Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fiji: Punishing the critics

Fiji's military regime has come up with a new way of punishing and silencing its critics: cutting their pensions:

The Fiji interim government says as of this week government pensioners who have been speaking out against the current government have had their pension payments stopped.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told Radio Fiji that a decree to that effect was passed last week.

Commodore Bainimarama said payments to dissenting pensioners were stopped as soon as the decree was promulgated.

Lets just hope Paula Bennett doesn't hear of this - it might give her ideas.

Update: Fiji Today calls this using food as a weapon, and they're not wrong. This is a deliberate attempt to starve critics of the regime into silence by stealing their money (pensions in Fiji are funded by mandatory contributions to an "independent" Fiji National Provident Fund, not by the government. So its as if they've ordered e.g. AMP to cease paying out a private superannuation scheme on political grounds).