Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mahendra Chaudhry was heading for the door

Sign of the Times
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mahendra Chaudhry was heading for the door anyway, says former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka
N I sa bula.

Some people will probably be gloating because they had predicted that Mahendra Chaudhry would exit the interim Government.

There is nothing to gloat about because nothing in this life is ever permanent except the truth.

Chaudhry would have exited any way, but the way he exited is important for his future, and he has elected a face and future saving strategy in his exit.

But, true to his character, he has used another excuse — "the party is more important than the Government".

Any right-minded electorate should immediately see that such a man and view has no right to be governing a nation — elected or not!

Every leader aspiring to national leadership must put the interest of the nation first.

People join political parties that propose policies and uphold ideologies they agree with to further their well-being in a nation.

Political parties propose policies and ideologies that promote the well-being of the nation, thus the people.

It is therefore very strange that a former national leader should claim that the party is more important than the nation.

It would be very interesting to find out when the Fiji Labour Party agreed to let Chaudhry join the interim Government.

Was it after or before December 5, 2006?

Did it coincide with Jokapeci Koroi's utterances that "the army should take over"?

These are questions that need to be answered if we are going to have genuine national healing.

Whose initiative resulted in the 1987 coup?

Whose initiative resulted in the 2000 coup, and whose in 2006?

Have we, as a nation, been unfairly pointing an accusing finger at our military forces and commanders rather than focussing on the political players?

What then perpetuates the coup culture — military or politics or politicians?

Will all who answered the call to "save" the nation now agree with Chaudhry that the nation is back on even keel and can be ably skippered by the budding admiral, and consider it the right time to go ashore?

What about those that came to produce the People's Charter?

Will they now leave to go back to their country or buy a $3000 permit to reside here permanently, above or underground?

Will the FLP stalwarts who responded to the Commodore's call to serve on boards and commissions go back to the party and prepare for elections echoing Chaudhry's words that the party is more important than the Government?

And what will the interim Prime Minister say?

Will he rue the fact that he has just been looking after these party members and paying them handsomely while they wait to get back into Parliament to undo parts of the Charter they do not agree with?

As the Chinese say, "interesting times!"

These are also interesting times in the Methodist Church.

While the national population is rising, the church membership is dwindling.


Has the flock not been shepherded properly?

Have parts of the flock been taken by other shepherds into other grazing areas?

Has the Methodist paddock run out of grass and water?

These are interesting questions that are perhaps more important than charters and finding out who has the most money or the best singing voices.

If the Master should now come back and ask what we have done about his command to make disciples, what will we say when we give Him the statistics showing that our numbers are diminishing?

How will we respond to His questions about whether we have been feeding and looking after His sheep and lambs?

He will not need answers to those questions when He sees starving sheep and lambs standing forlornly alongside well nourished shepherds.

I may have sounded over critical, but these are indeed interesting times when we all individually, as groups or as a nation, ask ourselves what we have not done correctly and need to correct.

What mistakes we have made and need to avoid in future.

It is about trying to uphold our leaders to do what is in our best interest and will eventually bring us victory over our evil past.

This is the time when we must all try and lift each other up.

No other nation or people will do that for Fiji.

We must do it ourselves.

This time reminds me of the Old Testament story of the Israelites fighting the Amalekites en route to their Promised Land.

While Moses held his hands up the Israelite were victorious.

When he grew weary and lowered his hands, the Amalekites turned the table on the Israelite and became victorious.

It was then that Moses' two aides Aaron and Hur decided to uphold Moses' hands which resulted in the Israelites' final victory.

The laity in the churches should uphold the clergy and vice versa.

The leaders should uphold the people and vice versa.

Only then can we remain accountable to each other.

It is hardly the time to be abandoning a perfectly sailing ship — if Chaudhry's words are anything to go by.

Is he not abandoning a sinking ship after a very close look at the engine room and realising there is no hope?

Why did he not inform his Prime Minister before informing the people he was abandoning his ship?

What does the skipper think?

Whatever happens, Chaudhry is the best person to comment on our coup culture — the pros and cons of it.

As a victim of two and perpetrator and supporter of one, he has gone from internationally gathering support — moral and monetary against coups — to acclaiming that coups are good for our economy.

What will the people believe at the next elections — whenever that will be?

Interesting times indeed.

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