Sunday, October 17, 2010

FDFM’s Rebuttal of Fiji’s demand for the MSG’s Chairmanship.

Date: 17 October, 2010

The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement calls on the National Leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) not to relent to the demands of the illegal and self styled Prime Minister of Fiji that he be given the chairmanship of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The Movement calls on the MSG leaders to open their eyes to the obvious technique that Bainimarama had used in the past and is now trying to use on the MSG.

His divide and rule technique should not be tolerated and allowed anymore. Not only is it vexatious, it is also damaging to long term multilateral relations in the Pacific Region and the time is right to put a stop to it.

Bainimarama had previously driven a wedge between Fijian leaders and chiefs by awarding some people prestige roles and jobs while denying others. He has offered rural development to certain provinces and tribes while denying others. He has fired many of his senior military officers while quickly elevating junior officers who would have had to wait in line for years before reaching senior officer rank.

In the Region he has attempted to drive a wedge between Pacific islands Forum leaders by trying to portray Australia and New Zealand as too far removed from Pacific Islands and not true Pacific nations.

He is now trying to drive a wedge between leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The question that needs to be asked is how genuine is he in pushing for the interest of the MSG groups or is he only in there for political expediency.

MSG leaders must now take a common stand on the chairmanship issue. It is time, they as elected members address the issue of Bainimarama’s qualification as the next MSG Chairman taking it to consideration that they themselves became leaders via democratic processes.

MSG leaders must also not forget that Bainimarama’s records so far has included the abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs, the dismantling of power of the Fijian Affairs Board and the compromising of powers vested with the Native Land Trust Board to managed communally owned land.

He has removed all affirmative action programmes for indigenous Fijians. The question must be asked, is Bainimarama genuine about the Melanesian Fijians or is there someone else pulling his strings?

Based on Bainimarama’s records on how he treats his own Melanesian Fijian people, does he deserve to take on the august role of chairmanship of the paramount regional body of the Melanesian People?

Since Bainimarama has now removed all affirmative action programs for indigenous Fijians, what is he prepared to do to improve the participation of indigenous Melanesian Fijians in commerce and bring them on par with the descendents of immigrant Indian and Chinese Communities?

After all, he cannot force his so-called political reform on the people without also addressing the huge economic and commercial disparity between indigenous Fijians and the descendents of immigrant races that now dominate Fiji’s Commercial Sector.

MSG leaders must also address the issue of the MSG’s democratic ideals. The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement was born out of our desires of Fijians to restore democracy and freedom in Fiji and strongly appeal to the MSG leaders not to compromise on these ideals. These leaders must not allow a self styled illegal Prime Minister to take the chair.

When making this decision they must carefully decide what message they are trying to send to potential anti democratic opportunist awaiting on the wing for the opportunity to overthrow elected governments in their own country. The lessons from the suffering of the people of Fiji and those of the Solomon Islands to opportunist power grabbers must not be in vain.

MSG leader’s must not make a mockery of the honour and intellectuals of the countries and people they represent because the whole world is looking. They must dwell deep into their conscious and do what is morally and legally right. They should not allow a common thug who legitimised his leadership by cocking a gun on the heads of Fiji’s people to taint the respected and honoured role of MSG Chairmanship.

Commodore Bainimarama is trying to bully himself into the MSG Chairmanship role. It is time the leaders of the rest of the Melanesian Countries and the FLNK of New Caledonia have some spine and follow Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Natapei’s lead by standing up to Bainimarama’s bullying.

FDFM Secretariat.

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