Wednesday, June 19, 2013

UN Has No Care for Lack of Democracy in Fiji


by Sai Lealea

The decision by the UN to accept Fijian soldiers for peacekeeping duties in the Golan is further evidence it has no respect or care about the lack of democracy in Fiji under the Bainimarama dictatorship. It is a sad commentary on the UN and its inability to live by its various charters and principles so elegantly crafted to provide the bulwark for its leadership in promoting democratic ideals around the world. As often noted, its acceptance of Fijian soldiers points to two fundamental flaws against its own moral and ethical codes.

First, how can it be using soldiers, more like mercenaries, for peacekeeping duties, who in fact have been party to the treasonous overthrow of a democratically elected government? Those soldiers have also been the main tools for the Bainimarama dictatorship to terrorise citizens and suppress freedom and abuse human rights. No wonder, the UN has been accused to have lost its moral standing to speak and act against tyranny around the world. Its own charters and principles just don't align with its actions on the ground.

Secondly, small is unimportant when it comes to UN strategic considerations. Fiji's size and place in the global chess game of strategic significance just don't matter. To the UN, there has been no mass arrests, murder or torture in Fiji of the level that could perhaps be regarded as catastrophic or genocidal for it to effectively isolate the Bainimarama dictatorship. Sadly, for Fijians who have suffered under the brutal Bainimarama regime, via the ill treatment by its soldiers, they feel exactly that as they have no other brutal experience to compare it with.

For any future government in Fiji, not under the current regime's oversight, it must really examine its relationship with the UN. It must work to strengthen its voice in collaboration within its regional groupings to point out the flaws in the UN's approach in ignoring the plights of small nations like Fiji. The UN is basically saying to tinpot dictators and would be dictators it is okay to use your military to overthrow a government then put your own version in power and institute a process to eventually return to some form of democratic rule. Do that and it's okay to continue using your military for UN peacekeeping duties.

Just because the UN has lost its appetite to stand up to dictators like Bainimarama does not invalidate the fight for the rest of us to return Fiji to a nation that respects human rights and having in power a government of our choosing, and not one put in place by soldiers, now to masquerade as peacekeepers in the Golan.


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