International news headlines..

New+Zealand+Prime+Minister+John+Key+Visits+EeHX3hhyG9hl

Stuff.co.nz

Anger over perceived delays in the processing of a medical visa for the sick child of a Fijian judge prompted the expulsion from Suva of acting New Zealand deputy High Commissioner Todd Cleaver.

“The New Zealand government will now consider the appropriate steps to take in response to today’s expulsion, and also assess the impact of this action on the already depleted resources in our Suva High Commission.”

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key said he was in a state dinner with Prince Edward this evening, and was not sure if he had been briefed on the expulsion.

Earthtimes.org

Wellington – Fiji’s military ruler, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, ordered senior diplomats from New Zealand and Australia out of the country Tuesday, accusing them of waging a negative campaign against his government, which seized power in a bloodless coup nearly three years ago. Bainimarama, who said his Pacific island neighbours were “engaged in a dishonest and untruthful strategy to undermine our judiciary, our independent institutions and our economy,” also ordered his country’s high commissioner in Canberra home.

In a televised address, Bainimarama said the senior diplomats of New Zealand and Australia were “refusing to engage with government and engaging only with those Fijians who have a political interest in holding Fiji back.”

Bainimarama said a judge on Fiji’s High Court, Anjala Wati, had been “harassed and humiliated by the New Zealand High Commission in Fiji when she applied for a visa on medical grounds to take her baby son to New Zealand.”

But the New Zealand High Commission in Suva issued its own statement, saying an application for a visa on medical grounds by Wati was not rejected.

theaustralian.com.au

FIJI’S strongman, Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama, has expelled Australian high commissioner James Batley and his New Zealand counterpart in the latest diplomatic standoff.

Commodore Bainimarama said Mr Batley and New Zealand’s envoy Todd Cleaver would be given 24 hours to leave the country and that he would recall Fiji’s top diplomats in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Batley is understood to be outside the country and is not expected to return to Suva, as planned, later this week.

Commodore Bainimarama said the expulsion order was the result of recent decisions taken by the Australian and New Zealand governments concerning Fiji, which he believed amounted to interference in the country’s internal affairs.

He said yesterday that Australia and New Zealand had engaged in dishonest and untruthful strategies to undermine Fiji’s judiciary and weaken the economy.

The expulsions come soon after Fiji Chief Justice Anthony Gates, who holds dual Australian and British citizenship, complained bitterly about separate incidents involving travel bans on Fiji’s judges.

When outlining the two incidents on Sunday, Justice Gates accused Australia of interfering in the judiciary of a Commonwealth country because Australian consular officials had counselled the Sri Lankans against working in Fiji.

Australian officials had earlier made a low-key approach to Sri Lanka’s judicial authorities informing them that the integrity and independence of the Fiji bench was in doubt.

Justice Gates accused New Zealand of “begrudgingly” granting a visa to the daughter of a Fiji judge who was suffering “full retinal detachment”.

 

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New Zealand 4th time lucky – Kicked out AGAIN!!!

It is the first time Australia’s top diplomat has been shown the door in Fiji, although it is the fourth time New Zealand’s top-ranking official has been expelled.

“We’re gravely concerned (about) Fiji’s continual withdrawal from the international community,” Mr Smith said.

“Cdre Bainimarama has chosen to go down this path – it’s most regrettable – and in a matter of minutes and hours, rather than hours and days, I will announce what Australia’s response to this action is.”

Check Mate but what’s next!

australian flag reduced
What the Aussies are saying…
THE Australian Government won’t rule out further sanctions against Fiji following the expulsion of the Australian High Commissioner from the country.

The move, which has given High Commissioner James Batley 24 hours to leave Fiji, was regrettable and unreasonable, a spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said. Self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama ordered the Australian and New Zealand envoys out of the country late today.

It was an apparent retaliation to incidents in which both countries had refused visas to Fijian judges.

“This regrettable step will further isolate the Fiji regime and will contribute nothing to a prompt return to democracy or the rule of law,” the DFAT spokesman said.

“This is a provocative and unreasonable reaction to questions relating to the application of travel sanctions to judicial appointees, particularly given that Australia had formally expressed its willingness … to discuss this matter.”

It was the people of Fiji who will continue to suffer as a result of Commodore Bainimarama’s “ill-considered and destructive decisions”.

“In response to these developments, Australia will give careful consideration to the question of possible further measures against the Fiji regime.”

AUS/NZ tampers with Fiji’s Judicial System

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Mr Bainimarama visited Vice President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday to discuss the impact of the Australian and New Zealand governments position in relation to members of the judiciary.

He said the decision to recall the heads of mission from the two countries was made in consultation with Ratu Epeli.

He said he met Chief Justice Anthony Gates earlier in the day, where the chief justice reiterated his position that the interference by the two governments in the judiciary undermines the judiciary.

“The Chief Justice told me that this policy of the Australian and New Zealand governments stops him from nominating credible, well qualified individuals to serve on the Bench.

Mr Bainimarama said the Sri Lankan lawyers who had agreed to come to Fiji were contributing to the enforcement of the rule of law and they had shown fortitude and a commitment to the law.

He said the travel sanctions against him and members of the Government was understandable but there was no need to punish those who had taken up judicial posts and those holding posts in statutory organisations.

“It is my Government’s duty to ensure that no foreign government should interfere with such judicial independence

Australia and New Zealand Kicked out of Fiji

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Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced last night that the Fiji government has notified the governments of Australia and New Zealand to recall their High Commissioners who are based in Suva, by later today.

The Fiji High Commissioner to Australia Kamlesh Arya has also been recalled to Fiji.

The Deputy High Commissioner for New Zealand to Fiji is Todd Cleaver while the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji is James Batley.

While delivering the national address, Bainimarama confirmed that he was briefed by Chief Justice Anthony Gates on the problems the Fiji judges are currently facing.

These issues included the problems faced by Justice Anjala Wati who faced a number of issues while trying to get a visa for urgent eye surgery for her 22 month old son in New Zealand.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the problems faced by the new Fiji judges who were trying to get a transit visa through Australia, to come to Fiji.

Bainimarama said he had to take the step to send the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners back to their countries due to the continued interference in Fiji’s judiciary, which he termed as a well planned out policy to sabotage the Fiji government’s efforts to build strong institutions in the country.

SDL Party seeking EU support

We just had to blog this story…. Can you imagine for just one moment the ‘factual and detailed view of the ground situation existing in Fiji as reported by Kinivuwai.. what a joke that would be!

Even though the SDL Party leader Laisenia Qarase was away on his island in Vanuabalavu, the party’s National Director Peceli Kinivuwai met with Mr Roger Moore, EU Director General for Development in Suva this week.

The EUROPEAN UNION representative wanted to get first hand information from major political parties and stakeholders on the way forward and how to assist Fiji’s precarious economic situation.

Mr Kinivuwai presented to the EU Team are very factual and detailed view of the ground situation existing in Fiji.

Real v Raw AND THE WINNER IS.. REAL!

FOUR GOOD  REASONS why we think RADIOLUCAS (Anti Gov supporter)  is  REALLY Ridiculous!  The reasons below have been posted by our regular bloggers in response to a blog by RADIOLUCAS .. Enjoy the banter we sure have..!!

FIRST REASON

@radiolucas

First Question.

Do you think the current Electrol concept of racial communal seats (Fijian/Indian/Rotuman/Others) is DEMOCRACY??????

Please just a yes or no. No explanation needed. Just yes or no?

2nd Question

Do you think tertiary institutions entrance requirements where certain races score less marks whilst other races are expected to attain higher marks to enrol in the same establishment DEMOCRACY?

Just a yes or no Radiolucas please.

3rd Question

Blueprint affirmative action – Do you think this policy in regards to the business domain was DEMOCRATIC?

Yes or no

SECOND REASON

@radiolucas

I doubt you are in Fiji at all. “Down the toilet rim”, “soldiers on the streets”, “army afraid of the people”, “government that does not know is arse from its elbow” …… On the back of a successful Mini Games, a 25% increase in exports, A great Vodafone Hibiscus festival and an improved building price index and record tourist arrivals for the first and second quarter of this year.

Where were the soldiers on the street? Far from Kabul or Kandahar…. Tadra Kahani kids expressing great optimism for a forward moving Fiji and improved remittances for the second quarter. The foreign reserves scare was touted 2-3 years ago and yet here we are still churning along wonderfully with the Australian Business Council optimistic and consolidating its business interest, inspite of the blacklist from the Forum Trade meeting….. In spite of all the negativity and the whingeing and the criticisms and the blacklisting we are doing well thank you as best we can and clearly no thanks to people like you..

THIRD REASON

@radiolucas

Enough crap. If you were not conscious of what was happening to Fiji in the last 22 years, you’ll go round and round trying to find something or someone to your questions.

I suppose you start afresh. Go back in time and start digging at all government policies of the last 22 years and maybe you’ll see where Fiji was really going.

The removal of Qarase had to be done. Period. No other questions.

Qarase’s politics is the worst extension of the elitism created by the 1987 coup. I don’t know how to explain this but look at it from every conceivable angle, the footprints are all there.

What the current military leadership did was what Rabuka should have done after he executed his coup if he was really thinking of uplifting indigenous Fijian livelihood. Instead, the result of his coup was totally against his own coup ideology. He knows it, everybody knows it.

Bainimarama’s coup will bring indigenous Fijians on level par with the mentally needed to survive in the 21st century. As I said, FB’s coup will save indigenous Fijians.

REASON FOUR

@ radiolucas

There will be election in 2014, mark my word, unless doomsday 20th Dec 2012 becomes a reality.

It’s time to think outside the box. What I mean here is really thinking outside the box.

I don’t know whether you lived in Fiji all your life or not but most of us who lived in Fiji all our life and went through all the turmoil of the last 22 years know damn well why this coup had to be done.

The removal of Qarase by Bainimarama was, in my opinion, more to save the indigenous Fijian race than any other race. As an indigenous Fijian, I am in total agreement with the reason why Qarase had to be removed and the vision the military had in doing so.

I’m not in the military but I’ve spent the last 22 years studying and analyzing everything that has happened in Fiji and this has led me to the conclusion that what the military is doing now is absolutely necessary for Fiji. We just need patience to see the new Fiji emerge.

People are still talking about legal/illegal, for goodness sake, get over this stupidity of arguing about this. Let’s just work towards 2014. The current leadership is not going to go or run away. These guys are determined to see their vision through. One year from now we will already see the fruits of the reforms bearing.

Just get on the boat before you miss it and become miserable afterwards.