NFP condemns politicisation of temples

The National Federation Party says Government is mixing religion with politics and has described it as a despicable and shameful act.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Tuesday night’s speech by the Attorney General on behalf of the Prime Minister was a classic case of how Government is using places of worship to preach politics and shamelessly accuse Opposition political parties.

Professor Prasad said it was hypocritical of the Fiji First Government to preach misinformation, lies and cheap politics in a temple when it had accused others of doing so, in particular the Methodist Church of Fiji that for some years was prevented by the Bainimarama regime from holding its annual conference

“It is a blatant lie that opposition parties have not condemned desecration of temples.  We have done so through the media right at the outset, called for a full-scale police investigation and harsher penalties for those found guilty of such acts”.

“We even visited three temples that were desecrated”. We don’t have to publicise our visits unlike Government that indulges in gutter level and cheap politics with a daily newspaper that benefits from taxpayer’s funds through exclusive government advertising in tow to capture their visits”.

Professor Prasad said both the PM and AG should learn from the Police Commissioner who outlined what the Force is doing in terms of investigating offences of desecration and increasing police visibility.

Authorised by: –

Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader


NFP Leader responds to PM and AG over temple desecration

NFP calls on Minister, ATS Board and Management to resign.

The National Federation Party says the Order by the Employment Tribunal for the management of Air Terminal Services to all allow all ATS workers to resume their duties within 48 hours confirms the abysmal failure and deliberate highhandedness adopted by the Employment Minister and the Chairman, Board Members and Management of ATS.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the ATS Chairman, Board Members and Management should take queue from the Order and resign.

“The Order confirms the stand of all others except Government and ATS that the workers were prevented from entering the ATS premises. Simply, 49 percent shareholders of ATS were refused entry into their company premises by those who are their employees (Management)”.

“This was deliberately ignored by the Employment Minister, the Board Chairman and Management. They knew fully well that the Management had issued a directive to ATS security officers to lock out the workers who had gone to meet and take resolutions regarding the operations of a company they co-own”.

“This resulted in the workers, their families and children spending Christmas and New Year in tents”.

“Ignorance and defiance of the law is inexcusable and they must do the right thing and resign”.

Authorised by : –

Professor Biman Prasad
NFP Leader

NFP Leader tells Minister, ATS Chair and Board to resign


The National Federation Party says since workers’ rights are human rights, it stands shoulder to shoulder in the march in Nadi this Saturday and in full support of the locked-out Air Terminal Services workers who have been prevented from returning to work in a company that they have 49% shares for, for the past 27 days.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said while regrettably he won’t be in Nadi on Saturday as he is in India attending the PIO Parliamentary Conference with the other two NFP Members of Parliament–Honourable Parmod Chand and Honourable Prem Singh—an event also attended by some Indo-Fijian Government MPs, he has urged all NFP members and well-wishers to show solidarity by participating in the march.

“Throughout our 54-year history we have always supported any legitimate and lawful action to highlight the plight and grievances of our ordinary workers and aggrieved citizens. Saturday’s march is no exception and our Vice President in Nadi Mr Faizal Koya will lead the NFP supporters along with our Nadi stalwarts”.

“It is important to show solidarity towards the ATS workers who are victims of heavy-handed Government appointees and the ATS Management’s dictatorial and authoritarian decisions in total defiance of the law which requires the Employment Minister to describe the lockout as illegal”.

“We have sighted a Memorandum dated 16th December 2017, in which the acting ATS CEO instructed the ATS security officers not to allow ATS workers who on that day had gone to have their shareholders meeting, to enter the premises until further notice. The memorandum is signed by the acting CEO, Mr Hari Mani”.

“Despite the existence of this memorandum that clearly ordered the Security Officers and the Managers to execute the lock out, the Employment Minister failed abysmally in his duty to declare the lockout illegal and instead declared the workers’ action as illegal. This seemingly all points to the regulatory capture and collusion between the Government and all their appointees”.

“It is gravely preposterous that the Employment Minister in a later statement said he agreed with the Management’s action, thereby clearly showing his partiality and inability to act as a mediator”.

“Therefore, those who have the rights and freedoms of workers at heart should come and fully show their support and solidarity towards the ATS workers inhumanely locked out in the drains, and their families”.

Authorised by:

Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader


Attached: ATS Acting CEO Memorandum

NFP Leader – Workers Rights are Human Rights – Media Release

ATS Actg CEO Memorandum

NFP President Queries Continued Late Release of 2017 Census Results

The National Federation Party has questioned the continued lateness of the 2017 Census results as promised by the Bureau of Statistics office from the end of December last year.

“It’s concerning that this standard taxpayer funded exercise is not being made fully and publicly available to the taxpayers despite the multiple assurances made thus far”, said NFP President Pio Tikoduadua

“We note a Fiji Broadcasting Corporation news report today that the census findings have been finalised and is currently with the Attorney-General & Chief Legal Advisor to the Government, A/Minister for Education, Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications for his perusal.

“Perhaps the Prime Minister as the Head of Government should step in, since the line Minister is on holiday abroad campaigning, and release the results as this critical data is essential for nation-building and resourcing prioritisation.

Releasing these results will do much to make an independent office like the Bureau of Statistics office NOT look like liars.”

Authorised by:

Pio Tikoduadua

NFP President

NFP President queries late release of Census results

Delay in special cane payment unacceptable

The National Federation Party has slammed the Fiji Sugar Corporation for delaying the payout of the $3.05 per tonne special cane payment and has demanded that the FSC make the payout immediately as it was withheld last year specifically to be paid well before the start of the 2018 school year.

NFP General Secretary Jagannath Sami says when the final cane payment for the 2016 season of 44 cents was topped up by $9.15 by Government last October, FSC had announced that a sum of $3.05 per tonne would be paid well before the start of the 2018 school year.

“This has not been done and cane growers and their families are struggling to purchase school necessities for their children because the new school year starts   on January 15th, which is next Monday”.

“FSC should immediately release the payment. It is not from their share of proceeds but taxpayers’ funds and has been clearly intended to assist our growers”.

“Furthermore, there should not be any deductions whatsoever from this special payment, unlike last October when more than 70% or around 9,000 growers were virtually left penniless due to deductions from the final payment of $2016”.

“We also call on the Minister for Sugar who is the Prime Minister to direct FSC to firstly make the payment immediately and secondly refrain from making any deductions”.

“Furthermore, the PM and the Sugar Cane Growers Council should write to the commercial lending institutions and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund not to make any deductions for debt repayment”.

Authorised by:

Jaganath Sami

NFP General Secretary

 NFP General Secretary slams FSC

PM parroting same tune

The Prime Minister Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama is parroting the same tune as his subordinate the Attorney General and the Chairman of Air Terminal Services in attacking politicians and unionists who have visited and assisted the locked-out workers and ATS shareholders, says the National Federation Party.

NFP Leader Professor Prasad said it was highly unfortunate that honourable Bainimarama chose the opening of a taxpayers’ funded project in Tailevu to accuse and malign politicians and unionists, who amongst many others like the vanua and religious groups have been visiting and providing assistance to the workers locked out by ATS Management for the last three weeks.

“The PM is parroting the same tune as the Attorney General and the Chairman of ATS who happens to be the AG’s brother. All three are speaking the same language, blatantly disregarding the plight of the workers who are 49% shareholders in ATS, turning a blind eye to breaches of Companies Act and mismanagement, and deliberately ignoring the serious error of his Employment and Industrial Relations Minister in the handling of the impasse”.

“Here is a Prime Minister who has done the very opposite of what he has been preaching – common and equal citizenry and that no one will be left behind. His remarks are a kick in the guts of the workers and their families who together with their children spent Christmas and New Year in tents”.

“The PM has called us cheap politicians. Yes, we are cheap in the sense that we are not on a salary of over $328,000 annually, do not get an average of $3000 daily in allowances for overseas travel and always fly first class when traveling overseas like him”.

“We are cheap because we earn only $50,000 per year, use our personal resources to help the needy in whatever little form we can and have provided humanitarian assistance to the ATS workers to bring smiles to their faces and those of their families and children during the festive season, unlike him, his subordinate the AG and his brother”.

“We wear this as a badge of honour”.

Authorised by: –

Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader

NFP Leader responds to PM- Jan 2018

LTA’s Regulatory Enforcement is Draconian and Inhumane

The National Federation Party says the ultimatum by Land Transport Authority to road haulage companies in the country to clear their backlog of $5 million worth of fines for overloading will put great financial pressure on the companies and severely impact their operations.

NFP President Pio Tikoduadua says the $5 million was accumulated through a fine of $1000.00 per tonne in excess of the stipulated weight of a vehicle.

“LTAs hostile fine collection approaches that are targeting small and medium owned enterprises is burdening them with unrealistic timelines”.

“While we appreciate that the Land Transport Authority is mandated by law to ensure safe and orderly travel on our national roads, the NFP is inundated with complaints from SMEs in the private sector who they feel are being unjustly shackled with undue pressure to cough up these huge fines”.

“One such example is the Fiji Road Haulage Association (RHA), whose members are the lifeblood of mobility of goods in our economy. The RHA has been liaising on behalf of its members to secure an amnesty period for the payment of $5M fines from the deadline of to 15 January 2018”.

“While NFP acknowledges that haulage takes a toll on the wear and tear on the roads, and that the RHA must pay its fair share of the use of the roads, there must surely be a more consultative way forward”.

“Furthermore, where overloading is concerned, surely the involvement of the Fiji Roads Authority makes sense”.

“More concerning is that RHA members who have fines pending will suffer to pay a penalty of another 50% if they do not pay by 15 January 2018. How is this unilateral approach a fair way to regulate?”

“RHA members are being strong-armed into paying these fines “under protest” before the 15 January 2018 deadline, while they consider legal action”.

“In addition to the LTA levying a 50% interest rate on top of unpaid fines by the due date, the LTA’s revised laws also empower them to issue departure stoppage or they are black-listed from leaving the country”.

“The heavy hand of regulatory capture is now running roughshod on the private sector and serious questions now arise as to how the economy can expect to sustain over-regulation such as this”.


Authorised by:

Pio Tikoduadua

NFP President

Mob: 7196802

NFP President- LTA fines will kill SME’s

NFP Leader questions ATS Management on whether returning workers are being Victimised

The National Federation Party has questioned the Management and Board of Air Terminal Services to come out clean on whether they are victimising those locked out employees who have returned to work by telling them they will not have any pay rise and employment promotion for the next two years.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says if this is true, then the Board and Management of ATS is also discriminating those who have a 49% stake in the company.

“We have been reliably informed that those who were locked out more than two weeks ago and have chosen to return to work have been told that they will not be given any pay rise or promotion at work. This is victimisation and discrimination”.

“We ask the ATS Board and Management to come out clean on the issue. We also believe that the Management also stated that those workers who walked out would not be paid for the duration of the lock-out and would be subjected to disciplinary measures upon their return to work”.

“So far, we have seen that ATS Board, Management and the Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister have defiantly and illegally treated this as a strike issue”.

“It is not. It is purely 49 percent of shareholders in ATS expressing concern at how the company is being run and seeking justice”.

“It is shocking that the honourable Minister is not correcting his decision to declare the walkout by workers who are shareholders to attend a meeting as a strike. For argument’s sake, even if the Minister is right, then then he should also order that the workers return to work immediately”.

“He either failed to or deliberately did not do this. He also either failed to or deliberately did not declare the lock-out by ATS Board and Management illegal”.

“This is giving rise to perception that the honourable Minister is dancing to the tune of the Management and the Board”.

“To dispel this perception, the honourable Minister must do the right thing”.

“While the rest of Fiji celebrated Christmas and New Year, the workers, their families and children spent the festive season in tents. This impasse must end and nobody should be victimised and discriminated including those who have opted to return to work”.

“No one must be compelled into saying or signing any document, including the letters as unlawfully required by ATS”.

 “And more importantly, the honourable Prime Minister who has advocated globally to finding solutions through Talanoa, should spearhead the same to end this impasse”.

“He has been consistently saying that under his leadership no one will be left behind. He should put this to practice and ensure that no ATS worker is victimised”.


Authorised by:

Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader

NFP Leader- Are ATS workers being victimised_


The governance of Fiji needs to take a new direction in 2018 for all our citizens to witness genuine parliamentary democracy and full restoration of fundamental human rights and freedoms that are prerequisites for real social, political and economic advancement of our nation.

To ignore fundamental problems that plague our nation would be doing so at our own peril. In Fiji, calling everyone Fijians and saying they enjoy common and equal citizenry doesn’t guarantee fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, freedom of association, worker rights, political rights, permanent tenure of employment particularly in the civil service, and freedom of the media.

Common and equal citizenry also does not guarantee job opportunities based on meritocracy, rendering common and equal citizenry meaningless. It does not guarantee decent and meaningful living wage. It does not guarantee timely and efficient delivery of medical services and dispensation of the required medicine. It does not guarantee a reduction in cost of living.

There are many other challenges we face as a community and as a nation that can only be overcome through genuine unity, bipartisanship and sound and sensible leadership.

This is what the NFP will do in 2018, which is going to be a defining and momentous year for Fiji. The decisions we make and the actions we take collectively as a unified harmonious force will have a profound effect on all of us and our future generations.

A New Year is naturally the culmination of the festive season. It is a time of rejoicing, reflection, making resolutions and welcoming the New Year with celebrations in a spirit of togetherness and harmony.

It is also a time to remember the sick and the infirm, the less fortunate and all those unable to celebrate New Year with the same passion and vigour as others due to various reasons, particularly the locked-out workers of Air Terminal Services who are 49% shareholders in the company.

Together with their families and children, they spent Christmas as well as are spending New Year in tents outside a company they co-own with Government.

At the same time, the Prime Minister’s absolute silence on an issue that has dragged on for over two weeks, is shocking. Any leader of a nation should be concerned about an impasse that is not only affecting workers but their children and families.

The best start to the New Year would be for the Prime Minister to intervene and order ATS Board and Management to allow the workers who are shareholders to freely return to work without loss of pay and benefits and also order an independent inquiry in the operations of ATS.

As a party born out of the struggle for dignity and justice of all our people 54 years ago, the NFP will continue the struggle for our beloved nation to once again become a beacon of hope and trust.

Change is coming. Change is inevitable.

We wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2018.


Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader


Fiji needs sound and sensible leadership – NFP Leader