BBC News - Patrick Mercer's parliamentary questions on Fiji

BBC News - Patrick Mercer's parliamentary questions on Fiji


We are not for Sale! said…
Mr Patrick Mercer should be roundly told: "We are not for sale"!
Fiji junta sleaze said…
The fool has been caught in a magnificent sting and has resigned in shame. Deserves all he gets like anyone foolish enough to try and support a human rights abusing dictatorship. Well done all those involved.
Mere indifference.... said…
'Panorama' seems to have lived up to more than its 55 year history of excellence. The late Richard Dimbleby would be proud of it. Why have our own media so evidently failed us in investigative reporting? Even when our own citizens were unsuspectingly duped and ferried into the Iraq War Zone in 2007 without so much as a 'By-Your-Leave'? No one may say they were ignorant of this imposed bondage through sheer greed and, worse, mere indifference. There was ample information abroad. Are Fijians to be shamelessly sold out? Flotsam and jetsam: an alleged meagre GBP 4,000 to compromise the liberty of 800,000 people? What crassness and amazing gall!
Defaming Fiji? said…
But why has a newspaper got away with using Fiji's name in a false corruption deal? Isn't there a danger that people will think that Fiji is really that desperate to get back in the Commonwealth and to bribe politicians to do it? 4.5 will certainly try to draw that conclusion.Actually do we need to get back in at all?
Paula said…
We are much better of with the Chinese as friends. They are very generous in providing much needed money for the projects they build in Fiji. The colonial era is over for Fiji we are now truly independent. I admire our PM for declining aid from sleazy donors such as the EU and the Commonwealth, I admire him fro removing the old fart form our money and I admire him for his open and democratic leadership style. We are now a country of proud citizens not to be bought by European or Australian money.
Sad day for comrades in arms? said…
Of course there is that danger! But the MP involved was failing to observe a Code of Conduct and also allegedly had failed to declare his pecuniary interest in this matter. Surely a 'Learning Curve' for many of us? So, it behoves us to see how easily people may become hoist-on-the- petard of 'Paid Advocacy'. The matter of how it was Fiji that was used will surface, we must assume, when 'Panorama' airs on Thursday 6 June. The military past of this MP is now unfortunately brought to prominence. Sad day for all his erstwhile comrades in arms? A sad day for professional ethics and he will not be the last to be "outed". Interesting to note that Phil Mercer is the BBC correspondent in Sydney for the past twelve years or more. Surely no connection?
Anonymous said…
Well said govind. Now stop begging.
Anonymous said…
are we so sovereign? we take $40 million from a country that still has stone age tribes walking about to pay us to elect our oh so sovereign leaders.

pathetic people we are, nothing more than dishonest money grubbing conmen.
Hope like Hell it does not happen again! said…
@ Paula

Your demonstrated naivety does you no justice. Be quite sure that China does not suffer fools and with five thousand years of civilisation behind her, we shall be taken to the cleaners if we do not have our wits about us. There is no money-on-a-plate, no 'soli' coming to Fiji from China. We shall be obliged to repay every dollar with interest. As inflation rises apace, the cost of so many loans will be burdensome for everyone. No free meals! Nothing comes for nothing! By the way, if we wish to know what is thought of us, why not try Guido Fawkes' website and the 59 comments post-Mercer debacle. There is even a comment about Hereford. Today, June 2nd sixty years ago, Her Majesty The Queen was crowned in Westminster Abbey: as William The Conqueror was in 1066 in a Church by the River Thames. Always give history a nod and ensure that you acknowledge that your freedom to be insulting was paid for by the blood of many courageous men and women: 70 years ago here in the Pacific. Hope like Hell it does not happen again!
Jaati Bhai said…
and this from a master beggar ulukau ??
Drone all dictatorships said…
If the fool wants to support the Fiji human rights abusing junta he deserves gaol time. Was he looking for a free trip to Fiji as well?
Fiji Snooper said…
The matter of how it was Fiji that was used will surface, we must assume, when 'Panorama' airs on Thursday 6 June, says Sad day for comrades in arms?

I am reliably informed that the investigative sleuth Victor Lal was the key link between BBC Panorama and Daily Telegraph sting operation. The anti-regime critic and human rights activist has been a long-time commentator on BBC TV, BBC World Service & Radio etc since the 1987 coups. Yes, let us wait for the Panorama program to see what it contains - I wonder if Fiji is mentioned in passing only! Or does it contain more than has been revealed so far! Was the program filmed in Fiji? If so, how come the dictatorship's intelligence authorities were sleeping on the job? Ooooolala - can't wait for 6 June! Drone all dictatorship - you asked, was Mercer looking for a free trip to Fiji? Maybe, who knows - after all, Croz had got one for writing those pro-regime articles after Fiji's Ministry of Mis-Information had given him and his wife free junkets to Fiji!
Paula said…
@ Fiji Snooper
This entire story has already done serious damage to Fiji as it has been reported in the media all over the world. Are you celebrating this? We will all suffer as a consequence.
Exterminate dictatorships said…
No. Wrong. The publicity has done serious damage to khaiyum and his pathetic military junta. It has done no damage to Fiji and its people as they strive (with international support) to return to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Fijians are wonderful people and will always be supported. It is sad that their poorly led and gullible military has let them down so badly.
Jungle Justice said…
If Victor Lal was involved in the sting operatio, bravo, to him. Look at this liar below - another story by Victor Lal on I wonder if Aiyaz Khaiyum committed a criminal offence. How can this man be making laws and forcing political leaders to disclose their earnings etc

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Fiji's Lying Attorney General & Minister of Justice

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum lied to United States Immigration. What other Government has he lied to since becoming the illegal A-G and Minister for Justice?
"The USG revoked Sayed-Khaiyum's 10-year visa in early 2007, notifying him by phone and letter. Interestingly, on the transit-visa application, Sayed-Khaiyum checked the box indicating he had never had a U.S. visa revoked." Ambassador Dinger to Washington


Wikileaks has released new batch of cables including those sent from the US Embassy in Fiji to Washington. One of the cables dated 11 May 2008 from US ambassador Larry Dinger to Washington reveal that Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum had lied on his US visa immigration form. We will let the cable speak to us:

"Fiji's interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum phoned Suva media from Vienna on Friday, May 9, to make public his unhappiness at Embassy Suva having denied him a visa to transit Los Angeles to and from a U.N conference in Vienna. He also complained that the U.S. denial came at "the eleventh hour." Sayed-Khaiyum said the interim government (IG) is filing a complaint with the UN in New York. We provide background.

For full story see

mahen 'philanthropist' chaudhry said…

Indian Govt Sydney Consulate channel $1.5m into mahen's Australia bank account between 2000-2002 (shame on India).

Funds, according to Indian MP, collected for mahen's settlement in Australia (what is he still doing in Fiji years later?).

When exposed, mahen claimed he was keeping money for his community (haha, good joke; dracula guarding blood bank).

But mahen could not furnish evidence to back his claim (no surprise here).

And bank account was solely in his own name (transparency and accountability, mahen style).

In 2004, FIRCA found mahen had not submitted tax returns (to think finance minister mahen had tough policy on tax evaders).

He did not disclose $A25,233 interest on Aust account (same mahen who as minister struck fear in tax dodgers' hearts).

Following pressure from FIRCA, Mahen hires an accountancy firm (he was probably shitting bricks by now).

On Oct 2004 accountancy firm wrote to FIRCA with details about mahen's stash (this guy is more like Ali Baba than robin hood).

On Nov 2004, mahen coughs up $86,069.02 income tax (proof he is a rich, tax dodging weasel).

Between Oct 2000-March 2003, mahen splurges on property, goods, airline tickets, duty free ('champion of the poor', getting rich in the name of the poor, and living it up).

mahen gave daughter $50k, and bought house for $300k (how much did Fiji's robin hood donate to the poor?).

2006 'anti-corruption' coup cut short FIRCA’s investigation into mahen's real financial worth.

In June 2007, mahen still owed $57,672.09 in taxes to FIRCA

Matilda's Aunt said…
"Matilda told such dreadful lies,
It made one gasp and stretch one's eyes;
Her aunt, who from her earliest youth,
Had kept a strict regard for truth,
Attempted to believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her."

(Hilaire Belloc - 1870 - 1953)
Anonymous said…
"Lyers had nede to have good memories"

Dan The Mann said…
Good to know that "cat got your tongue"? is not permanent. Since viewing the Panorama programme now on iTube and the estimable Daniel Foggo aka Daniel Mann (two 'n's? we think so after hearing Patrick Mercer speak of a female Israeli soldier who shoved a gun in his direction as 'You look like a bloody Jew'). So this is the calibre of UK parliamentarians these days? Time for a good "come uppance".

The programme is a huge lesson for many of us: journalists, ethicists, aspiring politicians, civics educationists and on and on. It is especially a portrait of how determined, intelligent, creative and dogged an investigative journalist must be to achieve desired results. Had we had even a modicum of Dan The Mann's professionalism on show here in Fiji in the past twelve years, we should not have succumbed to the loss of reputation and global standing that is now our sorry lot. Stand up for what is right! Stand up for what must happen next! Stand up for the Duty to Protect! Stand up for principles and values which last and which defy lies, lying and liars! Above all, recall: We are not for sale!
Anonymous said…
Yes, good program. It has emerged from my reliable sources that Victor Lal was key figure in facilitating all the contacts in Fiji for BBC Panorama program! Amazingly, Dan and the producer even sneaked into Fiji and had a beach to himself. The illegal regime's overpaid intelligence officers must have been sleeping on the job - it just reveals that an invasion force could easily move in and oust the dictator!
Fiji Sun copy typist said…
Dan the Mann - You know what happened to Victor Lal and especially Russell Hunter after they exposed Mahend's millions - today Peter Lomas and the lot are helping regime destroy journalism in Fiji
Fiji Sun copy typist said…

We are the best: Fiji Sun

The Fiji Sun was the receiver of the Robert Keith-Reid Award for outstanding journalism

Below is the citation.

“This year’s Robert Keith-Reid Award for Outstanding Journalism is multi-faceted. It goes to two people who are not present tonight, and involves more than one publication.

The main recipients are Russell Hunter, former editor-in-chief and publisher of the Fiji Sun, and Victor Lal, the newspaper’s UK-based investigative reporter.

“To them and the Fiji Sun goes a joint and well-earned accolade. They receive this for reportage on highly controversial taxation, and other matters associated with overseas bank accounts of the former interim finance minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

Mr Hunter’s leadership and support for Mr Lal and the Sun’s editorial team provided the professional context for what is arguably the best example of investigative journalism in the history of the Fiji media.

“Mr Hunter knew that in the current climate he was putting himself at risk. But this did not deter him from pursuing the great cause of the public’s right to know,

“Along with Mr Lal, he acted in the best traditions of crusading journalism. Mr Hunter and his newspaper paid a heavy price when he was virtually abducted from his home at night and summarily deported.

“Victor Lal displayed extraordinary persistence and skill in developing and uncovering the story in a series of articles over several months. His was a fine example of research and analysis based on documentation made available to him by sources who were also prepared to take a risk. The topic was complex requiring meticulous attention to detail in accomplishing and presenting the facts.

“To the Fiji Times and its editor Netani Rika, the judges give a special commendation for first publication of the name of the person at the centre of the controversy. It was not long after that the Fiji Times’ publisher Evan Hannah was also deported.

“The judges wish to acknowledge the work of all journalists who have been threatened or intimidated during a perilous time for the media and yet have continued to stand by the principles of their craft in defending media freedom and the people’s right to be informed.”

The two co-winners could not collect the award in person because both of them are on the Fiji military government's blacklist of banned persons from entering the country.
Russell Hunter, Fiji Times and skirt journalism said…
Russell Hunter and Fiji Times pulled no punches against Chaudhry Labour government but treated Fijian governments with less hostility.They would criticise Fijian government, but knew when and where to draw the line, but with Chaudhry government it was no holds barred. Typically racist Fiji Times with same old anti-Indian colonial attitude, overseen by modern day colonialists like Russell Hunter.

Fiji Times cosied up to SDL and quietly contributed to its Duavata Funds. Russell knows, he was part of the deal. Fiji Times is also well-known for skirt journalism, not one, but two, yes two of its female reporters slept with a former prime minister. One had a child with him. The former PM was none other than Rabuka, ousted by Chaudhry's FLP in the election.

Fiji Times in its wisdom, and in a display of journalistic ethics, assigned Rabuka's lover to cover about FLP. What transpired was hardly surprising. Anti chaudhry and FLP stories day in, day out, culminating with the Speight 200 coup.

Journalism in Fiji was in the gutter well before the 2006 coup, thanks in part to one Russell Hunter. Other Times journalists who are strutting around as paragons of pres freedom were grossly incompetent and abused their postions and ethics, like Russell Hunter, they did nothing about skirt journalism. Sorry they did do somehting - they encouraged it due to personal vendetta against chaudhry also Fiji Times could out-scoop its rivals with rabuka's girls getting inside info from their lover- shameful, utterly disgusting, worst episode in Fiji journalism history. Thank you Mr Russell Hunter, you will be remembered for it.

Russell Hunter was also sacked from the Samoan Observer for non-performance. Lets have some perspective and not put people on pedestals they do not deserve and let's remember Fiji Times had s tarnished and shoddy history in Fiji under Mr Hunter.
Anonymous said…
Oh, the sucker Ranjit Singh is back with his vile against Russell Hunter writing under
the name of Russell Hunter, Fiji Times and skirt journalism - the scum of a man Ranjit singh is - go drink home brew with Bainimarama to celebrate Qarase's imprisonment etc - we are waiting for you ranjit to come to Fiji when Bainimarama regime falls
Fiji Tiems Insider said…
Ranjit Singh - let me put the record straight - your thesis is highly questionable mate - Russell Hunter had sacked Margaret Wise and to this day she is not on talking terms with him. I know for I was with Fiji Times in those days!
Anonymous said…
This is not Ranjit Singh, also if Margaret wise was sacked it was after the damage was done, too damn bad if you can't handle the truth you sucker. I have no respect for anyone who was with the Fiji Times in those shameful days, for good reason, scum newspaper run by scums pretending to be journalists.
Leadership the Confucian Way said…
Let us look into the Analects of Confucius for a moment. They appear relevant: a Summit Meeting in California and Fiji now well within the sphere of China's influence.

D.C. Lau in an introduction refers to Confucius'ideas on government. "Government is the welfare of the common people (min).

"After a good man has trained the common people for seven years, they should be ready to take up arms".

This is the most basic principle in Confucianism and has remained unchanged throughout the ages.

"However, food and arms are not the most important things the people should have. Above all, they must have trust in the ruler and must look up to him. To Tzu-kung's question about government, Confucius said:
"Give them enough food, give them enough arms and the common people will have trust in you". When he was asked which of the three should be given up first, his answer was, 'Give up arms'.

This is no surprise given Confucius' attitude towards the use of force in war, but his next answer is surprising. When pressed to say which of the remaining two should be given up first, his answer was, 'Give up food'. He then went on to explain, 'Death has always been with us since the beginning of time, but when there is no trust, the common people will have nothing to stand on'. (xii.7)

This emphasis on the moral basis of government is fundamental to Confucius' teaching. He said:

"Guide them by edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame.

"Compulsion and punishment can, at best, ensure outward conformity. The common people will stay clear of trouble not because they are ashamed of doing wrong, but because they fear punishment.

"In contrast to this: Guide them by virtue, keep them in line with the rites, and they will, besides having a sense of shame, reform themselves". (ii.3)

"Guidance by virtue, however, cannot be effective unless the ruler sets a moral example for his people."

"The Master said, 'If a man is correct in his own person, then there will be obedience without orders being given; but if he is not correct in his own person, there will not be obedience even though orders are given". (xiii.6)

Lau remarks: Moral example is far more effective than edicts, and where edicts contradict the example, it is the example that the common people will heed rather than the edicts.

"The virtue of the gentleman is like wind; the virtue of the small man is like grass. Let the wind blow over the grass and it is sure to bend". (xii.19)

The sole test of a good ruler is whether he succeeds in promoting the welfare of the common people. .....Perhaps it is precisely because the people are incapable of securing their own welfare unaided that the ruler's supreme duty is to work on their behalf in bringing about what is good for them'. (The Analects of Confucius : Lun Yu Preface by A.C. Grayling Folio edition 2008)
Trafficking Without Borders said…
@ Fiji Times Insider

The more relevant observation is whether Margaret Wise is on talking terms with us - the Fijian people? How unsmart may we be? What did Ms Wise achieve in the prevention of yet more unsuspecting women being duped into the Baghdad Green Zone - a Combat Zone in 2007? Trafficking of the most blatant variety. What demonstrated interest and investigative skills were displayed? This failure to assist in the Duty to Protect will have far-reaching consequences.
Rakiraki Investigation Re-opened said…
Now that it is official that the Raki Raki 2005 case of suspected trafficking is to be re-opened, there are a number of journalist in Fiji in both print and other media who need to consider their options carefully. They were informed, indeed specifically asked for assistance in this case of the three sisters. One, who was Editor of the then Sunday Post in Lautoka at the time (on two consecutive Sundays as the site was being searched)appeared to have more knowledge of the situation than might appear usual. This investigation is again 'live'. Your duty to assist in the investigation of such a serious matter, multi-jurisdictional and with higher penalties than for murder (30yrs USA and 25yrs Fiji/Aus) is paramount. Ethically, it is as high as it may be. Silence is not an option. Prevarication, obfuscation and dissimulation are beyond the pale. Time to come clean and to assist in this enquiry. We believe there are many who know about what went on prior to the 'disappearances'.
Anonymous said…
Looking back, the journalists did not do even to prevent Mahendra Chaudhry from remaining in politics - lets not forget - Mahend became a multi-millionaire, literally overnight - after the 2000 fiasco. Ranjit Singh, you scum of a man - go get a life, you loser!
Anonymous said…
@ Trafficking Without BordersSunday.

Very good point by Trafficking, problem is a highly politicised Fiji Times and Margaret Wise were too busy settling scores with Mahen Chaudhry and pushing their own racist, anti-Indian political agenda under the direction of Russell Hunter. These so-called journalists are incapable to looking at the bigger picture and reporting real stories.

As for you anonymous 11.35, you sound like scum working for a scum newspaper. Do you realise how dumb your previous statement sounds? Go, chew over it you imbecile. With people like you, no wonder Fiji Times has been such a low grade paper.
Get your professional skates ON! said…
@ Anonymous x 2

These explanations are of minimal interest. To ignore a possible trafficking in persons offence (TIPs) is a most serious matter and it is not time-bound when it comes to laying charges. Anyone, any person acting in a professional position who may have had relevant information was obliged to impart it to the authorities concerned. At that time, Commissioner of Police was Andrew Hughes. He himself took charge of the investigations at Rakiraki you may recall. Fiji and all island countries of the South Pacific Region are obliged to investigate cases of Trafficking in Persons. The consequences for a failure to share relevant information which might have led to the recovery of these missing sisters are now coming back to "bite you". We shall continue to pursue this matter. Just as the parents of missing English-born Madeleine McCann are doing - STILL. It now appears that they may have a lead in their case. Are the two cases connected? We should get our skates on, one would venture to suggest.
Anonymous said…
Panorama airs 10.10am 16 June Suva Sunday BBC World Service
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