November 01, 2007

The Junta’s Comedy of Errors continues

Phew!! What a series of ridiculous stunts we’ve had to endure yet again. It’s exhausting just keeping up with their treadmill journies going nowhere cloaked behind the façade of “moving Fiji forward”. Just when you want to post a blog about an issue, they go and pull something even more incredulously foolish.

However one plus-side to this comedy of errors is that it is forcing more coup supporters out of the woodwork to “show” that the coup has the backing of some demographical representation of our society. Only thing wrong with this strategy is that its no longer about individuals. The masses simply want numbers to do the talking ASAP.

First up, the iPM jets off to NY for the UN General Assembly. After re-playing his now broken record of a speech there, NZ proceeds to use some of their intervention time to tell the General Assembly a thing or two about what’s really going down in Fiji. Frank then jets off to Tonga thinking that he will regain his rock-star status on his Pacific turf. After the clapping from the crowds subsides and within the 4 walls of the Vavau retreat he gets the diplomatic “rock star” arm twisting. That’s when he realizes his status was really rock-bottom in the regional popularity polls and that Fiji, under what Frank see's as leadership, unfortunately no longer possesses the political clout that it used to. Just ask Parmesh, Aiyaz, Taito and all the minions that made up the numbers on the chartered flight that you and I paid for.

We would seriously have to ask what value for money the country has received in return from such a huge delegation to Tonga by way of bilaterals or aid. This is essential as our overdue budget announcement will have a gaping big hole in the INCOME column since Australia, NZ, USA and the EU no longer want to come to our parties. There is no way in hell that the Chindia alliance could ever make up this shortfall.

Further, the recent PR attempts by FIRCAs acting boss about the status of the state’s coffers is most amusing. Given that their projections are not as rosy as they used to be, they foolishly peg their hopes on Christmas shoppers and the festive season for import tax income. Perhaps it has escaped the analysts, and the A/CEO who is himself a former analyst, that the means for the masses to splurge during the end of the year is non-existent. So the question therefore is, if the states coffers are not as healthy as they should be, why and how on earth could the state afford to allow a tax amnesty period at this time given that we are no way near their billion dollar mark projections? Clearly this has been allowed to benefit someone or some people.

Hot on the heels of that laughable exercise, the “showboat” iAG (and a very apt name too fuggedaboutit) returns from essentially being a liability of a side-kick to the Tonga delegation to make the biggest legal mistake that even a rookie lawyer would have known better than to commit. He wrongly advises the iPres that Adi Koila Nailatikau, wife of the iForeign Affairs Minister, should take over the reigns as Chairperson of the Constituency Boundaries Commission. Clearly Rupeni Nacewa was also sleeping on the job for not cross-checking this advice, if he really is doing his job and acting in the best interests of the Head of State’s office.

Of course only when Aiyaz was soundly reminded about this legal booboo, he was most probably advised by his local PR/Journo advisor to take the high road and admit he was wrong. Unfortunately it falls flat. As rightfully pointed out by a blog comment and the NFP recently, in most countries people GET FIRED for such blatant incompetence. His absence from the public arena after that press conference is noticeable. But lo an behold being the showboat that he is, a prolonged media absence is simply not the done thing and we hear him today barking about the possible lifting of NZ sanctions because his parents are permitted to enter Aotearoa. The Foreign Affairs people of NZ quickly rebut this assertion. If we didn’t know any better, it almost smells like Aiyaz is turning into a Judas and has received what resembles 30 pieces of silver. But what the pound of (return) flesh is remains to be seen.

Upon that error, the junta then appoints the head of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Petero Mataca to take Adi Koila’s place. A wave of dissatisfaction about this development hits the public domain and the Vatican's representative to the Pacific Archbishop Charles Balvo becomes involved. Obviously the separation of Church and State still means something in Rome. Rushing to his side to support the Archbishop comes Bishop Qiliho of the Anglican Church. Bishop Qiliho is the step-father of Lt-Col Sitiveni Qiliho (thank you for that clarification anon).

What will really throw a spanner in the fireworks of this little boundaries commission drama are the results of the recent census. Given that the race card is being flouted now (no more key words like “clean up” or “corruption” now folks - the new junta buzz word is “eradicating racism”), it will be very interesting to see what the boundaries commission will now concoct to support the junta's goals.

Next we hear that Francis Kean, brother-in-law of the iPM is found guilty of manslaughter and is sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, but wait (folks if this isn’t corruption I don’t know what is) he still gets "above the law" treatment by continuing to get paid!! Some animals are clearly more equal than others. Kean et al are then advised by Justice Byrnes that he can appeal his case for which Kean has his eyes set on a suspended sentence.

And if that isn’t enough, the 8 “necessary mercenaries” who were also linked to the murder of Rabaka and scheduled to be airlifted out for peace-keeping duties are off-loaded during the weekend. A flurry of media statements in the ensuing days highlight a pissed off Mosese Tikoitoga, caught with his pants down and daring to complain about their families shame and the lack of heads up from the DPP’s office. It’s a pity that his hot air could not extend his limited logic to a far worse grief faced by the families of the murder victims.

We however are convinced that all these guys: Kean plus the 8, may do a bit of time in the slammer but then under the public radar, they may get released on a Compulsory Supervision Order (CSO), a la Rt Jope Seniloli style. Interesting that they went ballistic then with Rt Seniloli but will very likely pull it off themselves in order to save Franks “boys”. With army man Ioane Naivalurua now heading the Prisons Dept (and Post Fiji), that works quite nicely in their favour. However there is just one little problem. Fiji is such a small place, that something like this is bound to get noticed.

So, quite a hectic period for the junta with not much going in their favour and in fact not much “moving forward” at all. They are ramping up their Charter exercise with more money-wasting awareness, but in the words of the Tongan PM and Current Chair of the Forum recently in Tonga: “The Peoples Charter we see it is an initiative by them but it’s not to replace the constitution”.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bishop Qiliho is the step father of Sitiveni Qiliho. Mrs Qiliho had three children from other people and then married the Bishop. It was only after she died that Sitiveni and his wife and children started using Qiliho. So really nobody knows who Siti's real father is....he is the adopted son of the Bishop. So in fact him and his wife Esther come from similar backgrounds....birds of a feather and trying to fit into the real world...but I tell you that Siti has a wandering eye and whenhis wife's away he plays the field....

ex Fiji Tourist said...

Great summary!

Talk about loonie tunes. Even Bugs Bunny can't keep the comedy flowing like this bunch of clowns.

The military charter is a waste of time and money as it is obviously an attempt to introduce a one party state for the elections. As the Togan report said, "It is NOTED that they are playing with a military charter.

BTW, I think that you may have a misprint in the new job description for the priest who has joined the devil.