#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Australian diplomat: elections should be held before 2014

Monday, February 14, 2011

Australian diplomat: elections should be held before 2014

'We are not seeing steps to return Fiji to democracy and that is a concern'

The federal government has voiced fresh concerns over the Fijian military regime's failure to move the country back towards democracy.

The concerns were raised by Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles (above right), who joined Pacific islands foreign ministers in Vanuatu on Monday to discuss Fiji's future.

Fijian Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (right) used the meeting to tout his government's vision for "a better Fiji", but Mr Marles said there was little evidence of real progress.

"We are not seeing steps to return Fiji to a state of democracy and that is a concern," Mr Marles told AAP after the meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum ministerial contact group.

Fijian interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2006, has pledged to hold elections in 2014 but the Australian government wants them sooner.

"We need to see a return to democracy at the earliest opportunity, and 2014 is a long way off," Mr Marles said. "It can be done before then and it should be done before then."

Ministers expressed concerns over Fiji's extension of emergency regulations - introduced in April 2009 - that curtail press freedom and human rights.

Mr Marles said there were no plans to lift sanctions on Fiji. "I think (the sanctions) are necessary and I think they are working," he said.
Ratu Kubuabola invited the ministerial contact group to visit Fiji. Mr Marles said he hoped that invitation would be honoured, given that Commodore Bainimarama withdrew an invitation last year.

The Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji in 2009 but created the contact group to continue dialogue with the regime. (By Adam Gartrell, AAP Diplomatic Correspondent, for the Sydney Morning Herald)

And from a Radio Australia interview with Pacifc Beat's Bruce Hill:

HILL: We often hear that there are differences in approach to Fiji between Australia and New Zealand on one hand, and most of the other forum countries on the other. No one argues that they don't want democracy returned. There seems to be a division of opinion on how to go about that. Is that division there in that meeting today?

MARLES: I don't think so actually and I think what characterised this meeting and indeed what it characterised discussions with people I've had around the Pacific is that there is a high degree of unanimity about human life in Fiji. People want to see Fiji return to democracy and that is a deeply held view of all the leaders in the Pacific that I have spoken with and I think they need to get there as quickly as possible while well understood by all the participants in this meeting. So I think there is a high degree of unanimity and that was very constructive.

HILL: So aside from the invitation for the Ministerial Contact Group to perhaps visit Fiji in the near future, has anything else really changed or are we still back where we always were with a bit of stalemate?

MARLES: It's not a stalemate in the sense that I think in the face of what's occurring in Fiji, it is a very important ongoing process for the countries of the Pacific to state their concern about the way in which governance is occurring in Fiji. We've seen a recommitment to that position today, a reaffirmation of that position today and there is enormous value in that. I think it was a cordial meeting, it was constructive, I think it was good for the Fijian interim foreign minister to hear those views, to see that unanimity and it was also good to hear from him as well.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, (right) says the status quo stands regarding Fiji and the Pacific Forum.


Joe said...

Richard Marles and Murray McCully should know by now that the banana regime in Fiji listens to nobody, and that 2014 election is not cast in stone. Then why not tighten the noose? Increase sanctions like never before. There has to be an Egypt like uprising. By increasing sanctions, the common people will feel the full brunt and stand up to the dictator, and the already divided military will feature as expected, for the right reasons.

Anonymous said...

Bainimarama is a compulsive liar. He will never allow a 2014 election.
What Australia and NZ should do is to lobby the UN to send all Fijian troops home, NOW!.
Then you will see the election will take place straight away.
If all Fijian troops are sent home now. You have no idea how much pressure that will put on Bai.
So please Australia & NZ, if you really care for the people of Fiji and you want this nonsense to stop ASAP then get the UN to do this.
Stop the employment of Fiji soldiers.

mark manning said...

Asking Frank and Co. to honour an agreement is like signing a Treaty with Adolf Hitler.

Sa Rauta said...

Adolf Hilter and the NAZI went on a Jew massacre.

Qarase's regime alenated the Indians and promoted the iTaukei as the superior race.

This can be seen by the racist comments against Indians and Moslems. You recently mentioned the Prophets Mohammeds birthday being moved forwards to show a Moslem Conspiracy. Who is the racist - you - like Hitler!

Anonymous said...

Richard Marles would be well advised to seek opinion on the legal status of the numorous Australian citizens directly aiding and abeting this regime - when this is done?
Take appropiate - long overdue action?

Anonymous said...

Ratu Inoke as Bai's representative says that they have a vision for a better Fiji.
That's a joke.
Does he think that we are blind? Does he think we are stupid?
How very condescending.
We can see what your government is doing Ratu Inoke.
There has been murders, corruption and now bashing people up in the street ( and the police turning a blind eye). Is that what you mean by a "better Fiji".
The definition of stupidity is " doing the same thing and expecting a different result" How stupid are you?
This is why in other countries they VOTE people out,when they want a "different result".
But you expect us to believe your bullshit.
You expect us to believe that by continuing this government we can expect better. That is so stupid, so oxymoronic. It's unbelievable that you would support such a view.
Has Bainimarama paid you so much money that you've coveniently denied the truth?
Remember, the love of money is the root of all evil.
There comes a time when the prodigal son has to open his eyes and realise that he's been living with pigs in the pigsty.
Open your eyes my friend.

Anonymous said...

Bai's days are numbered, and all his lap-dogs will run and hide in the cassava patches.

Anonymous said...

Since Clinton's visit, the ADF are making the Pacific Rim their top priority in terms of combating terrorism,military dictatorships and the influence of Communist China.They have made substantial additions to troop numbers and made ominous hardware purchases to project this strategy.

These purchases include ships, choppers and amphibious crafts capable ideally suited for Pacific operations.They have also built up a new and massive "Rapid Response Deployment Force" similar to the US Marines.

Over the last 19 years in Iraq and Afganistan, the ADF is now a battle hardened force who will now be used to pacify regimes in the Pacific like the roque FMF and its dictator Bainimarama.

My prediction is that an Australian led,NZ,US,UK and Pacific military force will invade Fiji to liberate it's people from the clutches of a corrupt communist sympathizer. The corrupt FMF will fall in half a day because of disunity,low morale and corruption within its ranks.

Like Saddam, Voreqe and every single military officer,failed politician,businessman and corrupt church leader and citizen who aided his misguided cause should be tried and put before a firing squad to serve as a lesson for future traitors.

Come on Australia, we the people of Fiji are waiting to overthrow all these corrupt cowards.We don't want to wait till 2014, lets take action now!!!

Stealth. said...

@Anon 1:01.

Don't waste your time on ANZ - google(check out) capabilities US Pacific Fleet?

Anonymous said...

ANON 1:01 I for one will be happy if we manage to get this done. I would be happier if Australia takes over Fiji completely and runs it for ever. We will finally have a truly democratic Fiji with none of this racial BS. We will finally be rid of this Chiefly BS, the native land BS, and every citizen will have a fair go. We will finally join the rest of the world and become a developed progressive state and some of my fellow citizens will actually have to work for a living. We will have world class hospitals, excellent roads, well paying jobs for those who want to work, a police force who will do more then looking pretty and justice for all delivered within a short time. We will finally get rid of the high duties we pay on all our imports and break the monopolistic behaviour of some of our large companies as Australian companies will start investing in Fiji. In time under Australian leadership every citizen of Fiji will start enjoying the same standard of living like the Australians. Ahh what a dream. If only ......... it wasn't a dream.

mark manning said...

A determination has already been made by John Howard's government, that Australian troops will not be used to counter this coup.

Any overthrow of Frank Bainimarama's Regime, must come from Loyalist Fijian Soldiers already within the RFMF.
That is, Loyal to the Elected Government of Mr. Qarase and Fiji's Legal Parliament.

It will probably be returning Soldiers from peace keeping deployments who will be the ones capable of, and determined to, return Fiji to a Democratic Government and the Rule of Law under the Constitution.
The present bunch of Soldiers, don't appear to have the will, the expertise or the courage to overthrow the Regime and its supporters.

Basically, it is up to Fijians to rescue themselves, that I suggest, is the reality here.

There is a choice however, remain as you are or risk life and limb for your God given right to Freedom !!!!

The choice is yours it seems, no one outside of Fiji can make it for you, even though we might be tempted to.

But there is hope, as I have no doubt that all the Western Allies are standing by awaiting the moment to be asked to assist.

You need to create the situation whereby a Legitimate Government or Legal Entity, such as the GCC for example, will ask Officially for assistance under the Legal Agreement between Fiji and its Allies in the Region.

Create the circumstances and Legal framework etc. whereby assistance or intervention from other Governments can be asked for, and your Allies no doubt, can, will and must act on your behalf.

I am certain that there has been constant monitoring since before this coup began and that everything there is to know about all the players in this coup, is known.

The time has come I suggest, for some decisive action, therefore it may be time to implement any plan now.

Leone said...

Keep on dreaming Mark Manning ,there is no more silly fijians to support your course but they accept the fact that youre being paid to utter out lidicrous utterancess and the people are already used to it,so keep on Mark till the end of the world

Anonymous said...

@ M&M.

Understand your sentiments - but rather endure 1 year of protracted dialogue than 1 hour of war.

mark manning said...

@ anon 425 p.m.
Very wise advise !

mark manning said...


Anonymous said...

Kubuabola is an opportunist who will sleep with ANY devil that will satisfy his wants [money/status/women/free travel/etc etc]. The man has no moral conviction!!

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning - I thought that John Howard is now history two times over!!
Is he back??

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:26.

No - but one of his favourite proteges' is.

Anonymous said...

Vinaka. Vinaka. What goes up comes around.

Anonymous said...

Sa rauta - This country belomgs to the Fijians - we are the superior race - hello!!
The Indians were brought into this country by the powers that be at the time!
The Indians must accept that they are mere guests here and who knows - maybe 'One day Mafato'!
The Arab world has mobilised - 'Dua na siga Mafato'

Anonymous said...

I sincerely request both the Ozzie and Kiwi Governments to also slam travel bans and other sanctions against those MSG and Pac Island leaders who are covertly and overtly supporting this Illegal regime and it's insane leader!!
Come on, if you really are both our so-called friends then this is THE time to physically show it to us!! No amount of diplomacy, lip-service, just talking, talking, press releases etc will suffice. Both of you have helped in some form or another, in other countries around the world. If you really care about our [your and ours] security in the region, then "grab the bull by the horns" and get on with it!!!
We the Fijians will one day, after ALL is restored come back to you both and ask "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU?"
For all our sakes, I sincerely hope and pray that we will not get to that stage!!
Good day MATE and KIA ORA.

Anonymous said...

There certainly will be a HELL of a lot of more questions than answers.

Anonymous said...

All what we are going through now, in Fiji would not have happened had NOT Winston Peters interferred when the then COMPOL Andrew Hughes flew to Welligton to arrest the Vore.
You owe us a HELL of a LOT Wellington!!!!
So much for your 'Foreign Policy' and 'Diplomacy'. Peters is now history, we the Fijians are SUFFERING because of the bad decison and judgement!!
Are you going to redeem yourselves and get us out of all this mess, suffering and rut? Are you going to leave us by the roadside and come back and hold our hands when all is rosy and good?
NOT THIS TIME WELLINGTON - You put us in this predicament - you have a moral duty to get us out of it.

Anonymous said...

I heve resigned myself from calling these illegal people RATU.
For me it is Nailatikau, Cokanauto [ I am from Tailevu by the way], kubuabola, lateley Iloilo etc

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous I agree with you . From now on no more Ratu. They don't deserve the title.