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Elected PM Returns After Successful Mission

Issue No: 126; 18 October 2000

The elected Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry returned to Fiji last night after a successful mission that took him to Australia, New Zealand, India, UK, Europe, Canada and the US.

The PM gave a press conference an hour after arrival where he reiterated that no country can survive without democracy. He said: "the international community wants democracy as soon as possible and no country, not even Fiji, has a future without democracy".

Hundreds of supporters, together with Presidents of the Fiji Labour Party Jokapeci Koroi and the PANU, Ratu Sairusi Nagagavoka, converged at the Nadi International Airport to welcome the Prime Minister, who was taken out of the airport complex by the regime's protocol officers through the VIP gates. They later converged at the Mocambo Hotel where the PM stayed overnight.

Meanwhile, today's Daily Post wrote a gutter level editorial calling the PM "Tu Ma", (standing for Ratu Mahend) a term which terrorist Apisai Tora used to refer to him when Tora lost the 1999 election. The editorial went to the extent of saying "the total effect of the campaign you did abroad . was far worse than what George Speight and his mob did when they threw out democracy on May 19". The Daily Post is partly government owned; its acting editor Mesake Koroi is a close relative of interim regime Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

END

Regime Ministers Absent From Lau Meeting

Issue No: 128; 18 October 2000

The interim regime did not attend the Lau Provincial Council meeting which just ended on the Ono-i-Lau island.

It is believed that the Lau Provincial Council sent word to the interim Prime Minister that he and his delegation were not welcomed to observe the meeting. Reliable sources say that the interim Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, and three other ministers had planned to go to Ono-I-Lau to attend the meeting. They later argued that they could not go because of bad weather. Privately it is understood that they stated the possibility of a military intervention last Friday as the reason for them to stay in Suva.

The Lau Provincial Council passed a resolution of support for Qarase as a son of Lau, while its Chairman, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara made a scathing attack on Lauans who participated in the May 19 terrorist activities.

END

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