#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Restless natives and elephants: two doctoral thesis challenge Khaiyum's Final Solution

Monday, August 23, 2010

Restless natives and elephants: two doctoral thesis challenge Khaiyum's Final Solution

Some of the feedback from readers on the Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum thesis printed by Coupfourpointfive last week:

From Alivereti Jona on August 20:

Reading Kaiyum's thesis, I submit part of a paper I wrote regarding idigenous ights in New Zealand and Fiji as opposed to Kaiyum's view that colonial policy was to protect the Fijians. In fact, it was a tool to suppress the Fijians i.e the problems of today:

Controlling the Natives
With Gordon’s (Dr Arthur Gordon,Fiji's governor from 1875 to 1880) experience in other colonies, he would have quickly summed up that the number of white settlers was unlikely to grow to the point of turning the country into a settler colony. At the same time, the natives have to be either coerced or assimilated into the new economic and political system.

Gordon is held in high esteem regarding his perception that Indigenous Fijian interests should be protected from political expediency or the needs of settlers, to avoid the New Zealand precedent.[1]He established a system of indirect rule where in his words "native institutions are developed with the capability to manage their own affairs without exciting their suspicion or destroying their self respect".[2]Thus a Great Council of Chiefs was created to advise the governor on native affairs and assist in the formulation of native regulations. The Native Labour Ordinance 1876 restricted the recruitment and commercial employment of indigenous labour and a native taxation scheme to meet tax obligation in kind, meant communal existence without recourse to employment for wages.[3]

Gordon and Thurston have been credited and patronised by Fijian chiefs with the protection of native land, institutions and customs to an extent hardly seen in any other British colony. Be that as it may, it has been argued that the system was premised on misleading assumptions and erroneous ideas on traditional structures of Fijian society.[4] In effect the policy isolated Indigenous Fijians to communal existence and a life of servitude to chiefs.

Chiefs were used as a mechanism of control through dominant roles in native affairs, backed by the force of law and administrative machinery. Appointments of chiefs as colonial officials were strengthened through the codification of Fijian customs to be enforceable by law. The recommendation for these customs to be codified came from none other than the Great Council of Chiefs.[5]The situation was such that an oligarchy of chiefs emerged, whose children were assured education and employment in the colonial administration. The oligarchy of chiefs translated into chiefly elite who became prominent in both colonial and post colonial political history of Fiji.

The struggle of commoners

The natives complained of their inability to work for wages, and excessive taxation by government with the demand for large exactions by the chiefs as traditional due, became the focal point of resentment.[6]Protests against the Gordon/Thurston Policy on abuses and excesses of the rigidly defined communal way of life were being recognised by government with the view that ordinary Fijians were exploited by the chiefs and the system itself.[7]Governor Sir Henry Jackson recognised this problem upon his arrival in 1902 and noted “...widespread feeling of unrest amongst natives and the desire for greater liberty for individual action...”[8] Although he felt unable to intervene for lack of a viable alternative he made his point that “our plain duty is to ensure that it shall not be worked exclusively for the benefit of the ruling class...and to provide for the commoner readier redress for his grievances...”[9]

A similar stand was taken by Im Thurn who was Governor of the colony from 1904 to 1908. “I have always desired to find a safe way for the complete abolition of the communal system. But a little experience has shown me the danger of doing this at present”.

[1] Lal, above n 81 at 14

[2] Legge, J. D, Britain in Fiji 1858-1880, (Macmillian, London, 1958) 204

[3] Lal, above n 81 at 14

[4] Ibid at 15

[5] Scarr, above n 73 at 90

[6] Ibid at 15

[7] Ibid at 19

[8] Jackson to Colonial Office, 8 November. 1902, in CO 83/75

[9] Jackson to Colonial Office, 30 March 1903, in CO 83/75

And from Dr Mere Samisoni also on August the 20th.
I write further to the ‘Pacific In the Media” article that dismantled the thinking behind Aiyaz Kaiyum’s masters thesis, a document that has formed the basis of the Bainimarama Regime’s ineffectual Fijian Affairs reforms.

What ASK’s thesis proposes to address is the negative aspects of Fijian cultural practice. But does this mean that Fijian culture as a whole is a liability? That is a biased view and has not been quantitatively and statistically measured to level any significance in order to accept or reject his hypothesis.

In contrast, from the entrepreneurial point of view, race has value and is capital in terms of ethnicity. It is therefore a success factor, where markets are ethnically differentiated and segmented.

My own Doctoral thesis identified and demonstrated 186 success factors (along with their market indicators in Fiji). This kind of diversity therefore, is a broad source of innovation perspective and incubation that can add value in business planning. So, entrepreneurship is a framework and process that will enable a move away from the outdated, autocratic, Hitler-like, cruel, centralized model of the past industrial era.
In terms of system and style, the entrepreneurship model leverages empowerment of ability and talent from the “hearts and minds” of all peoples, using team-building leadership in a free and friendly environment. This brand of leadership is in complete contrast to the present dictatorial and decreed conditions of PER, controlled media and judiciary produced by ASK’s thesis.

The point I am trying to make here is best highlighted by the Buddha’s parable about the five blind men trying to understand an elephant. The perspective of each is limited by his own blindness, and so as a result, they all have a different experience of the Elephant as they are standing around different parts of it. This was the Buddha’s explanation of how man’s limited understanding can result in different perspectives and doctrines in religion or politics or ideology.

But, Dr Vishal Mangalwadi (2010) a philosopher and historian argued for a holistic view by asking the question, “What if there is someone else who CAN see and can tell us about the whole Elephant?” He answers his own question with a resounding “Yes” that God is that person who can see the whole Elephant, and He has spoken to mankind in history through the life and person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and through the Bible as His eternal Word.

The parallel in Fiji’s case is the association between ASK’s rather narrow and patronizing view of native development and cultural engineering in Fiji, being the kind of limited perspective referred to in the Buddha’s parable of five blind men.

By contrast, there is the holistic and empowering development model provided by the entrepreneurial framework. It looks at issues holistically with a multi-disciplinary perspective that values freedom, diversity and information as its foundation for innovation and progress.

I therefore agree with Pacific In the Media that by removing ethnicity from the picture, ASK’s methodology is flawed with tunnel vision bigotry and is based on a narrow legal interpretation. Furthermore, ASK ‘s “peace-meal” approach to development of a multicultural community, has not contextualized the value of people, where ethnicity and diversity are strengths, for the common good new age civilization. 

Dr. Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni legally elected SDL Member for Lami Open Constituency (deposed 2006).


The Max said...

It's all too obvious this campaign to get rid of Mr Khaiyum as Attorney General of Fiji. This is the same strategy the Australia government did to get rid of Julian Moti as Attorney General of the Solomon Islands.

What happened to Julian Moti was that the Australian Ambassador in Solomon Islands identified Moti as a "threat" to Australia's interest in the Solomon Islands. The question that everyone should ask, what exactly is Australia's interest in the Solomon Islands in relation to the Solomon Island's own interest and security?

Julian Moti is a Constitutional Lawyer and would have given Mr Manaseh Songavare, the Solomon PM at that time, the legal advice to negate the Australian funded RAMSI's prolonged stay in the Solomon Islands. So what the Australian Federal Police did is pay a girl and her family money to bring a court case of rape against Mr Moti when the case itself was already dismissed by the Vanuatu court. The ensuing appeal by Moti in a Brisbane court and the subsequent ruling the Judge made in favour of Moti confirms the suspicious of many that the hit on many was nothing but a

This campaign to oust Mr Khaiyum as AG of Fiji has all the hallmarks of an Australian hit to demonise and discredit him in the hope that the Fiji Military Council remove him from his position. Since they cannot attack any other part of Mr Khaiyum's character, the only way was to go after his thesis and try to discredit him and cause distrust between the Military Council and Mr Khaiyum capability and qualification.

As an indigenous Fijian myself who have read My Khaiyum's thesis, there is absolutely nothing wrong about his thesis in relation to tackling the crux of the problem that enables extremist forces to destabilise the country especially on what Fiji has been facing in the last 22 years since coup 1987.

I'm sorry to say that this campaign to oust Khaiyum won't work for the simple reason that the current military leadership are on top of hits of this nature to try to bring distrust amongst their ranks and the government of the day which they have chosen. They have been doing their homework all these years studying the deceptive nature foreign entities used to destabilise countries and regions all over the world for geo-political or economic reasons.

It is easy to read into this hit on Khaiyum and for this reason bring to light the crux of these articles motives. The problem with these articles was that it is written by faceless people therefore carries no weight in terms of credibility. End of story.

By the way, I will be posting my comment on other blogs just to see whether you practice fairness since you have campaigned strongly against the current leadership for the rights and freedom of speech/press which they have curbed through the media decree.

Anonymous said...

Mad Max you are way out of context. The pieces are neither by faceless people nor a campaign against your idol Kaiyum. They are legitimate comments analysing Kaiyums thesis in the context of what is happening in Fiji today.

Whether the military council removes Kaiyum or kiss his ass is not part of the postings in particular comments by messrs Jona & Samisoni.

What Australia has got to do with this is beyond me. It is what the people of Fiji think that matters. You just have to play Bainimaram's interview (on this blog page) to see his warped thinking and you are in the same boat.

You can make any post ...but it is more than likely to be full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Sorry The Max but your way off base regarding Julian Moti.

AUS goverments takes very seriously their pledge to protect
vunable overseas children from deviate (predatory)sections of its society.

Julian Moti's political beliefs
(or anything else for that matter have nothing too do with any of it.
Being (becoming) an AUS citizen entails both responsibility & liability.

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