Election in Fiji on September 17th is a milestone. Since 2006 the country has been led by an undemocratic, unelected regime that calls itself the government of Fiji. In reality, it is a 2-member government. These people have not been selected by the people of this country. They have enforced themselves as the leaders of this country. It is time to move the country forward. It is time to select a democratically elected parliament with people of sound minds who have the potential to serve this country-not a continuation of the dictatorship we have endured for the last 7 years. The deeds of these 2 dictators are many. In case you have forgotten, the following is to remind you of the tortures the country has endured so far:
2006 Nov 1, Fiji’s prime minister (Laisenia Qarase) insisted that his government would not step down despite pressure from the country’s military commander, whose relentless criticism of the administration has raised fears of a possible coup.
2006 Nov 2, Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon warned Fiji’s military commander (Bainimara) against a coup after the commander said that the Pacific island nation could be sliding towards “bloodshed.”
2006 Nov 5, Fiji’s military, locked in a standoff with the government, accused Australia on of breaching its sovereignty by sending an unspecified number of police it described as mercenaries into the country.
2006 Nov 30, Talks to avert a coup in Fiji were deemed “a failure” by the country’s military commander, who issued a fresh threat that he will quickly move to replace the government if it doesn’t meet his demands. Commodore Frank Bainimarama said that the government had not gone far enough and he set a next day deadline for its capitulation. Bainimarama wants the government to kill legislation that would grant pardons to conspirators in a 2000 coup, and quash two other bills that he says unfairly favor majority indigenous Fijians over the ethnic Indian minority.
2006 Dec 3, Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Fiji One television that he wants PM Laisenia Qarase to resign so the military can name a new government for the South Pacific island nation.
2006 Dec 4, In Fiji soldiers moved against at least two police compounds, seizing weapons in the apparent first step toward taking over the South Pacific island nation.
2006 Dec 5, The military seized control of Fiji after weeks of threats, locking down the capital with armed troops and isolating at home the elected leader whose last-minute pleas for help from foreign forces were rejected. Commodore Frank Bainimarama named Dr. Jona Senilagakali, a military medic with no political experience, as caretaker prime minister and said a full interim government would be appointed next week to see the country through to elections that would restore democracy sometime in the future. PM Laisenia Qarase, who had caved in to all demands, was deposed anyway. Pres. Ratu Josefa Iloilo, refused to rubber-stamp Bainimarama’s “doctrine of necessity.”
(AP, 12/5/06)(Econ, 12/9/06, p.49)
2006 Dec 6, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the ruler who led a coup against Fiji’s elected government, forcibly dissolved the South Pacific island’s parliament, installed a new prime minister and warned that he could use force against dissenters.
2006 Dec 7, Fiji’s newly-imposed premier, Jona Senilagakali (77), admitted the army ouster of the elected government was illegal and that elections could be two years away, but said the nation did not need Western-style democracy.
2006 Dec 8, The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group announced Fiji is to be immediately suspended from the Commonwealth following a military coup there earlier this week. The Commonwealth of Nations is a successor to the British Empire and brings together some 53 nations, around a third of the world’s countries and a quarter of the world’s population.
2006 Dec 10, The military regime announced a crackdown on critics of Fiji’s coup, just hours after a house that had become a rallying point for those wanting a return to democracy was ransacked by unknown assailants.
2006 Dec 11, Fiji’s military regime banished ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase from the capital and warned that open opposition to the takeover would be met with force.
2007 Jun 14, Fiji’s military ruler said he was expelling New Zealand’s top diplomat, sending already strained relations between the South Pacific nation and one of its biggest neighbors spiraling even lower. Commodore Bainimarama said he had told New Zealand High Commissioner Michael Green to leave because the diplomat would not “stop interfering in Fiji’s domestic affairs.”
2007 Sep 6, Fiji’s military-led government imposed a month long state of emergency, accusing the prime minister who was ousted in a coup last year of seeking to “destabilize” the South Pacific nation.
(AP, 9/7/07)(Econ, 9/29/07, p.46)
2007 Oct 17, Fiji’s coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama pledged to hold elections in early 2009 as Pacific countries welcomed the move and vowed to continue pressing for progress at a regional summit.
2008 Jun 18, A European Union delegation met Fiji’s coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama, seeking assurances that he will stick to a pledge to hold elections to restore democracy by March 2009.
2008 Aug 19, The 39th annual Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) opened in Niue. Members at the 2-day forum agreed to threaten Fiji with suspension unless elections are held as scheduled by March 2009.
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.34)(www.forumsec.org/event.cfm?cmd=list&sd=200808)
2009 Jan 27, Pacific Island leaders gathered in Port Moresby and threatened to expel Fiji from their forum if coup leader Frank Bainimarama fails to announce credible plans for elections.
(Econ, 1/31/09, p.48)(www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2475598.htm)
2009 Apr 9, A court in coup-plagued Fiji declared the military government illegal and said the president should immediately appoint an interim leader to oversee a return to democracy.
2009 Apr 10, Fiji’s Pres. Ratu Josefa Iloilo (88) suspended the constitution of his troubled South Pacific country and fired the judges who had declared its military government illegal.
(AP, 4/10/09)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.44)
2009 Apr 15, Fiji’s military government tightened controls on the media, devalued the currency by 20% and said it would not tolerate opposition to plans for a sweeping overhaul of the country’s politics.
(AP, 4/15/09)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.44)
2009 May 2, South Pacific nations announced that military-ruled Fiji has been suspended from the 16-nation bloc for its rejection of democracy, freedom and human rights.
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 28, Fiji’s self-appointed PM Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who took power in a bloodless 2006 coup, said aged and ailing President Ratu Josefa Iloilo will retire on July 30.
2009 Aug, In Fiji Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry, rivals to military leader Commodore Bainimarama, joined forces against him.
(Econ, 11/14/09, p.53)
2009 Sep 1, The 53-nation Commonwealth says it has suspended Fiji automatically after it failed to respond to a demand to begin restoring democracy to the island nation.
2009 Nov 4, Fiji’s military leader Commodore Bainimarama booted out the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand. He said they were interfering with his efforts to replaced judges he sacked in April. He said relations would be restored only in 2014.
(Econ, 11/14/09, p.53)
2010 Mar 5, Eight Fijian men were sentenced to jail terms of three to seven years for their roles in a 2007 plot to assassinate the armed forces chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the island nation’s prime minister, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2006.
2010 Oct, Roko Tevita Uluilakeb Mara, the commander of Fiji’s biggest regiment, was suspended and soon fled to Tonga. Mara was the youngest son of founding father Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. From Tonga he denounced the Fiji government and called for regime change.
(Econ, 5/21/11, p.43)
2011 Feb 7, Fiji’s former President Ratu Josefa Iloilo (91) died. The tribal chief served as president from 2000 to 2009 and backed the 2006 military takeover of the country.
2012 Jan 6, Fiji’s government stepped back from a promise of a more open society, imposing new controls on public order just a day before it was supposed to lift more than two years of emergency rule.
2012 Jan 7, Fiji’s military rulers officially lifted a state of martial law in place since 2009.
(SSFC, 1/8/12, p.A6)
2012 Mar 9, Kiribati President Anote Tong said that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave.
2012 Mar 14, Fiji’s military commander Frank Bainimarama disbanded the Great Council of Chiefs, a leadership tradition on the Pacific island nation since 1875.
2012 Mar 28, Fiji’s military regime said it had seized control of national carrier Air Pacific from Australia’s Qantas because it did not want foreigners to own or control Fijian airlines.
2012 Aug 3, Fiji’s former PM Laisenia Qarase (71) was sentenced to one year in prison on corruption charges. Qarase was ousted in a 2006 coup.
(SFC, 8/4/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec, A report by the Fiji Constitutional Committee (FCC), appointed last July, was completed but promptly suppressed by security forces.
(Econ, 3/30/13, p.41)
2013 Nov 7, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang said China will provide a concessionary loan of up to $1 billion to Pacific island nations to support construction projects in a part of the world where Beijing and Taiwan compete for influence. He made the announcement at a forum with Pacific island nations in Guangzhou at a meeting attended by representatives from Micronesia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue and Fiji.
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