#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Ghai's dilemma: to be more than a tape recorder

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ghai's dilemma: to be more than a tape recorder


On the record: Yash Ghai
By Professor Wadan Narsey

Professor Yash Ghai has reassured the Fiji public that his Constitution Commission will listen to all the submissions being made, and presumably incorporate "what the people want" into their final Report.

But if that is all that they end up doing, then Fiji may as well buy a cheap tape-recorder and hire a good editor.

Luckily, for Professor Yash Ghai and Professor Christina Murray to safeguard their international reputation as constitution lawyers, they need to also ensure that their set of recommendations maintains the letter and spirit of Fiji law.

To achieve that, the Ghai Commission faces several dilemma.

First, Ghai and Murray at least will know that the most authoritative Fiji courts have concluded that the 1997 Constitution cannot be abrogated by the President, the Military, or merely replaced by anyone, including some "Constituent Assembly" established by "usurpers" (using the words of  Anthony Gates - see below).

The second dilemma is that while Fiji's political leaders insist that the 1997 Constitution must be retained (with amendments if necessary), Bainimarama keeps undermining the independence of the Ghai Commission by insisting that the 1997 Constitution will not be revisited.

Luckily, the Ghai Commission only needs to point to the Regime's insistence that  all future governments must be guided by the People's Charter (which was allegedly approved by more than 80 percent of all people in Fiji over the age of 18 i.e. virtually a referendum), and the first clause of the Charter states clearly "We the People of Fiji Affirm that our Constitution represents the supreme law of our country, that it provides the framework for the conduct of government and the people”.

On this issue, submissions to the Ghai Commission can also quote the excellent judgement by Anthony Gates- which I repeat below.

The third dilemma is how the military decrees will be incorporated into a post-election legal framework, when the authoritative legal interpretation is that infringement of basic human rights (as in some of the military decrees) cannot be legalized ex-post.

A possible fourth dilemma (which may not eventuate) is how the Ghai Commission will resolve internal disagreement: will there have to be consensus, in which case they may sink to the lowest common denominator? or will there be voting by majority, in which case the three Regime non-legal appointees could hypothetically out-vote the two legal experts; or will Minority Reports also be allowed, and what standing they will have?

Fiji can be reassured that Professor Ghai has a record of walking away, when those in power interfere with his professionalism.

Nevertheless, submissions can assist the Ghai Commission by providing explicit guidance on these dilemma for two reasons: first, should internal disagreement amongst the Commission members reduce them to the role of  being "tape recorders of what the people want",  then general consensus amongst the submissions will make the Commission's task easier;  second, it is their own country's future in the balance.

Christina Murray
It is to be hoped that Fiji's own domestic legal experts are committed enough to collectively advise (through the Fiji Law Society) on our own constitutional solutions, without waiting for the legal manna to drop from heaven in the form of a "home grown" constitution (Regime's words), when the majority (3) of the Commission members are foreign residents. But then, so also was the Reeves Commission majority foreign residents.

I first set out my layman's reading of the current legal situation and then suggest a set of recommendations at the end of this article for consideration by our people in their submissions.


The Last Legal Judgement on the coups
A central document for Ghai and Murray will be the last legal and authoritative judgment - that of the 2009 Court of Appeal (Justices Powell, Lloyd and Douglas), a fascinating document to read.

http://www.nswbar.asn.au/circulars/2009/apr09/fiji.pdf 


The judges carefully traversed all the previous arguments and judgements on the legality of all governments established since the military coups of 1987, 2000, and 2006.

They made the clear judgement on the 2006 coup: that all of the following were unlawful according to the 1997 Constitution:  the assumption of executive authority and the declaration of a State of Emergency by Bainimarama, the dismissal of Qarase as Prime Minister, the appointment of Senilagakali as caretaker Prime Minister, Bainimarama's order for the dissolution of Parliament, Iloilo's appointment of Bainimarama as Prime Minister, and all subsequent decrees by President Iloilo attempting to legalize Bainimarama's actions.

The Appeal Court pragmatically recommended that the President Ratu Iloilo appoint a  caretaker Prime Minister to advise a dissolution of the Parliament and call for fresh elections.

Signed off the abrogation: Josefa Iloilo
Instead, the next day, Ratu Iloilo allegedly 'abrogated' the 1997 Constitution and re-appointed Bainimarama as Prime Minister, whose regime has continued till today.



You can also read Professor Anne Twomey's "The Fijian coup cases: The Constitution, reserve powers and the doctrine of necessity":  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1399803 

And read Dire Straits: a report on the rule of law in Fiji (An International Bar Association Human Rights Institute Report, March 2009) (google the title).

This document also clarifies how a few aggrieved judges in 2006, sacrificed constitutionality and Fiji's well-being on the alter of their personal vendetta against other judges who they thought had acted unfairly against them.

Reading just these three documents, any intelligent lay person would understand that if there was another independent court today, its finding would be that the 2009 alleged abrogation of the 1997 Constitution by Iloilo and the Bainimarama Regime were equally unlawful.

Who better to explain that to us than Justice Anthony Gates.


Glorious Revolution: Anthony Gates
The 1997 Constitution still exists: Anthony Gates
Twomey's article ended with a quote from a 2001 judgment by Justice Anthony Gates in the case Koroi v Commissioner of Inland Revenue.  (Gate's words are in Italics - my comments follow):


"It is not possible for any man to tear up the Constitution." He has no authority to do so.
(i.e. neither did President Iloilo have any powers in 2009 to abrogate the constitution)

"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 …  The  fundamental law represented in a Constitutional document may only be changed in accordance with that Constitution."

(i.e. even the Ghai Commission cannot suddenly create a "new" Constitution outside of Parliament, even if approved by some "Constituent Assembly" appointed by the "usurper").

"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....  Such tyranny lacks universal morality and the courts will not assist usurpers simply because they are numerous, powerful, or even popular."

(i.e. no "popularly approved" Charter can ride roughshod over the 1997 Constitution, and courts will not assist the usurping Military Regime, even if it is "powerful, or even popular")

In an earlier 2000 judgement, Anthony Gates had justifiably admonished fellow judges Tuivaga, Scott and Fateaki:

"Judges should remember their oaths of judicial office to uphold the Constitution. The presumption is that the Constitution remains unimpugned until pronounced otherwise in court".

Gates also criticized Qarase's 2000 court action to declare the 1997 Constitution abrogated:

"But the rule of law means that the suspended state of affairs and the Constitution return to life after the stepping down of a responsible military power and after the conclusion of its work for the restoration of calm for the nation. There is no constitutional foundation of legality for the interim government or for the Constitutional Review Committee".

This Gates judgment in the 2000 Chandrika Prasad case was supported by a 2001 Court of Appeal (Casey, Barker, Kapi, Ward and Handley JJA).  

In summary, Bainimarama's demand that the 1997 Constitution must not be revisited has to be rejected by the Ghai Commission.

Similar arguments may be also made about the alleged elimination of the Great Council of Chiefs, which is also an integral part of the 1997 Constitution.

The Great Council of Chiefs
The record of the Great Council of Chiefs is a very poor one, by any standard whatsoever. Read my 2007 article here: http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/the-great-council-of-chiefs-suspension-not-a-winding-up-order-but-a-wake-up-call-the-fiji-times-28-july-2007/

The Military Regime is correct in pointing to the GCC's politicisation during the coups of 1987 and 2000.

Ro Kepa
But the Regime was also guilty of using the GCC's authority during the 2006 coup, when the GCC's appointee as President, Ratu Iloilo, meekly accepted being shunted aside by Bainimarama, and after Bainimarama illegally removed Qarase as Prime Minister, ignominiously accepting re-appointment as President, and consequently doing all of Bainimarama's bidding. It is to Ratu Mara's credit that he refused to be used in 2000 when he was humiliatingly asked to "step aside".

The GCC said nothing of their Presidential nominee Iloilo being abused in this fashion, nor did they collectively say anything about his subsequent actions all following the Regime's commands; nor did they make a stand when another President was illegally imposed on the nation, without their consent and ultra vires the 1997 Constitution.

Note also that the three leading chiefly families within the GCC (the Maras, the Cakobaus, and the Ganilaus) who have traditionally provided the President, not only behaved without any constitutional ethics in 1987 and 2000, but also in 2006 and 2009.

There is little doubt that individual chiefs continue to provide strong leadership to their people in their own local areas. But collectively, they have failed Fiji.

Told by Bainimarama to go away, the chiefs of the GCC collectively and meekly went away out of sight, except Ro Temumu Kepa.

Most of the chiefs of Fiji have still done nothing about reforming their own provincial councils, by including educated and professional commoners who might guide them better through these turbulent modern crises in which the majority of the traditional chiefs have little to offer their people.

Is it any wonder that many qualified commoners put up their hands to serve Bainimarama today, and Rabuka two decades ago.

Nevertheless, whatever the GCC's failings, it is not for the Bainimarama Regime to abolish an institution which has a central role in the 1997 Constitution, for nominating the President and a half of Senate.

Submissions to the Yash Ghai Commission should consider recommending that following the 2014 elections, there be a thorough review of the GCC, led by the GCC itself, with inputs from the elected government.


What of the military decrees?
The Ghai Commission faces a third legal dilemma: what can they recommend on all the military decrees promulgated by the Bainimarama Regime?

The 2009 Court of Appeal recognized (repeated  by Twomey) "the principle that the laws or acts of an invalid government that is in actual control of a territory may still be valid insofar as they concern the ordinary orderly running of the state, do not impair the rights of citizens and do not directly help the usurpation of power" (my emphasis). The Military Regime fails on all three qualifications.

First, they have ventured (disastrously) into numerous aspects of public policy, such as the FNPF restructuring and its investments, the Air Pacific shareholdings, fundamental changes in the tax laws, etc.- all actions far more than the "ordinary running of the state".

Second, many of the Military decrees have taken away basic human rights of citizens to property (FNPF case, Nadi Airport leases, Momi assets), the right of recourse to courts, the freedom of speech and assembly.

Third the Decrees have prevented any legal challenge to be made to their assumption of authority.

The resolution of some of these issues (like the FNPF pension restructuring) will be a nightmare for the judiciary, after a normal elected and accountable government returns.

The Ghai Commission might help by giving some general directions.
Will the Constituent Assembly repeat the Charter Charade?

The Regime will face a large credibility gap with any "Constituent Assembly" that is set up by Bainimarama, given his betrayal of the NCBBF/Charter exercise.

Many who served on the NCBBF, like Archbishop Petero Mataca and John Samy, may have originally believed in the objectives and the rhetoric of the Military Regime.

They, like hundreds of thousands of people throughout Fiji, would also have been reassured by the clear statement in the Charter, of strict adherence to the 1997 Constitution.

But they were all left high and dry, when Bainimarama abrogated the 1997 Constitution following the Appeal Court ruling in 2009.

It is a sad symptom of the widespread lack of public accountability of leaders in Fiji, that neither Mataca nor Samy, nor leading lights like Akuila Yabaki, have ever made any public statement about the betrayal of the Charter and the NCBBF by Bainimarama's abrogation of the Constitution.

All those who will take part in the "Constituent Assembly" following the Ghai Commission's Report, need to be constantly reminded of the contents of the Charter, still shamelessly alleged by the Regime as the gospel for Fiji's future.


Will this exit strategy be missed? 
Prior to the 2009 Court of Appeal, the Regime and Regime supporters could have claimed some semblance of legality, based on the judgement by Gates, Pathik and Byrne.

That judgement was however over-turned by the 2009 Court of Appeal, and had the coup drivers and supporters then followed the very pragmatic advice of that Court of Appeal, they could have retained some semblance of legality.

But sadly for Fiji, they failed to take that exit strategy, and those responsible for advising Bainimarama to abrogate the Constitution, will regret it to their dying days.

Today, this Ghai Commission offers one again, a peaceful exit strategy to Bainimarama and his Military Council, Aiyaz Khaiyum, and their cabal of secret legal advisers (whose identities are all known by Fiji lawyers).

The Yash Ghai Commission also offers a redeeming moment to some of our political leaders who have an equally bad record on abiding by the 1997 Constitution.  Hopefully, their current co-operation is genuinely for the good of the nation, and not just a Machiavellian "marriage of convenience" that will be discarded when the "common enemy" is out of sight.


The "silence of the lions" in the Fiji Law Society
It is understandable that lawyers cannot be expected to give free public advice on all legal matters- that is after all their daily bread and butter.  But the Constitution is not a "daily bread and butter issue".


Unfortunately the many grey areas in the 1997 Constitution have been a fertile ground for many of our lawyers to make minor fortunes in the inevitable political disputes so readily taken to court in the past.

Our failure to eliminate the grey constitutional areas before crises develop, has virtually destroyed our country for the last ten years. Read my article here in 2002:
http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/confrontational-political-parties-passing-the-buck-to-the-judiciary-the-fiji-times-15-feb-2002/

This advice was not acted upon by our political parties, nor by the Fiji Law Society.

Indeed, the members of the Fiji Law Society are not likely to be accused of selflessly serving the public with solid professional advice on constitutional matters.

The Fiji Law Society might also wish to take the opportunity offered by this Yash Ghai Commission to brighten their collective reputation, which has been considerably tarnished in recent years.


Public recommendations to the Ghai Commission
People's Charter: Ghai and wife Jill Cottrell with Yabaki Aquila


... and John Samy
To assist the Ghai Commission, the Fiji public might wish to consider making the following general recommendations:
(1) to declare that the1997 Constitution is still in place and must be abided by, including for its revision following the Ghai Commission Report and approval by the "Constituent Assembly".
(2) to ensure a lawful implementation of the Ghai Commission Report, if unanimously supported by the political parties,
(a) the 2006 elected Parliament and Senate be recalled for the sole purpose of approving the Recommendations for the revision of the 1997 Constitution;
(b) the lawful dissolution of parliament following resignation by the last elected Prime Minister,
(c) the call for fresh elections under the revised electoral system; and
(d) the appointment of a civilian administration comprising members who will not stand in the 2014 elections, and who will only conduct the "ordinary business" of the state, nothing more.



The public also needs to make specific recommendations for
 (3) the reform of the electoral system (I will give my suggestions on this).
 (4) the removal of all ambiguity in the 1997 Constitution for the appointment of Presidents and Prime Ministers and the dissolution of Parliament
 (5) the maintenance of the President as a "symbolic head" above all party politics, independent of passing governments, providing moral and ethical leadership for all Fiji citizens; with no executive powers which would merely replicate the elected government.
 (6) agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the reform of the GCC
 (7) agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the reform of the Senate
 (8) agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the regularization of military decrees, consistent with the 1997 Constitution
 (9) explicit provisions for the legal and state response to any further military coups
 (10) the nature of amnesty provisions which may be provided
 (11) the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
 (12) the running of a referendum on the revised Constitution at the first national elections, with any remaining significant contentious issues, to be placed for approval or rejection on that Referendum Ballot paper.



Evidence of support for Submissions
The political parties should learn from the Charter exercise when the Regime trotted out more than 400 thousand signatures allegedly in support of the Charter.
It may once more come down to counting numbers throughout the country, who support this or that submission.

All those who make submissions to the Ghai Commission, need to thoroughly explain their submission to the people, gather supporting signatures from those over 18,  who must be reminded not to sign twice.

To assist international auditing of these signatures they need to follow a template and put all the data on a spread-sheet (simple exercise nowadays) to be also given to the Ghai Commission: Surname, given names, age, address.

Political parties should understand the long-term advantages to themselves in conducting this public education exercise (of course, they could leave it to the Regime, Akuila Yabaki's CCF, and essay writing competitions).

Oh dear.  What a pain, eh?
Law and order, and good governance, does not come easy, does it?

Read more of Narsey's articles on his website
http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/z2-costly-coups/ 

109 comments:

SEMI MEO said...

Is this the goodbye piece by Mr. Narsey before he retires in seclusion to a hill in Gujarat??.

....leve davo kece ga ie…or is this his final advise as the lone Indo-Fijian member of the Canberra based I Taukei Democracy and Freedom Movement…(formerly FDFM)..

When all is done ..Mr. Narsey and his Gujarati cousin Bhabu Ghai will be taunting all of us from far far away..of course, with full pockets...

Anonymous said...

UMMMMMM good suggestions but who will have the nerve to get up and speak and for that matter what difference will the Ghai Committee make if Bainimarama decides to accept some things reccommended and just ignor the rest? Will we than have an uprising or is everyone just happy to stay in the village and have grog & discuss the 7's Rugby?

Anonymous said...

Wadan Narsey as usual makes useful points but his hectoring tone jars, as if he is the only one who has thought of the things he mentions. Yes, the Ghai Commission is on test, but let us not prejudge issues. In the end, it does not matter who the members are. What is important is the result they deliver. Reeves Commission had foreign nationals on it, but it was chosen by the parliament of Fiji, and it delivered a fantastic result for the people of Fiji. One hopes that people like Narsey will make their submissions to the Constitutional Commission rather than sit on the fence dispensing free advice.

Anonymous said...

we dont need any other constitution.
simple guys follow the court ruling of april 2009.
cj gates should tell frank/ask that it.
how can gate become a hypocrite.
we the people of fiji dont need new constitution every time there is a coup.
no one is the above the law and constitution.
can ask/frank/gates/ghai tell fiji people .
if they is another coup after ghai constitution .
than what another ask /frank constitution or what.
army is the problem.
why dont we disband the army all coup and problem will stop in fiji forever.
we had enough of all this bs from this regime and others.
god bless fiji people .
i hope they can stand and fight this illegal regime.
ghai is educated .why cant he tell frank/ask to follow the court ruling.
Rajesh

Bhaiya Babu said...

Dear Professor Yash Ghai,

We have heard that you are a man of great knowledge and wisdom.

As such, it would not have taken you long to realize that one of your rather ‘intellectually challenged’ former student has made a total mockery of our country and has been a reason for much of our misery for much too long now.

Him, and some of his very unruly family and friends have been engaged in perpetual (6yrs) broad-daylight armed robbery of our country’s treasury, its pension fund, its forests, its water, its fisheries, its land, its people, its industry, its resources and just about anything else they laid their greedy eyes on.

Your student, who is arrogantly been calling himself AG has committed and induced others to commit some serious crimes against humanity, including: torture, severe beatings of citizens, arson, threats, intimidations, phone-tapping, infringing privacy, break-ins, robbery and removable of private property as a way of intimidation. These are off-course, apart from committing TREASON.

By promulgating Decree after Decree, your student has taken away our liberties of speech and protest and effectively kept us, our cultural institutions like GCC and our religious churches gagged.

Your student has brought the whole populace of our country to a position of utter powerlessness and on its knees and in SILENT obedience.

Sir, as a world renowned and respected constitutional expert, you would know that we already have one of the best Constitutions in the world, in the 1997 Constitution of Fiji – and I strongly submit, Sir, THAT WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER!

I am requesting every single right thinking citizen of Fiji to make submissions to you, Sir THAT WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER CONSTITUTION!

Professor, your rather wayward student is now using YOU, Sir, to grovel his way out of a situation of his own making. Our whole exercise of ‘Constitutional Consultations’ are but a farce, for the sole purposes of granting your student and his unruly friends –IMMUNITY- from TREASON, nothing more and nothing less.

If it is so, so, obvious to us, Sir, why we wonder it is not to you??
Sgd. Bhaiya Babu

Anonymous said...

1997 CONSTITUTION IS A LIVING DOCUMENT.
FULL STOP.
WE DONT NEED ANY OTHER CONSTITUTION.
FRANK/ASK/CRONIES F UP FIJI.
YOU GUYS SHOULD END UP IN NABORO ONE DAY MF BASTARD.
GHAI STOP BEEN USED BY THIS BASTARD AND ILLEGAL REGIME.
DONT WASTE YOUR TIME IN FIJI.

Anonymous said...

Good points Prof. But is it wishful thinking. Putting back the same parliament as in 2006 is like asking for the stars.

What we want is a practical and realistic solution.

By the way, can Rajesh shut-up as he is making the indo-fijians sound stupid. Come to Fiji and talk Rajesh, otherwise stop barking.

Anonymous said...

""THE 1997 CONSTITUTION LIVES""

Anonymous said...

""The Decree..Decree...Tuk..Tuk.. 2012 Constitution of the Cassava Republic of Fiji"" is hereby Decreed!

Anonymous said...

Prof Narsey is trying to become hero. His comments ate academic and only good for lectures at universities

Anonymous said...

Look beyond the obvious...Narsey is offering solutions and inspiration. Too few around doing that. If you wat to stay in the corrupt mire, wallow there by yourself. Others are happy to be enlightened.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr Narsey for an excellent insight!!

Power to the People!!

Daniela Yaya, Suva said...

A good article Dr Narsey, however I beg to differ.

There is no place for the Great Council of Cheats (GCC) IN THE NEW Fiji.

All persons elected to positions of power will be on popular vote, be it president or members of parliament.

The GCC members have been sucking our blood, as individual landowners by taking the lion's share of our lease money, and we commoners remain poor for decades.

Thanks to Frank Bainimarama, our Saviour for looking after us commoner landowners.

Anonymous said...

Thank you @ 8:44 we do want to be enlightenment! and Thank Prof, Wadan Narsey!

Hear! Hear! @ Bhaiya Babu! I'll do my submissions as you suggested.

And Decree...Decree.. Tuk...Tuk.. Is that the 'sound' of Fiji going forward???

Keep Blogging some of us LOVE reading the blogs +ves and -ves as well!!

Benjamin Franklin said...

As usual Semi Meo you're off the mark, Dr Narsey is more useful to us Fijians then you and Frank put together.

Anonymous said...

@May 21,2012 8.57pm..what kind of commoner landowner are you..a Kaisi??..Bainimarama is not a lifesvaer but a wrecker of all institutions..He is a dumb dickhead and a stupid fool and you do take after him..haahaaa..Im a Kaidia and I'm laughing at you..

Anonymous said...

Great piece Prof.

Very enlightening and Absolutely valuable.

Thanks so much for the time taken to put together this Constructive and insightful free advice.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Tribute to Sir Moti

IT is sad to hear that Sir Moti Tikaram is no longer amongst us.

My deepest condolence to the Tikaram family. Sir Moti had a spotless record and had served Fiji as a magistrate, judge and ombudsman. He was also very involved with the Boy Scouts organisation and in sports.

Sir Moti always had this smile on his face which showed his humbleness and genuine feeling for all human beings.

On April 14, 2007, I had suggested that the Prime Minister nominate Sir Moti for Vice President of Fiji. I am very confident that he would have carried out his duty to the best of his ability.

So long Sir Moti. May your soul rest in peace. Ni sa moce

RAMAN VELJI
USA

Radiolucas said...

We have to keep this thought in mind: the ONLY reason that we have to REVIEW the constitution is because Baikaiyum want to save their asses from retribution.

Ruling by decree is all very well, but it won't save them from any subsequent elected government.

Anonymous said...

YashGhai is not a Gujarati cousin of Wadan - he is an Kenyan Indian of Punjabi heritage!

Anonymous said...

Ghai and Murray are an example of pathetic human beings who are willing to spread their legs and sell their conscience for a few silver coins.

These two idiots know fully well that the Courts uphold the 1997 Constitution.

So they want us to uphold a "new" law while they themselves break the law.

Well guess what Ghai and Murray; We are not STUPID like you two.

These two are nothing but oxymoronic slimy lowlifes with a perveted sense of justice.

Fijians should have nothing to do with these sort of people.

These are the sort of arseholes who rob you of your future.
I pray my Fijian brothers, do not go to these stupid "constitution" consultation.
Its a total waste of time. NO! Its actually worse than that. They will pollute your mind and stuff up your future wellbeing.
These are the sort of perverts one should stay away from.

The Bible says "Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked...etc etc"

These two are perfect examples of "the wicked".
You follow them at your own peril.

The 1997 Constitution still exists.

It is ILLEGAL to bring in another Legal Document while one still exists.
Only a parliament , voted in by the people, has the right to change the document. Not Bainivuaka or Akuila or Gai or Murray or whoever.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

dont worry about rajesh coming to fiji.
ateast he has guts to write his name others are scared.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:24 of 21/05

Prof Narsey's hectoring tone may "jar", but not nearly as much as the Regime's brutal, disastrous and un-ending errors of thought, character and intervention since 2006. So please try to keep some proper perspective here.

Whether or not Prof Wadan submits anything personally to the Ghai Commission is not the purpose of his article. The purpose of his article is to offer some kind of framework for interested people in Fiji (both now and in the future) to be able to make up their own minds on the value of whatever the Ghai Commission finally produces.

Can Ghai & Co eventually come up with something that abides by the Rule of Law, commonsense, good thinking and general utility?

Well, now the people of Fiji now and in future have at least some sign-posts to look out for which can help answer those questions for us!

Anonymous said...

fiji indians will loose out in this one man one vote system.
fiji will never have another indian legal pm in the future.
so indians wake up and oppose this one man one vote system.
defend the 1997 constitution.
1997 constitution allows a multiracial party govt.
fijian and indians should combine and defend the 1997 constitution.
we are thankful of our political leaders pm lq/mpc and mick telling bai/ask that they want 1997 constitution back.
ghai and other have to understand and follow the court ruling on the 1997 constitution.
god bless.
Rajesh

Madarasi Anna said...

Thank u Wadan very good work however its quite long ago we haven't heard from LAHENGA Ratu Jai Rawan Reddy.come on boci wake up.

Keep The Faith said...

Prof Narsey is a beacon of light in these ever present dark times.

Vinaka Prof.

Anonymous said...

A good view of the perspectives that everyone should be mindful and thanks to Prof Narsey for taking the trouble of putting thoughts into the blog waves for all to read. Again the consensus is quite clear that this constitutional review exercise is nothing else than a way of working out an escape route for the tyrants in power! Ghai will now try and tidy up the mess his student has left the country in and this should not come as a surprise for he was the very one that certified the flawed thesis Kaiyum wrote with deep sense of paranoia! We shall all wait to see the result of this project, i.e. the Kaiyum thesis review - not the constitutional review.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wadan. Well rounded overview of circus the country has been through over the years. Sad that some dont still realise the pain and suffering that all Fiji people and future generation will have to face because of the greed and stupdity of a few. I also have a feeling that this Ghai commission is not really a constitutional review but a Kaiyum thesis review! Prof Ghai would be wise to look again at the story he concocted with his student about the way Fiji should be. We shall all wait to see how this project will result.

Tom said...

I hope Ghai and his colleagues find the time to read this article. It is certainly helpful to understand how flexible people like Gates really are. Now, where I completely disagree with some of the comments above, is the true objective of this exercise. It is not about engineering a way out for Khaiyum and Bainimarama, it is about engineering their way in. We should not be bamboozled by the slimy AG. What he wants is to stay in power either through rigged elections or any other means possible. The entire constitutional circus is just that, a big distraction from the real issues.

Anonymous said...

Fiji as today,suffering at all levels and profiteering some who suck on to ASS the so called illegal AG . The non practising lawyer or lier has ruined Fiji,as to chiefs,the ones benefiting now are happy as the see up to thier nose only and dont give a damn to common Fijians ,What bai has done it HE HAS CHANGED THE IDENTITY OF KAIVITIs ,so called no school illegal pm HAS TAKEN fIJI 20 YEARS BACK WHILE OUR ISLAND NEIGHBOURS PROSPER, AS to Wadan good insight Bro you have told Fijians what options are there for them and if it hurts let it be,And to all our so called brilliant Lawyers and the law society YOU HAVE LET DOWN YOUR COUNTRY, learn from legal eagles in India who have more brains than you and pride of their Country.FIJI IS GOING TO THE GURGULAR

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8.39am, "...pain and suffering that all Fiji people and future generatioon will have to face because of the greed and stupidy of a few..." What nonsense you speak! Right now as I write this, thousands of people living in Fiji, the down-trodden that is, would rather be led by the devil they know than they one they do not. What Fiji is going through now is the manifestation of indeed the greed of those who supported th 1987 coup and lies of those who lost the election then, and of couse as they say, the rest is history. The iTaukei now enjoy equal allocation of receipt of land lease, unlike before when only the chiefs thought it was all for them to squander. The simple people are fed up with greedy leaders and at least with the current ones, while I did not support their removal of a democratically elected government, renown iTaukeu anthropologist, the late Dr Rusiate Nayacakalou did predict that in order to remove the bs notion that vanua and introduced governance could work together, a radical action by the powers that be, would have to be committed. And, if it takes a coup to make the common people aware that greed and corruption by their leaders MUST NOT be tolerated then so be it. Only time will tell but for now, a seed for intolerance for greedy and arrogant leaders has been planted. Take the time go around visit people in the settlements, villages, towns and the city and you will find, you're dealing with a NEW Fijian population and better still, one that is determined to make it right by communication, se baci communication, se baci communication, ia na qai ena qai ga.

flyboyfiji said...

Well done, tell it like it is Prof. Narsey.

Anonymous said...

Law Society has the strongest hold and if they have BALLSjust refuse to attend any COURTS and see the monkey so Called illegal AG assing around.i wouls say only few had GUTS likes of ONE NAGIN who took them to task for removing CJ,at least he cam walk with his head high in Fiji .he had to pay the price and it nearly cost him his bread and butter but shamed you blood sucking leeches or Fiji lawyers,maybe some young ones like BARB Malimali OR Naidu can lead .

Komai Naibenubenu said...

Again I reiterate, this constitutional formulation is a bullshit crap. Just to keep this chief goon away from Naboro for the murder of CRW and other astrocities and insubordination on the political power ousted by his cronies. Keep alive the 1997 constitution..the envy of democracy around the world.

Anonymous said...

My heart was heavy as I read SAS hero Talaiasi Labalaba being cited as one of the top 60 personalities Britain has paid tribute to in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee celebrations. It pains when I see that such a an exceptional feat which prides us as a country is never reflected in the military that we have now. Once a revered institution of the brave hearted has turned into a murderous,torturing unruly mob of goons. So sad that we have such a history.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:30 whats "new" Fiji ?

They can't even pay for their own toilets and typhoid is ramant in those settlements. They've even had typhoid at Jittu Estate in downtown Suva.

Is that the new Fiji you speak of ?

The Government has no money to evenget the sewerlines in Nadi fixed which has led to e coli and fecal coli coming out of the taps over there.

Is this the new Fiji you speak of ? where people are drinking shyte coming out of their taps because the Govt has no money to maintain snitation systems ?

Sa qai vakavotukana tu qori na i qaiqai ni toso o tukuna tiko mai qori.

Sa qai saraga ga mai na Da ena paipo ni wai ni gunu mai Nadi kei na veiyasana ena yasayasa vakara.

Unsafe drinking water in the West
07:11 Fri Apr 20, 2012

Taken from/By: Google
Report by: Roland Koroi
The Fiji National University says there is still a serious risk of water borne diseases in the west following the restoration of water supply to 90 percent of areas that were affected by the recent floods.

FNU lecturer Keshwa Nand Krishna says a recent survey carried out by students of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences found evidence of faecal coli and E-coli bacteria in Nadi tap water.

“We were at Nadi recently and we took some samples of water and we found out that even the water supply that is people getting in urban areas have a lot of faecal coli and that is a concern also with the ministry of health I understand with the general public at large.”

Claims are that faecal coli might have entered the water system through broken pipes which is supported by the Water Authority of Fiji Chief Executive officer Opetaia Ravai.

“That usually occurs when there is a floods and then some of our water mains are infiltrated by the flood waters, there is a high chance of contaminants entering the system so that is why the advisory is to boil drinking water during those disaster times is very important.”

The health ministry has issued repeated advisories for water to be boiled before consumption.
« Back to Home« More Fiji

Anonymous said...

I hope i am wrong in my assumptions does C4.5 want Prof Ghai to conduct the who process of the Constitutional Reform but then balmes hiam and his Committee if teh present Regime doesn't go ahead and implement iT?? So who is there taht will be able to task the same role that this Committee is willing to take up(yes they getting paid for it) and able to force this Regime to follow thru on it? Some appear to not want this Committee to function at all ie boycott the function of the Committee even before the process began! Gee we seem to want to have things do our way, either way we will still shoot this Committee for whatever results that come out of the process. Maybe we wanted Aussies & NZs on the Committee, well them two shot themselves in the back foot by not enganging Fiji. Don't blame them but if they were only consistent with they dealings with coups i would be happy but it seems its something for 1 country and something else for Fiji eg Bangladesh is one that comes to mind!

Anonymous said...

Really wadan,why is it that you're so up in arms against the idea to remove the 1997 constitution and make a new one? Seriously, you even suggested to keep it and revised areas which the people of Fiji didn't like? Why didn't you suggest the same for the 1970 constitution to be reviewed rather than write up a new 1997 constitution?personally,i think it's a good idea to change the constitution and lets make this a better one for our future generation!

Anonymous said...

@1.34pm, yes they are still brave hearted because they took out the racist and corrupted government of Qarase and a better future already in the making....

Anonymous said...

lets move on stop the crap create a new constitiution jus iinclude in the constitiution that whoever stages a coup to be hanged .

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wadan. You have said the best and right thing for Fiji. The 1997 Constitution still stands, all the rest Bai Khaiyum and Nailatikau, Gates Shameems, Tappoos, etc can go to HELL. Their days are numbered as 2014 approaches very fast indeed. Who knows they may not live to see 2014, only God knows

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 2:35
No need to do any consultation.
The 1997 Constitution still exists. So do an election according to this Constitution.
If Bainimarama wants to change Voting system or whatever then let him form a party with this as its policy and let him contest the elction fairly like everyone else.
If he wins then we accept it.
If he loses then he must respect the wishes of the people. Not do another coup.

Kai Bau said...

Mr Semi please refrain from racists comments and please my tau do take some time and look at yourself closely in a mirror and compare your numb stupid brain with Dr Narsey.I believe Dr Narsey didnot seek any loan from the goverment or from you to achieve his academic background.Why are you so bitter about someone who is well educated and has proved himself academically and professionally.From a christian point of view : mainly he is a human being just like you expressing his opinion here.Why cant you do the honourable thing my Tau by doing the same thing rather than acting like your grand mother gossipping and comment on some one else view.Na nomu i volavola my tau ena so na gauna e dau vaka madua ka sa tukuna tiko e dua na ka e bona tu mai lomamu ka sa basika mai na we ni ligamuni vaka turga mo mai cauraka wavoki tu ena media.Au vakabauta Tui Namuka ni ko na dau rokova na vei vola kei na nanuma duidui ni taba tamata kecega ka bau vakarautaka e dua na tovo ko kilai tani kina mai nomudou.Au vakabauata ni sega ni a vaka vulici iko tu o Tamamu ka noqu momo mo gusu velavela tu vaqori.Vosota my Tau sa dredre toka na kau me loveci ni sa qase ka sa na tau ga kina nai vosavosa ya..sa qase na tamata sa So.....
Barewa ga vei iiko Tau.

Anonymous said...

@Aononymous 3.13pm..Get your facts right. the takeover had nothing to do with corruption which is actually rife now but because the chief goon did not want to go to Naboro as no-nonsense then COMPOL Andrew Hughes had investigations against him for CRW murders all wrapped up and that his arrest was supposed to have been taken place the same week. Don't try and deviate from the CRW killings. Chief goon will have to account for that someday and that day is not too far off.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3.13pm..Taking over of an elected government cannot be the work of the brave hearted..FAR FROM IT..its in fact the opposite as it is the work of cowards. Remember Qarase was unarmed and here you have heavily armed soldiers stomping into parliament and even invading his official residence and ousting elected ministers from their offices and their official vehicles.. Do you regard that as the work of the brave hearted.? You need a quick visit of St Giles buddy..

Anonymous said...

Sa dua na ka vakaloloma ni sa basika na da e na paipo ni wai ni gunu.

Sa dua nodratou i tekiteki beka oqori na matanitu suguraki tawamacala oqo. Ai sausau vou sa tavoci qori.

Tukutuku ni veigauna.

Dua na "record achievement". E se bera vakadua ni bau dua na gauna e nai tukutuku kei Viti ena loma ni kuila me yaco kina e dua na ka vakaoqo.

Shyte on tap (koya dau tukuni tu me "Beer on the tap" sa na veisau qo me "shyte on the tap", se "Da on the tap"). Kenai soqoni ga na boidada.

Only in coupland Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Vinaka vakalevu Pro Warden Narsey.

Your thoughtful piece always makes interesting reading. Being an academic, it's very enlightening to view issues from all angles.

I suppose the underlying message of your article is crystal clear - the 1997 Constitution is Alive. Consultation on this review will take its normal course, but the solution has already been given to us in the 2009 Hight Court Decision, and so we do not have to re-create another issue.

God willing, Fiji will return to parliament ruling in His own time. HE is a JUST and FAIR God. I am thankful to God for your profound insights into some of the issues we are facing now.

May God bless you Professor.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wadan, for another statement that should help stir much needed discussion. Judging by some of the reaction, you are casting pearls before swine in a few cases, but most of us do appreciate and value your integrity and insights.

Today's Fiji is a pathetic case. This unnecessary and unlawful constitutional process is contrived and forced upon the country by Bainimarama and Aiyaz in order to perpetuate their rule, because anything less would leave them too vulnerable. 

This is a lose-lose scenario for Fiji. Participation in this rigged process could be construed as an act of legitimisation, while boycotting the process would simply give the regime the opportunity to do what it wants in the absence of opposition.

At first blush, I think your approach entirely consistent with what I've advocated, which is to engage in a very guarded fashion, by laying down markers that the 1997 Constitution lives, insisting on the need for a choreographed parlamentary exercise to bridge the unlawful interregnum period, demanding establishment of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission, spelling out a ratification process, etc., while deferring issues like the dissolution of the GCC to a properly elected parliament.

My personal view is that any proposal of amnesty should be refused till the bitter end. The regime will insist from the beginning that its claims to legal impunity be enshrined in the new constitution, but I believe Fiji will get the best outcome if all loyal Fijians resist vigorously any attempt to include amnesty in the new constitution.

I now expect for the regime to cherrypick those proposals most in line with what it seeks, which I believe is a system roughly patterned after Indonesia under Suharto. I expect it to pick up and amplify all calls for Fiji to adopt the presidential system of government, or more likely, a stronger presidency in the American, French or Russian model. This will be a sure tip-off that Bainimarama plans to become president for life, as I've predicted repeatedly. 

So, like others, Wadan, I don't really see this exercise as Bainimarama's 'exit strategy', unless by that you mean something akin to the exit strategy of a weasel, which is to burrow deeper.

s/ Dakuwaqa

Anonymous said...

Semi Meo, Professor Narsey was a tenured professor with 30 years of teaching experience when the regime forced him out of his job because he maintained his academic integrity. How does being unemployed help him fill his pockets?

Your comments are more of what we've come to expect in the way of attempted character assassination by The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Fijiana said...

Prof Narsey thank you for taking time and sharing with us your perception of events as they folded. It is so sad that some people do not appreciate you views. These are the the die hard SDL members that has fallen off from the face of this earth since 2006.

I can assure you that you will be appreciated by my party and people that what a New Beginning for Fiji. I want to change for the better. We want to move forward.

Anonymous said...

NEW CONSTITUTION

1. 1997 constitution lives

2. Disband The Army

Ghai pls sign here..............

Thanks
Osama

Anonymous said...

@4.03pm, mai vei qori? Kua mada na lasu jiko. Shyte ga o iko kei na comment qori.. There has been no reports of contaminated water anywhere unless yours is directly connected to your sewage!! Sa qai vakaloloma ya!!

Anonymous said...

To Rajesh,
Stop using racism. It's people like who bring the racial divide in Fiji.
Look at the that you are in and see if they have racial voting system.
New Zealand has a significant number of indians and Chinese but you dont see them asking for parliamentary seats. So grow up and smell the coffee of these era where the person's race should come secondary to his or her's nationality.
Let enlighten you by what my 12 year nephew said to me.
I asked him if he was an Indian? He replied by saying uncle I was born in Australia so I'm an Australian but as for my ethnicity my roots are in Asia.
So learn from these 12 year old Rajesh and people who have the same mindset as Rajesh.

Anonymous said...

This is a defecto goverment which does not have a legal standing and is not recorgnaised by the neighbouring democratic nations. So whatever is taking place is all wrong and it is done at the expence of the tax payers of Fiji. It will all go back to square one when Baini is assasinated.

That is not too far away.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! Couldn't have said it better s/Dakuwaqa.

quote "My personal view is that any proposal of amnesty should be refused till the bitter end. The regime will insist from the beginning that its claims to legal impunity be enshrined in the new constitution, but I believe Fiji will get the best outcome if all loyal Fijians resist vigorously any attempt to include amnesty in the new constitution." unquote

We've come to far, suffered and lost way too much. To the bitter end it is! There shall be NO AMNESTY!

Anonymous said...

FYI, anonymous 7:44, Māori seats are a special category of electorate that gives reserved positions to representatives of Māori descent in New Zealand's Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Anon Aussie@ 7.44 - please dont abuce Rajesh Singh's intelligence, he doesnt have much and it hurts - this guy gave his wife to Francis so I dont think he cares for Fiji.
Kick Bani and Ass out but make sure none of the other clowns like Rajesh come back.

VICTOR LAL said...

Professor Wadan Narsey has made many valid arguments and suggestions but he cannot have it both ways - if Yash Ghai and his Constitutional Committee members refuse to accept that the 1997 Connstitution is still alive and well, than Wadan's call to make submissions to the Ghai Commission will be a worthless exercise.
He implores Fijians: To assist the Ghai Commission, the Fiji public might wish to consider making the following general recommendations:
(1) to declare that the1997 Constitution is still in place and must be abided by, including for its revision following the Ghai Commission Report and approval by the "Constituent Assembly".

I suggest Wadan should be calling on Yash Ghai and other Committee members to declare whether they hold the opinion that Fiji's 1997 Constitution is still in place

If not, let the Committee impose its version (military version) of a new treasonous Constitution on Fiji.

Kai Bau said...

Daniela Yaya, Suva said...
A good article Dr Narsey, however I beg to differ.

There is no place for the Great Council of Cheats (GCC) IN THE NEW Fiji.

All persons elected to positions of power will be on popular vote, be it president or members of parliament.

The GCC members have been sucking our blood, as individual landowners by taking the lion's share of our lease money, and we commoners remain poor for decades.

Thanks to Frank Bainimarama, our Saviour for looking after us commoner landowners.
May 21, 2012 8:57 PM

Daniela Yaya,
I respect your views about the GCC but I donot agree with the way theyve been displaced by a crook and murderer Bainimarama.
I respect your views about voting but it has to be done in a proper democratic way of removing those things and not by someone like Bainimarama and his bunch of thieves .
Na nomu dravudravua e sega ni mai bale vei ira na GCC de ka esa sega makawa tu ga mai na nomui lavo qai mai bilitaki ira ga na veika sa yaco qo ena ca ni lomamu.Ke ko kaya ni ko taukei ni qele e cava o dravudravua kina se sega na nomui lavo.Sa rua na ka o sa cakava tu qo na veibeitaki vaka i lasu kei na lasu.Lai tei na tavioka kauta i na makete ka kau ni vaka otia na nomu gauna na bilitaki ira tiko na GCC.Bro check taka mada nomu taga de kalamu tiko.?

Anonymous said...

indian are indian you like it or not.
fijian call indian kai india.
fijian are fijian not african.
so respect the race god gave people.
fijians always used indian as scape goat in coup.
the fight is between fijians for power struggle.
why did the army coup in 1987/2000/2006 for indians or for fijians.
so f the shut up and stop using indians and fijian to grip on to power mf regime.
army should be subject to the govt of the day and protect and uphold the constitution .
the army is now personal boci guards of ASK/FRANK.
its not frank/ask army so stop using people.
we are more smarter than you army idiots.
fijians always didnt want indian in the army bec that was the power base used to get rid of indian pm lead govt.
if army is serious on this than give pm mpc to rule his 4 years than pm lq 4 years to rule bec they were elected govt.
arrest ask and frank and put them in jail like others serving now for 2000 coup.
armies is the problem not the constitution.
god bless.
rajesh

Anonymous said...

fijians and indians been used by this crook regime.
why do we pay taxes to this illegal govt.
we dont have freedom and democracy.
so people stop paying tax.
army and frank/ask is looting from the tax payers dollars.
we dont need this illegal govt.
time for fijians to stand up and fight for democracy.
we should all tell the regime and ghai .
we dont need any new constitution and illegal regime.
action speaks louder.
fight for our future generation now.

Anonymous said...

When Rabuka abbrogated the 1970 constitution did anyone say that he cant do it.Then why the fuss about the 1997 constitution.To all the critics lets put our hatchets aside and start working together.This process is just a start towards democracy.Remember the 1992 constitution and its RACIST agenda.Yet there were people who were willing to make a start.So please hoodwinking the people on the streets of Fiji with this tirade against the regime.If Choudhary and Qarase can become sleeping partners just to oust a common enemy for their own political agendas why cant the common people unite for a better Fiji.To the owners of this blog rather than being negative about this whole process why dont you guys start an awareness programme.Educate as many people as possible to make their voices being heard.Thats the only way we can make a change.The current arrogant attitude will take us no where.Instead we will lose this wonderful opportunity to take our beloved country forward.Any takers????Iam willing to be part of a panel or group who are genuinely interested to be part of this process.

Samunidawa said...

E.Coli in the water.
Good luck.
You eat shit.
Now you drink shit.
I think you all deserve this shit
Because you all putting up with a leader who is full of shit.

Bainishit and Aiyashit.
Mataivalu full of shit.
Fijian Indian Chinesian all full of shit.

A brother calling for action but no one gives a shit.

Well then
Raise your glass of shit and Cheers
because you tolerate this shit
You deserve to live in Shitland.
In 2014 you'll get more shit.

Anonymous said...

get rid of army than coup will stop in fiji.
we dont need to change constitution every time we have coup.
fijian should be a shamed bec they coup elected govt .that they swore oath to protect .
madua
no one gave the illegal govt the mandate to change the constitution.
we dont need bs charter/all this f up stuffs from ASK/BAI.

Anonymous said...

Sound of Fiji moving Forward...

Decree.. Decree... Tuk..Tuk..
Decree..Decree.. Tuk..Tuk..

Anonymous said...

why worry about rajesh singh.
rajesh singh won his seat in 2006 on first count created history.
if you can contest the election .go do it.
dont bark like a dog. when you dont have guts and balls to put your name mf puffter.

Anonymous said...

@ 9.26 am by Anonymous.

The fact remains that Rabuka abrogated the 1970 Constitution. However, can he/she or coup4.5 administrator enlighten this forum as to whether or not there was a High Court decision that subsequently made the abrogation illegal or that it's still alive.

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 9:26

When Rambo abrogated the 1970 I cried load and long that He flipping hell can't do that!!! But no one listened!

WE bloggers are crying out now LOAD and long and Clear that:

"The 1997 Constitution Lives" - WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER!!!

But it seems people like you are not listening...and the other thing is that c4.5 is the very very BEST blog in airing ALL sorts and shades of views --including(I don't know why??)-Yours!!

We are very UNITED in our RESOLVE in opposing any ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL & TREASONOUS changes and or replacement of the 1997 Constitution!!

You are welcome to join us or you may not But that is what Democracy is all about - everyone is entitled to one's opinion!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 9:26, thank you for your question regarding the 'fuss' about the Constitution, and also your excellent suggestion of starting an awareness programme.

Let me be the first to kick off the awareness programme with a brief, if partial, explanation regarding the fuss about the Constitution.

Most people who understand the importance and value of a constitution take it very seriously indeed. You see, Fiji's Constitution is supposed to be the law of the land, the foundation upon which Fiji organises society and builds for the future. It articulates the social contract binding Fijians to Fijians. It is the supreme expression of Fiji's national identity. It transcends any other temporal authority, be it the so-called People's Charter, the Military Council or Frank Bainimarama.

To violate the Constitution is to break the law. To work to undermine the Constitution is an act of treason, by which the perpetrator makes himself an enemy of the lawful government, nation and people of Fiji.

The customary penalty for acts of treason is death by hanging.

Every person of conscience should instinctively recognise the duty to resist treason. To cooperate with traitors is to abet their treason, and to consciously abet treason makes one an accessory after the fact.

To be an accessory to treason customarily carries severe penalties, up to and including death by hanging.

No statute of limitation applies in cases of treason.

Bainimarama committed treason in 2000 when he conspired and attempted to hold Parlaiment hostage and to overthrow Fiji's duly elected government. He committed treason again when he overthrew Fiji's lawful government in December 2006. Every day that he has held the government since then is a day he has been engaged in an act of treason. He is committing treason at this very moment.

His victims are the government, nation and people of Fiji. If you are a Fiji citizen, he is committing his crimes against you.

Unless you choose to be an accessory to treason, I suggest that you, too, begin joining in the fuss about the Constitution. Because, when it comes to traitors, the only place one buries the hatchet is in them.

That is not arrogance. That is patriotic duty.

I do hope you enjoyed this first installment of our new awareness programme!

s/ Dakuwaqa

Anonymous said...

Another good piece from Wadan. And some good insights from some bloggers. My view is that we are dealing with a rabid animal in vb who needs to be sedated or tamed or he will make life worse for most of us as he has already done in the last 6 years. We can try to put our view across that we want the 1997 constitution back but knowing vb he will reject this outright. So the other option is to play along and form a new constitution and ensure that it is not biased towards favoring the regime's hold onto power or protection from the crimes committed from 2006 to date. There shall be no Amnesty. Where the 1997 failed is that it had no provision to stop a coup so this constitution should have in it a strong provision to stop future coups and abrogations. It should be sealed by the UN so that any attempt to undermine it would result in UN intervention and perpetrators severely dealt with. These were the loopholes in the 1997 constitution which allowed vb to get this far with his crimes.

Anonymous said...

Na Fecal coli kei na E coli na kenai balebale na DA. Fecal coli and E coli means shyte.

It means fecal contamination i.e sa tiko na da. Sa boidada. Sa da kecega.

from wikipedia:

A fecal coliform (sometimes faecal coliform) is a facultatively-anaerobic, rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-sporulating bacterium. Fecal coliforms are capable of growth in the presence of bile salts or similar surface agents, are oxidase negative, and produce acid and gas from lactose within 48 hours at 44 ± 0.5°C.[1]

Coliform bacteria include genera that originate in feces (e.g. Escherichia) as well as genera not of fecal origin (e.g. Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Citrobacter). The assay is intended to be an indicator of fecal contamination; more specifically of E. coli which is an indicator microorganism for other pathogens that may be present in feces.

Anonymous said...

Oqo na water pipe sa levu pekapeka. Oqo na guvernment sa pekapeka. Oqo sa boidada kedekede ga reh !

Oqo sa typhoid problem baleta sa lebu pekapeka oqo na water pipes.

Students contract typhoid

Serafina Silaitoga
Sunday, May 20, 2012


SIX primary school students were the latest cases of typhoid reported in Bua last week, says divisional medical officer north Doctor Pablo Romakin.

He said the six new cases were from the district of Lekutu and the students attended Lekutu District School.

Dr Romakin said the students were boarders.

He said the typhoid situation in the district was controlled.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation in the villages especially in the school because we have boarders there.

"We are looking at their kitchen and their sanitation facilities and have also asked them to improve it," Dr Romakin said.

He said the school management was informed of the needed improvements to sanitation facilities. "Compared to Macuata and Cakaudrove, we have controlled the spread of typhoid. There is a team in the villages of Lekutu, Navuniyevu and Wainunu inspecting the area and holding awareness programs," Dr Romakin said.

Dr Romakin said another area they were looking at were sources of drinking water.

"This also includes Lekutu District School as there are boarders and we need to make sure their drinking water is safe. We are working closely with the school management regarding this situation as we work towards preventing the spread of typhoid," Dr Romakin said.

The six new cases are part of the 14 typhoid cases reported in Bua so far this year

Anonymous said...

Fiji Times story
This government to get sirens from NZ to warn Nadi residents in case of floods.
WoW!
Sonaua or what?
The biggest siren ga when you hear rain on the roof.
Oilei! ratu mai verata!
Are Aiyaz and Bainimarama really stupid or what?
Our leaders in government must have some sonaua blood in them.
Frikin hell, you need sirens to tell you its flooding? Huh?
WTF

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson
Taveuni

Prof Narsey,

Makes some valid points, but ultimately he is trying to put "toothpaste" back into the tube.

1997 constitution was ok till the Politicians got hold off it and made the electoral process counter the very first words of the Constitution, ie. that Fiji was a democracy.
The Electoral section of the Constitution in fact negates the Constitution, or if you want to keep the Constitution of 1997, then all those elected under its electoral provisions are null and void.

Take your pick.

Now that’s before you consider that Qarase was appointed PM, not elected, and then, whilst in that office,formed a political party, and then helped himself to the public coffers to buy votes to become PM.
SWEET, for him. Not so for the rest of the players. This, in a supposed democracy? In a REAL demcoracy, somebody would be in jail.
Right, they got the guy holding the bag, but the jewels, well we know who got those.

In my opinion, the only legitimate way forward is via 'REFERENDUM".

So the only issue at hand is "what questions to ask the people".
Who should formulate the questions?
Prof Ghai and his Committee?
The National Assembly?

AS for me, I believe a "One Party" state is the only solution for Fiji for at least the next number of years, and that the Westminster multi-party system has and will be a continuous disaster for Fiji.

So, in a referendum of the people, will I have the CHOICE of Westminster (Multi-party) or one party system?

In any event, which ever system we adopt by referendum, neither will work without the decentralisation of the Public Service Commission to District Guardian Councils.
Without this check on the Civil and Public Service the peoples frustrations will continue to fester and boil.

So, in a referendum of the people, will I have the CHOICE of a CENTRAL (failed) Public Service Commission or a DECENTRALISED Public Service Commission.

If nothing changes for the people, the lewenivanua, the grass-roots, do you think they care particularly when the leadership is deposed.

There is only one constant in the world, 99 out of 100, the majority of the people cheer when leaders are gone after hanging around to long.

Will Fiji cheer when Bainimarama hands over government and the interim administration bows out as promised?

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, Vuaka will not hand over the reins of government and will not bow out.

No country has ever had a referendum to decide whether to adopt a one-party form of government. Why? Because that's nonsensical.

You want one-party government? All you'd get is the One Fiji Party, led by dictator Bainimarama.

Get off your hobby horse, and get real!

Anonymous said...

The RFMF is now the fecal coliform in the water of Fijian politics.

Anonymous said...

Now that Aiyaz has all but chased FIJI Water out of the country, his uncle is free to start bottling and exporting on his own. I'm not sure I like Pflieger's idea of rebranding the product as FECAL Coliform.

Navosavakadua said...

I agree with much of what Prof Narsey says, but his criticism of the Great Council of Chiefs betrays a blindspot that he shares with many others.

He says the record of the Great council of Chiefs is a 'poor one', but I would call it a mixed one. In 1987, their authority lent the military regime legitimacy, but by doing this, the GCC deprived the military of the legitimacy to rule in their own right. That's surely why Rabuka felt the need to leave the army and get into politics.

We now have a much worse coup culture problem because the military are now convinced that they're legitimate rulers because they're not mere politicians. We should support the GCC in using their authority to oppose this.

The GCC probably had their finest hour when they gave their support to the reform of ALTO. The 1970 Constitution required not only GCC support, but their unanimous support, as a majority of the senators they appointed had to approve its passage in the Senate. In doing this they led their community. They did not follow its lowest common denominator, and they did it in the face of cries of betrayal from Butadroka's Fijian Nationalist Party.

In contrast, the NFP under Siddique Koya failed to find the necessary leadership. It was only after an election fought disastrously with a split party that they could support the new ALTA.

In 2000, Ratu Mara, as you say, tried to do the right thing, but he was betrayed by his family more than the GCC. He was also betrayed by the wider community. He was blamed for 1987 by the Indo-Fijian community and for various acts of favouritism to his family and province by his own community.

His funeral in 2004 was coloured as much by shame and regret at lost opportunity of his presidency, as sorrow at his passing.

Anonymous said...

Voter registration process lacks independence: Labour
[posted 23 May 2012, 1600]

Assurances by Attorney General Aiyaz Khaiyum that the voter registration process under his Ministry will be apolitical are absurd, says FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

Under Fiji’s Electoral Act and the Electoral Registration Regulations, voter registration is the sole responsibility of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections.

Why then should the Attorney General insist on keeping it under his charge? What is his agenda? Why is the position of the Supervisor of Elections being kept vacant?

It is not appropriate that an army officer is to head the Voter Registration Logistical team. We also question the involvement of Australian and New Zealand consultants in an obviously unacceptable arrangement which is neither transparent nor in accordance with the statute.

It has been reported that an Australian electoral operations consultant Mr William Hogan is a member of the logistical team along with Mr Mark Jones, manager operations at the Electoral Enrolment Centre in New Zealand.

“The registration process as structured does not have the confidence of the people. It is not open, transparent or independent,” said Mr Chaudhry.

To give credibility and transparency to the process, the statutory provisions must be adopted, Mr Chaudhry said. This would require the President to appoint an Electoral Commission after holding appropriate consultations with stakeholders.

The Commission so established should be charged with the responsibility for registration of voters and the conduct of general elections.

The Electoral Commission should be empowered to appoint a Supervisor of Elections and to take charge of all matters relating to the electoral processes.

FREE FIJI said...

Prof Narsey is doing what he does best, say something that is only relevant in the academic world he lives in and offers nothing to the common people world view of whats happening in Fiji. Let alone a useful solution of how to get out of this muck ans stay out.

I for one cannot understand what so difficult about another const review, sure go ahead thats your right but dont think that this will lead to a better government.

We can skip this and go straight to election and then make sure Frank wins 2/3 majority and change it in parliament - thats possible!

All this talk of the best constitution and the history of Fiji just say that we dont need this piece of paper that can be shouted from roof tops but the common people could not careless as it does nothing to them.

And why the attack on GCC, the Govt of the day decide whether a GCC is set up or close down, Frank did not invent that its the history of the GCC. To say that GCC went away meekly when told to do so is nothing short the drama queen Prof is used to. The chiefs are still intact Prof, it has nothing to do with GCC, no Fijian has ever regarded GCC as paramount if you care to learn, its the confederacies Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata. GCC is nothing but an admin body abused by so called politicians and power hungry people. They make absolutely no diff to the lives of the common people.

You say we have not rehabilitate provincial councils? Which Fiji do you live in Prof? oh ok USP!! Some of this provincial councils have extensive investments and program that have grpwn over the years..and you will be shocked many educated commoners are very much involved, it has been like that for decades, look at Lau, Ba, Nadroga, even Naitasiri. Sure it has problems and it can be fixed, improved no diff then any other organisation.

Fiji will eventually get out of this, we need to learn from our past and I think we are a country that is filled with people who can turn things around quickly - travel the Pacific and you will see what I mean, we are so much better off, even the way we are, and the influence we have is enormous. Of course you dont see that- (oilei navua!)

So thank you - go back to teaching and write a paper that can be used to get Fiji out.

Here is some pointers you might like to consider.

1. NO need for another consitution
2. Use the charter as part of all political parties manifesto - since 80% signed, its not that critical
3. Have an election, the majority party agree to review the constitution.
4. Lets all get back to work as thats what we were here for.
5. No More COUPS, we can all agree this, we are intelligent beings.

SA RAUTA

Anonymous said...

IAN SIMPSON
@3.24 pm.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, Vuaka will not hand over the reins of government and will not bow out.

AND HE TOLD YOU THIS!
BAINIMARAMA IS NOT OUR LONG TERM PROBLEM, OUR SYSTEM IS AND HAS BEEN FOR PAST 40 YEAR, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION.

No country has ever had a referendum to decide whether to adopt a one-party form of government. Why? Because that's nonsensical.
TRUE, ITS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.
I BELIEVE A REFERENDUM MAKES COMPLETE AND UTTER SENSE. WHAT IS NONSENSICAL IS TO PERSIST IN SOMETHING THAT FAILS CONSISTENTLY.

You want one-party government? All you'd get is the One Fiji Party, led by dictator Bainimarama.
I TAKE MY CHANCES ON A WELL STRUCTURED SYSTEM WITH CHECKS AND BALANCES THEN WHATEVER WE ARE IN FOR COME NEXT ELECTION CYCLE. GOD FORBID!

Get off your hobby horse, and get real!

HEY, THIS IS MY HOBBY HORSE, I LIKE IT UP HERE. HAHAHA!

THERE'S PLENTY OF ROOM FOR EVERBODY WHO MIGHT LIKE THE IDEA OF PARTICIPATING IN A DEMCORACY THAT IS PRAGMATIC,HARMONIUOS,JUST AND FOR EVERYONE.

Anonymous said...

Why voter registration when there is not even a Constitution - is it to see what is the ethnic divide and which parts of the country's voters will need to be brainwashed by the military into voting for Bainimarama's party?

Anonymous said...

Bainimarama has already stated he and his officers will not stand in an election. He is a man of integrity and will not lie about a matter as important as this.

Anonymous said...

Free Fiji, did you sign the People's Charter? I don't know many who did. Reports I've heard is that many of those who did sign felt duress. Even Robin Nair's Independent Monitoring Group criticised the regime for its coercive techniques.

The Charter is the FLP and John Samy's manifesto. Bainimarama pushed it because it placated his FLP allies, gave the appearance of forward motion, and has buried in it such gems as an ongoing political role for the military, a media tribunal, and judicial authority to disband political parties.

Nothing approaching a referendum was ever held on the Charter, so don't parrot the regime's nonsense about 80 percent support. If it had real support, the regime would have held the referendum on it.

Bainimarama doesn't abide by it anyway. He uses it as a nappy, and the Constitution he uses to blow his fat nose.

How do you plan to 'make sure' Bainimarama wins a 2/3 majority? In the same way he supposedly won popular endorsement of the Charter? What a crock!

However you feel about the GCC, it is constitutionally mandated and cannot legally be changed by an illegal regime, full stop. If Fijians want to revisit this issue once a legitimate government is again established, then fine. Until then, support for Bainimarama's dissolution of the GCC is nothing less than treason.

Anonymous said...

ASK managing the elections -- who better to trust? No need to go to the polls, because Bainimarama has already won by a landslide. Sorta like he won the Vodafone popularity poll.

Anonymous said...

A one-party government leads to harmony? Obviously the author has never studied the history of single-party states. Does the name Trotsky ring a bell? How about the Night of the Long Knives? The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution?

Anonymous said...

@ Ian Simpson

The Westminster system may have been something of a disaster for Fiji in the past. But that is not the point!

The point is that the dictatorship of the Baini-Khaiyum Regime has been a far, far worse disaster - and by a very wide margin. That much is obvious even with all the press self-censorship that Fiji still has.

With almost 6 years on the clock of this almost complete "Clean Up" failure now, we now know this particular beast through and through.

We don't have to judge it on its promises or intentions any more because we have ALREADY SEEN its results and capabilities!

So we are no longer talking about the choice between a theoretical proposition and an actual historical experience any more. We are talking about choosing - as Saten Nandan so blithely puts it - "the lesser of two evils".

And know we know EMPIRICALLY which one that is!

Anonymous said...

Please allow me to comment on this E. coli concerns, it is not what it is made out to be! There are various forms of E.coli that are beneficial ones to the body which is know as physiological strains and there are those that cause disease. Physiological strains of E.coli are produce Vitamin K2,B1,B2,B6 & B12 they also produce an antibiotic like substance called Colicins and they also control other memebers of their own family. In Fiji it is not unusual to find water & drinking water contamination by E.coli but there are standards (ppm ie parts per million) set to the amount that should be there! In fact this is not a phenomena exclusive to Fiji but around the world, when floods and other natural disasters occur drinking water can get contaminated by E.coli as was recently seen in the Queensland flood in Australia. Drinking water in most villages in Fiji if not treated can have E.coli in them-it is not exlusive to villages but settlements also. One has to remember that piped water in Fiji has not been replaced in some area since Colonial times which says a lot of how neglected the planning for Townships in Fiji are happeneing. Vinaka.

Anonymous said...

As soon as someone comments that the RFMF is the fecal coliform of Fiji's political waters, someone comes out to say that E.coli is actually beneficial to your health! Probably just coincidence...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:17, you're being sarcastic, right? Please say you're joking!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:26

You say "E.coli as was recently seen in the Queensland flood in Australia".

That is correct, but the difference is the Australian Federal Government (and the Queensland State Government) shut down the water systems and implemented corrective processes before members of the pulic were even exposed to that risk.

Engineers went in immediately post flooding and made substratum assessments on soil compaction and sewerage and water systems and infrastructure. Those structures found compromised were marked off and were not allowed to be used until the issues identified were fixed. The Brisbane City Council and all other City and Town Councils in Queensland and Victoria and Northern New South Wales gave Defect Notices prohibiting the use of infrastructure found to have been compromised, and specifying the required remedial works to be done and setting out the timeline within which they were to be done.

That is why they have not had typhoid outbreaks or cholera outbreaks in Australia post flooding, whilst here in Fiji there were deaths from typhoid and cholera. One woman even died from typhoid contracted at an evacuation centre in Lautoka.

Anonymous said...

The whole process of the proposed constitution can be likened to the story of the naked King where all the people looked but did not see his nudity, until a small child yelled it out.
Everyone knows that Fiji has a legal constitution in place, yet no body seem to understand.
We have constitution experts, lawyers, judges, academics, politicians, leaders, etc.etc., but everyone is talking about a new constitution.
Let's not waste time and money, when even these commodities are not on our side, to do something that we cannot afford to do. Let us agree to just go to elections with the same old rules which has seen us through three previous elections.
Ghai, Taufa, Nandan, etc.etc. just please quit and go home, because we don't need to reinvent the wheel. We have had enough of constitutions, and we have one in our hands, what's so special about a new one? Is it immunity?,pardon?, mercy? they are all in the 1997 constitution, all that can be legally done are contained in that document.
The people do not really want another constitution, who then is dictating this process?
NO MORE CONSTITUTION NO MORE CONSTITUTION, NO MORE CONSTITUTION,
WE HAVE A CONSITUTION
WE HAVE A CONSTITUION
WE HAVE A CONSTITUTION
LET'S HAVE ELECTIONS
LET'S HAVE ELECTIONS
LET'S HAVE ELECTONS
WE DON'T HAVE TIME AND MONEY FOR CONSTITUTION
BUT WE HAVE TIME AND MONEY FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.
GO FIJI GO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

HEAR!! HEAR!! @ 5:34 pm

NO MORE CONSTITUTION!! WE HAVE A CONSTITUTION - A VERY GOOD ONE TOO!!

"THE 1997 CONSTITUTION LIVES"

NO MORE FIJI moving forward at the Decree... Decree... Tuk... Tuk... pace please..

WE THE PEOPLE OF FIJI are SICk of you BAIYUM & Co.

Anonymous said...

You put your name , surname, address and signature on any submission which is not to the liking of BAIYUM .. than the goons come marching and knocking on your door at midnight!!!

And interesting how 400,000 plus citizens supported the CHARTER.

And also to note how Bai won against Premila in the Vodafone beauty contest!!!

EVERYTHING IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS - EVERYTHING IS RIGGED!

Anonymous said...

Decree..Decree.. Tuk...Tuk... RIGGED! RIGGED!!

Anonymous said...

WE the PEOPLE of FIJI are
SICK, SICK, SICK,SICK, SICK, SICK,
of YOU unimaginative Bastards
-WHO are ROBBING US of our FUTURE!

PLEASE LET US LIVE! WE are hungry! WE ARE STAVING, WE NO HAVE BOOKS, PENCILS, ERASERS, CHALKS...

we HAVE nOTHING, NOTHING! Just some very GREEDY idiotic RULERS!!!

PLEASE GOD HAVE SOME MERCY! DO SOMETHING! WE ARE DESPERATE! MY FATHER IS DESPERATE! MY MOTHER IS DESPERATE! WE HAVE NOTHING TO EAT, OR DRINK, PLIS.....

PLEASE PROFESSOR GHAI.............

PLEASE FEED US FIRST BEFORE YOUR SHITTY CONSTIPATED CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

REMEMBER, DEMOCRACY IS A FOREIGN FLOWER!

Anonymous said...

Whether democracy is a foreign flower or not, Fiji had practiced some democracy through the Fijian term ' bose' otherwise words like' veidigidigi' and veivakaturi would not have been in the Fijian vocabs.
Not everything that we now have was foreign, there were many local systems that were practicing some leadership concepts before formal governments came to our shores.
Let's keep the best of our past and embrace the best of the modern world for a stable, free, and progressive country.
Let's elect our leaders and move forward, and not allow some leaders keep politics out of our lives, because politics is everywhere, everywhere indeed, it is where we came from and where we are and is there where we are going to. Whoever says that it should not be kept out of some institution is indeed living in isolation, ignorance and unrealistic world... Come on!!!
Modern democracy may be foreign, but traditional politics and democracy was very much alive in Fiji for hundreds of years as in other traditional societies around the world.

Anonymous said...

Nitwit, everything is a foreign flower. You think Fiji invented anything? Even the kai viti migrated here. What do Fijians really know of democracy? Try it before you knock it!

Anonymous said...

Everyone that thinks GCC is necessary and vital to Fiji's being, are in dream world or are way off base. As I had said in 2007 that GCC has out lived its usefulness and we need to get rid of the establishment.

For those of you that have not attended any of the meetings of has firsthand information, Let me tell you what happens there.

In the morning cession there is yagona ceremony. All chiefs are awake for this. After the ceremony most of the chiefs start falling asleep. By way the night before they patronize the bar heavily. In the morning, 90% of the chiefs have hangover.

Now tell me what these drunkards chiefs have to contribute to our society. Nothing, zero, Nada!!! I am here to tell you that we need to spend the money on education. Let our kids get education. Any country that has 100% literacy, is prosperous. Most of the chiefs are illiterate. They have nothing to offer.

Anonymous said...

Now to sum it all up - There are three Professors, who should not be confused with each other!

1). Professor Wandan Narsey = Prof. "WelL Done"

2) Professor None Done = Prof. "None Done"

3) Professor Yash Ghai = Prof, "YES COW".

Anonymous said...

Fijians need to seriously assess their own socio-economic future because FB has taken a blow torch to the Fijian institutions all in the name of interethnic cooperation that never existed. Fijians and Indians need to change their thinking: what do they want and how will they go on achieving this. The marriage of convenience between the FLP and the SDL is a farce and the military regime is exploiting this because both LQ and MC are power hungry and are mediocre leaders. MC thinks he is more Indian than Fijian and LQ believes that is failed blueprint will allow Fijians to suffer under the yoke of a failed neo-traditional order. With 40 per cent poverty, Fiji needs extensive CPR...

Anonymous said...

At least the Kai Viti migrated first here then the others, that's why they originally own all the lands before piece by piece were taken away.
They set up a leadership structure that sustained them for hundreds of years, before the current political structure took control over just 40 years ago, with 5 governments, 4 coups, 3 constitutions, and a ' Chartered' future.
Those that migrated later to Fiji by choice or by force, had also made tremendous contributions, for our economy to grow and the country to develop.
We hope that the 2006 'coup to end all coups' as it was known, would actually end the 'coup cycle' or the 'coup culture' and not just another fake reason behind the greed for power to 'cover up' what we were told was going to be a 'clean up'.
The coup makers and conspirators should be man enough and allowed to 'mop-up' their individual treasonous acts while the country elects their leaders using the 1997 constitution, and the same electoral system, to put us back on track as early as possible.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson , Taveuni.

I ask myself, what's at the end of our destination?

I ask myself, how do we get there?

I believe we build one strong bridge.

We are presently under a dictorship and military junta that has offered a way foward.
What will placate them more, an inclusive, strong, steady, harmoniuos government

or what we have experienced in FACT since independence with the Westminster system.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, you're delusional. The only 'way forward' offered by the dictatorship is towards more dictatorship. Your solution? Placate the dictator by institutionalising the dictatorship with a one-party government.

Our objective is not to placate the dictator. Our objective is self-governance. To achieve that, we need to overthrow the dictator, not appease him.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, Taveuni
@2.28 am

Overthrow the dictatorship by violent means or democratic means?

The former would be a flip of the coin, in so far as the outcome.

The way I see it, the democratic solution has two options, Westminster or one party state.

The Westminster system in my opinion has not worked for us in Fiji these past 40 years and I do not see it working for us in the future.

The one party state has worked for some countries North of us. It is a legitimate democratic option. I have always maintained that it should be based on "leaders of 10, 100 so forth" and that there be checks and balances designed and incorporated into the system.

Leaders of "ten" , is not so far fetched, especially in rural Fiji where there is already a tradition of individuals working together in groups to obtain an objective.

A huge majority of those who contribute to this forum do not have any confidence in elections taking place and if they do happen, they believe they will be rigged.

So given the choice of uncertainty and guaranteed turmoil in the short term and our long term past historical record under the Westminster system, I would actually make the claim that it is in fact you that is delusional.

What Fiji can not afford is the total lack of participation of our populace in our political life.
My children and their friends who are in the late 20's early 30's have had zero input to date in politics and from their attitudes they have zero inclination to get involved.

What surer indictment of a failed system then this.

The question I suppose is whether one really believes in democracy and has the faith in the people to "think".

Believe it or not, I think Fijians are one of the most politically astute people on the planet. We all simply conform to the reality of the system and make decisions on the basis of what is most likely to benefit me.

Given how the Westminster system is virtually closed and unresponsive to the vast majority of the people, one can not judge the people for making choices they do, for something that has become so valueless as a, "vote".
eg. selling a vote once every 5 years for smokes, grog, digging fork, whatever. Better than nothing!

Why do women want equal representation, if the Westminster system is so "democratic" and responsive to the peoples needs.

If a one party state came into being via referendum it stands that it can be removed by referendum.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, you're like a dog with a bone. You just can't give it up, can you?

I'm struggling to understand you. Your idea is to overthrow the dictatorship via a referendum on a One-Party state? We'll all have a referendum in which we decide Fiji will have just one party? Does everybody agree to that? I guess they must, if Fiji is to have only one party. And everyone must agree who will lead that party and what it stands for. And the dictator will need to say 'right, then, they all have their party and I'm not invited, so I'll just leave'? Yeah, good luck with that!

You say we can follow the great democratic example of one-party states to the north. Hmm, and which ones are those exactly? China, Vietnam, North Korea?

You claim that Fijians are one of the most politically astute people in the world, and why, because they're conformist and selfish? What kind of argument is that?

If you've done any research at all, you should know that democratic options are not limited to the Westminster system or one-party states. In fact, most one-party states are not democratic, and most democracies follow the presidential system, not the Westminster parliamentary model.

I assume your Leaders of Ten model is drawn from Old Testament Israel. But bear in mind that Israel was not a democracy but a theocracy, its women were not included among the Leaders of Ten, and it had godly leaders in Moses and Joshua, not the likes of Bainimarama and Khaiyum!

No one-party state has come into existence via referendum, and no one-party state has been voted out of existence via referendum, either. The reason why, in both cases, is that it just doesn't make sense. But have fun tilting at windmills!

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson
@ 5.47pm

Hahaha!

Ok learned one, lets have your alternatives to a Westminster System.
You mention a Presidential system eg United States with a multi party congress (but in practice two parties).
Are there more examples?

You give China, Burma & North Korea as examples of one party states.

You have missed Japan, Singapore and India, States in which the people have decided to elect the same party for more than 30 years straight out of free choice.

In so far as dealing with the military and its place in the future, never mind what system is proposed in the next months, this issue is the elephant in the room that has to be dealt with.

You state that no "one party state" has come into existence via referendum, (so I have to ask why are you so concerned). True, but our 1997 constitution declared Fiji a democracy, and if we retain that, then there is no reason a "one party state" can not be our electrol system as it is democratically legitimate.
The 1997 Constitution came into being becasue the 1990 Constitution allowed for a review at a future date, so a referendum can certainly decide a review of our electrol process a few years down the line.

Being politically astute does not confir some kind of moral mantel. Politics is about the sharing of resources of a State. It requires conformity to achieve selfish ends. Thats the whole point of political parties.

I believe I am making complete sense. As for tilting at windwills, that to. lol, have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Ian Simpson, the alternatives to the Westminster system are too numerous to list here. Why don't you just read the Wikipedia entry regarding presidential systems of government? I know of 46 countries with presidential systems. That doesn't include the many with semi-presidential systems, like France, Germany and Russia, or Pacific Island hybrids like Kiribati, Micronesia and Palau. I don't mean to bust your chops, but really, shouldn't you research the topic before you recommend Fiji change its entire system of government? And why, why are you so passionate about something you haven't even researched?

I didn't 'miss' India, Japan, or Singapore. These are not one-party systems. They are multi-party political systems in which one party has historically predominated. This is not unusual for a country that is newly independent or emerging from the crucible of conflict. Even in the example you mention, the United States, the Republican Party dominated American politics for decades following the American Civil War.  And in three out of these four cases, the long tenure in power of the dominating party led to widespread claims of deep official corruption.

I mentioned Vietnam, China, and North Korea because those are true one-party states, and they show the despotic tendency of such forms of government. A single party in the context of today's Fiji would be a tyranny in the control of Bainimarama. Why would anyone but Bainimarama and his supporters urge adoption of such a system?

I'm not concerned that Fiji will have a referendum and decide to change its system of government to a single-party state. The very notion of bringing about such a change by that method is absurd. What does concern me is the level of political discourse in Fiji right now. When it's absolutely critical that Fijians focus on the task at hand, which is removing Bainimarama and putting Fiji back on the path of democratic governance, it isn't helpful for you and others to introduce extraneous and often quixotic ideas that might distract fellow Fijians, however astute you consider them to be.