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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…

Punjas Lautoka factory burnt down

A Punja and Sons factory was razed by fire on Wednesday night, a day after claims in the High Court in Suva that the company had financed the May 2000 coup. The Ocean Soaps Company building, which was 50-years old,…

Crime a major concern in Fiji: Australian High Commissioner

Australian High Commissioner Susan Boyd says crime in Fiji has deteriorated so much that it is the major topic of conversation around Fiji and dominates content of daily newspapers. Australia has agreed to a five-year programme to revamp Fiji’s law…

Police Commissioner Savua knew of coup plot

A rebel soldier who turned State witness told the High Court yesterday that Police Commissioner Isikia Savua had known beforehand of the 19 May 2000 coup plot to overthrow the Chaudhry government. CRW soldier Salesi Tuifagalele who had been closely…

Rebels planned to blow up Westpac/ANZ bldgs

A rebel soldier claims that part of the May 2000 coup plan was to blow up the headquaters of the Westpac and ANZ bank buildings in Suva. CRW soldier Salesi Tuifagalele who had been closely involved in the planning and…

Chaudhry’s tour of cyclone affected areas

The Fiji Labour Party has criticised government for neglecting the needs of hundreds of families badly affected by cyclone AMI. “It is three weeks since the cyclone struck and they have yet to receive any help from the government,” said…

12,000 desperate children need help

A preliminary survey by the Save the Children Fund shows 12,000 of the 39,000 students in the cyclone hit areas of the Northern Division (Labasa and Savusavu) are in desperate need of assistance to begin the new school year. (Fiji…

Labour slams Labasa businessmen

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed deep disgust at the 15 Labasa businessmen who wrote to the court martial asking for lenient sentencing for soldiers involved in the takeover of the Sukunaivalu Barracks at the time of the 2000 coup….

Thousands of cyclone victims without food, water

Three days after a cyclone hit the Labasa area in Vanua Levu, thousands of people without food, water and shelter have received no relief assistance. The Fiji Labour Party is urging government to immediately start distributing food rations and water…

Cyclone Ami leaves Vanua Levu devastated

Cyclone Ami had passed Fiji on South-southeast direction with maximum average winds of 150 kilometres per hour and gusts of 200 kilometres per hour close to its centre. The cyclone left a trail of devastation including communication blackout in Vanua…

FLP reports racial discrimination to the UN Committee

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) sits in Geneva from March 3-21. Fiji case will come up for consideration at this 62nd sitting of the Committee. The National Farmers Union has filed…

Vayeshnoi to boycott Parliament sittings

Fiji Labour Party parliamentarian Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi says he will boycott all sittings of the Lower House until Government intervenes to lift the roadblock at Nabitu, 30 km away from Sigatoka town. The Indian settlers at Nabitu, mostly poor farmers,…

Fiji emigration high since 2002 coup

More than 14,000 Fiji Indians have left the country since the coup of May 2000, mainly professionals and skilled people. Official statistics show that a total of 16,200 people have left the country between May 2000 and October 2002 of…

Budget 2003 deals a severe blow to the poor

The SDL government dealt a severe blow to the pockets of the poor by raising the goods and services tax (VAT) to 12.5% in its 2003 Budget tabled today. The 25% increase in VAT from a previous 10% will mean…

Indian men brutalised by Police

Three Indian men who reported a crime were brutally assaulted by the Police, hung upside down naked and forced to pay $1000 before they were freed. The men claim they were subjected to racial taunts and told that Indians were…

Government Finances in bad shape

Government’s 2003 Budget today will be delivered against a background of dismal budgetary performance and gross financial mismanagement during the year, the Fiji Labour Party said in a pre-Budget statement. As at September 30, the Budget deficit stood at $180…

Diwali is an integral part of Hindu culture

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called on Hindus as they celebrate Diwali to understand the deeper meaning behind Diwali and not just focus on the gaiety of the festival. Speaking at Diwali celebrations in Ba on Friday night organised by…

Labour Leader declines Opposition office

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has declined yet another attempt by the President to appoint him Leader of the Opposition. Mr Chaudhry says he is bound by the FLP decision to exercise its constitutional right to be represented in cabinet and…

Labour makes inroads in municipal elections

The Fiji Labour Party is happy with its results in last Saturday’s municipal elections having made good inroad in several key towns and having retained its dominance in Lautoka. The Party is particularly pleased with the results in Suva where…

Indian families are evicted illegally

Land problems for Indian tenant families have worsened in the past few months with several families being forcefully evicted from their homes by landowners acting illegally. In all cases, the evicted families have held valid and lawful leases to land…

FLP to contest all Municipal Elections

The Fiji Labour Party is standing on its own in contesting the municipal elections to be held next Saturday, 12 October 2002. FLP is contesting all seats (with the exception of one in Sigatoka) in all the municipalities. “We have…

Bail Bill interferes with judges’ discretion

Government sneaked in amendments to a Bill this week which makes it mandatory for the courts to allow bail after two years, thus taking the discretion away from the courts. The Fiji Labour Party claims the amendment was sneaked in…

EU delays signing Cotonou Agreement with Fiji

The European Commission will not be signing a trade and aid package with Fiji under the Cotonous Agreement this week-end when the EU’s Commission for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, visits Fiji. The EU has made it clear that the 9th…

Bail Bill interferes with judges’ discretion

Government sneaked in amendments to a Bill this week which makes it mandatory for the courts to allow bail after two years, thus taking the discretion away from the courts. The Fiji Labour Party claims the amendment was sneaked in…

Army fabricated documents to discredit Chaudhry Government

Shocking revelations were made at the proceedings of the court martial hearing in the army mutiny case of the active role senior officers of the Fiji Military Forces played in the overthrow of the People’s Coalition Government and in the…

Chandrika Prasad’s home destroyed in arson attack

The home of Chandrika Prasad, the farmer who won world wide acclaim by challenging the army’s abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, was razed in an arson attack early this morning. The house was vacant at the time because Chandrika Prasad…

Chandrika Prasad’s home destroyed in arson attack

The home of Chandrika Prasad, the farmer who won world wide acclaim by challenging the army’s abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, was razed in an arson attack early this morning. The house was vacant at the time because Chandrika Prasad…

NFU rejects quality cane payment

The National Farmers Union rejects government’s plan to introduce a quality cane payment system by next year. NFU National President Param Sivam said a quality cane payment system cannot be introduced unless milling efficiency is improved. “With the present state…

FLP questions move to stall multi-party cabinet case

Fiji Labour Party is shocked to hear that the multi-party cabinet case is being deferred to next year as reported in today’s Fiji Times. Fiji Labour Party believes that this is an issue of great concern to the nation and…

Labour calls for fresh general elections

The law as pronounced stands with the ruling given by Justice Gates in the matter of Prem Singh vs. Krishna Prasad. That pronouncement has to be upheld and acted upon. The Labour Party is glad that the matter has been…

Labour rejects criticism on Crown Lands

The People’s Coalition Government had renewed all Schedule A&B leases that had come up for renewal during its term in office. The Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive Jaganath Sami’s criticism blaming the People’s Coalition Government for the forced eviction…

UN Committee asks Fiji to explain racial policies

The United Nations Committee on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (CERD) has asked Fiji to explain its stand in regard to racially discriminatory policies and practices. he National Farmers Union had submitted a report to the August…

Labour slates CJ’s statement on the multi-party cabinet case

President of the Fiji Labour Party Mrs Jokapeci Koroi today slammed as “the height of absurdity” a statement by Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki that Labour’s multi party cabinet case in the Supreme Court could not be given priority over over…

Prem Singh a one-man band opposition leader

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has shrugged Opposition leader Prem Singh off as a one-man band who lacks credibility and legitimacy. In a letters to the Editor in response to a letter in today’s Fiji Times by Prem Singh, Mr. Chaudhry…

Qarase a lawbreaker, says Labour

The Fiji Labour Party has been allocated office space, staff and other parliamentary resources in accordance with its numbers in Parliament. The allocation was made by the Speaker and the House Committee based on the fact that as the second…

PM should stop distorting facts

The Fiji Labour Party has called on Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to stop distorting facts to impress leaders of the neighbouring countries who are here to attend the Pacific Forum meeting. Mr. Qarase is well aware that Talanoa talks on…

FLP MPs stay out of Parliament

Fiji Labour Party MPs stayed away from deliberations on six Bills in the House of Representatives today. The government introduced these Bills without complying with the notice requirements under the House Standing Orders, said FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Standing orders…

Fiji Labour Party withdraws from Talanoa Talks

The Fiji Labour arty has decided not to participate in the Talanoa talks on land and constitutional matters scheduled for this weekend at the Outrigger Hotel, Sigatoka. FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has informed the convenor of the Talanoa talks Dr….