Click to see full video HERE
WHERE IS THE KHAIYUM CONSTITUTION? "In order to stick to September 2014 election timeframe, we need to have the constitution in place fairly soon because there is a lot of work that needs to be done in preparation for elections." Khaiyum, April 2013
Thanks to http://discombobulatedbubu.blogspot.com/2013/07/taki-arse-has-posted-yet-another-press.html for the 100 faces picture.
It has been fun working with you and the boys from Corevice improving the media presence of the Glorious Leader and the True Leader. That new camera that records facial expressions when the subject lies is amazing.
Did you notice it never stopped taking pictures the whole time FAG (Fijian Attorney General) was speaking? I have attached a clip of one short sequence and in 30 seconds it recognizes over 70 lying expressions.
Grubby if the picture above does not move have a look a the video version.
Click Here for Video Version
Talking of Lies, we need to brush up our excuses for trashing the Ghai Constitution. At the time we said it was so cumbersome it would take months to re-write the draft which would delay the elections in September 2014. We needed to have a constitution in April 2013 if we were to meet the timetable.
I quote from your web site Grubby Sheets:
“(a) Proceed with the Ghai blueprint and send it to the Constituent Assembly as per the original plan. The problem with this was that the Government feared many months of intense argument over its provisions, a delay to the proclamation of the final document, a delay to the start of the political phase of the election countdown and perhaps even a delay to the election itself, taking it beyond 2014.”
And here you go into even more detail:
Confused, I will try to leave you less confused. Senior Government people have told me they were concerned that because the Ghai Draft was so complicated, it might take up to eight months to debate some of its provisions, assuming that the Constituent Assembly is made up – as promised – of people across the political spectrum. This would have pushed the constitutional/ election timetable back until August. Then the political phase would have begun far too late to guarantee that an election could be held before September 2014. Remember,everyone would have been starting from scratch – parties, candidates, election arrangements and a formal campaign.
The Prime Minister is determined to deliver on his promise of a democratic election before September 2014. Can you imagine how the international community would react if he didn’t? Already lots of people are saying there isn’t enough time as it is. The Government assumed that the Ghai Commission would come up with a reasonably compact constitution that could be considered by the people’s representatives quickly. When that didn’t happen, it made the case for overturning some of the Draft Constitution’s provisions even more attractive. Hope this goes some way to addressing your confusion.
Here we are in July 2013 another 4 months on and there is still no sign of the constitution. I know the Glorious Leader has been too busy with his holidays to even look at the draft constitution. Where has he been since April. France 2x, USA, New Caledonia, PNG, China 2x, Russia, Middle East Etc. Etc.
He earns more on his Per Diems in a month than I earn in a year on my salary. Just as well like you, I can supplement my income by having product placement in the Ministry of Miss Information Pictures and Videos. Toyota has been paying me well and I need to renegotiate my deal with Fiji Water.
Hugs and kisses
This is to inform the public that this letter is a piece of fiction. However, some of the people and events mentioned are real.
Thanks to http://discombobulatedbubu.blogspot.com/2013/07/taki-arse-has-posted-yet-another-press.html for the 100 faces picture.
Cash-strapped Fiji Government pays for ‘gold-and-diamond-encrusted sledgehammer’ Hong Kong barrister to try to crack jurisdiction issue in Dr Mere Samisoni case; DPP asked to drop dangerous driving charge
Minting Legal Connection: Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's Hong Kong Lawyers and Fiji
The Bumbling Buffoon: Bainimarama fails to recognize Russian PM and ends up shaking hands with interpreter instead. Fiji's dopey "Mr Bean"
The Current Fiji Coup: The Course Ahead by Sitiveni Rabuka. He says Fiji is turning into "a nation of parasites because of a culture of spoon-feeding and vote buying"
Rabuka speaking at Otago University
Paper delivered at the UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO FOREIGN POLICY SCHOOL
Pacific Geopolitics in the 21st Century
“…I believe that the Dictatorship will not succeed, that the future belongs to democracy and freedom.”
(Edward Shevardnadze, former Soviet Union Foreign Minister, 1990)
FOR FIJI, THE FUTURE BELONGS TO FREEDOM
WHERE WE ARE
In October 2012 I made a personal submission to the Commission appointed by the Interim Military Government of Fiji and the Commission was headed by Professor Yash Ghai.
I made the Submission based on three Assumptions:
1. That the Bainimarama Government shall ‘adhere to the Constitution’ as stipulated to the writer in Commodore Bainimarama’s letter dated 14 May 2007;
2. That the Constitution referred to in the letter of 14 May 2007 is the one officially known as the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1997 of the Republic of the Fiji Islands; and
3. The Peoples’ Charter for Change, Peace & Progress is to be an integral character of the future governance for the Republic.
All these Assumptions have been proven wrong.
The Commission’s Report has been trashed by the Interim Government who have come up with their own Draft Constitution which, to date is still to be promulgated by Decree.
The National Voters’ Registration which was closed sometime last year is being resumed with the Government repeatedly assuring the Fiji public and the International Community that General Election will be held in September 2014.
Commodore Bainimarama, the Interim Government Prime Minister has said he will contest the Elections, but has not formed a Political Party. This is in spite of the fact that he had made it known that neither he nor any in his Cabinet would contest the General Election.
The Political Parties in Fiji have had to make some changes to adhere to the new Regulations decreed into place by the Interim Government. These have not been easy, but it is encouraging to note that all have tried to comply with the requirements of the Decree, albeit grudgingly.
There are voices of dissent that the Decree and the Draft Constitution militate against the concept of free and fair democratic elections, but we must remember that the 1992 General Elections that my party won was run in accordance with the 1990 Constitution and its Electoral Provisions which were not what one would class as based on the basic tenets of free and fair democratic elections. It, however, allowed ‘the people’ to elect their own representations into Parliament where they would have the people’s mandate to amend and correct any anomalies in that Constitution and its Electoral Provisions in a Democratic way.
The result of the first elections under the Fiji 1990 Constitution was the review of that Constitution, in accordance with the Constitution Review provisions of that Constitution. The Review of the 1990 Constitution was undertaken by a Commission headed by one of the then Pacific’s most respected learned leaders, the late Sir Paul Reeves a former Archbishop of Wellington and former Governor General of New Zealand.
The Sir Paul Reeves Commission recommendations were reviewed by a Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which produced the Constitution Amendment Bill which I as Prime Minister moved in the House, seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Jai Ram Reddy who after our elections defeat in 1999 became President of the Fiji Court of Appeal and later, a Judge in the International Court of Justice which presided over the Human Rights Abuses and war crimes hearings in Rwanda.
That Constitution Amendment was enacted by the Parliament of Fiji when it was unanimously passed in both chambers and assented to by the then President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on 25 July 1997, exactly seven years after the promulgation of the 1990 Constitution which had the mandatory Review Provisions that it be reviewed within seven years after its promulgation on 25 July 1990.
The Preamble of the 1990 Constitution contained, among other things the history and evolution of the Constitution of Fiji from 1970 to 1987 then described the fount of the authority by which the then President, Ratu Sir PenaiaGanilau decreed the Constitution into Law with the words;
“…IN EXERCISE OF THE POWERS VESTED IN ME AS PRESIDENT OF THE SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF FIJI, AND ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE CABINET OF THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI, I HEREBY DECREE AS FOLLOWS…” then followed the Chapters, Sections and Provisions of Fiji’s 1990 Constitution. Among the Sections was Section 161 on the Review of the Constitution which stated; “This Constitution shall be reviewed after a period of time but before the end of seven years after the promulgation of this Constitution. Thereafter, the Constitution shall be reviewed every ten years.”
The Preamble of the 1997 Constitution which was the result of the review stipulated in that Section 161 had these words:
“WE THE PEOPLE OF THE FIJI ISLANDS, etc., etc.
WITH GOD AS OUR WITNESS, GIVE OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
As the executor of the Military Coup of 1987, I can say that the re-democratisation of Fiji was not completed until ‘We the people of Fiji’ gave ourselves that Constitution of 1997. That Constitution has been claimed by the Interim Government of Commodore Bainimarama to have been abrogated by the post-2006 coup President of Fiji in 2009, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, although the declaration by the Fiji Court of Appeal that the abrogation is null and void stands unchallenged.
That Ladies and Gentlemen, is where Fiji is as we are told that a General Election under a new Constitution and its Electoral provisions yet to be promulgated – 15 months short of the promised elections date.
When we look at Fiji’s Constitutions and Elections, we find that the first General Elections under the October 1970 Constitution was held in May 1972 – 18 months after the adoption of the 1970 Constitution.
The 1990 Constitution was promulgated on 25 July and the first election held under its electoral provisions was in May 1992 – 22 months after it came into being.
Fiji went into the 1999 Elections in May, 22 months after the enactment of the 1997 Constitution Amendment Act and its electoral provisions with the result that the main architects of the Bill were thoroughly defeated in that election.
We are now into Voters and Parties registration mode, but the political party in which the Interim Government may want to continue to fight for the Fiji they are trying to promote has not been formed or registered.
In the meantime Fiji continues to consolidate its favour with new-found political ideology sympathisers, especially China, of whom we heard a lot yesterday from Professor Terence Wesley-Smith and during the launch of the book on ‘China and the International System: Becoming a Great Power’.
THE COURSE AHEAD
I started my address this morning with a quotation from Edward Shevardnadze declaring that ‘the future belongs to freedom’. In his autobiography he was not only writing about his native Georgia, but also the then Soviet Union and also the struggle his Georgia was having in the face of increasing political pressure from the Soviet Central Command which had taken a very dictatorial and oppressive attitude to people, opposing ideologies and member states since the Khrushchev era.
The Fiji situation is not dissimilar but on a different scale, magnitude and profile.
The people of Fiji, particularly in the rural areas and most of whom are indigenous Fijians, now politically correctly called Itaukei, have been promised and in some cases have seen better infrastructure development and improvements. Their land have been pooled into a Government Land Bank for government to promote the development and usage of for promised better return to the Landowners. Some new mineral mining and exploratory developments have been started since the Military regime took over in 2006, some in dubious land transactions outside the ambits of the statutory Native Land Trust Board, set up in the 1950’s to safeguard native land ownership while also making land outside of immediate support and maintenance requirements of the landowning units, available for national development projects like mining, tourism, infrastructure, electricity generation and the expansion of urban boundaries. There is now duplication or a parallel in processes for the acquisition of land for development and the protection and benefits assurance are not harmonised.
Some landowners are confused, while some are still hopeful things will turn out right.
In the meantime, the countdown to elections continues.
There have been no elections since the military government took over – municipal, provincial or national. Apart from sporting bodies and Trade Unions, all new office bearers of any note has been appointed. In recent weeks there have been pictures in the local newspaper of the Minister responsible for Elections with Diplomats of some countries at what was reported to be briefings on the Elections programme progress and also about soliciting funds to finance the promised elections.
Some of these countries including New Zealand had contributed funds for previous so-called progressive programmes towards democratisation which have been aborted or trashed by the government.
Many in the business sector were very supportive of the military regime in the early months and years of their taking over government. As repressive Tax, and assets regulations and media and religion control worsen, their sentiments changed and favour diminished.
The government’s attempt to force unity has resulted in more rigid sectarianism and polarisation into pro government and anti-government political blocks.
Because of the absence of true media freedom, reports in the pro-government media cannot be fully credible while the fearful ‘neutral’ and not government supported media cannot be bold enough to be credible also.
Social media and blog sites are full of allegations against government and also those prominently opposing government. In these cases, I have used my exposure in the social media as a bench mark, I have found more inaccurate and totally false information about myself in the few mentions I get to make me totally discount the things I see in these avenues. There are some credible sites which openly declare their authors and not use pseudonyms, but in many cases, these too are politically biased depending who bought the bread that is on their table.
The government’s attempt to weaken or even dismantle indigenous institutions and customary values have forced the new nationalistic wave of sentiments now moving towards legitimate and internationally ratified conventions for the protection of indigenous and first citizens’ rights.
The current impasse between the interim government and the Methodist Church and the dissolution of the Council of Chiefs are two factors the indigenous people will not easily forgive nor forget. The brutality shown in the early months of the regime’s rule will remain in the memory of many generations to come.
International pressure on the interim government to honour internationally acceptable values have come unilaterally from the governments concerned rather than on lobbying by Fiji dissidents living in or out of Fiji. Even with the cool diplomatic relations between Fiji and its former friends, the UN continues to call on Fiji to provide peacekeeping and truce monitoring troops in the troubled spots of the Middle East, representatives of these former friends continue to promise aid toward elections even after the let downs in the past which include the trashing of the internationally funded Yash Ghai Commission report and draft constitution.
I have picked these points to try and establish the current situation in Fiji.
All the points I have highlighted cannot be easily seen, unless one has a natural intuition of the nation and its breath of life to be able to discern what is hidden from view.
In order to be able to think of the Course ahead, we need to understand the current situation which will affect the future movement of the country.
Liberty is a yearning of each human heart. Development is relative.
In my limited reading about some men we can call ‘shakers’ of world events, I have been impressed by the man I quoted in the beginning of this presentation, Edward Shevardnadze.
He saw the problems that existed in his country as I see the problems in mine.
He saw that the economy in his native Georgia ‘was weakened at its most crucial point, the workers’ standard of living’. We also see this in Fiji where Government has had to build personal homes that were destroyed in cyclones. It is a way of spoon feeding and vote buying that is not only corrupt but also dehumanising in that it erodes a man’s pride (or it should) and sense of responsibility for his wife children and future generations.
Fiji is in that mode now and if things are not changed soon we will have a nation of parasites living happily ever after in the happy isles.
While we await General Elections, we also await the assets declarations promised by Cabinet Ministers. It would be more transparent if assets acquired since December 2006 only are declared.
Judging from the government supported and the independent but fearful media, the interim government is enjoying words of support from some chiefs and community leaders in the rural areas and some captains of industry. Interestingly, most, if not all of these were right there with me in 1987, with Chaudhry in 1999, with George Speight in 2000 and with Qarase during his term from 2001 to 2006.
Some of Qarase’s stalwarts have now been reinforced by some victims of the interim government to form the core of the new Social Democratic liberal Party. Some of the other parties are prepared to work in concert with SODELPA and fight the elections as a United Front, and there are also those that have said they will not join a united front.
All these parties should realise that in an election where there is no transferrable preferential vote, all other parties are against your chances of winning. And when you are not party to the formulation of the rules and conditions of the election, your chances of winning are further eroded.
The pro interim government party will have difficulty winning a fair and democratic election.
Following my presentation, my namesake Doctor Sitiveni Ratuva will tell us what to expect.
Maybe the organisers should have also invited Doctor Sitiveni Halapua and the three Sitivenis of the Pacific can put on a joint seminar on the how to and how not to change governments in the Pacific.
But for now the Course is clear, elections then democratic and Parliamentary re-engineering of our laws and the Constitution.
But as the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, mentioned in his soliloquy ‘Aye, there’s the rub…’ for in that re-engineering what safeguards for self-preservation the interim government has put in place could be dismantled.
What their assessment of their chances of escaping a democratic audit of their performance in the period 2006 to 2014 will eventually determine whether there will be a fair and democratic election or a pre-determined result election.
In the meantime, Fiji needs some serious self-examination to determine its secure future, similar to the one made by the two friends of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev and Edward Shevardnadze, the one they called perestroika, which led to an open minded and open eyed political chain reaction which brought about the reunification of Germany, broke up the Soviet Union and gave rise to the Commonwealth of Independent Republics which include Shevardnadze’s Georgia which has returned to its State Religion declared in the 4th Century i.e. Christianity and the continuation of the respect of native cultures and language.
We must never forget that China also learned from perestroika and will endeavour not to let that progressive Communism development which dismantled the Leninist brand interfere with the also progressive Maoist brand of Communism and its expansionism agenda into the Pacific. Aid hunger in the Pacific, particularly in Fiji will make it difficult for the former friendly aid feeders to come back into Fiji unless the elections change the leadership landscape rather than simply the democratic scenario.
The course for Fiji is clear – elections, parliamentary rule democratic normality; however, like in all maritime tragedies, the courses set for the ships are clear but captains’ decisions and icebergs are non-negotiable. And our national captain is a Commodore.
"...Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy... censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives." --Robert A. Heinlein, -If This Goes On
Norway-Sweden Disunion: The 1905 Velvet Divorce: As Recorded In The Private Diary of British Diplomatist Sir James Rennell Rodd in Scandinavia [Kindle Edition] Victor Lal (Author);
click link below: