August 20, 2007

Of weasels and weasel tactics

Take a bow Thakur Ranjit Singh aka Thakurji for the most erroneous, shabby, poorly expressed political commentary ever to be presented on national television! Apologies to those who were not privy to last Sunday’s Fiji TV Close Up debacle (take it from us you didn’t miss much), unfortunately the programme is not available for on-line viewing as yet.

The man essentially said that democracy is not about the wishes of the majority and that victims of human rights abuses are a price that we pay for an evolving democracy. Extremely odd that the organization that he is employed for has other views on the matter.

Messrs Thakurji was very careful however not to slam NZ too harshly saying it was a very transparent democracy BUT that it should have intervened with Fiji to get it back on the straight and narrow. In the next breath while detailing how Aotearoa went about their qoliqoli legislation he then went on to say that NZ understands sovereignty (I know! We were equally confused).

Way to go Thakurji…I wonder whether Amnesty International a global NGO committed to human rights worldwide would appreciate this interpretation of human rights and democracy especially on the heels of their international office’s statement supporting the immediate adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

But we’re not going to waste any more time on the weasels coming out of the woodwork. What is more concerning is the fast and furious pace that buy-in is being solicited on the Peoples Charter before the 2nd deadline of 31 August. It is very evident that a concerted effort is being made by the junta to get some semblance of numbers from the rural populace (yes Raturala has been busy working that microphone) so that whatever happens next, they can confidently say that XX% of a cross-section of Fiji engaged with us on this charter…it will NOT matter that you disagreed with it (they might tell us later that "actually a majority of people we consulted really liked the charter and therefore the aye’s have it") in which case you will probably join the multitudes of unresolved complaints at the human rights commission or FAIKEK.

The frenzy for getting support whilst it has involved some provincial council engagement, will no doubt quadruple in effort thanks to the new GCC Review team which already (try as we might to be optimistic folks) reeks of an agenda.

We’ve said our piece on this bogus charter before but we’ll say it again. People of Fiji do not be fooled. The only charter that should be worth your time is one which has ballot boxes awaiting your ticks.

August 17, 2007

Come out, come out wherever you are!

It’s not surprising that all the junta supporters are slowly but surely tip-toeing out of the woodwork with emotional black-mailing guns cocked at the ready with their BS about stepping up to the plate for the good of this country or the "house is on fire" etc etc.

They can call it whatever they like, and even sugar-coat it with fat-free sucrine to make it more tempting to swallow but the bottom line is this. They have publicly made their positions known by supporting an illegal regime. That’s fine. They can have their views and that is respected but they will be made to answer for it very soon on the legal, moral, religious and medical fronts. Guilt is very taxing on the human psyche. Moreover, they will be shunned tacitly or untacitly for disrespecting the majority wishes of the voting electorate.

Another key trend is the influx of academic rhetoric being conveniently floated around about “democracy; what/who’s democracy/” or “elections not a panacea” for which our response is "trifling". Underneath it all is clear support for the militia-led removal of a democratically elected government.

Equally concerning is the flooding of FLP allies from Aust and NZ into Fiji. The new TV channel 2 owner Kenneth Stratton who helped the FLP in media aspects of their 2006 manifesto as highlighted by Fiji TV will soon be a player in television broadcasting. We hope Stratton et al have done their number crunching well, as the market is probably already saturated and prospective customers have more pressing priorities with their already dwindling disposable incomes. In addition FICAC has hired yet another Kiwi lawyer to provide advice.

All we will say to that is that Mr Howard and Ms Clarke better get their people straightened out or it will yet again show the wider Pacific community just how inconsistent the big brothers can be. No use jumping up and down about democratic rule when their own citizens are helping the illegal regime aye matey's? Tonga is definitely the place to be come October.

The EU’s confirmation of a financing agreement of F$8mill of public fund Euro’s towards the sugar sector is an interesting development. The agreement was signed in June in the presence of Mr Chaudhry. However the EC as a whole will have to decide in finality next month about the release of funds. Perhaps the statement of 27 June by the German President of the EC is key to this final decision.

All in all, the rhetoric and the correlating actions (and inactions) will speak volumes. To those still “shy” about meeting the public we say come out, come out wherever you are!