Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Methodist Uprising Begins in Fiji

Sources have confirmed that senior priests of the Methodict church in Fiji are ready to be persecuted for their call on the restoration of democracy in their homeland. It is understood that senior priests have called on the military council to discuss their push for a return to democracy.
Members of the military council are eager to meet the methodist church elders but not Frank Bainimarama who has fled to Europe. Sources say that Driti and Teleni are the main link between the methodist church and the military council. They say the two believe that dialogue must take place between them. It is believed that the methodist priests will be having a session with the military council soon, without Frank. Meanwhile, sources have confirmed that the Methodist church elders petitioned Teleni to release Rev Manasa Lasaro after spending one night in police custody. These sources say church elders have warned Teleni that persecuting them will reverberate into something else and that the behavior of their own police officers towards the detained Lasaro should speak for itself as to which side their officers are on.
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Latest from troubled Fiji is that the Methodist Church members will not be derailed by any military efforts to stop them from plans to walk their talk. We’ve received confirmation that the masses are ready to roll. They say the announcements have been released straight from the pulpits and that it will be a Fiji wide event. Will Frank & Co. censor the pulpits too? They can try but word is that there’s no holding back this time!
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A Methodist Minister in Fiji says its likely he could be detained again, along with other ministers as the government continues to investigate the church. Reverend Manasa Lasaro was detained and questioned by police for two days about the church’s propositions to discuss issues including the legitimacy of the military-led regime at its annual conference in August. The Fiji government has confirmed Reverend Lasaro is under investigation and says it will defer the conference indefinitely if security forces suspect any motive to cause instability. But Reverend Lasaro says the church will not be deterred from discussing the propositions. “This is the same stand we made since the military junta took power in 2006. That’s why we are pressing on that election must come, is the way in which we can judge a good government.” Reverend Lasaro says he expects the police will question other ministers about how they have handled the propositions.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
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PEOPLE who are still advocating dialogue with Frank Bainimarama and his regime betray an acute lack of understanding of the man and his modus operandi. They simply cannot comprehend that the coup leader has no time and interest in debating, let alone discussing the merits and demerits of his vision for the island nation. Unless you come prepared to listen and then accept Bainimarama’s vision for Fiji, then you are just wasting his time, and yours. For what Bainimarama wants to achieve is revolutionary in nature and scope. He wants to take race out of politics. No country in the world has ever succeeded in doing it, but Bainimarama can’t be persuaded otherwise. So unless you have something to add or contribute into achieving this ultimate aim of his, you are of no use to the man. Isoa Gavidi learnt this the hard way. Grabbed from his comfortable home in Colo-i-Suva where he was enjoying his retirement, the Bau chief thought he would be able to deliver what Ross Ligairi and Isikeli Mataitoga – his predecessors – were not able to; which was to get “number one” to listen to good and correct advice. More recently, Taina Tagicakibau was the latest victim. Very soon Parmesh Chand too will join them.
Add to that names of fine soldiers who have been made to pay for their integrity and their honesty to state what needs to be stated, and not what the “boss” simply wants to hear.
Names like Lieutenant-Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini, Colonel Alfred Tuatoko, Colonel George Kadavulevu, Colonel Etueni Caucau, Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka, and Colonel Meli Saubulinayau come to mind. Out of the military and in addition to Gavidi, Tagicakibau and soon Chand, one can add others who once used to his satisfaction, were thrown on the wayside.
These include chiefs like Ratu Tu’akitau Cokanauto, Ratu Joe Nawalowalo of Kadavu, Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau of Bua and the Tui Macuata himself, Ratu Aisea Katonivere. Unless your advice is in conformity with Bainimarama’s ultimate aim, that of producing a race-less, chief-less Fiji, then you are to him, as good as dead. So people who keep harping on about the need for dialogue, to stay engage with Bainimarama and his regime are missing the point. Fiji’s military commander is on a crusade to revolutionise the country. Anything which stands in the way – even sitting down at a conference table for dialogue – is to him an obstacle that needs to be removed and/or neutralised. Really for this man, it is his way, or the highway.
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Just the good news thanks
May 18, 2009
By Sean Dorney

If you don’t have something nice to say about Fiji’s military Government, they think it’s best you don’t say anything at all, as veteran ABC correspondent Sean Dorney found out Pita Ligaiula, a Fijian journalist with the regional newsagency PacNews, was escorted out of the PacNews newsroom in Suva on 15 April by two police officers and a senior Fiji Ministry of Information official, Viliame Tikotani. Tikotani is one of Fiji’s new cadre of censors. They work for Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, Permanent Secretary for Information, Communication and Archives, who is, thanks to Fiji’s Public Emergency Regulations, effectively the country’s new chief censor.
Leweni was a Major until a week or so ago but he has been promoted since assuming control over everything that is broadcast or printed in Fiji’s mainstream media. Pita Ligaiula was taken down to the Central Police Station in Suva for interrogation. His alleged “offence” was that he had sent stories to the international news agency, Associated Press, about what was happening in Fiji. He was released the next day without being charged but with a warning not to upset the military-led Government again. He was the third local journalist to be hauled away by the police in the first week of Fiji’s “new legal order”. Since then there have been half a dozen Fiji media people picked up, held overnight, warned and released. The first journalist to be taken in was Edwin Nand who works for Fiji’s main television broadcaster, Fiji One. Edwin had interviewed me on 13 April shortly after I was told I was being deported under Section 16 of Fiji’s new Emergency Regulations. His interview with me was never broadcast locally but it was sent to New Zealand and on to Australia. Nand was held for two nights at the Central Police Station and I did not find out about his predicament until my deportation flight arrived in Sydney on 14 April. The censorship being imposed by Leweni upon the local media in Fiji is total. No criticism whatsoever is allowed of Commodore Bainimarama or anything he does or wants. Under Section 16 (1) of the Emergency Regulations (titled “Control of Broadcast and Publications”), if the Permanent Secretary for Information “has reason to believe that any broadcast or publication may give rise to disorder … or promote disaffection or public alarm, or undermine the Government” then Leweni “may, by order, prohibit such broadcast or publication”.
Under sub-section 2, any “broadcaster or publisher” must submit to Leweni “all material for broadcast or publication before broadcast or publication”. Anybody who refuses can have their media activities shut down. There is not much point trying to mount a legal challenge to the way the Fiji Police Force, which is headed by another military officer, Commodore Esala Teleni, interprets Section 16 of the Emergency Regulations. For one thing, at the time of writing there are still no judges in Fiji. They were all sacked when the Constitution was abolished on Good Friday, the day after a Court of Appeal declared Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s Interim Government illegal. For another, Decree Number Nine issued under Fiji’s new legal order prohibits any court from having “the jurisdiction to accept, hear and determine any challenges whatsoever” to any decree made by the President.
That Ninth decree, “The Administration of Justice Decree 2009” goes even further under a section titled “Transition”. “For the avoidance of doubt,” it says, “any proceeding, of any form whatsoever” that was underway in any court in Fiji challenging almost anything done by the Government since Commodore Bainimara’s coup on 5 December 2006 “shall wholly terminate immediately upon the commencement of this Decree”. The Emergency Regulations were imposed initially for 30 days but they have already been rolled over once. Leweni is very pleased with the results of his censorship rule. “The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalised news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media,” he said in a statement in early May.
Here is an example of Fiji’s new “responsible” reporting. It reveals how an extremely damning statement by the European Union was transformed into what the Leweni regards as a “positive” and “balanced” story.
The European Union’s Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Louis Michel, had “expressed deep regret and disappointment regarding recent regressive developments in Fiji”. Among those developments he listed the abrogation of the constitution, the sacking of all the judges, the delay in general elections until 2014 and the curtailment of freedom of speech. “These developments,” Michel’s statement went on, “are unacceptable for the international community. Commitments must be respected. An early and inclusive domestic political process leading to a return to constitutional order and democracy in Fiji will allow us to provide assistance to Fiji, at a time when global economic prospects are becoming increasingly difficult.”
However, after Leweni’s censors had finished with it, that statement appeared on the Fijilive news website as: “Fiji’s largest donor, the European Union, has again extended a helping hand. Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, today said the EU wants to assist Fiji ‘at a time when global economic prospects are becoming increasingly difficult’. The EU is looking to provide substantial financial support to rescue the sugar sector and help restore the economy.” The European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg, who is visiting Australia was shocked at how Commissioner Michel’s statement had been relayed to the people of Fiji.
Borg reiterated in an interview with me that developments in Fiji were “completely unacceptable” to the European Union. “Actually,” he said, “…virtually all financial assistance has been suspended”. The Fiji media is still trying to resist the censorship. Early on, the Fiji Times tried putting blank spots where censored stories would have gone, but the next day Leweni warned them he would close their business if that continued. Netani Rika, the editor of the Fiji Times, told a media conference (titled “Courage Under Fire”) in Samoa last week that the newspaper’s journalists were still reporting stories from all angles but much of what was written was being spiked by the censors. “Every story is covered in detail as if we were working in a truly democratic country without the current restrictions,” he said. “Each day we challenge the censors by putting every possible news item before them. Sometimes we are lucky and the occasional story slips through the net. On those days we celebrate quietly.” Rika also said the latest crackdown was not surprising. Since the coup in December 2006, he said: “We have been threatened, bullied and intimidated. Our cars have been smashed, our homes firebombed.” He said it would be easy “to roll over and practice self-censorship” but he paid tribute to his journalists whom he said had risen to the challenge. “They have bravely stood up to intimidation, rejected censorship and recognised that when a nation is controlled by usurpers it is imperative that the public’s right to know is protected at all costs.” Leweni remains deeply unhappy with this attitude. Asked on Fijilive on 13 May how long the censorship would continue he said: “It depends on the media outlets. If they’re willing to comply [...] you’ll see an end to this. If they don’t, then I can tell you that this PER [Public Emergency Regulations] will be there for a long while. “If I was given the choice,” Leweni told Fijilive, “I’d leave it (the censorship regulations) there for the next five years.”
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Patrcik Lang, a Biochemist PHD student originally from Fiji now residing in Cyprus was arrested yesterday on 18 May 2009 by police officers. He was released after one hour of questions and answers. He was asked not to release a story that he had written detailing the views and experiences of three indigenous youths during the 2000 coup (the story is already in the hands of many others before Patrick’s arrest). Patrick made an undertaking not to release the story (others will do it for him). He has relayed this disgusting information and a further warning to the three persons mentioned in the report of their safety. Patricks story also have information detailing the riots of 2000 and the spread of propaganda against Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. His piece also has excerpts that police say carry deep taukei sentiments. The story also carried information on how CRW officers carried out the seizure of the Parliamentry Complex.
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The time is 10:35am, a Suva Grammar Student looks at the face of his canteen attendance, ‘four of that please’, he remarks. Just a stone throw away, in Draiba Fijian School, a primary school student kicks the first plastic coke bottle (they pretend is a rugby ball) to start their recess short game of touch. Meanwhile a very young man, stands in a crowd of Indigenous Fijians ready to March, he contemplates for a while why he decided to play truant today and join these marchers, but he is more excited than logical right now – the crowd begins to move. He walks forward. These three young men will become the voice of youth in 8 years time, all in different circles. A charcoaled black haired boy in the Grammar uniform would later become the Vice President of the Young Peoples Concerned Network, be detained for voicing his opinions against the military regime and entrenched in Fiji’s history as a youth activist. The other a young man who now is a first year science student at Macau University, contemplating his fate – should I come back. Back to Fiji.The last young person is a student of a provincial school brought by his elder brother into the city today – to do what he is told and was led to believe was to march for their rights. Today he is an active member of the Ba Youth Provincial Council and is challenged by his Tui Vuda’s support for Frank Bainimarama. 8 years later Today is May 19. the year is 2000. My name is Pat Lang. We re-visit the three stories of these young men, who on the 19 of May 2000 were very close to the Parliament complex. The same complex and Day where a whole government was held hostage by a small group of nationalists, opportunists, victims and ignorant gun welding men. A coup that left unsettled issues and a mutuny that would scar the mind of a dictator. A coup that would bring us to the 4th coup of 2006, and the 5th Coup of 2009. A coup that was not at all to do with Race. We walk through the 2000 coup with three young people. How the days that transpired affected them – and how they see this coup culture as totally unacceptable.
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Aiyaz Khaiyum the cunning fox
May 18, 2009
By a blogger
The State Services Decree 2009 established the following offices:· Section 19 Solicitor General· Section 20 Director of Public Prosecutions· Section 21 Commissioner of Police· Section 22 Commissioner of Prisons· Section 23 Commander RFMF· Section 24 Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Surely if Frank is subject to this illegal decree in his capacity as Commander why did Ayiaz Kaiyum exclude himself and his buddy Sada Reddy from being classified as a ‘public officer’? Well we can say that Sada needs to be independent etc but what about Aiyaz? In Franks capacity as illegal Prime Minister he shares the same enabling decree with Ayiaz in the Executive Authority of Fiji decree 2009. But Ayiaz seem to have protected himself from being classified as a ‘public officer’. Why? No it is not a typo error people. It is a deliberate malicious act of deceipt. I can see the liumuri by Aiyaz against his own boss the Commodore and the SG, DPP, ComPol, ComPrisons. Now do you Fijians, Indians and Europeans see how he is Talibanistically Insane? Heil for the Talibans. Hip Hip Your Dead Aiyaz!
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May 14th marked the 130th year of the girmitiyas’ arrival to Fiji. Four days later on May 18th 2009, the European Community cancels its 2009 sugar funding to Fiji which will no doubt impact greatly on the girmitiyas’ current generation who still plough and plant the land, remaining true to what they were sent to do in Fiji. While our hearts cry out for the poor cane farmers, we must look beyond them and focus on the source of their misfortune – Frank and Chaudhry! Fiji’s sugar industry stakeholders have no choice but to look no further than their own illegal junta and its supporters to bail them out. We’re told that Mahendra Chaudhry will launch a lobbying campaign on Frank Bainimarama to set aside $50million of taxpayers funds to bridge the cancelled fund from EU. Will Frank do it? He will try but he ain’t got the dough to give – he is broke! Will Chaudhry influence the farmers to boycott harvesting their sugarcane?
It seems he already has. Sources from Fiji say milling scheduled to have commenced yesterday has been deferred, not due to machine breakdown but to non arrival of sugar cane to the milling factories. It is claimed that truck owners have refused to transport sugarcane from the farmers to the mills claiming that Fiji’s Land Transport Department have not given them permits for their fleets’ road worthiness. So folks, here we have the sugar mills waiting for farmers to supply them with sugarcane but both millers and farmers are helpless with the truck owners now complaining that LTA will not give them road worthiness passes for their unfit trucks which are death trucks in itself. Phew, it’s just too bloody hard to get things going in that sugar industry and to see that Fiji’s sugar industry is now dictated by some stand-alone trucking companies just comes to show how inefficient, dangerous and non-viable the industry is.
Perhaps it is now time to say goodbye to sugar and say hello to other agricultural commodities.
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VOREQE SUPPORTERS, MUCH LIKE THE EMPEROR HAS NICE CLOTHES…
The story from old folklore,seems to mirror the present status quo. Its baffling to read that some of our own are so oblivious to the fact that the modern structure of political will as vested in the Constitution and its tenets has been hog washed to the whims of the few. So sad that the muzzled press has given fuel to blogging, which is still perceived in some quarters as not real news. Seemingly so the Emperor’s fine clothes is a double edged sword. The same perception that observed such things,is the same mindset that equated blogs as merely provocative and baseless reporting. Well come to think of it, the stench of corruption by the head honchos doesn’t help the cause! I vouch to attest, that if the majority of the Academia fail to support VB, then of what is our educational system. Have we not come thus far, through constructive critisisms through a democratically and universally vetted and accepted document. What now of our future, when the precedent has been set that the Military watchdogs the political landscape and walks in, whenever it feels like the circumstances deem it so! I have to say that it is a sad state of affairs that now the EU has taken drastic steps to close doors on our Sugar industry,temporarily.
If we cut the hand that feeds us and hold the country at ransom, merely to escape judgement, what manner of a man does that make us and the institution that we stand for. It brings the institution’s tenets and the character of the man behind it all…into great disrepute. I no longer respect the armed forces as Ratu Sukuna had wanted it to be, the protector of Sovereign Rights.Might as well remove all those Busts and Memorabilia,because were not living up to the cause. The Emperor has noo clothes…look and ye shall not see!
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The Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Michael Somare stood thick and thick with the traitor and now deranged dictator Frankstein Bhainiramama when he hoodwinked the world to claim that he executed the coup to make Fiji a non-racist state and that he wanted to change the electoral system so that anti-Indo-Fijian resentment would never occur in his coup coupland.
Now, the Chinese are facing the anger and violence from indigenous Papuans – what explanation will Somare come up with to explain the burning and lootings? I totally condemn the violence against the Chinese but again want to remind those coup plotter Indo-Fijians and their supporters that sooner or later the indigenous Fijians will wake up and exact revenge for the increasingly loss of their land, religion and self-respect. So, stop supporting Frankenstein and the gang of thieves.
Meanwhile, read what Post-Courier says:Widespread looting in main centres of Papua New Guinea . . .Cops on full alert WIDESPREAD looting and damage to Chinese-owned businesses were reported in Madang, Kainantu and Goroka over the weekend.Reports from the Highlands and Mamose last night say thousands of kina worth of store goods including vehicle parts was looted by people from settlements around the three towns over the last three days.Police in Mt Hagen went on full alert foll-owing the looting and destruction to shop buildings in Kainantu and Goroka on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.The widespread looting and damage to businesses operated by Asians, especially Chinese families, has prompted the Government to appeal for calm and to clarify that businesses on the Reserved Activity List had been reviewed and the manufacturing and construction businesses had been removed from the list.- THE Government has assured the Asian community in Papua New Guinea of their security and protection by the police force. Acting Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu last Friday gave the assurance while condemning in the strongest manner the looting of Chinese owned shops in Lae.- Mamose police chief Giossi Labi has ordered his men to come down hard on the looters.- On Friday, a shop owned by a Chinese family was broken into and looted in Madang. Other Asian shops were stoned and suffered damages.- On the same day and Saturday, looters destroyed property and stole store goods from Asian-run shops in Kainantu town, Eastern Highlands.- Yesterday thousands of people around settlements in Goroka town, Eastern Highlands, went on a rampage and looted stores owned by Chinese.- Highlands police have condemned the looting in Kainantu and Goroka. The police went on full alert in Mount Hagen.- Police have also called on leaders to address the settlement issue following the looting of the businesses.
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EU backs away from Fiji sugar support
May 18, 2009
Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor May 19, 2009
Article from: The Australian
THE European Commission yesterday struck a severe blow to Fiji’s military-installed Government, axing $43 million in support for the vital sugar industry for this year. It has done so, it said, “in the absence of any indications that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009″. The announcement comprises an especially telling rebuff for military leader and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama because he has just flown to Guyana to participate in a special ministerial conference to plan a new sugar arrangement between the EU and its former colonies such as Fiji, which was British. Europe has been pressing the Government, led by Mr Bainimarama, to hold elections since it seized power in December 2006. Last month, the constitution was abrogated and the Government said it would not organise an election until September 2014 – leading to a further visit from senior European officials who warned sugar support was at stake. European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said yesterday: “I encourage the Government of Fiji to fulfil its commitments to the European Union so that we are able to reinstate sugar reform payments in the future.” The payments were originally intended to compensate farmers in former European colonies for subsidies introduced to European sugar farmers. When the latter subsidies began to be withdrawn, the support was maintained for some developing world sugar producers, including Fiji, to help them become globally competitive. Fiji was assured such support through to 2013. The $43 million now withheld for this year amounts to almost 20 per cent of the country’s revenue from sugar, which is the second biggest income earner for Fiji after tourism, providing about a quarter of its exports. About a quarter of the population depends on income from sugar.
The Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji last month, and Europe’s tough action is likely to be followed by suspension from the Commonwealth later this year. Europe is the second-highest donor in the Pacific after Australia, and further funding for Fiji is also likely to come under review.
Fiji’s news blackout ensured Europe’s announcement was not published or broadcast through the media yesterday. But Fiji’s media were able to trumpet that Sharon Smith-Jones, chairwoman of the Fiji Audio Visual Commission, had pledged that the film industry – with support especially from Bollywood in India and boosted by a new 35 per cent tax concession – would help bridge Fiji’s yawning income gap. Movies made in Fiji would earn the country about $15million this year, said Ms Smith-Jones, although they provided only $600,000 in the first four months. Mr Bainimarama toppled the elected government of Laisenia Qarase in December 2006, accusing it of corruption and unfairly favouring the indigenous Fijian majority over the minority ethnic Indian population. He sees Fiji as beset by divisions between the Fijians and Indians and has vowed to reform the electoral system before holding elections. Additional reporting: AFP
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Fears that EU sugar funding cancellation could collapse Fiji’s industry
May 18, 2009
Funny how sugar daddy Mahendra Chaudhry is crying over spilt milk now that EU has cancelled its 2009 sugar funding of US$32million to Fiji. The stupid fool honestly thinks he and Frank could walk away with the EU money – never you mind the many civilians they have killed, brutalized, and disadvantaged by their 2006 and 2009 coups? Snap out of it Chaudhry!!You have no one else to blame but yourself for sleeping with your coup devil Frank Bainimarama. We don’t doubt that EU would have been abit flexible if Chaudhry said no to going to bed with Frank, but reality have shown that Chaudhry, in what was incredibly a very poor, unethical judgment of his and his Fiji Labor Party, went ahead and shared the same bed with Frank as his illegal Minister for Finance and Sugar. Chaudhry’s attempt to name drop the sugarcane farmers as the ones who will suffer most is getting very tiring. We have heard it too many times before yet their so-called leader continue to rape democracy and rule of law. Now, the onus is on you Mahendra Pal Chaudhry to go back to Haryana and raise an equivalent amount of what’s lost to help your sugarcane farmers electorate. It’s about time too that sugarcane farmers wake up to how Chaudhry has nicely used and abused them for his own political and financial gain. If they continue to be on denial, then they too deserve where they are today!

Fiji’s former sugar minister, says the cancellation of EU sugar funding for Fiji this year could lead to the collapse of the industry. The European Commission has cancelled about 32 million US dollars worth of funding, saying it has taken the decision in the absence of any sign that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009. Fiji’s former sugar minister and the general secretary of the National Farmers Union, Mahendra Chaudhry says the industry stakeholders need to get together to see what can be done “Sugar is very important for Fiji’s economy, and if this industry collapses, it’s now reduced to half its former size, but if it should go together then of course it will have very grave consequences for Fiji’s economy, so it is in the interests of all concerned to do something to save this industry from collapse.” Mahendra Chaudhry says the EC’s move is a big blow for farmers, as they would benefit most from the money.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
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Why total power won’t work for Frank Bainimarama
May 18, 2009
By fijidemocracynow2009
The ever-tightening power of the military dictator, Frank Bainimarama, over us, the people of Fiji, is clearly designed to ensure the supremacy of the dictator and the longevity of his regime. But it’s more likely to prove the opposite. It is becoming clearer by the day that by imposing his iron-fisted rule the dictator is only hastening the inevitable demise of his tenure as the unelected and self-appointed ruler of our beautiful island nation. First, the engine driving the dictator’s tenure is fear, the fear that he instills in the populace and his own fear of losing power and facing justice. So his tenure has nothing to do with popularity. The stirrings of the vast Methodist bloc and the alienation of the Indo-Fijian population, as evidenced by Mahendra Chaudhry’s increasingly strident criticism, testify to that.
Second, for as long as Frank Bainimarama retains his control over our nation the economy will continue to deteriorate. Statistics for the first quarter of 2009 show further sharp falls in tourism and capital inflows. And without an independent judiciary prospects for new investment are virtually zero. On top of that, without the means to re-invent itself with European Union money, our sugar industry’s days are numbered. Relentlessly, and at an ever increasing speed, our economy is spiraling towards bankruptcy. This will mean increasing poverty for the ordinary people. But it will also make it increasingly difficult for the dictator to maintain control over the military apparatus that enables him to hold the nation hostage. When the day comes, as it inevitably will, when the dictator is unable to pay his troops, it will mark the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. And, in all likelihood, it will be a very swift and decisive end.
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Fiji’s Sugar Cane Growers Council is hopeful some money can be salvaged after the cancellation of the European Commission’s 2009 sugar allocation. The European Commission has cancelled about 32 million US dollars worth of funding, saying it has taken the decision in the absence of any indication that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009. Fiji’s Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO, Surendra Sharma, says he met the interim prime minister two weeks ago and was assured he would be meeting with the EU. “Also possibly talking to the Forum island country leaders to see how this amount of money could be salvaged by way of providing some commitments to the forum island countries and also to the European Union, so the fact that this amount has been cancelled does not mean that it has been re-allocated to other ACP countries.”
Surendra Sharma says a large amount of the money would have been used to rehabilitate farms and plant new cane.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
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Junta threatens to cancel Methodists’ August conference
May 18, 2009
The interim government in Fiji says it will not hesitate to defer indefinitely the annual conference of the Methodist Church if security forces suspect any motive to cause instability.
That follows the detention of Methodist minister, the Reverend Manasa Lasaro, who was questioned for two days by police about the church’s propositions to discuss issues including the legitimacy of the military-led regime at the conference. Government spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni has appealed to church members not to be misled by a few people and asked the public to refrain from instigating or participating in action that will destabilise the peace. He says members of the Methodist Church were misled by political opportunists in 2000, with many people turning up to parliament under the misguided notion they were fighting for indigenous rights. He says the government and security forces will be more proactive in their efforts to keep the peace this time. The Reverend Lasaro says the church will not be deterred from discussing the propositions.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
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Tonga PM says Fiji needs to listen to outside
May 18, 2009
Tonga’s Prime Minister says that Fiji’s military rulers will have to listen to the international community sooner or later if they are to move their country forward. Feleti Sevele says a fresh approach is needed by the region to engaging with Fiji’s military government, following the interim regime’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum. Dr Sevele says decisions taken on Fiji by Forum leaders at their last two meetings were judged at the time to be the right moves to make. He admits that since then, Fiji has gone in the opposite direction to where the Forum wants it to go, but says the two sides will need to find a balance… “Fiji needs the international community. Fiji needs the Forum… perhaps more than the Forum needs Fiji. But the Forum still needs Fiji. So let’s perhaps give it a pause, stand back… in time of course Fiji has got to listen to the international community. It’s a two-way affair.” Tonga’s Prime Minister Feleti Sevele.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

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