News and Comments Thursday 16 February 2012

CHAUDHRY MAY CONTEST 2014 ELECTION. Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said he will contest the planned 2014 general elections if the party wants him to stand again. Chaudhry has retained his seat since the 1987 elections and led th16.2.1 FLP coalition to win the elections in 1999 when he was appointed Fiji’s Prime Minister. Chaudhry has told Pacific Beat that he may contest again but it all depends on the FLP.

[I'm not sure Fiji needs any of the old politicians or, indeed, the old parties, with their personal antagonisms, adversary tactics, and appeals to racial loyalties. One would think that new faces, fresh collaborative ideas, and genuinely multi-racial parties are what is needed.]

  The Fiji Trades Union Congress has  raised concern on the State Proceedings Amendment Decree. National Secretary, Felix Anthony said the decree basically allows the media to print the criticism from the government and gives a wholesale license to make personal and defamatory remarks against their opponents in the lead up to the general elections in 2014. He said  the decree also raises questions on the intent of the government and he asks why it should only protect itself when they have no ulterior motives, adding that if the ministers speak the truth and have evidence, they do not need such a decree. The FTUC went on to ask why the general public is not given the same privileges so that open and frank discussion is held on the future of the country.


SUVA (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): The editor-in-chief of the Fiji Times, Fred Wesley, says self-censorship remains the biggest danger for Fiji’s media. He says his paper has remained vigilant about this before and after the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations which put official censors in Fiji newsrooms. Wesley says The Fiji Times is still testing the water since the rules were lifted in early January.

“This was sort of like an enemy for us, the self-censorship issue so journalists were always told when you get an assignment, do the assignment. There is no question about whether it is going to go in or not going to go in, whether the censors will pull it out or not. Your job is to go out, get the story, make sure it’s fair and balanced and put it into the system.”

Fred Wesley says there has been no interference from the interim government since the lifting of the PER and communication with the Ministry of Information has improved.

THE SICK SHEET SCAM INVESTIGATION is complete. Minister for Works and Transport Col. Timoci Lesi Natuva says the scam has seen 91 civil servant contracts terminated: 58 were terminated last year and 33 were removed last week. UPDATE. The doctor who wrote the certificates is to face a disciplinarey hearing.


Not again! said…
Ho hum, hardly a surprise that Mahen wants to pop up again. He's a bit like Kevin Rudd. He's got this weird notion that he was robbed and his destiny is yet to be fulfilled.

When is everyone going to wake up to the fact that Chaudhry was a disaster for Fiji? He had a chance, as the first Indo-Fijian PM, to show that Indo-Fijians were worthy of national leadership by being statesmanlike and making an effort to woo the vanua. But instead, he was arrogant, aloof and ran the place as a personal fiefdom with that dreadful son of his.

Chaudhry got what was coming to him in 2000 and will get what's coming to him in 2014. Of course, he should be able to stand. But he will lose. Even the most loyal of his supporters in 2000 now realise that Mahen was asking for it through his mismanagement of the relationship with the i'taukei.

Yes, he was a hero of the hour for acting with dignity throughout the 56 day ordeal in the parliament. But he could have done a lot more to placate his critics. When all is said and done, it's hard to escape the conclusion that he was as culpable as Speight in plunging the rest of the nation into the trauma of the 2000 coup.

We still haven't recovered and now Mahen wants to stage a comeback? Like Rudd, he thinks he's Napoleon. And like Napoleon, 2014 will be his Waterloo.
Bleating Times said…
Fred Wesley is a goose. There's nothing wrong with self censorship in the Fiji context. It's called restraint and it's a quality that was sorely lacking at the Fiji Times during the reign of his predecessor.

Anyone would think from the way Wesley talks that the FT is one of the world's great newspapers, champing at the bit to highlight issues of real concern to ordinary people. Hello? It's a two bit rag with virtually nothing in it worth reading

This guy sounds like the editor from central casting. Get it right and make it balanced and fair. Since when? This pretension is a hangover from the Murdoch era at the Fiji Times, when stupid publishers allowed their delinquent editors to do whatever they wanted.

Your average reader can get his revenge in the usual way by not buying the paper. But spare us the bleat about how hard it all is being editor. What, your reporters keep coming in with stories that aren't sensational enough, that don't meet your own idea of what should be reported?

Maybe they've got something you haven't, young Fred. Judgement.
Wiki-leaks said…
Tevita Ului Mara's name tops the list of RFMF soldiers who orchestrated and in some cases perpetrated human rights abuse.

The wiki-leaks list published by coup 4.5 warrants a special mention on you cover page, I reckon.

1) Tevita Ului Mara, Colonel, Chief of Staff, Land Force, and Commanding Officer of the RFMF Third Infantry Regiment, DOB: 25 May 1965

(2) Pita Driti, Colonel, Land Forces Commander, DOB: 29
October 1960

(3) Sitiveni Qiliho Tukaituraga, Colonel, DOB: 30 December,
1969 important to expose hypocrites.
sara'ssista said…
While having your personal prefernce of who should and should not be allowed to stand in any future election is fine. Having the regime arbitrarily decide, even if a person has not been convicted of any crime, is another matter entirely. I note when it comes to allies of the regime and other like Kean, the 'yellow ribbon' is used very selectively to rehabilitate some appalling characters when it suits.I am also interested to see what serving military personel are gearing up to take advtantage of their priveledged position that they have created for themselves while in power , whatever the previous commitments and comments by the regime that suggest this would not be allowed. Presumably the regime is keen for new fresh young faces that will be compliant and craven rather than critics who are at least prepared to hold the regime to some level of scrutiny and accountability.
Anonymous said…
Fiji times and its employees should read Thakur Ranjit Singh's masters thesis, half the problem in fiji was created by this so called balanced newspaper. self sensorship is abit of a joke now.
Anonymous said…
Firstly, Croz, what authority do you have to lecture on who should or shouldn’t contest the election? Secondly, I think the silent majority knows that he is arguably the only person who can take Fiji out of the doldrums. I’m not a FLP member or supporter and have never been one. But this time, I will seriously consider giving my vote to the FLP given it’s the only political party still active on the ground. I was taken by surprise at the visits Mahen made to the flood affected areas of Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki. More surprising was the volume of people, indo Fijians and Fijians alike who gathered around this former PM as he listened to their concerns at one of the villagers that he visited. Not a single person hurled any abuse but all greeted him with respect. So to say that this man has lost support, I’d think twice before making this assumption.
Johnny-Come-Lately said…
Anonymous 3:33 insults our intelligence. He is either a terminally blind Chaudhry supporter or a Labour Party minion.

Thank you, but we now know Chaudry's 'asli roop' (true colours). He is a cunning and calculating man. When he does something, he considers how it will benefit him.

So all this community activity that the devoted Chaudhry fan has highlighted is designed to attract political dividends later.

A very forward-thinking man, our Mahen Chaudhry.

Throughout his career, everything this man claims to have done for the people was done with an eye on how it would benefit him personally, such as further his political career or fill his pockets, like now infamous overseas fundraising.

His latest cunning move is to criticise government. By discrediting government, he can discredit the tax evasion charges laid against him.

Do not be fooled - he is calling for elections not on behalf of the people but because elections might save him from the criminal tax evasion charges.

While he was interim finance minister, he had very different views about elections, and as PM, he had a very different stance on media freedom.

The chameleon and opportunist that he is, he has changed his tune to appear like a human rights campaigner to the international community.

Everything he is doing now is a desperate attempt to save his ass.

Anonymous 3:33, if Chaudhry is such a man of the people,why doesn't return to the people the money he collected in their name but kept for himself? That will truly get him the support of the people, including mine.

But do not hold your breath. The people will not see one cent of their money.

This is a shameless, unprincipled, greedy man who built a career on anti-nepotism and anti-corruption but have his son a job and tried to give his daughter's father-in-law a senate position. As interim finance minister he cracked down on tax evaders while dodging taxes himself.

People of Fiji better wake up to the fact the Chaudhry is, and always has been, only for himself and his family.

Through his tax evasion and improper handling of donations, Chaudhry has tarnished the entire Indian community.

Because of him no Indian will ever be trusted with the prime ministership.

This man is a curse on not only Fiji Indians, but Fiji as a whole. He has achieved nothing for Fiji or Fiji Indians but quite a lot for himself and his family.

Not eligible said…
Dear Croz,

I agree Mahen is not what Fiji needs. It would be very easy and simple for the PM to exclude him. He made it very clear that no member of the interim government could stand in the next election. Mahen knew this when he took up the finance minister role. Of course informing this clear rule-criteria would also mean he excludes himself.....and I think that too would be good for Fiji.
Anonymous said…

Bro, gathering from the lopsided reasoning on why Mahen shouldn’t contest the next election, I have to say that I may have missed his tax matter trial! So when was the trial and when was he convicted?? Or is it a case of you being the judge and jury? As for the funds you are talking about, the indo-fijians are well versed with the whole matter – i.e the money collected for the people of Fiji was distributed to them. Read FLP’S Annual Report of 2000/01. The money that was given to Mahen was in form of a compensation from the Indian Govt. This was for him to use if he wanted to resettle abroad. That is his money rightfully. So your views are nothing less than a hog wash. I fail to understand why, indo-fijians and the kaivitis, if they have so much hate for this man, still follow him in droves.
Delusion of Grandeau said…
Bula Croz @ Jonny-cum-lately hear! hear! unfortunately people have short or selective memory about events of the past. Please don't forget Mahen used tax payers funds to improve his house at Suva point. Yes, he has always been selfish & directive in his style of leadership to ensure that he and his family would benefit - no one else and especially not the voters. Wake up people of Fiji! Mahen and Qarase and those of their ilk must not be allowed to lead, ever again. Their styles of leadership left alot to be desired.Vinaka
Anonymous said…
I hate Frank and Aiyaz but I hate Chaudhry, Qarase , Beddoes and that mob worse.

The wounds are still fresh from their contempt of the people of Fiji.
We the people are worthy of their contempt, so God has given us Frank and Aiyaz.

God's way is not our way. It will all be revealed in due course.

Mike has thrown his hat in the circle, Mahen has lobbed his in and next week Qarase will through his.

What is this the three stooges.

Act 1, Scene 1: Open curtain, 38 seats.....
Anonymous said…
Well if it was that clear that Chaudhary received the money for himself then why be discreet about it and why make wrong tax declarations, which is criminal. Chaudhary is a ruthless and shameless politician and his rightful place is Naboro with Speight. Lock them in one room and let them sought out their past grievances. Fiji will be a better place without Chaudhary. He goes to the villages and flood-stricken areas for his black label and jungli murga!
Not Disposable Income said…
@ Anonymous and the 38 seats.....

Quite agree. But most of Fiji's people DO deserve better and they should receive better. None of what went before will do. They were all corrupt in one way or another. Their Hangers On feathered their nests with public money and they thwarted development.

No one in the Set Up should be allowed again to profit from the use of public funds. They had given their bond that they would not. They will be kept to that bond. Public Money is a Public Trust. It is not for wanton disposal. It is not 'disposable income' for private use.

The ultimate test will be the use of taxpayers' money "Jointly and Severally".
Johnny-Come-Lately said…
To Anonymous 11.11, the story about money being for Chaudhry's settlement overseas was apparently concocted as an ass-saving, face-saving measure, after Victor Lal blew the lid on these grubby dealings.Go, read Victor Lal's articles, supported by solid documentary evidence. If that doesn't open your eyes, nothing will.

Anyway, what is Chaudhry doing in Fiji playing politics? Should he not be settled overseas? If not, why not return the money? No matter how you look at it, it is utterly dishonest, greedy and deceitful to accept the money and still live in Fiji.Just goes to prove that money was obtained under false, fraudulent pretences.

What was Chaudhry doing going around with a begging bowl in the first place? Is this why he was elected and put on a (to use his favourite word for others) "fat" parliamentary salary? Who is Chaudhry representing by collecting money for his personal kitty: Himself and his family, like always.

Why does a wealthy man like him, whose children were all educated overseas, need to go begging? It is demeaning behaviour but like I said this greedy man has no shame.
He will do anything for money. All the exposure and criticism is like water off a duck's back judging by the way he has been strutting and posturing in public lately.

A true 'besaram'(shameless man).

Many overseas donors to the Fiji Labour Party fundraising dinners have yet to see a proper audit. They have complained to me personally.

There is enough convincing documentary evidence in the media to show that is something is really rotten about Chaudhry and Labour Party financial dealings.They started to look like the same thing. That is why the late Rathod resigned from the party in utter disgust.

If some people find that too painful and want to turn a blind eye, they can live in fantasy land.

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