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.