Tag Archive | Fiji Women

Kill The Chicken To Frighten The Monkey

The entire Fijian community – within our islands and overseas – is still reeling in shock at the video which graphically captures the beating of Iowane Benedito, the alleged escaped prisoner.

Some on the blogs and social networks believe the clip has been leaked to the media. But could it be something even more sinister?

The regime is on the back foot. They know they are at an all-time popularity low. They know they can no longer hide behind their lies. They know their decrees aren’t worth the paper they are written on. They know that discontent is seething among We The People.

If you cast your mind back to December 2006, back when We The People still believed in our inalienable rights (before the illegal regime went ahead and ‘alien-ed’ them), there was quite a bit of discontent which was being publicly expressed. At least, it was being publicly expressed until the illegal regime detained at their barracks our most visible, respected and admired rights advocates – all women other than one young man – holding them without access to legal representation, and criminally assaulting them. They killed innocent young civilian men in custody. Before the coup, they had killed the CRW soldiers, also while in custody.

The shock, revulsion and outrage at that time was comparable to that we all feel today. How dare they?!

They dare, because this is yet another tactic used to effect by illegal regimes in other parts of the world.  In China, the tactic is referred to as ‘killing the chicken to frighten the monkey’. The regime knows they cannot lock us all up. So instead they visibly target a select few, commit grave atrocities, and let word of it be spread among the population. They don’t need us to be completely scared. They just need us to be scared enough to not take action, to not speak out, to not have the courage to stand up and say ‘NO MORE!’.

They are cowards. And their time has come. Do you really think they will let us have elections in 2014? We must take action NOW before our country is further ravaged by the rot. We need strikes and demonstrations, up and down the country. We need to show the world that this illegal regime does not have our mandate, our support nor our meek compliance. We need justice.

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji.

In support of Ro Teimumu Kepa and our Methodist Church leaders

From Raw Fiji News

I write to offer my support and solidarity to the Gone Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, who was unjustly and unceremoniously detained in the past few days.

The boldness and courage of this Lady and leader in making a stand against the devious, self-serving, and ultimately self-defeating manipulation of the present illegal Regime, is a breath of fresh air in the cynical and dishonorable times we now live in.

As disgraceful as her detention is though, we must nonetheless accept in faith that this IS all part of God’s Plan, as the lady herself so eloquently put it in her letter to her people.

Jesus, Himself began the battle to throw off darkness and evil, and to replace it with His Kingdom, with His death on Calvary’s Cross.

Since then, Christians have always been impelled by the implications of their faith to struggle and stand against evil. St Telemachus for instance was, by his own death, instrumental in ending the barbaric practice of gladiatorial death sport in the Roman Empire. William Wilberforce, by his life of sacrifice, spearheaded the abolition of slavery in Victorian times. Lord Shaftsbury’s exertions kick-started the dawn of industrial emancipation and worker’s rights during the same era. Elizabeth Fry was the first prison reformer. Samuel Plimsoll spearheaded shipping safety regulations and reform. John Wesley, St Vincent de Paul (Ladies of Charity) and William Booth (Salvation Army) founded pioneering organizations to succor and minister to the poor in the preceding Century. Later the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King forfeited even his own life for his stand of faith and principle against the insidious scourge of racism.

In all cases, these Christian saints acted out of the dictates of their faith, at great personal cost and risk, often against brutal or hardnosed Governments that were either indifferent to the injustice, or who were part of it themselves under the lobbying and control of those, who were directly benefitting from the status quo. But not one of them ever backed down, as to do so would mean betraying their consciences as well as their God.

Fiji once again finds herself faced by this kind of evil. In 2000 it was Speight. Now it is Bainimarama. In 2000 it was rebellion. In 2006/9, the rebellion has succeeded and the Barbarians have risen to power on the back of guns, brutality, lies and intransigence. The situation seems hopeless and the usurpers seem to hold all the cards that count.

But just as the injustice and evil of the past always raised up Christian movers and shakers of conscience to opposition, so are the lies, wickedness and travesty of Bainimarama’s Fiji raising up champions like Ro Teimumu Kepa.

The question for people like her is “Are we our brother’s keeper?” According to God’s law, and people’s man-made constitutional law and values, yes we are. These are for two reasons, the work of the Church in the community, and its prophetic role against the injustice of this coup. The Regime is WRONG to try and stop either.

In any crises management there are four pitfalls that stakeholders may fall into. These are panic, apathy, fear and denial. Good leaders are able to communicate the truth, and inspire peoples’ spirits in order to strategically motivate them out of those pitfalls into just and righteous action. Winston Churchill is the best crises manager known in history when he fearlessly asked for the British peoples’ steadfastness knowing that the technically superior German Army were preparing to bomb London. And England won the battle and the war.

Like the infamous Nazi propaganda machine, Bainimarama’s illegal Regime also hopes to use its ridiculous PER and hand-picked judiciary to deny Ro Temumu-Kepa and the Methodist Church leaders’ right to be their “brother’s keeper”.

But whatever unjust and unjustifiable trumped up charges and punishment they dream up, they will NOT prevail!

Dr. Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni, SDL member for Lami Open Constituency

Sophie’s Choice – Courage, Success and A Clear, Powerful Voice

I am grateful to Michael Field for this post on his blog.  Her sophisticated words, and intelligence, makes all of us Fiji Girls proud of our Sophie.  Thank you, Lord, for Fiji Women’s Rights Movement nurturing leadership in our young women.  Hope burns bright.  



May 28, 2009, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF) graduation

Speech by Chief Guest: Sophie Foster, Associate Editor , Fiji TimesLtd 

GOOD evening and thank you very much for inviting me to join you on this special occasion; to celebrate 18 young women, who tonight graduate from the intensive year-long Emerging Leaders; Forum.

Being the journalist that I am, I thought tonight I’d start by first giving you the bad news; In fact, I’ll start with a question. And the question is this: What’s the greatest danger facing our generation and, indeed, the emerging leaders of our country?

The greatest danger is silence. A dangerous, pregnant silence into which many things fall ; a silence that comes in two forms. The silence of leaders who fail to speak out for whatever reason. And the silence of the people.

Tomorrow will mark the end of the seventh week in which that silence has been so obviously seen, read, and heard across the pages, screens and airwaves of the mainstream media in Fiji.

For tomorrow it will be seven weeks since Good Friday, the day the Public Emergency Regulation 2009 was put in place.

Section 16 of that regulation is specifically aimed at the media, giving the Permanent Secretary for Information wide-ranging and arbitrary powers to decide what the people of Fiji should not be told.

That there is no requirement for the Permanent Secretary to declare why a particular news item should not be made public is particularly frustrating. Indeed, it’s sometimes a deafening silence.

There is no doubt that the media industry is facing a tremendous challenge trying to defend the right of people to freedom of expression. Even as I speak, that challenge continues, as a group of civil servants systematically attempts to erase any trace of disaffection; in the media. They arrive after 6pm and leave somewhere around 10. In between that time, they
shred to pieces our intrinsic right to freedom of expression. 

But does the fact that a person, a censor, is able to keep something out of the media make it any less true? No, it doesn’t.

The censors may stop the media from saying there’s a teacher shortage or a blackout at Nabouwalu, but that does not mean that these things are not happening. 

The people at Nabouwalu know that they’ve had no electricity for a week now. Students and their parents know that they’ve had no teacher since Term 2 began. 

In their own circles, their own communities, these people talk. They complain. And they pass their frustrations on to others. The danger is when these frustrations build up with no vent, or they reach people for whom there seems to be nothing left to gain ; or lose.

It’s of vital importance that the truth be known, that the truth be reported widely and that there be free discussion around matters of community or national interest.

In the words of one of our Fiji Times readers who emailed us immediately after the imposition of censorship:;A free press is even more essential when power becomes concentrated in the hands of a few. Dialogue, criticism and dissent are essential for political and social well-being.

But it takes courage to be able to look real issues in the eye. It takes courage to be able to sustain threats, bullying, intimidation, and even firebombing. 

So why do we do the job we do? Why do journalists continue to turn up to work every day? Why continue to report on stories as they always did ; even if it means the stories could be crossed off with a cheap black pen every night?

It’s because we cannot and must not stand silently or idly by. Our duty is to continue to uphold the right to freedom of expression, to gather a variety of views, to provide our people with information with which they can make informed choices…

And that’s where the good news comes in; Across the world, women have over the decades developed very personal knowledge of the challenges that face us today the culture of silence, the lack of a voice. And yet despite these challenges women continue to celebrate small victories every day.

You may not know it, but the core of our news team  the reporters who go out every day and seek out the truth are mostly women, and young women at that. We have seen these young women tackle issues that directly affect our readers with tenacity, courage and compassion. 

In this century, being a woman should be considered a great advantage. We instinctively know things that men would probably need to train for. Compassion. The need for dialogue. Sharing of stories. And tackling discrimination as we see it. We can see several points of view at once, and every day have to balance out competing calls on our time.

In the words of one prominent female academic

Are women better leaders than men? Not necessarily.

Nor are men necessarily better leaders than women.

But in many ways women bring experiences and capabilities that are unlike men when solving tough problems. And considering our current state, we could stand an infusion of this type of leader.

It was Albert Einstein who said “Insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

Unless a wider set of views, opinions and approaches are taken into account, unless more young women are mentored into leadership, we may find that our future cannot be any different to what has always been.

That’s why tonight, it’s my pleasure to join this celebration, to see these young women complete their year-long leadership training program, and to congratulate them all and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement for their willingness to rise to the challenges that face us.

It’s through programs such as these that the silence will be broken. That a greater variety of voices, and dare I say it, a richer quality of voices, will be heard on community and national issues ; and on issues that go to the heart of what it means to be a woman in our world. 

Ladies, young women, emerging leaders, the task ahead is no small one. But it’s one that we can all tackle simply by breaking the silence and doing the job as it should be done.

I wish you courage. I wish you success. I wish for you a clear and powerful voice. Congratulations!

Vinaka vakalevu…

God bless Fiji