#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: China and India: the elephants in the Fiji room

Sunday, January 20, 2013

China and India: the elephants in the Fiji room

By Professor Wadan Narsey

When it comes to Fiji affairs, the international media usually focus on what Australia and NZ think.

Thus when the Fiji Regime recently created a political crisis by rejected the Draft Constitution devised by its own Yash Ghai Commission, Jenny Hayward-Jones, in her article (The Interpreter, 11 January 2013) noted "despite this setback, international actors including Australia should continue to press for progress in re-establishing democracy in Fiji and engage where they can to maintain momentum in the process".

But the dialogue needs to also include the two "elephants in the room"- China and India - whose critical support for Fiji's Military Regime has arguably undermined the diplomatic stances and sanctions imposed by Australia, NZ and the EU.

India's support for Fiji Regime

While observers were surprised that India, the world's largest democracy, so readily supported the 2006 military coup in Fiji, perhaps relevant was the Regime's claim that it wished to protect the people of Indian descent from unfair domination by the indigenous Fijian majority.

This was reinforced when the largely Indo-Fijian Fiji Labour Party (led by Mahendra Chaudhry) quickly joined the Regime in 2007.  Chaudhry was however ejected after a year.

However, India's major contribution to the Regime, the large ExIm Bank of India loan to upgrade the milling efficiency of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, has backfired.

The loan proceeds did not lead to any increase in milling efficiency, partly because of inept sub-contracting at the Indian end and technical inefficiencies at the Fiji end.

The sugar industry continues its slump for other reasons as well, and India is under pressure from Fiji to convert that loan into a grant.

Perhaps as a face-saving device, India also recently supported Fiji's Chairmanship of the International Sugar Organization for 2013, a symbolic role used as great propaganda by the Bainimarama Regime.

India is aware of the Regime's media censorship, denial of basic human rights, and its reneging on its promise to hold elections in 2009. Now they see the Regime back-tracking on its own constitution review.

India has to worry that its continued support of the Regime may bring negative consequences from a future elected Fiji government.

China's support for Fiji Military Regime

China's support for the Fiji Regime does not pose any great dilemma for political analysts:  China does not share the West's belief in full democratic rights for its own people, or a free media, or other basic human rights being denied in Fiji.

With China becoming an economic Super-Power which "saved" the west from the Global Financial Crisis and continues to save it from outright recession,  it can afford to disregard international opinion, as it does over devastated Syria.

But, like the US, as Chinese imperialism matures, China's foreign policy will eventually have to pay greater heed to good governance, human rights, and environmental issues.

Note that Chinese investments in Fiji are relatively minor compared to their economic interests in Australia, NZ, PNG, Timor and West Papua.

China's aid/loan program to Fiji has resulted in many infrastructure developments which will be of significant economic value, when the economy grows.

But Fiji's economy  has totally stagnated under the Military Regime for six years, with declining real incomes, increasing poverty, and rising public debt – while other Pacific economies have prospered.

China's unqualified support of the Fiji Regime arguably undermines the diplomatic stance of Australia and NZ, who have a legitimate interest in discouraging unlawful regimes and political instability in the Pacific Island countries.

A Fiji Regime that keeps breaking its commitments, and tries to hang on to power, regardless of the economic and social costs to its own people, is not in China's long term interests in Fiji.

Super Power Roundtable on Fiji?

One of the weaknesses of international diplomacy in the Pacific is that the traditional powers (Australia, NZ, US, Britain, EU and Japan) have tended to exclude China and India as equal multilateral dialogue partners, as they did at a 2011 meeting called at PIDP in Honolulu, Hawaii. http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/political-instability-and-poor-pacific-economic-performance-the-need-for-dialogue-spaces-presentation-to-state-of-the-pacific-dialogue-organised-by-pidp-east-west-centre-honolulu/

This may partly be due to historical and cultural reasons, and partly because the emerging super-power rivalry sees it as a Zero-Sum game in the Pacific. This does not help countries like Fiji.

Fiji's people would benefit if Australia, NZ, US, EU, and Japan were to engage in a diplomatic Round Table dialogue with China and India for a more "pacific" solution to the ongoing crisis.
Editor's Note: This article also appeared in The Interpreter, Lowy Institute, 16 January 2013, as "China and India in the Fiji equation".

For an analysis of the Regime's rejection of the Ghai Draft Constitution:


mark manning said...

Well and good that perhaps China and India should be considered when trying to find a solution to Fiji's current mess, but it has to be done with those two countries, on a level playing field.
The Regime of The People's Republic of China, walks over all Conventions of any Country it engages, throughout the world. It's known for only ever being interested in accumulating Wealth by giving Loans it knows all too well, an illegal Regime can't pay back and it does this by :-
Assisting in the destabilisation of the Target/Host Country 1st.
Having, well in advance, already determined and sighted the Treasures within the Target/Host pertinent to the needs of the Regime of China, it then proceeds to assist in the destruction and destabilisation of that Target/Host country's government.

The end result is clear , pre-determined and predictable!
The Regime of China can now dictate terms to the Target/Host Country, but on its own terms.
Afterall, you now have one Dictatorship, engaging with another.

The Government of India is its own worst enemy and the culture of India, dictates that they can never ever be trusted, if only the Indians themselves could see that!
Let me make myself clear for those who've already decided that i am am a "Racist" though I'm still trying to work out just exactly what that expression means, given that we are all the same Race, the "Human Race".

It's well known that Indians predominantly use the "victim mentality" as a means to get what they want.
And it seems, many of them will go to any lengths to achieve their goals, most of which remain hidden and secret. so secret in fact, I doubt they themselves even know what they are!
Indians are known for their insincerity, cunning and ability to lie while keeping a straight face, yet remain poor liars as everyone but themselves can see through their ruse.
I think it's time the Indian Government practise what it preaches and purge its own Government of cheats and liars and all those Government Ministers who are Corrupt and stealing from their own people in India.

Finally i would suggest that Indians born in fiji or in any other part of the world, differentiate themselves from those born in India as being Non-Indian and those Indians who are on a Crusade to "save" their brethren all around the world, just stay in India and sort out the many many problems and demonic Practises they have in India, such as the Cast system etc.
Personally, I wouldn't describe the Governments of India and The People's Republic of China as the elephant in the room, but the dung of the elephant.

A footnote might be that Fijians stop expecting everyone else to sort of their mess, stop supporting illegal entities because of their own petty jealousies between clans and Villages, and embrace honesty, love and compassion. Above all though, Fijians need to honour their own Constitution, the Rule of Law under it and their own "Elected" Leaders.

To ignore this, dooms your own children and Grandchildren to a life of poverty and misery, to that end, the Governments China and India have been successful in making Fijian Society, the same as their own!

Anonymous said...

When you choose to give DEcree no. 1 supremacy, when you give supremacy to decree to re-write another constitution, then Mr Narsey, you and the 4 political parties NFP, FLP, SDL have set the unlawful legal standards to proceed and participate in that process and make submissions that contradict their own consultation.

All you guys playing god legalised that process, before which they said the 1997 constitution is still valid.

Then are now saying Ghai Draft is lawful and should be adopted.

All you guys are good at is to only contradict at every step....

Anonymous said...

Professor Narsey has actually hit the nail on the head here. The ANZUS Bloc, the UK and other democracies are because, for economic reasons, they prefer to not disturb the economic relations they have with China and India. These two countries which, just by themselves alone, constitute one third of the world's total population, are potential markets.

Mohammed Haroon Khan said...

Labasa businessman and former parliamentarian Charan Jeath Singh says the Political Party (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosure) Decree 2013 is the best thing for Fijian politics.
He said, “The decree will stop double dipping where politicians are paid for being politicians and also from the public office they hold.
“If you want to serve the country, you should be a serious politician and not for your own benefit.”
He was referring to the decree which came into force on Friday with requirements and regulations for political parties and individuals who want to contest the 20014 elections.
“The decree is very good because it has guidelines that will allow the best representation of people who will be elected,” Mr Singh said.
“The decree will make politicians follow the law, work honestly, be transparent and work hard in developing our country.
“This has not been happening for a long time. This decree talks about our future and it is good. The people who are against it are the same people who had been taking advantage of the system and the people they are supposed to govern.”
Mr Singh has been involved in local Government and national politics in Fiji representing various political organisations.
Constituency, Fiji) for the National Alliance Party (NAPF).

Parliament a showbiz
Mr Singh, a former pilot before turning his business into a multi-million dollar venture, said the decree would govern those wishing to enter parliament.
Those intending to stand in the election should declare their assets, membership – information will be made public and people would know who to elect.
“For too long our parliament had been a showbiz. Politicians debate about personal differences, they belittle each other there instead of taking the country forward,” Mr Singh said.
“This decree has stopped that because it talks about our future.
“This decree talks about accountability, what a politician is worth and what a politician can do for our country instead of himself while in parliament.”
Decree critics
Mr Singh said those who are against the decree were the same people who had been taking advantage of their status.
“I can name people.
“They know themselves but all those who are making noise now against the decree are the same people who used to work with this Government,” he said.
“Now they are complaining because they are no longer receiving their salaries.
“People who are saying that Government is bad should shut up.
“They used to work for this Government and get paid.
“They are complaining now because Government has stopped their salaries. Were they complaining when they were in Government?
“No Government is 100 per cent but this Government has done a lot for us. They have given everyone an even playing field with no preference to a particular person or company. Everyone is the same. That is what the people of Fiji want.”

Anonymous said...

Good article Prof. Like your article in the sense that there can be a real breakthrough on the political front if India and china join a round table discussion.

However, I do have a question. You said fiji has stagnated in the past 6 years but even ADB is saying we are growing albeit a slower pace. Isn't the whole world growing at a slower pace with only a handful of countries growing at resonable pace because of large domestic demand.


Anonymous said...

Can someone or C45 please enlighten us on why there wa this news on the radio last week that the Housing Authority has had a conflict with Dhina railway on some building project here in fiji??..

Anonymous said...

United Front for a Democratic Fiji

20 January 2013

Tax payers want plain answers, Mr Khaiyum- stop evading the issue!

Why is the Attorney General dodging issues we raised demanding accountability from Prime Minister Bainimarama and himself, the Leaders of the United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) asked in a joint statement today.

These two hold high government office and are required by law to maintain transparency and accountability in the management of public funds and taxpayers’ moneys.

The UFDF Leaders said the AG was being evasive by claiming that government accountability was not the issue. It is very much the issue. The regime is demanding transparency and accountability from everyone else except itself. Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy?

The principles of transparency and accountability, as important aspects of good governance, apply equally to all persons holding high public office whether they are officials of political parties or holding executive government positions.

Indeed, these principles of good governance are even more important in the case of those in executive government positions such as the PM and the AG as they are responsible for the management of public funds or taxpayers’ moneys.

The UFDF Leaders in their statement (Friday), asked Aiyaz Khaiyum to answer the following questions:

· Disclose all incomes and assets, including all properties acquired since seizing power in 2006 including
· Why are the audited accounts of the Prime Ministers Flood and Cyclone Relief Fund not published for the information of the people and donors?

· Why is the Prime Minister blocking the audit and publishing of the RFMF Regimental Funds?
· Why government accounts and finances, and the Auditor General’s reports have not been published since 2008 as required under the Finance Management Act?

The AG is avoiding the question when he says that the Public Accounts Committee is still looking at pre-2006 government accounts.. The political Leaders’ questions are about the publishing of government accounts and finances from 2008 onwards.

They are required under the law to publish these documents for public scrutiny.

Mr. Khaiyum should also tell the people of Fiji why his Aunty is handling his salary, that of the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers rather than the Treasury as was the normal practice? And how much he and the Prime Minister are being paid – reports that they are receiving some three-quarters of a million dollars each have not been denied by either of them.

The regime tends to denounce previous governments as being corrupt but at least under these governments, Cabinet salaries were always a matter of public information (not secret) and handled by the Treasury, not a private accounting firm.

In the interest of transparency and accountability, Fiji’s taxpayers have a right to know the answers to these questions, Mr Sayed Khaiyum. Don’t try to dodge these questions by claiming that government accountability is not the issue here.

Ratu Jone Kubuabola Mahendra Chaudhry
Member Executive Committee Leader
Soqosoqo Duavatani Lewenivanua Party Fiji Labour Party

Mick Beddoes Pramod Rae Attar Singh

Tatti Professor said...

From a former wadan narsey student:

I am no suporter of the criminal Baini and his stupid coup.

But 'Professor' Narsey is more like a newspaper feature writer than an academic.

Narsey would have it that we always beg and bow to Australia and New Zealand.

What kind of economist doesn't the understand the basic concept of diversification of risks and investments, and of fostering competition?

When we are beholden only to Australia and NZ, they have a tendency to demean us. Maybe this is what Narsey wants?

Have you head of the term 'leverage' professor Ji?

That's why I say USP is full of dead wood and phoney professors collecting high salaries at taxpayers' expense.

Problem with Narsey is he writes off his head. His articles are not informed by literature, which is a sign of dumbing down and academic laziness.

Any academic worth his/her salt will cite literature. In this sense Narsey is not a true academic, although he is a damn good newspaper feature writer of populist articles of limited, if any value.

When people lecture and preach to us, we have a right to question him or her in the public domain, and thank you c4.5 for facilitating active debate where we can question everyone, from prime ministers, attorney generals and so-called 'professors' .

Even if Naresy's academic credentials have been questioned, his efforts against this illegal and despicable regime is to be applauded.

We all want baini and khaiyum out by hook or crook!

Anonymous said...

To Mohammed Haroon Khan
A really very good overview of the decree by CJ Singh.
He is right in saying that thoe people making noise are the same old politicians.This decree brings evryone who wishes to join politics out in the open.Finally something whereby politicians can be held accountable for their actions and financial dealings.
Thank you Mr AG.

Long Live Bainimarama
Long Live ASK
Long Live FMF

Dharam Lingam

Anonymous said...

They have given evryone an even playing field? Where? The people are suffering, poor, low wages,the cost of living is skyrocketing.The soldiers become the permanent body guards of Voreqe & Khaium.People lost their jobs & given to the armies the no school.The armies never serve in the wars only in my beloved Fiji.GET REAL !!.

Vutuki Meo said...

Perhaps Mr Charan Jeath Singh should read "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.
If he had read it he would see it unfolding here in Fiji.
ie The Pigs got up and say "We are all equal".
Doesn't that sound familiar?
We are all equal
We are all Fijians.
We are one race!
We want a level playing field.
Even Charan Jeath Singh is parroting the Party ( regime) line. lol
Yes very good decree, very good decree.

Charan Jeath Singh seems to have forgotten what these pigs said in the last 6 years : Election in 2009. No military person will gain from this or have government position. No nepotism - then Bai makes his daughter head of Fiji Sports and his son-in-law in Fiji Rugby Head Office. Brother in Law Kean avoid jail for Manslaughter.
etc etc

Charan Jeath Singh is either blind or purposefully buried his head in the sand.

Our Party leaders said to the pigs "Well if we are to declare all our properties and assets then you too must declare your assets, since we are all equal"
This happened last week.

Then what did the Leader pigs say? "No we dont have to declare ours. Only you have to declare your assets"
Some Pigs are more equal than others.
Hehehehehe. Hahahahaha! Hohohoho!
That response by Kaiyum was straight out from Animal Farm. lol

He said, "Yes We are all Equal but some are More Equal than others" ie we don't have to declare our assets but you have too!
lol lol.

The leader pigs in Animal Farm wrote up commandments
The pigs in Fiji write up Decrees.
They make up the Decrees as they go along.

Its almost like reading Animal Farm all over again.

Isa my English teacher Mrs Singh. That was many moons ago.
Never thought my English Literature reading would help later in life.She would have looked at me and said "I told you so."

I can almost remember the look on her face when she read to us that passage.

The story also teaches us what inevitably happens.
The pigs don't suddenly become good but actually get worse.

So for those who think that these pigs will suddenly improve after the election... Let me make it very clear. ITS NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.

We the people must fight back NOW. Every man woman and child must act and sabotage the regime.
Lets BURN whatever belongs to Aiyaz, Bai, the sotia ni solisona and all their supporters.Burn Tapoos. Burn Tikoitoga's house . Burn Shameem's & Gates house etc.

Anonymous said...

They given everyone an even playing field? Where? The people are suffering, poor, lost their jobs,cost of living is skyrocketing.The dumb armies taken over from people's job, the no school, they are only good as bodyguard for Voreqe & Khaium.They never fight in wars, they should be sent to school to learn how to read and write.Get real!My people are suffering, my Fiji has been bustarised,Fiji has never experienced any thing like this ever before.Look at the hospitals in Fiji, poor standard,no medications supplied for the people, they have to go to the chemist to buy their own meds, with what money? the government should supply, people have to take their own sheets, towels etc if being admitted.Where is the government to look after the citizens.This is where the government should see, start from below, don't boast about other things, they should meet the needs of the citizens.They will never vote for Voreqe or any one of his brand.
They have had enough of them and their decrees, which they have been imprisioned in for the past 6 years. Khaium continues to formulate decrees when he sees that the people are coming up, he does it to shut them down, it will never stop the citizen of Fiji or the politicians for that matter.Your decrees will be your grave.

Anonymous said...

Mohammed Haroon Khan, what about a politician with multiple portfolio. Should he be forced to only one portfolio? When you hold multiple portfolio does this mean you aren't as efficient as each are full time role?

John said...

Very soon their will be decree for compulsory circumcise for all Fiji male..that will be a sight !!

Anonymous said...

Singh and khan, double dipping can easily be fixed morons. Like in most democracies, either you resign to contest the elections or you resign if you are successful, but mostly the former. You don't have to issue a decree to do this, how dumb can Aiyarse and Voceke be? Talk about stupidity!!!!

Why are the two thieves Voceke and Aiyarse dodging the question about accountability? Isn't that what they've been preaching for the last 6 years? No auditing of govt accounts, jobs handed to family and close friends, army officers given high govt posts, Voceke's family members handed cushy jobs, poverty on the increase, etc etc. The list is endless so Duhram and your fellow dreamers, I'd say dream on and when you wake up you'll be bitterly disappointed just like the thieves running Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Ummm interesting. Wonder who holds the world record for most portfolio?

Kamlesh Kumar said...

Vutaki Meo wrote this"We the people must fight back NOW. Every man woman and child must act and sabotage the regime.
Lets BURN whatever belongs to Aiyaz, Bai, the sotia ni solisona and all their supporters.Burn Tapoos. Burn Tikoitoga's house . Burn Shameem's & Gates house etc."
Vutaki Meo- In 2000 coup you and your supporters did the same. They destroyed the lives of so many people especially in Manuweni, Nausori. You guys burnt their homes, stole their crops, rapped your own women in the parliament house, etc. You havent changed. How can we trust you to lead united Fiji. You havent answered my previous questions.

Anonymous said...

This regime makes no sense.

Now Fiji is to be led by full-time "professional politicians" who do nothing else but promote partisan politics every day? Since when do we not want the best people of diverse experience and background, and especially success in the private sector, to help make our laws, make government accountable, and guide our country? And yet at the same time, the regime says that professional politicians are somehow bad, as if they're tainted because they were actually VOTED into office. Bai and ASK even act as if they're superior to elected politicians and are therefore even somehow exempt from disclosing their assets.

Isa, this regime contradicts itself at every step.

Anonymous said...

Wadan Narsey should stick to economics rather than try to dabble in foreign policy. And the RFMF should stick to parading rather than trying to run the government.

Anonymous said...

Why should the Chinese and Indians have been invited to Honolulu if they mainly play an obstructionist role with respect to the restoration of Fijian democracy?

Also, wasn't the Honolulu East-West Center forum expanded to include discussion of the rest of the Pacific, not just Fiji? So, by rights, didn't the French belong there more than the Indians or Chinese?

Do we really want to invite the Chinese to have a greater role in the Pacific? Is that really a good thing in the long run? Has their expanded involvement in Fiji been good for our country?

Anonymous said...

China and India are amongst those of the so-called "oldest civilizations" known.
The have done it, experienced it, been there and therefore are more matured and enlightened than us "youngest civilizations" in the form of poor young Fiji.
Put simply, it is a 60 year old outwitting a 6 year old kid!!

Anonymous said...

We can all talk and fart and then talk and smell hot air again, but let me tell you guys one thing Frank is here to stay. Three Cheers for Voreqe Bainimarama the savior of Fiji. May the good GOD richly BLESS HIM and HIS family. Keep up the good job this people posting are just hot Air. Oh do you smell that, Nah....People on Coup4.5...Thanks Frank.

Anonymous said...

The Honolulu conference was yet another attempt by the Americans during Amb. McGann's tenure to engage with the regime and to get the regime to engage with other Fijians. As usual, though, the regime spurned the opportunity, sending no one more senior than Foreign Ministry PS Solo Mara.

Anonymous said...

Charan is Govt's arse licker. Aiyarse father works for Charan and he gets lot of favors from the AG. The latest is some land allocation in Labasa for some commercial development

Kamlesh Kumar-QEB said...

To Vutaki Meo alias Tattifalla alias KiBau.

- Do you support multiracialism in Fiji? If not learn from Europeans.
Do you think Fiji indians should have same rights as native Fijians?
-Do you support Qoliqoli bill?

I believe in multiracial, united fiji where every one has human rights, equality and freedom.

Remember your mother and my mother are the same. By swearing at my mother shows your mentality. I will never swear at your mother because I believe all mothers are the same and they should be respected.
Your answers may change my mind towards SDL.

Vutuki Meo said...

@Kamlesh Kumar, multiracialism already exists in Fiji.
I was taught under Fijian Teachers, Kaivalagi teachers and Indian teachers.
I thank God that these people were all good to me.
I personally know of institutions in Fiji where indigenous students were puposefully weeded out by the Indian principal until Rabuka did his Coup.
But anyway that is water under the bridge and I'm not going to hold that against Dr Pathik.

But I have learned from it.

Do I still believe in multiracialism. Of course I do. When we finally get rid of Bainimarama I can show you my personal family and its definitely a mixture of all kinds of races including Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Anon@12:54pm...no need to trash the
military.Military are people too.
Just remember that all powerful
nations in the world today or in ancient time,are either
run by a military person or
has a powerful military system under it's command?
Bai has been in power for 7 years and appears for me,
to be doing quite well?
Maybe it's time to give this man our support and see where he can
take us and maybe get our Roads-
Kings&Queens Road potholes fixed
and some of the old bridges replaced?Allow him to do his job
and not to worry about someone shooting him in the Ass?

The Heckler said...

Hey, John at 4:47 AM, they'd never finish circumcising the traitors in this regime.

Know why?

'Cause there's just no end to those pricks!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:10 PM, Fiji is hardly a powerful country. Your hero and this military are ruining the country. Such traitors NEVER deserve our support.

He deserves worse than getting shot in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Charan uses the AG's father name for personal gain. This sort of act is corruption. Why isn't he questioned? I agree Charan is a arse licker. Wake up Bia.

Anonymous said...

That's what Singh is good at " licking arse". People give him the title "Tycoon". I want to know how much hard work he has done?
Reading an article about making millions in 22 years, Hello ???? Where did those Big millions come from? Has anyone investigated this before printing in the Newspapers? NO cause the power speaks for itself. Inviting Mr Khaiyum to do all opening of his ventures and parties show the people of Fiji that I can do anything. POWER!!
Politics isn't his passion, it's a way to achieve a title at any cost, whether it's someone's reputation or money.
Try being a human being for one day, might enlighten your future paths....people might think about giving you votes next time. Looser!!!