Showing posts from February 28, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Connect. I thank Allen and Connect for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.
Boneless Sausages
I usually buy sausages from the various butchers around town. There have been several times when we have found bone or very hard flesh in them.
Some sausages are sold very cheap. In this day and age things that are cheap are just that – cheap. I've spoken to many people who work in the butchers and they say they never buy their own sausages. I wonder why.

I wonder also whether television could screen a short  documentary so that we can see what is being put into these cheap sausages. Some cheap sausages have very fancy names and funny tastes.  If one day I find part of a cow's hoof in a sausage, I won't be surprised.

A man selling curry and roti in to…

Fiji Assassination Plot: Photos of Those Found Guilty

Naitasiri high chief Ratu Inkoke Takiveikata is escorted to the police bus after receiving a jail sentence of 7 years. The other seven accused also got jail time by Justice Paul Madigan. (1. Sivianiolo Naulago- 7 years, 2. Faeko Gadekibau-5.5 years, 3. Kaminieli Vosavere- 4 years, 4.Eparama Waqatairewa-3 years, 5.Pauliasi Namulo-3 years, 6.Barbados Mills-6.5 years,7. Metuisela Mua-3.5 years. --Fiji Live.

Lawyers for the eight men sentenced today for conspiring to kill Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said they will appeal the prison terms dished out today by Fiji’s High Court.Suva lawyer Akuila Naco told Fijilive they will take a two-week break after a hectic four weeks of court appearances.“We will appeal to the Court of Appeal after two weeks,”
It would appear from this statement  that the verdict will not be appealed, which I find surprising.

(o) Breaking News: Guilty Sentenced to 3 to 7 Years

Guilty sentenced to between three to seven years. It seems likely they will appeal.

Ban on Dancer "Appalling," Australian Rules, Fiji Times Reports, Tourism, Provincial Development

Short Briefs
Vou dance groups' principal dancerhas been refused a entry permit to perform in Auckland Pacific Festival.  This is an international festival organized by our Pacific Islands community and should be exempt from the bans. Photo: Fiji Times.
NZ readers are urged to write, email and  otherwise contact their MPs and any others, including the festival organizers,  who may help to reverse this appalling decision, and if this is too late, to record their protest.  We note that often-quoted Nik Naidu of the Auckland-based Coalition for Democracy is reported by RadioNZ to have said the decision is "fair."  Does anyone know how many members Nik's group has, and how representative it is of the Auckland Fiji  community?  I continue to press for more flexibility in the bans, which most  informed observers now agree have been ineffective and counter-productive. The festival starts tomorrow March 6.
No vote, we're playing Australian Rules. Jenny Hayward-Jones

(o) Assassination Plot: Who were the Assessors?

With so much depending on the public and overseas reception of the guilty verdict against the eight men charged with plotting to assassinate Bainimarama, it is important readers know more about the Assessors who brought down this verdict.  Some 600 people applied to serve on a panel of assessors. The panel is approved yearly by the Chief Justice  and the list is gazetted. The assessors in the Assassination plot trial were picked by the High Court Registry and their names were given to lawyers on both sides who had the right to object. Where there are objections they are normally replaced. In this case defence and prosecution agreed to each of the assessors. For further information, look at the Criminal Procedure Decree on assessors and the right of objection.

Related items

New Zealand "utterly rejects" the claim by one of the defendants that it was in any way involved in the assassination plot.

Defence lawyers have applied for non-custodial sentences for all  eight to be …

(+) Michael Field: Another Blogger Who Gets it Wrong

Michael Field is a NZ journalist with many years Pacific reporting experience.  He was fearless in his coverage of the pro-democracy movement in Tonga and in his condemnation of the 1987, 2000 and 2006 Fiji coups -- between which he can see no difference.

Following a succession of negative reports on Fiji (and a rebuke from the NZ Broadcasting Standards Authority for his libellous comments on a former Fiji Attorney-General) Field was declared persona non grata and denied entry to Fiji. He continues to write short, essentially "copy and paste" articles on Fiji for the mainstream media, and he also has a blog where he so departs from normal journalistic standards that his mainstream colleagues must be embarrassed. He has been especially harsh in his treatment of former Fiji High Court judge Nazhat Shameem, the subject of this posting.

In a recent blog posting headed "Fiji Media Joins the Coup" he called Nazhat a "coup perpetrators ... a key player in the judic…

(0) Assassination Plot: Judge Madigan's Summation in Full


THE STATE Applicant vs
Mr D. Toganivalu for the State Mr A. Naco for 1st Accused Mr. I.Khan for for 2nd, 3rd, 5th – 8th Accused Mr. M. Raza for 4th Accused
Summing Up
Ladies and Gentlemen assessors; we have now come to the stage in the trial where it is my duty to sum up the evidence to you; and to direct you on the law. You will then be required to deliberate together and each of you must give a separate opinion whether each accused is guilty or not guilty of the charge.
2. Our functions in this trial have been quite different throughout this trial. The law has been, and remains, my area of responsibility and I must now give you directions as to the law which applies in this case. When I do so, you must accept those directions and follow them.
3. The facts of this case a…

Bainimarama on Elections, ABC's Bias, NZ Sanctions Against Dancers ....

Short Briefs 3.3.10
Scroll down to Assassination verdict.
NZ Travel Ban Continues. Two Fiji performers to the Pasifika Festival in Auckland have been denied visas by the New Zealand Government. The two performers, Patricia Naisara and Samu Cama, were rejected because their fathers are in the Fiji Military Forces. That means the Vou Dance group will only have nine members instead of the regular 11 to perform on the closing day on March 13. The festival starts on March 6 and is an annual celebration of Pacific peoples in New Zealand. The Vou Dance group will be the only Fiji representatives there. (See comment by Kiwi Injustice in the "A Close Examination of Some Anti-Government Blog Postings.") Photo: Fiji Times.

Bainimarama's "Good" and "Bad" Ideas on the 2014 Elections Bainimarama wants to see new young faces, "with new ideas to be running the government," for the 2014 elections.

In a FijLive interview, the PM urged the younger generat…

(o) Assassination Plot Update 3.3.10: Guilty

UPDATE 7:00pm.Justice Paul Madigan said he is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the men are guilty of conspiracy to murder.  He said he was also satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the men conspired with Ballu Khan and others to commit the felony. Sentences will be made tomorrow. 
Those found guilty are Naitasiri high chief, Inoke Takiveikata, former spy chief Metuisela Mua, businessman Sivaniolo Naulago, and five former Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldiers who had all been Mr Khan's bodyguards. A week ago Justice Madigan dismissed charges against the accused that they conspired also to murder the attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and the former finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry. 

Eight found guilty in kill plot trial
March 03, 2010 01:22:01 PM

Fiji high chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata and seven others have been found guilty on charges of plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and other senior members of government in 2007. The …

(+) A Close Examination of Some Anti-Government Blog Postings

Sometimes it is necessary to expose the unreasoned bias, viciousness, inaccuracies and deliberate misrepresentations published in the anti-government blogs, most of which not not allow comments on their blogs from anyone critical of their postings, and whose answers to their detractors attack the critic and not the argument. Thus, to many of these bloggers, I am a "coup apologist" who writes  "bullshit."

Today I look at three examples (and the dissemination of one by RadioNZ International). Tomorrow, or the next day, I'll examine their mischevious postings on former Judge Nazhaat Shameem, the publisher of the Fiji Times, and the Crimes Decree.

Fiji Democracy Now
Fiji Democracy Now has a feature "Father Barr makes more empty promises to the poor" in which it makes several claims:

Claim One. "Fiji’s most disgraceful hypocrite, Father Kevin Barr, has promised he’ll soon award wage increases to the low paid workers of Fiji."
Fact. Fr Barr has promi…

The colours of Holi showers a new Key of hope for Fiji

Short Briefs Mon 1.3.10

Today, Muslims celebrate the Prophet's Birthday and Hindus Holi. President Ratu Epeli Nailalatikau stresses the importance of religion in nation building and taking Fiji to a better future.

I find it strange that the RadioFiji web page invariably chooses a photo of PM Bainimarama in military uniform, just like the overseas media that seeks to stress his military role. Bainimaramana  said the lifting of sanctions was the main issue discussed between Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Murray McCully when they met last week, but "Ratu Inoke was doing the talking on Fiji’s behalf." Good. One spokesman. One voice.

PM Bainimarama has again stated the SDL, NFP, FLP parties will not participate in the forthcoming National Dialogue or be allowed to return to power in 2014. He claims ther parties are holding secret meetings and were behind the "600,000" petition.

Wages Council chair Fr Kevin Barr  expects wage increases from July 1 2010, saying the Council is trying to be fai…

(o) Assassination Plot Update 1.3.10

Last week closed with the last witnesses called. Tomorrow Tuesday defence or prosecution defence lawyers will make their concluding remarks.The following reports were published late last week.

David Robie's blog Cafe Pacific, reporting the dropping of charges of conspiracy to murder Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Mahendra Chaudhry because of "ambiguous" evidence, writes:

"Ironically, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum today also issued a statement calling on the regime to take urgent action over the independence of the judiciary. Reverend Akuila Yabaki, director of the CCF, called on the government to invite the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to visit Fiji as soon as possible." 

The charge of conspiracy to murder Bainimarama still stands.

Ratu Inoke takes the witness stand.

Accused Barbados Mills gives evidence
Former Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldier Barbados Mills  said his involvement in the alleged assassination plot against Ar…

Sunday Feature: An Insider's View from the Outside

Nesian is a pseudonym for a moderate, Fiji-born, part-Fijian, Hindi-speaking, sky-blue passport-carrying, former Fiji-resident. An Insider's View From the Outside is the result of years spent thinking about all that has happened since the 2000 coup.  Photo.  Earth from
Looking for a Prime Minister After the Speight Coup Former development banker Laisenia Qarase was, to Bainimarama, the perfect candidate to turn his dream of a united Fiji into reality.
Ever since Independence, Fiji’s politicians had relied on the tried-and-tested methods of racial politics. If you were Indian, you blamed the “lazy” Fijians. If you were Fijian, you criticised the“selfish” Indians. If you were kai-loma, well you tried to align yourself with the Fijians who owned all the land, or the Indians who had all the money.Otherwise, you put your head down and hoped no one would see you.
But the stalemate that followed initial discussions between George Speight’s group and the military was r…