Power use obstacle to democracy: Khan

Bloggers, to something a bit more serious. This  article was taken from FT this afternoon. One thing that amazes SV is the concentrated efforts being made by a host of people from all different walks of life using their various profiles to attack Fijian Institutions.

How about the Indian Raj, Indian Rajahs or the British Monarch are they all threats to democracy? SV asks should Ms. Khan’s reasoning be extended to Church Leaders, Union Leaders, Indian Leaders, etc? Why only limit her criticism to Fijian Chiefly Institutions? Why not start with the illegal junta, who has no mandate to rule at all!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Update: 5:50PMThe dictatorial use of traditional power within a democracy through Fijian institutions is arguably the greatest obstacle to democracy, says the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education & Advocacy (ECREA).

ECREA Director Chantelle Khan noted that a military backed regime pushing through changes to Fijian institutions is a serious matter if only because there is widespread agreement that it is not the militarys role to undertake such social engineering of any kind.

However, she believes that the past months has provided ECREA with a good starting point for what is perhaps the most difficult discussion about democracy in Fiji and that is the dictatorial use of traditional power within a democracy through these Fijian institutions.

Ms Khan said the dictatorial use of traditional powers by the provincial chiefs has been accepted as part and parcel of Fijis democracy almost without challenge or discussion despite the fact that its use has primarily served to maintain the status quo.

A status quo that has little to do with improving the situation of indigenous Fijians let alone the rest of the nation,” she said.

In attempting to work for the empowerment of the poor and marginalised, we need to acknowledge the structural injustice that has allowed the autocratic use of traditional power to limit the progress of Fiji toward a democracy.

We need to raise questions around the capacity of our traditional leaders to lead – their motives, struggles and perhaps even their relevance.”

She added that culture has been treated as fragile and static, rather than robust and creative.

ECREA has thus called on traditional leaders to take an active role in empowering the people by encouraging their involvement and input in their own development.

End of story


32 Responses to “Power use obstacle to democracy: Khan”

  1. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Where is she coming from? Why out of the blue is ECREA now getting involved? Is she speaking for this movement or just herself?

    Why isn’t the ECREA also applying this same rationale to itself? Is she speaking for the majority of its Members?

    Never throw stones in a glass house!

  2. Groggymaster Says:

    Great I get to go first !!!!

    What utter rubbish. The Fijian institutions will change in accordance with the dictates of indigenous fijians. Outside observers may not be pleased with the rate of progress or the direction of such changes, but such is democracy.
    The military as usurper, it is trying to rule (and badly at that), and now finding that there is little popular support amongst indigenous fijians (they know this as they have been to over 900 villages and settlements and have “felt”this sentiment, notwithstanding outward claims of support of “spokespeople”).
    Accordingly their response is to try break the traditional structures, and institutions associated with these structures – GCC, Methodist Church, SDL, Fijian Administration, et etc.
    Well, every dog has his day, and hers will come.!!!!

  3. Chan Chan Says:

    Actually chantelle has been consistent about her stand against the illegal IG. However, this is a surprise…. What can we say? Perhaps the teaching of Fr.Barr???

  4. robin Says:

    Chantidut is frightened of losing her cushy job and fading from limelight, so wen Father Bare-all-his-pimpy-arsey says jump!, his midget dog yelps, ‘how high?’ Levu la na viavia kila @ the midget boto, lol!

  5. Dauvavana Says:


    can you go and whisper that to Ului who has just budged in uninvted and wanted to use his traditional blood line as son of the last Tui Nayau to grab the provincial council chair for the Lau Province you dim wit.

  6. Mark Manning Says:

    Without trying to take sides , and I don’t know this Judge or where her loyalties are , but perhaps there is an element of truth in what she is saying . I’ve said a few times , that the Governing of Fijian society is complicated by having an elected Government and a Great Council of chiefs who are apolitical yet choose the President and Vice President . There’s no way , under these circumstances , that the GCC can stay out of Politics , in my view . I think it’s an organisation that has had it’s day and that it should solely be there for Cultural issues only .
    Times have changed and like the Feudal system of England , the GCC has probably had it’s day .

  7. Jose Says:

    Every alien that think that our Fijian Institutions have had its day should get the fuck out of our country and live your lives in your own country the way you want it. Fiji is for Fiji the way Fiji wants to be the way we like it to be. The way you are thinking now MM, its time you fuck off to where the fuck you should be. This is what happens when you mingle with aliens, there is always a chance they want to fuck with you. This is what our God says, “Do not conform yourselves to the ways of this world”.
    Do you have any idea where this people are trying to take us? They want to take us to Rome with the Pope as our god. This is what it is at the end of the day to make a long story short. Not just us, the whole world.You ever heard of that saying “All roads lead to Rome?”. It’s not just a phrase. This is reality. The worst is yet to come. If you are not prepared you are going to be one fucken sorry ass.

  8. Jose Says:

    And by the way, the British Empire is freemason controlled. So will the whole world be. They have amassed themselves a whole army from the world over including Fiji. Not fighting for God and country. Fighting for them.

  9. Budhau Says:

    Come on guys, this chiefly system was already on its way out – it might have taken another generation of say through the normal evolutionary process – however “revolution” would speed things up just a little bit.

    You wanna give these guys some ceremonial duties – that is fine, but why incorporate their roles in the constitution.

    SV mentioned the Maharajahs and the British Monarch – yes they were all threat to democracy and people of those countries have dealt with that threat.

    The same will happen in Fiji – is is a matter of time.

    The Fijian institutions that you guys are talking about were all created by the colonialists to manage the Fijians through their chiefs. Since the British left – they Chiefs found a system in place – something they could use to “manage” the Fijians – it is about time we get rid of these colonial institution.

    You just saw a son of big chief trying to grab power through the provincial council – or as Khan said “dictatorial use of traditional power within a democracy through these Fijian institutions.”

    BTW – the moment someone says something that you disagree with – like this Chantelle Khan – you buggers start off with the personal attacks.
    Deal with the issue.

    BTW – I haven’t seen that “there is another Khan” line yet.

    This issue, like many others that have been brought up recently need to be given some serious consideration – I know it is not for a miltary dictatorship to bring about these changes – but that does not mean that we do not have to address these issues.

  10. Striker Says:

    Chantelle Khan is right in the sense that “the dictatorial use of traditional power” as we saw in the Lau Provincial Council last week, is an obstacle to democracy. Not only so, it is also an obstacle to good and compassionate traditional leadership. Chiefs cannot exist without their people. They are responsible and accountable for the good and compassionate leadership of their people. I remember watching a TV show where the late Tui Nayau Ratu Mara had related the ousting of the traditional leaders of Tubou and Lakeba because they were seen to be dictatorial and unkind, hence the title was bestowed on the Tui Nayau. Perhaps a lesson for those aspiring to chiefly power! Otherwise good traditional leadership is a plus for democracy and our Fiji society. No way that we can get out of the influence of traditional customs and culture, and the abuse of traditional power by bad traditional leaders in no excuse for Fijian genocide!

  11. natewaprince Says:

    We’ve had our chiefly system in place for hundreds of years.Who the hell does this muslim bitch think she is to be making these comments.

    It’s these comments and recommendations by aliens that the pig has taken as gospel and is implementing as policies.

  12. natewaprince Says:

    Budhau and Miss Chantelle Khan,

    Are two lesbians who dance at the Barn,

    While Chantelle gave head,

    On the floor or the bed,

    All budhau gave was his gharn.

  13. Keep The Faith Says:

    Chantelle get the heck out of here with all your fckuery!

    Is this the result of a 5-min Good Governance course?

    Traditional forms of governance are democratic. Perhaps not as transparently democratic as modern governance systems but democratic nonetheless.

    Traditionally even women know how to “work the system” to get their points of view across to the hierarchy of traditional power, and if you don’t know that then you shouldn’t be crapping on about something you don’t know.

    This is not even about dictatorial power! It’s about how money is clouding all sense of good judgment and values as it does in every other society.

    Traditional roles stay in the Constitution because at the time when people were CONSULTED, they wanted it in there. If there is to be a change then it needs to happen constitutionally, with an elected goverment (elected free and fairly) and a duly appointed parliament.

    The bottom-line for me is that ECREA and their “constituents” (whoever they may be) do not have any valid mandate to be talking about traditional leadership. They need to stick to ecumenicalism and issues relevant to their constituents who buy into ecumenicalism, which is certainly not the majority of our populace.

  14. Budhau Says:

    Nice poen NP – and if things don’t work – you can always get your chiefs in Natewa to call upon the sharks to attacks all those Muslims who go swimming in Fiji.

    Keep the Faith – as usual when it come to such things – you guys always come up with this “non-Fijians stay out of this’ line.

    You see – these GCC guys appoint the President, the VP ,and hold the balance of power in the senate -so it does affect all of us.

    You want to keep this to yourself – that is fine, you can believe that your chief is you god, or whatever – just do not put that in the constitution.

  15. Frida Says:

    Let us ask Shamima Ali to teach her something as they are family.

  16. Wailei Says:

    Oilei, Chantelle is not a muslim *as in religious wise* she is a vasu from lakeba, and they are the Khans from (Vasu- grandmother paternal side) Nairai, Lomaiviti. Shamima Ali is her first cousin.

    Plus, I think in a way she is right. As Striker puts it:

    “…is right in the sense that “the dictatorial use of traditional power” as we saw in the Lau Provincial Council last week, is an obstacle to democracy.”

    I mean, hell my relatives in the village dont get anything from this so called Tui’s. Their voices are not heard and it is one of the biggest logging and grog places in the Province. But they get shoved to the corner and forgotten. As soon as the Soli ni vanua comes around, who are the first people to come knocking on their Districts.. Yep the blerry mata va money people. In this one I stand with Chantelle. I mean there are really nice, genuine Chiefs who really help their people out there. That they know the position or title that they have is “to serve the people” and not the other way around. Sorry I have been disillusioned by some fake chiefs before, so I dont trust them as far as I can throw them.

  17. Keep The Faith Says:

    Budhau — not interested. I never said “non-Fijians” butt out. All I said was if you don’t know what the fcuk you speak of, then don’t even TRY to!

    Chantelle has Fijian blood and is still clueless.

    Yes the GCC makes these appointments and that’s because indigenous Fijians are the MAJORITY — that’s what democracy is all about is it not?

  18. Mark Manning Says:

    calm down , I’m one person giving my own opinion .
    the chiefly system is good , only if it’s carried out honestly , and that’s clearly not happening nor were those systems that were abandoned in England . in the Arab states , they have similar problems and these are the reasons a democratically elected government was established . but no system is perfect and i just see the confusion and potential for misuse of power by some in the gcc when it is joined at the hip with political decisions . but your right , it’s a matter for Fijians , and there seems to be lots of confusion amongst the Fijians and the chiefs also . so why not separate them .

  19. qaraniyau Says:

    What is it with you self-declared experts of Fiji?

    If a non-Fijian makes the statement (e.g Chantelle) everybody is ready to clench a knife in their mouths and hoist the black, skull and bones flag.

    At the same time, these people blog/comment on freedom of speech, democracy etc. Note freedom of speech is not for speech you like, but for speech you dislike.

    Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi almost makes the same sentiment at his speech in Wellington called “The Challenges in Building a New Fiji”..

    The most important question in his speech, what has the average Fijian benefited from the GCC, or the Fijian institutions?

  20. Keep The Faith Says:

    Freedom of Speech Qaraniyau in case you haven’t noticed is being curbed in this country right now.

    Chantelle has exercised her right to express herself and we are merely reciprocating — THAT is Freedom of Speech. We do not have to accept her views. It’s relative to the individual.

    And for the record we aren’t self-declared experts of this country. We’re living, breathing taxpayers & citizens who have a constitutional right to say how this country should be run.

    RJ is expressing his view as his right as a Chief. It’s his traditional role to start the debate about whether traditional or modern governance structures need to evolve. It’s up to the people to therefore say YAY or NAY — just like how we want to say YAY or NAY in the Elections.

  21. Budhau Says:

    Keep the Faith wrote, “Yes the GCC makes these appointments and that’s because indigenous Fijians are the MAJORITY — that’s what democracy is all about is it not?”

    No honey – that is not what democracy is all about. The chiefs basically have a musical chair method of appointing the President and the VP and sort of the same method for the senate – why shouldn’t the rest of the country – both the Fijian commoners and the other citizens have a say in who gets appointed to these posts – you do get the picture how this is considered undemocratic.

    I may not be that knowledgeable about the chiefly stuff – however, one thing is for sure that I have no say in who gets to be the President, VP and the majority of the senators in our country – and that sure don’t sound like democracy to me.

  22. Keep The Faith Says:

    That’s fine too Budhau. You have no say because you’re a minority.

    Honey(?!?) you can’t pick and choose what aspects of democracy you want.

    There was a democratic process which in-built all this into the Constitution and maybe you were or were not here, it matters not. This is what the MAJORITY decided as the way to go.

    Since you’re rocking with the Latin, you seem multi-lingual so do yourself a favour and find out the Greek roots of the term “dimokratia” mean.

    And please don’t be so predictable like The Shyster and throw back all the crap about how the constitution is racially discriminatory, which is why it needs to metamorphasise into this “racially acceptable” (to whom) Charter Charade.

    The bottom-line is if the people don’t like how the GCC governs or the Constitution, change it LEGALLY with a democratically elected Government.

  23. natewaprince Says:


  24. Striker Says:

    @Keep the Faith: Vinaka!

  25. Mossad Says:

    The status and existence of the Fijian institutions is the prerogative of the Fijian people. A few have stated, i.e Mark Manning & Buddhau, their perspective. However I seriously feel it should be left to the Fijians themselves to decide………As for ECREA, talk about barking up the wrong tree, turning a blind eye to the RFMF and its illegality and pouncing on the legally and constitutional institutions..

  26. IslandBoy Says:

    Chantelle and ECREA would have some credibility if they published for public consumption the findings of the special mission sent from Rome to investigate certain male-child molestation charges against their old gasbag leader.

    All of a sudden we are no longer in charge of any Catholic church projects or departments and short of direct ex-communication, are really not welcome in the fold. So what were the findings, pray tell?

    Chantelle – if you assume to work in the NGO movement and espouse human rights, you have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

    No use clamouring for the rights of Fijians etc., when your glorious self-righteous leader is depriving little Fijian boys of the chance to grow up as healthy young men.

    Besides look at your Board composition, the same bunch of elite Suva labour supporter wannabes, living on aid donor funding and working the cocktail circuit like there is no tomorrow, well there isn’t, not for them.

    And what a coincidence, the same bunch sit on the Board of CCF. What is it with you lot and disgraced de-frocked priests refusing repentance?

  27. IslandBoy Says:

    Chantelle – Why doesn’t ECREA conduct a survey of child sexual abuse among Suva shoeshine and wheelbarrow boys?

    You all know that hostel was a house of shame yet you all turned a blind eye to his dirty deeds. Shame on all of you!!!

    Sorry SV guys – it makes my blood boil to see his kind sitting on the NCBBF mouthing off about what future direction Fiji should take. Those poor boys needed food, shelter, guidance and protection and he took sexual advantage of them preying on their weaknesses when they were most vulnerable.

  28. Jose Says:

    What is this priest’s full name? Can someone please write his name in here so that he can be properly identified for what he is. Since the law in this country is compromised and does not do anything about it then we must expose him for who and what he is. A paedophile? Child molester?Our children need to be protected from this perverted evil man.

  29. Keep The Faith Says:

    Fr Kevin Barr. If you want to protect your kids keep them WELL away from ECREA.

  30. Say True! Says:

    @KTF – what exactly is ECREA? NGO? Their function etc.

  31. Keep The Faith Says:

    ECREA is an NGO (www.ecrea.org.fj)

    Their function as per their Constitution on their web-site says

    Clause 5: MISSION
    Motivated by Jesus Christ’s vision, to nurture and build a compassionate, just and inclusive society

    Clause 6: GOAL
    To strengthen the relationship among all people, assist Christians in understanding the context in which they live and empower them to respond appropriately to challenges that will make the world as God wants it to be.

    Clause 7: OBJECTIVES
    (b) To research important social, economic, religious and political issues that face us as Christians and make available the results through written materials and educational programmes.

    (c) To raise awareness on current issues of concern in society through workshops, seminars, public forums and by dissemination of relevant information.

    (d) To reflect on how our Christian faith urges us to respond to these issues and take appropriate action through consultations and dialogue.

    (e) To train local Christian leaders to become more aware of the context in which they live by developing skills in social analysis and education in the social implications of the Scriptures and Christian theology.

    (f) To advocate and lobby the appropriate authorities on issues of justice, peace, and reconciliation, and important policy matters that affect the lives of our people.

    (g) To network with organisations and individuals who share similar objectives.

    Clause 8: MEMBERSHIP
    (a) Core Membership is open to Churches, Ecumenical Bodies and Theological Schools that are committed to the mission, goal and objectives of the Organisation and accept the constitution;

    (b) General Membership is also open to Individuals and Groups, Christians and non-Christians, who are committed to the mission, goal and objectives of the Organisation and who accept the constitution;

    (c) Ex-officio members are Honorary Life Members by virtue of their contribution to the foundation and development of the Organisation.

  32. Say True! Says:

    Thanyou for that KTF.

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