#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-08-26

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clinton says 'Pacific big enough for all of us' but looks like elbow room only in Fiji

Ready to engage: Hilary Clinton
The U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has played down rivalries in the Pacific telling the Pacific Islands Forum the region is big enough to accomodate  China as well.

Esala Teleni in North Korea
She told the annual leaders Forum, which has wrapped up in the Cook Islands, the U.S. will remain active in the region and has always taken it seriously.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with your development partners - Japan, the European Union, China.   

"We all have important contributions and stakes in the region's success to advance your security, your opportunity and your prosperity. 

Visting Suva: Japanese official
"I think, after all, the Pacific is big enough for all of us." 

Clinton is the first secretary of state to attend the forum and her participation this year in the post-forum talks reflects the U.S's continuing interest in the Pacific, albeit spurred on by China's ready flow of dollars to a number of countries including Fiji, which turned North after the sanctions imposed by Australia and New Zealand.

In Fiji this week alone there have been visits from Japan and Taiwan, not to mention Fiji's Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola signing an MOU with North Korea and the Beijing based ambassador, Esala Teleni, presenting his credentials to Pyongyang.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fiji's key parties lobby Pacific Leaders Forum

Qarase out of the picture but SDL, FLP and UPP fighting on.
The country's main four parties have taken their concerns to the region's biggest gathering of Pacific leaders, the Pacific Forum.

IN THE MIX: NFP and Raman Singh (middle)
In an 11 page submission, SDL, the Fiji Labour Party, the National Federation Party and the United Peoples Party tell Forum leaders 'there is a misconception in some quarters that Fiji is truly on the road back to democracy and constitutional rule.'

The parties discuss the current Constitutional process but detail shortcomings and say the regime should not be driving the process, reiterating that the only sure way back to democracy is via the 2009 Fiji Court of Appeal decision.

The parties say the illegal president can still appoint a caretaker Prime Minister and Cabinet, establish a political dialogue forum, and set up Electoral Commission, the Boundaries Commission and Supervisors Commission.
MISCONCEPTIONS: Julia Gillard and John Key

They also question the make-up of the Constituent Assembly, and military representation.

The parties also tell the Forum they take exception to the restrictions that have been put on those who want to seek election, highlighting the jailing of the SDL party leader, Laisenia Qarase, and the pending trial of FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

And they say the regime must not be allowed immunity at any cost.

"We have very strong reservations on this issue. Perpetrators of the coup must face the full brunt of the law and be held accountable. 

"By providing blanket immunity in the past we have taken away the penal and punitive element from such heinous crimes and have simply encouraged more treasonous activities. If Fiji is to counter this coup culture immunities in constitutions have to go."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bainimarama grabs western aid but keeps looking North

While Australia and New Zealand congratulate themselves on a renewed and 'warm' relationship with Fiji, the regime is cosying up to two of the Western world's biggest enemies - Iran and North Korea.

The bilateral relations agreement with Iran was  signed yesterday by the Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, and Fiji's foreign minister, Inoke Kubuabola in Tehran where Kubuabola is attending a summit meeting of the organisation, Non-Aligned Movement, otherwise known as NAM.

Fiji has also door knocked North Korea but the news has been kept hush hush.

Insiders say Fiji's ambassador to China and the illegal prime minister's trusted ally, Esala Teleni, presented his credentials to North Korea this week and is now ambassador to both countries.

But ironically, while the regime is aligning itself with dangerous, toxic countries, regional superpowers New Zealand and Australia and super power America are patting themselves on the back for newfound warm fuzzies with Suva.

The trio are preparing to talk up Fiji at the Pacific Island post-forum dialogue, unaware that Bainimarama has been keeping his options open by schmoozing countries shunned by America because of their covert nuclear power programmes and abuse of human rights.

Bainimarama at the same time is grabbing all the aid he can from the US, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.

From reports sighted by Coupfourpointfive, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully isn't impressed with Fiji's ties with Iran just when he and co have 'softened' towards the military dictatorship.

McCully is quoted as saying: "I'm not sure it's the smartest timing I've ever seen but that's a decision that others have to make." 

It would be our guess that he doesn't know about North Korea.

New Methodist president promises 'no politics'

Two key officials have been voted in by the Methodist Church.

Reverend Tevita Nawadra is now the new General Secretary and Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu the new president.

According to Fiji Live, Waqairatu says there will be no politics under his leadership and the church will work closely with the government of the day. 

He is quoted as saying: "We are going to work with the current government of Fiji and abide by its’ laws, if they do not want politics to be involved than we shall not do that." 

Church members have been meeting in Suva the past two days and heard yesterday that membership has fallen. 

According to a report the church had 200,000 members in 2011 but there are just 197,000 this year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chaudhry: Anthony claim re FLP record 'malicious'

More reaction to the fall-out at the Fiji Labour Party delegates conference at the weekend with Mahendra Chaudhry today replying to the statement from FTUC national secretary, Felix Anthony, with one of his own.

Felix Anthony’s statement to the media titled “Fiji  Labour Party no longer represents workers” has to be the biggest joke of the year as the Party has been a consistent and diligent voice advocating workers’ rights and welfare over the years.

His statement, therefore, that Labour “can no longer be relied on to give workers a credible  voice in the hard times they are facing”, is simply malicious and dishonest.

FLP’s record in standing up for the interests of the workers and the poor of this nation, cannot be challenged. The same cannot be said of Felix Anthony’s own leadership of the trade union movement which leaves a lot to be desired.

Indeed, FLP understands that his statement to the  media is not an officially sanctioned FTUC release but the personal comments of Felix Anthony.

It is a pity that Mr Anthony has decided to air his disappointments in public. His comments about the conduct of the FLP Annual Delegates Conference in Nadi on Saturday are a pack of lies.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FTUC leader: Chaudhry and son using Fiji Labour Party to push personal agenda

FLP has been hijacked: Anthony
The FTUC national secretary, Felix Anthony, has released a statement regarding the fallout with Fiji Labour Party hierarchy at the delegates conference in Nadi over the weekend.

Ttitled Fiji Labour Party No Longer Represents Workers, Anthony says Mahendra Chaudhry had agreed to defer the elections for the executive positions but went ahead and conducted them with signatures from 'cronies' gathered by his lawyer son, Rajendra Chaudhry.

We publish the statement in full which follows our story Chaudhry junior tipped to assume FLP party leadership:

Chaudhrys in 2005
The Fiji Labour Party was formed by the Fiji Trades Union Congress in 1985 after the then Government imposed a wage freeze on workers of Fiji. The Workers at the time recognized that they needed a voice in Parliament and Government so that their interest and concerns could be effectively addressed. Workers of all races and backgrounds supported the Party because of its social policies and the fact that it was truly multiracial.

In 1987 when the Party first formed the government, four of the key portfolios were given to versatile unionists of the time.  Today the Party has lost its direction and is caught in the quagmire of deceit, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

Chaudhry junior tipped to assume FLP leadership

Sachida Sharma (middle) with Chaudhry.
Lavinia Padarath
The new Fiji Labour Party appointments are expected to pave the way for the son of longtime leader Mahendra Chaudhry to assume leadership if his father is found guilty of failing to surrender $1.5 million Australian dollars.

Chaudhry is accused of three breaches under the Foreign Exchange Act: failing to surrender foreign currency without the consent of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, delaying the payment of the $1.5 million to Fiji and re-investing and collecting interest without the Bank’s consent.

At the weekend, the party elected Lavinia Padarath, a staunch Chaundhry supporter, president and Kini Marawai, a lawyer with Gordon and Chaudhry, assistant secretary general.

Padarath was a former Minister in the People's Coalition Government of 1999-2000 and held the post of Minister for Women and Social Welfare in the Chaudhry government, replacing the late and veteran party member, Jokapeci Koroi, who died last year.

Also elected as vice-presidents were David Eyre, Sachida Sharma and Monica Raghwan.

Insiders say FTUC union leader Felix Anthony wants the party leadership but Rajendra Chaudhry has the numbers. 

Sources say Anthony had a good chance but with the weekend elections, the party leadership will eventually play out in Chaudhry junior's favour thanks to Mahendra Chaudhry loyalists, Sachina Sharma, Marawai and Padarath coming on board.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fiji Labour party rolls its 'con artist' assistant secretary general

Vayeshnoi: dumped
The Fiji Labour Party has sacked its assistant secretary general, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, for conning people out of more than $200,000.

Fleeced: Chaudhry
Vayeshnoi was formally dumped at the party's delegates conference this weekend but Coupfourpointfive has been told the hierarchy planned to get rid of him some time ago.

According to sources, the former MP is a notorious gambler and the party leadership was forced to accept he has fleeced people of thousands of dollars.

Two of his victims were FLP's very own - party leader Mahendra Chaudhry and a client of his lawyer son, Rajendra Chaudhry. Chaudhry senior is owed $10,000 and Chaudhry junior's client, Ratnesh Mishra of Olosara, $30,000.

Coupfourpointfive understands Vayeshnoi was dumped after Chaudhry senior finally accepted his dodgy dealings and blowing of money on gambling, including horse betting.