Kevin Rudd has issued a stern warning to Fiji’s determined military leader Frank Bainimarama to do the right thing by his troubled country.

‘He knows what he must do,’ Australia’s prime minister says of Bainimarama, in power since a 2006 coup and refusing to heed regional warnings to return Fiji to democracy.

In an editorial released on Wednesday, Mr Rudd said it was ‘absurd’ to delay elections by five years, and that Bainimarama had been telling insiders it could take another five more.

‘This is the behaviour of a military junta,’ he wrote.

Fiji became the first country to be suspended from the regional Pacific Islands Forum this month after repeated failures to go to the polls.

Bainimarama last month cast aside Fiji’s constitution, sacked the judiciary, censored the media and set back elections.

The military man has said the delay was necessary to reform an unjust electoral system, reforms Rudd says Australia does not oppose in principle.

It was more important whether Fijians want them, said Mr Rudd, but under current public and media censorship this is a decision they don’t have a say in.

‘Unfortunately at the present time the people of Fiji are unable to express their views freely, either through elected representatives or in the media,’ he wrote.

‘In any event it is absurd to suggest that up to five more years are needed to prepare for elections.’

The opinion piece was circulated to Fiji media but is unlikely to meet the regime’s criteria for ‘positive, unsensational’ news.

Other points made include what Mr Rudd called Bainimarama’s ‘incalculable damage’ to Fiji’s international reputation and its economy.

Up to 40 per cent of Fijians were living in basic-needs poverty, he said.

‘That hurts women and children especially,’ Mr Rudd said.

He said Bainimarama had to take responsibility for the recent failure of discussions which it had been hoped would speed up reform of the electoral process.

‘Unfortunately, Commodore Bainimarama wanted to hand-pick those who were to participate, and to exclude some of Fiji’s biggest political parties,’ Mr Rudd wrote.

‘This is not a viable basis for genuine dialogue and Commodore Bainimarama must bear personal responsibility for the failure of this process.’

In closing, the prime minister said the forum’s door remained open to Fiji’s interim government in the hope the country can ‘quickly return to its place as a leader of our region’.

‘But the onus now is on Commodore Bainimarama to do the right thing. He knows what he must do.’




  1. Budhau Says:

    Kevin Rudd stated that “it was ‘absurd’ to delay elections by five years, and that Bainimarama had been telling insiders it could take another five more.”

    Sure, it is absurd to delay the election by five years – that is not the issue. The point here is what is Kevin Rudd going to do about – is he going to send in his boys to go in and kick Bainimarama’s ass, or is he going to otherwise convince Bainimarama to move to the date up – so that it no longer looks so absurd. I do not think it would be that difficult to have Frank move the date up to where it is acceptable, say 2012, if Australia were to use the carrot and stick approach – but our tough talking Kevin boy thinks that he can get away with only using the stick.

    The second part of Kevin’s remark, “..Bainimarama had been telling insiders it could take another five more.” – that is just a load of crap.

    Once A/NZ realize that they cannot achieve their goal of bringing Bainimarama to his knees by destroying Fiji’s economy, they can all start talking about an early election and a return to democracy.

    The rest of the stuff in this editorial is nothing new – just like his announcement that the UN will not be using Fijian soldiers.

  2. Teejay For a Free Fiji Says:

    Prime Minister Rudd’s comments come some weeks after others have made the very same remarks. There is nothing new in them. Australia’s PM is very popular here in Australia, but he is very high on sweeping rhetoric: in fact, he is a taskmaster at it. He needs to be far more assertive regarding Fiji and the fact that he’s not is very disappointing.

  3. oldie Says:

    5 years…10 years… the president is almost 90 years old and sick, Chaudry and Qarase are almost 70, Bainimarama is only 55, but has been dealing with heart surgery and excessive stress…

    in 5 or 10 years, Fiji might be very different…

  4. Willy Says:

    Banimarama is beyond the point of no return and he knows it. No matter how much Rudd and Co scream, there will be no election, not 2014 and not 2030. Elections will be held when the junta is convinced that the outcome will be in line with their interests. In order to give FB time to manipulate election he needs at least five years. He could easily do it this year, but the outcome will put him in jail and possibly in a coffin. I don’t think he has much of a plan, given his limited intellectual capacity. But who knows what kind of event will play in his favour in the next 5 or ten or 15 years. Fiji is in for a long suffering.

  5. OjO Says:

    The detention of Lasaro tantamount to profanation and the violation of Christian principles in their attempt to emasculate the masses they have resorted to the most despicable act of all silencing the man of cloth.

    No matter what religious doctrine one conforms to the fact is there are certain unspoken conventions regarding the detention of religious leaders, if this man is out spoken in what he believes to be just then so be it.

    This regime needs to get a grip and accept criticisms, his comments do not contravene this fucked up Public Emergency Regulation in fact he was constructive in his condemnation and therefore this regime ought to accept it.

    It is on this regime to demonstrate to the nation they are not infantile in their governance of the country for this PER is nothing more than a tool to subjugate the masses and it would be prudent for Bainimarama to immediately discontinue this madness.

  6. Navosavakadua Says:

    Now that the Junta has declared war on the Methodist church, I have a suggestion to make. Why don’t all Methodists just decide to take the bus to town on Sunday and attend Centenary Church. If a few thousand good
    Christian men and women arrive together at church, what can the dictator’s lackies say or do?

    If there are too many for the church the crowd could march, well walk, down to Sukuna Park in town. What better place to meet than a park which takes its name from a true Fijian hero.

    It would be a good opportunity to pray for the leadership of the Methodist Church.

    Who knows, there could also be discussion of how best to let the Junta know what people think of them.

    Spread the word. Everybody goes to Centenary Church on Sunday. Get there early because there could be big numbers.

  7. Budhau Says:

    Manasa Lasaro is bad for the Methodist – him and his supporters using religion to support a particular party – that is what the guy is doing.

    He has just screwed up any role that the Church might have had in working with the military to help resolve the impasse.
    The right wing crowd have totally taken over the Methodist Church in Fiji.

  8. Dau Says:

    Navosavakadua, wishful thinking indeed. Have just attended a methodist circuit meeting in our area. Some of the lively discussion on Lasaro was his involment with all the coup makers, not to forget his coup d’ tat on Rev. Josateki Koroi one of the most worthy of Methodist Leaders. The see-saw of opinions was quite amusing and interesting. Too bad you were’nt here to share some real peoples’ views. God bless our Fiji.

  9. Dau Says:

    Ojo – maybe we could charge FB for blasphemy, if not now, then when the new goverment is in.

  10. Budhau Says:

    Yeah guys, that sounds like a plan – Charge Frank with Blasphemy and put a FATWA on his ass – one of the religious freaks may than take out Frank in the name of God.

    Dau – good that you brought up Lasaro’s involvement in in prior coups – remember how that did those Road blocks one Sunday to shut down all of Suva – didn’t he get jail time for that.

    I think the Fijian people have been suckered in by too many people for too long, they got in behind Rabuka without questioning – now many of them realize that it wrong. Many threw in their support behind Speight’s programme. Now, the Fijian people know better, maybe that is why they have not come out in support of Qarase and the SDL and now Lasaro and the like are using a new tactic – they think that the Fijians might just get out in the streets if they ask them to do in the name of religion – I don’t think the Fijian people will get suckered into any such crap this time.

    Those not so educated village folks – they are still intelligent people who can think rationally and know what is good for them. Playing the race or the religion game ain’t gonna work – people know better.

  11. Asgrocky Says:

    Bhudau, what is your hidden agenda in all of this. What is your stake in Fiji. You blog generally but when things go badly for FB &Co. you come out in strong defence of them trashing all bloggers opinions who are anti. You obviously don’t live in the country so what is your interest that you badly want FB to succeed in this coup. Your attempts to neutralise strong expression from anti bloggers is obvious. Don’t tell me the bloggers got their facts wrong, some of these bloggers are obviously well educated but don’t show too much. These people are living and working in the country I’ve noticed you practically prowl this this blog site even at odd hours. So what is your beef

  12. Tuks Says:

    Thanks hit the nail right on the head with your comments above. We must all realise that the only thing that is clear with Bainimarama and his very close supporters now is their fear of imprisonment [or death]. With that in mind, they must continue their grasp for power and “Government by the Gun” at all costs – whatever that may be to the Nation as a whole. The welfare of Fiji and its people are secondary. Their personal security are their number 1 priorities. They will seek to maintain absolute control over the people for as long as it suits them. They are obsessed that with such absolute power control over Fiji and its people, they will manage to escape the consequences of the treasonous actions. One day soon they will come to realise that which had already neen said that ; ” Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely…

  13. Tuks Says:

    Corrections pls…line 13 “neen” should be “been”….and last “the” in line 11 should be “their”…

  14. Budhau Says:

    Asgrocky, why are you making me an issue in here. Who I am is not relevant – if I say something that you do not agree with, you seem like a smart enough guy to take me on.

    Let me tell you what I would like to see – First, that Fiji returns to democracy asap, with the necessary changes that they have been proposing – so that we have a non-race based electoral system.

    Second, I do not want to see Qarase or any of the Old lot who have been in power return to power – the Fijian elite and some chiefs who have been on this gravy train for too long – it is about time they should be kicked off the train. The rural Fijians should not have to put up with the crap that they have been putting up for the last 30 or so years.

    I do not think Fijians, as people don’t have to worry about people of other races taking over – with almost 60% population and the numbers going up – they should not have any worries.

    I don’t think most folks in here have bought into this democracy idea – they are all for democracy because they want Frank out and for that they need international support. After they get rid of Frank, it would be back to the same old, same old – bunch of crooks in charge, with scams and thieving going on as usual.

    So you got it Asgrocky, I am not the issue here – If I say something that is wrong – am sure folks would shoot that idea down – if the idea makes sense, why don’t you also accept my line of thinking.

  15. Anon Says:

    Sorry folks but just going off topic here a bit! Has anyone got onto the realfijinews site? I had actually given my 2 cents worth on some topics and they have decided to omit my comments! Maybe because it was anti! But some articles are just so not true, maybe all of them…and what’s this with naming pple behind the blogs!!!!!Sa yawa o agent Vinod Div!!!!

  16. Asgrocky Says:

    Notice that I did not ask you who you are or made you an issue. I simply asked what your interest is in Fiji like what do you care if you don’t live in it unless you live in it or have vested interest and want FB to succeed because it suits your interests.

    You have outlined what you desire for Fiji but neglect to address your own personal interest and why you blog so hard to tear down and neutralise oppositions to FB & CO. in this blog.

  17. sesau Says:

    People I’ve always being against Frank,but I can now see that no one can really tear him down,not even Lasaro.Frank has the balls to hit anyone point blank. Even Rudd and Key shudder when they hear him speak.Hail Frank!Long live the king!

  18. Asgrocky Says:

    Sesau, this is so laughable, someone in this forum recently philosophised the Fijian in built “liumuri” genes. It seems those genes has surfaced.

  19. sesau Says:

    Asgrocky, do you remember the saying “learn from your mistakes”.I have just done that.The “liumuri”mentality is not in the genes no! no !no!.It’s all in the brain.Now Frank is going to clean that up!!No wonder there is no resisting.Lots of guilty brain.

  20. Asgrocky Says:

    What have you learnt?

  21. Dau Says:

    Sesau says, long live the king(Frank)….may I add the Fijian expression or parallel: Rerevaka na Kalou ka doka na Tui. (Vinaka mai tau)

  22. archiebald newton Says:

    Bhudau you are really sounding like that old broken record at QEB with your “getting rid of communal voting systems and Qarase and Ex SDL not to contest the elections again etc”
    The fact is if elections are held tomorrow Qarase and his lot will win hands down with a much larger majority.That is because the people still want them and will vote for them,no matter what electoral system is in place.Why don’t you and your miltary goons,including Frank come out of the Army, form your own political party and contest the elections?
    Whatever happened to the Army “holy” principle of achieving of a mission set at the beginning of any operation,which in this case was set on 5th Dec 05 on cleaning up corruption etc.As it turned out this so called mission has changed several times,a clear indication that the whole operation did not foresee,or took into account the effects that are happening now.
    Not all soldiers are fools.Many are ashamed of what their leaders are doing but cannot do anything for fear of the security of their jobs,with unpaid mortgages etc.A clear indication of the shame that they carry is when you hardly see any soldier wearing uniforms into town these days.

  23. Dau Says:

    A/bald newton, Grass may win, if there was an election tomorrow; but dont you know the difference between tomorrow and 2014. Remember a lot of Grassroots are now aware of the ploy used by the politicians to get their votes. I am very much in touch with my people who now realize that the last democratically elected govt was a; Democratically elected Disaster. You say that soldiers are not wearing uniforms in town these days. Does’nt that tell you something? Uniformed soldiers will only be seen in town when theres a need for them to be in towns. Everythings running normally and the situation stable because there is a lot of positive people around. The ER decree is accepted by the “Majority”. I fully agree that not all soldiers are fools, maybe very very few. The smarter soldiers always want to be in the winning team, thats why most of them (except for a very few) back Frank. You yourself sound like a ” broke” record played on a player with a defective stylus. Forget the past, we’re on the dawning of a new tomorrow. Join the wining team, we may have an earlier election with more positive contribution from people like yourself. Who knows your political wish may materialize. We all know that politics is a fickle beast. Don’t let this beast devour you. The eating habits of this beast is to start internally till nothing but a shell is all thats left. At the end of it all you might need the services of a taxidermist. Av a cheerful positive day!.

  24. Budhau Says:

    Archiebald – when did I ever say that I did not want SDL to contest the next election – I just think those thieving SOB should not get anyone,s votes.

    As for getting rid of the communal voting system – I think the time is right – they should have got rid of it when they were working out the last constitution – buut I quess Rabuka and Reddy thought otherwise.

    You guys keep talking crap – “if elections are held tomorrow, Qarase will win hands down.” – I guess you are basing those claims on the fact that there are 57% indigenous Fijians, and Qarase will scare the shit out of the Fijians about the Indian bogey man and that all Fijians will just fall in behind Qarase.

    If we have a level playing field – that is one-man-one-vote, and the constituency boundaries so that the number of seats are in proportion to the population – what makes you think that Qarase will win hands down. With the previous election system, that was tilted in favour of Qarase, and the Qarase getting an overwhelming Fijian vote – still the elections were close – and there is reason to believe that there was some rigging in some of the marginal seats.

    So just based on above, I think that under the new, fair system – the other side has a good chance to win.

    Have you noticed that I provided good reasoning as to why I think that the next election would be interesting and close – unlike some idiots who come in here and say that Qarase will win hands down.

    So you bought into the idea that the coup was done to clean up corruption – just like the previous coups were for indigenous rights.

    You see Archiebald, the soldiers will do what they are told to do – and as a political community, the Fijian people will do what they are told to – they follow their chiefs, or the Alliance, the SVT, the SDL, the GCC or whoever – and it looks like they have accepted to switch from SDL to Frank.

    The question is not what has happened – the more important issue is where do we go from here – and it looks like you are all for “SDL winning hand down”, as if that will solve our problem.

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