Tag Archive | Laisenia Qarase

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

So iArse got the green light for his casinos.  What can this possibly bring about, other than the further ruination of our once-promising nation?  “Fiji Fantastic”, so the ads used to say. That possibility is now so far out of our reach it seems almost as though it never was.

Gambling. Readers may recall back in mid 2009 Dr Wadan Narsey released a far-reaching analysis into how badly the new illegal regime was performing.  Many others besides predicted how this regime would start rotting our infrastructure. Discombobulated Bubu hit the nail on the head with her Boiling Frog series. Solivakasama (under Kutu, as it was at the time) held many forum discussions on the true corruption of this illegitimate regime. Well, the regime is no longer even pretending to care about moral fibre, and is instead looking at gambling as an easy avenue to a quick buck. (iArse – will you never learn? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EASY MONEY!)

Let’s revisit the facts.

  1. Alleged corruption. When OmniVore illegally took control of our government, he claimed that he was doing so in order to root out corruption blah blah blah. [Anti-IIR bloggers will know that his actual motive was to avoid prosecution for the murder of the CRW soldiers who died in custody. Then Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes (arguably Fiji’s most successful PC) had compiled his dossier and handed it to the DPP’s office. OmniVore got wind of this, through his chum and co-conspirator the malodorous Chodokant, and threatened to hold a coup-d’etat. If only we’d sacked him when we had the chance!]
  2. Qarase Not Guilty. Since OmniVore took over the reigns of power, not one IIR allegation against the Qarase government has been brought to light, or proven. Not one.
  3. Economic death. Since OmniVore took over the reigns of power, Fiji’s economy has plummeted. Whereas under the democratically elected Qarase multi-party government our economy was not only thriving but growly steadily, OmniVore has only been able to keep the country afloat by under-the-table deals like selling off our foreign assets without declaring them (WTF happened to our embassy in New York?) or selling off our mineral, forestry or fisheries resources without declaring them. They are taking non-transparent loans from mainland China (which, as any switched-on African will tell you, is A Bad Idea), asking the IMF for ridiculous loans and essentially throwing our nation so badly into debt that any democratically elected government who comes in after them will have such an enormous and ingrained mess to clean up that it may not be achieved in our lifetime.
  4. Real corruption. OmniVore and his junta are self-appointed, and unelected. They have no reason to perform well at their jobs, and no-one to kick them out for poor results and for this reason, the REAL rot has set in, right from the top. They are systematically crippling our media, the fourth estate, from reporting what is really happening in our government. As the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head. iArse’s own mother has migrated to NZ to escape her son’s double dealings. Anyone who thought that corruption was bad under previous governments (let’s face it, Fiji’s politics has never been snowy white, but at least we had the option before to throw them out when they were really useless – like we did to Chodokant) is watching the IIR in real shock.
  5. Real rot. And now the rot sets in. Whereas before, Fiji’s crime problems stretched as far as home incursions, a fledgling drug trade in the hill tribes, prostitution in the main towns and of course unsustainable illegal fishing in our waters, we are now looking at an entirely new ball game. Fiji’s criminal underworld is now probably better organised than the government itself. Prostitution is all over the streets in any town within 5 hours’ journey of a Chinese workman (just enough time for him to – ahem – come, spend his money and return to work on his next shift). The drug trade has exploded to the point where every province now has a local drug lord who monitors the crop, keeps prying eyes at bay, tries to placate or neutralise the chiefs (some provinces, where a chief has died suspiciously before his or her time, there are tales told of foul play by the local drug lord). The unsustainable fishing has been able to move into broad daylight. Boat captains on the wharves hold clearly visible, bulging brown envelopes which are passed without question to officials who turn their blind eye to the portions of the haul that fall way over quota. How ironic is it that Fiji’s waters are at their most endangered under a naval officer? And without a free and unfettered media, we can only guess at the full extent of the rot.
  6. Gambling. And now, for iArse & OmniVore’s next chapter. Gambling. Not satisfied with the growth of organised crime, drugs, prostitution they now openly court the next addictive vice on their list. Gambling!

If you will forgive me for getting biblical for a moment, there is a story of the time Jesus found the moneychangers conducting their business in the temple of the Lord and, well, he basically lost it. Jesus’ passion, his righteous fury and the reported tantrum that followed, of overturning the tables, scattering the money to the floor, chasing them from what should have been hallowed, sacred and consecrated ground, has inspired believers, preachers, philosophers, artists and leaders alike. For the habitually reasonable and calm Jesus, this was the point at which he said ‘ENOUGH!’ and took a definite stand against the impending rot. Some scholars argue that it was this event which lead to his own people beginning to turn against him and planning schemes to hand him over to the Romans.

I like to think of Fiji as a land of God. The Almighty has given Fiji so many gifts, so many natural resources and precious, beautiful features. Traditionally, the Fijian people have seen ourselves as stewards of our land. We look after it in order to pass it on to our next generation.  This illegal regime takes a vastly different stand. Their only motive is to ravage and pillage Fiji for everything they can get. There is no thought for what will come after, or for the greater good of We The People. There is no consideration of their duty to the Almighty or how they should give thanks (real thanks, not the thanks of a thief) by multiplying the gifts that Fiji has to offer. No. Their only thought is of what they can take.

Why am I so angry about gambling being legalised in Fiji? Because, like the vices of drugs, sex/prostitution and  organised crime, once it has taken root, it will be very, very, very difficult to root out.

During the Qarase government, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre released a story on the real cost to the nation of domestic violence. They counted up the number of reported cases of domestic violence, the amount of hours it took to process a report, treat the victim, prosecute and fine or jail the aggressor. They calculated the hours taken up by police, doctors and nurses, magistrates and court officials, detention facilities. And they were able to tell us all the REAL cost of domestic violence in Fiji. It was in the millions.

The cost to the nation of treating the consequences of gambling and addicts to gambling will be vast. Gamblers suck up their own finances, and the finances of their families to feed their addiction. They turn to crime and, like drug addicts and the prostitution ‘industry’, they feed the cycle of violence that sustains those vices. Fiji will not become the Monte Carlo of the South Pacific. No. Our gamblers will not be the great and the good of ANZ, no. Our gamblers will be our poorest, most vulnerable and most tiresome individual burdens on the state (other than the IIR, of course).

This illegal regime is doing everything it can to bring about the systemic ruination of Fiji. What is next? What lower depths can they stoop to?  I would not be surprised if they work their way around to child pornography, if they are not there already. (I write this in a matter of fact way, but looking into the happy, carefree and innocent brown faces of our beautiful children, the future of our land, I am filled with a gripping horror.) How much further will they willingly push us?

Jesus took a stand. When will We The People decide enough is enough?

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji

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FDFM Cairns Pacific Forum Meeting a Success

Cairns, Australia – The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement continued its fight by lobbying leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Cairns to drop its plan to table the roadmap by Fiji’s military regime for elections to be held in 2014.

Instead, the Australia-based Movement lobbied Forum leaders to accept the joint submission by Fiji’s deposed Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry that the Presidential Political Dialogue Forum should resume and workshop a path for a return to parliamentary democracy with an election deadline of October 2010.

The MSG comprises Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomons.

“The Movement believes that the Qarase-Chaudhry Joint Submission should be the roadmap adopted by the Forum because those two leaders head political parties that attracted 85 per cent of the votes in the 2006 election,” Movement President Usaia Pita Waqatairewa said.

“They therefore represent the true views of the people of Fiji,” he said.

“Frank Bainimarama’s roadmap, on the other hand, does not represent the views of the people of Fiji,” Mr Waqatairewa said.

“Commodore Bainimarama’s roadmap reflects his own personal views and those of an elite few that have much to lose if Fiji is returned to parliamentary democracy.”

Mr Waqatairewa said the Movement succeeded in convincing the MSG leaders through meetings with their High Commissioners and the Solomon Islands Prime Minister that there is an alternative to Commodore Bainimarama’s Interim Government’s roadmap to democracy.

“Our cause was strongly boosted by the Communiqué of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Committee just days before the Forum meeting, which fully endorsed the Qarase-Chaudhry Joint submission leading to the Forum’s own endorsement of the submission in their communiqué after the Leaders Retreat on Thursday August 6,” he said.

He said the Movement also aimed to engage media attention and send a message for the immediate restoration of democracy and freedom in Fiji.

Mr Waqatairewa was met by a media scrum on the first day of demonstration outside the meeting venue and gave 10 separate interviews to a global audience during the two-day demonstration.

He had driven to Cairns from Sydney, meeting up with Fijian communities along the way in Armidale, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns.

In the process, he managed to establish working committees for chapters in Armidale, Townsville and Cairns with plans to establish chapters across Australia for a nationwide movement fighting for the restoration of democracy to Fiji.

FDFM Secretariat, 15 August 2009

We all do our little bit.  The goons cannot endure forever.  We The People, can.  

Tabu soro

God bless Fiji

Terror and threats as Fiji suffers under the hand of a tyrant

With thanks to Raw Fiji News for pointing out this article in The Times (the original one, based in London).  Under this illegitimate regime, Fiji makes the international headlines for all the wrong reasons.  

Liz Jamieson in Suva – The attacks began a couple of weeks ago. While families slept petrol bombs were thrown through their windows and cars were set on fire. This week an attempt was made to set the offices of a prominent trade unionist on fire while his employees worked inside.

The message was clear to the victims, who include a newspaper editor, a lawyer and a former army colonel: stop speaking out against the regime.

“We are afraid for our lives,” one of the victims, who would not be named, told The Times. ‘My wife and I don’t sleep at night, we are always wondering when the next bomb will come or when they will come for us with their guns. I have been imprisoned and beaten all over my body and face; they told me that the next time they come for me my wife can pick up my body from the morgue.”

This is not Zimbabwe or Burma. This is Fiji, the tourist jewel of the South Pacific and, until recently, the most sophisticated of the island nations in this region.

It is still one of the most popular tourist destinations for Australians, New Zealanders and Britons. Each day tourists are taken by shuttle bus from Nadi airport to their luxury resorts, where they snorkel, swim and play golf, sheltered behind the bougainvillea from the shadows that haunt the people.

Since 2006, when Fiji endured its fourth coup in 20 years, the country has been ruled by a military regime that has suppressed dissent through detention and torture while the coup leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has refused to hold elections.

A week ago the regime took a step towards total dictatorship. After a ruling by the Appeals Court on April 9 that Mr Bainimarama had been appointed Prime Minister illegally under the 1997 Constitution, the ailing 89-year-old President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, acting after consultation with Mr Bainimarama, revoked the Constitution, sacked the judiciary and reappointed Commodore Bainimarama as premier for a minimum term of five years.

A state of emergency was declared, police were placed in every newspaper and television newsroom to censor stories and a series of draconian decrees were published, including a ban on gatherings of more than three people.

All constitutional office holders, including the Supervisor of Elections, the Ombudsman, the Auditor-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner of Police and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, were replaced by people of the regime’s choosing.

In the past week journalists have been jailed along with the President of the Law Society, who organised a protest outside the Supreme Court over the sacking of judges.

All foreign media was ejected and radio transmitters from Australia and New Zealand, which were the only link that Fiji had to news from the outside world, have been shut.

Fiji is isolated and its people are left unprotected and at the hands of its increasingly unpredictable dictator.

“Please don’t call him a dictator,” an adviser to Laisenia Qarase, the former Prime Minister, said. “This man is a terrorist. Everyone is scared; no one knows who will be the next to be taken away.”

Fiji presents an appearance of calm. The streets of the capital Suva are quiet, the people go about their daily lives as normal but there is an atmosphere of foreboding.

Speaking in a whisper behind a closed door while a soldier stalked through the offices of her organisation, a human rights worker said: “They are terrifying people into silence. We are getting stories from the countryside that they are going into the villages with guns and marching the youths away at gunpoint but no one can do anything.

“The ordinary people now have no recourse to justice. There are no courts, they have no voice. Everyone feels completely helpless.”

Asked if she was scared, she said: “Not for me. But I have got a phone call reminding me they know where my daughter goes to school.”

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, the Vice-President for the Government of Mr Qarase, said: “Once the Prime Minister gets something into his mind, no amount of sane advice will move him. This regime has no integrity or good faith but they now have total power.”

When Mr Bainimarama came into power in 2006 he seemed to be a force for good but support for an uprising even among the educated elite is growing.

“No one knows what will happen next,” said Graham Leung, a former Law Society president. “Don’t assume that because the Fijians are quiet on the surface they are celebrating, because they are not.

“We are dealing with a situation that is dynamic and resistant and may evolve into something that is violent.”

He added: “We can’t expect outside help. Democracy will have to be fought for and won here.”

A source with close links to former senior officers, said: “Senior members of the military have made it clear that enough is enough. They think this time he’s gone too far.”

Related links : 

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

Of Puppets, Victims and Winners

So, the predictions have come true.  Our erstwhile President, with all due respect to his chiefly status and past glories, has proved he is a mere puppet in the hands of the illegal regime. 

Vore has suspended / abrogated our Constitution.  He will no doubt be to declare himself President when Ratu Iloilois delicate health fails, through means fair or foul. 

The decrees keep churning out.  Elections fall further away.  The illegal regime and the malodorous Chodokant entrench themselves more deeply.  The rule of law is dead, replaced by a corrupt, despotic ruler whose head is so filled with delusions there is no room for reason, compassion or understanding. 

The question is, what are we going to do about it?  Will we remain Vores victims, or will we snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? 

Stand up for our beloved nation.   Tabu soro. 

God bless Fiji

When Is Murder Not Murder?

I suppose I should be relieved that the verdict was manslaughter.  Certainly the family and friends of the late Sakiusa Rabaka will be relieved, not least because the completion of the trial gives them a chance to give meaning to his untimely death and start rebuilding their shattered lives.  Our hearts and prayers are with them. 

But will this verdict and their criminal records teach the guilty soldiers, and the military in general, anything about their conduct, and the conduct of their illegal leader?  I’m not so sure. 

The malodorous Chodokant is a convicted manslaughterer, and sadly for our country that has never stopped him from rising to the top and becoming PM (not ‘rising to the top’ like cream in milk, but ‘rising to the top’ like the sh*t that he is).  And, perhaps the soldiers look upon the commuting of the verdict from murder to manslaughter as a benefit of being in the military.  Certainly a Police officer would not have enjoyed the same leniency. 

But nothing under this illegal regime is as it seems.  F’rinstance : 

  1. To paraphrase Voltaire, even the Presidential Political Dialogue Forum is neither Presidential (our President being decidedly incapacitated), nor Political Dialogue (no one will be allowed to debate issues, take sides, or thrash out differences), nor a Forum (participants are expected to sheepishly agree with Vore).  The media, our last standing bastion of democracy, has been excluded  while Vore reads out pre-prepared,  completely uncharacteristic statements that do not reflect one jot of his rule to date, except if he were speaking in opposites, like the children’s game.  I wonder what instructions Chodo will bring him back from India? 
  2. Fiji National Provident Fund, as pointed out succinctly by Dr Wadan Narsey, is in the military’s sights to line their insatiable pockets rather than used for the purpose for which it is intended, a Fund for the Nation (as in, all of us who contributed to it), for Providence (not just for fun) specific to Fiji (instead of India and China who so far have benefited the most from this coup).  
  3. Regime-appointed judges are being shown, like the Emperor, to be without the necessary clothes.  Not at all what one would expect from an esteemed judge.  Judges who have precluded themselves from impartiality … there must be a joke for that.  

At least there is one comfort in the topsy-turvy life under the illegal regime.  Vore’s intentions to exclude NFP and SDL from the Forum has joined his other pronouncements in the ‘Bluster and Lies’ category.  Good to know he REALLY cannot be taken at his word.  Perhaps our impending ejection from the Commonwealth and the Forum won’t transpire after all.

But all of the posturing, faking, bluster, speaking in opposites and walking around unclad will not bring back Mr Rabaka, or Mr Verebasaga, or Mr Malasebe.  Murder is still murder.  

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