Saturday, March 25, 2017

Investigate the CRW Murders Asswin Raj

Sai Comment:

A Great Letter to the Editor by Wadan Narsey! Let's hope Bainimarama stooge and sycophant, Asswin Raj takes note and does something about it for a change!!

Image result for wadan narsey
22 March 2017

Letters to the Editor
Fiji Times and Fiji Sun,
Director Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (Ashwin Raj)
FHRADC Commission Members (Justice Mohammed Ajmeer, Faiz Khan, Selina Lee Wah)
Director of Public Prosecutions (Mr Christopher Pryde)

Dear Sir

It is encouraging to see that Mr. Ashwin Raj the Director of FHRADC (and Chairman of MIDA) is proactive in wishing to right the wrongs of some of the “institutionalized racism” of the past, an objective which I share.

By this Letter to the Editor, I request Ashwin Raj and the Commissioners of the FHRADC, and the Director of Public Prosecutions,  to inform the Fiji public whether they are investigating the denial of the most important human right of all- the right to life-  of the following five CRW soldiers who died under questioning, while they were in the custody of the RFMF following the mutiny in 2000: Selesitino Kalounivale, Jone Davui, Epeneri Bainimoli, Lagani Rokowaqa and Iowane Waseroma.

Raj, the Commissioners of the FHRADC and the DPP, might wish to

1. Interview the senior military officer (Viliame Seruvakula) who was apparently responsible for arresting these five soldiers and handed them into police custody at the Nabua Police Station;

2. interview the senior military officer (Jone Baledrokadroka) who was apparently responsible for signing them out of police custody and into military custody, taking them to the Stanley Brown Naval Base where the RFMF Commander (Bainimarama) was then located;

3. interview the senior army officer who ordered them to be taken to Nabua army barracks and be questioned in order to find out who were the instigators of the 2000 mutiny;

4. interview the soldiers who physically interrogated the five CRW soldiers and eventually delivered the bodies to the CWM Hospital;

5. read the very clear judgement of resident magistrate Ajmal Gulab Khan in the Workman’s Compensation Act case brought by Mrs Kalounivale, explaining the chain of events that led to the death of Kalounivale;

6. read the autopsy report by Australian pathologist Professor Stephen Cordner;

7. interview Father Akauola who tended to the tortured soldiers in their dying moments;

8. read (if they can find it) the Police Investigation Report into the torture and death of the five soldiers;

9. interview former FRMF officer Kaci Solomone who headed the court martial of the CRW soldiers accused in the mutiny and also Judge Advocate Graeme Leong;

10. interview the CRW soldiers involved in the mutiny and those (including some current SODELPA leaders and some former RFMF officers) who were named by Captain Shane Stevens (the leader of the mutiny) as  being instigators or supporters of the mutiny;

11. interview former Police Commissioner (Andrew Hughes) who stated in an ABC interview that the Fiji Police were close to laying charges against several individuals associated with these deaths.

12. interview the  UN which is not only an avowed global defender of basic human rights but who are currently employing some former RFMF and police officers who are alluded to in Questions 1, 2, 10 and 11 above.

13. interview the Fiji Law Society and UN as to their august views on amnesty provisions in the 2013 Fiji Constitution and their applicability to the five deaths referred to above.

As Chairman of the FHRADC (Justice Ajmeer) will no doubt appreciate, these five CRW soldiers were presumed innocent until proven guilty by the Fiji courts (some undoubtedly were innocent).

Only Ashwin Raj and the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission can provide closure to the still grieving families of the five CRW soldiers who were killed in  military custody in 2000 without trial, judge or jury.

Raj and the FHRADC can reassure the Fiji public that they are ready to defend the human rights of everyone in Fiji, whether they are powerful (like Madam Nazhat Shameem) or weak, like these forgotten deceased CRW soldiers.

In case Raj might feel inclined to label this letter also as “vitriolic diatribe” from “self-selected moral entrepreneurs and armchair critics” (The Fiji Times, March 18, 2017) I remind him of a well-known saying is supported by all world religions: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.

Current SODELPA and Bainimarama Government (Fiji First Party) leaders  might also wish to explain to the Fiji public why none of them are demanding a Commission of Inquiry into the 2000 coup and the 2000 mutiny, which resulted in the above gross injustices, shoved under the carpet for the last seventeen years.

I cc this Letter to Editor also to Mr. Ashwin Raj as Chairman of MIDA in the faint hope that he will encourage the two newspapers to publish this letter as an indication that he will not be influenced by any conflict of interest in his two important positions as Chairman of MIDA and CEO of FHRADC.
Yours sincerely,

Professor Wadan Narsey

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

80% Delay Should Warrant Khaiyum Resignation yet he Desperately Clings on to Power!

Sai Comments:

- Anywhere else you probably will have the Minister handing his resignation for the unwarranted delay in getting vital education facilities such as schools repaired and back in use! But not in Bainimarama and Khaiyum's FijiFirst governed Fiji where clinging on to power is the what keeps them going! 
- Both men realise that losing power destines them to imprisonment and deserved so for imposing their imposed rule on Fiji and its people.
- Bothe men enjoy exorbitant yet undeserving salaries. Bainimarama enjoys a global jetsetting life travelling the meeting circuits and collecting $3000 daily allowance while school pupils still have classes in tents! Khaiyum meanwhile, pontificates and lies his way around trumped up reasons for the delay in repairing schools. From suppliers to lack of documentation and now lack of trades people he never tires of making up excuses that people are simply sick of! Yet he persists in a way only a desperate wannabe statesman can.
- Let us hope the people of Fiji now recognise the FijiFirst govrnment and its incompetent ministers for who and what they are - desperate power hungry politicians who have no heart and are quite at home seeing the people of Fiji suffer than offer their political heads in recognition of their utter failure to respond ethically and adequately to the needs of citizens!
Tuesday 07/02/2017

Incompetent Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum
Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says that 80% of schools will still be under construction this month.

Sayed-Khaiyum says more than 490 schools were affected in Tropical Cyclone Winston and a total of 166 schools comprising of more than 1,500 buildings have been identified for rehabilitation.

He says that out of 1,550 buildings, 844 buildings required structural upgrading while the remaining 340 buildings required new construction.

Sayed-Khaiyum stresses that excluding Ratu Kadavulevu School and Queen Victoria School, 164 schools did not have any structural and architectural drawings before however it is ensured that the documentation will be provided now.

He says that a total of 36 contractors were approached for the contract.

The Minister also highlights that there is a shortage of tradesman in Fiji and this is one of the factors that may cause the delay.

He says a number of contractors have made the applications to bring tradesmen from Indonesia, Philippines and Bangladesh.

Fiji's Kangaroo Parliament Back to Hasty Law Making in 2017!

Sai Comments:

- Another year, yet the same for Fiji's Parliament, as it will again be treated with contempt and disdain by the Bainimarama government with its plan to rush important pieces of legislation through using its majority numbers!
- Fijians must really be regarded as if they're all stupid and dumb by the likes of Khaiyum and Bainimarama in the way laws to govern them are being developed and approved with obscene haste and having such blatant disregard for the Opposition and the public to be provided ample opportunity for input through the committee stages of proposed legislation for their consideration and input.
-  The extreme arrogance and total disregard for outside involvement in such an important process of governance by Khaiyum has become legendary since the FijiFirst regime came to power and it continues unabated. As a result, they have become a real danger to the lawful governance of the country and only their removal from power can remedy the situation. To them, the Parliament is a mere playground for them to shove through what they need to paint a veneer of legality to their rule. That has been their prime modus operandi owing to their obscene arrogance flowing from the power they now exercise with impunity!
- Fiji and and its people can only reclaim the true role and function of their Parliament when the FijiFirst regime is no longer allowed to terrorise the law making body with their dictatorial and unrelenting appetite to control every element of the machinery of the Fiji State!

A-G tables Bills

Nasik Swami
Fiji Times - Tuesday, February 07, 2017
THE Government is to use its numbers to push urgent matters in Parliament on five important Bills.
On the resumption of the House yesterday, the Government used Standing Order 51 to fast-track and serve notice that it intended to proceed without delay on five Bills.
The Bills are:
* Public Order Amendment Bill 2017;
* Financial Transaction Reporting Amendment Bill 2017;
* Workmen's Compensation Amendment Bill 2017;
* Value-added Tax Amendment Bill 2017; and
* Electoral Amendment Bill 2017.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum moved the motion for the Bills to be considered without delay and debated during this week's sitting. The amendment to the Public Order Act tabled by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum proposes to remove the requirement for a permit when organising or convening a meeting or procession in a public place.
The current Public Order Act 1969 requires any person who wishes to organise or convene a meeting or procession in a public place to apply for a permit from the relevant divisional police commander.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament while there would no longer be any requirement for a permit for a meeting in a public place, a permit would still be required for a meeting that was organised or convened in a public park or on a public road.
He said the restriction to having permits for meetings only in public parks and public roads ensured that the safety, security and interests of others who used the parks and roads, were not affected.
Contrary to the definition of public place, the proposed definition of public park and public road in the Bill only refer to any highway, public street, public road, public park or garden, any sea beach, river bank, public bridge, wharf, jetty, lane, footway, square, court, alley or passage whether a thoroughfare or not.
"The Bill also proposes the powers conferred on the commissioner of police or any divisional police commander under section 9 (2) of the Act to prohibit any procession, meeting or assembly in any public or private place or to direct any procession, meeting or assembly in any such place to disperse."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said police could still stop a meeting if inciteful comments were made.
The principle Act was amended in 2012 and 2014 by a decree.
The amendment to the Financial Transaction Reporting Amendment Bill 2017 which is Fiji's key legal safeguard against money laundering and terrorism financing proposes to allow the minister to prescribe penalties in regulations made under the Act of a fine not more than $150,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to both.
On the Workmen's Compensation Bill, the proposed amendment to the Act is to make worker-friendly provisions and to better facilitate the making of compensation workers in the case of injury or claims by death,
The Value Added Tax Amendment Bill 2017 proposes to address two issues.
The first is the update of the concession codes under section 14(4A) with the new concession codes in the Customs Tariff Act 1986 and the second is the introduction of new provisions to allow Fijians engaged in the supply or construction of residential accommodation accumulating a gross turnover of less than $100,000 to be able to register and claim for valued added tax (VAT) refunds.
Amendment to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2017 proposes to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the electoral processes and procedures.
If the Bill is enacted, it would allow the Fijian Elections Office time to plan ahead and make necessary arrangements in preparation for the next general elections in 2018.
The Opposition objected to the Bills, saying it should be referred to relevant parliamentary standing committees.

Fiji Constitutional Offices Commission just a Rubber Stamp!

Sai Comments:

- Who can blame the Opposition Leader for not attending the trumped up meetings of the Commission? No wonder she and her nominee have refused to be made a fool of by Bainiaramara and his cronies! Like all other State bodies, Bainimarama and Khaiyum hve merely pretended they operate fairly and observing due process when it comes to matters of making key State appointments. Yet we all know it is all a jack up as nominations are all but sewn up well before the Commission gets to consider them, let alone allowing the Opposition the opportunity to make nominations!
- It is all a farce just like the Fiji Parliament where the FijiFirst regime uses its majority to ram through its legislation programme with no opportunity for considered input from the Opposition or the public!
- What is worse, is the role of the Head of State in silently approving the nominations knowing full well they are jacked up! Then again, the President is but a nominee of the Bainimarama regime as one of its former Ministers and is beholden to him for his job, a result of the imposed 2013 Fiji Constitution! Again an incestuous and political cesspit that Bainimarama and his government have manufactured all in the pretense of providing a normal State governance arrangement! 
- Yet we all know better and can see through it all. The sooner they are removed from power the sooner sanity and real democracy will return to Fiji.

Parliament debates commission's work

Nasik Swami
FIJI TIMES - Tuesday, February 07, 2017
THE Government's silence on the work of the Constitutional Offices Commission dominated the opening debate of the 2017 sitting of the Fijian Parliament yesterday.
Prime Minister and commission chairman Voreqe Bainimarama was questioned by Opposition MP Semesa Karavaki on why there had been no regular updates and advice from the commission relating to its functions and responsibilities.
In his response, Mr Bainimarama rejected the claims made by the Opposition and clearly outlined the commission had been doing its work as mandated in the Constitution.
He said the Opposition was not updated on the work of the commission because its leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa had not attended any meeting of the commission since May 2015.
"It is most disappointing to note the Leader of the Opposition has failed to attend any meeting of the commission since May 2015 and as such, failed to contribute to the deliberations of the commission and to perform on the important duties of the commission as mandated by the Constitution," Mr Bainimarama said.
He also told Parliament that Ro Teimumu's nominee resigned in November 2015 and it was not until last week that she submitted another nominee for appointment to the commission. He said if Ro Teimumu had attended numerous meetings of the commission or had promptly nominated another person to the commission, the Opposition could have got an update.
"The commission has always provided updates to all Fijians through prompt media statements on the appointments made by the President on the advice of the commission to every single one of the these Constitutional offices."
Ro Teimumu said she had not attended any meeting as stated by Mr Bainimarama because there was no democracy in the way the commission operated.
She claimed the Opposition had no say in the appointments and everything was just a rubber stamp.
Ro Teimumu said she would only consider returning to the commission if it functioned in a democratic manner.

Yet Another Shoddy Work by Chinese Contractors - Oilei Navua Hospital!

Sai Comments:

- Another FijiFirst government infrastructure project by Chinese contractors, yet with the same shoddy result! When will the Bainimarama regime learn? But I guess it will be tough, when the projects are funded by the Chinese themselves and for a near bankrupt regime, anything goes if funding is provided!
- No wonder, many are now calling for the return of the PWD, as it did provided service at affordable price for government and mostly within time.
-  Any attempt to clamp down on the contractors will never achieve any change given who has control of the funding - the Chinese! Just goes to prove how hamstrung and ineffective the FijiFirst government has been to reign in blowouts and shoddy work on major infrastructure projects when they are beholden to those who fund it!
- Bainimarama and Khaiyum may well like to project themselves as Government tough guys when they exercise power against their fellow citizens but they are cowering lillyputians when faced with outside regimes!

MP queries follow-up on hospital
Nasik Swami
FIJi TIMES - Tuesday, February 07, 2017
NATIONAL Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad yesterday questioned Health Minister Rosy Akbar on whether she would look at reviewing the "shoddy work" done by Chinese contractors at the new Navua Hospital which lack basic facilities such as kitchen.
Prof Prasad asked Ms Akbar whether the respective Fijian ministries supervised the whole construction and whether it met the standard requirements of any hospital in the country.
In response, Ms Akbar said her office was meeting the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Economy, the Chinese Government and the construction company to see how to progress.
Ms Akbar outlined there was no timeframe as to when the refurbishment of the hospital kitchen would be complete.
"That (no kitchen at new hospital) is not disrupting our services in terms of catering for our patients.
"The catering services are still being done from the old Navua hospital and we are progressing with works because this project was funded under the aid project of the Chinese Government."

Friday, February 03, 2017

Rabuka Nomination to Constitutional Offices Commission A Positive Move

Sai Comment:

- Having Rabuka fronting Bainimarama and Khaiyum during the proceedings of the Constitutional Offices Commission has to be a positive! He is better placed than others not to be intimidated by the two FijiFirst leaders as they often do, to bully and threaten their way, in order to get what they want. It should by now be clear to all, that it has all been a sham parliamentary democracy ushered in at the 2014 General Election. Everything since has been a pretense as both Bainimarama and Khaiyum have used their parliamentary majority to bulldoze their programme of radical reforms on the people of Fiji. Having Rabuka fronting the two and staring them down would at least  remind them that not everyone in Fiji can be intimidated and that eventually people do tire of dictators and those who force themselves on the people. If anything, we need more of the likes of Rabuka to start challenging the two directly and reminding them of how they came to impose their draconian rule with the plethora of unwelcome decrees, regulations and restrictions on the freedom and rights of the people of Fiji!

How to be a Dictator : The Bainimarama Dictatorship in Fiji

Ro Teimumu: Rabuka's nomination a party decision

OPPOSITION Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa says her nominee to the Constitutional Offices Commission was subsequently made after the nomination of Sitiveni Rabuka by the SODELPA caucus.
Ro Teimumu said proper procedures were followed in nominating Mr Rabuka.
She said Mr Rabuka was the rightful person to be nominated as he was appointed the party leader through a democratic nomination.
"His presence in the leadership of the party was through a democratic nomination and appointment by the management board so he is the party leader. His nomination to the commission is through processes where you nominate somebody which we did the last time by nominating lawyer Richard Naidu," she said.
Ro Teimumu said some other names were also brought up for nomination which she did not wish to release.
Mr Rabuka was nominated by Ro Teimumu last week. She said she was yet to receive a confirmation on Mr Rabuka's nomination from the secretariat.

How to be a Dictator : The Bainimarama Dictatorship in Fiji

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

NZ Govt urged to respond to mistreatment of Fijian opposition politicians

Sai comment:

Keep Dictator Bainimarama out of NZ until Real Democracy Returns to Fiji!

John Key with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama (Photo / Getty Images)

Newstalkzb news

Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 4 October 2016,
Our Government is being urged to take action against Fiji over its treatment of opposition politicians.
It follows the suspension of a third opposition MP last week until the end of the current Fijian Parliamentary term.
The Bainimarama Government has used its Parliamentary majority to have three opposition MPs suspended for the rest of the Parliamentary term.
The most recent suspension, that of Sodelpa MP Ratu Isoa Tikoca, happened last week.

Labour MP David Shearer is worried by the latest suspension, saying it shows Fiji's democracy is at the whim of the Bainimarama Government.
"This is not how good democracy works and how good parliamentary process works. I just don't believe that if that what we have here is a democracy that is functioning as a democracy should be."
Mr Shearer said our Government should respond.
"There was an invitation for a state visit by Mr Bainimarama to come to New Zealand. I don't think that should be held until we see some improvements."
"We should put that on hold. If he wants to come here as a private citizen that's fine."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Another Excuse for An Overseas Junket by the Incompetent Fiji Parliament Speaker Luveni - No Wonder with Only 20 Sitting Days in 2016!

Luveni to lead

Fiji Times - Nasik Swami
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
THE Fijian Parliament will send a delegation to Russia later this year.
Russian ambassador to Fiji, based in Canberra, Vladimir Morozov met Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni on Monday to discuss his country's assistance to the Fijian Parliament.
Dr Luveni said the meeting was to strength bilateral and political relations between the two countries and further confirmed a Fijian delegation would leave for Russia in July to explore development assistance on offer.
"We have had some discussions and I will be making some proposals in Russia when we are there to have our project of assistance so that there are some technical exchanges between Russia and Fiji Parliament and see how we can upgrade facilities in our Parliament and include some ideas from other Parliament," she said in an interview last night.

Dr Luveni said there was a lot of monetary assistance at stake for the Fijian Parliament with Russia stepping in and also plans for establishing a Russia/Fiji parliamentary group. She said she was looking forward to meeting her Russian counterpart, Valentina Matviyenko, because it would be an opportunity for them to discuss issues of common interest.
Mr Morozov said there were a lot of similarities between Fiji and Russia and it was important to develop and strengthen parliamentary relations by introducing a friendship program for the parliamentarians.
Dr Luveni said Fiji became popular spot for overseas assistance among other countries in the world when Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama became the chairman of the Group of 77 and China.
"It's the same thing; we are strengthening parliamentary ties with all the countries that are keen to have a parliamentary partnership group with Fiji. We open the door to all of them."
She said Westminster, Wales, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia and India wanted to forge partnerships with Fijian Parliament after the September 2014 polls.

Fiji Health Services Going to the Bugs!

First it was medicines running out in December 2015!

Now tis worse and patients are dying waiting for treatment!

All under the FijiFirst Government of Bainimarama and Khaiyum'
Incompetent former broadcaster now assistant FijiFirst Health Minister

Freedom Fiji on Facebook
Fiji First Make up and Monkey Ministers (MM)
Hospitals in Fiji are in the worst state ever.
- Shortage of medical supplies
- No.overtime for Nurses
- Detoriating facilities and amenities
- Shortage of beds
- Shortage of doctors and specialist

As a consequence, people are dying due to poor care and support. Recently many cases has been highlighted but the Ministers are silent.
The Fiji First government is responsible for decline in health services over the past 10 years from 2006.
Accept responsibility and resign Veena and Khaiyum

Post by
Koroi Cakacaka Tikoilomaloma on FaceBook

Fiji's Assistant Min. Of Health: Hon. Veena Bhatnagar in comparison against Australian Counterpart : Assistant Minister of Health: 

Hon. Ken Wyatt.. ( Using Australia because this government surely looks to Australia for comaprison, hence why they want chair of PAC )
Prior to entering Parliament, Wyatt served as senior public servant in the fields of Aboriginal health and education.He has held positions as Director of the WA Office of Aboriginal Health as well as a similar post with NSW Health.He was also previously Director of Aboriginal Education with the WA Department of Education.
Bhatnagar is a former radio personality and program director for Radio Fiji Two.

NO WONDER OUR HEALTH SERVICES IS AS PATHETIC and Bed bugs have infested hospital beds and sofas.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fiji's Controlled Democracy Getting More Controlled!

Fiji's democracy takes a hit
15 February 2016 
By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Alastair Davis, an intern in the Melanesia Program.

The process of rebuilding democracy in Fiji after eight years of military rule has taken a hit in recent weeks. Elections in 2014 engendered a sense of optimism for a return to representative governance, though Pacific watchers warned at the time that the successful elections should be viewed as a step in the right direction, not a panacea.
Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, (Facebook/Fijian Government)
Last week the suspension of the National Federation Party (NFP) threw the state of democracy in Fiji into sharp relief. The situation has since worsened with the release of a statement from the parliamentary Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni, on Thursday which suspended the three elected NFP members. The suspension was endorsed in parliament by the Fiji First majority on Thursday and the larger opposition party SODELPA walked out in protest.
The message from the governing Fiji First party that robust dissent will not be tolerated and its brazen attitude towards the rule of law are serious relapses in the restoration of democracy in Fiji.
The depth of the fissures in the Fijian parliament became clear in early January when the leader of the NFP, Dr Biman Prasad, openly considered withdrawing his MPs from parliament in protest. Prasad had signalled the opposition parties' frustration at the rejection of bipartisanship by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's Fiji First majority and the lack of resources afforded to the opposition parties.
Prasad's frustrations prompted the publication of a damning op-ed in the Fiji Times that argued that Fiji's democracy had become a facade. Prasad has been a vocal and pro-active opposition MP who has worked hard to contribute to the effectiveness of parliament. He is currently Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, a key oversight committee that scrutinises government accounts. His chairmanship was one of the most effective opposition contributions to governance, though due to changes to standing orders passed while NFP members were excluded from parliament, Prasad looks likely to be replaced as Committee Chairman by a Fiji First member.
Military eating up much needed $ better spent on welfare and growth programmes!
Two days after the publication of Prasad's op-ed, Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem suspended the NFP for 30 days with immediate effect. The suspension notice cited non-compliance with the obligation under the Political Parties Decree to have party books audited by an accountant certified by the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA). The NFP confirmed that the company that audited their accounts — APNR — was certified in Australia but did not hold a Certificate of Public Practice in Fiji.
Section 19 of the Political Parties Decree gives the registrar the right to suspend the registration of a political party to 'enable' said party to remedy the breach specified in the notice of suspension. The section also provides a process for the registrar to inform the party in writing of the particulars of the breach and allow the party 60 days to remedy it. The suspension of the NFP in response to a minor administrative oversight that could have been remedied quickly and easily seems unnecessarily heavy-handed and hardly conducive to building a well-functioning parliament.
The exclusion of the MPs from parliament is more legally problematic. Section 27 (6) provides that a MP who belongs to a suspended political party shall continue on as an MP for the rest of their term. However, the solicitor general gave legal advice to the speaker that the suspension of the party extends to excluding its MPs from parliament, seemingly in direct contradiction of the Decree.
Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma works directly under the Attorney General, Bainimarama's close ally Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who has also defended the suspension. As prominent lawyer Richard Naidu has pointed out, the lack of independent counsel for the legislature clearly undermines the separation of powers in Fiji.
The Decree itself predates the return to democracy in Fiji, having been introduced in 2013 during the period of military dictatorship. Along with the Media Decree, key pieces of legislation regulating the practice of politics in Fiji were introduced unilaterally by Bainimarama's regime. Democracy can only flourish in Fiji when the supporting laws and institutions are strong and independent. Bainimarama himself heads the Constitutional Offices Commission, a six member group created to advise the president on public service and military office holders. SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and Naidu were appointed to the commission in mid-2015, but Naidu resigned in November and Kepa has stopped attending meetings due to concerns over process. The three month extension of General Sitiveni Qiliho's appointment as acting police commissioner on 10 February reaffirmed Prime Minister Bainimarama's reluctance to cede control over civilian institutions and preference for military officials to hold critical civil service leadership positions.
Military in actual control of Government in Fiji
If SODELPA MPSs make their abstention from parliament permanent, Fiji will face the prospect of a sitting parliament populated only by the 32 members of the ruling Fiji First party. The quality of democracy will clearly suffer if opposition members cannot do their jobs and if government MPs are dissuaded from posing dissenting views.
Social media use has reinvigorated Fiji's long suppressed public debate, and media outlets have enjoyed slightly more freedom to publish criticism and comment. Free speech and the capacity of citizens to hold their government to account are as important as ever for Fiji.
The Fiji First Government claims a mandate to embark on a significant legislative agenda and continue its northward strategic rebalance. Yet this mandate was won in a democratic election and is balanced by the 18 elected members of parliament who do not sit on the government benches. These 18 members also represent the people of Fiji and they must be allowed to have their voice both in and out of parliament for Fiji to be considered a democracy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Lautoka 14:2:2016
[by- Mick Beddoes]
After just 70 weeks into its 208 week Parliamentary term, the Fiji First government has buckled under the pressure and stress of democracy. It has thrown in the towel. It seems the ‘vale ni kuro ni democracy sa rui katakata’ for our Fiji First dictators.
In place of the free and open system of debate centered on accountability to the people, Fiji First has retreated into the authoritarian, bullying mode of governance that it knows so well.
It has been apparent for many months that Fiji First and its two dictatorial leaders, KAI-BAI, hate the entire process of parliament as a means of serving the interests of our citizens and our country. It is unable to withstand scrutiny and function transparently, even under the provisions of the flawed constitution it wrote for itself and imposed on the people.
The Prime Minister in particular is extremely uncomfortable answering questions and often gives the impression that he is not on top of his brief. He has made a habit of being absent from crucial Budget debates, because he probably recognizes that he would not be able to handle Opposition demands for detailed explanations about his portfolios.
But why should he worry? He recently stated for the public record that Fiji has no significant issues to deal with! So if there are no significant issues, why are they so reluctant to face up to Opposition questions and motions?
Khaiyum, Master of the Universe and the real Fiji First leader, has distinguished himself by his know-it-all, bombastic lecturing performances. His over-confidence, based on his self-perception of his invincibility, has got him into trouble more than once. His most recent and grossest miscalculation was his depiction in the House of the Opposition Whip as an ape, complete with grunting sounds and arm movements recognized internationally as one of the most insulting racist gestures.
Never had there been a scene like this in the history of the House of Representatives. It set a new low for conduct by a Member and despite its racist implication, it passed almost unnoticed by the Speaker.
But Khaiyum, again blinded by his own sense of omnipotence, is unrepentant.What he did was a nail in his political coffin. He has won for himself the nicknames of the ape man, or the know it all monkey minister.
Fiji First Minister’s and backbenchers are mere ornaments who must be prepared at all times to do the bidding of their master. Woe betide them if they fall short in the eyes of KAI-BAI.
In its determination to transform parliament into a form of dictatorship Fiji First, directed by KAI-BAI, has launched a series of measures which can only be described as assaults on democracy and the political rights of the people.
For instance, the sitting days of Parliament have been reduced. Fewer debates and not so many bothersome questions.
The NFP members of the Opposition have been booted out of parliament for a month based on a deliberate misinterpretation it seems of the certification of the auditor they used for the party’s financial declarations under Khaiyum’s extremist Political Parties Decree. We’ll show them about democracy, and use our power to turf them out!
Changes have been made to the parliamentary processes that will remove NFP leader Biman Prasad from his chairmanship of the vital Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Hon Prasad was simply too effective in unearthing financial mismanagement that showed Fiji First and its predecessor military government in a very bad light.
The government will now ensure one of its own members becomes PAC chair. That’s a lot safer and more predictable. In the minds of KAI-BAI, this would be a way of avoiding public evidence or suppressing the truth on issues such as the $200 million or so they spent without proper documentation.
A Fiji First chair would also be less likely to ask difficult questions about ministerial salaries involving tens of millions paid through the accounting firm of Kai’s aunt, Nur Bano Ali.
This week the two dictators and their accomplices stepped up their campaign to emasculate parliament. They have curbed the right of the people to express their views on issues through parliamentary petitions through arbitrary changes to the Standing Orders of Parliament they forced through with their majority vote.
They have removed the ability of the Opposition to introduce Private Members Bills. The traditional right of Opposition MPs to move adjournment motions as a device for getting across their party policies and ideas has been scrapped.
Instead we will see a swelling trend of parliament relegated to a mere propaganda vehicle for Fiji First. This is already underway in Question Time which they tactically reduce by filing and making long and boring self-praising ministerial statements to eat up the time. Ministerial statements are traditionally used for major announcements. They use it for ‘self-praise’.
KAI-BAI control Parliament, government and the justice system. They control the electoral system, the military and the police. They have the highest number of MPs with the lowest polling numbers in the house. They openly promote nepotism and favoritism. Corruption appears to be at an all-time high and Ministerial conflict of interest is now the norm. The media exercises self-censorship and some are full time propaganda arms of government.
By Jale Moala

Despite this formidable network of control, KAI-BAI still fear the voices of dissent and are unable to cope with the scrutiny of the opposition through the parliamentary process.
We would do well to remember the words of Sir Winston Churchill who in a speech to the USA 78 years ago on Oct 16 1938 ring true for Fiji today:-
You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. On all sides they are guarded by masses of armed men, cannons, aeroplanes, fortifications, and the like - they boast and vaunt themselves before the world, yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts; words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home - all the more powerful because forbidden - terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic. They make frantic efforts to bar our thoughts and words; they are afraid of the workings of the human mind. Cannons, airplanes, they can manufacture in large quantities; but how are they to quell the natural promptings of human nature, which after all these centuries of trial and progress has inherited a whole armory of potent and indestructible knowledge?
Dictatorship - the fetish worship of one man - is a passing phase. A state of society where men may not speak their minds, where children denounce their parents to the police, where a business man or small shopkeeper ruins his competitor by telling tales about his private opinions; such a state of society cannot long endure if brought into contact with the healthy outside world.
The light of civilised progress with its tolerances and co-operation, with its dignities and joys, has often in the past been blotted out. But I hold the belief that we have now at last got far enough ahead of barbarism to control it, and to avert it, if only we realise what is afoot and make up our minds in time. We shall do it in the end. But how much harder our toil for every day's delay!