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FLP submission to the Forum Ministerial Contact Group

The Fiji Labour Party has told the MCG that the regime’s constitutional process cannot be recognized as inclusive, participatory and credible so long as restrictions on human rights remain in place under the various decrees. In a written submission handed…

FLP submission to the Forum Ministerial Contact Group

The Fiji Labour Party has told the MCG that the regime’s constitutional process cannot be recognized as inclusive, participatory and credible so long as restrictions on human rights remain in place under the various decrees. In a written submission handed…

Delays in FNPF pension payments inexcusable

The Fiji Labour Party is absolutely appalled at the insensitivity and utter lack of responsibility FNPF has displayed in its handling of pension payouts. Daily for the past week, scores of seniors have patiently crowded the Pensions office and walkways…

Fiji remains suspended from the Commonwealth

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says it is clear from the CMAG statement on Fiji that the Commonwealth is not satisfied that appropriate conditions exist for a credible constitutional process. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) met in London on 16…

Saving the sugar industry

Damage to the industry inflicted by the current administration in the past three years is far in excess of any devastation suffered through the recent floods. There is much talk about the form and level of assistance to be extended…

Let school evacuation centres remain open: Labour

The Fiji Labour Party has urged the authorities to permit evacuees taking refuge at the various schools in the West to remain at these centres until they find alternative accommodation. Women and children taking refuge at the Andrews Government School…

Labour replies to the Attorney General

These homes at Utalei, near Korovuto Village in Nadi were completely submerged in flood waters. Families say they have received no assistance since Friday. It is government’s responsibility to ensure that evacuation centres are adequately stocked with emergency food, water and…

Rakiraki residents cannot afford town rates

The plain truth is that Rakiraki as a self-financing municipality is not viable. The government should not push its obligations on to this rural community which is struggling to survive in the face of a contracting national economy. Fiji Labour…

Rakiraki residents cannot afford town rates

The plain truth is that Rakiraki as a self-financing municipality is not   viable. The government should not push its obligations on to this rural community which is struggling to survive in the face of a contracting national economy. Fiji Labour…

Government teams lack disaster preparedness

A survey by a Fiji Labour Party monitoring team in the Western Division found that government’s relief and rescue operations failed to deliver timely assistance to the people trapped by floodwaters over the week-end. The survey was conducted by Party…

Government teams lack disaster preparedness

A survey by a Fiji Labour Party monitoring team in the Western Division found that government’s relief and rescue operations failed to deliver timely assistance to the people trapped by floodwaters over the week-end. The survey was conducted by Party…

Tikoitoga must be suffering from memory lapse, says Chaudhry

Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga must have a very short memory if he needs to be given examples of how the people of Fiji have been enslaved in the past three years, says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Under the Public Emergency Regulations…

The people decide who they want as leaders, FLP tells PM

Commodore Bainimarama should understand that in a democratic setup, it is the people who decide their leaders, says the Fiji Labour Party. “Whether Laisenia Qarase, Mahendra Chaudhry or anyone else for that matter, are needed or not is for the…

The scrapping of the GCC

The arbitrary scrapping of the Great Council of Chiefs by the interim administration is an outrageous attack on the paramount institution of the iTaukeis. The GCC or the Bose Levu Vakaturaga has always been an institution highly revered by the…

Proposed constitutional process

The constitution review process announced by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama this morning is unduly prolonged and is predicated on writing up a completely new constitution, says the Fiji Labour Party. Moreover, the regime has imposed its own roadmap on…

2012 cane crop likely to be below 2m tonnes

The sugar cane crop for 2012 is likely to be around 1.8m tonnes and not 2.1m tonnes as stated by SCGC. “A survey conducted by NFU officials in the cane belt has revealed that the crop has suffered heavy damage…

Let good counsel prevail: Chaudhry

Commodore Bainimarama’s unwarranted outburst over my remarks about delays in the constitution review process is not surprising. One who professes to be a leader must learn to take criticism in his stride and respond rationally, otherwise he is not fit…

Reply to PM Bainimarama on delay to constitutional talks

It is important that promises made to the nation regarding constitutional consultations be kept, said Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. “It is now more than five years since an elected government was deposed and the people of Fiji are anxious…

Flood victims need cash grants to rebuild lives: FLP

The people of Matawalu, Naviago and Vitogo villages in Lautoka have been shattered by the sheer scale of devastation and destruction of their homes and property by the floods that swept through the 6 kilometre long stretch from Matawalu Village…

Flood victims need cash grants to rebuild lives: FLP

The people of Matawalu, Naviago and Vitogo villages in Lautoka have been shattered by the sheer scale of devastation and destruction of their homes and property by the floods that swept through the 6 kilometre long stretch from Matawalu Village…

Ba town under siege – people need urgent assistance

The Ba town is under siege, it seems, as flooding enters its third week. Damage to farms, buildings, goods, roads, water supply, bridges, crossings and household effects run into several millions of dollars. This does not include loss of business…

Rakiraki town underwater for the 8th time in two weeks

Rakiraki town is under water again, for the eighth time in the past two weeks. And residents are blaming two new structures at each end of the township as the root cause. Angry residents are calling for an investigation into…

New Decree gives PM and his ministers legal protection

State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012 granting privileged protection to the prime minister and his team in the lead up to general elections is another blatant assault on individual rights and freedoms. Together with the Public Order Decree 2012, it will…

THE 2013 BUDGET and SOCIAL EXPENDITURE – Some REFLECTIONS

Fr Kevin J. Barr As usual there was a mixture of positives and negatives in the 2013 Budget. The business community, of course, were overjoyed with the continuation of incentives to investors and there was great hype in the media….

The 1997 Constitution has wide support

Police presence at FLP consultation meeting The Fiji Labour Party held its second constitutional meeting in Ba last Saturday (June 16). It was attended by 40 participants from Ba, Tavua and Ra. Permit for the meeting was approved by the…

Amended Public Order Decree 2012 shocking

The PER has been replaced by an amended Public Order Decree 2012 which is shocking and more repressive and draconian than the Emergency Regulations just lifted. It is clearly a negative development which is hardly likely to provide the open…

Cautious welcome to lifting of PER

The Fiji Labour Party cautiously welcomes the decision to lift the PER later this week to allow for political consultations on the new constitution. As an obnoxious and repressive set of measures, the Public Emergency Regulations should never have happened….

THE 2013 BUDGET and SOCIAL EXPENDITURE – Some REFLECTIONS

Fr Kevin J. Barr As usual there was a mixture of positives and negatives in the 2013 Budget. The business community, of course, were overjoyed with the continuation of incentives to investors and there was great hype in the media….

Budget 2012

The 2012 Budget will destabilize State finances and will most likely lead to increases in indirect taxes to offset the huge reductions in personal and corporate tax rates. Corporate tax rates have been slashed from 28% to 20% while middle…

FSC insolvent as losses & debts accumulate

The Fiji Sugar Corporation’s 2011 operating loss shot up by $18m to $37m compared to $19m the previous year. This is revealed in the Corporation’s Annual Report released last week. Total accumulated losses stood at $123m as at 31st May….

FNPF: a bail-out fund for failed projects?

Is the FNPF being simply reduced to functioning as a cash cow for the State and a bail-out fund for failed projects? Members are extremely worried that the FNPF continues to invest in questionable hotel projects despite having lost hundreds…

Keeping Wadan Narsey in the loop …

Once and for all the Fiji Labour Party wishes to inform academic Dr. Wadan Narsey that it had no inside foreknowledge of the 2006 coup, had nothing to do with its planning or execution and had never been silent on…

Keeping Wadan Narsey in the loop …

Once and for all the Fiji Labour Party wishes to inform academic Dr. Wadan Narsey that it had no inside foreknowledge of the 2006 coup, had nothing to do with its planning or execution and had never been silent on…

Rewa Rice in financial problems

Farmers in the Muanicevo Rice Irrigation Scheme at Dreketi in Vanua Levu are complaining that Rewa Rice is no longer buying paddy from them on a regular basis because of financial problems. A number of farmers who supplied paddy to…

Malawai families without water for a week

The Dreketi Pumping Station was shut down for eight days leaving 78 families in the Malawai settlement in Vanua Levu without any water. The pumping station ran out of money to buy fuel, the residents were told, and was shut…

Celebrating Diwali: when good overcomes evil

In the Hindu tradition Diwali is symbolically associated with the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Diyas (oil lamps), candles and other lights adorn the house and its environs, dispelling the darkness of Kartika, the darkest month…

FLP’s October price survey

Fiji Labour Party’s three-monthly price survey of food and basic household items shows sharp increases in the price of meat, liquid milk and ghee but prices of other items have remained largely steady compared to the July survey (see table…

FLP opposes new FEA deposit rates

FEA should first furnish an account of all moneys collected since 1966 as security deposit before it can raise the deposit rate, says the Fiji Labour Party. Letters have been sent to the Authority as well as to the Minister…

FLP opposes new FEA deposit rates

FEA should first furnish an account of all moneys collected since 1966 as security deposit before it can raise the deposit rate, says the Fiji Labour Party. Letters have been sent to the Authority as well as to the Minister…

Union Bashing

Despite strong opposition from trade unions at home and the international community, the interim government has gone ahead with the enforcement of Decree 35 with the promulgation of Regulations that identify essential industries covered under the Decree. The National Farmers…

ILO concerned at the gravity of the Fiji situation

The International Labour Organisation has expressed “deep regret” at the Fiji government’s decision to go ahead with restrictive labour laws (Decree 35). In a strongly worded statement issued on 13 September ILO Director-General Mr Juan Somavia said it was essential…

Putting the record straight, Dr. Narsey

So, in typical fashion my good friend Dr. Wadan Narsey has availed himself of another opportunity to take a swipe at the Fiji Labour Party and me personally. It is regrettable that he chose to do so while paying tribute…

FLP writes to the President on FNPF

The Fiji Labour Party has written to HE the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to intervene in the FNPF pension dispute. The CEO of the Fund has threatened that the reduction in the rates of pensions announced recently will be made…

On trade unions and their rights…

The National Farmers Union rejects claims by the Information Ministry and the Fiji Sun that its officers are paid hefty salaries and perks from union subscriptions. “The executives of the NFU have never been paid for their services to the…

Travel ban – a violation of human rights

The move by PSC to place a travel ban on students and their guarantors who have not paid back student loans, is an inhumane, knee jerk reaction and a violation of their human rights. We refer to the front page…

Why is the media silent on the FNPF court case?

There has been a noticeable lack of information in the local media on the high-profile FNPF court case which came up for hearing on 4 July. One wonders why the media has suddenly gone so silent on the issue considering…

Excessive liquidity worries Bank

Bank of Baroda chief executive Pabitra Kumar Das is worried that a lack of borrowers and the excessive liquidity in the system will impact adversely on his bank’s performance. At Baroda’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Mr Das said (Fiji Times 6/7/11)…

Pension cuts must be opposed

The Fiji Labour Party welcomes and fully supports the legal action taken by former Human Rights Commissioner Shaista Shameem and her client David Burness against the FNPF’s arbitrary decision to cut pension rates to 9%. The Party calls on all…

Cost of living continues to rise

A quick survey of current prices for food and basic consumer goods on supermarket shelves show most items have gone up in price in the past six months, showing increases ranging from 5% to 55% (refer to table below). The…

FNPF reforms misdirected

No need to cut pensions, says Labour (Revised Paper) The Fiji Labour Party says the long term viability of the FNPF can be maintained without making cuts to the current rates of pension benefits. In a submission to the FNPF…

Internal dialogue is the way forward: Labour

The ANZ’s regional chief Michael Rowland is advocating a grand “coalition of interested countries” to begin dialogue with the Fiji regime on returning to elections and democratic rule. In an interview with Radio Australia this week, Mr Rowland argues, in…

Devaluation and Vat boost fuel prices

Consumers in Fiji would have been paying 22.5% less for fuel had the Fiji dollar not been devalued by 20% and VAT not increased to 15% from January this year. This would have meant a current fuel price of $1.94c…

Permit for Ram Naumi celebrations

The Fiji Labour Party was shocked to hear that Hindus are required to have a permit to celebrate the Hindu festival of Ram Naumi – Lord Rama’s birth. The Fiji Times reported on Thursday that Pt Mahend Sharma of the…

Sugar unions not responsible for the industry decline

Trade unions and politicians cannot be blamed for the current critical state of the sugar industry, says NFU General Secretary Mahendra Chaudhry. He was responding to statements by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama blaming the “politicisation” of the sugar industry for its…

ADB cautions Fiji on escalating debt levels

The Asian Development Bank has cautioned Fiji on its escalating debt level which stood at 58% of the GDP at February end. In its February 2011 issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor, the Bank says: “Reducing debt levels (currently nearly…

Price survey of basic consumer prices

A Fiji Labour Party survey of prices of food and basic consumer goods in the past three years show massive increases ranging from 20% to as much as 400% for some food items. These increases are registered even for food…

Labour delegation presents i-reguregu at Viseisei Village

A delegation from the Fiji Labour Party, the National Farmers Union and the Fiji Trades Union Congress presented its i-reguregu at the chiefly village of Viseisei on Saturday. The delegation of 10 included Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and FLP’s assistant secretary-general Lekh…

Tribute to the Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilo

The Fiji Labour Party regrets the death of the former President and Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, CF, MBE, MSD, KStJ who passed away on Sunday. Ratu Josefa, 90, had a long and illustrious career first as a primary…

DPP withdraws unlawful assembly charge

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) this morning withdrew charges of unlawful assembly filed against Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and five other FLP/NFU members last October. When the case was called in the Ra Magistrates Court this morning, the prosecutor told…

Obituary

The Fiji Labour Party mourns the death of one of its longest serving stalwarts, Satyendra, a retired senior civil servant, and former Suva City Councillor. Satyendra, 65, passed away at the CWM Hospital in Suva at 4 am today after…

Labour slams Coup 4.5 mischief

The Fiji Labour Party slams as mischievous lies a report in the Coup 4.5 blog that Mahendra Chaudhry and Felix Anthony are organising a protest march for next month. This is yet another example of baseless and malicious reporting by…

Where to in 2011?

Yet another year has ended. It is a convention, as we stand on the threshold of a new year, to take stock of the past in order to prepare for the year ahead. Four years have lapsed since the regime…

Where is our road user levy going?

Fiji’s roads have never been in such a shocking condition, says FLP’s Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi. And he has questioned why the millions collected in road user levy from motorists was not being used to fix the roads. “I have been…

The sacking of two senior DPP officials

Yet another summary dismissal of two senior lawyers from the DPP’s office raises serious concerns about the independence of that office. The sackings yesterday of deputy DPP David Toganivalu and another lawyer Ana Tuiketei signal continuing instability at the DPP’s…

HOW THE POOR FARED IN THE 2011 BUDGET

Kevin J. Barr [Note: Father Kevin Barr says each year he does a paper for the newspapers based on his analysis of the impact of the Budget on the poor. This year both the newspapers chose not to publish it….

Record Borrowing for 2010

State borrowings in 2010 run into a staggering $740 million – the highest ever in Fiji’s history. Of the total, domestic loans (from FNPF) amount to $498 million, while overseas loans add up to $242 million. The provision for debt…

Chaudhry responds to Khaiyum

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has reiterated his concern that the imposition of a 15% VAT will bring acute hardship to the poor and low and middle income families. He was replying to comments on Fiji Village by interim…

Correction

Correction to a slight error in a quote attributed to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in FLP’s response to the 2011 Budget regarding the 15c per litre tax imposed on Fiji Water. Mr Chaudhry said,”I wonder what process of enlightenment has…

Budget 2011

The imposition of a 15% VAT on all goods and services will have a massive impact on the already troubled Fiji economy. It is a devastating blow to the poor, and the low and medium income earners. The 20% increase,…

Reply to Coup Four Point Five trash

It seems Coup Four Point Five is trying to detract attention from its own failings and inaccuracies by reverting to Chaudhry bashing again. The blogsite is becoming quite notorious for its sensational and false reporting and we have had occasion…

Labour critiques Thakur Ranjit Singh

A piece by Thakur Ranjit Singh on Pacific Scoop, following the Auckland launch of Brij Lal’s book on Jai Ram Reddy, attempts to compare Reddy to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry In doing so, he quotes a military analogy used by…

Labour critiques Thakur Ranjit Singh

A piece by Thakur Ranjit Singh on Pacific Scoop, following the Auckland launch of Brij Lal’s book on Jai Ram Reddy, attempts to compare Reddy to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry In doing so, he quotes a military analogy used by…

Website issue amicably resolved

Fiji Labour Party leaders met this morning with officials of the Information Ministry to discuss the administration’s warning regarding the FLP website. Labour President Jokapeci Koroi and Leader Mahendra Chaudhry met with the Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns and…

Minfo warns FLP

The following letter was received from the Ministry for Information. We have referred it to our legal counsel for advice.

Accountability for Ministerial payrolls

Fiji Labour Party calls on the interim government to comment on the authenticity of reports that salaries of Cabinet Ministers and a legal consultant hired by the government are paid through the accounting firm of BDO (Aliz). There have been…

Awarding of $½m Rewa Dairy contract questionable

The authorities must investigate the awarding of a Rewa Dairy contract for $500,000 to a Suva accounting firm with very close connections to the Minister for Commerce, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. The contract for a restructure of the dairy company was…

Labour Leader charged

Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon charged with alleged offences under the Penal Code, Exchange Control Act, and Proceeds of Crime Act. The substance of the matters constituting the charges were earlier…

RBF distorts data to paint a favourable picture

It has become glaringly obvious for sometime now that the monthly economic reviews of the Reserve Bank misrepresent economic data to paint a favourable picture of our ailing economy. In its June review, the RBF points to a pick up…

Labour marks its 25th anniversary

The Fiji Labour Party this month observes the 25th anniversary of its birth, marking 25 years of dynamism at the centre stage of Fiji politics.  These 25 years have been momentous – we have tasted the sweet joys of success…

The Revised Budget

The revised 2010 Budget proved to be just a housekeeping exercise to contain the Budget deficit to within 3.5% of GDP. Expenditure cuts of $75 million are to be made to attain this objective, apparently on advice from the IMF,…

Mini (Revised) Budget tomorrow

On 15 June we had warned that a mini budget was likely in July because of the precarious state of government finances. The administration has now announced that the Finance Minister will deliver a revised budget tomorrow (2 July). Why…

Fund raising for poor children in Taveuni

The Taveuni Branch of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha (a Hindu religious organisation) has embarked on a project to raise funds to assist poor parents pay for the education of their children. The project was announced by the Branch…

Lack of Power hampers development in Taveuni

The island of Taveuni will continue to lag behind in development and economic progress until such time as the island is ‘energised’, says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. This was the sum total of views expressed to him by the business…

North bemoans rising cost of living

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry visited Savusavu and Taveuni from 4-7 June to meet with the people and inaugurate a religious function at Delaivuna in Taveuni. Commenting on his visit, Mr Chaudhry said that people in the North complained bitterly about…

10th anniversary of the 2000 coup

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 19 May 2000 coup that deposed the Labour-led People’s Coalition Government of Mahendra Chaudhry resulting in the 56-day hostage crisis in Parliament. Staged by failed businessman George Speight and the CRW soldiers, the…

May 14 – a historic date for Fiji

May 14 has special significance for Fiji – it marks the arrival of Fiji’s first Indians in 1879 on the coolie vessel Leonidas and it is also the ill-fated date of Fiji’s first coup d’etat against that community in 1987….