Charter needs to be rejected

Fiji Sun Editorial 08/08/08

The draft People’s Charter must be rejected. It must be rejected emphatically and finally. Behind a very thin veil of “motherhood” statements on transparency, equality, good governance and unity it is no more than a blueprint for military dictatorship. The so-called expanded role of the army sets it above parliament and above the constitution that it claims to support while that same army over the last 18 months has showed not the slightest inclination to embrace the principles the charter so devoutly proclaims. The charter will hand control of our economic, social and even legal lives to an unelected military that has an agenda of its own. At the same time, as all can see, its record of running the nation over the past 18 months has been less than inspirational. It has lost the confidence and the support of the people to whom it must now hand back power at the earliest possible moment. The charter consultation process is aimed purely and simply at contriving a semblance of public acceptance for a document whose comforting rhetoric fails entirely to conceal its chilling reality. More power for the military, more power for the ombudsman, more power for the Fiji Human Rights Commission – do they really think the people do not know what that means? In the “newspeak” of the draft People’s Charter it means more power to the organs of repression and suppression. And it renders all the more urgent the establishment of a human rights body that will actually stand up for human rights. And what of the Fiji Islanders who have collaborated in this? The place seekers and the power hungry can be understood if not forgiven. But the rest have sucked contentedly at the public breast while selling out the rights and freedoms of their fellow citizens. And now they ask for more. Shame on them. Shame on every single one of them. Fiji’s best, perhaps only, hopes now are the constitution and the judiciary. The constitution must be upheld as the supreme law of the land as passed by an elected parliament and that can only mean outright rejection of the draft People’s Charter once and for all. The notion that the charter will somehow support the constitution is pure nonsense. How can it support something it so plainly subverts? For all its talk of abolishing poverty by 2015, this charter through its creation of an unelected minority that will hold the real power will perpetuate and increase it as the twin cancers cronyism and corruption invade all unelected regimes. For Fiji’s sake, this has to be rejected.

And by the way
This newspaper wholeheartedly supports interim finance minister Mahendra Chaudhry in his call for an election now that the draft People’s Charter has been published. In fact the interim regime could save the people of Fiji millions of dollars by abandoning the charade of public “consultations” on the charter when the outcome is a foregone conclusion. This would give the state apparatus sufficient time to prepare the election machinery in time for the promised poll in March next year. Let the regime impose the charter if it so wishes and let the election be its proper consultation process. It’s time to let the people decide. And the only reliable way is through an election.


11 Responses to “Charter needs to be rejected”

  1. painter Says:

    Hear! Hear! Well said F/Sun! I wonder if this could also be translated to the vernaculars and widely distributed, say via an insert in yr wknd edition?

    @ SV – kaivei mada a ravouvou i natewa, au sa fiu a vakaraici NP wavoki ena blog kaiei. De baci gadi tale tu,n au ta lewa rawa a vanua ka baki lai poposi jiko mani kina, de dua sa lai veivosaki lo jiko kei Sami.. 🙂

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    There won’t be an election , there won’t be a GCC , there won’t be Democracy in Fiji .
    This is already the reality !
    When the President dies , Frank will make his final and most fatal move !

  3. Mark Manning Says:

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.
    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.
    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.
    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a Jew.
    When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

  4. Ablaze Says:

    What can we say?????????

    The charter farter is exactly what it is a “charter farter” it stinks!

  5. Nazihunter Says:

    I saw the pig watching olympics opening =-with such free be he will never give up power

  6. Budhau Says:

    Reject the charter – then what?
    Do you guys have a plan B, or military dictatorship as we now have is fine.

  7. Indian Says:

    Recall Parliament.
    Take it from there.

  8. H, D & Q Says:

    I pray that this charter fiasco will not give birth to a Nationalist Fijian who will take from these new ” Fijians ” all that they currently have and enjoy.

  9. church mouse Says:

    Okay, I’ve read – well very quickly – 50 pages of the ‘charter’ and it’s full of mother statements, nice wishes and hopes and stuff we could agree with… but sometimes there’s a slip-up and you can see the criticism of former leaders and institutions – page 7 leaders in all our communities must change! page 19 criticism of former leaders, p 22 of the civil service, p 26-7 assumptions about the use or land, of religious people – ‘We live in a land where there is a strong practice of faith but a strange lack of compassion and togetherness!’ Hey, that’s a bit rude.
    The main objection is of course that this charter committee does not have the mandate to enforce a charter on the Fiji community. Wish lists are fine but at the right time and by the right people. An on-going discussion about a common name, a common roll is okay but not from the top-down. Let a new party go to the next election with their ‘charter’ if they wish and see who follows.

  10. Cama Says:

    If a bible cannot change the whole population of Fiji at once, What can this charter do?

    Wake up Fiji, No amount of legislation can bring peace and harmony to this land. I suggest we just stick to the legal one (our constitution) and we try and give it a try. I believe the right way were being practised by the former Govt but unfortunately, some party do not want to follow the law but take the Law in to their own hands.

    they even devise the chrter before the coup which means that they commit treason. The FLP, NAP and the whole of the Military.

  11. tuyawa Says:

    This charter is a load of hogwash.

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