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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NZ Diplomat expelled

Govt not in hurry to replace expelled diplomat
Fiji's expulsion of New Zealand's acting high commissioner was a serious step and the Government is not going to rush into sending another representative, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.
The relationship between the two countries is in crisis after last night's expulsion of Caroline McDonald and the Government's immediate reaction, which was to order Fiji's acting high commissioner, Kama Tuiloma, to leave Wellington. They were both given a week to leave. "It's a very serious matter to throw out a high commissioner," Mr McCully said. "It's not something to be taken lightly. You don't just shake hands, say `that's tough and let's get on with things tomorrow'."

The Australian former Police Commissioner in Fiji has always said that he believes there is a ‘shadow’ behind Bainimarama helping fuel this coup, although many also point to him as being part of that shadow world blunting some of the good intentions he claims are the source for his views. Bainimarama is the perfect tool for such a coup, a former guardian of Fiji who wouldn’t support the last coup because he understood the economic implications of the first Fijian Coup, the ‘incorruptible’ Bainimarama now finds himself the patron of a coup, all the time threatening to snuggle up over aid to an ever expansive China who has been aggressively pursuing influence throughout Africa and now in the Pacific?


At 24/12/08 11:01 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

I've been amazed at the commentary from the right in the blogosphere backing this coup leader - on the shonky basis that the Fijian voting system is racist. As if that was a legitimate reason for military intervention. Then they say it's because the previous government was corrupt. Their seems to be a lot of excuses. They don't seem to understand two key issues:

1. These excuses are a ruse to keep the coup-masters in power. Corruption and constitutional change are the usual justifications that all military leaders use. Like all of these leaders he will take as long as he possibly can to implement anything. Building the military is his primary concern - not the constitution or corruption. Besides this particular leader is proving just as corrupt as anyone else and more so given that the military have been given carte blanche to act as police with abuses occurring regularly. He appointed a military man to head the police. Is that not corrupt?

2. Backing any coup and any military intervention in domestic politics in a democracy is a bad idea. It would only be an extreme situation where that would ever be appropriate - and that would be to uphold the constitution against an unconstitutional government. Such an interim military-led administration would hand governance back to elected representatives as soon as possible. Bainamarama is doing no such thing - like Speight before him his putsch just coincidentally happens as they face serious charges. When Chaudray and Labour (a victim of a coup) joined in the military government it showed that the political culture in Fiji was broken and corrupt. In that situation you think outside pressure to go back to democracy would be welcomed or necessary. The political parties would be less inclined to back a coup if they knew the outside world would become unco-operative.

At 24/12/08 11:09 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

See Cafe Pacific for some depth of coverage and links.

At 24/12/08 4:43 pm, Anonymous Kerry said...

right wingers say that crap cause they have no ethics or morals...simple pimple!

At 25/12/08 7:15 pm, Anonymous beepee of auckland said...

Good points Tim, and all the while you can bet that all the AID monies from us wealthier countries will helping prop up his military dictatorship. I visited the Police Commissioner a few years ago and had a very eye opening tour of the "held together with a piece of string" Police Dept and then visited the Military and thats where the Fijian money goes without a doubt. The Police force are just a "Claytons" Police Force and as you are aware it is the Army who run everything. But not taking anything away from the Police they do their best with what they have and are a credit to themselves. The sooner we have nothing to do with Frank Bendybanana the better, just ignore him altogether and give the 6 or 7 million dollars they get in aid from us to our impoverished who deserve it more. I know some will say " But what about the average Fijian who benefits from our aid" I say let the average Fijian get pissed of with Bendybanana and dispose of him.


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