Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Sure Fate of Tyrants like Bainimarama

by Sai Lealea

"The era of tyranny is over. In order to stay in their position, the tyrants would do anything”.

Ali Sallabi
Above is a quote by the leading muslim cleric Ali Sallabi, of Libya, from his recent interview with The Washington Post. Sallabi is now regarded a leading figure and an architect of the downfall of the Libyan Dictator Moammar Gaddafi and the creation of the new Libya.

The reminder by the cleric also apply most suitably to Fiji's Dictator Baimarama as his illegal and illegitimate regime now pass 5 years since they stole power from an elected government in Fiji.

Fiji is under the stranglehold of a tyrant who see no way out but instead to entrench his hold on power in perpetuity. Yet as the cleric reminded, and as evidenced by the regular downfall of long time dictators around the world, the end is indeed nigh for tyranny all around. Bainimarama is swimming against the tide on this. But no doubt he is being spurred on by the egotistical raving of the illegal Attorney General, and former terrorist bomb maker, Khaiyum. As well, all those hangers on and background supporters in the business community, especially resort owners, and of course rank and file members of the military who are pocketing handsome pays far beyond their qualifications.

After 5 years of dictatorship what is there to show for the illegitimate regime? Well we all know only good news stories are allowed to be told in Fiji so the real truth can never be revealed. Yet the truth have an uncanny way of revealing itself and for Fiji it is all DOOM and GLOOM. Why else would the illegal regime prevent the free press from telling the news as it sees it and within the law? Because tyrants can't stand the truth being told about them and their regime. Truth to them is what they say it is and allow to be broadcast as news. That is precisely what a dictatorship is all about - the control by an unelected regime of the ability of citizens to formulate their own sense of reality based on their own experience of the life they live each day. 

The power to control what and how people think about their own situation and having the freedom to influence it the way they want, is the worst form of dictatorial rule there is. That is the case in Fiji thanks to the Dictator Bainimarama and his sidekick Khaiyum. Sadly, even once good and formerly upstanding Fiji citizens are now signing up to it.

Recently I read with horror and disgust views even by some SDL party members who seem to be promoting acquiescence to the policies of the current dictatorship. The rationale appears to be the importance of getting into the tent in order to influence the direction and strategic outcomes of political events in Fiji. Not to do so would mean being left behind and rendered impertinent and inconsequential. Such is the language of naked political expediency resulting from shedding one's inner moral and ethical garment. That is also the resultant effect of Fiji's coup culture cultivated over a quarter of a century. It has become normalised to a point of it being rationalised. It is a case of retrofittng the argument to fit the situation we engineered ourselves. However, it still does not mean it is right because the laws and constitution of Fiji clearly states otherwise. Why else did the illegal regime trashed the laws and constitution of Fiji for?
Roko Tui Dreketi
Tui Cakau

Yet I myself would rather align my case alongside those who have stood steadfast against granting legitimacy to an illegitimate regime, especially those imbued with traditional authority of leadership and guardianship over matters Fijian. I refer of course to the Gone Marama Bale Roko Tui Dreketi and the Turaga Bale Tui Cakau among others who, by their persistence and courage, hold out the hope that there is value after all in branding evil for what it truly is. In this regard, I cast a longing glance at the leadership of other key institutions in Fiji such as the church for solace and solidarity in the fight against tyranny. Yet I confess being disappointed as, apart from the Methodist Church, there has not been the kind of solidarity and common purpose around dealing with the illegal regime as I would hope. Again, it is the culture of acceptance and trusting that things will somehow sought itself out. But events in the middle east show clearly that modern dictatorships are often so entrenched that only a full scale uprising will uproot them.

Fiji's Tyrannical Duo - Bainimarama & Khaiyum
That is indeed what I sense will be required in Fiji. Because as Ali Sallabi has correctly surmised, tyrants will do anything to hold on to power. Bainimarama and Khaiyum are no different and the sooner Fiji wakes up to this brutal reality the better and sooner they will again enjoy their freedom. 

That is precisely why Bainimarama will:
  •   dictate the constitution development process to be sure he get his type of constitution and insert in it full immunity for himself and his supporters;
  •  tamper with the election process and the results in his favour;
  • permanently embed his military stooges within the civil service so that he can call in favours whenever he thinks they are due;
  • dish out Chinese loaned monies all round, especially to Fijians and villages, via development projects, to buy votes and support, against any move to oust him from power; and finally
  • groom his family and military sycophants to begin a dynasty to continuously have a role in running Fiji.
Why do I say the above will happen? Because that is what Dictators do and Bainimarama is showing every signs of embarking on it. If such a scenario is never acceptable to Fijians, then they alone can do something about it and soon. 

Dictators Never go quietly. They either die in office or die desperately trying to remain in it.
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