Friday, September 18, 2009

Drunkard Frank Taking Fiji Down to Ruin

Well placed sources have reported that drunkard Frank Bainimarama was an absolute embarrasement while night- clubbing last Tuesday in a popular watering hole where his Landforce Commander, Peter Driti works part-time as a band member. These sources happened to be at the pub when the tyrant stumbled in, already half-drunk from a possible cocktail. They say Frank was disordely, boastful and loud in his drunkard state. Some even joked that he was probably pulling a drunk one at Australia since the name of that watering hole is called Down Under and is owned by an Australian called Chris.
Another long-winded selection of friendly-sounding lies and garbage. Looking to Singapore and Mauritius as examples of good governance is ridiculous given the draconian behavior of those governments. Why doesn’t he want to emulate India, NZ or Australia? Maybe it is his fear of the truth and the law. Amusingly, take a selection of the inane drivel he has in his speech – which read like a selection of marketing slogans:

“thinking outside the box” (what box, your box?)
“it must not be prone to high risk” (…like a investing in a military government?)
“you have been asked to attend this forum today to contribute to discussions that will assist me” (Assist you? Are you sure you invited the right people?)
“I want consistencies in policies and long term goals” (No. Is this your joke-speech?)
“It must be robust and it must flourish in a realistic environment” (Yes! It is your joke-speech!)
“I know there has been some disgruntlement” (I think the word you are looking for is: “INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION”)
“creating a level playing field” (Everyone gets a gun now? How thoughtful.)
“correcting the wrongs of the past” (I can think of a few…)
“today I and my team are here to listen to you” (with or without your gun?)
“We are here to look at our future” (where were you looking before?)
“I want us to leap-frog not merely plod along.” (I didn’t realise this meeting included games!)
How is he NOW doing any of these things? He isn’t and is incapable of doing so.
At least we now know that he gets all his ideas from the back of pop culture magazines, food court napkins and children’s pop-up books.
radiolucas
Posted by rawfijinews
Where is multi-racialism Frank?
September 17, 2009
The dictator harps on a non-racist Fiji and yet in most of his speeches be beguns with Fijian and English greetings and ends with Fijian or English – maybe its time he was sent to some Indo-Fijian primary school to pick up a few words – or it just exposes his false crusade for a non-racial Fiji
Posted by rawfijinews
We say – how often has Frank Bainimarama lived by the words he has uttered below? Such noble ideals that unfortunately gets lost when released by a liar, and an indespicable murderer and human rights violator like Fiji’s coupmaker Frank Bainimarama, who is responsible for the death, beating and torturing of his own Fijian people. Frank doesn’t have it in him to act the part of a nation builder. Frank is a tyrant for crying out loud! Fiji needs a credible civilian leader to say those words Frank and only then will the world believe it. At first glance, one can’t help but think that all these blurbs continue to ring hollow given Frank’s disgusting violence against his own kind and his junta’s escalating corruption, abuse of office, non-transperancy, embezzelment of taxpayers funds, croynism, nepotism and most importantly, Frank’s politics of war. Sorry Frank, maybe its time for you to go and get someone more credible to talk the talk and walk the talk of hope that Fiji badly needs right now.
Keynote address at the 2010 national budget consultative forum
Novotel Convention CentreLAMI
17 September, 20090830 Hours
Cabinet Ministers;Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bula Vinaka and a Good Morning to you all.
The last time we met as a group before a budget was last year at the Economic Summit. As you are aware His Excellency our President abrogated the 1997 Constitution in April of this year. He then appointed my Government with the Mandate to have elections in September 2014.Following the Presidential Mandate on 1st July of this year, I announced the Strategic Framework for Change which sets out the objectives of my Government vis-a-vis the People’s Charter with an agenda to modernize and reform. To reiterate, consultations on a new Constitution shall begin in September 2012 with the view to have one in place by September 2013. Elections are to be held a year after that.
However, until then the focus of Government shall be on the economy. The focus will mean politics, political parties and politicians shall not be part of the agenda. The agenda will mean bringing the much needed dynamism to the economy and the commercial sector. It will mean thinking outside the box, making a paradigm shift.
As I have said my Government is a government of change. I want to modernize – modernize to improve Government services, run government like a business, and modernize our way of thinking to ensure that we set the foundations of a sound and robust economy – an economy that will reap benefit for all, not just a select few. It must not favor a select group of businesses, it must not marginalize our workers and it must not be prone to high risk.
Accordingly, as businesses, as financial institutions, as employers and employees, you must engage not just with me and my Government and also with each other. If you are serious and committed to a Fiji which is to realize her true potential then you will take a holistic approach to the economy. You will situate your sector, your business and your employee claims within the context of the greater Fijian economy and the well being of her people. We no longer can afford to be parochial and selfish.
Ladies and gentlemen you have been asked to attend this forum today to contribute to discussions that will assist me to formulate not just the 2010 Budget but the budgets that are to ensue for the next 5 years. I want consistencies in policies and long term goals to provide investor confidence to help you and me to plan our Government, our businesses, our lives, and our country. I know there has been some disgruntlement over certain polices over the past couple of years. But we are not here to look into the past. We are here to look at our future. I also know that in modernizing the economy, in creating a level playing field, in correcting the wrongs of the past and in liberalizing the economy, some will initially be dissatisfied. However, some of these adjustments are necessary. I and my Government are not averse to making tough decisions. After all, the economies of Singapore and Mauritius are what they are today because of the ability of their respective governments to make tough and forward looking decisions.
Our economy, individual businesses and industries cannot and should not survive on an unrealistic platform. It must be robust and it must flourish in a realistic environment. Our economic growth must be based on a sustainable foundation. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past when unsustainable fiscal and monetary policies were put in place. There are of course a number of factors outside our control and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji will give you a realistic analysis of what is happening globally, the impact of the World recession and the repercussions on the Fijian economy. You will also hear about Government spending. But today I and my team are here to listen to you. I want to listen to your ideas about your sectors and the economy at large. When telling us what your views are don’t just think about next year but think long term. I most definitely am. As I said I want to put in train policies that will be forward-looking, to provide consistency and confidence. I want to situate Fiji in a prime position. I want us to leap-frog not merely plod along.
I know you all may have a long wish list but be practical and give me at least three key issues from your sector that you would like addressed, keeping in my mind the overall economic objectives and demands of other interest groups. As I said on 1st July, I want us all to seize the moment, seize the moment to build a better Fiji in which we and our future generations, all benefit.
Vinaka vakalevu.
-Ends-
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Native Bank of Fiji in Nadi ruled as illegit
September 17, 2009

RESERVE BANK RESPONDS TO QUERIES ON A NEW BANK OPERATING IN FIJI AS
NATIVE BANK OF FIJI

There have been a number of enquiries made to the Reserve Bank on what is assumed to be a “new” bank operating in Fiji with the name Native Bank of Fiji. The Reserve Bank of Fiji wishes to clarify that it has not issued a new banking licence to any company in Fiji. Enquiries for banking licences continue to be received by the Reserve Bank, but no formal application has been received from the Native Bank of Fiji. The Reserve Bank is aware that a newly registered company had used the word “bank” as part of its title signage on its proposed place of business. The Reserve Bank has directed the company to remove the word “bank”, as this is a direct contravention of section 5 of the Banking Act 1995, which restricts the use of the word “bank”, without prior approval of the Reserve Bank of Fiji or the Minister for Finance. In light of the above, the Reserve Bank wishes to notify the general public to refrain from conducting any business dealings with persons purporting to be representatives of the Native Bank of Fiji and to report any suspicious incidents to the Reserve Bank. It is an offence to conduct banking business in Fiji without a valid licence granted under the Banking Act 1995, by the Reserve Bank.
Reserve Bank of Fiji
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Fiji Sports benefit from Australian grants
September 17, 2009

17 September 2009

Three sports organisations in Fiji have been awarded Australian government grants to assist them train more local coaches and expand participation in their respective sports to schools around the country.

The grants, totaling close to A$17,5000 (F$30,000), have been awarded to Cricket Fiji, Fiji Basketball and Fiji Swimming as part of the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP).

The Australian Sports Outreach Program focuses on increasing community participation in sport and physical activity in the Pacific. Each year, sports organisations in Pacific Island countries are invited to apply for grants up to A$10,000 for individual sports development projects.

In the latest round of funding, Cricket Fiji has been given a grant of A$7000 (F$11,621) to take the sport to schools around the country with the aim of increasing the participation of children and increasing the number of teachers who will take on coaching roles. The funds will also assist Cricket Fiji’s efforts to increase the number of schools participating in its Primary Schools Cricket Program.

Fiji Basketball’s grant of A$5123 (F$8,510) will enable the organization to train more local coaches while at the same time expanding the game at the primary school level. Fiji Basketball aims to increase awareness of the game so that it provides an alternative choice to traditional sports in the country.

Fiji Swimming will use its grant of A$5342 (F$8,868) to further develop the knowledge and skills of existing coaches while, at the same time, training more locals to become accredited coaches.

Last year, the Labasa community gymnasium installed new exercise equipment through an ASOP grant while Athletics Fiji was able to conduct training camps aimed at educating athletes about nutrition, basic training principles and the development of meaningful and successful competition structures.

**ENDS**
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Ului Mara off to Korea
September 16, 2009
3rd FIR boss Ului Mara is said to have left Fiji for Korea. Sources say he is there to meet up with his close friend, ex first-secretary of Korean Embassy in Fiji, and others who work with Ului in sourcing arms from Korea. Watch more Fiji foreign reserves disappear for arms purchase payment.
Posted by rawfijinews
The Fiji interim regime has named a former High Court Judge, John Connors, as its first Independent Legal Services Commissioner. His role will be to investigate complaints against lawyers – a task previously performed by the Fiji Law Society. Under the regime’s Legal Practitioner’s Decree brought in in May, the Law Society was made voluntary and also lost its power to issue practising certificates. The interim Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says with the Commissioner’s appointment, members of the public with complaints against lawyers should first approach the Chief Registrar. He says the Chief Registrar will investigate and make an initial determination but complainants also have the option of approaching the Commissioner. The acting Chief Registrar, Ana Rokomokoti, says currently there are 348 outstanding complaints against lawyers in Fiji, ranging from unprofessional conduct to allegations of abuse of trust funds and fraud.
News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
The United States has placed sanctions against Fiji because of its poor human rights record. Fiji is among the list of countries the US will withholding funding from or – for their poor human rights record involving human trafficking. In a memorandum, President Barack Obama says they will not to provide certain funding for these countries from next year. The memo says sanctions will be in place until governments comply with the minimum standards or display significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. Fiji’s poor human rights record in human trafficking was exposed in the annual US State Department’s annual report which was released earlier this year. The countries affected by these sanctions are Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, Syria, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Burma Sudan Niger Kuwait, Malaysia Swaziland Mauritania and Fiji.
- Radio Fiji
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Serevi in a scandalous scam
September 16, 2009
Former Fiji Sevens Coach Waisale Serevi today admits that he was paid by a staff of the Leeds Metropolitan University to be the Ambassador of the Institution. However Serevi denied claims that he was involved in an illegal activity last year.Internal Auditors today uncovered what appeared to be an unsigned, unauthorized dealing between the Leeds Metropolitan University and Serevi. Serevi told FBC Sports from Papua New Guinea that he had been paid by the University admitting also that nothing has been signed yet. While he did not wish to comment until he queried the University – the Sevens Wizard was reluctant to say that a Memorandum of Understanding was met and to date he was still waiting on the relevant paper for it to be signed. Internal auditors discovered the deal with Waisale Serevi after questions were asked by the Yorkshire Post about a series of cash withdrawals by staff.But they could find no evidence that a business case for the deal had been authorised, no evidence of invoices and no evidence of why he was being paid in cash. They did come across a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining that Serevi, a world legend in rugby sevens, was to be paid £1,000 a day plus £500 for each student recruited, but found this to be neither dated nor signed by either party. It transpired last night that Leeds Met had paid Serevi £8,000 in total – including £1,000 in cash – and two players had been recruited to play for the university.Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
Posted by rawfijinews
C’mon Sada Reddy, tell Fiji the truth
September 16, 2009
Reserve Bank controversial Governor, Sada Reddy, should stop treating the people of Fiji like stupid fools who know nothing about his business of managing Fiji’s reserves. Ever since he took over the role from ousted Savenaca Narube, Sada Reddy has deliberately refused to tell the people how many months of reserves his ever increasing rforeign eserves converts to. Is it less than 1 month, 1,2,3,4 months worth of imports Sada? Claiming a strong recovery in Fiji’s foreign reserves is not good enough, especially when every man and their dog are feeling the pinch of high cost of living in that rogue state. It means that the cost of imports has increased forcing prices of almost everything to sky rocket – otherwise known as inflation. It also means that cost of imports to Fiji has dramatically increased taking away any positive net effect on any increase in foreign reserve Sada is prefusely claiming almost every other week. So c’mon Sada Reddy, tell Fiji the real deal and stop misleading them!
Posted by rawfijinews
Australia’s Fiji policy criticised
September 16, 2009
A former Fiji diplomat has described as “spiteful” Australia’s policy of isolating Fiji’s military in a bid to speed-up the country’s return to democracy. Peter Thompson spoke at an Australia-Fiji Business Council conference in Sydney. He says Australia’s policy on Fiji is wrong, and has called for major changes to it. He was critical of the so-called smart sanctions, particularly the travel bans on members of the military regime and close family members, and of what he described as Australia’s efforts to undermine and demonise Fiji at an international level. “It is a spiteful policy, conceived in a mood of punishment and sustained by a sense of pique,” he said. “It is damaging not just to Fiji’s business world, its national economy and the livelihoods of its long-suffering people. It’s damaging to the very fabric of the South Pacific region.” Mr Thompson says the policy needed to be dropped to open the way for real dialogue with interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama.
- Radio Australia
Posted by rawfijinews

Commowealth’s envoy disappointed by results of Fiji visit
September 16, 2009
The Commonwealth’s special envoy to Fiji, former New Zealand Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves, says he’s disappointed by the results of his visit to Fiji last week. He says his visit was fruitless in terms of persuading interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama to return to democracy as soon as possible, but it at least kept lines of communication open. Sir Paul says he’s particularly disappointed to be told by the coup-installed interim government he wouldn’t be allowed to meet with opposition politicians Laisenia Qarase, Mahendra Chaudhury and Mick Beddoes. He told Radio Australia’s Bruce Hill, he did consider ignoring the restriction and meeting the three men anyway. “We considered that, but we didn’t go down that route. Although I think that by the time we left we had been in touch with each other,” he said.
- Radio Australia
Posted by rawfijinews
FSC responsible for loss : FCGA
September 16, 2009

16th September, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
FSC RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS: FCGA

Pathetic performance by the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s four mills and a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the FSC management towards improving milling efficiency has so far this season caused a minimum $46.2 million loss to cane farmers.

The $46.2 million is the minimum loss suffered by farmers if Permanent Secretary for Sugar Parmesh Chand’s statement that low sugar production has seen the industry miss out on $66 million in sugar earnings. This is based on the fact that 70% of proceeds earned from the sale of sugar is paid to farmers. Likewise, farmers have been paying for 70% of annual budgets of sugar industry institutions.

Last week (9th September) Mr Chand told The Fiji Times that there was insufficient sugar production to meet the lucrative European Union market. Both farmers and FSC had the opportunity to enjoy a financial windfall given that the price of one tonne of sugar on the normally unattractive world market is fetching as high as USD$2,000 per tonne.

Mr Chand should not be at all surprised by the sharp decline of the sugar industry. In February this year he told the media that the future viability of the industry depended on planting 6000 acres of sugarcane by April. This projection has been a miserable failure but its impact will be felt next season when that newly planted crop, had the target been achieved, was expected to mature.

But for the 2009 season, low cane supply CANNOT be blamed as the cause of declining sugar production but PATHETIC MILL PERFORMANCE.

After requesting weekly crush reports since the beginning of the season more than three months ago. Fiji Cane Growers Association was supplied figures for one preceding week on 3rd September. FSC deliberately did not state how much sugar was produced so far for the season and FCGA had to do its own calculations from the figures provided.

Until 3rd September, all four mills crushed a total of 861,374 tonnes of cane. The average TCTS (Tonnes of Cane required to make one tonne of sugar) was 12.4.

A TCTS of 12.4 is simply unacceptable given that the months of June to September are regarded as optimum for crushing and sugar extraction.

The TCTS for the trouble plagued Lautoka and Rarawai mills were the worst. For Lautoka it was 15.6 while for Rarawai it was 15.4. Labasa mill recorded a TCTS of 10.7 while Penang mill had a TCTS of 10.4 ; giving the average of 12.4.

If the total tonnage of cane crushed (861,374) is divided with TCTS (12.4), sugar production until 3rd September comes to 69,950 tonnes. Even if the TCTS was 9, the mills would have produced almost 96,000 tonnes of sugar.

With the $86 million mill upgrade nearing completion, farmers expect the mills to perform much better than previously. But despite multi-million dollar investments and mill upgrades the industry has steadily declined from a time when it used an average of 7.8 tonnes of cane to produce a tonne of sugar more than a decade ago to recording the horrendous average TCTS of 12.4 less than halfway into the season and before the start of the rainy season that normally sees increased cane burning.

This is the painful price the already struggling cane farmers are paying for the actions of the FSC management laced with Colonial era hangers on and cronies who seemingly are invincible in the eyes of the interim regime.

Bala Dass
General Secretary
Posted by rawfijinews
Bainimarama sick of being bullied
September 15, 2009
Cameron Stewart September 16, 2009
Article from: The Australian
FIJI’S prime minister and military strongman Frank Bainimarama has accused Australia of being an international bully that seeks to interfere in his country’s internal affairs. The self-appointed leader made his swipe in response to a push by the Rudd government to persuade the UN to replace Fijian troops serving in international peacekeeping operations.
Speaking on New Zealand television, the military chief said he was “sick of being bullied” by Australia.
“Right now Australia is trying to get us out of the United Nations peacekeeping (role),” Commodore Bainimarama said. This “interfering” was not welcomed by him or other Fijians and was not beneficial to Australians either. “What benefit will there be for the Australians? Would it benefit the Aborigines, for instance, if we were removed from the UN peacekeepers?” Australia has asked the UN to order a “progressive replacement of Fijian troops” in peacekeeping operations around the world. Fiji has traditionally been a major participant in peacekeeping, which is the nation’s third-biggest source of income, after tourism and sugar. Australia’s push is aimed at undermining support within the military for Commodore Bainimarama, who seized power in a coup in December 2006 and who has shelved initial promises to move quickly towards elections and the restoration of democracy. Australia’s push is the latest in a series of attempts by the international community to make life difficult for the regime. It follows Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth and a cut in sugar aid from the European Union. In April, Commodore Bainimarama further defied the international community by abrogating the constitution, sacking the judiciary, imposing censorship on the media, replacing the Reserve Bank chief and declaring that no election would be held until September 2014. The Fijian leader defended the moves in the interview yesterday, saying Australia did not understand Fiji’s path to democracy or the need for him to remain in power to introduce electoral reforms and ensure Fiji’s fourth coup was its last. He also defended his controversial press sanctions, claiming it only stopped “irresponsible reporting”. “The press is still churning out newspapers,” he said. Last month, global ratings agency Moody’s said a “coup culture” in Fiji had helped cause the country’s slump in foreign reserves and soaring debt.
Additional reporting: AAP
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji’s coupmaker taking advantage of Australia/China strained relation
September 15, 2009
Fiji’s coupster, Frank Bainimarama, is a man of sedition.
So much so that every word he utters is always taken as a given lie. People simply don’t trust him based on his well publicised series of lies and contradictory actions against his statements on what he purports to be the best way forward for Fiji. Frank is a friend of communist China, a nation well known for its lack of respect for its peoples human rights. China has become Frank junta’s biggest financier since Frank’s coup of 2006.
They have accepted Frank’s regime as rightful signatories for the many millions of dollars worth of funds they have loaned to him – loan agreements that will undoubtedly become null and void when a democratically elected government takes control in Fiji. Frank understands how important Fiji is to Australia – the accepted big brother to the South Pacific Island nations. Frank also understands that Australia will not allow China to infiltrate itself in its own back yard, something that China is well known for with its cheque book diplomacy to the small Pacific Island states. China is slowly etching into forbidden grounds in the Pacific and it is irking Australia, amongst other things. So why and how exactly has diplomatic relations between Australia and China soured?
Read it here

Clean up your corruption first Frank Bainimarama
September 15, 2009
The Fiji Military Forces made unauthorised purchases of almost $9.5 million from Lotus Garments in 2006 while $20,000 in overpaid lodging allowances was left unrecovered and salaries of discharged officers continued to be paid, according to the latest report of the Public Accounts Committee. The report, based on financial activities in 2006, said the unauthorised purchases from Lotus Garments were authorised by the senior military officer without any reference to the Major Tenders Board. The RFMF also breached Finance Instructions 2005 when it consistently made payments in 2006 on photocopied local purchase orders, the report said. Almost $20,000 in overpaid lodging allowances to officers occupying the married quarters remained to be recovered despite the issue being raised in 2005. “Recovery measures for the overpayment had been instituted but suspended in 2007 for no apparent reason,” the report said. Service pensions to widows of pensioners were still being paid in full while other discrepancies such as abuse of vehicles and unaccounted quotes were also noted.
- Fijilive
Posted by rawfijinews

Mark Manning’s response to tyrant Frank Bainimarama’s Maori TV interview
September 15, 2009
Frank continually makes accusations of corruption under Qarase, but there has been absolutely, no proof !He says that he is taking Fiji forward, but forward to what and from where ? It remains undefined and frankly, is piss and wind, full of no substance at all. He confirms that the Military has taken over an elected government, but doesn’t see the absurdity of his own comments, in that he has admitted committing High Treason against the State.He again confirms, in the plural, that it is ” we ” ho are doing this, not ” me ” .But is too cowardly to expose just ” who ” the ” we ” are ! His remarks regarding the Governments of Australia and New Zealand lobbying the united Nations to cease Fiji military peace keeping deployments indicate that he is hurting financially and also that he doesn’t understand the irony of deploying a military to peace keeping, when it is denying those same freedoms to it’s own citizens.Frank Bainimarama is child like in his thinking and his assessment of most things and anyone who supports him is simply using Frank for their own selfish reasons. In Fiji, at the moment, there is no ” VOTE ” and it is the Military who are doing the dictating, not the Chiefs and the councils. Again though, he fails to see the irony in what he is saying, at least the Councils are Elected, as are the Chiefs, where as certain within the Military have taken it upon themselves to represent their own interests and are not Elected.Finally, Frank Bainimarama has absolutely no credibility because of his alleged involvement in the 5 C.R.W. Soldiers murders in 2000 and the murders of 4 unarmed, innocent Fijian Civilians since December the 5th. 2006 and his pending arrest for sedition in late 2006. His failure to address these issues with the Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes or to investigate the complaints against his own Soldiers, points to the mans mentality, his real intentions and his inability to lead or take responsibility. He is, as we all know from his retreat from the camp grounds in 2000, a coward, incapable of leading a Nation, especially a failed State such as Fiji has become since December the 5th. 2006.
Frank Bainimarama even failed to understand the concept of the internet and how it works, mobile phones and how they operate and the opposition that would ensue from the International Community and their organisations as well as the resistance against his Regime from within Fiji.
The end is near for Frank Bainimarama and his Regime and like a frightened rat on a sinking ship, he will be one of the 1st. to abandon ship when it begins to sink.
mark manning
Posted by rawfijinews

Murderous Frank Bainimarama’s interview – Maori TV
September 15, 2009
Pacific.ScoopBy David Robie of Pacific Media Watch
Fiji’s military-backed prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama has vowed not to be bullied by Australia and New Zealand, and has defended his curbs on the Pacific country’s media.
“I’m trying to do what is good for Fiji, not what’s good for New Zealand, not what’s good for Australia,” he told Māori Television’s current affairs programme Native Affairs presenter Julian Wilcox in an interview broadcast last night.
But he added that Fiji “treasured” its traditional relationship with both countries and blamed the neighbouring governments for the current damaged relationship.
Bainimarama said New Zealanders did not understand democracy in Fiji and he hinted that an improvement might come in relations with New Zealand if Prime Minister John Key “changed his views” on Fiji.
He said it would be “a good thing” for the future relationship if New Zealand appointed a new high commissioner to the vacant post in Suva.
Bainimarama was interviewed in Suva during “48 hours in the Pacific’s military zone” last week, as the bilingual Māori and English public broadcaster billed the special report.
The wide-ranging Wilcox interview and a report by Carmen Parahi on grassroots responses from Fiji Islanders to the military regime coincided with a brief visit to Suva by the special Commonwealth emissary, former NZ Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves.
“This is our one and only chance to right the wrongs. We have had four coups. We don’t want any more coups,” Bainimarama said.
‘No secret’Asked by Wilcox why he had seized power in December 2006, Bainimarama replied: “It was no secret that what we wanted to do was get rid of corrupt practices [under the previous elected government of Laisenia Qarase], get rid of the racial policies that were around us – especially the racial policies that were going to take our country down …
“It boiled down to the public service not doing their thing … their bit.
“We have removed just about all the people for abuse of authority, abuse of office and abuse of funds. These people were part of the elite group of government …
“It was nepotism throughout and we could see that. So we wanted to get rid of it.”
Bainimarama called for more understanding of the complexities of the Fiji political and social system and why changes were needed.
“People see this nation as a failed state. The European Union sees it as a failed state. The Commonwealth, the whole reason why they have suspended us is that they see this nation as a failed state.
“The [Pacific Islands] Forum, Australia and New Zealand see this nation as a failed African state.
“You have a preconceived idea of what is happening [in Fiji] when you don’t understand what is happening here … and people don’t want to understand because you want to interfere in the way we do business.
Peacekeeping“In fact, right now … Australia is trying to get us out of the United Nations peacekeeping [role]. What benefit will there be for the Australians? Would it benefit the Māori, for instance; would it benefit the Aborigines if we were removed from the UN peacekeepers?
Wilcox: “You feel Fiji is being bullied by, principally New Zealand and Australia?”
Bainimarama: “Yes, because you don’t understand what is happening here, what we’re trying to do.
“All you see is the military removing an elected government and it wants to remain in power for the next five years [until an election in 2014].
“Yes, we removed an elected government – for good reason. We wanted to bring about development in this country. We wanted to bring this country forward instead of keeping us in the old cannibalistic days.”
Asked why Bainimarama had not left it to elections and democracy to make political reforms, the self-appointed prime minister said the politicians “don’t want reforms – if they bring about reforms, the people won’t vote for them”.
Bainimarama said an authoritarian government was needed to make the political and electoral reforms in Fiji needed to ensure no more coups would happen.
“In Fiji, you don’t come up with your own vote. Your vote is dictated by the chiefs, it is dictated by the Great Council of Chiefs, it is dictated by the provincial councils, and it is dictated by the [Methodist] Church.
‘Not democracy’“So it’s not your vote. So don’t tell me that it’s democracy.”
Asked by Wilcox about media censorship, Bainimarama said: “The press is still churning out newspapers. The TV station is still on, the radio is still on.
“What we have censored is irresponsible reports, that’s what we have censored.”
Wilcox: “What exactly does that mean?”
Bainimarama: “That you report the facts. I am sure Māori Television understands that …
“The media are free to express what they want – just say the right things, don’t say rubbish.”
Challenged to talk to the people of Fiji about how they viewed his regime, Native Affairs reporter Carmen Parahi contributed a segment on responses from ordinary Fiji Islanders.
Taking a quick break from a game of touch rugby at Lami, Radio Fiji sports reporter Sikeli Qounadovu said: “Life goes on. The politicians are causing the headaches, while we are enjoying ourselves. “He [Bainimarama] has done a lot for the rural areas of Fiji compared to other leaders … We let them do what they think is for the good of the country.” Positive view Several speakers in the Suva city markets were also positive about the state of Fiji. However, the media were less complimentary.
Fiji Times editor-in-chief Netani Rika, recent winner of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Pacific Media Freedom Award and who came in for personal criticism from Bainimarama during the interview, was not available for on camera comments. But he declared that the Fiji Times would continue its independent role. Merana Kitione, news manager of Fiji Television, described the daily censorship operation, adding that it spite of the repression it was “business as usual” at the station. However, asked by Parahi if Fiji Television feared being closed, she replied: “I can’t answer that question – no comment.” A Native Affairs studio panel discussion following the Bainimarama interview featured a former senator, Dr Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and Nik Naidu, spokesperson of the Auckland-based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji. Both speakers argued for dialogue with the regime but while Naidu called for a free media to enable wider debate with the Fiji public, politicians, civil society and aid donors, Dr Nailatikau said dialogue needed to exclude the media. Asked by Wilcox to put media censorship in Fiji in perspective, Naidu said: “If this was Fiji, what would happen is the military would be here by now, close down the station, most probably put all of us into custody, and this programme would not air.”
Naidu also added it was an irony that Bainimarama was now calling for New Zealand to post a new high commissioner to Fiji when the military government had twice before expelled NZ high commissioners. Dr Nailatikau said Fiji’s elected politicians had in the past divided the country with racism and the regime was contributing to a sense of unity.
View part of the interview here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ5fyeAIXgI&feature=player_embedded
Posted by rawfijinews

Is Fiji’s rogue state not sexy enough?
September 15, 2009
By artnewsopinion
Two weeks I had my first article published!
For those who do not study journalism or work in the media industry, the feeling of having your first article put live to the world is akin to something like….Having your first child, or a 21st birthday (maybe I exaggerate). Netani Rika, the editor in chef of the Fiji Times held a seminar at the University of Queensland to condemn media censorship which is happening in newsrooms around Fiji. Although I was definitely aware of the political situation in Fiji, I really had no idea of the severity. Netani’s speech gave myself, and I suspect many others in the room, a rude awakening. The fact that a military dictatorship is existing a mere four hours from Brisbane is shocking in itself…However, the fact that the Australian media is failing to bring the issue to attention is far worse. Netani suggested this is because the situation is “no longer sexy” i.e. no one is dying.
Obviously, this had an impact on me and after speaking to Netani personally and I realised one way to help would be writing about it…Afterall, this is what we learn every day in lectures!
Anyway, here’s a link to my article it’s worth a read if you’re interested….
http://www.pacific.scoop.co.nz/2009/08/fiji-times-editor-faces-threats-after-silence-speech-at-uq/
Posted by rawfijinews

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