Tag Archive | Nonviolence

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

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.

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”

The above quote by author Professor Isaac Asimov sheds much light on the pathetic illegal regime that is running our beloved Fiji.

The military’s beatings, which now seconds police officers for the dirty deeds, are repeatedly used to subvert and terrorise those who openly speak out against the regime, and those who would inspire others. Recent victims have included Felix Anthony, Sam Speight who join a growing list of names which began with the martyrs Tevita Malasebe, Nimilote Verebasaga and Sakiusa Rabaka.

Civilian defenders of the IIR are now asking themselves “WTF? They have all the power. Why are the beatings still going on?”  The simple answer is, because the beatings achieve the regime’s intention, which is to endlessly stifle the voice, the hopes, of We The People.

Every time the regime reverts to beatings, it is because the victim has made progress in instigating an action that the regime fears. Sam Speight was distributing DVD’s of a documentary which shows irrefutably that the regime is corrupt and harmful to Fiji’s best interests.

No official reason has been given for the beating of trade unionists Gaffar Ahmed, Felix Anthony, two areas reps and reporter Felix Chaudhary but one can imagine that they were simply doing what trade unionists do, which is to organise and be the voice of the workers. The sugar industry growers and workers have more than enough reason to gripe about the IIR, which in Ahmad’s words is “fooling the farmers by not telling them the real situation of the mills.” We all know that OmniVore does not like receiving bad news and, knowing his propensity to shoot the messenger, none of his puppets like to give him bad news. So the poor – no, the poverty-stricken – cane farmers are expected to wait in silence while the IIR refuses to recognise their problems, let alone start dealing with them reasonably.

Remembering back to earlier beatings of Richard Naidu, the women’s rights activists, reporters Shelvin Chand and Dionisia Turagabeci – if you want to see the roll call, check out the excellent list on Intelligentsiya’s home page – there is an escalation in the level of violence used in the beatings. Other than the murder of martyrs Malasebe, Rabaka and Verebasaga, the earlier detentions were designed to intimidate, humiliate and terrorise, but they did not include the perversions of recent beatings.

So – Why the escalation?

As Asimov points out, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. The longer the regime is in power, the more incompetent they become, so perhaps the escalation in violence is a simple proof of their incompetence.

Or perhaps it is that they find their old methods of detention and beating was becoming a bit outdated, a bit “old hat” so they decided they needed to upgrade to Beating 2.0, now with added sodomy.

Or perhaps it is that the goons in charge of the beatings have discovered a certain penchant, a kinky liking for the whole sado-masochist scene. Maybe, through all these detentions and beatings, they have accessed their inner gimp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu_IL1QS1Lk from the film Pulp Fiction “Bring out the gimp”).

I think all three possibilities are true, but in terms of psychology, the latter is the most interesting. Penioni Naliva’s increasingly violent focus on his captives’ anal region strongly suggests that he is acting out an anal fixation.  I wonder – is he compulsively neat (anal retentive) or compulsively untidy (anal explosive)? Does he realise that, the more he and the goons act out these fixations, the more we learn of his dirty little secrets?

The penchant for anal violence by fixated Peni “A” Naliva (the puns go on – ANALiva;  Anally 4 – as in “dua, rua, tolu …”; Anally 4 Eva) and his fellow goons tell us:

a)     that the regime keeps using this tactic because they feel it works best for them

b)    that the regime is afraid of anyone who speaks out against them

c)     that the regime is incompetent

d)    that the repeated and increasing focus on sodomy suggests the goons now experience on-going psycho-sexual gratification.  Basically – now they do it because they like it. (Woilei, their poor wives!)

Of the above, only (d) is a recent development. The rest we have known since 2006.

Fiji deserves free elections. Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji

The Black Armband Protest

Vinaka vaka levu to Discombobulated Bubu for pointing this out.  Bravo YPCN for your initiative and dedication to peaceful protest.  Check it out.  It is inspirational, and reminds us that our young people remain good and true and their hope remains undaunted by this illegal regime.   

http://www.ypcnfiji.com/topical_issues/the_black_armband_campaign.html

And for a laugh – because humour sustains our spirits – you also can check out Joe Hildebrand.  

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