We’re gutless, says Fiji lawyer

We’re gutless, says Fiji lawyer

Hard nosed Suva lawyer Tupou Draunidalo says the people of Fiji had taken the abuse of their Constitutions very lightly as opposed to other countries.And she has called on the people of Fiji to eradicate the culture of silence and acquiescence and learn to fight for their rights and freedom.Draunidalo was speaking at the opening of the annual convention of the National Federation Party, Fiji’s oldest political party, in Nadi today.Darunidalo says the answer to ending the coup culture does not involve the People’s Charter or any other propositions that justifies, condones or completes the acts of treason against Fiji and its citizens.“We have to look at alternative ways of skinning the cat,” she said.Draunidalo said that unlike India, Pakistan and England who fought for their independence, the people of Fiji had it given to them on a silver platter and probably explains their attitude.

She adds that she has been frustrated and sometimes amused to see people in leadership roles “take the easy road of silence, caution, hypocrisy, self service, fear, acquiescence and opportunity in the face of treason”.

“It would be too trivial to put it simply down to what indigenous people term as ‘rere’ or the informal synonym ‘lamu’. It is deeper than that.

“I have observed indigenous males very closely on this aspect and I am ashamed at their general lack of knowledge, integrity, courage and leadership. An appropriate phrase is taken from the islands of Gau – ‘lailai na dina’.

Singling out former Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi as one of the few exceptions, she said the majority appear to “go with the flow”.

“Worse, when someone does speak up (especially a woman) they don’t like it because they fear repercussions, or, it offends their ego.

“I am just glad I wasn’t alive thousand of years ago in my ancestors’ shoes to lead any of those gutless wonders to any battle. I’d probably kill myself first.”

Ex NFP leader may start new party

A former leader of the National Federation Party is working on forming a new political party.This was revealed at the party’s annual general meeting at Korovuto Indian School in Nadi today.Guest speaker, lawyer Tupou Draunidalo, said the new party is to be based on the ideals of NFP.“I know a former leader working on forming a new party based on the same ideals,” she told the 250-plus NFP supporters at the meeting.“He is a leader I am happy to follow come what may and I have asked him to discuss various options with the leaders of the NFP.”Outside the meeting, Draunidalo declined to clarify who the former party leader is.

Other NFP executives had their suspicions but would not confirm any name either.

Meanwhile, Draunidalo has urged many Fiji Islanders to support the ideals of the NFP, labeling it “this great party”.

“This party can distinguish itself in a great way as one that has never planned, condoned or benefited from a coup,” she said.




10 Responses to “We’re gutless, says Fiji lawyer”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    The English and westerners often get accused of using and mis leading people of a less educated society , but their biggest enemies , come from within !
    This is why coups are so successful in Fiji .
    It’s time for Fijian society to grow up and get witht the 21st. century and stop hiding behind excuses like culture etc.

  2. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Tupou Draunidalo, you go girl !
    Nothing better than truth telling. Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi accompanied by Mick Beddoes and Laisenia Qarase are the few good courageous men of our time. Coup daddy’s space on the Fiji Times ought to be matched by Fijian males’ appearances to count and Sai Lealea will make an execellent candidate. We need people who aren’t tarnished to step to the plate consistently.

    Going with the flow is the primary reason we in Fiji will never ever get out of our coup culture. If there is a cultural cultural element worthy of breaking it is our silence particularly from Fijian men.

  3. EnufDictatorship Says:

    You go Girl!!!!

    Wouldn\’t it also be great to have a new women\’s party…ya!

    As for that Gauan slang…\”Lailai na dina!\”..oilei Tops dina o iko!

    It\’s about high time we start showing some real muscles towards these illegal goons. Never mind their guns, our collective voice can break those bullet-proof barriers.

  4. Ablaze Says:

    Thanks Katalina like Tupou “you go girl” We have lots of good people that can take over! Fiji will once again take centre stage in the Pacific!

  5. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Thank you Ablaze.

    After that presentation from Tupou I am intrigued and almost tickled pink with anticipation to viewing the National Federation Party’s manifesto. Draunidalo’s participation here will draw a great number of citizens particularly the right thinking quarters.

    Mick Beddoes also announced his Counter Charter Proposal to be released September 13th. That too should be something to see. Not to mention SDL’s widely advertised intention.

    Those are breath of fresh air when compared to the FLP People’s Charter which was old news by the time 5/12 swung around. Before Fijilive changed its format, posters debated the FLP’s 11 Pillars heartily months! leading up to their coup. I don’t doubt many such contributors chuckled at the suggestion of unveiling their Charter.

  6. Wailei Says:

    WOW!! How amazing and with a very passionate speech! Bravo.

  7. Adi Kaila Says:

    This Princess is well versed in the politics of Fiji and knows what she is talking about.

    Being the child of the late Adi Kuini Latianara and Ratu Save Draunidalo and step daughter of the late Dr Bavadra she has lived most of her life surrounded by politics and the political intrigues of Fiji.

    If there is anyone in the world who can articulate about Politics in Fiji and the hows, what, where, when and why, Adi ‘Pou is the very one.

    We would be wise to listen to her and what she has to say. She may be considered young but she has a sharp mind in that Noble Head.

    A true Princess of Fiji – I applaud You ‘Di Pou!

  8. Adi Kaila Says:

    Here’s more of what she had to say:

    A prominent Suva lawyer has relayed how she was told that the biggest betrayal to Fiji in the 2006 coup was “the betrayal or treason committed, supported and encouraged by local lawyers”.

    Tupou Draunidalo said she was surprised at the clarity and genuine emotion relayed by the businessman friend who made the comment.

    She made the comment while addressing the National Federation Party convention in Nadi today.

    Draunidalo took a swipe at the Fiji Law Society and members of the legal fraternity, who she said had not done enough to bring to justice those who committed treason.

    “Long gone are the days when lawyers as professionals saw it their duty as individuals and as a collective to do their utmost without fear of favor, to uphold the Constitutional integrity of the Government,” she said.

    “The blame or fault can not be laid on the Council of the Fiji Law Society. These are matters for reflections by the general membership. In fact I don’t envy the council at all for the situation they find themselves in.

    “The Fiji Law Society needs to do some soul searching.”


    Keep it coming Di Pou

  9. Adi Kaila Says:

    Yes Here it is:

    Fiji’s best leaders need to be in Parliament, lawyer Tupou Draunidalo told the members of the National Federation Party today.

    Draunidalo said it will take 20 years of sophistication to diminish the issue of great leadership as it remains a vital factor in the development of Fiji.

    She made the comments while delivering the keynote address at the NFP convention at Korovuto Indian School this morning.

    “Leaders of this multicultural, ethnic and religious country at this stage will need to be of generous spirit, well educated and well versed in the history, aspirations, ways and norms of Fiji’s communities,” she said.

    “These leaders need to be principled, courageous, champions of constitutional democracy and financially independent.”



  10. painter Says:

    @ Manning – i hear you alright.. and I also know that you appreciate that ‘culture’ isn’t such a simplistic notion and certainly can’t be the ONLY reason why Fiji weathered 4 coup d’etats all within the span of 2 decades!

    That said, I do agree that ‘culture’ does have a significant impact in the grand scheme of things and if it is to be deserving of appreciation, it must genuinely be able to defend itself in the face of criticism from abroad and of course, from within, which is all the more compelling!

    As another indigenous woman, I echo Tupou’s sentiments to the extent that we, the indigenous, must, as a matter of ‘priority’ (after parliamentary democracy is restored of course) critically look at our culture, candidly examine, and OPENLY discuss aspects of it which we collectively feel ought to be retained, and discard what we collectively feel cannot be sustained in the 21st century.

    Someone once famously said that “Culture is the mother, institutions are her children”. Hence, we need to learn, review and understand better what is it in our culture that stands in the way of our (all Fiji citizens) collective aspirations for a more just, prosperous, fulfilling and dignified life…then can only we expect CHANGE.

    Of course, this requires time, patience and understanding for we’re all not on the ‘same page’, but as i said earlier, it must be given priority by our elected leaders…hence, the need to elect VISIONARY leaders who are competent and selfless.

    That said, yup, I do get frustrated and hve had my moments of screaming inwardly because it boils down to ‘evolution’… but like many others, we can’t simply give up on HOPE when we’re privileged with an education and therefore, have a moral duty to help steer our ship in the right direction.

    As for the current strategy of the military junta vis-a-vis the new-look GCC, it is ill-conceived, short-sighted and unsustainable in the face of anti-junta feelings that run deep within the oppressed majority i.e. the indigenous of this country. They must surely realise (by now if not earlier) that institutional changes and elite-level maneuvering ultimately depends on the values and beliefs of our people!

    As for John Sami’s Charter, I agree with Victor Lal, turn it into a political party manifesto for next year’s elections. The NCBBF shouldn’t be so naive to expect the people to swallow it ‘hook, line and sinker’ as THE SOLUTION’ to Fiji’s coup culture. Gee, even my grandmother can rationalize how it is inevitably doomed since it came into being’ on the back of a coup d’etat!

    Enuf said, better hit the sack!

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