Monday, May 16, 2011

Military Departures Sure Sign of Rejection of Bainimarama

Posted on Coup Four Point Five - 16 May 2011

Why did me ol’ mates (though  2006 coup loyalists) Land Force Commander Brigadier Pita Driti and Commanding Officer Third Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Mara reject Commodore Bainimarama and all his works? 
Now that Mara is in Tonga I am hoping he joins me in bringing to the world the grave injustices of a Fiji  military regime out of control.

I agree with Professor Brij Lal’s assessment on this senior regime leadership crisis that they were ‘unhappy at the way things have gone’ and that ‘things have not gone to the original script.’ (Radio Australia Pacific Beat, 05 May 2011).
Since Bainimarama became Commander RFMF in February of 1999 (over 12 years now) five Land Forces Commander that have served under him have rejected his leadership. I totally agree with Lt Col Mara's assessment of 14 May 2011 that  advice given by many senior officers to the Commander even prior to the 2006 coup to not politicise the military had fallen on the deaf ears of a man swollen with power.
Four of these Land Force Commanders  (Driti, myself, Saubulinayau and Tuatoko) excluding the fifth, Naivalurua, have now been hounded out of the military by Bainimarama.
All for what? So that he could play politics, wielding the military as his instrument of coercion and power.
I had drawn the powers-that-be to this situation on the 13 Jan 2006 - the day of my suspension from the Fiji Military.
Land Force Commanders are chosen by their proven ability to command at least one or more of the Fiji military’s major local units or overseas peacekeeping units and have attended both Staff College and the senior Defence College.
These Land Forces Commanders who've fallen out with Bainimarama were all highly experienced and highly trained professionals at the top of their careers.
They were cashiered because in their full professional assessment during the various stages of Bainimarama’s illusionary leadership they had stood for the integrity of the RFMF as an institution and had witnessed the deception and aberrations of a military leader who had politicized the RFMF.
It is time that my fellow officers both in the regular forces and territorial forces stood up and voice an end to all of this nonsense of the RFMF in politics and  being the ‘guardians’ and ‘saviours’ of the people. Our nation is bleeding.

Jone Baledrokadroka, CM, MSD, psc, CDSS defence college, PhD scholar, MA Strategic, GDip Strat Def, US Naval Post Grad Sch,Def Cert UK.
Former RFMF Land Force Commander
Former RFMF Chief of Staff
Former RFMF Commanding Officer Engineers Regiment
Former RFMF Commanding Officer Fijibatt (MFO) Sinai

Editor's Note: 
Jone Baledrokadroka was a former inmate at Naboro Maximum prison, who was granted a nolle prosequi by Justice Bruce in 2008 prior to the abrogation of the constitution after which he became a pawpaw farmer in Sigatoka Valley. He is now residing in Australia where he is a PhD in politics candidate at ANU, Canberra.
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