NEWS UPDATED REGULARLY 23-31 May 2011.



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Tuesday 31.5.11
• TRUE OR FALSE: CAN ANYONE SAY? "I can say that at no time whilst a serving officer in the RFMF have I punched, kicked or in any way physically abused anybody. I have been present when it has happened. I have verbally abused people but never physically." - Ratu Tevita on Coup4.5 yesterday.

• GOVT SAVES $22 MILLION  in first quarter.
• 21 SUVA SQUATTER FAMILIES with agricultural skills are to be relocated to Lomaivuna.
• RESTORE TRUST IN POLICE, says Commissioner.
• PRESIDENT LAUNCHES HIV/AIDS workshop. 
• WHY NO SHIPS FOR OUTER ISLANDS? Government now owns four ships compared with 48 in years past.The PM told people in Kadavu this was due to lack of timely maintenance and a lack of initiative by those responsible. A new ship will be purchases soon.
• WHAT'S HAPPENED TO VICTOR LAL? Once reasonable and moderate in expression, this former Fiji-born Oxford don is now using expressions like: 'stupidity' (to describe Bainimarama) and 'lashing out' (to defend  his)  'pet handler' 'megalomaniac Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.' The don appears to be losing his clothes.  Or has he borrowed cast-offs from Coup4.5?

Monday 30.5.11
• PM PLANNED ARSON. This is today's new claim by Rt Tevita.
FIJI TIMES BACK on line.
• THE SPATE OF RUMOURS, unfounded or unsupported with evidence, aimed at destablisation continues: Ratu Tevita's ongoing claims; roadblocks in Suva; noisy celebrations at the Barracks. See two counter-claims in today's postings.

•  TWO JAILED FOR CORRUPTION by the judge Imrana Jalal said would lose his job when he dismissed the case against her and her husband.
• WHY THE FIJI TIMES is still offline. (See talso today's later posting)
• PM JOHN KEY ON RATU TEVITA AND THE WORLD CUP. NewstalkZB, Friday.Video Starts at 21:17 and continues for about two minutes.
• POVERTY: GOVERNMENT  DOING ITS BEST.
• DRITI-MARA DECOMMISSIONED on March 31.



Saturday 28.5.11

►KEY SAYS NO  but in March he said the travel ban would be lifted if Fiji made a firm commitment to elections in 2014. What's changed? Has Ratu Tevita given him  hope?
►AUSTRALIAN TOURIST ADVISORY DOWNGRADE  reflects Australian politics, not Fiji reality. One wonders whether this change is also due to hope raised by Ratu Tevita's defection. (See the Foreign Policy and Rugby article posted Sunday afternoon)
►TIMOR LESTE SUPPORTS BAINIMARAMA government.


Friday 27.5.11
THE ROADMAP. Does it exist? Why hasn't it been published? Well, yes it has. Since March 9th! We just didn't know where to find it. Incredibly bad PR. Click here to read all 179 pages!

►RATU TEVITA MAY APPLY FOR NZ RESIDENCE. Click here. I expressed the view on Radio NZ that acceptance would embroil NZ in what at the moment is a Fiji-Tonga affairs. And this is how PM John Key described it a week ago. But things change quickly in politics.
►FSC STILL WAITING for cane payments from Government.
►YACHT RACE.The annual Auckland-Fiji race starts on Saturday week.
►LAU TO LOOK INTO low impact yachting tourism.



Thursday 25.5.11
► USING THE RACE CARD. The PM criticises Ratu Tevita for singling out Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, and  talks about calibre in government. I'm told the English and Fijian versions of Ratu Tevita's releases differ, with the race card only being played in the Fijian version.  Can a reader confirm or refute this?
► PRESIDENT AND ELECTIONS. Bainimarama has rubbished claims that President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will be removed from his position – and says he is fed up of telling people that elections will be held in 2014. See my posting,  'President Wide Awake...'
► MCCULLY NOT WITH IT. He seems to have been mistakenly heartened by Ratu Tevita's defection.   ► SIGNATURES FORGED, say Lakeba chiefs. Written by anti-government people.
►IRB WANTS BEST Fiji team.
►AUSTRALIAN  'SPY' expelled by Vanuatu.
►NO MARA, say some New Zealanders.

 ►FIJI HAS STARTED to export fish to the EU again thanks to Ratu Tevita's fishing expedition after being delisted in 2008 because of hygiene and standards concerns.
►BUA TYPHOID UPDATE. There has only been one further reported case since the health public emergency was declared 12 days ago. Health officials saythe biggest challenge is changing the behavior of people on basic hygiene and sanitation, which was the key to eradicate typhoid.-- Based on No:1082/MOH.
 ►SHEEP FARMS. Fiji hopes to start big ones.[Not easy in the Tropics. Sheep failed in Niue.]
Wednesday 25.5.11
►BAINIMARAMA, KHAIYUM GET US$800,000 a year.  I dispute  Ratu Tevita's figure (and much more) on this NZ Radio Checkpoint programme. He changes it to $700,000 on the programme but did not make the currency clear, or whether this is what each got or whether we should divide by two.  But I also made an error (listen here). My F$100,000 should have been US$100,000,  the same currency used by Ratu Tevita.  No excuse. Careless. Apologies all round.
► WORRIED ABOUT SAFETY. Alex Elbourne 4:07pm May 24   From a friends Facebook page: Everytime i read coupfourpointfive im worried for my safety and im living in fear ... then i go to O' rielys on the weekend think... We living in a paradise... hahahahaha
►FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DECREE progressing. 
►NZ PRESS FREEDOM. My blog article  republished in Cafe Pacific. 
►IRB ASKED TO RELOCATE by FRU.
►ELECTION COMMENT BY A READER. "At least three parties which have previously contested elections in Fiji are preparing for a future election, maybe even in 2014. Preparations include sending officials to Australia to attend courses run at ANU on election campaigning and other matters. So the 'definitely no elections' camp would seem to be being undercut by the actions of some party officials from Fiji and Australia. If the elections are expected to be a sham, there would seem to be little point in the parties' behaviour either.Scott."  
►CHAUDHRY EXPLAINS POSITION to Bruce Hill on  Radio Australia Pacific Beat.

Tuesday 23.5.11 
WAGE INCREASE. Some 14,000 garment workers will soon have a 10% wage increase, backdated to May 1st. This is less than the 15% indicated in the 2011 Budget, and onFijiOne news last night Wages Council chairman Fr Kevin Barr expressed disappointment at the lower figure. 
SAYED-KHAIYUM ON TV3, says NZ media "abhorrent." Read
 or listen to full interview
FIJI JOINS NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT tomorrow.  Some 120 countries are NAM members.
SUGARCANE NEWS. The fourth  cane payment of $6.54 a tonne for the 2010 crushing season will be made later this week. The normal industry deductions for fertilizers, sugar, rice and the growers' levy have been deferred to assist growers prepare for this year's crushing season that starts at Lautoka on 7 June, and later at other mills.

Monday23.5.11
ANNOUNCEMENT. With umpteen posts and nearly a hundred comments, the News Regularly Updated feature had become unwieldy.  I'm still not altogether happy with my "solution" but all earlier News postings and comments may now be found (and commented upon) by clicking on 30 April 2011 in the Archives feature. This is immediately below the Search feature in the right-hand column. Unless a better solution is found (can anyone help?), the News postings and comments will be archived at the end of each month.

♦  FRU SAYS NO SEVENS in Australia and NZ next season if travel bans, that prevent it from fielding its best team, are not lifted. In the London 7s Fiji beat NZ in the semis to be beaten by South Africa in the finals.  ♦ PRISON OFFICERS JAILED. Five prison officers have been charged with brutally assaulting a night club manager over the weekend.  The Police and judicial system seems to be working, contrary to overseas accusations. 
♦ NZTV3 IN FIJI Helping the police investigation.
♦ AHMADIYYA MUSLIM GOLDEN JUBILEE Some background info for Michael Field.government.

Comments

Anonymous said…
...and you don't think the withholding of fund and military appointments to FRU are political ?

This is why Frank wihheld money and why a military man (yes man) was needed on the board. So they can try (it won't work) to use it as a threat against AU and NZ.
Anonymous said…
Agreed - the police and courts are working. The question is would they work if it had been military officers who had done the same. I personally don't think they would have been charged and certainly not jailed. Maybe they would have been sidelined or sent on leave but not charged and not sent to jail. Francis Kean was certainly given special treatment.
Travel bans working well said…
FRU not coming to the 7s in NZ and Australia - no problem, their call under the new military management. What about RWC - don't come there either - again no problem. Who cares?
Looks like travel bans on Fiji military regime and their families is working well? Bothers them ,not us.
Anonymous said…
“I said elections will be held in 2014 so it’s going to happen,” an irate Commodore Bainimarama said in a phone interview with FijiLive.

Nice to hear him say it and with meaning and force but unfortunately i have only have past expereience to judge him on. He promised 2009 and 2010 so why beleive him now ?

It would be easier to beleive if he publihed his much talked about but never seen roadmap. For goodness sake the MSG endorsed it so it can be too top secret....unless they also never saw it.

It would be much easier to believe if he started work now on election ands the constitution.
Strong statement from the PM said…
A much stronger statement would have been.

"There will be elections in 2014 and I will respect the outcome of those elections. As promised I will not stand in those elections nor will any minister in the current interim government. I will do everything in my power to ensure the elections are free and fare. I will not allow anyone to use government money to campaign. There will be know repeats of 2001 or 2006. Between now and then my number one priority will be preparing for elections AND the economy. I will stop all non-essential overseas travel. i am committed to this. I will not prejudice the peoples will by supporting any indivdual or party, nor will I seek to stop any indvidual running for government. Between now and then military personel will progressively withdraw from the boad and civil servant positions they currently hold or resign from the military if they wish to continue in the public service. Finally you won't be hearing any excuses from me in 2014, we will work hard right now to ensure this happens no mature what the rest of the world or mother nature throws at us"

Sign it and publish it. Then we will know you are serious Mr PM
Anonymous said…
Nice try Mr Chaudry but you spent all your credibility credits a long time ago.

Fiji's Labour Party calls for fresh elections
PHOTO
Ballot boxes are delivered to the Fijian electoral headquarters in Fiji's most recent election in 2006. [AFP]
Last Updated: 2 hours 36 minutes ago

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party has called for fresh elections to replace the coup installed military government within a year and a half.

The interim government says elections will be held in 2014, but Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhury says the President should initiate a dialogue to hasten the country's return to democracy.

He says the present regime is presiding over a worsening economy, rising poverty and there is no discussion about future directions.

Mr Chaudhury told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat he was initially in favour of the 2006 coup, but his stance has changed.

My participation in the regime was on the basis of getting the country back to democracy as soon as possible and ... elections were then promised for April 2009, but that didn't happen," he said.

"So as far as our party's participation is concerned, it was not going to stay there forever but to set the framework for a return to democracy, and this hasn't happened and it's taking a long time."
Anonymous said…
Fiji's Labour Party calls for fresh elections

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party has called for fresh elections to replace the coup installed military government within a year and a half.

The interim government says elections will be held in 2014, but Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhury says the President should initiate a dialogue to hasten the country's return to democracy.

He says the present regime is presiding over a worsening economy, rising poverty and there is no discussion about future directions.

Mr Chaudhury told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat he was initially in favour of the 2006 coup, but his stance has changed.

My participation in the regime was on the basis of getting the country back to democracy as soon as possible and ... elections were then promised for April 2009, but that didn't happen," he said.

"So as far as our party's participation is concerned, it was not going to stay there forever but to set the framework for a return to democracy, and this hasn't happened and it's taking a long time."
Credibility said…
One of the most serious issues that the Fiji regime faces is that of lack of credibility. To many lies, too much greed and self interest and too much incompetence. Permanent Emergency Regulation, the secret road map, an economy in contraction and constant spats and aggravation with the neighbors in the region, divisive and pernicious politics and Amnesty International certified human rights violations are the sad record of more than 4 years of military dictatorship. It may be not too late for the RFMF to hand back the government to a civilian care taker government and return to the barracks. Whatever is going to happen from what I hear in Fiji, it does not seem likely that the amnesty decree will hold.
Anonymous said…
It would take five minutes to clarify what the PM and cabinet memebers earn. Why do they not do it ?

I can understand where this rumour comes from. Does the PM still get all his military allowances for example ? How has he suddenly been able to afford various purchases.

I don't think they would be so brasen as to pay themeselves for each portfolio but they are a target as long as they remian silent on this.
Delusion of Grandeur said…
The sooner, MPC and his FLP group realise they are no longer wanted or needed in Fiji politics the better for all concerned. MPC's style of leadership left a lot to be desired together with the likes of Reddy, Rabuka, Qarase etc.etc. Fiji needs people who are willing to serve the citizens honestly and truthfully. Not for individuals to feather their own nests. The days for "prima donnas" & "empire building" are over. True Leadership stems from caring truthfully and honestly for the needs of the people who will vote for you in the next election. God bless our beloved Fiji.
The people decide said…
@ Delusion of Grandeur
Respectfully
It is up to the people of Fiji to decide who they want as their political leaders. It is not up to the military. It is not up to you. And it is certainly not up to Croz's blog.
We did not have the opportunity to 'vote' for the current 'leaders'. And we can't even find out how much they are paying themselves?
common sense said…
@the people will decide.

Yes the people will ultimately decide, like they do in the U.S, where there are elections for office but the was no consent given by the people to wage multiple wars.

No consent given by the people to cut welfare programs to the bone and keep intact the secret black budget in the Pentagon, the people have not given their consent to the bail out of wall street companies.

So much for democracy and its veil of secrets.
Sock it to them! said…
It is certainly time to investigate the operations wayback of the Fiji Football Association and all who roost in it. Why should young Fijians be subjected to leadership from the elderly, over-weight (in the main) crew who have found this a comfortable perch for too long? It is now investigation and clean-up time in the International body with 14 facing close attention for alleged bribery and corruption claims. Like cricket before, soccer deserves a good shake-up.
Why do you say "fush 'n' chups"? said…
You ask "serious readers" to comment. Yet you treat with flippancy the topic of fish exports to the EU. Or are you baiting? In which case I've swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Anonymous said…
Little humility; a tendency towards believing "we know best" which is a reflection upon our education and formation (different) which are seen often to be hidebound. We open our mouths and we seem often to forget that by so doing, we are exposing our lack of understanding of "How the world works". First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday at the University of Oxford remarked to her young audience: "It is cool to be SMART"!
An assertion that we shall be accountable in the future is a contradiction
Credibility said…
Perhaps we should reflect a little on the credibility issue. The Commodore made an undertaking when he removed an elected government and replaced it with a military dictatorship. For those with short memories I repeat our beloved leader's wise words:


“I shall continue to be the Commander of the RFMF while being the Interim Prime Minister. I shall however not receive the salary of the Prime Minister. I shall continue to only receive my salary as Commander of the RFMF. In this respect no personnel of the RFMF shall personally benefit from the necessary intervention undertaken on 5 December 2006 nor will they benefit from my appointment as Prime Minister. “
Navosavakadua said…
Now Croz why I am not surprised that you have so much to say about Fiji but don't understand Fijian?

You say 'the race card' was played in the Fijian version of Roko Ului's broadcast but not the English version. In fact, it's not really a Fijian version of the statement it's really more a different statement addressing his position from a Fijian point of view. But it's not racist at all.

The only reference to Sayed-Khaiyum is in the context of refuting the accusation about stealing $3 million from Fiji Pine trust. He says, as anyone would know, there was no $3 million to steal when he became Chairman of Tropik Woods. He also mentions in passing that Sayed-Khaiyum replaced him as Chairman of Tropik Woods with a fellow Muslim from Ba. Is it racist to mention that he's a fellow Muslim? Surely he's just saying that ASK's appointing someone with whom he may have close links. But even that's not given emphasis.

Why didn't you ask your informant what was said that constituted the 'race card'? If you want to repeat the claim you should at least understand exactly what the claim is.

The problem with accusing people of playing the 'race card' in Fiji is that making the accusation is also open to the charge of playing the race card. Believe it or not Croz, some people actually think you're racist.

By the way you refer to the Fijian language. Isn't there a newspeak replacement for this language? Calling it Fijian implies there's an ethnic group called Fijian.
Anonymous said…
Banimarama has done what he has said and has worked hard to eliminate corruptions, racism and the old ways of running Fiji. He might not be the most diplomatic person but he has held true to what he said he would do.

Ratu Mara Jnr is showing is true colours by making unsubstantiated claims that have been on Coup4.5 and racist remarks.
Readin' da map said…
Wow and we wonder why Ratu is having so much fun in Tonga. Complete PR hacks. Only 312 have looked at this document since it was published...and it look to have been written around 2009.

Still some great stuff in here on first scan. I love these to bits. Real complete truths. I wonder if I uttered them on the streets of Suva if I would be locked up ? Or maybe when they say coup they don't mean their own coup in 2006 :

"Weak and unjust systems of governence INCLUDING THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY have also heightened conflict" (yes we all know the military is as much to blame for coups as anyone else...in particular 2006)

"Vast majority of Fiji's people wants to end the cycle of coups as it ruins lives, destroys social and economic opportunity and leaves lasting fissure in society" (yes we all know the devestating impact the 2006 coup has had on un).
roady said…
quick scan of this "Roadmap" shows little detail on the part we are most interested - returning Fiji to Democracy. It does restate some of the charter stuff. What is missing is dates for when dialogue will start. Who will be involved and how will the new constitution be approved.

The role of the military does not seem clear and is contradicted in several places. I think they mean to stay in control in one way or another although they do say the no coups will be allowed unde the new constitution....but whats to stop someone throwing out the constitution again ?

PS how did you find it croz ?
Roadrunner said…
@roady

It damn sure has alot of detail on almost everything else. No-one could complain about not knowing what this goverment stands for and where they are trying to take Fiji!
online gambling said…
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The March of Folly said…
In a section entitled "Lantern on the Stern" at the end of the March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, the late Pullitzer Prize-winning historian has this to say:

"If pursuing disadvantage after the disadvantage has become obvious is irrational, then rejection of reason is the prime characteristic of folly. According to the Stoics, reason was the "thinking fire" that directs the affairs of the world, and the emperor or ruler of the state was considered to be 'the servant of divine reason (appointed) to maintain order on earth'. The theory was comforting, but then as now 'divine reason' was more often than not overpowered by non-rational human frailties - ambition, anxiety, status-seeking, face-saving, illusions, self-delusions, fixed prejudices. Although the structure of human thought is based on logical procedure from premise to conclusion, it is not proof against the frailties and the passions".

Now this is the measure of why Tuchman was awarded the Pullitzer Prize shortly before her death. She is the supreme arbiter of human conduct in this work. To whom does this apply? Let us not fail humanity by shying from asking this salient question.
Anonymous said…
Get your facts right: the Fiji Times is not off line.
Anonymous said…
Expect the Fiji today blog to dissappear shortly. Peter Firkin has been identified as eithe Parmesh or Renu Chand and action is about to be approved.
Alec said…
Suva agri-squatters relocated: is this a voluntary scheme? Who pays for the establishment of home and farmland? What about market links that will be vital for sustainability of this agri-scheme?
Croz Walsh said…
@ Alec ... Completely voluntary. Arranged by an NGO. Not sure who pays but govt must put something in for the removal and resettlement expenses, in addition to seeing that land is available. Write to me on my email croz.walsh@xtra.co.nz if you need more info and I'll try to find out.
FijiToday said…
Croz.

Incorrect info.
Someone is trying to get the big Fella into trouble.

Peter Firkin
Collaborator said…
Croz,
I can’t believe that you allowed a post accusing Parmesh and or Renu Chand being the blogger Peter Firkin. That is so irresponsible. You really have no idea of what life is like in Fiji at the moment. You really could get them both in serious trouble.

Did you check the post? Did you look for other evidence?

No of course not.

You just allow your blog to make false accusations at people.

Please never again make out that you are better and more principled than the anti government blogs.

Collaborator?
Anonymous said…
@ Croz & @ Onlinegambling

Suggest you delete the comment from "onlinegambling". It is generic and nothing to do with the situation in Fiji. It is a advertising technique to try and get readers to click thru to a gambling site. Not what I imagine you want to be promoting here.

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