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SDL’s 5 years in office has been a disaster

The people will not be fooled by SDL’s election promises to contain poverty and help the poor when, in the past five years, the government has failed to show any compassion for the underprivileged. “Statistics show that absolute poverty has…

Datt will contest polls for Labour

Veteran Labour politician Krishna Datt announced today that we was standing for elections on a Labour Party ticket. Datt had announced a year ago that he would be retiring from politics and would not contest the 2006 elections. In a…

Elections Office told to consider Labour’s concerns

The Elections Office has been instructed by the Electoral Commission to address concerns raised by the Labour Party regarding non compliance with the Electoral Act. Electoral Commissioner Graham Leung has written to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry to say that he…

Labour may take court action to defer polls

Fiji Labour Party has threatened to take court action to defer the 2006 general elections scheduled for early May. Labour says the Elections Office has not met the legal requirements for the voter registration rolls to be published, properly scrutinised…

Will the elections apparatus be ready for early May polls?

Fiji Labour Party anxious about registration errors and discrepancies evident in the provisional rolls, is asking whether the Supervisor of Elections office will be ready for the May 6 elections. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed concern that 3000 names…

FLP replies to coup allegation

The Fiji Labour Party reiterates its support for all agencies responsible for law and order in the country, said Party President Jokapeci Koroi. Mrs Koroi was responding to a “highly edited” TV news story that saw her appear to be…

FLP replies to coup allegation

The Fiji Labour Party reiterates its support for all agencies responsible for law and order in the country, said Party President Jokapeci Koroi. Mrs Koroi was responding to a “highly edited” TV news story that saw her appear to be…

Yabaki was a coup plotter: coup convict

Former coup convict Maciu Navakasuasua insists Konisi Yabaki was one of the coup plotters but was now trying to “save his skin”. Yabaki, Minister for Forests and Fisheries has denied allegations by Navakasuasua and his accomplice Josaia Waqabaca that he…

Qarase a threat to future of Fijians: Nationalists

Nationalists have called on the Prime Minister to resign following his failure to push through Parliament passage of the Land Bills amending ALTA and NLTA. The Bills which intended to transfer all native agricultural leases to the ambit of the…

Army chief threatens government

The feud between the army and the government is worsening with the RFMF now threatening to take over control if the government fails to meet its responsibilities to the nation. Army chief Frank Bainimarama in a Media statement Monday accused…

Army chief threatens government

The feud between the army and the government is worsening with the RFMF now threatening to take over control if the government fails to meet its responsibilities to the nation. Army chief Frank Bainimarama in a Media statement Monday accused…

Why have coup investigations stalled?

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has written a strong letter to the Police Commissioner regarding Police failure to follow up new clues in coup investigations. Chaudhry expressed concern that the latest disclosure by former coup convict Maciu Navakasuasua of a plot…

Chaudhry rubbishes Prime Minister’s ‘proof’

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry labled as “laughable” the so-called evidence the Prime Minister tendered as proof that Chaudhry had tried to obtain a commission from the India loan for the sugar reform project. The Prime Minister who failed to meet…

Opposition Leader takes Prime Minister to court

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has served a writ on Laisenia Qarase and Fiji TV regarding allegations that he had attempted to get a commission from the $86 million EXIM Bank of India loan for restructure of the sugar industry. In…

$1 million education scam: AG

Of the $2 million allocated to upgrade rural Fijian schools under the government’s affirmative action programme, half was lost through scams and misuse, the Auditor General reports. The project known as the Centre of Excellence scheme was terminated because of…

Why the Opposition could not support the land bills

The Opposition had very good reasons for not supporting the Bills to amend the ALTA and NLTA legislations in Parliament on Thursday 1 December 2005, aimed at transferring all native agricultural leases from the ambit of ALTA to NLTA. In…

Chaudhry gives PM 72 hours to apologise

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has given the Prime Minister 72 hours to apologise to allegations that he benefited by way of commission from the $86 million Government of India loan to revamp the sugar industry. The allegation from Laisenia Qarase…

India clears Chaudhry on Haryana money

Finally, the bureau of investigation in India has cleared long-standing allegations that Mahendra Chaudhry had pocketed monies raised in his ancestral State of Haryana to help in the struggle of the Fiji-Indian community after the 2000 coup. The money was…

Fiji Pine scam exposed

Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kubuabola was axed as chairman of Fiji Pine Ltd in 1998 by the SVT government for failure to perform his duty. This was revealed in a front page story in the Fiji Sun 30 November by…

Bune exposes another vote buying scam

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Poseci Bune revealed another government attempt to buy votes through a plan to distribute 180 fishing boats by August next year. The 2006 general elections is expected to be held by mid-August 2006. The scheme…

35,000 drop out of school in five years: Labour

About 35,000 primary school children have dropped out of school in the past five years due to financial constraints, says Pratap Chand, Opposition spokesperson on Education. Speaking during debate on Budget 2006, Chand provided statistics to show that large numbers…

Datt challenges Govt’s poverty figure

Opposition Whip Krishna Datt questioned government’s claim that poverty levels were at 28% considering that poverty was effectively put at 50% in a report based on 1991 figures. A number of factors since then had contributed to higher levels of…

Datt says PM deliberately derailed land talks

The proposed Amnesty Bill was a deliberate strategy by the Prime Minister to derail the successful land consultations at the Talanoa level, says Krishna Datt. He was responding to criticisms levelled against the Opposition Leader by the government side blaming…

Datt challenges Govt’s poverty figure

Opposition Whip Krishna Datt questioned government’s claim that poverty levels were at 28% considering that poverty was effectively put at 50% in a report based on 1991 figures. A number of factors since then had contributed to higher levels of…

Opposition’s reply to Budget 2006

I rise to deliver the Opposition’s response to Budget 2006. But before that, let me, in line with long standing parliamentary convention, congratulate the Minister of Finance for his Budget presentation. I wish to congratulate our National Rugby 15s team…

Govt. must intervene to cushion hikes in fuel price

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called for government intervention to cushion the adverse socio-economic effects of rising fuel prices. The call comes in the wake of increases effective today that raise the price of motor spirits by 20c a litre…

Labour calls for probe in FNPF investment

Labour wants a comprehensive inquiry into the FNPF investment portfolio to see if they were in the best interests of members. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s call comes in the wake of controversy over a decision to award design tender for…

Bank executive says Qoliqoli legislation a smokescreen

The legislation aimed at getting royalty to landowners for the use of the foreshore by resorts etc was just a smokescreen to satisfy a small group, a banker says. Bob Lyons, managing director of ANZ Pacific said the legislation would…

Principals slam exorbitant cost of education

Fiji Principals say free education in Fiji is a misnomer as it costs parents up to $3000 a year for lower secondary education resulting in a lot of dropouts. Speaking at the Principals conference yesterday, FPA president Susau Managreve said…

Dimuri should stop looking for scapegoats

Extremist politicians like Senator Joe Dimuri who deliberately misled landowners into not renewing leases to Indian tenant farmers to further their own political agenda, should stop blaming others, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. Mr. Chaudhry was responding to comments made…

Dimuri should stop looking for scapegoats

Extremist politicians like Senator Joe Dimuri who deliberately misled landowners into not renewing leases to Indian tenant farmers to further their own political agenda, should stop blaming others, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. Mr. Chaudhry was responding to comments made…

Chaudhry concerned at registration flaws for 2006 polls

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns at flaws in voter registration that marred Saturday’s municipal elections, and its implications for the 2006 general elections. Chaudhry who has been very vocal in criticising flaws in the voter registration process…

Chaudhry concerned at registration flaws for 2006 polls

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns at flaws in voter registration that marred Saturday’s municipal elections, and its implications for the 2006 general elections. Chaudhry who has been very vocal in criticising flaws in the voter registration process…

Fiji ranked high on corrupt nation’s list

Fiji has been given a bad listing in the corruption index making her the 55th most corrupt nation in the world The rating based on a perceptions collaboration of 159 countries by Transparency International in London, places Fiji as ninth…

Civil Service reforms unrealistic, says Chaudhry

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has questioned the practicality of plans by the Public Service Commission to drastically reduce the size of the civil service. Mr. Chaudhry said no amount of reforms will improve the productivity, competence and efficiency of the…

Fiji ranked high on corrupt nation’s list

Fiji has been given a bad listing in the corruption index making her the 55th most corrupt nation in the world The rating based on a perceptions collaboration of 159 countries by Transparency International in London, places Fiji as ninth…

Labour alleges serious vote rigging ahead of 2006 elections

FLP has raised serious concerns about anomalies in the voter registration process currently underway for the 2006 elections – tantamount to vote rigging. The Party has lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and is seeking a fresh start to the…

Labour alleges serious vote rigging ahead of 2006 elections

FLP has raised serious concerns about anomalies in the voter registration process currently underway for the 2006 elections – tantamount to vote rigging. The Party has lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and is seeking a fresh start to the…

Economy continues heading towards disaster

The Reserve Bank’s latest report on the state of the economy is yet another confirmation of the gross mismanagement of the national economy and unbridled abuse of public funds by the SDL government. Reserve Bank Governor Savenaca Narube, speaking to…

Police, Army & Elections office must be independent

FLP backs the army and the Police in their fight to maintain the independence of the security forces. The conflict comes in the wake of a move by the Ministry for Home Affairs to control Budget allocated to the two…

IPU to discuss Amnesty Bill

The International Parliamentary Union will be examining the Amnesty Bill for human rights violations and may discuss it during a regional seminar in Burundi. This follows submissions by Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in August to the peak international Parliamentary body…

Police, Army & Elections office must be independent

FLP backs the army and the Police in their fight to maintain the independence of the security forces. The conflict comes in the wake of a move by the Ministry for Home Affairs to control Budget allocated to the two…

Scrap tax holidays: Chaudhry

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has welcomed a call by the Asian Development Bank to scrap tax holidays and other incentives to large businesses because they tend to be counter productive. In its latest report of an assessment of the private…

Datt says Bill a political ploy to win election

Poverty  Changing definitions of poverty or perception of poverty by the poor themselves does not change their reality of deprivation. Low income as the traditional basis of identifying poverty remains the more tangible criterion. However, Vijay Naidu (2005) rightly points…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Change the Future, says Labour

The Fiji Labour Party celebrated the 20th anniversary of its birth at the Party’s annual convention in Lautoka last week-end. A commemorative booklet highlighting the main events in the Party’s dramatic history , was launched at the convention. Speaking on…

Prime Minister must resign

The Prime Minister must resign says Chaudhry as the mounting public controversy on the Bill shows Church leaders were deliberately misled on it by the PM. “It is disgraceful that the Prime Minister should deceive Church leaders to get their…

EU monitors Fiji’s amnesty Bill

The European Union is closely monitoring developments on the amnesty Bill in the wake of widespread public criticism of the proposed legislation, says a EU spokesperson. Critics believe the Bill which provides amnesty for all those who took part in…

President tells PM to withdraw Bill

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo told the Prime Minister in a meeting on 18 June that he must withdraw the highly controversial amnesty Bill. The request surprised Prime Minister Qarase who had actually asked the President to use his influence to…

Exodus of Fiji Indians

The continued exodus overseas of skilled Fiji people of all races is a dangerous trend which will have a devastating effect on national development, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry warned. If the trend continued, Fiji would be left with a large…

It is you who must think again, Prime Minister!

Prime Minister Qarase fools no-one with his statement that people should think again if they believe that the amnesty Bill means a general pardon for the perpetrators of the 2000 coup. The proposed Bill is very clear in its provision…

Open letter to the Prime Minister from Opposition Leader

The Prime Minister recently put out four-page advertisements in the newspapers, at heavy cost to the taxpayer. These attempt to justify the SDL government’s decision to proceed with the so-called Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill despite widespread public…

Police beef up security for PM and top officials

Police has stepped up security around the Prime Minister and his top officials amid allegations of threats from the army. The army has, however, denied any involvement in telephone threats received by the Attorney General Qoriniasi Bale, CEO in the…

Scores protest against amnesty Bill

Over a hundred people, from all ethnic groups, mounted a protest outside parliament at Nasova  against the controversial amnesty Bill. The protesters represented various NGOs who have been actively campaigning against the Government’s decision to forge ahead with the Bill…

Labour Party walks out on the amnesty Bill

The Fiji Labour Party today decided to walk out of parliament as Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase rose to present the highly controversial amnesty Bill to the House. The FLP move was in protest against the SDL government’s decision to forge…

Outgoing US envoy says Bill paves way for coups

The US Envoy warned the amnesty Bill if allowed to pass would be setting a dangerous precedent for more coups in the future. Ambassador David Lyon in a hard hitting interview on the eve of his departure from Fiji, told…

Labour seeks Speaker’s intervention on Bill

The Opposition today tried to block tabling of the controversial amnesty Bill by asking the acting Speaker not to grant permission for government to suspend Standing Orders for it to be tabled. Not surprisingly, Acting Speaker Manasa Tugia of the…

Opposition objects to Ministers’ seat in House

The Opposition today objected to the continued presence of government Ministers in the House of Reps who had forfeited their membership by taking up public offices. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry, speaking on a point of order, said Education Minister Ro…

Opposition to Amnesty Bill grows

A group of concerned citizens met in Suva on Monday to express their opposition to the amnesty Bill to be tabled in parliament today. The meeting was organised by the NGO Coalition and had Law Society president Graham Leung, NGO…

Criticism mounts on Unity Bill

The Police Commissioner has joined the chorus of voices critical of the Unity Bill and its adverse impact on coup-related investigations. Commissioner Andrew Hughes said yesterday that the Bill if passed could compromise police investigations into the coup because the…

Bill a contemptuous challenge to the judiciary

The Fiji government is bent on tabling in Parliament a highly controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill which is seen by the Fiji Labour Party, other Opposition parties and civil society organisations as a contemptuous challenge to the judicial system and…

The Coups- Missed Opportunities

The illegal overthrow of democratically elected governments in 1987 and 2000 have had a traumatic impact on the nation from which we have still not recovered, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. He was speaking at a Labour Party organised rememberance…

Human Rights Commission warns on Bill

The Human Rights Commission has warned that the Reconciliation Bill may be unconstitutional and in breach of the Human Rights Act. The Commission is the latest to join other civil society bodies in denouncing the proposed Bill. Director Shaista Shameem…

Army meets over Unity Bill

Top brass of the army held an emergency close door session yesterday to discuss the implications of government’s reconciliation Bill designed to grant a general pardon to those involved in the 2000 coup. Commander Frank Bainimarama just returned form an…

Army meets over Unity Bill

Top brass of the army held an emergency close door session yesterday to discuss the implications of government’s reconciliation Bill designed to grant a general pardon to those involved in the 2000 coup. Commander Frank Bainimarama just returned form an…

Army mocks reconciliation Bill

The army chief has mocked at government’s Reconciliation Bill describing it as “reconciliation bull” In a statement to the Fiji Sun Commander Frank Bainimarama said that was indicative of how they felt about the Bill which is proposed as a…

Labour responds to Baba’s claims in coup book

Labour says it is not surprised that a frustrated Baba should try to discredit its Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in his book Speight of Violence. In a statement issued following the attacks, the Party said it should be remembered that Dr….

Army mocks reconciliation Bill

The army chief has mocked at government’s Reconciliation Bill describing it as “reconciliation bull” In a statement to the Fiji Sun Commander Frank Bainimarama said that was indicative of how they felt about the Bill which is proposed as a…

Education Minister must resign

Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa has forfeited her seat in Parliament and must resign from cabinet and parliament, says Labour. Ro Teimumu who is a Rewa high chief , Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, has accepted appointment as chairperson…

Reconciliation and Unity Commission a political ploy

The Labour Party has criticised government proposal for a Reconciliation and Unity Commission as a ploy to pardon key members of the ruling coalition either facing charges, or already sentenced to prison, for coup-related offences. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said…

Renew deputy DPP’s contract

The Opposition office has called for Deputy DPP Peter Ridgeway’s contract to be renewed to allow him to complete the task he began in bringing to justice all those with complicity in the 2000 coup. A Fiji Times report said…

Renew deputy DPP’s contract

The Opposition office has called for Deputy DPP Peter Ridgeway’s contract to be renewed to allow him to complete the task he began in bringing to justice all those with complicity in the 2000 coup. A Fiji Times report said…

1997 Constitution racially divisive, says former envoy

A former Australian envoy to Fiji has finally admitted that the 1997 constitution contributed to racial divisiveness in Fiji. Susan Boyd who was the Australian High Commission to Fiji at the time of the 2000 coup, told the Accountants congress…

Cane farmers seek tax holiday

The National Farmers Union is seeking a 5-year tax holiday for cane farmers to enable them to survive the withdrawal of EU subsidies for Fiji sugar. It was one of the resolutions passed by 700 farmers at the NFU general…

1997 Constitution racially divisive, says former envoy

A former Australian envoy to Fiji has finally admitted that the 1997 constitution contributed to racial divisiveness in Fiji. Susan Boyd who was the Australian High Commission to Fiji at the time of the 2000 coup, told the Accountants congress…

1997 Constitution racially divisive, says former envoy

A former Australian envoy to Fiji has finally admitted that the 1997 constitution contributed to racial divisiveness in Fiji. Susan Boyd who was the Australian High Commission to Fiji at the time of the 2000 coup, told the Accountants congress…

Opposition Leader slams Qarase’s ‘blind’ comment

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry reiterates his claim that the SDL government has little to show for the $1 billion it has borrowed in four years, pushing government’s debt levels to a massive $2.5 billion. He was responding to a statement…

Minimum price for cane farmers: Chaudhry

Growers must get a guaranteed minimum price for cane if they are to survive the withdrawal of EU subsidies, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says. The guaranteed price must be set at between $50-$55, he said. Chaudhry who is also general…

Chaudhry meets with security bosses

Opposition leader Mahendra Chaudhry had a joint meeting last week with army commander Frank Bainimarama and Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes regarding the state of investigations into the May 2000 coup. The meeting was prompted by information against key figures contained…

Labour Official’s home raided by Police

Senior Labour Party official Shalendra Raju’s home was raided by Police early Thursday morning as they searched for leaked Police documents on the 2000 coup. Raju also claims his car was smashed into on Wednesday night and believes the two…

Bakoso threatens to expose SDL government

A man charged with coup related crimes is now threatening to expose corruption in the SDL Government as he fights to keep a 11-year girl from being deported to China. Jiojo Bakoso says he has documents to prove corruption in…

TV refuses to run Labour commercial

Labour is questioning Fiji TV’s decision not to run the Party’s campaign commercial because it highlights the mismanagement and corruption rampant under the SDL. Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the decision was clearly to gag the Opposition’s criticism of the…

Labour slams PM’s ‘don’t care’ attitude

The Prime Minister’s statement that he would not get involved in the crisis at the Vatukoula mines shows his lack of compassion for the workers facing redundancy, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. “The jobs of 2000 workers are on the…

Labour slams PM’s ‘don’t care’ attitude

The Prime Minister’s statement that he would not get involved in the crisis at the Vatukoula mines shows his lack of compassion for the workers facing redundancy, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. “The jobs of 2000 workers are on the…

Attack on temples anger Hindus

Fiji’s Hindu community is sickened by a spate of recent attacks on Hindu temples and places of worship at a time when the community is celebrating the nine-day festival of Ram Navmi. Since Easter two attacks, both at Narere in…

US report highlights racial discrimination in Fiji

The United States 2005 country report highlights the serious problem of racial discrimination in Fiji including under representation of Indians at all levels of government “from the Senate to the lowest ranking police constable or soldier”. The report released today…

Labour responds to PM on the sugar industry

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has brushed aside claims by the Prime Minister that he was leaking confidential information from the ad hoc Sugar Select Committee meeting. “There is no question of confidentiality. This is a matter of vital national interest…

Labour slams govt comment on racial discrimination

t is absurd that the Minister for Foreign Affairs should brush off criticism contained in the 2005 US Human Rights report with the quip that he can point similar fingers at the United States. Instead of pointing fingers at the…

Labour slams govt comment on racial discrimination

It is absurd that the Minister for Foreign Affairs should brush off criticism contained in the 2005 US Human Rights report with the quip that he can point similar fingers at the United States. Instead of pointing fingers at the…

Labour replies to nationalist propaganda

Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has rejected outright propaganda that only a Fijian prime minister can effectively serve the interests of the indigenous Fijian community. Fiji has had exclusively Fijian governments since the 1987 coups and yet the plight of the…

Bune is Labour’s deputy leader

Poseci Bune has been appointed deputy leader of the Fiji Labour Party as it gears up to fight the next general elections in 2006. The appointment was made at the Party’s parliamentary caucus meeting in Suva on Friday. Bune replaces…

Labour replies to nationalist propaganda

Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has rejected outright propaganda that only a Fijian prime minister can effectively serve the interests of the indigenous Fijian community. Fiji has had exclusively Fijian governments since the 1987 coups and yet the plight of the…

Labour slams govt’s discriminatory education policy

The SDL government’s discriminatory policy on free education for Fijian Form 7 students has prompted Labour to slam it as racist claiming that it discriminated against hundreds of poor students from Indian and other minority families. As the school year…

Labour slams govt’s discriminatory education policy

The SDL government’s discriminatory policy on free education for Fijian Form 7 students has prompted Labour to slam it as racist claiming that it discriminated against hundreds of poor students from Indian and other minority families. As the school year…

Labour seeks Police investigation on TV One report

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has written to the Police asking for an investigation into a Fiji TV One report  which predicted the possibility of a Labour win in the next general elections leading to opposition and instability. TV One claimed…