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Resolutions passed at the Fiji Democracy Public Consultation Meeting in Sydney

April 19, 2009

FIJI DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM MOVEMENT

SYDNEY

 

Public Consultation Meeting at Yagoona, NSW, 2199 on Saturday the 18th of April 2009.

 

Resolution passed:

 

1.    That a Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement be formed;

 

2.    That a executive steering committee be formed consisting of a President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary;

 

3.    That the President be Mr Usaia Peter Waqatairewa, the Secretary be *** and the Treasurer be *********;

 

4.    That the executive prepare the registration and meet all other regulatory requirements of the Movement and Open a bank account;

 

5.    That the volunteers that helped Usaia Waqatairewa organise the initial public consultation meeting be retained as steering committee members leading up to the inaugural Annual General Meeting and these include *********

 

6.    That the movement adopt the draft Sydney Declaration for the Restoration of Democracy in Fiji;

 

7.    That the movement move to establish chapters around the major centres of population concentration of Fiji’s People across Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and the United Kingdom;

 

8.    That the Steering Committee organise a public march and rally in Sydney as son as possible – within two weeks;

 

9.    That the Movement pressure, lobby, demonstrate and apply other means of pressure at the Governments of Australian, New Zealand, and the International Community to:

 

9.1.1.   Increase the level of Trade Sanctions against Fiji, no more smart sanction, apply a blanket ban;

 

9.1.2.   Ban Air Pacific from flying into Australia and New Zealand to cut off the major tourist market from Fiji;

 

9.1.3.   Ban sporting contacts with Fiji, especially the National Rugby team from all future overseas tours;

 

9.1.4.   Ensure that the International Community especially the rest of the Pacific Forum Island Countries and the Republic of South Korea impose identical travel ban for members of the Interim Government and their families  and those identified as sympathisers of the Interim Government and their families;

 

9.1.5.   That the Pacific Islands Forum suspend Fiji at its annual leaders meeting in Cairns on the 4th to the 7th of August 2009;

 

9.1.6.   Pressure the Australian Government to lobby the United Nations Secretary general to ban any further peace keeping missions for the Fiji Security Forces (Police and Military) and cancel the existing peace keeping missions. This is the height of hypocrisy where the same Military that has imposed itself as a dictatorship on the people of Fiji is also deployed in other trouble spots of the world to maintain the peace;

 

9.1.7.   Lobby the Bar Associations to advise lawyers not to take up position and be contracted by  Fiji’s military government; and

 

9.1.8.   Lobby the Trade & Business Council of Australia – link business and trade interests to the need for having an elected government in place;

 

10.  The Movement also plan to:

 

10.1.1.          demonstrate in front of the Chinese and Indian Embassies in Canberra and highlight to the world their continued bank rolling of the Fiji Military Dictatorship;

 

10.1.2.          Work towards establishing sister chapters around other State Capitals and other parts of regional Australia that have a high concentration of Fiji Islanders, and

 

10.1.3.          Also form Chapters in New Zealand, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom where there are now well established communities of Fiji islanders abroad that will fight this common cause of bringing an end to the tyranny of leadership gripping Fiji Today.

Email: fijidemocrats@gmail.com

We are on the move again and all we can say to the tyrants governing Fiji Today, “sa mai yala eke”.

Congratuations to Sydney. They plan to demonstrate within two weeks and march through Sydney. Our reps reported back that the venue was standing room only and had full TV coverage from SBS TV, ABC TV and TV One of New Zealand plus radio coverage from Radio Australia. Watch the evening news for full coverage today. ABC actually reported live from the venue yesterday and on reps said he received a text message while the meeting was on saying they could see him on TV in the evening news.

SVWM wish to clarify that while the ban on Air Pacific and blanket economic ban proposed here would probably cause the common people to suffer we need to realise here that we must knock out this regime very quickly and in order to do that we must cut off the means that ensure the continued survival of this illegal dictorship and the common people should be prepared to sacrifice short term for long term gains.

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    April 19, 2009 9:49 AM

    Before Frank starts freaking and reaching for the Nitrolingual, hopefully he knows that even these additional sanctions (should they ever come to fruition – which may or not happen based on the setting of ‘political correctness’, apologist’s influence, academic and political postulating and wonders of whether a nice little setup in an idyllic little P.I is imminent) are actually pretty friggen MILD. Landing rights are often a two way thing. Most of the banks are foreign owned – that’s right Frank (if a lightbulb just went on – NOT Fijian owned). The Free world doesn’t really like you! and nor do most of the non-free world that are beginning to see you as an embarassment

  2. Tim permalink
    April 19, 2009 9:51 AM

    Maybe that’e where the junta made their mistake. They shouldn’t have chosen a total buffoon (lesson for next time)

  3. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 11:56 AM

    I think we have all debated this subject on this and the old site a few times.

    While the new call to action is admirable and it begins a new chapter in the history of our country, I wonder if any thought has been gven to the working class people of Fiji, who will suffer even more if these sanctions are implemented.

    When the tourism trafic tap is turned off, countless families in Nadi working for Air Pacific and the hotels, already on reduced hours due to low hotel occupancy rates, will not be able to feed themselves.

    They come from all parts of Fiji and do not own land to plant foodcrops in the Nadi area. With the devalued buying power of our dollar its a downward spiral for most of us.

    So while they are marching and lobbying for sanctions in Sydney, could they also lobby the Australian government to throw us a lifeline, like allowing seasonal fruit pickers and other workers from Fiji to come to work in Oz and NZ.

    As it stands they want to punish Frank & Co. Australia and New Zealand do so by not allowing the common folk to access work permits granted to Northern Europeans and other Pacific Islanders.

    So while these initiatives are to be commended, could you please spare a thought for us at the bottom level of Fiji society.

    As you discuss the principles of democracy, freedom, liberty etc. we are getting caught in the middle and double whammied by the actions of Frank and the reactions of NZOZ.

  4. Celua Niumataiwalu permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:10 PM

    @IB people should be prepared to sacrifice to get this thugs out in 2009.

    We must end this thieves reign in 2009, period!

    Please understand that we must sacrifice in the short term for long term gain and nows the time to sacrfice.

  5. Lima permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:25 PM

    @ IslandBoy

    Lets hope that once these sanctions are carried out the Australian Govt will take into account what you have suggested and perhaps through the NGOs can lend a helping hand. The other countries hopefully will follow suit.

    I agree with Celua N that we must sacrifice in the short term for long term gain. I don’t think we have any other choice.

  6. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:29 PM

    Bula Vinaka Celua. How is your stance that “people” should be prepared to sacrifice, different from Frank’s “people” must do what I say, in terms of its moral arrogance.

    When you say “we” must sacrifice, are you living in the slums of Vatuwaqa or off Mead Road. Are your children standing on the gravel of the Nasinu back streets or the block behind the Dragon selling themsleves so they can eat.

    What about the kids lining the main road from the Wailoaloa turnoff to Martintar and the ones in Nadi town, hunger so deep in their eyes, it shines like a dark light.

    By the way do you live here or are you preaching at us from the safety of some foreign land. If you libe here in Fiji, where were you when Vilisi was arrested?

    People like you encouraged the same “people” of Myanmar to take to the streets and protest and when they were hunted down like dogs and killed in the streets, the international powers that be did absolutely nothing and the big mouth pontificators just slid back into the darkness.

    I for one do not want to see bloodshed and my kinfolk killed. Thus I will not take the morally superior position to tell others what they must do with their lives. This is not a movie, this is our life and its real.

  7. April 19, 2009 12:31 PM

    Bravo SWM and Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement.

    I do agree with Island Boy, though, that any sanctions should be aimed at hitting the illegal government, and not penalising the people. In other words, funding should continue to civil NGO’s which display they are not biased in favour of the regime, or channelling funds to the regime.

    Also, trade that favours the people without directly bringing benefits the regime eg tourism, should not be cut off. I don’t know that penalising the employees of eg Air Pacific will directly hurt the military regime in the way eg a UN peacekeeping ban will. Members of the regime are already banned from landing in Oz or NZ – why penalise AirPac’s employees to boot?

    This illegal regime sees themselves as being in it for the long haul, rather like Burma and Zimbabwe. If that is so, and the international community takes steps to hurt the population rather than focus on hurting the regime, the sanctions will fail to achieve their desired aim. This is seen plainly with in Burma and Zimbabwe, as Vore and Chodo clearly know.

    If you empower the people but isolate the illegal government, the regime becomes more reliant on We The People and, as we are the ones paying their taxes, our power over them increases. Our rage and disgust at them increases. And we bring about the necessary changes.

    Cutting off the people AND the regime will only further weaken the position of We The People. Those with relatives overseas will be able to depend on them for some benefits but those without will be doubly impoverished.

    Please, sanctions need to disempower the regime while empowering We The People. Don’t cut us all off at the kneecaps.

    God bless Fiji

  8. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:40 PM

    @Lima – the NGOs in NZOZ had that option but did nothing and will NOT lobby for a change in their respective Government’s policy.

    FYI – about 9 months ago, a coalition of us (some local NGO reps) made an unofficial approach to officials at AusAID.

    We proposed runing a “freedom train” type of operation to quitely vet the sheep from the goats and get people from here into NZOZ to work legally so that they could send money home.

    I’m talking about fruit picking etc they let Kiribati and Samoans into NZ to do. The response was a loud NO and they did not even want to engage with us to open discussions on other alternatives.

    But we have not given up hope. You see that is the beauty of these islands, when our back are against the wall we dig even deeper and help each other out, sharing what little we have.

  9. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:48 PM

    @FijiGirl You Go Girl – tell it like it is.

    Sorry, its been some time since I was on this board so thank you for saying what I wanted to say with grace and eloquence.

  10. Celua Niumataiwalu permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:49 PM

    @IB the current economic situation is already causing people to suffer and stand on the road and distribution of wealth hardly filters down to them as it is.

    The squatters of Wailea are survivors and know how to make do and so do others under the porverty line. Stick a bele stock or tavioka stock in the ground and it rains in Suva almost every day now so it will spring up in a few days.

    It is people at the top that do not know how to survive. Hit them with blanket ban and they would relent.

    Do not condemn the people overseas for what they are doing. Most of them have immediate families and properties in Fiji and are also taking a great risk by coming out in the open as can be seen on TV.

    You should have heard Litia Radrekusa’s testimony last night. She worked with youths in Suva up till a month ago.

    Current poverty level has pushed more kids onto the street and childhood prostitution and street kids have increased. Soldiers would round tens of them up on suspicious of petty crime, strip them naked and throw them off the seawalls. What was that supposed to solve. What kind of sick mind do things like that to kids barely into teenage years.

    Sacrifice has to be made in the short term because we need to bring this whole shit to a close this year. the longer we prolong it then you will have your Zimbabwe and Burma of the Pacific.

  11. Lima permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:52 PM

    Thank you IslandBoy for the information.

    I do not want to hurt those suffering anymore so perhap there should be an emphasizes like you say a lifeline for those that need it the most.

    At the end of the day it will be up to these countries on how they go about it.

    IB what do you think about UN and the peace keeping forces? Should that be abolished altogether?

  12. meme permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:53 PM

    Good point Fijigirl, this is also my concern last night I really don’t want the innocent people in Fiji to be affected! Ban on Air Pacific will hurt the people{empleyees} more!

  13. April 19, 2009 1:00 PM

    No worries, Island Boy. You have been missed! Great to see you back.

    To those wanting total sanctions ala South African apartheid, please just look at Burma and Zimbabwe and you can see for yourselves that weakening The People (as opposed to the illegal regime) fails to achieve the desired effects.

    Smart sanctions empower The People (who need to remain strong so they / we can clean up the mess left behind after the illegal regime inevitably falls). We The People need to remain strong and defiant, and we need the international community to help us be that.

    God bless Fiji

  14. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:02 PM

    @Celua – so how are you different from Frank?

    Stick a bele stock or tavioka stock, whatever that is, in the ground. You sound like Marie Antoinette in reverse telling the peasnts to eat cake.

    I did not condemn the meeting resolutions or the peple living overseas, I am just asking that they be careful the sanctions they seek do not hurt we the people more than we are being hurt now. Anyway I’m through with armchair speculators like you.

    NEXT!

  15. Celua Niumataiwalu permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:13 PM

    you can’t make omelete without breaking an egg

    By the way I was there last night so emotions were running really high.

    Fijians in Sydney are always divided and for once I noticed something that united them.

    Do not be swift to condemn the efforts of these people.

    Those resolutions were made in the heat of the messages they heard that the media cannot report.

    Just let them do their things and see what happens.

    Smart sanctions has been on for the last two years and they still get away with it.

    Travel Agents in Sydney are already in a marketing frenzy selling Fiji in reaction to the devaluation

    and don’t tell me about poverty because I know what poverty was as a child and did something about it.

    You with your patronised leaning comments sound like one of those rich kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth now trying to make amend as a BMW left wing

    NEXT!

  16. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:19 PM

    @Lima – a couple of years go I used to go to London on a regular basis for a meeting of an international NGO coalition in which I was involved.

    I found it incredible that before I was born, the white serrated sulu and the scarlet tunic was marching down the Strand (???) as part of the WW II victory in europe celebrations.

    The photographs on the wall of the Palace where we held the meetings and the old film footage was a quite source of inspiration for me to try to live up to the excellent standards of international service set by these Fijian soldiers.

    Since then, the Solomon Islands, the Malaya campaign and our first involvement with UN peace keeping are traditions we can all be proud of as Fiji citizens. We were light years ahead of other Pacific Islands in terms of aking a meaningful contributions to the servivce of peace.

    Is this the same honorable army Frank now commands. I don’t know, I am not in the service, but I would guess not.

    Will it weaken Frank’s hold on his men to have this army kicked out of peacekeeping duties?

    I think so. Many of them have served under the UN banner and are proud of their contibution as the FijiBatt as well as in the Sinai as part of the MFO and the little pockets where they and the Police also serve, Liberia, Kosovo etc.. They will be able to directly connect his actions to our dismissal from consideration as a source country for peacekeepers.

  17. IslandBoy permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:40 PM

    @Celua – No need to get personal.

    Rest easy that you and Frank share the exact same position based on moral arrogance, a blatant disregard for the welfare of the common man and a willingness to call for blood sacrifice as long as it’s not your blood being spilt or your egg being broken.

  18. Lima permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:47 PM

    It is such a shame that it is our own kind that has put the country in this embrrassing situation.

    I think if there is going to be an uprising it should be within the army and terminating peacekeeping duties may be just the catalyst needed.

    Once again thanks for the info, very interesting indeed.

    My grandfather fought in Malaya and yes I remember him telling us that he volunteered to fight for the future of his country.

  19. Lima permalink
    April 19, 2009 1:49 PM

    My last post was for IslandBoy!

  20. Celua Niumataiwalu permalink
    April 19, 2009 2:05 PM

    @IB

    Excuse me you’re the one that got personal labelling me as being like Frank and comparing me to Marie Antoinette in the first pace. How dare you!!!

    All I hear on this blog is your trip to New York and your trip to London. Who the fuck wants to know. Stick to issues and don’t personally attack people you don’t know.

    Your the one that sounded like Voreqe and Aiyarse the way you carry on as if you have a monopoly on grey matter.

    In talking and sharing with the Fijian Community and they are just like me. We are all directly affected by what is happening back home as we have to send money every payday to prop up our families back home with school fees, bills and rent so don’t give me that shit about the welfare of the common man because my folks in Fiji are just that and that is why I am here.

    I know you are some rich kid who grew up with a silver spoon because it is so obvious from your comments. I remembered ones how you describe those now living the high life in Frank’s regime as “using new money” or something to that affect. That is so snobbish.

    Calling me as having moral arrogance while three fingers are pointing back at you.

    Sa oti na gauna ni vaka pussyfooting tiko, se gauna ni vaka sonalevu tiko. It is now the time to take on frank head on because that is the only way bully can understand.

    NEXT!!!

  21. Admin2 permalink
    April 19, 2009 2:26 PM

    Come on guys, please don’t spoil the good work of the Sydney Fijians.

    We are all on the same side so it is Okay to agree to disagree.

  22. meme permalink
    April 19, 2009 3:57 PM

    C’mmon guys…don’t loose focus!! Remember that our target is Frank and his regime not each other!! Have a great evening!!

  23. EnufDictatorship permalink
    April 19, 2009 5:09 PM

    Vinaka Sydney…

    nd I am sure the Sydney organisers would prioritise their ideas of bringing down this illegal regime starting with the lobby to the UN to STOP any further peacekeeping for the Fiji soldiers/police bcos RECALLING now those currently serving may pose logistics problems for them. However, if STOPPING any further ones, may give these soldiers something to think about as what will their future be like if their missions get stopped bcos their leader is the one causing all of it.

    This will run parallel to the demonstrations infront of the embassies that support this regime…also infront of the Kiribati one to tell AUst/NZ…you allow them to come and work in your country while their leaders lend their support to an illegal government ruling our country now.

    Again, vinaka Sydney…Let the PEACEFUL uprising begin!!!!!

  24. Tim permalink
    April 19, 2009 5:41 PM

    @IB and FijiGirl. I’ve always been opposed to travel bans on seasonal workers – a bad policy right from the start. But there are feint signs that there might be a review, and let’s hope so. One still hears complaints that fruit growers and vineyards are unable to get, and/or retain staff. I would hope that there is consideration not just of seasonal workers too. If both Aus and NZ are about to embark on infrastructural upgrades that include rlling out vast amounts of fibre optic cable and associated equipment, and given there is a shortage of skilled people to do so – when training of personnel kicks in, one hopes it will include a quota of Fijians, so that skills exist when it comes time to rebuild after Frank’s pantomimes are over.

  25. Katalina Balawanilotu permalink
    April 20, 2009 12:46 AM

    Great job by the Sydney Fijian Communities.

    Totally stand by a 100 percent sanction.

    People on the ground should not entire depend on overseas dwellers to fix this. They must organize too and they must show us, Fijians abroad and the rest of the world that they are indeed interested in their future and that of their many generations to come.

    Just can not keep doing the same things expecting different results.

  26. Katalina Balawanilotu permalink
    April 20, 2009 12:48 AM

    should not entirely depend on …

  27. Katalina Balawanilotu permalink
    April 20, 2009 12:50 AM

    Become pro active on the ground to motivate me to put my neck out there.

  28. Samy permalink
    April 20, 2009 2:22 AM

    Bainimarama has poked Aust & NZ in the eye so many times and yet because of our past history with Fiji we feel it is necessary to stay in touch and intervene only when it is necessary to do so.

    The elected Rudd Govt by the people of Aust will either support or not support the Sydney Fijians for these sanctions. We leave our trust to those that we have elected to govern us and so should all of you.

    Apart from a few of you, I do not see too many best wishes, great job, good luck etc awarded to the Sydney Fijians for having the strength and guts to organise the meeting!

    It is the first positive thing that I have seen from people that are passionate about their country, in this case their country of birth.

    You say you can’t do anything in Fiji because of what the Military, under orders from Bainimarama etc will do to you, so allow the Sydney Fijians to fight back the way they choose to do so. Those of you in Fiji should be backing them 100% and leave it to the Govts of other countries to take the right course of action.

    You must not blame anyone else but Bainimarama and those that have kept him in power and if those that are already suffering will suffer a little bit longer to push these people out and into gaol it will be the best example to any other future opportunists who wants to coup to gain power.

    Personal attacks on someone who is supposedly on your side is eating right into Bainimarma’s hands. All you have done is put thoughts into the illegal Govts heads. “Your thoughts will decide your actions”

    Congratulations to the Sydney Fijians – I love Fiji, the people, the food etc and to me you guys are Fiji’s last hope so go ahead fire, make your movement big and strong and show the world you mean bussiness.

    To those of you worried about what Aust will do this may help.

    Australia seeks sanctions against Fiji

    Tue Apr 14, CANBERRA (Reuters) –

    Australia will push for international sanctions against Fiji’s military government, but will ensure earnings from tourism are not affected to spare its people hardship, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Tuesday.

    After Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo last week repealed the constitution and reinstated military chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama as prime minister, Smith said it was “almost inevitable” Fiji would be ejected from regional groupings and the Commonwealth of former British-ruled nations.

    But Australia, the region’s biggest economy and aid donor, was not considering additional sanctions on top of travel bans already targeting Bainimarama and other senior members of the coup-installed government, he said.

    “We don’t want to do anything which adversely impacts on the Fiji people themselves. We’re urging the international community to look at what measures the international community can apply,” Smith told state radio.

    The former British colony has suffered four coups and a military mutiny since 1987, fuelled by tensions between indigenous Fijians and the large and economically powerful ethnic Indian minority.

    An appeals court last Friday ruled the 2006 coup that brought the ethnic Fijian Bainimarama to power was illegal, prompting Iloilo to sack the judiciary and usher in new military controls on the movement of people and curb press freedoms.

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully described Fiji as a military dictatorship, with Wellington considering trade sanctions after three foreign journalists were expelled from the country.

    “We have got an effectively self-appointed dictator who has abrogated the constitution, sacked the judges, tried to suppress media freedom and clamped down on the liberties of citizens. It doesn’t get much worse than that,” McCully said.

    Fijian news outlets have been barred from publishing news that would cause “disorder” or “public alarm,” while the security forces have been deployed to news bureaux throughout the country to prevent news critical of the government.

  29. LUVfiji permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:03 AM

    It is s i m m e r i n g Katalina!

    Hang in there!!

    Great posts, guys.

  30. April 20, 2009 2:17 PM

    My sisiveni good People :-

    We have to stand united. There are times when we have to agree to disagree. There will be times when we have to withdraw, to re-group, reformulate plans of actions etc. Nothing is written in stone….except that the Vore has to go.

    It is a learning curve for all of us. We have to listen to each other, collaborate, give in gracefully, be diplomatic, be respectful of each others point of view etc etc. We all matter in this journey to restore Democracy to our beloved Fiji. We need each one of us and the unique talents we bring to the mix.

    We all want the best for our Fiji and its people. Don’t lets loose site of that.

    By the way all your arguments are valid. Somewhere in there is the course of action we will take…..after due considerations it will come to us.

    Stay blessed and peaceful folks…..

  31. FYI permalink
    April 22, 2009 1:02 AM

    Police have just apprhended two men who were distributing our propaganda leaflets – ‘Sa Yala Eke’ in the Tailevu area yesterday. Just recieved info that they have started giving in names of those involed in our propaganda cell to incite the mass. Tread carefully everyone and Good luck. Will keep you posted.

  32. tamanilago permalink
    April 23, 2009 7:18 AM

    Excellent agenda. Welcome to the party. We started the ” Australian Fiji pro democracy movement “in early 2007 and have shared our views with many politicians both state and federal. They are aware of our Fiji situations but we have to continue to persever. We all have a part to play. Like all dictators, VB will fall. We need to include the international family of democracy in our fight for the rule of law. Our united voice and action is powerful enough to bring the urgent change that we so urgently desire.
    As of the 22/04/06 more letters have again been sent to most powerful politicians both in government and the opposition.
    Do your peaceful protest in Sydney and Canberra. What about hunger strike? You have our support.

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