Statement by EU Commissioner Louis Michel On Fiji’s Situation

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, today expressed deep regret and disappointment regarding recent regressive developments in Fiji; in particular the abrogation of the Constitution, the sacking of all judges, the delay of general elections until 2014 and the curtailment of freedom of speech.  

The Commissioner was particularly disappointed, since the interim Government had agreed with the EU on a plan which would have restored political order and democracy to Fiji and at the same time would have allowed the EU to provide substantial financial support to rescue the sugar sector and help restore the economy.

Commissioner Michel called on the interim Government to reconsider these decisions and to honour its commitments to the international community and ultimately the people of Fiji.

Commissioner Michel said: “These developments are unacceptable for the international community. Commitments must be respected. An early and inclusive domestic political process leading to a return to constitutional order and democracy in Fiji will allow us to provide assistance to Fiji, at a time when global economic prospects are becoming increasingly difficult.”

God bless Fiji

Hail President Madraiwiwi!

In all the hoo-har since Ratu Iloilo ‘suspended’ the Constitution (a deed whose legitimacy / legality is yet to be proven) and illegal regime’s various decrees, there is one outstanding action that deserves more attention. 

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase proved, in the Court of Appeal, that the 2006 coup was unconstitutional, and that all subsequent actions by Vore and his thug government have no legitimacy under the Constitution. 

PM Qarase, who never resigned his position, let the Rule of Law speak for him and his actions.  The Rule of Law found our PM was right and Vore was wrong.  Like him or not, the PM’s actions speak for themselves.  He remains law-abiding, legitimate and our true leader. 

Now, I am no Constitutional expert, but I understand that our 1997 Constitution is written in such a way that it cannot be abrogated or changed except through Parliament.  In layman’s terms, it is deliberately formulated to be “coup proof”.  So the erstwhile President’s suspension of the Constitution holds no water. 

Ratu Iloilo is variously described as being incapacitated.  As such, it could be argued that his status as President is reasonably compromised, and has been for some time.  I don’t know if capacity of the President is necessarily an explicit prerequisite in our Constitution.  But in the same way that the Courts use international (Commonwealth) precedents to interpret our laws, perhaps capacity is a prerequisite elsewhere and could similarly be argued / interpreted as a prerequisite here in Fiji. 

Since the High Court has found that the 2006 coup is unconstitutional, similarly their unseating of our Vice President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, is illegitimate. 

Logically –

  • with Ratu Iloilo’s resignation (with or without mental capacity as a contributing factor),
  • and the 2006 coup declared unconstitutional
  • and the Constitution being coup-d’etat proof,

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi is therefore now our legitimate President of Fiji. 

Thank you Lord for your humble servant and our Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and his active dedication to the Rule of Law. 

God bless and keep our President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

God bless Fiji

WTF Happened To Our Embassy In New York?

I’m sure that the Government of Fiji used to own our embassy premises in New York.  Yet here the illegal Foreign Minister says we don’t.  

Not only that, the premises in New York were rumoured to be worth, as the saying goes, a pretty penny.  

So what happened? Has the illegal regime sold off our State assets?  If they did, we know the action was unconstitutional.  And We The People deserve to know when it was sold, to whom, for how much, and where the money has subsequently been spent.  

Vore can write off decrees until he is blue in the face.  But as long as he is using / stealing / spending taxpayers’ money, HE IS ANSWERABLE TO WE THE PEOPLE.  

God bless Fiji

Freedom and Rugby

How the bejaysus did we lose to Kenya?  Kenya, for pity’s sake!  Give them credit, they played a good match, but what happened to us?  

Fans will come up with various ways of criticising the players, the team manager, the coaches, the FRU, the usual suspects.  

But the fact is that our boys cannot play their best rugby when their hearts are sick with worry about the situation at home.  When Speight held his coup, shortly before the end of the inaugural IRB 7s World Series, all Fiji had to do was make it to the semi-finals and the title was ours.  What happened?  We lost the quarter-final to Argen-flipping-tina.  Now this coup and our chance to defend our World Cup crown, we have lost to Kenya.  Kenya!  In the quarter-finals.  

To us, rugby is joy.  The free-flowing, chaotic sparkle you see when we play is indicative of our love of freedom, of the simple act of running, throwing and kicking a ball around, passing opponents and defying physics.  But when our hearts are not in it, no way can we capture that joy or the magic.  It’s something you can’t fake.  

Our rugby needs joy and freedom.  Vore has sucked that out of our lives.  How can we expect the boys to play, in the truest sense of the word, with our beloved country going to hell in a handbasket?  

God bless Fiji

Leadership Vacuum

28 months into Bainimarama’s illegal regime, the people of Fiji remain in want of a leadership figure to give focus to our frustration with the status quo, and guide us in venting that frustration into a positive outcome.  Nelson Mandela showed the South African population just how far he was willing to go to walk the walk for enduring peace.  Mahatma Gandhi both told and showed India and the world that true power is achieved only through non-violence.  Winston Churchill harnessed British pluck and community spirit to bring his people through ‘their finest hour’.  

I fear that, without a leader who is willing to raise his or her head above the fray, without a leader who is willing to speak to us and for us, the very real frustration that people are feeling at the way we are being governed will boil over into chaos and, inevitably, death.  We need organised rebellion against this regime.  The closest we have so far is the excellent Solivakasama Worldwide Movement which collected $10,000 for the Flood Appeal, which helped get Vilisi Nadaku in touch with the heroic Jon Apted, and out of custody.  But we need more.  

We need a leader with a plan to get us back to elections.  We need a leader who will speak at rallies, to Villages, to the Chiefs, to the people.  We need someone we are prepared to stand behind, to march with, to rebel with.  

In a worst case scenario (not that we aren’t already IN a worst case scenario), if rebellion were to break out WITHOUT such a leader, history tells us that we can expect rioting, more military crackdowns, further flourishing of organised crime, outbreaks of chaos and civil unrest – basically a path to civil war.  

Our best solution is a path back to free and fresh elections (and decisive punishments for this regime).  We need a leader who can harness our inevitable rebellion to turn our restlessness into a positive, peaceful, non-violent march towards change and democracy.  Attar Singh, Kenneth Zinck, Mick Beddoes and others employ an admirable use of public jibes to keep the regime on the back foot.  Sharon Rolls Bhagwan, the Fiji Women’s Rights ladies and the women’s movement make excellent ambassadors for peace.  Lord bless our media for the vital part they play as our last bastion for democracy.  But each of these is not enough.  

I hope you will forgive my presumptuousness, but PM Qarase and Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi – we need you to lead.  The nation NEEDS you.  The alternative, without your leadership, is too grim to bear.

God bless Fiji

Media 7 and Method

I watched with interest the Media 7 programme with David Robie, Barbara Dreaver and Robert Khan.  Robie & Dreaver make the point that Bainimarama’s intentions are good, but the problem is his methods. I disagree with them.  When you govern a country, method is everything. Governance is, by definition, purely method. Through dictatorship, the country is governed a certain way.  Through democracy, people choose the method and guiding principles by which they are governed. 

Perhaps the NZ outlook is the result of the Western hemisphere’s habitual Bush-watching for the past eight years. Bush’s credo was ‘History will judge me’, in other words, look at my results, not at my method. But to ignore the method of governance, particularly in the case of Fiji’s post-coup regime, is folly. 

The methods used by Bainimarama in his regime fail, emphatically fail, to achieve his said aim of removing race politics (possibly because he is using the most racially divisive politician in our history to run his govt). His methods fail to maintain law because the rule of law has been completely undermined. His methods fail to maintain order because the bodies that should preserve order are in an uproar and near collapse. They fail to distribute medicine. They fail to control disease. They proactively encourage the increase and proliferation of organised crime. They fail to educate our children. They fail to stimulate or even maintain our economy. They fail to strengthen international alliances with our neighbours and traditional allies. They fail to help our people to help themselves, except through corruption. They fail to make the leaders accountable to the people. They fail to protect the integrity of a robust and impartial media. They fail, in short, to meet up to any reasonable criteria of good governance. These methods could not run a kati-rugby team, let alone a country.  Even using Bush’s credo, Bainimarama performs poorly. Worse than poorly.

You cannot divorce Vore’s intentions from his methods. Government IS method. Look at Senator Feinstein’s speech from President Obama’s inauguration. The bullet will never have lasting supremacy over the ballot.  The only way out of Fiji’s situation, and the cycle of Coup-d’etat is through  the ballot.  Through elections.  That’s what we were achieving right up until 4 December 2005.  Like PM Sailele said, it is time for the people of Fiji to claim back our Govt, as is our right.  

God bless Fiji