Friday, July 24, 2009

Methodist Maintains Stance Against Illegal Regime

The common link
July 23, 2009
Have you noticed what links these vultures cum conman John Prasad, John Sami, Francis Narayan,Paul Gautam Ramswarup, Felix anthony and Freddie Keshwan and several others preying on the poor people of Fiji. They all take their roots from Hindu families but converted to Christianity for their own opportunistic self interests. There is a saying in Hindi that says if one cannot be loyal to their own people and religion and values , then they cannot be loyal and honest with others and a converted religion. These people have blasphemed the great principles and cannons of not just Hinduism but also Christainity. Ultimately they they will die damned.
Posted by rawfijinews
An opinion
July 23, 2009
As a long-time observer of Fijian affairs, who wrote about 400 Fiji-related articles on Wikipedia, I have long been mystified by the behaviour of the Mara children. What I’m about to say may not be the whole truth, but there is one that most of the media just don’t get: In the 2000 coup, Adi Koila was kidnapped by Speight’s thugs and held hostage for 56 days. From what I have heard, she was brutally treated. According to the late Sir Vijay Singh, that was what prompted her father to resign the presidency. I have reason to believe that Qarase’s leniency towards Speight – AND his inclusion of some of Speight’s supporters, including his brother, in the government – enraged the Mara family. While that doesn’t excuse their behaviour, it does change the context of it, in my opinion. Having said that, I don’t think they’d be doing it if their father were alive.
Posted by rawfijinews
Police have released two Methodist ministers and Fiji’s former education minister, who had been detained and questioned over government concerns an upcoming church conference would veer into political territory. The Fiji Live website is reporting former education minister and Rewa paramount chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa, and two Methodist Church ministers have appeared in the Suva Magistrate Court and were released on bail following a three-day detention.

Church conference tumult
Fiji Government spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni on Wednesday confirmed the cancellation of the annual church conference, planned for the end of August. He says if the conference covers political issues it would be a clear breach of Fiji’s Public Emergency Regulations. Ro Teimumu Kepa, whose village was to play host to the conference, had urged that the meeting proceed as planned. Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Fiji Live he believed the media was blowing the issue out of proportion. “I don’t know why they’re making a big deal out of this because the government and the military have said no and that’s where the matter should rest,” he said. “I think it’s the press people that are making a big deal out of this.”

Show of solidarity
Christian leaders in Australia and New Zealand are showing solidarity for their colleagues in Fiji.
Australia’s Uniting Church has flown a special representative to Fiji to support members of the Fiji Methodist Church. Bruce Mullen is Associate Director of Church Solidarity in the Pacific for the Uniting Church of Australia – a union of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches. He says he’s met with representatives from the Fiji Methodists Church and admires their courage and commitment to democracy. “There is probably very little we can do in Fiji itself except to stand with the Church here, but in our own situation, our own backyard, we can advocate on their behalf with our own governments, with the international church community and with the international community generally,” he said.

‘Attack on the Gospel’
The former President of the Methodist Church in New Zealand, Reverend Tavake Tupou told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program that politics cannot be separated from spiritual life. He says it is important for Pacific church leaders to demonstrate their concern over the detention of the Fijian Methodist Church leaders. The detention of church leaders, “is not just an attack on Fiji’s constitution,” he said. “I think this is an attack on the heart of the Gospel.”
- Radio Australia
Posted by rawfijinews
A Fiji court order has silenced the paramount chief Ro Teimumu Kepa and two top Methodist Church ministers after it charged them with defying the Public Emergency Regulation over their plans to organise the church’s annual conference next month. Ro Teimumu and the church president, the Reverend Ame Tugaue, and the secretary general, the Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, are now on bail to appear in court in three weeks.
Matelita Ragogo reports.
“In the next 21 days, they are not allowed to have any meetings, they are not allowed to be seen in public or conduct anything that might be construed to be a meeting. They had to surrender all their travel documents, and Ro Teimumu in particular, she is not to publish any other material pertaining to the annual conference of the Methodist church.”

News Content © Radio New Zealand International, PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
I write to offer my support and solidarity to the Gone Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, who was unjustly and unceremoniously detained in the past few days. The boldness and courage of this Lady and leader in making a stand against the devious, self-serving, and ultimately self-defeating manipulation of the present illegal Regime, is a breath of fresh air in the cynical and dishonorable times we now live in. As disgraceful as her detention is though, we must nonetheless accept in faith that this IS all part of God’s Plan, as the lady herself so eloquently put it in her letter to her people. Jesus, Himself began the battle to throw off darkness and evil, and to replace it with His Kingdom, with His death on Calvary’s Cross. Since then, Christians have always been impelled by the implications of their faith to struggle and stand against evil. St Telemachus for instance was, by his own death, instrumental in ending the barbaric practice of gladiatorial death sport in the Roman Empire. William Wilberforce, by his life of sacrifice, spearheaded the abolition of slavery in Victorian times. Lord Shaftsbury’s exertions kick-started the dawn of industrial emancipation and worker’s rights during the same era. Elizabeth Fry was the first prison reformer. Samuel Plimsoll spearheaded shipping safety regulations and reform. John Wesley, St Vincent de Paul (Ladies of Charity) and William Booth (Salvation Army) founded pioneering organizations to succor and minister to the poor in the preceding Century. Later the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King forfeited even his own life for his stand of faith and principle against the insidious scourge of racism.
In all cases, these Christian saints acted out of the dictates of their faith, at great personal cost and risk, often against brutal or hardnosed Governments that were either indifferent to the injustice, or who were part of it themselves under the lobbying and control of those, who were directly benefitting from the status quo. But not one of them ever backed down, as to do so would mean betraying their consciences as well as their God.

Fiji once again finds herself faced by this kind of evil. In 2000 it was Speight. Now it is Bainimarama. In 2000 it was rebellion. In 2006/9, the rebellion has succeeded and the Barbarians have risen to power on the back of guns, brutality, lies and intransigence. The situation seems hopeless and the usurpers seem to hold all the cards that count. But just as the injustice and evil of the past always raised up Christian movers and shakers of conscience to opposition, so are the lies, wickedness and travesty of Bainimarama’s Fiji raising up champions like Ro Teimumu Kepa.
The question for people like her is “Are we our brother’s keeper?” According to God’s law, and people’s man-made constitutional law and values, yes we are. These are for two reasons, the work of the Church in the community, and its prophetic role against the injustice of this coup. The Regime is WRONG to try and stop either.
In any crises management there are four pitfalls that stakeholders may fall into. These are panic, apathy, fear and denial. Good leaders are able to communicate the truth, and inspire peoples’ spirits in order to strategically motivate them out of those pitfalls into just and righteous action. Winston Churchill is the best crises manager known in history when he fearlessly asked for the British peoples’ steadfastness knowing that the technically superior German Army were preparing to bomb London. And England won the battle and the war.
Like the infamous Nazi propaganda machine, Bainimarama’s illegal Regime also hopes to use its ridiculous PER and hand-picked judiciary to deny Ro Temumu-Kepa and the Methodist Church leaders’ right to be their “brother’s keeper”. But whatever unjust and unjustifiable trumped up charges and punishment they dream up, they will NOT prevail!
Dr. Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni, SDL member for Lami Open Constituency.
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji’s current judiciary seems completely oblivious to the deep contradictions of its own making which it continues to create. Having accommodated the “clean up coup” of December 5th 2006, the Fiji judiciary, along with the police and military, are now so corrupt through trying to protect themselves in perpetuity that all they can do is continue to make these silly ruling which try to enhance their own legitimacy – “cleaning up whoever doubts their legality”. And so the targeting of the mass media is widened to include the Methodist Church and its brave office-bearers who will not bow to this Annual conference ban. Why should a church become subservient to a public decree that is born of a psychotic fear from a military that has lost its way and enforce its own nightmare on its own people?
This provocation by the Military and the Police, now confirmed by silly judicial rulings in the courts, simply confirms that the illegal regime are spoiling for a fight with those who stand against it. That is the pre-eminent “incitement” at work in this case. The threat to further unjust dis-order does not come from the justice seeking paramount chief Ro Teimumu Kepa but comes from:
1. the discredited Commodore and his hapless crew of senior officers who refuse to see the writing on the wall and stand against this ridiculous and foolish “state of emergency”;
2. the Miliary Police which is trying to drum up its own Christian crusade to legitimise itself and
3. the judiciary that is bent on trying to bury its own failure to accept its constitutional limits and instead apply a concocted “law” to limit freedom of speech, association and assembly.
One wonders how long this psychosis can last.
Posted by rawfijinews
As the Roko Tui Dreketi she was very much in control and knew exactly what had to be done to keep the respect of her people. As a citizen of her birth country, a dictatorship now, under the dictator Frank Bainimarama her rights has been taken away from her and treated like a common criminal. It is not the Fiji that most of us know. Have we all forgotten the date last Monday, 20th of July 2004? This was the day when it was announced in Suva the passing of her older sister, Ro Lady Lala Mara, who was then the Roko Tui Dreketi. Ironically, it was the day after that, Ro Teimumu was arrested for sticking to her principles and standing up to Frank’s Bainimarama’s illegal military regime. She did it not only for herself but for her people of Rewa and the people of Fiji. From her father, Ro Lala inherited the title of Roko Tui Dreketi, the traditional title of the rulers of the Burebasaga Confederacy which covers the provinces of Rewa, Nadroga-Navosa, Namosi, Serua, Kadavu and parts of Ba and Ra. After her death, she was succeeded by her younger sister Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa, sadly and disgracefully arrested one day after the 5th anniversary ( 21/07/09 ) of her older sister’s death from the stately home of Valelevu in Lomanikoro. As I thought back of the few days after Adi Lala’s death when her daughters, especially Koila was in a state of despair and so distressed because her Nau couldn’t be laid to rest in Lakeba close to their Ratu, the Tui Nayau.
Twice the people of Lau in the Fijian traditional way asked for the Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Lala to be taken to Lakeba for burial but was refused by the people of Rewa who at the time had Ului on their side. ( My apologies for not knowing the correct Fijian terms for what was performed that night. ) For one that stood by the Mara children thick and thin, I was upset and felt every little bit of what they were going through. In the Western world it was the norm and honourable thing to have your parents buried side by side. It was the last beautiful task the children could do for their parents. Here we had a great love story and a marriage that lasted 54 years so naturally they should be together for eternity.
I could not understand why they had to be apart now. While I was in the kitchen trying to console Koila, Adi Teimumu walked in and sat down. She then asked me to go and sit next to her which I did. Holding my hands and in a soft pleasing manner she explained to me the demands of the indigenous Fijian traditions, customs and protocol. She said it was continuous, involved and even though at times weary it had to be adhered to. She also mentioned that Adi Lala and the children had enjoyed very much the pampering they had all received from her people so it was only befitting that they bury their chief in their chiefly burial ground in Rewa. She concluded that with grace and dignity, none of us must regret later the erosion of the chiefly values and that these values needed to be exercised for the indigenous people of Fiji. I understood what she was saying because I had been brought up to respect the chiefs of Fiji by my dear parents. I was taken back and it was then that I realized how much Ro Teimumu was in control of what was ahead of her as the next Roko Tui Dreketi. Today, because Fiji is a dictatorship ruled by the dictator Frank Bainimarama this innocent human being born into one of the country’s chiefly systems has been denied her responsibility to her people and treated like a common criminal.
What can any of us do? How do you fight a Dictator? Why have her nieces and nephew, Ului the military man allowed it to happen when it was them that broke the law first. Why isn’t her other relatives protecting her, Epeli and Tuki? Where does the chiefly system go from here? A lot of questions are going through my head as is for the majority that can never be answered in a dictatorship but can be resolved democratically in a democracy and a just legal system. Ului, you had listened to your Aunty then, please for all our sakes don’t allow her to be used to justify the stance you and the military have taken. The least you could do is protect her from being treated like a common criminal and give her the respect she is entitled to by your late mother’s people and the rest of us that care and love her deeply. Ro Epeli Malaitini, who at the chiefly village of Cuva at the end of Lady Lala’s mourning period said; “God always had the final say in people’s lives, which was why it is so important to appreciate and maintain the links that bound Fiji’s chiefly clans together.” He called on younger indigenous Fijians to learn from the older chiefs who despite political differences, cherished their links to the different tribes that make up the nation.
Ro Teimumu also said; “We must examine the traditional demands of our race and social structure in light of the resources we have at hand and strike a workable balance.” Life was never meant to be easy but if we treated each other with honesty, integrity and fairness, we can deal with life a lot better. My Australian family and I have great respect in our hearts for what you have done. You and your family are with us in thought, wishes and prayer.
Bubu Laisa’s daughter,

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