#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2009-10-18

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NZ grants Judge Wati visa

Fiji High Court judge Anjala Wati has been granted a three month visa to take her son to New Zealand for medical treatment.

Wati, her husband Agni Deo and 20 month old son Kartik, will leave Nadi on the 8.45am flight to Auckland tommorrow.

Doctors in Fiji diagnosed Wati's son as having a full retinal detachment which could lead to blindness if surgery is not carried out to fix it.

Wati and her family will be meeting with the specialist from Mercy Hospital in Newmarket on Tuesday.

Last week, Fiji's interim attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum accused New Zealand of interfering with the judiciary after it declined Wati's visa because she's a judge in the interim government.

But New Zealand immigration responded saying a final decision on Wati's visa had yet to be made.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bainimarama: "I am a Nationalist"

"I am a nationalist, Fiji for the Fijians, for, even Indians", proclaimed Fiji's dictator Frank Bainimarama last week during an interview with the Fiji Sun.

On page 4 of the Fiji Sun of October the 13th, the interim prime minister, while attacking Australia, said the regime was not going to be dictated to by anyone from outside, on what needed to be done in Fiji.

The army commander repeated his earlier belief about the need for electoral reforms, again blaming Laisenia Qarase and the SDL for causing Fiji's current problems. But he failed to specify what exactly those current problems are since his regime has been in power for almost three years now and one would think well able to fix some of those issues.

Bainimarama's comment that 'Fiji is for the Fijians', would also seemingly negate the principle in the Peoples Charter, which has adopted the term 'Fijian' as the common name for all Fiji citizens.
 

The Commodore is only the second  leader in Fiji's turbulent history to ever call himself a 'nationalist.'  

The other was the late Sakeasi Butadroka, the leader of the Nationalist Party, who initially wanted Indians to be repatriated to India but who later on said they could stay on but as vulagis (visitors).


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kiwis travel more to Fiji and Australia

New Zealanders are travelling more to Australia and Fiji but less to longer-haul destinations, according to figures by Statistics New Zealand figures.

Recent figures show 3,200 more New Zealand residents went on trips to Australia in September this year, compared to September last year, when 1,700 more went to Fiji and 700 more went to India.

New Zealanders, however, made fewer trips to the United States, France, Canada and Hong Kong.


Ram Chandar suspended

As predicted by Coupfourpointfive, the Permanent Secretary for Local Government Ram Chandar has been suspended by his interim minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua.

Chandar is believed to be a cousin of sacked Suva City Council Administrator Vijendra Prakash who was given the boot almost a month ago.
 

He was promoted to permanent secretary for local government from the Education Ministry and is known for giving a positive reference for sacked Suva City Council Human Resources Manager Joe Hewson despite knowing he was facing fraud charges.
 

Since the dissolution of the democratically elected Councils there has been two sackings and three suspensions.

Sacked are Vijendra Prakash who is also the general secretary of Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji and Joe Hewson.

Those suspended are Chandar, Nasinu Town Council Administrator Meli Bogileka and Town Clerk Satish Kumar. 

Sources say it is highly likely that the suspensions of Chandar and Kumar will change to termination.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NZ High Comm responds to visa claim

The New Zealand High Commission in Suva says while it is not New Zealand's practice to comment on individual immigration cases, it wishes to clarify the debacle over High Court judge Anjala Wati's visa application.

In a statement it said:
  • a visa has not been denied, the application is still being assessed;

    •  there was no suggestion made at the time of enquiries that immediate travel was required to prevent loss of sight in one eye, but if such information is available it should be provided to the New Zealand Immigration Office;
    •  although New Zealand maintains travel restrictions against certain persons following the coup in December 2006, New Zealand has always consistently shown flexibility where humanitarian, medical or compassionate grounds have been substantiated.



    Sayed Khaiyum to discuss Wati case with Bainimarama

    Fiji's interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says he will be discussing with Frank Bainimarama New Zealand immigration's move to decline High Court judge Anjala Wati's visa.

    New Zealand says it is still considering whether to approve the visa and a decision has not been made.

    But Sayed Khaiyum said Wati was told in an interview last week that her visa was being declined because she is a High Court judge.

    Wati applied for a medical visa to in order to take her 20 month old child for an urgent eye operation to prevent the permanent loss of eyesight in one eye and claims arrangements had been made with the Auckland Starship hospital.

    In a statement issued from his office today, Sayed Khaiyum claims Wati was "advised in an undignified and disrespectful manner".

    "Such interference by a neighbouring State in the Fijian judiciary is unacceptable by any world standard. We have long realised of course, that protestations or claims of unending friendship and of acting only in Fiji’s best interests, by our neighbours, have been hollow and meaningless," he said.

    "Though we do not accept travel bans placed upon anyone in the Cabinet, the public service or the RFMF, a distinction is always to be drawn between the executive and the judiciary and other independent institutions. These institutions are separate and are independent of the executive, and should be so respected. This is an international norm."

    "How would it be viewed by the New Zealand judiciary and government if their judges were prevented by Fiji from coming here with their families on holidays? Wouldn’t such a move be seen by the New Zealand government, the judiciary and the New Zealand people as an interference with their judicial independence? Most certainly it would be," Sayed Khaiyum said.

    He called on New Zealand to cease interference with Fiji's judiciary saying "such a move which victimises not only a respected judge, but also her child, is shameful and must be universally condemned".

    NZ: Judge only sought visa last week


    New Zealand's immigration department says it only received Fiji High Court judge Anjala Wati's visa application last week and no decision has been made.

    Yesterday interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum accused New Zealand of interfering with the Fijian judiciary by refusing Wati entry to get urgent medical treatment for her 20-month-old child.

    Sayed Khaiyum told Radio New Zealand this morning Wati received a letter from the Suva based New Zealand High Commission last week informing her her visa was declined.

    He said she then requested a meeting with them where they formally told her that her visa was declined because she is a High Court judge.

    As part of its sanctions on Fiji, soldiers and anyone involved in the interim regime are not allowed entry into New Zealand.

    Sayed Khaiyum insisted this was an interference with the Fiji judiciary and not an immigration matter.

    Listen to the interview on Radio NZ - http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20091020-0753-Claims_Fijian_judge_denied_entry_to_NZ-048.mp3

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    NZ declines judge's visa


    Fiji’s interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has accused New Zealand of interfering with the Fijian judiciary by refusing to allow a High Court judge entry to get urgent medical treatment for her 20-month-old child.

    Sayed-Khaiyum told reporters today he was informed by the Chief Justice that Family Court judge Justice Anjala Wati was advised “in an undignified and disrespectful manner that her visa application was rejected because she had taken up a position as a judge on the High Court of Fiji”.

    Justice Wati had applied for a New Zealand medical visa to take her child for an urgent eye operation to prevent the loss of eyesight in one eye.

    “It’s a very serious matter,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

    “This is at a much higher level than the travel advisories issued against Fiji in the past.”

    “Such interference by a neighbouring State in the Fijian judiciary is unacceptable by any world standards.”

    “Though we do not accept travel bans placed upon anyone in the Cabinet, the public service or the RFMF, a distinction is always to be drawn between the executive and the judiciary and other independent institutions. These institutions are separate and are independent of the executive and should be so respected.”

    The matter would be referred to the Prime Minister tomorrow, Sayed-Khaiyum said.

    He said Justice Wati was now making arrangements to have the surgery carried out in India.

    Officials at the New Zealand High Commission could not be reached for comment - Fijilive