April 30, 2009

Backlash Bainimarama Style

If “The Australianand other analysts are wondering how Bainimarama is going to react to getting kicked out from the PIF, as we contend was always his original intention (pre-constitution abrogation that is), we take a look at our crystal ball and attempt to break it down for you.

Now that the illegal Bainimarama et al have rid themselves of an unnecessary yoke around their necks in terms of answering to a higher power, it leaves them with a heckuva lot of room to move. Freely. They wish.

We will know for sure if something big goes down when senior military officers especially are seen speeding at break-neck speed up to the military barracks to get their orders on the weekend. It is most probable that activities will be carried out in the dead of night as is their favourite MO. So folks keep your eyes peeled for lots of vehicular, groups of uniformed sorts around that vicinity at that time.

This is subject of course to whether the military brass are feeling up to digging their heels in as they’re reportedly doing.

Where Pita Driti the upstart Land Force Commander is concerned, let’s face it, he’s no hero (even tho’ his strut makes him think he is). The fullah has no gumption -- never did and never will. Therefore he will never do anything to upset the apple-cart especially as he’s now been bought off with a shiny new ensemble matching the bling on a uniformed neck and permanent (undisciplined) tough-guy stubble. Driti is also thoroughly enjoying his newfound lifestyle (well certainly his wife seems to be enjoying living it up no end, as observed at a recent birthday bash in the West).

As an aside indication of the calibre of the incompetence of advice surrounding Bainimarama, there are still absent wigged one’s from the high court bench, despite the bold and reckless assurances from the illegal and favoured Acting PM, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, that it would be a walk in the park.

The same bold, reckless (McCully say's "optimism") ineptitude he displayed only yesterday, stating how unlikely it would be for Fiji to be shown the door by the PIF.

Aiyaz, lest we forget, has erred (at least publicly) before. Most notably, wrongly advising the illegal President on the appointment of Adi Koila Nailatikau to the Constitutional Boundaries Commission, thereby forcing a rapid and apologetic retreat upon the realisation of the booboo.

Anyhow, Bainimarama will retaliate and he will do it to publicly to stick it to those who have betrayed/offended him. It would be simply absurd to expect a donkey to transform into a horse overnight, likewise a thug into a gentleman. All top guns at CROP agencies based in Suva are best advised to be on the alert and ready. Raise your organisational security assessments expeditiously.

Ditto for the embassies. Even the Pacific one’s. You have all insulted him and he’s going to take it personally.

Hopefully the local media (barring his mouthpiece mediums of FBCL and Fiji Sun) will maintain their blackout and not allow him to enjoy his day in the sun glorifying his might to the people of Fiji. That means blogger’s and journo’s need to get their technology at the ready to capture it all and spin it out to the external world.

In terms of all the valuable space that will be available should cross-regional movements be mandatory, we already have new residents lining up to take advantage of the bangin’ bargains and access to free citizenship to boot.

We’ve alluded to regional higher education and the moves his group have made on that aspect.

When Bainimarama’s diva-like furor dies down, it will initiate a swift series of hard squeezes from the international community.

Not even American Samoa’s (most revealing also) attempt to take on Tuilaepa and defend Bainimarama and his illegal band of merry men, will save ‘em.

Bainimarama may think he will have played everyone, but the world is 10 steps ahead and it will in fact be him who will be royally F’d (flushed), much to the gratification of the people of this country.

Right on cue, NZ's Foreign Minister makes this quite plain to see.

Check Bainimarama.

April 29, 2009

Yawning Away the Hype of Swines

Illegal Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has been ordained as "he who best has Bainimarama’s back" and is duly appointed as his Acting Illegal Prime Minister.

The Fiji Broadcasting Commission's continued access to breaking news because of the Sayed-Khaiyum sibling connection is truly the finest and continuous display of nepotism
.

As if to proclaim his newfound authority, Aiyaz proclaims that our imminent kicking out of the PIF is not gonna happen. Yawn.

Meanwhile Illegal PM, Bainimarama scurries off (in fear?) to Indonesia to attend the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in Bali, Indonesia. Yawn.

Before Bainimarama heads off he manages to slip a one-sided upper cut to Australian PM, Kevin Rudd declaring that Rudd “was not the UN” and questioning whether Rudd’s hard-line approach on Fiji’s engagement with the UN was “going to help improve the lives of the Aborigines in Australia?”. Yawn.

Well Mr Illegal PM, at least Rudd is democratically elected (even the aborigines vote) and he had the conviction to apologise and step up to a reconciliation process.

This cowardly jibe is of course in reaction to the recent cocky strutting in relation to the UN’s continued acceptance of our military for peacekeeping by newly promoted and illegal Permanent Secretary for Information, Neumi Leweni. Yawn.

If that’s not bad enough We The People see another turn from the tourism industry demonstrating yet again their predatorial, at-any-cost nature. Their preference is to keep our borders open to swine flu risks from Mexico and the US which therefore benefits tourist operaters, leaving the taxpaying public to live with the health risks. Marvellous.

Sounds like a new Tourism Fiji marketing campaign in the making.

Swine Flu Me perhaps? Yawn.

Tick-tock, tick–tock, tick–tock

The clock’s ticking Bainimarama but the writing is on the wall.

It’s 3 strikes and a once founding island country is rowing its own canoe out of the PIF family.

What a depressing, emotional day for our noble country.

It should be day of mourning.

Once our suspension comes to pass formally, we can expect that to trigger a whole lot of additional testicle squeezing from the international community.

Pleas and blood tie links to Tonga will not help.

The region is not turning their backs on us. Leaders are protesting their opposition to Bainimarama and his illegal regime. And in the process are allowing hard lessons to be learned.

Despite the unabashed trash being heaped on us by the illegal central bank guv, we know better.

Stand tall, united and remain proud Fiji.

Only under intense heat, can gold be found.

April 28, 2009

The Dictator’s Handbook

We reproduce, post-up and acknowledge this brilliant article by Paul Collier in the May/June 2009 edition of Foreign Policy.



Why is democracy failing even as elections proliferate? A thought experiment sheds new light on why aging autocrats remain so hard to dislodge.The old rulers of the Soviet Union were terrified of facing contested elections. Those of us who studied political systems presumed they must be right: Elections would empower citizens against the arrogance of government. And with the fall of the Iron Curtain, elections indeed swept the world. Yet democracy doesn’t seem to have delivered on its promise. Surprisingly often, the same old rulers are still there, ruling in much the same old way. Something has gone wrong, but what?

To answer this question, I put myself in the shoes of an old autocrat—say, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak—now having to retain power in a “democracy.” What options do I face? Hard as it is to bear, I have to be honest with myself: My people do not love me. Far from being grateful for the wonders that I have achieved, they may increasingly be aware that under my long rule our country has stagnated while similar countries have transformed themselves. There are even a few cogent voices out there explaining why this situation is my fault. I shake my head in disbelief that it has come to this, seize my gold pen, and start listing my options. I decide to be systematic, in each case evaluating the pros and cons.

--Paul Collier


Option 1: Turn over a new leaf and embrace good government
Pros: This is probably what most people want. I might start feeling better about myself, and I might even leave a legacy my children could be proud of.

Cons: I haven’t much idea how to do it. The skills I have developed over the years are quite different—essentially, retaining power through shuffling a huge number of people around a patronage trough. My God, I might have to read those damned donor reports. And even if I worked out what needed to change, the civil service wouldn’t be up to implementing it. After all, I’ve spent years making sure that anyone who is exceptional or even honest is squeezed out; honest people cannot easily be controlled.

Worse still, reform might be dangerous. My “friends,” the parasitic sycophants with whom I have surrounded myself, might not put up with it: They might decide to replace me in a palace coup. They would probably dress it up to the outside world as “reform”!

But suppose I did it. Suppose I actually delivered good government. Would I get reelected? I start to think about all those rich-country political leaders who over the years have met me, often lecturing me on the need for good governance. I do a rough tally: They seemed to win their own elections only about 45 percent of the time.

So, even if I pull it off, I’m still more than likely to lose power. Best to cheat. But how?

Option 2: Lie to the voters
Pros: I control most of the media, so it is relatively easy. What’s more, my citizens have neither much in the way of education nor good reference points by which to tell how bad things really are. So, I can tell them how fortunate they are to have me as president.

Cons: I have been doing this for years, so people heavily discount anything I say. On balance, though lying seems to be worth doing, I simply cannot rely on it to deliver victory.

Option 3: Scapegoat a minority
Pros: This one works! I can blame either unpopular minorities within my country or foreign governments for all my problems. The politics of hatred has a long and, electorally speaking, pretty successful pedigree. In the Ivory Coast it was the Burkinabe immigrants; in Zimbabwe, the whites; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Tutsi. Failing all else, I can always blame Israel America. I can also promise favoritism for my own group.

Cons: Some of my best friends are ethnic minorities. In fact, they have been funding me for years in return for favors. I prefer doing business with ethnic minorities because, however rich they become, they cannot challenge me politically. It is the core ethnic groups I need to keep out of business. Scare the minorities too badly, and they will move their money out. So, though scapegoating works, beyond a certain point it gets rather costly.

Option 4: Buy the votes to win
Pros: Bribing voters plays to one of my key advantages over the opposition—I have more money.

Cons: Can I trust people to honor the deal? If I pay them, will they actually vote for me? After all, there are some pretty unscrupulous people out there.

On balance, I am not sure. I search the Web and stumble on a study by someone named Pedro Vicente at Oxford University. Vicente conducted a randomized, controlled experiment on electoral bribery in São Tomé and Príncipe. In some districts, bribery was restrained by external scrutiny, whereas in others it was not. Systematically, where bribery was unrestrained, the candidate offering bribes got more votes. Bribery works!

In fact, bribery comes in two modes: retail and wholesale. Retail bribery is expensive and difficult but might still be worthwhile. Its advantage is that I can target pockets of voters critical for success.

Why doesn’t bribery backfire? If the British Labour Party were caught offering money to individual voters in exchange for their support, the electoral damage would be massive. But in many societies elections are viewed differently. Politicians deliver nothing during their periods in office, so people expect that during the one brief moment when they exert some power politicians should dispense patronage. Hard cash in the pocket is better than promises. But even if politicians can offer bribes without provoking criticism, how can they enforce the deal? After all, the vote is secret. What is to stop voters from accepting money and then voting for the opposition?

In Kenya, the opposition recognized that telling people not to take bribes would be a vote-loser and so did not even attempt it. Instead, it proposed that people should take bribes from the government but vote for the opposition.

Why is this not a very effective counter? I have two points of discipline. One, paradoxically, is morality: Often, ordinary decent people feel bad if they take someone’s money but then renege. The other is fear of detection: How secret is the ballot? In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe’s street boys spread the word that the government would know how votes were cast, and in the prevailing conditions of misgovernance, this warning could not be treated as an idle threat.

But how much does it cost to bribe the typical voter? How many votes do I need to buy, and how much can I afford? Is there a cheaper way of buying votes?

Indeed there is: wholesale bribery. Wholesale bribery works by paying for votes delivered in blocs rather than individually. Bloc voting is very common in impoverished, traditional, rural societies, where the local big shot’s advice is not seriously questioned. When votes are counted, it is common for many villages to have voted 100 percent for one candidate. If the big shot determines how individuals vote, it is obviously cheaper to buy his support directly.

Overall, bribery is my kind of strategy. The only problem is whether I have enough money to win with it.

Option 5: Intimidate the electorate
Pros: Most politicians try to ingratiate themselves with voters, but a radically different technique is to frighten them. Most people are not particularly brave. When confronted by thugs threatening personal violence, they back down rather than stand up for themselves. One big advantage of intimidation is that even if I cannot observe how people vote, I can observe whether they vote. Given that I am playing identity politics, I know perfectly well who intends to vote for my opponent. So, I can threaten them that if they vote they will suffer.

Cons: In politics, once violence starts, it’s hard to stop. The other side might turn nasty. After all, they have the advantage of numbers. If they didn’t, I would not have to worry about losing the election. I don’t want to risk losing a contest in violence. A few images float into view: the mass power of street protests sweeping out the shah of Iran, then Haiti’s “Baby Doc,” then Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu, and finally Indonesia’s Suharto. It’s come to something when you can’t even rely on your own soldiers to shoot.

Option 6: Restrict the field to exclude the strongest candidates
Pros: This is particularly appealing because not only do I increase my chances of winning, but I hit directly at the people I most hate: my opponents. I have to find some reason for excluding them, but that is not particularly difficult. I can accuse them of corruption—after all, it is quite likely to be true. A delicious added benefit is that because donors are always urging me to be tougher on corruption, they can scarcely object. If corruption is too sensitive an issue to open, I can always try citizenship. It should be easy to trump up some ancestry that bars my enemies from running.

Cons: Unless I go whole hog, like Sani Abacha of Nigeria, and ensure I’m the only candidate on the ballot, voters will inevitably find some alternative to my own good self, however awful. They might even be sufficiently foolish to opt for it.Worried, I wonder whether there is any strategy I have overlooked. And then I heave a long, deep sigh of relief.

Option 7: Last but not least, miscount the votes
Pros: Finally, I have found a strategy that sounds reliable. With this one, I literally cannot lose. The tally might be: incumbent, 1; opponent, 10,000,000. But the headline will read: “Incumbent Wins Narrowly.” It also has advantages in reinforcing some of the other strategies. Once people get the sense that I am going to win anyway and that their true votes will not be counted, they have even less incentive to forgo bribes and take the risk of joining the opposition. Better still, I can also keep this strategy in reserve until I see that I am losing.

Cons: The international community won’t like it. I’ll just have to remember not to go overboard: not 99 percent. It should not look like a Soviet election.

Set them free

The illegal junta is treading on very thin ground by keeping well known nationalist, Iliesa Duvuloco plus 4 in captivity.

The 5 (or 6 depending on who you read) are under arrest for flouting the illegal Public Emergency Regulations which should be up in 2 days time anway.

Will this be the final straw that stirs up defiance and indignation against the tyranny of illegal Bainimarama?

April 27, 2009

If you didn't know what the Yellow Ribbon program was about, you do now

The positive news that was censor-approved to lead in the Fiji Times today is that jaw-dropping story about the thug who became a cop. Of course we believe in second chances and helping ex-offenders rehabilitate into the community they live in, but to have a man who has been a violent career criminal (and who still has cases pending against him) in the commissioner's inner sanctum sends shivers up the spine. This is taking rehabilitation a bit too far, too fast.
Career policemen who spent many days over the years trying to catch Saimoni Rokotunidau every time he went on one of his criminal escapades say they are saddened and angry to see that he is now virtually Police Commissioner Esala Teleni's new best friend, thanks to the Yellow Ribbon program. He is a driver for what's supposed to be an "elite" police unit, the Strike Back Team. He is also apparently hearing complaints from his fellow prisoners and is "interceding" on their behalf to the commissioner and probably the Commissioner of Prisons.
Word is that he has pending criminal cases, but it's probably a foregone conclusion what will happen to them, now that a "new legal order" is purportedly in place and he is pals with Teleni.
This is yet another of the commissioner's "strategies" to fight crime, much like the enforced (and failed) Christian Crusade. It sure makes you wonder about the "national security" the authorities are always harping on about, although on the Prisons Department's website, the Yellow Ribbon program appears to now be their main focus with the slogan at the top of all pages reading: "The successful reintegration of offenders into the community is the best security for society."
Staying with the police force, we took a look at their spanking new website (another "positive" item on Fiji TV's 1 National News) which raised a laugh. Well, Connect did a good job of of the site, but the funny bit is where they have "Regional News". Leaving aside the fact that the "top" regional story is about New Caledonia's rubbish being sent for recycling to Australia, it's the source of the story that's hilarious - the banned Radio Australia. The military regime this month shut down the station's transmitters in Fiji but it's own police force then helpfully points visitors to the Radio Australia site where they can read and listen to "negative" material on the regime's shenanigans. And what joy! - you can now lodge complaints online, never mind that you can barely get the cops to respond timely to an emergency by phone. Oh, and lo and behold, there's a "discussion forum", although at this posting nothing had so far been posted there. Presumably it will be appropriately censored as well, to prevent "negative" discussions. Funny how the regime that hates anti-regime bloggers, now appears to be embracing the very technology! And on a final note, check out the photo in the flash slideshow of the policemen who look more like mercenaries in dark glasses.

---

UPDATE - October 6, 2009

Ahem! We hate to say it, but we told you so

Saimoni Rokotunidau, the very former prisoner who had become cosy in the Police Commissioner's office has been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery. The charge relates to a time when he was allegedly being a reformed person in the Fiji Police Force!

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=130911

If it’s really your 55th birthday…

…then do the honorable and step out, down and into oblivion as your own decree mandates you to.

Seeing as the whole world knows that such a move would be contrary to your ego or psychological make-up, here’s something you should do to commemorate the day the planet welcomed your sorry person into it.

Remember the money you accumulated in your personal kitty after our devastating floods?

‘Fess up and tell the world how you’ve spent it. Lest you validate what the region and globe already know -- that you are a common thug, thief, usurper, enemy of the state, and man of sedition.

While you’re doing that you can also release the findings of the outgoing Auditor General’s report on the money you stole from public coffers?

Here’s your bill by the way:

There’s a tally also available here.

Thankfully these states wouldn’t trust you within an inch of their hard-earned taxpaying funds and wisely got relief agencies to disburse it:

Dr. Joseph Goebbel's Quotes

Dr Joseph Goebbel: German politician and Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945


“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”


“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”


“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”


“The grocery store is the great equalizer where mankind comes to grips with the facts of life like toilet tissue”


“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”


“Whoever can conquer the street will one day conquer the state, for every form of power politics and any dictatorship-run state has its roots in the street.”


“If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter.”

April 25, 2009

The Change Rhetoric We Simply Can’t Believe In

While democracy’s away, the vultures will play. Or as Wall Street evidently puts it “when there’s blood on the streets, buy land”.

That’s the crux of the message I got while reading the illegal Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s “thank you for playing with us” statement to Bob Lowres the front-man for the new land grab while you can at Naisoso Island.

It could even be argued that the recent devaluation was almost too opportune a moment to finally seal the deal. Even the Fiji Labour Party had vehement protestations about the absurdity of the devaluation stunt contrary however to the views of the Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Similarly the recent Fiji Water saga of sending 100 employees packing tints them with the same predator paintbrush who love to play with Bainimarama. After successfully overturning Chaudhry’s taking them to task on tax issues, they greased Bainimarama’s palms with his still-to-be-reported-on-disaster-management-kitty and have since been given full treasonous approval to play their water games to their hearts content.

We hope Fiji Water understands just how vulnerable strong brands can be from attacks. Especially brand attacks from the resource owners themselves.

Try as Khaiyum might to be as compelling as Obama, his call to other vultures to become an agent for change for Fiji falls flat. Through his speech he delicately ticks off those commercial entities that don’t rightfully want to play with an illegal regime.

Khaiyum has himself undergone many changes via his vocal chords. Not too long ago he was adamant that the constitution would continue to remain as the legal cornerstone of our country. Today, as any lying Treasoner would, he lauds the assassination attempt on the constitution as it paves the way for electoral reforms. Even with the illegal decree dangling the carrot of dual citizenship it will be a hard-sell for the required 100,000 citizens to give up the good life abroad, invest in Fiji and risk life and limb to help skew electoral reform results against the majority while they’re here.

Almost as if on cue, the chief shapeshifting change agent himself Bainimarama grants himself a medal along with Driti (possibly in appeasement to a whispered tantrum recently) and Mohammed Aziz. To legitimize the process they haul Iloilo in to do the cheap honours. Unsurprisingly all 3 have control over key military roles and under the guise of “humanity” participate in a cheap ploy to defend themselves soon against allegations of crimes against the humanity of Fiji.

Bainimarama’s captain of his cheerleading squad Kevin Barr is very recently tasked with a public relations exercise targeting Tonga. Barr is himself a former catholic priest cum social-worker and now apparently moonlights as a political analyst. Snort, Cough, Cough, Hack.

Other new state players eager to sink their fangs into Bainimarama's playgroup include the Sri Lankans and the Egyptians. Mahendra Chaudhry during his brief play-time with Bainimarama was also mighty nervous about interests from Dubai perhaps preferring the “strategic interests” to be those closely aligned to his point of view. American Samoa lends their featherweight hand and tries to find favour with Bainimarama if only to up the notches to the Obama administration on their regional credibility and in the process wiggle their way to a status seat at the PIF table which can never happen as they're a US territory.

Obviously right now China is the least of Australia and Aotearoa’s worries.

Anyway here’s some change Bainimarama et al better believe in. They will be out of power sooner than they think. We have the Samoan PM Tuilaepa cheering us on from Apia in that regard.

April 24, 2009

Horsing Around as Economic Setbacks Continue

We don’t honestly know what the Fiji Times was thinking with this editorial saluting the 55 and over’s illegal and forced departure from the civil service as a “change for the better”, but it certainly belies the norms of effective workforce and organizational planning policies. For the moment we’ll put it down to the censorship gag which PACNEWS is now pushing back on.

Eradicating all those over 55 (with the privileged exceptions of Bainimarama & Teleni) from the face of the civil service is just irrational. Especially as we all know there are no set internal means in existence within the civil service to capture their institutional knowledge of where things are at, upon their departure. It is simply impossible to capture it all within a span of day’s (there are some reports of instant departures) whereas normally institutional knowledge is embedded into organizational procedures and structures. The fact that there will be a helluva lot of extra workloads thrown upon the remaining civil servants to deal with is almost guaranteeing worse off service outcomes to taxpayers. In effect the taxpayers once again bear the brunt of this flawed and illegal decree.

The Fiji Times asserts that having new blood in the civil service is critical. It is foolhardy to generalize that all younger/new/currently bottle-necked individuals waiting for their time to shine will possess performance vitality. Appalling leadership, an unhealthy organizational culture and erratic internal processes (like ineffective performance management as we will agree with FT) of the civil service inhibits innovation, exemplary output and enhanced services to those who are paying for it.

Just ask the bureaucrats up at Berkeley Crescent and all the expensive multitudes of publicly funded consultancy reports littering their bookshelves. Ultimately we need look no further than to Parmesh Chand and the now illegal role he holds to ensure that those changes happen. That’s as pie in the sky as Frank stepping down tomorrow on his own accord.

We won’t even dare mention the constitutional wrongs of such blatant age discrimination even though it is highly pertinent and the constitutional is still alive. As a by the way it will be interesting to see if this illegal decree ensures that Shaista Shameem, now fast approaching 60, will be just about ready to be let out to pasture as well. It appears by way of some whispers that she may already be enroute to the paddock.

The economic fall0ut of this flawed policy and illegal decree will be severe. Assuming that these 1,000 or so over-55er’s were on a conservatively estimated salary of FJD$30K that essentially boils down to savings of about $30mill from now on. Which is dandy for Bainimarama’s continued illegal empire building.

However the other end of the spectrum also means that there is a $30mill LESS floating actively within the economy (goods, services) and it will fall upon the illegal regime to somehow subsidize normal government mandated services.

It also means there’s less taxes for collection and therefore even less income for custodians of our national coffers at FIRCA to depend on for next year’s budget.

The superannuation custodians FNPF can also expect similar trends.

Moody’s reassessment to our credit ratings 2 notches down from B1 to Ba2 reiterates the point to the global stage yet again not to touch us with a 10-foot pole. From that statement it appears we should be ready for more downgrades.

Perhaps the thinking is that this new injection of idle hands belonging to the over 55-ers can contribute to more agricultural productivity? All good thoughts except that the tourism industry if that’s who we’re targeting needs fresh agricultural produce that is up to par with international standards and therefore their customers expectations. Plus they need those goods now and preferably before the next import costs of 20% hikes suck up any savings from “less for more” prices paid by tourists offshore.

The latest up, close and personal piece by the new illegal central bank guv, Sada Reddy, is a laugh a minute particularly in light of the Wall St Journal’s assessments of us now being “junk territory” and the soon to be felt impacts on our reserves. Whispers now surfacing of “insider trading” antics by some privileged few relating to stocking up on foreign exchange before the devaluation was announced is concerning. Likewise Reddy’s apparent intent to focus on the tourism sector and the locally well-known fact that he has a personal interest in the sector will be increasingly evident as events unfold. Again it’s a clear case of who watches the watchers in’nt it?

Reddy’s enabling legislation clearly mandates his role to be overseen by a board. Obviously with no board in place the path is all clear for Bainimarama to do as he pleases with the central bank.

Even if the banks and the central bank hook up and decide to stabilize the economy the unspoken understanding is that the real power is in the hands of consumers who can decide to keep their money firmly inside their pockets because of inflation.

The prison’s departments recent yellow ribbon initiative to acquire horses to help out with agricultural productivity is also perplexing. One would logically assume that the availability of strapping young men (considering current inmate demographics) currently serving time would be much cheaper and more “traditional” than horses. It is quite befuddling.

The junta’s intention to send a high-profile delegation by way of Commander Naupoto, now illegal permanent secretary to Bainimarama to attend a UN mandated regional security meeting in Tonga is worthy of a big Kaila (Loud Laugh). It is most ironic that they (Naupoto included) as the current regional security destabilizer’s would unflinchingly dare to attend. Obviously the UN Security Council’s recent objection’s to Bainimarama’s illegal position has escaped this corner of the world. This signal from the UN Security Council however has now taken our political woes to a whole new global level.

On the legal front of all things illegal, Christopher Pryde the ever-faithful hack to illegal Attorney General Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum, takes the mantle to push his illegality further and step up to remain as illegal Solicitor General. Pryde lashes out at the NZ Law Society and further risks his ability to practice again back home so he’s obviously comfortable with the idea of camping out here for the duration of Bainimarama’s debauched 5 year rule.

Niko Nawaikula, ousted PM Laisenia Qarase’s legal counsel’s views to comply with the illegally appointed courts lest the boycott of the courts “create a backlog in cases and delay justice” were astounding. Obviously it has escaped the learned counsel that justice in this country is neither here nor there, with the junta’s attempted assassination of the constitution. The hearts and minds campaign declaring the constitution as dead and gone has failed.

The illegal Court Registrar, Major Ana Rokomokoti-Daucakacaka after being sprung by shredders and consequently lying through her teeth in reaction to shredding attempts now attempts to pervert the course of justice by notifying all and sundry that all cases attempting to challenge her bosses legality will not be entertained in the now militarily couped court.

This is the kind of justice that Nawaikula was pleading for fellow lawyers to bow to?

It’s up to the Fiji Law Society to get and keep their legal game up. Not only is acquiescing to the illegal abrogation of the constitution unacceptable, they need to remain the legal watch-dogs ensuring that more then ever they must continue to “promote the welfare and to preserve and maintain the integrity and status of the legal profession.

Anything less then these fine objectives would be a a disservice to the profession and the people of this country.

April 23, 2009

Enforcing "positivity" through the barrel of the gun

Fiji's military junta continue their clampdown on the media, targeting the Pacific's only news service, Pacnews, again on Tuesday.
The "censors" turned up after-hours (must be getting ideas from the military) because they had seen three articles on the news service's website they didn't like.
Finding the office closed, they trooped upstairs to Islands Business and asked staff there to get in touch with somebody from Pacnews. It fell to Pita Ligaiula to return to the office to delete these "negative" stories from the website. Ligaiula was only last Thursday detained at Central Police Station for about 24 hours because of stories he had written for the Associated Press the weekend before that had been published in Australia.
The article in particular that irked the military was a story on the UN Security Council's condemnation over the purported abrogation of the Constitution - never mind the fact that it was already widely reported by non-Fiji media.
We hear that they also objected to a story on Australia asking China to refrain from cheque-book diplomacy which is propping up the military junta, as well as a story on the condemnation from PNG of this fifth "coup".

April 20, 2009

Shredding away justice from our courts

While an additional treasonous party of 9 take their illegal oaths as magistrates today, the new illegal Court Registrar, Major Ana Rokomokoti-Daucakacaka, has apparently not wasted any time in attempting to blur the murky illegal tracks of Bainimarama’s military regime.

The mugshots of the sorry illegal 9 can be viewed here and they are:

  1. Illegal Chief Magistrate Ajmal Khan
  2. Salesi Temo
  3. Maika Nakaora
  4. Anare Tuilevuka
  5. John Rabuku
  6. Alofa Seruvatu
  7. Mohammed Nazeem ud-Dean Sahu Khan
  8. Anjala Wati
  9. Faizal Koya

Sources point to a high level directive for all legal files involving the military junta to be sent to Major Rokomoti’s office supposedly for shredding. Shredding began as early as last week. Sources also highlight that senior staff at the courts are being terminated.

The files of pertinent interest to Major Rokomoti include the Court of Appeal case files and all files listing Bainimarama’s et al as defendants.

While the high court appointment for illegal Chief Justice is yet to be announced, sources say that Justice Daniel Gounder has accepted a seat back on the high court bench while Nazhat Shameem is not stepping up to the plate this time and will be compensated perhaps for contractual obligations.

Australian judges are apparently not biting the illegal Attorney General’s offer for additional bench-time either.

There will be an after

As much as some take delight in rubbishing this regime or whatever tag we give it, the focus or part of it anyway, must be on what happens when all this is over and done with.

By now, most people would have come to realise the removal of government using illegal means, is, and never will be a good thing.

There are also some who are questioning the role of a military in Fiji. Is it worth it keeping something of that size in a country which does have not have anything worth pludering? Some will argue that our peacekeepers have contributed to our GDP and all that goes with it. And that ex-soldiers are responsible for remittances.

To balance it all out, are all those dollars worth the troubles that Fiji has been put through since 1987 by the military?

Now that Voreqe and company have established their new order, the Constitution is abrogated, and so there is no treason and the punsihment by hanging is no more. As Rabuka guaranteed his own skin after 1987, we can be assured that the new order will also do the same for Voreqe and his lot.

Some are asking what will the military do if the new parliament, when we do get one, wants to punish the people who did this to Fiji. Who knows what will happen in the future?

And what will the military, after the talk of equal representation and the same value for all votes, give themselves some representation in parliament. And appoint a president, who up until the duly selected one could only sign off on Bills after it had been passed by both Houses of Parliament, actually has veto powers?

Elections are still only a promise. But we can all safely assume that they will not allow the next group of leaders to put them away.

How do we go about it then?

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

History repeats itself. The spirit of Maafu, the Tongan who in the 1800’s attempted to install himself as a supreme being in Fiji, has been revived through the illegal Vice-President who is himself Tongan with close links to the royal Tongan palace.

If that’s not enough of a key ingredient for regional instability, the Melanesians wrongly think the Samoan PM, Tuileapa’s attack on Fiji as an affront to Melanesian unity and PNG’s “here and there” views of Bainimarama are inconsistent perhaps because one of their own is very tight with the military regime cohorts. In particular the now illegal second lady.

The illegal Attorney General, Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum is supposed to be appointing more of his merry treasonous henchmen in wigs today. The quick and dirty illegal edits to the make-up and role of the Judiciary Services Commission is visibly central to immunity for those willing to fall from legal grace. Pundits point to Nazhat Shameem and former military man himself Isikeli Mataitoga as top contenders for the chief legal treasoner role.

Nazhat’s stand on the same issue during the coup in 2000 will be closely monitored for consistency.

Bainimarama’s self-serving “55 years and over out-the-door-now” decree is apparently causing much anxst with his own military crew.

For now despite the media censorship, our 4th estaters continue to be heralded for their innovation against the tyranny of the pen. The blogs also continue to make news.

Fijians in Australia begin to mobilize themselves to clamp down on Bainimarama’s regime with outside pressure.

Ballu Khan leads a similar charge in Aotearoa. But the NZ Government stupidly jumps the gun and talks about a possible multilateral troops exercise if it came to it (which will undoubtedly piss off other Pacific countries especially the Melanesians) and only lend credence to Bainimarama soon chest-thumping "I told you so".

Canada now lends its weight to the international condemnation of all-things illegal in this country.

The Economist highlights our political merry-ground as a puppet-show which can only herald a darker Fijian economic outlook to the world.

Meanwhile the undercurrents of “bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” are brewing and stewing. We again reiterate our point that it must all be peaceful.

Bainimarama’s early morning today visit to the Govt IT Department is being monitored.

April 17, 2009

The Power of Conscience In Numbers

The human mind is such a powerful thing. Through the ages it has propelled us from the basics to the “developed” world that we now live in.

Thankfully we are also inherently born with a conscience. In all the things we participate in to live as members of the human race, we are also born with an inner voice, if you will, that niggles at us when we “feel” we are either on the right or wrong track.

Consider the conscience of Martin Luther King as he dreamed his big dream for the freedom of the negroes in the United States of America. That dream is now a global reality through Barack Obama. That dream was fought long and hard for. But the dream came to be only because it was fought peacefully.

Ghandi, also compelled by his conscience dreamed the same peaceful dream for India.

We as a nation are currently paralysed, anxious, fed up, fearful, frustrated, uncertain about the apparent rumblings underfoot. We carry sentiments that vindication, revenge, must be had. It is true. It is human. With a character of Bainimarama’s ilk, we have every right to demand better because we suffer at the hands of a so-called leader we did not choose.

Perhaps the Indigenous Fijian version of an Emanicipation Proclamation is a start. But our conscience dictates that it must be peaceful.

The adage that violence begets violence has been proven time and again, century after century, generation after generation. It can never be a legacy for Fiji.

Driven by our conscience and the same dream, we can oppose and defeat this military regime. But let our opposition be peaceful and smart.

With the same dream, we will throw out the “journalism of hope”, “new legal order” visions that are not ours.

With the same dream, we can turn our backs on the apparent appointment of an illegal Vice President.

With the same dream, we can flip the bird at illegal (however tempting) directives to commercial banks.

With the same dream, we will reclaim the right to information.

With the same dream, we must continue to do justice to the Constitution and reject outright the notion that it has been illegally taken away.

With the same dream, we will not be used as pawns by the possible machinations of some but make the dream of a Free Fiji, our own aspiration.

With the same dream, we must resist the urge to lash out but be guided by our conscience, common decency and respect for each other as members of the universal human family.

With the same dream, we as a people of this great nation must:
COMMIT ourselves anew to living in harmony and unity, promoting social justice and the economic and social advancement of all communities, respecting their rights and interests and strengthening our institutions of government

But let the dream be peaceful and aligned to our constitution.

April 16, 2009

What other shenanigans can we expect today?

The newly appointed and illegal Governor of our central bank heralds his entrance with the ominous announcement of the 20% devaluation to our already stressed Fiji dollar.

According to the illegal Bainimarama it is aimed at luring tourists back, but the rolling out of decree’s yesterday notably the Decree 7 illegally allowing dual citizenship show’s otherwise. If new Fiji citizens are lured by the opportunity to purchase property or invest/re-invest, a stable political environment is mandatory – Economics 101. If the idea is to channel more remittances in, perhaps it has escaped Bainimarama’s shady fiscal policy advisors that worldwide remittances are slowing down because of the global economic crunch that we are only now pathetically responding to.

Perhaps the grand plan is to lure foreign exchange into the country leaving the majority of our citizens to tussle with hiked costs to 20% of imported goods. It includes essentials such as mortgage payments, food (rice, flour, potatoes), fuel, medicines, building materials etc and guess who has to pick up the short-fall or face the social impact consequences? Yes you Bainimarama. The “apolitical” tourism industry (we have not forgotten just how “apolitical” this group was in fighting Qarase’s draft qoliqoli legislation), will also bear increased costs of food importation that domestic production standards can’t meet.

The hint that exports will peak from the devaluation is shakey. Our export earning mainstay, the sugar industry, which still has lost its core buyer the EU has been on a consistent downward free-fall. The rise in domestic costs to boost exports effectively cancel out any savings as economist Satish Chand points out delicately.

Essentially no new money will make its way into the economy and the begging by the illegal RBF Governor that We the People need to bear inflation for only 12 months is ridiculous and downright arrogant. What more can this illegal regime suck out of its citizens?

Ultimately the whole charade points again to lies by Bainimarama & his former partner-in-crime Chaudhry that the economy was ruined by Qarase and they would super-heroicly fix it. Mmmhmm.

In case it escapes them, the military regime's apparent brainwave to shunt civil servants over 55 out the door in coming weeks will also impact the economy via productivity. It is a very short-sighted policy approach to reducing the cost of running government. Shutting down the military would be a more welcome policy direction.

All in all, on the economic side of things, we are happy to go with NZ’s Murray McCulley’s views that someone or someone’S is/are hell-bent on ruining our economy.

On the media front, it is reported that Kavai Damu a Fiji live reporter was hauled up for trying to do his job. We note that Leweni’s new karate-chop enforcer Pene Nonu has been leading the charge on this one and is the one warning all journalists including the now departed Sean Dorney to comply with the illegal Public Emeregency Regulations. Yeah, we see you Pene. Fiji is a small place and the bloggers are here to blast you all out of the water.

The illegal regime continues to be hell-bent also on curbing the media and free speech with the removal of Radio Australia’s transmitters yesterday (except on short-wave radio folks…the signal never dies).

While they continue to strangle the media and free speech, the rumour mills has us now relaying a whisper that Nazhat Shameem is tipped to take over as Chief Justice. Stay tuned.

But we round off this morning bulletin morning to HAIL a staunch freedom activist Prof Wadan Narsey who yesterday gave an outstanding presentation at the University of the South Pacific’s and ECREA convened forum as part of the Rev Niukula lecture series. Suffice to say that the presentation took the bull (and all their supporters) by the horn and whipped them around verbally.

Prof Narsey will be closely monitored by the blogosphere especially on our Heroes Roll Call.


April 15, 2009

RBF announces 20% Devaluation to FJD

Sigh.

Defiance is the order of the day

So. Here we are. Another day of non-productivity that pours millions down the drain while our central bank defiantly tries to save our reserves. The RBF can only try its best to stem the gush.

The self-appointed illegal leader defies the calls for Elections and lies about the so-called 64% support of HIS ideals and the normalcy of our current situation.

Lo and behold we even detect some knee-knocking as Bainimarama now begins to fear another coup within a coup of his 3 coup's.

The illegal Attorney General finds it fit to defy our local media and spill his guts to the international press as if it will gain him any credibility. Furthermore he continues to defy the notion that his soon to be known illegal judicial appointments will be independent and impartial. The individuals who take up these roles will be hard-pressed to ignore the treasonous oaths they take as officers of the court, against a constitution that is still very much alive.

Iloilo as the illegal Head of State continues to defy logic by continuing to put his hand to more farcical decrees that feebly attempt to keep the arms of government buzzing.

But neither Fiji or the world is fooled. We are in a mess and and we are the scorn of the regional neighborhood.

Growing defiance is also continuing in our opposition of this illegal military regime. Dorsami Naidu’s staunch defiance even from the 4 walls of his cell are note-worthy and to be applauded. It is a bright spark in these dark days.

Jone Baledrokadroka’s latest radio interview is all the more enlightening about how effective the might of the military really is when the masses are defiant.

Dark days yes but peaceful defiance is central to our freedom as a nation. There are no limits to how that should look.

Continuous hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing and wailing from the sides should not be an option.

April 14, 2009

Citizen’s Roll Call

Because needs must, we’re going back to the old school yard with the roll call.

These are the folks that have been “arrested” or unjustly held todate by the military dictatorship and as far as we know, are still being held under those circumstances.

If you know of or still await news of their release, follow Discombobulated Bubu’s news alert links and make those updates known.

Michael Field takes 3 News NZ by storm by airing his views on the very “Limited” Bainimarama. Watch the video interview here where Field calls on NZ to start ramping up the pressure on Fiji’s tourism export earnings as well as our UN peacekeeping privileges.

Unsurprisingly these views were also echoed succinctly by former military man currently on a fellowship at ANU, Jone Baledrokadroka in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

The economy will be the straw that breaks Bainimarama’s back and our people will have a fighting chance if they take control of what they own and what they inherently know .