Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fiji Situation Worsens by the Hour

Now, more e-mails have surfaced from within the FHRC, showing the extent to which the champion of human rights violations in Fiji and the senile pressie’s private secretary Rupeni Nacewa had conspired to pervert the course of justice. This e-mail reveals that Shaista was privy to the goings on behind the scenes, and maybe even was the legal advisor on whom the military relied upon, and the president’s action etc in the 2006 coup.
The President’s secretary (Nowhere chap) wrote his affidavit for the High Court on 29 August 2007 and the next day Shaista immediately published her report on the FHRC website justifying the coup, the removal of Vice-President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi etc, and on the following day, 31 August, exchanged the following with Victor Lal (Raw Fiji News has not been able to verify from Lal but the e-mail exists - its from FHRC mailbox - passed onto us by our moles):
There are some really good cases on assumption of power and how administration continues to function (the whole idea is to up-hold the state functions in the public interest) even if illegally in power. Legal basis is in judicial review rather than constitutional law per se. I think the problem that you are having is that of being locked into doctrine of necessity too much. This report of mine is a completely new paradigm shift and requires a close reading (which you have the luxury of doing, no doubt), of the Chandrika Prasad cases (which as you know I prepared for Robertson and Williams), and Phillip Joseph’s texts. The BLV has no further role after it appoints the President, except when asked by the PM to set up an tribunal or medical board to remove him; but this was attempted instead by a palace coup on December 5th. BLV tried to rationalise it on December 22nd. I have agenda of that meeting. Not sure what your relationship is with the ex-VP, but ‘wash hands’ policy required.
Happy reading. Always happy to help with the analysis ….
Shaista Shameem wrote:
Re: Victor, In confidence I have already made an application to the court for intervenor and have alerted the court (3 member bench) to this report to go to the (Australian)High Comm (this was done last week and there was no objection from the court nor from the parties). I did not say that Iloilo was illegal- that was in reference to 2000 events and GCC behaviour, which we were subsequently told was because of advice that Bale and Qarase gave- so Iloilo is now in the clear; you have probably did not pick up that information in the papers after my first report was published when the official secretary confirmed my analysis as what had happened in the GCC meeting.
I believe that this report is legally sound and you are most welcome to do whatever with it; but believe me you will be out in the cold on this one. On the rest, firstly, Qarase is not Rabuka; secondly, Rabuka has immunity in Constitution which was agreed to by the people of Fiji; you are not serious about a communist state (you are truly crazy if you are as this is not a serious academic comment- the RFMF still is loyal to Malayan campaign and to suggest it will bring wrath on your head from the military)
The President derives his sovereign powers from the people under the Constitution (duh!) I know this article does not gel with your analysis of the ‘coup’ but I have a statement to say that he was removed (did not abandon, but was forced to). This is in affidavit form, so again, careful what you say because you do not have the facts and I do, from the highest office of the land. As I said all rights have limitations in the public interest in the Const. Take care Victor, with highest regard, Shaista
Nacewa, where r u? Get ready for the Hague! A group of patriotic Fijians are traveling up to Geneva to file legal papers there for the arrest of Shaista (your partner in crème) when she next leaves Fiji. She is the biggest mercenary of all when it comes to human rights violation and destruction of rule of law and constitutionalism in Fiji
Posted by rawfijinews
Regime after Imrana Tuisolia
April 14, 2009
Word from within is that the bosses want Imrana Tuisolia behind bars.
Imrana and her group of lawyer and NGO friends held a peaceful protest behind the cordoned off Suva courthouse earlier today.
If Imrana is reading this blog, girl get your husband’s Fijian clan to protect and safeguard you.
And thank you for standing up for Fiji and her people.
You are a true human rights defender!
Posted by rawfijinews
Edwin Nand still locked up after 28 hours in captivity
April 14, 2009
We can confirm that Edwin Nand, the Fiji TV One reporter is still rocked up in a cell at Suva’s Central Police Station.
Sources say that the only person allowed to see him is their inhouse lawyer, Ms Tania Waqanita.
Edwin has been barred from all the military regime press conferences well before his arrest and was personally disliked by Frank and Leweni.
It is understood that it is their order that he be kept in the dungeon for 48 hours to get back at Edwin.
To Edwin, we say, perk up our brother!
We know that is not the best of places to be in right now.
Counting roaches and ants ain’t fun but you’re doing it for all of us who love Fiji so much.
Remain brave bro and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted by rawfijinews
Raw Fiji News Email Address
April 14, 2009
For those who are requesting it, here is our email addy:
Posted by rawfijinews
Dorsami Naidu’s lawyer group and supporters keep a vigil
April 14, 2009
Latest from Lautoka is that friends, family and lawyers in and around the western Fijian city of Lautoka have kept a vigil going near the Lautoka police station where Dorsami Naidu, Fiji Law Society President is being detained.
Sources say that Naidu is calm and collected but tired from the unnecessary illegal ordeal that he has been subjected to.
No such arrest was made in Suva when a group of lawyers and friends congregated outside the Suva court house to protest peacefully.
But given the bully boy intimidating tactics that has become synonymous with team Frank, participants who showed up at the peaceful gathering are advised to take necessary precautionary measures.
We say to Dorsami Naidu - bro, you’re a beacon of hope to many silent majority. You will come out of all that a much stronger, wiser and respected man.
The mourning Fijian people and friends of Fiji around the world are praying for you brother!
Posted by rawfijinews
Deported Aussie journalist says it like it is
April 14, 2009
ABC’s Dorney arrives home after Fiji deportation
By ABC correspondent Kerri Ritchie and staff

Deported: Dorney says he was offered a deal where he could leave voluntarily but did not take it. The ABC’s Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney has criticised the Fijian Government’s censorship of journalists after he was deported from the country.
Dorney was expelled from Fiji after its military-led government objected to his stories on its media crackdown the censoring of local journalists.
Arriving back at Sydney Airport today, Dorney described being called to the Information Minister’s office.
“He said ‘look Sean, we’re not happy with your reporting, there are going to immigration officers coming and you’ll be on your way to the airport’,” he said.
Dorney says he was offered a deal where he could leave voluntarily but did not take it.
He later had his mobile phone confiscated and was held for about five hours with a TV crew from New Zealand, while officials reviewed footage shot on his camera.
He says things are even worse for local Fijian journalists.
“The censorship at the moment is just absolutely extraordinary, never in Fiji before has it been this tough, even after [Sitiveni] Rabuka’s coup,” he said.
He says the people of Fiji are unable to see any negative stories about the government.
“There absolutely no doubt that the military is totally in control in Fiji. In Fiji at the moment you’ve got an extraordinary amount of law but not much order,” he said.
“They’ve thrown out all the judges, these new emergency regulations give the government just absolutely extraordinary powers. The Secretary for Information has the power to dictate exactly what or what not gets published.
“In fact the Fiji Times journalist who was speaking to me yesterday after I was informed initially that I was going to be deported, she just sat there despondently saying ‘no matter what I write it’s not going to get published’. The Fiji Times this morning has not a word about this.
“It’s total censorship, the news media have no freedom left whatsoever in Fiji under the current situation. These emergency regulations are in power for 30 days, what happens beyond that I don’t know.”
Meanwhile, Fijian journalist Edwin Nand spent last night in a police cell for reporting on Dorney’s detention.

NZ crew arrives home

A New Zealand television crew deported from Fiji says the military ordered them to wipe all the material on their tapes.
TV3 political reporter Sia Aston and cameraman Matt Smith flew in to Auckland Airport after being put on a plane in Nadi by immigration officials.
The pair were expelled after Fiji’s interim government disapproved of their stories.
Aston says while she never feared for her safety, Fiji’s military regime can be very unpredictable.
She says now that local and foreign media have been muzzled, ordinary Fijians are wondering who will be next.
“People said this is wrong, they know they are not getting what they have every right to get and that is the news,” she said.
“What are the media there to do but report on events that are happening? The media in Fiji just cannot do this basic function.
“I don’t think at any point we were in fear of our lives, there was no water torture, I mean most of them were actually fairly reasonable.”
This morning the military took over the Reserve Bank in Fiji.
It is believed the Reserve Bank governor is being held by police.
Posted by rawfijinews
Westpac Fiji boss in trouble
April 14, 2009
Sources from within say Frank exploded when the content of John Cashmore’s full radio interview on Australian ABC radio network was read out to him.
Cashmore is believed to have said that what happened at Reserve Bank of Fiji today will only scare away investors.
He added that further foreign exchange restrictions like that dished out by RBF today is a put-off to those looking to invest in Fiji and that the much needed foreign investment injection will be very difficult to achieve.
While we totally agree with Cashmore’s utterances, and may we add that it is also very factual, as far as Frank is concerned, Cashmore is a big-mouth who has spoken against him and his regime.
Posted by rawfijinews
What people are saying
April 14, 2009
By contel1
Posted by rawfijinews
Fijilive defies Fiji media political black-out
April 14, 2009
Internet based fiji news provider fijilive.com is the only mainstream media outlet that continues to report on what the unlawful military regime is saying.
We believe their visitors count may have dropped considerably putting pressure on their promised monthly viewership counter result for their online sponsors.
And we say, waz up Yashwant Gounder? Where’s your journalism ethics?
Posted by rawfijinews
Jone Dakuvula and assault on media freedom
April 14, 2009
By islandboy57
Bloggers!An e-mail has emerged showing the extent to which this wanna-be master of the universe and unemployable promotter of the illegal charter had long ago decided on how to deal with newspaper editors who refused to toe the line - this one against the ex-editor in chief of the Fiji SUN, the indomitable Kaikaivalu. Just look at the recepients of the e-mails - all pro-coup supporters
Date: Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 11:34 AMSubject: FW: Press Statements - Outcomes of 34th Forum-Fiji JWG meetingTo: Akuila YabakiCc: mosesewaqa@yahoo.com.au, John Samy , Satendra Nandan , ratumeli@connect.com.fj, rnair707@bigpond.net.au, Robert Norton, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum [External]”
Dear Rev,
The Fiji Sun has still not published my letter even though the Apenisa I responded to has another letter today.Funny there is an editorial in the Sun today about the Sugar industry at last.Where was the Fiji Sun seven years ago when we were doing education work on the future of the sugar industry with the cane farmers unions and the land owners.? Their reporters were invited to these meetings as you will recall but they never turned up. Now the Editorial has posed a ridiculous question that the interim govt has to decide if we are going to have a charter or a sugar industry! The Fiji Sun is so obsessed with its opposition to the Charter that it even sees tha EU as opposed to it.Journalists in Fiji do not seem to read overseas Govts statements closely and no wonder they are always surprised by the obvious.They do not read between the lines nor do they investigate… But our local journalists will have missed that because they are so obsessed with interpreting every thing against the govt. A measure of the ignorance of the media is that it had been so blind to the shifting Australian position that had been signaled over the last few months that when the Aust High Comm in Fiji Batley said last weekend in Nadi at the Aust Fiji Business Council Conference that his Govt was seriously considering funding the Political Parties Dialogue (an initiatiave of the much hated NCBBF), the Fiji Sun and FIJI Times and Fiji TV could not believe it and did not run the story except the Daily Post which did.The only matter of concern is the date of the election which should be resolved by the Presidents Dialogue Forum early next year.That will bring EU and other aid donors into line, which they are keen to find reasons to do anyway. Meanwhile we can expect the Fiji media establishment to continue to editorialise against the Charter and suppress stories and letters that contradict the editorial line.Where wil all this blind opposition end up? Sometimes I think it might do some good if the Fiji Sun Chief Editor spends 6 months in Korovou or better still in Congo!
Posted by rawfijinews

Reserve Bank governor Save Narube’s dismissal tops Fiji TV One news
April 14, 2009
Fiji’s regime did not object to the Fiji TV One airing of Savenaca Narube’s removal from his office earlier this morning.
Reporters say that the sacking of the Reserve Bank of Fiji governor was the first news item during the 6pm TV news segment.
The report said that Narube was under the “old” order, therefore he had to be sacked like all members of the judiciary and other appointments linked to the purported abrogated 1997 constitution.
Posted by rawfijinews
3 appeals judges say Iloilo senile
April 14, 2009
Comments by the 3 appeals judges in a radio interview reveal that they don’t believe Iloilo has the intellectual capacity to have done what he has been doing since 2006.
The almost 90 years old Iloilo, they say is “senile”.
They added that he was merely a puppet controlled by Frank the puppeteer.
Posted by rawfijinews
Three appeals judges say new oath takers automatically commit treason
April 14, 2009
The three appeals judges who ruled Frank’s military regime as illegal have met again but this time on a radio interview on ABC channel to give their views on what is unfolding in Fiji following the passing down of their judgment.
They have reiterated that those who will take the new oath under Frank’s new order will be commiting treason.
Posted by rawfijinews
Baledrokadroka warns Frank his time is up
April 14, 2009
Fiji Military Forces ex-landsforce Commander Ratu Jone Baledrokadroka has sent a warning to Frank that he is about to fall.
Baledrokadroka is now a fellow at the Australian National University.
We are told that Baledrokadroka gave a hard-hitting no-nonsense interview to the Australian media and has used the opportunity to send a message to Frank that his days are numbered.
Baledrokadroka warned Frank that the power of the people are moving towards him and that he and all his intimidating tactics will not be able to save him.
He said it only takes a spark to ignite the civil disorder that is about to erupt in Fiji.
Posted by rawfijinews
Westpac General Manager hunted down to be deported
April 14, 2009
Insiders say orders were given by Frank to hunt down Westpac General Manager, John Cashmore, for giving a telephone inteview with overseas media.
John Cashmore is said to have breached Frank’s “public emergency order” thereby breaching his work permit conditions.
These informants say that the order is to deport John Cashmore and his family with immediate effect.
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji Law Society President still locked up
April 14, 2009
Dorsami Naidu, the President for the Fiji Law Society, is still in a Lautoka police cell.
It is understood that he will be kept there overnight following his peaceful protest today by turning up to the Lautoka courthouse with some other lawyers.
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji : The Cruel Hoax
April 14, 2009
Brij V Lal
On 9 April, the Fiji Court of Appeal, the country’s second highest court, ruled that the December 2006 military coup against Laisenia Qarase’s democratically elected government was illegal, as was the installation soon afterwards of Commodore Bainimarama’s interim administration by President Josefa Iloilo. The President’s supposed sovereign powers were found to be non-existent. The President had no powers except those specified in the 1997 Constitution. He was required to work within the provisions of the Constitution, not outside it. The court recommended that the President appoint a distinguished Fiji citizen, other than Laisenia Qarase or Bainimarama, to head a caretaker government and prepare the country for fresh parliamentary elections.
Later that evening, Commodore Bainimarama, appearing relaxed and informal, told the nation that he had resigned as Prime Minister and was returning to the barracks. Many in Fiji applauded him thinking that the rule of law might now finally prevail. But the optimism was short lived.
Bainimarama’s words were a cruel hoax played on an unsuspecting nation.
The next day, shortly after midday, President Iloilo addressed the nation. In the course of his speech, he praised Bainimarama’s interim administration for creating ‘opportunities for new ideas,’ and for adhering to the President’s controversial mandate. Then, in a statement full of strange irony, he said that to ‘facilitate the holding of true democratic and parliamentary elections,’ he was abrogating the 1997 constitution (for which he had voted as a then Senator), appointing himself the Head of State, and revoking the appointment of all judicial officers.
By Saturday morning, President Iloilo reappointed Commodore Bainimarama as the interim Prime Minister. All of the same members of the previous interim cabinet were sworn in later in the day.
The old regime was back in office, back in business, in a new set of clothes.
The regime’s supporters argued that the Appeal Court’s decision left President Iloilo with no option but to abrogate the constitution. This is simply not true. Exercising Emergency Powers, the President could properly have appointed an interim cabinet to take the country to the next parliamentary elections.
But returning the country to parliamentary democracy was the last thing on his mind, or on the minds of his minders. The President was not the free, impartial head of state the world imagined him to be. Visibly in ill-health, painfully struggling through a speech written for him, he was, in truth, an instrument in the hands of the military to do whatever they wanted done.
The military wanted the constitution abrogated, and they used a pliant President to do the deed for them, to give the treasonous action a semblance of legitimacy. A titular head of state, akin to the Governor General in Australia, was expected to protect the honour and integrity of the constitution; instead, he trashed it at the behest of the military. In effect, he carried out the country’s fifth coup in two decades.
Fiji is currently under a hastily decreed Emergency Regulations. Freedom of movement and speech are severely curtailed, and military and police are stationed in the country’s media offices to monitor the publication of news. The media had already been under attack, with Land Forces Commander Pita Driti threatening to shut down the Fiji Times. The home of the newspaper’s editor, Netani Rika, had been the target of a fire bomb a week ago. Other prominent pro-democracy leaders were similarly attacked. Intimidation is working. Self-censorship is the order of the day in Fiji.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the country is effectively run by a shadowy Military Council. Commodore Bainimarama has publicly admitted heeding their advice.
So what does the military want? They said, when they took over government in December 2006, that wanted to clean the country of corruption. But the ‘clean up’ campaign has lost all credibility. No one has been prosecuted so far.
The military says they want Fiji to have a new electoral system, the Proportional Representation Open List System, not the Alternative Vote system currently in place. There is emerging consensus that Fiji needs to move away from its present race-based, quasi-consociational (power sharing) system.Whatever electoral system is in place, unless there is basic respect for the rule of law, nothing will work.
The real cause of political instability in Fiji is not its electoral system, but a large standing army in an unruly environment characterized by a blatant disregard for the verdict of the ballot box. Unless the military is reined in or its size substantially reduced, Fiji’s political stability will remain at risk. But the military sees for itself not a reduced but an enhanced role in the public life of Fiji. Any new constitution that is drawn up will shore up the military’s power.
The military wants to introduce the principles of good governance through a so-called Peoples’ Charter. Full of motherhood statements about how to run a happy and harmonious society (Sociology 101, in truth), the Charter is a mantra chanted ad nauseam by the military. The Charter is a harmless enough planning document, but the military sees no irony in introducing good governance principles at the point of a gun, and against the wishes of most indigenous Fijians, if the stand of the Methodist Church, the Fijian Teachers Association and the former ruling SDL Party is anything to go by.
Commodore Bainimarama and his Military Council are determined to have their way. So far, they have ignored the advice of Fiji’s regional neighbours, represented by the Pacific Forum Leaders. The Commonwealth Secretariat’s plea for dialogue and peaceful resolution of the current impasse has similarly fallen on deaf ears. The European Union’s funds for the restructure of the country’s ailing sugar industry are on hold.
The immediate future of the Fijian economy looks grim. In these times of galloping global financial crisis, no one will invest capital in an environment characterized by systemic political instability. Two weeks ago, Commodore Bainimarama instructed his Permanent Secretaries to cut the current operating budgets of their departments by fifty per cent.
And the Reserve Bank has placed strict financial control on capital outflow. These, more than anything else, give the truest picture of dire situation facing Fiji. As the impasse remains unresolved and the political dialogue process stalls, as the military entrenches its position and as the international condemnations continue, Fiji does not have much room for optimism as it looks to its immediate future.
In 1985 Fiji was described by Pope John Paul II as ‘The Way The World Should Be.’ That period has now vanished beyond recall. After several coups in the last two decades, Fiji is, sadly, on the way to becoming ‘The Burma of the Pacific.’
Posted by rawfijinews
Reserve Bank tightens its purse even more
April 14, 2009
Reserve Bank of Fiji
Part 1 Exchange Control Restrictions effective from 14 April 2009
(for information of Commercial Banks)

Part A: Facilities Suspended

1. Offshore Investments
· These include investments by non-bank financial institutions, companies and individuals
· Suspension applies to both new applications and existing approvals not yet utilised

Part B: Facilities Not Delegated and Requiring RBF Permission

a) Emigration allowance (up to $200,000 per annum)
b) Profit remittances & withdrawal of investments
c) Payment for merchanted imports
d) Offset of foreign exchange earnings against foreign currency payables other than payment of imports already landed in Fiji
e) Foreign currency accounts – for local individuals and locally registered business entities
f) Insurance payments
g) Mortgage of Fiji registered assets to secure transactions held outside Fiji
h) Local Borrowing by Non-Resident Individuals and non – resident controlled companies

Part C: Facilities Delegated

1. Travel Allowance
Limit of $5,000 per trip per traveller

2. Credit Card Facility
Restricted to F$5,000 per month
All amounts in excess of the new limit requires prior Reserve Bank permission

3. Debit Card Facility
Monthly usage of F$5,000 per month.

4. Advance payments & pre-payment of imports
New delegated limit of $20,000 per invoice

5. F$ Credit into External Account
Limit for other funds from local sources to F$200 per month
Limit for proceeds from sale of assets to $50,000 per sale

6. Offset of Foreign Exchange Earnings against Foreign Currency Bills Payable
New delegated limit of F$100,000 per transaction for payment of imports that have arrived in Fiji
Any amounts in excess of this limit requires prior Reserve Bank permission

7. Other Remittances (apart from those specified above)
· New delegated limit of F$50,000 per application for the following transactions:-
- trade-related transactions
- foreign currency loan repayments
- office expenses and other foreign currency bills payable
- education (if paid directly to the education institution)
- medical expenses (if paid directly to the medical institution)
- alimony and other payments required under court order
[Exception: Payment for import of goods already received in Fiji is still fully delegated]

· Limit of F$500 per application per annum will continue to apply for the following transactions:
- gifts
- maintenance
- education allowance if not paid directly to the education institution
- medical expenses if not paid directly to the medical institution
- miscellaneous expenses/ transactions
- cancelled hotel bookings
- subscriptions
- wages to foreign crew

· All amounts in excess of the above limits require the prior permission of the Reserve Bank

Part D: Documentation Requirements

The above facilities will require documentation to be sighted for amounts above F$500 per transaction.

Part E: Forward Foreign Exchange Facility

All forward foreign exchange contracts of commercial banks to be operated within the current guidelines of matching sales against purchases.

Part F: Reporting Requirements

1. Foreign Exchange Transactions

Commercial Banks to continue to report individual transactions above F$50,000 on a daily basis to the External Markets Unit of the Reserve Bank
Commercial Banks to submit summary OET reports on a weekly basis to the Exchange Control Unit of the Reserve Bank

2. Local Borrowing & Guarantees

Commercial banks to submit outstanding credits to non-resident individuals and non-resident controlled business entities on a quarterly basis to the Exchange Control Unit of the Reserve Bank.

3. Foreign Currency Accounts

Commercial banks to continue to submit balances of accounts held by local individuals and locally registered business/entities on a quarterly basis to the Exchange Control Unit of the Reserve Bank.

Reserve Bank of Fiji
Posted by rawfijinews

Fiji dollar tinkering on devaluation
April 14, 2009
Sources from within say that the Fiji dollar is changing its face to a much lower and cheaper grade.
The sources say that if imports are not controlled, the Fiji dollar will most likely devalue this week.
They say that Fiji’s foreign reserves is now below 2.5 months
They added that all new pending applications for offshore investments by non-bank financial institutions are now suspended.
Posted by rawfijinews
One of the appeals court judges who ruled Iloilo Frank & Co. as illegitimate rulers said today that the Australian Labor government should adopt tougher sactions against Fiji. The Australian Foreign Affairs Minister earlier said that they don’t want to hurt ordinary Fijians by banning Aussie tourists from travelling to Fiji.
He also said tougher trade sanctions will only serve to hurt the ordinary folks. But the appeals court judge said that Australia should stop kidding itself that a man like Frank will listen to any of the good advice given by the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth or the UN and that Australia should take swift but more tougher measures to weaken Frank.
We agree whole-heartedly with the judge’s call. Frank will not listen to anyone.
Trade sanctions should be imposed. Nothing comes for free in this world and we think that the Fijian people would rather suffer more if it is going to weaken Frank’s stronghold. They don’t have any other choice but to suffer some more. They are already suffering anyway so tougher trade sanctions will not give them heart-attacks like someone we know with a weak heart

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