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Laisenia "The Liar" Qarase Tuesday, April 26, 2005 |

Their he goes again. Poor guy is unable to understand why he is labelled a racist. He finds the the concept alien and abhorrent. Wow! Strong words, Mr. Qarase, but honestly, who are you trying to fool?

Come on Mr. Qarase! The largest group of tax payers, the second largest ethnic group in this country, don't have a representative in your cabinet. The same group virtually has no representative even in your party.

Your reconciliation efforts are all but in name. Prayers as a major part of any reconcilitaion activity does not address the issues at hand. Unfortunately the reconciliation ministry has done nothing but organise more and more prayer days and functions! Frankly it only seeks to pass on the Christian messages and seemingly has a christian agenda.

The Fijian Blueprint scheme only seeks to promote Indig-Fijian interests ahead of other ethnic groups in this country! You take from the major group of tax payers and fill the coffers of Indigneous communities and perhaps your own. The Fijian Blueprint in itself is a racist scheme.

The Education Ministry has waived the fees for all Indigenous Form 7 students in this country. Any real statistical basis for it? Racist!

Your government continues to give Indig-Fijians a priority in hiring and promoting as Civil Servants. Racist!

Your government sets huge quotas for taxi permits to be solely given to Indig-Fijians. Racist!

Your government continues set huge quotas in scholarships for Indig-Fijians. Racist!

There's more where that came from Mr. Qarase. You are nothing but a liar and a racist!

Address racial issues: Qarase
"PRIME Minister Laisenia Qarase told Muslims celebrating Prophet Mohammed's birthday yesterday that he was surprised whenever he was labelled a racist.

Mr Qarase told the gathering that racial issues must be acknowledged and addressed because to not do so would be irresponsible and dangerous.

'While I find the concept of racism alien and abhorrent, I do accept race as a fact of life. This is not the same thing at all,' he said.

He made the comments at the national celebration of Prophet Mohammed's birthday at Govind Park in Ba yesterday.

'When someone points to me or to my Government and says we and our policies are racist, in all honesty I don't know how else I can explain our position,' he said. Mr Qarase said his administration had endeavoured to work for the good of all people in the country.

'We created a new Ministry expressly dedicated to multi-ethnic affairs,' he said.

'In another initiative we made the promotion of national reconciliation and unity an actual priority.

'We genuinely seek an inclusive society, where the views of every community and group are listened to and taken into account.

'My government's aim for Fiji is not to return to where we once were but to journey forward together to a place we have not yet been, a Fiji of lasting peace and harmony, where nobody is left behind or goes without.'"

Qarase & Co. - Playing Dirty! Wednesday, April 20, 2005 |

It must be quite embarrasing when members of the cabinet in current government and senators nominated by them get convicted by a court of law. Despite this, the government and in particular Mr. Qarase continues a his strong support for a couple of convicted criminals! What next?

Well next wasn't too far when both criminals quite conveniently got released to serve their sentences outside. Then yesterday it was revealed by the Attorney General that a bill was going to be introduced to the parliament soon, which if passed would see the Chiefs immuned from prosecution. So the chiefs are above the law now.

When someone like the Military Commander speaks out against the release of the criminals, some useless minister in charge of national security (laughable that such a ministry exists in the country), threatens him to shut up!

Of course Mr Army Commander is right. Their release is indeed a mockery of justice in this country. Does it mean that George Speight & Co. will also soon be released?

The actions of the government, the Commissioner of Prisions leads me to believe that the May 2000 Coup was indeed a success. Just look at all the MP's, Senators and other senior civil servants, reputations tainted by coup related accusations against them. Ratu Naiqama, Ratu Josefa Dimuri, Ratu Jope Seniloli, Viliame Savu, Ratu Rakuita, etc. etc.

Shameless acts like that of this government is exactly why coup like instabilities occur in this country. This government isn't about serving the people, especially the Indig-Fijians, it's about serving themselves and their friends first!

I won't be gagged - Fiji Times Online 20/04/2005
ARMY commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says he will not be gagged if there is a need to speak out on issues of national importance.

He made the comment after Home Affairs Minister Josefa Vosanibola instructed the military chief to be silent on national security issues.

Commodore Bainimarama said if he felt there was a need to address the nation over the military's position on any issue, he would do so.

On Monday, Mr Vosanibola told Commodore Bainimarama that he could face disciplinary action if he continued to make public statements on issues affecting national security.

The row erupted after Commodore Bainimarama criticised the early release from jail of convicted chiefs Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Ratu Josefa Dimuri. The chiefs were sentenced to eight months in jail for their role in the unrest of 2000 but were released after 10 days in custody to serve the rest of their sentence outside.

Commodore Bainimarama said the pair's release made a mockery of the military, the police and judiciary.

He said a statement released to the media on Monday by Mr Vosanibola about their discussion on public statements by the military was one-sided.

"He should also let you know of what I told him. Ask him what I told him," he said.

Commodore Bainimarama said he was surprised Mr Vosanibola was threatening to take action against him for speaking out.

"What course of action is he referring to?" he said. Shortly after Commodore Bainimarama spoke to Mr Vosanibola, the army issued another statement on the release of Ratu Naiqama and Ratu Josefa, this time criticising the action of Commissioner of Prisons Aisea Taoka.

Army spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni said the absolute power given to Mr Taoka, his supervisors and the Minister of Justice should be exercised carefully and not used unilaterally.

"Not on how they want it, but how society will readily accept it," he said.

"Only then can the exercise of such power be seen as fair and just and not open to question by society."

Captain Leweni said society questioned the release of former Vice-President Ratu Jope Seniloli under a compulsory supervision order, Viliame Savu and now Ratu Naiqama and Ratu Josefa, to serve their terms extra-murally.

"There have been a lot of questions on the executive decision in the past few days.

"It appears that they will have to live with their conscience considering the secret forces in place before the actual release.

"Taoka should know that all prisoners, starting with George Speight, Ratu Jope, Savu, Ratu Naiqama, Ratu Jo Dimuri and the ex CRW soldiers, were convicted of various offences relating to the May 2000 upheaval and have something in common.

"He and his minister know fully well that the common factor here was that they were all found guilty of politically motivated crimes and should not therefore be classified as ordinary prisoners," said Captain Leweni.

He said Mr Taoka "tried to wriggle out of this widely accepted view by defining a political prisoner as one who is imprisoned without trial".

The Constitution states that the army commander's role is to "exercise military executive command of the forces, subject to the control of the minister".

Mr Vosanibola had said that this gave him the authority to have a say in the activities of the army.

Church fundraisings! Monday, April 18, 2005 |

Last Saturday as I was driving into Suva via Waimanu Rd., I got caught in a bit of traffic jam just in from of the FM96 building. This is just blocks from one of the busiest parts of Suva for those that don't know. Cause of the traffic jam? A few youths carrying tin cans with coins flanking a minibus driving at perhaps 5 km/hr! Wrapped around the minibus was some kind of banner alluding to some fundraising effort by some church!

This is just nonsense. Why the hell can't the churchs involved direct their fundraising efforts in a less chaos causing manner! This kind of fundraising drives are getting increasingly common. I personally feel these efforts are more begging then fundraising.

It's not just the churches though, that involve themselves in such efforts. Cent-a-vote cards and raffle tickets are commonly used by religious organisations such as Hindus for their "fundraising". Worse still, most of these efforts involve children.

If religious organisations need to raise funds, they ought to do it in a less bothersome. They should not be allowed to use children. Infact the state should outlaw the use of children in such frivolous activities.

Below is an FT (18/04/2005) editorial on the issue...

To give or not to give - Fiji Times Online:
"TITHES and donations are generally accepted as important parts of many faiths.

And it has been increasingly emphasised that these have to depend on the willingness of the people to give what they can afford, rather than what the religious leaders except from them.

As long as members are not forced to contribute against their will, it presents no major concern to religious freedom.

Today a new style of soliciting donations is being witnessed. Some church leader encourage their members to go out and sell tickets to the public in the streets.

Such fundraising drives are within the law if a permit is sought beforehand. But things get out of hand when these people begin to harass members of the public on the streets to donate to the cause. The tickets are thrust into people's faces and they are forced to tick in the boxes how much they must give.

An example of this is what was witnessed at Koronivia outside Nausori where youths stopped traffic to sell their 10-cents-a-vote tickets as part of their fundraising drive for a new church.

In another incident in a street of Suva, a youth from the same church ridiculed a woman because she refused to give him any money.

This is not acceptable and goes against the principle of giving from the heart towards charitable causes.

Many are too embarrassed to refuse when approached in public to give money to religious fundraising. The practice should be stopped because it is tantamount to harassment.

People should be able to be given the choice to give and not be harassed.

Not everyone can afford to donate money because for many, putting food three times a day on the table is a daily struggle. They also have to think about other expenses such as sending their children to school.

The burden of giving to the church has been blamed for holding back the social and economic development of the Fijian community.

Researches reveal that religious donations either willing"

Fiji must admit 2000 coup was wrong: Army - Fiji Times Online |

Fiji must admit 2000 coup was wrong: Army - Fiji Times Online: "THERE will not be any reconciliation in Fiji unless the people recognise that the events of 2000 were wrong, the army says.

Fiji Military Forces Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said he was 'frustrated, disturbed and disappointed' over the release of Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Ratu Josefa Dimuri from jail 10 days after being sent there on coup-related charges.

He said harping about reconciliation in recent months was a sham when those responsible for the political turmoil were let loose.

Commodore Bainimarama said the release of the former Lands Minister and a senator 'made a mockery of the military, police and the judiciary'.

'The judiciary has been grossly undermined. One wonders whether the principle that everyone is equal under the law still rings true in Fiji,' he said.

He said all citizens of Fiji should challenge the release of the pair because it questioned the integrity and motives of the decision-makers.

'To compound the matter further, there is now talk of the two convicts returning to the helm of leadership of this country.

'Where are the qualities of good leadership that we have been harping about in the last few months through reconciliation that is supposed to take us forward.

'The RFMF says this is a farce as they only take themselves to court to pretend they were following the rule of law because we are all watching, but they bend the Constitution to suit them, getting their hefty pay packets while serving jail sentences outside jail.'

Commodore Bainimarama said leaders should have a good look at themselves and check if they had what 'it takes to lead Fiji and its people'.

He said there were elements in society who would sacrifice the greater good for their own selfish agenda. Commodore Bainimarama said the release had not taken into account the trauma and suffering of the people of the North.

'It has not taken into account the pain and the stress convic"

Too soon for Serevi to take the reigns as a coach I say. |

Too soon for Serevi to take the reigns as a coach I say. But the boys played well. There is a definite future for this team.

Serevi says sorry for sevens loss - Fiji Times Online:
"SKIPPER Waisale Serevi last night apologised to Fiji rugby fans for the 12-14 semi-final loss to England and said he was looking forward to the major tournaments next year.

'I would like to apologise for last night's loss but we did our best,'' he said after a last minute converted try gave England a berth in the final against New Zealand.

'It is not the end as there are other tournaments in France and London that are coming up as well as the Commonwealth Games,'' he said from the Fiji dressing room.

'I am happy with the boy's performance as this is the first time we are playing together.

'We had desperately needed to win, the spirits were high, it was just not our night.

'I personally had thanked the boys for the brave performance that they displayed and I am happy with it.'

It was a repeat of the Seven Rugby World Cup semi finals when Fiji took on England at the Singapore sevens last night but this time Englishman Ben Gollings sent Fiji out of the competition when he touched down seconds to fulltime 14-12.

Gollings booked his side a final's berth and sent Fiji packing.

Fiji started off as favourite going into the competition after having won the World Cup in Hong Kong a month ago.

England cut short the celebrations.

Minutes into the first half Fiji drew first points to Nasoni Roko who followed in on a pass from Neumi Nanuku who was tackled short of the English try line.

Fiji led 7-0 after a successful conversion from skipper Waisale Serevi.

Roko scored his second after great support play from Mosese Luveitasau passing onto Lemeki Duidomo on to Serevi who cleared to Roko.

The Fijians showed good support play and ball handling skills topped with a sound defence in the first half.

However, England crossed line with a minute to the breather to take the scores to 12-7.

England had the last say from a Gollings try with 90 seconds of play remaining.

The successful conversion "

I am Back! Sunday, April 17, 2005 |

Been a bit busy lately. Since I last wrote for my blog, a lot has happened. Fiji won the World Cup Sevens and we all got a public holiday for it. Mr. Charles came and went. An MP and a Senator received year long sentences for coup related offences. A couple of gay guys got jailed for buggery.

Fiji TV Comes First
A few things caught my attention today. First the headline “Fiji TV comes first: Dr Ali”. The gist of the story was the Information Minister Dr. Ahmed Ali admitted that the government’s investment in Fiji TV “has a bearing when it screens applications for new commercial television companies wanting to set up in Fiji.”

Brilliant! At least now we know that this government is not interested in the general publics interested but it’s own. Bugger the public, bugger fair play. There exists no laws which give Fiji TV exclusive free-to-air license, so in theory; other players can enter the market. Well that theory will remain so, until some other provincial council decides to run another TV company with 51% major shares.

Yasana Holdings, the provincial council’s, and this government (100% Indig-Fijian) own Fiji TV. The one commendable thing about this non-tax paying venture is that it is owned almost entirely by the indigenous Fijians, and the indig-Fijians have demonstrated a great business sense by showing more concern for the shareholders then the consumers. When calls were made in the Parliament for the government to show some concern about the contents of Fiji One programs, they quite neatly dodged it, but when it comes to issuing licenses for TV, they suddenly become protective of their investments! How convenient.

What is most appalling about the state of Fiji One, is that despite the fact it is owned by the indigenous Fijians, the amount of programs from Fiji is negligible. When it comes to protecting the exclusivity of TV licenses in Fiji to Fiji TV, the owners of Fiji TV are quick to influence the government, but when it comes to the quality of service, it remains hushed.

Fijian Court System
The GCC has endorsed the introduction of the Fijian Court System. I don’t see too much wrong with that. After all, it is perfectly clear that the Indig-Fijians are somehow special. They are the only ones with a culture in this country. The Indo-Fijians have no culture.

Democracy also no good for Indig-Fijian culture it seems. It’s not me saying it, it’s Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo the chairman of Kadavu Provincial Council. According to him, “…the solutions presented by democracy do not solve the problem in the Fijian way.”

For crying out loud Ratu Jo! When the criminals such as Ratu Naiqama, Ratu Josefa, George Speight amongst others took part in the coup of May 2000, they committed a crime against the whole nation, against all citizens of this country and against the democratically elected leaders of the country! So where do the citizens of this country go to seek justice? Wake up Ratu Jo, it is a democracy we live in and no matter how flawed it may be, at least it provides us with some chance of redress against the wrong doers.

I hope though that this Fijian Court System is not funded by the general tax payer dollars. It is a court system for the Indig-Fijians and it should solely be funded by them.