Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lets Take a Change of Scenery - Shall We: Via Kiwi- David Farrar's Eyes "Around Wales"




Sent to you by fijian-kiwigal via Google Reader:







via Kiwiblog by David Farrar on 27/06/11



Drove west over to Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. Very amused to find these cows sleeping in the middle of a roundabout. This was not unique – unlike NZ, many Welsh farms are not fenced in. Cows, sheep and even horses roam next to and across some of the roads.



All along Gower, there are cliffs and the ocean. Magnificent views.



Many of the roads are what I call tree tunnels. They are barely wide enough for one car, but believe it or not are two-way roads. Beautiful roads to drive along, but you drive very slowly and should be prepared to reverse often.



These are the remains of Oxwich Castle. It is also home to a display about the history of Wales which was very interesting.



This is the view from the Worm's Head Tavern at Rhossili. Had a nice lunch here and the views are to die for. Which would happen if you fell over the edge.



This sheep is enjoying the good life.



If you walk for a km or so you get to the western most point, where you can descend down and at low tide cross over to the "Worm's Head". it does indeed look like a worm with a head. You need to time it carefully as if you stay over there for too long, you will be trapped for 12 hours.



Another view of the beach at Rhossili



These horses are at Cefn Bryn.



This is Arthur's Stone. The legend is he threw a stone from Llanelli which landed here. In reality is is a burial site from the neolithic period, so is up to 10,000 years old.



The ruins of Swansea Castle in Swansea.



The interior of Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.



Outside the cathedral they've got hectares of old cemeteries to rumage through.



This is Caerphlliy Castle, north of Cardiff. It is the second largest in the UK, and well worth a look around.



On the way out of Wales, popped into Caerleon. It was home to a Roman legion and fort, and one can see the remains of Roman baths plus this amphitheatre. There is also a free museum with artefacts from the era.


Caerleon is also where Camelot was located according to Geoffrey of Monmouth.



Leaving Wales via the second Severn Bridge – 5 kms long.


I was not planning to visit Wales as traditionally the reputation of Cardiff especially has been rather dour. But really glad we did. Cardiff is a lovely city, and South Wales is beautiful – the Gower Peninsula especially was just great to drive around.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A 'Fijian' Letter to Hon Jon Key: Prime Minister of New Zealand


From Mr Sai Lealea's desk:


Ni Bula Vinaka



Please feel free to send out the content of the email so community can email them to PM and McCully and also to their local MPs.

To get your local MP: Click here.

The email format for MPs is (first name.second name@parliament.govt.nz)




Rt Hon John Key



Prime Minister

Parliament Buildings

WELLINGTON



Dear Prime Minister


On behalf of the Fiji Pro-Democracy Movement in Wellington, I am seeking support to extend Ratu Tevita Mara's Visa for up to two weeks when he visits New Zealand early next month.



The extension of his Visa will enable Fijians in Wellington and other parts of New Zealand to engage and meet with Ratu Tevita over their many concerns about their home country Fiji. We also regard Ratu Tevita's visit as providing a unique opportunity to learn and be part of efforts to return Fiji to democratic rule.



You will no doubt be aware that due to strict reporting restrictions in Fiji, we have been unable to learn or follow key developments in Fiji that directly impact on Fijians in New Zealand. These include, among others:



· Changes underway to Fiji's national savings and retirement scheme – Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF)



· Changes to utilisation of Fijian land



· Changes to Fijian institutions at national, provincial and village levels; and



· Ideas and ways in which we could contribute to support our families and efforts underway to move Fiji closer to civilian rule.




We note that Australia's decision to grant Ratu Tevita an extended stay has enabled him to travel to key States there meeting and sharing with Fijians about the real situation in Fiji. This has been very well received by those involved and has led to renewed optimism and hope that both Australia and New Zealand's stance on Fiji are well grounded and supported. In fact some of us would like to see an escalation in efforts to further target sanctions against those from both New Zealand and Australia who are aiding the regime of Frank Bainimarama. Like Ratu Tevita, we share the view that while current sanctions are working, there is scope for it to be further strengthened.



I also know most Fijians in New Zealand would welcome the opportunity to meet and engage with Ratu Tevita despite his previously high profile role in the current regime in Fiji. This desire is based on the fact that Ratu Tevita has willingly accepted the role he played in the 2006 Coup and his readiness to face up to the consequences on return to normalcy in Fiji. To Fijians, receiving and engaging Ratu Tevita is in no way condoning the part he played in the 2006 Coup, but merely extending common courtesy and Fijian generosity to someone who has turned from his bad ways. Therein lie the opportunity to utilise and support Ratu Tevita in his quest to inform governments about the real situation back in Fiji as well as sharing a common way forward via the Ten Point Plan that was recently launched in Canberra, Australia.



While others may have voiced a contrary position, we are firmly of the view there is nothing to be gained by not working with someone who's willing to put his guts and soul to secure the same outcome we're all been seeking for Fiji. Whatever side of the argument one takes on this issue, there is no doubt we're all united that we want a return to democracy for Fiji and soon. The people in Fiji and the nation deserve it and are crying out for it. To quibble about Ratu Tevita's motives or indeed his sincerity to rid Fiji of the dictatorship there is sadly missing the real objective of all our efforts.



Thank you for the opportunity to place before you our request for an extension to Ratu Tevita's Visa and to appraise the government of New Zealand about our genuine desire to learn of the real situation in Fiji.



Yours sincerely


Mr Sai Lealea


Interim President
Wellington Fiji Pro-Democracy Movement

Reflection by Luvei Viti Think Tank Forum

We totally endorse Mr Sai Lealea's letter and will be out there to see that the Freedom Fiji people once enjoyed be restored in its totallity. If Roko Ului's visit is to be that link so be it.

LV Team

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frank’s National Provident Fund a good case for International Criminal Court

Sent to you by fijian-kiwigal via Google Reader:

via Raw Fiji News by rawfijinews on 22/06/11

Frank's National Provident Fund board and management should be very cautious implementing their proposed reform in July 1st, 2011.

Disadvantaging 10,836 Fijian pensioners by illegally slashing their pensions from their current annuity rate between 25%-15% down to about 8.5%, which converts to well below the poverty line of $180 per week for most, is another significant case of crime against humanity by Frank's junta and his FNPF cronies.

It's the kind of wholesale crime against humanity that the International Criminal Court don't take lightly, especially when it involves helpless elderly disadvantaged civilians whose lives will soon become a misery if the junta's FNPF board and management have their way.

And here are the people behind this crime against the Fijian pensioners:

Illegal Attorney General Aiyaz Khaiyum, illegal Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and illegal FNPF Chairman Ajith Kodagoda

Other culprits not in the picture :

Board Members and Trustees

Taito Waqa

Tom Ricketts

Tevita Kuruvakadua

Sashi Singh

Management

Aisake Taito

Jaoji Koroi

Waqairawai


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fiji Labour Party Stalwarts & Opportunists Lobbying Already: How Pathetic!! Radio New Zealand Appears to be Feeding off this Mr Nobody 'Nik Naidu'!!





Reflections: Who is Nik Naidu to be given so much airtime in New Zealand speaking on behalf of all Fiji people living in New Zealand. We do not know him and have no interest in his part of co-ordinating his Fiji Labour Party movement as it appears to be. If for anthing these hard core Fiji-Indian group sitting up in Auckland with Alton Shameem & Co are the very ones that had propped up Bainimarama & Khaiuyum making Fiji in the mess it is now.

A case in point, lets ask Nik Naidu & Co, who was the Indian business men/women that helped Blue Chips in Auckland struck a deal with Fiji National Provident Fund to proceed with hotel developments in Momi Beach which then became bankrupt? Who was their contact sitting in the Ministry that actually signed the documents agreeing for the release of Fiji National Provident Funds towards the project? These are just some of minute questions we would like Nik Naidu & Co a group of Fiji Indian business men/women that have tried to flag themselves as wannabe leaders just because Roko Ului is hard out trying to resolve the impasse Fiji is in.

Like it or lump it, we do not know you Nik Naidu & we will organise ourselves the way we want to not your way.
If Radio New Zealand gives you airtime for your thoughts and views, we don''t because we have no idea who you are and what you have done for Fiji to be claiming to be a spokesperson for God knows which segment.
By Luvei Viti Think Tank Team.

From: Nik Naidu [mailto:Nik@pcking.co.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, 14 June 2011 12:31 a.m.
To: Stuart Huggett; halia.haddad@parliament.govt.nz
Cc: Jone Baledrokadroka; Tupeni Baba; K.N.Investments Ltd.; Asenaca Uluiviti; Robin Irwin
Subject: RE: Visit of Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara to NZ

Stuart








Not sure what has brought about all these responses from you? As spokesperson, I am compelled to respond as you have gone 'public' with this.As mentioned to you, we are a Coalition of many groups, view points and people.



Out of the 20 committee members and people who were consulted, 4 have your point of view, 12 agree with what was in the media release, and we have yet to hear from the other 4. Now our decision making process is that we go with the majority view - that is democracy in action! 3 of the 4 that think Mr Mara should be allowed to visit NZ - respect this decision and have accepted it. You are the 4th person - but you have chosen to go public with your disagreement, and lobby against it! However, this is your democratic right and we respect it, but it appears we need to clarify our position further.



Also, as mentioned to you on the phone on Saturday, your thinking around this is understood, but we work on a consensus, and our final media release (after 5 drafts!) is also consistent with and inline with our aims, and what we have been saying since 1987.



And also as mentioned on the phone, your view is also respected, and we feel you should respect the committee's stand. This is how we have worked since 1987, and there are many times when I, for example, have personally had to tone down or compromise what I felt. Can we not agree to disagree on certain things? We cannot have it all our way - that, I think is hinging on a dictatorship? And do we not want the same things for Fiji - equality, respect for human rights, following the rule of law, justice and fairness for all it's people?



The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji does not formulate policy with regards to whether it pleases the illegal military regime in Fiji or not. It stands on principle. We are not a political organisation and do not align ourselves with any political party. We are a human rights organisation.



We believe in a peaceful non-violent solution to Fiji's future - what message do you send if you have a torturer and military person as your 'poster boy'?



And not sure what other movements for democracy you are talking about? There is possibly one other political-party-sponsored group and another ethnically-aligned movement in Australia which supports democracy. And not sure why this issue or disagreement on a matter of principle should 'split' any groups that are in support of democracy? Surely, you should give us all more credit - we will not 'split-up' just because of a disagreement on the granting of entry to an army colonel., who until recently was very much disliked by these other 'significant number of Fiji people' that you mention. Those 3 that do not agree are still with us - and they have emailed back amicably with their views. It is hoped you are still with us? There are much wider and more important issues to debate and work on - such as the future of Fiji, rather than debating amongst ourselves on a 'suspect army has-been'.



This is just a storm in tea cup, and it will go blow over, as have many other similar issues have in the past, but we will still be here. We have made many dozens of statements in the past on upholding human rights, and opposing perpetrators of violence. How come Mr Mara is so special? Plus do we really want this sort of person being a champion of the pro-democracy movement?



And how is it that we are giving so much prominence to a military commander and a person who has committed treason and human rights abuses? And why 'look forward to him standing before a court to answer for them in due course' – why not put him on trial now? Are these the credentials that a (future) Fiji leader should have?



Are we that desperate and that vehement about our dislike for the current regime, that we are willing to compromise our principles and become supporters of a man who only until recently was carrying out gross human rights abuses?



Stuart – we need to stand firm on what we believe in, and not be swayed or tempted by unethical politicking.



By copy of this email, I am also bcc'ing it to the committee and wider-coalition.



Nik Naidu













From: Stuart Huggett [mailto:stuart@architectspacific.com]
Sent: Monday, 13 June 2011 5:16 p.m.
To:
halia.haddad@parliament.govt.nz
Cc: Nik Naidu; Jone Baledrokadroka; Tupeni Baba; K.N.Investments Ltd.; Asenaca Uluiviti; Robin Irwin
Subject: Visit of Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara to NZ




Dear Halia




My name is Stuart Huggett. I am an architect in NZ and Fiji and before the Fiji military coup of 2006 was the chairman of the Public Service Commission in Fiji.





I am writing to inform the Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs that a significant number of Fiji people here in New Zealand do not agree with the stance taken by Mr Nik Naidu in his recent letter to the PM and yourself. Specifically we are disturbed that his recent statement will have the effect of splitting the democracy movement here just at the time when a major effort is required. This, of course is just the sort of outcome that the Fiji regime would relish. I am hoping that the movement here in New Zealand will be meeting during the coming week to provide a more coordinated response to events and I will keep you up to date with our deliberations.





To strengthen this opinion of support for the efforts of Ratu Mara I think it is significant that two ministers of the deposed Qarase government, currently here in New Zealand - Hon Robin Irwin and Hon Rajesh Singh - agree most emphatically with this point of view.





For your information I am copying below the text of my recent email to Nik Naidu on this matter:





Dear Nik







Further to our discussion yesterday evening I have to confirm my disagreement with this request to the NZ government. I think that now is the time for all the Democracy for Fiji movements around the world to stand up with a single voice and Mara, at last seems to be the person able to do this. Barring him from NZ makes this strategy much more difficult and is divisive. Frankly I see no difference between talking to John Samy as you do, and talking to Ului Mara - both are/were supporters of an illegal, treasonous and abusive regime which is steadily destroying Fiji. Mara, at least seems to have seen the light whereas Samy seems still to be part of the 'team'. As for Mara's various human rights crimes I look forward to him standing before a court to answer for them in due course - as he has indicated he is prepared to do.





By fragmenting the various democracy movements - as this proposal; does - pressure on the Fiji regime is diluted and far less effective, in fact, Bainimarama and Kaiyum would right now be hoping for exactly this outcome from Mara's defection.







Please let me know if I can help with any further information






















Kindest regards
--
Stuart

A R C H I T E C T S P A C I F I C

http//: http://www.architectspacific.com/
email:
stuart@architectspacific.com






Phones: +64 9 354 4743 (NZ)





+679 330 3855 (FJ)
Mobiles:
+64 21 288 1942 (NZ)







Level 3 26-28 Hobson Street, PO Box 106-943.





Auckland 1143, New Zealand





108 Amy Street, PO Box 1171





Suva, Fiji

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bainimarama revealed as the Stomper and Basher of Pro-Democracy Activists

Sent to you by fijian-kiwigal via Google Reader:

via discombobulated bubu by discombobulated on 27/05/11
Watch video for revelations of this first hand confession .. and read Laisa's own statement below ...

LAISA DIGITAKI'S STATEMENT

& SEQUENCE OF EVENTS


RE – PRO-DEMOCRACY GROUP OF FIVE ROUNDING UP AND BASHING, BY THE RFMF ON
DECEMBER 24th ‑ 25th - 2006.


On Christmas Eve night of 24th December, 2006, a group of soldiers came to our home at I2 Kavika Place, Muanikau, Suva at around II.20pm in a rental car registration number LR627.


Members of the family who were at the property at that time were myself, Laisa Digitaki, my partner, Sitiveni Weleilakeba, our son, Mosese Qionibaravi (I9), and three daughters, Susana Qionibaravi (I7), Fiona Weleilakeba (I3) and Natasha Weleilakeba (8). A security guard was also on duty.


According to the guard, Marau Vakaloloma, of Matrix Security Company, the soldiers advised him through the closed electronic gate that they were there to take me to the camp.


The guard told them to wait outside the gate so he could advise us.

He rang the door bell which was answered and opened by our son Mosese.


My partner Sitiveni, who was asleep with me heard the door chime and also went downstairs to the front door to check. He said the guard told him of the soldiers presence and he told our son to go back to his room and that he would talk to the soldiers. He walked over to the closed electronic gate and was informed by the soldiers that the order from their superior was to take me to the camp for interrogation.


My partner then came back into the house to our bedroom and woke me up saying that a group of soldiers were outside waiting to take me away. I went downstairs in my sleeping gown and - asked them why they wanted to take me at that ungodly hour.


One of them said that I needed to be taken to the camp immediately.


I told them that I needed to speak to my lawyers at Munroe Leys as I wanted to be escorted by them too. The guy mentioned that I need not speak to my lawyers as it would only complicate matters and that they needed to take me peacefully and that I should not fear as they claimed that we were all related anyway.


He also said that another group of soldiers was on their way and their job is to forcefully remove me from my home if I resisted. The gentleman who seemed to be their spokesman looked familiar to me as the SDL Nasinu Branch Secretary. I do not know his name.


I asked their spokesman if I could change into decent clothes of which he said yes. I went back to our bedroom and changed into a mustard Marcs three quarter pants, a "Fiji Me" bright green round neck T‑Shirt, pink golf cap, and brown leather Hush Puppies slippers. Before I walked out of the house, I called my Munroe Leys lawyer, Mr Richard Naidu, to advise him of what was happening.


I then walked out peacefully and into the yellow rental car with the soldiers.


I was introduced by the spokesman to each of them and he mentioned that the one sitting on my left was from Vanuabalavu, Lau, and the one on my right was from Namosi. The Namosi lad looked like the person who headed the Namosi soldiers who presented an apology to Commodore Bainimarama for their part in the 2000 coup. I do not know his name.


The other two soldiers were calling him Sir so I can only assume that he is a high ranking officer.

Their spokesperson did not elaborate on the driver, who was also an indigenous Fijian.


They mentioned that they were also after Imrana Jaial, Virisila Buadromo and the rest of our pro-democracy youth group. Imrana's home is two houses away from mine and I told them to leave her family alone and that there was no point in going to Imrana's home since she was away overseas for business anyway.


The four soldiers were very friendly and we were even cracking some jokes on our way to the camp. They said that most of the soldiers were SDL supporters and that I shouldn't be afraid. I told them that even-though I helped with the SDL election campaign, I was totally against most of the things they came up with soon after the election and that I was not supporting SDL but was doing what I was doing not for the restoration of the SDL government but for the restoration of democracy and law and order in Fiji.


As we arrived at the camp, I was told to walk into a room situated on the left hand side of the main gate which I will call the guardhouse. The Namosi soldier gently requested that, I hand over my cap, Sony Ericsson mobile phone and Raymond Weil watch, which I did. They told me to sit awhile on a white plastic chair and after a few minutes, I was led into a passage way from where I was sitting and realized that they were cells. On my left, I noticed two young men asleep in the first cell in their underwear snoring and noticed another figure in the same cell but couldn't figure out whether it was a person as it was quite dark.


On my right, I noticed my business partner, Imraz lqbal, lying on his back on the cold cement in his red underwear. I greeted him before they locked me in the cell opposite Imraz's. After a few minutes, they opened the cell again and led me further down to the last cell where they locked me up again. The cell was darker than the one before. An indigenous Fijian soldier in civilian clothing came to me and started accusing me for talking against the army takeover. He ordered that the mattress I was sitting on be removed so that I could sit on the cold cement floor.


More indigenous Fijian soldiers walked over to my cell to peek with some saying their Bulas' while the others did not utter a word.Overall, the soldiers at the guard house were pleasant and not intimidating except for that gentleman who was angry about my pro‑democracy stand. After about 20 minutes in the cell, the Namosi soldier came and freed me and asked if we could go together to get Pita Waqavonovono, another pro‑democracy advocate. He was very apologetic and told me that he was very sorry with all that was happening and the inconvenience it was causing.


I told him it was ok and that I fully understood that he was only doing his job for his family's welfare.

As I walked out of the guardhouse, I saw a man that looked like Meli Bainimarama, Commodore Bainimarama's son in full uniform and watching me walk out.


The Namosi soldier led me to a four wheel drive parked outside the guardhouse.

He sat at the front passenger seat with the driver on his right while I sat alone at the back seat.

They drove me to Pita Waqavonovono's dad's house, Mosese Waqavonovono, opposite the St Agnes Primary School at lower Mead Road. The gate was locked and there were dogs barking from inside the gate.

By then, I noticed another white car with more soldiers park next to the car I was in. I deduced that it may have been an unmarked escort. The Namosi soldier then asked me politely to call Pita and to explain to him that he needed to come out and to join us peacefully.


I called Pita who advised that he lived with his mum and step‑dad at 58 Pathik Crescent Place in Namadi Heights. I explained to him that the soldiers wanted to talk to our group and that it was important that he adhere to their orders and to join me peacefully when we get to his place. He agreed. Our entourage went straight to Pita's house where I was again requested by the Namosi soldier to call Pita to walk out peacefully.


His step‑dad, Ratu Timoci Vesikula, came out first and asked the Namosi soldier what he wanted in the Fijian language. The soldier explained that they were there to take Pita to the camp. Ratu Timoci asked the soldier as to what type of leadership the army was doing for demanding his child's removal from their family home to the camp. The soldier replied that they only wanted to ask him some questions.


Ratu Timoci asked the soldier whether it wasn't enough for the army that his child was already taken to court for his peaceful protest and why the army demanded further interrogation when the matter was in court.


The soldier replied that he was only caring out orders from his superiors.


Ratu Timoci then asked for Commodore Bainimarama's number to tell him how disgusted he was with the way the military was treating his son and their leadership style. The soldier and Ratu Timoci exchanged angry words and the soldiers admitted that he did not know Commodore's mobile number. Ratu Timoci then invited the soldiers in for a cup of tea but the soldiers rejected his offer. He then sought assurance from the soldier that if they were to take his son, the army will have to make sure that they return him in one piece to their home. The soldier agreed.


Ratu Timoci then walked back into the house and walked Pita to the car I was in. Ratu Timoci and his wife said their hellos to me and we were transported back to the camp where I was dropped off again at the guardhouse. Pita was asked by the Namosi soldier to accompany another group of soldiers to pick Jackie Koroi as they were not sure where she lived. The soldier made some calls on his walkie talkie. He than advised me to run with him to a place he called the officer's mass which was about I00meters away from the guardhouse. He led me to this semi open hall which was in total darkness.


As we entered I noticed the silhouette of I person standing in the hall which turned out to be Virisila Buadromo. As I moved closer to talk to her, I heard a man's voice call out that Virisila move some I0 meters away from me.


I saw another silhouette of a man standing across the hall from me. I could not see their faces as it was very dark.Both man started asking us in Fijian language why we were making their lives miserable by talking against the military. I did not answer and one of them asked us to give them a reason why they should keep their soldiers out at the check‑points during Christmas. I answered that they were doing their job. They then demanded an answer from Virisila but she did not answer.


One of them asked me whether I was intelligent of Which I answered no.


One of them moved closer to me, he would be the same height as me but with a bigger and firmer built.

He wore a hat pulled down to about eye level but I couldn't make out who he was as it was too dark. His voice sounded familiar to that of Pita Driti.


He lifted his arm and cocked a hand gun on my face and asked me whether I knew that sound. I answered that I did.


I could see the silhouette of the hand gun from the spec of light from a far off tube light at the top left hand corner of the building we were in. He then ordered me to sit on the floor at the spot where I was standing.


I scratched my hair and he yelled why I was scratching my hair.


I told him that a bug crawled up my hair of which he screamed that I am not allowed to scratch my hair as it could not be a bug since there was no light.


I kept quite and remained still.


After being interrogated for about 30 minutes, we were then ordered to run to the ground directly opposite the officer's mass. We were led down the road onto the steps to the ground up to a cement pitch which I presume is the cricket pitch.


We were told to lie face down with our arms beside us and chin up.


One of the soldiers asked me whether I was pregnant of which I said I was not sure. A pair of boots immediately jumped onto my lower and middle back and bounced on it for a few seconds.


The soldiers started calling us names and were swearing at us.


One of them walked to our faces and told us to kiss his boots which we did.


One of the soldiers started accusing me personally and mentioned Naisoro (a friend and colleague during the SIDL election campaign), Chang (a friend and a business client of my PR company) and Weleilakeba (my ex‑husband and now a live‑in partner) and asked, "so how many other men have you f*&


He accused me of stealing money from Chang and blamed me for corruption.


I could feel boots running over my body followed by kicks on my sides and slaps on my face. Another soldier slammed my neck and than my face against the cement with his boots. I turned my head to the right in pain while he trembled my face on the ground causing my cheek to graze against the cement ground.


I felt a toad placed between my thighs and I heard a soldier say that a toad be given to Virisila to hold.


She was lying face down next to me on my right and Imraz on my left.


Imraz was then told to crawl a distance forward and back again while they kicked him.


I than heard Pita and Jackie marshalled in forcefully and told to lie on the cement and the same treatment was also given to them.


The soldiers said that from the camp we should go straight to our democracy shrine in Lami and dismantle it and that they do not want to see any shrine when day light breaks because they did not want their soldiers to see any more of it.


The torture and verbal abuse went on for about 45 minutes until one of the soldiers ordered that we get up and run to the gate. We ran across the ground and jumped over a ditch. Virisila fell in the ditch since she couldn't see too well after the soldiers smashed her glasses while we were lying at the cement pitch.


She managed to scramble out quickly. We stopped at the guardhouse by the gate to ask for our belongings but they told us to keep on running towards the main road which we did.


Pita Waqavonovono began to fall behind as he was very tired and I slowed down to be close to him.

Imraz, Jackie and Virisila were ahead of us as I was worried about Pita. After a while, I did not hear his footsteps behind me and when I turned back, I saw two soldiers pulling him back and beating him up so I decided to go back and help him but the soldiers angrily ordered me that I continue running forward or else I was going to get it too.


I caught up with the rest of the group at the main entrance to the camp at Mead Road and saw Ms Shameema Ali and other members of the Fiji Womens' Rights Movement and Mrs Gina Pickering of RRRT.`

They hugged Virisila and asked us what happened when the soldiers told us to keep on running along Mead Road.


We continued running while the NGO car followed, together with two military van packed with armed soldiers who were shouting out, "Toso, toso". We ran a while, walked and ran again when the soldiers shouted us to run. As we were nearing the turn off to Namadi Heights, the Namosi soldier appeared in his rental car and told us to walk as he could see that we were all very tired. We walked up the Mead Road hill and took the left turn off at Lovoni St, through Bureta St on to Princes Road.


We were passing Howard Place along Princes Road when Virisila's partner got off a car to join us.

Further down at the Indian Ambassador's Residence, Angie Heffernan, a member of an NGO got off a cab and ran towards us to find out what happened but we told her that we couldn't talk much or stop as soldiers were behind us in their vans. As we turned off to Reservoir Road, I noticed Imraz's twin cam parked opposite the Australian embassy together with the Namosi soldier's rental car.


He stopped us and gave us our belongings and told us that we were free to go.

We bade farewell with merry Christmas hugs and kisses before Jackie, myself and Imraz left in Imraz's car.

Virisila and her partner decided to find their own way home from there.


We were driving to our Lami office and democracy shrine when we were stopped by soldiers at the Delainavesi checkpoint. We waited in the car for about 5 minutes before they gave us the ok to proceed.


When we reached the office, we noticed that the pro‑democracy banners were stripped off, the main door to my top floor office was broken together with the door to the middle floor office. Both offices were trashed with graffiti on the wall saying Merry Xmas Happy New Year Laisa Chang.


I picked up the spray cans strewed on the ground and sprayed over my name.

Jackie was picked up by her grandmother and aunt while Imraz dropped me home at around 3.30am.

What an eventful X‑mas !


God Bless Fiji and its peoples and may democracy and law and order be restored soonest.


Laisa Digitaki


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#NaDinaFijiTruth Seeker & HumanRightsActivist.

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