According to the regime’s official voice, The Fiji Sun, “The Prime Minister took time out during his visit to Lomaivuna to spend time listening to the people’s concerns.” But the report that follows has only the dictator lecturing the people about his reforms and how the people have to accept them. The Fiji Sun says nothing about the “concerns” of the people. Bainimarama said he went to listen to their concerns, but nothing is said other than he’s made changes which people have to accept. Click on the image of the people waiting for their dictator and see just how demoralised they are. Bainimarama listens to only one voice and the people of Lomaivuna understand this very well.
It baffles the mind to think that this same tyrant who was never given any mandate by anyone is now trying to, literally, impose his will to the people of Fiji in the name of change. We have probably been fooled before but we will not be continuously fooled.
Fiji Sun June 15, 2013 Accept changes: PM
Rusi Varani for SWM
|BURROW: Democracy will win out.|
The world’s largest trade union confederation is planning more action against the Fiji regime.
The ITUC last week got Fiji on the agenda at the International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva and isn’t stopping there.
ITUC general secretary, Sharan Burrow, says it will this week petition for a Commission of Inquiry at a meeting of the ILO governing body.
Burrow told Coupfourpointfive the ITUC is committed to fighting for the rights of Fiji workers.
“The governments of the world must lift the pressure on this dictatorship. The ILO plays a significant role in that regard.”
The ITUC is also putting its weight behind an ILO delegation being allowed to visit Fiji. The regime this year refused to let a team into to talk with employers and workers. It is now suggesting a December visit but it will stipulate the terms.
“The military dictatorship is not serious,” says Burrow. “The proposal for a December mission is farcical when you consider the qualifications ‘might’ and under ‘changed conditions’.
“Even more farcical was the presentation of Fiji’s repressive laws as equivalent to the protection of workers in neighboring countries such as Australia.”
Burrow says the behaviour of the Fiji Government officials ‘was generally disrespectful and an attempt to intimidate.’
“Film or no film the reality is a government that is simply showing its determination to repress criticism.”
“A military dictatorship is just that, a dictatorship,” says Burrow “but democracy will win out.
“No regime can ultimately survive the power of people and the Fiji unions have absolute support from workers all over the world.”
Burrow says ‘the AFL is pressing for a decision and the ITUC calls on the US and all Governments to demand democratic freedoms if Fiji is to have trade or aid.’
Posted at 07:20 on 14 June, 2013 UTC
Fiji’s Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has again refused to disclose his income after the leaders of three political parties called on the regime leaders to explain what they describe as their outrageous salaries.
The parties say according to reports on the internet, the Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, receives more than 700,000 US dollars a year.
The reports claim Mr Sayed-Khaiyum gets just over half a million, which is slightly more than the pay of the US president.
Under the regime’s Political Parties decree, politicians aspiring to be elected to office have had to declare their finances, including those of their spouses and children, although the regime is yet to clarify if that includes adult children.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has told Fijivillage that it is a major concern that unverified information is being used by the parties.
Earlier this year, he said he would make his income public in July.
Source – Radio NZ International; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
A GLOBAL campaign for workers’ rights in Fiji has rattled the military regime, which has lashed out at international unions for wanting to “sabotage” the island’s economy.
Since the Destination Fiji: a vacation from workers’ rights campaign was launched earlier this month, about 5000 emails have been sent from around the world by people who are concerned at the deterioration of living standards and human rights under the military regime of Commodore Frank Bainimarama.
Unions are now cranking up the campaign ahead of the first flight to Sydney of the rebranded Fiji Airways early next month.
On the same day as the Destination Fiji campaign was launched, the peak union bodies of Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand jointly wrote to their governments warning next year’s Fiji elections would be a sham unless international efforts were stepped up to restore democracy in the Pacific island nation.
The ACTU, UK Trades Union Congress and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions have set this September as a deadline for Fiji to demonstrate the elections will be free and fair. If there are not improvements by then, they urge their governments to withdraw all financial and technical support from the Fijian elections. Australia alone has pledged more than $2 million in aid to Fiji’s elections office.
The online campaign has struck a nerve with the Fijian regime, which has sought to discredit it with an arsenal of propaganda. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the deterioration of living standards and human rights in Fiji since the 2006 coup and allows people to send an email directly to their country’s foreign minister to call for stronger action against the regime.
“SABOTAGE!” screamed the front page of the regime-supporting Fiji Sun newspaper the day after the campaign website went live. Quoting Fiji’s Attorney-General and Tourism Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, it falsely claimed the Destination Fiji campaign was calling for a tourism boycott of Fiji.
Fiji’s self-appointed Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainmarama has also lashed out, describing trade union leaders in his country as “fat cats [who] are trying to sabotage the Fijian economy to damage ordinary people’s jobs”.
Union leaders have been the most prominent targets of the regime, which has introduced decrees to prevent them from standing in next year’s elections.
The Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Felix Anthony, hit back at the “hypocrisy” of the regime, whose policies have plunged increasing numbers of workers into poverty.
“Workers in Fiji are struggling to put food on the table,” he said. “It is no wonder that we see an increase in our crime rates, suicides and other ills in our society.”
Mr Anthony said the FTUC supported the Destination Fiji campaign, which was about delivering respect and justice for Fijian workers.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the a mark that the Destination Fiji campaign was having an impact was the level of vitriol being directed at unions by the regime. She said unions would be ramping up campaigning over coming months.
Source -New Media ACTU; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
|REGIME: Too used to breaking the law. Illustration Discombobulated Bubu|
It seems the Fiji regime has had a taste of its own medicine.
Reports from the International Labour Organisation meeting
|Anthony: Filmed by regime at ILO meeting.|
in Geneva say the Fiji delegation tried to intimidate trade unionist Felix Anthony by filming him and was told to back off.
Fiji was put on the agenda by the International Trade Union Congress, so once again the plight of workers is out there for the world to note.
Filming is banned at the ILO meetings – it’s feared recordings could be used by governments at a later stage to bring sedition charges against delegates.
In an interview with Pacific Beat, Australia’s Council of Trade Unions President, Ged Kearney, says she was there when Fiji was told off for filming Anthony.
“The chair of the committee stopped proceedings and the security people were sent down to confiscate the camera from the representatives of the Fijian government.
“This of course was completely against protocol and conventions of the committee where people are supposed to be free of intimidation.
“It was quite a disturbing thing to see at the ILO, I have to say.”
Kearney says the Fiji delegation apologised but it is likely a formal complaint will be made.
Felix Anthony was speaking about trade union rights during a session that was discussing possible action against the interim government.
Earlier this year the military government refused permission for a visit to Fiji by a delegation from the ILO.
Both employer and union groups were reportedly angry at the delegation’s treatment by Fiji.
Head of the International Confederation of Trade Unions, Sharan Burrow, says it is absolutely unbelievable the government would refuse to have a mission from the ILO.
“Today they’ve made the farcical suggestion that they might let them in December but of course it would be on changed conditions,” she said.
“They’re telling an international body that they might be able to come and that they would have to submitto the conditions of a military dictator, that’s simply not acceptable.”
Earlier she also told Pacific Beat she had had high hopes the ILO meeting would advance the cause of Fiji.
“Well it certainly has teeth, does it instantly resolve the situation? No. But most governments will negotiate to actually not be on the list, to resolve their problems through negotiation.
“Clearly that’s not the case with the Fiji military government.
“And so the international community will hear the issues, they’ll make their decisions, it goes on the record and sometimes it takes a little while.
“But we’re celebrating rebuilding fundamental rights and freedoms in Burma and the ILO was instrumental to see that the pressure was maintained until you saw democratic rights and freedoms back in that country.
“And of course we’ll continue to do the same in regards to Fiji.”
|One of the shafts at Vatukoula Gold Mine|
Vatukoula Gold Mine workers made redundant in 2006, are now waiting for their redundancy payments.
The Fiji Court of Appeal has now ruled out the appeal against an earlier decision of the High Court, upholding the awards of the Employment Tribunal.
The company, Emperor Gold Mines, made hundreds of workers redundant in April of 2006, when it began facing difficulty, offering two months pay plus 1 weeks pay for each year of service.
The decision was challenged by unions in the Employment Tribunal, which ruled workers be entitled to 5 months pay, plus 2 weeks pay for each year of service, giving an additional 3 months pay plus 1 weeks pay for each year of service.
The remainder of the workers were made redundant in December, 2006 when the closure of the mine coincided with the last military coup. This was also challenged and the Employment Tribunal ruled as it did for the earlier redundancy.
Emperor unsuccessfully challenged the decision of the Tribunal in the High Court and later appealed the decision of the High Court in the Court of Appeal.
The general secretary of Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, says the recent ruling of the Court of Appeal brings the long drawn matter closer to a conclusion.
Singh says a meeting of the affected workers will be held at Tavua Club this Saturday.
So much for ultimatums.
Fiji’s illegal attorney general was quoted on March 9 as saying there would be consequences if One Hundred Sands Limited had not started building by May.
“There has been an extension of time given to the casino license holders and they need to commence construction by a particular date in May.
“If they do not, there are obviously consequences in terms of license itself. We anticipate them to commence construction on the casino proper and the convention centre and hotel by May.” (ex Fiji Sun http://www.fijisun.com.fj/2013/03/09/casino-builders-cautioned/).
Yet not only has the company failed to even start toiling the land, it wants to change the site of where the casino will be built on Denarau Island – and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has agreed to it.
No detail of the exact location, just a picture of empty land in FBC and the following comment from Khaiyum:
“They have requested for an extension to the deadline and they have been given another week….. They have also requested to change the site …. so we have given them that approval also but this is the last extension.”
The regime has gone to lengths to get the estimated 300 million dollar casino off the ground, gazetting a decree last year in October, even though One Hundred Sands hadn’t even started building.(http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2012/11/casino-decree-but-no-sign-of-casino.html)
The decree gave developers a 15 year licence, and plum provisions including no duty on any capital goods (gaming machines etc) that would be brought in from overseas, and no annual license fee.
Despite that, Claunch has been unable to make the deal happen with reports insisting he doesn’t have the money and never did.
Few signs of Claunch in Fiji these days (Khaiyum admitted in the Sun story in March that they had been trying for months to get hold of Claunch without luck) but another key figure in the company has come to light.
According to sources the man pictured above is Janen Singh aka Yajbal Singh, a realtor, who was one of the original directors of One Hundred Sands Limited, when it was known as Toothpower, and who some say was the brainchild behind the casino.