Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Frank Told to Step Down - He is Refusing- for how long?

Fiji’s Young People’s Concerned Network has been banned from participating at the Pacific Youth Festival which is getting underway in Suva. The youth network’s President, Peter Waqavonovono, says he was approached by members of the military regime who refused to give a reason for the ban. Mr Waqavonovono says although his organisation has been actively participating in organising the regional youth festival, the decision came as no surprise. But, he says the Network will be watching the week-long festival closely, to ensure the hundreds of visitors from the region are not mistreated by the authorities.
Presenter: Sam SekeSpeaker: Peter Waqavonovono, President of Fiji’s Young People’s Concerned Network Listen:Windows Media
WAQAVONOVONO: Yes, we have been banned. We’ve been informed of this through about four phone calls that I have received and some other of our members have received the same kind of phone calls. But we’re still waiting for some sort of official letter to come from the Ministry or the Department of Youth. With that said, no reason really has been given for why we have been banned, but I feel maybe the real reason why, is because maybe it’s a difference in opinions, a difference in our aspirations for the progress for Fiji.
SEKE: And who informed you? You said you’ve received so many phone calls. From who?
WAQAVONOVONO: I have been receiving phone calls from people who are from within the interim government and also some people who are organising this festival. Who is doing this? That’s the military council. The military council basically has become in charge of the vetting or the censorship of this festival.
SEKE: So was the ban on you personally or the network, the organisation?
WAQAVONOVONO: I have been informed that its myself, its my organisation the YPCN. I have also been informed that other organisations and other individuals have also been blacklisted.
SEKE: Now, your organisation has been actually quite outspoken on issues affecting the youth of Fiji. Were you surprised at all that you’ve been banned by the military regime?
WAQAVONOVONO: The writing for us, the writing has been on the wall since day one of the organising of this festival. A few of our members were asked to join certain committees and they still are in the committees that are organising this festival. And in the process, one of the things that we kept pushing for is the safety of each person or participants that want to be here. The safety in terms of if they say something or they decide to come up with some sort of a solution for what Fiji is going through, or this is a solution to what certain problems that our Pacific Islands are going through, whether the safe that is provided by the Pacific Festival is actually going to be safe for them.
SEKE: Peter, what in a nutshell is the message you would share with other youth from the region if you were to attend the Pacific Youth Festival?
WAVAVONOVONO: From last year, there was a confirmation of more than 2,000 young people who are willing to come to this festival. That was before Fiji got suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum. Now that Fiji has been suspended, the number was brought down to 800. However, because of our heavy lobbying with these missions for them not to come we now have at least 300 regional young people to deal with in this country and the only message that I have for them right now is that they use their time very wisely and that they stay safe, especially during the festival. It’s important that this festival does continue, especially for delegates who are from Fiji itself. They have the opportunity to express themselves. If they have any idea of a solution for this country, it needs to be heard and it needs to be recorded and it needs to be put in a form of a resolution and it has to somehow reach the people in power. With the YPCN, we will be just watching the Festival very carefully that nothing happens to delegates or the young people who have decided to come and participate at the Pacific Youth Festival.
Posted by rawfijinews
A year ago, July 19, 2008 FORMER Fiji Law Society president Graham Leung in an article published in the Fiji Times ( uncensored ) believed that Constitution was not alive despite assurances to the contrary. He said, the then illegal military regime and now military dictatorship could not ignore that it had not been successful in its campaigns to introduce constitutional changes. It was then that all citizens of Fiji should have stood up for what was right, instead the military regime was allowed to remain in power. He also said that the illegal military regime could not force good ideas down people’s throats with the barrel of the gun lurking in the background. Sadly they have lasted this long, a sign that they never had democracy in mind and the people of Fiji was not prepared to fight for their democracy there and then. When he was guest speaker to the members of the Fiji Law Society on the way forward for Fiji at their annual conference in Denarau he mentioned that people should not believe that all was well and the Constitution was still there. It now seems the Constitution was dead after the 2006 coup. Up until the constitution was abrogated in the half a coup there was a myth that was still perceived that the Constitution was still in place. To only use part of the Constitution to justify one’s agenda was not the right thing to do, ” you can’t choose to pick parts of the Constitution and ignore others.” This is now obvious to all of us! We were told then by him that there was no choice except the constitutional powers to changing laws. There could be no shortcuts “however well meaning to political and electoral reform.” Mr Leung reminded the lawyers at the conference that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land and it was the Constitution that determined how it could be changed. To change the Constitution using a mechanism outside it, is illegal and should not be acceptable. He spoke of good governance and said that it was useless talking about it if it wasn’t put to practice. The military regime if serious on good governance should have taken the country to elections and LEGITIMACY because Parliament alone is the best forum that forge a consensus on electoral reform. There is no alternative social and political change except through an elected parliament following the correct legal processes. He concluded by saying that shortcuts cannot be taken to produce the ideal society overnight because forced changes to the law outside the Constitution were destined to fail and that democracy was still the best form of government. If what Mr Leung said then was heeded, Fiji would not be in the mess it is in now. Constitutional Powers of any nation is the line that should never be crossed! Rosalind Pratt
Posted by rawfijinews
The incapable shadowy John Prasad
July 14, 2009
john prasad has shown his lack of experience in many forms ….

1) he signs/approves things that only the minister of finance can do under fiji’s existing laws … showing he does not even understand his own powers and those that he does not have under the fiji laws
2) he does not have a clue as to the nuances of administration …. even instructions that should be in the form of formal letters from him are sent by a notation on the margin of some other correspondence or paper …. showing that he does not have any experience as to proper administration and office etiquette
3) he has been disrupting all the corporate governance requirements of the fnpf and its subsidiary boards by putting them all out to pasture while he appoints himself and another indian colleague of his to all those boards … for some subsidiaries he has thrown out the board altogether removing an essential element of governance and checks and balances which are put in place with a board … this shows his lack of knowledge of corporate governance and the need of it in today’s corporate world …
question to ask, therefore is, what has this man been doing before he suddenly arrived in fiji?
his actions show that he probably has not been in a responsible position of any kind in his adopted country of residence, new zealand …
is this the kind of people that fiji needs now?
Posted by rawfijinews
Throughout human history , church has been the most potent conscience of society. Indeed, the resolve of the Methodists is a further evidence of that. Any attack on the Methodists is tantamount to an attack on Fijian identity and for Bainimarama not to understand this will be fatal for him. He still has time for redemption and lets hope that he does not miss that opportunity.
Posted by rawfijinews
With all the clamour generated by Frank’s propaganda machine against the Methodist Church and especially Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi it may well pay to revisit the facts of the May 2000 coup involving the ex President of the Methodist Church . Rev Kanailagi is from the chiefly yavusa Nayaumunu of Viwa Bau. It was Ratu Namosimalua the then Roko Tui Viwa who welcomed Reverend Joseph Hunt to set up the Methodist mission on Viwa as Ratu Cakobau and Bau were still about there heathen ways. The Reverend is also a blood relative of Viwa high chief Ratu Varani the notorious but later staunch Christian convert who ‘bent his knee to Jehovah’ on Good Friday 1845.
Reverend Captain Kanailagi is most admired amongst the real RFMF soldiers as the Padre of the 1st Battalion’s second contingent (Batt 2) UNIFIL during the tough Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s era of 1978-80. This era is when the first Fijian’s underwent their baptism of fire and stamped the Fijian character in Middle East UN peacekeeping. He was tested under fire such as the firefight in Qana when Private Leitubadei was killed in action. Most unlike some in high military office today who are calling for his resignation.
His leadership during his presidency of the Methodist Church in the dark days of the 2000 coup is exemplary for the moral courage and physical fibre of the man. Here is the evidence from the Fiji Times of Tuesday 23rd May 2000, (page 15):
Methodists Stay Out
Methodist Church President Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi has dissociated the church from the events on Friday (19th May). Reverend Kanailagi visited the President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara at Government House on Sunday morning and the two held a prayer session together. He later visited the group held hostage at the parliamentary complex and then the captors. Reverend Kanailagi said the church had made known its stand on what happened on Friday and it did not want to meddle into the politics of it. Wesleyans and all Christians stand up! For such a man of God in his twilight age who does not fear Frank and his guns. His strength is eternal! Praise the Lord!
Posted by rawfijinews
Discussions between Frank Bainimarama and key military personnel have already taken place.
We’re told that Frank has been requested to peacefullly step down. Those who have also been told to go are Iloilo, Fiji’s illegal President responsible for the purported abrogation of the 1997 constitution, his Vice, Epeli Nailatikau and the entire cabinet. But Frank is not taking the request well out of sheer stubborness. He knows that he doesn’t have the majority support of the military men and women. Driti and Ului have it for their initiative to take FMF to a legally and morally correct route. He also knows that the FMF, as an institution, is now making its move to right the treasonous route it had taken under his leadership. And we’re also glad to learn that FMF has given Frank the time to step-down between now to August when the Methodist Church congregation will peacefully carry on with their annual conference. The upcoming Methodist meet will surely be a peaceful and Fijian way of telling Frank that he is finished as Fiji’s dictator. We won’t be surprised if FMF will have a choir singing at the Methodist meet.
Convoluted? To many of us, it is … to the Fijians, that’s their way of dealing with conflict. It’s called “Conflict Resolution – Fiji Style and Fiji Time!” Phew …. mind-boggling these Fijians but it still amazes us to follow how they solve their own problems. We only hope this will be a lasting one with no nasty surprises around the corner! Only in Fiji …. only in Fiji!!!!
Posted by rawfijinews
We can confirm that the Methodist Church have the Fiji Military Forces support to go ahead with their planned August conference. FMF’s support is in direct defiance of their commander tyrant Frank Bainimarama’s earlier radio announcement yesterday that he is stopping the conference from going ahead. FMF’s call has the full support of its landforce commander Pita Driti and 3rd FIR commander Ului Mara. These two men wield all the power in FMF and they are now exercising it saying that Frank’s egotistical ban call is very divisive which has the impetus to cause civil unrest – a scenario many of us do not support. We can also report that Driti and Ului are also considering ways to peacefully hand over powers to a civilian government as prescribed in the Appeals Court ruling. We say kudos to Driti and Ului for finally showing some degree of patriotic responsibility for Fiji, especially her people. If they are able to shift power with minimal fuss based on some solid commitment to uphold the rule of law, then we believe that they will be paving the way for immediate relief to Fiji with the lifting of sanctions, aid and things by the international community.
We also believe that for Fiji to move ahead, the Frank Bainimarama, Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry political trinity must be encouraged not to take part in the civilian government but they must all be given their right and freedom to fight the next general election fairly and squarely, starting now. They are after all the key front-men in dragging Fiji to the mud and they must all step aside while an honorable group of four highly competent unbiased people take charge in moving Fiji back to a democratic election under the 1997 Constitution. Changes to the constitution must be done legally, which we are certain will happen given the level of awareness and first-hand experience of its pros and cons since its inception in 1997.
We also say, give the Methodist Church their right and freedom to assemble, sing, fundraise and worship. They deserve it just like any other religious group in Fiji who have had theirs or continue to have their crusade every other day.

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