My heart almost skipped a beat when I watched the news last night because makubuna's my heart was sooo bursting with pride to be part of the
Vinaka Vakalevu Pacific Island Forum leaders for respecting the views of Fijians like me who do not want this self-imposed (and illegal) government, while helplessly unable to do anything about it.
Vinaka Vakalevu for promoting human rights and the rule of law even if from the outside. Despite what detractors lament about inconsistencies on your home soil, the key missing part of their argument is the fact that your own citizens HAVE democratic processes in place with which to remedy excesses of the state—otherwise they just take it to the polls. We appear to have no separation of powers of the State.Makubuna's there a story on the New Zealand Herald website that says the Forum has demanded that Fiji holds elections by August next year.
NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters said: "I think the Fijian interim government knows that the international community means business, and so does the forum."
"The decision taken today means, in effect, that they will be requested to have elections by August 2008."
Read more about that on the NZHerald site.
…and also reproduced for your ease of reference below:
The following message is from Forum Secretariat:
The Press Statements section on the Forum Secretariat Website has been updated.
Title : Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting Outcome
16 March 2007
FORUM FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTERS' MEETING
16 March 2007
1. The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Pacific Islands Forum met in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 16 March 2007 to discuss the situation in
2. Ministers received a report from the Chair of the Forum Eminent Persons' Group (EPG) on the Group's visit to
3. Ministers reiterated their profound concern that the takeover of Government by the RFMF was unconstitutional and unacceptable. Ministers urged
4. Ministers agreed that the Forum should commence a staged process of engagement with the interim government to that end. Ministers agreed to recommend to Forum Leaders that on the basis of commitments and demonstrable progress by the interim government to the immediate cessation of human rights abuses and a roadmap back to democracy, a phased package of financial and technical assistance would be offered to Fiji including support for the electoral process, assistance for the establishment of a credible and independent anti-corruption commission, and assistance to restore and maintain the independence of the judiciary.
5. Ministers agreed that the Eminent Persons' Group should remain constituted to advance the matters covered by its report. Depending on the willingness of the
6. Ministers requested the Secretary General to write to Forum Leaders informing them of these recommendations.
7. Ministers noted the statements and actions by the United Nations, the Commonwealth and several Post-Forum Dialogue Partners in response to developments in
16 March 2007
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
2007 FORUM EMINENT PERSONS' GROUP TO
i. A firm restatement be made that, in the Forum's view, the takeover of Government by the RFMF on 5 December was unconstitutional and unacceptable;
ii. The RFMF should be called on to take immediate steps to withdraw from its involvement in the interim government with a view to restoring civilian rule as soon as possible, these steps to include the following:
- the RFMF should return to barracks;
- the Commander of the RFMF should vacate the position of interim Prime Minister and a civilian should be appointed to the post;
- the State of
should be lifted. Emergency
iii. The interim government should be called on to restrict its activities as follows:
- the interim government should uphold the 1997 Constitution and interim decrees should be restricted in purpose and scope to matters necessary to meet the basic requirements of the community;
- the interim government should respect and uphold Fiji's domestic and international obligations and, bearing in mind the regional implications of recent events, take full account of the views of Fiji's regional neighbours and the wider international community on the importance of Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutionality;
- the interim government (and the RFMF) should immediately cease all interference with the Judiciary and accountable institutions, the Chief Justice should be reinstated to office;
- the interim government (and the RFMF) should ensure citizens are free to seek legal redress in the courts in relation to the events on and following 5 December, and should be prepared to comply with any decisions of the courts in this regard.
iv. The interim government should be called on to commit without delay to a roadmap with measurable milestones which includes the following:
- the interim government should commit to a firm timeframe for a national election (in the EPG's view this should be between eighteen months and two years, if not sooner);
- the interim government should de-link the election timetable from its clean up campaign except in those areas directly related to the electoral process;
v. The Forum should call on the interim government and the RFMF to immediately cease human rights abuses.
vi. On the basis of commitments made by the interim government in regard to a roadmap and cessation of human rights abuses, the Forum should consider a phased package of assistance including:
- financial and technical support for the electoral process;
- financial and technical assistance for the establishment of a credible and independent anti-corruption commission;
- assistance to restore the independence of the Judiciary.
vii. If the interim government chooses not to commit to a roadmap along these lines, and take the suggested steps, the Forum should consider further options.
viii. Judging from the reception given the EPG, and the overtures made for the Forum to engage in substantive dialogue to assist in the return to democracy, the EPG or a variant thereof, should remain in being and continue further dialogue in a closely engaged and phased manner.
ix. The next democratically elected government of Fiji should be encouraged to examine the roots of Fiji's 'coup culture' and the steps that need to be taken to eradicate it.