Monday, May 26, 2008

What is interim in the world

What is interim in the world
by Sitiveni Rabuka
Sunday, May 25, 2008

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Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna
NI sa bula. How was your week? It has been a very good week for the nation because our Prime Minister has made very clear to us the military design for the progress of our country and its people past the interim phase.

What is not interim?

Everything is interim.

The great Roman empire was never thought of as an interim government of all those conquered territories.

When Augustus Caesar established the empire in 27BC, he never thought of it as an interim arrangement.

He made laws he believed would benefit the empire and its people for all time but he acknowledged that the supreme council having the highest deliberative function in the state he headed had the responsibility of changing or amending the laws.

In modern times, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic was never thought of as an interim union of like-interested republics formed for collective security against a perceived common threat.

That great polar force of the cold war era is now a commonwealth of independent states uniformly facing the problems of the infancy of their political rebirth and rediscovering their own ethnicity differences and deficiencies.

On Wednesday, I told our shipping company pay clerk that it was my last paid day at work.

I told her it was my last day as the interim chief executive of the shipping company. This weekend, the management team is in a retreat to map out with the company chairman the way forward, which, hopefully will be part of the specifications given to the substantive chief executive when one is found.

That chief executive will then have a charter to work to and the designer of the charter will still have the power to recommend to the board that the chief executive be rewarded or removed.

I saw our Prime Minister on TV this week while he was addressing a group in Rewa.

Unfortunately, for the PM, he did not have control over the angle of the camera lens which for most part of the address was on him and a not-very-interested-in-the-subject chief sitting next to him.

Most of the women were seen having their own amusement in the crowd, probably wowing their macho turaga naita.

Most of them would have missed the very loud and clear message Frank was telling the world and that is probably why many of those assembled missed it. It was not meant for them, it was meant for the world and political leaders and chiefs of Fiji.

He said if the council of chiefs cannot be assembled, then we will have to devise a new system of appointing a Vice-President and President.

He added that we may even go to the people to elect the President as they do in America, France and other Republics.

He appeared angry while making that pronouncement.

He probably feels that what he thought was a popular notion in 2006 and which made him a champion for some is now wearing thin.

He will get angrier when he realises that the longer he looks at a picture the more faults he finds in it and the more changes he wants to implement.

But what he said is not really outlandish. It could have been a result of our own democratic and constitutional evolution.

Even the one-man-one-vote race-less universal franchise could have evolved out of our Constitution.

Any development is possible because the Constitution allowed for itself to grow with the people and the people change with time.

It is when change is not time induced that it is not evolutionary but revolutionary.

I am glad the month of May is nearly over, well, for 12 months then it will be back.

People are always pointing fingers but in May and in Fiji in May all fingers seem to be pointing at me!

People who were born after May 1987 will follow the pointing finger and ask "what did he do?" and the media and older people will say he started this thing called the coup culture.

The younger people will ask "is it bad?"

"Of course, it is bad," the older folks will say.

And the young people will ask further "why didn't we learn it is bad?"

"We know it is bad,"

"Why do we keep having them?"

"We don't know."

"We don't know that it is bad or we don't know why we keep having them?"

"We don't know."

"Have we then become a nation of powerful copy-cats who cannot learn?"

"Mind what you say, someone might be listening."

Frank is allowing himself to be bogged down.

He should have learnt at Staff College that an offensive that gets bogged down gets defeated.

He must keep focussed on his mission and secure his flanks.

He must ensure that he has a firm base he may have to fall back on and "up the guts with plenty of smoke!"

Don't focus too much on coups, let us celebrate the life of a great soldier who fought in the war on the side of a republic born out of a series of military coups because the mother of democracy could not enlist him because of the colour of his skin!

Have a happy Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna holiday!

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