Military has ideas above its station!


From the NZ Herald ( Comments Please!!!) More lounge chair experts on Fiji.

At least two factors must be in place for a country to be subjected to successive coups. The first is the presence of a military force with ideas above its station and little time for notions of democracy. The second, and more important, is a populace that is fatalistic about the loss of its rights and threats to its well-being. So it is with Fiji.

Four coups within the space of two decades have engendered little outward antipathy towards military rule. Some say this reflects a traditional subservience, the product of centuries of oppressive rule by chiefs. But whatever the reason, it was fully appropriate for the Niuean Premier, Toke Talagi, to tell the Fijian people that they had a responsibility to secure the fate of their own country, and to “rise up to challenge” Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime.

Mr Talagi, speaking in Cairns as the outgoing chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum, noted there was little that could be done to quell a mass uprising. “I wonder whether people realise you can’t shoot 500,000 Fijians if they’re rising up peacefully.”

He was not, he said, advocating violent protests, but believed Fijians now had to take matters into their own hands for their children’s sakes.

His speech attracted some odd responses, not least from New Zealand’s Prime Minister. John Key described it as unhelpful, and concluded it effectively proposed trying to right a coup with another coup. “You can’t have a good coup and a bad coup,” he said.

Obviously, the death earlier in the week of the former Philippines President, Corazon Aquino, and the many tributes to her, had passed Mr Key by. The success of her “people power” movement, which in 1986 swept away 20 years of brutal dictatorship by Ferdinand Marcos, was the very model of the activity proposed by Mr Talagi. It inspired political change around the world, and should inspire the Fijian people.

At the moment, most remain passive. They have not reacted to Commodore Bainimarama’s ongoing removal of their democratic rights, including the abrogation of the constitution, or the squashing of dissent, most recently through the arrest of a number of church leaders.

They have not responded to his refusal to meet international deadlines for the holding of elections, which has led to the suspension of badly needed foreign capital and aid, the application of sanctions, and pariah status for their country.

It appears those sanctions will have to extract a far bigger toll in human suffering and the economy to deteriorate further under the regime’s foolhardy policies for unease and unrest among Fijians to grow. If that is what it takes, so be it.

Mr Key says encouraging dialogue between Commodore Bainimarama and other political players in Fiji is the right course of action, “not some sort of uprising of the people”. Unfortunately, the regime has shown not the slightest inclination to heed that encouragement. Universal international condemnation of the regime has been disregarded and pledges dishonoured.

The latest casualty is a Commonwealth demand for elections by September next year. The commodore’s self-appointed deadline, which keeps slipping further into the distance, is now 2014.

No one, least of all Mr Talagi, is suggesting the Fijian people stage a violent revolution. A peaceful solution must be found.

But that does not preclude widespread demonstrations by a populace no longer content to be ruled by a clutch of military officers.

The regime has shown only a willingness to sacrifice the well-being of the Fijian people. Worse is probably still to come.

At some time, the people must abandon their fatalism. They will have to send Commodore Bainimarama and his cohorts back to the barracks – once and for all.


17 responses to “Military has ideas above its station!

  1. Illegal – no comment

  2. Why is this article being published here?

    The writer doesn’t know an inkling of what was happening in Fiji all these years.

    My Bainimarama MUST persevere and NEVER veer away from what he has set out to achieve. That is the only way for lasting peace and prosperity for the people of Fiji.

    The whole world is undergoing dramatic changes now. The status quo that once ruled the world for so long is now changing at a dramatic pace. People are waking up to the reality that all these times, the ruling cabals have been colluding with each other to deny the people their place in and a just society.

    The real motive of this article is to keep the populace from seeing through the lies and distortions shoved down the throats of the ordinary folks for ages.

    Now is the time to right the wrongs of the past. Fiji is at one of the best times to make right everything once and for all and gear itself to the challenges of the 21st century.

  3. frank has made up his mind………and nothing will change that…..his plans will prevail…..nothing will stop that…….his a tough nut to break……….so next question please………….

  4. It seems our neighbours are not interested in going deeper into the crux of the matter. All they want is a tick on a lousy piece of paper. They tested the waters when 3 foreign judges pulled out a 54 page judgement within 24 hours, expecting the then IG to crumble under pressure, the result was the abrogation of the 1997 constitution and the head of state mandated a govt., to take us to elections in 2014. 64% supported the people’s charter, and that number has increased significantly. Frank has the support of the majority, we can solve our own mess thankyou. I have said this before and saying it again: If our neighbours are happy to see an Israel in the south pacific, keep going with your monkey tricks and mischief. BTW I had predicted in early 2007 on Fijilive that the constitution will have to go sooner or later.

  5. The RFMF is a respected institution and is doing exactly what it is supposed to, ie, safeguard Fiji and its people. The major difference between 1987 and now is that there are more intellectuals now as compared to 1987. 2014 will be even better, in that, those that are in high school now will be eligible to vote, and I am sure the education ministry will be looking at preparing our future leaders in transparency and good governance of Fiji.

  6. tamata me ra vosa me ra vakasama tiko! imagen if there was no military and people from several villages decide to break loose and destroy our towns as we have witnessed in the past! WHAT DO WE DO IN THAT SITUATION???? all hell with break loose and it would be a sorry sight for Fiji, so for people that are commenting on do away with the army, think again!! this time from yr mona not yr s…. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. S RAQIQI U just like raqiqi the bird small mind. ME disarm gona the military becuse they have guns to do the coup. If they don’t like anything after the election they will coup again. If the new government go away with this new decree and all they will come back with their guns and coup again.

    People are not that stupid to do anything wrong. That was 15 years ago people repent and learn their lessons.

    WILL You Guarantee that their will be no COUP after elections? The guns they have is the main source of their power struggle.

    Who will guarantee that if people start to take them to court after the election they will not do anything.

    The CONSTITUTION they going to change is just a piece of paper like the degree after degree they make.

    Disarm the army send them home.

  8. vakaroro…….noqu nanuma ni dina tiko o raqiqi…..he makes sence…o keda nai taukei…..eda tamata vakarerevaki…mark my word…will run a mark…like youve never ever seen in your whole live……ia na dakai ga rawa ni tarovi keda… lets keep it that way….you know it……..and i know it…godbless fiji and its people……na dra … kana tamata e tiko vei keda………ka….vakadomobula……a tukuna o ratu sukuna….ni dave na dra…..eda qai kilai kina na kai viti…..that is a very strong statement….so if we work together… one will ever destroy us…….lets work together….and godbless us all………united we stand….and…divided we fall…….

  9. at least when the army carry out the coup , it is a bloodless coup like the 2006! imagen if it was civilian coup and no one to controll???????
    ……..i knew vakaroro was using his s,,,,,, not his mona!!!!!!!!

  10. O sega ni sauma tiko na taro. That means u using yo sona not yo mona RAQIQI.. Simple question you dont answer. Who Guarantee there will be no COUP if the new government comes in and take away all the degree and all.?

    JAGNATH SAMI”S case was the first example. Ratou bokoca na kisi ya. What happen after the election when Jagnath Sami will bring the case back and all other cases lined up to come after the election.

  11. vakaroro, u r really using yr sona!!!! na Kalou taudua ga e rawa ni “guarantee”, no person under the sun can “guarantee” that, all we can do is work towards avoiding situations! This govt is working towards that!…get it????…. na bavulu ga na bavulu!!!!

  12. frank is very brave indeed, to do what he is doing,it takes a hell of a lot of guts…………in the long run the nation of fiji will have to thank him for the stability he has dared to bring about… godbless him and his team……na qai qo sana qai ga…….

  13. @buta, ………tokoni iko bro……

  14. Has anyone ever read anything so questionable and ridiculous from an obviously uninformed, naive commentator with no concept of civic responsibility and no reason or intention to be here on the ground when the demonstrations advocated by him take place. How would this assist Tourism Fiji? How would this put food on the table of families in Fiji and ensure that jobs are preserved: (are the demonstrators who are fortunate enough to have jobs not expected to be working at them?). A very odd and unsound piece of advice from someone who should know a great deal better.

    Unless, of course, Mr Talagi seeks to profit from whatever mischief he seeks to stir up in Fiji? Is that his not too covert intention? If this is so, then Mr Talagi was never suited in the first place to hold any substantive office. A less ethical mode of commentary could scarcely be contemplated. For once, the NZ PM John Key appears to have ‘sussed’ this out and has called for caution and sensible dialogue.

    No leader of stature would ever ask for demonstrations in any adjacent country which might turn violent and which would threaten employment and the economy of another nation, surely? We have been down that path before with disastrous consequences.

  15. Toke Talagi now joins Alexander Downer as one of the most insensitive, off-beam and off-target commentators on Fiji to see the light of day. Talking up a coup d’etat was one thing but to actively foster demonstrations on the streets which may turn violent and wreck people’s livelihoods and threaten lives is quite another.

    Why should we not decide to personally hold Mr Talagi accountable for this mischief? Why should we not choose to call his remarks ‘gross interference’ in our affairs? For that is what they are. Given the recent history of rioting and arson in a number of Pacific Island states, Mr Toke Talagi has shown cavalier disregard for the welfare of fellow Pacific Islanders. He needs to be taken to task.

  16. The NZ Herald – a second rate newspaper if ever there was one – should ‘cop the flak’ along with Toke Talagi for their preposterous editorial. When in New Zealand, one buys The Dominion or the Christchurch-based newspaper in preference. Now it is obvious why. So, the publisher/editor of the NZ Herald should also be held accountable for their inane belief that sanctions are to be ratcheted up and this will lead to ‘democracy’. Did any of these people attend a university? If they did, whatever did they study? Nothing remotely approaching a respectable academic subject, that is for sure.

  17. We all have our own opinions on every topic that comes up. We all have ideas on solving the problem. But is there any one doing any thing about it besides frank. I cant do any thing ,the only thing im doing is wasting my time bloging and reading bullshit. I feel for fiji and fijians. Some times doing nothing is the right thing

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