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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…

Army queries pension payment to convicted VP

The army has questioned the SDL government’s decision to pay a pension to the former Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli who was convicted and imprisoned for coup-related charges but later released by government. It also questioned government’s decision to grant…

New VP on mission to unite country

Fiji’s new Vice President, Bau high chief Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi said after his swearing in yesterday that he would work towards towards healing the nation’s ethnic divide. He told the media he considered it his duty to take up the…

FLP wants Suva’s squatter problem resolved

The FLP has called on government to take immediate steps to address the mounting squatter problem in Suva. In a statement issued today, Leader of the Opposition, Mahendra Chaudhry said that the steady mushrooming of squatter settlements was a damning…

Australian High Commissioner mugged

Australia’s High Commissioner Jennifer Rawson was mugged while out on a walking exercise early Saturday morning and received serious injuries to her face. She was evacuated to Australia for treatment later the same day. Rawson’s attack is the latest in…

Take death threats seriously: Labour

The Fiji Labour has criticized the police for not taking seriously reports of a plot to assassinate Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and three other Party executives. It follows comments on Fiji TV last night by Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes that…

Now a plot to assassinate the army chief!

The army is investigating reports of a plot to assassinate army commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. Bainimarama told The Fiji Times that the army was informed of a plot to assassinate him by a Member of Parliament who overheard the plot…

Chaudhry in Death threat

Mahendra Chaudhry and three other outspoken executive members of the Fiji Labour Party are targets in an alleged assassination plot. Police are treating the threat seriously and are holding a former soldier for questioning in connection with the plot. The…

Govt policies cause of poverty, says Labour Senator

Labour Senator Atu Emberson-Bain says government’s market driven policies have reduced close to 50% of Fiji’s population to living around or below the poverty line. And 47% of the nation’s workers were earning wages below the poverty line. “Even with…

National security top priority, says army chief

Army commander Frank Bainimarama says he would not allow anyone to tamper with national security. He warned: “If we don’t act, this country will go to the dogs and no investor will want to come here.” Speaking to The Fiji…

National security top priority, says army chief

Army commander Frank Bainimarama says he would not allow anyone to tamper with national security. He warned: “If we don’t act, this country will go to the dogs and no investor will want to come here.” Speaking to The Fiji…

FLP seeks Aussie help in ensuring good governance

The Fiji Labour Party has written to the Australian High Commissioner Jennifer Rawson regarding the special ministerial dispensation given to convicted VP Jope Seniloli which offends against the principle of good governance. The Party has called on the Australian Government…

Seniloli release an endorsement of Fiji coup: army

The early prison release of Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli represents an endorsement of the 2000 coup, the Fiji Military Forces said. Military spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni said what had happened made a mockery of the military, police and more…

Labour queries pension payment to convicted VP

The Labour Party has criticised government’s decision to pay a pension to Seniloli convicted of a serious criminal activity. Fiji’s convicted Vice President, Ratu Jope Seniloli, has resigned from office. “Non-contributory pensions are withheld from civil servants who are found…

Prime Minister visits Takiveikata in jail

The Fiji Labour Party is reliably informed that Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase on Sunday paid a visit in jail to see Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, on life imprisonment for inciting the army mutiny of 2000. Takiveikata, high chief of Naitasiri was…

Vice president out of jail on CSO order

Vice President Jope Seniloli’s release from prison on a compulsory supervision order has sparked off strong criticism from the army. Army commander Frank Bainimarama described the move as a threat to national security, and questioned government’s motive in releasing a…

PM’s Senate nominee gets life in army mutiny case

A Senate nominee of Prime Minister Qarase, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, has received a life sentence for inciting the army mutiny of November 2000. Ratu Inoke, the Qaranivalu and high chief of Naitasiri, also received an additional 18 month jail term…

Chaudhry opts for Opposition Leader’s job

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry announced Thursday he was ready to take on the post of Leader of the Opposition. It follows Labour’s decision reached at the Party’s National Council meeting on Saturday not to pursue its right under Section 99…

Overseas Experts to examine Coup evidence

Handwriting experts from New Zealand will be in the country to examine evidence related to the May 2000 Coup.   The examined evidence could lead to fresh charges against those individuals already on trial, as well as for those who have…

Doomsday Budget 2005, says Labour

The SDL Government’s Budget 2005 is a doomsday Budget which warns of severe economic problems and tough times ahead for the people of Fiji. The Budget is finally an admission by the Government of its own failure – a failure…

Doomsday Budget 2005, says Labour

The SDL Government’s Budget 2005 is a doomsday Budget which warns of severe economic problems and tough times ahead for the people of Fiji. The Budget is finally an admission by the Government of its own failure – a failure…

Multi-Ethnic Affairs Minister Resigns

Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs, George Shiu Raj, resigned from his position in the SDL Government today.  He has been under increasing pressure this week after the Auditor-General’s 2003 report revealed abuse of office and misuse of government funds pertaining to…

Naitasiri Chief faces drunken driving charges

The Naitasiri high chief, Turaga Na Qaranivalu Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, has been charged for driving his van into the Suva waterfront whilst allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Ratu Inoke was interviewed at the Central Police Station last night and…

PM knew about 2000 Coup

Fiji Labour Party has lodged an official complaint to police against Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase alleging he had prior knowledge of the May 2000 coup. The complaint comes two years after the Labour MP, Mr Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, made the…

Financial Anomalies at Nasinu Town Council queried by Bune

Revelations have surfaced that the Nasinu Town Council which is run by the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) had been engaging itself in unscrupulous and questionable deals. Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Poseci Bune has called on the Auditor General to…

Government Senator warns Police Chief

Government nominated Senator, Apisai Tora, who is facing coup related charges warned Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes in the Senate yesterday. Mr Hughes was the target of verbal attacks in the Senate. “Hughes has the nerve and gall to come to…

Hindu Temple Vandalized in Labasa

Police are investigating a link between an attack by vandals on a temple in Labasa and the judgment of the coup trial that was delivered on 6 August. Four Labasa-area businesses also received bomb threats just hours before the judgment…

Rumblings within the army continues

The Army Commander continues to face allegations that he had planned to overthrow the SDL government. The media claims to have access to confidential documents that implicate the army Commander Frank Bainimarama. It is alleged that the Commander was the…

Judgement against Vice-President and Others

IN THE HIGH COURT OF FIJI AT SUVA CRIMINAL JURISDICTION CRIMINAL CASE NO: HAC 028 OF 2003S STATE V. RATU JOPE SENILOLI RATU RAKUITA VAKALALABURE VILIAME VOLAVOLA ISIRELI LEWENIQILA PECELI RINAKAMA VILIAME SAVU Hearing: 19th July 2004 Ruling: 27th July…

Coup five get jail terms of up to 6 years

The Vice President and four others who took illegal oaths to serve under the Speight government in the 2000 coup, have been jailed for terms ranging from one year to six years. Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli, Deputy Speaker of…

Multi -party Cabinet

FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has written to Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase seeking information on the 33 ministerial portfolios he now proposes to establish. In a letter to Mr. Chaudhry on 21 July, Mr. Qarase said that he now proposed a…

FLP caucus meets on multi-party Cabinet

The Fiji Labour Party caucus met for several hours today, following the official opening of Parliament by His Excellency the President. Discussions focussed on a letter of invitation to FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry, from Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, to join…

Labour pays tribute to Ro Lady Lala Mara

The Fiji Labour Party mourns the passing away of a great lady who served as mother to the nation for many years. We are saddened by the death of Ro Lady Lala Mara, the Roko Tui Dreketi, Radini Nayau and…

Summary of the Court’s Opinion

1. Subsection 99(3) of the Constitution of Fiji requires that the Prime Minister to establish a multi-party Cabinet in the way set out in that section. The Prime Minister is required by subsection 99(5) to invite all political parties with…

Auditor General must investigate shipping irregularities

Fiji Labour Party today called on the Auditor general to urgently investigate the irregularities involving the shipping franchise scheme under which vessels are still being paid despite expiry of their contracts. How can the ministry unilaterally decide on a matter…

Government moves to oust Council of Chiefs’ chairman

A clash between the SDL government and Great Council of Chiefs chairman Ratu Epeli Ganilau is inevitable as government names another to replace him on the chiefs’ council. In a surprise move yesterday Government named northerner Ratu Ratavo Lalabalavu to…

Labour slams President’s decision to scrap army inquiry

The Labour Party has branded as hypocrisy a call by the President and the Prime Minister for respect for the rule of law regarding their decision to call off an inquiry into allegations against the army commander. President Josefa Iloilo…

SDL stance is in contempt of Supreme Court Ruling – Labour

The Fiji Labour Party today claimed that the stance and attitude of the SDL government were in breach of the Supreme Court Ruling. In statement today, FLP Parliamentary Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said statements in the media by the SDL that…

Multi-party cabinet decision is overdue – Labour

The Fiji Labour Party has expressed concern over the inordinate delay in the delivery of the Multi-Party cabinet case ruling on the issue of FLP’s cabinet entitlement that was jointly referred to the Supreme Court by the government and the…