#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: No sign of the draft Constitution reigning in Fiji army

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No sign of the draft Constitution reigning in Fiji army

By Jone Baledrokadroka
No doubt in the coming weeks, there will be wide opinion in the media on the ‘leaked’ consultant draft constitution document as produced by the Commission.

As a military analyst, what is concerning is what is not in the Draft regarding the people’s say on the military - past, present and into the future. Deafening silence seems to be the approach by the Commission on the most pressing issue- the non-negotiable I suppose. 

An academic would argue that when it comes to unravelling what is the truth, nothing is sacrosanct. Perhaps it is a strategic move by the Commission to not raise the ire of its chief benefactor, the military regime just yet. But is this being truthful to the nation? What are missing are the Commission’s analyses of militarism and militarization and its relations between Fiji’s political and coup culture, the state and its citizens. 

On page 9 under the heading ‘Problems facing Fiji’ the document articulates “a number of problems which need to be resolved to provide a clear path to the future that Fiji faces”. It then outlines the past social and economic woes of the nation without addressing the blinding obvious, the elephant in the room- the military and its role in the regressive socio-economic state we find ourselves. 

On page 12, the document makes a swooping statement   that “A major cause of political instability in Fiji has been the tendency of race-based political parties, when in power, to focus primarily on their own ethnic group as in need of "affirmative action". 

To put it bluntly, the military has been implicitly involved and have been predominantly the cause of this political instability ever since with its mediator mindset. (See my journal article in Security Challenges, Summer, 2012). In fact Weldes et al argued that ‘all social insecurities are culturally produced”. 

The military’s role in the coups of 1987 and 2000 and even prior to the 2006 elections was supportive of this “affirmative action” concept given its overwhelmingly indigenous base and was intricately part of this culture. To purge indigenous society politically without publicly addressing similar reforms for the military is to short change the Fiji public. 

When it comes to national security this issue is most negotiable as military intervention in politics is the symptom of the problem. What should be put before the experts and the Constitutional Assembly is the people’s submissions on the military’s future role in the security and governance of the nation. I believe in revealing the facts to the people of Fiji who are capable of making up their minds on the military’s future involvement in politics and let them be the judge.

Futhermore, in what seems like a well orchestrated move by the Commission, the RFMF’s submission was posted on the Constitution Commissions website after its consultant document somehow found its way to the blog sites.  In the consultation draft constitution document the Commission is silent on any of the military’s role recommendations. 

Obviously with the military's insistence that it plays a role in politics, the Commission has evaded the issue by not bringing up the subject.  The task of discussing the military’s role will no doubt be discussed by a pliant Constituent Assembly stacked with regime supporters.

Military Submission on 'The Role of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces'
40. We submit that the new constitution should reflect the responsibility given to the Forces through Section 94(3) of the 1990 Constitution and fully recognized through Section 112(1) of the 1997 Constitution. 

41. The RFMF remains the last bastion for law and order in Fiji. There is an enveloping comfort that the Forces exist to deal with both Internal Security situation and external threats. 

42. The Forces cannot and will not be complacent in dealing with situations that undermine national interest. The developments that have occurred since 2006 cannot be abandoned or derailed. We need to move forward in a constructive manner with national interest at heart. The RFMF will not allow any individual, group and organizations or another State to sabotage the efforts of 2006. This new course will continue. The RFMF will ensure it
continues, not only to 2014 but beyond. 

43. Section 94(3) of the 1990 Constitution purely reflects the over arching role of the RFMF within Fiji.
This provision must be retained

44. For RFMF, these provisions are the bench mark of its existence and functions. The responsibilities encompass both national and international security to provide enduring comfort that the interest and wellbeing of Fiji and its people are protected and recognised. There is a need to have a defense force that is capable to looking after such interest. 

45. The role of the military cannot be restrictive. RFMF should not be judged solely for 1987, 2000 or 2006. Instead, we should look at what it represents and has to offer for the wider Fiji Community. What has evolved during the history of RFMF cannot be expounded in mere few words. The historical achievements and success are a testimony for themselves. 

46. The Commander and his Forces has a vision. A vision that has been represented not only for today but for the future generations. A vision of a peaceful, prosperous and well governed Fiji. What RFMF has endeavored to do, it can only achieve. There are no other institutions that are capable of bringing about this change. 

47. RFMF will continue to be responsible in ensuring at all times the security, defense and well being of Fiji and its people. It does not intend to diverse from this commitment. In addition, RFMF will be the guidance of the governance of this country, ensuring that peace, prosperity and good governance is practiced and adhered to. 

48. Having talked about the RFMF, its demographics, and role, what should the new Fiji present? The RFMF has been the custodian of this change and will remain so in ensuring the national objectives and aim of uniting one Fiji is achieved.
The points above as taken from the RFMF submission pages 13-15 “The Role of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces” reveals what I have been saying for sometime now on the military and its political mediator mindset. To get the military to disengage slowly from such a mindset will be the key to sustaining a culture of democracy in Fiji. 

Below is a sample of the self-delusion the RFMF is under regarding its role in Fiji and the part it has played in the coups. It is the concluding lines in its submission. Right at the bottom is the link to the full document.

 289.   We  recognise  that  the  current  adopted  process  of  soliciting  submissions towards our new Constitution  from the general public is commendable and a step towards the right direction.  The current collating of submissions has brought about a sense of belonging culminating in a national pride of want and togetherness which we must continue to foster.  Despite all differences, there is a realisation that we can live together as one in a harmonious Fijian society.
290.   For the RFMF we have taken a “road not taken” in the past.  Our adaptation has resulted in a lot of difficulties and sacrifice, from us and the people of Fiji.  Such commitments and sacrifice has not been in vain.    It has  been recognised and now shows signs of prosperity. We have been collectively marginalised, sanctioned and “kicked in the gut” one too many times.  We have been quite resilient the manner in which we have coped with adversities thrown at us.  We will survive and so will Fiji – as we dawn a new era.

Fiji army looking to cement its power 


tattifala said...

The Constitution manufacturing mob was engaged by the Fijian Military Dictatorship to serve its agenda. The constitution experts have done what they were meant to do quite expertly.
The new constitution was not about the people of fiji (although there was a pretense that it was). It was about how the military can be accommodated in the mainstream political life of the country as the "final guarantor" of the "national interest".This is the full story of this constitution making project.

Poor Fiji said...

In the last lot of flooods and even the one before the Fiji army was nowhere to be seen. Will they show their worth this time????

Frank's Petticoats said...

Yash Ghai has failed in Constitution making project. Not so easy to make a baby, eh Professor .. you gotta get the right mother and father to make sure you don't spawn a devil

tattifala said...

We are dealing here with a national army that has gone wayward.it has infact become a rogue army that sees itself as the political masters of the destiny of the country and its people. Is this the role of a national army in a modern democracy? This is the question which the constitution making experts have expertly dodged. They have a defective moral compass.

tattifala said...

No sign of the draft constitution reigning in the Fiji army.
was anyone expecting the new constitution manufacturers to do that? was that their assignment? were they appointed by the UN or the Commonwealth or the EU ? who hired them? the answer to the last question will tell you why there is no sign of the reigning in of the Fiji army in the draft constitution. there won't be any in the final constitution as well.

Anonymous said...

C4.5, this new blog format is disastrous. Quite unworkable. Please get rid of it and go back to the former format.

Ghai the carpet bagger said...

This Yash Ghai has totally failed the people of Fiji. Just another junta groupie filling his pockets - bludgers and parasites.

Kamlesh Kumar said...

Army is doing a good job this time.

Anonymous said...

When Yash Ghai said that the illegal PM was interfering with the works of the Constitution Commission they were only creating a diversion to make the people think that the Commission was independent. In fact the CC is part and parcel of the illegal government and the outcome of its work has already been pre-determined. You can fool the people some times but you cannot fool them all the time. Tobo tale o Van Dam.

paula raqeukai said...

the lies will always be lies and to make them truth will be destructive to the people and the nation as a whole...the sad thing about the FMF submissions is that only the elite members of the inner circle to the regime wrote the ill-tailored submission while the majority lower ranks soldiers are left to follow them like blinds leading blindmen and blindwomen....my plea to all faithfuls to the Loving God Jesus Christ is to pray and fast for our beloved nation in the coming years as evils are few steps away from controlling the lives of all the citizens of Fiji especially the native Fijians in their own land...the power of God is more powerful than the guns and weapons of all the great nations of this world...we MUST stand faith in our believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will save His people from the secrecy evils of men....we MUST always uphold the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set Fiji FREE regardless of yr ethnic group....

pupuwala said...

@ tattifala:

Where have you been? Looks like you spend too much time in the toilet. National army went wayward in 1987, not last night.

It became a rogue army in 1987. Its politicisation has been a gradual process. It did not happen overnight, in 2006, as you naively suggest.

Your question: Is this the role of a national army in a modern democracy?

We should have ben asking this question in 1987.

You shouting from the roof after the horse has bolted mate. Where were you in 1987?

Anonymous said...

Io, funny how everyone want to join the bandwagon and protest against this regime, yes, it is illegal but where were you folks in 1987 and 2000 for that matter?

Anonymous said...

army kicked in the guts true jb .fijian army is ruining fijian and fiji.

tattifala said...

the more important question is where was Bainimarama in 1987 when the national army had turned into a rogue army?
was he giving the then rogue leader a helping hand in implementing his Fiji for Fijians political pogram!!
when did he become a big champion of democracy and constitutional governance - assuming of course that he has?
Frankly I don't think he has. That's why he is currently the dictator of Fiji. But he is mouthing all this talk about returning the country to democracy and making a new constitution to save himself from the charge of treason and to fool the international community.
In 1987 I was in Suva at all the pro- democracy rallies and demonstrations.

pan-wah said...


What happenend in 1987? Did Rabuka say that no soldier was going to benefit from the coup?Did soldiers fill their pockets from taxpayer's funds for over 6 years? Did Rabuka pay himself outstanding leave worth $180,000? Did Rabuka pay for a house for Mrs Rabuka worth $1.4m? Did the Chief of Staff (like Aziz) afford to purchase 5 properties of over $500,000 each?
Pupuwaicala!! you mona waicala!!!

Anonymous said...

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau & Ratu Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama both hailed from the chiefly province of Tailevu. After reading the copy of the RFMF submission to the Constitution Committee, it is now become very clear that in the time of your leadership you sold the indigineous itaukei rights to the foreigners who came to Fiji as indentured labourers or business entrpreneurs. Its about time the Tovata Confederacy and Burebasaga Confederacy immediately cut off their ties with Kubuna Confederacy because the Kubuna Chiefs cannot take the mental capacity to run this country. Sa levu ga viavia vuku vei kemudrau na turaga veiwekani, ia, sa vakaraitaka ni tutu ni veiliutaki e soli yani vakavanua vakavanua ena sala vakaturaga mai vei ira na kawa itaukei o drau sa laki volitaka vei ira na vulagi me ra bula kina na nomudrau vuvale. Isa sa dua na ka vakaloloma ni ra sega tu ni kila na lewe ni mataivalu ni sa volitaki na kawa itaukei. Io, e da na qai seva ga na bua eda tea, qai raica vakamalua na vanua era na laki cava kina na nomudrau kawa.

Anonymous said...

nazhat already made the new constitution in 2009.s all constitution exercise was smoke and mirror.
if people dont want immunity given.
why dont the army respect the peoples wish as in the submission..
no they want immunity bec they dont want to pay for the crime committed.
fiji will never improve .fiji problem is the army coup not the constitution.

SEMI MEO said...

With all dues respect to the Col, this belated denigration of the proud legacy of the Fiji Military Forces, more at this very crucial time in our journey to sanity and democratic governance is probably a voice in the wilderness!

Of course, we understand it is just an academic piece and may not necessarily appraise or project the reality, nor futurists in the goodwill it should have assumed.
On the flip side of the coin, however, the Fiji Military Forces since May 14, 1987 have been Fiji’s saving grace!! Don’t shoot yet, but 99.99% of Fiji Citizens believe, experienced and for ever indebted to the Fiji Military Forces….that honour and credit the Col shares.

This Army is our Army, Fiji’s own Army; dedicated women and men tasked with protecting all of us from probable invasion from without and instability within!
Like any human Institution, the Fiji Military Force is not prefect all. That we have witnessed since the constabulary days to now, and resent thuggery of a few of her notorious members. Their fate awaits them, of course.

Why not we resolve, like the 99.99% of Fiji Citizens that the Fiji Military Forces will be part of us and each of us part of them as the civilian members of the Fiji Military Forces. Though we may not all be commissioned members of the Fiji Military Forces, all Fiji Citizens share the mission of the RFMF!

Why should we now isolate the Fiji Military Forces and her leaders as if they are an alien entity, we ask? I would rather heed the words of a world renowned evangelist who visited Fiji in 2009 echoing the need NOT to isolate the Leaders of the Military from our daily affairs and our rebuilding process.
The truth that a few Fiji Citizens enjoy walking around with a sour lemon demeanour and not dare to accept is that; the Fiji Military Forces will be part of us and we part of them for a very long while, even to the 3rd and 4th generation from Elections 2014.
Let’s appraise and live with the reality like all us 99.99% Fiji Citizens…when the opportune time comes post 2014, then and only then would we in the better position to discuss and implement reduction in the size of our Military…well, by then of course, these senior military officer in PSC post may have resigned their commission to continue as civil in their present roles or have been candidate in the election….oh boy…we are gonna see our military gurus for a very long time yet!

Anonymous said...

JB.If you cant come to Fiji and voice your opinion better still fight for democracy than please shut your trap.Just stay put under the skirt of your new found freedom.The people of Fiji dont need your opinions and false propaganda.Let the people on the ground chart their own destiny.And this not only applies to JB but to all the other charaders of democracy who are just waiting to jump the band wagon of merry makers come 2014.Any taker!!!

Where were U? said...

Where was J Baledrokadroka in 1987?

Anonymous said...

JB you boci.....you were the one that gave orders to brutalise people in kalabu. You were the one that gave orders to hunt down the CRW soldiers after the mutiny and sit there fiddling your arse while Bainimarama gets critiqued for it. I served under you and I know. Time will come when we will tell the nation the truth.

Anonymous said...

Meo o iko e dua na tamata veilecayaki. How can u support an iillegal regime. U arse hole.

Anonymous said...

Semi Meo, you don't represent anyone so stop trying to speak for the 99.9 percent of Fijians. Those who were elected by the great majority of Fijians don't hold your views at all.

This is not our army. It stopped being our army when it threw off lawful civilian control and betrayed the nation. This is an army led by traitors. It models only cupidity, stupidity, thuggery and treason.

If you think the elections will make a difference, then stop being a coward and accept NCB's election challenge.

Anonymous said...

C4.5 this is a bad new format. Painful to use, really.

Anonymous said...

This is not about 1987. This is about now and our future. Learn from the past. Stop using it as an excuse for your indifference.

Anonymous said...

Anon@1.36 haven't you got better things to talk about than C4.5 format? Oh what a lot of power this blog has that it pulls your strings lolz

Anonymous said...

To the indigineous itaukei, please pray for the Power of the Lord Almighty to intervene into the minds of the voters in the coming 2014 general election to vote for candidates that will restore indigeneous itaukei rights. Kemuni na noda na itaukei ni vanua ko Viti, me da masumasu, lolo, tagiyaso vei Jiova me maroroya na noda veiwekani vakadua na kawa tamata, me tudei na noda vakabuta na Kalou ko Jiova kei na luvena lomani ko Jisu ni rau na vala ena vukuda ka me druka na iyaragi ni mataivalu nei Banimarama kei na lawa vakamusolomani sa cici tiko kina na nona matanitu.

tattifala said...

any sign of the promised land of the "peoples" charter : the Utopia of Fiji?

Anonymous said...

Yash Ghai, you and your commission are a disgrace. This will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

jone baledrodroka, sa kua ni levu na i vakamacala sona.
iko vata kei bainimarama on the same boat
ni yavu sotia butakobutako..

Anonymous said...

Bainimarama in AG Conference speech said 1990 constitution was not consulted on placing no legitimacy to the 1990 constitution.

Then the pufta Tikoitonga says military's role is well covered in 1990 constitution.

So Tikoitonga your RFMF submission is inconsistent with Bainimarama's speech at AG Conference!!!

Anonymous said...

Tikoitoga you have no experience in the Constitution of Fiji since Independence uptill today.
Your illegal PM and President are also in the same boat. Please can you give the people of Fiji who are academically qualified in socio, economic and political issues to be in government. Ke da sa warai ga ni kila sa vinaka meda kere vakacegu mai na cakacaka vakamatanitu.
O ira na musulomani o ni timi vata tiko e ra kena dau. Tou tu mada tou raica na koroi ni vuku e tiko vei Nizhat Shameem, Nur Bano. Aiyaz Kaiyum, Abdul Hakim, Zarin Khan, Aziz, kei na vuqa tale vei ira. E ratou na vakalialia kemudou kei ira na nomudou liga ni wau. Tikoitoga au kerea la vei kemuni mo ni vakaraitaka vei Baini kei Eveli na rerevaki ni vanua o dou sa gole tiko kina vata kei ira na kawa itaukei.

Anonymous said...

After elections no matter what constitution you lose and that means prison guys,,,,,WARAKA NAMAKA

Anonymous said...

ni vavutuka ga na i cici nei tattifala...

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent view. Baledrokadroka was like Cato when confronted with Caesar, all vitriol but no action until it was too late. If he had the country at heart, then where was he in 1987 or even 2000. Either way I'd rather bainimarama as leader than a man who has no guts and cowed in the face of adversity and who's best move in politics was to align with corrupt and racist men like takiveikata. Fortune only favors the bold n so far baledrokadroka is not and will not be bold, just a foot note in Fijian history whatever his intentions.

Anonymous said...

Dua ga me vutuki iko i liu @Anon 7.50 pm..

Anonymous said...

The FMF needs good leardership to lead its men. Learn from UK/US those battalion comdrs lead from the front in afghanistan. And please don't threaten or beat up civillians because you took an oath to protect them from all enemies. Civillians are unarmed and should be dealt with by the civil police. If you think you're a big boy assaulting civillians get yourself to Afghanistan, I wonder how many of these soldiers beating up unarmed civillians have been in a contact or gunbattle with a real enemy.