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Fiji Constitution Lives

April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

By Michael Field

It was the Good Friday Coup, or, as I prefer to think of it, Coup 4.5.

Voreqe Bainimarama, whose CV is devoid of education or combat, has merely tried to finish off what he thought he staged in December 2006.

But because he was so badly advised, he forgot to overthrow the constitution.

So, on Good Friday 2009, he got the syphilitic Josefa Iloilo to “abrogate” the Fiji Constitution. A couple of New Zealanders even helped do this act.

Which is kind of ironic, because one of them must of known what he was doing. Especially in the declaration that Iloilo muttered, the bit about how Fiji’s existing laws remained in place, even if the constitution had been trashed.

So that means, does it not, Christchurch lawyers, the Fiji penal code is still in place?

Yes, of course it is. Iloilo said it was in place.

Section 50 of the Penal Code defines of the crime of treason.

So lets race back to 2001 when the charges were being drawn up against Ilikimi Naitini aka George Speight and Timoci Silatolu and assorted others…

The charge against them listed assorted “overt acts” by which they committed the said charge, of treason.

This one is of particular relevance to the events of Good Friday. And remember, before reading it, that this charge is proven. It exists in the common law of Fiji. It is real. George Speigh was convicted of this. So were assorted others. It is not a fanciful piece of academia; this is an actual part of the charge tried and convicted in Fiji.

“Fourth Overt Act

On the 19th day of May 2000 ILIKIMI NAITINI a.k.a. GEORGE SPEIGHT with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and persons unknown did purport to abrogate by Decree the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of the Fiji Islands as established by law.”

It is worth noting too, as Iloilo has sworn in Bainimarama as prime minister and assorted others to cabinet what the next part of the charge said:

“Fifth Overt Act

On divers dates on or after the 19th day of May 2000 the accused, and other persons unknown did purport to promulgate various enabling Decrees under which ILIKIMI NAITINI a.k.a. GEORGE SPEIGHT with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and other persons unknown purported to appoint a President, a Prime Minister and other Ministers and others under the aforementioned ‘Taukei Civilian Government.”

Remember, people of Fiji, just because Iloilo says the Constitution is no more, it does not make it so.

Fiji’s Constitution continues.

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Manning permalink
    April 12, 2009 11:58 PM

    Divers dates , should read diverse dates , unless we are speaking of someone who is going diving in the ocean etc.:-
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverse
    Yet it does suggest in this link , that either can be used !

  2. ex Fiji tourist permalink
    April 13, 2009 1:41 AM

    I have prepared [ thanks to Michael] the charges for ex president bernie.

    Please print these out and give to a policeman so he can arrest bernie and take him to court.

    “First Overt Act

    On the 10th day of April 200p Josefa Iloilo with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and persons unknown did purport to abrogate by Decree the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of the Fiji Islands as established by law.”

    “Second Overt Act

    On divers dates on or after the 10th day of May 2009 the accused, and other persons unknown did purport to promulgate various enabling Decrees under which Josefa Iloilo with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and other persons unknown purported to appoint a President, a Prime Minister and other Ministers and others under the aforementioned bananasinpyjamas’ Government.”

  3. Mark Manning permalink
    April 13, 2009 1:48 AM

    I was wondering if there was any relevance to these facts , and that perhaps someone of a legal mind , might enlighten us :-
    Firstly ,
    In his speech , the President stated that from 3 P.M. on Thursday the 9th of April 2009 , there was no longer a Government of the Republic of the Fiji Islands , supposedly due to the Court of Appeal’s ruling stating that the President’s act of appointing an Interim Prime Minister and Interim Government on the 5th. of December 2006 , was illegal under the Constitution and that the President didn’t have the Authority to make such an appointment .
    Secondly ,
    Having professed , despite the Court of Appeal’s ruling to the opposite , that essentially , there was no longer a Government of the Republic of the Fiji Islands , the President assumed that he alone , apparently , was the only one who remained in Authority , and that Mr. Qarase and his Legally Elected Government , which to date , has neither resigned nor been dissolved , no longer had Legitimate Authority .
    How the President came to that conclusion , I’m unsure !
    Thirdly ,
    The President stated that he had abrogated the Constitution , however , he and no one else , miraculously , remained in Authority !
    I’m confused as to who decided that everyone else of Authority was automatically no longer so and that ” if ” there was no longer a Government , as stated by the President himself , then on what basis did the President assume he alone remained in Authority .
    Fourth ,
    The President , having decided that there was no longer a Government but that he was the only one who remained in Authority , elected to appoint himself :-
    ( head of the state of Fiji ) !
    I wasn’t aware that Fiji was a State !
    The President , didn’t appoint himself :-
    ( Head of State of the Republic of the Fiji Islands ) !
    Personally , I believe that there is potentially a significant difference and that when the time comes , this may be of relevance in a Court of Law .

    One would have to wonder :-
    A/
    Was the President culturally offended by the Court of Appeal’s ruling in questioning his Authority in appointing an Interim Prime Minister , because he is a Chief ?
    In which case , perhaps appointment of the President by the Great Council of Chiefs may need to be reviewed .
    B/
    Was the President a party to this coup d’tate from the outset ?
    In which case , he may need to be brought before the Courts at the conclusion of this charade , to face charges of High Treason .
    C/
    Does the process of appointment of Officers within the Military , Commissioned and non-Commissioned , need to be reviewed ?

  4. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 2:58 AM

    Aww Miguel! 4.5? Call it what it is: Number 5. Then we can ensure Dr Ratuva’s nice little spreadsheet of analysis worls better. I’m not sure he’s into dividing Excel spreadsheet cells without the need to totally discard an entire structural analysis.
    Better to say the coup to end all coups (number 4) was UNSUCCESSFUL, so we needed a Number 5.

  5. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:07 AM

    @ Mark: I think you attribute FAR FAR too much to the President. Take a step back and just look at the state of him!. It’s no wonder that until it was completely necessary, he was kept out of the limelight!
    It’s not too dissimilar to the reason Gates has purportedly done a runner.
    There’ll be another pathetic little prick of NZ nationality desperately trying to organise a retreat without losing face as well. Will it be Christchurch or Colombo? I reckon Colombo’s a better bet

  6. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:19 AM

    Oh, and RFN is wondering about Justice Shameen. Well Scutt will SURELY take sympathy on a well intentioned ‘sista’ won’t she? But then Melbourne or Sydney for that matter can be just as dangerous as Colombo or its environs.
    They all tried their best to portray themselves a victims in all this stupidity. Now some of them are. Oh Dear! How Sad!

  7. Mark Manning permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:31 AM

    Tim
    I do get the picture , but am just being anal for the sake of it.
    Who knows what relevance all these points will have in the future , if any , when Democracy is returned ?
    Also , I often I only post comments in an attempt to share what is happening , for those who who are tuning into S.V. for the 1st. time .
    And of course , they are only my personal views anyway It’s shameful that a chief is being dishonoured by a fellow Fijian this way , that an old man is being used in this manner and that a potentially senile senior citizen is being treated in this manner .
    It’s quite pathetic of Frank and Co. and only exposes what sort of person he is and how low he will go to avoid the charges that await him regarding his alleged involvement in the murders of the 5 C.R.W. Soldiers of 2000 .
    Their ghosts will haunt him for the rest of his life .
    If indeed the president is senile etc. then I have been vindicated in my above comment , because I have already thought that either his Decree suggests that he is senile , he is sending a signal that he knows what is going on but can’t escape Frank’s clutches or that he is involved in the coup from the start .
    I personally am inclined to think that he is aware , but like many , unable to do anything constructive at the moment .
    And that could be Frank’s undoing in time .

  8. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:53 AM

    Yea I know mark :p and keep it up too!.
    Michel Field (and indeed Andrew Hughes) had a better handle on those behind the coup many many months ago. But if anyone thinks Iloilo or Bainimarama has the mental capacity to engineer what’s happened over the pas couple of years, they’re fucking deluded.
    That’s not to say that Bainimarama ESPECIALLY isn’t culpable.
    But watch the engineers slink there way out now one by one depreately trying to clutch onto their riches while the average Joe pays for it all.
    I have to say I’m reviewing my stance on capital punishment. I’d sure as hell be happy to put a bullet through their skulls, but thankfully given time, others are going to do it for me – and probably offshore (from Fiji) somewhere.

  9. Save the Sheep permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:58 AM

    Thank you all for the debate but lets face facts.

    The 1997 Constitution is Gone. There is no Judiciary in place to appeal the actions of the President who hilariously has past his ‘used by date’ and is in place without the authority of the GCC which has been disbanded.

    Unless there is stout resistance from within Fiji itself, then it is ‘game over’ folks and these guys will just do what the want to do as they have been all along.

    Pathetic though isn’t it? I was particularly amused by the rantings of the CAMV who so quickly condemned Qarase and threw their lot behind the Commander. This was Fiji at its most truthful LIU MURI……

    There will always be coups in this Country while our people fail to live by or even die for principles of substance. This is a dog eat dog society and no clean up campaign or depoliticisation of decision making (how naive) will change.

    The ‘top dog’ is in power now and it is just so sad that good people have been sucked into the whole charade.

    Will the next Top Dog be any better? I doubt it….

  10. Mark Manning permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:01 AM

    Tim
    he who resorts to violence , has already lost the battle !
    as tempting as it may be , i the think the strategy that Mr. Qarase and others have used , is , in the long run for Fiji , far more potent .
    Any civilian , including those in the Military , who have supported any of the coups and their supporters since 1987 , is as guilty as Frank and Co.
    And it’s this mentality that must be stopped .
    Laws , eventually , need to be enacted to make it illegal to talk of sedition and treason , but they must be enforced as well.
    Unfortunately for Fijians , there is the Cultural aspect which seems to interfere here and everyone seems related or co-joined because of their roots , clans , Islands etc. .
    It’s simply time for Fijian Politics to come into the 21st. century and for it’s Laws to be respected and upheld .

  11. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:14 AM

    Yea I’m happy to let others do it for me, and I won’t judge them for it :p
    Our bullets are more symbolic than real, but just as effective

  12. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:15 AM

    Speaking of which I notice Musharif is still alive, but you can be sure as hell that he’s watching his back for all he’s worth!

  13. Mark Manning permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:17 AM

    Save the sheep
    If you read the most recent article on this site , you’ll see that George Speight had no Authority to Abrogate the Constitution and neither did the President on Good Friday !
    And that’s the point !
    Indeed , I agree , that because Frank didn’t abrogate the Constitution in 2006 , that everything that has transpired since , by him and his supporters , including the Military council , those appointed by the Regime , Judges , Politicians and most recently , the President etc. have all broken the Law under the very Constitution they purport to shave supported for the past 2 years And I’ve always wondered why Frank didn’t abrogate the Constitution from the beginning of this latest coup .
    You can’t Abrogate a Constitution either and then to purport to support the Laws of the land ! It just doesn’t make sense !
    That’s like cutting off a horses head and then saying that your going to ride it around the Island You can’t abrogate the Supreme Law of the Land , the Constitution and then say you’re going to enforce it’s Laws , and that’s what the President Decreed .
    Well , I’m going to make my own Decree , but does it have credibility , do I have the Authority to do so ?
    No , and that is the argument being expressed here this morning .
    Just because I say something is , it doesn’t necessarily mean it is !
    The President , of the Republic of the Fiji Islands , under the Constitution of 1997 , does ” not ” have the Authority to Abrogate the Constitution , Decree anything or Promulgate !
    The Constitution remains intact and all of the actions of the President since Good Friday , are illegal as are those of Frank and Co.
    We all know that Frank is trying to avoid prison for Sedition in 2006 and his alleged involvement in the murders of the 5 C.R.W. soldiers in 2000 .

  14. Tim permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:18 AM

    I guess my point is that those that CHOOSE to live by the sword shouldn’t expect any sympathy if and when they die by it, and each and every member of this junta and its past and present outspoken apolgists are just as culpable

  15. April 13, 2009 3:18 PM

    @ Save the Sheep 3.58am

    Honey, you said the right words – “Unless there is stout resistance from within Fiji itself”

    The key to overthrowing this illegal regime has always been, and still remains – organised resistance, rebellion, strikes, street marches, protests and a fair slap of sabotage.

    Tabu soro

    God bless Fiji

  16. Jean d'Ark permalink
    April 13, 2009 5:13 PM

    Yeah FG!

    Just remember lawyers protests in Pakistan. Started off small – but grew and grew until quite significant by the time Musharraf resigned.

    But didn’t even stop there either. Just kept going until even Zidari couldn’t ignore it anymore. And now Iftikar Chaudhry is (officially recognized as) CJ of Pakistan again.

    So Tabu Soro, indeed!

  17. Jean d'Ark permalink
    April 13, 2009 7:18 PM

    Ratu Mara already showed us the path of courage in 2000 when he warned Frank at that time, too – if the Constitution goes, I go!

    Well, it’s OUR time now! Time for us to follow his lead and step out of his shadow and defend our country and our Constitution ourselves!

    ********************************

    Transcript below – Sam’s speech to Frodo in the Two Towers:

    Sam: By rights we shouldn’t even be here, Mr. Frodo. But we are. It’s like in the great stories – the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they are. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That’s there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

  18. Jean d'Ark permalink
    April 13, 2009 7:20 PM

    Or how about this one?

    Transcript below – JFK quoting American Declaration of Independence

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  19. April 13, 2009 10:30 PM

    Inspiring stuff, JdA. It is this faith in the truth, (and indeed in The One Truth) that we must hold in our hearts if we are to run a successful organised resistance against this illegal regime and it’s puppet head.
    God bless Fiji

  20. Lima permalink
    April 14, 2009 2:48 AM

    Jean d’ Ark You Say;

    “Ratu Mara already showed us the path of courage in 2000 when he warned Frank at that time, too – if the Constitution goes, I go!”

    I maintain Mara is to blame for Fiji’s coup culture. He should have had more sense than to back Rabuka and later agree to become interim PM.

    Jean in 2000 it came back to bite him! Mara had no choice but to say; “if the Constitution goes, I go!”

    Half of the country’s population are not educated on “democracy” but everyone in Fiji know who Mara was. These people that no nothing about democracy believed that Mara was the big powerful man that knew everything and how to govern Fiji. It is time we started to let the people of Fiji know that Mara should have fought tooth and nail to stop Rabuka from carrying out the 1st coup. These people should also be told how he used Rabuka and Fiji’s Military for his own agenda.

    They should know the similarities of what Bainimarama and his children are now doing.

    I am amazed at how the Mara children are still respected in Fiji because they are the children of the person I believe to be the cause of the coup culture in Fiji.

    Good Luck With Your Fight In Getting Your Democracy Back because without outside intervention or an uprising within the Military – Bainimarama and his cronies are here to stay until they get everything they want.

  21. Asgrocky permalink
    April 14, 2009 7:40 AM

    @ Lima
    That’s the great thing about blogging. You can state your own opinion.

  22. Jean d'Ark permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:52 AM

    @ Lima

    Yeah – maybe so!

    But in the end, he did the right thing.

    And so should we!

  23. Lima permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:52 PM

    Jean you don’t understand! We should be trying to educate the majority of Fiji’s population that Mara, the person he was was the cause of Fiji’s coup culture and if he had tried with his influence overseas and Fiji the coup culture could have been nipped in the bud there and then.

    The majority then were all followers of the great man Mara!

    You want your “democracy” try explaining to the people of Fiji the Rabuka coup should not have happened and Mara was in the wrong to support Rabuka. Accept Mara’s involvement and you will never rid of the coup culture!

    That simple!

  24. Lima permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:56 PM

    Jean it is sad but we the educated ones know to do the right thing but try explaining to the ones that have no idea and do not appreciate “democracy”

    I am starting to think that even the educated ones do not understand “democracy”

  25. Asgrocky permalink
    April 14, 2009 5:56 PM

    @ Lima
    That’s the great thing about blogging. The opinion you post is your own. Just as it’s my own opinion that Ratu KKT Mara was the greatest leader Fiji ever had. And it’s also my own opinion that Ratu Mara, apart from being very well educated, was sophisticated, articulate, cultured, well liked and highly respected by world leaders. Leave the gentleman well alone to rest in peace.

  26. Samy permalink
    April 15, 2009 11:05 AM

    Asgrocky – It is people like you that take pleasure in what is happening in Fiji.

    Lima is correct in saying that Ratu Mara should have tried harder to stop Rabuka from carrying out the 1st coup. Or did he have other personal agendas on his mind?

    Teach your people that coups are a bad thing and that Ratu Mara should have prevented it from happening. He was as you say Fiji’s greatest leader and well respected by world leaders.

    People like you and Ratu Mara’s children have allowed Fiji to go to the dogs!

  27. Lima permalink
    April 15, 2009 11:55 AM

    @ Asgrocky

    It is a pity Mara didn’t bring up his children to be law abiding citizens of Fiji!

    Today it seems that those still supporting Bainimarama are not educated to realize that Fiji is heading towards the rubbish dump. This unfortunately includes the 2 Mara girls and their husbands.

  28. Asgrocky permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:00 PM

    @ Lima
    What Ratu Mara’s children are doing now is not the man’s fault. If you have any decency in you let the man sleep in peace and move on. Otherwise you attract snakes in the grass like the above.

  29. Katalina Balawanilotu permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:29 PM

    Can not bring back the dead. If that particular brand of magic has been performed in some remote corner of the globe please share with us

    For our only recourse is in that of the things, people and places that exists in the here and now.

    Speaking of which

    Speak out loudly and clearly to those alive and well in Fiji to stand up and hit the streets in masses – peaceful rallies that does not involve stones, sticks, and digging up lovo pits like they did in 2000.

    NOW that is constructive

    Kua na vosavosa tiko vei ira kara sa mate yani Segabau sara meca na kauta mai vei keta. Tawa yaga, maumau taimi.

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