On the 3rd June Fiji TV carried this headline :BREAKING NEWS : Freedom of Travel curtailed for Fiji Law Society Woman LawyerTupou Draunidalo , Fiji Law Society VP was prevented from leaving Nadi Airport by Fiji's Gestapo . She was told she is on the Fiji (Gestapo) Watchlist, subsequently stopped by Immigration and unable to fly out to her law conference. Tupou was to attend a Law Asia Conference in her capacity as the only official representative of the Fiji Law Society."
Then on the 4th of June , she was told the shamozzle was a "mix-up".
The Military Regime viewed this woman as a threat to national security only because she spoke out against the regime .
Such sensitive souls !
Legal eagle opinion is : if the Emergency Regulations are really lifted (a) there should be NO "watch-list", (b) Immigration authorities have no power to stop people from leaving the country just by saying so - they need a COURT ORDER people !!!!!!!!!
So remember your rights, as this pretentious and childish "list" should not be even in existence !
The only reason she was let go was because it hit the media and became an embarrassing hot kumala for the ruling pretenders. On 1st of June , Prof. Brij Lal says it like it really is :
NO GUARANTEE OF FREEDOM:
BRIJ LAL ON THE LIFTING OF EMERGENCY LAWS
"A leading historian and an architect of Fiji's constitution says it's still not clear which way Frank Bainimarama is steering the island nation.
His comments follow revelations last night that the State of Emergency regulations on the island have now been lifted.
Lal says it's been almost six months since the coup and Fiji has not moved ahead.
He says the only thing clear at this stage, is the determination of the military to control locals. Locals have just this week complained about the continuing reign of terror by the military as it determinedly pursues critics who speakout against them. Just last week two lawyers, who're challenging the interim government's decision to suspend the Great Council of Chiefs, were taken in for questioning. "
FICAC ALSO PLAY'S LET'S PRETEND
Wise Fellow blogger , "Rerevaka Na Kalou, Ka Doka Na Tui" , (http://fuggedaboutit.wordpress.com/) said on his/her Blog Site May 31st :
" In case you were wondering where we are heading, this week has seen some interesting revelations and developments on the legal front. From Dr Sahu Kahn’s paper presented to the Fiji Law Society as reported on Hyde n Seek blog, to Graham Everett Leung’s argument that FICAC’s New Zealand lawyer Grant Tyrell is not permitted to practice law in Fiji . This is due to the fact that he has not passed the Fiji bar exam or been issued with a temporary Practicing Certificate by the Fiji Law Society. "
MR LEUNG CALLS THE ILLEGAL REGIME'S BLUFF
In representing his client Abbas Ali on charges of corruption by FICAC, Leung dropped an even bigger bombshell by questioning the legality of the President’s promulgation of the formation of FICAC in the absence of Parliament and the Senate. "
FICAC boss appointment queried abroad1710 FJT
Monday, June 04, 2007
"THE appointment of Mah Weng Kwai as Commissioner of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) is being questioned by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
The association has written to the LAWASIA secretariat seeking to clarify Mr Kwai's appointment with Fiji's interim government in light of the stand made by LAWASIA on the situation here. Mr Weng is the president of LAWASIA.
Lawyers in Hong Kong say they will make a stand on Mr Kwai's acceptance of the invitatiion to be head of FICAC. He is expected to be asked to step down."
ILLEGAL REGIME WITH A PERSONAL VENDETTA
Fellow Blogger Tresdesabuse says in regards to the "apolitical" directive.
"I couldn't believe my ears when I was told about a circular distributed to all government entities with the directive to no longer use Fiji's most experienced legal giants - Munro Leys and Howards!
A directive such as this is a classic example of the bullying tactics this current regime resorts to when its caught between a rock and a hard place. And that is putting it quite mildly.
These two firms combined include some of the most brilliant legal minds in the country. Lawyers who are willing to stand up for what they believe. Lawyers who make known their honest interpretation of the rule of law because it is their forte.
We now not only have an illegal regime - we have an illegal regime with a personal vendetta! "___________
But the public knows that these 2 firms hold the brilliant minds and collective wisdom of Messrs. Leung, Madraiwiwi, Apted and Naidu . And this illegal regime has much to be afraid of from these wonderful gentlemen. The whole country is behind you guys, so you go you good things !
LETS PRETEND THERE REALLY IS NO ISSUE ON THE LAND ISSUE :
Speaking of INCITEMENT - a very interesting article JUNE 1st Fiji Times, raises a VERY interesting question . A question which shows that this illegal regime has an alternate and very devious agenda - and another reason why we should NOT TRUST this illegal regime.
NZ lawyer queries military over Dr Sahu Khan commentsA NEW ZEALAND lawyer, who fled the country last week, is questioning why the military did not take any action against Ba lawyer Dr Shamsudin Sahu Khan when he floated the idea that native land not used by landowners be returned to the State.______________
Janet Mason says despite a State of Emergency warning against incitement, the military took no action against Dr Sahu Khan for his comments, according to a report by Pacific writer Michael Field.
Ms Mason says when lawyers Kitione Vuataki and Savenaca Komaisavai, who are representing the Great Council of Chiefs over its suspension, questioned the paper, the military accused them of inciting the indigenous people and hauled them into their barracks for questioning.
Ms Mason, who worked with the two lawyers in the GCC case against the interim regime, found that curious.
''If Dr Sahu Khan has recently presented this paper without being detained for inciting instability then I would have imagined that, for instance, I should be free to present alternative views at workshops around the country without fear of being detained,'' she said.
The New Zealand lawyer fled the country after she and her husband were robbed in their Lautoka home. "
Additionally another comment on why we should all be concerned comes from blogger Hyde n Ceek says :
"HnC belives that Sahu Khan intends to use the same arguments he used in his report to try and justify the unrestricted use and enjoyment of the seas, rivers and reefs in Fiji by all races (which is already guaranteed under the Qoliqoli Bill anyway) to hoodwink the military regime into allowing for an amendment to the land laws to allow all races the unrestricted right to own land in Fiji, including native land.
These are however HnC’s views, and you are encouraged… you are INCITED, to make up your own minds."____________
LET'S PRETEND THE EMERGENCY REGULATIONS ARE LIFTED
We all know this is all a smokescreen for the EU - nothing has changed - "suspected bloggers" are still being taken up the camp for dental work examination. The gestapo watch list is still there. There are witch hunts going on and personal vendetta's being waged still (latest victim is Meo - another story)Blogger Hyde & Ceek said this on the lifting of the so called Emergency Regulations, June 1st, 2007:
"Like everyone else, HnC was elated at the news that the Public Emergency Regulations has been lifted, but has been weary of King Bai and the empty promises he has made in the past.
History has shown that at the the day this is a man that cannot be trusted.
HnC and will therefore wait for his legal sources to analyse the full implications and effect of the lifting of the Decree before commenting further.
Unfortunately for King Bai, pro-democracy bloggers will not simply just go away because he has taken one step in the right direction. He should have taken that step months ago.
The principles of good governance and transparency require that he and his illegal administration should now explain to the public what has exactly has changed in Fiji’s security situation since last month or the months before that.
Was there a threat to national security that existed last month which no longer exists now? I think not. We all knew the only threat to national security was the internal threat within the military.
Whatever Bai, Lewensky and Khaiyum have been saying these past few months, the Public Emergency Decree was never about protecting the general public. It has always been about protecting the military from itself.
HnC’s immediate response to the “good news” therefore is one of scepticism.
The battle rages on between those that support democracy and those who wish to destroy it.
The only difference King Bai’s announcement last night has made is to confirm that the rules of engagement have changed.
I will leave you, for now, with this thought provoking dilema:-
King Bai has publicly confirmed that in the absence of the Public Emergency Regulations, he and his illegal IG will ensure “strict compliance” (taki mada) with the Public Order Act.
Under the Public Order Act, any person will be guilty of an offence if he or she: incites violence and disobedience of law; incites racial antagonism; disturbs public peace; holds public gatherings without a permit; maliciously fabricates or knowingly spreads or publishes whether by writing or by word of mouth any false news or false reports to create or foster public alarm and anxiety; and acts in a manner prejudicial to public safety or to the peace and good order of Fiji.
He was of course referring to "trouble makers" like us. "
LETS PRETEND WE ARE NOT CHASING THE BLOGGERS
As an aside to the subject of Bloggers and the statement a couple weeks ago by thick-skinned Driti that they weren't bothered by Bloggers - Hah ! Another Lie - ragone, I tell you they really really want to find us and KILL us !
So much for the lifting of "emergency regulations".
This merely shows the actions of a regime uncomfortable with it's own actions !
Fiji military threatens scholarships of anti-regime bloggers at USPRead more on this subject at fellow Bloggers site : http://fijifreespeech.info/
31 May, 2007 UTC
The Fiji military has warned students at the University of the South Pacific that if they are responsible for contributing to the blog spots their Fijian Affairs Board scholarships will be terminated.
The Fijilive news website quotes the land force commander, Col Pita Driti, as saying that the students will be tracked down.
The news site says it understands that several students were questioned by the army on Tuesday.
It says a senior administration officer of the Public Service Commission has also been questioned by army officers in relation to anti-army and anti-regime blogs.
There has been a proliferation of websites about Fiji politics since the military coup in December "
LETS PRETEND MR & MRS QARASE ARE FREE TO TRAVEL
Back to Hyde & Ceek's comments :
"Unfortunately for Bai, the Public Order Act also says that any person who takes or administers an oath to commit an offence punishable by death (treason is punishable by death) is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life (section 5)… and if the oath relates to any other offence not punishable by death, in particular to engage in any mutinous or seditious enterprise, or to be a member of any association, society or confederacy formed for that purpose, or to obey the orders or commands of any committee of body of men not lawfully constituted, or of any leader or commander or other person not having authority by law, then that person is liable on conviction to imprisonment for not more than 7 years (section 6)Another Blogger called KuitaMada said :
Now that we know all that, HnC and indeed the rest of Fiji would like to know whether King Bai will stand by his words and arrest himself and everyone in the IG for breaching sections 5 and 6 of the Public Order Act.
Let’s test how authentic the relaxing of the Public Emergency Regulation is.
Can the SDL people tell Qarase and Leba to leave Mavana and travel freely to Suva as free citizens of Fiji!
If Frank’s coup clux clan or the ahhh spokesman say otherwise, then all this fan-fare about the lifting of PER is bullshit and should be re-branded as Public Emergency Rubbish.
International travel advisories should watch very closely and review only when our local political prisoners, Qarase and Leba, are released from Mavana."
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, we’ll see exactly what this means over the coming weeks.
Especially if Qarase is to return for his court case. I have no doubt the military is still very much on the prowl and I would say none of us here are quite willing to publicly announce ourselves to put it to the test. I’m with HnC on this one, they’ve only done this because they were forced to by international pressure and the plunging economy, it wasn’t because they wanted to do it.
I see no change in Vore’s attitude nor any inclination of wanting to turn things around, those wiser heads which lama is talking about would be better off planning on how to get rid of him before the younger hot heads lose patience or wise up to the real reasons behind this coup. He’s taken us to ransom with his guns, bound, blindfolded and gagged us, now he’s saying well lets remove the blindfold, you can all be thankful now…I said be thankful…cmon BE THANKFUL!!! errr…no thanks._________
LETS PRETEND THAT LAUAN'S SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT
A correspondent who was at the meeting emailed me the following comments:
"Put Fiji first, the Lauans were asked on Wednesday 30th of May by RokoUluilakeba Mara and Ratu Josefa Basulu"
"Without any respect, humbleness or apologies for what he personally has inflicted on his fellow countrymen, this was the gist of what young Mara said to us Lauans that day :_____________
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara would have turned in his grave ! What an utter embarrassment to our chiefs this was ! Bubu did say in one of her blogs "to earn respect, you have to give it, young man !" Sa ka dina sara. Whilst we of the old school respect the traditional institutions of chiefdomship and all the the stewardship this entails, we still very much reserve our judgement on the caliber and moral character of our leaders. The same applies to this young man. While we nodded and looked very pleased to see him and to hear him, he was an embarrassment to our people, and RokoUlui does not carry any mana with us, nor does he command our respect.
- - to come up with resolutions in the national interest and to make decisions based on the agenda of the province instead of individuals
- - their primary role is to provide support and assistance to the government development programs in the province
- - to help advise Government so that the people of Lau could enjoy a better standard of living
- - stressed the importance of good leadership and governance in provincial development so that corruption could be eradicated from society as corruption robbed leaders of the decency of their humanity and in turn denied the people access to development as resources would be squandered and wasted
He may be a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army, he may be in a line of hereditary chiefs, he may be many other things, but when he stood there and had the temerity to tell us what we should be doing knowing that he DOES NOT LEAD BY EXAMPLE, we knew where this would lead ! You see, starting with what he told us, I asked the following of my fellow participants over a session :
Q: what resolutions and what decisions based on the vanua has HE taken for us ?
A: NONE - all his decisions have been personal to him
Q : if the province is to advise government to help the people, did he or Ratu Basulu the puppet take the advice of the province ?
A: Not at all . In fact they have ignored the good governance practises that Qarase did help in laying down for us.
Q : Good Leadership and governance under RokoUlui ?
A: Under Qarase , yes . He was doing a lot of good things for Fiji. The Qoliqoli Bill was good for the itaukei. The affirmative action programmes were going to enable the itaukei to get on a more equal footing with the indians in business. This was going to be good for us. What has Ului EVER done for his province, island or his village ? NOTHING Why doesn't Ului declare all HIS interests - like Ului's interests in the army rentals via the Ministry of Finance to Niranjan's to Ului's back pocket. This young man is also very immoral. He sleeps around on his wife and has many affairs . Why should we even begin to trust a man that can lie to his wife and cheat and steal other people's women ? WHAT ELSE IS HE LYING ABOUT ? "
LETS PRETEND THE COUP WAS ALL ABOUT CLEANING UP AND NOT ABOUT LAND AGENDA'S
And June 1st saw a very interesting article by Michael Field , a Pacific based journalist, very experienced and respected in his field, who had this to say about the latest developments in our beloved land :
Land grab behind Fiji's coup?
By MICHAEL FIELD - Fairfax Media | Friday, 1 June 2007
A couple of big balaclava wearing men break into a lawyer's home and a day later two other lawyers are hauled into military custody.
Coincidence, or is something more sinister afoot in military ruled Fiji where there are emerging signs that its latest coup is leading to a battle over land and race, yet again.
Wellington lawyer Janet Mason, whose husband Roger McDonald was bashed over the head during the break-in of her Fiji home, is cautious a political connection.
Like the two lawyers grabbed by the military, Ms Mason advises the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), suspended in April by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
He staged his coup last December wanting to end what he claimed was a corrupt government while issuing a vague manifesto on a new multicultural society.
Ms Mason and Fijian lawyers Mr Kitione Vuataki and Mr Savenaca Komaisavai, hauled into custody, represent chiefs who are challenging in the High Court the suspension of the GCC. They have named interim Fijian Affairs Minister Epeli Ganilau and Mr Bainimarama as respondents.
An influential figure in the new regime, academic lawyer and military appointed chair of the Electoral Commission, Dr Shamsud Sahu Khan, wants land laws scrapped.
After bitter tribal wars, Fiji's rulers petitioned Britain to annex the islands, achieved in 1874 with the signing of the Deed of Cession signed between representatives of Queen Victoria and the Fijian chiefs.
Part of the deed states: "That the absolute proprietorship of all lands not shown to be now alienated so as to have become bona fide the property of Europeans or other foreigners or not now in the actual use or occupation of some Chief or tribe or not actually required for the probable future support and maintenance of some chief or tribe shall be and is hereby declared to be vested in Her said Majesty her heirs and successors."
Under Fiji's three constitutions, indigenous land, about 90 per cent of all land, cannot be sold. Ethnic Indians, mostly descendants of indentured labourers imported by sugar plantations, cannot buy land.
Dr Khan's argument was that Fijians are not entitled to this protection. Land should be state owned.
"There have been a lot of assumptions and practices which may not have been correct from the legation standpoint," Dr Khan said.
"In my submissions it is very seriously questionable as to how as now claimed that some 85 per cent to 90 per cent of the lands in Fiji are native land. This certainly raises very important legal and constitutional issues that need to be properly addressed by all concerned now."
Land had been transferred to "the indigenous Fijians to the exclusion of all other races who comprise more than 50 per cent of the population of Fiji..."
Fiji last had a census in 1996 when it found that 51 per cent were indigenous and its Bureau of Statistics estimated that last December the number had risen to 55 per cent.
Despite a State of Emergency warning against incitement, the military took no action when Dr Khan floated his idea.
When Mr Vuataki and Mr Komaisavai questioned the paper, the military accused them of inciting the indigenous people and hauled them into their barracks for questioning.
Ms Mason found that curious.
"If Mr Sahu Khan has recently presented this paper without being detained for inciting instability then I would have imagined that, for instance, I should be free to present alternative views at workshops around the country without fear of being detained...
"My concern is that this is meant to be an interim (caretaker) government - they have not been elected - as such, I think it is highly inappropriate that such far-reaching policy changes are being proposed."
Ms Mason says Dr Khan's paper had very little analysis in it and no understanding of the significant amount of jurisprudence in the common law aboriginal title area.
"There is not even a mention of the Mabo case -where the Australian High Court went to great lengths to overturn the reliance on the doctrine of terra nullius - essentially the idea that there were vast areas of "wasteland" that no-one owned as such land was not actively "used" - the courts held that such a view was now outdated as we now know that indigenous peoples had intricate systems and rules and regulations over such land."
Ms Mason, who is of Fijian heritage, believes the indigenous would be overwhelmingly against Dr Khan's proposals. In the current political climate "this would create certain problems of themselves - there would also be a rather strong reaction from indigenous Fijians."
Ms Mason, a public and constitutional law expert with her own Wellington practice, Pacific Law, was last week in Fiji on the GCC case. Staying in Lautoka she and her husband were disturbed by intruders who grabbed her laptop computer but left her files alone. Her husband was hit over the head with a heavy torch and a brief struggle followed.
"There was blood throughout the house. The bigger guy who hit him managed to get away and he ran after him through the house.
"It was like a murder scene with blood everywhere. It was a horrible experience."
Home invasions are common in Fiji but Ms Mason pointed to a number of differences in her case: "It's very difficult to say the motivation. I have no proof either way."
Lautoka police have made no arrests in the case or recovered the property.
Mr Vuataki's crime in military eyes was to question Dr Khan paper and noted that the last time the GCC had been suspended, for six years from 1904, the indigenous people had lost 200,000 acres of land.
"We are going to court because we don't want to lose any more land like the 200,000 acres with the suspension of the GCC," he said.
After spending two days in military custody he was freed and announced he would be more careful over what he said in future.
Military appointed Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the lawyer's detention was in respect of allegations of incitement.
"All citizens including lawyers should they breach the law or have allegations of breaches shall be investigated and questioned," he said.
"Miss Mason is unfortunately taking liberties from across the Pacific, in terms of relaying the truth.
"There's absolutely no intimidation of lawyers who are representing various clients of theirs in constitutional matters."
In January prominent corporate lawyer Richard Naidu was seized from his Suva home at night and detained by soldiers for several hours. An outspoken critic of the military he never said publicly what happened and is now silent on the regime.
Fiji's first two coups that were staged by Sitiveni Rabuka against a fear by indigenous Fijians that Indians were taking over the country. He overthrew an Indian dominated government. He lost power in 1999 when Indian Mahendra Chaudhry won an election.
In 2000 an extreme indigenous group - personified by mixed blood George Speight - overthrew Chaudhry. Ironically Bainimarama, who had declared martial law at the time, did not restore Chaudhry to power and eventually an indigenous government won two elections.
Although Bainimarama is Fijian, the key actors in his regime now are mostly Indian and, oddly, Muslim. Dr Khan and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum are in-laws, the military's lawyer, Colonel Mohammed Aziz, is occasionally tipped to head the army while in the judiciary the indigenous Chief Justice, Daniel Fatiaki, was sacked after a small group of judges, headed by Justice Nazhat Shameem, advised that he be sacked.
Fiji is slipping toward an ethnic conflict with the prize being the land in a country that once billed itself as the way the world should be.
LETS PRETEND WE ARE ON TRACK WITH THE PRETEND ROADMAP TO DEMOCRACYFinally , just one of the many many articles on the fact that the world is still watching Fiji and the utterances of the Dicktator, read this article :
'Fiji coup still a problem'
Australia has welcomed Fiji's lifting its state of emergency but warns comments from Commander Bainimarama are worrying.
Fiji on Thursday night lifted state of emergency regulations that curtailed many liberties, including freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
The move came just hours before a deadline imposed by the European Union.
An agreement between Fiji and the European Union stated the emergency regulations had to be lifted before the end of May or Fiji could lose about $F400 million ($A297 million) in aid funding.
Bainimarama cautioned that even though the emergency declaration was lifted, people creating unrest could still be "investigated, arrested and charged" by the Fiji Police Force.
Australia welcomed the lifting of the state of emergency.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said in a statement today it expected Fiji would now cease arresting, detaining and questioning Fiji civilians.
It urged the immediate cessation of human rights abuses.
The DFAT statement said Australia was concerned at recent comments by Bainimarama that the military did not conduct last December's coup "just to have another election".
"Bainimarama's comments are deeply worrying. They are contrary to Fiji's undertakings to the (Pacific Islands) Forum and its commitments to the EU to hold credible elections by 1 March 2009.
"They also contradict Bainimarama's statement on 3 May that he was committed to a quick return to democracy," the statement said.
Fiji's Foreign Minister Winston Peters also welcomed the lifting of the state of emergency.
"This is a good first step on the road back to constitutional government, but it is only a first step and should bring to an end the abuses of human rights witnessed ever since the coup," Peters said.
Despite the lifting of the state of emergency, Fiji's land force commander, Colonel Pita Driti has said in recent days that students who contribute to anti-government weblogs on the internet would be tracked down and could lose their scholarships.
Australia and NZ have not changed its travel advice to people heading to Fiji, but said the information was under constant review.