#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-12-23

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ghai: soldiers shredded Constitution and set them on fire

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum: Ghai had thanked him and Frank Bainimarama for allowing him, an outsider, to participate in the process.

The outgoing chair of the Constitution Commission, Yash Ghai, has told Radio Australia Fiji police illegally confiscated printed copies of the draft constitution, and set some of them on fire.
Ghai says all 600 copies of the draft document were seized from the printer three days before Xmas, on Saturday the 22nd.

He also told Pacific Beat he was abused by the police officer in charge of the operation when he tried to tell them their actions were illegal.

Predictably the regime has not responded to the allegations.

Ghai told presenter Bruce Hill he was called when police arrived at the printers to confiscate the copies of the proposed new constitution.

GHAI: Well I decided that I would go to the printers and talk to the police and tell them that the copies of the draft constitution belonged to the commission and we had ordered the printing, we had done the report, therefore they should desist from confiscating those copies.

Draft 2012 Constitution: the pragmatic and the purist

By Professor Wadan Narsey

The Fiji Constitution Commission has  on  its website a link  to  a  document  called  "Fiji Constitutional Process  (Constitution  Commission)  (Amendment  Decree) 2012"  which  would seem to be their  official Draft Constitution, but which  unfortunately cannot  be read or downloaded.

However,  Fiji's 2012 Draft Constitution (call it 2012 DC) is available thanks to the blogs along with an Explanatory  Report, prefaced by Professor Ghai, which contains extremely revealing background material which could not be put into the 2012 DC.  

Those with a purist commitment to lawfulness and constitutionality, will find some outcomes envisaged by the  2012 DC to be ethically and morally repugnant, especially the grant of immunity to those who implemented the 2006 coup, and those who supported the illegal Military Regimes thereafter.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Proposed 2012 Constitution for Fiji: 'fair to all'

"We do not expect all the groups to like all of the constitution—this was scarcely possible with such different interests, expectations, and lack of nationwide dialogue. But we assure all Fijians and their communities and groups that we have tried to be fair to all, and hope that the vision of the future of Fiji that we are proposing will find favour with them."

So sayeth the Yash Ghai Commission but at the end of the day, sadly, it will not be the people who decide if this is the right path for Fiji. We should remember, too, that this 2012 Constitution was instigated by a regime that toppled a democratically elected government, and which then went on to abrogate the 1997 Constitution.

Many people, quite rightly, asked us if this constitution would suffer the same fate as its predecessors. Will it solve any problems? A constitution cannot arrange or predict its own fate. Its fortunes depend on the traditions of the rule of law and the broad satisfaction of the people with its values and institutions. Some countries may indeed be able to manage without a constitution as we were reminded. But the category of such states is nearly extinct as the role of the state changes with increasing complexity of society and its relations with the external world. Ironically, it is those states that most need constitutions, which include some former colonies, that frequently dispense with them.

Why is their need for a constitution so strong? In established societies with long common histories, there is substantial agreement on national values, the relationship of the state to society, and the proper limits of state power. This kind of social consensus does not exist in new multi-ethnic states, as is obvious from Fiji’s own history. An option for such countries is to use the constitution as the source of consensus—on values and institutions.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First glimpse of Qarase behind bars

Nothing like showing off your trophy prisoner, even better if he is the first Fiji prime minister ever to be dispatched to jail.

In a Christmas story today, Fiji TV showed the illegal president Epeli Nailatikau visiting Naboro and Korovou jails and St Giles and Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

He was apparently spreading 'Chrsitmas cheer' and was shown shaking the hand of Qarase in his cell at Korovou.

It was a short exchange and there were just a few words, but both Nailatikau and Qarase look affected.

Questionable whether the illegal president's visit brought the supposed 'cheer' but the world certainly got its first glimpse of Qarase behind bars and it did the regime no service.

Many will be condemning the stunt and asking again why it jailed the country's last democratically elected prime minister and coming to the conclusion it imprisoned an old man to get him out of the way.

Fiji TV Christmas Day story: Nailatikau spreads Christmas cheer to prisoners


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Clean sweep for Fiji promised

Regime: tipped to name Nazhat Shameem to Constituent Assembly
A bit like Cyclone Evan and its hurricane force winds, who left a trail of death and destruction in Samoa and Fiji  and who is now heading to New Zealand? Are we being too harsh? Maybe. 

Not unexpectedly Kenyan constitutional law expert, Yash Ghai, caused a storm of controversy and outrage, first, with his decision to accept the job of helping the regime create Fiji's new Constitution, then admitting Frank Bainimarama had tried to manipulate discussions only to go on to deliver the contaminated document to Epeli Nailatiaku.

Ghai's work has now finished and he is moving off but not before making one last effort to show he was always one of the good guys: