January 31, 2011

Mining: Fiji's "new and illegal" economic life-line

The illegal and treasonous "minista" (and ALP left-over in the cabinet who is ever anxious to justify his presence), Netani Sukanaivalu in charge of lands and minerals is ecstatic over the new cash-cow of mineral resources.

Sukanaivalu is hedging his bets that Fiji's mineral resources could take-over the tourism industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings.

Too bad though that in order to realize this pipe-dream, access to land and sea all need consent from We the People, that is the land and i qoliqoli owners.

Bainimarama as the self-imposed incoming Melanesian Spearhead Group Chair only has to look across the ditch to understand just how unsuccessful the idea of deep-sea mining is taking root with our neighbours.

More importantly, the impacts on the ocean will be closely monitored by global scientists.

Fundamentally it's the same old hype that we heard way back then, when gold was be-all and end-all for Fiji's economy.
New biggest income earner
Maciu Malo
Monday, January 31, 2011

MINERAL resources are set to surpass tourism as the biggest income earner for the nation.

Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Netani Sukanaivalu, told The Fiji Times, the booming mineral resources industry would rake in billions of dollars annually for the next 20 to 30 years.

He said the success of the Namosi gold and copper mines, the Vatukoula gold mine, coupled with deep sea exploration in Naselai waters, would bring in much needed revenue for the Government.

"I believe mineral resources are our future," he said.

"It's going to be a billion dollar empire and our job in the Ministry for Lands and Resources is to match the mining sector development within the next four years or so. We support tourism but right now mineral is running ahead of tourism."

Mr Sukanaivalu said the Tuvatu Gold Mine and the black sand in the Ba delta would soon be opened for business.

He said oil and gas exploration would also get under way in five months time.

"We have three companies that are applying for an exploration licence to mine our deep sea and we have the oil exploration right now and they will start drilling in June or July at Naselai.

"That will cut our supply to 30-50 per cent of gas and oil."

He said his ministry needed to prepare itself in terms of manpower and resources. Thirteen investors have shown interest to mine at Mount Kasi.

Mr Sukanaivalu said the committee had been screening all applicants and would submit their recommendations to the ministry.

"The ministry will then send its final recommendation for the Prime Minister to make the final decision," he said.

More micro-managing by the illegal and treasonous regime

Once again, the illegal and treasonous Voreqe Bainimarama dabbles in things beyond his calling and expertise.

While the name of this currently targetted (and past his/her use-by date) CEO is being with-held, the "investigation basis" appears to fit the bill of Fijian Holdings.

Probe into top CEO, payouts

The chief executive officer of one of the country's major companies is being investigated for alleged corruption.

When he was asked, this was confirmed yesterday by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

The Fiji Sun was reliably informed that the investigation is based on:

- The CEO receiving two salaries. One as the CEO of the company and the other as the board chairman of one of the subsidiary companies.

- The approval by the CEO for a $155,000 payout with a company car to one of the company managers who resigned. This was done despite the fact that the manager who received this was not entitled to the payout.

Sources indicated that the manager's resignation came after the Government found he had allowed the CEO to be paid the two salary packages.

The source also indicated that this forced Prime Minister Bainimarama to intervene and call for an investigation.

He then directed that the money and the car be returned immediately.

Up to now, according to the source, only the car and $50,000 have been recovered.

Commodore Bainimarama confirmed sending out the directive.

"Investigation is currently underway and I have nothing more to say," he said.

The company's CEO failed to respond to queries sent by the Fiji Sun.

When contacted, the CEO agreed to attend to the queries but did not respond.

Also the company's board chairman was contacted at home and indicated that he was busy and would later return the call.

However, this also had not eventuated when this edition went to press last night.

January 27, 2011

Air Pacific's Expat Recruitment Drive Begins

We've said it over and over (and over again).

Even the Transport Workers Union chimed in despite the illegal and treasonous tourism "Minister", Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's attempt to convince us otherwise.

The recruitment drive for expats only (selling a Fiji/Pacific airline and its products) has begun.

And the losers ultimately -- despite the illogical reasoning -- will be citizens and taxpayers who dig deep in their pockets to help pay for the airline.

Inline with Air Pacific’s new company strategy for commercial operations, Air Pacific has appointed Anna Denby as PR & Communications Manager effective 04th January 2011. Anna will be based in Air Pacific’s Sydney office.

Miss Denby comes from a strong Tourism & Travel background including RTO, NTO and hotel group representation. Miss Denby will be managing all PR & Communications for Air Pacific across all markets including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and the South Pacific Islands.

“I’m very excited about the new direction Air Pacific is taking for 2011” said Miss Denby. “Air Pacific has a proud history and holds an enviable position as the prime carrier of the South Pacific. I’m really looking forward to getting the brand out there and working closely with our partners to ensure the key messages are being received by the industry and consumers”.

Air Pacific’s General Manager Sales and Marketing, Michael Nacola, stated, “We’re delighted to have someone of Anna’s caliber on-board. She has extensive tourism and travel experience that will add value to our team. Anna will lead marketing communications to trade partners and consumers on fare offerings, product changes and business enhancements and has the requisite skills and contacts to manage this important role. We have an exciting year ahead as we look to raise the profile of our brand in key markets and cement our position as the carrier of choice to Fiji and the South Pacific.”

Source = Air Pacific

Fiji's tax folks on a self-promotion high

I mean really, what is the news here?

The tax folks up at the Fiji Inland Revenue & Customs Authority (FIRCA) are gloating about an IMPOSED tax registration exercise, the benefits towards the state's coffers yet to be fully understood or realized and now they see fit to wallow in a"record collection" of revenue for 2010.

What could be so newsworthy about that? These suckers basically sit back and our money jumps into their coffers, because we unwillingly pay taxes to an illegal and treasonous regime, while we get nothing to show for it.

With the illegal and treasonous Lt Col Pio Tikoduadua and his confused worldviews shabby performance thus far, it is no wonder he would be desperate for SOMETHING to boast about.

FIRCA achieves record collection
Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority achieved its highest ever level of revenue collection last year.

FIRCA Board Chairman Colonel Pio Tikoduadua described the 2010 revenue collections as outstanding, surpassing the revised projected revenue by $22.3m.

Tikoduadua says last year’s collection also increased by $91m when compared to 2009.

This positive outcome has been attributed to the solid collection of Value Added Tax.

Tikoduadua says Hotel turnover tax and customs duty collected were also above the forecast, and although the total income tax collected was below the forecast, PAYE which is the major component of Income Tax exceeded expectations.

Report by: Roland Koroi

Big Brother is Watching....the kids

As if depriving squatters of the right to housing, backed up only by fabricated allegations (and abuse) re: drug dealing wasn't enough, the illegal and treasonous regime now turn their attention to minors at internet shops.

Parents watch your kids. There's no telling what the illegally long-unrestrained and abusive arm of the law will do.

How about getting out there and incarcerating some real criminals IP Sokoimuri?
Lawmen monitor internet shops
Monika Singh
Thursday, January 27, 2011

POLICE will keep a close watch on Internet shops in the country to ensure students do not skip school and loiter around them.

Assistant police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said during the school holidays last year police attended to some cases whereby students were found outside Internet shops late at night.

"We want students to know that police officers will be monitoring these Internet shops and we want to warn students that they should be in school during school hours and not at these Internet shops," he said.

IP Sokomuri said community police officers would be on patrol near such outlets which attracted students to ensure their safety.

He said police had seen some students outside the Internet shops in Suva this week. He advised students to be in school during school hours.

"This is only the third day of school and we are monitoring these places and we hope that students will pay attention to our advice and concentrate on school work."

January 26, 2011

Signals of interest from USA and Australia

Excerpt of transcript from US State Department Press Briefing for 24 January 2011:
Assistant Secretary for Eastern Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell is in Hawaii today leading an interagency delegation, a series of meetings on Pacific Island issues, including an annual bilateral coordination meeting with the Asian Development Bank and a trilateral security dialogue with Australia and Japan. He will also hold trilateral consultations with Australia and New Zealand. The purpose of these meetings is to confirm our shared commitment to work together with Pacific Island countries to enhance security and prosperity in the region. They will also pledge their support for steps that will hasten the restoration of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Fiji. Assistant Secretary Campbell will also participate in a State of the Pacific Dialogue hosted by the East-West Center to discuss key issues related to the Pacific Islands.

QUESTION: And I suppose in January he decided Hawaii was a better venue than, say, Beltsville or something like that? (Laughter.) Is he going anywhere – is he going across – is he crossing the Pacific?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a very good question. I don’t think so, but I will – if he has any further on travel, we’ll let you know at that point.

QUESTION: Do you know who exactly he’s meeting with from these other countries – his counterparts?

MR. CROWLEY: His counterparts.

QUESTION: And there were three, again? They were New Zealand, Australia, and Japan?

MR. CROWLEY: New Zealand, Australia, and Japan in different combinations. But I do think there are representatives coming in from a broad range of countries, including island countries in the region –

QUESTION: All right.

Australia Day Message to Fiji from Acting Australina High Commissioner:
Aust ready to assist Fiji
Publish date/time: 26/01/2011 [17:01]

The Acting Australian High Commissioner to Fiji has extended Australia's offer to Fiji again that they are ready to assist Fiji make a transition to democracy through a free and fair election at the earliest opportunity.

In her statement for Australia Day celebrations today, Judith Robinson said Australia remains committed to supporting the welfare of the people of Fiji by maintaining programmes to support the delivery of essential services, helping vulnerable groups and improving economic opportunity for rural communities.

Robinson said Australia's total financial assistance to development projects in Fiji, either directly or through regional programmes, in the year to June 2011 is estimated at 67.6 million dollars.

She said Australians consumed goods and services from Fiji to the tune of 2.09 billion dollars in 2009 to 2010 while Fiji imported 888 million dollars worth of goods and services from Australia.

It has also been revealed that just over 1,300 Fiji citizens were granted permanent residency visas to live and work in Australia in 2009 to 2010. More than 60 thousand Fiji born citizens now live permanently in Australia.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) debacle hits the Wall St Journal

The whole world, if it didn't before, now knows that what appears to be a little rugby tiff was really a politically motivated move by the illegal and treasonous military regime to gain total control of Fiji's rugby world.

Unfortunately for Bainimarama and the utterly clueless (as well as illegal and treasonous) Commerce Commissioner, Mahendra Reddy and inept "Minister in charge", Filipe Bole -- their jurisdiction cannot be imposed on the International Rugby Board, to which the FRU is accredited.

The Wall St Journal (WSJ) article explicitly breaks it down that "Fiji's dictatorship earlier this month accused the local rugby board of running an illegal lottery to raise funds for the team" and even reveals that the whole mess sent Filipe Bole scurrying for cover by not being available to answer questions (NOT available to answer questions from the Wall St Journal mind you!).

And for context the article goes even further to remind it's readers (read: investors) about the current business environment in Fiji by highlighting the Fiji Water fracas as well as the forced closure of it's sister paper, the REAL Fiji Times.

The military dictatorship just doesn't get it. Because they are soooooo predictable, we knew way back in March last year that they had designs on manipulating the FRU (perhaps to ensure that Bainimarama's yet unrewarded murderers (and totally undisciplined) rugby boys who have been trying in vain to represent the country but are restricted by a global "black-list", can FINALLY don the Fiji jersey).

We have no doubt that the same modus operandi is being "copy & pasted" in Fiji's netball arena as well.

The whole sorry lot of 'em need to be sin-binned forever.
* JANUARY 26, 2011, 2:17 A.M. ET
Fiji's Rugby Team Caught in Funding Dispute

WELLINGTON, New Zealand—A dispute between international rugby's governing body and Fiji's military-led government has put the top-ranked national team's accreditation at risk ahead of the widely watched Rugby World Cup.

Fiji's rugby team, known as the Flying Fijians, is ranked 10th internationally, but their unique playing style makes them a spectator favorite, and they are one of the drawing cards for the Rugby World Cup in September.

But Fiji's dictatorship earlier this month accused the local rugby board of running an illegal lottery to raise funds for the team. The government ordered the board to resign in exchange for 3 million Fijian dollars (US$1.6 million) to fund the team's participation in the cup, which will be hosted by New Zealand.

The ultimatum spurred concerns about political interference in the sport, and raised concerns over whether the Fijian team's governing body should have its accreditation revoked.

Fiji's sports minister, Filipe Bole couldn't be reached to comment Tuesday.

The International Rugby Board, based in Dublin, is due to send a delegation to Fiji next month to mediate the dispute.

Rafaele Kasibulu, the Fijian board's interim chairman, said the board members retracted their resignations when they received a letter of support from the IRB. Mr. Kasibulu declined to comment on the government's allegation of wrongdoing, but said its monetary offer for the team was about half the amount needed to fund the team in the world cup.

Fiji's government charged the local governing body with five breaches of a code called the Commerce Commission Decree. The charges include deceptive or misleading conduct, unconscionable conduct, false or misleading representation, misleading conduct in relation to goods and failure to provide gifts or prizes offered.

The case will be heard in the High Court in the capital, Suva, said Bobby Majaraj, Chief Executive of Fiji's Commerce Commission, in an email.

Rugby is Fiji's national sport with around 80,000 people playing it in a country with a population of just 850,000. The team reached the quarterfinals of the 2007 World Cup but lost to South Africa. Its Rugby Sevens team missed out on playing in the Commonwealth Games in 2010 because of Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth since 2009.

A spokesman for the International Rugby Board said its chief executive, Mike Miller, will meet with officials from the Fiji board in early February to discuss their initial decision to resign, and to allay concerns about political interference in the sport.

A threat to the local union's independence could force the international body to revoke its accreditation and its right to play in international competition.

 "The IRB is concerned about the breach of the bylaws of the constitution," the spokesman said.

The last time a team was excluded from international rugby was between 1976 and 1992, when Commonwealth governments agreed to avoid sporting contact with South Africa because of the country's apartheid regime. The IRB excluded the nation from the 1987 and 1991 Rugby World Cups.

The dispute comes as Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama's military regime, which took power in 2006, increasingly finds itself at loggerheads with international businesses.

Late last year, bottled-drink company Fiji Water closed its plant in the country in response to steep taxes imposed suddenly on companies that extract large volumes of water from the country. The company, owned by billionaire investors Lynda and Stewart Resnick, later reopened the factory after meetings with the government.

Media company News Corp. was forced to close the Fiji Times after the government introduced laws banning foreign ownership of the media, last year. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

January 25, 2011

Aiyaz's justifies illegal Crimes Decree to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

This gem of a statement, presented by the illegal and treasonous Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) will one day soon, come back to haunt him.

It is highly unlikely that the glowing self-preservation legalese fooled any of the State Parties to the ICC.

Statement by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice


Mr. President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

I am sure we are all in agreement that since 1998, the Rome Statute, its philosophical basis and indeed its implementation has been successful. I would like to this afternoon put before you some ideas for consideration in the deliberations which are to take place over the next two weeks.

The chance we have in this review process here in Kampala is to assess the hitherto achievements, consider ways of improving the implementation of the Statute, and I would suggest an assessment of what needs to be committed to, if there is to be sustainability and an augmented legitimacy and recognition of the ICC.

Furthermore while we are all gathered here to discuss the future of the ICC, we must also recognize that the ICC is the last resort. The ICC and our domestic courts which have or should have domestic laws that compliment the Rome statute are curative.

What I mean Mr. President, is that we have an equal a duty to not just ensure the ICC is successful and more countries ratify the Rome Statute, but to also ensure that the crimes, the offences, the acts which fall within the domain of the Rome statute do not actually take place or at the very least are minimized. After all, prevention is better than cure.

How do we do this?

The Fijian Government believes, and I am sure that you would all agree, that these acts are minimized by a change in attitude, by putting in place structures and systems that actually give rise to justice or conversely remove injustices and create peace. Systemic injustices over prolonged periods provide the ‘reason’ for some perpetrators of such abhorrent crimes.

So what are the some of these structural issues? These include for example ensuring that the national electoral systems are based on the principles of actual equal suffrage and on common and equal citizenry that ensure one person, one citizen has one vote irrespective of religious, ethnic or other communal notions. The value of those votes must be equal. Equality in this sense creates equality and access to political and economic resources.

On the other hand, within the context of complementarity, what we call the supplementary measures, laws must be introduced to ensure attitudinal change and acceptance of certain values. These for example would include, as we have done in Fiji, the criminalization of domestic violence, the removal of gender bias rules of evidence and laws, removal of systemic discrimination and corruption.

In addition, international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention Against Corruption, are integral parts of the supplementary measures. These create the fundamental framework to inculcate universally accepted values and principles in the first place.

Mr. President,

I am pleased to report that Fiji, in the past 12 months, has made enormous strides in the areas I have just highlighted.

As far as complimentarity is concerned we have recently repealed nearly a 100 year old Penal Code, inherited from our colonial past, and replaced it with the Crimes Decree. This Decree incorporates all the offences prescribed as crimes against humanity and genocide. The Crimes Decree also removes all gender biases, including Victorian rules of corroboration in rape trials.

If I could at this stage suggest that complimentarity will be successful if countries with limited resources are provided adequate and appropriate resources. Fiji is one of the five countries from the Pacific small island developing states that has ratified the Statute. Fiji is the largest with a population of approximately 900,000. Some of you have that many people in one of your suburbs. You can see that resourcing would be an issue.

Mr. President, assistance can also take the form of acknowledgement and recognition. The recent strides made by Fiji have gone largely unacknowledged by the larger and economically more powerful neighbors and indeed internationally. Nonetheless, Fiji shall pursue its objective to be a good international citizen, promote justice domestically and internationally, and be a strong advocate of the ICC.

The former Secretary General of the UN, Mr Kofi Annan, a key proponent of the Statute, yesterday made two critical points. First, that 3 out of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and 6 out of the G20 are yet to ratify the Rome Statute.

He also alluded to the fact that we cannot have the smaller states, the less powerful states become State Parties when the powerful do not. We agree with Mr. Annan.

This situation Mr. President will become untenable after a period of time. It can undermine legitimacy. Indeed, this becomes even more poignant if and when referrals are made by the Security Council to the ICC.

In addition, this lends to impunity. Indeed, the discussions have centered to a large extent on impunity of those within the system so to speak but not outside. I would suggest that the removal of impunity must be universal. Not selective.

Selection in this sense, or what some would term disequilibrium, will at the very least create a perception of, a sense of, injustice. The ICC is too important to let it fall within the same space of, at times, the selective application or obfuscation of various United Nations resolutions and international law.

The principle of the rule of law, which put simply is, the law is applied to all and that when that law is applied, it is applied equally, must be adhered to. The system, both domestic and international, must ensure that this principle prevails. It cannot and should not be allowed to be politicized or interfered with.

After all, some would suggest that the real test of the ICC will be when individuals from the powerful, from the well connected States, are referred to it for prosecution.

Mr. President,

While the debate of peace and justice continues we also suggest that it must be remembered that any peace built on injustice will in all likelihood lead to an eventual break down of that peace, it will be a temporary peace.

We have at times seen and we ourselves have experienced that power politics, be it regional or global, has undermined efforts to correct injustices at State levels. It is therefore imperative that we all as State Parties support each other in these efforts irrespective of political differences, with justice being the denominator.

Thank you.

Fiji’s search for new friends: Sandra Tarte

I'm afraid we would have agree to disagree with Mz Tarte's suggestion that Australia and New Zealand should ease up on their hard-line approach to the illegal and treasonous military regime (ie Bainimarama and his bestie Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum), for fear of them snuggling closer into China's bosom.

The china bashing is to be expected, but it is definitely not the biggest threat to Fiji nor the Pacific.

NO the regime is not only courting China because beggars can't be choosey. The illegal and treasonous regime are courting any country who has problems with democratic norms and can therefore throw a few nickles and dimes our way.

And NO, the next generation of foreign affairs officers will only be limited by the "look north" approach IF institutions of higher education like USP and the "pretend" University of Fiji do not up their ante and actually facilitate learning (as opposed to being continuously wrong in their pronouncements) instead of attempting to indoctrinate us with their warped worldviews.

Keep the pressure on Australia, New Zealand, USA and EU. The fellowship of thugs is disintegrating quite rapidly on their own.
Fiji’s search for new friends
January 13th, 2011

Author: Sandra Tarte, USP, Suva
In 2010, Fiji marked 40 years of independence. Significantly, the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, chose to celebrate the anniversary at the World Expo in Shanghai, rather than at home.

In many ways, this choice underscored the focus of Fiji’s leadership in 2010, which was to diversify and broaden international partnerships. Motivated by the need to deal with pressing economic problems at home and counter diplomatic sanctions that have isolated it from close neighbours Australia and New Zealand, and from the Pacific Islands Forum, Fiji adopted an increasingly proactive foreign policy in the past year.
This approach was matched by an evident willingness on the part of new and old friends to engage with Fiji and its government, notwithstanding the lack of progress towards democratic elections. This shift reflected a mix of opportunism, pragmatism and geo-political design (if not disquiet on the part of some at the shifting patterns of influence in the region).
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September, Prime Minister Bainimarama described Fiji’s new foreign policy orientation as an integral part of his Government’s Strategic Framework for Change – the set of reforms that he was committed to implementing before Fiji would return to elected government in 2014. But the search for alternative foreign partners has also been borne out of necessity, as a way to counter the effects of Fiji’s suspension in 2009 from key regional and international groupings (the Pacific islands Forum and Commonwealth).
Although often dubbed Fiji’s ‘Look North Policy’, the foreign policy trend in 2010 was to collaborate with everyone and anyone. Fiji sought membership of the Non Aligned Movement and announced the setting up of three new embassies in 2011 – in Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa. It hosted a visit from a Russian delegation, led by the resident Ambassador in Canberra, which aimed ‘to find concrete areas of cooperation’. Fiji’s Prime Minister and Attorney General also took part in a first-ever Pacific SIDS (Small Island Developing States)-Arab League Summit, which was hosted by Abu Dhabi in June. This initiative appeared to be in appreciation of the support of Pacific island members of the United Nations for the United Arab Emirates’ bid to host the International Renewable Energy Agency. One outcome of this summit was a proposal to open an Arab League office in the Pacific (possibly in Fiji – which was recognised by the Abu Dhabi host as ‘an administrative, economic and geographical hub’ of the region.)
The Pacific-Arab League summit underscored the growing role in the United Nations of the Pacific-SIDS group, and the diminishing significance of the Pacific Islands Forum bloc (of which Australia and New Zealand are members). This appeared to be the direct, though probably inadvertent, consequence of Fiji’s suspension from the Forum. The impact of this shift for Australia was remarked upon when Canada lost a crucial vote for United Nations Security Council rotating membership.
By far the most frequent high-level traffic in 2010 was to China. In part this was due to the World Expo in Shanghai, as mentioned earlier, which was seen as a golden opportunity to promote Fiji’s products and raise its profile (mainly, but not only, to China).  There were several so-called trade missions to China led by the Prime Minister, a visit by the Foreign Minister and a visit by the country’s President, at the invitation of the Governor of Ningxia Province. 
Although the visits appeared mainly exploratory and few concrete outcomes were announced, a number of future deals were mooted, including new arms procurement (to support Fiji’s peacekeeping operations) and Chinese investment in the expansion of the Government shipyard and slipway in Suva.
Not to be outdone, Japan included Fiji’s Foreign Minister in its first ever PALM Ministerial Interim meeting, held in October in Tokyo. (This meeting aimed to follow-up and review the outcomes of the Fifth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting – PALM 5). The meeting also provided an opportunity for bilateral talks between the Fiji Foreign Minister and his Japanese counterpart, signaling a shift in policy by Japan towards closer engagement with Fiji.
The United States also announced a policy of more direct engagement with the Bainimarama Government in 2010, in line with its broader policy of ‘re-engagement’ with the Pacific islands. But there was little to show for this by the year’s end. Relations soured in the wake of the non-issuing of visas to senior Fiji government officials to attend international meetings, including at the United Nations.  This reportedly prompted Prime Minister Bainimarama to suggest the relocation of the UN to China.
These diplomatic disputes with the US echoed tensions that continue to mar Fiji’s relations with its closest developed neighbors and trading partners – Australia and New Zealand. Despite some promising signs at the beginning of the year of a warming of ties, this failed to eventuate. The expulsion of Australia’s acting High Commissioner in July signaled a low-point in bilateral relations, with implications for regional politics.
The context of the diplomatic expulsion was reportedly Australia’s efforts to derail a meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Fiji – and deny the Fijian Prime Minister the opportunity to assume chairmanship of the sub-regional group. Fiji had planned to turn the meeting into a broader MSG-Plus (including other Pacific island countries) and build the MSG into an alternative conduit for aid and diplomacy. The sudden cancellation of the meeting by MSG Chair (Vanuatu’s Prime Minister) was viewed by Fiji as a direct result of Australian and New Zealand pressure. But the situation was salvaged by turning the planned event into a politically successful ‘Engaging with the Pacific’ meeting at which Prime Minister Bainimarama played generous host and offered bilateral and regional assistance to his Pacific SIDS neighbors. A reconciliation ceremony in December subsequently served to heal the rift within the MSG between Fiji and Vanuatu.
While there remains support within the Fiji foreign affairs establishment for dialogue and engagement with Australia, New Zealand and the Forum, there is also a sense that time is running out. If Australia and New Zealand do not ‘restore ties’, so the argument goes, a generation of foreign affairs officers will emerge who, along with their counterparts in the Fiji Military Forces , will only know and want to ‘Look North’.  Judging by events of the past year, Fiji’s realignment of its international relationships seems set to continue.
Dr Sandra Tarte is Director, Politics and International Affairs Program at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

US Envoy and Mahendra Chaudhry attend same meeting in Hawaii

Oh to be a fly on the wall at this forum! It looks like the US Assistant Secretary for State Kurt Campbell will undoubtedly be catching up with the illegal and treasonous Mahendra Chaudhry whilst they're both at the same meeting in Hawaii.

Assistant Secretary Campbell's Upcoming Travel 

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman 
Washington, DCJanuary 21, 2011

Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell will travel to Hawaii, the Philippines, and Singapore January 23-29, 2011.

In Honolulu January 24-25, Assistant Secretary Campbell will lead an inter-agency delegation at a series of meetings on Pacific Island issues including an annual, bilateral coordination meeting with the Asian Development Bank and a Trilateral Strategic Dialogue with Australia and Japan. He will also hold trilateral consultations with our key partners, Australia and New Zealand, to affirm our shared commitment to working with Pacific Island countries and to pledge support for the restoration of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Fiji. Assistant Secretary Campbell will also participate in a “State of the Pacific” Dialogue hosted by the East-West Center to discuss key issues related to the Pacific Islands.

Assistant Secretary Campbell arrives in Manila on January 26 to lead the U.S. delegation for the first U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue to discuss a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest. He will also hold discussions with government officials and the business community on intensifying economic engagement with the Philippines.

On January 28, Assistant Secretary Campbell will meet in Singapore with Foreign Minister George Yeo, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and other senior government officials to discuss bilateral issues, as well as recent events in the region.

Assistant Secretary Campbell returns to Washington, DC on January 29.

January 24, 2011

Fiji's Disciplined Forces to Consolidate

The grand plan regarding our disciplined forces has been revealed by the illegal and treasonous Police and Prisons Commissioner, Ioane Naivalurua.

Shrouded under the disguise of enhanced logistics management in a workshop organised by the Police and attended by senior logistic officers of the disciplined forces, Naivalurua whips his subordinates up in a loyalty frenzy by claiming that "participants played an important role in the overall objectives of Government."

Naivalurua further added that "A good logistician will hit five birds with one stone and not the other way around". 

The senior disciplined forces officials at the workshop "were taught the importance of a united approach and fostering interoperability to better use resources."

It is clear now that some of these interoperational logistics include heavy-handed dismantling of houses in squatter settlements who are ex-crims (obviously with no respect for the selective propaganda a'la "second chance" yellow ribbon progamme) and abusing alleged marijuana farmers in rural areas.

More squatter settlements are being dismantled despite the military propaganda that all citizens are entitled to affordable and decent housing as provided for by the sham new "housing policy".

Sokoimuri confirms drug bust in Tunuloa, Cakaudrove

As we reported earlier, the police via their herald Atunaisa Sokoimuri have confirmed that villagers were "busted" for planting marijuana in Tunuloa, Cakaudrove.

While drugs are indeed a problem in Fiji, Intelligentsiya rejects the implied notion that justice was meted as appropriate. 

We maintain our claim that once again the heavy-handed judge-and-jury police and military operation has landed a critically ill villager in hospital and we hope to have evidence available very soon.

Meanwhile the Tui Cakau and illegal and treasonous Bainimarama are cited to be meeting again very soon.
10 questioned for $100,000 drug bust
Sunday, January 23, 2011

More then 10 people from Tunuloa in Cakaudrove have been questioned and released by police following the confiscation of close to 200 plants believed to be marijuana.

Police Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says 7 farms were raided following a tip off.

He says the street value of the plants stand at $100,000.

Samples have been sent to the Koronivia Research Station and charges will be laid once results have been received.

Report by: Savaira Tabua

January 21, 2011

More Investors eye Fiji's mineral wealth

The sudden interest in in Fiji's port management and control by the illegal and treasonous military regime,  has just become a little more clearer.
Amex Resources advances Fiji magnetite concentrate project with port agreement
Thursday, January 20, 2011

Amex Resources (ASX: AXZ) has secured a vital part of the export infrastructure for its Mba Delta Project in Fiji.

The company has negotiated an option and long term lease agreement over a substantial area at Fiji’s major bulk shipping port of Lautoka, on the main island of Viti Levu.

The tenure allows for stockpiling and export of the company’s Mba Delta magnetite iron sands concentrates, and with direct access by barge, has easy access to the deposit located less than 30 kilometres away.

Amex is focussing on completion of the prefeasibility study and commissioning of a pilot plant to produce product for market evaluation.

The Lease agreement provides for a minimum 45 year term with the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited.

The term of the lease reflects the potential mine life based on the size of the current Iron Sands Indicated Resource of 220 million tonnes and the potential exploration target which extends both inland and seaward.

Amex plans to produce and export an initial 750,000 tonnes of magnetite concentrate annually.

Regime glosses over the news about abuse of villagers in the North

Predictably right on cue, the illegal and treasonous military regime's propaganda arm released yesterday afternoon the following statement in relation to their "war on drugs" and villagers.

While the issue of drugs, particularly marijuana, are deplorable and a blight on the nation the way the propaganda statement is structured makes it seem as if our drug problems are the most pressing issue of our time.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Minfonews
Date: 20 January 2011 15:44
To: Minfonews


(Thursday, January 20th, 2011, No:0139 /POLICE) CABINET VISITS DRUG UNIT

The vision of the Fiji Police in making the war against drugs an issue that must be tackled aggressively at national level is close to being formalised after the historic visit by Cabinet to the Drugs Unit in Toorak this morning.

After visits from the former Minister of Defence, Ratu Epeli Ganilau last November, followed by the Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in December, this mornings’ visit proved the icing on the cake for what the Fiji Police has termed a very hard battle to fight.

The invite by the Commissioner of Police Brig-Gen Ioane Naivalurua is based on the projection that the drugs problem in Fiji will become a great security and social issue in future if nothing is done today to combat it at national level.

“We cannot do this alone, for every 1,000 marijuanna plants we uproot another 1,000 is planted somewhere, for every package we intercept at our borders, two others are snuck through,” Mr Naivalurua briefed Cabinet.

“We have brought you here today to make you see and understand first hand the situation in the country now and where we are lacking in the fight against it and the direction where we would ideally like to head in.”

Issues of finding alternative livelihoods for drug cultivators and strengthening borders in response to the influx of hard drugs into the country were some of the issues  highlighted to the Cabinet members by Mr Naivalurua and Officer in Charge of the Drugs Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sakeo Ganivatu.

Another issue highlighted was the sharing of resources by government ministries in future once a national plan of action was drafted based on resources available and the situation on the ground.

The Fiji Police is now tasked to;

- determine what percentage of their total budget is required to address this issue,
- gather more concrete intelligence and data on users and suppliers and submit to

Cabinet will determine how much from the national budget can be set aside for the war on drugs.

The MINFO News Team Wishes you a Successful, Blessed and Happy 2011!!
For more information on Government events and decisions log onto the official Government portal www.fiji.gov.fj

January 20, 2011

Breaking: Villagers accused of planting marijuana in Labasa abused

Intelligentsiya has been reliably informed that a man suffering from liver damage lies on life support at the ICU of Labasa hospital. The man, a Labasa villager apparently has a history of mental illness but was part of a group of villagers rounded up very recently by a joint operation by military and police officers who are overzealously attempting to stamp out marijuana growing -- as part of the "crime free" dogma of Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's illegal and treasonous military regime.

The incident happened at a village near the Tunuloa area of Vanua Levu.

Reports are also surfacing that names of male villagers from this area are on a "list" as being suspected marijuana planters, and that these individuals were targetted in this joint military/police operation. Intelligentsiya is informed that the villagers were rounded up, abused and humiliated in front of women and children.

The reports go on to say that some of the acts that the male villagers were subjected to include being forced to kiss each other; run around naked while some were tied to tree's before being phyiscally abused.

The village is currently living in terror.

It is understood that police spokesman Atunaisa Sokoimuri is well aware of the incident.

Military Regime eyes Cakaudrove

The military regime is now "full-throttle" with their hearts and minds campaign to our rural populace.

And Cakaudrove appears to hold particular appeal.

The illegal and treasonous military regime uses one link from their pool of traditional allies to try and get Cakaudrove on board with their programme.

The much talked-up meeting between the illegal and treasonous Bainimarama and the Gone Turaga na Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was also hyped up and then roundly clarified.

Bainimarama realizes that bulldozing Ratu Naiqama into submission won't work, so in line with their "individualism and fragmentation" strategy, they line up the lewenivanua by dangling carrots, and getting round traditional road-blocks by attempting to make all land benefits equal and point-scoring with the young un's.

Why Cakaudrove in particular matters so much to Bainimarama and his cronies will undoubtedly see the light of day soo,n but if their publicly funded propaganda publication is anything to go by:
Vanua Levu could be turning into Fiji’s main economic base because of its rich
natural resource.
And people in the provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata must fully utilise their land to ensure maximum returns for the economy .
 Also evident is the regime's own readiness in preparation for the economic explosion:
With increasing potential economic activities expected from Vanua Levu’s rich
natural resources, the island lags in infrastructural development.

“Pine trees have matured and it is a good sign for economic prospects for Vanua
Levu and Fiji as a whole,” said PM, adding that the first shipment of pine chips will leave our shores from Wairiki at the end of the year.

PM has also endorsed the establishment of a new Government station in Kubulau, Bua.

The new station would be commissioned to a full District Office operation to
assist development within the district.

Government has given its full support on the operation at Wairiki port.

This development will also ensure the supply of 1.5mega watts of electricity
to Savusavu, to be sourced from the Wairiki Pine chips operation.

Villages and settlements along the Nabouwalu area to Wainunu and Kubulau
will benefit through this development.

Minerals exploration in Nawailevu, Bua is taking off at a good pace creating a positive impact on the local economy with employment etc and given that this is known to be one of the promising fields of rocks containing aluminium hydroxides, which is the principal ore of aluminium.

There is also bauxite mining planned for the Nabouwalu region, with landowners now seeking PM’s assistance to transfer their land to the Land
Bank following talks with landowners.

PM Bainimarama said the road upgrades planned for Nabouwalu to Dreketi next year is geared to generate more economic activities for the Bua and Macuata provinces.

“Government has spent $.7million on road upgrade works from Vusasivo, Wailevu, Natewa and Tunuloa and $275,000 from Lavena to Naselesele, which
is now complete.

“Governments has also spent $.6million on rural electrification solar programme in villages around Cakaudrove province which has also completed.

“ G o v e r n m e n t ’ s upgrading works and more developments are for the betterment for everyone in Vanua Levu and better accessibility to services
provided by Government,” Bainimarama added.

He then said more upgrading of roads is expected to commence in 2011, which will see Northerners have access to good roads while utilising their resources and contributing to the economy.

January 19, 2011

Fiji Police get in on the VAT action


With almost no sympathy for the taxpaying public that continues to stagger under the weight of the almost daily spikes to the cost of living, the military regime led Fiji Police Force decide that apart from the gross nepotism taking place they too can charge us for VAT on what are predominantly adminstrative tasks.
Police Clearance fees charges increases
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 12:27

With the increase in VAT (Value Added Tax) from 12.5 percent to 15 percent on January 1 this year the Police Clearance fees and charges have also increased by 2.5 percent.

The new Police Clearance fees and charges which came into effect on Tuesday 18 January 2011 are as follows:

Police Clearance Application lodged within Fiji for Migration and Employment will cost $61.30 and for urgent one day processing will cost $122.65.

Police Clearance Application lodged from overseas for Migration and Employment will cost $102.20 and for urgent one day processing will cost $153.30.

Application for Police Vetting needed for Government Employment or Police Report will cost $23 and for urgent one day processing will cost $102.20.

Application for Bailiff License, Money Lender License, Hotel License, Liquor License, and Fiji Immigration will cost $153.30 and for urgent one day processing will cost $204.45.

Application for Rehabilitation Certificate will cost $153.30.

Police Clearance Application for Land Transport Authority will cost $102.20 and for urgent one day processing will cost $204.45.

Police Clearance Application for Arms License (New License) will cost $102.20 and for Renewal or for Use and Carry will now cost $51.10.

Application to, Purchase or Acquire Arms and Ammunition, and Application for License to Import Arms, License to Export Arms, and License for Arms Replacement will now cost $8.65.

Application for License to deal in Arms and Ammunition will now cost $258.75.

"The Mele Declaration 2010"

from Aidwatch.
The declaration of the 2nd annual meeting of the Melanesian Indigenous Land
Defence Alliance, held at Mele Village in Port Vila, Vanuatu, 14-19 June 2010. 
In response to increasing threats to customary land systems posed by the land reform agendas of international financial institutions, aid agencies, governments and elites within our own countries, the second annual meeting of the Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) affirms its commitment to indigenous control of customary land systems. Recognising that the threats to customary land are directed against the Melanesian Pacific as a region, our intention is to unite and organize on a regional basis, to defend the continued control of Melanesian communities over their land, sea, water, air and natural resources. We assert that the customary land systems are the basis of life and community in Melanesia.
Established in 2009, MILDA is an alliance of groups and individuals united by a shared vision, a common cause, and a commitment to working together. Our members are fieldworkers and community members, women’s representatives and mothers, fathers and grandfathers. We include church leaders and traditional leaders, academics, regional NGOs and international supporters. We first came together last year in Madang, PNG, and following from that we came together this year in Port Vila, Vanuatu. We came from Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Australia, and were privileged to have traditional chiefs with us. We came to share experiences, stories and skills, and strategize a regional response to the persistent pressure for registration and leasing of customary land.

Land has always been of the highest value to the lives of our peoples, and so it will be for generations to come. In all Melanesian traditions, land is regarded as a non-alienable resource that cannot be parted with. The relationship which we have with our land is special and unique, and cannot be accounted for through Western systems of value. The Melanesian definition of land is inclusive. Land extends from the surface of the ground to the centre of the earth. It stretches above us to the limits of the sky. It includes the waters of our rivers, streams and creeks. It includes our oceans. The land has belonged to us – and we to it – since time immemorial. 
Land is our mother and the source of life for our people. Land secures life, fosters and strengthens relationships that sustain our society. It embodies the link to our past, present and future and therefore sustains everything we do. MILDA members reaffirm the sanctity of land. 
The meeting asserted the following:
  1. We are opposed to any form of alienation of land from customary landowners, whether by outright sale or through leases which remove landowners’ capacity to effectively control, access and use their land.
  2. We believe that the ways in which land is used and distributed should be determined by Melanesian custom, and not Western legal systems.
  3. We assert the value of traditional economy, which promotes self-reliance amongst our people and communities, and we are opposed to actions and policies which encourage the dependency of Melanesian peoples on others, including the state.
  4. We reject all policies which require that customary land be registered as a precondition for business or development activities, and demand that Melanesian governments cease all pressures for customary land registration, whether voluntary or involuntary.
  5. We oppose all foreign programs, bribes and inducements to bring about customary land registration in Melanesia.
  6. We call for a total overhauling of the current land administration in Melanesia to weed out corrupt land dealings and fraudulent titling. All customary land taken by these means should be returned to customary owners.
The Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance resolved that it will meet again next year in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Another one bites the dust...

Fellow blog Coup 4.5 was on point with their intel.

Brigadier General Aziz Mohammed has been let go, and is yet another from the predominantly (illegal and treasonous) non-naval military goons, who are being systematically sent packing.
Deputy Chairman of FHL resigns
Publish date/time: 19/01/2011 [11:06]

Deputy Chairman of Fijian Holdings Limited, Brigadier General Aziz Mohammed has resigned from the position due to personal reasons.

In addition to his capacity as Deputy Chair, Brigadier General Aziz also served as Chairman of Merchant Finance and Investment Company Limited.

Brigadier General Aziz was appointed as Deputy Chair of FHL in June 2008.

A replacement is expected by nomination from the office of the Minister of I-Taukei Affairs in due course.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

The "Waila City" Hype

The illegal and treasonous military regime is extremely gung-ho about their new friendships in Malaysia who will help them stabilize the economy through the "Waila City" project.

The principal backer of Waila City is Dr Sharifuddin Wahab, FORMERLY of Naim Holdings Berhad.

Naim Holdings Berhad, is an entity specializing in construction and holds swathes of land (approx 2,600 acres) in Malaysia in their land bank. Naim Holdings already have a physical presence in Fiji and are located at Ra Marama house, the Fijian Holdings complex. 

Naim Holdings relationship with the illegal and treasonous regime goes back to an allocation of a US$36mill contract for road upgrades in 2009 (but which actually broke ground in 2010).

According the Naim Holdings's Annual Report of 2009 they cite their investments in Fiji and the role of Dr Wahab as follows:
A Note of Caution – Sovereignty and Foreign Exchange Risks
We are fully aware of all the sovereignty and other political risks – as well as the foreign exchange risks – involved in our Fiji ventures. We have carried out extensive risk assessments for all known variables and are confident that the potential benefits of undertaking these two contracts more than outweigh any concomitant risks. The involvement of highly reputable international bankers in the financing of these contracts in Fiji adds further reassurance.

Our Deputy Managing Director, Dr. Sharifuddin Abdul Wahab, resigned effective 31 December 2009 in order to pursue his own interests. A further two long serving executive directors also resigned effective 31 January 2010, namely Ir. Suyanto Bin Osman and Encik Ahmad Bin Abu Bakar. We would like to thank all three gentlemen for their excellent service to the Group, and we wish them every success in their futurecareers.
Naim Holdings, apart from landbanks and construction, is also in the business of islamic bonds & banking, has already listed it's Fiji investments on the stock market, has done a bit of PR by offering scholarships (2!) in Fiji and has relationships with Libya.

In launching the Waila City project, Bainimarama extols the virtues of the military regime's self-inflated intention to respect the "right to housing"; snidely raps the Housing Authority and Public Rental Board over the knuckles for their "inability to think outiside the box"; and essentially claims that his regime will essentially save the day with this project.

In his speech Bainimarama eulogizes that:
The Waila City Project will be the first of its kind for Fiji.  A design and build concept where the Contractor will utilize its own funds and deliver completed housing solutions to the Housing Authority.
and that:
This Project also signifies what we can achieve through collaboration between the public and private sectors. In this instance it is Top Symphony of Malaysia, EXIM Bank of Malaysia, Housing Authority of Fiji and the Government of Fiji.

As announced in the 2011 Budget, Government has allocated $10million to assist families to invest in housing, in particular, in this Project

which begs the question whether the Waila City investors, particularly Dr Wahab, are really unilaterally injecting their funds into the project.

The regime wax lyrical about the "city within a city" assertion that it will meet the need for basic and affordable housing, yet it defies logic how this sector of the economy will be able to comfortably give a return on investment on all the bells and whistle's that the mini-city will contain.

Already some folks are eager to sink their money into this venture which in effect gives it a stench of a scam.

And that's probably why the poor folks up in Sakoca have had their rights to decent housing  commandeered away from them by landowners who are eyeing the Waila City hype and/or are being "managed out".

In anticipation of the hyped up "multiplier effect" of this "city", all those eager to board this new gravy train are (no suprises here) the retailers and the tourism industry.