naitasiri and his Tongan royal family connection. Will Fijians regard these connections as sufficient in themselves? This change may appeal to modern oriented Fijians. Unfettered by a vanua title, will this make the President more accessible to ordinary citizens from all walks of life? He seems so.

Since 1987 to 2006, the word 'normal' has acquired many meanings for Fiji, and current high political appointments reflects social stresses in the local establishment. Whether these appointments will endure beyond the military regime remains to be seen. Furthermore, whether the chiefs as a collective form will ever respond, as with the currently fragmented Methodist Church, also remains to be seen. For the moment, the shift within the local tectonic plates provides interesting movements for readers.

* The views expressed in this article are that of the author and not necessarily the Fiji Times or the University of the South Pacific where he lectures history.

November 19, 2009

Bainimarama spins more BS in Rome

Illegal and Unelected PM (and Minister of everything else) Bainimarama is in Rome for the FAO meeting where the theme is centred on the global food security situation.

As usual he uses the occasion to spin out propaganda to other world leaders on the supposed "good things" he and his illegal cohorts are doing for the country.

This time he spins his illegal "land reforms" iniative (the crux of the policy which remain largely unknown to the populace) as Fiji's solution to food security.

Now I'm guessing this chap hasn't patronized the markets or road-side market-stalls lately. Every day you can find fresh fruit and vegies in good supply, often with many vendors closing up daily with unsold products. Despite the floods of January, our rich soil has yielded (in time) a good bounty -- and undoubtedly this is the same picture the whole country over.

Many urban dwellers are also growing small veggie plots in their backyard, and our people are still in touch enough with the land to be tend to it occassionally. So the question is, where is the food insecurity?

What IS leading to food insecurity in this country are their failed and grossly incompetent fiscal policies which have led to job-losses, unemployment, no investements and basically a stagnant-to-the-point-of-euthanized economy. Of course as everyone knows, this is a culmination of the illegal political situation that Bainimarama et al brought upon us 3 years ago.

The recent Prices & Incomes Board fracas where the illegal Govt anticipated curbing inflation by bringing certain items under control (and the subsequent dropping of this BAD IDEA) is a recent case in point. Obviously with the budget announcement around the corner, they're all running around like headless chooks looking for a way to cook the books and paint a picture that all is rosy on the economic front.

Here's what we do understand about land reform initiatives in Fiji.
  • One - it was a concern of the SDL Govt that never came to fruition .
  • Two - everyone knows that land reforms need to take a long, hard look at the native land administration body NLTB and be totally aware of the indigenous sensitivities associated with land ownership and tenure.
  • Three - no one is sold on Bainimarama's empty promises of his grand plan of land reforms, especially as he is depending on global funding.
  • Four - their big idea of transforming Fiji into an agricultural economy servicing the world is rife with deeper inadequacies. The most apparent is the leadership of the initiative. Expecting a military appointee to think up the plan and see it through is pronouncing the failure of these dreams from the word GO.
ILLEGAL Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, National Planning, Public Service, Peoples Charter for Change and Progress, Information, Sugar, Indigenous Affairs and Multi-Ethnic Affairs and Provincial Development
17TH November, 2009

Mr Chairman;
Your Majesties;
Your Excellencies;
Heads of States and Governments;
Director General of the FAO;
Distinguished Delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is indeed a privilege for me and my Delegation to participate in the World Summit on Food Security. Mr Chairman, I congratulate you on your appointment. I wish to recognise and thank the Government and people of Italy for their warm hospitality. I also extend my Government’s appreciation to the Director General of the FAO, Dr Jacques Diouf, and his staff on their facilitation and co-ordination of this Summit.

Mr Chairman, we are again at the crossroads to deliberate over one of the greatest challenges of our time, the injustice of widespread hunger and food insecurity.

Despite the goal set at previous Summits and related Forums to halve world hunger by 2015, as well as the scientific advancements made in food production and research, and increased co-operation between different multilateral agencies, widespread hunger and food insecurity remains a major problem and challenge.

Indeed with the recent economic crisis, fuelled in the developed world and its consequent and disastrous effects on livelihoods, world commodity and fuel prices, natural disasters and climate change have made food security even more tenuous, and, widespread hunger even more extensive.

In mid-October 2009, my Government convened a National Food Summit. The Summit brought together stakeholders from Government, the private sector, and civil society to discuss the global economic phenomena, its impact on hunger and food security and the measures that Fiji should put in place to mitigate the risks.

Fiji recognises that co-ordination between the public and private sector including civil society groups is crucial to any successful strategy in particular to have an impact at the micro level while increasing output on a commercial basis, also.

To this end my Government has embarked on a land reform program which shall result in more land being available for productive use. The reform shall result in tracts of vacant communally owned indigenous land and state land being made available at market rates on long term lease in particular for agricultural purposes and other productive use.

Indeed the National Food Summit recommended that agriculture must be given priority by inter alia empowering the rural, subsistence and small holder farmers which is to be complemented by investment in supportive infrastructure.

My government is focused on this strategy. This objective is included in our road map set out in the document titled Fiji's Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio Economic Development (RDSSED) 2009 - 2014.

In addition to such initiatives my Government has recently approved the Food and Safety Decree that sets out in detail various measures to be adhered to and implemented that will stop the production and more importantly, the importation of substandard and unhealthy foods. The non-availability of unhealthy foods in the market and focus on healthy foods, which can be grown locally, results in intake of nutritious food and security of supply.

For the people of Fiji, the rest of the Pacific and other low lying regions in the world, it is most appropriate that this Summit also has a dedicated session on climate change. Rising sea levels affect not just the food security of these vulnerable economies, but it puts into doubt the very existence of these regions.

Unmitigated climatic changes have and will result in the occurrence of more natural disasters. We in Fiji experienced unprecedented floods in February of this year. The enormous devastation caused by such disasters not only results in commercial and economic hardships but has a deleterious effect on food production.

Mr. Chairman, the ill effects of climate change can still be minimised. It is therefore imperative that Copenhagen is a success. It is imperative that we view food security and world hunger not just as a problem for individual countries or individual regions “ Like climate change it is a global phenomenon; like climate change there are some countries that need to take more responsibility than others; like climate the measures adopted must recognise that there are those that have more to give and indeed must do so; like climate change the global system of how we interact and do business must be restructured.

After all it is the recognition of the differences that exist today that will help us to forge a just and sustainable world of tomorrow.

Mr Chairman, the whole world is watching us as we once again take to the stage to deliberate and make commitments. As I recently said in Fiji, policy statements should not simply become a wish list, rather it must be supported with practical changes and it must be actioned.

Mr Chairman, these deliberations must lead to practical, tangible and new solutions that are expeditiously implemented.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

November 14, 2009

Illegal President Stakes Claim to Vunivalu Title

Rt Epeli probably figured that if he's come this far through ill-gotten means, the sky is now the limit.

What remains curious is how Rt Jioji Cakobau, the directest of descendants who currently resides in Mokani, has been looked over.

There could be some truth to prevalent underground whispers that the 2006 coup grew roots in Bau and will inevitably (as those in the know say), end in Bau.

Fijian politics in all its underhandedness will unfold in this latest tussle. Already the rural coconut wires were abuzz after the news hit the airwaves via the vernacular news broadcast midday yesterday.

Fiji Village also posted the english update yesterday:
Decision on the title to be made next year
Publish date/time: 13/11/2009 [17:06]

The Native Lands Commission Tribunal is expected to decide on the vacant Vunivalu title soon.

The holder of the Vunivalu title will also be the Head of the Kubuna confederacy.

It has been confirmed that the Tribunal is expected to sit in January next year and will be chaired by Macuata chief, Ratu Peni Vukinavanua, Ratu Isikeli Tasere and Ratu Talemo Ratakele.

Ratu Vukinavanua confirms that the Tribunal's decision will be final.

Last week Vunivalu Herald, Ratu Veiwili Komaitai told Fijivillage that the family from Mataiwelagi and Naisogolaca are expected to sit and discuss the matter.

However Ratu Peni Vukinavanua has been informed by the NLC that it is the call of the Tribunal to decide on the chiefly title of the Vunivalu.

The current President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Adi Samanunu Talakuli and Ratu Epenisa Cakobau are the direct descendants of Ratu Seru Cakobau.

November 10, 2009

Bainimarama seeks favour of the indigenous populous

Wonders will never cease. Bainimarama today announces via his illegal Cabinet that they are ready to examine the Qoliqoli Legislation and claims that:
“The 1974 Qoliqoli Compensation Policy is outdated, and it also does not adequately address emerging issues namely the misinterpretation of the customary fishing rights; the absence of marine resource inventory to determine value of compensation; rights of compensation; restriction of compensation to foreshore development; lack of consultations between chiefs and members of the yavusa; processing of fishing licenses and foreshore applications; and environmental issues.”

The real cruncher lies in the next paragraph where he sidles with "Investors" (read: tourism operators) who have been "showing their frustrations in the delay in processing of applications for foreshore development and continual interference from Qoliqoli rights owners once formal approval had been obtained from relevant authorities.”

Riiight. Lest you have forgotten this is the same legislation that Bainimarama and his Merry Men were up in arms with Qarase about for the "racist nature" of this proposed legislation -- a phrase he only learned after teaming up Turtle Island owner, Richard Evanson.

Injustice Gates: Sprung and Sprung Again

No matter how Injustice Gates tries to spin it, the fact of the matter is that he has been caught with his paws in the cookie jar and his pants down.

Yesterday an article in the Australian illustrates that the paper had their hands on a series of leaked Govt memo's originating from Injustice Gates to Bainimarama -- clearly highlighting how expanded the role of the illegal Chief Justice has been expanded as per his "independent and impartial" hallucinations. The evidence also ropes in a co-conspirator, the illegal Permament Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Solo Mara.

According to the Australian article, the Illegal and Interim Military Regime's attempts at the cloak and dagger stuff via an "alleged illicit recording" leaked through their favourite broadcast and taxpayer funded outlet, Radio Fiji, "contains no reference to a visa application being rejected" and that "the recording makes it clear the conversation took place after the judge concerned had withdrawn an application for an Australian transit visa and had decided instead to fly to Fiji via Korea". In fact Injustice Gates' memo relayed a total untruth whereby "one of the Sri Lankans had taped a telephone conversation with an Australian visa officer in Colombo "in which the officer clearly said the visa was declined".

To our utter misfortunate this is the calibre of our illegally acquired Sri Lankan wigged one's who our people will depend on to dish out justice.

Today's radio interview on Radio Australia makes the link to just how impartial Injustice Gates was in advising Bainimarama as per his memo:
EXTRACT FROM MEMO FROM ANTHONY GATES: I have already said the judiciary cannot expect help from any quarter, that is the nature of our independent role. However, from a political point of view, can the executive allow such interference to continue?
It is safe to assume that Injustice Gates will never find gainful legal employment outside of Fiji, after this most telling saga.

November 06, 2009

Encore the Back-flips

Well, well, well. Despite Nazhat Shameem's noble refusal to return to the High Court bench after the constitution was abrogated (and we all know how thick she and Injustice Gates continues to be), it was not surprising at all to learn that she remains tight with the military regime.

She now finds herself as a "trainer" helping the illegal DPP John Rabuku, the illegal Director for Women the Dentist Dr Tokasa Leweni (Leweni's wife) and for goodness sakes even the Soqosoqo Vakamarama to DISSECT Decree 9 on Domestic Violence. There is somewhat a bald hypocrisy in this facade.

Dave Aidney of Transparency International continues to bring shame on TI by whining about their inability to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Unless he is dyslexic the rules are quite clear -- support the regime, don't even think about requesting a visa to go to Australia or NZ. This is quite an odd sort of comment to be emanating from TI unless of course Aidney is confusing his TI role with his commercial interests. Furthermore it is a COMPLETE backflip to previous concerns about the deportation of media personnel.

And the cherry on top is that yesterday Rt Epeli Nailatikau was illegally appointed the first Tongan President of Fiji.

November 05, 2009

Use Proxies If You're In Fiji

We have received some comments about the inability to view blogs from Fiji.

It may or may not be instigated by the military regime but we do advise that you use credible proxies to access blogs, especially if you are in Fiji.

We are currently sussing out whether this tinkering is occurring.

Reciprocation Begins

If Bainimarama thought his latest stunt would go unrequited from Australia and New Zealand, he was wrong. Dead wrong. Perhaps that's why he thinks that his offer of "welcomed dialogue" after this insult will be taken up. Perhaps it is also why he is playing the wait-n-see game, to assess the extent of the knuckle-rapping he know's he's in for.

Australia however continues to keep trade sanctions off the table as one of their retaliatory mechanisms but calls to drop Fiji's forces from the UN are now escalated.

New Zealand in reaction to the latest events have upgraded their travel advisory while Australia has not. Patrick Wong must undoubtedly be having palpitations.

Sadly, one of our staunchest and most unflinching pro-democracy stalwarts, Dr Brij Lal -- a native of this beloved country -- was also sent packing by the military goons. But we are confident he will remain undeterred.

Injustice Gates has now become the target of international media cross-hairs for instigating this sorry mess, most probably, at the behest of the illegal Attorney General, Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum.

Last but in no means the least, the US of A pitches in their reaction to the saga. They are deplored by the unjust moves of Bainimarama.

November 04, 2009

Bainimarama Expels Aust & NZ Diplomats

Sigh. This is getting a tad bit tired. Once again we make global headlines because the megalomaniac, Voreqe Bainimarama, who thinks he rules our country is offended and reacts the only way bullies know how - retaliation.

And once again our isolation by the international community will be stepped up. This is no way to behave in the world of the global village.

Bainimarama's pathetic spin on the turn of events that led to his decision is reproduced below.

Notice that he ropes in Injustice Gates, the illegal Attorney General and the incoming & illegal President as individuals he consulted and were therefore central to his ultimate decision. If we didn't know better we'd claim that there was an uncanny similarity of this speech to the writing style of a certain "supposedly impartial" individual.

Nevertheless, it is still unclear where the incoming Sri Lankan judges now stand on taking up illegal judicial appointments at the expense of being black-listed by Australia and New Zealand immigration processes. We could also question the severity of Bainimarama et al's retaliation in relation to the Australian and New Zealand standards they have continued to uphold in relation to visa's for those who support the military regime.

It can only be surmised that this latest saga was intended for wider non-verbal communications for those that are central to Bainimarama's inner circle, and they could be:
  1. It is aimed at showing his troops that he's still the alpha male (and sending Driti away for a "break" is in line with that) especially the new Land Force Commander who has close blood ties with the incoming President and who may be fostering "idea's" of taking over; and
  2. It is aimed at exposing that the incoming President's malleable allegiance lies with him. Nailatikau was more or less compelled to concur with Bainimarama's decision. If he did not Cabinet could always "disagree" with his Presidential appointment.
What Bainimarama greatly discounts however is that the incoming "powers" that he also secretly fears will be malleable now, but our history show's that this can never be a long-term guarantee. And it is certainly not guaranteed as the status quo until 2014.

Statement by the (ILLEGAL) Prime Minister on Australia and New Zealand's interference with Fiji's Judiciary
Nov 3, 2009, 19:27

Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama
(ILLEGAL) Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, National Planning, Public Service, Peoples’ Charter for Change and Progress, Information, Sugar, Indigenous Affairs and Multi-Ethnic Affairs and Provincial Development

MOI Conference Room
Tuesday 3rd November, 2009
1800 Hours

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Chief Justice has already highlighted the interference into our Judiciary, the Fijian Judiciary by the governments of Australia and New Zealand

It is a matter of great shame that Madame Justice Anjala Wati a respected member of our High Court bench was harassed and humiliated by the New Zealand High Commission in Fiji when she applied for a visa on medical grounds to take her baby son to New Zealand.

In fact had the Attorney General not highlighted the matter in the media she would not have been granted a visa.

In addition to this shameful incident the Sri Lankan judges who have been appointed to serve in the Fijian judiciary were told that they would not be able to travel through and to Australia because they had taken these positions.

Again when this matter was highlighted in the media by the Chief Justice there was frenzied denial that visas had been refused by the Australian government.

However, we now know that one of these Sri Lankan judges had the foresight to tape the conversation in which she was informed by the Australian official in Colombo that travel sanctions would apply because she had taken the position in the Fijian judiciary.

The culmination of these incidents displays a consolidated effort to attack Fiji’s independent judiciary. It also shows that the Australian and New Zealand Governments have been dishonest and untruthful over the matter of travel ban for judges.

In the circumstances it is not surprising that the Chief justice took the rather unusual step of holding a press conference on Sunday 1st November.

This morning he had a meeting with me.

In that meeting the Chief Justice reiterated his position that the interference by Australian and New Zealand governments in our judiciary undermines the judiciary.

The Chief Justice told me that this policy of the Australian and New Zealand governments stops him from nominating credible, well qualified individuals to serve on the Bench.

He also highlighted the fact that such interference is unheard of in particular in the absence of evidence that members of the judiciary are breaching any laws, either internationally or in Fiji.

If anything, the brave men and women who have joined our judiciary are contributing to the enforcement of the rule of law. They have shown fortitude and a commitment to the law.

Ladies and Gentlemen, following the meeting with the Chief Justice, given the seriousness of the matter at hand, I visited His Excellency the Vice President, who will be sworn in on Thursday as our 4th President.

I briefed the Vice President of my meeting with the Chief Justice.

We discussed the impact of the Australian and New Zealand governments’ position in relation to members of our Judiciary.

We discussed the importance of our national interest to maintain an independent Judiciary with credible and well qualified judicial officers.

We also discussed and agreed that the mandate given to my Government by the former President which includes a reformist and modernizing agenda, as supplemented by the People’s Charter for Change, must be implemented.

Indeed, we agreed that we cannot be deterred from this path.

We also discussed that we must engage with the international community and inform them, and indeed, partner with them to take Fiji forward.

We discussed the need to have an equitable and just society based on common and equal citizenry and an economy which is liberalized, investor friendly and which improves the living standards of all Fijians.

I am this evening holding this press conference to inform the public of Fiji about these events since it has an enormous impact on our country, on all our people as it affects our day to day living.

I am, to be candid, baffled by the position taken by the Australian and New Zealand governments.

On one hand they are our largest trading partners; they are members of the Pacific Islands Forum; 60% of our tourists come from these countries and their numbers are growing on a daily basis; majority of our people who have migrated have gone to these countries; we have studied, worked and holidayed the most in these countries.

They claim to be our friends yet on the other hand they fail to recognize the efforts that we are making in being a good international citizen; they fail to understand that we are creating a country that will be based on equal and common citizenry, a country of modern laws, a country which will have true democracy.

Only today Cabinet approved a new Crimes Decree, a new Criminal Procedure Decree and a new Sentencing and Penalties Decree that will make us compliant with CEDAW, with international standards on human trafficking and with the Rome Statute.

We have ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC); we have introduced new laws and strengthened existing laws in relation to corruption and bribery; we have introduced Domestic Violence laws; given protection to our children, paving the way for compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We have consistently said that we want to engage with our neighbours and indeed all our international and multi-lateral partners. We have also left the door open for bi-lateral engagements.

My focus is not disengagement rather it is engagement. My focus is on the future not the past.

My focus is to deal with ills of the past to create a better future.

My focus means that in my engagements I am upfront, candid and honest.

That is why I cannot understand why Australia and New Zealand are engaged in a dishonest and untruthful strategy to undermine our judiciary, our independent institutions and our economy.

I can accept their ban on me and my senior officers given the personalization of matters. But why punish those individuals both Fijians and non-Fijians who join the Judiciary?; those Fijians from the private sector who want to contribute to a better, progressive and modern Fiji by way of joining Boards of Statutory Organizations - even the Fiji National Provident Fund is targeted.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not only a short sighted policy but it constitutes an attempt to sabotage national building, economy strengthening and the modernizing efforts.

When the Rudd and Key Governments came to power, I believed that we would encounter enlightened thinking and policies based on friendship and understanding. Unfortunately, it has not happened.

Instead all we have had is their heads of missions refusing to engage with government and engaging only with those Fijians who have a political interest in holding Fiji back.

They mis-inform Canberra and Wellington and wage a negative campaign against the Government and people of Fiji.

By contrast the ordinary men and women and companies of Australia and New Zealand continue to come to our shores, they continue to do business in Fiji, and they continue to give us their good wishes.

My message to them is - you are most welcome, we value your investment, your visit and your best wishes.

We are a safe destination and the people of Fiji are the most hospitable in the world.

We are also proud of our country and our sovereignty and we believe in living in dignity. Therefore, we should ensure that our sovereignty, our Judiciary and key institutions are allowed to function with independence and integrity.

It is my Government’s duty to ensure that no foreign Government should interfere with such judicial independence and integrity. We must always protect and be proud our sovereignty.

I wish to declare that my Government fully supports the Chief Justice. We will always ensure that his independence and that of his judges remains unassailable.

It is for these reasons that I have told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue communications to the Australian and New Zealand Governments that their respective heads of missions are to be recalled within 24 hours.

I have also informed them that our High Commissioner in Australia is to be recalled, with immediate effect.

Vinaka Vakalevu.


November 03, 2009

Fiji Must Have a Judiciary: Gates

Injustice Tony Gates makes more of fool of himself by publicly refusing to bow down to the diplomatic tit-for-tat against Australia and New Zealand and the visa saga. He must be really desperate to bring in some credibility to his bench.

Here is the key phrase a'la Gaytes:
"Fiji must have a judiciary. And it is not for Australia and New Zealand to tell us we cannot have one or to tell us who we are to appoint. No international convention allows such a supervisory role to a neighboring state.”
Yes Fiji must have a judiciary but it cannot be a judiciary that has time and again shown it's hand at judicial activism, and affinity for the military regime. It is also a judiciary that the people must find credible. At present it does not.

Australia and New Zealand have every right as democratic countries to point out our failings because we are not democratic and Bainimarama is hell-bent on destabilizing the Pacific region.

Injustice Gaytes must be getting rattled because his new illegal Sri Lankan converts must be feeling a tad bit jittery.

Post-script: Living and working under media censorship must be so dry that journo's decide to add colour and vigour to otherwise mundane news. For example did you ever imagine you'd see the words "Booty Call" as a headline?

Labour Mafia & Military Regime Are Still As Thick As Thieves

In case you believed for a minute all the lies from Mahendra Chaudhry about the FLP turning a new leaf, it's a cover up.

And their most refined attack on fellow blogsters coup4.5 with this one is a case in point.

But today they show their hand.

Dr Ganesh Chand, a staunch Labour supporter is announced as head of the new National University of Fiji which amalgamates the Fiji School of Agriculture, Fiji College of Advanced Education, Lautoka Teachers College, Fiji School of Nursing, Fiji School of Medicine and Fiji Institute of Technology.

Under Chand's current leadership the Fiji Institute of Technology is already bursting at the seams with students who resort to eating lunch mixed with car exhaust fumes on the main roads leading to Edinburgh Drive. If that is what Chand deem's as quality education, we can express only horror at the "other" aspects of quality education this new Uni will churn out.

Let's also not forget that we already have 2 other universities running in this country -- the University of the South Pacific and the University of Fiji -- all of which depend on resources from the military government.

The University of Fiji is in itself an institution with strong Labour links and even closer ties to the current illegal Minister for Education, Filipe Bole.

We had predicted in February this year that something was amiss in the higher education sector and we also alluded that the USP may well become a whipping boy for retaliating against the Pacific region.

We will continue to watch these developments very closely.

Bainimarama tells Driti to "Take A Break"

Gosh. Driti is as thick as a plank if he's not getting the crystal-clear hint from Bainimarama.

The fullah say's "he's been under a lot of pressure being home with everything that's going on". Translation: he's wilting under pressure and has now become a LIABILITY to the military regime.

Sayonara Drits. You're not the first and certainly not the last of individuals who's use-by dates have expired in the military regimes eye's....and you better pass that message on to those like Injustice Tony Gates who think they'll be part of the inner circle forever.

Fiji’s Land Force Commander Driti told to take break in Iraq
Posted at 23:44 on 02 November, 2009 UTC

Fiji’s Land Force Commander, Colonel Pita Driti, says he has been told by the Military Commander, Commodore Frank Bainiamrama, to take a break.

Colonel Driti is to join Fiji troops on mission in Iraq for six months.

He says it wasn’t his personal choice, but that it’s a posting he is happy about:

“I think I’ve undergone a lot of pressure being home with everything that’s going on, so my boss decided, you go and have a break, just go the Middle East and be there as contingent commander, six months, take a good break and then come back.”

Colonel Driti says he expects to return to his position as Land Force Commander at the end of his deployment.

He does not think his position within the military has been undermined in any way.

This is what Coup Coup Coup Coup Land looks like today

Despite the public assertions of the illegal central bank chief -- Sada Reddy -- that the global financial crisis was to blame for our economic woes OVER minor impacts of the "annulment of Fiji's constitution and strict media censorship"...the evidence now comes to a head and cannot be denied.

The beginning's of food riots. Did you think you'd ever see the day of this happening in Fiji?

Welcome to the face of coup-coup-coup-coup land.
Food dispute turns bloody
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

AN argument over food rations supplied to cane labourers ended in a stabbing incident after a labourer demanded more food from the cane farmer.

The incident has left the family of Uma Dutt and the farming community of Kawakawavesi in Seaqaqa in fear.

Mr Dutt's family watched as the labourer attacked him and a colleague with an iron rod on Sunday evening.

He was stabbed on the left side of his head, his left hand and ear.

He was admitted to the Seaqaqa Hospital on Sunday night and sent to Labasa Hospital for an X-ray yesterday.

Mr Dutt's brother, Kishore Lal, said he had to shift the family to another house for their safety on Sunday night.

Police said the case was being investigated and the accused, believed to be the leader of a cane harvesting gang from Naravuka Village in Seaqaqa, Macuata, had been questioned.

Mr Lal said the team of 10 labourers from Naravuka were camped outside Mr Dutt's house.

"My brother's wife gave the headman their supply of food on Sunday afternoon for them to cook for their dinner," he said.

"She gave them four potatoes, two packets of noodles and a can of tinned fish but he didn't like it and confronted my brother who had just returned from the farm.

"He asked my brother why the supply of food was little and my brother told him that it was enough but he demanded for more and the two argued."

Mr Lal said the labourer punched his brother but Mr Dutt dodged his fist.

"The man then took an iron rod lying on the ground and stabbed my brother on the left side of his head, left hand and ear.

"He also threatened my brother's family and told them he would kill them because of my brother."

Mr Lal said they had to shift the family to another house after the stabbing incident because the victim's wife and daughters could no longer stay there on their own.

National Farmers Union north officer Surendra Lal called on the labourers and farmers to work together and discuss issues instead of resorting to unnecessary actions.

October 30, 2009

Bainimarama Angles to Coup the Forum Secretariat

This is what happens when a treasonous, illegal individual resides in the neighborhood that is the Pacific. He will always want to bring the whole neighborhood down with him.

When he knows he can't win with Aust and NZ around to keep him honest, he aims to coup the Pacific Islands Forum and create another one.

You can listen to him making a total jack-ass of himself (as usual) here.

Fiji PM says Pacific grouping to strengthen
Updated 1 hour 26 minutes ago

Fiji's interim Prime Minister says he is being encouraged by some Pacific Island Forum nations to include them in next year's Melanasian Spearhead Group meeting. It is Fiji's turn to chair the MSG next year, and it is considering giving observer status to some island nations outside the group to enable them to attend the meeting.

Traditionally MSG membership is restricted to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. But since Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth, Fiji is barred from meetings such as PACER Plus.

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama says Fiji's needs a forum to discuss issues of common interest to the whole region.

October 29, 2009

Hail to the Illegal "Commander In Chief"

Nailatikau is today announced by the junta's pet media outlet as President of Fiji. Woopeedoo.

The appointment, as the majority of people in this country are only too aware, is illegal because it's not in line with the constitution.

As Tui Savu points out, that makes Nailatikau as Commander in Chief very powerful because the new Land Force Commander, Roko Ului, is his brother-in-law.

Col Driti, Bainimarama's key hatchet man is being sent away to the front-lines of Iraq. Which is a good thing in a way.

Being hung out to dry there can only remind him that his military training is supposed to be used against other combatants and certainly not women and children.

Eyes will be peeled to find out who will outflank who in this new twist.

October 28, 2009

Fiji Water: Busted Again!

Fiji Water's brand gets hammered again by Mother Jones.

This time its in relation to how they dispose of their rubbish.

Let this be a lesson to all those businesses falsely riding the public relations bandwagon of all that is green, fair and "good practice". You will be found out.

Fiji Water Burning Trash?
— By Taylor Wiles | Mon October 26, 2009 4:20 PM PST

In the wake of Mother Jones's recent Fiji Water expose that tackled the company's indifference to the country's military junta and the surrounding communities' dire lack of clean drinking water, we received many letters. One in particular caught our attention. In 2007 Mary Ackley, then a graduate student at the University of Vermont, was doing research on the Vatukoula gold mine in Fiji when she saw yet another piece of the story.

On one of Ackley's trips to visit the Vatukoula mine, located about 18 miles from Fiji Water's bottling plant, she saw makeshift fences made of oversized spools of Fiji Water labels. Then she saw huge plumes of smoke rising from the local dump. When Ackley looked closer she noticed piles of discarded Fiji Water bottles, reels of company labels, and plastic pellets used to make the bottles. It looked like too much trash to be generated by the small town, so Ackley started asking around. Sure enough, residents who lived next to the dump said they had seen Fiji Water trucks pass by three or four times a week since about 1996, when the company first started operations.

But that was back in 2007. Last year, Fiji Water representative Rob Six told Ackley in a written letter that the company had been phasing out the use of the dump since June 2007. Apparently, as of last fall, the company stopped burning trash there all together. Nevertheless, asthma rates in Vatukoula are through the roof—which the community told Ackley is likely a result of gold mining operations, as well as carcinogens released by constantly smoldering Fiji Water trash over the past decade. Ackley's surveys showed that the number one concern in the community was respiratory problems caused by airborne carcinogens. It remains to be seen how Fiji Green will address the damage done.

This year Ackley and filmmaker Kristian Maynard released a short documentary in which they narrate their discovery of the Vatukoula dump and explore the gold mining's horrific effects on Fijian health. Last weekend, it won an award at the Yosemite International Film Festival.

Check out the clip:

October 27, 2009

Punjas Lambasts Govt Policies

Well this certainly was a long time coming i.e. a business house finally laying into the Govt.

And to be honest, it's not exactly unexpected.

When their back-pockets take a socking it's ON. But when it's our pockets, ho-hum.

With Budget Day only day's away, the tunes they sing after the announcement should be entertaining.

Punja blames govt policies for $6.4m loss
October 27, 2009 01:48:22 PM

Leading Fiji business figure Hari Punja has blamed State price control measures and what he says were arbitrary government decisions on duties and import policies for a $6.435 million annual loss suffered by the Flour Mills of Fiji Group, of which he is chairman.

Group chairman Hari Punja has described the loss for the 2009 financial year as “significant”, following a group before tax profit of $6,526,720 in 2008.

“The principal cause of this loss is the unfair treatment we continue to receive from the Prices and Income Board (PIB) and the arbitrary decisions of government in regard to duties and import policies,” said Punja in the group’s annual report.

He said the results were also affected by having to write off the value of the group’s rice milling assets and its discontinued water business.

“In the first half of the year we were constantly battling to have the price of our flour and rice adjusted in accordance with rising world prices. The constant delays in approving price adjustments by PIB resulted in mounting losses. This situation was then exacerbated following the devaluation of the Fiji dollar by the Reserve Bank. Overnight the cost of our raw materials increased by more than 20 percent and we were not able to pass on this increased cost for a considerable period, during which the group was incurring a loss of more than $ 1 million per month,” Punja said.

“Also during the year the government decided to arbitrarily reduce import duty on white rice from 15 percent to zero. There was no prior consultation and as a consequence we were in the unfortunate position of having to honor forward contracts for brown rice at a considerable loss.”

As a result, FMF Group subsidiary, the Rice Company of Fiji, has reported a loss $113,182 this year, down from an after tax profit of $2,164,375 last year.

Punja has called on the government to make policy and duty changes which affect local manufacturers only after consultation and with a reasonable period of adjustment.

He said the group had repositioned its subsidiary Rice Company to deal with the new import policy. However in the process they had stopped milling brown rice resulting in loss of jobs and a write off of machinery values.

“If it was the government’s intention to lower the consumer price of rice then they have failed. The lower price of rice which the consumers of Fiji are enjoying now is the result of low international prices and not because of the change in duty structure of rice.”

“On the other hand, these actions have resulted into government losing a considerable amount of revenue and making it almost impossible for local rice farmers and millers to survive.”

“These arbitrary decisions of government both present and past have been a constant frustration for us and other manufacturers,” said Punja.

He said the group had seen a very healthy growth in exports of biscuits and other products which stood at the $50 million mark this year and were expected to grow to $60 million in the coming year.

Punja said as operations were stabilised in the past few months and products and activities rationalised, improvements had flown through from these decisions and the company and its subsidiaries had recorded a reasonable profit in each of the first three months of the new financial year “and we expect this to continue for the rest of the year”.

For the 2009 financial year ending in June, another FM subsidiary, the Atlantic and Pacific Packaging Company Ltd’s profit after tax increased from $237,858 to $560,956 while turnover increased from $5.788 million to a record $7.108 million.

September 14, 2009

"Get It On Before You Get It On" - HE The President of Fiji

We kid you not. These were the exact words (check 2:32 mark of vid) of the Rt Epeli Nailatikau, the Acting President of Fiji.

Granted he was speaking on the issue of HIV/AIDS and targetting the youths in his message HOWEVER the tone and approach of this speech was most unbecoming, unclassy and unworthy of a statement originating from the highest office in the land.

But then again this is to be expected. He would have never smelled the Presidency if the normal processes of the Great Council of Chiefs appointments had been followed.

September 08, 2009

Keep The Racket Down Jesus Strategizers!

Week after week the CBD of Suva has been subjected to noisy convulsions from the conveniently crime-free and Jesus-strategizing Police Force.

If your ear drums aren't taking a beating from the audio emanations from Sukuna Park, then one surely didn't escape the din during the after-work rush at the main Suva bus-stand yesterday arvo.

Apart from the total nuisance they're making of themselves to the otherwise somber end-of-the-work-day wind-down for many of us bus-riding citizens, the racket PLUS dancing (yep that's right folks, DANCING coppers) is enough to send us scurrying to the nearest sila sellers for ammo.

In case these law enforcements officers need reminding, a legal precedent has already been set in the High Court where noise pollution (such as this) has been considered a breach of Penal Code S. 187 – common nuisance.

The case is State v Sang: [2008] FJHC 11; HAA127.07 (1 February 2008).

Many thanks to this studious legal student for that little gem of knowledge by way of a term-paper.

We will welcome cellular phone footage of the bus-stand shenanigan's for entertainment value folks. Email them through to:

Interim Regime Retaliates Against Fiji Times

It's pathetic, well and truly bizarre and not unusual to kid's fights in the sandbox.

Perhaps because of Netani Rika's unflinching stand on media freedom, Bainimarama himself has given the order for all Government entities to cease all business arrangements with the Fiji Times ASAP.

Unless we're mistaken the impact on Fiji Times' bottom-line would be negligible to say the least.

Total Govt subscriptions (as perks of the current illegal and treasonous Ministers and their CEOs) would amount to about 40 copies/day x 5 days (approximately).

In terms of advertising, consumers still prefer Fiji Times (just check their circulation numbers and overall quality over the Post and the Sun).

Therefore if the Interim Govt needs something communicated to the masses (because they're still trying to win hearts and minds folks), consumers are simply not going to forego their loyalties just because the IG has a beef with the Fiji Times.

This should be interesting.

Let's see who caves in first. We might even start taking tallies.

Buy the Fiji Times only folks. Vote with your pockets.

September 07, 2009

Ema Mua: Jesus Strategy is Working

Good Lord. This is really taking the bastardization of the Lord's name to new heights.

Now that dope-smoking cops are sprung, Ema Mua -- as only she can -- feebly attempts to do her PR thing:
“And there we have some officers who say, “hey, we’ve found these things going on and we would like to bring it to light”, and that’s a strength for us," she said.

"It may look like a failure to the outside, to the public because of the Jesus Strategy but within the force, we feel it’s a very good sign," said Dimila.

"It’s a sign that our officers are beginning to change. That the dirt is beginning to come out. He (Police Commissioner) has no position for unfaithful officers within the force," she added.

"So we’ll start taking out officers who’re unfaithful in this sense so the Jesus Strategy is really working," said Dimila.

Meanwhile they still maintain that promotions within the ranks of the constabulary is not based on religion.

Someone spring a lie-detector on this heffa please.

September 04, 2009

Will the Idiocy Never End?

So now Rewa Dairy think's it ok to lay another Con-Job down and hit consumers in the pockets AGAIN.

And get this. Rewa Dairy CEO say's:
"in light of high costs Rewa Dairy has had to maintain in order to sustain a local industry, support farmers and pay overseas creditors"
What the hell is this? How is it that these supposed Execs continue to get the idea that consumers will sign blank cheques and bail them out whenever they can't do what they're being paid to do?

Meanwhile the illegal and treasonous coup master, Frank Bainimarama, has flown the coup to look for money in Commonwealth country, Malaysia.

Commerce Commission Chair Slams Consumers

Aha! So now we get to the heart of the matter.

Commerce Commission Chair, Dr. Mahendra Reddy blasts consumers by asserting that consultations in relation to the FEA tariff hikes DID NOT require consultations.

Reddy stated that:
"We don’t want to spend thousands of dollars when we know what the outcome would be of awarding the tariff increase, we were clear in our mind because we have done our home work, we cant sell electricity at a price which is low then the unit cost, no business would want to sell their product lower then the market unit cost."

He's essentially saying that there was a pre-determined idea that the tariffs should increase regardless of what consumer's think, because he is more worried about FEA's ability to make and sell electricity, as well as make a profit.

This economist needs to touch base with his enabling legislation which broadly lays down the role of the Commerce Commission as follows:
9. The Commission has the following objectives in relation to regulated industries and access regimes-

(a) to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers;

(b) to facilitate an approximate balance between efficiency and environmental and social considerations;

(c) to ensure non-discriminatory access to monopoly and near monopoly infrastructure or services.

It isn't Reddy's job to worry about FEA's monopolistic ability to provide electricity and make a profit. That is FEA's problem. Reddy's job is to ensure that consumers don't pay for bad investment decisions which is essentially what is happening here.

September 03, 2009

Our Now is Grim

The outlook for Fiji is looking extremely grim at this present time thanks to the self-appointed military regime currently holding our country to ransom.

The Commonwealth has suspended us.

Government funded institutions that are supposed to offer basic services like running water, can't even do that, preferring instead to corporatize and hit the taxpaying citizens in the back-pocket anyway for sub-par services.

The electricity monopoly aka the FEA is a classic example of bad investment decisions where taxpaying citizens are arrogantly expected to pick up the tab quietly.

Taxpaying superannuation shareholder's are also being subjected to bad investment decisions and are also expected to bear these costs silently in their twilight years.

The cost of living for the taxpaying citizenry has also gotten worse. The price of bread's gone up, so too has the price of milk.

Meanwhile taxpaying citizens have to endure and continue paying for pot-smoking and jesus-strategizing cops.

If our NOW looks grim, our future is equalling worrying. School children in the East will be without teachers in Term 3 as the teachers did not get "processed" as per new licensing regulations.

August 20, 2009

Central Bank Muscles In On Capital Markets Body

Fijilive is reporting that the CEO of the Capital Markets, Mereia Volavola, has lost her job as part of the Reserve Bank's bid to take over the operations of developing and regulating the capital markets in the Fiji.

According to the illegal & treasonous Central Bank Guv, Sada Reddy, it's a logical move that will "consolidate the supervision and regulation of Fiji’s financial system and bring about greater efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the CMDA."

Mmhmm. The only funny thing about this explanation is that both entities have two entirely different roles in our economy.

Our central bank, the Reserve Bank of Fij,i is charged with maintaining the stability of our currency, our money supply -- basically everything to do with the monetary policy of this country.

The CMDA regulates the licensing of securities professionals including brokers, dealers, investment advisers, unit trusts and their representatives, securities exchanges and central depositories. The CMDA essentially ensures that investors are protected against fraud, among it's other legal functions.

So it is most unclear how diverse interests can be protected under 1 entity.

This one will need close watching.

The Central Bank, with Sada Reddy at the helm, appears to be empire-building within the "money world" of this country. It's worth remembering that a special sector of "business minded" sorts have not forgotten that this same chappy, during the height of the '87 coup, made a killing for "special favours under the table" and siphoning money out of the country even though there were tight foreign exchange controls in place at the time.

August 19, 2009

Port Costs to be hiked as well

The Commerce Commission via its Chair, Dr Mahendra Reddy (pictured), is really rolling out the tariff hikes that appear to be anti-business in nature and not very helpful to the already flat-lining economic landscape of this country.

Now our ports will also undergo tariff hikes.

It appears that all those who have business at the wharf can expect to pay 7.5% more for marine service charges, stevedoring, local vessel charges, cargo service charges and storage charges DESPITE the pithy standards of service by the tariff instigators, Fiji Ports Corporation Limited.

And while the Commission swears that it is trying protect "exporters", Dr Reddy forgets that almost everything we export needs some input from things we need to import. Apart from that anything to do with imports affects the take-home pay of consumers and taxpayers.

Dr Reddy is better placed staying in the airy fairy world of academia as his rulings so far are so out of touch that they favour government subsidized bodies over those that pay the bills in this country.

Don't expect any miracles on the outcomes of revised interconnection rates for telecommunications folks.

Who do you serve Mahendra Reddy?

FEA to hike bills by 15% by September

Fiji TV relayed the news last night that the Commerce Commission has granted the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) full access to rob consumers blind by 15% with effect from next month.

If memory serves us correctly, the FEA has been angling for monopoly induced hand-outs from consumers for a while now and the initial tariff increase was proposed earlier because of global oil price hikes. As all consumers are aware these prices have since stabilised and in fact decreased.

Business houses who don't fit the $50/month bill exemption, will undoubtedly be up in arms about this one.

If that's not enough, the Commerce Commission overextend's its reach by laying down the law that it will, in 2011, oversee how far the FEA has gone to reduce its operating cost's.

Any right thinking person would immediately ask the question -- is that not the job of the board? If so, then what in the blazes is the board doing twiddling it's thumbs while Rome burns?
FEA 15% tarriff rise approved
18 Aug 2009 02:53:29

The Commerce Commission has today approved Fiji Electricity' Authority's submission to increase tarriff charges by 15 percent.

This is an interim increase effective from September 1st to 31st August, 2011.

Those who pay 50 dollars or less for electricity usage won't be charged the new tariff rate.

In its decision today - the Commission noted F-E-A generated 60 percent of electricity through hydro and up to 45 percent from diesel.

The Commission didn't grant FEA's request for a permanent increase.

The company is now required to provide the Commission a report in 2011 on steps it has taken to reduce operating costs.

New Methodists Get Political

Radio NZ carries a story by the "New Methodist's" head, Atu Vulaono.

Atu Vulaono is the brother of Bainimarama appointed (and military officer) Police Commander, Esala Teleni and is the same Atu of the “Qo na kei Atu” fame.

In the story Vulaono boasts a crusade that will see about 10,000 supporters and asserts that the reason why they were granted their permit (over the Methodists) is because of nepotism of the highest order they "don't incite with hate speech".

Fiji New Methodists expect over 10,000 at national crusade next week
Posted at 01:47 on 19 August, 2009 UTC

The head of the New Methodist Church in Fiji says up to 20,000 people may attend next week’s conference in Suva.

Pastor Atu Vulaono says the interim government has granted the church a permit to hold its crusade in the TFL national stadium from the 25th until the 30th of August.

This follows the interim regime’s crackdown on the established Methodist Church, banning its annual conference, also scheduled for next week, and now its choir competition.

Pastor Vulaono says one of the conditions of the permit for next week’s crusade, which he describes as the public proclamation of the gospel, is an attendance limit of 20,000.

“The condition is because we hold crusade every month, sometimes two or three in every month and that is for the last three years, the condition is the volume and there’s no words of inciting like hatred speech it’s just pure the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s the condition of our permit ever since we start this open air crusade.”

Pastor Atu Vulaono of Fiji’s New Methodist Church.

August 18, 2009

Snapped: Mary & MaiTV...mmhmmmm

Snapped: "Wink, Wink, Let's Just Keep It In The Family Eh?"

Foster's Fairytale (Ye Gods!)

OK. So we thought we'd give Peter Foster the benefit of a doubt and read his side of the story.

Rather than take our word for it, we invite you to form your own views.

For the record the key para that totally gripped us (from falling on the floor) was this one:
I have seen the inside of 16 prisons in six countries, such is the life of an International Man of Mischief. It's not anything to be proud of, just an occupational hazard.

That would have to be the SMOOTHEST Con-line ever.

Read it in full here, and vibe to the copyrighted Bob Marley (who would surely turn in his grave if he realised that his inspiring songs of emancipation were being used to promote it) tune "One Love" while you get swept away by the fairytale.

Alternatively the PDF is available here.