"A lack of transparency and public accountability in relation to the Fiji Military Force's Budgets has remained a major point of contention between the Government's auditor and the military. From the mid-1990's the Auditor General had been trying to get access to a particular fund in the military called the regimental fund that allegedly runs into many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The military has resisted the auditing of this fund, even though the Auditor-General took the military to court. The 2000 terrorist uprising, and the rise of the military influence in and outside government, saw the Auditor General focus shift from auditing these funds, but in August 2003, the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that the Auditor-General had the authority to audit the regimental funds."(Ref: Halapua, W, 2003, Tradition, Lotu & Militarianism in Fiji, Fiji Institute of Applied Science, Lautoka, p57.)
Qarase's Government was prevented by these two from investigating this .
ACT 2 : THE REAL REASON FOR THE COUP
Hughes Pushing for Sedition Charges (Fiji Live - November 28, 2006)
Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes, Fiji's Police Commissioner says it would be a weak decision if prosecutors decided not to lay sedition charges against the military commander to avoid a possible confrontation.
Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is considering laying sedition charges against Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who has threatened to stage a military coup. As well as sedition, police investigation files include allegations of plotting to overthrow the government and unlawful seizure of ammunition.
Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the DPP should not recommend that charges be laid."All it is doing is putting a red rag in front of a bull and the bull has 4,000 guns,. We are just about ready to crash into a brick wall and, in order to avoid that, I reckon evasive and extreme methods need to be taken," " Beddoes told ABC Radio.
But Hughes said he would be furious if the DPP followed the course of action recommended by Beddoes. "I think that would be a weak decision. We need to stand up to this sort of conduct," he told ABC Radio.
"No one is above the law. It seems to me that based on what he's (Bainimarama) been saying that he regards himself as above the law."
Hughes said if charges were laid, Commodore Bainimarama would be issued with a court summons. "The arrest scenario is one that is problematic because he normally accompanies himself with up to 25 fully armed military guards. We are an unarmed police force, we are not able to effect a usual arrest," he said.
There are fears Commodore Bainimarama is committed to staging Fiji's fourth coup in 20 years. Hughes said it was out of his hands. "If he (Bainimarama) continues to escalate this, there is an end game. "I don't want to see that end game arise, but it's mostly in his court," Hughes said
ACT 3 : ORDINARY FIJI WORKERS LOSE OUT (TV ONE - Dec 13, 2006)
Coup costing Fiji tourism millions : Fiji's coup is costing the country $1.3 million a day in lost tourism dollars. Almost deserted holiday resorts are being forced to slash their prices by 40% and cut local staff in a desperate bid to stem cancellations.ACT 4 : MURDER OF CITIZENS AND OPPRESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
One Resort owner was a bit stressed and says the current situation is pretty tough. "We were empty for a long time, but we have actually got one guest right now. He is an American diver. He doesn't know much about what is happening in Fiji, just as well," It's politically motivated. They're trying to get the previous government back in and it is not going to happen," he says.
At this time of year his resort should be at least half full, but 150 people have already cancelled this month. He has had to chop all casual staff and trim people's hours. But there's still a team of 25 at the resort"
Army under scrutiny after second death (MICHAEL FIELD - The Press 28 Feb,2007)
The Fijian military is facing new claims of thuggery after the death of a second person, allegedly at the hands of soldiers Sakiusa Rabaka Ligaiviu, a 19-year-old student, died this week from injuries he suffered in a beating by soldiers on January 28.
His mother, Alanieta Rabaka, said he underwent surgery to remove blood clots from the brain on February 16 and returned home a week later. She said since the assault her son had not been feeling well. He collapsed on Saturday night at his home. Alanieta Rabaka told the Fiji Times she did not know why the military had picked up her son in the first place. "As soon as he walked out of the house, six soldiers and a police officer picked him and two other friends. "The soldiers took them up to the Black Rock Reservoir and made them strip naked. After that they told them to carry sacks of sand. And during all this, the soldiers were beating them up," Rabaka said. He was the second person to die following a beating at the hands of the military. Another man, Nimilote Verebasaga, died last month while in military custody. No arrests have been made in either case.
Military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni would not discuss the issue yesterday other than to say investigations were under way. Meanwhile, Fiji's police commissioner, Australian Andrew Hughes, says he fled the country in December because his family was about to be kidnapped and held for ransom.
Hughes escaped from Fiji with then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase as the latter was flown from Nadi aboard an RNZAF Boeing 757 for an ill-fated meeting at Government House in Wellington with holidaying Fiji military head Commodore Frank Bainimarama.
The meeting failed and Bainimarama returned to Suva and staged his coup, imprisoning Qarase on his home island while Hughes, an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer, returned to Canberra.
And the nation's former top cop revealed he left Fiji fearing his family would be kidnapped and held for ransom. At the time the police were strongly challenging the military over the right to import ammunition and the police had begun a since disbanded criminal inquiry into alleged sedition by Bainimarama. "It was pretty intense," Hughes said. "The threat was levelled at me initially and you get that as commissioner ... I wasn't overly concerned about it but it spread to my family and so the family was uplifted very quickly ".
Since the coup, Fiji's military has been rounding up dozens of people and taken them to barracks in Suva and Nadi where rough justice is delivered or people allegedly maltreated in a bid to silence criticism of the coup. Reference is made in particular to a group of activists which included Laisa Digitaki , Virisila Buadromo who were subjected to degrading treatment and sexual harrassment by the Fiji Military.
On Monday, in an interview with Radio New Zealand, Fijian constitutional lawyer Richard Naidu accused the Fijian military of interfering with the judiciary and Fiji's President of being a military puppet. Last night, he was detained by the military for his comments. He has since been released after intervention by the Human Rights Commission and the Attorney-General, but the mesage is clear: the military will not tolerate people criticising or questioning its rule - a fundamental right in a democratic society.ACT 5 : FIJI'S CITIZENS LOSE OUT AGAIN
Meanwhile, there's some unintentional irony in FijiLive's misspelling of a military spokesman's claim that Naidu was detained because his comments were insightful [sic] against public order and simply disrespectful of a person who has shown wisdom.
Clearly, insight into the true nature of the military regime is a crime.
- Lost Revenues on all fronts that have lost us our livelihood and incomes
- Ordinary citizens deemed a threat to security. Oppression and loss of ordinary human rights.
- Relatives overseas being leaned on to support the nation (overseas remittances increase)
- International Credibility down the drain (EU, ADB, Foreign & Human relations)
- Military Junta imprisons citizens from leaving the country, a step reminiscent of the former Soviet Empire
- Discriminatory Raids on Records and loss of corporate and company data - OUTSIDE THE REALM OF PROPER LAWFUL JURISDICTION
- Military Propoganda using threats to mainstream media
- Manipulation of all the bodies we used to hold dear (FNPF Pres's office, Human Rights Comm, Judiciary)
- Emergence of "turncoat mentality " encouraged by the Military
ACT 6 : AFTER 4 MONTHS, A PAY CUT AT GUNPOINT (Forum Comment -17 March 07)
One of the military regime's first moves on seizing office (other than beating and intimidating its critics into silence) was to try and balance the budget. The preferred method for this was by radically dropping the retirement age, reneging on an agreed cost of living adjustment, and slashing public sector pay and conditions. Naturally, the public service wasn't happy with that, and today 92% of the Fiji Public Servants Association voted to go on strike. The other public sector unions are expected to follow suit over the next two weeks - meaning 20,000 public servants will walk off the job, effectively paralysing the government.ACT 7 : FIJI CREDIT RATINGS DOWNGRADED (Radio NZ, 19 March, 2007)
The military (whose wages were not cut) is unlikely to tolerate this. They have claimed that the state of emergency (which they coincidentally extended last week) bars strikes, and claim to have "plans to counter any strike action". Given their past action, this will likely involve detaining and beating strike leaders, or prosecuting them for violating emergency regulations (not that anyone has been prosecuted yet - they've simply been illegally detained and assaulted). But its difficult to see how this will improve the situation - and it could lead to the first real protests against the regime.
Since the coup, the illegal Fijian regime has been struggling to balance the government's books. One of their plans for doing this is to lower the retirement age to 55, allowing them to throw a large number of senior public servants out of work. Another is for a 5% across the board pay cut for the entire public service. Either option would reduce the wage bill, and allow them to continue spending money on the army.
Naturally, the Fiji Public Service Union isn't happy with these plans, and is threatening industrial action. Today, Fiji's (illegal) Attorney-General threatened them back, stating that any industrial action would be seen as "a security issue" under the state of emergency. So, the civil servants will have their pay cut at gunpoint, and if they object, will be detained, beaten and abused for daring to stand up for their rights.
The credit ratings agency Standard & Poors has lowered Fiji’s foreign currency rating from B-plus to B. S&P associate director Kyran Curry says it has also lowered the local credit rating. Mr Curry says the decision reflects the increasing external pressures coupled with a pattern of large current account deficits, despite the Fiji Reserve Bank’s capital controls.ACT 8 : WORKERS OF FIJI BANNED FROM EXPRESSING THEIR RIGHTS : POLICE STOP UNION MEETING - (Fiji Sun March 21 March 07)
Workers say officers used rough tactics : Police prevented a trade union from conducting its annual general meeting yesterday. Officers stepped in at the Suva Civic Centre and ordered hundreds of National Union of Public Workers members to disperse from the AGM venue. Union president Mosese Sova said they were surprised when the police arrived to stop the meeting when it was about to begin. “I told the police officers that I did not have the courage to stop the meeting because members had travelled from all over the country to attend the meeting,” he said. “So they informed the members that the meeting could not proceed because there was no permit.”However, Mr Sova said the union had followed the procedures that allowed it to conduct the AGM.
ACT 9 : KANGAROO COURT (Sydney Morning Herald -30 March, 2007)
Fiji police goes Cap in Hand to talk with (illegal) anti-corruption squadACT 10 : WE CAN'T GET OUR WAY SO WE WILL DO WHAT WE WANT : CHILDISH BEHAVIOUR (NZ Herald and Sydney Morning Herald - April 13, 2007)
Fiji’s acting police commissioner Romano Tikotikoca says the country’s (illegal) Anti-Corruption Unit and police force need to work together, and improve their relationship. The comments come after the head of the (illegal) Anti-Corruption Unit, Nasir Ali, criticised the police, claiming police interfered with his unit’s investigations into alleged corruption at the Public Works Department.
Commissioner Tikotikoca denies any interference with the (illegal) unit’s investigations and says Mr Ali’s criticisms are like the right hand criticising the left hand, because Mr Ali is a police officer himself. He says there needs to be more dialogue and consultation between the police and the (illegal) Anti-Corruption Unit.
(ie... the military USURPING THE POLICE'S RIGHTFUL ROLE IN SOCIETY and bulldozing through their own agenda)
“The (illegal) anti-corruption unit is using their powers vested on them by their virtue of being police officers, on the other hand the commissioner of police men is accountable to all they are doing. We do understand and we have heard (illegal) anti-corruption legislation will be coming into play but at the moment the status quo is such that they are police officers using their powers vested on them as police and we need to work together and help one another..”
Fiji coup leader Frank Bainimarama yesterday suspended Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs - all meetings and scrapped its state funding, dramatically increasing political tensions.
Commodore Bainimarama's move came after a continuing standoff with the traditional chiefs, who refused to endorse the commander's Government and his nominee for vice-president, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, after last year's coup Bainimarama accused the chiefs of meddling in politics and said they had made decisions that were not in the best interests of the people of Fiji. (ie ... BAINIPAJAMAS BEST INTERESTS) "They now constitute a security threat in our efforts to lead the country forward," he said, adding that the (illegal) Government no longer recognised the council's membership.
ACT 11 : THE LEVEL OF FIJI MILITARY MENTALITY (Fiji Sun - April 6, 2007)
Fijian soldier urinates on Japanese woman on Air Pacific flight Friday,
A spokesman for Fiji's international airline Air Pacific said Thursday the company has apologized to a young Japanese woman after a Fijian soldier urinated on her, the Fiji Sun reported. The newspaper said the soldier was returning from peacekeeping duties in Sinai when he flew from Japan to Fiji on March 22.
The Sun said the soldier exposed his private parts to a young female Japanese tourist and urinated on her. Other passengers on the flight were alerted to the incident when the tourist screamed. "The customer was provided with cleansing cloths, antiseptic, a change of clothes from the in-flight duty-free sales materials and together with her traveling companion, were provided compensation," he said.