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Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Unintended Consequences of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations on the Fiji Military

By Jone Baledrokadroka
Introduction
Fiji’s reputation in United Nations International Peacekeeping simply contrasts its military’s internal role as a cabal of political oppression. In the wake of three coups in 24 years the question of how the Fiji military overthrows democratically elected governments and yet is accepted as an ‘international force for good’ has become trite? As arguably one of the major influences for coups in Fiji is due to the unintended consequences of UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) on the military elite. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission in Kashmir in 1949 there has been a large body of literature that concludes that participation in peace operations is beneficial for military institutions and for civilian control. 

There has also however been substantial literature on the unintended consequences of UN Peacekeeping on a nation and its military force. The Fiji military as described by Stephanie Lawson ever since the first Rabuka coup of 1987 has become a ‘homus politicus in its own right’.

Most disconcerting, increased military numbers and a militarisation of society at large have since been justified according to the expanded roles of nation building and peacekeeping, the overt results of military paternalism. 

Why? After the coup of 1987, Deryk Scarr aptly concluded of Fiji’s UN peacekeeping contributions that it had considerably raised the country’s international profile but had hardly enhanced the army’s Westminister brand of professionalism.

It is argued that the expansion of the military’s political role since the first coup was underpinned, in several ways, by participation in international peacekeeping missions. And that service with UNIFIL Peacekeeping Operations established the self image of Fiji’s military elite as political mediators.  

Turaga-Bati Nexus
The Turaga-Bati traditional relationship that originated in Fiji’s pre-colonial society was purposely incorporated in post-colonial orthodoxy by the British through agents such as Ratu Sukuna. The high chief’s philosophy was that Fijian society was built on ‘obedience and respect for authority’.

What was always implied given the old Turaga-Bati relationship, was the corporate interests of the ruling elite and the military were always in convergence, with the military subservient As explained by Robert Norton, “The principle of defending the dignity and authority of chiefs against the political ascendancy of Vulagi (foreigners) was at the heart of the ideological justification of the 1987 coup.”

It is argued that Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka initially was true to the call of the Bati in carrying out the May 1987 coup. Andrew Scobell asserted it was the threat to this intrinsic corporate interest that spurred Rabuka to act. In fact the 1987 Fiji Labour Party election manifesto, ‘deplored the Royal Fiji Military Forces as becoming more of a band of mercenaries for the UN and MFO and its role should be reviewed’.

This articulated FLP policy acted as a ‘red rag to a bull’ for the military elite in 1987.

What were these interlinked corporate interests? The military in post-independent Fiji was always to be the last bastion of Fijian paramountcy and its national value system -the Lotu, (church) Vanua (Chiefly Tradition) and the Matanitu. It was the custodian of the Fijian race’s martial tradition and cultural capital.   

Thereby it became the institution that guaranteed the largest body of Fijian men lucrative UN and MFO peacekeeping employment. Given the military’s nation-building and peacekeeping roles, the extension into politics was naturally only a step further. 

From a force of 400 at Independence, active duty troop numbers increased to 6000 by December 1987. This is as a result of the expanded roles of national development, peacekeeping and internal security given to the military. Today the Fiji military has a strength of 3200 active or regular soldiers and 6000 reservists, or a total of 9200 troops. (See Graph 1 just below)

                                                                    


DWP 1997 & NSWP 2005
A  Comparison of 1000 capita/ troop, numbers for a population of 837,000 (2007 census),   Fiji has an index of 10.1. This is consistent with other coup prone countries such as: Myanmar 10.4, Thailand 10.1, and Pakistan 8.1. To compare with   countries that have militaries in the region Australia‘s index   is 3.9, New Zealand   2 and Papua New Guinea is 0.5. (See Graph 2 just below)

                                                                                 
     

A Case Study of Peacekeeping Perceptions
Around early morning 14th May 1987, news of a military coup in Fiji had been filtering into Fijibatt Headquarter Qana, South Lebanon. As a young Captain the author and several other senior peacekeeping officers including the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Epeli Ganilau, Major Matereti Sarasau, Major Savenaca Draunidalo, Major Naulu Mataitini, Major Jone Bolaitamana, Captain Meli Saubulinayau and  Captain Tevita Bukarau had gathered at the Officers’ Mess over a tanoa of yaqona quite perplexed at what had unfolded. 

Later in the afternoon Colonel Jeremaia Waqanisau came up from UNIFIL Headquarters Naqoura to brief Colonel Ganilau and officers of the Battalion as to the situation regarding the coup. Fijibatt’s continued participation in UNIFIL was also discussed.

The first message by telephone that afternoon from Colonel Rabuka to Colonel Ratu Epeli was that the Governor General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau was safe and well and that no harm would befall him. More so the high chief still remained in office at Government House as talks of forming an interim government continued into the late night. Rabuka also mischievously assured Major Draunidalo through Ratu Epeli that his former wife, Adi Kuini, now wife of the deposed Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra, was well and still occupying the Prime Minister’s government villa at Veiuto. 

This recollection firstly accentuates the smallness and close knit society that we were. Secondly it shows our perceptions as peacekeepers on the ground. 

That night, talk around the kava bowl in Southern Lebanon was all about the Rabuka-Ganilau-Mara-Bavadra relationships and the political intrigues unfolding. We also started to compare and reinforce the Bati role as the manifest destiny of the military through Rabuka’s political intervention. Akin to our duties in Southern Lebanon as peacekeepers.   

It is recalled that night the coup was discussed as an analogy for peacekeeping and not as an act of treason.
To emphasize the point, Coup leader Colonel Rabuka had justified his coup by stating, ‘When a political party loses, and that party is the sole and final guarantor of your values, you would be forced to do something about it’. 

The charismatic officer was the embodiment of the Fijian value system, being groomed from the Fijian elite Queen Victoria School-(na Vuli ni Turaga) as head scholar. He was also a lay preacher and national rugby and athletic representative. All these traditional qualities apart from his military professionalism made him fit the role as coup leader. This obviously endeared him to Fijians at large and especially his loyalist soldiers.

Having usurped political power, however there was a change in relationship between the military top command and Fiji’s neo-traditional elite. The military began to articulate a separate corporate interest as a result of the intra- national schisms that was always beneath the surface. And after the commonly perceived inter-ethnic political schism was seemingly neutralized. 

Moreover Rabuka and the military’s intentions were clearly signaled in the form of a senior officer’s presentation paper in August of 1989.  The two distinguished chiefs in power Ratu Sir Penaia, the President, and Ratu Sir Kamisese, the interim Prime Minister, were briefed in no uncertain terms of the military’s wish to play a political role in the national interest.

Major General Sitiveni Rabuka and his chief of staff Brigadier Joji Konrote presented the paper complete with charts of the military’s future political role and intentions. The paper presented in a military appreciation format where the national political situation, assumptions, threat, an action orientated programme of priorities and recommendations were clearly laid out from the perspective of the two officers. 

The crux of the presentation was the military’s Action–Orientated Programme Priorities which was spaced-out in a fifteen year time-line. Scobell made the argument that the anti-military Labour-NFP coalition government was looking to downsize and review the role of the military and that this became the primary trigger for the coup.

With the passage of time and two further coups the Fiji military has no doubt developed a political corporate interest. Initially this interest was always to entrench Fijian political supremacy. 

Hence the possible use of lethal force against rioting Fijians by the military which was 99% ethnically indigenous was one of the major reasons according to Rabuka for his intervention. In addition as pointed out by Scobell ‘the RFMF had experienced first hand the realities of chronic ethnic and sectarian divisions and conflict while serving in Lebanon, and the thought of an ethnic insurgency in Fiji constituted a night mare.’
 
Detractors of this argument such as former RFMF chief of Staff Colonel Jim Sanday, however, suggested the Fiji situation was not similar to Lebanon and was a far stretch of the imagination. The historical fact that there was a marked absence of inter-communal violence shored up this suggestion. In fact during the 1959 union strike in Suva workers of both the major races had teamed up and rioted against capitalist and colonialist authorities. 
After the second coup of 25th September 1987 as head of the military government Colonel Rabuka declared the country a republic and abrogated the constitution. The military’s corporate interest had seemingly   diverged from the chiefly elite rule of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau and the militant Taukei movement. Their support was crucial to his May coup.

Even though Colonel Rabuka then handed back the reigns of power to the two chiefs by making Ratu Penaia President and Ratu Mara interim Prime Minister it was clear that he had now asserted military interest as indistinguishable to the national interest. 

This mantra incidentally was again echoed by Land Force Commander Colonel Naivalurua in backing Bainimarama's controversial 2005 Infantry Day speech, that the military was independent of government, quote, "It's not about anti-Government or anti-Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, it's about national interest. We are not playing politics."

In retracing the military’s road to politics, in 1989 Ratu Mara’s interim government was given a mandate of two years to come up with a new constitution and electoral reforms to entrench Fijian and military interests

The role of the military was then established anew in Section 94 (3) of the 1990 Constitution which stated: ‘It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and well being of Fiji and its peoples.’  

The interpretation of this clause has been mired in controversy as it has given the military justification to delve into politics in the defence of its corporate interest since.

Another major contention is that the Turaga-Bati political nexus was reinforced with the Military’s expanded role in UN peacekeeping. Fiji’s participation in UNIFIL was through a unilateral foreign policy decision, of the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Mara. This was never debated in Parliament.

Robertson and Tamanisau’s comments on the political stature of Ratu Mara then may be apposite, “To many people Mara was more than the Alliance Party. He was Fiji.’ 

The low cost opportunity to receive overseas payments and perform a positive military role abroad was all too enticing for international identity and government revenue. This decision fortified the extant patron-client relationship and later proved to have far reaching stability consequences to the nation. 

The intended outcome of peacekeeping was quite obvious- to provide jobs for youths and uphold basic principles of international conduct as a newly independent nation.   Lebanon with its mosaic of ethnicity and religion somewhat resembles Fiji’s society. 

The links to foreign powerful sponsors and interests in the Lebanese crisis such as Syria, Israel and Iran and as a former mandated territory of France has a parallel with Fiji as the hub of the Pacific and our links to Australia, New Zealand, and India and as a former colony of Britain. Furthermore UNIFIL’s mandate as stipulated in UNSC resolution 425 was rather ambiguous and open to interpretation by the belligerent parties. 

It called for the protection of the people of Southern Lebanon from the Israeli Defence Force and various armed elements such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Afwaj Al-Mugamah Al-Lubnaniyya (AMAL) and the more radical Hezbollah. Indeed this was a peacekeeping task of biblical proportion. 

The  mediator role and ‘can do’ attitude forged in Lebanon  became engrained in the collective military psyche underpinned by the deaths of thirty seven Fiji soldiers. The ‘man in the middle’ was an often used phrase for UN Peacekeepers and indeed the brave Fijian peacekeeping soldier. More over senior Fijian military officers became attuned to taking on military appointments of UNDPKO importance and making international headlines.
 
As the tone of a note delivered by Fiji’s permanent representative to the UN Berenado Vunibobo to the Security Council in April 1980 shows, ‘We have long passed the point in which UNIFIL should be allowed to tolerate both the verbal and physical harassment to which they have been subjected especially in recent weeks’. 

This was after a Fijian soldier had been killed by gunfire.  Indeed Deryck Scarr illustrates how important Fiji had become on the world political stage with regards the mentioned Vunibobo note stating, ‘For its own part, the United Sates Embassy in Suva let Ratu Mara know, America was concentrating more on distancing Syria from the PLO and insisted above all on a solution in Lebanon which does not enable the Soviets or their friends to gain from this crisis.’

Certainly, for a tiny nation as Fiji, UN Peacekeeping had thrust it into the international arena and superpower politics.  

Conclusion
Fiji military’s political role was influenced by its initial UNIFIL and subsequent peacekeeping experiences. The insinuation of a ‘Lebanon situation’ was quite obvious in Rabuka’s coup operational orders (OPORD 1/87). In the conclusion to the OPORD Rabuka clearly states, ‘You will see that the sit (sic) Fiji is in, is  dangerous and will develop into something much worse and resembling Lebanon and other troubled areas of the world’.

Again in the senior officer’s presentation paper of August 1989, the perceived threats facing Fiji drew a parallel to a Middle Eastern scenario. The deployment of Fijian troops, amongst communal groups in the Middle East with a long history of conflict gave them a sense of self belief in being mediators in complex aged conflicts played out on an international stage. 

The 1987 coup for many officers at the time became the domestication of the military’s international role as mediators for peace and stability.

Lt Colonel Rabuka was a product of the Lebanon peacekeeping experience during the PLO armed ascendency era of the late 1970s and early 1980s in Southern Lebanon. All of Rabuka’s senior officers who were willing participants in his regime immediately after the coup such as Colonels Kacisolomone, Konrote, Wong, Biuvakaloloma, Tuivanuavou and many others, had similarly served  in Lebanon. 

In fact given its 98% Fijian ethnic origins the remainder of the military identified easily with the coup makers through a shared corporateness reinforced by UN peacekeeping and a history of Turaga-bati relationship stretching back a century. What is certain though is that domestically the UN’s peacekeeping code of impartiality and objectivity when dealing with contending parties was totally compromised by the May 1987 coup and subsequent military takeovers thereafter - the unintended consequence of peacekeeping.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Yet another attempt by Lowy Institute to justify its poll

The Lowy Institute has roped in another opinion to support its recent poll that claims wide support for coup leader and self-appointed prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, printing today the following story by Iris Wielders, who it describes as a freelance conflict prevention and peace building specialist. She lived in Fiji in 2007 and 2008. 
The article is called Fiji: Engagement is the only way

The Lowy Institute's work on Fiji has sparked some interesting debates in recent times.

Reactions to the policy brief by Jenny Hayward-Jones have been polarised. The results of Lowy's poll also confounded. Many dismissed its results, arguing that a poll held in a country where there is this much repression could not possibly yield a 66% approval rating for Bainimarama. 

Perhaps even more confusing, the poll also showed high support for some of the basic tenets of democracy. How can people support Bainimarama whilst simultaneously supporting democracy?

The polarised view, and the for/against dichotomy it sets up, obscures the complexity of the situation for many Fijians. A more nuanced view can both help explain the poll results, and point to a way forward in engagement with Fiji.

The December 2006 coup presented a complex picture for many Fijians across the different ethnic groups. There was support for the ultimate outcome held out by Bainimarama — introducing the type of changes in Fijian society that many agree are necessary. On the other hand, many rejected the process through which Bainimarama has been trying to bring about these changes — a coup followed by a military regime. 

Depending on the weight accorded to either outcome or process, some people support and others reject the regime. 

But there are many that find themselves somewhere in the middle. Many people have been willing to temporarily accept a military government because they feel this is the only way real change will take place in Fiji. Of course, to what extent and how long people feel this way can change over time, and will depend on personal circumstances. Viewed in this way, it is perhaps more understandable that people in Fiji can be in support of Bainimarama's performance and at the same time support democracy.

This middle ground can also point to a way forward in engagement with the Fiji regime. Starting from the end goal, there could be some level of agreement on the kinds of changes people in Fiji would like to see for their country. A constructive dialogue process would start by exploring such commonalities to build rapport and some measure of trust, after which the process by which such changes are to be brought about could be discussed.

To be absolutely clear, arguments for re-engagement do not equal agreement with a military dictatorship. But what is more important: holding on to a moral stance which has had no effect, or finding ways to assist the people of Fiji in finding a non-violent way out of this situation? With repression increasing and the economy deteriorating, the stresses can only continue to build. Some measure of dialogue and re-engagement is the only way forward that can be of potential assistance.

Accused Walu Bay worker 'overheard' on phone

Confirmation today that two workers from the government supplies depot at Walu Bay are in custody accused of sabotaging a D4 caterpillar, foiling work that was supposed to have been done at Naitisiri.

Both the Works Minister Timoci Natuva (left) and the Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary, Francis Kean (above), have confirmed Coupfourpointfive's story.

The Walu Bay PWD workers were all detained at the depot until two men owned up to pouring two kilogrammes of sugar into a caterpillar earmarked for upgrade work at Naitisiri.

One of the men is alleged to have confessed at 7 o'clock on Wednesday night after reportedly being beaten all day.

The Fiji Sun is quoting a worker as saying: “The bulldozer became operational after it was repaired last week and the sugar was discovered when the it could not operate when another test run was carried out. When the sugar was identified, it raised many questions which confirmed that it was deliberately done which led to the investigations.”

A worker is also quoted as saying he recalled a certain phone conversation: “The person involved was discussing the caterpillar with someone and he did not realise that this particular person could understand the language they were using.”

Kean is said to have visited the depot on Wednesday to address the issue with the workers before they were allowed to go home.

It's being claimed the machine was disabled to help a private contractor.

Pair probed  
http://www.fijisun.com.fj/main_page/view.asp?id=64554
        

Ministry confirms alleged sabotage

http://www.radiofiji.com.fj/

FTUC leaders out of custody

Out of detention for now: Urai and Anthony. pic www.labourstart.org.


Fiji Trade Union Congress president Daniel Urai and general secretary Felix Anthony have been released but the matter is unlikely to end there.

Urai was released yesterday on bail only and the charge of urging others to act against the regime stands. He is under curfew and is to report to Lautoka Police daily.

Anthony has also been released from custody, without being charged and assistant police commissioner Henry Brown confirming he was questioned "in regards to certain serious allegations". Brown says Anthony "may be brought in again for questioning when the need arises".  

Two trade unionists volunteered to act as sureties for Urai, the Fiji Teachers Union general-secretary Agni Deo Singh and Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions general-secretary, Attar Singh. 

Urai and Anthony's release came with the help of regional and international unions who've taken strong interest in the plight of the FTUC leaders and the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walu Bay depot workers detained over sabotage claims

BAINIMARAMA: Upgrade foiled
Reports this morning of two workers from the Public Works Department at Walu Bay in Suva being detained over claims of sabotage.
 
It's alleged they poured two kilogrammes of sugar into a caterpillar earmarked for upgrade work at Naitisiri. 


The D4 machine was supposed to be doing work promised by the illegal PM, Frank Bainimarama.


A D4: What the Walu Bay one looks like.
The incident is believed to have happened last week and it's understood all of the workers were held at the depot  yesterday until two men were taken to the Queen Elizabeth barracks for questioning.
 
They were apparently allowed to go home after one of the men admitted to disabling the machine after reportedly being beaten the whole day.

 
Sources say the workers were told they had unil ten o'clock this morning to own up to the sabotage otherwise the army would move in and take over the plant.

 
The two men have been named to Coupfourpointfive and we're trying to verify that information before we release those details. 

 
Several hundred workers are believed to be employed at Walu Bay, Fiji's largest public works depot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bainimarama's granddaughter calls police to school over missing ipad

FIJI'S 'FIRST' FAMILY: Bainimarama and wife Mary (far left) with clan.


One of Frank Bainimarama's granddaughters yesterday called police and soldiers to her Suva school over a missing ipad.
 
Police sources have confirmed that about five students from Yat Sen Secondary School in Flagstafff were taken in for questioning but were released.

 
The incident happened just before school broke out at the end of the day. 

 
The granddaughter who called in police and soldiers is the daughter of Litiana Bereso, who runs the Fiji Sports Council.

 
Police insiders say Bainimarama's granddaughter took her ipad to school and when it went missing, called police and soldiers instead of telling her teacher.

 
Yat Sen (which used to be known as the Fiji Chinese School) administrators did not know about the drama until it happened.

 
The soldiers and police turned up straight away causing what some parents described as a 'nasty jam' around the school vicinity.

 
Police sources say the ipad was not found and the investigation is continuing.

Urai bail verdict expected in next few hours

Urai in court today. picture FijiLive

Fiji's judiciary is to pronounce a verdict on the bail application of trade unionist Daniel Urai in a short time, under the scrutiny of the international community.  

Urai is back in the Suva Magistrates Court today with magistrate Thushara Rajasinghe promising to deliver his final verdict  about half past three.  

The verdict will be made to a court room full of Urai supporters, including representatives from the International Labour Organisation, the Australian government and NGOS.  

The FTUC leader is accused of urging political violence and is alleged to have intentionally lured two citizens named as Taniela and Raijeli Ligairi ‘to conduct a political violence’ against the regime in Suva between August 1 and October 29.

Meanwhile, here is the latest verbal diarrhea from the illegal AG and wanna-be PM. As usual, he speaks with authority while lying through his teeth. 

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum espouses that 70 unions with tens of thousands of members operate freely, yet everybody knows this is not true. He has conveniently forgotten that the PER basically denies any union the right to convene and hold meetings. 

In fact, Dan Urai was initially charged several months ago for travelling to an island resort to sort out a dismissal issue with one of the union's members.  

Mr unelected AG: please stop bull-shitting and try telling the truth for once.

(Tuesday 8th November 2011, No:2033/AG)

ATTORNEY-GENERAL ADDRESSES ANTHONY AND URAI CASES

“The Bainimarama Government ensures that all suspects charged with criminal activity have the right to representation and will be brought to trial in accordance with due process and Fijian law. Fiji maintains an independent judiciary that upholds the highest international standards of justice.

In the cases of Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai, the Government does not comment on the particulars of ongoing trials. However, statements and speculation with regard to these trials made by outside parties—such as those made by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd—are patently false and based on misinformation.

The Bainimarama Government strongly supports workers’ rights and efforts to improve the livelihoods of Fijians through a strong and diverse economy. With more than 70 affiliated unions with tens of thousands of members throughout Fiji, labor representation operates freely to promote the interests of Fijian workers—and it will continue to do so.

As a Pacific Small Island Developing State, Fiji is vulnerable to the machinations of the global economy and the policies of the industrialized countries. The Bainimarama Government is working hard to ensure sustainable livelihoods and futures for all its citizens. As we safeguard our economy, the Bainimarama Government rejects the advances of unionists and others who seek only to tear down the livelihoods of Fijians by distracting from legitimate allegations of criminal activities as they attempt to protect their own interests.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nakarawa back in army fold after 'resigning' for World Cup

 Nakarawa in Auckland. picture by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images AsiaPac



The army officer who resigned from the RFMF to go to the Rugby World Cup as a player for Fiji was seen training with the Army team last weekend. 

Leone Nakarawa was at the Army Training Group grounds for the Sukuna Bowl clash with Police this Friday. 

Sources say he is with the Territorial Forces. As we warned when Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully (pictured), revealed Nakarawa had been granted the visa, the regime has made a fool of New Zealand.

Another one who has made a fool of supporters is Bill Gavoka, the father-in-law of Aiyaz Khaiyum, who is now a member of Fijian Holdings Board of Directors. 

Sources say his family is unhappy he has sold out having told them earlier not to have anything to do with Khaiyum and even stopped some of them from attending the wedding in March. 

Gavoka is not formally qualified for such a role, having only been educated to Form 4. He was Laisenia Qarase's ally and went on to secure the Fiji Visitors Bureau job as a result of that friendship. Now, he is benefiting from his familial links with Khaiyum. 

We revealed several months ago, too, that Ella Gavoka was to become head of Fiji Visitors Bureau and it seems our information has come true. 
COSY AS: Gavoka and Khaiyum.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Urai accused of luring and urging two citizens to overthrow regime

Fiji court prosecutors have revealed their case against trade union leader Daniel Urai, today claiming he intentionally lured two people into trying to overthrow the illegal regime.

It was revealed in the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon, that the Fiji Trades Union Congress president is being charged with urging political violence and inciting antagonism against the unelected government.

Fiji Village says Urai appeared before Magistrate Thusara Rajasinghe and the court was told that between August 1st to October 29th this year, Urai intentionally lured Taniela and Elenoa Ligairi and others to overthrow the regime.

Urai's lawyer Navinesh Nand asked for the charges to be read and explained to Urai saying the trade union leader  did not have a copy of the charge, which has been made under the Crimes Decree.

Nand applied for bail reminding the court that Urai left the country but came back to face his unlawful assembly case. Urai was charged several months ago after trying to meet with workers to discuss work conditions.
 
The bail request was opposed by state lawyer, Ilisapeci Whippy, who said the nature of the offence is treason.

Whippy said one of the conditions for Urai’s bail in the unlawful assembly case was that he not reoffend while on bail and he had effectively breached bail with the latest charge.

She claimed Urai was likely to encourage violence and that he had showed a lack of respect in allegedly trying to overthrow the government.

Urai will reappear on Wednesday for the bail ruling.

FTUC general secretary, Felix Anthony, is still being questioned.  Assistant Police Commissioner Henry Brown has said more people are expected to be taken in for questioning.


Urai appears in court 
http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=071111d69361bf5971405a7c435479

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Teleni due home tomorrow morning

Farewells: Teleni.
Fiji's former police commissioner, Esala Teleni, is expected back in the country from China tomorrow morning.

Teleni is supposed to be arriving in Nadi via Air Korea at 9 o'clock.

Contacts tipped Coupfourpointfive several weeks ago that Teleni was returning to Fiji, leaving the Beijing Embassy where he has been busy drumming up Asian investment deals for the illegal regime.

As we reported exclusively early last month, Teleni's return signals an expected major change in the regime line-up with some punters picking the former band player is set to assume a role (Minister of Defence and acting prime minister) that will diminish that of the ambitious Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Whatever the role the man some dubbed Teletubby will play, Fiji police and army personnel are already talking openly about him coming back to hand over gradually to Neumi Leweni at Foreign Affairs.



Back in the fold: Frank Bainimarama's former Navy deputy back in Fiji after talks with the illegal leader.