#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Narsey tackles Hayward-Jones' naivety of treacherous Fiji politics

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Narsey tackles Hayward-Jones' naivety of treacherous Fiji politics

Aussie fears of China being played up

Lowy Institute lectures Australian Government
By Dr Wadan Narsey

The article by Jenny Hayward-Jones (Executive Director of Lowy Institute) in The Australian (6 October 2011) is a scornful lecture to the Australian Government diplomats, and a slap in the face of all those who suffer under the Military Regime’s dictatorship in Fiji.

With convoluted underhand logic, she transforms the Australian Government’s criticism of the Lowy Poll into a criticism of the Fiji people, and a criticism of critics of Australian Government policies.  She writes:

“COMMODORE Frank Bainimarama once famously told an Australian journalist he did not trust the Fijian people.  Apparently the Australian government doesn't trust them either.”

She further alleges:
“Just because the people polled expressed views that conflicted with what the Australian government believes the Fijian people think does not make the poll ridiculous.”

So according to Hayward-Jones, criticism of the poll is merely because the poll “reveals Fiji peoples’ views” that do not jell with the Australian Government views of what Fiji people think.

So what about all the substantive criticisms of the Lowy Poll?  Neither she nor her polling experts  have bothered answering them, either publicly or privately.

She completely ignores the statistical reality that the Lowy Poll results could not represent the views of the “Fijian people” because firstly, the sample polled was a biased urban/peri-urban sample on Viti Levu, totally ignoring all rural people and all Vanua Levu.

Secondly, and more importantly, even this biased sample could not be expected to give honest opinions on frightening questions such as “is Bainimarama doing a good job as a Prime Minister” or “should the Army continue to be involved in government in Fiji”.

Hayward-Jones needs to think a bit more why even Bainimarama told the Australian journalist that he “does not trust the Fijian people”.

Hayward-Jones may not have heard of the Fijian term “liumuri” which political analysts and politicians in Fiji (including Bainimarama) know all too well as a very apt descriptor for treacherous indigenous Fijian politics for the last century and a half.

Indo-Fijians also have a similar term “aage-peeche”  which aptly describes equally treacherous Indo-Fijian politics as many an Indo-Fijian political leader has found out belatedly, to their cost.

Although Bainimarama keeps getting profusely thanked and praised (very prominently in the media) by Fijians all around the country for the tax-payer funded goodies he has been delivering, he quite sensibly does not trust them enough to go to the polls.
Kamisese Mara
Bainimarama has seen what Fijian people did to Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Sitiveni Rabuka despite all the goodies they delivered to the Fijian people.

Bainimarama also knows that the very people singing his praises today, were also singing Qarases’s praises before 2006, but were nowhere to be seen when Bainimarama deposed Qarase.

Neither were Indo-Fijian people (except for an intrepid few) to be seen outside the Fiji Parliament, where Chaudhry and his fellow ministers, were held hostage for 56 days in 2000.

Which is why Bainimarama and Khaiyum will hang on to power in Fiji for as long as they can, without any elections, regardless of the huge public support that any Lowy Poll claims to show for him.

Lowy Lesson for Australian Diplomats in Fiji
But this is Hayward-Jones’ expert opinion on how the Australian Diplomatic Mission gets its allegedly biased information on Fiji people’s views:

            “Thanks in large part to the Fijian regime's restrictions on free speech, the Australian government has relied on the views largely of elites - academics, non-governmental organisation leaders, Fijians with chiefly status, former politicians, some businesspeople, blogs written largely by Fijian citizens residing in Australia and New Zealand - to inform its views of what the Fijian people think.

Oh dear. Who is left to give an opinion?  Hayward-Jones reveals all:
          With the exception of the occasional taxi driver, the people diplomats rely on for information and opinion tend not to be gardeners, textile workers, nurses, teachers, shop staff or unemployed people.”

Now, how many “gardeners, textile workers, nurses, teachers, shop staff or unemployed people” were invited to speak at Lowy Institute’s Auckland talk-fest recently? Did you say none?

But Hayward-Jones claims that this latter group “probably don't come to the attention of the regime in Fiji, and they may not feel as fearful as outspoken critics of the regime about the consequences of expressing an opinion”.

So you would expect their views to come through in the newspapers, radio and TV stations?  Oh, they don’t because of the media censorship?  You mean the Military Regime is censoring anyone critical in Fiji, and not just pesky academics at USP?  What a surprise.

So, the Lowy Institute thinks that ordinary Fiji people will honestly give their opinions on Bainimarama and the Army, to totally unknown interviewers appearing on their doorstep?

And you will then have a good idea of what “all Fiji people” think of how well Bainimarama is doing as a Prime Minister and whether the Army should continue running the country?

I remind that the national poll on the Charter allegedly received 92% approval, yet John Samy (one of the driving forces behind the Charter exercise), apparently admitted to the American Ambassador  that the results were obtained through intimidation.

Hayward-Jones needs to think a lot more about the draconian censorship in Fiji that stops anything negative from appearing in the media.

Two weeks ago, all 10 articles in one newspaper on the ANU/USP Fiji Economy Update were censored.  They were reporting on only mild and constructive criticisms of the Military Regime’s economic policies.

None of my writings can appear in the Fiji media, even if they are about far-away Japan.

But of course, writings by Graham Davis or Croz Walsh or any local academic sympathetic to the Regime can appear in any Fiji media, and they do.

Now, no doubt, any article by Jenny Hayward-Jones will feature prominently in at least one rag in Fiji, which calls itself a newspaper.

Hayward-Jones’ concluding paragraph

Hayward-Jones’ concluding paragraph really takes the cake in logic.   According to Hayward-Jones, to doubt the results of the Lowy Poll in Fiji must lead to the following conclusions:

The lessons we have to draw are that the Fijian people should not be asked to express their views and that critics of Australian policy towards Fiji are unreasonable.

You have to wonder if Canberra really is committed to freedom of speech in Fiji or only to the kind of speech that confirms the views of the Australian government.

The Executive Director of the Lowy Institute does herself no credit with such illogical attempts to defend the results of an indefensible opinion poll.

These convenient results she very selectively uses to support her real policy advocacy which is that she would like the Australian Government to change tack, re-engage with the Military Regime in Fiji, and end all the sanctions.

The Lowy Think-Tank Advice
In summary, Hayward-Jones’s advice to the Australian Government is: Let us give in to a Military Regime that has shown no interest whatsoever in returning the country to democracy, transparency, accountability etc which they keep trumpeting through their Charter, while totally ignoring and contradicting them in their everyday policies and actions.

Her real advice: Let us give the clear message to the military in all Pacific Island and nearby countries: they can

*treasonously remove their elected government on totally spurious grounds;

*change the judiciary and pass decrees so they cannot be legally challenged on anything;

*buy off the army by promoting your incompetent army officers trained to uncritically obey orders, into key government positions and increase the salaries of all the rest;

* co-opt enough disaffected citizens from within the country and abroad into your government machinery (especially religious leaders) to give it credibility;

* appoint as many white faces as possible to give international credibility;

* get leading business houses on your side by giving them the lollies they ask for;

* get all the Business Councils with Australia, NZ, Canada, China, India, etc to ask for “normalcy” so that their business and profits can flow as usual (who cares about human rights and good governance in Fiji);

* misuse hundreds of millions of tax-payers funds and stop all govt. audits on their own misdemeanors;

* wreck as many organisations as you can control, with no explanations to the public;

*get morally bankrupt persons to serve on an Audit Committee which in 2011 is looking at little pot-holes in 2004 while ignoring the craters of abuse since 2006;

* totally silence the people through Military Decrees and media censorship;

* pay themselves multiple ministerial salaries;

* use financial blackmail to get rid of critical academics at the University;

* hang on to power long enough;

* know that even for Super Powers like US and international “human rights preachers” like UN, democracy and human rights in Fiji or PNG are not as important as their international strategic interests in obtaining Fijian soldiers as cannon fodder in Afghanistan or Iraq;

* and frightened by the China bogeyman and its unstinting support of military supplicant dictators;

* eventually, even the Australian and NZ governments will give in and compromise with them.

But that would indeed be a sad day for the fundamental principles of basic human rights, law and order, and constitutionality in Fiji and for the rest of the Pacific.

Lessons for the Pacific
No doubt, the military hierarchies of resource-rich countries like PNG and Solomon Islands (once RAMSI is gone), are looking at Bainimarama’s kingdom, his international bravado, and frequent globe-trotting with great admiration and envy.

If Bainimarama can successfully run George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Fiji, so can they (they also must have lots of “Khaiyums” waiting in the wings for such opportunities).

Australian and NZ capitulation to Bainimarama is all they would need to start them off on their own glorious quests to “save their countries from corrupt politicians”.

If they need an accompanying ideology, they also can promise to bring any one of electoral or economic or political or social equality to all their hundreds of scattered  backward tribes. 

Someone, somewhere, some tribe, some group, will believe them and rise to their defense, which can be given great prominence through the total media censorship of opposing views.

But of course, their army officers will also need at least eight years at the helm, like Bainimarama (2006-2014), or perhaps more, given that their people appear to be “less educated and advanced” then Fiji people! (yeah, don’t laugh).

Perhaps Lowy Institute should do a region-wide poll in PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands, and ask their people if they would like a popular Military Government like Bainimarama’s?

The Lowy Institute could approach the Melanesian Spearhead Group to finance such a poll, given their love for Bainimarama.

They won’t even need to ask those countries for permission to conduct the poll: the Tebbutt Poll Manager in Fiji claims they did not ask the Fiji Military Regime for permission and the Ministry of Information claims they did not know anything about the Lowy/Tebbutt Poll!   Yep, pigs and elephants fly as well.

With friends like the Lowy Institute and Jenny Hayward-Jones fighting to get oppressed and censored Fiji peoples’ voices heard by the Australian and NZ Governments, who needs enemies?

Post-script on the Lowy Poll Results

According to the Lowy Poll, 91% of the respondents are being honest when they said to strange interviewers on their door-step that Bainimarama was doing a very good, good or average job as Prime Minister, when under his five year reign:

* the economy has failed to grow (effective loss of more than a billion dollars in income); * the sugar industry is in dire straits, with hundreds of millions of FNPF and Reserve Bnk funds wasted on a failed FSC mill refit;

* FNPF has lost hundreds of millions through bad management of large investments;

* FNPF pensions are going to be reduced drastically;

* $300 millions of EU money has been withheld from sugar industry reform;

* hugely expensive foreign debts are acquire unnecessarily

* The Military Regime is playing “Monopoly” with large Fijian companies like Fijian Holdings Limited with no accountability to shareholders;

* massive billion dollar deals (like the Waila City) are being plotted with little evidence of financial viability or Planning Office approval or public accountability;

* trade union rights are totally being gutted;

* Fiji’s relationships with all her traditional partners (Australia, NZ, EU, Commonwealth, Forum Secretariat) are in tatters.

* Fiji’s sports people are denied participation in the Commonwealth Games

* Fiji’s religious groups are more alienated from each other than ever before.

* military interference in the national rugby organisation and team which may have contributed to the debacle at the RWC and trauma for the rugby-mad Fiji public.

No Fiji Prime Minister has ever visited such blights on Fiji people: not Ratu Kamisese Mara or Timoci Bavadra or Sitiveni Rabuka or  Mahendra Chaudhry or Lai Qarase. None of them would have survived an election after such a five-year “performance”.

The Lowy Poll also sees no problem that at the same time that 91% of their Poll respondents thought that Bainimarama is doing a good or average job, 95% of them also stated that the following human rights were important to them:
  •     the right to freely express yourself
  •     the right to freely vote in national elections
  •     the right to a fair trial
  •     the right to a media free from censorship.

Yet the Bainimarama Regime has severely curtailed all these basic human rights. 

The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls


mark manning said...

Lowy Institute, now a " stink Tank " not a " think tank "!

mark manning said...

Intellects !
Very intelligent, not very bright !

Anonymous said...

Well said and argues Wadan! Its a pity that it hasn't occured to Hayward-Jones and the Lowy that if it was really true that Bainimarama and his regime enjoys such widespread support - then they should have absolutely no fear in putting their popularity to the test with an immediate (not in 2014)free and democratic election - with himself and Khaiyum as candidates in any electorate of their choice!

Taukei 5. said...

Well may Dr. Narsey question the political naivety of JHJ - its her lack of simple basic common sense & hmanity giving me trouble.

Therefore keep this as brief and simple as possible.

How on earth did the respected name of a Holocaust survivor finish up on a document giving succour to a military psychopath who tortures and kills his own people?

JHJ - suggest confirm with patron?(not director).

You give them nothing.

Anonymous said...

It would be good for Ms Haywards Jones to get first hand experience of liumuri then she would be less smug about regime and her survey

Anonymous said...

Taukei5 . . .
thankyou for a wonderful one sentence comment that destroys the Lowy (Lowly)institutes credibility.
... a hard punch right on the nose.
How does one justify anything that banana and pooibum do after the long list of criminality is known and documented?
Does Frank Lowy have any influence with the institute which bares his name? (and we presume, uses his money).
Most of Europe was a heap of rubble from fighting the Nazi war machine, when Frank Lowy came to Australia looking for freedom and a safe, secure, democracy.
Ohh! the irony.
Now the institute that bares his name appears to be supporting the mad murderous, military dictators.
... what are the L.I. real motives? What are their deep and hidden political beliefs? If we have not even scratched the surface and they come up with this - ooohhh, what will we find if we do some serious looking.
... stink tank indeed!
-Sydney Tourist

Vani said...

Vinaka Dr. Narsey. You're a true Fijian-at-heart.

The bottom-line is JHJ - no amount of research methodology or interview questions or responses will ever JUSTIFY what is happening in our beloved island. A cat is a cat. A dog is a dog. A madman with guns stealing power is a madman with guns stealing power. PERIOD!

You cannot use your flawed methodology and TIMING to say Voreqe is doing a good job, then at the same time WISHING he was doing the right thing like giving us back our elected government, our basic rights and our FREEDOM! These things a re PRICELESS!

Mere Samisoni said...

"Thank you Professor Narsey for your commitment to professionalism, truth and theory making as a basis for development in this region.

You are a true son of Fiji and the Pacific.

Briefly, the purpose of research is to design methodology that will remove bias because of its high costs and risks and so find truth as a basis of theory making.

The research design and methodology by both Lowy and Tebbutt Polls did not use proposition and hypothesis making through statistical measurements and analysis in order to remove bias.

USP should have been at the head of this debate but it lost sight of its purpose through, again, bias when strong personalities, chose not to make a difference.

As they say in Lau “e sukulu ia e cou vuli”. Translation – “they go to school yet they don’t learn”.

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

Anonymous said...

May be it's time for Qantas to question Australian government as to how they can let this happen in Fiji.

Air Pacific Board said...

The Irishman (whom you cannot understand what he is saying because of his Irish accent) needs to be held accountable on the activities of Phfilger and Company.

As their second largest shareholder, I have high expectation of Qantas' involvement in Air Pacific's development and not having a reject American loser who was a major dropkick at Virgin America to come and run the show and focus his energy into pleasing the ASK a-hole. And one has to wonder why Phfilger cannot he located in Nadi where FJ head office is located. Why the need to travel from Suva to Nadi every business day. This is the most pathetic nonsense I've heard.

Oh well, not long before Phfilger and Company will be spending time in jail so I guess no more commuting. It will be 100% time together with his a-hole ASK boyfriend in Naboro prison.

Watch out Phfilger, we are watching you carefully and time is up. Time to pack your bags for life behind the bars.

Catch me if you can you American idiot. We are not scared of you. Watch your back as I am coming to get you by the horns. Watch out white boy. Tic tok, tic tok, tic tok...the time had come to go.

Gardener said...

What Jenny is really saying is that Fiji's population and the entire diplomatic community are a bunch of dimwits who need the Lowly Institute to tell them what the deal with the current regime is. It obviously needs a smart Aussi mind to read between the lines and bring the gardeners nurses and teachers into focus. Jenny, can you do us a favor and explain why anyone who is an employee would want to support a regime whose message is loud and clear and delivered in form of a decree: "You have no rights as a worker". Again, Jenny's underlying assumption must be that we are a bunch of complete morons. On the other hand it is incredible how anyone presenting such a convoluted and illogical analysis can still be employed as a "scientists" in Australia.

Tappoo Hater said...

Pfileger, you are a disaster white asshole. Watch your back you bitch.

Time for a trip to the prison with Bai, ASK, YP Reddy + Family and the Tappoo family.

We are coming to get you. Beware of danger ahead.

Anonymous said...

Wadan always puts it so simply and everyone understands.Remember people ,he is a true leader,ready to face the military and it's injustices.Whenever election comes,Wadan must be voted in because he has stood tall in this struggle.
Wadan we continue tp pray for your good health and look to your leadership.

Anonymous said...


'Mark FREEDOM DAY on TUESDAY,11th October. STAY HOME. Pass this message on to all family and friends.'

This message is from Trade Unions and Churches.


Lesley said...

I think unless you actually visit or live in Fiji you really cannot really make informed judgement. I was in Fiji for two weeks last month Nadi, Natadola and Suva. I spoke with gardeners, cleaners, waitresses and others who work in the hotels and shopkeepers and people on the street and some businessmen. The majority were happy with the direction of Fiji. Some felt things were a bit wobbly at times and there were a few issues. A couple of people were very against, mainly because of the PER, and some just sat on the fence so to speak. In fact I was really surprised when a group of iTaukei gardeners told me that it was just lies that there were government spies everywhere and they said to me that Qarase was just a conman. Most I spoke to were more concerned about the cost of living rather than the PER and elections. The cost of living is a worldwide concern. The fact that corruption is being dealt was very important to most I spoke with. It was better than before now that the government is anti-corruption. One lady (iTaukei)told me that she was happy to wait for elections and that things were a lot more fairer now - there was now fairness for all. Those who used to avoid tax now pay tax - just like the workers have always done. She was worried about the increasing Chinese influence. So my impression about what is happening in Fiji is a little different than what others are saying on this blog. Time will tell.

Out of her depth said...

Jenny Hayward Jones is totaly out of her depth. The women is a fool who is even struggling to know what a coup is. The Lowly Institute has lost all credibility.

Anonymous said...

This poll is just a gauge of public opinion not the views of the polling company or the Lowy Institute. I think we have all lost our way a bit when we are criticising the views of our own people just because they don't all align with our own. I would like to see Wadan put his money where his big mouth is and do his own independent poll using international polling standards and let's see how dissimilar the results actually are.

Married to iTaukei said...

Wadan Narsey for PM!

Semi Miau said...

Hi everyone. I've added Jennys' email address here below.
You can all write to her and let her know what you think of her shoddy work.


Anonymous said...

Hang on and slow down 10/10 11.51am.

While I support Institutional Democracy to the death, as an Investor, I cannot close 29 shops at the last minute, where over 420 employees in total, work in 3 shifts.

I can see how the Unions had a say in this. While I respect Union rights there has to be another way to show solidarity in human values.

To close many shops at the last minute, will be like running down the Hill at full speed and made to sleep instantly on the way down.

The Investors also need to be involved in such a strategic plan in support of choices and democracy to develop and grow the economy.


Taukei 5. said...

@ Lesley.
Don't be misled - both Taukei & Fijians have a knack of telling vulagi what they think they want to hear - one out of natural courtesy - one for heriditary material gain? Gardeners cleaners waitesses & businessmen lie on the periphery of Taukei society - suggest should you visit again - stay in a traditional Taukei Village as remote from Suva & Nadi as possible - hopefully then you will be better informed about Viti?

Anonymous said...

Seems like Oz politics has waded into pacific regional fiasco that is transpiring from Fiji. Lowy Poll is a think tank for the Oz libs so say no more, they (Oz right wing)love to oppose for the sake of opposing the centre left. Wake up please! just a bunch of conservatives trying to be paternalistic. I wouldn't give Lowy Inst a days breath, esp from Hayward-Jones...

Lesley said...

@ Taukei 5 - Yes very good point but I do not believe I am mislead. I have visited Fiji many times for 20 years now (and have done some work in Fiji - one of my dear friends was a Minister in the previous government) and the company my husband works for has a business in Lami. I LOVE Fiji - and it is such a shame to see many Fijians and non Fijians pulling each other apart and saying such awful sometimes violent stuff on this blog. I know about telling lies in Fiji - very well – and have had experience of this first hand – many times. I also know that often the Yes in Fiji actually means No and vice versa. Those I spoke to were not telling lies. They gave genuine and honest opinion. What I did find interesting was that those who were neither for or against felt unsure about the future because of the changes that were happening in Fiji. Change does cause one to be unsettled - I know - I don't like change but sometimes change is necessary in order to move forward. Fiji is changing - I have seen the changes. I know it is probably asking the impossible but why don't all those who are so anti bury the hatchet and start getting on board to help Fiji move forward - for the sake of the younger generation? They are the ones who deserve a better future. Don't you all think it is time to stop the anger and bitterness and personal agendas/vendettas - it has gone on long enough. Try to be more positive - by all means criticise but also give credit where it is due. NZ and Oz really do not understand how things work in Fiji - to understand they need to be there at grassroots level helping - especially right now.
By the way – even though you disagree with me - thank you Coup 4.5 for posting my comments. As you say - Thumbs up to constructive debate. May God Bless Fiji.

Taukei 5. said...

@ Lesley.

Certainly right about one thing - Fiji (Viti) is changing - those previously in power had many faults but one thing they never did was kill their own (Taukei) people (kai).

Selesitino Kalounivale - Jone Davui - Epeneri Bainimolo - Lagani Rokowaqa and Iowane Waseroma were 5 Taukie men tortured & executed in a (your) quest for change.

Anonymous said...

Wadan can publish brillant articles taken from text books but when it comes to goverance, none of the theories apply. He was also elected MP but could not change anything in parliament. It will take many yrs of education and reality to move Fiji forward and individuals and parties are ripping Fiji apart. Join hands together -Democracy is not the answer as it has failed. WE need dedicated and humble educated leaders leaders who are not racially motivated.

Lesley said...

@Taukei 5. What do you mean "tortured & executed in a (your) quest for change." What does (your) mean? It is very, very sad that these 5 men died.They will never be forgotten. You cannot change what happened in the past but you can learn from it. The reality is Fiji will never revert to pre 2006 times so where to now? Forgiveness is very hard to do but one thing about Fiji that is special. Fijians know how to forgive. One can hope that time will heal many wounds.

Anonymous said...

Bula Dr Narsey. I hope you are doing well in Japan. Thank you for your insightful comments as always. To those of you who seem to think that people in Fiji seem to be happy and OK with Bainimarama I would like to tell you something, Fijians of all cultural heritages are generally the most passive and ignorant group of people in the world. Had it not been so we would not have had the 4 coups and Fiji would be a much better place to live in now. All the coups in Fiji were done on the bases of lies and deceit and most Fijians of either one of the major Ethnic groups bought it hook line and sinker. We as a nation have been also stupid and ignorant enough to vote in people like Lai, Chaudhary, Rabuka etc who all did good but only for themselves and those closest to them. Most Fijians have never understood the reason why food costs are so high in this country. I was speaking to a trained airline pilots who only found out that he was paying duty on most goods that he bought in Fiji of up to 45% when I told him. He had no clue about this issue prior to me telling him. He was about 40 years old and had no idea how goods were imported into Fiji and how he was charged for it. This is the level of ignorance within our so called learned community so what type of logical and practical comments do we expect from our gardeners, and taxi drivers.

Anonymous said...

@anon 1.14am - your last sentence therefore excludes both Bainimarama and Khaiyum!!!

Taukei 5. said...

@ Lesley. Time & Wounds?

In pursuit of justice time is of no consequence - as for healing
wounds? Thats under control too - as they will ultimately discover.

Anonymous said...

Frankie is too sacred to have free and fair democratic elections because he will be going straight to jail and get some of his own poison medicine behind bars.

Anonymous said...

You're obviously blind.
Let me enlighten you.
Fuel price gone up
Bus fare gone up
Bread price gone up
Tin fish price gone up
Butter price gone up
And now we have no job
70% poverty.
Do you know what poverty is?
I work as gardener and I have to look after my wife, two daughters and 2 grandkids. All unemployed.
So please go back to your stupid country. We Fijians hate this illegal government.