State puts claim to rest
Friday, March 13, 2015
HEAD of Government in Parliament Pio Tikoduadua and acting permanent secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Naipote Katonitabua have urged members of the public not to rely on information concerning Government on blog sites and social media.
Their comments came in the wake of claims published on those sites of a split in Cabinet - forcing a possible reshuffle. "The best thing is not to get your news from the blogs," Mr Tikoduadua told this newspaper. Mr Katonitabua said there had been no discussion of a Cabinet reshuffle. "Right now, there is nothing of discussion. Nothing has been discussed on that matter," he said. "I think we just need to wait. If some reshuffle needs to be made, it will be done by the Honourable Prime Minister himself." He said the issue of reshuffle was just rumours. "If there is anything, you await the opening of Parliament next week but everything is normal as it is - nothing of that (Cabinet reshuffle) incident." Source: Fiji Times
From Fijileaks Archives:
What next coup beneficiary ('No Military Men Will Benefit From the Coup') and car loan defaulter Tikodudua: 'Don't believe Victor Lal's 2012 revelation of the contents of the Board of Enquiry Report on Assault of State Prisoners on Board Fiji Naval Vessel ‘KIRO’; Last week, Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca tabled a copy to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs & Defence Standing Committee.
From Fijileaks Archive, 2012:
And here is Viliame Naupoto, election loser and human rights abuser who led the vicious and brutal assault on George Speight and other State prisoners on their way to Nukulau; now Naupoto back with the RFMF
Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca tabled copies of the Board of Enquiry Reports on the 'Alleged Hostage taking Incident at the Nabua Police Station' in June 2000 as well as the Alleged assault on state prisoners on board the 'Kiro' while being transported to Nukulau Island to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs & Defence Standing Committee last week.
Some aspects of these reports have been online before however they remain 'unofficial' and Ratu Isoa felt that this document should be tabled during the Standing Committee on torture as it was relevant.
Ratu Isoa said the copies of these documents are on their way to the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission who was widely reported in the local media as saying they would use Fiji as an example to the world for our Human Rights record. Obviously Ratu Isoa said he was surprised that a Chairman of such a high office like the Human Rights Commission should be so badly informed or totally ignorant of the facts to have praised Fiji Human Rights record as he did.
If the news reports were a 'spin' from the Ministry of Information, as I understand they might be, Ratu Isoa said, but since there has not been any retraction or correction to the statements attributed to the Human Rights Commission Chair, it does not auger well for countries like us who experience abuse and torture, when a body that should know better allows itself to get caught up in such an orchestrated QORVIS style promotion of Human Rights that is just not true.
THE COUP IS A FORM OF TORTURE:
Ratu Isoa Tikoca
Coup d’état is an action that tortures the mind, it offends the soul and the whole value system of a person and so much so, it is enough to create an instability of the mind and emotions that it even kills its victims. This type of torture which afflicts the realm of the mind and soul has been be referred to as psychological torture
A physical enforcement to remove someone from his position or post and to deny him all the benefits associated with such post through a coup, can lead to death; is is a form of torture in itself!
The devastating physical and mental affects of such treatment of form of torture touches and impacts the immediate family members.
The extension of the impact of this torture extends widely and destabilises the family, and relatives of affected workers of all those who are dismissed from senior Government positions without cause or compensation; this happens in most coup d’états in Fiji.
They usually target Permanent Secretaries, Executives of Departments not to mention Members of Parliament ,Judges and even Ministers and Prime Ministers and Chief Justices. The targeted victims, are expected to just take these unwarranted actions quietly and without a whimper. This is happening to our most senior and respected citizens who have risen to their positions through education, merit and hard work, and I believe with God’s blessings, and these people command the respect of their communities, Vanua and Churches.
Given our small communities and as mall nation of under a million population in Fiji, the element of surprise and shock treatment, and public humiliation that follows have taken a heavy toll on our country in terms early deaths and all forms of mental illnesses. We now have in Fiji, one of the highest rates of suicide in the region and in the world not to mention the cases of attempted suicides. These figures will be denied by many especially the perpetrators of the coups but I am advised that it can be independently verified.
Many of former politicians and senior public servants who have been simply cast aside have died and no attempt has been made to investigate these early deaths. No attempt has been given to the study of their illnesses even given the huge problems faced by our health system. We have not got sufficient expertise to attend to the study these illnesses resulting from the coups and miss- treatment of various forms of mental and social dislocation. Our universities have limited number of specialists or expertise to be devoted to the study illnesses falling within this category.
Therefore, this type of torture affects many ‘legions people I believe and given the many coups we had have including the unsuccessful one( of 2000),we have people who have been affected over generations: from the first Coup in 1987 to the most recent coup in 2006 and to the present .
I believe those who have suffered from the type of torture that have highlighted have suffered more than or just as much as those who have suffered through physical torture. In fact those suffering mentally, emotionally and psychologically, suffer in silence, they are humiliated, their dignity is offended and their spirit is broken. In fact, they are our ‘walking dead’ and they are in our midst and yet they are voices and are seeking redress through this Standing Committee.
This is why I am seeking the views of this Committee to discuss this matter in detail as the destructive ramification of the impact of the coups continues to haunt victims for a lifetime especially when perpetrators of the Coup enjoy the benefits of their actions.
It is envisaged that the long arm of the Law will one day eventually catches up with all those who are guilty but the timeline varies and the damages incurred to the Nation as well to the individuals, communities and families may become irreparable.
Even if UNCAT is amended and ratified by the World, and another Military Leaders wishes to take power in a coup, we will be back to where we were.
So we should also target the provisions of giving a wider power to the Military as is the case in the 2013 Constitution. After all the Coup of 2006 was justified under the provisions of the 1990 Constitution which was another imposed Military Constitution which gave such wide powers to the Military.
Our experience in Fiji on this has been well documented in books and historical texts and it points to this is a crucial issue: that we must remove all likely possibilities of provisions in the Constitution that could be exploited by another Military leader to bring about another coup. This must be stopped and discouraged if we are really serious about stopping all acts of torture and other related illegal activities.
In hindsight Fiji is one of the many Nations in the world who has seen various styles of coups and our academics and writers have documented fully the many negative consequences of coups in our country.
We have enough experiences of the past are founded well with experiences of the past and we can share those experiences to others and of cause we are happy to contribute to international conventions and local actions necessary to change domestic laws to nullify this atrocious act and set up conditions to compensate victims of past coups and bring those responsible to the courts as a deterrent.
The compensation I feel we should work on should be three fold and this should to be agreed to locally and internationally as follows:
1. Compensation for forced removals
2. A life pension for all those peoples that are
affected directly by the coups.
3. All perpetrators FNPF [Superannuation Scheme]
funds to be cut by 50% and these monies be
directed to a special fund to be administered by
the Justice Department in support of the
families of coup victims.
The Law must continue to be pursued to charge the perpetrators and extensive search be conducted as well in relation to those people and their relations who have illegally financially benefitted from the coups
The property of these perpetrators should be confiscated and sold and the proceeds returned to the public purse for the benefit of the country.
I seek the Committees indulgence to assess and deliberate on the proposal and act on it.
Hon. I.D.Tikoca CM, MSD
Foreign Affairs and Defence Standing Committee
(1) Board of Enquiry Report on Assault of State Prisoners on Board Fiji Naval Vessel ‘KIRO’
(2) Board of Inquiry Report into Alleged Hostage taking incident The Nabua Police Station Monday 19th June 2000