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What’s Khaiyum doing on Rosy’s Turf?

How does Khaiyum justify giving away $20m across the board in what he calls “aid” to all families listed on the Social Welfare Scheme regardless of whether they are victims of cyclone Winston or not? This while hundreds of the…

UN must hold Bainimarama accountable

The people of Fiji are grateful to the United Nations and the diplomatic community for its $82 million flash appeal to the international community for disaster relief work in Fiji. According to the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator Osnat Lubrani (FT 5/3/16)…

Victims of Cyclone Winston deserve better

The FF government’s response to the national catastrophe caused by Cyclone Winston would be laughable if it was not so serious. DISMAC                                                       In a media briefing given 5 days after the monster cyclone struck Fiji, DISMAC reported only 8 houses…

Fiji heading for ‪fascism‬ and ‪one‬-party rule

Alarming developments that are taking place in our country should be of serious concern to every right thinking citizen. First there is the case of huge shipments of ‪Russian‬ arms being brought in surreptitiously. The first consignment arrived in the…

Felix ‪Duped‬ again

Felix and company were shocked to see Khaiyum slip into Bill 11 of 2016 to amend the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007, a provision requiring the ‪registration‬ of trade union and employer federations and empowering the Supervisor of Elections (through the…

Bring down ‪fuel‬ prices!

Oil price on the world market has crashed 73% since mid 2014 but petrol prices in Fiji, over the same period, have not reflected this massive reduction. In January, the world price of oil plummeted to a low of $US30…

Hindi‬ under assault

‪Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha is to be commended for its initiative  to make the teaching of Hindi compulsory in all its schools. The announcement by the Acting National Secretary of the Sabha has been welcomed by parents. The move arises…

Where is the ‪MONEY‬, Khaiyum?

$50 million to upgrade rural                          roads,bridges,jetties and  crossings over 3 years is grossly inadequate. Finance Minister Khaiyum announced yesterday that the money given to Fiji Roads Authority is to fund 151 projects to fix rural roads, bridges, jetties and crossings…

The Dubious Midnight Deal

On the very day (29 Jan) the ILO Tripartite Mission departed our shores, the Fiji Trades Union Congress signed yet another agreement with the Fijian government and the employers organization FECF seeking full implementation of their earlier agreement of 25…

Defining the national interest: ILO Tripartite Mission to Fiji

In December 2006 a coup was staged ‘in the national interest”. From April 2009 it turned out to be anything but in the national interest when the authorities abrogated     the 1997 Constitution, imposed martial law on the nation, banned all…

Stop the Circus: Get on with the Inquiry!

The ILO Tripartite Mission to Fiji begins its work next Monday. It is here to:                              (i) review the outgoing obstacles to the submission of a joint implementation report; and (ii) consider all matters pending in the Article 26 complaint the…

Not so Healthy…

Every second or third day Health Minister Jone Usamate is in the news on TV commenting on some health issue here or there. Neatly dressed, jacket and all, shoulders sagging under the weight of the expensive salusalu proffered by the…

Russian arms shipment causes alarm

The arrival of a huge shipment of Russian arms into the country in a highly surreptitious manner is a matter of grave public concern.  It was obviously the intention of the Bainimarama government to smuggle the consignment into the country…

Boorish Bai blunders again!

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s response to the Opposition’s call for dialogue on issues facing the nation is not only offensive, it is demeaning to the high office he holds. One expects the Prime Minister to show respect, and treat other…

Of roads and bridges …

Opposition MPs in PNG have slammed the government for awarding a major roads contract to a company they say is owned by Cabinet ministers (FT 9/12/15). PNG Opposition Leader Dan Polye claimed that the company (Global Construction) has been awarded…

UN Human Rights Day: Where are our Rights?

As Fiji joins the rest of the world tomorrow (10 December) in observing the United Nations Human Rights Day, it is timely to ask what significance the day holds for us here in Fiji where we are still denied many…

Prepare to pay more under Khaiyum’s Budget

‪GEAR‬ UP to pay more for food, household goods and recreational activities come the New Year, say most business houses following their analysis of the measures announced in the 2016 Budget. People may be under the misconception that living costs…

Prime Minister’s hypocrisy!

Baininmarama’s strong denunciation of the terrorism of the Islamic State in France and elsewhere during an address to the ACP group in Brussels this week, rings hollow when viewed against the horrors he supports and condones in his own country….

Bainimarama danger to sugar industry, not climate change

Fiji’s sugar industry is not in any danger from rising sea waters as claimed by PM Bainimarama at the sugar conference in London. It is in danger from Bainimarama himself. The regime’s unilateral policies that have completely marginalized growers, the…

Beware of fake Polls

It is unbelievable that 88% of our people polled thought that Fiji is being ruled according to the will of the people (FT 19/11/2015). We don’t think our people are that ignorant. We question the credibility of the WIN/Tebutt Poll…

Who would believe Natuva/Qiliho?

Defence Minister Timoci Natuva’s statement in today’s Fiji Times that “militarization of the Fiji Police force is impossible” is the worst insult he could have heaped upon himself. It would have been better for him to have stayed mute (as…

Khaiyum’s misplaced confidence

Finance Minister Khaiyum’s reliance on a recent IMF Mission’s brief statement as a testimonial on Fiji’s economy, may be misplaced for two good reasons: The First is that the IMF assessment is predicated on data provided by government sources. This…

Fiji: South Pacific’s first Banana Republic!

The sudden resignation of Police Commissioner Groenewald claiming too much military interference with Police work raises serious questions about the absence of rule of law, and the separation of powers between the different arms of the State. Moreover, the appointment…

Upholding the significance of Diwali

The glow and glitter of Diwali the Festival of Lights is with us once again – many Hindus observe it with week-long prayers culminating in the lighting of diyas (oil lamps) on Diwali night to dispel darkness from their midst….

A Deceptive Budget

Budget 2016 imposes 9% VAT on basic food items and prescription medicine that were previously not subject to VAT. Denouncing the move as insensitive, Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said it is a blow to the poor. “The imposition of 9%…

This is not a time to vacillate!

Fiji Trades Union Congress should stop being an apologist for the FF government on Fiji’s non-compliance with core ILO Conventions on workers’ rights, as portrayed by its national secretary Felix Anthony in today’s Fiji Times. The case is absolutely clear:…

Khaiyum‬ in contempt of the Finance Act

Finance Minister Khaiyum is not complying with ‪accountability‬ requirements under the Finance Management Act and Regulations. The Act and Regulations (Part 7- Accountability Regs 42-48) require the Minister of Finance to table in the House of Representatives quarterly, half yearly…

Bauxite Mining – Who Gains?

NAKALOU VILLAGERS BEWARE – save your land from devastation! Landowning mataqalis in Nakalou Village in Macuata should be wary of the advice given them by Assistant Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Joeli Cawaki, to let their land be mined…

Ra Bridge: A Rip-off!

The newly opened $14m Ra Bridge is a real rip-off. Just 70 meters in length, it cost the taxpayer approximately $200,000 per meter to construct – this includes other associated costs such as building approaches and dismantling and relocating existing…

Workers rights must be respected, and restored

It either complies with international standards on workers’ rights or faces the consequences: Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. It is now obvious that the unions and government have failed to reach agreement on a joint (consensus) report to the International Labour…

Pot calling the kettle black

We agree with the appeal by Finance Minister Aiyaz Khaiyum  (FT 5/10) “to everybody to please not steal from the Fiji people”. But at the same time, we ask him to explain the following: Mr Khaiyum, as far as you…

Exposing Bainimarama’s mythical democracy…

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told the UN General Assembly of how he “fashioned” democracy in Fiji “on dedication to the rights and dignity of each person in Fiji”. We wonder what he is talking about? The Prime Minister in his…

Landowners must have the final say

The extension by 5 years of Namosi Joint Venture Company’s (NJVC) special prospecting licence by government against the will of the landowners is tantamount to usurpation of their proprietory rights, supposedly guaranteed under the 2013 constitution. Over many years, the…

DOLLAR DOWN, VAT UP as loans take their toll!

Finance Minister Khaiyum with help from a partisan Speaker, debased the institution of Parliament behind locked doors yesterday. But what really confounded the onlooker was the ease with which Members of the Opposition allowed themselves to be locked in like…

Is Fiji going the Greece way?

This is absolutely unheard of! Parliament (the People’s Chamber) meeting in camera? Behind closed doors with no Hansard report of its proceedings? The very concept is a mockery of Parliament. What is so secret in the affairs of the State…

Constitution holiday… an absurdity!

So we are now told to observe 7 September (2016 onwards) as a holiday for a Constitution that is an abhorrent imposition on the people of Fiji. It is the height of absurdity. The 2013 constitution is seriously flawed and…

Cane Growers stripped of all rights in the sugar industry

With one fell swoop of the pen, the FF government today sent cane farmers decades back to the days of the CSR when a master/servant relationship dominated the industry. Amendments to the 1984 Sugar Industry Act passed by Parliament today…

Changes to Sugar Act completely disenfranchises growers

The reprehensible manner in which the government is rushing amendments to the Sugar Industry Act through Parliament, smacks of totalitarianism and makes a total mockery of the parliamentary process. “This is just another authoritarian act. It will likely signal the…

Labasa Mill in serious trouble but FSC remains silent

Labasa mill has been seriously malfunctioning for almost two weeks now causing huge financial loss to growers but Fiji Sugar Corporation has remained silent on the issue. The mill has been running without a shredder after it was removed on…

FLP questions Army leadership change

The people of Fiji need an explanation on the sudden resignation of Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga as Army Commander, says FLP President Lavinia Padarath. “The sudden change in the leadership of the military raises questions coming as it does on the…

FLP Leader denounces Fiji’s quasi-democracy

In his address to Labour’s Annual Delegates Convention in Lautoka, Leader Mahendra Chaudhry denounced the quasi-democratic rule in Fiji and said the party must be strong enough to fight this.   Mr Chaudhry’s full address at the Convention today which…

Troubled Penang Mill

The Penang sugar mill has been plagued with mechanical problems and breakdowns since the start of crush almost a month ago, causing heavy losses to cane growers as well as FSC.                                                                According to farmers from the Penang Mill area the…

PM and Khaiyum’s Pay Scam Questioned

The people of Fiji may soon get to know details of the ministerial pay scam which we first exposed on our website story of 23 August 2010. The scam operated between 2010 and 2013 when, under instructions from the Prime…

Fiji’s suffocating ‘democracy’

FLP had warned well before last year’s general elections that nothing would change after the elections and that dictatorship will continue in the guise of (pseudo) democracy. Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry speaking at the launch of FLP’s election campaign in…

Are our MPs driven by greed?

It is grossly unethical, if not scandalous, for Parliament to appoint its own members to review their own pays. Indeed, the entire review process is just another farce. It should, in fact, be transparent and kept totally at arm’s length…

Labour Turns 30

Fiji Labour Party turns 30 today. And what a tumultuous 30 years it has been for the Party.  Left: Dr.Timoci Bavadra:First Labour Prime Minister and Party Leader   Right: Mahendra Chaudhry: Labour Prime Minister 1999/2000; FLP Leader 1992 – We…

Hands off our Flag!

We are finally presented with 23 designs from which to choose our country’s new flag. And a glance through today’s Fiji Times will provide the first national reaction to the designs – total rejection. A letter writer even labled it…

Why our youngsters say no to cane farming

Bala Dass of FCGA needs to do better than blame the lack of water supply and electricity as factors deterring our younger generation from taking up cane farming (FT 8/6). In fact, most cane growing areas are well catered for…

The shocking state of FSC

What is the true state of affairs in FSC? Acting Sugar Minister Aiyaz Khaiyum praises the “tremendous performance” of FSC and its executive chairman Abdul Khan. FSC’s Independent Auditors, however, paint a totally negative picture, even casting doubt on FSC…

Let me alone be the judge!

Fiji Labour Party is shocked but not surprised at the extremely harsh punishment meted out to SODELPA MP Hon Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. Reviewing the proceedings of the House yesterday, it is not surprising that the Opposition has decided to boycott…

More Loan Guarantees by FF Govt: Live in Debt Forever!

Parliament today agreed to provide government guarantees          of a $110m loan to the Fiji Development Bank and $120m loan to Fiji Sugar Corporation. Of concern to the taxpayer is the fact that neither of these institutions has released its annual…

Whither Fiji?

19th of May commemorates yet another coup in Fiji – Fiji’s third , giving the nation the epithet of  Coup-Coup Land – an indication that by now our coup culture was becoming something of a joke on the international arena….

Fiji’s legacy of racist coups

May 14  is the anniversary of  Fiji’s first coup. The coup-d’etat on 14 May 1987 not only deposed the month-long Labour-led coalition government of Dr. Timoci Bavadra, it set Fiji on a self-destructive path of political instability and turmoil which…

Cane price set to fall

Fiji Sugar Corporation is withholding announcement of the cane forecast price for the 2015 season because  it has been unable to secure buyers for our sugar from this year’s crop. In the past, Tate & Lyle (UK) bought all of…

Growers say no to quality cane payment system: They want reinstatement of the elected Growers Councillors

Cane farmers are saying no to government’s proposal to review the                                                                                                                                Sugar Master Award to allow for the implementation of a quality cane payment system.    A team from the Sugar Cane Growers Council, acting on instructions from the Sugar…

Labour Leader pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry expresses deep regret at the passing away of former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew,          highly regarded as the architect of modern Singapore. Mr Chaudhry who held Lee Kuan Yew in high esteem as a…

Labasa cane growers call for Growers Council elections

Labasa farmers have called on the Fiji First government to reinstate the democratically elected Sugar Cane Growers Council and to hold fresh Council elections before the start of the 2015 harvesting season.         This is part of  a 10-point resolution adopted…

FLP President slams PM’s coup statement in Parliament

The Fiji Labour Party is appalled by the Prime Minister’s comment to Members of the Opposition  in Parliament yesterday that they wouldn’t be in the House                                           if he hadn’t staged the coup in 2006.      FLP President Lavinia Padarath said…

Proposal to change flag: a ruse to divert attention?

The Fiji Flag is a national symbol and the people of Fiji should have the right to express their will on any changes to be made to it, says Fiji Labour Party  President Lavinia Padarath.                                 . “The flag reflects Fiji’s…

Of casinos and Chinatowns… added feathers in the regime’s scam cap!

 This would be an investment  well in excess of  “$500 million and would provide employment for                                                   thousands of Fijians when completed,” the people were told.  You have heard of the $300 million Casino scam – after all the hype, the…

The Raiwaqa Scam: Part 2

A much-vaunted $500 million project planned for the heart of Suva bites the dust as the chairman of the investment company faces investigation from Chinese government authorities after his Handan Golden Century Real Estate company collapsed in August last year….

Education Minister’s claim questioned

  Education Minister Reddy’s claim that 653 new teachers are to be absorbed into the primary and secondary school system this year to reduce the long standing high teacher/pupil ratio is suspect unless it can be  verified  against figures for…

The Chaudhry Passport Debacle

Following the seizure of his passport by Immigration authorities at Nadi Airport yesterday, former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has written to the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs seeking answers to a number of questions relating to the incident. We reproduce…

Former PM Chaudhry’s passport seized

Labour Leader and former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his wife were this morning  stopped from travelling overseas    on their diplomatic passports. Mr Chaudhry maintains he should be entitled to a diplomatic passport as a privilege accorded to former prime…

Time to call the bluff on the Fiji casino project

The $300m project including a casino and convention centre at Denarau was to be set up by the American Company One Hundred Sands Ltd with Larry Claunch promising big returns from the casino and some 1500 new jobs. The first…

2015: Speak up for what is Right!

The dawn of a New Year is generally greeted with rekindled hopes and aspirations,          and firm resolutions to strive for a better and more fulfilling life. For us in Fiji, just emerging from 8 years of repressive, dictatorial rule following…

Shocking manipulation of Fiji TV

The extremely lopsided, iniquitous and grossly unfair IRB Sevens deal forced on Fiji TV by the FF Government,  wreaks of gross nepotism and abuse of power. We are referring to reports that  Information Minister Khaiyum engineered the move to get…

Where is PM Bainimarama?

The so-called people’s Prime Minister (elected to office with a stupendous 202,459 personal votes) has been out of the country for the past three weeks on a junket completely oblivious to the crises affecting our people.      During his absence:…

$12m for Golf Tournament

In a country that can’t afford to provide decent housing for its growing poor Budget 2015  allocates $12m to the Fiji International Golf Tournament to be held at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf course next year. In 2014 Fiji taxpayers…

Looking through the 2015 Budget hype

A notable feature of Budget 2015 is that it gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Fiji Labour Party has maintained all along that nothing is for free.  The regime may be offering free prescribed medicines, water,…

Opposition SODELPA Party boycotts Indian PM’s visit

It is unfortunate that the visit of Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi   should have been marred by a boycott by members of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa and 14 of her  Sodelpa members decided…

First PAC meeting cancelled as “Government” members boycott

The action of  Government members of the Public Accounts Committee to sabotage its work was to be expected given the damning revelations of abuse, mismanagement, fraud, embezzlement and conversion reported in the Auditor-General’s  reports for the years 2007-2013. The raids…

State to borrow $500m more from FNPF?

Credible sources in the Finance Ministry have confirmed that FNPF                                                     has been told to make arrangements for further loans of up to $500 million   to the State to plug a huge hole in its 2014 Budget. Readers will recall that…

More on the PM pay saga

The Auditor General’s report (Front page Fiji Times today) is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the complete saga of the regime’s Cabinet salaries are concerned. Firstly, it is now clear that the Ministers of the regime…

Labour proven right on regime’s 2013 constitution

The Fiji Labour Party stands vindicated in its condemnation of the regime’s imposed 2013 constitution.                                                                                                                                      The three champions of the regime’s imposed 2013 Constitution This is what we…

Reinstate Ghai Commission constitution, says Labour

Fiji Labour Party welcomes the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council following its Universal Periodic Review 2014 just concluded in Geneva on the human rights situation in Fiji. We note in particular the Council’s observations on the seriously flawed…

Fiji Fails the UN Human Rights test

Fiji Delegation to UNHRC suffers rebuff! Mission unsuccessful! Members of the ‘high powered’ Fiji delegation made no impact on the UNHRC in their attempt to paint an acceptable picture of the human rights situation in Fiji. They were bundled out…

Government awards itself huge pay packages

It is highly unethical for the government to issue a decree prescribing ministerial and parliamentary pays just three days before the convening of Parliament , says Labour  Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.  The Parliamentary Remunerations Decree 29 of 2014 was promulgated on…

2014 Election Irregularities

GENERAL  ELECTION 2014 INTERIM REPORT ON IRREGULARITIES BY THE MEMBERS OF THE PARTICIPATING POLITICAL PARTIES INCLUDING FIJI LABOUR PARTY NATIONAL FEDERATION PARTY SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC LIBERAL PARTY  September 22 2014   1.      INTRODUCTION The leaders of the joint political parties contesting…

Labour mourns the loss of Board Member and Candidate

Fiji Labour Party regrets the passing away of Kini Marawai, Assistant Secretary-General and a Labour candidate for the 2014 general  elections. A lawyer by profession, Kini had started his career as a journalist with the Fiji Times before leaving to…

Frequent mill breakdowns anger cane farmers

All four sugar mills are experiencing frequent breakdowns but FSC is keeping   mum on the stoppages and their causes, much to the frustration of angry farmers and industry reps.                       Cane…

FLP Statement on the 2014 General Elections

Labour thanks all the people who voted for the Party and gave it their support in the general elections just concluded. We have questioned the results of the elections based on credible evidence of gross manipulation  of the process and…

Highlights of FLP’s Social Policies for 2014

Labour will reduce high Cost of Living:   Labour will extend the list of basic food, medicine and consumer items zero-rated under VAT; this will include all baby-food   Labour will review all levies on goods and services which are…

Concern at printing of excessive ballot papers

Fiji Labour Party is concerned at the excessive number of ballot papers, over 100,000, printed by the Elections Office. “The extra ballot papers stand at 21% of all registered voters. This is simply ridiculous,” says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Agents…

Labour’s Northern Candidates for the 2014 general elections

 Labour’s slate of candidates for the Northern  Division with their assigned areas. Voters please note that in the past you have had representatives in Parliament from 71 different constituencies which means you had your own area candidate or parliamentarian. For…

Message to Voters from Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry

             Dear Voter                                                                        In a matter of days you will be casting your vote in what is perhaps the most crucial general election in Fiji’s history. Fiji today faces its biggest challenge…

Fiji First manifesto just a blatant vote buying tactic

In a desperate last minute attempt to buy votes, the Fiji First Party is now making wild and unrealistic promises to the people in its 2014 election manifesto, says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. “It shows no real commitment to the…

Labour condemns Bainimarama’s fear campaign

The Fiji Labour Party abhors and strongly condemns the campaign of fear Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is now embarking on days before the start of voting He is deliberately evoking memories of the racial violence  and backlash in 2000 to instill…

Fiji Labour Party Candidates: 2014 General Election

Labour’s candidate list for the Central Division with the specific areas assigned to them. Voters please note that in the past you have had representatives in Parliament from 71 different constituencies which means you had your own area candidate or…

Khaiyum’s rubbish bin trash: insult to people of Nasinu

Fiji Labour Party  has  questioned  the distribution of 13,000 rubbish bins in the Nasinu area yesterday (Monday) by Aiyaz Khaiyum of Fiji First as nothing but a blatant vote-buying measure.  “In fact by doing so just days before the election…

Dispelling NFP’s election myths

All kinds of claims, credits and, unfortunately some misinformation, circulate  during election times. It is the duty of political parties and candidates to ensure that their claims are historically and factually sound and accurate particularly when a party goes around…

Denial of Steven Singh’s constitutional rights: FLP

The Fiji Labour Party stongly condemns the decision of the Supervisor of Elections to disqualify FLP candidate Steven Singh, despite the review ruling by the Electoral Commission that Mr. Singh was qualified to contest the 2014 general elections. Labour Leader…

Labour will restore the rights of Civil Service workers

Since 2009, the trade union movement in Fiji has been effectively marginalized by the Bainimarama regime leaving workers, and in particular, those in the civil service , completely at the mercy of employers. Trade unions were targeted because as strong…