Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cakaudrove joins Rewa in rejecting People's Charter

Posted on Coup Four Point Five - 23 November 2011

Cakaudrove joins Rewa in rejecting People's Charter

The following report emerged after Cakaudrove's council meeting this week. The article by Vasiti Ritova of Bula Bee says Cakaudrove's chief has used his  closing address to reiterate an earlier stand against the regime, just as Ro Teimumu Kepa, did at the Rewa meeting last week.

SOMOSOMO, TAVEUNI (Tuesday 22 November 2011): RATU Naiqama Lalabalavu, Gone Turaga Bale na Tui Cakau, has directed a firm stand against the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.

He has also directed Cakaudrove's traditional leaders not to sign over its shares to the Ministry of Taukei Affairs.

Ratu Naiqama's decisions were handed over by way of his closing address today at the 2011 Cakaudrove Provincial Council.

The paramount chief of Tovata Confederacy stated that the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress is merely "a lip service to please".

The decision is the second of such nature in the past week by paramount chiefs.

Last week, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Gone Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, and members of the Rewa Provincial Council, stood their ground against the People's Charter, saying the current government was illegal as it came into power by way of an illegal coup.

Both paramount chiefs have been steadfast against the Bainimarama military regime in the last four years. And today, as many indigenous Fijians reel from the tough stand of the military regime against the Great Council of Chiefs, Methodist Church in Fiji and largely-Fijian institutions, Ratu Naiqama and Ro Teimumu have been what an observer said is "beacons of hope" for the indigenous Fijians.

The People's Charter had often topped the agenda on various provincial council meetings in the last four years, and the military regime established a whole ministry to look into the document and how it would, according to Bainimarama, initiate change. When he launched it in 2008, he said the Charter would "rebuild Fiji into a non-racial, culturally vibrant, united, well-governed, and truly democratic nation; a nation that will seek progress and prosperity, through merit-based equality of opportunity, and peace".

He stated that race-based policies of the past had "thwarted the orderly progress and development of our nation".

Observers have, however, noted that the Charter was a copy-and-paste document from well-used Development Plans and State of the Economy reports prepared by civil servants for previous democratically-elected governments.
Ro Teimumu expressed the opinion of the people of Rewa, saying they were "sick and tired of coups".

"Our country has suffered many coups and we have learned a lot from these successive coups," she said. "Perhaps the one clear thing we have learned after all these coups is that a coup will always hinder progress and development."

"At this point in history, we can say with certainty that coups contribute nothing positive to our society and will always result in impeding our progress," she added. "The reason we (Rewa) are opposed to the regime and the coup is because we can see no good can come of it, only grave difficulties."

"Therefore, we can say we never will want to experience another coup in Fiji," she said. "If it falls on Rewa to express this opinion to the current regime, so be it. Let there be no confusion; Rewa is opposed to any coup."

Fresh reports have also emerged that members of the Lomaiviti Provincial Council voted its Chairman out, a staunch Bainimarama follower, and have installed Atu Kaloumaira.

Observers say this is good news for Lomaiviti as Kaloumaira would "ensure that right things are done for us". Colonel Etueni Caucau was elected Vice Chairman of Lomaiviti which the regime found unacceptable.

The Lomaiviti Provincial Council meeting was held in Lautoka, and before the military regime could recall it so that it could force them to have a re-election of a new Deputy Chairman, delegates had already left Lautoka.

Political observers report that the tough stand by Rewa has rekindled the flame for Fijian issues to be brought to the fore. They report that "Bainimarama's people are on the run trying to stem the growing tide".


Meanwhile, a People's Charter official, former policeman Kisoko Cagituevei, has warned Rewa that their stand against the regime "could cause differences within the Vanua".
Cagituevei told Radio Fiji News that some villages in Rewa have presented their traditional apologies to government - showing their full support. The Fiji Times reported last month that Narocake had done this.

Cagituevei says this "clearly indicates the differences between the people and their chiefs", adding that the "the main worry" would be "that people could stand up for what they believe is right, and in the process, weaken the respect for chiefs".

He said it was critical for chiefs to "make wise decisions and remain in dialogue with their people".

Cagituevei said the regime did not support a gradual weakening of the chiefly system because it would mean a major isolation from "the government and the church".
Cagituevei has showed his frustration at many meetings in Rewa where strong stances had been taken to stop the adoption of the People's Charter.

The hostile or indifferent reaction of most ordinary Fijians has apparently infuriated the military regime. On 08 September 2008, Bainimarama railed against those criticising the Charter and threatened that elections would be cancelled and the military would rule for a further 20 years unless it was approved.

Whatever the document's final fate, the regime's plans were further derailed by the world financial crisis. With the US and the world threatened with a severe recession, Fiji's exports are likely to take a further hit while tourist numbers could decline further.

Such developments would further exacerbate social tensions and heighten the regime's isolation from the international community.

The Fiji Sun has, meanwhile, reported that government development projects remain a priority in rural areas and outer islands, according to Commissioner Northern Lieutenant-Colonel Ilai Moceica. It cites him as speaking at the Cakaudrove Provincial Council meeting at Somosomo Village on Taveuni saying the Government’s mission is to develop and implement best political, social and economic policies. He is quoted as urging council members to work together in developing the province. The Sun says: "This is part of the Vanua Levu Development Plan focused towards ensuring that the Look North Policy becomes a reality. Lieutenant-Colonel Moceica said Vanua Levu, which included Cakaudrove, was rich with resources and the Government had embarked on a roadmap towards development for the division in its bid to raise the living standards of the people."

Bula Bee reports 

Moceica reassures provincial council 


No comments: