Category Archives: Press Release

NFP lodges permit for protest march

SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER 2019

The National Federation Party has lodged an application with Police for a permit to march on Fiji Day to highlight the continuous delay in the conclusion of the investigation into the alleged assault of NFP President Pio Tikoduadua by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

NFP General Secretary Seni Nabou has confirmed to the Fiji Times that an application on behalf of the Party was lodged by her with the Divisional Police Commander Southern on Wednesday, within the 7 day notice period stipulated by law.

Nabou said the application to police is for a permit to allow a maximum of 5,000 NFP members, supporters and well-wishers to march through Suva City from Rodwell Road to Constitution Avenue on Fiji Day on Thursday 10th October.

“The NFP wants to highlight issues about the rule of law, genuine democracy and is concerned about delays by police in concluding the investigation into the alleged assault of Mr Tikoduadua by the Prime Minister”.

“The fact that investigations were not completed is cemented by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions decision to return the file that police had submitted to it (ODPP) and has directed police to further investigate the matter”.

“Today is Day 57 since the alleged assault took place on August 9. It  was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people after footage of the event, which was captured on a parliament camera went viral on social media”.

“The NFP supporters are rightly asking why the alleged aggressor is still free to globe-trot and earn hefty salaries and perks while the victim has been suspended from parliament and has lost all  privileges including his salary”.

“On Fiji Day on 10th October, it will be 62 days since the alleged assault. This is causing serious disquiet and concern amongst our supporters who want to demonstrate peacefully to highlight the issue”. “We have also written to the Fiji Roads Authority seeking permission to use the route  from Rodwell Road to Constitution Avenue on October 10”.

Authorised by:

Hon. Prof. Biman Prasad – Leader

NFP says First Government has made FSC Bankrupt

WEDNESDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2019

The continuous disastrous financial performance of the Fiji Sugar Corporation means the reality is that the technically insolvent FSC is now bankrupt, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.

Professor Prasad said at no time in history has FSC  continuously suffered such huge losses like in the last decade.  For the financial year ending May 31, 2019, FSC recorded a consolidated loss of $23.1 million and an operating loss of over $80 million. Last year FSC announced a small profit of $800,000.   

“This is unprecedented. And blame for this lies entirely on the shoulders of  Prime Minister & Minister for Sugar, his Minister for Economy and the FSC Boards over the last decade”.

“What we are saying is no exaggeration”.

“This is because the Independent Auditor’s Report clearly states that uncertainty exists and this  casts doubts on the Corporation’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

“The Independent Auditors further state that the financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts and classification of liabilities that might be necessary should the entity not continue as a going concern”.

“While the Auditors note that the current financial status is critically dependent on Government’s support, they point out government guarantees and possible more financial support is dependent on the price of sugar, the quantity and quality of cane supply and success of mill improvements”.

The NFP Leader said the Independent Auditors could not have been  more direct and forthright about the extremely bleak reality facing FSC and the sugar industry.

“The irony is that what the Auditors point out has seemingly been done by both the Bainimarama led military regime and  the Fiji First Government through pumping in of millions of dollars supposedly aimed towards increasing sugarcane production and providing incentives to cane growers”.

“But this has not happened. Cane  and sugar production have declined by almost 50% from the pre 2006 coup levels”. The number of active growers has drastically fallen by almost 6,000 in the last 12 years”.

“Despite this the Prime Minister, his Minister for Economy, and the FSC Board that has been almost entirely led by two expatriate Chairmen for 12 years continue to claim how they have revitalised the industry and FSC”.

“The current government has made diabolical decisions, resulting in stupid policies being unilaterally implemented.”

 “They have continued to reject our calls for bipartisanship to collectively work together and find meaningful solutions to resuscitate the industry and FSC”.

“Any business cannot run without a quality and quantity supply of its core product. IN FSC’s case it is sugarcane to produce sugar”.

“And this government’s efforts to incentivise growers to do just this has been a colossal failure that has led FSC to a point of financial collapse”.

“This is the sad and painful legacy of the Fiji First government”.

NFP AGM 2019 – Speech by NFP Leader Hon. Prof. Biman Prasad

Saturday August 24th 2019

Lautoka Hotel

Thank you for being here today at the party’s AGM. We have opted for a quiet, low-key event rather than a full national convention. It is still only a few months since the last general election. We sense that, other than the diehard party members, many of whom are here, ordinary voters are a little tired of politics after last year’s election and other political events. But we are glad to see many loyal party executives and supporters here.

This AGM is the first since the 2018 election. After the intense activity of 2018, we have encouraged our party activists and supporters to take a break to reflect on the past and plan for the future. We believe the party ran a strong and principled election campaign. In it, we set out our plans for Fiji. We know that we were outspent, 10 to 1, by the Fiji First Party. We know they ran an unprincipled campaign, based on fear and threats to people’s security.

And we now know the result. The Government achieved a paperthin majority of 50.02%. They were saved by a flawed electoral system that uses the d’Hondt method of calculating proportional representation. Despite getting almost 7.4% of the votes in the election, NFP got only 6% of the seats in Parliament. If it was proportional representation NFP would have got 4 seats.

Then we had the fiasco of the election case in the Court of Disputed Returns. SODELPA and NFP jointly challenged the election result. We were treated to the spectacle of the elected Government of Fiji hiding from the people of Fiji for two days and two nights. There they were, camped behind locked doors with mattresses and takeaway food while the people stood outside. They came out only after the time had passed for them to be served with court papers.

We could not continue our court action because the Government has never issued written rules on how an election petition should be conducted. The court ruled against us on how we should present our evidence – although we have never had written reasons for the court’s decision.

But the enduring memory of the court case is how the Government of Fiji hid away, fearful of the very laws that they themselves had made. The term “Level 9” is now a special phrase in Fiji, meaning weak excuses and dishonesty. Perhaps, after a decade or so, this will be the Fiji First Party’s only real contribution to our country.

Our party is in good shape and good spirit. For the first time in the 13 years since the December 2006 military coup, Fiji’s longterm future is becoming clearer. It is a future in which the Fiji First Party will be a distant memory, soundly rejected after years of sowing fear and intimidation among the people. But it is a future in which NFP will play a big part. We are a party with deep roots in the past. We are strengthened by the challenges we face in the present. And this gives us the knowledge of the important role we will play in Fiji’s future.

We are a party that challenged colonial oppression and fought for Fiji’s independence. We have never joined military adventurers who threatened Fiji’s integrity. We have always fought for democracy and democratic institutions.

I want to first thank my Parliamentary colleagues for the great work they have done since the election. Our President Pio Tikoduadua, our newest and most popular MP, Lenora Qereqeretabua, have contributed courageously and positively to public debate, both inside the Parliament and outside of it. They work hard and speak up for people in need of their support. They have highlighted issues of national interest and the many grievances facing our people.

I want to thank all the people who work hard to support our MPs in Parliament and outside of it – Seni, Kamal, Dylan, Apenisa, and Sharila. Not forgetting Sharveen who was with us for 3 years. I want to thank our NFP Youth wing, who are always passionate, pro-active and brimming with ideas.

So this is a team that is strong, united, ready to serve our members and ready to fight for Fiji. And this fight continues now. A few days ago there was an article in the Washington Post which described another country as an “elections-only democracy”. And that would be an apt description for Fiji. The Government has talked for years about “true democracy”. But the phrase “true democracy” is now more often used by its critics as a joke.

The Government holds elections but it undermines and politicises every public institution that should support democracy – the public service, the statutory bodies, the Police, FICAC – all because they are afraid of the people. They fear losing control, because they know that one day, the oppressive laws they have created may be used against them.

After 13 years of Frank Bainimarama and his cronies, what is the state of Fiji? Let us look behind all the talk about so-called economic growth and look at how our people are faring in reality.

Government services are collapsing because the Government has no money. Wages are kept low while prices of basic goods rise. Public health and medical services are deteriorating. Trade unions are ignored, their leaders arrested and harassed. They are not even permitted to march in support of their demands.

Poverty drives social stress. We have some of the world’s highest rates of NCDs. Domestic and sexual violence is rife. Our media reports an epidemic of hard drug use. The Police have even lost control of Suva’s main street, Victoria Parade, to thuggery and violence.

There is nothing on the horizon to give us hope that things will improve. Business confidence is down and interest rates are rising. Investors are sick of bureaucracy and the bullying tactics of the Government’s tax collectors. And the Government says nothing and does nothing. The Economy Minister is always looking for someone else to blame. He says if the opposition talks about our economic crisis this will destroy the economy. It is not our words that are destroying the economy. It is his actions – 13 years of his actions.

But what can the Government do? As I told Parliament, last year the Government ran out of ideas. This year they have run out of money. Ministers and civil servants are just going through the motions and pretending everything is fine. Our Economy Minister, who used to run around the country talking about reforms and talking up his government, is quiet now. Even the Fiji Sun, the Government’s favourite newspaper, is running out of flattering material.

Fiji is heading towards social and economic crisis. But the Government either cannot see it or pretends that it cannot see it. Most leaders, in a time of national crisis, would try to bring people together, to consult, to share ideas and agree a way forward. But this government hides away from the people. They hide in their air-conditioned offices. They hide in their four-wheel drive limousines. They hide in the first-class cabins of aeroplanes.

NFP has asked for joint Parliamentary inquiries on the ailing sugar industry. We want an inquiry into our disorganised and demoralised education sector. We have asked for inquiries on health care issues and the current drugs epidemic. Let us all understand why we are doing this.

We are not asking for this just so that politicians can talk about it. We are not saying that Parliamentarians have the answers. But Parliamentarians have the ability to hold public inquiries and ask for the views of the people. We can consult the experts and encourage debate about the big problems we face as a nation. That is why we are asking for these inquiries.

But every time we move a motion to ask for these inquiries or select committees, the Government uses its Parliamentary majority to vote them down. The Government does not want to talk about these things. The Government wants to pretend that everything is fine.

The Prime Minister travels around the world talking about talanoa. But he will not practise it at home.

This is not leadership. This is weakness. The Government is afraid that the people will find out that others have better answers for Fiji’s problems. But a government that is working for the people should not be afraid of this. They should have the courage to admit that they do not have all the answers. But this is the basic thing about governance, politics and democracy that Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum do not understand. They talk about it, but they do not understand it.

Democracies are successful because they encourage people to work together. In democracies people are not afraid to share problems and ideas openly. They are not afraid of disagreement and dissent. They use a free and independent media to make their ideas public.

They use lobbying and public protests and marches to send out signals about what they want, and to pressure the government to follow good policies.

And these are the democratic mechanisms that are absent in Fiji. And this is the reason why we can honestly call Fiji what the Washington Post said – an elections-only democracy.

And what happens when the leader of the Government, our Prime Minister, is criticised and confronted? He lashes out. Yesterday, a video was released of what happened in Parliament two weeks ago. The video clearly shows how Voreqe Bainimarama used violence against the President of the NFP. It was also reported by Radio New Zealand. And look at the front page of today’s Fiji Times. Pictures tell a thousand words!

Now the people can decide. Was it assault? Or was it, as Frank Bainimarama claims, a “stern talking to”? Two weeks after this incident, despite having the video footage, despite having a formal complaint from our President, the Police are doing nothing and saying nothing.

In a so-called true democracy, everyone is equal.

Everyone is equal before the law and everyone is treated equally under the law. What do the Police have to say about this incident? Why, when everyone talks about what will happen next, why does everyone say that the Police will do nothing about it?

This is just one more example of why we have told the Government. You have lost the moral authority to govern. You do not set a good example of leadership and good behaviour. You have run out of ideas. You have spent all the money. You hide from the people.

You talk but do not act. You ignore the deep economic and social problems in this country that are staring you in the face. You refuse to consult others. You even excuse the violent actions of your own leader.

And we are saying to you – it is time to show some humility and leadership. Admit that these problems are too big for your two leaders to solve. Ask for help. Talk to the opposition. We are the alternative government. And we will respond. We will help you. Because it is the people and the country who are important.

Let us see where we can pool ideas or consult others. If people want to march to air their demands, let them do it. If people want to criticise you and point out your weaknesses, have the courage to let them do it. Create the atmosphere, create the environment where we can show the world that our political leaders are working together.

We need to give confidence to our investors, our workers, our young people who are looking for opportunities, our public servants, our doctors and nurses and teachers who want the power to serve their fellow citizens and do good.

And so we are telling the Government – show courage. Prove you are leaders, not mere politicians afraid for your jobs.

It is time for national dialogue and an open discussion about Fiji’s social and economic problems. Ask the opposition to talk with you about what we can do together. If you are genuine, if you are honest about wanting to solve Fiji’s problem, you will find us willing to help. This is no longer a time for politics. This is a time for leadership.

May God bless NFP.

May God bless Fiji.

NFP AGM 2019 – Speech by NFP President Hon. Pio Tikoduadua

Saturday 24th August 2019

AGM held at the Lautoka Hotel

The Party elders and stalwarts, fellow members of the Management Board and Youth Wing, party supporters and friends.

Today is a wonderful day and I am especially pleased to be in Lautoka for this years AGM.

We will hear updates of what the party has been up to from our last AGM until today and have some discussions also about national issues before us.

But today I am especially happy to state that I feel vindicated and that I no longer have to defend my honour against spurious and false LIES levelled against me when I reported a violation of my parliamentary privilege as an elected member of parliament in the august House on Friday, 9 August 2019, when I was assaulted physically, verbally and mentally by the Prime Minister, Mr Bainimarama.

As the President of your Party, I am accountable to the AGM to tell you what happened.

I did not LIE and I am told that yesterday a video appeared on social media showing this.

Everything in that video is as I stated in the live press conference that I gave to Fiji Times that same day, BEFORE I went to report an official complaint with the Police at Totogo.

My parliamentary colleague, Hon Lenora Qereqeretabua is also vindicated I am sure, as an eyewitness, along with our two youth staffers, Apenisa and Dylan and Hon Suliasi Matanitobua the Tui Namosi. We have nothing to gain from lying about this. It happened. We are still awaiting the authorities to do their part.

However that video does not show the second time the Prime Minister verbally assaulted me and assailed me with swears and undignified language not befitting his station as the Prime Minister of this land. That happened when I was on green carpet at the entrance of the parliamentary premises, as I was on my way back into the house to report what the Prime Minister just did.

I responded to him in passing, that he should look at himself and his actions as Prime Minister.

That video does not show FBC reporters hounding me for a response from the time I left the House until the Prime Minister assaulted me. The FBC reporters knew full well that any public comments made by elected members of parliament while parliament is sitting is a direct breach of the parliamentary standing orders. Any public comment or social media posting has to be done after parliament has adjourned its sitting.

Yet, when the Prime Minister was assaulting me those two FBC reporters just stood there. They may have their own video recording, but it certainly did not feature on their news that night!

That video does not show the chief legal advisor to Government’s knee-jerk reaction on a Facebook live press conference where he confirmed that the Prime Minister had an audience with the Hon Speaker that very same Friday night, while a pre-scheduled appointment that I had with the Speaker on Monday was suddenly cancelled as I was on my way to him.

These are all just telling symptoms of the state of our affairs. It is not a hopeful one if the Prime Minister of this country is unable to control his own temper and lash out not just with verbal and derogatory abuse, but is now using his hands.

Violence was just a theme of the Government side on the previous Thursday night debate. Yet, as Hon Lenora said that week, showing and telling are two completely different things for them.

I am not even sure if the safety of other opposition members is guaranteed anymore given that the Prime Minister had already verbally assaulted ON the parliamentary premises, Hon Mosese Bulitavu and Hon Ro Teimumu Kepa during the previous parliamentary session.

And certainly our personal workplace safety and risk as MPs, is not a cost that any parliament should lump on already burdened taxpayers to pay for.

This all falls at the feet of the Hon Prime Minister. We all stand condemned if we cannot as adults talk about issues and ideas, and debate them properly, as the rules provide.

I have no hard feelings towards the Prime Minister. In fact I have done so already, because carrying that kind of grudge around is taxing on my spirit and has no value.

But, this incident is bigger than me. It is about Fiji. It is about leadership. It is about ensuring that our young people know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. It is about being accountable for one’s actions and deeds, and everyone who was there knows in their hearts, what is right and wrong. I will leave that to their conscience to deal with.

I sleep very well at night, but those who are constantly manipulating all our systems and processes, to keep everybody else suppressed and on their knees have a huge weight on their shoulders to deal with. That is their burden to deal with. And we all have to answer for our actions one day.

Ladies and Gentlemen and party members — it is too easy to fall into despair and despondence, and just give up. But that is not what leadership is about. I am very aware that among our own Young Feds group and even in my own house, I have young people watching me intently, learning and possible even modelling my example. OUR EXAMPLE as a political party.

Because real leadership is about working even harder despite all the odds stacked against you, and staying true to what is right and what is just.

Certainly those are the values that attracted people like me to the party, where we stand on the wide and tall shoulders of our foremost party leader AD Patel, and of course Siddiq Koya, Harish Sharma and Justice Jai Ram Reddy.

So if there are any final words I can leave you with today it is this. Keep working, keep our hearts clean, keep hope alive.

Let’s get to work. I thank you.

NFP President assaulted by Prime Minister

Friday August 9, 2019

Friday August 9, 2019 will go down in the history of our nation as a shameful day when the Prime Minister of our nation, surrounded by his bodyguards,   twice assaulted a honourable Member of Parliament.

The incident happened around 11.40am when I was walking out of Parliament after moving and  replying to my Motion calling for a Special Parliamentary Committee to be established to look at the national problem of drugs in Fiji.

I had walked outside parliament when I heard the Prime Minister’s voice and he called out to me in i-taukei language “Pio, come here”.

I turned around walked back to him where he was within the precints of Parliament near his oficial vehicle surounded by his bodyguards. He started swearing at me in i-taukei language – swore at my mother and my father, and assaulted me. In the process he broke my pair of eye glasses. He then again warned me in i-taukei language “Qarauna tiko”  or Watch Out.

I then started walking up the parliamentary steps to go back into the House and report this to the Honourable Speaker. For the second time, the Prime Minister came up to me and assaulted me.

This is of course an act of downright cowardice and an act of thuggery. This act of violence was also witnessed by Honourable Qereqeretabua and members of our staff .

And worse – the PM’s bodyguards stod around him and did nothing to hold him back.

I regard this as the most shameful and dispicable act to have been carried out by  any Prime Minister in our independent history.  

An assault on any member of this house is an assault on our voters an assault on the sanctity of parliament and consequentially an assault on democracy. I am a member of the parliament of Fiji. I am a proud son of Fiji and I would not in earnest think of assaulting a member of this house—no matter how bad our disagreements.

After this, I will be going into the Totogo Police station to lodge an official police report. I will also be tendering a letter to the Speaker of the house of parliament to look into this very grave and serious matter. Violence in any form cannot be allowed to be perpetuated or condoned. I was assaulted in the presence of Hon. Qereqeretabua our youth members and members of the parliamentary staff.

This day of shame brought upon democracy in Fiji by the Leader of the nation must become a thing of the past.

AUTHORISED BY: –

Pio Tikoduadua

President

(The matter has been reported at Totogo Police Station this afternoon.)

NFP Leader Claims Government’s Dialysis is a broken promise

The National Federation Party says the Fiji First Government has miserably failed to fulfil its promise of providing funding for subsidised kidney dialysis to patients from low income families in three Divisions as announced in its budget last year.

The Party says kidney patients from families with combined annual income of less than $20,000  in the Western, Central Divisions and Eastern Divisions are being denied subsidised dialysis, with the only exception being the Northern Division.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad also claims that the Party  has also established that the sole nephrologist in the country  Dr Amreesh Krishnan has resigned his position as a Consultant and the Head of the Nephrology Department at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital apparently  because of frustrating delays in the construction of the kidney specialist centre in Tamavua.

“Kidney patients from families with a combined income of less than $20,000 should have been eligible to have dialysis three times a week at a subsidised cost of $75 per session because Government had announced last year they would now reduce the cost of dialysis from as high as $250 per session”.

“Instead Government would provide dialysis at a cost of $150 at its hospitals and the new kidney centre but would subsidise treatment for patients from families with combined annual income of less than $20,000 per annum”.

“We have established that dialysis is being done at a cost of $150 per session at Labasa Hospital only and patients in the North from  families with incomes of less than $20,000 are being provided subsidised dialysis at a cost of $75 per session”.

“This means that patients from poor families in the Western, Central and Eastern Divisions are paying between $200 and $250 per session for dialysis to stay alive. This is unacceptable”.

“Earlier this year, the Health Minister told Parliament in response to a query from NFP Parliamentarian Lenora Qereqeretabua that a dialysis centre would open soon at Nadera.  But this hasn’t happened”.

“Similarly, Government is silent on how it intends to provide subsidised dialysis to patients in the Western  and Eastern Divisions”.

“Likewise, there is no word on why the completion of construction and equipping of the kidney centre at Tamavua is long overdue”.

“We are being inundated with pleas of help from relatives of patients with low incomes who go around trying to raise funds for their expensive treatment. We have ben reliably told that health professionals forced to use their salaries to fund treatment for emergency cases”.

“All government does is to issue permits for fundraising for dialysis instead of providing facilities for subsidised dialysis”.

“This leads us to seriously question whether government’s announcement in its budget last year  was an election gimmick following NFP’s announcement in July 2017 of providing free dialysis to all patients from families with less than $30,000 annual income”.

“We made this pledge following government’s repeated rejection of our motions to get it to increase budgetary allocation for dialysis from a meagre $300,000 to at least $3million”.

“But this government has left kidney patients to fend for themselves and in most cases forego  the normal requirement of three sessions a week and have only one dialysis treatment due to exorbitant costs”.

“And now we see the sole qualified nephrologist quitting the public healthcare and medical sector.”

“All this is a result of yet another broken promise by his patchwork Fiji First government”.

Nfp Questions Rarawai Mill Upgrade

Mill fiasco

The National Federation Party is asking the Fiji Sugar Corporation to reveal the truth about the state of preparedness of the Rarawai Sugar Mill which was barely operational for almost week since its since its launch of crushing more than 9 days ago on 9th July. NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said despite a $9.3 million upgrade, the mill had crushed around 3,000 tonnes of cane until yesterday morning in a period of over 6 days till Monday.

Professor Prasad said while the mill finally started operating late Monday, the NFP was extremely concerned about the first six days of crushing that has caused huge losses to growers and growers. He claimed FSC was now behaving like the CSR (Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd), “hiding information even from the Tribunal about the lack of state of preparedness of the mill”. “The capacity of the mill is to crush around 5,000 tonnes of cane in a 24 hour period. But we believe it crushed about 3,000 tonnes in the last six days until Monday (15 July) morning”. “Therefore what was FSC Chief Executive Officer bragging about the efficient operation of the mill this season and the $9.3 million upgrade when he launched the start of crush last Tuesday (9 July)?” “ We also ask the FSC to reveal the truth on whether it defied the advice of the Rarawai mill management who had clearly stated that the mill wasn’t ready to start”. “In displaying their arrogance to show they knew what they were doing, the FSC CEO and his executive management team have caused severe losses to cane growers who had hired cane cutters and were forced to incur additional expenditure in contingency to provide for the cane cutters when the mill stopped crushing a few hours after the launch”.

“ As a result majority of the cane that was harvested had to be carted to Lautoka mill from the districts of Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki”. “While cane laden on lorries were taken to Lautoka and dumped before the cane started to dry, growers carting cane through rail network especially in Tavua have suffered further losses because of lengthy delays in hauling the laden rail carts to the mill”. “This is because cane laden on rail carts started to dry up after 2 days. And FSC won’t take responsibility to compensate the affected growers for loss of tonnage”. “We also ask why didn’t FSC carry out trials before start of crush as has been done before. FSC used to harvest and crush cane from its own estates for the pre-season trials before informing the Sugar Industry Tribunal about the state of preparedness of its mills”.

“In the case of Rarawai it would mean that FSC misled the Tribunal and other stakeholders especially growers by declaring Rarawai was ready for crushing”. “We also believe FSC has now engaged the services of experts from Australia to try and fix the ills plaguing Rarawai mill. This is wastage of funds that a technically insolvent FSC can ill-afford”. “ There is no use for FSC to hide behind the reason of it being a teething problem that it normally states. This is totally unacceptable”. “And while growers are suffering from this fiasco, the silence from the Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar is deafening”.

A Public Relations Disaster

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Government’s handling of the mysterious death of the USA couple has been a public relations disaster.

Professor Prasad said Government’s public utterances on the tragedy created a public perception, especially in the minds of the couple’s families in USA that Government was devoid of any compassion and humanitarianism.

“Almost two months after the couple’s death, Government finally informed the couple’s families this week that their bodies would be repatriated”.

“This is after saying that they were going to cremate the husband as his body was rapidly decomposing”.

“This is despite the fact that their bodies were embalmed and ready to repatriated”.

“Undoubtedly, this has been a huge public relations disaster and will impact the tourism industry, particularly visitor numbers from the United States”.

“Once again Government’s taxpayers funded Qorvis communications, which has received millions of dollars over the past years, has failed to prevent this colossal failure of a patchwork government”

Authorised by NFP Leader, Biman Prasad

Bulitavu racially slurring Indo-Fijian women

July 5, 2019

SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu is racially slurring and demeaning Indo-Fijian women with his insulting comment that accuses rural Indo-Fijian women of committing adultery and therefore being murdered by their husbands.

This is reprehensible and despicable. As a lawyer Mr Bulitavu is trying to blame Indo-Fijian women for the heinous crime of murder, which he claims has spread to the i-Taukei community.

And he also goes onto to blame i-Taukei women for getting beaten up by their husbands who escape punishment because of the culture of bulubulu.

This is shameful. He has insulted our hardworking women – our mothers, daughters and sisters. He should hang his head in shame and publicly apologise to all women whose morality, character and credibility he has attacked.

Racial slurs and malicious attacks have no place in our society. At a time when every effort is being made for the social, economic and political advancement of women, Mr Bulitavu’s comment raises serious questions about his intention to racially denigrate women.

Authorised by:

Professor Biman Prasad

Leader

NFP pays tribute to our Girmitiya

TUESDAY 14TH MAY 2019

The National Federation Party today pays tribute to the Girmitiya or pioneering forefathers whose blood, sweat, toil and tears as well as co-operation and racial harmony with the indigenous Fijians and other minority races, have made Fiji the hub of the South Pacific.

Today is a historic day. On this day 140 years ago, the first Girmitiya or Indentured labourers numbering 463 arrived from India onboard the ship Leonidas.

They were the first of a total of 60,553 Girmitiya brought between 14th May 1879 and 11th November 1916 by the British colonial government to work on the sugarcane plantations.

The rest is history. For the last 140 years, especially after 1916, the most of the Girmitya who opted to stay back in Fiji after completion of their Indenture, and their future generations, made Fiji their only home.

Their contribution to the social, economic and political advancement of Fiji, notably the development of the sugar industry into the economic backbone of  the country for more than 100 years and the transition of Fiji from 96 years of colonial rule to Independence in 1970, is historical and immeasurable.

Descendants of the Girmitiya have done their forefathers and the nation immensely proud nationally and internationally in the fields of economy, education, politics and law. They have and are serving their land of their birth with distinction.

The founding of schools, building of temples, preservation of languages, culture and traditions is a hallmark of the principles of self-dignity and respect inculcated by the Girmitiya in their descendants and passed on from one generation to another.

This is the legacy that the current generation must cherish and uphold and bequeath it to future generations. This task can be made easier through education of our children of the sacrifices and struggle for dignity and justice of our Girmitiya.

Lest we forget our Girmitiya.

Authorised by:

Professor Biman Prasad

Leader