Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Our eyes are on you, police warns forum

Sai's Comment:
The illegal interim regime seem to be running scared that some form of legal discussion about Fiji's political situation is being organised!!! That tells all about their monumental insecurity. What a sham and tragedy for Fiji and its great people. Fiji does not deserve this current government and its puppets. - 05 FEB 2008

A public forum today that includes ousted Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase as speaker will be closely monitored by police.

The forum at the Holiday Inn in Suva will also include two political leaders and the former Supervisor of Elections speaking on the topic “Elections 2009 – What it will mean for Fiji?”

It is believed to be Qarase’s first public appearance since he was ousted from power by the military in 2006.

After earlier indication last night that police will intervene in the meeting, Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni said this morning that police will only monitor the people going in.

“We will make sure it is private and only those who are invited are going in” he told

Teleni expressed concern that the meeting could stir up negative perception of the interim Government.

The organizers of the event, Pacific Centre for Public Integrity and Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, are surprised by the stance taken by the authorities.

“We’re in the clean, they can’t stop us,” said PCPI director Angie Heffernan.

“The interim Government has called on people to be part of constructive political dialogue, and we’re trying to facilitate that.

“This is a non-political meeting to discuss political issues.”

Heffernan said that 300 people have been invited to the forum, including members of the interim Government.

“We invited other political leaders, particularly Mahendra Chaudhry (Labour Party) and Ratu Epeli Ganilau (National Alliance) to be part of the panel too, but they have not responded,” she said.

Police warn of intervention at forum

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

POLICE will intervene today in an inaugural public forum on the general elections, Police Commissioner Esala Teleni said yesterday.

Mr Teleni was responding to questions on a forum organised by the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity and the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre.

He said the organisers needed a permit to hold the forum and were fully aware of the consequences of their actions if they held the meeting without authorisation from police.

The forum which is expected to take place in Suva this morning will feature speakers like ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, National Federation Party leader Pramod Rae, chief executive officer of the Fiji Manufacturers Association Desmond Whiteside and the president of the Fiji Islands Hoteliers and Tourist Association Dixon Seeto.

Mr Teleni said he was not aware if the organisers of the forum had applied for a permit adding it should not stir up negative perception of the interim Government. Permanent Secretary for Justice Pio Tikoduadua said non-State players as well as State players needed to work together in preparing the country for the next general elections.

He said he was not aware of the forum which will include former Supervisor of Election Semesa Karavaki as a speaker. PCPI executive director Angie Heffernan said invitations had been issued to political party leaders.


Police will not stop Elections Public Forum

Police have confirmed that they will not stop the Elections Public Forum from going ahead this hour.

Commissioner Esala Teleni said police officers will only be based at the Holiday Inn to monitor the situation and ensure that no inciteful statements are made.

The Public Forum with the theme "Elections 2009 - What will it mean for Fiji?" is organized by the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity and the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre.

PCRC Director, Tupou Vere said they are trying to get various members of the community to have discussions and dialogue on the elections.

Speakers include the Ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, Ousted Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes, Fiji Womens Rights Movement's, Virisila Buadromo, NFP's Pramod Rae and former Supervisor of Elections Semesa Karavaki.

About 300 people are expected to attend the Public Forum which starts this hour at Suva's Holiday Inn.

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