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Fiji police target Opposition leaders who attended Constitution forum

September 11, 2016

Two in custody – two more being targeted

Fiji police have swooped on political party leaders who

Attar Singh: Former FICTU leader arrested

attended a debate on the Constitution earlier this week.

The public forum was about the controversial 2013 Constitution, which many continue to criticise as being a regime exercise.

Two leaders have been taken in for questioning already this morning –
NFP’s Biman Prasad, and former trade unionist, Attar Singh,

Arrested: NFP leader Biman Prasad

who was escorted from his Samubula home in Suva by CID officers about an hour ago.

Police picked up NFP leader, Biman Prasad, soon after.
Two other leaders are being sought – incoming SODELPA Party leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, and Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry.
The Pacific Dialogue’s Forum on the Constitution was apparently held without a permit.
The forum was held on Fiji’s Constitution Day, a public

Rabuka: panellist at forum

holiday.

Chaudhry: panellist at forum

Just ten people are believed to have been at the forum.

Lawyers are on hand to assist Singh and Prasad but they could be in custody until Monday.
Details are still emerging but the leaders being targeted by police today were all panellists at the forum except for who Singh was just in the audience.

The family of those arrested are keeping calm but obviously concerned about the safety of those who’ve been taken in.

The 2013 Constitution was two years in the making and was signed into law in September that year with the so-called ‘free elections’ following in October 2014.

There was wide criticism at the time of the Constitution being drafted and parts of it continue to be challenged, namely the provisions that allow coup perpetrators who are in government today absolute and unconditional immunity from the 2006 coup and the abrogation of the Constitution in 2009.

The regime Constitution cemented the illegal decrees it manufactured in 2009 and 2010 to allow Frank Bainimarama and other coup perpetrators and supporters to stay in power.

The 2013 Constitution further protects the regime masters by stating that their immunity or the decrees cannot be reviewed, amended, altered or appealed or revoked.

Etched in many minds are the pictures of a tearful Dr Yash Ghai, the international Constitution law expert who’d brought in to run the consultations after police confiscated his drafts and burnt the printer’s proofs in front of him.

Bainimarama threw out Ghai’s draft saying it harked to the past and brought in his own version.

Police burn printer’s proofs of Yash Ghai Constitution draft
http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2013/01/pictures-of-fijis-draft-constitution.html

source – C4.5; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

Release them, says Amnesty International

September 11, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Update: 11:53AM FIJIANS should be free to openly discuss their supreme law and even criticise without fear of reprisals, says Amnesty International.

The organisation said this in a statement late Saturday night.

Amnesty International’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific, Rafendi Djamin called for the unconditional release of the five men detained by police for allegedly uttering comments at a panel discussion earlier this week.

Police are interviewing Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka, National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad, trade unionist Attar Singh, former politician and academic Dr Tupeni Baba.

The fifth person named in the Amnesty International statement as being detained is Jone Dakuvula from a civil society organisation.

Source – FijiTimes; Posted by Mere Varani for SWM

Davis email blasts ‘cocksucker’ Fiji Sun

September 10, 2016

A leaked email sent to Coupfourpointfive confirms what is the

talanoa around the grog bowls – the Fiji Sun is a puppet of Government and is expected to obey the commands of its master at all times – especially when it receives financial support in the form of exclusive advertising believed to be worth $5 million annually.

It should not be forgotten that this is not Frank Bainimarama or Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s money, but the dollars of taxpayers.

The email sent to C4.5 reveals Government propagandist Graham Davis acted like he was bleeding profusely when the Fiji Sun did not run on its front page a news story about the Climate Change discussions between Frank Bainimarama and the Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness, Patricia Scotland,  during a meeting at the United Nations in April.

In an email on 25th April to Fiji Sun publisher Peter Lomas (Government bootlicker since 2009!), Davis laments the fact that the newspaper did not headline the climate change story, unlike other news media.

Davis snivels that it is a particular shame that a disappointed Bainimarama had returned to Fiji from New York expecting to see the Fiji Sun headline climate change story on its front page.

In what can only be seen as behaving in an idiotic fashion, Davis whinges about the paper for its coverage of well-known lawyer, Richard Naidu, NFP leader Biman Prasad and SODELPA, albeit ‘adverse publicity’, in its Coconut Wireless column.

Davis tells Lomas that no one believes them and that the Sun gives undue publicity to the trio, especially Naidu and his 1,411 Twitter followers.  He writes that he had explained this to ‘Jyoti’ (Jyoti Pratibha) and yet this has continued. He says the attacks just makes readers sympathise with the ‘Government opponents’.

Davis adds he is deeply concerned about the Fiji Sun being labelled as having zero credibility or ‘cocksucker’ by people around Suva.

He tells Lomas the Sun will have credibility if it continues to support the Government’s reform programs – conveniently forgetting that the Fiji Sunis being labelled (in his words) a ‘cocksucker’, precisely because it acts as a puppet of Government.

Davis then forwards the email to a select group of people (the identities of the recipients were blocked out in the email received by us) and says while Lomas will be upset by his comments, the AG concurs with his sentiments!

He also tells certain recipient that he was meeting Lomas to discuss the issue in detail and advises the recipient(s) to delete the email because of the confidential nature of the message.

The fact that top brass of the Fiji Sun allows itself to be dictated to by Government or its agents like Graham Davis confirms the paper’s zero credibility, its absolute loyalty and support to Government at the expense of blackout of coverage to Government’s critics – even if it means violating ethics and fairness.

source – C4.5posted by Mere Varani for SWM

Flag to remain unchanged as Fiji Times is accused of ‘inciting communal antangonism’

August 19, 2016

Accused fronting in court

We might be celebrating our first Gold medal at the Olympics but the charging of the Fiji Times and four individuals for ‘inciting communal antagonism’ is a reminder that life under decrees is not so golden.

The paper, three of its news officials and a letter writer for its itaukei supplement, Nai Lalakai, have been charged under section 65 (2) (a) (i) and section 53 (1) of the Crimes Decree.

It’s alleged the group incited antagonism against Muslims in the following article published on 27 April:

“Ko ira na Musulomani era sega ni taukei kei Viti, sai ira nai lawalawa oqo era a curu botea na vanua eso ka dua vei ira ko Bangladesh mai Idia, kara vei vakamatei kina, kucuvi na nodra yalewa, ra vakararawataki na gone me yacova sara nira sa lewa ka sa nodra tu edaidai”

source – c4.5; posted by Mere Varani for SWM

Magistrate ruling on Bala dangerous driving charge appalling

July 27, 2016

Praveen Bala: let off for dangerous driving causing death

A man is killed but the magistrate lets him off because ‘the Prosecution fails to make a case.’

Praveen Bala has been acquitted of the 2013 charge of dangerous driving causing death, but can never in all conscience say he had nothing to do with the demise of Puna Chand.

The court transcript shows that Bala, who is now Local Government Minister, was at the scene and fingered for the dangerous driving, but was acquitted because Fiji police failed to put him in the driver’s seat sufficient enough to satisfy Magistrate Rangajeeva Wimalasena.

Bala has been quoted as saying ‘people know about the truth and now the truth has been said the people will understand’, but he is kidding himself.

There are too many irregularities in this protracted case plus a very strong whiff of a cover up, including the appalling ruling that Puna Chand’s death had nothing to do with being hit by Bala’s car, for this to ever go away for Bala.

The case is also another example of the injustice Fiji citizens are enduring under the hands of the so-called utopia created by Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

source – c4.5; posted by mere varani for swm

PM’s worry…..and he should be

July 15, 2016

PRIME Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama says he’s a bit worried about continuing with development projects in the Northern Division because a lot of voters there didn’t vote for the FijiFirst party in the recent general election.

While addressing government officials and some villagers at Naulumatua House in Nabouwalu, Bua yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said a lot of people didn’t want developments to take place in their respective settings, prompting them to vote for SODELPA (Social Democratic Liberal Party).

Accompanied by wife, Mary and Labour Minister Jioje Konrote and some government officials, this was Mr Bainimarama’s first official tour of the North after the election.

“Dua na i wiliwili levu ni koro e Vanua Levu e ra sega ni vinakata na veivakatorocaketaki baleta ni ra sega ni digitaka na FijiFirst. E ra a digitaka ga na SODELPA (A high number of villages on Vanua Levu don’t want developments because they didn’t choose FijiFirst. They only chose SODELPA).”

Mr Bainimarama said such voters only wanted the restoration of the GCC and discussions about the church but they didn’t want free bus fare, among other developments and incentives his government had provided for the people of Fiji.

“That’s the bit that I am worried about right now, whether we should continue with developments or not in Vanua Levu.”

However, Mr Bainimarama said this would be an inclusive government.

“This will be an inclusive government as I have said earlier but at the same time, we’ll have to be worried about those people who don’t want developments. Let’s not shove developments down their throats.”

He added development projects tabled out by the Commissioner Northern were basically the government’s but unfortunately, a lot of people in the North didn’t want them.

Mr Bainimarama said they would have to relook at the list of developments and prioritise those who needed them in the North.

Meanwhile, Mr Bainimarama and his entourage will attend the FijiFirst party’s thanksgiving church service at Labasa’s Subrail Park today.

source  – FT; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

Man relives ordeal

July 15, 2016

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, July 14, 2016

ONE of the three men caught allegedly cultivating marijuana by a team of police and military officers in 2009 says he still does not understand why they were tortured and then forced to walk for six hours to a village to be transported to hospital.

He also claimed the security forces team used racially derogatory remarks while torturing him because they thought he was a Fijian of Indian descent. Jim Kusi, a resident of Sigatoka, claimed he still had trouble sleeping because of the trauma invoked by the combined police and military squad.

“I had already admitted to them that we were looking after the farm and we were all prepared to go and face court over any charges but what they did to us that evening is something I will never forget,” the 47-year-old shared.

“It was sometime in June. Because we were up in the highlands, we had no idea there was an operation to sweep for drug farms. Around dusk as we were preparing to have tea, about seven or eight men attacked us.”

“All we could see was police and military uniforms as they began punching and kicking us and using sticks to poke us,” Mr Kusi alleges.

“I was expecting to get a beating because of what we were doing, but what I did not expect was for one of the police officers to pour the boiling water from the kettle over my body.

“And while I was screaming in pain, they poked sticks into my back and were laughing as they did it. They must have thought I was Indian because they used very foul language against my mother and kept saying they were doing it because I was a ‘kai dia’.”

Mr Kusi alleged he and the other two victims were tied up like animals as the beating continued.

“One of the men used burning ember to burn off my long hair while the others laughed. After that they tied our hands together and made us walk for six hours to a village.

“We were taken to hospital and kept isolated from other patients. While I was in hospital, a man came to me with some papers.

“He said they had the right to kill me and do whatever they wanted with me because I was growing drugs.

“He forced me to sign some papers and then I never saw him again,” he claimed.

Mr Kusi spent a few weeks in hospital recovering from severe burns, cuts to his back and bruising all over his body before being released. He now stays at home and looks after his four young children.

Source FT; Posted by W.Varani for SWM