Saturday, January 23, 2010

Protest Leweni’s Nomination for Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE

SUBJECT: Protest Leweni’s Nomination for Wellington
Usaia Pita Waqatairewa
President - Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement
Sydney.
22 January 2010

The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement have protested strongly against the nomination of former military drummer and a key thug of Fiji’s coup leader Bainimarama as the next envoy to New Zealand.

In a strongly worded letter to New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, Movement’s President Usaia P. Waqatairewa reminded him that Leweni is one of the major beneficiaries of the coup.

From being a relatively unknown drummer in the Army Band in 2005, Leweni has really utilised the situation well to gain quick promotions through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel and head of Fiji’s Ministry of Information within a span of three years.

Leweni’s wife has even benefited from the coup where she now heads the Department of Women without any prior qualifications or experience having worked as a career dental surgeon all her working life.

Waqatairewa also reminded the New Zealand Prime Minister that Leweni, as head of the Information Ministry, is the chief censor and enforcer of the draconian Public Emergency Regulation (PER) Decree.

The PER regulations brutally suppresses freedom of speech and legitimises a regime of heavy handed military censorship on all news media outlets in Fiji.

Two expatriate Australian publishers and many Australian and New Zealand journalist have been expelled unceremoniously from Fiji under Leweni’s watch.

The attack on news media have included the smashing of motor vehicles of the editors of the Daily Post and The Fiji Times and the firebombing of the latter’s home.

‘I am sure that you will agree with me that Neumi Leweni, given his reputation as a thug and a despot, is not the kind of person you would want allowed on New Zealand soil’, Waqatairewa wrote.

The Movement also reassured Prime Minister John Key that Fiji had not acted in good faith by deliberately nominating someone who has a prima facie case of committing high treason under Fiji’s Penal Code as its envoy.

Therefore, the Movement is prepared to loudly support New Zealand should it again attract the predictable public grand standing protests from Bainimarama when Leweni’s nomination is rejected.

The Movement ended by reminding New Zealand that accepting Leweni’s nomination will allow a treasonous criminal into New Zealand and give Bainimarama’s Regime the legitimacy they have been craving for unashamedly for the last three years. It also calcifies the existence of a coup culture in Fiji.

What New Zealand should be doing instead is continue with the package of travel ban and smart sanctions they have in place and look at more ways of suffocating the Regime into submission and bring justice to the people of Fiji. The Movement stands by to assist New Zealand with this.

FDFM Secretariat
Sydney.
22 January 2010

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