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FLP responds to NLTB and SCGC

The Fiji Labour Party will not accept any resolution to the land issue that does not guarantee long term security for farmers or denies their basic human rights, Labour Parliamentary Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. He was responding to claims by…

Cost of 500 items up in 2004 Budget

The SDL government has increased duty by 5% on hundreds of food and everyday consumer items ranging from rice, tea, honey and biscuits to toothpaste and shoe polish in its 2004 Budget. The move, expected to increase government revenue by…

FLP Candidate for the Tavua Open Constituency

The Fiji Labour Party management board has unanimously endorsed Mr Damodran Nair as its candidate for the Tavua Open Constituency by-election. Mr Nair is a farm advisor with the Fiji Sugar Corporation, based in the Tagitagi sector. He has been with FSC…

2004 Budget – a failing economy

It is a disappointingly flat budget. The SDL government has run out of ideas on how to get Fiji’s economy back on track. The budget measures fail to address the serious problems facing our economy. The budget does little to…

Girmit Council representation to the Great Council of Chiefs

National Farmers Union has questioned the mandate of the Girmit Council and the chief executive of the Sugar Cane Growers Council to make representation to the Great Council of Chiefs on behalf of the Indian community. “The reported nature of…

Proposed Bill to Restructure the Sugar Industry

NFU has warned government to consult with it on its proposed restructure of the sugar industry or “face the consequences of its intransigence”. In a letter to the Minister for Agriculture, Sugar & Land Resettlement Hon Jonetani K Galuinadi last…

Sugar Industry Restructure Bill

National Farmers Union rejects outright the sugar industry restructure Bill which aims to repeal the existing Sugar Industry Act without any consultation with the NFU as the most representative cane farmers’ organisation. The Union warns that farmers will hold back…

ALTA v NLTA

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase is being grossly dishonest by alleging that FLP is responsible for farmers not securing 50 year leases. “Where are these leases? What conditions are attached to it and when and where were they offered to farmers?”…

Response to PM Qarase’s allegations on multi-party cabinet

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase does not fool anyone by proclaiming that FLP is to be blamed for keeping the Indian community out of his cabinet, said FLP parliamentary leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Mr Chaudhry was responding to allegations made by Mr…

Strong arm tactics used to blackmail Kabisi tenants

Labour Member of Parliament for Nadroga, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi today warned the NLTB, the Sugar Cane Growers Council and the Fiji Cane Growers Association to stop using strong arm tactics for the renewal of land leases for the Crown Schedule…

FLP’s statement on Auditor General’s Report

The recent report by the Auditor General on the Accounts and Finances of the Government once again confirm that the Qarase government is incapable of managing public funds. The report highlights what the FLP has been saying since the first…

Chaudhry seeks relief for victims of drought

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called on government to provide food rations, cash grant and crop rehabilitation measures to assist victims of the crippling drought. The relief was sought through an urgent motion moved in parliament last Thursday but was…

FLP’s Fiji Day Message

As we celebrate Fiji Day this year, we need to focus on the need for unity and reconciliation. This is important after the turbulence and racial tensions of the past three years that have wrenched our people apart and undermined…

FLP pays tribute to Savenaca Siwatibau

The Fiji Labour Party expresses deep regret at the death of Mr. Savenaca Siwatibau, Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji. “He was one of Fiji’s ablest sons. We…

NFU Labasa so-called petition

A so-called petition to NFU general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry containing allegations against him and claiming abuse of the Labasa NFU office were brushed aside as unmitigated nonsense by Mr. Chaudhry. “I have not received any petition although the Labasa members…

FLP responds to the Prime Minister

The Fiji Labour Party is disturbed by the outburst of the Prime Minister on national television last night and appalled by the content and tone of his allegations against the FLP on the multi party cabinet issue. The Prime Minister…

Reduce Bus Fares- Labour

Labour Member of Parliament, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi today called on the Minister for Transport to direct the concerned authorities to immediately reduce the illegal increase of 5% in bus fares effective 1st June 2003. Judgement by Land Transport Appeals Tribunal…

Bus fares face cuts

Land Transport Tribunal has ordered the Land Transport Authority to decrease bus fares immediately after it unlawfully granted bus operators a 5 percent increase in June. Tribunal Sir Vijay Singh said the acting LTA chief executive Isoa Tamani had breached…

Update on the multi-party cabinet case

Fiji Labour Party’s constitutional battle for cabinet seats will now go back to the Supreme Court for determination to resolve an impasse over allocation of portfolios. Talks between Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase have stalled on…

FLP statement on Cabinet appointments

Labour MPs selected by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to be in his cabinet have written to him to say that any decision on who joins his cabinet will be made by Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. In a letter signed jointly,…

FLP pays tribute to Pravin Singh

The Fiji Labour Party deeply regrets the untimely death of Honourable Pravin Singh, Member of Parliament for Tavua Open Constituency. Mr Singh passed away at 12.10 pm today (September 2, 2003) at the Lautoka hospital where he was admitted after…

Public Inquiry into FDB’s affairs

The Fiji Labour Party wants a full public inquiry into a scandalous $360,000 payout last week by the Fiji Development Bank to its ousted chief executive Isoa Kaloumaira. The money was paid to Mr Kaloumaira following an out of court…

The Legacy of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara

Address by Mahendra P. Chaudhry, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara Memorial Lectures, Waterfront Hotel, Lautoka 27 August 2003 Good evening, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen. I consider it a great honour to be invited to speak on the life and achievements…

The Pacific Islands Forum Communiqué

The Fiji Labour Party welcomes the communiqué issued by the 34th meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland, and its re-enforcement of the principles contained in the Biketawa and the Nasanoni Declarations. In particular, the FLP appreciates the adoption…

FLP’s response to the deadline issued by the Prime Minister

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says there is no question of him being bound by a deadline in reaching a settlement on the multi-party cabinet issue. Mr. Chaudhry was responding to an ultimatum issued to him by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase,…

FLP replies to criticism on Forum Paper

The Fiji Labour Party is concerned at Media distortions and criticism of a briefing paper on Fiji’s constitutional crisis it is circulating at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting currently underway in Auckland. The FLP is not calling for regional military…

Police to blame for criticisms

Police criticisms of Australian trade unionist Tony Sheldon have been described as nonsensical by the Fiji Labour Party. Mr Sheldon, who is also a vice president of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labour Party, issued a statement last week…

Australian Nationals Financed Coup!!

A Senior Australian trade unionist and political figure wants Australian nationals who allegedly funded the May 2000 coup extradited to face trial. Tony Sheldon, NSW branch secretary of the Transport Works Union and the NSW vice president of the Australian…

Fiji Terror Links Must Be Addressed

Addressing the Fiji Labour Party Conference in Nadi, visiting Australian Transport Worker’s Union NSW State Secretary Tony Sheldon has called on the Australian Federal Government to urgently investigate reports of proven Fiji terrorists from Fiji, freely traveling to and from…

FLP Delegates Conference Discuss Multi Party Issue

The FLP Delegates Conference was today briefed by the FLP parliamentary leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, on his discussions with Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase on the invitation to the FLP to join the Cabinet. The invitation by the PM was made after…

Fiji – Qantas/Air Pacific Security Under Review

Following discussions with Fiji aviation unions earlier today, visiting Australian Transport Workers Union NSW State Secretary Tony Sheldon is calling for an urgent upgrade of Fiji’s aviation security. “Since January 2003, there have been 6 serious security breaches at Sydney’s…

FLP Delegates Conference Discusses Multi Party Invitation

The FLP Delegates Conference held in Nadi today discussed the activities of the party over the last 12 months with the multi party Cabinet issue dominating talks. The conference was attended by 63 Branch delegates and invited Australian Trade Union…

Qarase Invites Labour to Talks

Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase has issued a formal invitation to Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry to a first round of talks on multi-party cabinet. “I am writing to you to invite you to a meeting between us in my…

Labour wins multi party Cabinet case

The much awaited Supreme Court ruling has once again upheld the principle of multi-racialism embodied in the constitutional requirement for power sharing in Section 99 of Fiji’s constitution. Fiji’s highest appellate court, maintained in a judgment delivered Friday that “power…

FLP pays tribute to Latif Subedar

The Fiji Labour Party is deeply saddened by the sudden death of its MP and Party stalwart Mohammed Latif Subedar, Member for the Labasa Rural Indian Communal constituency. Mr Subedar, 61, died at 8pm Friday in Labasa, ending a long…

FDB pulls out of Hilton loan

The board of Fiji Development Bank has rejected an application for a $12 million loan by developers of 5 – star Hilton resort. Minister of commerce, Tomasi Vuetilovoni said that the loan was rejected because Denarau Investments could not meet…

Labour demands investigation into FINTEL saga!

Fiji Labour Party has called on authorities to immediately institute an investigation into the Internet services link provided by FINTEL. The call has come following the controversial TV One news story of 8th July 2003 in which Telepac had revealed…

Telecom charges hike disgraceful – Labour!

Fiji Labour Party condemns the latest increase of 1.4% in rental charges effective from today. (11th July 2003) The justification for increase did not make any sense and was a classic case of abuse of monopoly status said Assistant Secretary…

Former PM to be charged

Former PM Sitiveni Rabuka and Naitasiri High Chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata are expected to be charged soon for their part in the November 2000 mutiny. Police investigators have confirmed that adequate evidence has been gathered to implicate the two in…

Fiji’s future lies in racially inclusive policies: Chaudhry

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says Fiji can only progress through a policy of inclusiveness that draws on the cultural strengths of its various communities and not racially exclusive policies. “There is absolutely no doubt that our future as a nation,…

Treason two get long jail terms

Two of coup frontman George Speight’s close conspirators, Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu, have been given lengthy jail terms by the High Court. Justice Andrew Wilson, in a ruling delivered Friday, sentenced Silatolu to a mandatory term of 9 years…

Labour blasts criticism by S.P. Games official

The Fiji Labour Party has reacted angrily to political statements in the media by a visiting executive of the South Pacific Games, Ricardo Blas. Mr. Blas, chairman of the South Pacific Games Council, is quoted as having said that had…

Multi-Party Judgment to be delivered on notice

The decision on the much-awaited multi-party case between the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and Fiji Labour Party is not expected this week. The case was heard in the Supreme Court last Wednesday and was concluded in a day. The Supreme…

Labour Senators walkout over Bill

Fiji Labour Party Senators walked out during the sitting yesterday in protest of the discrepancies in the Appropriation Supplementary Bill. The Bill had not accounted for $20million that appeared in the schedule and contradicted the bill. They said the Upper…

Government throws out motion on bank charges

The motion by Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi to reduce bank charges and fees was defeated by the government on Friday. The massive public outcry has fallen on deaf ears. The exorbitant fee, charges and interest rate that is imposed by the…

VAYESHNOI DEMANDS CONVENING OF LTA TRIBUNAL!

Labour Member of Parliament for Nadroga has called on the Land Transport Authority and the government to exercise responsibility and demonstrate respect for the provisions of Land Transport (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 2000 (LTA Act – No. 35 of 1998)…

No Fare Hike Without Road Permit

The chief executive for Land Transport Authority (LTA), Isoa Tamani said, bus operators who did not produce road permits for endorsement of new fares could not charge the passengers extra fare. Mr Tamani confirmed that only Central Transport, Citiline Bus…

NFU Rubbishes Bala Dass

The National Farmers Union has rubbished accusations against it by the General Secretary of Fiji Canegrowers Association Bala Dass, as outbursts of a convoluted mind. It is obvious that Bala Dass and his mentor SCGC Chief Executive Jagannath Sami, have…

Vice President Should Step Aside – GCC

Great Council of Chiefs chairman, Ratu Epeli Ganilau believes Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli should step aside after being charged with taking an unlawful oath during the May 19, 2000 coup. Ratu Epeli felt it was his obligation to advise…

Health Services – South Pacific Games

The report in Fiji Times dated 1st June 2003 on limiting of outpatients to only 150 at the CWM hospital during the South Pacific Games is appalling and condemned outright. This is absolutely unacceptable. All poor patients seeking treatment at…

Harvest Boycott on Hold

The proposed national harvest boycott by the National Farmers Union (NFU) has been temporarily put on hold, with the union currently monitoring the readiness of the four sugar mills. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting in Lautoka, NFU general secretary,…

Sugar Reform Will Fail

The proposed sugar restructure is destined to fail since it does not address the farmers’ concern. Fiji Sugar General Workers Union (FSGWU) secretary, Felix Anthony said the restructure process was raised by the FSC to rescue itself from the awkward…

Labour Takes LTA to Tribunal Over Bus Fare Increase!

Labour Member of Parliament for Nadroga, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi filed an appeal with the Land Transport Appeals Tribunal against the 5% increase granted to all bus operators in Fiji. The increase comes into effect on 1st June 2003. Mr Vayeshnoi,…

Government in Fiscal Crisis

The Fiji Labour Party has been informing the nation consistently that the SDL regime cannot manage tax payers funds. The statements by the Prime Minister that the state has no money to pay a COLA of more than 2% to…

RULE OF LAW MUST PREVAIL – GCC

The Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) has confirmed that they will uphold the rule of law and let justice prevail itself. GCC chairman Ratu Epeli Ganilau said he was speaking with the mandate of the council and was firm on…

FLP Annual Convention to decide on Fiji’s Future

Fiji Labour Party will hold its Annual Delegates Conference and Annual Convention on 25 and 26 July 2003 at Shri Vivekananda College Auditorium in Malolo Nadi. The Party is expecting large number of supporters from around the country to participate…

Australian Foreign Affairs Senate Committee holds talks with Labour

The Australian Senate committee for foreign affairs met with Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and other senior Party members on Monday. Discussion centred on issues of mutual interest including economy, bilateral policies and national security. Fiji Labour Party briefed…

NFU General Meeting to decide on Harvest

Canefarmers attending the annual general meeting of the National Farmers Union (NFU) this Saturday (May 31) in Lautoka, will decide on this season’s crop harvest. Farmers are extremely agitated by the arbitrary manner in which decisions on their future are…

Villagers’ Block Access Road

Two landowning units blocked the main entrance to Fenning Pacific (Fiji) limited and demanded $100,000 each in compensation for charges of land stealing. Tokatoka Narogi and Mataqali Lawavolo of Culanuku and Galoa villages on the outskirts of Navua, erected roadblocks…

Villagers Takeover Sawmill

Twelve landowning units from six villages in Cakaudrove and Macuata took over a sawmill on Sunday afternoon, demanding payment for logging of their forest. More than 100 employees of Valebasoga Tropikboard sawmill in Labasa were sent home after the illegal…

Chiefs Pose Threat

Some members of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) pose a threat to its integrity, council chairman Epeli Ganilau said. Mr Ganilau was responding to the report on the highest Fijian Institution by the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies at…

MEDIA BILL DRACONIAN – LABOUR

Fiji Labour Party today labelled the Media Bill proposed by SDL government as vindictive, draconian and an outright attempt to gag the Media in Fiji. The Bill if enacted will take away Media freedom essential for the purpose of free…

US – Fiji ICC Deal Dangerous

The Fiji Labour Party is seriously concerned about the Government’s intention to enter into a bilateral agreement with the United States in respect of a number of issues arising under the Rome Statute, which establishes the International Criminal Court (ICC)….

Release of Passport to Mr Leweniqila

The Fiji Labour Party is disappointed and dismayed at the decision of the Chief Magistrate to release the Passport to allow overseas travel by Sports Minister Isireli Leweniqila. According to the media reports, Mr Leweniqila has been asked by the…

Labour Condemns Bus Fare Hike

Fiji Labour Party today criticized the government for approving the unwarranted and untimely hike in bus fares. The approval for hike by the Cabinet only shows their short-sightedness and ignorance of the plight of ordinary people, said assistant secretary general…

VIOLENT ROBBERIES RISE

Three masked men attacked McDonald’s Restaurant in down town Suva in the early hours of Monday morning and stole close to $9,000 in cash. The incident took place less than a month after the fast-food chain’s Raiwaqa outlet was robbed….

NFU rejects agreement on national harvest quota

The National Farmers Union has rejected an agreement reached between the Fiji Sugar Corporation and the Sugar Cane Growers Council on the 2003 crushing season, labelling it as a sell-out of cane farmers by the SCGC Chief Executive Jaganath Sami…

FLP MAINTAINS LAW FIRM UNETHICAL

Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry maintains that the law firm of Munro Leys acted unethically in helping establish and register a company for Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and four of his senior ministers. Mr Chaudhry said he was surprised that…

Mosque Break – in – Cowardly

The break-in at Sigatoka Mosque in the early hours of Sunday morning is deplorable and has been branded as an act of cowardice by Sigatoka Parliamentarian, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi. The assailants gained entry through a window and ransacked the entire…

PM’s private company totally unethical: Labour

The setting up of a private company by the Prime Minister and several of his senior ministers is highly unethical and a very dangerous precedent, says Labour. “The company has the potential to become a vehicle for corrupt deals, extortion…

FSC boss must be sacked, says Chaudhry

FSC’s losses had doubled and trebled under its expatriate managing director who enjoyed a salary package of $1/2 a million dollars, Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. Chaudhry warned Parliament that John McFadden would have to go as a non-performing managing…

Vice President in court on coup charges

Fiji’s Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli along with five others including a government Minister appeared in court yesterday charged with involvement in the coup of May 2000. They face charges of taking an unlawful oath to commit a capital offence…

Politician/Lawyer debarred for coup activities

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, a lawyer and high chief from Vanua Levu has been barred from practising law for his coup-related activities. The ban was placed on Vakalalabure by the disciplinary committee of the…

Robbery puts NZ firm out of business

A New Zealand contractor has gone out of business after having been robbed for the 30th time since arriving in Fiji nine nine years ago. Tom Gollop, a building constructor and owner of Craftsman Company, is estimated to have incurred…

GOVERNMENT NOT IN CONTROL OF LAW & ORDER

Fiji is fast heading towards a major social crisis and state of ‘lawlessness’ as a result of government’s failure to control increasing violent crimes and robberies both in rural and urban areas throughout Fiji. Given the rapid increase in serious…

Labour Leader commends South Indian contribution

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says South Indians have made a great contribution to Fiji’s development as well as to the promotion of Indian culture in Fiji. However, Mr. Chaudhry said while the great diversity of culture within the Indian community…

Chaudhry meets Qarase on national issues

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry met with Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase today in the first of their one-to-one talks to break the ice between the country’s two leading political parties. The focus is on discussing ways of taking the nation forward…

Deteriorating relations between army and Qarase

A series of recent clashes point to deteriorating relations between the army commander and the Prime Minister. The most recent incident occurred on Friday evening when the army suddenly withdrew all soldiers posted as security at the prime minister’s residence….

Labour’s Position on the Talanoa Talks

There have been several media reports recently on the Fiji Labour Party refusing to resume Talanoa discussions with Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and his team. This paper provides a background to why the talks were called off and FLP’s current…

GCC head says chiefs are accountable to the law

Chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has made it clear that chiefs involved in the May 2000 coup cannot escape the arm of the law by hiding behind their chiefly status. In an interview with Fiji…

CERD wants racist policies removed

The United Nations Committee on Racial Discrimination (CERD) wants the Fiji Government to address areas of discrimination against Indians and other minority groups. The Commitee met in Geneva from March 11-12 to examine the Fiji case and issued its concluding…

Deputy Speaker charged with sedition

Deputy Speaker, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure has been charged with involvement in the 19 May 2000 coup and released on a $10,000 bail. Vakalalabure who was sworn in as attorney general in Speight’s unlawful government a day after the coup, faces…

FLP response to Millis Beddoes on Public Accounts Committee

Leader of opposition Millis Beddoes seems to have lost objectivity in his unrelenting but misguided quest to have Ms Ofa Swann installed as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, said FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry. “If he wants to take legal…

Kaitani should be charged for May 19 Coup: FLP

The Fiji Labour Party has rubbished information minister Saimoni Kaitani’s claim that FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry has agreed to accept a ‘matanigasau’ from those responsible for the terrorist takeover of parliament in May 2000. In a statement issued today, Mr…

Affirmative action divides Fiji people: CERD

Fiji government’s affirmative action policy was dividing the people of Fiji, CERD observed as it completed its examination of Fiji. The United Nations Committee’s concluding recommendations and observations on Fiji is expected to be issued late next week. The Fiji…

Government grilled by UNCERD on racial policies

The Fiji government was thoroughly grilled by members of the United Nations Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination when it met in Geneva Tuesday to examine Fiji’s report to the committee. Dr. Ganesh Chand who is representing the National…

Fiji-Indians suffer from racial discrimination: CERD

Certain members of CERD have observed that Fiji-Indians suffered from clear practices of racial discrimination and were given less attention politically. The United Nations Committee for elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (CERD) examined Fiji on the afternoon of…

Fiji’s racial policies under UN scrutiny

Fiji is to be examined on its record of racial discrimination for two days from Tuesday 11 March to 12th March by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD). The National Farmers Union…

Qarase’s attack un-prime minister-like: Chaudhry

Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has rubbished a bitter personal attack launched on him by Laisenia Qarase as “unbecoming of a prime minister’’. Qarase on Friday made an unscheduled speech in Parliament attacking Chaudhry for his submission to the United Nations…

Policeman eager to testify against Savua

A former policemen told a local newspaper he was eager to testify in a re-constituted inquiry into suspicions of former Police Commissioner Isikia Savua’s complicity in the May 2000 coup. The officer who was not named said he had evidence…

FLP responses to Qarase’s racism claim

The Prime Minister should get his facts straight before making unjustified allegations and trying to taint the Fiji Labour Party with the same racist brush as that of his government. Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the FLP had not been…