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$1m To Depose Fijian Govt - Businessman

Issue No: 859 18 June 2001

A leading businessman in Fiji stated that it will cost $1m to get rid of the Chaudhry government.

This was revealed by elected Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry at a Fiji Labour Party meeting in Lautoka City on Saturday.

Chaudhry stated that after the meeting of a statutory body board, the businessman, who was not named, and two other bureaucrats, were discussing
how to get rid of the Chaudhry government when the businessman stated that it will cost only $1m.

Reliable sources indicate that the businessman was Hari Punja. The other two persons at the discussion were Laisenia Qarase and Sitiveni Waleilakeba.

After this meeting, Qarase had begun a scathing attack on the elected government through the Senate. Most of the contents of Qarase's speech were without any factual foundation. Qarase was also on George Speight's list of cabinet members.


Big business, defeated politicians, chiefs responsible

Issue No: 860 18 June 2001

A section of the business community, some defeated politicians and some chiefs were the people behind the terrorists who took over the Parliament Complex last year.

This was stated by the elected Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and the elected Minister for National Planning Dr. Ganesh Chand at a Fiji Labour Party meeting in Lautoka on Saturday.

The meeting heard that a section of the business community, comprising ethnic Indians, had funded the terrorists with cash and materials. Chaudhry stated that the businessmen concerned had much to hide because of their corrupt dealings and tax evasion. The People's Coalition Government had begun to provide a level playing field to the business community and the workers in Fiji. This did not go down well with this group of businessmen.

Dr Chand stated that the People's Coalition Government was the first government which the big business community could not control. He said that the businessmen wanted to keep the government in their pockets. None of the cabinet ministers could be bought by the business community, he said.

Dr. Chand also stated that some of these businessmen supported the National Federation Party, and that some NFP supporters were also behind the terrorists.

Meanwhile, the police department has stated that investigations on the involvement of the businessmen are continuing.

Chaudhry had hit out at the slow progress in the investigations, saying that the police had a lot of evidence on base their charges on. He said that it was the responsibility of the police to investigate and prosecute the businessmen.


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