NCBBF: Non-elected Collectables for Bullying and Battering Fijians

By VICTOR LAL
Fiji Sun, 19/7/2008

Two members of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji have once again slammed those who are opposing the direction the interim government and its supporters are taking the country since the 5 December 2006 coup.
 Replying to contributor Shailendra Raju in last week’s Fiji Sun (9/7/08), Lorine Tevi and Josefa Serulagilgi, two members of the NCBBF, effusively praised those 200 or so selfless souls who they claim have given up their time for their country. The two also extolled the military as people just like us who want better lives for their children.
 What the two failed to point out was that those selfless souls get paid quite well, the military still contains those who tortured, humiliated, threatened and murdered their own people, as well as those who ordered such acts. No apology has been forthcoming. The President’s emergency powers don’t extend to illegally seeking to alter the 1997 Constitution or at attempts to muzzle press freedom in the country.
 The NCBBF is directed by a bunch of election losers, not least by a man who has lied to parliament and sought to dodge legitimate taxes on secret overseas accounts running into millions which he collected in the name of his very own people. He is yet to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why he used the $2million, even giving $50,000 to his daughter as a gift, when he never settled down in Australia. Who, for example, is Harbhajan Lal, the Indian Santa Claus, who sent to FIRCA that highly dubious and questionable letter in September 2004?
 Another interim Cabinet minister allegedly received a million dollars from a hotelier to fight the last general election but used a part of the money for his own personal use, according to some of his own failed election candidates. I had investigated the allegation and was ready to publish my findings, with supporting evidence, when the interim regime hastily deported Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter to Australia
 Since its inception, the NCBBF has meant different things to different peoples. Some have branded it as Non-elected Collectables for Bullying and Battering Fijians (i.e. the Fiji Islanders). Others have ascribed other unprintable names to the NCBBF. Whatever name one chooses to describe the NCBBF, it is clear that its power lies not in some obscure edict from the President but is derived from the power of the military guns.
 The two NCBBF members have once again defended Father Arms recommendation for changes to the electoral system, for the country to use the  PR Open List system. Like everything else, even Father Arms has suggested that the regime should take advantage of the parliamentary void, and push through his electoral recommendation.
 But as I have argued elsewhere, it has become very obvious that the electoral reforms is not about a better and fairer voting system but it is about improving the Fiji Labour Party’s chances of winning the next elections, a hope which the military had entertained in the 2006 general election.
 The two NCBBF members have also been explaining what the NCBBF means by a truly democratic Fiji and a non-racial Fiji. How can the NCBBF achieve its vision when the interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama struts around also as Minister for Indigenous Affairs. On the one hand, he talks about a non-racial Fiji, accusing i-taukei Fijians of being ethno-nationalists, and yet presents himself as the custodian of indigenous interests. He cannot have it both ways.
 The NCBBF claims that, ”Our problem in Fiji is that we have, historically, through inherited systems, institutions, laws, policies and practices, defined and structured our relations in every day life, and especially in politics (the electoral system for example) that constantly pitch community against community”.
 What does Cmdre Bainimarama’s indigenous ministry stand for? A non-racial Fiji? Aren’t we perpetuating the historical tradition here, when the British abolished the Ministry of Indian Affairs but strengthened the Ministry of Fijian Affairs? The paramount political chiefs continued the colonial tradition after independence, and resorted to their chiefly power base – the Great Council of Chiefs – to fight for their indigenous rights
 Many citizens had welcomed the Commodore’s outburst that the chiefs should go and drink home brew under a coconut tree but now find that many of the pliant or pro-coup chiefs are coming back, whether sober or drunk, to form a new re-constituted Great Council of Chiefs. Isn’t the chiefly Council a relic of the past, which the interim regime is now trying to revive in a new form?
 What about the Provincial Councils, another symbol of division among the different races? Instead of abolishing them, only recently the regime dished out $60,000 of public money to enable the Lau Provincial Council to hold its meeting, elect a Mara as its chairman, and vote on the so-called Peoples Charter which has not even been sighted as a first draft. Why was there a need to hold the meeting of a group of i-taukei in the police compound in Nasova? Will the regime provide the compound to Suva’s homeless, mostly native Fijian youth, as night shelter?
 There are so much ridiculous and unreal objectives mouthed by the NCBBF? The one regarding the role of the military in righting Fiji’s racial wrongs take the cake. The two NCBBF members claimed that, ”The RFMF wants to return to professional independence and not to be manipulated again in future to support the political agendas of ethno-nationalist politicians and extreme sects such as that represented by George Speight and his followers. The RFMF has learnt from experience that extremists do not represent the larger interest of the nation”.
 A member of the NCBBF, Jone Dakuvula, who resigned from the CCF, to take up his new post, says the military will not repeatedly execute coups if it is not manipulated by politicians. He was responding to New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ question on how to stop the coup culture. Mr Dakuvula said the military was being used by politicians to stage coups.
 Which politician or politicians manipulated Commodore Bainimarama to execute the 2006 coups? Was it the deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase? Meanwhile, the Commodore is yet to explain why he submitted that famous affidavit to the High Court claiming that taukei Fijian interests overrode all other interests, and had refused to allow deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry to return to office. He was assisted in the task by none other than the present President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, whom the NCBBF and the regime have elevated to the status of some demi-god to justify their unaccountable actions.
 If one were to accept the logic of the regime, the military, and the NCBBF, that for us to move the country forward, we need a clean slate, than the two most important persons one has to take to task is the Commodore and the President for their respective roles in the aftermath of the 2000 coup.
 For if we are to accept Mr Chaudhry’s criticism of the two men in 2001, especially the President, than why should we condone His Excellency’s decrees following the 2006 coup. We may recall that the High Court had ruled in Mr Chaudhry’s favour, paving the way for Parliament to be reconvened and the elected government restored to office. This, however, was hardly what the post-coup authorities had in mind.
 “What took place in Fiji next was a blatant and wilful distortion and manipulation of the constitutional and legal system to allow the army-backed regime to continue in office,” Mr Chaudhry claimed. On 14 March 2001, President Ratu Josefa dismissed Mr Chaudhry and proceeded to appoint Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, a member of Mr Chaudhry’s ousted government, as Prime Minister for 24 hours to legalize his next move. He then dissolved Parliament on Ratu Tevita’s advice and reappointed Mr Qarase as caretaker Prime Minister. In his analysis of the events, Mr Chaudhry described Ratu Tevita as “a puppet Prime Minister” and the whole appointment for a day was farcical and it made a mockery of the constitution.
 Mr Chaudhry also went on to berate the President himself: “The constitution requires the President to be appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs in consultation with the Prime Minister. In the next questionable move Ratu Josefa Iloilo, placed in office after the coup and who the Appeals Court declared to be in an acting capacity only, convened a meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs, and got himself appointed President.”
 What all these events clearly meant, he claimed, was that Fiji’s post-coup authorities had no respect for the rule of law. He also cast doubt on the results of the 2001 general election, which saw Ratu Josefa appoint Mr Qarase as the new Prime Minister of Fiji.
 The appointment of one of Mr Chaudhry’s FLP parliamentarians and a member of the NCBBF, Kamlesh Arya, as Fiji’s acting High Commissioner to Australia, will reinforce the opposition of many who see the NCBBF as another outlet for career advancements. In Mr Arya’s case, he has been the most vocal supporter of the coup. Cynics will ask whether the appointment is a sop to the Hindus before the next general election?
 Mr Arya is reported as saying that his dream has come true to serve his country. Well, if we are to eradicate the coup culture, we must ensure that dreams are not fulfilled on the back of a coup. I am sure there are many other dreamers, who will now hope for another future coup, to fulfil their various dreams, to serve the country
 There is another far more important question that could be raised in relation to Mr Arya’s temporary appointment – as a member of the NCBBF is he privy to the fact that there will be no election until 2010, for who would be willing to resign as a member of the NCBBF, the Public Accounts Committee and the boards of two educational institutes if the Australian posting is for only for 8 months – i.e – until the March 2009 elections?
 The two NCBBF members also dismissed the analogy with Burma, arguing that Fiji is not Burma and will never be like that. Fiji is not moving towards a military dictatorship. Fiji is moving towards a better democracy with the RFMF strongly committed to that future.
 Let me remind them that Fiji may not be Burma yet but if we do not stand up to a bunch of non-elected collectables, the country will become another Burma – the Nobel laureate and deposed Prime Minister Aung San Su Kyi, still under house arrest, is a living testimony to military dictatorship.
 And I am speaking from personal experience, for I knew her and her late husband in Oxford for many years until she decided to return to Burma to confront the might of the Burmese junta.
 In conclusion, to those inside the NCBBF who have the gall to criticise the critics abroad, its worth reminding them that the great Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi had dreamed of freeing India and his people, not in his motherland, but in South Africa where he spent 21 years, from 1893 to 1914.
 
The views expressed are those of Victor Lal and not that of the Fiji Sun. E-mail: vloxford@gmail.com

25 Responses to “NCBBF: Non-elected Collectables for Bullying and Battering Fijians”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    Before I forget what it is I wanted to say tonight : –
    http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=95791
    I’ve just read this post from the Fiji Times and remember posting a comment some time ago , somewhere , stating that any bunny can save money by reducing the size of the public service and consequently , reduce taxes !
    But , in my humble thinking , this would result in less tax for the Government to provide services and the consequence of less taxes was less money to provide services and then a reduction in those services previously provided before the reduction of the civil service and decrease in the taxes ! ( that was a mouthful ) .
    So , it becomes an ever decreasing spiral , whereby one eventually disappears up ones own bottom , or someone else’s !
    This regime and it’s handling of the economy , reminds me of what happens to a balloon if you let it float into the stratosphere . As it increases in altitude , the balloon gets bigger , but the gas inside gets thinner until it eventually explodes !
    Is this how to manage ( and I use the term loosely ) , an economy .
    I think Chaudhry should change his name to Bugs Bunny !

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    Found it : – on this site
    =================================================
    Mark Manning Says:
    June 27, 2008 at 11:44 am
    Any fool can save money , just stop spending it , don’t provide any services , reduce wages and sack public servants but don’t replace them . It’s a whole different thing to manage an economy !
    By reducing wages and sacking public servants , taxes are reduced also which must have the effect of reducing income for the Government to provide the services it has already reduced or with drawn !
    It’s like going in an ever decreasing circle until one finally disappears up ones own bottom !
    Wait , is that Chaudhry and Franks head sticking out ?

  3. Mark Manning Says:

    One more point before i retire to bed , could any of the reforms and enquiries into corruption or alleged corruption , have been carried out by an elected Government ?
    In other words , was it necessary to have a coup at all ?

  4. Talei Says:

    Great article Dr. Lal! Keep them coming.

  5. Always 4 Fiji Says:

    @MM – Corruption investigations, reforms to improve good governance, accountability and transparency can be and should ONLY be carried out by elected governments. So there was no credible justification for the coup. What we are seeing now are real reasons for the coup: Bainimarama to become interim PM and later President, Mahendra Chaudhry to interim Finance Minister andlater Prime Minister, Bainimarama and his loyal officer’s (crooks) back dated leave pay, removal of suitably qualified civil servants, appointments of Fiji Labour Party supporters to various boards and overseas postings, appointments of Samy and Francis Narayan (long time FLP members and supporters) to assist in implementation of policies with exorbitant fees, militarisation of the civil service, cover up and incapacitation of the investigations into Bainimarama’s involvement in the brutal demise of the CRW soldiers in 2000, marginalisation of Fijians and Fijian institutions etc etc.

  6. Tomasi Says:

    Has anyone checked BAINIMARAMA’S lineage, his genetic history – being so anti-Fijian, I doubt he is a full-blooded Fijian. He is definitely a filthy MONGREL. He looks one and acts one. No Fijian, not even the great Ratu Mara, has ever “loved” Indians – yet we constantly hear that Bainimarama ‘loves’ the Indians! He is probably a descendant of a coolie and related to Chodopus and Cowboy K.

  7. Peace Pipe Says:

    Freedom, Truth and democracy crusader Victor Lal is keeping us bouyant in our struggle for our cause with his contributions and we thank him for that. We are figting a machinery wrought with greed, lies and unethical people and to top it off it rides on the back of the military and a government permeated by military personnel and supporters in the likes of FLP and NAP. This is the might of the forces we are faced with. And when we have lackeys who are there as opportunists it makes the task of opposing the ig much harder.

    Now that the pig has declared that there wont elections next year we have to do something about it now. We cannot just take this lying down. Even our regional friends have condemned the pig broken promise and spoken strongly against it. We must also advise our friend loudly that we are very unhappy with this decision of the pig. SDL, NFP, UGP etc and the NGOs must all strongly oppose this decision. If we remain quiet our friends will think that it is okay what the pig’s done so whats the point of trying to help us return to democracy. No way must the pig be allowed to get away with his cunning ways.

  8. Budhau Says:

    Our Oxford dude is at it again – does not seem to have much material, so he is down to that name-calling – so what does NCBBF stand for. Has he come up with some good name for Chaudary – Chodo does not sound good.

    Those selfless souls are paid well – that’s Victor’s argument – $100/day is being paid well.
    That Chaudary bashing continues – though our boy Lal seems to have run out of steam on that Haryana scandal.

    About that hotelier who gave millions to that interim cabinet minister in the last election – those “million” had previous gone to the SDL, that hotelier only switched sides only after Qarase went back on his word on the qoliqoli “bull”.
    Victor had investigated the allegation and was ready to publish it – We know about it dude, and so what happened, why did you not publish it – just because the publisher was deported, that should not prevent you from publishing it.

    There is nothing wrong with talking about having a non-racial Fiji and having a Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.

    BTW, Victor – that “drinking home brew” – that was supposed to be under the mango tree, not coconut tree – and FB had no plans for abolishing the GCC.

    I agree with Victor – lets get rid of the GCC, the Provincial Council, the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, FAB and the NLTB.

    The rest of the stuff is a rehash what happened after the 2000 coup – and other have written extensively about it.
    As for that Arya appointment – that he knew that there would be no election until 2010 – otherwise why would he take the 8-month appointment? How about if this Arya dude believes that folks who would win the next election would keep him in that job – or that the IG may negotiate as part of their exit plan that the new government keep those who have been appointed to such positions – just as the SVT wanted when FLP won.

    Come on Victor – you seem to be running out of steam. BTW – go ahead; publish that libelous piece about that Hotelier and that Fijian Interim Cabinet minister using money for personal use.

    Talking about appointment – have you talked with the SDL what they have lined up for you – since Chaudary never gave you anything – being the Oxford educated advisor the you were to him.

  9. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Great article by VL. He certainly has his finger on the pulse.

    Also a great editorial today in the Sun.

    “” The widely predicted U-turn by interim prime minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on a March 09 general election is much more than just another broken promise. For the implications are far reaching and deeply worrying. What he has told Fiji is that it can continue to suffer for as long as it takes him and his regime to impose new rules for the conduct of an election. We say “impose” because we see no other way (as another famous coup maker once said) of implementing constitutional reform without an Act of an elected parliament. His decision condemns Fiji to more pain by means of an economy that will continue to struggle as investors existing and potential, domestic and foreign keep their feet firmly on the brakes until they can see signs of lasting stability. They are now unlikely to see such signs until 2010 at the earliest. And if he was prepared to mislead the Pacific Forum leaders on something as important as the election date, how seriously are we to take everything else that Cdre Bainimarama and his regime tell us? Again, the implications for stability and progress are serious and far reaching. Of course the military mind highly values the element of surprise and sees advantage in keeping opponents confused, confounded and concerned over what the next move might be. But the Pacific Forum leaders (not to mention the people of Fiji themselves) are not our enemies. On the contrary, they are friends who wish us well and seek to help us. Not only Australia and New Zealand are dismayed by this broken promise. Though they may be less vocal, the forum island leaders will not welcome Cdre Bainimarama’s treatment of them. What public form the inevitable dismay will take will probably become apparent at next month’s forum leaders’ summit in Niue. In the meantime, the people of Fiji are left to ponder an uncertain future. Will there be an election in 2010? Will there be an election at all? We can no longer be sure of anything the interim regime tells us which only adds to existing fears and feelings of uncertainty. It’s no way to run a country. For all the pious talk of good governance, fair electoral practice, the fight against corruption and the work for the common good is sucked into a black hole of deceit as represented by the army officers’ leave pay scam, the interim finance minister’s overseas millions, the absence of promised evidence of corruption and blatant bad governance to name but a few. All faith and trust have gone. What no doubt began as an idealistic and well-intentioned crusade to purify Fiji of racism and corruption has become the political tool of a few self interested people. The Pacific Forum must not let the people of Fiji down. Of course a reasonable delay in the poll date by a few weeks or even months may well be possible and acceptable. A year will not be. “”

  10. Tomasi Says:

    Welcome BACK budhaudhodadoddadas….I still haven’t been able to get into the sweet panties of your sis….not to worry, good things come to those who wait….

    I sweat I will have her prized trophy panties hanging on my wall soon.

  11. X Says:

    Budhau:
    You said…I agree with Victor – lets get rid of the GCC, the Provincial Council, the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, FAB and the NLTB”…no wrong..that’s not the proble..lets get rid of the Indians… & we will.

  12. Budhau Says:

    I apologise for my stupid comments above. I promise Victor that I will give him good blow job when he comes to Sydney. It’s not $18 per blow but $18 per hour. See very cheap indeed.

  13. Groggymaster Says:

    The NCBBF is a bunch of losers trying to re-write how we should all be getting on together without our input, and imposed by a military council. What absolute rubbish.
    Agree with Victor Lal.
    Real leadership is about achieving concensus amongst a divergent group of people and views, like Rt Sukuna. Good leadership is about not sinking the boat as the the current IG is proceeding along. The fact that their stewartship sucks and it hasn’t penetrated their qavokavoka yet is telling indeed. Further their paranoia about their continued survival is further evidence of how far they have strayed from reality.
    The facts are the economy is deteriorating and they haven’t been able to come up with a reasonable strategy, says it’s time to go….
    The IG and their supporters have contorted themselves so much, I think they’ve would up with their heads in their ar*#s, if not each others.

  14. Wailei Says:

    @Bud are you a “male gigolo?” curious… as you are willing to pay victor lal.

  15. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    As usual, Victor Lal has produced a solid and well argued article and we at FDN very much like the new name he has coined for the NCBBF.

    One point in regard to his statement that no one has seen charter is that since Victor Lal wrote his piece quite a few people have had the opportunity to see the draft document, several copies of which have been leaked to the media and also to FDN.

    We uploaded the draft text on Friday last and it can be accessed from FDN’s front page. A copy of the draft was featured on Monday’s six pm television news and the accompanying interview of John Samy by a reporter had the NCBBF leader ducking and weaving, as if he had something to hide.

    Why all the secrecy? We thought the charter was all about being open and transparent.

    On the other hand, perhaps John Samy knows, as we do, that in its current form the draft document is a load of rubbish and needs to be completely re-written if it is to stand up to even cursory examination by the people of Fiji.

    But don’t take our word for it. Go to fijidemocracynow.com and have a look for yourselves.

    http://www.fijidemocracy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1437&Itemid=30

  16. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    Did anyone notice that One National News reported that there was some confusion over Neumi Leweni’s title. In fact, we can confirm that his title is quite clear: “Court Jester to King Bhai”.

  17. Groggymaster Says:

    @Fiji Democracy – Leweni’s correct title is “The Masters Bugler” transalation to fijian – sona levu dua kubu.

  18. painter Says:

    Vinaka Victor for once again articulating so well the thoughts of the sane but suppressed majority!

    Budhau – I say u’re the one running out of steam. It’s clear that u’re way too close to your asshole god Chaudhary that you can’t seem to think straight much less objectively when u’re hit with HARSH TRUTH and so all u’re about is a coward scurrying onto SV to post yr knee-jerk anti-Victor nonsense. Who are you kiddin’ man? How ‘about you issue the press one of yr own to counter Victor’s and put yr real name in there, or aren’t you man enough………………..??????

  19. Dauvavana Says:

    Groggy Master Leweni’s Title is “Kubuta Tawamudu na boci ni vore ka masia tawamudu na soresore nei Aziz kei Chodo”

  20. pimpenel Says:

    Budhau – I think its a good idea that you gave Victor a blow chap – some of the sperm could restore the deficit intelligence you have acquired- wanker

  21. painter Says:

    Hey FDN & Groggymaster, found this one for the court jester/master’s bugler! Read on…

    There was once a fearsome King Akbar who had a favourite and talented Trumpet Blower who used to blow some of the sweetest melodies he’d ever heard, at his Grand Old Palace.

    Anyway, the story goes that one day the King’s top Trumpet Blower happened to catch a glimpse of King Akbar’s wife, the Royal Queen.

    He was immediately smitten and awestruck with the Queen’s gigantic & voluptuous breasts. Since then he had only one desire and ONE desire alone …. and that was to suck the Queen’s breasts. Though he was fully aware of the consequences, the obsession was overpowering and he thought, ‘come hail, storm or thunder, I’m gonna get what I want!’

    He knew if there was anyone on the earth who could help him, it was Pram-shy, the chief advisor to King Akbar. So, he finally approached Pram-shy with his desire.

    Pram-shy, after much thought and careful deliberation, finally agreed on the condition that, afterward, the Trumpet Blower would have to pay Pram-shy 1,000,000 gold coins for arranging things, and so the deal was done….

    The next day Pram-shy prepared an itching lotion and poured it into the Queen’s bra which she had left out while she was taking a bath. Soon the itching started and grew in intensity, much to the King’s anxiety.

    Consultations with doctors proved futile. The King summoned his trusted Chief Advisor Pram-shy who revealed to the King that only a special saliva, if applied for four hours, would cure it. The Chief Advisor also added that such a saliva was only to be found in the King’s favourite Trumpet blower’s mouth.

    King Akbar trusted his advisor Pram-shy beyond any shadow of a doubt… and so summoned his favourite Trumpet Blower.

    For the next four hours Trumpet Blower violently sucked the Queen’s breasts to his heart’s content. Licking, biting, pressing, playing, he got what he always desired. Satisfied like the dirty dog that he is, he returned and met Pram-shy.

    But since his mission was over and his lust satisfied, he refused to pay Pram-shy anything. He also knew Pram-shy would not do anything as the King would simply kill both of them since Pram-shy was complicit in this great crime.

    Next day, Pram-shy coolly poured a generous amount of the same itching lotion in King Akbar’s underwear …. and the Trumpet Blower was summoned once again by the King……
    🙂

  22. painter Says:

    Hey Sniper and Pimpenel…u got the idea alright, lol!! Ok, i’m off from this page!

  23. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    @Painter. Vinaka vakalevu na mai vakadredrei keitou tu. We’ve put
    this one on our ‘pick of our postings’!

  24. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    @Painter. Vinaka vakalevu na mai vakadredrei keitou tu. We’ve put this one on our ‘pick of our postings’!

  25. Budhau Says:

    Hey Painter – the same guy that sent you that email about Akbar, he sent it to me too.

    FDN – the “pick of our posting” – keep patting each other on the back, good job.

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