Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Human Rights Abuse Escalate in Fiji

May 5, 2009
President of the Republic of the Fiji Islands
H.E. Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, CF, MBE, KStJ, MSD, JP
Fiji Islands
Dear President Ratu Iloilo,
In February 2007, Human Rights Watch wrote to you detailing a number of grave human rights violations in Fiji stemming from the December 2006 military coup, including one death in military custody, arbitrary detentions of at least two dozen people, and the provision of immunity for military personnel involved in the coup. To date we have yet to receive a response.
We write again now to communicate urgent concerns regarding the recent developments in Fiji following the Court of Appeal decision in Qarase v. Bainimarama on April 9, 2009, and your subsequent announcement, with the backing of the army, “I hereby confirm I have abrogated the 1997 constitution and appointed myself as head of state in the new order.” Over the past three weeks, the Fiji government has engaged in serious violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, among others, and abolished any pretence of an independent judiciary. These actions, in which the President has given himself near absolute powers, have made Fiji a dictatorship.
On April 9, 2009, the Fiji Court of Appeal declared the coup of December 5, 2006, unlawful and noted that it would be advisable for the President to appoint a distinguished person independent of the parties to the litigation as caretaker Prime Minister. That caretaker Prime Minister was to advise the dissolution of the Parliament and direct the issuance of writs for an election. The following day, you abrogated the Constitution, appointed yourself head of state, revoked the appointment of all judicial officers, and reappointed military commander Commodore Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister. Despite your promise, in your Address to the Nation at this time, that basic rights would be protected under the new legal order, the interim government and security forces have committed serious human rights violations.
Rule of law and the independence of the judiciary
Recent presidential actions have failed to uphold the rule of law and encroached on the independence of the judiciary. On April 10, 2009, you removed all judicial officers from office. On April 16, you issued the Administration of Justice Decree, which removes the President of the Law Society from the Judicial Services Commission and terminates all pending cases that challenge the actions of the interim administration since the coup. On April 20, you appointed, under this Decree, Ajmal Gulab Khan as Chief Magistrate and Faizal Koya as magistrate, together with seven others who were sitting magistrates prior to the abrogation. Ana Rokomokoti, the former military lawyer who was appointed a magistrate by the interim administration in May 2007, was appointed Chief Registrar on April 15 by the Public Service Commission, reconstituted under the State Services Decree 2009. Five magistrates, Amani Rokotinaviti, Josaia Waqavolavola, Vani Ravono, Laisa Laveti, and former Chief Magistrate Naomi Matanitobua, were not reappointed. All other judicial offices remain vacant. Since their removal, judges have been closely monitored by police and military officers and have been refused access to the court buildings.
Lawyers are also being targeted. On April 14, police arbitrarily detained Dorsami Naidu, the President of the Fiji Law Society, after Naidu attempted to enter the Lautoka High Court Building with fellow lawyers and High Court Judge Gwen Phillips to deal with cases as usual. Naidu was released the next day, though has since received a late night telephone call from someone identifying himself as a military officer, asking him to come to the barracks. Naidu refused. In addition, the Law Society has not been given written permission to meet, over two weeks after it applied for such a permit.
Through the Fiji Constitution Amendment Act 1997 Revocation Decree 2009, you revoked all constitutional offices, including the Office of the Solicitor-General and of the Director of Public Prosecutions. You reappointed Christopher Pryde, an interim government appointee who represented Commodore Bainimarama in the Qarase v. Bainimarama proceedings, on April 21 after consulting with the Interim Attorney General, pursuant to the State Services Decree 2009. A new Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to be appointed.
Taken together, these steps severely undermine access to justice and the independence of the judiciary. In order to restore the rule of law, Human Rights Watch urges you to:
Return immediately to constitutional rule, annul decrees made since April 10, 2009, in particular the Fiji Constitution Amendment Act 1997 Revocation Decree 2009, Revocation of Judicial Appointments Decree 2009, the Administration of Justice Decree 2009, and the State Services Decree 2009, and recognize the legal system as it stood prior to April 10, 2009.
Publicly commit to upholding the fundamental principles of independence of the judiciary, the prosecutorial service and lawyers, and desist from further undermining these principles.
Abide by the Qarase v. Bainimarama decision; any discontent with the decision should be addressed through the ordinary course of appeal.
Respond immediately and positively to the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers’ request of January 18, 2007, and reiterated on June 26, 2008, for a country visit to Fiji. On November 9, 2008, the Permanent Mission of Fiji articulated strong support for this request before the UN General Assembly.
Issue an open invitation to all Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and other international observers.
Freedom of expression
The right to freedom of expression has been violated since April 10, 2009. The government has censored media outlets and intimidated human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and political opponents.
The Public Emergency Regulations 2009 empower the Permanent Secretary for Information to prohibit the broadcast or publication of any material the secretary believes may result in a breach of the peace, or promote disaffection or public alarm or undermine the government.
Immediately following the abrogation of the Constitution on April 10, Ministry of Information officers were placed in newsrooms to monitor what is being published. On April 12, the most widely distributed national daily newspaper, the Fiji Times, contained blank spaces, with the notice, “the stories on this page could not the published due to Government restrictions”; Fiji TV cancelled its 6 p.m. news broadcast, displaying instead this message, “Viewers please be advised that there will be no 6 p.m. News tonight”; other domestic news sources omitted stories on the political situation.
The Ministry of Information and police have summoned editors, publishers, and journalists to explain or justify stories. On April 13, the police took Fiji TV reporter Edwin Nand into custody for allegedly breaching the Public Emergency Regulations 2009 by interviewing Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) journalist Sean Dorney prior to his deportation. Nand was detained at the Central Police Station for two nights before being released without charge. On April 16, the police arrested PACNEWS journalist Pita Ligaiula for allegedly breaching the regulations. Ligaiula was released the following day without charge. The same day, five regional and international media correspondents based in Fiji were summoned to appear before the Ministry of Information, where they were told to comply with the regulations. At around 7 p.m. on April 16, police raided the Islands Business office. Police specifically stated that their purpose was to prevent the release of a story on the detained journalist Pita Ligailua.
Three international journalists, New Zealand’s 3 News reporter Sia Aston and cameraman Matt Smith, together with ABC Pacific Correspondent Sean Dorney, were forced to leave the country on April 14. On April 13, all three had been summoned to the Ministry of Information, where officers told Aston and Dorney that they were not happy with their reporting. Aston and Smith were ordered to erase all material from their tapes prior to their departure. The three were then detained for five hours before being handed over to Immigration officers who accompanied them to Nadi, where they spent the night. The next morning, they were served with deportation papers and put on flights to New Zealand and Australia. Some international journalists have since been allowed to enter Fiji and report, but are only permitted to do so at the interim government’s invitation and their reports continue to be censored.
On April 15, two Radio Australia FM transmitters were shut down by local technicians who were acting on the orders of officers from Fiji’s Ministry of Information and soldiers. On April 20, Pacific Women’s Information Network (Pacwin), a regional listserv, issued the following message:
Until further notice this list will be moderated. We kindly request all members to refrain from posting commentary on the current situation in Fiji. All such posts will be withheld by our moderators.
Human Rights Watch urges you to:
Immediately cease the harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists, writers, lawyers, human rights defenders, and political opponents.
End government interference of the domestic and foreign media.
Discipline or prosecute as appropriate any officials found to be carrying out any activities restricting the right to freedom of expression.
State of Emergency
The Public Emergency Regulations 2009, decreed on April 10, purports to empower security forces to prohibit processions and meetings, to use such force as considered necessary, including use of arms, to enter and remain in any building where there is reason to believe three or more people are meeting, and to regulate the use of any public place of three or more persons. It further provides for the detention of suspects for up to seven days without charge. Regulation 3(3) provides:
[n]o police officer nor any member of the Armed Forces nor any person acting in aid of such police officer or member using such force shall be liable in criminal or civil proceedings for having by the use of such force caused harm or death to any person.
The wide-ranging powers and immunity provided in these regulations contribute to impunity for members of the security forces. In addition, the regulations violate the rights of liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention, free speech, and freedom of peaceful assembly. The arbitrary enforcement of restrictions on gatherings and meetings, provided for in the regulations compromises the work of nongovernmental organizations, religious groups, and other civil society organizations.
The Public Emergency Regulations 2009 are incompatible with international human rights standards, and we urge that you revoke them immediately.
Democracy
The people of Fiji have a right to take part in self-government through free and fair elections.
You stated, in your Address to the Nation given on April 10, 2009, that you believe “that a period of five years is necessary for an interim government to put into place the necessary reforms and processes.” As such, you advised that you would “direct the soon to be appointed Interim Government to hold true democratic and parliamentary elections by September 2014 at the latest.” Commodore Bainimarama echoed your comments in his own Address to the Nation the following day, noting that the Interim Cabinet would “ensure that elections are held at the latest by September 2014.”

Human Rights Watch urges you to take immediate steps toward holding elections by immediately appointing an independent civilian caretaker Prime Minister to promptly direct the issuance of writs of election. Any aims for electoral reform should be pursued through the democratic process entrenched in the Constitution.
Human Rights Watch reminds you that even under a state of emergency, the government of Fiji must protect and uphold fundamental human rights of all people in Fiji. Human Rights Watch urges you to commit to the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law, and democratic governance by taking the substantive steps recommended in this letter. This includes returning to constitutional rule, respecting the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, restoring judicial independence, and holding elections as soon as possible. Should you fail to do so, the future of human rights in Fiji will remain in jeopardy.
We welcome any opportunity to discuss these matters with you further.
Yours sincerely,
Brad Adams
Executive Director
Asia division
CC:Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military ForcesCommodore Josaia Voreqe
Posted by rawfijinews

The suffering public and how the populace have failed at large - Professor Warden Narsey
May 6, 2009
Let’s reflect back on some writings by some good fair minds of Fiji.

By Warden Narsey - (read the full article at the end of this teaser extract) .
The suffering public
In the last twenty years, the bulk of the ordinary people have battled to survive on the crumbs from a cake which has failed to grow, because of bad political and economic leadership.
The incidence of poverty was about 34% in 2003, and it is probably 40% now (2007), ironically afflicting our whole population, Fijians and Indo-Fijians alike.
If we had good political and economic leadership, our costly coups could have been avoided. There would have been more than enough growth in national income, and government revenue, and government expenditure, to satisy all competing interests.
Everyone’s Affirmative Action Blueprint, cane farmers with expiring leases, re-housing of squatters, rugby world cup squad, Charters for People, FICAC, and even Prime Ministers’ opulent residences could have been funded with the extra government revenue.
This is not to be. Becuase there has been no “catching up” from the coups.
The really sad continuing reality is that every coup leader or supporter thinks that their coup was justified.
Ratu Mara did not oppose the 1987 coup, and took part in the post-coup government; Mr Rabuka, while redeeming his role in the first coup by pushing through the 1997 Constitution, still says he would do the coups again if necessary; Ratu Mara after the 2000 coup said that Mr Chaudhry could not come back as Prime Minister, and Commodore Bainimarama did not bring him back; Mr Qarase kept repeating after the 2000 coup that indigenous Fijians will not tolerate Indo-Fijian Prime Ministers; and Commodore Bainimarama did the 2006 coup, claiming that this coup will end all coups.
It is not just a failure on the part of our political amd military leaders, but a failure of the populace at large. By now, all major ethnic, religious and social groups in Fiji have justified and supported one coup or another.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Fiji’s poor.
Read the full article here http://www.econ.fbe.usp.ac.fj/fileadmin/files/schools/ssed/economics/Wadan_Narsey/Media_articles/2007_H_____Costly_coups_no_catching_up_Fiji_Times__11_Dec_07.pdf
Posted by rawfijinews
One damn lie after another
May 6, 2009
By fijidemocracynow2009
Reaction to the Forum’s suspension of Fiji tells us that the ability to see through the dictator’s lies comes to some more easily than it does to others, including some of the smaller Pacific Island states.
So, what exactly does suspension mean for us and our neighbors?
First, for us Fiji citizens who believe in democracy and restoration of our freedom of speech and basic human rights, suspension was a significant step in the right direction.
In Frank’s camp, the suspension is seen as an opportunity to once again paint Fiji as the victim of a plot driven by Pacific super-powers, Australia and New Zealand.
But, of course, there’s no plot. In reality the suspension was a mandatory censure of a rogue administration that was imposed, after due warning, on the unanimous vote of all Forum members, big and small.
That’s right, unanimous. So, suggesting now that we should give our military dictatorship more leeway only further imperils the welfare of the people of Fiji and the welfare of our nation as a whole.
And if that suggestion comes from less developed Pacific island states, they may well be thinking about their own welfare.
Fiji is an important logistics hub for a number of neighboring island states who, in varying degrees, are reliant on us for access to a whole range of services.
Our Military dictatorship knows this, which is why it keeps repeating its line on Australia and New Zealand and invoking the Pacific Way with the clear objective of playing on the fears of small island states.
But the small island states, like the people of Fiji, are fast learning a bitter lesson: in a modern world, military dictatorship is a recipe for disaster.
As Bainimarama and his cronies keep demonstrating, Fiji’s military dictatorship is no different to Zimbabwe’s or Burma’s. It is propped up by lies and deceit and leads only to misery and poverty. Bainirama wanted us to think his coup was a spontaneous reaction to political developments in Fiji in the months leading up to December 2006. But that was his biggest lie.
It is comprehensively documented that Bainimarama’s coup and the establishment of his dictatorship is a rotten egg that has been incubating for years.
Don’t forget it was Bainimarama who unsuccessfully tried to cut a power-sharing deal with George Speight back in 2000, and don’t forget he’s on record as actively planning to deploy the RFMF to overthrow the Qarase government as long ago as late 2004.
Empowered by his guns, Bainimarama has dedicated himself over the past decade to gaining and consolidating personal control over Fiji.
He’s a despot driven by a desperate agenda. He’s certainly no reformer.
His mantra of reform is just another of his lies, following hard on the heels of his get rid of racial discrimination lie and his “clean up corruption” lie.
Today, with draconian media censorship and other PER provisions in place, the dictator hopes the information blackout and general insecurity he’s created will enable him to spin more lies to mask his blatant criminality and ongoing corruption.
As the President of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement Usaia Waqatairewa so rightly points out, all the Bainimarama dictatorship has ever delivered to the people of Fiji is one damn lie after another.
Posted by rawfijinews
Open letter to Comrade-in-Arms
May 6, 2009
CAKACAKA NI BUTOBUTO
To Comrade-in-Arms
This is an open letter to all of you from the real Discpline Services.
There are a few issues that we need to disseminate to all serving members of the RFMF, Police, Navy and Prison Services.

1. There are ILLEGAL ORDERS
Always note that as evident in many Summary of Evidence(SOE) in Court Martials the defendants do realise that ORDERS are deemed illegal if they are issued without regard for following proper publications and procedures.A typical example is when they had SOE for soldiers that participated in the 2000 coup. That’s when soldiers realised that they were taking orders from common criminals like wise at Nuremberg HITLER’S crew that carried out the HOLOCAUST , following ILLEGAL ORDERS will not stand for you in court. This is the case that is transpiring in our midst,all OPERATIONAL ORDERS AND STANDING ORDERS, ARE DEEMED ILLEGAL and (Bainimarama and Company) A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND They are COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE for Nation Building because they do not follow the RULE OF LAW.
2. You have been lied to, tricked and swindled to by Bainimarama and Company. Firstly you are not covered by any immunity that he promised to you in 2006. The writing is on the wall. Brothers involved in the RABAKA CASE . The VEREBASAGA CASE .
3. O Voreqe e a sega ni vatubura na keda i sau, o ya e cakava na Civilian Government mai Parliament.
4. Qori sara bai vakacegui o ira na tuakada 55. Ia o lasulasu e HOLIDAY tu i BALI na vanua era dau gole ga kina na millionaire. Ka rawa ni vakayagataka e $100,000 na gauna lekaleka ga oqo.
5. O koya kei Teleni e rau wase tiko na commission mai vei Padam Lala me baleta na noda uniform ni veiqaravi. E tu na vadinadina. Rau na qai veilewai ni sa mua donu tale na noda vanua.
6. Kauta mai na tavalena DAULABA me mai liutaka na Mataivalu e wai. Ni tu na tamata e ra vai vola cecere sara mai vei daulaba KEAN kara dau vinakata na cakacaka dina kei na savasava. O Kean e tamata DAULABA.
7. Bainimarama e saumi koya vakadaubutako e na nona lavo ni livi.Na rate e butakoci keda na lewe i Viti. “na noqu kerekere vei kemuni na i sausau vou kei noda Viti, o kemuni ni tamata YALOSAVASAVA ka dau valataka na DINA. Moni ni kauta laivi na CAKACAKA NI BUTOBUTO e vakayacori tiko o qo e na noda veiliutaki i na Mataivalu, Na Mataivalu i Wai kei na Ovisa.”
ME DA DAU QARAUNI IRA NA DAU OBI IRA TU MAI ME VAKA NA SIPI , IA NA LOMADRA E VAKA NA OLIVA DAU KATA.
RFN says - we will leave it to our indigenous Fijian bloggers to explain what is written here in their Fijian vernacular.
Posted by rawfijinews
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Where the hell is Frank Bainimarama?
May 6, 2009
By a source
The illegal Minister of Health Dr. Neil Sharma arranged Frank Bainimarama’s heart surgery in Chennai, India.
So where is Frank? Can you spot him anywhere in the picture?
Posted by rawfijinews
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PER or no PER, people will revolt against the regime
May 6, 2009
We are told that it doesn’t really matter whether a public emergency regulation is “on or off”, Frank’s dictatorial regime must always be on alert for a possible revolt by the people.
Sources say the regime continue to hurt the feelings of many as their creeping dictatorial rulership continues to roll on.
And with it, the people are becoming more determined than ever to do something to remove Frank & Co.
They are already waking up to the reality that Frank & Cos style of governing only brings misery.
Their hurt is slowly festering into anger and we all know that shit happens when people are extremely pissed off.
Posted by rawfijinews
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Are the defeated Fijians really defeated?
May 6, 2009
Many are already ruling out a possible uprising by Fijians in that troubled island state.
They say it is pretty much a no hoper with many Fijians already looking so defeated and so sacred of the guns Frank & Co. are shielding themselves with.
But are they really? …… Defeated?
Far from it we believe.
We think these meek race can turn into savages when provoked for too long and too hard which we think is the case now.
They are people with few words, they can be patient and can withstand long-suffering, but one will be so naive to think they are mellow - oh no, no,no, don’t be fooled, their patience is wearing thin and we will not dare rule them out as a defeated bunch of people.
They will defeat dictator Frank & Co.
Posted by rawfijinews
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Will George Speight & Co. released on yellow bowed CSO?
May 6, 2009
Now that all the military police killers in juntawood are enjoying their civilian freedom once more, will Aiyaz and Naivaulurua extend the same yellow bowed gesture to George Speight & Co. - executers of the 2000 coup that brought some brown foreign matters to Frank Bainimarama’s trouser?
We doubt it!
Posted by rawfijinews
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Releasing of Verebasaga and Rabaka’s killers hypocritical
May 6, 2009
By Ropate
Voreqe was critical of Qarase for releasing the former Vice President Seniloli and Tui Cakau on CSOs. Yet in the 1970s Mahend Chaudhry was jailed for a hit-and-run along the Nasese Beach front and he was released on a CSO after spending only one night in gaol. Now Voreqe has released his convicted murderers on CSO. Personally I see the humanitarian side of it, especialy for first offenders who have shown remorse for their actions, but what I find objectionable is the double standard used by Voreqe. He owes and apology to the Tui Naua and the Tui Cakau
Posted by rawfijinews
The politics behind Maori Party’s ill-conceived Fiji trip
May 6, 2009
By tumeke on http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com
Internal sanctions

Mactional is an ugly mash sometimes - and the Maori Party’s kite-flying on Fiji was another lost opportunity. It was a potentially valuable back channel to the regime in Suva, but it was fumbled. Why did the PM shift his position? Did clumsy MFAT has their fat paws on it, or was it a political botch from McCully? Or was it the Fijian regime that scotched it?
It was the timing the PM could have played with in permitting any delegation that included a Minister of the Crown - enough time to work something out; but now it’s all gone. The Maori Party isn’t too hot on the diplomatic tango either and has stood on the government’s feet because they didn’t read the nuances themselves. NZ Herald:
Mr Key had believed he had secured agreement from Dr Sharples on Monday that he would not proceed with the delegation. However, Dr Sharples announced the party was still planning to go ahead with it after meeting his caucus yesterday morning, forcing Mr Key to issue a swift “no”.
Mr Key accepted he may have caused confusion, but said his reasons for blocking Dr Sharples’ participation were because the Government had to be seen to hold a consistent position on Fiji.
“Effectively [his position as Maori Party co-leader] is inseparable from his position as a minister on this issue.”
And that is the fiction that would have allowed him to go in a NZ context, because we would not accept that he can’t go in a private capacity - even if it is in discussions with the members of the illegal regime; but it would cast him in a different light in an international context. Perhaps ending the chances was the slimy power behind the scenes of the dictatorship - the purported interim (I suppose since he went about the abrogation of the constitution to a self-declared “new legal order”) Attorney-General:
Fiji’s interim attorney-general Aiyez Saiyed-Khaiyum said they would be happy to receive the delegation.
He would not comment on Mr Key’s actions, but said if Dr Sharples was to come he would be treated as a minister of New Zealand.
It seems Dr Sharples has in fact been vetoed by the Fijians.
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji urged to restore constitution
May 6, 2009
A New York-based human rights group urged Fiji’s interim government to reinstate the constitution and restore judges unlawfully removed from office.
Human Rights Watch also called for an immediate end to “the harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists, writers, lawyers, human rights defenders, and political opponents” in Fiji.
Fiji was plunged into fresh crisis last month after the president reappointed Commodore Frank Bainimarama as interim prime minister, two days after a court ruled the military leader’s 2006 coup and subsequent government was illegal.
Last week the Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji from the 16-nation grouping, after its military leader failed to meet a deadline to announce elections and extended emergency laws.
Human Rights Watch said it had sent a letter to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo calling for the restoration of constitutional law.
“President Iloilo and Commodore Bainimarama have run roughshod over basic freedoms of speech, association, and assembly,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
“After over two years of military rule, Fiji Islanders now face even more restrictions, instead of progress toward restoring democratic rule,” he said.
http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/fiji-urged-restore-constitution-2710171
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji a real rogue state
May 6, 2009
There is no two hoots about it - Fiji is an absolute rogue state absolutely!
Sources have revealed that the Verebasaga and Rabaka families are not one bit impressed with the releasing of their loved ones murderers.
And behind that release is Aiyaz Khaiyum under the recommendation of corrupt ,disgraceful prisons department head, Naivalurua.
Naivalurua is another senior military officer who should be put away in jail for the rest of his life when the power of the people spills over in Fiji.
He like all other top notch in Frank & Co. have been bought by their greed for power and lust for money at the expense of the welfare of their people.
And we say, shame on you Naivalurua you pathetic coward!
Posted by rawfijinews

Adolf Khaiyum’s desperate plea to keep Forum Secretariat head office in Fiji
May 5, 2009
Tamara McLean
May 5, 2009 - 10:59AM
Fiji’s military regime says the Pacific Islands Forum head office should remain in Suva, even though Fiji has been barred from the group.
Australia’s federal opposition has said it is “untenable” for the forum’s secretariat to remain in the troubled country now it has been suspended for failing to hold democratic elections.
But Fiji’s attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said he wants the forum to remain where it is, and he believes it will.
“I think they will continue to be in Fiji,” Sayed-Khaiyum told the news website FijiLive.
“Fiji is very keen to host anybody that is a multinational agency or a bilateral agency and they have been in Fiji since (the forum’s) inception.
“So are other international organisations who have headquarters in Fiji.
“So we obviously will continue to host the forum.”
Fiji was officially suspended from the forum on May 1 after the country’s military ruler Frank Bainimarama failed to set an election date in 2009.
Bainimarama, who overthrew the elected government in a 2006 coup, has increasingly frustrated his regional neighbours by refusing to go to the polls.
He angered them further last month when he tightened his grip on power by abrogating the constitution through the president, sanctioning the media and delaying elections until 2014.
Forum chairman Toke Talagi has yet to decide on the future of the secretariat.
But Australia’s opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said it was “untenable” for it to remain in Suva.
“The military leadership in Fiji has no regard for fundamental principles of democracy and freedom, having suspended the constitution, dismissed the independent judiciary and suppressing the media,” Ms Bishop said on Sunday.
Media censorship regulations, in place for 30 days from April 10, have since been extended to June 10.
© 2009 AAP
Posted by rawfijinews
Frank Bainimarama gives a Nazi salute to his soldiers to mark his dictatorship
May 5, 2009
This is part of Graham Davis a few days rendezvous interview with dictator Frank Bainimarama.
“As we approach the mess, a uniformed non-commissioned officer springs to attention and salutes. The commander is in mufti: tailored Fijian sulu (a wrap skirt) topped with a green floral shirt. To my astonishment, he raises his right hand in a Nazi salute. “Heil Hitler!” he exclaims. “Isn’t that what dictators are supposed to do?” His entourage explodes in mirth, the shrill Fijian kaila that’s an infectious mix of cackle and laugh. Later, he repeats the joke with some goosesteps thrown in, skirt akimbo, brown legs flashing.
It dawns on me that Bainimarama is being ironic, making light of the ugly stereotype into which he feels he has been unfairly cast.
He dislikes the term dictator, he tells me, because he doesn’t see himself as such, and is irritated when I persist with the description.”
Read http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25410470-16953,00.html
Posted by rawfijinews
A native Fijian’s grave concern
May 5, 2009
By ulukaukau
With China and Taiwan’s 60 year cold war officially coming to an end post global financial crisis, with the development of an economic zone across the Taiwanese straits to foster industrial and cultural exchange and more recently, the intended acquisition by a Chinese listed telecommunications entity of a 12% stake in a Taiwanese mobile communications entity with a market value of USD 3.7 billion (FJD 8+ billion) comes as no surprise with Taiwan’s presence in Fiji over the week.
I do not wish to speculate on the above. I can only state the facts and regurgitate my grave concern over the gradual annihilation of the Indigenous Fijian race including our customs, traditions and usage not to mention the unsecured future of our native land, reserve land and fishing rights directly attributable to the purported abrogation of the 1997 Constitution.
Foreign direct investment into Fiji through the Fiji Trade and Investment Board when we had a democratically elected government, use to require across the board “local shareholding” in key areas.
This enabled Fiji citizens/entities meaningful shareholding and participation in the commercial exploitation of our resources, especially indigenous landowners.
Under the military regime, this “local shareholding” requirement seems to have been reduced to Fishing, with the majority of current licenses monopolised either way by a single entity.
To augment this, areas such as tourism, land development and most importantly, the de-reservation of the forestry industry and its associated logging with a mere pittance $500k requirement is not only tragic, but has surely paved the way for the wholesale cheap as chips “Fiji On Sale”.
There is no safety net for indigenous Fijian landowners if we are to rely on the Native Land Trust Board to safeguard our interest, for three obvious reasons.
First, they are the Trustees, and are thus the legal owners of our land and whether we consent or not they have the legal power to issue a lease on terms and conditions they see fit.
Second, we are no longer protected by the 1997 Constitution to stop this illegal military government from alienating our native reserve land without compensation.
Third, we cannot seek judicial intervention or lodge an injunction application against any of these institutions with the High Court registry or challenge the validity of any illegal decrees that they pass to amend any of our entrenched land laws even if they do manage to sweep a few opportunist judges together.
At the end of the day, even if these supposed foreign investors do bring in their tragic $500k (forestry) they will still borrow the balance of the total project cost from our local illegal military government controlled entities that hold THE PEOPLES MONEY including the Fiji National Provident Fund, Fijian Holdings and Subsidiaries, Unit Trust of Fiji, Fiji Development Bank, Kontiki etc.
WE will be left under the mango tree saying not only who took my land, but who took my money?
THEY will be sipping champagne and caviar on their private jet to the next “failed state”!
THIS IS WHAT THE 1st WORLD CALL and to which I detest “THE AFRICANISATION OF THE PACIFIC”
Posted by rawfijinews
Samoan PM sick of Frank & Cos arrogant BS - so are everyone else!
May 5, 2009
Samoa’s outspoken prime minister has dismissed the suggestion that Australia and New Zealand bullied small Pacific nations into removing Fiji from the regional forum.Tuilaepa Sailele has been angered by comments this week from Fiji’s military regime that the decision to suspend Fiji’s membership to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was pushed on Pacific countries by forceful big neighbours.“We weren’t pushed. We supported it. Fiji needs to stop implying that this is all about Australia and New Zealand and accept we don’t want them either,” Tuilaepa told AAP on Tuesday.“We are sick of the arrogant bullshit they are giving out”.
Fiji was suspended from the PIF on May 1 after the country’s military leader Frank Bainimarama did not heed the forum’s deadline to hold an election in 2009.Bainimarama, in power since a December 2006 coup, has now delayed elections until 2014 so he can overhaul the country’s unfair electoral system, further frustrating the region.Discussions are now underway over whether the forum’s Suva headquarters need to be relocated, with several Australian and New Zealand politicians arguing it is untenable for it to remain.Tuilaepa said he believed it was commonsense to move it.“It would be wrong for an organisation that upholds democracy to continue to exist in a country that does not,” he said.“In that sense, it must be moved.”Samoa has been mooted as an alternative because of its relative political stability and status as the next largest island nation, but the prime minister was tight-lipped on the idea.“Of course we would like to help out the forum in any way we can but it’s not for us to put our name forward.”Tuilaepa has been vocal in his disregard for Bainimarama’s leadership and in February branded the unelected prime minister a thief and a liar and urged Fijians to “wake up and reclaim your government”.He also upset Bainimarama by mocking his “ridiculous” full military garb.The Samoan leader on Tuesday said the regime’s failure to go to the polls was “appalling”.“As a neighbour, it is a very big embarrassment to us,” Tuilaepa said.“And it will continue to be until the regime realises it has got to go back to the barracks.”

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