#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Return of GCC could be the answer to Fiji's current difficulties

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Return of GCC could be the answer to Fiji's current difficulties

KEY PLAYER: Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu

By Jone Baledrokadroka

After all the WikiLeaks brouhaha involving US diplomatic cables from Australia and New Zealand on Fiji’s military regime, at the end of the day it will all boil down to a local solution.

That the meeting between the turaga Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama took place is the most significant local dialogue breakthrough for a nation in dire straits.

For any ruler, authoritarian or democratic, the ability to navigate among various political forces and to build coalitions is important for survival.

What is certain is that next year, for the military regime to stay on its present course limits its survival options in a crumbling economy. With all the fallout from the high echelons of the regime, this year, the interim PM is now surrounded with even more “yes” men unable to transmit bad news of impending economic disaster.  Weren’t we all duped by Governor of the Fiji Reserve Bank Sada Reddy’s soothing economic assertions, before he jumped ship?

Anyway, we understand, Bainimarama took on board the advice of the leader of the all important Matanitu Tovata confederacy and his once political antagonist, the former front bencher in the SDL government.

After the usual Fijian tauvu pleasantries, the political nut that was laid bare was the issue of the role of the Great Council of Chiefs in providing legitimacy to the regime, now that almost all Provinces seem to have acquiesced to the regime’s rule.

Fiji is fortunate in having the existence of the erstwhile GCC as a ready-made institution capable of organizing political rule and cracking hard local political nuts as it did in 1987 and 2000, albeit flawed to critics. In addition with the Methodist Church being granted its annual conference next year, Bainimarama’s two alleged primary source of political insecurity may well lend him a helping hand, vaka Viti style.

More importantly, the fact remains; the GCC is the constitutionally appointed body for selecting the President. International credibility in this high office may, therefore, be restored should the GCC be convened to do so.

With a legitimate President as guarantor, the interim PM can then present his road map to democracy plus an exit strategy for him and his regime to the GCC, for endorsement. The phase after can be to address policy caveats to the IG’s road map with political parties to solicit co-operation.

The quid pro quo may then be international Presidential legitimacy from regional stakeholders for the GCC choice versus the IG’s road map to democracy on a negotiated election date with the  military disengaging from government.

Even authoritarian rulers fear threats from important segments of society and seek co-operation by concessions in terms of sweetener policies. With the recent pay increases to the police and nurses that are conveniently pegged to the SDL’s Job Evaluation Exercise of 2003, the raise was obviously directed to both essential government services to garner crucial support despite the national public debt at  a bloated 57% GDP. Obviously, the nine other occupations minimum wages increases, as promised, was not national priority for the IG and has been further postponed till May next year - if ever.

Meanwhile, Bainimarama’s once loyal lieutenants Brigadier Pita Driti and Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Mara’s decommissioning letters from the Minister of Defence Joketani Cokanasiga lays on the interim President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s desk waiting his signature, sealing their fate.

Without a case to answer, the Minister of Defence is on orders to end both officers’ military careers for being threats to national security.

Ratu Epeli as Commander in Chief of the military is not buying the set up as his predecessor did. He is between a rock and a hard place and diffusing this impasse, in which he has the biggest personal stake, is a tad more complicated.

Convening the GCC may save face for all and may well be the light at the end of the tunnel for what is surely shaping to be another rut of a new year.


Liu Muri said...

Well said, but can chiefs be trusted after their dereliction of duties in 1987 and 2000. Wasn't it the Tui Cakau who abused his chiefly powers to incite and encourage Fijian soldiers at Labasa camp to mutiny?. Do such opportunist chiefs deserve to be accorded any chiefly respect and status? How about the one in Naitasiri who was after Bainimarama’s blood and caused havoc at the Military camp on 2 November 2000? It could have resulted in wholesale bloodbath. Do such undeserving individuals deserve any respect from us? Chiefs can only be trusted if they become completely apolitical and are not in the pockets of politicians, like Qarase had them feeding from his hands. GCC has been so badly maligned that it will need a miracle to push Fiji people to accord it any respect.
Anyway, we did not have the GCC for the last four years. Did it make any difference to common Fijians at all?

Lord Haw Haw of Horowhenua said...

It is always best to combine against the common enemy. Now is the right time for Fijians to unite.

Fijians will always rule said...

Fijians will always rule. They have the guns and the guts. The rest are just toy boys.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of people in all honesty and good faith, respected the rule of law and voted a government in.
This idiot (Bainimarama)had no respect for the rule of law and comitted an act of treason against the beloved people of Fiji.
For this he must pay the price.
He broke the law and justice must prevail.
There is only one exit strategy and that is to Naboro.
Sometimes I wish we still had the gallows because he deserves it.
God expects us to stand for justice and fight for what is right.
Jone should stop mudding the waters and call a spade a spade.
Bai has comitted a crime and he must be punished.

Anonymous said...

Why are they doing plea-bargaining?
If you didn't realise JB , this man comitted a crime against every individual in this country. We don't really care what Ratu Naiqama thinks. The fact is this man comitted violence against us and justice demands that he pays.

mark manning said...

@ Anon 740 a.m.
Sometimes in life, you have to know when to be wise and this is one of those times perhaps !
Conventional approaches haven't worked and won't work with a person as desperate as Frank Bainimarama and in the overall scheme of things, it might be better to suck it up and get over it, in order to move forward and avoid further catastrophe.
Personally, I'm not an advocate of plea bargaining and amnesty, but as one of Fiji's SDL Politics said to me, in order to break the deadlock, amnesty, as unpleasant and imperfect an option as it may seem, may be the only option if we are to start the process of returning back to Democracy in Fiji.
With the spectre of prison high on Frank Bainimarama's radar and consciousness, it's highly unlikely that there is any other incentive that will work to entice him to give up.
Give him the option to resign now and step down and return to his village, never to be mentioned in fiji again.
That will not only allow the Country to return to a Democratic process, but will crush Frank's ambitions and bring the whole coup d'etat to a grinding halt.
The coup supporters will be history, overnight.
I suppose this why you and I are not Diplomats, we wouldn't consider plea bargaining and amnesty, but then we probably wouldn't stand a chance of ever returning fiji to Democracy either, or not for a while anyway, but Fiji doesn't have any time left to consider other options.
I say suck it up and get behind those who are prudent enough to have recognised the realities and who are brave enough to put their names to the idea of amnesty etc. in order to get Fiji back on track.

Sniper said...

Well its Christmas the time of love and forgiveness. But does that include forgiving treason, corruption, murder, torture, theft, destroying indigenous institutions, isolating Fiji from her traditional partners, and a wholesale sell out of the country to a pernicious overseas predator? Come on JB give us a break here, this regime is about self preservation of Bainimarama first and filling the pockets of the opportunists such as Aiarse. And our nightmare will not away with a little talk of the chiefs.

Stealth. said...

Joys of Sailing - Good Times - Bad Times.

This proposal is about one thing only - floating an exit strategy for captain & enthusiastic 'willing' crew
members of much travelled - good Drua Viti.

Right now imagine all shipmates are more than a little confused about what their future holds? One hand there's George in Naboro -
Steve at the Sheraton?

Least problem (impasse)is finally being adressed (but not solution).

All indications are Drua Viti is currently entering dangerous uncharted waters - sailing towards an economic maelstom - crew (direction)change needed - asap.

Anonymous said...

the biggest liumuri are chiefs in fiji.
now no money .all supporting bani govt.
before camv/sdl/now bani group.
how can we trust these chiefs or thieves.
now tax payers not wasting 36 million building for 6 days meeting a year.
its time for chiefs to be out of politics and serve it vanua and people.
if you want to get in politics than give your chiefly status up.
god help my country.

Anonymous said...

An idiotic suggestion in the first place. Tui Cakau should be behind bars like perpetrators of this coup, like Qarase and all other thieving and opportunist I Taukei so-called leaders. Sa rauta mada na veivakaisini. Oilei!

Anonymous said...

all the trouble in Fiji has been caused by the chiefs. they jump ship when it suits them. frank was right to shut them up

Anonymous said...

pls Rt naiqama. Pls do not appease the beast and do not forget justice.The latter must be served for all and sundry.They will not be forgotten.

You have got to be joking! said...

So all you democracy lovers want a bunch of unelected chiefs to return to guide us back to democracy?? Hello!! Don't you realise how silly that appears?

Anonymous said...

Ratu Epeli will be signing away on those decommissioning letters about as quick as you can say "free ride"! If Frank can bring himself down from the current ego trip he is on there might be a chance of reconciliation with the GCC and the Methodist church but there must be a promise of early elections and not the 2014 rubbish that he is proposing. 2011-12 is a possibility, step down, propose a skeleton caretaker government with only that 1 purpose, return to barracks....unfortunately with the idiocy of Vore he'll keep going blindly along.

Anonymous said...

It is not about Chiefs any more. Last of all those who were involved in 2000 mutiny.

It is these politicians who took part in mutiny are who military do not want in politics controlling the military.

So when a leader is going to use these mutiny supporters to run their govt, then that type of govt is not required by FB.

If all is o.k. under the name of democracy, then is also his stay in the long haul IG I guess.

It seems to save another mutiny is why FB wants one man one vote to give Fijians controlling power on the future govt to "save" Fiji from another mutiny in his institution.

What is democracy when that democracy gives security risk within? BUT he can also keep his Military Council Strong instead to stop future interference by politicians, and go back to 1997 constitution and elections as the better option, and decree no politicians tainted with 2000 coup or mutiny will be allowed to take part in the election process.


Afterall, the leaked documents confirmed the NZFM Deputy Secretary who made independent assessment saying that FB's demands to Qarase were mostly justifiable.

So who was right I ask?

Freedom Seeker said...

LiuMuri@8.03pm We didn't have GCC because we didn't have freedom. In case it has escaped your notice, we didn't and nor do we have any of the trappings one takes for granted in a nation operating on the principles of democracy. What is your solution, LiuMuri, other than the status quo and supporting Bainimarama?

Anonymous said...

I totally with you there@Liumuri. Well said. I only have one question: if the i-taukei firmly believed in the rule of this institution that was created by law, then why did they not rise to defend it when bainimarama told the chiefs to go drink homebrew under the mango tree??? I think it's because deep down every itaukei understands that their identity remains intact and is not at stake by a mere disregard of an institution that supposedly represented their true interests but was found wanting after it had been compromised by the previous coups.-Edited C4.5

Conned Already said...

@You have got to be joking: Fiji has moved on and the chief moved off but what have we gained? The mickey mouse Peoples Charter and hollow promises of elections??? A military regime that said it was coming in to 'clean up' and improve our lot but who has since run amok in the lolly shop filling its pockets with as many goodies as it can crying 'hahaha, you can't touch us?" The same military regime that has simultaneously run the economy into the ground but is refusing to relinqush control even as its 'leader' bolts the door against disllusioned foot soldiers?? Tell us again who is silly!

Anonymous said...

JB, you got to be joking if you think that the GCC is the answer to Fiji's current problem. What are you hinting???

Anonymous said...

Another Jone verbal nonsense. Wonder where the hell him and his gcc were in 1987 & 2000 when it was real time to hold the rule of law. All of sudden chiefs like to follow the rule of the law.

Manuqalo said...

Amidst an illegal government, good things nevertheless are happening in Fiji. To those of you who live in misery overseas, happy dishwashing and happy toilet brushing.

Anonymous said...

Heard in the news last night (FM102.8) that the Government will not use the GCC of old and recognises instead, a Council of Chiefs who are Turaga i Taukei. This means, the I Taukei will be better represented in the Chiefs Council. This should see more members from the interior of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu too.

Anonymous said...

Np more Chiefs in politics, blood sucking parasites.

Jeremiah 25:28-29 said...

A million rights will never ever right a wrong.

Ni sa tauyavu ga mai ena cala, ena sega vakadua ni rawa ni dodonu na vei ka kece e muria mai!

mark manning said...

It's pretty simple and unfortunate, so are most of Frank's supporters !
An illegal GCC isn't going to take Fiji anywhere because it will be one band of thieves leading another and taking Fiji further down the toilet !
You just shouldn't even bother trying to build a house on sand !
Has anyone noticed that Frank and Co. look for the simplest thinking Village people, to match his own simplistic mentality of how life should be ?
What a disaster waiting to happen , again !

Jake said...

Yet again the underprivileged people of Fiji have been subjected to an otiose article written by a person that inveighs against Bainimarama’s Regime purely to justify an institution that was a brainchild of the British.

This institution have for all intent and purposes seen its last days for it was an institution borne out of the need to help those that were needy but this corrupt body of dysfunctional people decided to politicise it right out of existence.

You are on the right path Bai and don’t deviate from the righteous path.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

God bless you Bai.



Anonymous said...

And who is this white trash Manning? Get the hell back to your pathetic desperate state and accept that surely but slowly, Fiji will take back its rightful place amongst its Pacific Island brothers. Your Australian Government has also mucked Fiji up - by your cunning and deliberate tactics of economic isolation. You will pay, just as you did with the unfortunate helicopter incident where that young man (RIP) died off the shores of Kadavu in Post 2006 Coup.

Anonymous said...

And who is this white trash Manning? Get the hell back to your pathetic desperate state and accept that surely but slowly, Fiji will take back its rightful place amongst its Pacific Island brothers. Your Australian Government has also mucked Fiji up - by your cunning and deliberate tactics of economic isolation. You will pay, just as you did with the unfortunate helicopter incident where that young man (RIP) died off the shores of Kadavu in Post 2006 Coup.

Anonymous said...

at anonymous 12:37 your and arsehole. That helicopter pilot is a human being and has a family. You be careful because karma may allow something like that happened to a love one and what would you say then.

mark manning said...

Anon 1237 p.m.
You poor thing, you have such a closed mind !
You are one of those simple village people I was talking about no doubt ?
Why do you Fijians continually blame the English and everyone else, you've had Independence for 40 years now ?

mark manning said...

Anon 1237 p.m.
You poor thing, you have such a closed mind !
You are one of those simple village people I was talking about no doubt ?
Why do you Fijians continually blame the English and everyone else, you've had Independence for 40 years now ?

Simple Villager said...

And a Merry Christmas to Anon at 55.56pm and MM.

Simple Villager said...

And a Merry Christmas to Anon at 55.56pm and MM.

Anonymous said...

Dear Coup4.5 and bloggers - may you all have a Blessed Christmas.

Freedom Seeker said...

Stealth@10.36pm You're right it is a case of May Day, May Day! But who will hear us, no one willing to brave these shark infested waters

Stealth. said...


Little Coconuts & Big Eared Bird.

Be surprised?

Difficulty lies in ensuing well intentioned & powerful help doesn't accidently capsize (sink) Drua in endeavours to rescue?