January 26, 2007

The tactic of terror

Intelligentsiya is about presenting well-argued opinion. In a time when ordinary citizens are afraid to speak their minds fearing that armed soldiers might turn up at their doorsteps to take them away, Intelligentsiya will be a platform for free speech.

So in the spirit of free speech, here is an anonymously-written opinion piece that's been making the rounds on the email network. Pity the author is anonymous.

The tactic of terror

By Anonymous Intelligentsiya

Each time the military sends a platoon of armed soldiers to a civilian's home in the middle of the night, its respect and credibility is eroded.

It does nothing but harm to the military and to the nation as a whole. Such obvious and ham-fisted attempts to intimidate can only backfire.

In its zeal to suppress all criticism from all and any quarters, the army forgets that words present no threat to it. On the contrary, public criticism may well offer a useful safety valve that can let off steam in times of crisis without presenting even the smallest threat to the military's control.

The explanation that the military only wants to ask these people some questions is seen through by everybody in Fiji. If that was all the army wanted, a simple telephone call - preferably in daylight hours - would be quite sufficient.

The decision to send armed troops to civilian homes is quite clearly intended to traumatise families and intimidate individuals. What is not intended and not understood is the depth of resentment that this kind of behaviour is generating among the public. The only real damage here is coming from the military and it is doing it - no doubt unintentionally - for no fathomable reason.

The army's clean-up campaign began with a solid body of public support. That support, however, has declined with every person or group that has been ordered up to the camp in the dead of night and brutalised. Admittedly and thankfully the level of brutality seems to be declining and everyone should welcome that.

But the army will restore complete confidence and respect by stopping it altogether.

The Interim Government's attorney general has added his own weight to the argument against midnight interrogations pointing out that the Public Order Act could achieve the desired end without resorting to detentions and assaults that demean the military in the public consciousness.

The time for suppression - if there ever was such a time - is gone. The Interim Government needs the support of the population as it seeks to make progress. Such support cannot be commanded at gunpoint. It will need to be earned. The military can and should contribute to the progress that all of Fiji wants to see. It has the manpower, the equipment, the organisation and the discipline.

But the tactic of terror takes us a giant step in the wrong direction.

8 comments:

Concerned citizen said...

I wish to raise a few points after reading Laisa's 'freedom post'.

There are certain rights that can be suspended during extraordinary times/a state of emergency. Some of these rights are: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, right to assemble. Some may argue against the legality of the state of emergency, but what is plain as day is the presence of soldiers and checkpoints around major centres and the overthrow of the Qarase Government.
These occurrences alone should remind people of the need to keep a clear head and evaluate situations properly (something Ms. Digitaki as a businesswoman, is hugely supportive of). She, and her protestors, obviously failed to do this. I do not by any means condone the action of the military, but what Laisa & Co. did aggravated the situation at the time.
Now is not the time for posturing and grandstanding, and the general release of her statement does nothing for her cause. More than likely it will hinder her cause and may make other associates targets as well. Is this what she wants?

If she has now decided (after a somewhat chequered working life) to become a freedom fighter in the vein of Aung San Suu Kyi, her time would be best spent studying the lady and her country's struggles and drawing inspiration from that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Concerned Citizen-

Your spinless, idiotically inspried, sentiments are the obvious result of your lack of understanding of the law and reduces your comment to the ramblings of a mental patient.

Look what the Military has done to the ordinary country man and woman of Fiji!!! Regardless of Laisa's past[Im sure your not perfect either] she stood up when it really did matter.

Sa turu tu na dra ni viti, sa tagi tu kokoya. God help us, if this is what Fijians are doing to other Fijians. Cause my friends, is what we fight for definitely not the means.

Anonymous said...

I have to say i totoally disagree with " concerned citizen " .
In no way should anyone in Fiji nor any Fijian living outside Fiji , be supporting this coup , condoning the behaviour of the military or questioning a citizens right to free speech ! isn't that how hitler came to power ? Isn't that why so many jews were slaughtered , because they thought it better to say nothing ? How cowardly are the men of Fiji , to stand by and let 3,000 only , soldiers rule their lives . Why is it up to the women to stand up to these brutes ? If I were a Fijian male , i would be holding my head in utter disgrace . The soldiers who don't have the guts to step down from their posts are cowards too ! They have a sworn duty to protect the civilians of their country . And I was called a colonial bully for posting comments . Were I a Fijian , living in Fiji , I would have taken out some of the coup leaders by now .

Anonymous said...

Man, kila, Conerned citizen if I was your mother, boy I would have slapped the b jesus right outta your brown bottom or is it white from your obviously indifferential comment. Look whose calling the pot black, at the end of the day your shit will still smell as stink as the rest of us and laisa's as well.

The military goes national and international speaking out against the government-HELLO YOUR BLOODY CIVIL SERVANTS-what you think just because you hold guns your above us.

They ILLEGALLY TAKE OVER the democratically elected government of the day, illegally bash them up just cause their opinions of government differ, threatern their families, suspend the chief justice, remove the real PM, sack cabinet, Attorney and Solicitor Generals, amoung others and then...wait for this one, turn around and tell our international counter-parts that they are now ready to engage into DIPLOMATIC talks with them...lol...dont make me laugh you idiots

You cry CORRUPTION everyday yet show me one government, one company, one person in the WORLD that doesnt have some form of corruption and Ill show you a flying pig, hello!!! Cant Bainimarama even look into his military over expenditure, unnecessary retention of soliders...our country doesnt need bloody more then 4000 soliders...Leweni, Driti hello they appear on tv looking like they spent the past 3 consecutive days of paid employment by the civil service drinking grog...look at the bloody navy commander...shameful, absolutely pitiful...SHOW ME PROOF VB WHERE IS THE HUGE CORRUPTION YOU SO CRY AFTER, EVERYTHING YOUVE BROUGHT UP IS THINGS THAT HAVE GONE ON FOR YEARS BEFORE THE QARASE GOV

If the armed forces are not able to even control themselves with the navy commander deciding his rambo, Peter fosters soliders excepting bribes and what nots then why sara they want to go and try to run a country

Bainimarama, I hope you read this...One day I hope you grow a seed inbetween your legs, so that you can water it and hope it grows into a pair of balls big enough to fit the shit hole that you and your pathetic, shameful, idiotic, primitive, embaressing and nasty cammanders have put fiji in

Anonymous said...

@COLONIAL BULLY

Darling where you a Fijian first of all you would know to shut your mouth and VAKAROROGO!!!

Secondly where you a Fijian Male, You would have more common sense as if something happen to you, whose gonna look after your children and wife and parents....the bloody british government and that stiff queen of yours...

If you were a Fiji...I laugh...IF, you brits are sooo famous for your IF's. I dare you to come down to Fiji being that you were a Colonizing power and do something yourself, come save us shameful fijians. Talk is cheap, just like your PM wife who shops in thrift stores...please leave it for us gang that truely cant afford much aye

The nerve you pompus colonial dinosaur!!! that you possess to say if you were Fijian, Butt out havent you brits screwed us over royally as it is or do you guys still wanna stick it to us......

Maji

Anonymous said...

Someone emailed me the link to this site and I must say that after reading through some of the articles and comments on them, one thing is evident, comments like those made by the above anonymous writers only prove that Fiji has truly become a divided nation. Fiji was once promoted as a multi-cultural, multi-racial country with the smiling face of the world. A place where anyone who wanted to could come and embrace the hospitality and kindness of the people of Fiji. There is no hospitality or kindness in the words used by the anonymous writers to criticise "Concerned Citizen". If one were to consider properly what Concerned Citizen has written, you will find that he/she has only made a balanced, constructive comment about the circumstances surrounding Laisa's 'freedom post'. It is hardly grounds for the tone and words adopted by the anonymous writers. Sadly, this just brings to the forefront how narrowminded some people are. This site is basically used by those against the Military when someone like Concerned Citizen gives a balanced opinion most see it as support for the military instead of seeing it what it really is, a balanced opinion of the events that took place. Sad...

concerned citizen II said...

After posting my initial comment and seeing the subsequent postings, I was hesitant to revisit this post or comment again. However I must say this, all I did was express an opinion, one which I thought was a carefully considered one. I am now loath to comment further but wish to say that I do find this site to be disturbingly skewed against the current administration regardless of what positive actions they may have taken, vis-a-vis the budget for example. Again, by no means do I condone the actions by the military against the people. I do, however find disturbing the fact that this site just demonises the current administration and is likely to do the same to subsequent administrations who do not operate according to their visions of democracy. I'm sure there are some among us who have fallen foul of former administrations, but did not have the political/publicity nous to make our concerns heard. In one respect at least, the current administration must be applauded: they may well be the most transparent administration we've ever had. Whether or not they planned this, is another question.

Anonymous said...

Hello - the budget doesn't add up -...dumb....dumb and thanks to MC. Now is the real time to check his credibility. One is down - budget does not balance. He must have thougt that the people of Fiji are so dumb or is it just is way of getting things done his way - who acres what happens to the many others.

With the way the army is operating, I would not mind being under the brits again - at least we have an idea od wher we are going and some sense of how we will get there.