John Mccain and Bainimarama (Fueling Fiji’s Coup)

Courtesy of Time Magazine:
Fueling Fiji’s Coup
 
                 Since overthrowing Fiji’s government earlier this month, Military Commander Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama has made few public comments on how he came by the political opinions that motivated his actions. Over the past year Bainimarama has regularly complained about new laws proposed by the government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, justifying the Dec. 5 coup by referring to the need to stop some of them from being passed. One of these was the Qoliqoli Bill ? controversial legislation designed to hand back control of lagoon, beach and reef access rights to indigenous Fijians.
           Bainimarama has described the bill as racist, unconstitutional and damaging to tourism. Had it become law, resort operators could have faced enormous payments to tribes in exchange for the right to access their beaches and reefs. TIME has learned that Bainimarama’s interest in the bill was heightened during a meeting on an aeroplane flight, which led to the commander being invited to be a guest at one of those businesses that might have been affected by the proposed law.
         Turtle Island – setting for the 1980s Brooke Shields movie Blue Lagoon – is one of Fiji’s most exclusive resorts, where guests can rent luxury villas for more than $US2,000 a night. The invitation to holiday on the island came after Bainimarama found himself seated on a September 2005 Sydney to Fiji flight next to Andrew Fairley, an Australian lawyer and board member of Turtle Island. Fairley, a Deakin University Council member and board member of Ecotourism Australia, had been heavily involved with the Fiji Hotels Association in organising a challenge to the bill, and had recently obtained two legal opinions that he says showed the bill was unconstitutional.
“I happened to be sitting next to the commander on the aircraft back from Sydney and we chatted, as you do, and he said, ‘Tell me about this [Qoliqoli] Bill,’ and I gave him this explanation and he said, ‘Oh Gosh, that’s serious,'” says Fairley. The commander was worried that the bill had “the potential to pit Fijian against Fijian,” he says. “He said, ‘Can you get more information about this?'”
              Fairley says he provided Bainimarama with a copy of the bill, and the opinions from two Queen’s Counsel in Australia. “I really didn’t hear any more, but it seemed to be a catalyst for him to become much more concerned about the legislation.” Fairley adds that during the same conversation, the commander learned that United States Republican Senator John McCain was going to be holidaying at Turtle Island that Christmas. “[Bainimarama] said he would really like to meet Senator McCain, who was shaping up as the next president of the United States. That was really the reason he [Bainimarama] went out to Turtle Island.”
          The island’s owner, Richard Evanson, has confirmed to TIME that Bainimarama and some members of his family spent several days on the island around Christmas time at no cost, and had met with McCain, whom Evanson had invited to the island. Evanson, a former bond trader in the U.S., denies there was any attempt to influence Bainimarama through the provision of a holiday. He invites people like Bainimarama to his island “because I’m trying to promote good relationship with the people who run Fiji,” he says. “I had no lengthy private conversations with the commander on the island. [Bainimarama and McCain] were on holiday but they did meet lots of times. We are set up at the island [so that] all the guests eat at the same table for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so there would have been huge discussions about the politics of Fiji.”
Evanson takes a keen interest in Fijian politics, even helping finance the Qarase campaign after the 2000 coup. But he says he felt cheated after Qarase’s government pushed ahead with the Qoliqoli bill. “In that first election, the Qoliqoli Bill came up and he [Qarase] said, ‘I’m going to be influenced by what New Zealand does,’ and so then when New Zealand gave it up and he didn’t, I felt double-crossed on that one.”
                 In the elections in May this year, Evanson backed one of Bainimarama’s associates, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, to run for government. Ganilau is a former military commander who successfully recommended Bainimarama to succeed him as head of Fiji’s armed forces when he stepped down in 1999. Evanson declines to reveal how much he donated to Ganilau’s National Alliance Party to run against the Qarase government, but some observers say it was a substantial sum in Fijian campaign funding. Ganilau’s election bid failed, but he has remained influential in military affairs, telling TIME he has recently been advising Bainimarama’s military but “only on ceremonial matters” in the lead-up to the coup.
              Earlier this month Ganilau told the Fiji Times that the coup was inspired by the Qarase government’s divisive bills, particularly the Qoliqoli Bill and the Lands Tribunal Bill. “The long impasse has propelled the military,” he said. “It [the coup] is an illegal act, but the lesser of two evils when you think about the endemic corruption and bad practices that have carried on during the reign of the former administration. I support the cleaning up, but not the means.”

SV always looking out for you…

24 Responses to “John Mccain and Bainimarama (Fueling Fiji’s Coup)”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    It would be difficult to know exactly what was spoken about at any conversations between the Commode , John McCain , Evanson and Epeli Ganilau .
    Firstly , who would you believe ?
    Francis couldn’t lay straight in bed if his life depended on it to start with !
    If the article above is true , then that would infer that an American Politician held in high regard , was potential corrupt and involved in an illegal act , interferring with the Soveriegnty of another country ! I find that hard to believe .
    It sounds to me like Commode Francis and Co. are trying to shift the blame to someone else . Also , if Epeli has been advising the Commode , then he would be guilty of treason as much as the Commode is .
    Sounds more like an attempt to cover their tracks and either shift , share or justify their own treasonous acts .

  2. Billy Says:

    But of course, this wining’n dining & beddin of VB & co was common knowledge in the lead up to the coup. So who’s been screwing who? So much for all the bullshit about foreign interference as we all know the guy can’t even think for himself he had to listen to an Australian lawyer, an American millionaire tourist operator in Fiji, an American politician. There were also whispers of $$$ changing hands. So forget about Vore acting alone with his military officers, they woudn’t have the courage to do so if not for the legal, political, financial support they knew was asured. As for Eveli G any crumbs was worth waiting for, except that the crumbs turned out to be an assured income, car, status, and power. What he couldn’t get willingly from the people, he would get by force, so desperate was he for survival. As for the other E- oh he would get anything for free, after all that’s been his occupation (free-rider) ever since the first coup, and even before. So what’s new? But one day they will meet their maker, who will put a stop to all the freebies… This nation does not owe them anything so why should LQ be blamed for not renewing his speaker’s appointment?

  3. Keep The Faith Says:

    The polls are close but leaning in Obama’s favour. The renewed fervour in the economic crisis in the US of A thanks to the Lehman Bros “problem” is of course moving public opinion towards the O-man.

    And of course you can expect that the ripple effects of this latest economic issue will echo until Nov 4.

  4. Tim Says:

    And what does it all say about Shaista and Bubba”s concerns of “neo-colonialism”?
    Someone should ask McCain what he thinks of the “situation” in Fiji now, especially in light of McCain’s apparent disdain of lobbyists pushing their personal agendas.

  5. Mark Manning Says:

    If there is any truth that Senator McCain had influenced the Commode in Fiji , then it should be brought to the attention of the International and American press !
    The same goes for any other American or persons of other nationalities .
    I’m not totally convinced that this report is 100 % correct though , as there would just be too much for these honourable men to lose .

  6. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Oh well..what do you get from some undereducated feral-cat like this lot! esp the Es and the pig.

    Valoloma nodrautou bula na Bainimarama familia..free ride everywhere and anytime!

    Someone shld try and finf out how much of the Fiji people’s money they have stole and squandered SO THEY HAVE TO PAY THEM BACK!

  7. Billy Says:

    @MM The delegation (of pretenders) must we watched carefully whether there is a planned meeting with Bush/McCain (was that a slip of the tongue on TV one news last nite that he is off to Washington(???), of course Fiji is of little interest to Americans, but who knows? Maybe Bush/McCain may have more tips for VB (based on Iraq-style takeover) on how to remain in power? But they must be monitored…tamani vaqara bula..

  8. Billy Says:

    @ED,In Fiian tradition when someone does something wrong that is so out of the way, it is called “vele vakavanua”. Who knows? Maybe their ancestors did something very wrong and the descendants are now paying the price? We can only watch in wonder?

  9. Groggymaster Says:

    I guess what the article reinforces is the fact that Bainivuaka echoes the opinions of the last ars**ole he speaks to. His frequent incoherence and flip flops may have been inherited from his conversations with McLame.

  10. Mark Manning Says:

    Billy
    I agree , trust no one is my motto
    and
    I wish everyone could be as perfect as me , is the other one !

  11. Save the Sheep Says:

    `Lesser of two evils´ What kind of opinion is that. Whether the Bills were bad or not, the Qarase Government was answerable to the people. The people voted for them ust 7 months before hand despite much campaigning against their Bills.

    If these Bills indeed turned out to be no good then the Polls would deal with it in good time. Therefore whoever talks about the lesser of two evils is a complete imbecile.

    A coup is a coup and all those involved are guilty of treason…

    Fairley, Everson and Co.. I dont advocate violence normally but if you bleive in what you profess then you deserve to have your properties destroyed. Afterall such an act would be the lesser of two evils…

    Good grief……..

  12. Talei Says:

    McCain is a man of integrity and he would not have anything to do with an illegal junta.

  13. Billy Says:

    Nevertheless, with snakey sami in the platoon to NY, these are desperados looking for desperate solutions, they must be under the watchful eye of sympathetic media, who they speak to, meet with, have b’fast/lunch/dinner/cocktails with, so that ppl back home know where their taxes are being put to use. It wouldnt do if they start talking with Iran, Libya, Muggabe, etc.

  14. LUVfiji Says:

    @Talei – my thoughts exactly!

    In fact this report is contrary to one I had read much earlier about this Christmas outing at Turtle Is. Even though vore and evil wanted to meet McCain, for some reason, the meeting did not eventuate!

    Lies.. lies.. is so synonymous with this iIG!

  15. newsfiji Says:

    Richard Evanson is a cunning bastard…Mcain did visit Turtle Island….he just didn’t know that around that same time Richard had also invited the soon to be coup maker Voreqe & company….however, Mcain is not an idiot and was thea on holiday so i hear..

    Oh and the article in Time Magazine is correct…unfortunately Andrew Fairley who used to be one of the 3 directors on Turtle ISland had a major fallling out with Richard Evanson and is now no longer associated in any way with the American Millionaire.

  16. ispy Says:

    I heard Richard fired Andrew because of this very incident.

    Sure, he felt cheated by LQ over the QQ Bill but he did not agree with Andrew’s approach – which was to actively encourage Bainimarama to take over the lawfully elected government.

    Andrew’s poisonous ideas about the likely impact of the QQ Bill most likely became the catalyst for the coup. If you’re looking for someone to hang next the Bainimarama for all our sufferings – he’d be a pretty candidate.

    That famous meeting between Bainimarama and McCain was indeed well known to many even before the coup. I dont know what was actually discussed between them (you know ga Bainimarama doesn’t know squat about anything) but because that meeting even took place at all, I would now feel a whole lot safer if McCain never gets elected US President.

  17. ispy Says:

    sorry “pretty good candidate”…

    …because Andrew is actually an ugly bastard!!!!

  18. newsfiji Says:

    Someone should seriously leak this information about McCain to the American media..

  19. ispy Says:

    @newsfiji. It’ll probably win Obama the elections… I can just see the headlines in the Washington Post “Presidential Candidate Plots Pacific Is Coup”

  20. Checker Says:

    The Time article, it should be noted, is nearly two years old – dated December 20, 2006:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1571756,00.html

  21. Adi Kaila Says:

    the mind boggles………………..really……………………………piggy hasn’t a clue about anything so the prick andrew would’ve had him by his little piggy balls with some first class yameyame……….especially with the knowledge that Prime Minister Qarase was working on bringing charges against the pig re the murders of the CRW men……………………….oh yes…………andrew worked him like the whore that he is……………building up the already over inflated ego of bipolar piggy…………money talks, integrity walks………..and down the path to hell walked the pig……….

  22. aubatinuku-N Says:

    This is all a bunch of bologne!!
    McCain maybe republican but rest assured he is well seasoned enough in politics, too educated and well heeled in business to risk ruining his presidential ticket over OUR SILLY SOD OF A DESPOT…….Voreqe Bainimarama!

    It’s the two Ratu Epelis, Bainimarama and Evanson that are the culprits!!
    sic em!!

  23. jason Says:

    Read this letter (link below) from a vacationer on Turtle Island who encountered a very unpleasant John McCain, when he and wife Cindy were vacationing there. Some people in Fiji must be able to verify this woman’s story. Snopes.com is still trying to establish its veracity

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/mccain/vacation.asp

  24. isoa gula Says:

    if the qoliqoli bill goes thru the fijian will benfit. bad luck for the fijian because some con break thru who make tere pocket full like bainirama and ganilau this are two great con man in fiji.

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