3rd August, 2015
The Leader of Opposition
Ro Teimumu Kepa
Na Marama Roko Tui Dreketi
DISAPPOINTMENT ON THE OPPOSITION OFFICE’S STAND re RESIGNATION OF THE MILITARY COMMANDER AND APPOINTMENT OF VILIAME NAUPOTO TO ACT AS MILITARY COMMANDER
Ni bula vina’a na Marama. Keirau sa mai siga va e Malevani ka marautaki tiko na neimami sota kei ira na wekada eke.
Au a sa qiri yani vei Mick ena bogi enanoa, ena vuku ni tukutuku ka biuta ena “facebook” ena yakavi enanoa.
I conveyed to him my grave disappointment over his statement which stated that the acting appointment was “in order.”
I must state that the release from the Opposition Office is very disappointing and I question the validity of the position taken especially one done in my understanding, without consultation as to the position of the Party.
During such times, it calls for national leadership to be adopted and we must exercise maturity of mind and spirit and display real leadership especially to an Institution that is at one of its fragile and dark moments yet again.
We do not have the numbers in Parliament to sway the decisions our way and this is for all other committees and commissions established under the Constitution of 2013 which requires our membership in. However, we can still voice our dissatisfaction over the resolutions emanating from such deliberations, etc.
In my view, we should have done that on Saturday when the “standoff” between the Prime Minister and the Military Commander became public information. The people of Fiji are watching us on our every move as in this instant case, if we are to be rightfully called the “government in waiting”.
Every right-thinking person had expected the Opposition Office to make a statement to show that we were outnumbered in the government’s resolve to give the Chairperson of the Constitution Office Commission the right to make acting appointments up to 3 months instead of putting the statement that the “acting appointment was in order”.
To give the Chairperson this blanket approval to make acting appointment up to 3 months means that the Commission members have sadly restrict their duty under the constitution including their rights to raise questions on any acting appointment to a constitutional office. In the case at hand, the Commission members should have raised questions regarding the circumstances leading to the resignation of the Commander, background information on the person to be appointed as acting Commander, an objective assessment on his capability to lead the Military under the current situation, etc.
From my own assessment from afar, it does appear that Tikoitoga was forced to resign for reasons known only between the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the man himself. This is what we need to probe and publicly bring out.
Are foreign diplomatic missions more important than the state of Fiji and her people’s security, defense and well-being, as stated in the functions of the Republic of Military Forces in the 2013 Constitution?
As President of the Party, I am quering as to why Tikoitoga who has only been a little over one year of his appointment as the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, has resigned to take up a foreign diplomatic posting as announced by the Government on Saturday?
Indeed I find this strange and absurd.
I am also questioning whether Tikoitoga’s resignation was done of his own volition or if this is another unconstitutional interference by Government in the affairs of the RFMF, an institution which Brigadier General Tikoitoga’s recently said, “should be focusing on their primary role and not that of politics.”
It is most unfortunate that the RFMF is now being made a political institution when they should be an independent institution participating in UN peace keeping missions for the nation and only getting involved should there be a threat to national security here in Fiji.
Right now I feel for the soldiers and hope that all is fine at the Camp and that they are not confused by all that’s happening. If indeed Tikoitoga voluntarily resigned to take up a diplomatic posting, then this would be an act of self-interest as he should be setting an example of leadership over his soldiers, rather than thinking of personal gain first.
I plead for a more sensitive and mature decision making.
Justice would dictate that we offer the benefit of the doubt to Commander Tikoitoga and allow for a full public explanation first, since it is quite clear that only after one year of taking up office, he has been reassigned to a diplomatic posting.
Any falling out that will come from these issue, will also affect the Party and our following and therefore we must remember that the RFMF is an Institution with majority Indigenous Fijians and it will be in our best interest to protect and support them as well during these difficult times.
I am recommending that we change our stance on the matter and discuss these together with the Party Executives as soon as possible and I can make myself available via teleconference to do so.
With the above, I also do not wish to allow the situation at hand in Fiji to have a negative impact on the advocacy work that Hon. Nawaikula and I are pursuing at this end.
Signed Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu
Hon. Biman Prasad, Party Leader, National Federation Party
Hon. Roko Tupou Draunidalo, President National Federation Party
Hon. Niko Nawaikula
Mr. Mick Beddoes, Principal Administration Officer, Opposition Officer
Mr. Waisea Radrodro, Sodelpa Party President, Melbourne
Mr. Usaia Waqatairewa
Another 'Confidential Audit Report' of the Opposition Office from the Australia based Sodelpa group, led by Aseri Radrodro's brother Waisea, attacks Ro Kepa over her dealings with Mick Beddoes, Professor Biman Prasad, Richard Naidu and Laufitu Malani - overtly racist in nature.
Opposition calls on Australia to explain why human rights abuser Qiliho granted study scholarship when he is accused of beating up Brij Lal
It was difficult to understand the willingness of the Australian Government to provide Lt Col Qiliho with specialialised military training when it must know that he was the perpetrator of physical and mental abuse suffered by one of their own citizens Dr Brij Lal.
Ratu Isoa said Dr Lal and his wife were still banned from visiting Fiji, the land of their birth. This in itself is a further breach of their human rights and is another example of the anti-democratic nature of the Fiji First Government of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Ratu Isoa said only 11 days ago visiting Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rise, remarked that although Fiji had made steps towards democracy, restrictions remain. Ms Rise saw the situation clearly. Why is the Australia government unable to appreciate the reality of Fiji’s so-called democracy?
Ratu Isoa said he understood Australia’s desire to normalise relations with Fiji was driven by its own national interests, and not necessarily by the interests of the people of Fiji. Australia, however, should take into account and be sensitive to the feelings of those who had suffered torment and abuse at the hands of the Fiji military and officers like Qiliho.
Ratu Isoa said innocent citizens of Fiji who suffered at the hands of people like Lt Col Qiliho deserved an explanation from the Australian government.
Ratu Isoa Tikoca