|Coup renegades want to get off scott free - but should they?|
Fiji Constitution Submission
Local Modernist Conservatism & Land Economist Academia - 12 October 2012
By Paula D Raqeukai
Proposed Submission by Paula D Raqeukai, commoner of the Vunisekoula family, tribesman of Nakadruma/Teiteiciva, a subject of the “Tui Vanua Levu - Vanua Kingdom”, in the District of Saqani, Cakaudrove Province on behalf of the Local Modernist Conservatism Academies and Fiji Islanders ( Both Kai Viti-“itaukei”, Indo-Fijians and Others) of the Republic of the Fiji Islands
9.0 The Question of Immunity
There should be no immunity provisions in the constitution; unless approved by an elected parliament. If you really believe that what you are doing is right, stick with it to the end. The fact that the current government is seeking immunity shows that it does not believe in its own legality. It created legal arguments for its actions in 2006 (e.g. doctrine of necessity) but now it seems that such arguments were not infallible. If a government does not believe in its own legitimacy, then the proper thing for it to do is to resign in the interest of the nation. If there is no legitimacy, no morality and no spirituality, the only thing driving it is self interest.
The current regime wants immunity on one hand while on the other it wants Fiji to be secular state rather than a Christian state. How irony is that? Given the fact that Christianity in our view is the only genuine faith that allows for forgiveness, reconciliation and true love as shown by its leader, the Lord Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross more than 2000 years ago so that man can leave forever just like Him when he comes back as He had promised (His Second Comings). Thus this question of immunity can be one of the frontline issues in the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as this is our proposed before going to the poll in 2014.
However, if TRC is not an option (I hope not), then the current leaders should stand in the elections, get elected and file a motion for immunity in the new parliament. Rabuka’s immunity went through Parliament tests and so should any other coup maker. Every coup maker should be treated the same. We sincerely hope that the 2006 coup would be the last one for Fiji and we hope that a new beginning could sprout from the establishment of the proposed TRC below.
10.0 Establishment of a Commission of Truths & Reconciliation- A Way Forward to Ensure
We proposed that the best solution to Fiji’s current political problem is to establish a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC) something similar to the one set-up in South Africa in the 1990s. This proposed TRC should take place first before Fiji goes to the poll in 2014.
We feel that without a genuine TRC there will be no long term peace solution for Fiji’s political problem. We will continue to have a cycle of coups in future. We need to end this “mind sickness” now and the time is here right now in front us, we do not know what the future hold’s Fiji only God knows that because He holds our future in His hands, but one thing is crystal clear to all of us and that is we must rebuild our beloved nation NOW! Our beloved country has been bleeding from this coup sickness for more than 20 years and every time we tried to stop the bleeding it continuously overflows not from the outside causes but from the causes within the inner part of the body and that is us every individual citizens of Fiji must be answerable to this problem.
Fiji being a Christian country despite the calls for a secular state should embrace the Christian principles of forgiveness, reconciliation and love to move the country forward.
Hence, we strongly believe that a TRC must take place first before the proposed poll in 2014. This TRC will eventually in our view lead to a formulation of a Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Legislation that would bring about a genuine solution to our political problem. This TRC could be a court like body that could allow for restorative justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender.
Victims to take active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done - by apologizing, returning stolen money from the national treasury or community service.
Restorative justice in our view should not only involve both victim and offender but the whole citizens of Fiji including those that were never directly involved in such situation (the innocent ordinary citizens) and
should focuses on their personal needs. In addition, it provides help for the offender in order to avoid future offences. It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the state.
Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender and understanding and love shown by the ordinary citizens shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.
In our view through this TRC the victims should be compensated either in monetary value or in kind to cushion off the great sufferings they endured under the offenders. On the other hand the offenders to go through counseling process to restore their loss psychology, physical, spiritual, social and economic ego and most importantly to embrace the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paula D Raqeukai's full submission