#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: The Unintended Consequences of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations on the Fiji Military

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Unintended Consequences of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations on the Fiji Military

By Jone Baledrokadroka
Fiji’s reputation in United Nations International Peacekeeping simply contrasts its military’s internal role as a cabal of political oppression. In the wake of three coups in 24 years the question of how the Fiji military overthrows democratically elected governments and yet is accepted as an ‘international force for good’ has become trite? As arguably one of the major influences for coups in Fiji is due to the unintended consequences of UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) on the military elite. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission in Kashmir in 1949 there has been a large body of literature that concludes that participation in peace operations is beneficial for military institutions and for civilian control. 

There has also however been substantial literature on the unintended consequences of UN Peacekeeping on a nation and its military force. The Fiji military as described by Stephanie Lawson ever since the first Rabuka coup of 1987 has become a ‘homus politicus in its own right’.

Most disconcerting, increased military numbers and a militarisation of society at large have since been justified according to the expanded roles of nation building and peacekeeping, the overt results of military paternalism. 

Why? After the coup of 1987, Deryk Scarr aptly concluded of Fiji’s UN peacekeeping contributions that it had considerably raised the country’s international profile but had hardly enhanced the army’s Westminister brand of professionalism.

It is argued that the expansion of the military’s political role since the first coup was underpinned, in several ways, by participation in international peacekeeping missions. And that service with UNIFIL Peacekeeping Operations established the self image of Fiji’s military elite as political mediators.  

Turaga-Bati Nexus
The Turaga-Bati traditional relationship that originated in Fiji’s pre-colonial society was purposely incorporated in post-colonial orthodoxy by the British through agents such as Ratu Sukuna. The high chief’s philosophy was that Fijian society was built on ‘obedience and respect for authority’.

What was always implied given the old Turaga-Bati relationship, was the corporate interests of the ruling elite and the military were always in convergence, with the military subservient As explained by Robert Norton, “The principle of defending the dignity and authority of chiefs against the political ascendancy of Vulagi (foreigners) was at the heart of the ideological justification of the 1987 coup.”

It is argued that Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka initially was true to the call of the Bati in carrying out the May 1987 coup. Andrew Scobell asserted it was the threat to this intrinsic corporate interest that spurred Rabuka to act. In fact the 1987 Fiji Labour Party election manifesto, ‘deplored the Royal Fiji Military Forces as becoming more of a band of mercenaries for the UN and MFO and its role should be reviewed’.

This articulated FLP policy acted as a ‘red rag to a bull’ for the military elite in 1987.

What were these interlinked corporate interests? The military in post-independent Fiji was always to be the last bastion of Fijian paramountcy and its national value system -the Lotu, (church) Vanua (Chiefly Tradition) and the Matanitu. It was the custodian of the Fijian race’s martial tradition and cultural capital.   

Thereby it became the institution that guaranteed the largest body of Fijian men lucrative UN and MFO peacekeeping employment. Given the military’s nation-building and peacekeeping roles, the extension into politics was naturally only a step further. 

From a force of 400 at Independence, active duty troop numbers increased to 6000 by December 1987. This is as a result of the expanded roles of national development, peacekeeping and internal security given to the military. Today the Fiji military has a strength of 3200 active or regular soldiers and 6000 reservists, or a total of 9200 troops. (See Graph 1 just below)


DWP 1997 & NSWP 2005
A  Comparison of 1000 capita/ troop, numbers for a population of 837,000 (2007 census),   Fiji has an index of 10.1. This is consistent with other coup prone countries such as: Myanmar 10.4, Thailand 10.1, and Pakistan 8.1. To compare with   countries that have militaries in the region Australia‘s index   is 3.9, New Zealand   2 and Papua New Guinea is 0.5. (See Graph 2 just below)


A Case Study of Peacekeeping Perceptions
Around early morning 14th May 1987, news of a military coup in Fiji had been filtering into Fijibatt Headquarter Qana, South Lebanon. As a young Captain the author and several other senior peacekeeping officers including the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Epeli Ganilau, Major Matereti Sarasau, Major Savenaca Draunidalo, Major Naulu Mataitini, Major Jone Bolaitamana, Captain Meli Saubulinayau and  Captain Tevita Bukarau had gathered at the Officers’ Mess over a tanoa of yaqona quite perplexed at what had unfolded. 

Later in the afternoon Colonel Jeremaia Waqanisau came up from UNIFIL Headquarters Naqoura to brief Colonel Ganilau and officers of the Battalion as to the situation regarding the coup. Fijibatt’s continued participation in UNIFIL was also discussed.

The first message by telephone that afternoon from Colonel Rabuka to Colonel Ratu Epeli was that the Governor General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau was safe and well and that no harm would befall him. More so the high chief still remained in office at Government House as talks of forming an interim government continued into the late night. Rabuka also mischievously assured Major Draunidalo through Ratu Epeli that his former wife, Adi Kuini, now wife of the deposed Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra, was well and still occupying the Prime Minister’s government villa at Veiuto. 

This recollection firstly accentuates the smallness and close knit society that we were. Secondly it shows our perceptions as peacekeepers on the ground. 

That night, talk around the kava bowl in Southern Lebanon was all about the Rabuka-Ganilau-Mara-Bavadra relationships and the political intrigues unfolding. We also started to compare and reinforce the Bati role as the manifest destiny of the military through Rabuka’s political intervention. Akin to our duties in Southern Lebanon as peacekeepers.   

It is recalled that night the coup was discussed as an analogy for peacekeeping and not as an act of treason.
To emphasize the point, Coup leader Colonel Rabuka had justified his coup by stating, ‘When a political party loses, and that party is the sole and final guarantor of your values, you would be forced to do something about it’. 

The charismatic officer was the embodiment of the Fijian value system, being groomed from the Fijian elite Queen Victoria School-(na Vuli ni Turaga) as head scholar. He was also a lay preacher and national rugby and athletic representative. All these traditional qualities apart from his military professionalism made him fit the role as coup leader. This obviously endeared him to Fijians at large and especially his loyalist soldiers.

Having usurped political power, however there was a change in relationship between the military top command and Fiji’s neo-traditional elite. The military began to articulate a separate corporate interest as a result of the intra- national schisms that was always beneath the surface. And after the commonly perceived inter-ethnic political schism was seemingly neutralized. 

Moreover Rabuka and the military’s intentions were clearly signaled in the form of a senior officer’s presentation paper in August of 1989.  The two distinguished chiefs in power Ratu Sir Penaia, the President, and Ratu Sir Kamisese, the interim Prime Minister, were briefed in no uncertain terms of the military’s wish to play a political role in the national interest.

Major General Sitiveni Rabuka and his chief of staff Brigadier Joji Konrote presented the paper complete with charts of the military’s future political role and intentions. The paper presented in a military appreciation format where the national political situation, assumptions, threat, an action orientated programme of priorities and recommendations were clearly laid out from the perspective of the two officers. 

The crux of the presentation was the military’s Action–Orientated Programme Priorities which was spaced-out in a fifteen year time-line. Scobell made the argument that the anti-military Labour-NFP coalition government was looking to downsize and review the role of the military and that this became the primary trigger for the coup.

With the passage of time and two further coups the Fiji military has no doubt developed a political corporate interest. Initially this interest was always to entrench Fijian political supremacy. 

Hence the possible use of lethal force against rioting Fijians by the military which was 99% ethnically indigenous was one of the major reasons according to Rabuka for his intervention. In addition as pointed out by Scobell ‘the RFMF had experienced first hand the realities of chronic ethnic and sectarian divisions and conflict while serving in Lebanon, and the thought of an ethnic insurgency in Fiji constituted a night mare.’
Detractors of this argument such as former RFMF chief of Staff Colonel Jim Sanday, however, suggested the Fiji situation was not similar to Lebanon and was a far stretch of the imagination. The historical fact that there was a marked absence of inter-communal violence shored up this suggestion. In fact during the 1959 union strike in Suva workers of both the major races had teamed up and rioted against capitalist and colonialist authorities. 
After the second coup of 25th September 1987 as head of the military government Colonel Rabuka declared the country a republic and abrogated the constitution. The military’s corporate interest had seemingly   diverged from the chiefly elite rule of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau and the militant Taukei movement. Their support was crucial to his May coup.

Even though Colonel Rabuka then handed back the reigns of power to the two chiefs by making Ratu Penaia President and Ratu Mara interim Prime Minister it was clear that he had now asserted military interest as indistinguishable to the national interest. 

This mantra incidentally was again echoed by Land Force Commander Colonel Naivalurua in backing Bainimarama's controversial 2005 Infantry Day speech, that the military was independent of government, quote, "It's not about anti-Government or anti-Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, it's about national interest. We are not playing politics."

In retracing the military’s road to politics, in 1989 Ratu Mara’s interim government was given a mandate of two years to come up with a new constitution and electoral reforms to entrench Fijian and military interests

The role of the military was then established anew in Section 94 (3) of the 1990 Constitution which stated: ‘It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and well being of Fiji and its peoples.’  

The interpretation of this clause has been mired in controversy as it has given the military justification to delve into politics in the defence of its corporate interest since.

Another major contention is that the Turaga-Bati political nexus was reinforced with the Military’s expanded role in UN peacekeeping. Fiji’s participation in UNIFIL was through a unilateral foreign policy decision, of the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Mara. This was never debated in Parliament.

Robertson and Tamanisau’s comments on the political stature of Ratu Mara then may be apposite, “To many people Mara was more than the Alliance Party. He was Fiji.’ 

The low cost opportunity to receive overseas payments and perform a positive military role abroad was all too enticing for international identity and government revenue. This decision fortified the extant patron-client relationship and later proved to have far reaching stability consequences to the nation. 

The intended outcome of peacekeeping was quite obvious- to provide jobs for youths and uphold basic principles of international conduct as a newly independent nation.   Lebanon with its mosaic of ethnicity and religion somewhat resembles Fiji’s society. 

The links to foreign powerful sponsors and interests in the Lebanese crisis such as Syria, Israel and Iran and as a former mandated territory of France has a parallel with Fiji as the hub of the Pacific and our links to Australia, New Zealand, and India and as a former colony of Britain. Furthermore UNIFIL’s mandate as stipulated in UNSC resolution 425 was rather ambiguous and open to interpretation by the belligerent parties. 

It called for the protection of the people of Southern Lebanon from the Israeli Defence Force and various armed elements such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Afwaj Al-Mugamah Al-Lubnaniyya (AMAL) and the more radical Hezbollah. Indeed this was a peacekeeping task of biblical proportion. 

The  mediator role and ‘can do’ attitude forged in Lebanon  became engrained in the collective military psyche underpinned by the deaths of thirty seven Fiji soldiers. The ‘man in the middle’ was an often used phrase for UN Peacekeepers and indeed the brave Fijian peacekeeping soldier. More over senior Fijian military officers became attuned to taking on military appointments of UNDPKO importance and making international headlines.
As the tone of a note delivered by Fiji’s permanent representative to the UN Berenado Vunibobo to the Security Council in April 1980 shows, ‘We have long passed the point in which UNIFIL should be allowed to tolerate both the verbal and physical harassment to which they have been subjected especially in recent weeks’. 

This was after a Fijian soldier had been killed by gunfire.  Indeed Deryck Scarr illustrates how important Fiji had become on the world political stage with regards the mentioned Vunibobo note stating, ‘For its own part, the United Sates Embassy in Suva let Ratu Mara know, America was concentrating more on distancing Syria from the PLO and insisted above all on a solution in Lebanon which does not enable the Soviets or their friends to gain from this crisis.’

Certainly, for a tiny nation as Fiji, UN Peacekeeping had thrust it into the international arena and superpower politics.  

Fiji military’s political role was influenced by its initial UNIFIL and subsequent peacekeeping experiences. The insinuation of a ‘Lebanon situation’ was quite obvious in Rabuka’s coup operational orders (OPORD 1/87). In the conclusion to the OPORD Rabuka clearly states, ‘You will see that the sit (sic) Fiji is in, is  dangerous and will develop into something much worse and resembling Lebanon and other troubled areas of the world’.

Again in the senior officer’s presentation paper of August 1989, the perceived threats facing Fiji drew a parallel to a Middle Eastern scenario. The deployment of Fijian troops, amongst communal groups in the Middle East with a long history of conflict gave them a sense of self belief in being mediators in complex aged conflicts played out on an international stage. 

The 1987 coup for many officers at the time became the domestication of the military’s international role as mediators for peace and stability.

Lt Colonel Rabuka was a product of the Lebanon peacekeeping experience during the PLO armed ascendency era of the late 1970s and early 1980s in Southern Lebanon. All of Rabuka’s senior officers who were willing participants in his regime immediately after the coup such as Colonels Kacisolomone, Konrote, Wong, Biuvakaloloma, Tuivanuavou and many others, had similarly served  in Lebanon. 

In fact given its 98% Fijian ethnic origins the remainder of the military identified easily with the coup makers through a shared corporateness reinforced by UN peacekeeping and a history of Turaga-bati relationship stretching back a century. What is certain though is that domestically the UN’s peacekeeping code of impartiality and objectivity when dealing with contending parties was totally compromised by the May 1987 coup and subsequent military takeovers thereafter - the unintended consequence of peacekeeping.


Anonymous said...

The military of Fiji must all bare the shame that banana has brought upon the Fiji nation. The longer it goes on the deeper the hole of shame the Fiji Military has to dig itself out of.
The people are like a pleading child, asking dad and mum, when half way through a long journey ... "are we there yet?".

These "Coup Journeys" have turned into a nightmare and the military council has the know how and collective authority to bring the destination - the finish line forward in time.
For the sake of the people/economy of Fiji, and the ruined reputation of the Fiji Military, we all plead, "are we there yet?"

Please God, are we there yet?
Pray for FIJI ! !
-Sydney Tourist

Anonymous said...

Fiji soldier's Cup con
6:35 AM Friday Nov 11, 2011

Leone Nakarawa. Photo / APN
Leone Nakarawa. Photo / APN
Prime Minister John Key has rejected suggestions New Zealand was too soft in relaxing the travel ban for a Fijian Rugby World Cup player who has reportedly rejoined the military.
Lock Leone Nakarawa was granted an exemption after he handed in discharge papers and told the New Zealand Government he intended to move to Britain after the cup.
However, a Fijian blog reports he has re-enlisted.-NZ Herald

Wake Up said...

AG takes legal action against Fiji Times
Publish date/time: 12/11/2011 [12:02]

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The High court has granted leave to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to initiate proceedings for contempt of court against the Fiji Times Limited, the Fiji Times Editor Fred Wesley, and the Fiji Times Publisher Brian O'Flaherty.

According to a Ministry of Information statement, this is in relation to an offending article earlier this month which questioned the existence of a judiciary in Fiji, potentially undermining the public's confidence in the administration of justice, and potentially damaging the integrity of the enforcement of justice.

The case will be called next in the High Court on the 28th of this month.-FijiVillage

Anonymous said...

Why was fiji times allowed to publish something that has now picked up contempt of court. sounds like it was allowed as bait for ASK to sue and shut down Fiji TImes.

Anonymous said...

UN created this mess. The UN should fix it.

mark manning said...

The 1st. casualty of war is, " TRUTH " !

You can't trust anything this Regime says.

I get Rabuka's stated reasons for initiating his coup, and the comparisons with Lebanon etc. though I don't concur with those reasons.
I don't get what it was that created in his mind, the need for a coup.
Was the real reason, a Government dominated by Indian Ministers and changes to Land Ownership and other Indigenous Culture and Tradition, the Chiefs' perceived fear of possibly losing Authority in Fiji to a predominantly Indian led Government, the RFMF's perceived fear of losing Authority or being set aside as the purveyor of all things necessary for Fiji society to function ?

Until the truth is stated in an unambiguous way, Fiji's Political, Constitutional, Traditional, Communal and Societal woes, will never end.

Coups by the Military are illegal for a good reason.
The Militaries role is specific, for a good reason and once individuals or groups begin to interpret its role to meet their own agenda, then chaos, death and destruction ensue !

Remove any discipline needed to successfully remove a dysfunctional Government, and you have dictatorship.

Like russia during World War 11, it seems that we get back to Fiji being :-
A form of Winston Churchill's quotation, made in a radio broadcast in October 1939:

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."


What is the answer to Fiji's woes, whose interpretation of the Militaries role in Fiji, is correct ?

Taukei. said...

It appears JB is full of theories about everything & anything except his duty to his own (Naitisiri) people. (Ratu Inoke is still in prison).

Why the hell does he continually remain in Australia big talking himself when his traditional calling demands he return to Viti?

Anonymous said...

It was God who appeared in front of Rabuka to tell him to execute the coup. Just ask Rabuka and he will confirm this.

Anonymous said...

Does not sound right to me.Rabuka is a illiterate racist,coming from bush and going to school which is for Indigenous people.QVS never was, never is and never will be anything better then below average school, a waste of tax payers money.He then joined Fijian army which is almost all Indigenous.The idiot never had any opportunity to experience multi-racism.

On the subject of Turaga and Bati,
I suggest these people do something positive for their country, then wasting time playing silly racial politics.

Anonymous said...

Dou yalo vinaka sa levu tale na news e sega na betena. Drau scarifice mada ga kei Ului drau lesu tale i Viti drau laki protest me rawa ni ra vakabauti kemudrau kina.

Coup 4.5 said...

Remembrance Day: A sad memory of RFMF 11 November 2011
Pity that on this day, the Fiji media is more focused on the Sukuna bowl rather than the significance of Remembrance Day!

"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM" is to be seen in its totality that not only the individuals are remembered but also the principles and values that they and the societies, which they were a part of, stood for, fought for and died for.

Each year Australians observe one minute silence at 11 am, on 11 November, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. According to the Australian War Memorial, the idea for the silence is said to have originated with Edward George Honey, a Melbourne journalist and a First World War veteran, who was living in London. In May 1919, he wrote a letter to the London Evening News in which he appealed for five minutes of silence, to honour the sacrifice of those who had died during the war.

In October 1919, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, a South African, suggested a period of silence on Armistice Day in all the countries of the British Empire. Throughout the war, whenever South African troops suffered heavy losses on the Western Front, a period of silence had been observed at noon in Cape Town. Fitzpatrick's suggestion was presented to King George V who readily agreed to the proposal. But after a trial with the Grenadier guards at Buckingham Palace, at which both Honey and Fitzpatrick were present, the period of silence was shortened. It is unclear whether Honey and Fitzpatrick ever met or discussed their ideas about the silence.

On 6 November 1919 the King sent a special message to the people of the Commonwealth: ‘I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance, and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.’

The King requested that a complete suspension of all normal activities be observed for two minutes at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month so that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.’

The "Ode of Remembrance" is an ode taken from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen", which was first published in The Times in September 1914:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them.

The line “Lest we forget” is often added to the end of the ode, which is repeated in response by those listening.

If you have not already done so, then please take the time to pause for 1 minute of silence and concentrate your thoughts in reverent remembrance for the soldiers of Fiji who died in serving their country, including those CRW that were betrayed by the murderer Bainimarama and were killed.-Fiji Democracy


Anonymous said...

Dina says...

The Fiji Military is stink all over. from a reutable institution to a laisa u tuba institution, to murder institution, to coup institution, to ulukau institution.

It should be abolished once and for all. Army personal deployed to other government departments and statutory organisations.

For better use of tax payers money and upgrade "lovo pit roads", hospitals, schools/education and social development.

God Bless Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Vinaka Jone. Sereka me kila ko Viti
Na vakanananu dina ni Coup. Me da suka
Kece ki na noda duiyasana ka veiqaravi
Kina e na Sotia, Qasenivuli,Vuniwai,Talatala,
Ka me da vakatulewa ga e na noda dui Vanua.
E da veitacini kece tiko ka me da veiuasiviti
E na vakarokoroko. Sa na qai dola mai Lagi
Na Vinaka keo na Sautu.

Anonymous said...

Dina says...

Do the people of Fiji know that the army institution is also the institution of GOSSIPS/KAKASE/LIUMURI AND BACK BITING.





Taukei 5. said...

Don't overlook another principle military snake in all this - Nailatikau.

Anonymous said...

What we have is the Kingdom of Cakobau in place. Bainimarama is the equivalent of Maafu's Wainiqolo.

The army gives loyalty to Frank. Frank keeps Cakobau protected...and is rewarded handsomely as all mercanerise throughout history have been.

The military was sent to peace keep specifically to build capacity as a force to maintain the chiefs. Jone needs to read narsey's article to stop beating around the bush and hedging in his opinion and talk strait, otherwise I dont know why they hire a bullshit artist that he is becoming.( unintended consequence of peacekeeping!! crap)

Military as an agent of national Development.???????? bloody parasites that do squat for national development.

Jone trying to say something relvent. what a waste of space.

OK, so you are a historian. Sorry old chap, we fijians will have to continue to find our way...you can interpret and right about it.

Anonymous said...

The modern day Fijian soldier in Delainabua is unthinking idiot.
We can see them showcased last week when they went and bashed a couple of PWD workers because they put sugar in a bulldozer.
If a bus driver put the wrong nut to a tyre , will they go and bash him up too?
This just shows the level of intelligence or the lack of it in Delainabua.
Basically they just obey Bainimarama blindly.
Bai says "dig a hole here" - they dig a hole.
Bai says "Cover up the hole. THey cover it up.
Bai says "Go and bash that man" - they go and bash him
Bai says "Go home and have sex with your sister" You know what; they'll probably go home and have sex with their sister. You know why. Because they are unthinking idiots. They don't question. THey just obey blindly.
THey don't even ask the question whether what they're doing might be breaking the law (eg ASSAULT -as in the case of the PWD workers).
These soldiers are unthinking thugs.

The best thing to do is to get rid off the Fiji Army all together. It serves no purpose in Fiji except to cause all of us misery.
Fijian boys can be recruited by other countries ( like UK) and go and do Peacekeeping that way.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

How than would you explained, why other UN member countries, like
India,Britain,Australia,Japan,Italy,Netherland, etc,etc, who sent more
solidiers,huge equipments etc, to the same hot-spots as Fiji; and has never once pulled a coup in their country? Mr. Baleidrokadroka you get a big "O" for your theory from

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4.31 pm

E vacava ?

E caiti watimu e dua mai QAVASA ?

Anonymous said...

Vinaka Bu

Au sa moce lutu saraga e na varogo talanoa

Drau sa bau rua na Bu vinaka dina o iko kei Ului

RAIVOCO said...

jone kerekere tukuna na ka dina,o mara kei penaia e rau a talai rabuka me vaka yacora na vuaviri,mara penaia drau yavu BOKALA

mark manning said...

What of the Soldiers Oath ?
Treason is Treason and a real Soldier knows this.
As highly trained as Rabuka was, and despite that high level of training, his training amounted to nothing other than to meet his own self serving interests.

There is never an excuse for Treason.

He still committed High Treason, promoted himself, resigned and became Prime Minister.

But why couldn't he just resign in the 1st. instance, join a Political Party and sit for election as others did and not instigate an act of High Treason against the State of Fiji, its Government and People ?

The ramifications of his actions, have directly thrown Fiji into a never ending cycle of misery, poverty and long term debt. not to mention the murders, tortures and illegal detentions of men, women and now, children !

Rabuka, because of his selfish self serving act, is directly responsible for all that is taking place in Fiji at the moment, yet he still purports that he did it all for the good o the Nation.

I'm sorry Jone, I can't buy that and nor should you.
I'm sure that many Fijians are still caught up in the Majesty of all things Chiefly and Traditional and that this is something Fijians need to get away from now.

Democracy does not take these things into account, because it shouldn't and because it wouldn't work if it did, as you are now seeing.

Democracy, Culture and Tradition, are vastly different and separate concepts and like Religion and Politics, should not mix.

We can't keep putting lipstick on the pig and calling it Tradition and Democracy, it is High Treason and that's it, and it's inexcusable in any form and under any professed agenda.

Was the real purpose of Rabuka's coup to revert back to the status quo so the Chiefs retained their Authority or was it a misconception that to do so, would protect Fijian interests ?
Or was their an entirely different hidden agenda ?
that is the problem with coups, the waters become very muddy.

Rabuka might himself have done the coup with honourable intentions, but as events unfolded, changed and sped up around him, he may have been influenced by the power which then sat at his feet.

Who's to say that Rabuka still didn't influence the events of 2000 and 2006, where will it stop and who now, will stop it and how ?

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Remove the Parliament and you remove the ability to manage that power and control by any one individual or group.

In order to sort through all this mess, Fijians need to stop worrying about treading on each other toes, being over sensitive to everyones clans, village and relationships and come out of the dark ages and step into the 21st. Century and to call a spade a bloody spade, not a shovel !
Otherwise there will be no progress, ever.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jone for writing on this issue. I think that it is important that people understand this.

As it has now become typical of Jone's writings, this is one is also short and incomplete on facts or conveniently ignores some important points.

The truth is Jone, section 94(3) of the 1990 Constitution which states that:

"It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and well being of Fiji and its peoples"

was only inserted into that version of the constutition after the coup of 1987.

That responsibility imposed on the RFMF was never in the 1970 Constitution.

The RFMF was always governed by the Army Act.

It will be interesting reading for everyone to refer to the discussion in pages 413 to 416 of the Report of the Constitution Review Commission (Reeves Commission) entitled "Towards A United Future" that was published in 1996 on the role of the RFMF under Fiji's constitutional governance.

In the above report, its authors highlighted a basic issue of constitutional principle from the Bill of Rights passed by the British Parliament in 1688, and that says:

"That the raising or keeping of a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace unless it be within the consent of Parliament is against the law"

What this princile recognises is the existence of a standing army is a potential threat to the liberties of the people and the country.

The consequence of the above principle is that ever since 1688 the raising of the army was always provided for by an Act, to ensure that the army is constitutionally subordinate to Parliament.

In light of this principle the Reeves Commission considered section 94 of the 1990 Constitution as unduly constraining Parliament. In order to ensure that the RFMF be subordinate to Parliament, the Reeves Commission recommended the deletion of the above section 94.

This recommendation was accepted by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee (JPSC) on the Constitution, and then approved by Parliament. The result is that there is no such provision as section 94 of the 1990 Constitution in the 1997 Constitution. In other words THERE IS NO SUCH RESPONSIBILITY AS TO ENSURE AT ALL TIMES THE SECURITY, DEFENCE, AND WELL BEING OF FIJI AND ITS PEOLES IS GIVEN TO THE RFMF UNDER THE 1997 CONSTITUTION.

The RFMF is still governed under the Army Act, and it has no constitutional role at all. This also has an important meaning, in that the Army Act can be abolished by Parliament, and with it will go the RFMF.

I suspect very strongly that the RFMF will again seek to insert a role for itself along the lines of section 94(3) of the now abolished 1990 Constitution in the new constitution that Bainimarama and his illegal regime wants to impose on Fiji.

This will make sense of his declaration that he will return to barracks but continue to monitor the performance of future elected governments and that if they do not conform to his template or liking he will again seek their removal.

What this also proves that what Bainimara has done and is doing will not end the coup cycle in Fiji. In fact it will do the very opposite, the coup cycle will continue.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Jone Baledrokadroka has just implicated himself through this article's rhetoric on the role of the military as 'bati' to justify the 1987 coup. You just an opportunist, thats all, JB. If this is part of your research for your PhD thesis it will have very little chance of being defended......it is no different from the thesis written in Hong Kong based on the Sunset Clause for Indeginous Fijians...hopefully, Frank wakes up and gives this shit Aiarse a boot in his arse and you also do us a favour and remain in Australia forever......you, Rabuka and Aiarse are no different....opportunists!!.....you portray the worser of the two extremes of socialist behavior, hopefully this quote will open your mind to the hidden dangers behind your ideals......'The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger-but recognize the opportunity
(John F. Kennedy)
November 12, 2011 6:43 PM -Comment edited. C4.5

Anonymous said...

All a waste of time, space and energy! Give us solutions-since your miliatry trained minds is what got us here in the first place-problems we all know! It was coups that got us here-so what are the solution Jone? What can you do to change what is going on right now in Fiji, what type of plans can be put into operations to make the regime find its present time in Government difficult or hard to govern? You mob created the problems now you want us to to read about cowboys & Indians -it all appears as if this is a diverison! What the hell can we do to get this Govt out-so far we have all this theoretical concepts which is all boi dada and won't change a thing-it time for both you & Roko Ului to become martrys for the cause-something both you can be remebered for-running away might look good but sure has done you or anyone else any good! You both have blood on your hands simple truth! ALL WE WANT NOW AE SIMPLE QUICK SOLUTIONS-all else id not relevant to this discussion! DRI YANI

Anonymous said...

RUM&Baledrokadroka,Please don't do us a favour to pulled another Coup. We would rather have the Australian or New Zealand Governments used their military might, in removing the current Fiji Government from power?We would want to clean house,meaning that we'd clean house in the Military,Police,Navy and in the Government as well.We will ask for both of your extraditions, to also be tried, for the parts you played in all these coup?We will elect a new Government into power, with mandates to bring back Hanging, in high crime against the State, like
Treason.We will start with the Voreqe regime by hanging the people
we found commiting this high criminal offences!You both could be
in our Agenda so don't kid yourselves?We need strong and no nonesense leaders that take decisive action to protect our constitution at all cost?

Anonymous said...

A theory - written from source and with intellect. Vinaka Colonel. Do not worry about those bad mouthing you, pity their spelling though. Wonder if the current officer corp of the military have amongst its ranks such intelligence and heart, like you and the old guard.

Anonymous said...




The Oracle said...

It appears the 2006 coup and its aftermath has provided JB with the opportunity to use his version of "background info" to finalise his Phd thesis.

While some of what he says has merit, it does not provide the complete picture.

Nor does he provide any information on where he fits into the proverbial picture - 1987, 2000 and 2006.

JB was a prominent military figure, very much in the public eye in 2000. Roko Ului was still an unknown junior officer back then. Roko Ului only came into prominence after 2000 when other senior officers, loyal to their calling fell out with Bainimarama and his direct involvement of the military in manipulating the political leadership of the country (using the ambiguity of language in the 1990 Constitution about the military's security role).

JB's fall from grace is also public knowledge.

It's interesting that he uses his knowledge of events to back his theories towards gaining his Phd. What's more ineresting, however, is what he has deliberately left out.

It's about time he and Roko Ului come clean and tell us the complete story and their involvement, especially in areas relating to the abuse of human rights.

Their hands are just as dirty and bloodied as Frank's.

Anonymous said...

Can JB/Ului advise on who gave the orders in brutal murder on the CRWs Sele, Jone D & Epineri etc...who did their transportation. where were you guys??? to reveal the truth you have to be exact...

Anonymous said...

Whenever Frank's run comes to the end, i'd like to set-up a criminal commission, to investigate every-one that were involved, in every coup that happen in the country?Those found guilty should be plastered with a heavy Jail sentence; and banned from public offices- along with his immediate family for at least- 40 years? Those who have left the country, will be asked to be extradited and if they refused to return to be tried, then the Government should banned them and their immediate family for life?
We must take drastic & tough measures, in order to ensure that no one will ever pulled another coup in the future.

Taukei. said...

@ Anon 3:09.

What your suggesting is known as Sharia - thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning on this high treason! Your idiot-in Fiji people have just stopped eating people in just over a 100 year. The explanation by Baledrokadroka is for those who understand the TRADITIONAL values that existed then & still exist today! Now that would be to difficult for you to understand because firstly you write from a perspective of a white person, 2ndly you have no undersatnding what-so-ever of Jone writes. Your call to get rid of all this majesty of cheifly & traditonal is the call of an IDIOT! The reason why the Indigenous people of Australia are in the situation they are in now is they don't have any tradition, no culture no language? If the process you want us to follow is so great why are the indigenous people a lost cause in Aussie ? You want us to be in the same boat? Our tradition is what makes up unique-that will be difficult for you to understand, you don't have any traditon or culture left-the best you have is table manners-putting the folk & knife in the right place! You come to this site to belittle us not knowing who we are as a people where we have come from and where we headed. If all your claims are true and we need to get rid or our traditions etc-what do we replace with -the white mans cultur & traditions? Which is really ZERO!For all your smart contentions you seem to forget that it took 800 years ( as some one has written here) for the English to get rid of King & Church from running the country-but you still retain the Queen as your head of State! The mess we are in was caused by your relatives-for making sure that Fijians lived in a traditional life style so the white fallow could rule over them. We will find our on solutions in our own way-not for you to come and judge us based on you one sided view-who knows from what experiences? For us to give up our traditions, culture or anything else makes up into a nothing! We as a people have an identity-it has survived the test fo time-there may be weakness in the system but we will find our own ways around it-not for you to come to such forums & become the arbitrator on whats to be got rid of and whats to be kept! Look around you & the country you live in-can't you see whats happening to the Aboriginese? Or are you too blinded by your do good for them that you now just see them as their "own worst enemies".You have given up on the Aborigenes hence your constant write ups here! What are sham you are-coming here to call us to change & get rid of those precious things left in our lives but can't seem to able to do a thing for Aborigenes? Are you for real? If there is a lesson for us in Fiji to earn is from living with the Indo-Fijians no matter how long they have lived in Fiji, no matter how well off or poor they are still able to stick to their culture, language & traditions.Comapare that to the black Americans, compare that to Aboriginese of Australai? I will let you on a little secret our forefathers taught us" when you want to replace anything to do with your culture, beliefs or traditions REPLACE it with something of EQUAL or HIGHER value or else the people will be confused & lost" Now you now compare that to the Aborigenes of Aussie!
Democracy YES! But we have to decided and the form it will take-so far democracy also means lying to the people-breaking the law etc etc, egs the killing of people without a trial-Bin Laden. Need we say more! If you so hatched up about democracy why not tell your Govt to stop trading with China which is not a democracy and treats people anyway, whichway they choose? Give me a break-ulu kau!