Thursday, May 14, 2009

Methodist Church out to Oust Illegal Fiji Regime

We think Frank & Co’s habit of detaining people they think look suspicious as possible threat to their existence is not only boring and unexciting but it has become a flopped unproductive exercise reminiscent of lowly cowards they are. Here are wanabee high folutent grown-up military and police officers, complete with their tin medals, yet they fail to realise that detaining 1, 2, 10, 20, 100, 500 people at a time will not solve their problem. There are more than 400,000 people like Manasa Lasaro who refuse to bow down to Frank & Cos illegal new order.
Frank & Co. should therefore not be surprised if this more than 400,000 masses turn themselves in at police stations and military camps at will for detainment across Fiji? Will they have the resources to stop these people from giving themselves in for detainment? Frank and Co. should know that for every detained person they take in, the detained immediate family members will automatically become their enemy as well compounding their unpopularity ratings even faster. They should just go ahead and jail everybody they think is suspicous of creating havoc in the middle of their public emergency controlled environment. But of course they won’t – they have insufficient resources to manage the masses who are against them. Frank and his cohorts are dead meat! They know they are getting cornered between a rock and a hard place.
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji’s government admitted that eight soldiers and one policeman who had been found guilty of manslaughter have been released from prison, two months into their four-year sentences.
A government spokesman said the Minister of Justice ordered their release under a compulsory supervision order, which allows certain criminals to serve the remainder of their sentences outside of prison. Fiji Law states the Minister of Justice may have a prisoner released on compulsory supervision granted the prisoner has (1) not been imprisoned twice before; and, (2) is serving a sentence longer than three years.
In January 2007, the eight soldiers and one policeman suspected that Sakiusa Rabaka and three other youths were trying to purchase marijuana. They took the young men to a nearby military camp, told them to strip to their underwear and subjected them to difficult physical exercises. When the men started to stumble, they were beaten and kicked. In court, the young men later testified Rabaka was groaning in pain, but the group continued to torture him. Rabaka eventually passed out; members of the military group forced two of his friends to perform oral sex on the unconscious Rabaka.
After the young men were released, Rabaka continued to have medical problems, complaining of headaches and a swollen head. His mother testified her son had “visible straight marks and boot marks” on his back. Two weeks after the incident, Rabaka was admitted to the hospital in Nadi, Fiji, where doctors operated on him. The pain continued after leaving the hospital. A week later Rabaka collapsed in front of friends at his home. He died shortly thereafter. He was 19-years-old. The incident took place a few weeks after military commander Frank Bainimarama dissolved Parliament and deposed the government of Lasenia Qarase, which he said was corrupt and racist.
A High Court judge convicted the nine men in March 2009 and sentenced them to four-year prison sentences.
From the blog at Soli Vakasama Worldwide site
We feel the utmost disgust that the guilty men are allowed to walk free while the families of the young man killed and the other men tortured are left to suffer in silence and despair.Our heart breaks at the suffering of the Rabaka Family and the men that were tortured.
We hope the healing process is swift and we wish them peace and goodwill forever. It is so hard to believe that the stories we read of killings and tortures that happen overseas are actually happening in Fiji and has only occurred since the hijacking and rape of this Nation Fiji on 5.12.06. One wonders what type of upbringing these guilty but illegally freed so called soldiers and police personnel had and just how the Fiji military has gone from a respected institution to the most appalling example of the vilest disgusting atrocities that another man can heap upon another.
No Right Turn in New Zealand.
And so the Fijian military protects its own. It’s not the first time – Bainiramarama himself ordered the release of his son-in-law, Francy Kean, after he had been convicted of manslaughter for beating someone to death at a wedding. But the precedent it sets is astounding. Thanks to the coup, Fiji’s military thugs are now above the law, able to beat, rape, torture and kill with impunity.
Fiji Today agrees.
This follows the pattern of any criminal associated with the military having special privilages as the Commander shows the rank and file soldier that they above the law and are protected in all their actionsThe use of the yellow ribbon program and CSO to override the decisions of the court is corruption plain and simple. Fiji Today argues this could be a long-term problem for Fiji’s government, which is still searching for judges to fill its High Court more than a month after the country’s president annulled the constitution, fired the entire judiciary and appointed the government of Frank Bainimarama to a five-year mandate. One of the reasons the dictatorship is having problems finding senior judges to appoint because of the decree allowing no legal challenges to any decrees of the President.The judges are scared they would be seen as puppets of the regime as they realise that the courts would be neutralised with any contraversial cases having a decree issued before the case came to court. The release of the soldiers was widely expected after the abrogation of the consitution, argues Coup And A Half. Ironically, one of the reasons given by Frank Bainimarama for carrying out a military coup and toppling Laisenia Qarase’s Multi-Party government was that the administration was allegedly abusing the criminal justice system and interfering in the judiciary, with the then Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale liberating high profile chiefs Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and former Vice-President, Ratu Jose Seniloli from prison under the Compulsory Supervison Order (CSO). The two were jailed for their roles in George Speight’s coup against Mahendra Chaudhry’s government in May 2000. Qarase was also accused of approving Seniloli’s salary while he was in prison.
In another case similar to Bainimarama’s accusation of Qarase, Bainimarama’s brother-in-law Francis Kean jailed in 2008 for bashing to death a guest at a wedding in December 2006. He was out of prison after an year, serving the required two-thirds of his jail term.
Victor Lal, writing in Raw Fiji News, offered a dark reason for the early release.
The murderers have been released to appease the military and to warn critics that if they open their mouths, they will be murdered by the military goons with impunity. Fiji: The Way it Was, Is and Can Be argues the group’s release “raises serious doubts about the sincerity of the Fiji Government, and does nothing for its credibility.” The blogger called on Fiji’s Attorney General to “correct this wrong.” No government purportedly intent on justice can condone the unecessary, brutally prolonged and cowardly assault on 19-year old Sakuisa Rabaka, in January 2007 (yes, it took that long to come to court). But the early release of his assailants does just that. The assault may be “written off” as a one-off abuse of power by nine over-zealous or sadistic individuals; their release — uncorrected — can only be attributed to one huge misuse of power by the State.
Posted by rawfijinews
Another journalist has been detained in Fiji, over a story published in the Fiji Times on Monday.
The newspaper says Labasa-based journalist Theresa Ralogaivau was taken in by police at around 10a.m. today. The story is believed to be one about a community in Labasa being terrorised by a group of drug growers. Our correspondent Matelita Ragogo says the story quotes the police spokesperson, Atunaisa Sokomuri, but he now denies he spoke to the journalist.
“In that context they are now claiming that because she never spoke to [him] she is in breach of the Public Emergency Regulations. Plus, it was passed by the censor at the Fiji Times head office. This just brings us back to the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any standards.”
Matelita Ragogo. Last week, the interim government extended its emergency regulations for another month, forcing the media to publish only stories that cast a positive light on the interim regime.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
We at FDN salute Reverend Manasa Lasaro for his firm stand against a brutal and corrupt dictatorship. At the same time, we strongly urge our military to treat this Man of God with due care and respect. Manasa Lasaro has been targeted because the dictator, Bainimarama, doesn’t like what he’s saying. But he’s only saying what the vast majority of Christian Fiji people feel. So, if Frank Bainimarama won’t listen, he’s proving yet again that he’s afraid of what the people want. And he is proving once and for all that his armed seizure of power was all about him. Frank won’t listen to anyone because his agenda has always been about saving his own skin. That’s why, after plotting for years, he devised the strategy of using corruption as the excuse for his coup in December 2006. Ironically, it’s only now that we see wholesale corruption by a ruling administration in Fiji, and it’s happening under Bainimarama. As each day passes it is becoming all the more evident that Bainimarama is no different to any other tin-pot dictator. He has gone outside the law to silence all criticism in order to stay in power, stay out of jail and, in the process, exploit opportunities to enrich himself and his immediate family.
Posted by rawfijinews
The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) is concerned at the arrest and detention of people by the police and military, and at the inability of Fiji’s public to be informed about these, due to heavy media censorship. “The current caretaker government has extended the imposition of the State of Emergency regulations for another 30 days. The continuing arbitrary arrests and detention of civilians by the police and military for questioning is a worrying trend. We fear that this may become worse,” CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said. The first arrests took place after the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution on April 10 2009, when President of Fiji Law Society Mr Dorsami Naidu and a Fiji TV journalist Mr Edwin Nand were arrested and detained. In the weeks to follow, a politician Iliesa Duvuloco was detained. Two journalists were arrested on May 9 and released after two days. Rumour has it that currently, a Methodist preacher has been arrested and detained. “The censorship of media means that it is difficult to verify how many more people are or may have been arrested and detained. These detentions are breaching basic human rights. These detentions will create a bad international reputation for Fiji and will have a negative impact on efforts to move the country forward,” Rev Yabaki said.
CCF reminds the Disciplined Forces that even in a state of emergency, the following human rights may not be derogated:
- Right to Life; Freedom from Cruel or Degrading Treatment; Freedom from Unreasonable Searches or Seizure; Rights of Arrested, Detained or Charged People; Right to a Fair Trial and Access to Courts or Tribunals; Freedom of Religion and Belief; Right to Vote by Secret Ballot; Right to Equality Before the Law and not to be Discriminated Against; Right to an Education; Protection Against Compulsory Acquisition of Property.

For further information, please contact CCF Executive Director Rev Akuila Yabaki on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.
Rev Akuila Yabaki
Chief Executive Officer
Posted by rawfijinews
Radio Australia reporting on Rev Manasa Lasaro’s detainment
May 14, 2009
Fiji detains Methodist minister

Police in Fiji have confirmed that a Methodist Minister is being detained for questioning in Suva.
Reverend Manasa Lasaro was taken into police custody this morning. Senior Super Intendant Waisea Tavakau says police received information that Reverend Lasaro has been engaged in suspicious activity. Mr Tavakau says no charges have been laid yet. “Manasa Lasaro has been taken in for questioning in regards to our suspicion that he has been involved in some activities that will bring about breaches under the law and also bring about things that will interfere with the safety and security of our nation,” he said. The church issued its statement opposing the country’s military regime last week. Reverend Lasaro had predicted he would be detained and said he was not worried.
Posted by rawfijinews
Military officers say they will not fire
May 14, 2009
Word from those carrying guns is that orders to fire at their Methodist Church Fijian members when they take to the streets will be defied. No surprises there unless of course Frank and his top guns fire their guns themselves. It is understood that members of the military have been drilled to shoot when given the orders, however some reliable insiders say that when push comes to shove, Frank and Co. will be disappointed to see their well paid military officers not following their orders.
Posted by rawfijinews
A Methodist Minister in Fiji is being questioned at the Police Special Branch in Suva.
Reverend Manasa Lasaro had been waiting to be taken to the army barracks, after the Methodist Church office received a warning from the military. Before he was taken into custody by police Reverend Lasaro said he believed the warning was because of statements the church made last week reiterating its oppositon to the actions of the interim government. He said this position was reiterated at the church’s divisional meeting in the last week, along with a statement that the constitution had been thrown out by a military dictatorship. Reverend Lasaro was taken from his home at 11.30 this morning. It is not believed he has been charged yet.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
Suddenly the penny dropped in Frank’s tiny mind. If I lock Lasaro up, I can be sure that there will be a march and there will be protests. They’ll be marching and protesting to free him.
And if the Methodists march, what next? Others will see what’s happening and they’ll be marching too. Frank knows his troops will not fire on the Methodist church members demanding that he free their man of God, not just because his troops are mostly Methodist, no, they won’t fire because he doesn’t trust most of them with bullets. Frank’s might arm his protection people, but can he trust all of the rank and file? He hasn’t forgotten the hasty exit from QEB via the cassava patch in November 2000.
Posted by rawfijinews
Sada Reddy a complete fraud
May 14, 2009
By corruptionfighter99
Sada Reddy is a complete fraud as Governor of the Reserve Bank. He lacks the technical skills as an economist which all his predecessors have had. But more than that, he’s a fool. Just after he was appointed and he was basking in the glory of the position he coveted, he gave an ‘interview’ to a regime journalist. He outlined his simplistic ideas for increasing the part that local content can play in the tourism industry.
“Sometime ago I went to Navua, I worked about three hours on road and horses and got to this village and I was given cordial juice. I didn’t refuse but I was sitting under a lemon tree and ripe lemons were lying on the grass but here I was drinking a cordial juice so I said to the headman I would have loved to have this lemon juice rather than the cordial but I found out they feel honored to serve imported item to a visitor. I said to him please this is a wrong thing to do change your mind – a visitor will love local lemonade rather than a cordial made from local lemons.”
The point of this story, apart from big noting himself as the great honoured chief received by the village, is that tourists would love to have fresh lemon juice but can’t get it because the hotels are too busy selling imported products. He seems unaware that soft drinks are bottled locally (not to mention beer) and exported to other Pacific countries. He doesn’t realise that all the toadies in the tourist industry who kowtow to the regime are all laughing behind his back at the stupidity of his local content policies. Local content policies have been around for thirty years and he’s done nothing to advance them. He’s Reddy, that’s for sure, because that’s his name. He’s willing, that is he’s willing to accept all the perks of office as Governor of the Reserve Bank. But he’s not able. He’s an unqualified buffoon who symbolizes all that’s wrong with this incompetent dictatorship that’s making our country into a laughing stock.
Posted by rawfijinews
Short-term debt, such as the RBF Treasury Bills mentioned on RFN comprised around 48% of Frank’s military government public sector projected requirements. This percentage will almost certainly increase to replace the other significant “junk” Fiji Bonds comprising 45% of public sector requirements. The Reserve Bank of Fiji has succumbed to the dangerous temptation to borrow short. When you borrow money for 7 days from Trustees such as the Fiji National Provident Fund (T-Bills are an “authorised investment”) with an illusionary steep yield curve to justify same, but which is unsustainable as investments are rolled over for the next 7 days out of necessity, we are truly on our way to divesting the peoples money in these Trust Funds exponentially.
Couple this with the “other dudes” 15th September 2011 maturity date theory I termed “interesting” and summarized by a blogger on RFN and then you have what Vladimir Putin described in Davos as the “Perfect Storm”.
Posted by rawfijinews
Talks of another devaluation is making its rounds again in that coup island. Sources say business houses are predicting upto 30% devaluation before the end of June 2009. Frank’s poor money management with his conman John Prasad at the Ministry of Finance is putting lots of pressure on the dwindling foreign reserves there. Meanwhile the RBF superstar has disappeared. He was hitting the news almost everyday when he first became the illegitimate governor of RBF. But since the Bali trip, he has remained silent. Some say he is dictating terms from his New Zealand home right now.
Posted by rawfijinews
Military intelligence relying on blogs
May 14, 2009
Insiders from QEB say Frank & Co. are using information disseminated from blogs to determine who to arrest and what to expect. The ill-equipped Frank & Co. are basing most of their tactical response missions on information they gather from blogs. They know they are easily outwitted when it comes to “intelligence” for everything they discuss behind closed doors seem to find its way to the bloggersphere. The hopelessness of their so-called “military intelligence” is such that they have no choice but respond to almost all rumours of an uprising or a march. So how does Frank & Co. know what is really being planned by “others”, other than the Methodist Church?
Surely, they will realise that Manasa Lasaro is one of the many baits that is dangling before them to unmask their predictable detainment response and what not, which is proving to be quite useless and not discouraging people from telling it like it is. What happens if Methodist Church members do exactly as what Manasa Lasaro has done i.e to tell Frank & Co. they don’t agree with their rulership and to go get them? We think detaining Manasa Lasaro will be of no consequence to the peoples will to remove Frank & Co. Sources are saying there’s plenty Manasa Lasaro’s in Fiji right now. In the meantime, we say, be alert people!
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji military mobilises personnel across Fiji
May 14, 2009
Sources from within report that the order has been made to mobilise military personnel in all military camps across Fiji. They say it is a response to the arresting of Methodist Church Rev, Manasa Lasaro awhile ago, by Teleni’s police. It is said that the military has been put on alert for what sources are saying is going to be a Methodist Church instigated peaceful revolution against the junta.
Posted by rawfijinews
Bainimarama’s clan regarded as disrespectful
May 14, 2009
By fijiforward
good for japan for not including Fiji in the meeting … well, given that they have a king and royal family that is highly respected and a culture that ingrains that in their own people, they would not want to support something or someone that continually throws his middle finger up at traditional chiefs and customs …. now he (frank) is even doing it to religious elders …
does he have any respect for anyone? this is the problem in coming from a background where traditional fijian values of respect and caring for one another are probably not taught to them ….
even his elder brothers are “viavia levu” like him …
Posted by rawfijinews
Let the people march
May 14, 2009
By a blogger least, regardless of race, colour or creed, a group of concerned citizens are standing up to be counted.. It could have been the Women’s Crisis Centre or the squatters of Nanuku Settlement and the world will still sit up and notice even though not all women in Fiji will have the guts to join such a march and the squatters are just an unnecessary hassle. The world over know about the wrongs that have been done to us as a nation yet some of us refuse to see things the way they truly are. Self validation is a sure way of invalidating yourself. Let them march for goodness sake. At least at the end of all these, they will be able to look back and say, “yes, I did stand up in the face of danger not only for the good of the Methodist Church and all its politics but also for the people of this country to exist with the freedom of self-determination and free will. I just wonder where the rest of the Christian Churches stand in all this.
Posted by rawfijinews
Kevin Rudd on Fiji
May 14, 2009
Respect For Democracy In Our Region
It was with a sense of dismay that Pacific Island Forum leaders agreed in January in Port Moresby that, unless Commodore Bainimarama set a date for elections in 2009 by 1 May, his government must be suspended from participating in Forum meetings and events, and lose access to Forum financial and technical assistance. These measures came into effect on 2 May. In its thirty-eight year history, the Forum has never before had to take such action. As our senior statesman Prime Minister Somare said last month, regional countries have all bent over backwards to encourage Commodore Bainimarama to do the right thing and restore Fiji to democracy.
It is not the Forum which has walked away from Fiji; sadly, it has been Commodore Bainimarama who has walked away from us. He has not attended the last two Forum Leaders meetings. The Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group has visited Fiji twice, but Commodore Bainimarama has declined to engage constructively with it. The officials-level Fiji/Forum Joint Working Group remains in existence – but Fiji has stopped attending its meetings. The countries of the Forum are by no means alone in our dismay. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously condemned recent developments in Fiji. The Commonwealth will soon consider the full suspension of Fiji. The United States is limiting links with the Fijian military. With others in the international community, the European Union is also taking a firm stance.
The damage which Commodore Bainimarama has done to Fiji’s international standing, and to the international reputation of Fiji’s military, is bad enough. But the real tragedy is what is occurring on the ground to the good and proud people of Fiji. Rather than fulfil his promise to hold elections by March 2009 and restore the voice of the citizens of Fiji, on 10 April Commodore Bainimarama cast aside Fiji’s Constitution. He has since moved to sack the judiciary, censor the media, prohibit free assembly and step up intimidation of the Fijian people. All the normal checks and balances on government have now been eliminated.
The political crackdown is compounded by the incalculable damage Commodore Bainimarama is doing to Fiji’s economy, which has left it much more vulnerable to the current global economic crisis. Poverty has never been higher, and by some estimates as much as 40 per cent of the population may now live in basic-needs poverty. That hurts women and children especially.
Commodore Bainimarama is ignoring the major political parties in Fiji, all of which support a prompt return to democracy. Having broken his pledge to hold elections, he is now publicly saying that elections won’t be held until 2014. Privately, he is telling his military that it may take up to ten years. This is the behaviour of a military junta. The people and their representatives must be part of the process of governing Fiji. We don’t think genuine reform can be achieved through threats and force. We don’t think the rule of law can be strengthened by breaking the law. We don’t think accountability can be strengthened by arbitrary rule. But we do think that the longer elections are delayed in Fiji, the worse Fiji’s problems will get.
Do we oppose reforms in Fiji, including electoral reform? Not as a matter of principle, but in the end that is a matter for the people of Fiji themselves. Unfortunately at the present time the people of Fiji are unable to express their views freely either through elected representatives or in the media. (There is no credibility to the interim government’s claim that, of those people who were consulted about the People’s Charter, over 92 per cent approved of it.) In any event it is absurd to suggest that up to five more years are needed to prepare for elections.
Electoral reform was on the agenda of Fiji’s political dialogue process, a process which was cut short on 9 April. Until that time, Australia had been observing the dialogue with some interest and a sense of guarded optimism. We were preparing to provide financial support to the process. Unfortunately, Commodore Bainimarama wanted to hand-pick those who were to participate, and to exclude some of Fiji’s biggest political parties. This is not a viable basis for genuine dialogue and Commodore Bainimarama must bear personal responsibility for the failure of this process.
Australia will continue to seek constructive ways of helping the people of Fiji, and helping Fiji itself return to democracy. We will continue our targeted sanctions against regime leaders and supporters while maintaining significant support to the people of Fiji including in the areas of health, education and humanitarian relief. For instance, Australia responded promptly to the floods in January by providing A$3million in aid. Australia also stands ready to provide significant economic assistance to Fiji to assist it through its current economic problems provided there is a restoration of democracy. This would include support for elections and would also extend well beyond this, to help rebuild Fiji’s broken economy.
When Forum Leaders assemble in Cairns in August this year for our annual gathering, Fiji’s absence will be something we all feel keenly, and indeed regret. But it will also be a sign of our region’s commitment to the core values of democracy, respect for the rule of law and for human rights. Does the Forum’s door remain open? I hope so. Forum Leaders have made a point of suspending Fiji’s interim government, not Fiji itself, from the Forum. This is an important distinction which underlines our respect for a founding member of the Forum, and also our hope that Fiji can quickly return to its place as a leader of our region. But the onus now is on Commodore Bainimarama to do the right thing. He knows what he must do.
Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister of Australia
Posted by rawfijinews
Some Methodist church followers our sources spoke to say they are ready and willing to die for what they believe in. These followers said they are not scared of Frank & Cos bullets and are ready for it if the military boys go ahead with the orders to shoot them – their unarmed fellow country men who will march peacefully to uphold their faith in reclaiming their Fiji back from the usurpers. Will the military boys shoot their own? Yes they can if the civilians are confrontational and abusive. No they won’t if the methodist church masses march in a peaceful respectable manner, singing their heart-wrenching Fijian methodist church choir choruses that will only draw tears out of the soldiers eyes. We think the key for the methodist church is to keep the march peaceful and humbling as possible.

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