Bainimarama says he is the future

BY MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 11:55 17/04/2009

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Fiji dictator Voreqe Bainimarama has claimed his new "legal order" is the future of the island nation.

In an extraordinary speech to civil servants this morning he said that with the abrogation of the constitution "a new Legal Order has been created.

In speech notes provided by his office, he said: "A new Legal Order means there is no longer the old.

"There is no need to speculate as to what happened, how it happened, what should have happened or what should not have happened.

"What is, is now, and the future," Bainimarama said.

He said his government is not an interim one or a caretaker one – it is in office until September 2014.

Speaking as the self-proclaimed Public Service Minister, Bainimarama told a gathering of civil servants that there was "down-right abuse" in the civil service.

He would clean it up.

"As a first up, from next week, all government vehicles being driven after hours will need to carry permits."

Police and soldiers would check government vehicles.

Meanwhile Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele said Bainimarama was a puppet master and his "favourite hand puppet" is President Josefa Iloilo.

"But one day soon the puppets will grow a brain and see Frank for the evil puppeteer he really is. It is then the curtains will fall on Frank," Tuilaepa told the Samoan Government newspaper Savali.

"The whole thing is a political charade and the whole world is watching. Nobody is fooled and no one is laughing. Frank is only fooling himself.

"It’s a political stick-up and Frank has all the guns."

Bainimarama should go back to the barracks and do what he knows best "which is throwing salutes, beating drums and organizing marching parades….. Go put back on his military uniform or..maybe, he’d look better in a prison uniform."

Tuilaepa said the only way to return Fiji to democracy and "some state of political sanity" is through the actions of the people of Fiji.

"The reality is Bainimarama will try to hold on to power with whatever means necessary. Just when you thought he can’t go any lower, the bottom drops.

"The people of Fiji – the men women and children, young and old- will have to stand up and demand a return of their government. Pound the streets in protest marches if they have to.

"The church leaders and traditional leaders of Fiji should also come out of their shells and lead the people.

 "And if the Fijian people want it bad enough, peaceful and passive resistance will work in Fiji. That is how Samoa gained political independence and that’s how the people of Fiji will finally be free of Bainimarama’s stranglehold on power.

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"It’s the only way you can rid yourself of cheap idiotic dictators."

Earlier Fiji's military regime says approved foreign journalists can enter the country to "find out for themselves'' what is happening.

As Bainimarama announced the new policy, his Information Ministry and Police summonsed local journalists who work for international media.  

They were told the military requires them to practise "journalism of hope'' and not write negative stories about Fiji.

After Iloilo imposed martial law over Easter, three international journalists have been deported from Fiji, include a TV3 news team.

Bainimarama told state radio there had been a lot of misinformation about the current state of  Fiji.  

"I understand they are still showing clips of the 1987 and the 2000 events which is not true of what is happening here in Fiji right now," he said.  

"However we are not going to let in the people that we did not allow in the first place, people like (Fairfax Media's) Michael Field, but the rest of the media outlets in
Australia and New Zealand, the TV stations, the radio broadcasters, if the want to come, they can come.''

Military spokesman Neumi Leweni later said foreign media would have to apply to his office "specifically stating the reason and the dates of their visit."

Approval to visit would be "based on how they have reported about Fiji in the past, if they have, or on the undertaking that they will report accurately and responsibly."

After Sitiveni Rabuka's 1987 coup, Fiji required foreign journalists to obtain visas before entering. This was later changed and until this week reporters could obtain visas on arrival.

- Stuff

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