Solution to Fiji’s impasse.

Bloggers, this letter is from a regular contributor Lawyer, Tui Savu which was sent to the newspapers in Fiji today. Needless to say, that we at the SV Team wholeheartedly concur with his comments. SV wishes to thank people like Tui Savu who have stood up to the illegal regime and we do our bit on this site. Keep blogging ragone!!!! 


19th August 2008.


The illegal junta now finds itself squeezed between a rock and a hard place.


On one hand, Chaudary and his FLP cronies have abandoned ship, when it finally acknowledged it was sinking and there weren’t enough life rafts onboard.


On the other hand, Bainimarama and his remaining crew have now also accepted the inevitable; the unsinkable ship claim was a myth, as it is now taking in water and listing badly.


Everyone involved in the chartering (shadowy figures) of the unsinkable ship (illegal junta) are beginning to cut their losses and are looking at diversifying their investments in more safe and sound business opportunities (amnesty/pardon).


The desertion of Chaudary and the FLP not only revealed their opportunist nature, but also of greater concern is the utter bankruptcy of any moral principles.

Former PM Sitiveni Rabuka agrees by saying ‘..any right-minded electorate should immediately see that such a man and view has no right to be governing a nation – elected or not!’

As I have said before, ‘in politics, there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests.’ Chaudary and the FLP are living testament of this fact.


There are rumours the Military Council is beginning to come around to certain overtures made by certain former senior Military Officers.


In one of my letters concerning the Military Council, I said: ‘…once this support is withdrawn, the illegal regime will crumble like a house of cards because its legitimacy is not built upon legality, but brute force.


Roko Tui Bau canvassed the issue of amnesty being granted to Bainimarama and the Military as real politick and the only practical solution to Fiji’s political impasse.


The competency test for any future elected government of Fiji will be to balance the need to deter treasonous behaviour by upholding the rule of law on one hand and to be seen as acting fairly and justly on the other.


The families of the murdered CRW men, Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga will rightly bemoan any amnesty granted to those responsible for the murder of their beloved ones, if amnesty is granted carte blanche.


It has always been my belief, that the only way to permanently eradicate the coup culture in Fiji is to hold all those directly or indirectly responsible, accountable for their role.


No one should be exempt from the investigations, beginning with President Iloilo down to the common solider or civilian, if the elected government is serious on ensuring Fiji’s survival as a nation.


This policy has to be agreed and acted upon, before the issue of amnesty or a pardon can be discussed, otherwise it will be obtained too cheaply with disastrous consequences.


I have no doubt, those involved in trying to broker a deal with the Military Council, are doing it with good intentions, however my concern is at what cost?


As I said in one of my previous letters, the solution to the coup, if wrongly diagnosed and incorrectly treated with a band-aid instead of staples, will result in a worse condition.


My challenge to the next elected government, why not diagnose it correctly and treat it properly now, despite the pain and suffering to save the leg, than ignoring its symptoms, pretending it is something less severe knowing at the same time, you will have to amputate in the future?


Tui Savu.

Lawyer. Townsville QLD.


29 Responses to “Solution to Fiji’s impasse.”

  1. Wailei Says:

    Yaydoh!! I concur with the letter and mainly with throwing everyone who were involved to be investigated. Starting from the Top of the food chain and down to the slaughterers and the wannabe Human Rights Blondy.

  2. Tuks Says:

    It is common knowledge that Voreqe Bainimarama kept harping about the importance of the Rule of Law and remained hell bent for the full investigation and imprisonment of all Speight’s supporters in the 2000 Coup…Now it is time somebody reminds him to be ready to have a taste of his own medicine. He must be prepared to take the Bull by the horn and face the full wrath of the Rule of Law similar to what George Speight did in 2000. It is too critical if Fiji are to uphold the intergrity of the Law and especially it will be a deterrent against any future arrogant leaders who thinks that they can do anything at anytime they wish contrary to Law..I am sure Voreqe will be brave enough to demonstrate his real worth and put his action where his mouth were back in 2000..

  3. Mark Manning Says:

    a surgical strike at this wounded battleship is what is needed right now !
    and let’s hope that Fijians don’t fall into the silly trap again of giving amnesty to anyone at all who was involved in this illegal regime , not the military personnel , not the judges illegally appointed , not all those who have taken up illegal posts under this regime and i hope those responsible for the detaining , torture and murder of innocent civilians and the CRW soldiers from 2000 , are held accountable for their actions .

  4. Mark Manning Says:

    The proceeds of crime must be taken back by the people of Fiji . Frank’s Daughter’s house and probably many properties that other Military Officers may have purchased since the coup began .

  5. Ablaze Says:

    Thank you Tui. I agree whole heartedly with what you have written. No doubt it is a legally and morally account of the correct thing to do to stop any further person or persons from staging a coup.

    Everyone involved in this coup is to be held directly and indirectly responsible and accountable for whatever role they have played in this coup. It is very simple, let the law take over.

    Unfortunately, in this case it is not that simple because these idiots will want some sort of guarantee for a scott-free future in Fiji. Therefore the issue of granting amnesty to Bainimarama and the Military as canvassed by the Roko Tui Bau is the only way I can see that they will step down.

    It is sad to say that it boils down to those that have the guns, which is the Military Council. They are the only ones that we hope and pray will do the right thing and do what our dear friend Tui have suggested.

    I often wondered, if Ratu Mara, Fiji’s most revered politician and those in the judiciary like Chief Justice Tuivaga at the time had kept their integrity and ethics in tact and not succumb to the compromises of politics in the 1987 Rabuka coup but carried out what Tui have suggested I’m convinced the coup culture would’ve been nipped in the bud there and then.

  6. Bebenibogi Says:

    Fiji must never cry again. Never. What has been destroyed has taken generations to build. Someone has to be a big boy and stand up and say I may have made a mistake. Everyone has to be accountable for their actions. God forgives, we might also, but we will never forget. We can’t bring back the lives of loved ones, but we will certainly rebuild after the destruction of what was once was a proud People and Nation. You can run but you can’t hide, as some of you already know. We’ll squeeze until you get crushed. Somewhere, some how we’ll get you one by one. Be weary, be very weary.

  7. Bebenibogi Says:

    Beat the retreat. All need R&R.

  8. Ablaze Says:

    Have just read today’s editorial in the F/Ts and am now convinced that if Ratu Mara had done the right thing he would have saved the nation from further coups.

    The editorial mentions the feeble excuse used by Mara after Stiveni Rabuka removed Dr Timoci Bavadra’s Labour Coalition in 1987 that it did what needed to be done to save the nation.

    This feeble excuse legitimises the miltary and justifies the actions taken by them.

    I say Mara was the greatest opportunist of them all. A good start is to keep reminding the people that doesn’t matter who you are the rule of law is not above anyone. It needs to be respected and kept in tact at all times!

  9. IslandBoy Says:

    I agree with Tui’s views but am also concerned about the practicalities of our return to Parliamentary democracy.

    Thus a few questions for all of you:

    1.How exactly will the President’s political forim dialogue work?

  10. IslandBoy Says:

    I agree with Tui’s views but am also concerned about the practicalities of our return to Parliamentary democracy. Frank is now banking on the political forum dialogue with representatives from the political parties.

    Thus a few questions for all of you:

    1. How exactly will the President’s political forum dialogue work?

    2. With all due respect, will the President chair and direct discussions or will it be someone like Sir Paul Reeves?

    3. What will happen to the Outcomes document of the dialogue, how will it be implemented? I suppose that is 2 questions.

    I for one would really like to know how its all going to pan out, if this is the major window of opportunity we have to look forward to as a nation.

  11. Ablaze Says:

    IslandBoy like I said it all depends on the Military Council, it will be whether they do the right thing or not.

    It is our only chance and we will have to wait and see.

  12. newsfiji Says:

    No amount of Presential Forum or meetings set up by whoever for dialogue will NOT work if Voreqe cannot have a guarantee of full immunity along with his military council, the police, the navy & everybody else involved in the plot which includes the President.

    That’s the biggest and only problem now stopping the military council from giving up power.

    To the rest of us: never back down, they must suffer the consequences of their actions. Period. This will teach a lesson to any other smart arse upcoming military officer from even thinking about overthrowing an elected govt.

  13. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Keeping up the pressure on the foul fowl.

    From the ABC

    “”””Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has accused Fiji’s self-declared interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, of chickening out of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum being held in Niue.

    Fiji’s military-led Government has broken a promise to hold elections by March next year and Mr Rudd says Commodore Bainimarama made a grave error by not coming to the summit.

    Mr Rudd does not believe the Commodore has any support from other Pacific countries attending the summit.

    “A person of substance would have presented himself to his fellow leaders among the Pacific Island countries to account for the undertaking he gave to them,” Mr Rudd said said.

    “What he has done is chicken out of that and I don’t think that the leaders across the region will respond to that positively.”

    Mr Rudd says Pacific leaders must apply pressure on Commodore Bainimarama’s regime.

    “The challenge for Pacific countries is to have a united front on the question of Fiji and to apply maximum political and diplomatic leverage on Bainimarama’s regime,” Mr Rudd said.

    “I use the word ‘regime’ because it’s not a democratically elected government and we’re not accustomed not to have democratically elected governments.”

    Mr Rudd will this morning sign a new development partnership with Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

    Over the next two days, Mr Rudd will meet with 13 other leaders from around the Pacific.””””

  14. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    I wonder what special meal the foul fowl had ordered; caviare perhaps!

    “”””Mr Rudd said that Fiji’s boycott of the forum may convince other nations to take a tough stand on fresh Fijian elections.

    “There is the great and continuing challenge represented by the threat to democracy in Fiji,” Mr Rudd said.

    “It would have been far better for the leader of Fiji to sit down with the leaders of the Pacific Island countries.”

    In a lighter moment that belied the level of concern over Fiji’s non-attendance, dignitaries on board a charter flight to the forum laughed when a steward asked where Commodore Bainimarama was sitting so he could receive his special meal.

    “If there is a Frank Bainimarama on board, please press the call button. If you are here Frank, please raise your hand”

  15. Striker Says:

    Justice must be seen to be done. On the other hand, the nation needs healing and reconciliation – urgently and very badly. How do we balance this and ensure our early return to democracy? I suggest that those who have executed the coup should humble themselves and seek forgiveness; a ‘matanigasau’ to the ousted multi-party government which is then returned immediately to power. A truth and reconciliation commission should be set up, so that those (both in the military & civilian) who tell the truth about the culprits who were behind the coup should be given amnesty under transparent rules passed by Parliament. The commission would then recommend criminal charges and the prosecution of those who were directly linked to causing or abetting the coup.

  16. IslandBoy Says:

    Digression ere folks, sometimes we just need to step back and relax a little. A cousin sent me this in the morning Inbox:

    Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark…

    1. Don’t miss the boat.
    2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
    3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
    4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
    5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
    6. Build your future on high ground.
    7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
    8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
    9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
    10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
    11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

    Stay Blessed my Brothers and Sisters throughout this God given Day and ALWAYS.

  17. Mark Manning Says:

    I’m amazed at how Chaudhry and his fellow Ministers can continue to smile in the background of his photos !
    They just don’t seem to get that they have committed treason !
    I suppose if you have cheated death in 2000 at the hands of George Speight , then you would probably believe in your own invincibility !

  18. Fijilassie Says:

    Shame and guilt is not in his dictionary

  19. kaiveicoco Says:

    to balance healing and reconciliation one way I suggest is if amnesty is to be given then the military must be completely disbanded and the soldiers all return to their villages.
    and to island boy two other great lessons we learn from the story of Noah’s ark are:
    1.Be prepared for a change in career because you might be called to a totally different task and much later in life and
    2.That your family must have an impact for generations in a positive way

  20. painter Says:

    Wise words indeed fellow bloggers.

    @ kaiveicoco – I think it is a dangerous move to think of completely disbanding the military without first dwelling and figuring out how & where could we absorb these men and women who have their own families to look after. What alternative sources of income can Fiji generate for them and their families. Are there economist bloggers amongst us whom we can pick their brains pls??

  21. Tim Says:

    Fijilassie: It sure as hell isn’t, nor in most of the junta’s. It is in the dictionary or their mokopuna who have to live with their legacy.
    When they are called to account, watch them squeel like pigs and express their humble and sincere regret. When they do, let’s accord them the same compassion they’ve shown Fiji for the past two plus years. Easier to just shoot the bastards – but then we’re more civilised than that aren’t we.
    I suspect when it all comes down to it, the things they’re most guity of are giganticly high and unwarranted opinions of themselves, falling in love with power and incredible short-sightedness.
    There are a couple of things that for me are a certainty, one of which is that the standards and loyalty they’ve expected and assumed of everyone else should now be applied to them, and the very justice dished out to all Fijians is now dispensed to those who’ve taken any part in this coup.
    They can all be just as remorseful for their crimes as any other offender – because the consequences of THEIR actions are far more widespread

  22. Tim Says:

    As I’ve said before, if Frank and his henchmen had been truly concerened for memebers of the Military, he’d have been providing them with skills outside it, that is other than the minimal intelligence and brute machismo to act as cannon fodder.
    He has not done so.
    Fiji’s infrasructure is shot. It isn’t just roads. Opportunities abound to get some of the RFMF involved in building a better Fiji rather than contemplating their egos and the length of their weapons 24/7.
    Their are opportinities in roading and reticulation, electronics, IT, business management. Had Frank chosen not to exercise his ego and isolate himslef, as we all know now, the neighbours would have been all too ready to assist (with such things as exchange programmes, et al.)
    Still, when the Military Council decide they have legitimate grounds for deposing a nutter with a mental disorder and an ego the size of a bus, such things may come to pass.

  23. Tim Says:


  24. tuyawa Says:

    Yes i agree with you Tui Savu. An example must be set so that Fiji does not travel down this road again. The Methodist church would do good not to bow down. Voreqe and those involved in this coup must be made accountable for their actions. They must not walk away from this easily. They should be made to realise that their actions will carry consequences.

  25. Mark Manning Says:

    I’m amazed at how people . already , before the coup is even over , are asking for amnesty !
    How quickly you have forgotten the people who have been detained,tortured and murdered .
    It’s just like the 2000 coup , where it took an Australian Police Commissioner to follow up on the murderers of the CRW soldiers in 2000 .
    Haven’t you all forgotten , that is the reason Frank involved himself in this coup at the beginning ?
    Shame on all of you who talk of amnesty !
    And now i suppose you’ll turn around and tell me to stay out of Fiji’s problems and concentrate on Australia’s ?

  26. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Am always for reconciliation, forgiveness yada, yada, yada BUT..NO! NO! NO! to immunity or amnesty.

    For these illegals to include that in the so-called President\’s mandate (is he still alive neways?) is a sure sign that they knew and fully understood the fact that what they were going to do and did is ILLEGAL, and an act that clearly warrants them that \”special uniform.\”

    If George Speight can take his medicine why can\’t Voreqe et al? ANd, if George Speight was taken to court by the people, why shouldn\’t Voreqe et al?

    Forgive and reconcile-YES!

    The cycle has to be cut once and for all. Therefore, granting immunity will never, ever SOLVE THAT PROBLEM! Criminals who even do petty crimes are taken to court. And this (coup) being a MAJOR, MAJOR act of crime against the people of Fiji must never ever be taken lightly. There must be some kind of PAYMENT and taking responsibility for their selfish, self-righteous actions frm the TOP to the very last one of them.

  27. Groggymaster Says:

    If one is man enough to do the crime, be man enough to do the time. We re very good at doing wrong in the knowledge that one could ask for and be likely to be forgiven.
    Lets break this tradition, and make every one understand that we are solely responsible for our own actions, and be man enough to acknowledge this and face the music. Only then can full and true reconciliation take place. Otherwise it’s merely lip service.
    Enough of this pufta like attitude. Cause a problem then cry like a baby to be let off.

  28. Tim Says:

    For those interested, there was a parallel situation on RNZ this morning dealing with Pakistan’s compromised judiciary – the result of Musharif’s little exercising of an ego. Basically the same Sh*t, different Stink.
    We all know what the consequences of his reign were. There are/have been some very similar characteristics and commonalities – but better to leave the likes of Ratuva to put them all into some neat little excel spreadsheet cell and paint them as good/bad; successful/unsuccessful; noble/self-serving…all that serves to do is document history from a particular angle rather than to actually learn from it. You’d have though those involved would have learnt by now if they were ever going to.
    However this band of opportunists want to paint the neighbours, at the very least they have an interest in trying to ensure some stability in Fiji – some even appreciate Fiji’s right to self-determination, IMPROVING rather than USING its situation whatever their politics at home. That is more than can be said for Pakistan or Zimbabwe.
    There is now a 2 year history since Frank took over – chamion of the Fijian people; fighting for eaquality; pushing his utopia – wound up by Bubbas, Shameens, Gates, and certain of the clergy.
    The result speaks for itself!
    And no amount of Hibiscus window dressing or spin can alter their record.
    I agree with those above – truth and reconciliation YES
    Immunity and get out of gaol free – NO
    This regime, opportunism and every last little scam implemented needs to be systematically dismantled. If it means putting some of them in exile on a remote atoll somewhere, north-west Pakistan or Zimbabwe, so be it.

  29. Striker Says:

    Well we can go on arguing, or together, we can take a little and give a little and resolve our problems sooner. Blanket amnesty will not solve the problem; it can however be a useful tool to nail and make an example of the coup kingpins both inside the military and those in civilian life. Then our representatives in Parliament should do their part to restructure the military, add to the penal provisions or whatever. Let’s be realistic; we can’t eat our cake and have it too!

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