#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji's Australian democracy chapters tackle frontline issues

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fiji's Australian democracy chapters tackle frontline issues

Australia's seven democracy chapters are meeting in Melbourne today and the conference is being buoyed by the inclusion of the address of the Rewa chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Rewa this week reiterated its opposition to the People's Charter and remains the only province to officially and publicly do so. It has also decided not to sign over its shareholding in Yasana Holdings to the Fijian Affairs Ministry.
The controversial Council For Democratic Fiji (CFDF) will also be part of the conference with the former chairman of PSC Fiji, Stuart Hugget, representing the New Zealand group and presenting a paper.  FDFM Australia members will vote on whether or not to join the council following the public fallout several months ago over the inclusion of  Australia by New Zealand without consultation.

Two senior civil servants have also volunteered to share inside information about the Frank Bainimarama government. Both are in the process of applying for their protection visa in Australia and say they are fed up of the nepotism and corruption back home.

The other speakers are Amy Schwebel from the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Niko Nawaikua (a former barrister specialising in native land and indignenous rights), Mere Samisioni on the Mistakes of SDL and FLP and the chair of the National Conference Uniting Church, Reverend Jovili Semo speaking on religious freedom. This is his spech:
 
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN FIJI

On October 10, 1874 when Fiji was ceded to Great Britain, the chiefs of Fiji who signed the new constitution made it very clear that Fiji was to remain a Christian country. This new Fiji constitution came into force influenced by several reasons, and for our purpose, it was because of the eradication of deifying traditional gods worshipped by the forefathers. 

Within a few years after the Deed of Cession, the British saw it appropriate to bring in indentured labourers from India.  These new people from an old country that had their religions rooted in their cultures for thousands of years established their own religious institutions in the new country. They built their Hindu temples, mosques and schools. There were always interchanged of racial and religious negative remarks thus producing prejudices among Fijians and Indo-Fijians. When misunderstandings reached the national and political levels, they created disparity between the races. These rivalries sparked heated debates in political meetings, parliament, community meetings and religious gatherings. In addition to these misunderstandings, were the successes of industrious Indian farmers compared to the ‘lazy’ Fijians sitting around the villages and continuing the vicious circle of life?  The Indo-Fijian successes in commerce and education of their children have added to a marked social class in the Fiji society.

Fiji Religious Context

Fiji major religions, namely, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam have co-existed for more than 150 years. Different Christian denominations of mainly Fijian descents, made up of about half the population, one third are Hindus and 10 per cent or so are Muslims. Of course today we can add other religions; atheists and those who continue to adhere to the traditional religion of Fiji that sometimes become transparent in witchcrafts or sorcery.

The British policy of divide and rule further compartmentalised religions and the two major races and thus during all those times different racial groups perpetuated the grave misunderstanding that existed in the past years. The 1970 Constitution did not help at all because it further encouraged the paramouncy of the Christian religion over other faiths that made Fiji their home.

Established religions that are active have become part of the culture of the people.  Fijians have Christianity embedded into their life and on the other hand Hinduism and Islam have also become the way of life of Indo-Fijian migrants.  Living in rural and village settings brought the different races together.  People began to speak each others languages and eat each others food.  Roti and curry have become one of the favourite menus in Fijians and Indo-Fijian homes; dalo [taro], a favourite in many homes. Different ethnic and religious groups intensified the building of schools and societies that promoted their own religions. I remembered very well in some of the Methodist meetings, we discussed the building of more Methodist schools that were solely for evangelising the non Christians. The plan to establish a Methodist Teacher’s college and a Methodist university are multi-faceted in purpose; one of the prongs is the promotion of Christianity.

After the coup of 1987, Rabuka was proclaimed the Messiah of the Fijian lost race, like the Israelites of old. Even this old concept brought back the memories of Dugumoi, Navosavakadua and Apolosa Ranawai whose nationalistic concept was in contrast to that of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna moderate nationalistic ideals. This line of thinking expressed and elaborated during kava sessions, favoured Rabuka’s stand and those ideals that promoted Christianity, namely the Sunday issue.

The promotion of Sunday ban became more of a political issue rather than economic as was initially intended.  In fact, I headed the protest march of 1977 in the Suva streets focussed on the premise to allow time for worship in the morning and tourist boats could come in the afternoon. As one can see, more fire was added into a simple protest that became more of a political issue and at the same time victimised the Indo-Fijian population, Hindus and Muslims. This continued to the extent that the Indian Muslims were saying after the 1987 coup, that they were afraid of the Methodists.

Without doubt, the 1987 coup was geared towards the promotion of the Fijian identity which included Christianity. Many changes came about after the 1987 coup. Fijians and Christianity cannot live alone in Fiji.  The pragmatic way ahead and reality is that we have to accept that in Fiji different ethnic groups and different religions have to co-exist and look for a mutual middle way to live in harmony. 

Different groups made submissions to the Constitution Review Committee set up by the then Governor General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau in about June 1987. The different churches made their own submissions and for instance I remembered the Methodist Church in Fiji tried to maintain the preamble of the Deed of Cession, which was, Fiji to remain a Christian country. When the Fiji Constitution was promulgated in 1990, it did not take into account the concerns of racial equality made by the Fiji Council of Churches. It [FCC] was very specific on the following principles that should be provided in the new Constitution: namely:  the importance of the dignity of every human being irrespective of race, religion and every one should be treated with equal respect.  Secondly, the new Constitution should take into account fair treatment for everyone irrespective of race, religion, sex, age and status. The third important principle was the promotion of mutual recognition of and respect by all ethnic groups for one another’s religio-cultural traditions.

The Fiji Council of Churches was crystal clear with its position as above principles entailed but the dissident within the Council was the nationalistic ideologies of some prominent leaders within the Methodist Church in Fiji. It continued to maintain its pre-cession and pre-independent mandates, that is, to evangelise Fiji and that Fiji to become a Christian country by building a Christian State. This fire was further ignited and made worse by the formation of the Assembly of Christian Churches in Fiji [ACCF] spearheaded by the leadership of the Methodist Church with fervent support of the other Pentecostal churches.  The move, as I see it, was very political because it also brought into the fold the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua [SDL].  In fact the ACCF as it were, became a political wing of the SDL, and the continued proposition that Fiji should become a Christian State.  This drastic move was done in total disregard to the sensitivity of the racial and religious compositions of the Fiji society.

The 1987 and 2000 coups continue to perpetuate prejudices among the races and there are several areas we can divulge on as the reasons; it may be economic, racial, political, social and religious.  Books, articles and speakers have and will discuss those areas, I will continue with the idea of religious freedom. The 2006 coup by Bainimarama with the intention to end all coups would not end coups but would further worsen the fragile situation, create more misunderstandings, more corruptions and further impacted present racial and religious divide. More frequently, talks around the kava sessions dwell on the fear of Al Qaeda and terrorist groups operating in Fiji.

I have already highlighted religious intolerance in Fiji, that is, Christians are claiming that they are the only true religion in the world.  To put it in another word, Christianity is the way of life, not one way, it is the way. This is dogmatically intolerance.  Other religions will argue with this premise and will come up with religious ‘pluralism’ which proclaims that all religions are simply different paths up to the same mountain.  Or some use the popular saying, “All roads lead to Rome, that is, all religions lead to God.”  Pluralism therefore seems to be the norm but there are some flaws in it. We all understand that we are aware of contradictions within the great Faiths, in the case of Fiji; we have to closely look at Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.  There are small truths, but there is a deeper grander TRUTH.  For micro truths: Christianity claimed that Jesus died for the sins of the world, Hindu said that there is a recycle of life, the ‘karma’ and Islam claimed the necessity of meeting Allah’s requirements of five daily prayers.  So what I am saying is that we look from different perspectives and that is where we find the truth; and that is where we are at with the pursuit of pluralism. Whatever response we may make, agree or disagree, we continue to adhere to what we believe as truth. Even pluralism pulls us in different paths. Do we need this perception in Fiji, is a very good question?

Jesus himself said, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord! Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” That is to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...” we do this act of love and kindness to people, irrespective of race sex and religion; we are doing it to God. The Red Crescent, the Red Cross, other similar organisations and we as individuals can be ‘persons for others’ in this troubled world. Is this the way for Fiji?

Let me discuss ‘tolerance’:

It is appropriate to check a Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church that says that ‘tolerance’ or “religious tolerance is the leaving undisturbed of those whose faith and practices are other than one’s own.  It may arise from respect for the rights of another person to freedom of belief, or from indifference.” I say that tolerance does not mean mere acceptance of the people’s beliefs rather the acceptance of people who hold contrary beliefs. This is true tolerance, it is the appreciation ability to treat with friendship and respect those of whom you disagree.  That is exactly what Fiji needs.

A Christian

To conclude, I must confess [I am proud to be a Christian] that I am a Christian and a minister [talatala] but whether I live in Australia or Fiji, I must maintain the concept of religious freedom. I believe that Fiji Christians should apologise to both Hindus and Muslims and find ways for true reconciliation.  It is not sufficient that only Christians apologised to each other.  True reconciliation in Fiji is when all religious adherents come together and apologise to each other and build a bridge of reconciliation. 

The new Constitution must again clearly state the equality of every person irrespective of culture, sex and religion.  We are all equal and everyone should practice with all freedom his or her own faith, whether Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, atheism and sorcery. That is one’s individual right.

Jovili I Meo [Rev. Dr.]

Sydney

19/11/11

 
We also eprint here the address by Gone Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi for those who have not sighted it:

A CLARIFICATION OF REWA’S PERSPECTIVE REGARDING THE ILLEGAL OVERTHROW OF THE FIJI GOVERNMENT
DELIVERED AT THE BOSE NI YASANA ‘O REWA
BURENIVUDI, LOMANIKORO, REWA – THURSDAY 16 NOVEMBER, 2011


1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, THERE IS NOTHING NEW ON EARTH ABOUT DIFFERENCES OF VIEWPOINTS WITHIN ANY MEETING, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF MEETING. IN FIJI, THERE IS ALSO NOTHING NEW ABOUT DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CULTURAL LEADERS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE VANUA.

1.2    WITHIN THE TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS CULTURAL CONTEXTS THERE ARE VERY CLEAR DEMARCATIONS ABOUT THE RESPECTIVE ROLES WE ACQUIRE AT BIRTH SUCH AS THE DUTIES OF THE SAUTURAGA, THE DUTIES OF THE MATANIVANUA, AND THE DUTIES OF THE BETE, BATI, MATAISAU AND THE GONEDAU.

1.3    IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY OF ANY TRADITIONAL LEADER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELL BEING AND WELFARE OF THE VANUA.

1.4    THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WELL BEING OF THE VANUA IS TO BE ACHIEVED BY ILL GOTTEN WAYS AND MEANS THAT MAY BE ILLEGAL BY THE LAWS OF MAN AND WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD..

1.5    IN MY POSITION AS THE ROKO-TUI DREKETI AND AS THE LEADER OF THE VANUA OF REWA, I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT I FEAR MORE THE GOD I WORSHIP, THAN  THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT I WOULD ATTEMPT BEFORE GOD TO JUSTIFY AN ILLEGAL ACT SUCH AS A COUP.

1.6    I COMMEND TO YOU THAT WE GIVE THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION.

1.7    I ASK YOU AS MEMBERS OF THE BOSE NI YASANA, WHAT IS THE ROKO TUI DREKETI AND MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL TO SAY IF THERE IS ANOTHER COUP TOMORROW? WILL WE THEN BE SUPPORTING THE NEW REGIME? I ASK YOU TO LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE LIVES OF COUP SUPPORTERS HAVE ENDED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  HAS ANYONE OF THEM EVER COME TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE IN A QUIET AND PEACEFUL MANNER?

1.8    THIS IS A QUESTION WE WILL HAVE TO REFER TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR RESPECTIVE TIKINA.

1.9    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ON THIS ISSUE THE GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS HAS BUT ONE POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. AT THEIR MEETING IN DECEMBER, 2006, AND AGAIN IN APRIL 2007 THE GCC STATED THAT WE ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE RULE OF LAW ABD ABIDE BY THE 1997 CONSTITUTION. ALSO THE SUPREME COURT RULING IN 2009 STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE 2006 COUP WAS AND IS ILLEGAL. THEREFORE WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA CAN REST ASSURED THAT WE STAND ON THE CORRECT AND RIGHTFUL LEGAL AND MORAL GROUND AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY OUR GOD TO PROVIDE US THE WAY OF LIFE AND TRUTH.

2.0    THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF REWA’S DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER

2.1    YESTERDAY WE WERE ADVISED BY THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER THAT REWA WOULD BE DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING AMOUNTING TO $3 MILLION DOLLARS IF WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE MILITARY REGIME.

2.2    HE ALSO INDICATED THAT FUNDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE AND ITS WORK PROGRAMME AMOUNTING TO SOME $315,115.00 COULD ALSO BE WITHDRAWN BY THE REGIME SHOULD WE MAINTAIN OUR OPPOSITION.

2.3    ADDITIONALLY WE AS A PROVINCE WOULD ALSO BE DENIED SHARE DIVIDENDS HELD IN FIJIAN HOLDINGS AND YASANA HOLDINGS VALUED AT $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS OR SOME 547,000 SHARES.

2.4    WE HAVE BEEN DENIED DEVELOPMENT FUNDING UNDER THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME TO THE TUNE OF SOME $100,000.00 ANNUALLY USED FOR BUILDING VILLAGE PATHWAYS, BUYING BRUSH CUTTERS AND ASSISTING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY HALLS.

2.5    IF SOME OF THESE POINTS ARE TO TRANSPIRE WE WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE ALL OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROGRAMME EXPENSES AND THUS I STRESS TO YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING OUR TARGETED PROVINCIAL LEVY. (SOLI NI YASANA)


3.0    THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

3.1    MAY I SHARE WITH YOU THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WHATEVER GOVERNMENT  IN POWER TO LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS.

3.2    YESTERDAY WHEN THE DPO SAID ONLY REWA REMAINED IN OPPOSITION, I WANTED TO SHOUT WITH JOY.


3.3    WHETHER A GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED OR NOT, IT MUST LOOK AFTER THE WELFARE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS WITHOUT FAVOUR, WHETHER WE SUPPORT OR VOTED THAT GOVERNMENT IN OR NOT, THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGED TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF US IN THE SAME WAY.

3.4    THE FACT THAT SOME VILLAGES HAVE BENEFITTED FROM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHILE OTHER HAVE NOT IS SOLELY DEPENDENT ON HOW GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTS ITS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES.

4.0    NATIONALLY COMMUNITY NEEDS ARE ENDLESS

4.1    AS RECIPIENTS OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WE MUST ALSO REALISE THAT NO ONE PERSON OR COMMUNITY IS EVER COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH ALL THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND NO GOVERNMENT CAN EVER FULFILL ALL OUR WISHES.

4.2    HOWEVER A SINGULAR TRUTH I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU IS THAT IT IS ONLY GOD’S KINGDOM THAT CAN EVER COMPLETELY FULFILL ALL OUR NEEDS AND GIVE US PEACE.

5.0    THE DEFINITION OF GOVERNMENT

5.1    YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM THE DPO THAT WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT SO I WANT TO ASK JUST WHO IS OR WHAT COMPRISES GOVERNMENT.  THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR IT, THE CIVIL SERVANTS. THIS IS BECAUSE IT’S THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO VISIT US AND IMPLEMENT THE PROJECTS WE REQUEST.

5.2    THEREFORE I MUST ASK, DO WE NOT LOOK AFTER THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO COME TO WORK AMONGST US TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, DO WE NOT COOPERATE WITH THEM AND GIVE THEM FOOD AND SHELTER. AND WHEN THEY RETURN TO THEIR OFFICES DO WE NOT GIFT THEM WITH TOKENS OF APPRECIATION.

5.3    WE HAVE ALWAYS MAINTAINED FRIENDLY AND CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS SENT TO WORK WITH US AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS EXPRESSED THEIR GRATITUDE AS THEY ARE SIMPLY IMPLEMENTING THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID.

6.0    REWA’S CONTRIBUTION TO GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

6.1    WE CAN SEE THAT WHILE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS ROLE, WE AS CITIZENS ALSO HAVE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES. IT IS ALSO INCUMBENT ON US THE PEOPLE OF REWA TO WORK HARD TO PAY OUR PERSONAL AND OTHER APPLICABLE TAXES LEVIED WITHIN OUR PROVINCE SO THAT GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO COLLECT REVENUE TO DEVELOP OUR PROVINCES.

6.2    WE ALSO PROVIDE OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS TO GOVERNMENT TO ENABLE IT TO DO ITS WORK, IN PARTICULAR WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIVEN THE LAND ON WHICH  THE CAPITAL CITY IS SITUATED.  WE THE PEOPLE OF REWA ENABLE GOVERNMENT AND BIG BUSINESSES TO CREATE COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES AND LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.  IT SHOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN THAT THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE OF REWA HAVE GIFTED TO OUR BELOVED FIJI.


7.0    WE DO NOT HATE CIVIL SERVANTS OR THE GOVERNMENT

7.1    IT MUST BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE DO NOT HARBOUR ANIMOSITY TOWARDS THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES AND WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE OUR VERY BEST TO MAKE THEIR TIME OF SERVICE WITH US AN  ENJOYABLE AND MEMORABLE OCCASION BY GIVING OF OUR HUMBLE BEST.

7.2    WE ALSO DO NOT HARBOUR ANY ANIMOSITY TOWARD ANY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS COME INTO POWER ELECTED OR OTHERWISE AS LONG AS THAT GOVERNMENT HAS FULFILLED ITS BASIC DUTY OF SEEING TO OUR WELFARE AND BY PROVIDING SOUND ADVICE AND LEADERSHIP TO US ALL.

7.3    NEVER BEFORE IN OUR HISTORY HAS A CIVIL SERVANT FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE  PUBLICLY BERATED US IN OUR OWN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING.  PERHAPS IT IS A SIGN OF THE CHANGING TIMES THAT HE NOW SEES IT FIT TO GROSSLY OVERSTEP THE BOUNDS OF TRADITIONAL AND CULTURAL PROTOCOL AND BEHAVE IN SUCH AN APPALLING AND BOORISH MANNER IN OUR PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.

8.0    WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS

8.1    OUR COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED MANY COUPS AND WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THE SUCCESSIVE COUPS. PERHAPS THE ONE CLEAR THING WE HAVE LEARNED AFTER ALL THESE COUPS IS THAT A COUP WILL ALWAYS HINDER PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT.

8.2    AT THIS POINT IN OUR HISTORY WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY THAT COUPS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING POSITIVE TO OUR SOCIETY AND WILL ALWAYS RESULT IN IMPEDING PROGRESS.

9.0    THE BASIS OF OUR OPPOSITION

9.1    THE REASON WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE REGIME AND THE COUP IS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT, ONLY GRAVE DIFFICULTIES. THEREFORE WE CAN SAY THAT WE NEVER WANT TO EXPERIENCE ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

9.2    IF IT FALLS ON REWA TO EXPRESS THIS OPINION TO THE CURRENT REGIME LEADERSHIP, SO BE IT. LET THERE BE NO CONFUSION, REWA IS OPPOSED TO ANY COUP.

9.3    WE CAN NOW SEE THAT OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO FACE EXTREME DIFFICULTIES IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS AND A COUP CULTURE.


10.0    LET US ALWAYS SUPPORT THE TRUTH

10.1    THIS MORNING I WISH TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT IT IS OUR MORAL DUTY TO SUPPORT THE TRUTH AND THAT WE DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE THE OVERTHROW OF A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

10.2    IF WE SUPPORT THE 2006 COUP, IT IMPLIES THAT IN THE FUTURE IF ANYONE DOES NOT LIKE THE LEGALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT, WE WILL AGAIN HAVE ANOTHER COUP.

10.3    WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT A COUP CULTURE IS WRONG, IF WE DO NOT EXPRESS OUR HONEST OPINION AND EARNEST OPPOSITION TO COUPS.

10.4    WE DO NOT HATE THE GOVERNMENT PER SE, BUT WE ARE TRULY SICK AND TIRED OF COUPS AND CAN NO LONGER MEEKLY FOLLOW ALONG.



11.0    MISTAKES THAT COMMENCED IN 1987

11.1    WE WILL LEAD OUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS ASTRAY IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUPS. I WISH TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MORNING THAT WE STARTED TO GO ASTRAY AS A COUNTY IN 1987.  MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS 25 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN 1986, AND SHE HAS KNOWN NOTHING BUT THE COUP CULTURE. WE MUST STATE NOW AND FOR ALL TIME THAT THE COUP IS WRONG AND CAN NEVER BE MADE RIGHT SO THAT WE DO NOT CONTINUE ALONG THAT PATH

11.2    IT IS TIME TO TELL THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE COUP AND OUR SOLDIERS MUST GIVE THEIR SOLEMN OATH TO THE VANUA THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER IMPLEMENT ANOTHER COUP IN FIJI.

11.3    TOGETHER WITH THE LEADERS OF THE REGIME WE MUST RENEW AND CLEAR OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE IN ORDER TO AGREE ON A PROCESS TO RETURN OUR NATION TO A GOVERNMENT LEGALLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

11.4    LAST BUT NOT LEAST I HAVE A PERSONAL REQUEST – “IF YOU COME TO ARREST ME, DON’T COME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I AM AN OLD WOMAN, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL ME OR SEND ONE PERSON. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEND 16 MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONELL TO ARREST ME.”

11.5    TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL, I MERELY WISH TO RESPOND TO THE DIVISIONAL PLANNING OFFICER REGARDING OUR POSITION – THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Christianity is a very tolerant religion.
We in Fiji have been very tolerant to other religions.
Try living in Afghanistan or some Islamic country and see what happens when you become a Christian. They KILL you.
Only this week the Coptic Christians in Egypt were marching peacefully in the streets and the muslims pelted them with rocks and bottles.
How many times in Fiji have you seen Fijian Christians pelt Hindus doing their Goindah or The Hari Krishnas being pelted while dancing in the streets of Suva.
or pelt Muslims for waking everyone up at 4am.
Never.
Fijians have been terribly tolerant.

- Secondly as for pluralism, Jesus said He is the "only" way, the only TRUTH and the life. So either Jesus is a Liar or everyone else is.
- The Bible does teach tolerance and it also teaches us that every man has a freewill and God is not going to force people to come to Heaven. A lot of people have chosen Hell instead

That is what Democracy is.
A freedom to choose
To choose whether to accept the Charter or not
To choose who is to be Prime Minister
God has given us this freedom, but evil men(like Bainimarama)try to take it away from us.

Christianity is not the problem.

The problem is people who call themselves Christians ( like Bainimarama) but are truly NOT.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

The bravest woman in Fiji!!!!!!! Bravo!! I wish I were so brave as to leave my real name but cannot as I live in Fiji.
Also shocked to read today that some people who wrote their thoughts on walls were jailed for 4 years and 2 years!!! That is the greatest loss I feel - freedom of speech.
So impressed with Gone Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi. A true leader, which is what Fiji needs right now.

Smell the Coffee said...

The Marama na Roko Tui Draketi is championing Truth, Justice, Liberty & Honour. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Chiefs time is up. I am not regime supporter. I support democracy which is a true democracy without having to be born into it. So let's get rid of the chiefs and let's get demoracy back asap.

Sau na Vanua said...

As with law, judgements are made based on the framework of precedents. The pre-amble to the Deed of Cession which anchors Fiji as a Christian nation is important to us as Fijians. It is a scared connection with the intent of our forefathers for the Fijian nation. That it has not been stated in subsequent constitutional documents in recent times, is an important reason why there has been so much upheavals. Like a ship not properly moored, the slightest gusts of wind, will set it adrift.

Unlike, Islam and Hinduism, Christianity is a very tolerant religion. In the constitutional document it can be stipullated that we are a Christian nation, but at the same time other ethnicities are free to practice their respective religions totally unfettered. Bigger countries than Fiji like Malaysia and Australia establish their state religion in their constitutional documents, why can't small fry Fiji? Is it the influence of Hindu and Islamic lawyers and businessmen?

I am a realist and believe that in this instance it is not necessary to beat around the bush and a spade must be called a spade. Somethings are best left as they are. Contrary to Semo, I believe Fiji's Christian identity must be clearly definned in the constitution, but so as not to impose restrictions on others.Fijian society is happy go lucky and tolerant, everybody knows that.

The intent of our forefathers at cession in Levuka must be respected and transmitted to future generations. Finally, the sentiments of latter day immigrants must not dislodge this fundamental aspect of the Fijian nation.

Anonymous said...

Indigenous tolerant to other race or to non Christians? What a joke, most of them including Kepa will support coup if there was benefit to them.

You can only judge them from their actions during 1987 and 2000.

There has been many cases of temple and mosque burning in past and will happen in future by so called Christians.Indians are robbed everyday.Has any Chief of any Reverend ever pointed out that this is wrong and not a Christian
act?

Anonymous said...

rewa rocks and christ our lord is our creator and a true living god.
regime is not greater than our god.
well said marama bale the roko tui dreketi.
no more coup supporters in fiji.
coup is not good for any country.
its time for all chiefs/province to take the stand on this evil regime/ag taliban.
god bless you all in fiji.
rajesh

Taukei. said...

If Muslimes are afraid of methodists - wait till they meet the catholics?

Don'tunderstand what all the fuss is about? Muslim countries don't appear to have any problem enshrining their own religion into their national politics?
Yet when christians attempt it its somehow wrong & viewed discrmination?

Anonymous said...

Now there are some very good comments and are soundly based thoughts from minds which could be said to be "rightly deviding(balancing) the word of truth".
Cristians do not force people to be followers of Jesus teachings. What is the point of force when true faith is of the heart and mind, not the outward show of rituals and works.
---------------------------------
Extremist Muslims who would kill you if you don't convert, have missed the whole point of what God expects and apparently don't believe that Allah can see into the human heart and He knows the grossley fake offerings of suicide and murder in the name of Allah are Satanic in origin.
... a person convinced against their will,
are of the same opinion still.
Muslims who live in western democracies have much more freedom than those who live in Muslim Governed countries.
-----------------------------------
... So, it is a correct and just way to live under a democratic government, that people are free to practise their choice of religious belief, without force or coercion of any kind, and that is what Christian based governments offer in a democracy.
The preaching of the Cross of Christ is to "whosoever will, may come" ... the spirit of God speaks to the heart of the hearer and they have a choice - a life changing choice - a choice which the Bible teaches, re-directs the soul from a pathway down to hell, to a pathway to an eternity in the heavenly place where God is and sin is NOmore.
-----------------------------------
This is why the western democratic way of government has the ...
"seperation of church and state"
The Church does Not govern or make the state laws and the Government does not interfear with the spiritual laws and practice of religion or make laws to restict such.
While this "tolerant" state exists, every one should be happy and glad about their freedom.
BUT you have to be vigilant and aware that the Devil can appear in many inocent looking forms that will ultimately destroy this freedom.
... A Military Coup will destroy your country and remove your rights and your freedoms.
-----------------------------------
WAKE-UP FIJI - ARE WE THERE YET?

-Sydney Tourist

Anonymous said...

Taukei,
When Muslims impose their religion in their country on others...this is why Fijian soldiers are finding themsleves to deliver peace to those countries.

When they are wrong then it does not mean Fiji should copy their stand. Learn from others mistakes.

Afterall Christainity is imported religion not a Fijian religion.

Church in Israel existed from before Christ was born. Christ brought messages to those who forgot god andthaose pre-existing Church's.

The messager is the Guru...and baptism always goes under guru in line to "THE God" in Haven.

Hence all massengers of GOD are equal sending same messages from thousands years before arrival of many great souls.

Follow your religion under which you are baptised...respect all religion as they all mean the same.

Amen...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no problem with "Christian" state, except as a Christian I am offended that this should be so, if the "state" does not in fact act "christ" like, and way worse, does many traditions ,customs and practices that are anti-christ.

Jusus did not come to save "states" ,God's only concern is with the individual.
"there will be the few, not the many, so save your delusions and hyprocies, God does not care for our conciets, or rather he does and has sent trial upon trial specifically to teach us the error of our ways.

Anonymous said...

My God is a jealous God. He cannot be served with any other God. I believe Christians shud stand up for their faith and must not compromise by one inch. I believe there is a curse upon the indigenous Fijians because they have compromised their faith. Maybe not by being yoked together with unbelievrs as the word says but because they have allowed their country and land owned by mataqali to have worship houses of other faiths built on them and other kinds of worship to be practiced there. We may not realise this but I believe this is why we have not been progressing well as a race.

Anonymous said...

Sa levu ga na nomuni vosa na kai viti.Ni na tini tale ena kakase.Da galu ga ke da sega ni rawa ni tucake ka vei saqa.
sa vinaka cake o ira na wekada na Tonga kei na Solomone nodra tucake ka coqa na matanitu.
Cava sa manati Viti tiko kei na kawa i taukei noda tukuna tiko ni da veivaluvaluti tu eliu.Levu ga na lamu

Taukei. said...

@ Anon 5:30.

Your reply exposes your naivity - suggest you put your theories into practice & go preach your dangerous beliefs in places such as Pakistan Saudi Arabia Iran etc -see how you & other like minded people go?
No problem with you becoming a martyr - just don't condemm others with your twisted take on reality. (Islamist threat).

Anonymous said...

Rev Meo, you nut.
Stop apologising for the Fijian people but explain the Fijian position clearly and unpologetically. That is where true reconciliation will kick in. They must understand us TOO. We have shown our true repentance before God by not retaliating on this coup that is initiated by non-Christians using Fijians who are duped into obeying New-Age Christianity concepts to justify their following Bainimarama.

Anonymous said...

Chiefs are the biggest problem.

Anonymous said...

religion and politics don't mix..simple s that..

na kauta ga mai na yalo ni kocokoco

Anonymous said...

@ Taukei 9.59...you have misunderstood. What I am saying is only because in Pakistan & Arab world that they do not allow other faith to preach and respect their god of understanding is the key reason those states are fighting for years now.

So for Fiji, if you trying to say Christain State then you are asking for a doomed Fiji for ever.

So will we have Saturday Church Day or Sabath Day if we follow Christanity as the constitutional religion.

Was it not that in 1840 the Queen added the condition in the agreement or constitution that Fijian's will always follow Chrishainity and no longer to pray to Degei?

Are you not going to fight for that abuse of being forced upon your forefathers a foreign religion?

Grow Up......

Sa Sucu Sa Lutu..

Anonymous said...

@9:33 AM. WRONG, dude. Back to school for you, bro. On the contrary, religion and politics are a perfect mix.

"Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine .... Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

- James Wilson, "Of the General Principles of Law and Obligation," in 1 The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, 104-06 (Bird Wilson ed., Bronson and Chauncey 1804).

mark manning said...

Religion and Politics have their place and like milk and lemon, when mixed, create a curd, which in turn, has a completely different use to both the original ingredients, lemon and milk.

Each though, is beneficial and has its own function.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzLG7EUmZIA&feature=related

Basically, left alone, each is stronger and more effective consequently !

Anonymous said...

What bollocks!!
First, you do not apologise, you fight for the truth.
Second, you do not double dip by choosing to support the coup that suits you personally.
What hypocrisy!!

Anonymous said...

@ 7.39a.m. In trying to undastan you, explain to us the following:

WHAT ARE NEW AGE CHRISTIAN CONCEPTS???

HOW, HOW, HOW ARE THE FIJIANS DUPED, INTO FOLLOWING BAI???

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7.30am - Dont attack the person, attack the issue at hand??

If a Doctorate holder is nuts what are you? What are your qualifications?? Vosa tiko vakasama....your comments show your calibre!! Respect other learned views and learn from it!!

BUDDHA THE ONE WHO KNOWS said...

Religion is a personal matter. God has no interest in your petty politics. Having his name in the constitution or any other piece of paper is of no use to him... he only wants your heart and soul.


Bringing religion into politics only serves to disrespect God. This is true no matter if you are Christian, hindu, muslim, or any other faith.


The number one reason why religion cant be used as a foundation for law is that it involves too much interpretation. If we Christians can't even agree amongst ourselves how to worship the good lord our father(and end up with a hundred different denominations), how can we create law, which must be clear and obvious to all?


If we decide to use the Bible as the source of our law, like the middle eastern nations use their Koran, what version will we use? The old testament, or the new one? If we use the old one then I should kill my son, because he disrespected me today. Would this make good law?
What about controversial issues like sexual orientation? Should we kill these people (everyone has a relative or friend who is gay), like Leviticus says, or love them, like Jesus says?

If you are reading this, your probably disagree with my interpretation of the verses.... and that is EXACTLY my point. We disagree about them. That is why the holy verses shouldn't be used to make law. They are the word given to us to help us as individuals to live better and make PERSONAL choices using the free will God gave us.


Remember the last and most important message of Jesus: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" - John 13:34

SEMI MEO said...

Anonymous 6.52pm…please, do not bother to engage in any sane interaction with nutty nationalist like Anonymous Nov 20, 7.39am.

Their hearts and mouth spew sea and muddy and a bit of fresh water simultaneously.

These kinda breed of nationalist are blinded by their ego centric warped belief that the Fijian race are the only god chosen and ordained blood line on earth.

Their dubiety elevates their reasonings to heights of denial and nothingness….denying the realities of our socio political facts and volumous talk, but nothing.

In your book and ours?.these are the real NUTs…eh..

Oh..and a nut seller will win the Australian X factor this week…but nuts like Anonymous Nov 20, 7.39 may fetch nothing in the nut market!

Humility heals a nation..not hard nuts!!

Anonymous said...

What is clear from all the views is that whatever out own thinking, whatever our own wishes are, and whatever our own race is , and whatever our own religous baptism is under, we ALL have to keep our views to ourselves and agree to disagree.

AND that given the 1997 constitution was debated and followed proper consultation process, whatever the final approval of it is keep your own opinions inside your pocket and accept to work as a community delivering the intentions of the 1997 constitution.

Any thinking outside of 1997 constitution is not allowed. that means you are not invited to participate in the electoral process if you oppose the 1997 constitution or have defied that in the past.

Sa Sucu Sa Lutu.

Anonymous said...

Well said except for 6.2

Is this a threat?

What sort of burden is being implied here?

To my mind 6.2 negates all and continues to keep us in the trenches of provincilism

When will we truly all rally for the NATIONAL interest.

Sanguine said...

What craziness - to suggest Fiji should call itself a "Christian" nation when it has such a diverse and interesting mix of people from all faiths.

Christianity was imposed less than 200 years ago by colonial powers / missionaries - read "Matanitu"for an interesting background. Hardly indigenous!

Look around at history and the world today. The most successful, as in great countries to live in, not necessarily the richest, are the ones where human rights are paramount. Freedom of religion is one of those human rights.

Anonymous said...

The Dem Movement is confused about its role. It should focus on return to democracy. Meo's contribution is confusing and makes no sense. Do not bring religion into the Pro Dem movement. It will lose credibility. Too many cooks and issues spoil the soup. Too many people now suddenly want to be in the limelight.

Anonymous said...

Religion has always being part not only of politics but everything of Fiji from the dark ages till now. What religion has done is far beyond politics could do for our country. But if politics run on its own without religion, then we all know the end result........

SEMI MEO said...

Anon...4.50am..What credibility does this "Dem Movement" have?.No mention of Mr Waqatairewa or Ratu Ului Mara??..of the thousands of Aussie Fijians, only 36 attended..

Oh..and Dr Meo's commentary is spot on..may be you are confused..proof?..you may have worken up this lovely morning but forgot your name and all you stand for..well, if..if..at all credible!

Anonymous said...

If one looks around the world there are 4 things that have caused major upheavials everytime in our history that we never ever seem to learn from.
1.Land
2.Religion
3.Ethnicity
4.Politics

We invade because we want more land, we kill in the name of our God,we divided ourselves along racial lines instead of looking at the quality of the person and for POLITICS you just have to look around at what Politics is doing right before I our very eyes in countries around the world-begining at home first!
The first 3 we basically can't do much about so one would expect we would accept and live with it look for common ground instead of harping on our difference-the last politics is the product of our agendas from the above 3-played out everytime we about to have elections! So should we not wonder why we are at this point in our lives when we talk of Fiji. Some may doubt what i say but we can always put forward scenarios-If no other race came to Fiji where would be today? If there was only Christians in Fiji-would you have no more crimes? We can always continue down this path of discussion to find we all have weaknesses. We can argue as to whose religion is the best and who owns the land and who is the stronger race but at the end of the day-no matter what our beliefs are we were all created by the one Creator-I always try my best to remind myself of that so that i try my best not to make judgements on Gods creations. After all who am i to make that call! I hope i make a small contribution to this discussion-why do we worry of the after life when we can't even sort this one out? God bless you all. DRi Yani