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Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement (FDFM) Rally

May 12, 2009

Sat 9 May 2009, Marickville Town Hall,Sydney

Jone Baledrokadroka

Speech. 
 

Good evening, Ni sa bula, Namaskaram, I would like to begin my speech by citing the Australian values as contained in the Life in Australia booklet and before I give you  a quick  review of the political and security situation in our beloved Fiji .

What underscore Australian societies are the shared values most of you as former citizens of Fiji are now cherishing and proudly profess, that of:

  • Respect of the freedom and dignity of the individual
  • Commitment  to the rule of law
  • Parliamentary democracy
  • Equality of men and women
  • A spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance , fair play and compassion for those in need  and pursuit of the public good- the good old  Aussie “fair go”
  • Equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background and last but not the least
  • Freedom of religion.

 

Now the Fiji Situation as of Friday 8 May 2009 is: 

  • PER 30 day extension- with suspects held of up to 7days in police custody before taken to a court that has lost all semblance of independence and neutrality.
  • Heavy press censorship is still on of all media outlets, thus truth has become the main casualty.
  • Release of convicted soldiers of Rabaka and Verebasaga case on CSO and cause for alarm from inside and outside prison as to its selective use.
  • No judges yet appointed to high and supreme courts and so even the charade of justice has come to a halt.
  • Termination of over 2000 over 55 year’s civil servants. FNPF has severely restricted many applicants withdrawal of their pension fund.
  • Surfacing of Col Tuatoko and others statement of Commodore Bainimarama’s attempted treason back in December of 2003.
  • Rumours of another 10% dollar devalue.

    So in essence ladies and gentleman the rally that we are all attending here tonight if it was held in Fiji would definitely be labeled illegal and according to the new legal order in place my speech would be inciteful.

    Since our inaugural meeting at Yagoona, the FDFM has grown in numbers and publicity. The acting President (Pita Waqateirewa) has put out an open letter to Commodore Bainimarama which has been replied to somewhat angrily and incoherently – a sure recognition of fear for the movement and its principles.

The goal of this movement is the immediate restoration of democracy and freedom in Fiji under the 1997 constitution as upheld by the Fiji Court of Appeal judgement of 09 April 2009. The FDFM only reiterates what the Pacific Island Forum, United Nations, the Commonwealth and The European Union are appealing for- the electoral return of constitutional government from the rule of the power of the gun. There is no justification for the coup culture besetting Fiji, be it ethno-nationalism, anti-corruption, electoral reforms or the latest mantra of racism or even what Bainimarama calls “the coup to end all coups” in the name of good governance.

For most of us who are indigenous Fijians here tonight given the coups of the past , I’d like to echo the words of former Fiji Law Society President ,Graham Leung, “ If the racial supremacists in Fiji are now converts, let it be the Damascus experience of Saint Paul and not the ambivalence of Hamlet. Fiji’s latest coup should be seen for what it is—a naked grab for power”. For those of us who are indo- Fijians and have been victims of previous coups and many of you may have left Fiji disenchanted.

I appeal to you that this is not the time for resigned indifference for Fiji and the FDFM needs your active and progressive minds and voices. I therefore urge you in the words of Mahatma Gandhi who in the times of great national turmoil before Indian Independence said, ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’.

Indeed we say to the dictatorial regime in Fiji it is an illusion to go against international and regional outcry such as being mounted here tonight. Fiji is badly hurting economically but more so socially as the majority of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in Fiji try to hobble out a living in a stagnant and (some harsher critics would describe as) a crumbling society, just as we gather here tonight.

To those of you who openly prop up the dictatorship, history is not on your side for political legitimacy must be earned by those who govern. To quote John Clark in his paper The Decline of the African Military Coup’ (2007), in most cases the military rulers (in their misguided adventurism) turned out to be at least as or even more  corrupt and  authoritarian as the civilians whom they replaced’.

Indeed the cruel hoax of nepotism, cronyism and clientelism that were the very raison d’être for the coup of 2006 have been committed with impunity by this clean up regime now caught in a political  legitimacy dilemma the scourge  of all military adventurism.

For like Rabuka before him Bainimarama is riding the tiger as the officers and men know that the only way to maintain there privileged position is to stick together. The core reason for this is not insubstantial for these unrepresentative regime leaders and there followers have one thing in common: the fear of the masses. That is why our rally tonight is so important for the restoration of democracy in Fiji for it puts fear in the regime and courage in the oppressed masses back home.

Tonight in fact this instance this rally will be on the internet and various other media outlets. We call on the regime to stop fooling itself and heed the outcry and demand of the people of Fiji for democracy. If it wants to eradicate racism than practice what you preach by balancing the military’s ethnic composition first. And stop shoving your brand of religion down indo-Fijian serviceperson’s throats as in the police force.

Further more it is a fallacy for the regime to carry on with the propaganda of China and India coming to rescue Fiji financially especially in its ill conceived People’s Charter design. In a world that is interconnected in every sense and in grave economic recession, these global actors have much more going regionally to risk its relationships with an unstable and increasingly isolated pariah state.

As for us here tonight what is of utter importance is our ability in this land of freedom- Australia, to  keep the pressure on Fiji’s  dictatorial regime’s lack of international ,regional and local legitimacy, that is to say, their lack of a moral title to rule and the right to govern. Hence its moral inadequacy hampers it still further, by denying it the civilian collaboration it must secure through draconian methods now in place.

To quote Samuel Finer ‘The rule of force alone or the threat of such force is inadequate; in addition governments must possess authority. It must be widely recognized not only as the government but as the lawful, the rightful government’1.

We rally here tonight to question that authority on behalf of those that cannot question. We rally here tonight to question on behalf of those who cannot question what is illegal and unconstitutional. We rally here tonight for our beloved birthplace and what many of us still refer to as My Fiji.

So with the protest march that is being organized, I urge each and everyone of you to stand-up, spread the word and be counted for what you profess as enshrined in your Australian Values and which your brothers and Sisters in Fiji do not enjoy under the  military regime.

Vinaka Vakalevu  Dani bhat and God bless Fiji.  

JRB 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Peace Pipe permalink
    May 13, 2009 1:33 AM

    This is one army personnel (ex) who makes sense and shows moral fortitude and higher intellect than our brainless wannabe PM for life Vore the pig. Like Mr Kevin Rudd said Fiji don’t deserve the kind of leadership we have right now. No matter how they twist it, mould it, camouflage it it always remains “a naked power grab” by this immoral, selfish and greedy military institution. All the coups had their trails leading up to the military camp. This time around it is dressed up as anti-racial crusader having having changed its banner several times beginning with the failed anti-corruption charge. Come on Sydneysiders lead our charge against this corrupt and evil regime and help us restore our precious freedom. We never knew how precious it was until we lost it.

  2. Mark Manning permalink
    May 13, 2009 3:57 AM

    It was a very good and productive meeting .

    On separate issue , I get really annoyed when people keep making excuses for the poor soldiers who don’t know what to do , whether they should follow orders or resign but have to care for their families and put food on the table !
    Come on , they actually have a legal and moral obligation to only follow legal orders and to uphold the Law and their oath as soldiers !

  3. EnufDictatorship permalink
    May 13, 2009 7:05 AM

    Vinaka Sydney! Onward march together! God bless Fiji!

    And, so true Mark…maybe these soldiers should be told that bcos of their continued alliance with Vore’s lowlife and going-nowhere values and mission, the money they earn to care for their families is BLODD MONEY…so in the long run, their families and sadly enough their children are going to suffer the consequences of their illegal actions.

    It may not bear any fruit now, but later…as those of us who believe in our Christian ideals (which is the most of the Fijian population), the sins of our forefathers and fathers will be paid unto their children, but not if they repent and do the right thing!

    So, soldiers still up there and following illegal orders…yes, you have the right to put food on your table for your family, but what about your RESPONSIBILITY to your children when you’re gone! Will you be satisfied you have done the right thing and that your children will leave freely and prosper in their own right too?

  4. Ramise Biu permalink
    May 17, 2009 4:07 AM

    In the short run the military is enjoying the pay increase and other additional benefit but in the long run we all suffer.

  5. July 3, 2009 10:55 AM

    hey there ii was just wondering weather people just leave there country because they are told to or is it that they want to visit other places in New Zealand or in Asia or where ever they want to visit place help me with my research to find out why Fijians Leave their birth place Help Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!xx Fiji From A very nice Girl

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