Archive for the ‘regime instability’ Category

Changing of the guard?

August 6, 2013

Commander for life?

Coup 4.5 has reported another major re-shuffle in the top ranks of the Fiji Military Forces. They say Lt Col ]one Kalouniwai, the former Commanding Officer of the powerful 3FIR Battalion, has been appointed the Military Chief of Staff, replacing Brig. Mohammed Aziz. It seems Tikoitoga has been ignored and Coup 4.5 suspect this means he’s planning to stand in the elections. FDN suspects it’s because the RFMF now has too many real military responsibilities to afford the luxury of this military joke occupying an important position. Besides, Bainimarama is always switching his officers around, never leaving them long enough in a job to develop bonds of loyalty with their men. Bainimarama knows the way these things worked. Before Bainimarama RFMF Commanders usually stayed for about 3 to 5 years. Ratu Epeli Ganilau was there for 7 years. But now Bainimarama has been Commander for 14 years.

Coup 4.5 August 5, 2013 Fiji military changes top brass bypassing Tikoitoga for key role

Show us the constitution

August 1, 2013

Having first refused to translate his draft constitution into vernaculars, Bainimarama is refusing to show us the revised draft until it is also available in Fijian and Hindi. He claims we’ll see that native land is now fully protected, but that’s what he told us before he made the changes we’re still waiting to see. Why are we still waiting to see the new parts of the constitution which are supposed to protect iTaukei land? Is he hoping he can release it and straight away put it into force before all the people affected by it can read and understand the new draft for themselves?

Fiji Times August 01, 2013 PM says lying politicians will be exposed soon

And who is our Minister for Trade?

July 30, 2013

Inoke Kubuabola’s speech to the Fiji Australia Business Council was pure Khaiyum. Coming to Brisbane as a guest of the Australia Fiji Business Council Forum he delivered a lecture to his hosts on the evils of their government. Kubuabola complained that Australia had refused to give a visa to our Minister for Trade, who Kubuabola said is “the Minister who can most assist Australian businesspeople in their efforts to expand trade”. And who might that be? Why it’s Khaiyum of course. So he writes a speech for Kubuabola talking to his hosts as if they are not a major source of aid for our poor and sick or the biggest source of visitors for our tourism industry. It seems the national interest begins and ends with the Aiyaz ego. By forcing Kubuabola to read this arrogant lecture Khaiyum shows once again to the whole world that he is the boss and Kubuabola is just a puppet.

Fiji Village: 29/07/2013 Fiji disappointed with Australia

Mills on track for disaster

July 30, 2013

The military and police were on hand when sugar workers voted to go on strike. Over two thirds of workers turned out to vote and 90% of them voted to strike. It’s obvious they’re angry with the contempt they’ve been treated with for years. Khaiyum has come out immediately to say that one way or the other the mills will be kept going. If this is a threat to have the army take over running the mill, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. The Lautoka mill is currently closed due to an accident. Does Khaiyum want to see all the mills suffer the same fate? This would be a disater from which our sugar industry would never recover.
Radio Australia 29 July 2013, Fiji sugar workers vote to strike despite ‘intimidation’

Radio New Zealand 29 July, 2013 Fiji’s AG pleads to sugar workers not to strike

Five minutes to read the constitution

July 29, 2013

Bainimarama was forced to translate his tailor-made Constitution into Hindi and Fijian but he now tells us it will be released next month and be in place by the end of the month. He can’t even pretend that people will have an opportunity to read it and say whether they think the new draft gives proper protection to iTaukei land. He got some idea of how angry this made the iTaukei community when he said that he was going to impose the constitution no matter what two months ago, so he’d better be prepared to face their wrath.

Fiji Live July 27, 2013 Constitution will be released in August: PM

Tactical retreat?

July 22, 2013

The FSC workers were talking of striking to achieve a pay increase last week and already the regime has buckled. It looks like Bainimarama has no taste for using the draconian Khaiyum legislation at the moment. This side of an election he wants to be Mr Nice Guy.

Fiji Village: 20/07/2013 Over 2000 FSC mill workers to get 5.3% pay rise

The Khaiyum Kommerce Kommission

July 19, 2013

Khaiyum has rejected the idea that the Commerce Commission is responsible for ensuring that customers are not robbed by suppliers in monopoly industries. He said that it cannot look at the case of political parties being forced to advertise in the Fiji Sun. He also claimed that the Commerce Commission had looked at the cost of the Fiji Sun compared with the Fiji Times and claimed the Sun was cheaper. All this proves is that the Commerce Commission is his tool that acts on his commands. How can the Commerce Commission know what the Fiji Times would have charged? They might have done it for free as their readers would have been interested to see the details of party officials assets and income.

Radio Fiji Jul 18, 2013 Commerce Commission can’t decide: AG

FICAC changes its tune again

July 19, 2013

Once again FICAC has changed the charges in one of its long-running cases. The rumours that these charges were based on circulated for years when we had a professional police force under a professional police Commissioner but no action was taken because they were all lies. It took the regime 2 years to lay charges and now 4 years later they’re changing the charges. Charges against Laisenia Qarase were dropped so it looks like charges against Dakuidreketi and Bakani are being changed to give the case another lease of life. All the did as directors of the NLTB was to approve its investment in a computer program to manage land properly, in particular, ensure lease monies were paid on time.

Fiji Times, 19 July 2013 FICAC seeks amendment to charges

Will the sugar workers strike?

July 18, 2013

Felix Anthony has thrown down the gauntlet to the regime by threatening a sugar workers strike. He says they haven’t had a pay rise for seven years. The question now is will Khaiyum push Bainimarama to invoke the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree to crush the plans for a strike? There’s no doubt a strike would be a national disaster, but the use of the much hated decree could also be a disaster. The international reaction would be swift and could include sanctions by the USA to deny duty free entry to our products. Look out Fiji Water.

Fiji Live July 17, 2013 Sugar workers plan strike action

Natuva can’t say he’ll stand

July 18, 2013

The Fiji Sun has carried a story about how pleased Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Captain (Navy) Timoci Lesi Natuva is to serve in Bainimarama’s Government. According to the Sun: “A diligent worker and skillful communicator, it’s no wonder that Captain Natuva is still part of the current Government.” But the Sun also says Natuva is “yet to decide” whether he’ll be standing in next years elections. He has to wait six months to see if Bainimarama is going to form a party. So why six months? Can’t Bainimarama find the 5000 members he needs to form a political party? Or is he taking time to conceal his assets?

Fiji Sun July 17, 2013 Navy man Natuva waiting for PM