Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fiji wants controversial figure in NZ


21 January 2010

Neumi Leweni as a major during the 2006 coup. Fiji wants controversial figure in NZ
Fiji agree to improve diplomatic relations Fiji's military regime wants one of its key coup figures in Wellington as its high commissioner, well place sources in Fiji say.

Military head Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed this morning they have sent a name to the New Zealand Government but he did not reveal it.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Wellington refused comment on it.

But Fiji Government sources say the candidate is Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, who played a crucial role in the 2006 coup.

A former bandsman, he was a major in Bainimarama's take-over team and was the public face of the coup.

He is currently the regime's information secretary head and controls the extensive media censorship imposed under Fiji's continuing emergency regulations.

Leweni also oversaw the deportation of journalists from Fiji.

Throughout events since the 2006 coup, Leweni has been a controversial person.

He was briefly posted to China by Bainimarama to work in Fiji's embassy there, but was recalled in unexplained circumstances and resumed his military role.

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