#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Ghai urges Fijians to 'test the PM'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ghai urges Fijians to 'test the PM'

Yash Ghai, the regime appointed chair of the new Constitution Commission.

In an interview with Coupfourpointfive, Yash Ghai admits there is no guarantee the regime will not interfere with the Constitution Commission he heads. Ghai dodges the coup exit question but insists a new Constitution is the only way out of the muck. 

C4.5: Why did you agree to oversee the drafting of the new Fiji constitution?

Ghai: These are my reasons. I think that Fiji desperately needs a new constitution to return to a stable, fair democratic system. There are many good provisions in the 1997 constitution, but also problems—in part because the joint parliamentary committee rejected some recommendations of the Reeves’ Commission, thus detracting from the coherence of the constitution.  Partly for this reason there has been considerable litigation on the formation and function of the cabinet.

I also believe that different groups and communities in Fiji need to resolve problems that have divided them and to overcome resentments and suspicions that have characterized Fiji for several years. A constitution making process, if transparent and participatory, can help to reconcile the people and to develop a consensus on the values of the constitution, representing a common vision of Fiji.

I consider that due to my comparative experience of constitution making and my knowledge of Fiji, I could play a constructive role in this process (as indeed I did in my own country, and in Papua New Guinea’s relationship with Bougainville).  A number of Fijians urged me to take up this assignment.  I responded to this even though it is at considerable personal inconvenience.  I am not looking for any personal gain, but to assist reconciliation in a country which I know well and where I have many friends, from all communities.

C4.5 Critics feel the aim is to protect those who carried out the 2006 coup.

Ghai: I have already answered your question.

C4.5: Why are you so confident the process will be open and transparent?

Ghai: The PM’s statement is quite specific on the guarantees of participation and the freedom of expression and assembly. Instead of the critics expressing their cynicism, they should engage in the process and put the PM to the test.

C4.5: What makes you believe a new Constitution will help Fiji return to democracy?

Ghai: Elections have been promised after the constitution. The fundamental goals of the constitution as stated by the PM are clearly directed at a democratic constitution. It is up to the people of Fiji to ensure that this is achieved.

C4.5: You've said the regime should review laws restricting freedom - have you or will you insist it remove the new Public Order Act before the Commission starts it work so people can speak freely?

Ghai: I have been assured as have the people of Fiji that they can speak freely. Why don’t you try?

C4.5: Why a completely new Constitution?

Ghai: There is nothing in the PM’s statement that rules out consideration of the 1997 constitution. There are indeed good provisions in that constitution. But the experience of operating that constitution pointed to some difficulties, especially around the issue of power sharing—which ended up in courts more than once. The process would provide opportunities for discussions on the merits and demerits of the 1997 constitution. In constitution making one seldom starts with a clean state. One should always learn from the past.

C4.5: The issues of race, religion and the military are controversial and divisive - how do you intend to navigate these? And can you really please everyone?

Ghai: Your are anticipating! The task of the Constitution Commission is to listen to all who want to submit proposals and taking the fundamental goals into account, make its recommendations.

C4.5: Do you think executive presidency, proportional membership in the parliament, preferential voting mechanism (such as in Sri Lanka) would work for Fiji?
Ghai: This is a question for Fijians.

C4.5: It has been suggested the regime would like to see a referendum to name a president and then an election. Could this work for Fiji?

Ghai: This is also a matter for Fijians.

C4.5: What assurances can you give the regime will not interfere with the work of the Commission?

Ghai: I cannot give any assurances. As I have said, let the Fijians test the PM and the government rather than indulging their cynicism.

C4.5: You're currently working on Constitutions for Libya and Somalia - are there similarities between those countries and Fiji?

Ghai: It would take me too long to answer this question. There may be similarities, but basically each country has its own context, determined by history, tradition, system of law, and contemporary issues.

C4.5: People distrust you because you supervised Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's thesis, which is widely considered the blueprint being used to marginalise Fijians. It's also said you produced 'instability' rather than foster unity and that you did not do such a good job in Kenya, Nepal, Cambodia and PNG. 

Ghai: Every one is entitled to their own opinion but it is useful to look into facts before jumping to conclusions. My task in Cambodia was not to write the constitution but, among other things, to report to the United Nations to what extent the regime honoured the constitution, particularly its human rights provisions.

C4.5: Are you really going to be able to produce a Constitution that will be endorsed by both the people and the regime?

Ghai: I am not going to produce a constitution. The people of Fiji (at least those who take part in the process) and the Constituent Assembly are going to produce the Constitution.

C4.5: There should've been a place in the Constitution for the Great Council of Chiefs. Can Fiji really a have a credible Constitution without some recognition of the traditional chiefly system?

Ghai: Again, this is a matter for the people of Fiji.


Observer said...


Anonymous said...

Ghai has to believe in what he's being paid to do but he may find that his personal repuation might take a beating with his involvement in Fiji

Go Yash! said...

He dodges your coup question because it is a stupid question. Protect the coup makers of 2006? They don't need protection. They've got the guns and still will long after all this is over.

If people don't stop harping on about red herrings like this, they might change their minds and stay in power indefinitely.

I'm sick of all the carping negativity here. You're invited to be part of a process. Join it or stay in Australia and NZ.

Anonymous said...

This guy comes across as a wise man and we are lucky to have him. Talk when you have something sensible to say. Don't say anything if you don't. A few people around here could learn from this.

Anonymous said...

Soon and very soon, Indigenous Fijians will become guests in there own country, only thing left to be taken is the land.
These things are'nt even being taken/stolen they are being given.

Anonymous said...

Veryinformed but truth will be at the end of the process

Anonymous said...

Ghai can you help us put Bainimarama in prison ASAP!!

Anonymous said...

Are you blogers familiar with the word "cynisism"

We have to get it through our block heads that voreqe has opened himself up......it is now up to us to engage.

If he turns on us now....what do you think the people will feel about it after they have contributed hinestly.

He is painting himself into a corner.

He goes with this or face a populace that will have had utterly enough of him

How many bloggers will actually get up from behind their monitors, get up off their arses and contribute?

Time for everything........


Anonymous said...

May God Bless Fiji

King kanute said...

Well if Ghai was serious he'd ask directly for the POA to be lifted saying it would be in the favour of government to give people hope but does he really have that much clout

Fiji News
Union wants freedom of expression

08:30 Today

Report by: Devendra Narayan

A Trades Union body wants full freedom given to members of the public to express their views on the current role of the government and its continued progress to constitutional reform and 2014 elections.

Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions General Secretary Attar Singh says while the trade unions have every right to voice their opinion, the current laws restricts this freedom.

Yash Ghai has called on the regime to lift restrictions that are placed on people so that they can exercise their freedom to tell them whatever it is without fear of being charged – arrested or intimidated.

However Military Spokesperson Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says no one has been stopped from voicing their opinions.

I don’t think there is any law that prohibits them from giving in their view, the views of the people can be heard whenever, there is no denying of freedom of speech in Fiji, its fully available and fully fledged that’s why everyone is talking.

The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions supports the 1997 constitution and believes the document will still play an important role in Fiji’s road to democracy.

Savvy, yes? said...

Read my lips...test the government and Pm means ENGAGE...think twice and then again if that is what you want to do with this illegal, ILLEGITIMATE process

Anonymous said...

sounds reasonable from Yash Ghai..
but then he is not impartial,,,,ie he worked supervised Kaiyum thesis and worked with CCF Akuila Yabaki and helped them prepare their submission to 1997 Constitution review which included abolishing Kai Viti seats. 99% Kai Viti submissions wanted their seats retained hence that was done. Lets see what they do now,,,,on will the NCBBF (Constituent Assembly) impose Kaiyums wishes???
So this Ghai is not as indeoendant as he wants us to believe,,,,,

Anonymous said...

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fijian Government respected the views of Professor Yash Ghai, who told Radio New Zealand that all laws that restricted freedoms in Fiji should be reviewed to allow discussions around the Constitution.

“Professor Ghai’s statements are correct. Everyone will be free to appear before the Constitutional Commission to express whatever opinions they have-about Government, politicians, parliamentarians, common citizenship, roads, water, education, whatever-in a wholly open and transparent manner,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Professor Ghai has been appointed by the Government to oversee consultations and the drafting of a new document to be signed by the end of next February.

“As the process begins, it could be very important to have mechanisms for the expression of different views and an attempt to develop some consensus. I think that can only be done if every group feels free to express its views,” Professor Ghai told Radio New Zealand.

Professor Ghai said while Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was his former student, it did not mean he would lose his sense of fairness and transparency.

“To say that that Constitution is in force and we don’t need a new Constitution is to turn a blind eye to realities.
“We have a situation where there has been military rule for a while and the only way it seemed to me to return to a democratic system is to engage the whole country in a process of dialogue, consultations, finding some consensus.
“There is no guarantee that if this process weren’t to start that the old constitution would somehow in a magical moment spring to life,” he said.

Stuff Turkey said...

Can Ghai guarantee military won't stuff things up again?

Anonymous said...

no use to write a new constitution.
ghai should read the court ruling made before 1997 const is a living document.
ask cj gates/others on this.
can gahi/illegal ag/pm ans me.
if they dont like the const than another coup already planned if they loose the election like what his lfc mosese is saying that they will support bai all the way..
we are wasting tax payers funds and others.
i will never support the regime and this f up idiots.
people have to stand up and fight for their right like they did in libya./others.

Anonymous said...

I like the way C4.5 has already concluded that the new constitution will not have a place for the GCC. Even you have conceeded that no-one in Fiji will want to bring them back and put the GCC into the new constitution.

The Oracle said...

Yash Ghai has answered as only people like him can .. they'll take whatever salary is offered to them and then argue that the resulting Constitution is of the people's making. They disregard the fact that the people's opinions are currently supressed. People cannot express themselves openly despite the regime's suggestions that freedom of expression exists. He argues that we should test Bainimarama by openly asking questions. Has he himself been listening lately? Everytime an issue is raised through the media the response from his favourite student Khaiyum and that RFMF village idiot, Tikoitoga, is that people should stop their political point scoring and wait for the consultation process to begin.
Even the local media has been convinced by Khaiyum and Tikoitoga's logic and while they are picking up on tid-bits offered by political leaders they have shown no signs of opening up the debate to the general public. The media should now be conducting street polls to obtain people's views. That's part of their watch-dog/development partner role.
Just how many people will get the opportunity to address the Constitution "consultations"?
Yash Ghai is correct that the 1997 Constitution has flaws - we all know that. But he does not offer suggestions on how we can iron out those flaws in a legal way .. he's waiting for the people of Fiji to tell him!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ghai ducking many question , shows he is there for MONEY MONey

Radiolucas said...

Ghai is a good and honest academic. But I fear he has been hijacked by the regime to paint a gloss over their actions and give their alleged "progress" some credence.

As for the invitation to 'engage' with the PM - who, given his past behavior and propensity for violence, will test this idea. It is preposterous.

If they were serious, they would remove censorship, allow public debate and involvement in the processes.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame Yash for Fiji's problems. Stop complaining daily and try to look forward and help rebuild this nation. Way too many racists in Fiji...on both sides.

Fiji democrat said...

One prerequisite is that the media will report fully and impartially on any constitution debate process - from what I have seen of the Fiji Sun over the last few years this will need a major shift in their coverage. Another outcome has to be the position of the military in Fiji during and after the election and the role of any army personnel currently in the civil service. The Commander has stated they will all go back to the army - we need to know if he will keep his word. Also if they stand for election they will also have to leave the army the requisite time before the election.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution is not the problem.The problem is the Army.
How come the intelligent professor Ghai hasn't figured that out?

The population of Fiji generally believe in Democracy and they faithfully come and line up all day during Election times, to vote.
However it is The Army that does not believe in Democracy and keeps throwing out every Constitution.
Not the Church, not the GCC, not anybody else but the stupid Army.

Why do intelligent people like Ghai do not notice the Elephant in the room.
Do they think we are stupid? How stupid can he be?

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Why shud we be told to put the PM to the test when he has already showbn to have failed so many tests since December 2006. He has lied about almost everything he told the country. The reasons for the coup has been changing each time he speaks about it. First it was Qoliqoli bill, then corruption, then reconcilition bill, then racism ansd so many other reasons. He has lied about no the non-involvement of military officers from the coup - look around now and see how they have benefitted by holding top government positions, cassava ethanol mill, setting up hardware outlet in partnerhisp between provincial companies and chinese suppliers, and so many other lies. Yash Ghai we believe he has been tested so many times and has failed it all. He cannot be trusted. And how can the peoiple be expected to express themselves freely in the constitution consultation process when the barrel of the gun continues to be there. If one wants to make some comments against the military in the consultation process, he will not be able to do because of fear of being victimnised becausew of the army record on civillian assault so far. How can we freely voice our opinions when the process is being madfe in an environment of fear because trhe military regime will be the ones that will keep watch over the process. The whole process cannot be credible as it will be done under an atmosphere of fear with the guns still over our heads. Let's not fool ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Can those who are critical of Ghai's appointment at the least suggest some names for this review? I would have thought he C4.5 had agreat opportunity with this interview. Surely a missed opportunity-why ask a questions when the answer was already too obvious eg " Why don't you try!' That is up to the Fijian people"
Was Ghais role known before the interview was going to take place? It is immaterial what Constitution we are going to have but the ones we had in the past was already tested and failed -look at the 'Multiparty" Govt- we ended up with an Oppositon Leader & his part of 1, Yeh DUA, Aaare Yarra EEK. TAHA masi!
We need a new constitution based around unity not dividing people along racial groups!
All the rest is up to us!

Anonymous said...

Syrian state prosecutor, judge assassinated in Idlib

19/02/2012 3:01:53 PM

The Associated Press
Gunmen in Syria staged a guerrilla-style ambush that killed a senior state prosecutor and a judge Sunday in an attack that suggested armed factions are growing bolder and more co-ordinated in their uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime.

The roadway slayings -- reported in an opposition-dominated northern region by the Syrian state news agency -- came a day after a deadly hit-and-run attack on a political figure in the heart of the pro-Assad city of Aleppo.

The targeted killings have not reached Assad's inner circle, but they indicate a growing shift toward violent tactics by the opposition as it seeks to tighten control over the small pieces of territory in its hands.

The latest assassinations came on a road in the northwest province of Idlib, which has become a patchwork of areas held either by the government or mutinous soldiers who have safe-haven bases in nearby Turkey.

The state news agency SANA said gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Idlib provincial state prosecutor Nidal Ghazal and Judge Mohammed Ziadeh, who were killed instantly. The driver also was fatally wounded.

Idlib has witnessed intense clashes between troops loyal to Assad and rebel militia who attack and then melt into the rugged mountains. In June, the town of Jisr al-Shugour became the first area to fall into the hands of rebels, who were accused by the government of killing scores of people and setting government buildings on fire. Syrian troops loyal to Assad retook the area shortly afterward.

On Saturday, SANA said gunmen shot to death Jamal al-Bish, a member of the city council of the nearby northern city of Aleppo. The city has been a centre of support for Assad since the uprising began.

The back-to-back slayings follow the Feb. 11 killing of a Syrian army general in the first assassination to take place in the capital city of Damascus. Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli, a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital, was shot as he left his home. Last month, the head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Idlib was shot to death while on his way to Damascus.

Calls for strikes in the past did not succeed in tightly controlled Damascus, where government forces and informers keep a close eye on all activities. The capital has been mostly quiet since the uprising began.

Bhainimarama Lies said...

Make up your mind you idiot! You abolished the chief but you still trying to get their support. You think we dumb!

PM says respect chiefs

13:23 Today

GCC Complex in Suva

Taken from/By:
Report by: Savaira Tabua

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has asked the people of Naitasiri to maintain their respect for chief even though the government has abolished the Great Council of Chiefs.

Bainimarama made the statement while opening the Naitasiri Provincial meeting this morning.

The Naitasiri Provincial Council Meeting was opened in Kalabu village this morning by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, government officials and Cabinet Ministers were also present.

Bainimarama while delievering his opening speech emphasised good governance which is pillar one of the Charter.

He says government has set aside this year more than 10 million dollars for development work within the province.

This will assist in the electrification work from Wailoa to Vunidawa and road construction work from Vuniduva to Naqelewai.

He told the council that the abolishment of the Great Council of Chiefs should not take away their respect for their chiefs.

Anonymous said...

These Naitasiri chiefs have no balls,,,,,people were killed by the Army in Kalabu yet they welcomed him there,,,,,dou vicai

Anonymous said...

Ghai, the people are not stupid. You were hired by the Vuaka and your ex student Aiarse, so it is unbelievable that you're urging the people to test Vuaka. You're clearly on their side otherwise Vuaka will imitate Donald Trump in saying " You're Fired"

mark manning said...

Conveniently, many have chosen to ignore the fact that the 1997 Constitution remains and that Frank Bainimarama and his Regime have committed High Treason against the State.
Simply put, engaging in a Constitutional Consultation Process of this nature, is tantamount to aiding and abetting that very act of High Treason of which Frank Bainimarama and his Regime are guilty.
Who is this man to determine that the 1997 Constitution had flaws and if it did, why couldn't they be resolved through a Democratically Elected Government ?
What is there to stop another Rogue Commander of the RFMF in committing High Treason, should he also determine that the next Constitution is flawed ?
Where does it stop and who makes that determination and on what basis ?

Frankly, what's the point in having a Constitution at all, if people are allowed to keep changing it willy nilly without following that very same Constitutional Process ?

The Oracle said...

@Anon 1.44... the key word in your argument is "rebuild". We're tired of rebuilding because every time we make some progress bufoons like Bainimarama come and take us back, economically, a number of years. We're not blaming Yash Ghai for Fiji's problems, we're questioning his impartiality and closeness to the regime. We would all like to see Fiji rebuilt to the Pacific economic power base it can be. However, to achieve this we would need some guarantee in the Constitution that the military will be subservient to the government of the day and to the citizenry at large. Yash Ghai doesn't seem to want to address this - he's placing everything back in the hands of a muffled Fiji citizenry. Then WHAT THE HECK is he coming to do - play marbles with Khaiyum and Frank??? Stop trying to deflect the burning questions.

Anonymous said...

Professor Ghai has been hired to formulate a new constitution for Fiji. It is not his job to make judgment calls on what is going on in this country or what has been happening in Fiji in the past. The fact off the matter is that Fiji's problems and the subsequent creation of strongman like Bainimarama is our own doing and is directly related to the ignorance and stupidity of our people when they voted in mongrels like Qarase and and Chaudhary. Racial voting from all sides created the Fiji we have today. Had we learn t to work together for the greater good of all we would not be seeing this day. I am willing to bet my last dollar that Frank will win the 2014 election. The sentiments on the ground has shifted to Frank like it did after the coup in 1987 to Rabuka and then to Qarase in 2000. That is the mentality of the Fijian people. Frank knows that due to the lack of a better option the kaidia will vote for him anyway which is damn stupid because aside from harping on about equal suffrage and all that crap he really has done nothing for the Indian community. Every single tour of his has been to the i-taukei villages and he is spending millions of dollars to pacify and win over the former Qarase supporters. I hear their is a massive 12 million dollar electrification program currently ongoing to provide electricity to all villages without power. The stupid kaidia is still Landless and penniless with a few exceptions. Only the well connected and the ones who have made it during the good old days of Ratu Mara, Rabuka and Qarase through corruption and special treatments are prospering. The rest of them are just trying survive while in the process of getting out of Fiji. Give Fiji another 5 years and their will be another coup and another strongmen will be born. This one will also get rid of the Constitution because the one being done now will be classed as too liberal and fair to the other races. The kaiviti as usual will remain as they are economically because of who they are as a people and this will somehow be blamed on Frank and the Indian community and then another coup will happen. The cycle will continue. No amount of laws can change mindsets and behavior. Fiji will remain a shit hole unless people change not the laws. Somebody has to get that through Franks head.

Anonymous said...

'One should learn from the past', says Yash Ghai. He obviously hasn't if he still wants us to try the dictator at his word.  

I continue to be amazed at the number of newcomers who keep coming into Fiji thinking that Bainimarama still needs to be tested. Even more amazing are the comments of Fijians that we should be less negative and give the latest process the chance to work. Bainimarama has been tried at his word ad nauseum, people! The man has shown himself to be a liar, a swindler, a traitor and a tyrant every time. When are you ever going to wake up?

Of course the regime argues that people should just 'stop being negative' and unite behind it. That's the classic approach of everyone who cheats his way into power. They exploit the na├»vete and weariness of people who are sleeping through life or can't be bothered with 'politics'.  The basic problem is not the 'negativity' of the regime's victims (all of us, truth be told) but the treachery of the regime and the gullibility of those who continue to take its lies at face value, despite all experience.

I'm appalled at the opacity of Yash Ghai's goggles if he really thinks that the lack of free speech in Fiji is because people haven't tried to speak out. Ghai is rapidly losing all credibility with that shallow and dishonest kind of analysis.

How is anyone to rely on Bainimarama's promises of a transparent and participatory process when he's reneged on that sort of promise so many times already? Even this time, we can see that the process to date hasn't been transparent or participatory in the least.

Ghai rightly points out that a democratic constitution is up to the people of Fiji. Why, then, is it Bainimarama who is dictating every aspect of the process, down to and including Ghai's participation? Did Bainimarama consult the people on the need for a new constitution, the composition of the Constitution Commission, the scope, process and pace of consultations, the abolishment of the GCC, etc.?

Don't indulge cynicism, Ghai urges. I agree. The true cynics are Bainimarama and Aiyaz, who continue to cynically manipulate the hopes of Fijians for a peaceful resolution of the mess that they themselves either created or greatly compounded. Stop indulging them!

Hope is not a strategy, and he who lives on hope dies farting. Trust in God, not in traitors.

s/ Dakuwaqa

Keep The Faith said...

Hear, hear @ Mark Manning.

Anonymous said...

Anon@5.23pm. Well said. The Vuaka is only trying to pacify the Indians so that they will vote for him. And he's using Aiyarse as his ticket to gain support from Indians. The problem is, the Indians are being sucked in big time. Notice how Aiyarse is earning hundreds of thousands per year, and Vuaka going to the Fijian villages to bribe them with development projects.

In the eyes of the people, an Indian is high up in government, and the Fijian villages are benefitting. These are deliberate acts to con the populace.

Anonymous said...

The first thing that Prof. Ghai should know that Fiji has a constitution in place, and an academic like him should tell the people who are hiring him, about the basic reality that Fiji has a constitution hence his term of reference is null and void.
We are tired of so many constitution during our life time, all seem to secure wanna-be leaders and not the people.
Prof. Ghai, it may be an idea not to have your name associated with a document that is not worth the paper it is going to be written on. Your have greater advise to make elsewhere, it's not worth it on a document like the proposed new Fiji Exit Plan. One that will disestablish selected age old institutions, target some religious institutions, discriminate against some chiefs, polical parties, senior citizens, civil servants, non government organisation's, etc. etc.
If Taufa and Nandan are listening they are requested to decline the offer of being on the constitution team, as we have a legal constitution that is very much alive, which may just need a few parliamentary amendments along the way. All democratic constitutions have a lot in common about Bill of Rights, Freedoms, peace, tolerance, understanding, worship, etc. why do we warn to re-invent the wheel.
Let's just have elections and move on in life, as we are playing catch up game to other Pacific countries.
No more constitution please! We have had enough, soon the word may lose its true meaning, which we do not like.

mark manning said...

A common enemy is what is needed and Aiyaz has provided it for the Indo Fijians.
Hitler did the same thing in the 1930's leading up to the beginning of world war two.
Hitler made the Jews the common enemy.
By so doing, he was able to galvanise the German population, not all but most, to commit untold atrocities against their fellow Citizens.
Aiyaz has taken a page out of Hitler's book.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious from Ghai's comments that he just here for the money! PERIOD!
He stuffed it up big time in Kenya, Nepal, Cambodia and PNG!! Need I say more? He has the audacity to say that he is not here for his personal gain! What crap!
He must be 'Father Christmas' then!!
If like you say that 'It is a matter Fijians", then what the bloody heck are you doing here/ Obviously to make money you scoundrel!!

Anonymous said...

It was BAI, ARSE, ............and Now Ghai; The learned professor has no idea what he will be inheriting and haff way thru this excercise surely will be Fired by Bai; What a waste of public money on a futile excercise; Why dont they just add/ delete provisions of the 1997 Constitution and hold elections under the jurisdiction of an Overseas appointed Supervisor of Elections, saving millions of taxpayres money..

Anonymous said...

Who are the people of Fiji? If according to Ghai...the answer to some of the questions is for the people of Fiji...then why then are they trying to write a new constitution...can't they have a vote to find out whether the people of Fiji wants a new constitution?
I guess they( regime) didn't want that...because the people in Fiji are too stupid to realize that....They are the only one who know what is the best for Fiji...

Moro said...

As a i-Taukei, I have a damning fear having Taufa on the commission. She's too weak and does not have what it takes to ensure my interest and that of my fellow clan are well secured in a new constitution.

Anonymous said...

the anti regime bloggers have been given a gift. something they have been waiting for past 6 years.

as they surely claim frank will renege, lie cheat etc, etc.

this whole excercise then will only alienate more of the populace.....so rejoice.

in fact the more people that take part the more people will be pissed off....so rejoice.

as for stating the 1997 constitution is still in place "blow it out your arse"..go see a head doctor, it got torn up .

unless we have another dictator to depose frank and bring it back...moce jo.

many bloggers here would just love for their to be huge bloodshed....

you people blogging overseas , just keep flapping ur lips, what happens here is for the people living here.

and that is the begining and the end
March 21, 2012 11:37 PM

-Comment Edited: C4.5

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

why no Kai Viti seats?? see UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples ,,,,right to be represented and to choose their own rep is in provisions,,, thus abolish kai india seats and leave kai viti seats alone-Comment Edited: C4.5

March 22, 2012 3:17 AM

Anonymous said...

Vinaka C4.5 let's stay in touch with Ghai so we know what's happeing with the process. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

Anonymous said...

fijian wake up now.gcc gone.
next will be the church/political party.
taliban and one world govt coming to fiji now.
fiji have become the uganda of the pacific.
isa viti.nogu kalou nogu vanua sa tagi tu.
we dont need new constitution but need to abolish the armies .
who have been the root of all coup and racial division.
moce god bless.

Jury out on Ghai said...

@Fiji Democrat. Regretfully Fiji media is conducting very few interviews of their own, preferring to process and use the material of Australian and New Zealand peers. Partly understandable. This week Fiji Village and Fiji Times both republished Prof Ghai's comments to Radio New Zealand - in stories that allowed Khaiyum to defend himself and Ghai, his thesis supervisor! I don't know what happened with the C4.5 interview with YGhai and the Fiji Times article yesterday but the first story I read earlier this week in FT mentioned contact had been made with the academic but carried no material from him. In a new take on the story yesterday they were quoting him directly with what looked to be the very same material from C4.5. As alleged by an earlier blogger either Ghai shabbily mass produced his comments or FTimes has borrowed from a blog and has failed to say so. Fiji media is stuck in quicksand at a most important time in our history....Instead of establishing their own sources and citing their own independent material they are patching together articles to suit Bai and Khai. The PINA conference will be held at the end of this month and I doubt much will eventuate to help Fiji media. YGhai should look at the situation closer before telling us to have some balls and test it out. He has certainly not got off to a good start

Anonymous said...

QASHQAI o GHAI...If your anwswer to question like..Its for the FIJIANS to decided then who the
@$!%^&&&*...... are you to come and decide for us...we have more educated academic fijians than you're...Plese just PISSOFF...back to you homeland....we dont want your idea...!!!You say that the military will not be part of it???your head they are the ones pulling your string..you're part of this TREASON.
March 22, 2012 9:18 AM

Aged Wine said...

Pacific ScoopCost Of New Constitution Making
Wednesday, 21 March 2012, 11:58 am
Opinion: Rajend Naidu

Cost Of New Constitution Making


In the matter of the making of a new constitution for Fiji we read in the Fiji Sun (19/3) that "Professor[Yash]Ghai has been appointed by the Government to oversee consultations and the drafting of a new document by the end of next February [2013]".

Prof Ghai is eminently qualified to undertake this assignment. He also has relevant old Fiji connections in this regard.

But for the sake of transparency can we know how much the new constitution making and the appointment of constitutional experts like Prof. Ghai is costing the people of Fiji?

Notwithstanding his expertise it would still be reasonable to assume that the Professor will not be reinventing the wheel when it comes to enunciating the fundamental principles and precepts of democracy in the brand new constituion, will he?

It will probably be a case of packaging old wine in a new bottle.

Yours sincerely,

Rajend Naidu



Anonymous said...

I am not comfortable at all with the order of this process as it makes it possible to entirely quarantine public submissions from the final recommendations themselves, while simply paying the lip service of saying they took everything on board.

SInce Ghai is such an expert, and has been retained as such, it would be better for him to first come up with what he feels would be best for Fiji, constitutionally. (Since that is likely to be the main driver of whatever he comes up with later anyway).

SInce the Fiji regime has always been so fond of stage-managing pre-determined outcomes, doing things in this order would be the peoples' best defense against that kind of thing happening again behind the scenes and pleas of "well, we had our public consultations, and this was the result of it!".

However if Ghai started things off with his first draft, then the people could have a good look and analysis of what his mindset is, and what is likely to come out of the process BEFORE it finishes up. And we could lodge our objections and/or approvals accordingly as part of the public process records.

Then if the regime just goes ahead with what they want anyway (which is what is likely to happen, regardless), then at least they won't be going ahead with any contrivance (nudge, nudge! wink, wink!! of public ownership of their disingenuous process.

Jean d'Ark

(By the way - good points, Mark Manning!)

Afro said...

I came straight to comments, can that guy do something about his hairdo!! LOL..

Anonymous said...

Fijians critised the 1997 Constitution because they ever got a chance to commnet or have an input -Apisai Tora made several comments about it as a document that was passed even before the Fijians had time to discuss it! It apperas we all harping on a document that if anything came up short on one serios major flaw :
Governmnet by a Multiparty Cabinet! It was a total mess that left us with an Opposition Leader and his Party of 1. Don't people get it ? or we just so dumb to argue that it was an efective document! To begin with it was Racist- i ask the likes of Mark Mannning will you accept a Constitution in todays world that has everyone in Australia voting along Racial Groupings! Which menas minority groups don' have a voice. The Indigenous people are already voiceless in their own land can you imagine what will happen to Fijians living in Australia! All voting according to race! Now before people start talking about 'we had a Constitution" garbage lets get real & see the praticality of what we had in Fiji! We were getting nicely segrated into Racial compartments!That what the Nazis did Mr Manning well we don't want that for our future Fiji-maybe if you took te time to read the Constitution of Fiji your future remarks may make sense so far you intleigence is limited to reading newspapers & making comments based on degree of stupidity!

Anonymous said...

Mark manning there is no common eney in Fiji whether you know it or not the Indo-Fijian farmers bre the brunt of the Eurpean settlers slave trade. No matter how you try to disguise you feelinf[gs towards IndoFijians they are goign to part fo the scenery of Fiji for along , long while -because some of us know of tradtion & promises made by our ancestors to them for the help they gave when our ancestors sailed the high seas! You can't understand that because you don't know but worse of all the iTaukei has come to realsie the lies been made about the Indo-Fijians! Fiji i sbig enough for all of us-not like Australia, owned by the blacks but run by whites who seem to be chasing every boat that aperas on the horizon! Nazi's what a comparision but should we be suprised by you ramblings! Not me but i am a Taukei and i know what the truth is -you still don;t know if you English or Aussie but those were in your ramblings not mine!

Anonymous said...

Bai and Tikoitoga Saviours of Fiji???

Military justifies 2006 coup

13:11 Today

Taken from/By: Google
Report by: Dev Sachindra

The present military has responded to those who claim the Bainimarama government has been no different to earlier takeovers.

Discussion has arisen since announcement of the consultation process for a new constitution.

Defending the military of the day, Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says the present government’s been the saviour of Fiji.

“Bainimarama had every right to take over government and run government from 2000 but because he understood the principles of democracy and that RFMF did not wanted to get involved in the running of the country, and because we knew the damages that occurs in 1987, Bainimarama didn’t want to take over government, he wanted to restore law and order after 2000 and then give the government to someone that can run it and make it better."

Tikoitoga claims the rot set in around 2000, and Bainimarama led the military takeover only after they had endured a deteriorating situation over a long time, putting up with scams, corruption and bribery.

“After several years of head on clashes disagreements, renegotiations, consultations unfortunately it just didn’t work so 5 or 6 years down the line there was no other choice- by then the economic well being of Fiji was very low, by then, it was very evident that there was systematic corruption in all government ministries, by then we knew that the agriculture scam and vote buying and vote banking was at rise between different government ministries so Bainimarama took over.”

Tikoitoga says the new constitution must be designed to help stop upheavals in Fiji ,it must leave no room for discrimination.

Keep The Faith said...

@ Anon March 22, 2012 5:17 PM

So the "racism" in the 1997 Constitution is merely because according to you, voting compartmentalizes the electorate by race?

If what you claim is right, then the process to make these changes IS NOT the 'Ghai, Nandan & Vakatale' farce. It is so blindingly obvious how desperate the regime and their minions need a crowd of token people/groups to become party to their treason and sacrifice themselves to save their necks as the regime cannot get the support from major groups like Unions, Political Parties, Vanua, Religious Org, Chiefs, NGOs etc.

Please remind yourself of what your regime hero the Grandly Injustice Tony Gates said in 2001:

"The American Constitution has been amended on several occasions during its long history, but for that lengthy period of its existence it has suffered surprisingly few amendments.

The Constitution's very indestructibility is part of its strength. It is not possible for any man to tear up the Constitution. He has no authority to do so. The Constitution remains in place until amended by Parliament, a body of elected members who collectively represent all of the voters and inhabitants of Fiji. During a period of dire emergency it may endure suspension, if such a suspension will ultimately see the Constitution supported, and ensure its re-emergence...

Even in the case of a Glorious Revolution, the provisions in the constitution for constitutional amendment must eventually be followed. The doctrine of necessity may come to the aid of such a revolution in its earliest days. But the Constitution never goes away, and can never be dismissed or abrogated in a Decree or Proclamation.

In this respect, it has the quality of the Holy Books. The books themselves may be torn up, but the precepts and the teachings are indestructible, memorised by their adherents. The man lying tortured on the rack may be forced to say whatever his torturers may wish him to say, but his inner thoughts remain unchanged. The fundamental law represented in a Constitutional document may only be changed in accordance with that Constitution. The Constitution provides for its own mutation. Usurpers may take over as they have in other jurisdictions, and in some cases rule for many years apparently outside of, or without the Constitution. Eventually the original order has to be revisited, and the Constitution resurfaces... Even the Glorious Revolution must eventually be tamed by the Constitution. For the courts cannot pronounce lawfulness based simply on the will of the majority. Nor can lawfulness be accorded to the tyranny of the mob. That way leads to the guillotine. Such tyranny lacks universal morality and the courts will not assist usurpers simply because they are numerous, powerful, or even popular.

A proper role for the courts when extra-constitutional change occurs is to pronounce on matters of necessity, where actions have been taken whilst accompanied with sufficient justice and rightness... Even then the supreme law can only be changed securely by traversing the path provided for such change within the Constitution. Decrees or proclamations purporting to abrogate the Constitution, or to act in conflict with it, are of no effect and are unlawful. They are made without the scrutiny, debate and approval of parliament. The people will only accept laws imposing taxes, imposts, penalties and punishments upon them if such imposition had the approval of their elected representatives in Parliament."

Anonymous said...

Bullshit Tikoitoga. Bainimarama never reasoned his taking over of government to corruption. He told Colonels Tuatoko, Kadavulevu, Raduva etc that they should plan a takeover if his term was not renewed.

Anonymous said...

Come on Ghai, what a sad, poor and defensive response by saying 'Test the PM'. Is that a threat, a challenge or insecurity on you part??
To add salt to injury you keep responding by saying 'That is for the Fijians to decide' or words to that effect!!
I now beg you the question ; " Just what the hell, what, how and when are you going to justify the money we, the tax payers are going to pay you??
Because of restrictions, and for fear of reprisals we cannot ask these questions publicly. Please reply to us through this medium as we know that you also blog this site.

Anonymous said...

Ghai, like those appointed by the illegal regime WILL have to sing and dance to to the call of the regime!!
The appointing authority should be appointed by an independent, autonomous and third party. Only then will we have transparency.

Anonymous said...

Here is another human being that thinks that he can save the world and its problems..sorry Ghai qai..we dont need you to oversee this constitutional process..you are being paid by the military to give them a rubber stamp of approval for the misdeeds they have done..we wont take part in that rubbish constituional process ..FULL STOP..

Anonymous said...

Jean d'Ark, Nazhat Shameem, aka Sodden Shelley, is coming up with Ghai's draft even as I write.

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith when a Constitutions compartmentalises people based on race-how are we going to get the voice those who make up the smallest numbers get heard? The document was not received or given the opportuniy for discussion by native Fijians yet it went thru -even Qarase mentioned this in several meetings! He even said 'democracy was a foreign flower" ! Now if that was the basis of his beliefs on the Democracy where do you think this piece of paper called the Constitution is rated in value according to Qarase! The Constitution is document-its test comes about when you put it into operation -like when were had the failed mutitiparty cabinet! Or do you think it was a success! The voices of the Fijians that was never heard is now only getting heard-before it was "unity" which means we all support our Chiefs now-those that used to want to get rid of the GCC are silent when Frank got rid of it and now crying foul! It was a case of 'you dammned if you do and dammned if you don't! The worse enemy of the iTaukei is the iTaukei! There is not enough paper in the world to write a Constitution for Fiji if we wnat to please everyone but we sure as hell can start with a non-RACIST document! Unless you still support a Racist Constitution which we had and was never ever goign to get changed by Qarase especially when he relied on the itaukei vote to be in power and so as Chaudry relied on the majority Indo-Fijians vote for his survival!

Keep The Faith said...

@ Anon March 23, 2012 3:28 PM

This is exactly where all the 'racism' furore falls flat.

You said: "when a Constitutions compartmentalises people based on race-how are we going to get the voice those who make up the smallest numbers get heard?" -- meaning how can we get the voices of the non-indigenous Fijians who are the majority heard. Is that not racial?

And then you attempted to qualify and link your sweeping statements by claiming that indigenous Fijians were duped into accepting the Constitution, and then going off on a tangent about Qarase. This is not about Qarase or Chaudhry (who both failed us all by not making the multiparty govt happen), it is about the supreme law of the land and the rule of law.

Nothing in your response convinces me that the claims of a racist slant exists in the 1997 Constitution is valid, because the Bill of Rights which protects our liberties and freedoms as equal citizens BINDS THE CONSTITUTION. That means every provision on the Constitution is legally obligated to be viewed and acted upon, using a rights based lens. The question to be asked was, why did this not happen? And we can all take a piece of the blame there.

Now we hear from some quarters (like CCF) that the new constitution should insert the Bill of Rights provisions automatically, as if that makes it better. It does not.

The only purported racism, as I said before, that you and your clan seem to have an obsession about is race-based voting. You may be right or you may be wrong, and that ultimately is up to the people to decide, but the bottom-line is still that the process being used to achieve these constitutional changes is illegal and treasonous.

It is as simple as that.

If the illegal and treasonous military regime was so adamant about uniting people and being race-free, why then are they throwing money at indigenous Fijian communities and not being as equally generous to the other races?

Anonymous said...

Look Professor Ghai has thrown us Fiji Citizen, a challenge i.e to engage Bai? 63 sacked workers from the PWD, has done just that, by taking their cases to the high Court? The judge, Justice Angela Wati, has found that the court doth
have Jurisdiction, to hear the case
of the 63 workers? Now lets see if Bai, will pulled the rugs from under her foot? Would he shipped her back to Sirilanka? Is Anthony Gates going, on another recruitment expedition to Sirilanka or to another corrupt nation?