Sunday, October 11, 2009 posted on: http://rawfijinews.wordpress.com
The corruption, abuse and nepotism in the Fiji Military Forces
Saturday 10th October was the 3rd Fiji DAY celebration organised by the Interim Regime, after the removal of an elected Government in 2006. The day also marked the intention of the interim to launch and promote the Peoples Charter for Change. Fiji Day also saw the lauching of the book “Tuimacilai” , a story on the life of the late Tui Nayau.
It is worth our while to re-look at our past and make an audit of what we have achieved after the coup. It is also better for every citizen of Fiji to take another look at the Fiji Military Forces, the pricipal architect of the coup and bring to the surface hidden facts that we need to know because in order to clean up Fiji, we need to clean our backyard first….or moreover practice what we preach.
Lets take another look at the famous THORPE REPORT and the Army’s Regimental Fund.
Military Commander’s since 1984 are :
1984- 1987 Rt Epeli Nailatikau (Vice Pres)
1987- 1991 Sitiveni Rabuka (Former PM)
1991- 1999 Rt Epeli Ganilau(Min for Defence)
1999- 2009 Voreqe Bainimarama (Intreim PM)
The Regimental Fund was established in 1984 under the command of Rt Epeli Nailatikau the current Interim Vice President.
PURPOSE : To provide a loan scheme for all soldiers in the military to alleviate financial shortfalls and to provide funding to projects not included in the military budget allocate and approved by the Government of the day.
COMMITTEE : Chief of Staff & Unit Heads
LOANS OFFICERS : Rt Epeli Ganilau
APROVING TEAM : Rt Epeli Ganilau
FINANCE OFFICER : Otto Johansen
THORPE REPORT: The findings of the Thorpe Report contained very damaging evidence of Corruption, Nepotism and Abuse by senior military officers that was viewed to be very damaging and detrimental to the welfare and morale of the ordinary soldiers and their families.
THORPE report highlighted the following to name a few:
a)cases of abuse and misuse of naval vessels
b)cases of abuse and misuse of Regimental Funds
c)cases of abuse and misuse of military personnel and vehicles
d)unauthorised deductions from military salaries both here and in Lebanon
e)unauthorised conversion of leave entitlements into cash payments
f)abuse of army’s medical scheme by Dr JONA SENILAGAKALI
g) procuremment of pharmaceutical products from Samabula Pharmacy to which Dr Senilagakali is a shareholder and part owner.
LOANS FOR OFFICER’S MESS
Under the Chairmanship of PAUL MANUELI, the then NBF Bank approved a loan of $770,000 to the Fiji Military Forces to construct and refurbish the new officer’s mess. The tender was awarded to JS HILL.
Assistance was provided by the RFMF Engineers to lessen costs but this did not alter the amount awarded in the tender. So obviously some military top brass shared the balance of costs incurred by the poor army engineers. Even though the tender was “awarded” to JS HILL there was no evidence or record of any tender published or any competition of bidders. The cost of this project todate has never been revealed.
It would be prudent if the Asset Management Unit of the bank reopen this case file (if there is any) and make investigations and inquiries.
DEDUCTIONS FROM FIJI BATT 1994-1995 LEBANON
Col Raduva ordered financial deductions of US$39.00 of monthly allowance from every member of the Battallion to meet the costs of airfares from Lebanon to Fiji of a Lebaneese woman impregnated by a Fijian soldier at the time. This money aprox US$20,000 never saw the light of day and is still not recorded or accounted for.However this lebanese lady has since remarried and still resides in Fiji.
In addition military personnel while in Lebanon would befriend and obtain loans from shop owners. On completion of the mission they would pack and leave for Fiji without clearing their debts in Lebanon.
ABUSE OF NAVAL BOATS
Thorpe’s report extensively highlighted the massive abuse of naval vessels by the top brass of the military. Military staff and boats were used to carry out private jobs for the top brass.
A noted example is the directive given by the then Naval Commander to redirect a naval boat on patrol in the Lau waters to recourse to Taveuni . Upon arrival in Taveuni it was ordered to load a military vehicle loaded with yaqona and dalo enroute for Suva. This consignment was for military chief Rt EPELI GANILAU.
The amount of abuse conducted by the then Navy head BAINIMARAMA and the army head GANILAU was never reported or accounted for.
In 1998 it was discovered that monies deducted out of military personnel salaries since 1984 were unauthorised and illegal. This salary deductions was ordered by the then commander EPELI GANILAU.
Deductions of a dat’s pay of 6mnths was the standard amount.
CASES OF ABUSE
The top brass of the military fervently went to great lengths to stop the auditing of the army’s regimental funds. A key conspirator was EPELI GANILAU the chief manipulator in the 2006 coup.
GANILAU and NAILATIKAU ordered auditing of regimental funds to start from 1987. Accounts from 1984-1987 was never done.
No annual financial accounts were done to this day. Requests were made by some members but to no avail.
This was even approved by the then Minister for Home Affairs PAUL MANUELI.
Some people who took money from the regimental funds were:
1) Comdr Bainimarama $7500
2) Col Vatu $7000
3) Adi Ateca Ganilau $40,000 to travel with Rt Epeli Ganilau to the middle east
4)Maj Mohammed Aziz – finance legal studies
5)Adi Ateca Ganilau $2000 to charter plane to Lakeba.
It is only proper that while we are in this Fiji Day week we must not forget to re look at our past.
Interesting indeed to read the names highlighted, relate them to Fiji today and see the positions they now hold and enjoy in the interim regime.
It should be now clear what was the real reasons for the coup and more importantly the shadowy figures behind the scenes.
FLP leader attend launch but not SDL leader
October 11, 2009
Sources confirm that Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry was at Fiji’s former PM and President, Ratu Mara’s book launch.Missing though was ousted SDL leader, Laisenia Qarase who is believed to be in his village in Lau.Also missing was Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and the Tui Bau clan , the Cakobau family
Reason for Frank’s absence from Rt Mara’s book launch
October 11, 2009
It was very obvious and disturbing to find out the truth the very hard way. It was a classic example of the saying the “world is round, what goes around comes around”.
During the launch of the book abot Rt Mara , Frank was absent despite the presence of three Melanesian leaders and other dignitaries.
The reason for this was very simple. Frank did not attend because he was guilty of the fact that he was the very person who removed Rt Sir Kamisese Mara in 2000. His guilty conscience came back to haunt him and will continue to haunt him to his grave. I only hope that he lives to see all his criminal actions repeat and unfold before his very eyes. Thats just the tip of the ice-berg Frank , more is coming your way. You dont have to tell us because your actions speaks louder than your words.
Ateca Ganilau says her father was an elected leader
October 11, 2009
During the lauch of the book “Tuimacilai”, dedicated to the life of Rt KKT Mara, his eldest daughter Ateca Ganilau also spoke on behalf of the Mara siblings to try and illustrate what it was like having Rt Mara as a father.
In her speech she said that Rt Mara was a leader elected by the people. I honestly believe that all leaders who came to prominence after her late father
were all elected by the people except for Sitiveni Rabuka in 1987 and Voreqe Bainimarama in 2006.
These two men were not elected by anybody but themselves through the power of the gun and by force.
What suprises us more is the fact that Ateca Ganilau can have the audacity and arrogance to say that about her father but at present she is enjoying the perks of being the wife of an unelected Minister of Defence. On one hand she is praising her father and on the other she is doing exactly what no one would expect her father to do.
As put in words by chief guest Sir Michael Somare who at the launch, glanced at Acting President Nailatikau and NCBBF Chair Matacaca and said ” I hope that what I say would be taken in good faith…..if Rt Mara was still alive a lot of the things happening in Fiji would never have happened.
A tribute to our past leaders
October 11, 2009
During the launch of the Fiji Day celebrations in Suva the acting President Rt Epeli Nailatikau in his opening speech said that “we as a nation would pay tribute to all our leaders and successive Governments who have served us for nearly four decades. It remains vivid in our memories and we feel the atmosphere of that very solemn occassion on this very ground 39 years ago “.
I as a member of this sovereign state feel very humbled by this acknowledgement, because it really brings back memories of the pomp ceremony on that day for us who were there to witness that historical moment.
But what I find rather confusing is just a week ago our interim PM Bainimarama in a public speech made to international audience strongly criticised our past leaders, governments and chiefs labelling them SOCIAL ELITES and TERRORISTS.
These comments truly demonstrates to the people of this nation the kind of leadership that we now have.
The leaders we have now are “speaking in different tongues” because the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Comments made by the interim Pressie and the interim PM totally contradict each other.
Frank Bainimarama boycotted Ratu Mara “old elite” book launch
October 10, 2009
Reports from Fiji reveal that tyrant Frank Bainimarama was a no show to Ratu Mara’s “Tuimacilau” book launch. Reliable sources say that Frank was adviced by Aiyaz Khaiyum and Col Aziz Mohammed not to attend confirming suspicions that Frank’s shaky empire is cracking up.
The launch, which coincided with Fiji Day, is said to have been attended by Fiji’s top businessmen,some members of the diplomatic coup including James Batley, Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, and members of Ratu Mara’s Alliance political party parliamentarians like Peter Stinson, Charles Walker, Filipe Bole and others.
It is said that those in attendance were mostly members of the “old elite” that Frank scoffed at during his UN speech in New York not so long ago.
Also present was Ro Teimumu Kepa, the Mara’s high chief aunt who was detained by Frank’s Military Forces whose 3rd FIR is headed by Ratu Mara’s youngest son, Ului Mara.
Reports also say that a noticable absentee was Ratu Mara’s eldest son, Ratu Finau Mara, heir tothe many chiefly titles once held by his father.
Is Frank feeling threatend by Fiji’s old elites?
Where not to go in Fiji
October 10, 2009
Denarau beachside blues
Your travel agent may or may not tell you, but the beaches on the west, north, and east sides of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, are pretty poor. Only the Coral Coast in the south has some good beaches but even there, the lagoons tend to be narrow, and strong currents occasionally drag swimmers through reef passages to their deaths. The mainland beaches around Nadi, including those in front of the international resorts on Denarau Island, have murky water with no coral. Some resorts, such as the Hilton, have dumped white sand onto their gray beaches, but that doesn’t change much. On the plus side, all of the Denarau resorts have lovely pools. For the sparkling beaches and clear waters of the travel brochures, you should head for the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups.
Tourist disinformation centres
Fiji visitors should be aware that virtually all of the “tourist information centres” found in Nadi are commercial travel agencies that provide biased information. They only promote those tours and hotels that pay commissions, and will even try to dissuade you from going to a resort not on their list. Avoid the disinformation by doing your homework on the Internet beforehand.
Car rental considerations
Fiji’s excellent public bus services make renting a car unnecessary. High taxes cause rental cars to be expensive. Collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance is extra and there’s usually a “non-waivable excess” amount for which you’ll be liable — insurance or no insurance. This can be as high as $6,000 Fijian, and since many cars on the road have no insurance, you could be charged even if you are not responsible for the accident. Unmarked speed bumps in Fijian villages are a hazard, as are local motorists who pass on blind curves, park on the road, and drive at high speeds. On the plus side, Fijians drive on the left side of the road and any driving licence will do so long as it’s in English.
Mask and sword sellers
The vendors at the Curio and Handicraft Market in downtown Suva can be aggressive, especially if a cruise ship is in port. Be aware that the masks and “tikis” sold there are produced exclusively for tourists and have no place in Fijian culture. A more authentic purchase would be a carved cannibal fork or a Fijian war club. The fixed-price Jack’s Handicrafts outlets around Fiji are a good place to become familiar with prices before haggling at the market. In the main towns, you may be accosted on the street by overly friendly Fijian men with small packages or bags in their hands. These are likely to be “sword sellers” who will ask for your name, carve it on a wooden sword or mask, and then demand a high price for the item. Other times you may be offered an unsolicited “gift”. Walk away quickly if you meet such people as they can suddenly become unpleasant.
– Travel msn
from: Fiji Coup 2006
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More Discussion Stories from Raw Fiji News re Corruption.http://rawfijinews.wordpress.com Townsville’s Fiji Day celebration
October 10, 2009
In my 40 years as an Australian citizen, I have never attended a Fijian function in the true Fijian sense here in Australia as I did tonight, Saturday, 10th of October here in Townsville, North Queensland.
The Fiji Day celebrations was great and well organised. The warmth and friendliness of the Fiji people that consist of the different races gave me happiness, faith, hope and the urge to stay in touch with my birth country and never to forsaken it to the illegal junta. It was all there, the laughter, the melodious of the Fijian language, the meke, the Bollywood dance, the grog session, ( men only ) and off course the aroma of the chop suey, lovo food, curries etc.
For the time being while I refuse to set foot on Fiji shores I am extremely grateful for what these wonderful, kind loving people are doing here in Townsville in keeping the Fijian spirit burning within us all. Our children and grandchildren are not missing out, they are experiencing the true Fijian way.
The well known Fijian greeting of welcome “Bula” will always be affectionate and sincere, something Frank Bainimarama and his cohorts can never forcefully take away from us because it is ours to hold on to for the rest of our lives. It is the one thing that remains with us unchallenged and is very much in tact here in Townsville.
Justice will prevail and one day my family and I will return to help take Fiji back on the world stage.
Many thanks to the organisers of what was a great function and my family and I will be in attendance at the next one.
Exim Bank rejects Fiji’s loan bid
October 9, 2009
The Exim Bank has rejected outright the loan bid by the interim regime. We are reliably informed that instead of requesting $30m to complete road projects from Rakiraki to Korovou the interim asked for $100m with the intention of diverting the other $60 plus million to other hidden areas of Govt.
Alas this was ably picked up the Exim Bank and as a result the total loan application was rejected.
Sorry fellas as they say ,,”try next door!’
The truth behind the police roadshow
October 9, 2009
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE POLICE ROADSHOW
We have been reliably informed that the reasons behind the 24hr change by the Fiji Police Force to switch its proposed, planned and confirmed Police Crusade to a Police Roadshow was because Police Chief Teleni was ordered by Bainimarama to do so otherwise he has to find himself another job.
It confirms to us what we were predicting all along that there will come a time where Teleni will have to front up with Frank. The reason is very simple; Teleni gathering his support through his brother Atu and the New Methodist Souls To Jesus Crusade while Frank was also mustering his support base by promoting his senior Colonels to top civil service posts and also rewarding his soldiers with pay rises to buy their loyalty.
Teleni does not have the access and power to Govt finances. Frank does because he is the Minister of Finance. So Teleni is using the crusade to build up his power base not to evangelise.
Unfortunately Frank caught this and immediately ordered the immediate cancellation of the Police crusade. That is why it was cancelled within 24 hrs.
That is also the reason we labelled the roadshow a farce.
It seems the likely rendevouz between the two men is going to happen sooner rather than later because they are going to meet their respective waterloos very soon.
Stay tuned for new developments folks.
Dialoguing with a dictator
October 9, 2009
The EU Will Never Have a Dialogue With Commodore Monologue.
The Fiji Hardwood Corporation is complaining that it’s been unable to have a dialogue with Government over the past two years.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The trademark of the Bainimarama military junta is an inability to have a dialogue with anyone on anything.
The root cause of all these problems is Bainimarama himself. He cannot let anyone under him have control of anything -that’s why he’s Minister for Fijian Affairs, Minister for Sugar and until not long ago. Minister for Foreign Affairs.
But that’s only half the story. The other half is his inability to have a dialogue that is not based on him giving orders and the other party saying “yes sir”.
When he faces negotiations on the basis of equals he winds up looking like a fool.
In Tonga in 2007, for example, in dialogue with the Pacific Forum leaders he agreed to elections by March 2009. Faced with good arguments, he found he had no choice but to agree. And that’s why he was too scared to face the Forum leaders again in Port Moresby in January and in Cairns in February this year.
In short, he’s smart enough to know he’s too dumb to try and win an argument.
So what’s going to happen when he goes to Europe to be given a chance to plead for the aid funds our sugar industry desperately needs?
Fiji Democracy Now
Why we should really worry about what’s going on at the Commerce Commission
October 9, 2009
The Commerce Commission (Commission) was created as an independent multi-sector regulator in 2004 to achieve government’s competition policy. The Commissions functions and responsibilities include economic and competition regulation and mediation and/or arbitration of access to infrastructural facilities and pricing of such access arrangements for new entrants. The role of the Commission is essentially to function as a substitute for competition in markets where competition is limited; and where competition exists, strengthen it and prevent anticompetitive behavior that can limit competition. The Commissions statutory powers are derived from the Commerce Act 1998 and Part 3 of the Fair Trading Decree.
When a multi-sector regulator like the Commerce Commission effectively does its job, monopolies and incumbents with market power have to work hard to earn their profits because the Commission functions as a shadow competitor. The key strategy of market monopolies or incumbents with market power is to limit competition in their respective markets and hence they are always on the lookout to destroy regulatory capacity that is or can become a market threat. The bigger the regulatory threat the stronger the anti-regulator reaction. For the powerful monopolies, the best regulator is a weak one, the push over type, the weaker the regulator the easier it is to get a price-rise and/or have the decision made in your favor.
The key stakeholders of the Commission are the state, the private sector and the consumers, and every decision the Commission makes one of these groups will pay for it. Every decision of the Commission is worth millions, if not 10’s of millions of dollars. It’s a zero-sum game really, meaning if someone wins another has to loose. For example the FEA price-rise decision was worth more than 20 million dollars – FEA won, indirectly the state won (dividend yield), and the consumers lost. Therefore where the regulator like Commerce Commission looses its independence, or is weak (or is purposely weakened), people like you and I will always end up paying the price.
The Commission has been hijacked by political opportunists; its regulatory apparatus is being used to indirectly tax people of Fiji. The current chair of the Commission, Dr Mahendra Reddy is an implant of the state on a kick-back arrangement. Expect no decision that will reduce state earnings. Expect no decision that will reduce ATH’s earnings, or indirectly states earnings. Expect no decision that will control incumbents with market power in the Telecommunications market. Expect no decision that will give access to new entrants in the Telecommunications market. Expect price-rise to be given to all corporatized state entities without any proper due-diligence. Consumers; brace yourselves. Commissioner’s wakeup!
Let’s get sugar back as a good foreign earner!
October 9, 2009
Phew!!…some people just love to major on chaos, negativity, conspiracy and in shortsightedness believe they have attained patriotic knighthood of our beloved Fiji. Day in night out, 24/7 their nostrils opens with anger and close in near suffocation to their own verbal spew…phew..!! Goodness, could someone tell them it’s 2010 in couple months time!!
Come on, the sugar industry has been in chaos since the Chie Ministers day of Rt Hon Ratu Sir Mara Government. How so??.. easy, what can we expect when fingers of wheelers and dealers like Uncle Chaudhry figures to sour all things sugar since his pre-PM days. Damage compounded when the sweetness of the industry soiled by the NPF, thence Labour politics, and sector politics of NFU and other ethno political groupings. That is not even taking the toothpick inside autonomous culture of the respective Mills engineering, stores departments with probable “sabotage” to delay, derail the sweet industry and pulp into a political football, kicked right into the lap of the present Government.
Seems the sweetness of the industry return if all things centralised, abolish all duplication, better still, nationalise cane farmland, INCLUDING Native Lands who’re are lazy to farm fertile land!!..and let’s get sugar back to it’s rightful place as no 1 foreign earner!!
The junta’s secret strategy for sugar
October 8, 2009
Apart from announcing a huge loss, on top of last year’s loss, the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s annual report gives us a glimpse of the secret strategy of the military junta and FSC for the future of the industry,
“Large areas of prime cane land remain idle, leases for which have not been renewed.”
This is something we all know, so there’s nothing new there, but what follows is interesting.
“The Corporation would like to see landowners become active players in the Sugar Industry by bringing them into cane farming.
Yes, so what does this mean? Do they start farming the land left idle by their failure to renew leases?
The answer seems to lie in what they call “Corporate Farms”. Let me quote FSC, so no-one can accuse me putting words in their mouth.
“The Corporation, in its commercial interest, intends to become a major player in cane farming and supply at least 20% of its cane supply requirements within the next 5 years. In this regard it plans to undertake large scale, mechanised cane farming in collaboration with its sugar buyers Tate & Lyie of London who is keen to participate in this scheme on a partnership basis.”
So it looks like FSC management is keen to see lots of idle land being made available to Tate & Lyie corporate farms using mechanized production on big farms, with landowners as silent partners.
It’s no wonder they abolished the Fiji Cane Growers Council! This would be dynamite if it was discussed with the growers themselves. No doubt the Tate & Lyie corporate farms will accept lower prices for cane, which they can afford due to lower cane costs thanks to mechanisation.
Big decisions are easy if you’re a dictator with a heavily censored media.