One Hundred Sands has defaulted on a $US1.5million ($F2.73m) note which was due to the tribe in February 2014.

Tribe quits casino deal

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, April 24, 2014

SNOQUALMIE Tribe, the American Indian tribe that had invested in a project to build Fiji’s first casino, says it pulled out of the deal because of issues with the developer, One Hundred Sands.

Jaime Martin, the communications and public relations officer for the Snoqualmie Tribe, said the developer was granted an exclusive licence to build and operate casinos in the country, had defaulted on payments due to the tribe, which resulted in their decision to end their involvement in the Fiji project.

“Since 2011, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe invested with One Hundred Sands to develop a casino experience that would provide first-class entertainment and provide a positive economic impact for the people of Fiji,” he said.

“Unfortunately, One Hundred Sands has defaulted on a $US1.5million ($F2.73m) note which was due to the tribe in February 2014.

“The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has been patient and co-operative throughout this project.

“We have reached out to One Hundred Sands seeking repayment of this loan but have yet to receive payment.

“We wish the people of Fiji and the project much success.”

One Hundred Sands chairman Larry Claunch said after the deal with the Snoqualmie Tribe fell through, he managed to secure funding through other means.

“We have secured other investors through Tim Manning from New Zealand,” he said.

“Tim Manning is One Hundred Sands investment partner, president and CEO.

“The project is moving forward quickly,” he said.

I’ve got a problem and if I don’t say anything about it

MIDA defends decision to censure Fiji TV for ‘hate speech’

Updated at 2:47 pm today

The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority in Fiji has defended his decision to censure Fiji TV for broadcasting so-called hate speech.

Earlier this month MIDA ruled Fiji TV had breached the constitution and Media Decree for airing certain comments by a provincial chief during a visit by the regime leader.

The chief, Ratu Timoci Vesikula, is reported to have made remarks around Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama’s stance on indigenous matters.

The Media Authority’s chairman, Ashwin Raj, says it’s in his remit to intervene.


“Because of the timeliness of it, and the seriousness of it, in the sense that we are approaching national elections and if that is going to be the tenor of public discourse then I’ve got a problem and if I don’t say anything about it, then I’m obviously sleeping on the job because these things have a tendency to do an irreparable amount of damage.”

Ashwin Raj says the media should be free to do its work but exercise reason and follow the media code of ethics

He will not confirm or deny the report that soldiers were present on his campus to force one of his staff from the campus.

Heavy hand of regime censorship confirmed

April 23, 2014

On 4 April Freedom Blogs revealed that on Monday the 31st of March FNU lecturer Pita Waqawai had been sacked for revealing the facts about the ethnic composition of scholarships at FNU.  It was reported that two soldiers had escorted Mr Waqawai out of the University compound where his termination letter was delivered to him by the Manager Human Resources of FNU, Poasa Koroitamana.  Now Fiji Village have confirmed that he has been sacked, but no-one can say anything more about the report.  FNU Vice Chancellor can say nothing.  He will not confirm or deny the report that soldiers were present on his campus to force one of his staff from the campus.  He knows this is a job for the police, so why can’t he deny this happened.  His silence is confirmation of the original report.

Fiji Village: 23/04/2014 FNU senior lecturer sacked for misusing facilities

SODELPA backlash; Rabuka quits

Former PM Sitiveni Rabuka

Taken from/By: FBC News 
Report by: Shanal Sivan

Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has quit from the Social Democratic Liberal Party.

The Fiji Sun reported Rabuka, will not be contesting the 2014 general elections as a SODELPA candidate.

Rabuka says the SODELPA Youth Council and Women’s wing objected to his membership with the Party.

He was being lined-up by supporters within the SODELPA to be the deputy leader, but there was a strong backlash by opponents within the party.

A statement from SODELPA issued yesterday says Rabuka will not participate in the party under any official capacity.

However, it said Rabuka remained a party member and staunch SODELPA supporter.

The party wished Rabuka every success in his future public and private endeavours.

Rabuka says he will wait for a while until; he makes a decision on his next political move.

- See more at:;-rabuka-quits#sthash.MR1XyzYT.dpuf

USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

NGO’s election debate to avoid Fiji decree breach

Updated at 3:55 pm today

The University of the South Pacific in Fiji has cancelled a non government organisation’s debate on issues relating to the election because it could be in breach of the Electoral Decree.

Section 115 restricts any group receiving foreign funding from campaigning on election issues, which includes organising debates, panel discussions or publishing information.

A journalism lecturer, Pat Craddock, says the USP will not host Media Watch’s panel discussion “Reporting On The Elections Now and After the Elections” as it is likely to be in breach.

He says Media Watch’s offer to pay for refreshments may also infringe the decree as it could be seen as a gift from an NGO.

Mr Craddock says the university will put on a replacement event to discuss press freedom.

“It excludes educational organisations such as the USP, so we’re going to do it ourselves, because there is no point in putting any NGO under pressure. They can be fined up to 50,000 bucks and they can get 10 years prison or both.”

Pat Craddock says Ashwin Raj from the Media Industry Development Authority is a confirmed panelist at USP’s event.

“Fiji can be so much better”


I was listening to a prospective politician last night and was blown away when he said “Fiji can be so much better”

This sums up our options at the poll.

Someone needs to step up and explain how they can correct the mess we are in  physically,morally and spiritually as a country.


Playing the devils advocate. We must change the decree to avoid “Poll Blocking”


Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said: “No time limit will be given to voters to cast their vote. We are not going to pressure anybody to quickly vote.”


The electoral decree needs to be modified to give the Supervisor of the polling booth the ability to put a sensible time limit on voting to avoid “Poll Blocking”.

Poll Blocking has been used as a weapon to negate  elections  in  South America. It is simply going into a booth to vote and staying there all day obstenstiouly trying to make up your mind. This would only require ten people, in a ten booth polling station, to stop the whole area voting.





Politicians to have only two weeks to promote their number before the election.

Take your time to vote: Saneem

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

National Candidate List by August 25
Voters will not be pressured to quickly cast their vote on voting day.
Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said: “No time limit will be given to voters to cast their vote. We are not going to pressure anybody to quickly vote.”
The same applies for voters who will vote in advance of the polling day – pre-polling and postal.
On September 17, as voters entered their assigned polling stations, they will be given a fresh booklet of the candidate list, Mr Saneem said.
The candidate list – where each candidate running for a seat in Parliament is assigned a number, would be made public at least two weeks before September 17.
Mr Saneem said the booklet will come in B5 size (half of A4).
The onus, Mr Saneem said, would be on the candidates to promote their assigned numbers to voters.
He said their priority was the distribution of the candidate list on polling day.
Meanwhile, the ballot boxes that will be used in the general election are of international standard.
“These are United Nations standard ballot boxes and they are transparent,” Mr Saneem said.
“In the 2006 general elections, the ballot boxes were sealed with tapes and the problem with tapes is that with Fiji’s high terrain, they can lose grip or tear off.
“But for the 2014 general elections, we’ll be using tags. These are uniquely numbered tags,” he said.
“Each ballot box has six tags that will be used – after the tags are placed, the additional security feature in the 2014 general election is that the polling station kit is going to contain seals.”
Mr Saneem said there would be no spare seals given to any polling station or presiding officer.
“They (presiding officers) have to account for all the seals. This avoids the opportunity for any person to open the ballot box and insert any paper in the ballot box and then replace the seal.”

Lack of GCC means Native Land disputes have nowhere to go.

NLC records can’t be changed

Maika bolatiki
Records in the Native Lands Commission (NLC) cannot be changed says the Deputy Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga.
Colonel Kurusiga was replying to queries by the Fiji Sun regarding claimants of chiefly titles who were disputing the NLC records.
“No one can dispute the records in the NLC,” he said.
He said all information in the NLC were sworn statements taken from elders around the country.
Colonel Kurusiga said in any traditional dispute the NLC had all the answers however they would only intervene when requested.

“The public debt becomes unsustainable,” Ms Deo said yesterday.

Public must query public debt, finance

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IT is important for Fijians to know what public debt is and what it means to the ordinary citizen, says independent candidate and ‘Be the Change Campaign’ leader Roshika Deo.

Ms Deo explained that public debt was the total amount of money that a government owed and usually an indication of how much money it’s borrowing to spend on public expenditure and finance.

“We should ensure that the amount of money and the rate of borrowing are sustainable and we are able to service the public debt.

“When we start incurring public debt to finance public consumption that only benefits the current generation, the public debt becomes unsustainable,” Ms Deo said yesterday.

She said members of the public should be aware of the national debt per capita because when this increased, the likelihood of the government defaulting on its debt meant service obligation increased as well.

“The amount of tax revenue available to spend on other governmental services is reduced because more tax revenue will be used to pay interest on the public debt.

“This will result in people having a lower standard of living.

“It can also force people to pay more for goods and services, resulting in inflation.

“When the risk increases of our country defaulting on its public debt service obligation, our country potentially risks our social, economic and political power,” she added.

Ms Deo said as taxpayers, people should be asking and receiving information on how much the public debt of the country actually was, what the borrowed money was being used for, the terms and conditions of this debt, and most importantly how it would be serviced.

Bainimarama scratching for 5000 registered voters?

Bainimarama defers registration

April 21, 2014 02:46:23 PM

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will not register his proposed FijiFirst party tomorrow as initially planned.

Confirming the news to FijiLive, he said he was still compiling his list of required signatures.

He needs 5000 signatures to register his proposed party – 2,000 from the central division, 1,750 from the western division, 1,000 from the northern division and a 250 from the eastern division.

Bainimarama stated he was “still consolidating list of registered names and awaiting for forms from the islands.”

“Locally more people want to sign up so we have allowed for more time,” he said.

Bainimarama had earlier revealed to the people of Vanuavatu in Lau during one of his visits that he would register his proposed party on May 22.

Fiji’s minister responsible for the elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is behind

Fiji election minister acquires Fiji First internet domain

Updated at 4:04 am today

Fiji’s minister responsible for the elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has acquired the internet domain name

Fiji First is also the name of the party which the prime minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimamara, has proposed to register this month.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum re-registered the internet domain name in January – just days after the regime leader announced that he would end his military career to contest the election promised for September.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, who is also the attorney general, is not expected to stand.

Last week, Rear Admiral Bainimarama said he was his party’s only confirmed candidate after last month naming the women’s affairs minister, Jiko Luveni, as his proposed party’s first candidate.

Rear Admiral Bainimarama is under police investigation for repeated breaches of regime decrees and a law in connection for his political campaign.

Should he be convicted, he could be disqualified from the poll and risk a jail sentence.

Electoral Decree grants blanket immunity to election officials even if they rig the election.

Fiji Labour Party says regime decree shields vote-riggers

Updated at 4:04 am today

Fiji’s Labour Party says there is no chance of free and fair elections under a decree that could protect vote riggers.

The party’s president, Lavinia Padarath, says that Section 3 (3) of the Electoral Decree grants blanket immunity to election officials for their work or omissions.

Ms Padarath says this signifies that if vote rigging were to take place, no one could be prosecuted.

“This has been the kind of constant practice throughout, what the government does. They usually run ahead, create a section of the decree and they will be the first ones to break them. Or, in this instance, it’s made to suit them.”

Lavinia Padarath says the Electoral Commission and the young and inexperienced supervisor, Mohammed Saneem, appear to be accepting such provisions.

The UFDF today challenged the AG to release details of the supposed recommendations he claimed was made by the election experts that his former Permanent Secretary for Justice Mohammed Saneem be appointed Supervisor of Elections


[No 24 /2014]

[April 20 2014]

The UFDF today challenged the AG to release details of the supposed recommendations he claimed was made by the election experts that his former Permanent Secretary for Justice Mohammed Saneem be appointed Supervisor of Elections.

 The UFDF said in a statement today that since the surprise announcement of Mohammed Saneem as Supervisor of Elections information has come to their notice that suggests neither Australia nor New Zealand or the private experts they fund ‘recommended’ Mohammed Saneem for the job as was claimed by the AG when he announced the appointment.

 The UFDF said that given these new developments, the AG should immediately release the details of the recommendations he claimed to have been made when he said quote ‘He [presumably Laurie McGrath] and the other consultants that carried out the assessment for us, in the event that Lurie was not able to take up the position, recommended that the permanent secretary responsible for elections Mr Mohammed Saneem take up the position of Supervisor of Elections’ unquote.

 The UFDF said it has been very reliably informed that none of the experts made any such recommendation. What they were asked to do was make ‘comment’ on Mr Saneem as an individual and naturally being the person they have all been engaged with for some time now as part of their role as consultants for the elections office, their comments on the individual would have been favorable. However there was no ‘recommendation’ made as the AG has claimed.

 The UFDF said if the AG insists it was a recommendation, then for such a critical appointment the experts would have no doubt put pen to paper to justify why they would pick the least qualified, with no previous experience as voter let alone Supervisor of elections. Especially when he like the others failed to meet the criteria set.

 After all, according to the AG himself of the 3 Fijians and 10 foreigner applicants, 1 withdrew and the rest failed to meet the criteria set? Question: Was Saneem one of the applicants? He obviously did not meet the criteria, so why would the technical experts recommend someone with ‘zero’ experience?

 In a Fiji Sun report of Sept 2013 titled AG – We’re looking for the best Supervisor of Elections’ the AG is reported as saying quote ‘ the Bainimarama government was particularly encouraging applications from elections experts overseas unquote

 The UFDF says although it is a rare thing, they actually agree with the sentiments expressed by the AG in that same Fiji Sun report when he said quote ‘it is very important that this position be filled by an individual with necessary skills and expertise, who can build capacity in the elections office and who can ensure that Fiji’s national elections are conducted in a fair, transparent and credible manner’ unquote.

 The UFDF said Mr Khaiyum went on to say quote ‘Preferably, applicants must have at least 15 years experience in conducting elections and must be able to demonstrate that they have the skills and capacity to conduct national elections in one day using best international practices’ the UFDF says it agrees with the points mentioned by the AG!

 But as always what the Bainimarama government says and what they actually do are two very different things as we demonstrate below:-

1: WHAT THEY SAID: We’re looking for the best Supervisor of Elections? AG Sept 2013

WHAT THEY DID: 3 Fijians and 10 foreigner applicants, 1 withdrew and the rest failed to meet the criteria set so they appointed the ‘least qualified’

2: WHAT THEY SAID: The Bainimarama government was particularly encouraging applications from

Elections experts overseas: AG Sept 2013

WHAT THEY DID: Appoint a local

3: WHAT THEY SAID: It is very important that this position be filled by an individual with necessary skills and expertise, who can build capacity in the elections office and who can ensure that Fiji’s national elections are conducted in a fair, transparent and credible manner’ AG Sept 2013.

WHAT THEY DID: Appoint the least qualified person, who was not only too young to vote in the 2006 elections so has never participated in an election, let alone manage one. This does not demonstrate at all the process for appointing the Supervisor as being fair, transparent or credible.

3: WHAT THEY SAID: Preferably, applicants must have at least 15 years experience in conducting elections

and must be able to demonstrate that they have the skills and capacity to conduct national elections in one day using best international practices’ AG Sept 2013

WHAT THEY DID: Appointing a supervisor who has ‘zero’ years experience in conducting elections

when the requirement is a minimum of 15 years is not ‘Best International Practice’

The UFDF said that given the emergence of this new information and given that not one of the stated selection processes outlined by the AG has been followed, the voters of Fiji have a right to know:-

  • Exactly what justification was made in the recommendations of the experts in support of Mr Saneems suitability and qualification for the job, when it is clear he is the most unqualified?
  • What justification or logic was used by the appointing authority or the experts for confirming the more qualified of the two as a Deputy and the least qualified of the 2 as Supervisor?
  • Given that the least qualified person was appointed, what were the qualifications of all those applicants who did not meet the criteria and therefore not considered?

Authorized By: UFDF

A Comment worth a post.

Friends and fellow citizens. Many of us are seriously concerned about our nation and the difficult situation faced by our families and communities across Fiji. Once upon a time, it was the Government we often look to for assistance, protection and support. That is no longer true today, since the current regime are no longer our representatives. They had taken the government by force, subject us to fierce cruelty and intimidation, murdered and tortured many of our citizens and engaged in many activities and actions that are dishonourable, shameful, unlawful and immoral. We are therefore worried not only about our present but also about our future.
As Mick Beddoes, Dr Narsey, Victor Lal and others have correctly said, there is something fundamentally wrong with our society today. After more than seven years under this dictatorship, we have not found enough moral courage and determination to remove them. This is understandable because of the very real fear and threat over our lives. Such is the fear generated by the actions of this regime that the press, the police, the universities, the trade unions, the churches, the NGOs, the GCC, and the provincial councils and all other bodies have been effectively silenced. One thing is certain. Voreqe is not the mastermind behind this. Only God knows who our enemies are, Sadly, many of them are our neighbours, relatives and fellow citizens.
It is in such a very difficult climate that we have been marched to a single day, single constituency, single vote election. A thorough analysis of all the decrees, structures, systems, strategies, and staffing on the proposed elections point to one damning conclusion. The election is a ruse. It is cunningly engineered to vote in Voreqe and his treasonous group into unfettered power and control over Fiji, its people, resources, institutions and wealth. Their illegal proposal for a constitution is supposed to give them this absolute authority and immunity.
My questions/observations for all parties and the general public are as follows:
1. Given the current political climate and the various aspects of the election known to us now, are we going to have a free and fair election?
2. If the above is not the case, then how can they guarantee that citizens will vote freely and that the votes will be accurately reflected by the results?
3. Why do we still think that the Police, Army and other institutions will attend to our complaints prior to the elections? If the police are paralysed and compromised today, imagine what it will be like after Voreqe has been declared the winner.
4. All the complaints being voiced against Voreqe, QORVIS, Fiji Sun, Police, Aiyaz, FBCTV, etc can be instantly nullified by a single action. Have an interim regime to manage the period of transition from now to election. There are several precedents for this and it is the best arrangement for Fiji.
5. If and only if the prevailing conditions are favourable and conducive to having a free and fair elections, then and only then can we expect a fair result.
6. I submit that this is impossible to have under Aiyaz and Voreqe’s watch. I ask you all to let us unite and seriously reflect on what is happening to our country. I believe we have enough love and respect for one another and our different ethnic communities. Our nation needs us now. Are we going to allow a few unscrupulous people to enslave our people and destroy our country?
7. The record of this regime is mainly characterised by force, selfishness, nepotism, murder and violence, corruption and a blatant disregard for the rights and welfare of others. Yet, are we going to trust them to conduct a free and fair election? I hope not.
8. It is time for us to stand up, speak or shut up and see our country suffer even more.
It’s a sad period for Fiji, but it is time such as this that leaders are born and when history can be rewritten. Prayers are good, but they are not good enough. We must decide and act now. After the election, it may be too late and the consequences may be more grave and tragic for many, including our next generation.

Vinaka  Tomasi

Two senior civil servants in breach of the electoral decree

Stay away!

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, April 21, 2014

ACTING Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu has reminded civil servants they should not get involved with any political party.

His comment follows an incident last week in which two senior civil servants were receiving complaints from the public at the Labasa taxi stand where Fiji First aspiring politician Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama was meeting people.

Mr Bolalevu said civil servants in the Northern Division knew they were not allowed to be part of the signature drive for any proposed political organisation or be involved with any other campaign.

He said government agencies were aware that Rear Admiral Bainimarama would be in Vanua Levu last week and should not have been involved in his search for supporters for his proposed political party. “We know where we stand and we will not be involved in any way during the signature drive for any proposed political parties,” he said.

According to Section 14 of the Political Parties Registration, Conduct Funding and Disclosure Decree, those holding public offices, including civil servants and also trade unionists, are not allowed to carry out campaigns and electoral activity.

A fine or a term of imprisonment will be imposed on those found to be in breach of the provision.

The amendment to the decree was announced last month by Minister for Elections and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

A very brave and unlikely statement…..”All voters to be well prepared”

All voters to be well prepared

16:53 TodayTaken from/By: FBC NewsReport by: Apisalome Coka

The Fijian Elections Office will see that every voter is well versed with how to vote before Election Day.

Election Supervisor Mohammed Saneem says they will be providing booklets identifying candidates and their respective numbers before Election Day.

“Booklets will be distributed from our centres, we will give some to the parties but as you know we have to keep in mind our budgetary constraints, the key priority for us is to have that booklet available on election day and to have people informed as to how to go about negotiating their way into the booklet”

Saneem adds they will use every medium available to advertise all candidates making it easier for voters to identify who they want to vote for.“Before election day we will have a chart of all the candidates listed and we will endeavour to put it up in prominent locations, billboards, if you go to your screens, advertised in newspapers so once the National Candidates list is ready, it will be published in the newspaper and it will be a lift out so you can use it to identify your candidates and it will be available at our election offices around the country.

”The booklets containing the National Candidates list will be available two weeks before elections. -

See more at:

The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents.

When we fail to apply the rule of law equally to every citizen our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.

An Opinion by:Mick Beddoes Apr 18 2014

On May 1stMr Chaudhry will be sentenced and if it involves a custodial term then he will be the second of our democratically elected Prime Ministers to be sent to prison for offences that can only be described as misdemeanors when we compare it to the capital offences committed by the usurpers of our democracy in 1987, 2000 and 2006.
 Both of our former Prime Ministers have already been disqualified from participating in the 2014 elections as a direct consequence of their convictions and Mr Qarase has already served his time. Yet two of their 3 usurpers, not only remain free, they are eligible to contest the general election that has been denied to the two Prime Ministers they over threw..
 The 3rd usurper, a civilian, was charged and sentenced to death, which was the penalty for treason at the time. His life was spared when the death penalty was removed for capital crimes by parliament and George Speight is still serving his life sentence for his part in the 2000 coup.
 On the other hand the other 2 usurpers of our democracy, both former military commanders, remain free and despite being responsible for the overthrow of the 1987 and 2006 parliaments, both of them are eligible to contest the 2014 elections, because of the immunity they enjoy which protects them from having to ‘face up’ to any criminal charges for carrying out coups and over throwing the elected governments of the people in 1987 and 2006.
 If the rule of law is supposedly applied equally to all, why is George Speight in prison while the 2 other coup leaders are free and able to contest elections? What was different about the 2000 coup from the 1987 and 2006 coups? How have we justified such an unfair application of the rule of law in this instant?
 How can we as a society, think that it is somehow fair and just to punish our democratically elected leaders as harshly as we have done for their misdemeanors, which are unrelated to their term in office, while at the same time remain silent and just accept the imposition by the usurpers of a blanket immunity that protects them not only from the capital offences they committed against the state, the constitution and the people in the past, but which extends to crimes they are yet to commit in the future? And if that is not enough, we even give them the freedom to take part in general elections, without having answered for their crimes.
 There is something fundamentally wrong with us a society if we believe it’s ok to have the usurpers of our democracy, elected to our House of Representatives, where they can help make laws and dispense justice to the very people whose livelihoods, rights and freedoms they abused and suppressed, while all the time being protected from prosecution for overthrowing our previous parliaments.
 Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhry are now disqualified from contesting elections for their misdemeanors; every other citizen who is registered to vote and eligible to contest the elections is subject to disqualification for various offences as stated in Sec 56 of the 2013 constitution. It is only the usurpers of our democracy and those other citizens who have aided and arbited them in the removal of our elected governments who will not face the kind of scrutiny that other citizens will be subjected to because they enjoy immunity from prosecution. This is what the regime means about everyone being equal.
 The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents. But so long as we keep rewarding the wrong doers and try to make excuses for their actions as being necessary then we fail to apply the rule of law as we are obliged to do and consequently our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.
 History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people’. Dr Martin Luther King Jr
 Mick Beddoes

Fijian lobby group in Australia rally behind UFDF

Fijian lobby group in Australia rally behind UFDF

08:28 Sat Apr 19, 2014Taken from/By: FBCReport by: Apisalome Coka

The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement (FDFM), a so called lobby group in Australia is rallying behind the United Front for a Democratic Fiji.

FDFM President Usaia Waqatairewa insists the movement is apolitical – even though the United Front is made up of political parties. The movement has held a number of public events in Sydney Australia, denouncing the Bainimarama administration.

Waqaitairewa confirms Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry recently spoke at a meeting of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement.“This is part of our program to organize a monthly mini forum to the proposed September elections and we were lucky enough as we preparing for our first one, we got words that Mr Chaudhry was in town so we can make use of this moment as former Prime Minister”.

Waqatairewa says many who attended were not members of the FDFM“There is a lot of people there I’ve only seen for the first time in my life, the core people who are supporters of the Democracy movement probably will be about a quarter of the people there, but the rest of them I’ve never seen them”.

At its last meeting, Waqatairewa says he asked those in attendances to donate funds to the FDFM however, no financial assistance was forthcoming.

- See more at:

‘Limited reach’ of the social media

Nasik Swami
Sunday, April 20, 2014

WHILE social media remains a large part of the political process, the SODELPA youth council believes there is a limit to its reach.

Council president Peter Waqavonovono said there were still a number of communities which did not have access to the internet, let alone Facebook.

“Although we have been told that this year’s elections will be on the back of youth votes, the elections will not be won over the internet,” Mr Waqavonovono said.

He said not all young people were active on social networks.

“Not all young people are active on Facebook. Not every young Fijian has regular access to the internet.”

Mr Waqavonovono believes the election will be won in towns, village halls and on the streets.

“Social media is but a tool to maximise the work you can do and we are using these modes of communication effectively to reach out to our supporters,” he said.

He said social media accounts were an extension of oneself and should not be used as a mask to bully or spread hate.

Apart from SODELPA, many political parties and independent candidates have started using the social media as a means of campaigning and reaching out to supporters.