Daily News July 17 -on

I had wanted to keep the NEWS at the top of the page but the only way to do this was my updating the same post every time I had more news. This resulted in a very long posting, that sometimes resulted in me exceedng the maximum characters allowed on a page, with the result that some older but recent postings could not be read, and it resulted in so many comments that it was hard to know which item they were commenting on.  So,  from Monday items up to July 22 will be archived, and the NEWS (no longer called Daily News) will be dated by the days they are posted.

WEEKEND READINGS. • Allen Lockington column • Fiji Needs Democracy But Not with Democrats Like These by Thakur Ranjit Singh • Surfing Decree   7 The Politics of Sabotage by Graham Davis
NEW ZEALAND READERS. Listen to Radio New Zealand on Sunday.  See details below.

Friday 21.7.11 AUST NZ UNIONS BACK OFF. letter from Air Pacific seems to have caused the unions to think again about action against the Pacific carrier.
ANTONY URAI TOOK EXORBITANT FEES. The PM has accused the two unionists who are now attacking his government of taking large fees when they were members of the FNPF Board.  Possibly, but it would be more credible had the charges been exposed at the time. It was also noted that PSA GenSec Rjeshwar Singh's BMW cost over $150,000. All very well but Government has not addressed the issue that caused these unionists to call for overseas help: the draft Employment Relations Decree, and personal attacks on priminent unionists.  Singh responded by telling RadioNZ International, that if the A-G (and presumably the PM) want "to make claims about the expenses of unionists, he should reveal his own salary first."
RADIO NEW ZEALAND 24th July: Poverty in Fiji. Official figures for Fiji indicate that 360,000 people are living in poverty. But  some social agencies think the real figures maybe even higher. Philippa Tolley travelled to Fiji to find out what is being done to improve the lives of the nation's poorest. The programme is broadcast at 8.12am during "Sunday Morning" with Chris Laidlaw." It repeats on Mondays at  9.06pm  and Wednesdays at 12.30am.  Programmes can also be played off the Insight page of the Radio New Zealand web site at www.radionz.co.nz/insight and can be downloaded as a podcast.
Thursday 21.7.11

ANY INDUSTRIAL ACTION WILL AFFECT ALL. Tourism CEO Josefa Tuamoto  says that industrial action against Fij planned  Australian  ann NZ uionists in suppor of Felix Antony' "would be devastating to the country and all its citizens." Some 45,000 people are employed in the tourism industry and "the benefits derived from international visitation go far beyond the workforce." The A-G had earlier said "certain union leaders are painting a false picture of realities on the ground to suit their agenda."
BOLE AGAINST CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.Minister of Education Fiplipe Bole has reiterated that corporal punishement in schools is illegal.
PENSIONERS APPEAL TO PRESIDENT.  Radio Australia reports that pensioners have appealed to the President to establish an independent enquiry into the Fiji National Provident Fund whose Board is considering pension cuts in order to remain viable. In related news, the case against the FNPF by David Burness will be heard next Tuesday.

Thumbs up Fiji
 Wednesday 20.7.11
MARA CHARGED WITH TORTURE. The NZ Coalition for Democracy in Fiji has filed a complaint against Tevita Mara under the Crimes of Torture Act. They obviously do not believe his story that he watched but did not participate in beating up people.  Comments and more details later. Nik Naidu said they want NZ Police to investigate, arrest and prosecute him when Mara arrives in New Zealand.The Fiji government has already filed an extradition application with the NZ government after Mara boke his bail conditions when facing a charge of sedition.
ANY INDUSTRIAL ACTION WILL AFFECT ALL. Tourism CEO Josefa Tuamoto says that industrial action against Fiji planned  Australian  and NZ unionists in support of Felix Antony' "would be devastating to the country and all its citizens." Some 45,000 people are employed in the tourism industry and "the benefits derived from international visitation go far beyond the workforce." The A-G had earlier said "certain union leaders are painting a false picture of realities on the ground to suit their agenda."
BOLE AGAINST CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.Minister of Education Filipe Bole has reiterated that corporal punishement in schools is illegal.
PENSIONERS APPEAL TO PRESIDENT.  Radio Australia reports that pensioners have appealed to the President to establish an independent enquiry into the Fiji National Provident Fund whose Board is considering pension cuts in order to remain viable. In related news, the case against the FNPF by David Burness will be heard next Tuesday.
SOME WORKERS HAPPY. Security workers say working conditions and wages are better than in the past. The Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) and the Security Industry Decree 2010 to govern the registration, licensing, and operations of security companies and personnel passed last year has seen new Security Industry Licensing and Registration Board formed to reject companies who not comply and set right working conditions for its officers. Base wages have also increase from $1.70 to $2.00 to $2.20.

Tuesday 19.7.11
THE POLITICS OF SABOTAGE. Graham Davis has another view of Felix Anthony's recent trip to persuade Australian workers to attack the Bainimarama Government. It would seems also the Australian Transport Workers Union has its own agenda, and could be using Anthony's description of the Fiji situation as another weapon in its own battle with Qantas.
ANTHONY'S HYPERBOLE,  NOT COMPLETELY HONEST.On the way home from Australia, unionist Felix Anthony used his NZ stopover to tell TV about the 'beatings'of union leaders and to meet with the NZCTUs.  NZCTU's Peter Conway said they are looking at all options."We have talked to the government, we've talked to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and we've communicated with the ILO that they should get actively involved."I've met with various employer groups in the meat, dairy and travel industry to say things are heating up in Fiji and all options will be on the table, so we're not ruling industrial action out but we're not ruling it in."
     The pity of all this is that NZ unionists are judging the Fiji government on the words of a man with a strong vested interest. Anthony is not being completely honest in his accusations. He says he was personally beaten, but at the time from Nadi he said he was released unbeaten. He talks of unionists ending up in wheelchairs. There was one who,from the photo, seemed to using it more to appeal to courts sympathies that anything else. He says government "is imposing new laws which suppress workers' rights." He probably meant the ONE Employment Relations decree that may never become law.
ALTA LEASE WOES OVER. Insecure and non-renewed leases (and their manipulation by extreme i'taukei nationalists) that have long plagued agricultural productivity are a "thing of the past" according to Fiji I'tauakei Land Trust Board director Viliame Gucake. “Most of the leases that were supposed to expire [last year] were renewed to either sitting tenants or new offers given to new tenants." In 1997, when ALTA started,  about 47% of leases were renewed; now it is nearly 75%.
THE OUTSOURCING OF TRAINING for civil servants is expected to improve training and service and cut Government's  operating expenditure through encouraging public-private partnerships. PSC Permanent Secretary Parmesh Chand said it will also allow Government to focus on core-activities in terms of public service delivery.-- No:1440/PSC.
FOUNDATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF  NEEDY CHILDREN. Trading company J.Sana Ram has made its second $10,000 donation to the education of Fiji’s poorest children. The first was last year after an appeal from the PM. Chairwoman Teresa Apted said the work done by FENC was in line with the recommendation of the People's Charter to help alleviate poverty by seeing that every child is educated. Donations up to $100,000 are a tax deductible expense.
►►►...Earlier items, click on

Monday 18.7.11
FOOTBALL SCORE, KEY 8 MCULLY 0. The announcement that NZ's PM would allow RFMF private Leone Nakarawa into the country for Saturday's Christchurch Earthquake Charity match between NZ and Fiji in Dunedin because he is "a low-ranked soldier" makes sense. Nakarawa is not responsible for Fiji's policies and if he wasn't in the army he could be unemployed. Compare this Key's reasoned approach with McCully who maintains the ban applies to all the military. The FRU, however, say Nakawawa won't be in the final squad "because that was part of the negotiations to allow the team an exemption from the general sporting ban on Fiji." Hey! It's the first I've heard of a general sporting ban. Who has sold them this story?
WHY DOESN'T SAMOA IMPOSE SANCTIONS? Tuilaepa has been vocal lately urging New Zealand and Australia to increase sanctions against Fiji "ten times." This would, of course, reinforces the impression that the sanctions are due to the "superpowers", and perhaps that is Tuilaepa's intention, but it does not explain why Samoa has not imposed its own travel or trade sanctions. A reader thought his stance "duplicitous [because it sought] to impose responsibilities on others that he is not prepared to accept himself.
ANTI-CORRUPTION WORK IMPROVING: UNCAC. The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) team in Fiji last week said work against corruption had "improved significantly." Government's account of progress was echoed by Transparency International. This is important because it should (but probably won't) stop anti-government critics claiming the improvement is a government fabrication.


Ethical Investors and Human Happiness Factor said…
Why would any reference be made to an Act dating back to 2003 which purports to permit the manufacture of arms in Fiji (presumably to aid the export statistics and contribute towards GDP?).

The contribution that is required towards GDP in Fiji is that being promoted by the Kingdom of Bhutan and its enlightened, now Constitutional King: namely, Human Happiness Factor. It is being seriously looked at by other governments even that of the United Kingdom under the Coalition. Human Happiness is not enhanced by the production of arms or munitions: self-evident. Enlightened investors in any Fund of whatever type are now turning towards "ethical investment" and shareholders around the world are beginning to take this position, where it counts, with their money.
Gutter Press said…
So we know now that it was the dastardly SDL party who instigated the arms manufacturing law. Great. Now let this government do what it does best, pass a decree to modernise our laws and get rid of the Arms and Ammunition Act 2003 in its entirety.
Cicero said…
The Act of 2003 permitted the manufacture of Arms and Munitions in Fiji "under certain stringent conditions"...?

Since when at that time did "stringent conditions" apply? Or now?

Because the history of the past twenty years has demonstrated that stringent conditions and regulation have not been universally and fully applied in any sphere of operation. Someone or some group has always been "bucking the system" for their own advantage. To hell with level playing fields: mere figments of the imagination. Remember the Dogs' Service in the Gulag Archipelago? Remember the Great Leap Forward of Mao Tse Tung?
Cynical exploitation of the "Lower Orders" as perceived necessary at that time for cynically- manipulated ends. Rendering the general population nothing more than "worms and slaves" in an orchestrated and imposed process.
Some good news said…
SUVA, July 4 (Xinhua) — Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has said that dirty politicians and candidates linked to past political instability will be banned from participating in the next election scheduled for 2014, state owned Fiji Broadcasting Commission reported Monday.

Thats god news because many of us where thinking Frank planned to stay on beyond 2014 and run for PM or be president forgetting his promise that no one in the interim government can participate in future elections. Now he has made this statement he will not be allowed under the constitution given he caused major political instability in the lead up to 2006 by calling for a coup and then in 2006 by carrying one out.

Not sure how all this lines up with the AG promise that any one can stand though ?
The Facts said…
Let's get the facts right shall we? You mean Ms Reed? And rest assured SHE will maintain the current US stance against the regime.
Croz Walsh said…
@ The facts ... My mistake. Thanks for the correction. You are fortunate she's told you what she thinks. If she says more, let me know.
Islands in the Stream said…
@ Gutter Press

Doing what this government does best? Writing decrees ad nauseam which purport to alienate the people from their right of audience in the High Court as their only recourse? You appear to have forgotten the Chandrika Prasad Appeal? We were there to hear our constitutional rights upheld and restored in March 2001. Yet again you have audaciously attempted to strip citizens of all basic freedoms to be justly heard.

Our rights and freedoms were won for us on the battle fields of two world wars. And through Magna Carta.. These rights shall never be done away with by any human agent nor trampled upon by fear. DIEU ET MON. DROIT
My understanding said…

My understanding is the legality of government can not be challanged ANS governments decree's can not be challanged. Therefore even if a court rule in favour of a individual or against government all government has to do is create a new decree or change a old one. This is why the current court case will not proceed nor will it be sucessful. It seems very strange that this particular lawyer is taking up this case. She supported the abrogation of the constitution with gave government all power to make all laws by decree at will. You can't have it both ways.
Coordination and consultation said…
Perhaps when you were speaking with MS Reed you misunderstood what she meant by 'coordination and consultation' with Australia and NZ in dealing with the regime in Fiji?
s the regime listening? said…
The most important idea that I would like anyone to listen to is the right to vote. And the right to live in freedom and vote without any coercion from the military or other standover men. That's all. Please.
Imprimatur said…
One thing we know we got right: News International was "seen off" from ownership of the Fiji Times. In the light of their scandalous betrayal of the public in Britain through alleged phone hacking of phones belonging to bereaved families of soldiers killed on duty in Afghanistan and Iraq and an alleged role in corruption of officers within the London Metropolitan Police, we should congratulate ourselves. Our judgement has been vindicated here. The Fiji Times under Murdoch's control was "out of control".
Cicero said…
@ is the regime listening?

It is quite simplistic to suggest that freedom is only to be determined through "a Right to vote".

Voting is a necessary but insufficient condition for Freedom. When will we GET this? Does no one have to study Logic as a prerequisite to being educated anymore?

So much else must be acquired to "Secure Freedom". Try listening to Aung San Suu Kyi in her Reith Lectures recorded by the BBC in Burma last month.
Paragons Past & Future said…
@ Some good news said............

If you take spook at some of the suggested names for candidature in any future election for Fiji (posted elsewhere) they inspire no confidence at all. Mostly weak, self-serving people who have shown very little courage in adversity and quite forgotten the needs of a Nation State in the 21st century. We must do better than this. We need Action people with demonstrated integrity of purpose and person. Their bank accounts and personal finances must be open to close independent scrutiny. Their morality and ethical standing WITHOUT QUESTION . Past as well as present.

Now who are these paragons? Do they exist? No room for reformed abusers here.
Serious about taking Fiji forward said…

OK if government is prepared to listen I would like suggest :

1. The PER be lifted immediately

2. Inclusive dialogue to start immediately (inclusive, includes those with alternate views to the PM, AG and Military). The unions frustrate me too but i still have to engage them and i repsect there right if not their approach and leaders.

3. Work on a new constitution to start by Christmas

4. PM to disclose his and cabinet salaries and all government appointed board members. Transparent government starts at the top.

5. Work to start immediately on reducing the cost burden of the RFMF (aim for 10% per year reduection each year for the next three years). Lets share the pain and ALL do more with less.

6. Give those CEO's and board members sacked since the coup redress through the courts (I have no issue with those who been found guilty being in jail but what if all the others)

7. Plan to reduce the involvement of military personel in government (or if they are the right people then they should resign from the military).

8. RFMF to stop investigating, picking up and questioning civilians. Also please stop the standover and threat tactics.

9. PM to reconfirm his committment not to be involved in any government beyond 2014 and no one in the current government can stand in 2014.

10. Move to appoint a professional Chief of police (not a military person) in the next 12 months.

11. Commit to prudent control of expenses between now and 2014 - lead by example by taking fewer overseas trips, traveling economy or premium economy. Concentrate on work at home.

12. PM not to accept any appointments or positions that are a distraction to the main job of taking Fiji to its first free and fair elections in 2014. Concentrate on the reform at home also.

13. Seriously consider appointing a qualified finance minister and suger minister (but keep small cabinet otherwise !)

14. Stop the war of blame on past governments. You have been in power (with more power than anyone) for nearly five years and you must now own any/all issues. Spend more time solving and less time blaming.

15. Publish a quarterly report on progress to elections including dialogue, constitution etc

16. Donate your back pay to charity to remove any doubt about you noble intentions. Again lead by example and don't fall into the trap of past leaders.

17. Remove Francis Kean from his post. Show that you walk the talk and that there is no special treatment for family and the RFMF. If he is as good as you say I am sure he will find work in the private sector.


If I put my name to this list and present it to you or your Peoples Charter team can you guarantee I will not be harrassed, receive threats or suffer intimidation, lose the small jobs i do for government companes. Do you promise I won't find myself on any banned or black list. Will you take me and my suggestions seriously. Will you allow a newspaper to print my ideas ?

I hope so. I pray so.

Also - do even half the above and you can expect my support and i will actively champion the cause with my friends and family.
Anonymous said…
Is the MSG still functioning? I thought it had dropped off the perch like somare? May he rest in peace.
Wishful Thinking...? said…
@ My understanding said.....

You appear to be judging the outcome of a case before it has even begun? Do you have some intimate, prior knowledge? If so, how?

If you are a member of the legal profession, what does this say about your standing? Your ethics? Your professional competence?

For if this case is judged before it is heard, then the judicial process is null and void and a waste of all our time and taxpayers' money.
Interim or long haul ? said…
Much of the image problem the PM has is when he tries to play the roll of legitimate PM and legitimate Fiji leader. Whether it is cheering at the netball in Singapore or the sevens in HongKong or flying here there and everywhere for meetings and conferences he does not do his image any good. In fact he could be accused of the same wasting of money and feathering his family nest as all former governments.

Many like myself can live with the fact he currently has power in Fiji. Many like myself will get behind his reforms in particular FICAC and corruption fighting. And many like myself want to see free and fair elections and are prepared to wait until 2014. In time I may even forgive him for the pain he has caused my own family and friends through his retribution seeking actions.

However what grates me and leads straight into the hands of the real anti this anti that movement is him acting as a legitimate PM. He is at best a ‘interim PM’ and should act accordingly.

If he acted like a interim prime minister many more might be convinced he was doing a honest and tough job that no one else was prepared to do. They might believe he really was only acting as an agent for change, a reluctant temporary force who will return to barrick once the job is done.

How about it MR Interim PM? Why not commit to fewer trips, no family to accompany you and less government spending on YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Step up and set the standard. I’m sure you would have FICAC chase down your foes for smaller issues…
Don't like: don't read said…
If you or any other military regime supporter doesn't like the news on bainimarama I suggest you don't read it?
If if you think any dictator is not fair game in a free press in a free nation - then dream on!!
Radio New Zealand Blogger said…
You are correct about Radio New Zealand. I have notice for some time now the lack of balance in the stories. I though everyone wanted Fiji to have elections and now they tell us something positive everyone bashes them around. I hope that Fiji government stops talking to Radio New Zealand because they are going to keep stabbing them in the back.
Yes they will go away said…
Why not use Interim Governemt given it is a term used by the PM himself and even on the RFMF website. Or does he consider himself more long term now ? I hope not and remember clear this government HAS PROMISED to go away but just not until 2014 - after elections we will have a elected government and because NO ONE in the interim government will be able to contest the election we will have a new government - they will have gone away Croz. Unless they break yet another promise or two. Their track record on public commitments is not good.
Wot Censorship said…
Don't you think it is an interesting oversight that no news paper in Fiji covered the story of Adi Ateca's election as Chairman of the Lau Provincial council. The Sun ran a number of stories on the lead up to the election and also from the meeting. But nothing about the election result.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Wot Censorship ... Not true. News of Adi Ateca's election, Ratu Epeli's congratulations, and her replacement by Filipe Bole all in the print and broadcast media.
Wot Censorship said…

You will find that news of Adi Ateca's election did not appear in print in the Wednesday papers. The Sun had other stories about the Lau Provinicial Meeting but none on the election of the Chairman.

If you make inquiries you will find out the censor removed these stories.

So sometime between the morning and the evening the government decided it was against the national interest for this story to run.

They must have made that decision before the closing speeches on day 1 of the meeting. Which means they made their decsion before Adi Ateca's remarks.

It was those remarks which Leweni claimed was the reason she could not be chairman of the provincial council.

The Interim Government must have made up its mind without any help from Adi Ateca.
Proud fijian said…
While the UK is trying to get to the bottom of News Coorp and the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking and corruption scandal the US is now being pushed by Senator Rockefeller to investigate the US arm of the company.

Well fortunately Fiji has already gotten rid of them.
Mine is theirs said…

At the risk of being accused of whipping up anti-China sentiments, I worry about the environmental impact of bauxite mining.

Miners from China are not known for their environmental sensitivity.

Could you do some digging and find out what arrangements Aurum Exploration Limited have made to ensure than there is no poisoning of the food chain which the people of Bua and surroundings depend on?
Mankind's Greatest Folly said…
@ Mine is theirs.....

A very good surtitle, by the way!
I would agree with your overall concern. We need to understand a great deal more about the Chinese as a People and as a Nation. There are two books which might assist but also profoundly shock: :Jasper Becker's "Hungry Ghosts" - Mao's secret famine (1998) The first full account of the tragedy that claimed over 30 million victims. Becker was the Beijing Bureau Chief for the South China Morning Post when he wrote the book back in 1998.

The new Samuel Johnson Prize-winning book on the Great Leap Forward from 1958 - 1962 and the famine it created - but hid - is "Mao's Great Famine" and it now asserts that close to 45 million (mostly peasants) perished in the Chinese hinterland of starvation. The author is a Dutch Professor at the University of Hong Kong.

What do we understand from these two well-researched books? That there is a completely different mindset at work in China with regard to human rights and human aspirations. That human beings are expendable in the larger economic picture and they always have been since Chinese History was first recorded around 5,000 years ago.

The Independent says this of Becker's work:

"He also offers a small memorial to those uncounted millions, a memorial the leaders who brought about those deaths will never erect".

Indeed, we are told that even today no one inside China dares to mention these untold deaths publicly and even guardedly in private. The subject is 'tabu'.
PM responsible said…
The PM has to take responsibility for the likes of Mara, Felix and Chaudry. These where the people HE CHOSE to be in HIS TEAM. They where the replacements for all the hopeless and corrupt people HE THROUGH OUT OF OFFICE and of boards. As a minimum i would like the PM to admit he got it mostly wrong in his first three years. His appointments where no better than past governments. Add to the list all the others that have come and gone and delivered little...the labour party memebers, Sada Reddy, John Sami, Suren Sharma, Francis Naryan, Teleni, FHL board and CEO (including Ayiz), FNPF board...the list goes on.

Will the PM take ownership for his mistakes or continue to pretend every problem is a problem of the past only he can fix ?
Um...really said…
Sayed-Khaiyum on info provided tounion overseas..."thanks to being fed lies by people like Felix Anthony, Rajeshwar Singh, Daniel Urai, Parmod Rae and Attar Singh, whom he described as politcal opportunists".

Well what does that say about the PM and AG who where responsible for giving Anthony and Urai important board appointments ? Is he saying his government is OK with liers and political apportunist...as long as they support him ? Thats what it looks like to me. Sam goes for Mahen and the Fiji labour party who he supported then but not now.

When will this government take ownerships of a issue ?
Anonymous said…
I'm no fam of this government (and certainly not coups) but I'm even less of a fan of the likes of Anthony.

He forgot to tell everyone he was the military governments best friend when it meant lucurative board appointments for himself.

I remember too well his boasting speach at the opening of Natadola. He did this and he did that, he saved this, he saved that. He thought he was untouchable and on top of the world. Not a whimper from him then on individual rights ?

I actually thinks he wants to be arrested or roughed up when he re-enters Fiji. That would give him some credibility again...in his mind at least. I hope the PM does not play that tune. Better to ignore him.

The AG is right when he says the like of Anthony, Pramod Rae & Urai are in it for themselves. They try and maintain the rage and never make any effort to actually work along side business.

If there is going to be a banned list for the next election I would these unionist names at the top along with Mahen.
Anonymous said…
Carefull with your headlines Croz. Many would like to see Mara (and Frank & others) charged with torture BUT he has not been charged. No more than Frank has.

Your heading says "Mara charged with torture". Not true - a fringe group has asked that he be charged. Plenty of people has asked that Frank be charged in Fiji but that is very unlikely to happen.
Anonymous said…
Nik clearly trying to win more favours in Fiji. We have zero about others who have done the same.

NZ is hardly going to let someone in to charge them with a offence committed in Fiji.
Sensational headlines said…
Your standards are slipping. Your headline claims MARA CHARGED WITH TORTURE"
Not true someone has filed a complaint. that's a big difference.

I am wondering if you have been to the same school of head line writing as c4.5?
Anonymous said…
It appears that Air Pacific has secured an injuction on the proposed strike by TWU of Australia.


The TWU was fined $35,000 in 2010 for a strike by baggage handlers which was declared illegal by Fair Work Australia.

It looks like Felix Anthony and other Trade Unionists have just been caught with their pants down. Union members in Fiji are now saying that they have approached TWU without the mandate from members.

Well, the Unionists will now be probably be charged for being in breach of PER and will not achieve anything at all by the actions. They have revealed their cards and now have no fall back position.

Why are they so desperate to get a strike? Couldn't they just wait for elections in 2 1/2 years. I suspect that this spells the end for these Union leaders. I suppose you could call it a death knell.
Proud fijian said…
Sorry croz the last post ending in death knell -from me 'Proud Fijian'
Due Process Post poned? said…
Torture is a Crime Against Humanity. No matter where in the world it takes place. Investigation and charges should follow no matter where in the world these may be pursued. Never lose sight of this .offering oneself for future Due Process rings hollow, does it not?
Due Process Post poned? said…
Torture is a Crime Against Humanity. No matter where in the world it takes place. Investigation and charges should follow no matter where in the world these may be pursued. Never lose sight of this .offering oneself for future Due Process rings hollow, does it not?
Ahem said…
Croz, shouldn't it be "Mara accused of torture" rather than "Mara charged with torture" in your headline? He hasn't been formally charged with anything.
Past Multitudinous Wrongs said…
You are incorrect, Croz, concerning a 'hearing' of the FNPF Case brought by David Burness and Others next Tuesday. It will be a judgement as to whether the case should be struck out.

This is where the elderly citizens of Fiji have been brought through no fault of their own. This is the pretty pass of the standing afforded the Senior Citizens of Fiji: due to be Stricken Out? A convenient means of hastening the desired end? A Cover Up? A challenge to the dignity which should be afforded the biblical "ten score years plus ten"? This is beyond any doubt one of the supreme tests of any State: the manner in which it treats the very young and the very old. How do we stand up? To what do we aspire? Dressing windows? Or a substantial effort to address past multitudinous wrongs?
Transparent Salaries said…
We have have seen the Government is able to find the details and publish income from the FNPF.

Why can they not find the details and publish their own salaries? After all the AG only has to lok at his payslip. That can't bee too hard.

Their action over the Union salaries makes it all the clearer Bainimarama & Co have something to hide over their salaries.

This Government preaches Good Governance and transparency. But only when it suits them.

This release has done more harm to Bainimarama and the AG's credibility than it has to the Union Bosses.
Delusion of Grandeur said…
Bula Croz, Why am I not surprised by these revelations, of conduct unbecoming by so-called "leaders" of the union movement in Fiji. One of the positives from this coup is the revelations of "LOSERS" who hid behind their titles pretending to help our people. So much good is happening around us during this period, preparing us for an election (2014)that will be the first of it's kind in Fiji - fair and just rather than the skewed process of the past. Vinaka
Own up time said…
The PM only now tells us he removed Urai and Anthony where removed from FNPF becuase of how they paid themselves. What happened to transparancy ? Wy have they not been charged. Why where we not told. Was it becuase they where key coup supporters back then ?

When will the PM start taking responsibility for HIS MISTAKES ? God knows he has spent hours on hours blaming former governments but NEVER OWNS UP TO HIS OWN.

Anthony, Urai paid themselves lump sums: PM
July 21, 2011 08:43:09 PMA+ A- | | | Unionists Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai during their sitting on the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) Board manipulated the system to pay themselves in director’s fees of $185,934 and $156,287 for over a period of three years.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama enroute to Africa.

“This was one of the key reasons why Anthony and Urai were removed from the FNPF Board,” he said in a statement.

“Their greed is in stark contrast to the current chair of FNPF who does not collect a single fee including some of other directors and the practice of being paid for sitting on individual committees and boards of subsidiary or related companies have been stopped.

“We had entrusted these two individuals representing the workers to do the right thing in particular after the debacle of the previous board.”

Commodore Bainimarama said yet the duo deemed it necessary to pay themselves each time they sat not only on the FNPF board but when they sat on the boards of the subsidiary or related companies of FNPF, including when they sat on various committees such as the human resource (HR) committee of the same company.
Yea yea said…
Until this government owns up and publishes what it is paying itself they are in no position to be criticising what others where paid - especially other that WHERE APPOINTED AND APPROVED BY THEM !!!!

The blame game has got to stop. This government has got to start taking ownership of Fiji's issues.

A good place to start would be
1. Economy - gone no where in 5 years
2. Progress to democracy - what real progress has been made (not promises of starting next year)
3. Corruption - yes some progress here but why are military and coup supporters excempt ?
4. Transparency - there does not seem to be any, what about all thos auditor reports ?
Regular viewer said…

What is your take on the PM and minister's salaries. Do you think they should come clean and publish what they are being paid (and perhaps set the standard for the future) ? I know that what ever the figure is some anti-government people would jump on it but if it is reasonable (not more than prvious ministers and not more than the military wages for PM) then in can only be to their benefit to publish this data ? I think people will understand.

Regular viewer
sara'ssista said…
Given the recent report of the interim PM,s relative being proposed as high commission to , in am keenly waiting for CRoz to launch his spirited defense, on how this is nothing like the corruption he saw in previous regimes and how this was just like any other appointment. Good luck with that. This regime is looking more like a an African banana republic by the day.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Regular viewer ... Yes, I think teh PM should publish his salary. The salaries of all senior public servants should be gazetted for all to see.

@Saras'sista ... And I've been thinking all along that you know a lot about Fiji. If I was right, you would know that Bainimarama's elder brother Ratu Meli is a senior civil servant, and you'd know that another older brother Ratu Timoci is Director of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics. They had established themselves in their respective fields before their little brother became interim PM.
A decent/honest Bloke? said…
In today's Fiji Sun an article with the by-line of Rachna Lal goes into the issues behind the purchase of a BMW 4-wheel drive car in 2005. There is some discussion about the cost of said vehicle. No one has ever suggested, surely, that a trade union official should NOT drive a BMW or any other expensive model? It is whose money that paid for it which is in play. If the Official has paid for it himself with his own money then FIRCA might take an interest or FICAC. Otherwise, it is up the the Members of the Union to make the call. A BMW over five years or six is not a bad choice if it is cared for and passed on to the next elected official for his/her use. That is what matters: the governance decisions, the due diligence that is exerted and in the end, the judgement as to whether the executive of the Union is a decent/honest bloke (bloke being these days gender neutral)!
At the Coal Face said…
Well, well, Croz. No matter how well established one may have been, attempting to break into the UK-based diplomatic corps after the Parliamentarians' Expenses Saga should have put many on notice? Followed by the Murdoch/Politicians/ Metropolitan Police "too cozy" Saga? (which by the way will run for many hundreds of kilometres yet).

Surely, surely we know better than this? This is governance at 'the Coal Face'. No one now is expected to step into this pond without having done some considerable homework? Who was up for doing it?
sara'ssista said…
@Croz...yes I am more than well informed about their careers , and prior to this current regime. But for a regime that bleats about the pervasive corruption in previous regimes , how could it possibly sit comfortably with anyone that , again, a family member of the regime is proposed for a very senior and publicly funded role where any fair assessment would find it hard to ignore the connection and treat any application fairly. Who on earth would be the competition? We can only guess who next,. Perhaps they see themselves as the next Mara's,rather ironic really. But certainly the regime, and those that benefit appear more than comfortable and entrenched.
Rejected siblings said…
If Bainmarama's brothers were as talented as you say (which I doubt) they would have been wise to distance themselves from a coup and a military regime? If they don't, internation rejection from credible organisations and diplomatic postings in democatic well governed countries is a given.
Freedom of Thought and Action said…
@ sara'ssista

No one is "comfortable and entrenched" when living off Public Money. Sooner or later, the accountability "kicks in"

People's memories are LONG not short. And when it is their own money going to fund these entrenched and comfortable life-styles, the crowing can become quite shrill. Aung San Suu Kyi said something interesting last week in one of her recorded in Burma Reith Lectures for the BBC. She said that we should 'act always as though we are free'. If we do not, then we may forget HOW.

A most interesting approach and it can never surely be required that we dull our ability to "think freely": the pre-requisite to action?

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