#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fiji Airways new CEO incurred millions in losses in last two jobs

Track record for making a loss: Andre Viljoen
Birds of a feather flock together and this anecdote gets real every time the regime or its stooges appoint someone to a powerful position.

The latest is the appointment of Andre Viljoen as the new CEO and managing director of Fiji Airways.

Andre Viljoen, who will take up the Suva-based appointment in October, has left Air Mauritius with more than $50 million (27.7 million Euros) in loss.

Before joining Air Mauritius, Andre Viljoen was with South African Airways (SAA) and also left that company with a loss; this time $103 million dollars ($6 billion South African Rand).

Andre Viljoen joined Thomson holidays after SAA and was there for two years, making structural changes which led to job losses.

Inquiries by Coup4.5 has also established that while at SAA Andre Viljoen was being sued for seizing control of its rival, Sun Air, and then shutting it down.

Despite this information being readily available about Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways has appointed him without seemingly making checks or, worse, in spite of his disastrous record.

Nalin Patel
A media release quotes the chairman of Fiji Airways, Nalin Patel, as saying "the Fiji Airways Board is extremely pleased that the Company would be led by someone, who as CEO of Air Mauritius, had transformed that airline, restored it to profitability and attained the coveted Skytrax 4 Star rating for product and service."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Archbishop says flag designs need to be re-evaluated

by Archbishop Peter Loy Chong

The Oxford Dictionary states that a flag is a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country. The flag is a symbol of a nation's identity, beliefs and values.

Therefore to create a new flag and ensure it truly represents a nation's identity, those charged with this task must understand the notion of a symbol. What is a symbol and how does it function?

I wish to contribute to the formulation of Fiji's new flag by providing a framework for understanding the flag as a symbol. I draw my contribution from Roger Haight's book "Dynamics of Theology".

Haight's discussion on symbol draws from two prominent Christian theologians, Karl Rahner (Catholic) and Paul Tillich (Protestant). Rahner's theology of symbols is rooted in a great doctor of the church, Thomas Aquinas, and Aristotle.

Haight argues a symbol may be simply defined as that through which something other than itself is made present and known. In some cases the symbol may be the only way through which the thing symbolised is actualised or known. A symbol makes something else present and actual. It makes known something other than itself.

In the religious context, symbols make God known and present. A symbol can be anything, an event, or person in history which mediates or makes present to human consciousness the presence of God in one way or another.

A good synonym for symbol is medium. In other words a symbol mediates the experience of God. Since a symbol is a medium its function is to point to something beyond itself or something other than itself. This is what makes a symbol a symbol, namely the ability to point to something else.

A symbol is more than a mere sign. A sign bears no internal connection to that which it signifies. A symbol on the other hand has the capability of making present that which it symbolises.

Paul Tillich goes further by stating a symbol participates in that which is symbolised. The symbol makes present what it symbolises. Since a symbol communicates and makes the divine present, it must be meaningful to the people of the particular culture.

The above understanding of the symbol can help us understand the significance of a national symbol such as the flag.

A flag symbolises a nation's identity, history, beliefs and values. The flag should communicate and make present to people what their nation stands for. The symbols in the flag point to the nation. To see the symbols is to see their national identity, beliefs and values.

Symbols will only speak to a people when it is drawn from their culture. Hence, a foreign symbol cannot speak to the local people. It must be added here that an effective symbol needs no interpretation or explanation. In other words, an effective symbol has the power to communicate what it symbolises and hence no need for explanations.

From what has been said about the nature and function of symbols we can make some concluding remarks in relation to the proposed new Fiji flag.

1. The Fiji flag should communicate Fijian identity, beliefs, values and aspirations.

2. The new Fiji flag should use effective and powerful local symbols that communicate Fijian identity, beliefs and values.

3. The symbols should be drawn from the major local ethnic and religious communities.

The 23 probable flags should be evaluated and critiqued in light of these three points. The comments we are getting in the media show the 23 probable flags fail to communicate the Fijian identity, beliefs and values.

Any Fijian who sees the Fiji flag should see something of the Fijianness in his or her heart.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fiji's new flag will be chosen out of these 23 designs

Get ready to say goodbye to this flag
The final designs have been chosen for Fiji's new flag and Fijians have been invited to give their feedback on the one they like the most.

Out of the more than 2000 designs, only 23 were chosen.

On the website, the Fiji Flag Committee says "Fiji’s existing flag contains symbols that are outdated and no longer relevant, including some anchored to Fiji’s colonial past. 

"After 45 years of independence it is time for Fiji to move on from those colonial connections and adopt a flag that reflects its position in the world as a modern and independent nation-state."

The committee says "the flag designs chosen contain symbolism that is meaningful to all Fijians and reflects Fiji’s proud status as a modern and independent nation".

Here are the final designs, which, if any, do you think should become the new flag of Fiji?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Insults can be thrown in Parliament - but only by a select few

So it's okay for Frank Bainimarama to insult the Opposition in Parliament but if they do it, they're pulled up for it?

Remember the kaisi bokola and Tui Cakau incidents?

In this video you can catch Bainimaram saying “...viri iko vei dua na tavaiya qo” [I'll throw this bottle at you]

Another example of one rule for the democratic regime and another for the rest!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fiji government continues to bend rules to suit itself

In the last week, we've seen the regime led 'democratic' government get away again with breaking the rules to suit itself.

The classic example was the case of the Tui Cakau being disciplined for 'swearing' at the Speaker of the House at a public meeting in Makoi.

The Privileges Committee heard an audio recording  provided by Communications Fiji Limited and proceeded to recommended that the Tui Cakau be suspended from Parliament for two years. 

Ratu Naiqama asked the Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni to allow the recording to be played in Parliament yesterday, to show that his words were not directed at the Speaker of the House.

"When we listen you don’t only make judgments from the first part of the speech. You need to take the full context of what transpired in that meeting – and only then Madam Speaker would one be able to get the full picture of where I was coming from and what was said at that meeting."

Predictably, Dr Jiko Luveni ruled that the recording would not be played in Parliament.

Question: what's wrong with this picture? Answer: multiple examples of conflicts of interest.

1. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, the principal complainant who moved the motion for Parliament to discipline the Tui Cakau and said he had an audio recording of the incident, is a member of the Privileges Committee.

2. Dr Jiko Luveni's deputy, Ruveni Nadalo, is also a member of the Privileges Committee.

3. Dr Jiko Luveni, the subkect of the complaint, makes the decision for the recording not to be played in Parliament.   

Khaiyum insists Ratu Naiqama committed contempt. His argument was:

"....it is also contempt when you actually make scurrilous comments about judges. That is also contempt, not because they have not followed any orders but because they make comments about the institution which is represented by the judge."

"It is exactly the same situation in this, where you actually do not necessarily have orders, but where comments have been made about the Speaker which is the representative of the Legislature. So, contempt is not simply a question of not following orders, contempt is the respect for the very institution that we are talking about, Madam Speaker. It is quite clear, it is clear as daylight."

There are many many examples of the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand and leaders of the world being criticised, sworn at and belittled, but have people been penalised for this?

No, because in a real democracy, this is what you call 'freedom of speech'.

Another example of  the Bainimarama government's unfairness is the case of the 7000 submissions for the new Fiji flag by SODELPA youth.

On May 1 when the Fiji Flag committee said they had received 1430 submissions, SODELPA youth responded asking "Where are the 7000 entries we submitted?"

This question was ignored until last week, 19 days later, wehn Khaiyum told Parliament that they had received the 7000 submissions from SODELPA youth.

So why weren't the SODELPA youth entries added to the total number of entries the Fiji Flag committee received?

Let's all stop pretending everything is well in Fiji.

The Khaiyum and Bainimarama regime have been blinding the people of Fiji for years; first via decrees to stop people fighting them, then by installing their own people in positions of power and finally with freebies such as rubbish bins and promise of free milk. 

But Parliament is a farce. 

It pretends to follow the laws, quoting this and that while establishing sham committees to show accountability.

At the end of the day, guess who gets their way in the pretence of democracy?

This Bainimarama (the puppet) and Khaiyum (the real leader) government were thugs before they were elected and remain thugs, despite their efforts to be 'clean'.

The so-called Parliament will continue to trot out sanitised rulings but in reality it is as false as Bainimarama and Khaiyum.

God bless Fiji.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tui Cakau suspended from Parliament

Tui Cakau
The Privileges Committee has recommended that Tui Cakau be suspended from Parliament for two years for using obscene words to describe the Speaker of the House Jiko Luveni.

The Committee has an audio recording from Communications Fiji Limited where Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu calls Luveni a 'vutusona' and 'cavuka'. The incident took place at a public SODELPA meeting last Thursday in Makoi.

In it's report tabled in Parliament this morning, the committee said:

According to the audio recording, it is clear that Hon. Lalabalavu referred to the Hon. Speaker as “vutusona”. The iTaukei term is extremely obscene and gravely offensive as it literally means anal sex. Following that statement, Hon. Lalabalavu then referred to the Hon. Speaker as “cavuka”, which means retarded or mentally challenged when he had mocked her by saying that she stood up when the Opposition side stood up during a particular sitting. In all these instances his reflections on the Hon. Speaker drew laughter from the audience.

When summoned by the Committee to give his evidence, Hon. Lalabalavu was evasive about what had actually transpired at the SODELPA meeting. He also stated that the slurs in the iTaukei language may not have been necessarily directed at the Hon. Speaker.

Hon. Lalabalavu also submitted that the manner in which the slurs were said did not mean that they were abusive as such, especially since the Hon. Speaker is also a member of the Tovata Confederacy. According to Hon. Lalabalavu, that is the relationship of the “vanua” and in the context of the “vanua”, that is how they engage in such a cultural setting.

However, the fact is that this meeting was a public meeting for which a permit had been obtained. The fact is that this was not a cultural gathering of the Tovata Confederacy. This was a public meeting by SODELPA which advertised this meeting as constituency meeting in which all members of the public were invited. It was not limited to members of the Tovata Confederacy. It was covered by the media for all Fijians.

The committee's report stated:

It should be noted that under section 20(h) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act (Cap. 5), any person who utters or publishes any false or scandalous slander or libel on Parliament or upon any member in his or her as such commits an offence and such an offence warrants inter alia imprisonment for a maximum of two years.

Hon. Lalabalavu viciously and scandalously attacked the Hon. Speaker and made a mockery of the institution of Parliament and important arm of the constitutional system of government. It was so vicious and scandalous that it would be difficult to find such contempt in other jurisdictions.

Given the above, the Privileges Committee strongly recommends that Hon. Lalabalavu must be suspended from Parliament for at least two years of the term of Parliament, with immediate effect from 21 May 2015. During the period of suspension, he is not allowed to enter the parliamentary precincts including the Opposition Office. He must also issue a public apology in writing to the Hon Speaker. Immediately upon his suspension, he must be ordered to leave the precincts of Parliament and to remain outside of Parliament precincts. If he fails to comply, necessary enforcement measures must be imposed to ensure compliance. 

The recommendation is being debated in Parliament and it is highly likely it will be passed.

Side note: When Jiko Luveni was illegal Minister for Women she blamed women for getting raped.

She said: "Women should dress modestly and help men in the national campaign to cut down sex crimes.” 

“If a girl is going out to drink with guys in an isolated area wearing shorts or clothes showing off her body, she is inviting trouble."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Khaiyum cites Tui Cakau for 'swearing' at Speaker

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum claims the Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu swore at the Speaker of the House, Jiko Luveni, and has pushed Parliament to discipline him.

Yesterday in Parliament, Khaiyum called the Speaker 'Vutusona' and 'Cavuka' then said he has a recording of Ratu Naiqama saying those same words at the Speaker. 

This recording is yet to surface.

The swear words were apparently used at a Sodelpa meeting last Thursday, not in Parliament. But Khaiyum claims Ratu Naiqama breached his Parliamentary privilege.

Should we then start disciplining any parliamentarian who swear outside of Parliament?

The Fiji Parliament is already a circus, now this.

Khaiyum put this motion to a vote:

  1. Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu be cited for a serious breach of privilege and contempt of Parliament
  2. that the matter be now referred to the Privileges Committee under Standing Order 134(2)(b) to determine the type of sanction for the breach and
  3. that the Privileges Committee must meet today 18 May 2015, and provide its recommendations to Parliament at the latest by Thursday 21 May 2015 as to what sanctions should be imposed by Parliament against Honourable Lalabalavu, after which such action as deemed appropriate by Parliament shall be taken.

A number of members in the Opposition decided not to vote.

The matter is now before the six-person Privileges Committee, one of whom is Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. 

The Committee will deliver its verdict on Ratu Naiqama's fate on Thursday.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

28 years on and fears of another coup looms

Twenty eight years ago today saw the start of the infamous coup culture in Fiji when a third asking officer in the then Royal Fiji Military Forces, Sitiveni Rabuka, executed the first military coup and removed the five week old NFP/FLP Coalition Government of Dr Timoci Bavadra.

Today 28 years on and four coups later, the new 50-member Parliament is meeting in the same hallowed Chambers. And today the exceptionally tight security around Parliament including the closure of the road behind Parliament (the main entry) shows how the government, whose leader and other members are beneficiaries of the 2006 coup, still live in fear of being overthrown.

Fiji Times Front Page May 14, 1987
Why the need such tight security because wasn't the 2006 coup to end all coups?

Why does Frank Bainimarama's government need such tight security?

After all, the military carried out all four coups in Fiji. Even the 2000 coup led by George Speight was carried out with the firepower coming from CRW soldiers.

So why is Bainimarama afraid of the now Republic of Fiji Military Forces - the army that he led for 15 years?

Aren't the current Commander and all soldiers loyal to him?

Why block roads with checkpoints and hinder movement of ordinary citizens?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Terminally ill Bainimarama supporter resigns

A not unexpected statement today from Pio Tikoduadua about his health.

The former Lieutenant-Colonel,  Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and Fiji First Minister has resigned from his position in Parliament citing health reasons.

Tikoduadua has been loyal to the regime to the end; support by citizens has over the years been rather ambivalent.