Thursday, July 22, 2010

Listen and Read About Meeting with Fiji's Dictator

Click below for interview:




Fiji calls on Pacific to break shackles of the past

Radio New Zealand International
22 July 2010

Fiji’s interim illegal Prime Minister has told a gathering of Pacific leaders tthe region needs to look to the future.

Leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu are reported to be attending the so-called "Engaging Fiji" meeting, along with representatives from Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and East Timor.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama says some matters and challenges cannot be resolved simply by relying on traditional spheres of influence, which are often dictated by the Pacific’s colonial past and by certain metropolitan powers.

He says breaking away from the shackles of the past will make some uncomfortable, but it must be done.

Commodore Bainimarama also pointed out the meeting was to have been about the Melanesian Spearhead Group but says he doesn’t want to engage in condemnation or recriminations.

Aust 'hits' could stifle election plan - coup leader

NZPA Thursday, 22 July 2010 


Preparations for the 2014 election to return democracy to Fiji could be compromised if the republic keeps "getting hit in the side by Australia and New Zealand," says Fiji coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

"Come 2014 we'll have the election, but if Fiji's not ready...it will go back to 2006...and that's probably what Australia and New Zealand want," he told The Australian newspaper, referring to the coup in which he seized power.

Cdre Bainimarama made the comments before today urging a gathering of other Pacific leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu to look to the future.

Breaking away from the shackles of the past would make some people uncomfortable, but had to be done because some matters could not be resolved simply by relying on traditional spheres of influence often dictated by the Pacific's colonial past and by "certain metropolitan powers", he said.

The "metropolitan powers" included Australia and New Zealand -- which declined to attend Cdre Bainimarama's two-day forum. It was pulled together after the formal Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting scheduled to be held in Fiji today was called off.

The state-controlled Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported the representatives of island nations had a closed meeting after the opening session of the so-called Engaging with the Pacific meeting, and that they were briefed by Fiji.

"Fiji presented its time-line for the holding of elections in 2014," the state broadcaster said. "Consultation on the drafting of a new constitution will commence in September 2012".

The consultations would be extensive and not limited to political parties.

Fiji would see the assistance of the international community to provide expertise and resources when this process began, so that the new constitution could be in place at least a year before the September 2014 election.

In his opening speech, Cdre Bainimarama claimed Australia had been "embarrassed" in its bid to dissuade Pacific nations from attending the forum.

Fiji expelled Australia's acting high commissioner Sarah Roberts this month and Cdre Bainimarama told The Australian that Ms Roberts had tried to undermine the MSG meeting.

In an extended version of the interview, aired on Sky News, Cdre Bainimarama said he read about the allegations in the local media, but didn't speak directly to Ms Roberts.

"She was interfering in our domestic affairs," he said. "Australia was trying to undermine Fiji's authority...and embarrass us in front of the international community."

Engaging Fiji meeting not likely to do much for Bainimarama - New Zealand PM
Radio New Zealand International - 
 22 July, 2010


The New Zealand Prime Minister says a regional summit organised by Fiji is not likely to benefit that country’s interim regime.

Leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu are reported to be attending the so-called "Engaging Fiji" meeting, along with representatives from Tonga, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and East Timor.

John Key says it’s important to note that those attending the meeting are not necessarily the leaders of those countries and the Pacific Way is to maintain regional dialogue.

He says the Pacific leaders with whom he’s spoken endorse the position taken by the Pacific Islands Forum to exclude Fiji until it’s back on the pathway to democracy.

“In the end unless we’re going to see a group of those leaders come to Vanuatu in a few weeks’ time and argue the case that the Pacific Forum should reverse it’s decision in terms of the exclusion of Fiji from the Forum then he really hasn’t gained much and I can’t see that happening.” New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key.
Academic says Fiji’s Pacific meeting a victory of sorts over NZ/Australia
Radio New Zealand International - 
 22 July, 2010
 

A Fiji academic based in Australia says today’s "Engaging Fiji" meeting is allowing the interim government to save face after the cancellation of the Melanesian Spearhead Group summit.

Leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu are reported to be attending the meeting, along with representatives from Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and East Timor.

The Australian National University’s Dr Brij Lal says the meeting allows the regime to claim a victory of sorts over New Zealand and Australia.

“It was a meeting to show the people of Fiji and the region that Fiji still has clout, and the meeting was called Engaging with the Pacific. That’s fine, but I think that the real problem at the moment is that Commodore Bainimarama really should engage with the major stakeholders in the country.”
Dr Brij Lal

Opening the meeting, Commodore Frank Bainimarama told the leaders some challenges cannot be resolved by relying on traditional spheres of influence, which are often dictated by the Pacific’s colonial past.

Comments posted on Matavuvale.com
  • I totally disagree with Dr Lal's assumption that the meeting in Fiji is a "victory" by Bainimarama over Australia and New Zealand. What I see is the victory of stupidity and immaturity over wisdom, by Bainimarama and the Island leaders who could not resist an opportunity of a week-end of golf, sightseeing and entertainments in Fiji.

    All participants are third world countries, hardly able to feed their own people, mostly living on aids and borrowed money. By following Bainimarama, an action they took that speaks louder then words, they have shown how irrelevant and stupid they are. They are acting like kids, following a bully who will only get them into trouble. It shows, sadly, that some Island leaders mentality is still in the colonial era.They are desperately trying to cut the hands that feeds them! I dread the thought that Bainimarama might try to talk them into Bainimaramarize their own country.

    Do they know that Bai is a fugitive from justice, and a criminal found guilty for treason by the High Court of his own country for usurpation of power, and has created enemity with Australia and New Zealand because they cannot stand his nonsense and lies?

    Australia and New Zealand don't need all the Coconut Republics put together, including Fiji. But they need Australia and New Zealand -DESPARATELY! Likewise, Fiji don't need Bainimarama; but Bainimarama need Fiji for his very survival.
  • What happened to Mike Somare, nearly got done by the no confidence motion and by no means safe. Solomon's Sikuais also on his last junket to the gamour and glitz of Natadola, and then its back to the bright lights of Honiara, so where's the support.

    All the others are tiny states dependent on Aid so this is just a false show of bravado. If its a victory of sorts its a hollow victory and will not be worth the money spent on accomodation, food, beverage and incidentals not to mention the support costs, guess we will just have to have a new budget and revise upwards into more national debt. 
    Oh yeah, its a victory alright!!!!
  • And Vanuatu's PM didn't turn up sending one of his sidekicks instead. This was all done to restore ego and to spite two Giants in the Pacific.

    Levu la ni jamu qori turaga Naita, teri dua sara e milamila ena bose vakaoti gauna kei nai lavo e lai caka tu qori.

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