Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Aust and NZ Considers Reataliatory Moves Against Illegal Fiji Regime

Posted on rawfijinews

November 3, 2009

Well-placed sources confirm that expelled Australian High Commissioner, James Batley, has been given a no-entry prohibition order by Fiji’s military regime.

This no-entry order on Mr Batley is a result of Fiji coupmaker, Frank Bainimarama’s announcement last night that he wants both the Australian and NZ envoys out of his troubled state.

Mr Batley is understood to be in Australia during the announcement and is not expected to return to Fiji any time soon in his capacity as High Commissioner to Fiji.

Australia will maintain a hardline stance against the regime of Fiji’s self-appointed leader Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

“We’re not about to simply allow a coup culture to spread,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday, adding that Australia wanted stability in the South Pacific region.

“That’s why we’ll maintain a hardline in relation to this regime.”

Fiji on Tuesday ordered the top diplomats from Australia and New Zealand out of the country within 24 hours.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the military leader who has ruled Fiji since the December 2006 coup, gave both governments a day to recall their envoys over a spat about travel visas.

He accused Australia and New Zealand of sabotaging nation-building efforts by refusing to grant visas to Fijian judges.

Mr Rudd said Australia would maintain travel sanctions on Commodore Bainimarama, other regime officials and their families, and members of Fiji’s judiciary.

As for further action, Mr Rudd said, he and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith would discuss “a menu of possibilities” later on Wednesday.

© 2009 AAP

Australia is expected to issue a formal response after Fiji announced it would expel the Australian high commissioner.

But the government in Canberra has already described the move as a serious setback.

Fiji’s military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, accuses the Australian and New Zealand governments of interfering in judicial appointments.

And he has ordered the high commissioners from both countries to leave.

Serious

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, says he is concerned the move will further isolate the Pacific island nation.

“This is a very substantial and serious setback,” he said.

Earlier this week, Fiji’s Chief Justice, Sir Anthony Gates, has called on Australia and New Zealand to stop interfering in the Fijian judiciary, claiming members continue to be harassed by travel restrictions.

Justice Gates says he has to “stand up against such interference”.

He was highlighting the plight of Sri Lankan judges due to join Fiji courts this week.

The Sri Lanakan judges are on secondments to Fiji, where there’s a shortfall in judges.

Justice Gates says the Sri Lankan judges were not allowed transit via Australia and have to go to Fiji through another country.

He told Fiji TV, Australian officials contacted those judges and tried to convince them to change their mind.

“That if they took up the appointments they would not be allowed to travel to Australia and that they would not be allowed into Australia for medical treatment,” he said.

Denial

But the Australian government has denied the allegations.

In a written statement, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Chief Justice Gates, has misrepresented the Australian Government.

The statement also said it was incorrect to say that travel bans extended to medical treatment, as sanctions have been relaxed on a case-by-case basis.
- Radio Australia

New Zealand is threatening to eject Fiji officials in response to last night’s expulsion notice against the heads of the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions in Suva.

The diplomats have been given 24 hours to leave Fiji after claims both countries interfered with the functioning of the Fiji’s judiciary.

If the order is enforced, the New Zealand acting High Commissioner and the Australian High Commissioner will have to leave by 7 o’clock tonight.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says there are still diplomats from Fiji working in Wellington who could be removed today.

“’It’s what we did last time and the basis for that is when steps are taken quite clearly captiously you need to emphasise the fact that”

“gratuitous steps by some sort of gesture in return but we will think of that in the next few hours.”

Murray McCully says travel advisory guidelines for Fiji are now under review because of the diplomatic moves.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Sources from Fiji report that FINTEL, Fiji’s gateway to the world wide web, has slowed down access to anti-regime blogs.

These sources say they noticed the slowness in anti-regime blogs pop-ups two days ago.

They also report that access to other sites aren’t a problem and are accessible quite easily while anti-regime blog sites takes minutes to view.

Did you know that there is a department in the government that works overtime and get no pay but collect meal money only?

They are working overtime now till next year trying to print the NEW LAW of the country under this regime. Many changes has been done by the thugs judiciary and AIASS KAIYUM.

insider

Argentine ex-leader goes on trial

The trial has begun of Argentina’s last military ruler, Reynaldo Bignone, and five other retired generals.

The men are charged in connection with the alleged kidnapping, torture and disappearance of 56 opponents of the military government in the late 1970s.

The abuses are alleged to have taken place at the Campo de Mayo base on the outskirts of the capital, Buenos Aires.

All of the eight accused, including two former military government officials, deny the charges.

Mr Bignone, 81, appeared frail and rocked back and forth in his chair as the charges were read out, correspondents said.

“This is a historic trial in the search for truth for all of those who disappeared,” Alcira Rios, a lawyer for relatives of one of the victims, told Reuters news agency.

“We have to say no to impunity. We owe it to our Argentine society.”

The other retired generals on trial are Santiago Omar Riveros, Eugenio Guanabens Perello, Jorge Garcia, Fernando Exequiel Verplaetsen and Carlos Alberto Tepedino.

More than 130 witnesses are expected to be called to testify against the defendants. The trial is not expected to finish before February.

Mr Bignone, who has been living under house arrest, faces charges in connection with alleged torture, illegal break-ins and human rights violations from 1976 to 1978.

He was the last of Argentina’s four military presidents, serving from 1982-83, and handed power over to democratically elected leader Raul Alfonsin when the dictatorship collapsed in 1983.

islandboy57

New Zealand is considering whether to expel Fiji diplomats in response to the expulsion of New Zealand and Australian envoys from Fiji.

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has given New Zealand’s acting Deputy High Commissioner Todd Cleaver and Australian High Commissioner James Batley 24 hours to leave.

The envoys have been accused of interfering in Fiji’s internal affairs.

Fiji’s High Commissioners in New Zealand and Australia have likewise been ordered to return to Fiji immediately.

Mr McCully told Morning Report New Zealand will consider whether to expel Fiji diplomats from Wellington.

Officials are also assessing the travel advisory to Fiji, he says, as the move will make it difficult to offer the full range services at the High Commission in Suva.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner, acting High Commissioner and Trade Commissioner have already been expelled from Fiji.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told the ABC that Fiji’s move risks further isolating the country, not just from Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific, but from the international community generally.

‘Consolidated attack’

In announcing the expulsion on Tuesday night, Commodore Bainimarama said he had hoped for better relations with New Zealand and Australia after changes of government in both countries.

He accused both countries of a consolidated attack on the Fijian judiciary.

Problems issuing a visa for a Fiji High Court judge whose daughter needed medical treatment in New Zealand and Australia’s refusal to allow Sri Lankan judges working in Fiji to visit Australia, were cited as examples of this interference.

Mr McCully told Morning Report New Zealand lifted travel sanctions in the case of the judge whose child needed medical treatement and granted a visa on humanitarian grounds.

He said the issue was probably a “convenient flashpoint” from the regime’s point of view.

Commodore Bainimarama has questioned what he calls both countries’ lack of engagement with Fiji, claiming they are engaged in dishonest and untruthful strategies to undermine Fiji’s judiciary, independent institutions and economy.

The interim Prime Minister said by contrast the ordinary citizens and companies of Australia and New Zealand continued to visit and invest in Fiji as part of a much-valued relationship with his country.

Radio New Zealand

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2009/11/04/1245d31f15c3

THE Australian Government won’t rule out further sanctions against Fiji following the expulsion of the Australian High Commissioner from the country.

The move, which has given High Commissioner James Batley 24 hours to leave Fiji, was regrettable and unreasonable, a spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said.

Self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama ordered the Australian and New Zealand envoys out of the country late today.

It was an apparent retaliation to incidents in which both countries had refused visas to Fijian judges.

“This regrettable step will further isolate the Fiji regime and will contribute nothing to a prompt return to democracy or the rule of law,” the DFAT spokesman said.

“This is a provocative and unreasonable reaction to questions relating to the application of travel sanctions to judicial appointees, particularly given that Australia had formally expressed its willingness … to discuss this matter.”

It was the people of Fiji who will continue to suffer as a result of Commodore Bainimarama’s “ill-considered and destructive decisions”.

“In response to these developments, Australia will give careful consideration to the question of possible further measures against the Fiji regime.”
news.com.au

FIJI has been warned it risks further isolation from the global community after ordering the top diplomats from Australia and New Zealand out of the country within 24 hours.

Both Australia and New Zealand haven’t ruled out retaliating and are considering further sanctions against Fiji, in what threatens to deepen ongoing tensions in the Pacific.

Self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the military leader who has ruled Fiji since a December 2006 coup, has given both governments a day to recall their envoys, in a spat over travel visas.

He’s accused the two countries of sabotaging nation-building efforts by refusing to grant visas to Fiji judges – or what he calls “a consolidated effort to attack Fiji’s independent judiciary”.

One High Court judge was initially denied a visa to New Zealand, while Australia vetoed travel for several Sri Lankan judges bound for the Fijian judiciary.

Both countries have defended travel restrictions for those connected to the Fiji regime.

But to punish members of the Fiji judiciary was shameful, and sought to undermine the system, Commodore Bainimarama said.

He sent word to the Australian and New Zealand governments on Tuesday to have their envoys recalled from Fiji within 24 hours, while Fiji’s high commissioner in Australia has been recalled, effective immediately.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the move to expel High Commissioner James Batley was deeply concerning, and warned the government was carefully considering its response.

He, along with New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully, expect to formally announce their plans once receiving the official notice from Fiji on the expulsions early this morning (Australian time).

“Australia will give careful consideration to the question of possible further measures against the Fiji regime,” the government said.

But it would be a proportionate response, Mr Smith said last night, while ruling out any tit-for-tat exchanges.

It is the first time Australia’s top diplomat has been shown the door in Fiji, although it is the fourth time New Zealand’s top-ranking official has been expelled.

“We’re gravely concerned (about) Fiji’s continual withdrawal from the international community,” Mr Smith said.

“Cdre Bainimarama has chosen to go down this path – it’s most regrettable – and in a matter of minutes and hours, rather than hours and days, I will announce what Australia’s response to this action is.”

Mr Smith said it was a substantial setback in the way forward for Fiji, which lost its democratically elected government in 2006 following a bloodless coup led by Cdre Bainimarama.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26303235-401,00.html

Australia is expected to issue a formal response later on Wednesday to Fiji’s decision to expel the Australian High Commissioner.

But the government has already described the move as a serious setback.

Fiji’s military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, accuses the Australian and New Zealand governments of interfering in judicial appointments.

And he’s ordered the high commissioners from both countries to leave.

Australia’s foreign minister, Stephen Smith, says he’s concerned that the move will further isolate the Pacific island nation.

‘This is a very substantial and serious setback,’ says Mr Smith.

- Radio Australia

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