The Costa Rica Example

As SOME people, mark the 21st anniversary of Rabuka’s coup, a lot of public debate and ideas are flying around as to what should be done to END THIS COUP CULTURE and really move-on. I know it has been raised numerous times before that MAYBE the answer to all our woes is to ABOLISH THE MILITARY.

Although for now I, and other law-abiding-sick-of-coups-citizens believe that that would be the BEST STEP our nation should take, some people (maybe the current military personnel themselves and their supporters) may think otherwise.

However, if we study how some coup-ridden countries have overcome this problem of “military involvement” in their governments, the BEST example there is to date, is Costa Rica.

And this is how they did it. More information can be found in this site

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2019.htm

HISTORY

An era of peaceful democracy in Costa Rica began in 1899 with elections considered the first truly free and honest ones in the country’s history. This began a trend that continued until today with only two lapses: in 1917-19, Federico Tinoco ruled as a dictator, and, in 1948, Jose Figueres led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election.

With more than 2,000 dead, the 44-day civil war resulting from this uprising was the bloodiest event in 20th-century Costa Rican history, but the victorious junta drafted a constitution guaranteeing free elections with universal suffrage and the abolition of the military. Figueres became a national hero, winning the first election under the new constitution in 1953. Since then, Costa Rica has held 14 presidential elections, the latest in 2006.

GOVERNMENT
Costa Rica has no military and maintains only domestic police and security forces.
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Costa Rica has long emphasized the development of democracy and respect for human rights. The country’s political system has steadily developed, maintaining democratic institutions and an orderly, constitutional scheme for government succession. Several factors have contributed to this trend, including enlightened leadership, comparative prosperity, flexible class lines, educational opportunities that have created a stable middle class, and high social indicators. Also, because Costa Rica has no armed forces, it has avoided military involvement in political affairs, unlike other countries in the region.

So, there we have it. If a small country like Costa Rica (who shares some similarities with ours) can make it successfully without a military, why can’t we do it?

So, the challenge is: WHO can be the hero to have the guts to ABOLISH OUR MILITARY?

EnufDictatorship

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78 Responses to “The Costa Rica Example”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    Abolition of the Military in Fiji , seems the most sensible and effective approach to stop the coup culture . However , I think that whoever is re-elected , should consider having the military , including the Fiji Navy , operate through A joint Australian and New Zealand Command . I don’t believe all in the Military in Fiji should become victims of Frank’s folly ! But there certainly needs to be an educated Military , in regards to what punishment will be handed to those contemplating a coup would be . The authority over the Military in Fiji , should , for the short term , maybe 5 , 10 or 15 years , be taken out of the hands of the local Fijian Officers . The appointment of Officers should be done a different way , imprisonment swift for those those who speak of a treasonous act .

  2. Taukei Says:

    HOORAY!

    This is what I’ve been saying all along…..

    ABOLISH THE MILITARY AND FOLLOW COSTA RICA’S LEAD.

    Thanks SV for this excellent article.

    COSTA RICA is the most stable country in Central America –

    AND IT RECOGNIZES AN ANGLO-SAXON NATION (US) AS ITS FRIEND AND ALLY.

    Fiji MUST follow Costa Rica’s lead and abolish its military.

    Fiji MUST follow Costa Rica’s lead and recognize an Anglo-Saxon nation (Australia/NZ) as its friend and ally.

  3. Taukei Says:

    THE COSTA RICAN EXAMPLE

    *Costa Rica is known as the Switzerland of Central America*

    Besides having incredible beauty, friendly locals, great location, and endless activities, it also has the most stable government and the best infrastructure of any Latin American or Caribbean country. Education has been a priority for the country of 4 million and because of it; they have the highest literacy rate in the western hemisphere. The healthcare system is very modern especially in San Jose and the cost of living is extremely low compared to the US and Europe.

    Costa Rica’s government is stable.

    And they are the strongest ally for the United States in Central America. They are a democracy and have a very stable government. Costa Rica is the only country in the western hemisphere without an army. In fact it abolished its army in 1949 and allocated the defense budget to education.

    Costa Rica has managed to create one of the most attractive investment environments in Latin America for the development of industries. Costa Rica’s unique characteristics—its strategic location, political stability, business incentives (including free trade zones), supply of high quality human capital—and its proactive promotion of these assets—have all contributed to an increase of investments by high-tech companies in the fields of power technologies, systems integration technologies and call centers.

    Over the past five years Costa Rica has become one of the fastest growing tourism destinations on the planet boasting over $1.078 billion in foreign currency for 2002.

  4. Taukei Says:

    *CR’s unique vision*

    Disarmed Democracy: preface to the 2002 edition of The New Key to Costa Rica

    http://www.keytocostarica.com/aunique.htm

    The abolition of the army

    “Abolishing the army has had several functions: it inhibits the formation of a military group capable of gaining autonomy; it frees public funds for development; it makes elections the only route to power; it establishes Costa Rica’s neutrality in the region—a militarily weak country cannot be attacked without provoking international condemnation of the aggressor; and it shows the illegitimacy of armed opposition toward a state that has renounced the use of force.

    The pragmatic thinkers who brought about the abolition of the army recognized the United States as the dominant superpower of the region, and as their ally and friend. Implied in the army’s abolishment is the belief that the U.S. would come to Costa Rica’s rescue if it were attacked. During the years of Sandinista arms build-up in Nicaragua, many Costa Ricans longed for the United States to invade and put an end to that regime. Then-president Arias faced as much internal opposition to his peace plan as he did external. In fact, it was not until he won the Nobel Prize that his critics started to let up a bit. Similarly, the vast majority of Costa Ricans lauded the U.S. invasion of Panama. Disarmament does not necessarily imply pacifism.”

  5. Save the Sheep Says:

    We should be able to have a functioning Military and if it acted like the Military system upon which it was founded, we wouldn’t have coups….

    Problem is they think they are a law unto themselves and since they are even more corrupt than the civilian leadership, have been prone to manipulation by all and sundry.

    I well founded Military would provide training, employment and discipline to our youth and even opportunity to provide for families by undertaking tours of duty abroad.

    A well founded Military has a lot of merit. Trouble is the RFMF is no longer well founded and is clearly under the control of crooks and gangsters.

    Personally I prefer the Ghanan approach rather than Costa Rica’s..

    Line up all of the top Brass, Captain and above the shoot them.

    Ghana too has had no more coups since….

  6. Pusiloa Says:

    Agree with you Taukei. Abolish the army and use their budget to re-educate the whole lot of them starting from the top…..back to class one…levu la na vosa, levu na sona, na qavokavoka e lala……

  7. Pusiloa Says:

    Thank you Tailevu…..

    Tailevu province rejects NCBBF
    15 MAY 2008
    ——————————————————————————–

    The Tailevu Provincial Council has rejected the National Council for Building a Better Fiji and does not want to have any part in it.

    The decision was relayed to the NCBBF media team led by Bau chief Adi Finau Tabakaucoro today, after it made a presentation to the council.

    The decision was in the form of a statement signed by another Bau chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and a spokesman for Tailevu chiefs – Ratu Veiwili Komaitai.

    Journalists who are covering the meeting are not allowed inside the Ratu Cakobau House but Fijilive was reliably informed that the decision was reached last month on Bau during a Bose Vanua (chiefs’ meeting).

    No immediate comments could be obtained from the NCBBF team after the presentation.

    A Great Council of Chiefs taskforce is now presenting its gazetted report for the reconstituted body before the council.

    The two-day Tailevu Provincial Council meeting ends tomorrow.

  8. Taukei Says:

    Thanks Pusiloa!

    Let’s take their guns away for good and let’s send these all these GREEN NINJA TURTLES back to school!

  9. Jose Says:

    Costa Rica friend of America. Second beast. One World Order truly well and alive. Fiji needs Fiji only. No Babylon.

  10. benhur Says:

    STS you said it bud, shoot or hang the top brass that hatched up the coup.Send every able seaman and military members that took part in the coup to all the hot-spot throughout the world to keep the peace and banned them from returning to Fiji? Banned their immediately family from joining any Government job or become a member of the disciplinary forces for 10 Generations.The same punishment should also be handed to every single person(s) who freely gave their support to the Military dictatorship.
    I intend to run in the next election and this i promised to do. i still think that Qarase was too slow in acting against the Military threat he should have nailed Voreqe the very first time he threaten to oust the Government? He should have taken him by force and put him on high treason charge,stripped him off his rank,bar him from the Camp,disallowed him from communicating with all military officers and keep him castrated in jail. I want the next Fiji Prime Minister to be an action Prime Minister, one who is willing to give up his life in defence of our constitution. One who can make snap decisive move in order to safeguard our country from the hands of military crooks?

  11. Frida Says:

    Radio Australia is reporting that there has been another threat handed in to the Australian High Commission – the second in a week. Does anyone have anymore on the subject?

  12. Mark Manning Says:

    So let’s turn a new page in a new book .
    The past is what it is , let it be so .

  13. Taukei Says:

    Every nation needs allies and friends.

    FIJI NEEDS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, NOT INDIA AND CHINA!

    Think of the benefits – health, education, infrastructure, etc.

    Take a look at the amount of money Australia pours into New Guinea….Fiji should be getting AT LEAST the same amount if not more!

    LET ME REPEAT:

    The pragmatic thinkers who brought about the abolition of the army recognized the United States as the dominant superpower of the region, and as their ally and friend.

    Costa Rica has the ***MOST STABLE GOVERNMENT*** and the ***BEST INFRASTRUCTURE*** of any Latin American or Caribbean country.

    ***EDUCATION*** has been a priority for the country of 4 million.

    They have the ***HIGHEST LITERACY RATE IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE***.

    The ***HEALTHCARE*** system is very modern

    They are the strongest ally for the United States in Central America. They are a democracy and have ***A VERY STABLE GOVERNMENT***.

    Costa Rica is the only country in the western hemisphere ***WITHOUT AN ARMY***.

    Costa Rica has managed to create one of the most attractive ***INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENTS*** in Latin America for the development of industries.

    FIJI can also be known as the Switzerland of the South Pacific Isles.

  14. Linus Says:

    Dismanteling the Military.
    We could easily find plenty of work for the trade skilled members, such as the Engineers regiment. This possible Eythanol Project is going to need vast manpower to grow and harvest a crop that produces 1,500 tons of Cassava per day..lollolol

    There are some Highly commendable and responsible officers who have been pushed aside who maybe recalled to operate an Emergency Services Contingent and say a Coast gaurd service to patrol our seas and control fishing boats and so on!

  15. Taukei Says:

    “i still think that Qarase was too slow in acting against the Military threat he should have nailed Voreqe the very first time he threaten to oust the Government? He should have taken him by force and put him on high treason charge,stripped him off his rank,bar him from the Camp,disallowed him from communicating with all military officers and keep him castrated in jail. I want the next Fiji Prime Minister to be an action Prime Minister, one who is willing to give up his life in defence of our constitution.”

    Spot on, Ben Hur!

    SAD BUT TRUE!

    We are in this mess today because QARASE FAILED TO ACT!

    SIMPLE AS THAT!

    He should NOT have taken any nonsense from BociMarama.

    Let’s hope he is much stronger now from all this and that when he does get reinstated or re-elected, that he immediately ABOLISHES THE ARMY AND MAKES SURE THAT THESE MORONS ARE TRIED, SENTENCED AND SHOT!

  16. Mark Manning Says:

    Colombia’s progress is now threatened by Chinese interferance in that region as it slowly engulfs the whole world , having kicked the Americans out of Africa as it sources raw materials . Look at the bauxite exploration in Fiji by the Australian absed Chinese company !

  17. Mark Manning Says:

    Australian based Chinese company !

  18. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Peace ragone! No need to shoot anyone, just send them to a faraway land..maybe that spot in the middle of the ocean outside of Vanuavatu and let them create their own regime there.

    I believe the key here for Costa Rica, which we would gain from is

    NO ARMED FORCES!!! Get rid of their GUNS n Ammos!!!! Baleta veivacalai tiko na nodratou DAKAI TIT ko levu tiko kina na vosa sega na betenaI!!!!!!!

    And keep a sustainable DOMESTIC force like the police and SECURITY. Don\’t call them military cause it could well be in the name and titles they get. U know, like a school secretary likes to be referred to as the OFFICE MANAGER!!! Makes her feel and act important.

    And send them to work with and for the citizens as suggested by PL above.

    God hear our prayers!

  19. Taukei Says:

    I should add that it was actually CHODO PRASAD above all who was pushing for the 2006 coup that overthrew SDL….

  20. Taukei Says:

    Spot on, Mark M!

    China is a GLOBAL THREAT! America (the West) will eventually go to war with them (WIII) – like they did with Japan (WWII) some 50+ years ago.

    ********Tiger economies are snapping at U.S. heels****************

    By Richard Wachman

    http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=167915

    China and India are moving toward becoming the biggest economies in the world: with 2.4 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population and annual GDP growth rates of between 8 percent and 10 percent, experts say that they could one day overtake the U.S.

    Professor Pieter Bottelier, of the Centre for Strategic International Studies, says: “If these two countries continue to grow at the current rate, they will overtake America, although that probably won’t happen for a number of decades.”

    The countries are very different politically: India is the world’s biggest democracy, but China is under tight communist government control. Economically, China has had a head start. Bill Emmott, former editor of the Economist, says in his book “Rivals” that India’s time has yet to come; to date it has been constrained by a poor infrastructure, social divisions, a caste system and mind-boggling poverty. But it is fast making up for lost time and no doubt Emmott wouldn’t disagree with Steven Roach at U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley that “India is on the cusp of something big”.

    Bottelier says the challenges the countries face are quite distinct. “Generally, China has gone much further than India in trade liberalization and in opening to foreign investment.” But he says things are starting to change.

    Bottelier adds: “Issues facing India are much more broad-based, such as improvement in infrastructure and facilities, effective administration and labor reforms. Minus points for China include a lack of good quality software, a low proportion of Chinese who speak English and a less mature outsourcing industry.”

    India is hamstrung by bureaucracy: “When the Chinese say they are going to do something, they get on with it and you can see the results much more quickly than in India where red tape is everywhere,” says one analyst. On the other hand, the huge increase in trade between the two nations has fuelled talk of the “Chindia” effect.

    In 2006, trade between India and China reached $18.4 billion. However, there is still mutual distrust. India remains suspicious of China’s relationship with arch-rival Pakistan, while China is concerned about New Delhi’s growing ties with Washington, especially their nuclear agreement allowing India access to civilian nuclear technology.

    Observers expect the U.S. to deepen its ties with India, which Washington views as a counterweight to China. America’s relations with the Chinese are more strained as a result of tension over Tibet and Taiwan, not to mention the obvious ideological political divide. But that hasn’t stopped U.S. companies investing heavily in China, more so than British ones which have been quicker to spot opportunities in India, perhaps because of their historic affinity.

    But these days investors tend to get more excited about India than China. True, a superficial look would argue in China’s favor: its world class infrastructure, gleaming skyscrapers, huge supply of cheap labor and ability to direct resources anywhere they are needed. However, a report from Bloomberg says: “For all the stories about China churning out millions of engineers and scientists, innovation isn’t at the heart of the economy. Foreign investment and massive government spending, not ideas or start-ups, lie behind China’s boom.” There is a dearth of internationally known Chinese companies that operate on a global scale and market their products abroad.

    In contrast, India has fostered globally known and competitive firms like Infosys and Reliant Industries, and has done a better job protecting intellectual property rights. China may get more headlines, yet the steady increase of Indian billionaires (Lakshmi Mittal, to name but one) is a reminder that India’s markets are more developed. The demographics also favor India which has younger population.

    A report by Deutsche Bank cites surveys indicating that India has better corporate governance standards and its companies are more commercially driven. The bank adds: “Although India started economic reforms a decade later than China, it is far more advanced in its institutional and financial infrastructure. This is reflected in contrasting outcomes: foreign direct investment is considerably lower than in China, but returns on investment are better on average.”

    A new measure of world economies, published by the International Monetary Fund, indicates that China and India are closing the gap on America. In a measure of purchasing power parity, adjusted to take account of exchange rates, the U.S. is ranked at the top with $13 trillion, China is a close second at nearly $10 trillion, while India is fourth with $4.2 trillion, behind Japan.

    The Indian academic Jagdish Sheth expects China to become the world’s biggest economy by 2020, and India to overtake Japan to become the third biggest in just two years” time. That sets the stage for the next leg of the race between China and India in what promises to be one of the most dramatic developments of the 21st century.

    (Source: The Guardian)

  21. NobleBannerBlue Says:

    THANK YOU DR NARSEY!

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Update: 5:03PM HEAD of the Technical and Secretariat Support team John Samy was accused of hijacking the night of the launch of a book depicting Fiji since its first coup.

    Mr Sami was a panelist at the launch of the book 1987 – Fiji Twenty Years On.

    Academic and economic Doctor Wadan Narsey hit out at Mr Samy for saying the legality of the interim regime was not a matter for the public to worry about as it was before the court.

    “You are saying dont worry about the legality of all this when we saw the commander depose his supreme commander. We watched all of it and we dont need three judges to tell us that it’s wrong to sack an elected Government,” Dr Narsey said.

    “You come here 20 years later and you tell us the way forward is by getting on the charter ship headed by the military to build a better Fiji. You have insulted the editors of this book.”

  22. Costa-Rica » The Costa Rica Example Says:

    [...] The Costa Rica ExampleAn era of peaceful democracy in Costa Rica began in 1899 with elections considered the first truly free and honest ones in the country’s history. This began a trend that continued until today with only two lapses: in 1917-19, … [...]

  23. Taukei Says:

    The Henoch Prophecies warn of a looming World War III and mention, by name, the countries that will be involved. With the ever-increasing change in the world situation, these prophecies serve as an urgent appeal for mankind to change our thoughts and actions and avert a worldwide catastrophe.

    Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 11, Number 5 (August-September 2004)

    http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?noframes;read=114769

    “…the new Russia will continue its longstanding conflict with China over Inner Mongolia, with the result that Russia will lose a portion of this territory to China. And China becomes dangerous, especially to India, as also at this time China maintains uneasy relations with her. China will attack India; and if biological weapons are used, around 30 million human beings will be killed in the area of and around New Delhi alone. However, this will not be the end yet—because the effect of biological bombs and missiles, etc., used cannot be controlled at that time, and terrible epidemics unknown up to that point in time will arise and will spread quickly to many areas.

    ….enormous natural catastrophes and rolling walls of fire and violent hurricanes will rage all across America, while, in addition, all the terrible effects of war will bring thousandfold deaths, destruction and annihilation. America’s largest cities will be absolutely destroyed, and firestorms will cause great disaster and misery.”

  24. kaiveicoco Says:

    I say that when and if the military do exit back to the barracks as they are claiming that the charter implementation will be their exit point, that the barracks be not be the exit place but a transit point only.i.e they go there lay down their weapons, change their uniforms may be allow them to take their boots and may be buy thier uniforms too and take up knives,forks,spades etc,etc and to their village they go and farm.Joes Farm supermarket which has been supplying all or most of their food must buy their farm produce.Those who want to fish sell to tebara meats etc.while at the village they teach the youths about discipline,safety drills,first aid etc be role models,practise good governance at village and tikina level.who knows they may just help restore respect and help allay the erosion of culture which is now happening in our villages.
    they can also teach some much needed trades in the village like carpentry,engineering etc

  25. Peace Pipe Says:

    TV news this evening. Huge hooray to Wadan Narsey and a big BOOOOO to John the Con Samy. John the Con thought he could fool the people with his pathetic diatribe about causes of coups and usual ig bullcrap recitals from the charter farter hymn sheet. Wadan gave right to him in his face. Two thumbs up to Narsey and two down to John the con.

    However another bad news. The Tailevu meeting has resolved to go along with the charter farter and allow its rep Jo Comb to continue in the NCBBF. WTF man I thought there was unity in this struggle to confront the green goon bullies. But I not so sure if what they decided meant they supported the charter farter or not when they said they would allow the team to visit the province to vesu mona the villages with the spin on the virtues(not) of the charter farter.

  26. Peace Pipe Says:

    Oi I now saw something else in the other media about Tailevu rejecting the NCBBF and GCC changes. I actually heard the other news on Radio Fiji 1 5 o’clock news which said Jo Comb was re-elected chairman and that they will allow the charter team access to Tailevu. Maybe its a propaganda on the ig controlled radio station.

  27. FijiGirl Says:

    You make a good argument, EnufDictatorship.

    But I’m afraid I don’t (yet) agree with you.

    I still think that one of our best bets for ending THIS dictatorship is for the anti-IG/pro-democracy people to woo the soldiers away from the Dictator and his regime.

    Without the backing of the soldiers, Vore is nothing. Without Vore’s boys, Chodokant is nothing.

    If you alienate the common soldiery by threatening them with unemployment at the end of this democratic process, you are killing any chance you have of enticing them to end the regime.

    I am more in favour of what Linus said – reallocate resources.

    But if you want to pursue your approach, you should think about the fate of the soldiers, and present your proposal in a way that shows them they cannot lose out in a democracy. Or, if they may ‘lose’ a little at first, but it will be worth it for them (and all of us) in the long run.

    Remember – we all have a cousin or a relative in the armed forces. Don’t alienate them. Don’t punish the soldiers for the sins of their leader(s). Remind the soldiers that they have hearts and minds of their own, and they love this beautiful country as much as we (the pro-democracy movement) do.

    If you REALLY want to move this forward, you need to be SMART with how you go about it. Don’t threaten the soldiers & sailors. Let them feel involved. Let them feel this is a change for the better. For all of us. For Fiji.

    God bless Fiji

  28. Concerned Fijian Says:

    Details for your request Frida :

    New Death Threat at Fiji High Commission18:37 AEST Thu May 15 2008
    [1 hour 42 minutes agoBy Sandra O'Malley and Xavier La Canna]

    Australia has vowed it will not bow to intimidation after its high commission in Fiji received a second death threat in just over a week.

    The high commission in Suva is reviewing security after receiving the threat through the mail on Thursday.

    Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told parliament the Australian government believed the threats to be credible.

    “(We are) extremely concerned,” he said.

    The minister has written to his Fiji counterpart urging his government to urgently respond to a request from Australian high commissioner James Batley for greater protection from both Australian and Fijian police.

    A death threat last week against Mr Batley is believed to have been politically motivated, and made by a person or group unhappy with Australia’s policy on Fiji.

    Mr Smith said Australia would not be cowed into softening its stance against Fiji’s military government.

    “The safety, security and welfare of all high commission staff and their families is paramount in Australia’s response to these threats,” he said.

    “If these threats are an effort to intimidate the Australian government about its policy on Fiji or an attempt to intimidate our high commissioner, let me make it very clear, they won’t have any such effect.”

    Australia’s relations with Fiji soured after the nation’s elected government was ousted in a bloodless military coup in December 2006.

    Last week, two copies of a death threat against Mr Batley were left in an envelope at the high commission after being delivered by a man who had pulled up in a taxi.

    Canberra immediately began to review security at its mission.

    “Restrictions have now been placed on access to the high commission,” Mr Smith said.

    Australian’s representatives are now seeking discussions with the Fijian authorities to discuss both threats.

    Fiji police were notified in both cases.

    After the first death threat, Mr Batley met with the Fiji government and asked that members of the Australian Federal Police be allowed to provide additional close personal protection and security.

    “He also requested additional security services be provided by the Fiji police to high commission staff,” Mr Smith said.

    It is understood that to date the Fiji government hasn’t responded to the requests.

    Mr Smith has sent a formal note to the Fiji foreign minister on Thursday, stressing Australia’s “deep concern” about the death threats.

    “(I was) seeking urgent and full cooperation in responding to our formal requests for additional personal protection and security,” he said.

    Late Thursday, Fiji Police spokeswoman Ema Mua said its director of operations had met embassy staff.

    “We will provide the normal security and we will await a request from the Australian embassy to see how we can work with them in terms of upgrading the security, and keeping a watch on Mr Batley and his staff,” she said.

    “The police department will of course provide the normal security, plus any other security requested of us, not to mention that we will conduct our own investigations and step up security for Mr Batley and his team.

    “(Any) request would have to come from the embassy, and we are expecting that soon.”

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has reviewed its travel advice on Fiji but the overall threat level has not changed.

    “Credible threats have been made against the Australian High Commission and its staff in Suva,” the advice says.

  29. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    The death threats are all part of the illegal junta’s game plan.

    Create a crisis and then appear as the knight in shining armor to protect the oppressed.

    BS.

    It won’t work; this has all the unsavory smells of chaudhry and his puppet, bananasinpyjamas.

    Maybe they’ll get some pictures on TV of them trying to guard the commissioners.

    Or maybe, the Fiji Tv might do some investigative reporting and expose the real culprits behind these death threats; the illegal junta itself.

  30. Bebenibogi Says:

    Agree with Fijigirl above. It is for self realisation by the multitude of good soldiers that coups are wrong, and to bring back the glory of what the RFMF once was. With their backs to the wall now, Rt Joni’s comments about immunity for those following illegal orders should be considered. The top brass may have to face the legal consequences via court martial if they really thought what they were doing was in the best interests of the Nation. That’s why there is no impasse at present. To surrender would surely mean their demise, and self preservation is what the agenda is about at the moment. The writing is on the wall. We have all suffered enough. Frank, Chaudary et. al must present their matanigasau to the chiefs and people of Fiji, and be forgiven, as hard as it may seem. This is the only way out as the clock ticks. There is almost no other way to solve this peacefully. My family has lost one life directly as a result of the coup, and destroyed the rest of our lives. It is hard to accept, hard to forgive. They have blood on their hands. As I write and think of our loved one it really hurts, really really hurts and I’m sure many of you fellow freedom fighters have faced similar personal circumstances. It is cruel, unfair, unjust. It’s so hard to forgive. And the elders say, God is testing your faith. Others say I will be a matyr so Fiji is free. But is is all wrong, so terribly wrong. It must stop. How, I don’t know. Fiji must never cry again. Never. Thank you SV for giving us this forum to speak out. Sometimes I feel like a coward hiding behind a name, maybe scared, not for myself but for the family. Who will look after my family? It would be unfair on them, they are too young. War is terrible, trust me, I’ve been there and done that, it is the most terrible thing that can be inflicted on a country. I like to believe that God is just and will take care of things in his own way, including our cries in the blogsite. A blue moment again perhaps. But don’t push us pro-coup supporters – their is a limit, and if I fly over you, pray that your door is marked with the shield of Christ.

  31. Vasiti Osborne Says:

    fiji silenced ‘freeze for freedom’ is taking our fight one notch closer to physical participation. Spread the word. I hope people conduct their meetings with this topping their agenda. People dying to free up our country is the last resort but a resort that will surely end all the coups. Ideas presented here by fiji silenced is great and we should all participate in whatever ways little or big for every little step we take is indeed a step closer to bringing fruition to our ends. Hundreds of us received emails to tune in and view fiji silenced’s presentation.

  32. natewaprince Says:

    Speaking about the slow acceptance of aid to the cyclone ravaged Burma,a commentator on ABC TV said,’All it takes is for a few young turks in the Burmese regime to say ”Enough is enough”,and get rid of the senior members of their military junta.’

    Are their any”young turks” left at QEB???

    I’m sure there are,now is the time to stand up and be counted.Speak up or forever hold your penis..I mean ‘peace.’

  33. Tuks Says:

    Bebenibogi,
    Thanks for your honorable ideas and noble suggestions. Unfortunately we are dealing with a very mad man here. Voreqe is insane. Truly insane he is and very far from the reality of accepting any sane suggestions for a matanigasau. By the way, they said that Speight’s group sought a presentation of the Matanigasau to the Military in 2000 but one Officer -Tiko… openly told Speight and his group that according to Voreqe, it is Military tradition NOT to accept any form of Matanigasau. So where do they go now with respect to Ratu Joni’s latest proposal?. Voreqe himself kept harping publicly since 2000 that the Rule of Law must be the means to resolve all and that all coup perpetrators must face the Courts for Justice to prevail.. That is the reality according to Voreqe. That is the way we have to go we must tell Voreqe. His rejection of Qarase’s Reconciliation Bill makes it more difficult for any reasonable resolution of the current crisis. But we are dealing with a Mad Man. We must never forget that. With the thief and biggest liar and very deceptive Chodo around him now, we must be prepared for the worst case scenario whatever that may be…
    Voreqe is a Madman and his Army have likewise become mad too. This is obvious from the current total support and unfortunate silence by the inability of the top army brass to rise on this occassion above these problems and defend the truth . We can not depend on any of them now for the protection of State and its noble institutions anymore…
    The one obvious factor that has now emrged is that the Military have all for the wrong reason, remained united in their stance [echoed by George Orwell's Book -Animal Farm] which is “THE BOSS IS ~ALWAYS RIGHT”>>>… For the above reason, I fully concur with most of the suggestion that the Fiji Military may have worked themselves out of their own jobs…. Me sa lai caka mada ga na tei tavioka kei na dalo ni sa sega ni qaravi rawa vakadodonu na ka era vosa bubului kina…na taqomaki ni Lawa kei na Matanitu…

  34. Budhau Says:

    NP – you mean some young turk like Rabuka who went up against Nailatikau. BTW – didn’t we have some young turks back in 87 who could have taken care of Rabuka – why would we have wanted to do that.

    You see – if someone tries to knock off FB – we will have a blood bath in the country that will last for generations – we will become just like those other Pacific island nations where violence is an everyday thing. This violence would be an Intra-Fijian conflict – Fijians killing other Fijians.

    So that “young turk” ain’t as simple as it sounded on ABC TV…and how long the Burmese military has been in power.

    FijiGirl – on down sizing the army – your don’t have to lay off soldiers. Do a hiring freeze – and as the old guys retire, don’t hire new ones. And as Chaudary had suggested in the FLP government – move units like the Intelligence unit to the police. Over a period of some years we would have downsized the RFMF – to maybe the band and some marching boys for our parades and the like.

  35. FijiGirl Says:

    Bebenibogi – I cannot begin to tell you how much your words moved me. I feel for you, my dear. You and your family will be in our prayers.

    Tuks – I see what you mean about VB being insane. Same goes for Chodokant. I’m not sure about Vore, but in Chodo’s case, there is definitely method to his madness. He must be stopped, at whatever cost. I’d be tempted to give him immunity and then at a later date, when he thinks he’s safe, lynch him. It’s dishonourable, but would deliver the desired effect.

    Idiot x Moron = Budhau. QED.

    Budhau – you are too STUPID to understand what our discussion here. So don’t pretend that you do understand, or that you have something to contribute. You are just embarrassing yourself. So why don’t you and Aunty Lima disappear into a corner, and leave the real work for the grown-ups, okay?!

    God bless Fiji

  36. Budhau Says:

    OK FijiGirl – that way you don’t have to address your stupid remark about why we cannot downsize the army – because we will be hurting those soldiers.

    .

  37. Taukei Says:

    FijiGirl Says: “we all have a cousin or a relative in the armed forces. Don’t alienate them. Don’t punish the soldiers for the sins of their leader(s).”

    With all due respect, this is a NATIONAL issue, NOT a personal one.

    Of course, there are many honorable men in the military.

    However, that is BESIDE THE POINT.

    The main issue here is GETTING RID OF THE “COUP-CULTURE”, and to get rid of that, you need to GET RID OF THE MILITARY!

    Let’s go with your suggestion, FijiGirl, and not abolish the military, as ‘we all have a cousin or a relative in the armed forces’ and should ‘not punish the soldiers for the sins of their leader(s).’

    *CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THERE WON’T BE ANOTHER COUP OR MORE COUPS IN THE FUTURE? THAT THE PEOPLE OF FIJI WON’T SUFFER MORE COUPS?*

    *CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THERE WON’T BE ANOTHER “LEADER” LIKE BOCIMARAMA? THAT THE PEOPLE OF FIJI WON’T SUFFER ANOTHER MENTALLY DERANGED “LEADER” LIKE HIM?*

    No.

    There are no guarantees”, as long as the military is there.

    THE ONLY SOLUTION IS: DISSOLUTION.

    THEY NEED TO GO. ALL OF THEM.

    THEM AND THEIR TOY GUNS.

  38. Lau Lass Says:

    Hooray to Wadan Narsey !!! John Sa- mi looked like a stupid fool last nite on TV, him & Satendra Nandan have been away for 20 yrs & they think they can just come in overnite & force us to accept their charter shit…. sorry !!!! Why come back to fiji, BECAUSE in AUST & NZ they are NOTHING but here in Fiji they are allowed to pour all their bullshit in the media & elsewhere !!! They are looking more like FOOLS than academics !!!!

  39. Taukei Says:

    FijiGirl Says: “Without the backing of the soldiers, Vore is nothing. Without Vore’s boys, Chodokant is nothing.”

    “Remember – we all have a cousin or a relative in the armed forces. Don’t alienate them. Don’t punish the soldiers for the sins of their leader(s).”

    FijiGirl, first you say (correctly!) that the SOLDIERS ARE BACKING (which they are!) the two evils Bocimarama and Chodo Pradad, and then you CONTRADICT yourself by saying that we should not “punish the soldiers for the sins of their leaders”!

    ********Aren’t those “backing” the two evils Bocimarama and ChodoPrasad just as guilty, if not more?*******************

  40. Peace Pipe Says:

    If I was John Sa Mi I would disappear quietly back to NZ from the embarassment dished out to him by Wadan Narsey. John con is just another one of the bunch of opportunists in the ig appointments. Good on you Wadan. You give us good reason to remain on course in our effort to reject this ig.

  41. Taukei Says:

    Sounds pretty poetic, don’t you think…..

    Let’s sing…..

    THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DISSOLUTION.

    THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DISSOLUTION.

  42. Taukei Says:

    ABOLISH THE MILITARY

    Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

    THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DISSOLUTION.

  43. Tim Says:

    This is becoming a lively and intelligent debate (we had better watch out -VB, Yippe-I-Aye-Khaiyum and Shitster Shuvver might get worried). I hope I’m not coming across as too judgemental in what I’m saying but some things are just like the bleeding obvious – they quack, look and waddle like cowards, and WTF anyway – it doesn’t seem to concern any of the junta on how stupid their feet in their mouths look, just as long as they’re wearing designer shoes and can fly Korean Air to any dstination they think might impress – they should shove a Doctorate from the London School of Economics on their CVs while they have the chance -they can take advice from NZ Immigration on how to get away with it for a few years.

    I know the simplest remedy would be to just line them up against a wall and shoot the bastards. The death of every member of THIS regime, Rabuka, Speight before them, and even one or two academics who really haven’t yet come to terms with objectivity would quite possibly ensure the death of the coup culture for the next several generations. Actually – you might have to rank one or two drunkard religious leaders, a few from the judiciary with a few skeletons and a black suspender belt with ‘em in their closets. Best we just describe them all as molesters in one way or another.
    I think, despite a life of pacifism, I might even be able to pull the trigger on most of them just as I could if I’d been faced with Adolf H or Mugabe, or anyone else that raped my daughter – let alone my country. Actually Michael Faye and David Ritchwhite are people I hope I never have to encounter and I hope like hell they stick to a life offshore, but then a life of being a couple of pathetic and unhappy little queens, constantly ridiculed is as good a punishment as bullet I might be able to deliver to their forehead.
    Pity the wives that ever hooked up with those two – perhaps they could all set up a mutual support group with NZ’s Nancy Prebble at the helm, and Mike Moore could be in charge of cooking Lamb burgers wearing one of those aprons that says “My husband is a Bastard”. All of that doesn’t make any progress though!

    Like Fiji girl, Bebenibogi has my utmost respect and I hope the rest of contributors in here. That’s the kind of courage, compassion and principle that eludes Frank and his hangers on.
    Tuks is correct in large part (and I understand where Mark Manning has come from in past comments re Frank’s sanity), but….. Voreqe though, is dysfunctional, AND a bloody madman – just like Helen diagnosed early on when she got the opportunity to sample. F&*k whatever some NZ Military, SIS and other department’s counter-view might be – for some of them it’s based on a romantic notion of how they all used to be blokes together – they haven’t even realised yet what a total f*&knuckle the man is and of course some have a vested interest. Let’s not offend his children – they’re going to have to inheret enough baggage as it is.
    Love between Military blokes and their offspring shouldn’t cloud judgement however. In fact it’s worse than that – if sanctions were as smart and intelligent as the NZ (and AUS) govts think they are – some of the rellies would now be in Fiji considering their options rather than in comfort offshore – we shouldn’t assume Govt Ministers in OZ and NZ are getting exceptional advice, but if they are they’re being a little whimpish. THe rellies absence might actually assist in road safety and minimise the P problem in the Hutt Valley and elsewhere. Just like their father – they were never “hard bastards” – they were actually cowards and as expendible as the unkown warrior was.
    I know Mark thinks Frank is capable of rational thought – well yea, but only to the level of his understanding of reality. I think the pills might be helping though – he just needs to remember to take the friggen things and stop pointing his finger and stamping his fist when he knows he’s been sprung. Rats can also be what we think is intelligent – we shouldn’t confuse animal cunning with intelligent and independent thought however, and if I were a betting person I’d put my money on the rat rather than the Frank if it means successfully getting to the top of the drain pipe. If you’ve ever heard the expression “he’s as cunning as a shithouse rat” then that encapsulates Frank and a number of others.

    BUT Frank, like others in the senior ranks, has an ego that has been stroked by image rather than deed and achievement. He’s a pathetic little munter in reality – thick as 2 short planks and he attempts to disguise that by impressive uniforms and position that allows him command. As NZ is even beginning to find out, it’s own Public Service isn’t devoid of the same kind of people. The promises of corporatisation of the PS were devised by cunning rather than intelligence and its all biting bums now.

    People keep forgetting that deep down, what’s really bugging and driving these people is that they’re actually shitting themselves above all else at possible outcomes. Like criminals, they are scared of being found out – they are no different. In Oz and NZ such people are scared of being found out – the Emporer does in fact have no clothes – the short term solution is to apply a little more buillshit.
    In Fiji’s case, the same kind of people that were too bloody stupid to have realised when they made their move that there would be consequences. Their arrogance, stupidity, ego and dysfunction couldn’t possibly have allowed them to think otherwise – even Chodo recognised that which is why he targeted them. Same goes for the likes of the Yippe-I-Aye-Slik-Arse and the Shitster. Those two are actually people capable of a little rational thought when they can get past their own baggage. They just haven’t developed any sense of principle – especially of what is right and wrong. The next joint, and “does this tie look OK” and “does my arse look fat in this”? and I,I,I,I,Me,Me,Me,Me,Me, are far more important than any ideology, compassion or concern they profess to have – look at their friggen record to date FFS! If Shaista wasn’t biased, she’d be walking along so badly bent over to the right by a twisted spine, the wannabe Yippe on her left would have to shout to get her to hear.
    Most of that ilk adopted their politics and stance because they thought it was trendy. They made their friends based on who’d accomodate their dysfunction rather than on any principle. And Shaista certainly gained hers through a bloody purple haze. They’ve already shown themselves to be as fickle as it is possible to be!.

    The trouble is Frank has got the guns and a few thousand comparatively comfortable footsoldiers that are worried about what their future might be in his absence. It’s crunch time for the lot of them. They’re paying the bills in quite a few houselholds – a guaranteed income more reliable than most people have access to. They can even sit on their ever growing fat asses instead of doing something constructive – like exercising and honing their skills on improving infrastructure and being nice to people. Like Burma, they can’t even get off their chuffs as assist their own adequately when flooding or bad weather makes matters worse than it is for the citizenry. Why do they care if their reputation as a disciplined force is being shot to pieces – they can always blame it on their superiors when the shit hits the fan. Watch them all when it does – they’ll all be pointing the finger in Frank’s direction. The reality is that while they have power or the threat of it – it is EASIER for them to be assholes than it is to do something that is actually constructive. It’s a gravy train.

    All of which is why the whole immunity thing is worth considering. If I were there it would really stick in my gullet to even think of it. But when you do all discount it as an option – consider what the real priorities are. Number one on my list would be to get rid of the bastards first.
    There IS NO finality to the concept of immunity – it is not in reality a guarantee that those granted immunity can’t be held to account forever. You all seem to be forgetting that just because you are all more honest and principled than Frank and co are, there are no options for retribution and/or compensation at a later date. Frank and co have given up all rights to any moral consideration.
    Just get rid of the pricks by whatever means first. Give all those that think they have a rapist’s power an escape route an exit strategy and hold them to account when its all over. Get a legitimate government in place then hold NZ, Australia, EU and the U.S and Pac Forum to their promises of support – if they are really legitimate in their promises, they’ll be keen to ensure that the democratically elected remain unmolested in future.
    Remember Franks high and mighty promises – no one will benefit………, no one will personally gaon…….. no one involved in the IG will stand in a future govt……….. the list goes on, and on, and on, and on……….
    Any immunity could be given on that basis. Anyone that has personally gained (financially or otherwise) would be required to compesate or be open to a legitimate future challenge, SFA will vote for any of the munters anyway.

    Scuse the rave. I’d be just as keen to shoot the buggers but in the absence of a gun, I don’t think that’s possible. Get em out, then go round and burn their houses to the ground or whatever revenge you wish but I’d suggest that revenge is a pointless exercise. Just hold the neighbours to their promises after its all over

  44. EnufDictatorship Says:

    I still believe and will SUPPORT, the abolition of the military and redirecting their skills and funds elsewhere.

    As someone suggested above..NO MORE RECRUITING!

    Stay with the current numbers and when the oldies retire, keep the younguns as DOMESTIC SECURITY, assisting the police and then as the years go on, a sustainable number (say in the hundreds) can be the cap forever.

    The bottom line is, having MADMEN n GUNS is a LETHAL combo, as we have witnessed now four times in 21 years!!!!!!!

    Really if VORE didn\’t have his GUNS, would he have done what he did? Me thinks, NO!!!!!

    Baleta ni ia tikoga na vabody-body cos he has his guns, which HE IS NOT AFRAID OR EVEN WILL THINK TWICE OF USING, IF HE IS THREATENED! And that is the sad thing about it. His values has been degraded by the kinds of people he surrounds himself with. Sa yali na nona veirokovi, ka sa vodo mai o qaciqacia kei viavialevu.

    Forgive? Yes, BUT only when he and his honchos are in JAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Hello EnufDictatorship

    What most people don’t realise is that when the green goons are on the streets these days, the soldiers do not have ammunition in their rifles.

    Ask them. They will tell you that they do but the reality is that bananasinpyjamas and his failed diplomat, dimwiti, are afraid to arm the goons in case they point the rifles back at them.

    It must be just great to be afraid of your own shadow.

  46. Jose Says:

    Don’t forget Mrs Ignorant and Mr No Principles.

  47. Taukei Says:

    EnufDictatorship, it more like KIDS who think they’re playing with TOY GUNS.

    Frightening stuff!

  48. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Taukei, frightening stuff ka dina!

    But we get to pay the price huh.

    Dina mada about the unloaded guns? Well, that\’s a good thing I guess, for the citizens\’ sake.

    As for FB and Dimwit..lamu/rere tiko vei iko!

    With you Taukei…

    The only SOLUTION is DISSOLUTION!!! Cle-vah!!!

  49. Litea Vuki Says:

    I see.

    Same ideas promoted here.

    Looks like the army argument to stay on is no longer popular.

  50. FijiGirl Says:

    @ EnufDictatorship & Taukei

    Believe me, I sympathise with your anger and frustration – we all do. And I agree that we all have to aim for a permanent end to the coup culture.

    But I don’t think you can reach a satisfactory resolution at this point if we state that the coming democracy will put a final end to the military.

    If we say that, we create an intractable position, and the military (which is self-protecting and hey, they have the guns even if they don’t have the bullets) will do all it can to stop that democracy coming to fruition.

    I apologise if you thought that I was trying to turn a national situation into a personal one. My point is that those soldiers are of the people. Our people. They have hearts and minds, just like us (well, except Budhau, who is unwittingly stupid). I believe they can be won over by the pro-democracy movement. But we can’t win them over if we show them closed fists instead of open hands.

    Perhaps I am being impossibly naive. But if you compare the situation in Fiji to other troubled regions of the world – Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Burma, Palestine, Syria, Kashmir – we have a lot more reasons FOR peace and AGAINST conflict than they do in those parts of the world. We have a lot to work with that those people do not.

    Don’t let our situation reach the desperation of their situation by courting intractable positions.

    I do agree with your points that we must end the coup culture, that something drastic has to be done to the structure of our military, and we need to prevent crazy people from reaching positions of power (Chodo, VB, Shi*ster, Yippee Ai-yay, Gaytes, EP, EN, ETC).

    Thank you for the chance to constructively debate this.

    God bless Fiji

  51. Taukei Says:

    FijiGirl, thanks for the response.

    You say – “we need to prevent crazy people from reaching positions of power (Chodo, VB, Shi*ster, Yippee Ai-yay, Gaytes, EP, EN, ETC)”.

    It is sometimes impossibly hard to know just WHO is CRAZY and who isn’t.

    We cannot afford these kinds of RISKS – not anymore.

    My point is —- as long as there is a military and/or lunatics have access to guns, then I’m afraid we will continue to suffer coups.

    THE ONLY SOLUTION IS *DISSOLUTION*

  52. bisbetica Says:

    I agree THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DISSOLUTION OF THE RFMF.

    Yes, stop recruiting

    But they currently hold the nation hostage and are still RECRUITING

    And even after elections, those holding guns will want to entrench their position to DICTATE to OUR elected government, with the ever permanent threat of ANOTHER COUP if the elected government does not toe the rfmf line. The charter is their attempt to solidify this. But very simply, the people have said, No thank you, the 1997 constitution will SUFFICE, reforms only through the constitution, not through guns.

    Only with elections will our voices be heard and our views heeded. But elections will not guarantee that. The guns will not be laid down without some guarantee of immunity. Even after they are laid down, the elected government will have to negotiate with the rfmf, over its role and its composition (downsizing, dissolution, re-deployment).

    Unless by force, the rfmf illegal regime is overthrown, and the coup perpetrators and conspirators put in jail.

    We the population have no guns. The various divisions of the army have continued to have training exercises the last 18 months. They are just salivating at the prospect of rebellion, to put down. They want a WAR. Do we?

    I know this is not popular with many. The only way forward is dialogue and negotiation. Yes, many of us want bainimarama and his gang of thieves punished, but at what price? bloodshed? the destruction of Fiji?

  53. Taukei Says:

    FijiGirl, I do agree with you that we will need to radically restructure the military – for the present time.

    That entails immediately reducing the military budget drastically – from the current $100 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!

    However, we will eventually have to ABOLISH THE MILITARY –

    AND CULTIVATE OUR HISTORIC FRIENDSHIP WITH AUSTRALIA AND NZ.

    Take a look at the amount of MONEY Australia POURS into NEW GUINEA – 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

    We should be getting at least the same if not more. Think of what that amount of money will do to Fiji – education, health, infrastructure, village life, etc. etc.

  54. Taukei Says:

    Nicely said, bisbetica!

  55. Taukei Says:

    SPOT ON –

    bisbetica Says: “And even after elections, those holding guns will want to entrench their position to DICTATE to OUR elected government, with the ever permanent threat of ANOTHER COUP if the elected government does not toe the rfmf line.”

    The more reason the MILITARY MUST BE ABOLISHED ***AS SOON AS POSSIBLE***.

    Thanks bisbetica for this profound vision –

    Enough is enough –

    WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF THIS “COUP-CULTURE”. WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF SO MANY PAST MILITARY COUPS. WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF THE MILITARY TELLING US WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG. WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF THEIR ATTEMPTS TO CONTROL OUR LIVES. WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF THEIR CONTINUOUS INVOLVEMENT IN POLITICS.

    **********THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DISSOLUTION*****************

  56. Taukei Says:

    A world without armies!

    Costa Rica’s past President, Oscar Arias Sánchez, explains his vision

    The Central American country that Dr Oscar Arias Sánchez led from 1986 to 1990 has had no army for nearly 60 years. Following a civil war that lasted just five weeks, but killed 2,000 people, the victorious leader José Figueres made a revolutionary pronouncement on 1 December 1948: ‘The Regular Army of Costa Rica today gives the key to its military base to the schools… [T]he Government hereby declares the National Army officially abolished.’ As a result the nation’s limited resources were channelled into infrastructure, especially education and health, which rewarded the country with the highest living standard in Central and South America.

    ‘At that time the army was not very large and so there were no sudden potfuls of money to finance these goals,’ explains Dr Arias. ‘But the abolition of the army helped us avoid the quagmire that in the following decades would slowly engulf our neighbours: deepening poverty, brutal military repression, guerrilla movements and foreign military intervention. If Costa Rica had an army in the 1980s, we almost certainly would have become like Honduras – a militarized outpost of the US in its campaign against the Nicaraguan Government. Instead, we were able to promote a regional peace plan, to keep our economy growing and to build new schools.’

    Twenty-eight nations now have no armies

    Fourteen countries have now followed Costa Rica’s example and demilitarized through Constitutional amendments. Twenty-eight nations now have no armies. Dr Arias encouraged and supported the Presidents of two of these countries – Panama and Haiti – to demilitarize. ‘My goal was to impress on them the importance of preventing the rule of men with guns. Abolishing the army reduces the immediate threat of coups, but without a comprehensive programme to disarm and reintegrate soldiers into society, armed groups can reform under a different banner.’

    Panama listened. Haiti – where massive internal conflict erupted last year, causing the ousting of its President – did not. But Dr Arias believes that the abolition of the Haitian army makes as much sense today as it did in 1995. ‘Given the past role of Haiti’s military in fomenting coups, spreading chaos and attacking civilians, an organized army would have only deepened last year’s crisis.’ But Haiti is a potent reminder that demilitarization will not rid a country of violence if other conflict flashpoints, like widespread gun possession, remain.

    Indeed even in military-free Costa Rica, Dr Arias sees guns generating violence. ‘As the media reports more and more crime, many people see no other recourse but to arm themselves, which in turn generates greater insecurity. Disarmament of society is a much longer process [than demilitarization] that requires a fundamental change in outlook and behaviour.’ This helps explain why Dr Arias – winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 – used his prize money to establish a foundation that works for peace internationally as well as within his own country: work that presently includes peace training in schools.

    The benefits for big nations

    I ask Dr Arias how practical it is to expect large nations to abolish their armies. After all, $1,035 billion was spent on militaries worldwide last year. In the US alone, military spending in 2003 was 40 per cent higher than in 2002. ‘For countries with enormous military power my argument would not be that they should abolish their armies all at once as Costa Rica did, but rather reduce their military spending bit-by-bit in co-ordination with other countries. The advantages to superpowers are greater geopolitical security and an alleviation of the sense that a mushrooming military power is driving their governments closer to the abyss.’

    And what of countries that need to protect their resources – say in Africa? ‘I agree that the threat of invasion makes it more difficult for a country to contemplate demilitarization. Indeed, the very purpose of an army is to protect a country from external aggression. But if you look at the [real] role of the military in Africa, you will see that it is the backbone of dictators and an instrument of internal repression.

    ‘I would not be so arrogant as to say that what worked for Costa Rica and Panama should work in Sudan or the Congo. If a government decides to abolish its military all at once, how is it then to deal with the rat’s nest of paramilitary groups operating within its borders? But I do believe – and I have made this argument with African presidents – that it is vital for leaders to [start making] demilitarization a central priority of their governments. [As an international community] we have to think of ways to fund nations that are trying to reduce the size of their militaries [such as establishing] a framework for debt forgiveness to developing-world governments that take steps to invest more in education, health and housing, and less in soldiers and weapons. This would support governments in impoverished countries which seek to better protect and serve their citizens and also encourage a reordering of worldwide priorities that are currently so tragically misguided.’

    http://www.newint.org/features/2005/08/01/about_face/

  57. Taukei Says:

    “Indeed, the very purpose of an army is to protect a country from external aggression. But if you look at the [real] role of the military in Africa, you will see that it is the backbone of dictators and an instrument of internal repression.” http://www.newint.org/features/2005/08/01/about_face/

    >>>>>>>>>>>If f you look at the real role of the military in Fiji, you will see that it is THE BACKBONE OF DICTATORS and AN INSTRUMENT OF INTERNAL REPRESSION.

  58. Taukei Says:

    “[As an international community] we have to think of ways to fund nations that are trying to reduce the size of their militaries [such as establishing] a framework for debt forgiveness to developing-world governments that take steps to invest more in education, health and housing, and less in soldiers and weapons.” – Costa Rica’s past President, Oscar Arias Sánchez

    INVEST MORE IN EDUCATION, HEALTH, AND HOUSING, AND LESS IN SOLDIERS AND WEAPONS.

    I couldn’t agree more!

  59. Tebara Says:

    @ NatewaPrince … Sa ra vo tu bekaga na young jerks … LOL !!

    Even the young malnourished ones parade around with an air of arrogance. We like to call them The Hutus and The Tutsi … !! me ra vakani mada sebera na lai vateqateqa wavoki ..!

  60. Tebara Says:

    Yes taukei..this will have to be looked at into details when a new elected govt comes into power.

    International communities and our neighbours have funding that targets those initiative if its for the betterment of the society. And that my friend they couldnt agree or give their total backing for.

    They as much as the fijian citizens are fed up with our coup culture and will be glad to have it eradicted once and for all.

    @FellowBloggers ..We have brains on this forum. As suggested when this is all over let us look at forming our own party to stand at election. And make a permanent difference in Fiji for the better.

    Au sa vollunteer yani meu lai soli bula na campaign trail… Ia ia !!

    I

  61. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Bravo! Taukei and bisbetica…Spot on!

    There\’s really NO TWO ABOUT this anymore, really, really!

    As you found out Taukei, frm yr piece above, Costa Rica\’s hero, Figueres, made the PAINFUL but WISEST N BEST decision to Abolition their military (and to think that there are millions of people in Costa Rica, who have real threats frm their close border neighbours) ia o kedatou i Viti we don\’t really…(correct me if I am wrong).

    And see how they have faired compared to their neighbours. Having lived in Colombia for a while, it\’s a beautiful country BUT the threat of the FARC invading always looms and great precautions have to taken to protect oneself. This is the threat we citizens have to live with from people with guns, who are not afraid to use it.

    As bisbetica stated, after the elections…WHAT?

    Case in point here is what the Burmese military are trying to do with their referendum, which they were trying to get the people to go to the polls for and vote IN THE MIDST OF A DISASTER, is because this referendum will CEMENT MILITARY RULE IN BURMA FOREVER!!!!!!!!!

    And that is what this charter farter is for. To continue to dictate to us on their terms!!!! Who needs them? This is a classic case of when you divert from your real purpose (protecting the people instead of trying to be their saviours and leaders), it only ends in CHAOS and nothingness!!!!!!

    VB and his goons have lost the plot!!!…let\’s go back to the reason for this illegal take-over: hmmmmmmmmmm what was it? Corruption by the multiparty gov? WHERE IS THE PROOF VB???? We are still waiting! Qai laga beka kina na sere ya..Waiting in vain.

    Are we frustrated? Of course, frustrated with people who BELIEVE THEIR ALTRUISTIC MOTIVES ARE FOR US! No! No! No! Keep your altruism for your own family..DON\”T do it for us!!!!

    The only way out from here is FOR VOREQE (not US) TO HUMBLE HIMSELF, ADMIT HIS WRONGS, AND GIVE THE GOV BACK TO US THRU THE POLLS. We will then take it from there cos the new elected leaders will NOW know that they will never ever try and take us for a ride cos we will be on their case…and then

    ABOLISH THE MILITARY!

    Now, will he take that simple step of HUMBLING HIMSELF? That remains to be seen. HopefuLly his relationship with The Archbishop may assist him in that. God help him!

  62. Taukei Says:

    EnufDictatorship, you summed it up beautifully!

    I liked the examples you gave – SUPERB!

    Nice to know you likved in Colombia.

    I’ve been to both COSTA RICA and COLOMBIA and say this much – that even though Costa Rican tourism isn’t as developed as Fiji, the country is highly STABLE and the people are HIGHLY LITERATE!

    NO ARMY=NO COUPS

  63. Taukei Says:

    EnufDictatorship Says: “Costa Rica\’s hero, Figueres, made the PAINFUL but WISEST N BEST decision to Abolition their military (and to think that there are millions of people in Costa Rica, who have real threats frm their close border neighbours).”

    Precisely, EnufDictatorship! That is a truly profound statement!

    Costa Rica has enjoyed peace since it abolished its army after a brief civil war in 1948, while its Central American neighbors suffered from war, and Costa Rica’s per capita income is twice that of its neighbors, because it invested in its civilian economy what its neighbors spent for their military.

  64. Taukei Says:

    How Haiti Abolished Its Military

    by Johan Galtung and Dietrich Fischer

    19 January 1996

    Most Haitians do not see their army as a force that protects them from aggression. They rather see it as a threat to their personal security. It has violently overthrown democratically elected governments and carried out arbitrary arrests, torture and murders.

    Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the war in Nicaragua, estimated from informal conversations with many ordinary Haitians earlier last year that about 80 percent of them wished the military were abolished. He suggested to Haiti’s President Jean- Bertrand Aristide to take a bold step before leaving office and to make Haiti join the growing list of countries without a military. There are about 30 such countries today, most of them small islands or land-locked countries.

    The agreement brokered in October 1994 by President Jimmy Carter between Aristide and army chief General Raoul Cedras, which led to the restoration of democracy without major bloodshed, had already included a provision to reduce the Haitian army from about 7,500 to 1,500 troops. But while this was hardly enough to defend the country against an invasion, it was still plenty to overthrow an elected government. Haiti is better off without army.

    At a meeting in February 1995 with Global Demilitarization, a citizens group founded by Sue and Marvin Clark from Troy, New York, Arias explained his informal findings about the Haitian public’s desire to abolish the military, but remarked sadly that if he said so, the world press paid no attention. However, if an internationally recognized polling firm conducted a professional opinion poll in Haiti and could confirm his impressions, he hoped the world would pay more attention. He said that his Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation in San Jos‚, Costa Rica, sought the relatively modest sum of $20,000 to conduct an opinion poll in Haiti on the question of abolishing the military.

    That was before last year’s parliamentary elections in Haiti. If such a poll was conducted, he expected reporters to ask candidates about their view on this issue, and those who wanted to keep the military would be unlikely to win. Those politicians who promised to favor abolition of the military to get elected could then be held accountable by grassroots organizations to keep their promise after the elections.

    Global Demilitarization was able to raise the necessary funds, and the poll was conducted in Haiti in March and early April 1995. Events moved even more rapidly than Arias had expected, and his strategy proved to be a great success. At a news conference in Port-au-Prince on April 28, 1995, Arias could announce that 62 percent of the Haitian people wished to abolish the army, and only 12 percent wished to keep it, with the rest undecided. When President Aristide heard these results, he stepped to the microphone and spontaneously announced that given the clear wish of the majority of his people, he herewith declared the army abolished!

    The American media almost totally ignored this important event. But President Aristide, when asked in an interview after the election of his successor what he considered his greatest achievement during his term in office, he said abolishing the Haitian military.

    Oscar Arias has had previous successes. After President Guillermo Endara was installed to office in Panama in December 1989 by U.S. troops who ousted strongman Manuel Noriega, no Latin American country was willing to recognize him, even though he had won a democratic election. Latin Americans, for good historical reasons, have a strong aversion against U.S. intervention in their internal affairs. Endara desperately sought recognition from some Latin American governments. Arias, then President of Costa Rica, saw an opportunity and promised that his country would become the first in Latin America to recognize Endara’s government if he promised in return to work for the abolition of Panama’s military. Since the military had just been defeated and disbanded, this required no special effort. Endara gladly agreed. The Arias Foundation then invited some Panamanian legislators to Costa Rica to show them that a country without military is possible and functions normally. Some initial contacts with Panamanian voluntary organizations helped them launch a campaign to abolish the military. In October 1994, a provision was enshrined in the Panamanian constitution that the country will have no military. Costa Rica had taken the same step in 1949 under the leadership of President Jos‚ (“Don Pepe”) Figueres.

    Arias understood the sensitivity of such an issue: pressure had to come from inside the country, not from abroad, otherwise it could backfire. That is why he also recognized the importance of an opinion poll in Haiti to make the public sentiment–so well hidden under the past repressive conditions–visible.

    When Costa Rica abolished its military, it took precautions to guard against any future coups. The police is not under a single command, but divided between the ministries for rural and urban security. In this way, no police chief can exert monopoly control and seize state power by force.

    A Central Comptroller’s Office oversees all public expenditures to prevent corruption. An election tribunal has the task of preventing electoral fraud. Autonomous institutions, in which opposition parties are represented, are responsible for electricity, water, telecommunication and banking. Political power is widely dispersed, to make it difficult for any small group to seize illegitimate power.

    Finally, Costa Rica relies on the collective security mechanisms of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Other countries can benefit from its experience. While other Central American countries have long suffered from war and military coups and squandered much of their resources on the military, Costa Rica has enjoyed peace, stable democracy, and its per capita income is double that of its neighbors.

    Arias has also suffered some setbacks. He tried hard to persuade President Violetta Chamorro to abolish the Nicaraguan army after her election victory in 1990, but she did not quite have the courage to do so. The Sandinistas had just lost an election and would not have dared to overthrow her government. At least, the army was reduced from 80,000 to 20,000 troops.

    Overall, Oscar Arias’ contribution to peace and demilitarization is impressive. One individual, with dedication, persistence and clear thinking, can make an amazing difference. In El Salvador, a reduction in the size of the army is part of the recent peace accord. In Guatemala, this question is under negotiation. Arias dreams of a totally demilitarized Central America, and ultimately a demilitarized world.

    http://www.transcend.org/HAITI.HTM

    Johan Galtung, a Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Hawaii and the European Peace University, Austria, is a former teacher of Oscar Arias at the University of Essex, England. Dietrich Fischer, a Professor at Pace University, is a board member of Global Demilitarization. His latest book is Nonmilitary Aspects of Security: A Systems Approach.

  65. Taukei Says:

    I like this one – Fiji too can benefit from Costa Rica’s experience:

    “When Costa Rica abolished its military, it took precautions to guard against any future coups. The police is not under a single command, but divided between the ministries for rural and urban security. In this way, no police chief can exert monopoly control and seize state power by force.

    A Central Comptroller’s Office oversees all public expenditures to prevent corruption. An election tribunal has the task of preventing electoral fraud. Autonomous institutions, in which opposition parties are represented, are responsible for electricity, water, telecommunication and banking. Political power is widely dispersed, to make it difficult for any small group to seize illegitimate power.

    Finally, Costa Rica relies on the collective security mechanisms of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Other countries can benefit from its experience. While other Central American countries have long suffered from war and military coups and squandered much of their resources on the military, Costa Rica has enjoyed peace, stable democracy, and its per capita income is double that of its neighbors.”

    — Johan Galtung and Dietrich Fischer

    http://www.transcend.org/HAITI.HTM

  66. EnufDictatoship Says:

    Just wondering out loud…imagine if an upcoming political party willing to contest the next elections, ever THINKs of putting this suggestion in their manifesto, that is, to follow Costa Rica\’s e.g. in \”weaning\” the military to a reasonable size and purpose, if they will get any support?

    Wow! That will be the day.

    The saying \”it takes only one rotten egg to make the whole batch stink\” really relates to our coup-culture. Ever since the rotten egg of 1987, it has taken only that one incident to set the stage for the three that followed.

    And now that we are here and soul-searching for solutions, we have had to live with painful memories.

    Just reading back the RandU bill by the Qarase gov., it was probably the first step that could be taken by our country\’s leaders to humble themselves, forgive and move-on THEN ABOLISH THE MILITARY but of course VB didn\’t want any of that cos he wanted to punish the perpetrators of 2000. And now that he is the perpetrator, he is trying to save hi sorry behind by pushing for immunity.

    Sorry, you can\’t get the best of both worlds when your actions are illegal. HUMBLE yourself and REPENT big time! Then we will….

    ABOLISH THE MILITARY! and try and follow e.g. of countries who have made it like CR.

    Taukei, btw, aren\’t the Colombians beautiful and happy people, despite their country\’s circumstances? Miss those bbqd churizo n al trapo n chimchuri…yum!!! oh! n the fried vudi…tini ga na kakana na ka ke.

  67. Vasiti Osborne Says:

    It is nice to see this united front to abolish the military.

  68. FijiGirl Says:

    @ EnufDictatorship, Taukei, et al. Wow. You guys have some very convincing arguments, compelling research and valid points. I have to admit, my opinion is changing.

    Given your intention of making a political platform of this at upcoming elections – a very worthy platform, I may say, and one that a vast majority of the electorate will be support – can I suggest that you continue to think this through to actual enforcement.

    * What timetable would give the dissolution? (6 months? 1 year? 3 years? etc)
    * How will you re-employ the out of work soldiers? (eg % to retrain to the police force, national guard, etc)
    * What support will you give the soldiers to re-adapting to civilian life? What budget will you allocate to that? (eg counselling? telephone hotline? Don’t forget that some of these men have seen active combat during peacekeeping duties, and will have some form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder)
    * Will you commit funds for ex-soldiers/sailors for further education (eg USP / FIT) and vocational training? If so, what spend do you think is required per head?
    * What on-going support will you give to military widows and their families? (Note – if you can offer better support than they get under the current regime, it will make your platform more compelling)

    Just some food for thought. Good luck with this, gentlemen. I really think you could be on to something.

    God bless Fiji

  69. IslandBoy Says:

    @FijiGirl – you better stop with all the questions, your making me wanna start as a full time volunteer.

  70. IslandBoy Says:

    @FijiGirl – scrap the above, where do I sign up?

  71. IslandBoy Says:

    @FijiGirl – a new poli-sci course for double honors credit –

    ” The Rise and Effectiveness of Internet-based Political Movements.”

    Only on SV sugar, are these guys too cool for school or what?

  72. IslandBoy Says:

    SOLI VAKASAMA WOULD BE THE MOST SUITABLE NAME FOR AN INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING – CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!!!

    AND I GET DIBS FOR THE NAME OF MY NEW BAR WHEN THE JUNTA GOES DOWN – COME ON HOME COSTA RICA!

  73. FijiGirl Says:

    Vinaka IB. Like the title of your credit course B)

    I have another thought on this for EnufDictatorship & Taukei –

    What ‘success factors’ do you envisage, at the outset, to measure how successfully you stage your dissolution of the military?

    For example, will you measure it by % of ex-soldiers re-employed?
    % of new employers of ex-soldiers expressing satisfaction at how they have adapted to their new civilian lives?
    % of ex-soldiers themselves expressing satisfaction in their new civilian lifestyle?
    % of ex-soldiers earning a higher wage than they did in military service?

    Being able to tell the current soldiers today how you will measure the success of your initiative, will help to encourage or discourage them from supporting you. It all depends on how YOU look at it, and how you present it to them and the people of Fiji.

    God bless Fiji

  74. Taukei Says:

    Just about all countries have an army and a few armies are said to have countries but there is one country that has functioned since 1949 without an army. This is the Central American Republic of Costa Rica, a country about two-thirds the size of Scotland. It is bordered in the north and south by the battle-scarred nations of Nicaragua and Panama. Its fabled wildlife, beaches and volcanoes attract more than a million tourists annually, about half of whom are Americans.

    Costa Rica’s strategic decision to abolish its army insulated the country from being tarred by the violence that was the hallmark of Latin American politics for decades. Abolishing the army has both inhibited the formation of a military oligarchy and made elections the only way to change government. It has also established Costa Rica’s neutrality in the region; no aggressor would think of attacking a militarily weaker neighbor, for fear of provoking international condemnation. Finally, abolishing the army has released funds for human, economic and social development.

    Costa Rica has a per capita income of $6,500, making it a middle-income country. A record 20 percent of the national budget goes to education, allowing the Costa Ricans to enjoy a literacy rate of 95 percent in the population over the age of 15, which is the highest in Latin America. Costa Rican health care is at par with that of moderately high-income countries and its life expectancy is the same as in countries with per capita incomes that are four times higher.

    During the past two decades, the economy has diversified away from coffee and banana production. Tourism generates a billion dollars in revenue annually and the electronics sector is rapidly moving into first place, boosted by the opening of several high-tech manufacturing facilities by Intel Corporation. The economy grew this year by 5.5 percent, compared with growth rates in the 1 to 2 percent range for much of Latin America. Exports grew at 15 percent, and high-tech exports by 25 percent. The poverty rate dropped by 2.1 percent and now stands at 18.5 percent.

    Costa Rica gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and democracy has been a hallmark of Costa Rican politics since the first Congressional elections were held in 1889. There was a lapse in 1917, when the Minister of War, Frederico Tinoco, seized power in a military coup. Nationwide protests ended his dictatorship two years later. In 1922, a democratically elected President Ricardo Oreamuno said with much pride, “We are a country with more teachers than soldiers…and a country that turns military headquarters into schools.”

    Reflecting the broadening of the democratic process, forty percent of the 57 legislators are now women. Women are also rapidly increasing their numbers in such traditionally male-dominated fields as medicine, law and government service. Until recently, two political parties, the National Liberation Party (PLN) and the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), dominated national politics. However, in the 2002 elections, a new party, Partido Accion Civica (Citizens Action Party), garnered 25 percent of the vote just 14 months after it was founded. Its presidential candidate, Otton Solis, an economist and former Congressman, mobilized the electorate by challenging Costa Ricans to take responsibility for the direction of public policy, building on growing distrust of business as usual. While he lost, he was able to change the dynamics of domestic politics.

    In return for pursuing such enlightened policies, this small nation of four and a half million is highly respected throughout Latin America. A former president, Oscar Arias, who governed from 1986 to 1990, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work in attempting to spread peace from Costa Rica to all of Central America. Another former president, Miguel Angel Rodrigeuz, is favored to become the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The 14-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has just given him its official backing.

    Costa Rica’s foreign policy is geared toward maintaining friendly ties toward the US. The vast majority of Costa Ricans supported the US invasion of Panama and the incumbent, President Abel Pachecho, supported the US invasion of Iraq, saying it was a just response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    Pachecho, who took power in 2002, is a psychiatrist and former TV commentator who belongs to the PUSC. Recognizing that public opinion was strongly opposed to the Iraq War, he is now seeking a more nuanced foreign policy position on Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s arrest. Pachecho has called on the US to “begin to think about evacuating and letting the Iraqis take over their own country.” Using even stronger language, Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias has reminded the world community that Saddam’s arrest does not justify the war. Reiterating that the war was carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter and that it has set a dangerous precedent in international law, Arias has urged the US to internationalize its efforts in the war-torn nation.

    Trying to preserve a balanced foreign policy, the Pachecho government has delayed the signing of the $23-billion Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), saying the current draft would harm Costa Rica. Items in dispute pertain to agriculture, textiles, telecommunications and insurance. Otton Solis, the head of the Citizens Action Party, has critiqued the Bush administration for pushing for an agreement that “would impinge negatively on our development possibilities and benefit only a handful of American corporations.” While supporting the need for free trade, he has said that the US wants Costa Rica to open up its agricultural markets without making any commitment to eliminating its own subsidies.

    The non-militarized political and economic development of Costa Rica should serve as an inspiration for Fiji’s leaders and motivate them to look for alternative models of nation building.

  75. Taukei Says:

    Costa Rica: A Country without an Army

    Just about all countries have an army and a few armies are said to have countries but there is one country that has functioned since 1949 without an army. This is the Central American Republic of Costa Rica, a country about two-thirds the size of Scotland. It is bordered in the north and south by the battle-scarred nations of Nicaragua and Panama. Its fabled wildlife, beaches and volcanoes attract more than a million tourists annually, about half of whom are Americans.

    Costa Rica’s strategic decision to abolish its army insulated the country from being tarred by the violence that was the hallmark of Latin American politics for decades. Abolishing the army has both inhibited the formation of a military oligarchy and made elections the only way to change government. It has also established Costa Rica’s neutrality in the region; no aggressor would think of attacking a militarily weaker neighbor, for fear of provoking international condemnation. Finally, abolishing the army has released funds for human, economic and social development.

    Costa Rica has a per capita income of $6,500, making it a middle-income country. A record 20 percent of the national budget goes to education, allowing the Costa Ricans to enjoy a literacy rate of 95 percent in the population over the age of 15, which is the highest in Latin America. Costa Rican health care is at par with that of moderately high-income countries and its life expectancy is the same as in countries with per capita incomes that are four times higher.

    During the past two decades, the economy has diversified away from coffee and banana production. Tourism generates a billion dollars in revenue annually and the electronics sector is rapidly moving into first place, boosted by the opening of several high-tech manufacturing facilities by Intel Corporation. The economy grew this year by 5.5 percent, compared with growth rates in the 1 to 2 percent range for much of Latin America. Exports grew at 15 percent, and high-tech exports by 25 percent. The poverty rate dropped by 2.1 percent and now stands at 18.5 percent.

    Costa Rica gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and democracy has been a hallmark of Costa Rican politics since the first Congressional elections were held in 1889. There was a lapse in 1917, when the Minister of War, Frederico Tinoco, seized power in a military coup. Nationwide protests ended his dictatorship two years later. In 1922, a democratically elected President Ricardo Oreamuno said with much pride, “We are a country with more teachers than soldiers…and a country that turns military headquarters into schools.”

    Reflecting the broadening of the democratic process, forty percent of the 57 legislators are now women. Women are also rapidly increasing their numbers in such traditionally male-dominated fields as medicine, law and government service. Until recently, two political parties, the National Liberation Party (PLN) and the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), dominated national politics. However, in the 2002 elections, a new party, Partido Accion Civica (Citizens Action Party), garnered 25 percent of the vote just 14 months after it was founded. Its presidential candidate, Otton Solis, an economist and former Congressman, mobilized the electorate by challenging Costa Ricans to take responsibility for the direction of public policy, building on growing distrust of business as usual. While he lost, he was able to change the dynamics of domestic politics.

    In return for pursuing such enlightened policies, this small nation of four and a half million is highly respected throughout Latin America. A former president, Oscar Arias, who governed from 1986 to 1990, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work in attempting to spread peace from Costa Rica to all of Central America. Another former president, Miguel Angel Rodrigeuz, is favored to become the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The 14-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has just given him its official backing.

    Costa Rica’s foreign policy is geared toward maintaining friendly ties toward the US. The vast majority of Costa Ricans supported the US invasion of Panama and the incumbent, President Abel Pachecho, supported the US invasion of Iraq, saying it was a just response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    Pachecho, who took power in 2002, is a psychiatrist and former TV commentator who belongs to the PUSC. Recognizing that public opinion was strongly opposed to the Iraq War, he is now seeking a more nuanced foreign policy position on Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s arrest. Pachecho has called on the US to “begin to think about evacuating and letting the Iraqis take over their own country.” Using even stronger language, Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias has reminded the world community that Saddam’s arrest does not justify the war. Reiterating that the war was carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter and that it has set a dangerous precedent in international law, Arias has urged the US to internationalize its efforts in the war-torn nation.

    Trying to preserve a balanced foreign policy, the Pachecho government has delayed the signing of the $23-billion Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), saying the current draft would harm Costa Rica. Items in dispute pertain to agriculture, textiles, telecommunications and insurance. Otton Solis, the head of the Citizens Action Party, has critiqued the Bush administration for pushing for an agreement that “would impinge negatively on our development possibilities and benefit only a handful of American corporations.” While supporting the need for free trade, he has said that the US wants Costa Rica to open up its agricultural markets without making any commitment to eliminating its own subsidies.

    The non-militarized political and economic development of Costa Rica should serve as an inspiration for Fiji’s leaders and motivate them to look for alternative models of nation building.

  76. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Bula FijiGirl,

    The first and foremost important \”success factor\” will be that the UNARMED civilian population will feel safe and secure in their own country, because there will be NO gun-totting idiot, who will brainwash his subordinates to commit human rights abuses, there to threaten them and their right to choose the government they want to lead them.

    Then secondly, the redundant military personnel, will be reabsorbed to other sectors if they are man enough for it. Otherwise, go to the village and teitei or fish or assist in community building. Heck! when Voreqe came into power, he sacked officials, left-right-and-centre without even thinking of how to accomodate or compensate them after they lost their jobs BECOS VOREQE HAD MADE THE ORDER!!!!!!

    SO, really, in this discussion, we have been humane enough to think of options that have been Proven WORTHWHILE as in CR\’s case.

    Did Voreqe ever have this kind of VISION before Dec 5, 2006? Never, because his MISSION was not noble from the start. It was based on revenge and hostility!

    God hear our prayers!

  77. Mark Manning Says:

    It’s incredible how Frank gets called the idiot , but i do agree that he is , but for a soldier to follow illegal orders and still expect to be able to face his relatives with his head held high , now that’s an idiot !

  78. Maxx57 Says:

    Um, yes, obviously, but the place we’ll head to next will in all likelihood be smaller. ,

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