State fails to look after the welfare of survivors

“Naevuevu villagers have expressed their disappointment at the government’s response in time of emergencies. So far in relation to the bus tragedy, interim prime minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and interim transport minister Timoci Natuva have called for an immediate inquiry. However, the villagers said the government failed to look after the welfare of the survivors who were traumatised by the incident. Josaia Cakaubusa said it was people around the area that had responded to the emergency on Thursday night and the government should re-examine at its ways of responding to such emergencies. “The two leaders have called for an immediate inquiry but we have not seen any government officials come down to visit the village or any of the victims,” said Mr Cakaubusa. He said the survivors of the tragedy should have received the government’s immediate response but until now the government has just given directives and hasn’t taken any actions.

“The incident took place on Thursday night and we had expected to see some of the government officials here on Friday morning,” but non of them turned up.” said Mr Cakaubusa.

“Instead people from Naevuevu village living around Vitilevu were here to attend to the matters and the government should change its approach in responding to these sorts of emergencies.”

 Fiji Sun 3/9/08

SV asks why should anyone be surprised by the late unethusiastic response by the military regime  to this heart-breaking tragedy? After all, as Rabuka had said sometime back, ‘they are not the elected government of the people and therefore, do not owe anyone an explanation’.

That really is the sickening, harsh reality. That people realise how this military regime is no different from THIEVES that force their way into your house, throw you and your family out into the streets like homeless orphans, and help themselves to your home, to all your goodies, looting your belongings and your hard earned money, bit by bit by bit… whilst you stand out there on the streets, a mere spectator… helpless to fight back on your own.  You and your family are forced to make do with unsafe public transportation whilst they enjoy their joyrides around the country using your vehicles to entertain their relatives, their friends and LT’s. How sick is that?

14 Responses to “State fails to look after the welfare of survivors”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    The regime’s inaction and cold hearted approach to this tragedy , may be it’s undoing . The lord works in mysterious ways indeed . Condolences to those who lost loved ones .

  2. Peace Pipe Says:

    Absolutely sickening, SV. Their true color and character is coming to the fore. All talk and no action just hot air and lot of BS just to try and sound or look good but not.

    Exactly like you said it SV they pillage our country whilst the real needy is neglected. By spending some time with the victims would interfere with their jolly lifestyle. And they are as mentioned above not accountable being unelected.

    This morning news reports the pig launching the birth certificate printing launch at the Korovou Post Office. As in his usual attempt to glorify himself he said this proves the ig is doing something other govts failed to do to help the neglected people in rural areas such as Korovou. What a load of crap this pig is. He can’t even help the bus fire victims the bastard and he keeps blaming everything and everyboby else and takes undue credit for himself the bloody thief.

  3. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Well it just shows how ill equipped they are to deal with national issues. So much for their military training!!!

  4. newsfiji Says:

    The Fiji Times article yesterday late afternoon was great, highlighting the press release by the Bus Association. The Bus Association has called on government to do it’s job in making sure the roads are in top condition, otherwise how can they (bus operators) keep paying for extranomous maintenance costs. Fuel prices have risen 6 times in the last 7 months. While we are on fuel too, did anyone watch the Talk Business on Tuesday – in NZ fuel prices have decreased 7 times in the last 2 months alone!

    That’s it – this government is pathetic!

  5. LUVfiji Says:

    Indeed, Peace Pipe. And let me say it again, it is ABSOLUTELY sickening.

    One would think the two (vore and natuva) had a privileged upbringing that they would not have a sense of social responsibility. E dua e gonedau nei Roko Tui Kiuva, o kena i karua e mataisau ni Qaranivalu. E rau kawa tamata ruarau ni dauveiqaravi.

    Well, without an ounce of compassion, they overthrew our elected Government – the people’s Government. Where TF would they have the heart to turn to a very small number in their deepest hour of need?

    Dou vosota na turaga mai Navuevu kei Natokalau: oqori na vakanuinui ena bilo cicila!

  6. Tabace Says:

    No one else to be blamed but the Military IG Government and Voreqe Bainisona oops! i mean Bainimarama.Everyone in Fiji are trying to cut corners in order to get their business running above water since the Military coup and Chodo insane economic contraction policy. The man is an idiot and has no idea how a national economy is run and since his take over our economy have been sliding backward and has never stop.You wonder why he was fired? Yeah, the Military committee have come to see what the general Fijian public, have always known ,that he was an idiot and we can see through his BS? The military are and always the Agent of death,they don’t care about making society better as they are trained to kill or be killed? Destroy or be destroyed? The military coup was the culprit in these death because if it hadn’t happen the hard working civil servants would have caught any of these Bus mechanical problem and possibly rectify them long before anything such as this could have happen?
    I say its time for all our people to get out on the street and tell this military swines and the IG bastards to get the F@#$%^& out?

  7. Panthercat Says:

    I am ver sorry folks – before its withdrawn, Fiji SUN has now published details of Mahends NZ bank accounts – again by Victor Lal

    Lest we forget Chaudhry’s bank account in New Zealand

    9/4/2008
    As Winston Peters, the former Foreign Minister and New Zealand First party leader, fights to save his reputation over a $100,000 gift scandal from a wealthy business tycoon, a group of former Fiji residents in New Zealand, who do not want to be identified at this point, want to know from the leader of the Fiji Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry about the source of his funds in a New Zealand bank account which probably stood at $400,000 in 2004.

    There is hardly any discussion or information about Chaudhry’s bank account in New Zealand, with the three-member inquiry team into his tax affairs, concluding as follows: “As noted above, FIRCA’s file does not disclose how they concluded that the monies invested into the New Zealand term deposit in September 2000 were non-taxable, although the committee notes that those funds were invested soon after the events of May 2000, which led to Mr Chaudhry ceasing to be Prime Minister of Fiji and very close to the times at which the deposits into the Australian account were made.

    “In any event, the amount invested into the New Zealand account was small (less than 8 per cent of the total funds invested in the Australian and New Zealand accounts).”

    The “Report of Independent Inquiry into the taxation affairs of Mahendra Pal Chaudhry” was prepared by the team that was hastily cobbled together after I disclosed in the Fiji Sun in February 2008 that Chaudhry had been hiding $2million in a secret bank account in Sydney, Australia, and that he had made late lodgement of his 2001, 2002, and 2003 tax returns.

    Were the late lodgements, I asked, a deliberate ploy on Mr Chaudhry’s part to avoid explaining to FIRCA in 2004 the original source of his $2million in the Australian bank account, which we know originated from India, and was allegedly sent by one Harbhajan Lal of Haryana? I will return to the subject of the New Zealand fund later in the column.

    Meanwhile, Chaudhry recently told Fiji TV “Close Up” programme that he did not receive any money from India, even though in March he had claimed on Fiji TV that the money was for him and his family. If we are to accept his denial then the whole inquiry by FIRCA and the three-member team is cancelled out, raising the question of how the inquiry team arrived at its conclusions.

    The inquiry team had, based on the 20 September 2004 letter from Harbhajan Lal, concluded in its report that the money came from India: “As noted earlier, in response to FIRCA’s enquiries, Mr Chaudhry and his advisers provided to FIRCA information which ultimately satisfied them that the monies were paid into Mr Chaudhry’s account by the Indian Consulate in Sydney on behalf of supporters of Mr Chaudhry in India, in order to assist him and his family to relocate to Australia consequent on the circumstances surrounding his ceasing to be Prime Minister of Fiji in 2000.”

    At the expense of repeating, it is of paramount importance to remind Chaudhry and the nation about the sequence of events which led to the discovery of his secret millions. According to his tax file, in the course of its investigation, FIRCA’s Income Matching Unit (IMU) became aware of his bank accounts in Australia and New Zealand and, on May 11, 2004, wrote to him advising him that they had received information from surveys and banks and financial institutions that he was in receipt of income, which had either not been declared or under declared. He was given 14 days to make representations to FIRCA on receipt of the letter.

    On May 18, 2004, Chaudhry wrote to IMU informing it that interest on bank accounts earned in Fiji had been declared in his tax returns and he did not hold any trust deeds. What about the monies abroad? He replied: “In so far as interest from monies held in accounts abroad are concerned, please be advised that these have not been brought to Fiji but remain re-invested in the accounts there.”

    On June 3, 2004, the IMU pointed out to him that he had amassed interest and dividends for the year ending 2002 of $29,606.84 and there was a discrepancy of the same amount.

    On the margins of Chaudhry’s May 18, 2004 letter, certain questions were raised, and the same were later repeated in a letter to him on June 15, 2004.

    The letter re-iterated that he was required to clarify queries with copies of documentary evidence: (a) the source of funds invested offshore; (b) when did he first invest these monies; (c) details of interest earned from when he first invested; (d) copies of bank statements and documentary evidences of any tax deducted at source.

    The next day, June 16, Chaudhry wrote asking for an extension of time to provide the information because “old records will need to be looked up to obtain the details”, and that the banks had requested more time be given.

    He also disclosed that he had some commitments and therefore asked if he could be given until August 15, 2004 to furnish the details. FIRCA granted him the requested extension. On August 14, a Suva chartered accountancy firm wrote to FIRCA, notifying it that Chaudhry had appointed the firm to act as his tax agent. The firm asked for further extension till September 15, 2004, which was granted.

    On September 3, 2004, representatives from the accountancy firm visited FIRCA and wanted to know the information that was needed by the tax organisation.

    They were referred to the letter of June 16, and informed that FIRCA was after the most important detail, and that was “the source of the income”.

    The accountancy firm stated that the information would be submitted by September 15, 2004.

    But on September 13, it again wrote to FIRCA asking for further extension until October 15, prompting FIRCA to warn the firm that no further extension would be granted. However, considering that the firm was still awaiting confirmations from Chaudhry, it agreed to the extension but stressed that, “Please be advised that information gathered and “on hand” by your client should be submitted by that date”.

    On 4 October, 2004 the accountancy firm wrote to FIRCA enclosing details of the income earned by Chaudhry for the periods based on the documents provided by the banks together with summary of income and withholding taxes deducted at source including: (a) dividend income from Perpetual Investments, Australia; (b) interest income from ANZ, New Zealand: (c) income received from Commonwealth Balanced Fund: (d) interest income from Commonwealth Bank, Australia; (e) income from Colonial First State Investments Limited.

    On behalf of Chaudhry, they stated that, “We advise that above income was not included in the tax returns as these contributions and income there from were sourced and earned overseas and the relevant withholding taxes on the income are deducted at source”.

    The capital contributions being the deposits in the bank account in the form of donations, they argued, were received from non-residents and attached were the relevant confirmations – Harbhajan Lal’s letter to Chaudhry about the transfer of funds.

    On October 5, 2004, FIRCA officials met with one of the accountants and according to FIRCA’s office memo they identified details of bank accounts, confirmation of the letter from Harbhajan Lal that the money was raised in India for Chaudhry, and the A$500,000 that was transacted through the Indian Consulate-General in Sydney. One FIRCA officer observed on the office memo: “Transmitted to Australia – How?” and regarding Harbhajan Lal’s letter: “More substantive evidence to support the lttr.”

    On October 22, 2004, FIRCA wrote to the accountancy firm regarding the October 5 meeting and for the submission of information the firm had “on hand” at the meeting. FIRCA informed them that they (FIRCA) had examined the documents and would amend the income tax returns for the respective years. However, they would not allow the tax credits due to lack of documentary evidence. FIRCA also emphasised that despite it amending the returns, the tax organisation would still pursue the “source of the funds” issue. “The document submitted explaining the source of the funds is not sufficient enough for our purposes,” it stressed.

    It, therefore, requested the chartered accountancy firm to forward documentary evidences: (a) details of remittances from India to Australia; (b) details of withholding tax deducted; (c) as requested in the letter of 15 June 2004, the copies of bank statements. A copy of the letter was also forwarded to Chaudhry.

    On November 10, 2004, he paid $86,069.02 in outstanding income tax for 2000. On November 22, 2004, one of the partners in the accountancy firm admitted the payment by the Indian Consulate General of $514,148.50 into Chaudhry’s cash management call account in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He also requested FIRCA to make the necessary amendments for the years 2000 to 2003 and the statement of tax account to include credits for the non-resident withholding tax amounting to $22,858.03.

    It is instructive to recall that FIRCA and Chaudhry had repeatedly taken shelter behind the confidentiality clause in Section 4 of the Tax Act but as I have argued, the Act does not give the taxpayer the luxury and freedom to hide millions from the nation. I wonder what conclusion we would have drawn from the team’s findings and Chaudhry’s denials if I had not come into possession of his tax file, which also contains details of his New Zealand funds.

    On 26 September 2000, Chaudhry had opened an account with ANZ bank in NZ, three months after he was released by George Speight from Parliament.

    On 1 June 2004, a month after FIRCA began closing in on him, he wrote to the bank requesting interest earned on his account number 981000000116059.

    On 16 July, the ANZ bank wrote to him detailing interest he received on the above account between 26 March 2001 and 26 September 2003. Chaudhry received interest income of $NZ23,274.47 or $F24,575.76. The exact amount of funds Chaudhry had in the bank there is not known, but according to forensic accountants, working backwards from the interest he received it was probably $300,000 to $400,000, raising the question of the original source of the New Zealand funds.

    The question that arises is why Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Electoral Reform, Public Enterprises and Anti-Corruption, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, has not responded to Chaudhry’s latest denial on Fiji TV, and by extension, to the people of Fiji that no money was received from India? After all, Khaiyum had announced the inquiry team with much fanfare claiming it was being done in the name of good governance, accountability, and transparency.

    What has a member of the inquiry team, the local educationist and former Deputy Prime Minister Taufa Vakatale, have to say to Chaudhry’s recent statement on Fiji TV? She might also want to explain why the team concluded that the amount invested by Chaudhry was small?

    It is time for Fiji’s lawmaker Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to confront Chaudhry’s bluff and bluster while the FLP leader is going around the country preaching about the People’s Charter. Chaudhry should be telling the people of Fiji about his millions, including the source of the funds in his New Zealand bank account. And, who is the “Indian Santa Claus” – one Harbhajan Lal of Haryana, whose letter Chaudhry tendered to FIRCA to convince the tax body that the $2million was from India? In fact, he was only able to invest in the thousands after he received the money in three instalments into his secret Sydney bank account.

    There is now a need for a Commission of Enquiry into Chaudhry’s mysterious millions because the three-member team was not constituted under the Commissions of Inquiry Act (Cap47) and, therefore, did not hold any public hearings, call any witnesses nor take any written or oral submissions as to facts or law.

    l The views expressed are those of Victor Lal and not those of the Fiji Sun. E-mail: vloxford@gmail.com

  8. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    The jaundiced junta make magabe in zimbabwe look like an amateur.

    “”””A MEMBER of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji says the response form given to people to fill in is simple.

    Jone Dakuvula, a representative of the Citizens Constitutio-nal Forum and a NCBBF member, made the comment after concerns were raised by residents of a settlement in Navua on not being given enough time to read the draft People’s Charter and fill in their response.

    A gentleman from Vakabalea settlement in Navua yesterday said they were given their copies of the draft charter on Tuesday last week.

    He said the 36 families in the settlement were given a draft charter copy and a copy of the response form which they had to fill and give back to officials the same afternoon.

    “We were given our copies of the draft charter in the morning and our forms were collected in the afternoon. We were just asked to fill in our names and sign the form in front of the police officers because I think they are supposed to witness the signing,’ he said.

    He said given just one day to read the document and fill the response form was not enough.””””

    Talk about duress!

  9. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Well said FijiTimes!

    “”””Stop the nonsense
    Thursday, September 04, 2008
    THE process of seeking public opinion on the proposed People’s Charter is nothing less than a farce.

    It is impossible for anyone in this country to read and form an opinion of the document within the time frame specified by field officers and their police escorts.

    On Tuesday night the proposed charter was distributed to people in the Nausori Parish Hall.

    They were expected to read the document in two hours while listening to the views of the team sent to proselytize the message of the interim government and the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.

    At the end of the session, attendees were told to fill forms to declare their support, or otherwise, for the proposed People’s Charter.

    This is ridiculous.

    Every individual must be allowed time to thoroughly read this document which will have an obvious impact on their lives.

    They must also be given the opportunity to discuss the issue with their neighbours, friends, relatives or people whose views they respect.

    At the very least, anyone who wants to read this literature must be given a week in which to read the document, seek opinions and make a choice.

    This would mean that the proposed charter document be delivered to homes on one week with the forms being collected seven days later.

    It would also mean that citizens do not have to make a decision with a police officer or soldier hovering in the background.

    The architects of the charter know full well the perception which ordinary people have of the police and army. They view these officers as enforcers of State policy and fear the repercussions of rejecting this document.

    Intimidation is the only word we have to describe the process.

    At Navua on Wednesday night, people at Tokotoko, Calia and Raiwaqa gathered for a Ramayan recital in their settlements.

    At these religious gatherings, government teams accompanied by uniformed police and soldiers in plain clothes distributed the charter document and demanded they be signed on the spot.

    Much earlier in this process we made the stand that if the regime is so bent on implementing the charter, it must not waste taxpayers’ money and time.

    The people of this nation must not be used to legitimize the policies of the interim government, the army and the NCBBF.

    Nor should civil servants be travelling round the country, neglecting the jobs for which they are paid in what is so obviously a political campaign.

    The interim government must decide once and for all whether it wants the people to have a say in the governance of the country.

    If the people are to decide, give them time and stop the intimidation.

  10. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    From the Sun

    Could someone get hold of the original document and post it here please. Hopefully in Fijian and English.

    I am very interested to read what they have said about the miltary morons.

    “””The Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua Party has distributed pamphlets saying the People’s Charter is an instrument of division not unity.
    Written in Fijian the pamphlet states that the interim government does not have the mandate to put together the People’s Charter.

    It stated that members of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji which drew up the Charter were members of the Fiji Labour Party, the National Alliance Party, members of the interim government and supporters of the 2006 coup.

    It stated that electoral reforms proposed in the Charter were unconstitutional.

    It stated that the proposed extended role of the military could only mean more funds directed to the military thus further slowing development, that the government machinery would be militarised, that the military would decide government and that it would only increase the possibility of more coups.

    It stated that the proposed dialogue between different denominations would be difficult to achieve as Fijians believed in God, that Muslims and Hindus had their own gods and faiths were different.

    The pamphlet advises people to reject the Charter.””

  11. Striker Says:

    Back to the issue, this corrupting crook Chodo should now face a full investigation on funds he had stolen from the poor to pay himself. And Australia & NZ should freeze all his overseas accounts.

  12. painter Says:

    @ Ex FT – that’s interesting, will try to get a copy of the pamphlet but if there are SDL bloggers here, could you pls post that info Ex FT is querying directly here? Vinaka.

  13. Frida Says:

    Yes Striker – we should now lobby Australia and new ZEaland to freeze the accounts as soon as before he creates more indian father christmas as account names. remember we still have to get a confirmation as to who is harbyan?

  14. lonedragon Says:

    hey why r we still acting like dis i mean why fighting we sud focus we have not enough time HE WILL CUM N DIS WORLD WILL B LEFT LONELY so enjoy b4 its over

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