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FLP: No facts to claims

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ATTORNEY-GENERAL Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum's claim that a denial of civil and political rights in Fiji is because of the socioeconomic deprivation of our people is not supported by facts or evidence, says former prime minister and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

While opening the Regional Training Workshop on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights and Human Rights Indicators in Denarau, Nadi on Monday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji's 1987 and 2000 coups were a result of people's inability to access basic socioeconomic rights.

"Indeed, as we have argued this previously, sometimes we have civil, political rights being infringed but the reason for the infringement is the lack of socioeconomic rights," he had said.

In response, Mr Chaudhry claimed it was now well accepted that both the coups were politically motivated, executed by the army with support from vested interest groups.

"The Bavadra government in 1987 was only in office for one month — hardly enough time to get its policies off the ground, let alone deprive anyone of their social and economic rights.

"The Labour Government of 1999/2000 has record achievements in terms of giving people their social and economic rights. The coup was again instigated by sections of the army and vested interest groups."

Mr Chaudhry claimed the draconian Acts promulgated by the pre-2014 Bainimarama administration were still in force, effectively depriving targeted groups and people of their basic human rights.

"These decrees (Acts) are in breach of, and undermine, the Bill of Rights in the imposed 2013 Constitution.

"They were purely motivated by political considerations and are not in any way linked to the socioeconomic rights of our people."

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