Tag Archive | Free Fiji elections

Commonwealth calls for withdrawal of military from Fiji’s govt

26 April 2013, London

1. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its thirty-ninth meeting in London on 26 April 2013.

2. The meeting was chaired by Hon Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. It was also attended by Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Hon John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Hon A J Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Hon Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives; Hon Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone; Hon Bernard K Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Tanzania; Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago; and Hon Nipake Edward Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu.

3. CMAG welcomed the recent adoption by Heads of Government, and signature by The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, of the Charter of the Commonwealth, encapsulating the core values and principles of the Commonwealth. It noted that the Charter reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment inter alia to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, good governance, tolerance, respect and understanding and the role of civil society. As the custodian of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values, the Group pledged to continue to promote these commonly agreed goals.

4. The Group reviewed developments in relation to the country currently on its formal agenda, Fiji.

Fiji

5. CMAG reiterated the Commonwealth’s unwavering solidarity with the people of Fiji, and CMAG’s commitment to Fiji’s reinstatement as a full member of the Commonwealth family, through the restoration of constitutional democracy, the rule of law and human rights, in accordance with the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth.

6. Ministers expressed their regret at the Government of Fiji’s diversion from the previously-agreed constitutional process, which had earlier been welcomed by CMAG and which had attracted widespread public engagement and confidence within Fiji.

7. CMAG called on the Government of Fiji to ensure that the steps now undertaken toward restoring constitutional democracy are credible and inclusive, and similarly enjoy the confidence and support of the people of Fiji, including:

a. a transparent and consultative process to achieve a constitution that accords with Commonwealth and internationally-accepted standards for democracy, good governance and the rule of law, and that genuinely enjoys the endorsement of the people of Fiji;

b. the restoration of the structures necessary for credible elections, including an independent Election Management Body;

c. the ability of political parties and candidates to contest elections freely under fair and consistent rules and on a level playing field;

d. withdrawal of the military from involvement in government; and

e. full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with international law and without undue restriction, including freedoms of speech, association and movement, and a free and independent media.

8. The Group expressed concern about ongoing restrictions on human rights and reports of human rights abuse in Fiji, and emphasised the necessity of full respect for human rights and the rule of law, to create the environment necessary for credible elections.

9. CMAG noted the visit to Fiji undertaken by the Pacific Islands Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group on 12 April 2013, and reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to continuing to work in co-operation with regional and international partners in relation to the Fiji situation.

10. CMAG encouraged the Commonwealth to remain engaged with Fiji in appropriate ways, including the Secretary-General’s ongoing engagement with the Government of Fiji and other stakeholders, also encompassing further exploration of options for the provision of assistance to Fiji in relation to democracy and the rule of law.

God bless Fiji

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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.

Final Petition of William R Marshall

The Petition of the regime’s former Justice of Appeal has kept lawyers amused all day.

The only version currently online is in reverse order. If anyone has a copy in natural order, please send it through via Comments and it will be posted on this blog.

God bless Fiji

Minfo responds to YPCN statement

In the best of Orwellian tradition, the idea that ‘you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order’ Decree if you ‘do not want to create public disorder’ is utterly fatuous.
Let’s turn that one on its head, shall we?
If the regime did not want to suppress the collective will of We The People, it should not feel sufficiently threatened by Us to warrant needing to rule Us by Decree. It would allow Us to elect Our Own representatives to debate the decree before it passes into law. But no. This tinpot regime won’t even allow Us to vote in a Personality Contest without interference.
The regime calls POAD ‘an enabling statute’. This is the same warped, twisted logic that calls the 2006 coup a ‘sunset clause’ on our native land rights. The decree is intended to DISable Our voice. The regime is interested in ENabling nothing of We The People because it fears Our legitimate voice and Our legitimate powers.
How are We The People to voice Our aspirations, Our hopes, Our dreams, which this illegal regime continues to ravage as though Our beloved country were its own personal piggybank?
When are We The People allowed to speak? If they insist on stifling Our collective voice, how else can We The People be heard other than by standing up for Ourselves and saying simply “No. No more.”
God bless Fiji
.

From: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>
Date: 16 January 2012 17:09
Subject: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT
To: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>

Government responds to YPCN LINK

GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT

The Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns released the following statement today in response to the Young People’s Concerned Network:

If the Young People’s Concerned Network seeks to represent the leaders of tomorrow, it will need to do a better job of understanding recent Fijian history and of assessing Government provisions, such as the Public Order (Amendment) Decree—which it misreads either out of a desire to manipulate public sentiment or simply because of ignorance.

To compare the Public Order (Amendment) Decree to most other government’s laws regarding terrorism and extremism, such as the United States or Australia, would reveal immediately that Fiji is in fact more liberal than other countries. The U.S., for example, under the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama, allows the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the U.S., without charge. Fiji does not even come close to this. The United Nations General Assembly further encourages all nations to be proactive in taking steps to “prevent and combat” domestic and international terrorist threats in all their forms.

To be clear: If you do not want to engage in racial or religious vilification or create public disorder, then you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order Act. The amendment is an enabling statute—one that creates a safe place for open discussion and critical thinking across Fijian society for the formation of a true liberal democratic state.

This is because throughout Fiji’s history demagoguery and religious, racial and ethnic vilification have been used openly to harass and intimidate, and at times hold Fiji for ransom. Politicians and religious leaders have used race and religion, not just to denigrate others but as a political tool of ascendency. In the process, they created public disorder, inhibiting true democracy to flourish.

The Bainimarama Government takes seriously the welfare and opinion of Fijian youth, which underscores all of its activities to strengthen the Fijian economy, create jobs, invest in education and technology, and establish the basis for a new future.

-ends-

What is needed

If you haven’t yet seen it, take a look at Lt Col Tevita Uluilakeba Mara’s latest post on YouTube – a hard-hitting strike against the regime in which the Lauan Chief positively identifies BainiVore as having lead the beatings of Fiji’s women democracy activists who were tortured in December 2006. Other soldiers in the room who had held back from beating the women, soon joined in, in true Monkey-See, Monkey-Do style.

This is the first time any member Fiji’s military has admitted to and apologised for taking part – even passively – in beating civilians for having spoken out against the junta. May others in the military follow his lead.

What OmniVore has achieved with a small section of our military forces, is to convince them that normal ethical considerations no longer apply to them. In this morally disengaged state, they can be manipulated to commit acts which they would acknowledge in the cold light of day are atrocities against our own people.

There are many psychological experiments which show how to balance authority and conformity to influence individuals to behave in ways they know are wrong. In the Milgram Experiment, which took place after the trial of a Nazi war criminal in Jerusalem, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram tested the theory of whether accomplices in the Holocaust simply followed orders, even when those orders violated their beliefs. Subjects were instructed to administer electric shocks to another human if that person gave a wrong answer, with the shocks becoming stronger on each successive incorrect response. Although before the experiment, Milgram and his colleagues believe only a small percentage of the subjects would administer the maximum shock (450V), in fact 65% did so. In his summary, Milgram noted:

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority. (Milgram, Stanley (1974). Obedience to Authority. Yale)

Another illustration of this principle is if you select a random group of people, give them each a sledgehammer and instruct them to destroy a high-value object, such as a car. At the beginning, the group will hesitate and then, when once one member of the group overcomes their qualms and begins to destroy the car, the rest of the group will join in, increasingly with gusto. This particular experiment is very popular with psychology undergraduates.

Another reason that the soldiers and officers are able to follow BainiVore’s atrocious orders is BECAUSE NO-ONE IS TELLING THEM THAT IT’S WRONG.

This is where We The People have made a rod for our own backs through our inaction. None of the soldiers fully understand our collective disgust with the regime because none of us will voice our rage.

The time has now come.

We KNOW that the illegal President would happily disengage BainiVore & iArse if the conditions were right. We KNOW that there are senior officers in the military who are willing to risk insubordination to overthrow BainiVore & iArse. We KNOW that, once BainiVore is incapacitated, iArse is toast. We KNOW that BainiVore FEARS any sign of public protest – and he always has. Now that he has seen the strength of public protest in North Africa and Asia, BainiVore KNOWS that We The People hold the key to topple him. We KNOW that BainiVore won’t issue live ammunition to his soldiers because he fears that they will use it against him. We KNOW that, if we work with the governments of the Forum countries and international Aid and donor agencies, they will keep a close eye on the wellbeing of our people as we march to Freedom.

In 2006, a young man told me that all it takes to get rid of the illegal regime is one bullet in BainiVore. As an advocate of peaceful, non-violent protest, I would never agree with violence (the young man was tortured by the regime shortly afterwards, and I think now agrees with the pacifist viewpoint), but it is undeniable that, with BainiVore out of the picture, the regime’s House of Cards falls away.

We need to co-ordinate with the senior officers. If we hold our peaceful protest for the world to see, and to distract the military’s attention, the senior officers can stage their own coup. And we could be back to free and fair elections before the end of 2011.

So – how badly do you want freedom? Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji

By Victor Lal and Russell Hunter

Dictator Frank Bainimarama narrowly escaped New Zealand charges days before the 2006 coup.

There were already sedition charges against him in Fiji, where the police were also keen to talk to him regarding the murders of the CRW soldiers that followed the 2000 mutiny. He was aware of all of this.

Now he is calling Lt Colonel Ulilakeba  Mara a “fugitive” from law and seeking extradition from Tonga.

By VICTOR LAL and RUSSELL HUNTER
Betrayal and cowardice are two traits that are deeply ingrained in the veins of dictator Frank Bainimarama, the self-anointed illegal Prime Minister of Fiji.

Our claims are based on five years of painstaking research, personal interviews, top secret State, military and other confidential documents. For a detailed account of our findings, please wait for our forthcoming book tentatively entitled Treason in Paradise: Commodore Frank Bainimarama and the 2006 Fiji Coup – The Inside Story.

We will shortly disclose how Bainimarama left New Zealand in November 2006 where the local police had reversed an earlier decision to arrest him on a charge of perverting the course of justice in a foreign jurisdiction. If convicted he faced a maximum sentence of seven years. Perverting the course of justice in a foreign jurisdiction is a crime in New Zealand.

Remember there was also a pending charge of sedition in Fiji. Plus the police were closing in the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit murder inquiry. There is no suggestion we know of that Bainimarama played a personal role in the murders. (Editor’s note: But see Bainimarama’s version of the mutiny and his role to SkyNews Australia on the left column of C4/5; Fiji’s Frank Bainimarama, Part 3 of 3 video).

The Fiji police wanted to establish whether or not Bainimarama was an accessory to the crimes. But Bainimarama had avoided at least two invitations for a non-caution police interview but couldn’t maintain that indefinitely. And he knew that.

It was one of many motives which prompted him a week after his departure from New Zealand, where he had gone for his grand daughter’s christening, to overthrow the democratically elected multi-party SDL-FLP government in December 2006.
But, first, let us examine the “Fugitive” Bainimarama’s pattern of betrayal and cowardice.

The 2000 Speight Coup
Despite conventional but uncontested narrative, we can disclose that Bainimarama was behind the 2000 George Speight putsch that resulted in the overthrow of the Chaudhry government and the subsequent hostage crisis that lasted for the next 56 days.

And the mutiny that followed in November 2000 was a result of his betrayal of Speight and others after the signing of the Muanikau Accord. Bainimarama not only deceived the then President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, the father of Ratu Ului, to step aside at the height of the crisis, but he also betrayed the “Speight Gang” in order to ensure that the way was now open for him to enter the corridors of political power in Fiji.

Bainimarama, according to confidential documents and statements in our possession, had suggested military rule for at least five years shortly after the release of Speight’s hostages. Certainly some of his senior officers at the time were aware that he thoroughly relished his taste of power, when he took over as president in 2000 before handing over to an interim civilian regime, led by Laisenia Qarase. But Bainimarama longed to taste it again.

We are well aware of the much publicised “cassava patch” dash that Bainimarama made as the bullets were flying all over the Nabua barracks.

What he has refused to disclose is that he began suffering post trauma stress syndrome. In the aftermath of the mutiny Bainimarama had brushed aside all offers and suggestions of counselling thinking it perhaps unsoldierly.

The full results of that can only be guessed at, by psychologically unqualified writers, but results there certainly were.

We may recall that three loyalist soldiers died during the 2000 mutiny. The 20 or so wounded would all recover. The scar of that day, however, has never healed.

The potential for violent retribution was obvious – but few in Fiji expected what followed from a once proud disciplined service.

Five members of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit were quite literally kicked to death the following day, November 3. Post mortem photographs in our possession display viciously mutilated corpses barely recognisable as human remains. At least one of the dead played no part in the mutiny. It seemed CRW membership alone was sufficient motive for the most brutal of murders.

Acting Police Commissioner Moses Driver pronounced the deaths as murder and launched an investigation – a deed that marked him for later attention by the military. Bainimarama remains the principal person of interest in the murder inquiry. To date, no one has been charged over those murders.

The shootings and killings were over – but the stain of the 2000 mutiny would never be removed. And Bainimarama could never feel safe again – from those whom he betrayed and the long arm of the law.

He became a deeply paranoid individual who concluded that his career advancement depended on the barrel of the gun and pliable military men around him.

Bainimarama wanted coup in 2003/2004

To be continued

Editor’s Note: We publish below excerpts of the exclusive interview Frank Bainimarama gave on his 55th birthday to Graham Davis for SkyNews Australia. The video was uploaded by SkyNews Australia on 2 May 2009

Davis: You were nearly killed? How close save was it?

Bainimarama: Very close.  We were here having lunch when the rebel soldiers came across – and three of my bodyguards then closed in and helped my escape – they held the fort here while I moved away from here

You wanted to kill Captain Shane Stevens? Is that true that you wanted to shoot him yourself personally?

No, that’s not true that I wanted to shoot him personally– In fact, I was in hospital when he was brought in. I went to visit some of my soldiers that got shot that day. And I stopped the guys from going in to bring him out

I saved the life of one of the guys that eventually got killed…He was brought down to the naval base.

When you say you saved his life? When you say you saved the life of the man….You stopped them from killing him?

Initially.  I didn’t stop them from killing him. I stopped them from bashing him up.

But they killed him later?

Sometime later on

They were beaten to death, won’t they?

They were beaten to death. It was spur of the moment.  And  I can understand the emotions that went through the troops on that day. In fact, I can say that they were very lucky that they all lived

Did you want them dead?

I didn’t want them dead but I wanted them punished – You must understand it was a mutiny. These guys came in to kill us – I don’t think a lot of people understand that? These guys came in to kill us. So people really don’t expect us to kiss them on their cheeks.

God bless Fiji

 

Bunkum evidence

So the military regime is “investigating” how Lt Col Mara escaped and who may have aided him. The figurative horse has already bolted from the stable – why spend so much time trying to figure out how the stable door came to be open?

The answer could lie in another case from the illegal regime’s deep, dark past. Coup 4.5 – ever on the ball – has unearthed interesting information about the conman, Peter Foster and his relationship with the illegal regime. It is evident that the regime spent a LOT of time using Foster’s testimony to legitimise their reasons for overthrowing the legitimately elected multi-party government.  All the information that Foster gave them was bunkum – poison fruit from a poison tree. But BainiVore, the malodorous Chodokant and their minions of the time quoted the information ad nauseum. Why? Because BainiVore needed to convince the Military Council that his plans were necessary. And through his lies, he managed to fool them.

So, this time, who is BainiVore trying to convince? What lies is he preparing the ground for, and for whose benefit – aside from his own? Does he need, once again, to pull the wool over the eyes of the Military Council? We know he wants to get rid of the Nailatikau’s. Perhaps he is trying to use Ului as red herring to achieve that.

Whatever his plans, we know that his intentions are evil. Members of the Military Council – DO NOT BE FOOLED! Get rid of him, strip him of his position, and take us back to free and fair elections. We are SO CLOSE to freedom now. Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji