FDFM adopts the concerns expressed by both the Constitution Commission and SDL Party regarding the Constituent Assembly Decree, but wishes to elaborate on the issue of blanket immunity, because we believe it’s pertinent to the eradication of Fiji’s coup culture and the basis for a stable political environment.
|2012: Still a criminal|
Whilst FDFM acknowledges Chapter XIV Immunity Provision was contained in
section 164 the 1990 Constitution, it was nevertheless removed altogether in the
1997 Amended Constitution, so to argue because it had been done before, it can be followed again, as proposed by Fiji’s illegal Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum; is unjustifiable and only perpetuates Fiji’s coup culture.
The Chapter XIV Immunity Provision was contained in section 164 of the 1990
Constitution because treason still carried the death penalty at the time and since it was the first time in Fiji’s modern history, without wanting to taking any chances, Lt. Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka and his Advisors inserted the Chapter XIV Immunity Provision, for self-preservation.
However, it should be noted Chapter XIV did not involve; engage or sought the peoples or Parliament’s endorsement, unlike the Sir Paul Reeves Commission, resulting in Parliament fully endorsing the 1997 Amended Constitution, which did away with the Immunity Provisions altogether.
Fiji has moved on since the 1987 coups and one would have thought the lessons learnt was going to deter potential treasonists in the future, but unfortunately it didn’t deter George Speight and the CRW Soldiers, who according to some accounts took over Parliament with the full knowledge and acquiescence of Fiji’s Military Forces Commander Commodore Vorege Bainimarama.
Commodore Vorege Bainimarama’s coup in December 2006 proves Constitutions do not guarantee political stability because it can only be guaranteed through equitable trusted partnership between the people who are entrusted with positions to uphold
the Constitution and the Citizens who volitionally agree to live under it.
Therefore Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga’s claims; the Fiji Military Forces involvement in formulating Fiji’s new Constitution; guarantees eradicating Fiji’s coup culture and political stability is simply nonsensical and without substance because the Military themselves were involved in the 1990 and 1997 Constitutional process as well.
FDFM in trying to help find a way forward for all Stakeholders in Fiji, wishes to put to Fiji’s Military Forces Commander, Commodore Vorege Bainimarama and his Military Regime, if you truly wish to seek immunity and engage with the affected families and peoples of Fiji; in a full; frank, open and proper dialogue, then you must be willing to do the following:
· Fiji Military Forces Commander, Commodore Vorege Bainimarama; his Military Council; Interim Cabinet and Advisors without exception; individually admit their error in executing and/or supporting the 2006 coup and seek the forgiveness of the people of Fiji at a Public Reconciliation Meeting to be chaired by persons held in high regard by all Communities in Fiji and invited by the Constituent Assembly;
· They make full disclosure of their involvement and expose ‘the shadowy figures’ behind the scenes who stood to gain from the coup and any subsequent decree;
· Make complete disclosures of total Government Revenue and Expenditure since December 2006 coup up to time of the Public Reconciliation Meeting to assist the incoming elected Government;
· Fiji Military Forces Commander, Commodore Vorege Bainimarama and his Military Officers to relinquish their public and statutory offices and return to barracks prior to the Public Reconciliation Meeting &
· United stand by all Stakeholders and the peoples of Fiji, that future treasonists; without exception will be dealt with the full brunt of the law.
FDFM believes the above is the only guarantee of eradicating Fiji’s coup culture; otherwise we’re deceiving ourselves and the new Constitution to be prepared by Professor Yash Ghai and his Commission is already predestined to fail even before itstarts.
Joni Madraiwiwi: Immunity clause must be discussed:http://www.fijivillage.com/