Monday, May 7, 2007

Are We There Yet?

It's now the 5th month and counting. Nothing has changed for the better, just gotten worse. The people have listened to the coup perpetrators and apologists, in their attempts to justify the actions of the military led regime, and are now fed up and starting to speaking out against this corrupt "clean up campaign".

We have seen the Fiji Military Commander Voreqe Bainimarama make a complete fool of himself in his outbursts against the US and other countries who have decided to call for a quick return to democracy. The people watched as Bainimarama tried to put a spin on the results of the EU trip to make it sound like EU agreed with them! These points were conditional, and so far Voreqe has broken the first one with the extension of the Emergency Decree for another month.

Then we had the May Day Protest organised by my fellow bloggers Intelligentsiya, Good Men and Women Doing Something, Discombobulated Bubu and other supporters and contributors to their blogs. This in my opinion was a success - not because I'm one of them, but simply because the military in their feeble attempts to deny hunting "Fijian Black" made this blogger and his protest receive the attention it deserved. Regardless of the Lewenski propaganda, people protested in their own ways, and though the numbers may not have been visibly large there was a lot of feedback on what people did.

Thank you to those of you who took action in protest against this illegal regime. Congratulations for standing for something you believe in.

In reading recent editorials in the Fiji Times and Nai Lalakai, the voice of the people are now getting louder with the common question being asked this illegal military regime:

  • Where is the proof of this so called "widespread corruption" that you started claiming in 2002?
  • Did you have this proof before the coup?
  • Where is the result of this clean up campaign Voreqe and his goons keep harping on about?
  • What is there to clean up?
  • Who should be doing the clean up?
The same Nai Lalakai issue had two interviews on the matter of the disbanding of the GCC. Interesting read for the indigenous populace. That this indigenous news paper is questioning the intentions of this illegal regime is a major accomplishment in itself.

IF Voreqe was as accountable as he and his senior officers (Naivalurua, Teleni, Driti, Lewenski, Naupoto...) claim to be, these questions would have been answered long before!
After all, they did have 4 years and 2 elections to prepare their case against the SDL led government and provide proof that will stand in a court of law - current tainted judiciary aside!

If Voreqe was as accountable as he claims himself to be; there'd be more support for this "clean-up" campaign then there is now!

If Voreqe was as accountable as he claims himself to be; Countries such as US, Australia, NZ, and organisations such as EU would not be holding back funds on conditional release for quick return to Elections.

If Voreqe was as accountable these countries would not be holding sanctions against Fiji!.

So what has happened in April?

Voreqe humiliated publicly by giving back the US their "street". His weak claims at laying this at the door of the Virginia Tech shootings further proved to the nation his cold heartedness at not even acknowledging the deaths at military hands of the late Nimilote Verebasaga and Sakiusa Rabaka.

EU delegation (waste of tax payers money) returned with illegal AG saying that the EU agreed with their illegal roadmap. From the increasing emphasis on spin that the EU was working with this illegal regime to "move the country forward" it was obvious that something was amiss. As the information filtered in later, publications in the Fiji Times and other blogs showed that the EU funds were to be given based on conditions. The conditions listed out were all in line with the reason why I started this blog.
Read here about the list of EU conditions to be met before this illegal regime would get the money

Driti playing his deflection game again (must've taken pointers from my article) :)
this time blaming Rabuka for the coup culture. As to be expected, he lost this round also.

Shaista Shameem blamed the coup culture on the British colonial system. I had read the Fiji Times online article and entertained myself at the Fiji Times blog oops comments section with the occasional comment. Her attempt at deflection was an insult to the intelligent majority of this country, the same majority that is no longer buying what this illegal military regime is shoveling.

May Day Protest on 01 May 2007. This protest organised by the anti-coup bloggers got the illegal military regime worried to the point where
  • PSC publicly threatened any civil servant that stayed home on May 01 2007 or face disciplinary actions.
  • Lewenski first denying that they were monitoring the protest organiser Fijian Black.
  • Lewenski then claiming that "yes they were monitoring the protest" and tried to downplay it with "not spending too much time on it"
  • Lewenski didn't read the comments that followed. Can't type it here, my bit for freedom of media being responsible.
  • People still took action either by staying at home, or turning up to work and not doing anything.

More people getting on the smart sanctions list, with recent outbursts against the list by a PSC senior earning her a spot on that list.

We read yet another article of support in Fiji Times by another academic supporting Voreqe, following in Dr. Nandan's footsteps. This author claimed that the blogs were being run by NGO staff who were "living the high life". It appears that their are a small group of people who have been allowed to speak out for this coup, slating us bloggers and the previous Government. More then not their arguments are the same, just different words. They argue that to go against this coup is to support the deposed SDL government and it's "racist policies". I for one did not vote for SDL in the last elections and do not plan on doing so in the next one. The similar templates used by these various speakers hints at a coordinated effort by the junta at building "public perception" - to borrow from Leweni's book of phrases. As a fellow blogger has already taken apart their arguments and points, I shall quickly move on.

The attempt at grouping and labelling the Fiji Freedom bloggers movement was so obvious that even the untrained mind could distinguish it from the truth.

This effort in itself speaks volumes of the increasing lack of support this junta has, and their realisation of it. We the people of Fiji wait and watch to see who personally benefits from their statements with what rewards.

We celebrate Media Freedom day with Lewenski telling the nation that the military supports the right to information, but will only disseminate the information they deem relevant to the public - on a "need to know" basis.
read more about the event from a bloggers perspective

The self proclaimed Fijian Affairs expert Epeli Ganilau disbands the Great Council of Chiefs (Bose Levu Vakaturaga) because they refused to support the President's nomination of Vice President - a nominee who has already taken a leading role in this illegal regime. This blatant slap in the face for the indigenous Fijian has started a rift amongst the Fijians of this nation, with the majority behind their Chiefs. Those who support the illegally appointed Epeli Ganilau (failed politician who couldn't win his seat in 2006 election) are keeping a very low profile due to the caliber of their opposition, the Vanua's support for the GCC. This rift has somewhat started what could be seen as the Fijian Civil War, a clash between the traditional indigenous Fijian and the pro-coup/anti-SDL/anti-Chief Fijian. The indigenous Fijian culture is now undergoing its biggest challenge in its short democratic history, with what could be the beginning of the end for the Fijian hierarchical structure.


Fiji citizens are again subjected to the rules of the Emergency Decree, extend once again to the end of May. This prohibits the great minds from organising public rallys to express our disagreement with the existing illegal regime and the crimes that they have committed against us the people of this nation. It denies us the freedom to speak out against the illegal military regime.
I had hoped that this would not be the case as the illegal military regime would understand that they risk all the EU money by breaking this first promise to the EU. It appears that they are either subjecting themselves to the temperamental manner in which Voreqe governs himself and this country, or they are too focused on their power play that they think they can push the envelope as far as they can with these international bodies. They have obviously made the assumption that given time, these international sanctions will be lifted and things will go back to normal on the international front. Assumptions...

We see the illegal military regime pulling back our esteemed ambassadors all in the name of "reshuffling". This is a public confirmation of the original intention of this group of illegal administration - to replace all those appointed to various posts under previous Government with their own friends and associates - regardless of credentials. The fact that this whole process is being carried out under the very noses of the people of Fiji says a lot for the Fiji people's mentality of acceptance and "shoulder shrugs".

Sadly, whilst a seemingly small group use the blogs for their voices to be heard, the real voices of frustrations are out there being smothered by the apparent media self-censorship and isolation from central areas of activities.

We see the illegal regime desperately trying to make the international countries give them breathing space, delaying the elections as much as possible. We have the international countries and bodies placing "smart sanctions" on the members and supporters of this illegal regime. We have the junta publicly claiming to move this country forward whenever they accomplish something that was started and planned before the coup - a typical case of twisting perception making it appear as though they deserve all the credit. The reason why they're doing this is obvious.

Without the international funding this illegal military regime is dependant on, they will not succeed.
The illegal military regime realise the fact that the people of Fiji, ordinary citizens like you and me, are tired of their lies and deception; their daily insult of our intelligence with their unending corruption and blatant rape of our rights!

Fiji now has a MILITARY POLICE deployed across the nation under the guise of assisting Police with their police work fighting the "recent increase in crime".

The illegal military regime have acknowledged the potential threat to their illegal rule of the public moving in a coordinated effort to destabilise their regime - why else would they deploy soldiers to police stations! In doing so, they have only served to confirm the public perception that the Police are mere military puppets.
They are also confirming the Military state that Fiji's leadership has become.

Sad time to be a policeman, having their hard earned well deserved reputation dragged down to the same level as the military - all because Voreqe kicked out all the honourable senior policemen in place of disgraced ones.

Increase compared to what time? The obvious increase started in December 5 with the overthrow of a legally elected Government. The illegal regime's failed attempt at declaring the 2006 Elections invalid has left them with no other avenue to legally justify their actions. Their moral justifications for the December 5 coup flew out the window the minute they started, with their lack of control over the violent abuse of citizens' rights and eventual murder of two innocent citizens.

This public show of force further confirms the extent of Military rule in this country. The recent crimes committed in this country have not exceeded the crime rate of previous years, yet is being used as an excuse to deploy armed military personnel with the police. Police being joined by an institutions run by yet-to-be-tried criminals in the fight against crime. How ironic.

It appears that with this recent instant police recruitment, the days of free public gatherings are over for Fiji - for as long as this military regime continues its illegal rule.

Mahendra Chaudhry is now announcing the proposal to downsize the Government - a concept that was initiated by the Qarase led Government from 2001 till their overthrow in 2006. The manner in which this was reported made it appear as though the work was all done by this illegal regime. Similar trends in past reporting (EU trip) all spun to make it sound like the international bodies were complying with this illegal regime's plans. We all know the truth in that!
It is unfortunate for the current civil servants as this downsizing (propaganda phrase is "right sizing") is really another means of the illegal military regime getting more cash for their cash strapped agenda.

We have yet to see the progress of the murder investigations into the murders of the late Nimilote Verebasaga and Sakiusa Rabaka in separate incidents. The Police were quick to go public with the status when the families of the deceased threatened legal action. This was back in early April, and nothing since then; after we were all distracted with the deflections of the illegal regime making the media focus on other news items in turn sweeping this item almost under the carpet. Almost.

Voreqe, Lewenski and Military Police mouthpiece Romanu have all become silent on this matter. The last word from Leweni was "it's before the courts" during the media freedom talks held recently. The judicial arm of the bloggers network have refuted this claim. So where is this case at Romanu Tikotikoca?

How much more pain will the families of the two deceased undergo before they get the justice deserved them?

Are you planning to hold out for the "statute of limitations" ?

US making its stand known on the illegal overthrow of an elected government from none other then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice herself. Other Pacific political giant Australia and New Zealand are still enforcing their smart bans and sanctions on Fiji's illegal regime. EU still holds the illegal regime to the

In short the illegal regime appears more desperate in trying to secure more funding in their capitalising on the funds already secured by the deposed government. There appears to be more intimidation coming our way, possibly to deter any civilian from expressing their opinions about this illegal regime by deploying more soldiers on the streets with their recent deployments to Police stations around the country. Although the crime rate has been worse before, the report of recent criminal activities are being used by the military for this deployment.

As a citizen you must ask yourself, will the soldiers based at the various police stations make them get to our houses faster?
Will their presence decrease the police's reaction time when a crime is reported?
Their presence is simply just to intimidate the citizens - criminals and citizens alike.
Will that work?
Obviously not, the criminals have been at it before the coup, and are back at it again. That this Military Police presence may deter criminals is very questionable, but it certainly will intimidate the increasing number of citizens who are frustrated with this illegal regime.

Fiji has reached a stage where 4 coups down the line, the people are more aware of their rights to a democratically elected government, and the illegality of a coup, and don't need a coup to show them the blatant abuse of power that is being exercised by this illegal military regime.

That this coup is illegal goes without saying - even the illegally appointed Interim Prime Minister Jona Senilagakali acknowledge that this coup was illegal. He even went on to say that we should just "accept it and move on", words later echoed by Voreqe, Leweni, Epeli Ganilau, Epeli Nailatikau. Telling us that they know they have committed an illegal act (a crime) and in the same breath forcing us to accept it and live with it. They have. I wont!. Will you?

The idea that I would one day, in Fiji, have to fight for my right to voice my frustrations against an illegal military regime without the intimidating fear of being beaten up or harassed by the military seemed so far fetched that even now I often stop and wonder how we as a nation got drawn back all the way to our "dark days". (a quote often used by Voreqe claiming that the previous government's policies were taking Fiji back to it's darker days)

The sad fact of the matter is that I and others like myself have taken to the internet to raise our voices against this illegal military regime that has plundered and torn apart our governing body all for their own personal good.
I did not want to risk my life and the lives of my family members to these thugs should my identity be made known, hence my anonymity.

I take my hat off to Seremaia Tui for publicly criticizing the military and their alleged clean up operations. He may have been hunted by the military, or may not have been, but the confusion on whether or not to print this story stinks of military intimidation then anything. Keep safe!

Having attained powers through illegal means, this military regime and their friends have walked all over our rights with their ad-hoc legislations, they've killed 2 citizens in the process, severly beaten up countless more, humiliated our senior citizens and indigenous leaders and simply thrown out all sense of logic and fair play since their takeover in December 5.

Our silence and acceptance of these actions and these people make us accomplices of theirs in all their crimes.

Are you one of them?

Do you unknowingly agree with them?

Then why are you silent?

What are you waiting for?

Speak up now ! Don't let this military intimidation get to you!


Anonymous said...

Driti is at it again on FijiLive: "We will not arrest him but this is a formal warning to him and others who wish to spoil our reputation in future," Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti said.
It still does not appear to have dawned on Driti that reputations are earned, as is mana. The opinions people hold of the army are based on that institution's own actions.
Thought Police will always be unsuccessful.
Grow up Driti, stop being an inadequate little man and take some responsibility for your actions! Your reputation can only be spoiled by your own actions and accept that they will be judged by others, just as everyone else has to.

ex Fiji Tourist said...

Congratulations on a brilliant article!

It will be interesting to see what "spin" these 2 fools who have wasted money in going to USA put on the discussions there.

I wonder if they will come out and say that all the countries of the Pacific support them; I hope that the meeting supports of motion of disgust in the bullies who are setting Fiji on a backward course to disaster.

By the way, for such a small army ( and a tin pot navy ), why do you need so many high ranking officers? (An admiral. for crying out loud for 9 oversized dingies)

Get rid od some of them and you would put the national budget back into surplus.

Fiji Human Rights Watch said...

Well sad and thought out. Vinaka.

Keep up the good work and may goodness win over tyranny

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hearts and Minds. As always - intellectually inspiring article. Yes the Fiji public has to be mobilised to speak up and continue speaking up for the truth.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a well written and succinct article. Very thought - provoking. The very first thing Fiji's next elected government should do is DOWNSIZE the army - I agree with ExFijiTourist above. What do we need all the big dickheads for ? At the end of the day we are having to pay the price for EGO WARS ...... I do not dig this scene at all ! Way to go Hearts and Minds - please blog and blog and blog - you are an inspiration to us all.

Anonymous said...

Yep I agree, well summarised and presented.
What did driti say about spoiling the reputation.....Havent they done that themselves.

Anonymous said...

Very well written & so so true! I always find your articles mentally stimulating and so logically thought out. You can write a book after all this is over. Excellent job! Keep up the good work...

Anonymous said...

Great article! I agree very much with your points... and I really love the stars... :)