The Rule of Law

I would be the last person to say that Chodopu$$ and Bainimarama don’t
deserve every criticism leveled at them, particularly by Fiji’s freedom
bloggers. Both men are driven by personal agendas that have little to do
with advancing anyone’s interests, except their own, of course. But
focusing on these two, whether it be their untruthfulness, their
corruption or their arrogance –  does not in itself help Fiji.

The only thing that will assist our nation at this point some 18 months
after the coup is the restoration of legality to its administration. And
because there is no way of conferring legality on Fiji’s military-backed
regime, irrespective of the fact that it was “appointed” by the President,
the only way to restore legality is for the Prime Minister and Parliament
to be recalled.

This is a constitutional necessity but is also a pragmatic necessity. It
is the restoration of the rule of law that will restore as much as
possible the confidence of the international community. This will mean
tourists will begin to return in greater numbers, investors will start to
think about Fiji again and the international donor community will kick
start their assistance plans again.

A legally restored Prime Minister and Cabinet would have to face the
challenge of unpicking a string of illegal appointments, starting with the
acting Chief Justice. Parliament would need to endorse or reject all of
the so-called legislation passed by the illegal regime.

The 1987 coup abrogated the colonial constitution but the 2000 purported
abrogation was halted by a court decision. We must return to the

If there is one lesson this episode should have taught everybody in Fiji
it is that the rule of law ^protects everybody. Or to put this the other
way around, without the rule of law you have the law of the jungle. No
business is safe. No public official is safe. No citizen going about their
everyday business is safe.

When the coup administration first installed itself, there was a degree of
passive support among some sections of the community, in particular the
Indo-Fijian community. As time has passed, however, and the economy
collapsed, no corruption was uncovered, a host of crony appointments were
made, and Chodopu$$ brazened out damning evidence of evasion of tax and
exchange controls, any support for the illegal regime started to wane.

As time passes, the rule of Qarase’s multi-party government looks more and
more like golden days. There were problems, to be sure, but at least there
was hope that they might be solved. The international community took heart
from the fact that Qarase had followed both the letter and the spirit of
the multi-party cabinet provisions of the constitution. Support to deal
with problems like corruption and restructuring of the sugar industry was
assured. Investors, too, thought that Fiji might have put the disruption
of coups behind it.

The return of the rule of law will not immediately solve Fiji’s problems,
but it is the only way those problems can begin to be solved. The so-
called People’s Charter has it all back to front. The Charter’s supporters
believe that the rule of law will return and coup culture will end when
everyone signs up to a charter. That might even be true if the first
principle of Charter is that nothing is more important than the rule of
law under a constitution. For obvious reasons, this is the one principle
that the Charter drafters have not, will not and can not include in their

The Charter supporters keep saying that elections will not solve Fiji’s
problems and end coups. On that point, at least I can agree with them. The
reason why there must be an election is to return to the rule of law and
the only way for that to happen is for Qarase to be returned so that he
can advise the President to dissolve Parliament and order elections.

The only thing that matters for the future of Fiji is the return of the rule
of law under the constitution.



28 Responses to “The Rule of Law”

  1. Ablaze Says:

    Tell it to those Ulukaus! The law holds society together!

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    We already know all this . So what is your point ?
    Frank and Chaudhry and the rest in the i.G. have no intentions of returning to a Democratically Elected Government , Mr.Qarase’s or any other one , because they know they will be sent to prison . Where is their incentive to do so ?

  3. Tuks Says:

    Mark Manning,

    “If you can’t see the point then it must be inside!!”. Hold your horse and take it easy buddy!!..We need to be reminded continously of the atrocities these current lots of people have committed against the State and the people of Fiji.
    Now that they are basking in their own Glories and enjoying their privileges and illegal posts utilising our own public monies,etc for their own vested interests, there is a need for us to keep refocussing and keep reminding us of our struggles to restore our rightful heritage to our Rights as Free citizens of our beloved country Fiji..
    The need to remind ourselves of the Devils that we are fighting. That is the point Mark.. Can’t you see it ??..
    There is a saying that “if you can’t convince them, join them”. Judging from your own comment against Navosavakadua Mark, I am afraid you would soon be with our enemies on the other side if you are not careful..

    and if you are not careful, you might

  4. natewaprince Says:

    Arrogance and fear are what is stopping the pig and the snake from doing the proper thing and return us to elections.

    Arrogance in refusing to lose face in the eyes of the international community about the stuff ups they have created to our economy,and fear of the fallout they will inevitably have to face post elections.

    Our international friends and neighbors are lining up at our doorstep with aid and assistance only if a democratically elected govt. is in place.Our economy will surely bounce back, but first,a concerted effort must be made to have elections.

  5. Glawyer Says:

    Interesting then what might have transpired in the first meeting between Vore and Qarase yesterday. Could it be Vore has finally seen the light? About as doubtful as flying pigs but never know. And what of Khaiyum’s sudden change of heart to let international observers in….could it be so that they can say that judiciary is ok and lo behold the verdict in Qarase’s case will come out in support of the illegal regime? Maybe too paranoid but with these snakes out there can never be too sure….all you can be sure of is everthing thats being done is for their own interests and self preservation. Interesting times ahead for everyone and unfortunately hard times too as this illegal regime and their supposed Finance guru Chodo just have no idea at all as our economy continues to dive….interesting to note that the blaming of ‘past governments mismanagment’ have ceased….run out of skapegoats Mr Chodo? You’ve been weighed, measured and found wanting. If you can’t pilot the plane time to take a passenger seat…goes for the rest of these illegal idiots.

  6. Lau Lass Says:

    MM, can’t you see that you are supporting ppl who have shown the world that they are incapable of looking after us, the whole of fiji. Everything is in shambles & yet you pretend that these LOT have done wonders for the country !!!!! WAKE UP !! OR ARE U ONE OF THE LAZY SOLDIERS FOLLOWING ORDERS !!!!

  7. benhur Says:

    People, read “FijiBoardExiles” GDEV articles on Chodo,Bai and the IG…the man knows John Sammy-the scammer and has a pretty good ideas what these bunch of idiots are trying to do to US-Fijians? I have said it many times before,Chodo was nothing but a first class idiot who was at 18years old, lucky enough to obtain employment as a “WATERBOY” in the revenue depatment. Bainimarama, well we all know his private life and visit to the Valenibakava in St Giles? They all know that Chodo is too dumb to admit his dumbness? THE ECONOMY IS GOINGBACKWARD(CONTRACTED BY 3.4%) there is no money left in the bank for the Government of Fiji.Soldiers and Navy are not been paid for the last 3 months,toilet papers in Government building are out,. They are taking loan from Commie country China to pay Government workers and they have no money to pay back their debts, business in Fiji are being conducted underground and they’re not getting expected taxes? Almost all the Provincial Councils in all of Fiji have outrightly rejected the NEW GCC Idea and outrightly rejected the Interim Government per se! Hey, the MANA is working and remember we are the choosen guardians of this small piece of land on this side of our planet.

  8. Mark Manning Says:

    tuks and lau
    i think you’ve misunderstood somewhere , i am totally opposed to those in this and previous coups and think that they should be jailed for life as those before them . no i’m not a soldier .

  9. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Hey guys,

    what do you think now that Bainimarama has finally met with Qarase? Incidentally, Qarase and Beddoes called upon the NFP sometimes last week before his Meeting with Bainimarama yesterday.

    Coincidence with Roko Tui Bau’s statement exposing immunity from NZ last week and Beddoes approving the same, albeit it with conditions?

    Is there something going on, that we have not disearned yet?

  10. Tui Says:

    I hope LQ will not make any deals with the pig. These guys should all go and join Speight at maximum in Naboro! It looks like the pig is slowly coming out of his stupor and realized what a big f#$%up they have made. More school kids will be missing out on their right to education while con-artists like John Samy continue to deplete the country’s resources with his 16,000 a month salary!
    Meanwhile SDL meeting right now at FTA Hall in Suva. Vinaka SV and team, let’s get chipping away, the cracks are getting bigger and bigger.

  11. Orisi Qaranivalu Says:

    @ Jese. Whatever it is they are cooking up it is at least a movement we can all be comfortable with ALL PARTIES involved. To get our side into the mix is healthy.

    Sure, I agree big time Tui — NO DEAL. Don’t make deals with the Pigs and the Snakes.

  12. LUVfiji Says:

    @JeseW – dont we just luv surprises!! Looks like the Elections is ON ! Yes?

  13. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    Magnificently put Navosavakadua! It’s always refreshing to read pure, simple reasoning and logic that makes complete sense.

    And given Fiji’s increasingly desperate social and economic plight, what could make more sense than the immediate withdrawal of Fiji’s military-backed government and the recall of the nation’s parliament? Surely, it’s the only way to go.

    Yesterday’s face-to-face meeting between dictator Bainimarama and ousted PM Laisenia Qarase only serves to make your article more timely.

    We at FDN regard that meeting as a positive development and a step in the right direction, as tentative as that step might have been. Like everyone else, we don’t know what they were talking about, but they might have made real progress if only your article had been been sitting there between them!

    But there again. We are starting to get ahead of ourselves. For one thing, how do you impart logic and sense to someone like Bainimarama?

    No, it’s better to stick with reality, for what we know as fact. For example,
    irrespective of where Bainimarama’s moods and impulses might take him, how do you deal with the cold, calculating pursuit of power over Fiji that drives his ultimate controller, the Chodopu$$?

    BTW, forget Mark Manning’s gratuitous comment above. It’s no wonder
    Solivakasama told him in no uncertain terms some months ago to back off. His know-it-all and patronising comments have become an overbearing
    omnipresence that sometimes dominates a free forum for ALL Fiji people. As Tuks makes clear above. Mark Manning is in real danger of making himself noxious.

  14. Babasiga kid Says:

    At Last.

    Now Voreqe is doubting that the Samychodocharter is anything but pissing in the wind.

    Its messy,divisive and attracting humongous headache.

    Samy at this juncture needs to start packing,pickup whats owing to him and move back to New Zealand.

    Chaudhary is moving to Sydney knowing that his coup has failed.

    Why did it have to take 18months to come to this realization i cant fathom.
    Nevertheless,im happy that Ratabacaca,Mataca and Qarase are able to inject some confidence on Voreqe.

    This blockhead Voreqe is to be in quarantine from the choado influece to ensure the March09 election.

  15. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Bula vinaka again bloggers.

    This was emailed to me a few hours ago by my lawyer friend, which was sent to him by another mutual friend regarding a letter from Tui Savu sent to the Fiji Newspapers today.

    Exactly on point, I must admit.

    Open dialogue then what?

    Bainimarama’s dialogue with Qarase is a positive sign and we hope this is an opportunity to resolve the political impasse.

    Qarase, Beddoes and the NFP’s meeting last week indicate the dialogue had been known beforehand.

    Bainimarama’s instigating this dialogue concedes an admission, that the IG cannot deliver on its claims in conducting the coup and now needs the assistance of Qarase, Beddoes & the NFP to absolve it out of its quagmire of illegality.

    There are still many difficult obstacles ahead, which they need to tread prudently and decide wisely upon, otherwise Qarase, Beddoes and the NFP may receive a backlash from its supporters resulting in the formation of new political parties.

    I have maintained all along, that the only means to permanently eradicate the coup culture in Fiji is to hold people accountable for their illegal actions and bring them to justice, but I stand to be corrected.

    Roko Tui Bau offers a pragmatic solution, which is granting immunity to the Military.

    Beddoes expands that immunity be applied across the board to include Speight and his men, but to have conditions excluding those Military personnel involved in serious crimes against humanity.

    Jokapeci Koroi of the FLP opposes Beddoes’ inclusion of Speight and his men, from immunity.

    We should recall, that Qarase after his Wellington talks with Bainimarama in November 2006 capitulated to over 95% of Bainimarama’s demands, including terminating all pending legal investigations against Bainimarama, yet he still went ahead and executed his coup.

    Qarase’s comments concerning Bainimarama’s mental state then said ‘we are dealing with somebody completely deranged and unstable, so that is part of the problem.’

    I ask, what has improved with Bainimarama’s mental state, over these 18 months that makes him competent and reliable to deal with?

    It is my view, that immunity does not address the issue perpetuating the ‘coup culture’ and if too hastily accepted as the only ‘pragmatic solution’ then it may amount to a wrongful diagnosed ‘band-aid’ solution to a more serious medical procedure requiring ‘staples’.

    Tui Savu.
    Townsville. QLD.

  16. Seini Says:

    If anyone didn’t take the death threats to the Aussie Ambassador seriously his own government certainly has. See the link to ABC news in Australia. I hope the green goons are really proud of themselves NOT!

  17. Mark Manning Says:

    Thanks for your insight , Fiji Democracy , now that name is a bit of a joke right now , isn’t it ?
    So shut me out of the forum , that’s what Frank and his pathetic bunch would like . As for being patronising , aren’t you doing that very same thing to me . If you don’t agree with me , that’s fine , I respect your right to a different view to mine , but I would never support you being shut out of this forum because of them !
    And that my friend is the point . Aren’t you all fighting the right to free speech , the right of assembly etc. ?
    I’m here to shake you out of your slumber , because I believe that many of you are caught up in this coup , through no fault of your own .
    I deliberately give views that hopefully make you think outside the square , and i don’t mean the one up at the camp !
    By being in Fiji and being relatives of those their , i doubt any of you could be objective . Amnesty is a stupid concept . Frank was under investigation for being implicated in the murder of fellow soldiers in 2000 , one of those men , wasn’t even involved in the murder of their fellow soldiers at the camp , yet he was killed .
    What sort of society do you want for yourselves ?

  18. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Keep shaking us out of our slumber MM.

    Not that I have anything against Fiji Democracy for we are, most of the time anyway, see eye to eye. Although he sounds like that I doubt he means to shut you out completely.

    All the same, We need observations of one who can be neutral and you fit that bill. And thank you for your time and numerous contributions in the past and I hope to see more.


  19. natewaprince Says:

    MM,it’s just that some times you can be a real pain.Nothing personal mate.

  20. Peace Pipe Says:

    The rule of law is the highest order that must be upheld at all cost. Rule of law holds everthing and everyone in tight bind. Without it everything won’t stick and come crumbling down. Thats whats happening now to the ig. They thought they could circumvent the law to achieve their objective. They thought wrong. So they are now running around in circles to patch loopholes that have emerged in almost every aspect of the law with band-aid patches (regulations and promulgations) that will eventually give way in a proper court of law.

  21. Mark Manning Says:

    thanks for that , I comment because I care . It’s heart breaking to see the beautiful young children in Fiji , who , as a result of this and previous silly coups , will suffer financially throughout their adult hood . It’s also heart rending to see the present day adults , struggling to make ends meet and with little to no prospects . I said to Frank once , I put my hand on his shoulder and said , don’t let them get you down . I was referring to the money they were taking from his pay each month for the over expenditure of Military funds in 2004/2005 . But i made a mistake , as I didn’t know his past at that time .
    No offence taken , it’s the regime I’m trying to keep on it’s toes by giving an outside view . I hope it gives you guys a different perspective too and makes you think outside the square , not the one at the barracks !

  22. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Bula everyone, let’s keep focused and keep up the fight.

    Let us agree to disagree on periphery issues, but remain steadfast in agreement with the big picture.

    Everyone plays a part in our objective and we can even use the views of those who oppose us as well, if we can discern the subtle ways to achieve this.


  23. Mark Manning Says:

    At least everyone in Fiji has an interest in politics now !

  24. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    @ Mark Manning above. Yes, when YOU say it, our name does seem to be a
    joke – but only because you get it wrong. We are not called “Fiji Democracy”.
    Our name, as it says in bright blue above, is Fiji Democracy Now.

    Anyway, if you really want to know what sort of society we at FDN really want,
    just look at our website (click on the About Us button). Our mission statement
    sets it all out.

    Then, if you have a minute, look around our site. You will find that we are not
    into racism in any shape or form, and that we also eschew violence. Instead,
    you might notice that we have comprehensively documented Fiji’s torture over
    the past 16 months since the coup (click on the Disaster Diaries button), and
    that we are always working to encourage intelligent debate and discussion on
    freedom blogs and in Fiji’s media (click on the Pick of the Postings button).

    Then, friend, we invite you to click on our “Visitors Lounge” button and relax
    for a while, before you get back to blogging.

  25. aubatinuku-N Says:

    NP is correct about MM being a pain in the rear sometimes, I have also said so in the past but I do appreciate the time he takes to read all topics & posts and replies accordingly.

    Vinaka vakalevu Mark for the “outside view” as you put it, and for the genuine care and concern for Fiji and it’s people.

  26. Mark Manning Says:

    thanks aubatinuku and your welcome , i think we have given them a run for their money , or at least a run around the camp !

  27. aubatinuku-N Says:

    Well Mark my friend, as much as a pain in the rear you can be sometimes, for whatever it’s worth your insight and third party perspective is priceless. I like how you take fair criticism in your stride and stand up for what you believe in.
    Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie!!

  28. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Hmmm good indeed! thank you Mark.

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