Fiji

Beware of farmers union cyclone fund request

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The Assistant Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Simione Kaitani has called on donor agencies and individuals wishing to contribute funds for the victims of Cyclone Ami to be wary of an appeal that calls for deposits into a bank account listed to Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.
The appeal currently being circulated through email by London-based pro-Labour supporter, Yusuf Roshan calls for monetary support to be sent to the National Farmers Union Account, No. 155728, Cyclone Relief Fund, at the Bank of Baroda.

Mr Kaitani said that Mr Chaudhry should first of all account for all the funds he solicited world-wide for displaced Indian farmers and their families who sought refuge at the Girmit Centre during the crisis of 2000, "before proceeding into another money-making venture."

"Again we see Chaudhry trying to personally gain from the waves of international sympathy towards the victims of Cyclone Ami.

"Through his cronies like Roshan of the London-based Movement for Democracy, he has made allegations on the internet, that this Government is discriminating against the Fiji Indian community in rations distribution, and that Indian farmers can anticipate not receiving anything.

"This is an outright lie. This is also a slur on the hard-work of both Indian and Fijian public servants who are tirelessly involved in the recovery and rehabilitation work of the devastation caused by Cyclone Ami."

The Assistant Minister added that the allegation by Roshan that "even Red Cross officials appear to be discriminatory" is totally unappreciative of the international NGO's great work.

"The Fiji Red Cross was there to be with Chaudhry during his time as hostage in Parliament, providing him with the care and comfort he needed."

"Now there is an attempt to taint their good work for Cyclone Ami. It seems nothing pleases the Chaudhry camp, but only those who provide blind loyalty to him," the Assistant Minister said.