Overbearing stench of coups – By Kamal Iyer

Well put Kamal.

“I DO not want to say there is anything positive about the 2006 coup. But one good thing that we could say is that it has made many people better understand and appreciate the concept of democracy.

It is quite something to hear those who condemned democracy in 1987 and 2000, become its ardent champions in 2006. They include the Methodist Church and SDL leader Laisenia Qarase.

The Qarase government was not faultless as its divisive policies, squandering of State resources and reckless spending gave impetus for the coup.

But to his credit and leadership, Mr Qarase did offer the country the best opportunity in a long time to chart a new path by inviting the Labour Party to be a substantive part of government.

This was torpedoed by Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry. History will judge him harshly for this”. – Biman Prasad – Professor of Economics and Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of the South Pacific.

These were part of Dr Prasad’s concluding remarks of his keynote address delivered at the 3rd Biennial Delegates conference of Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU) on September 27. The theme of FICTU’s conference was “Democracy First”. Dr Prasad was correct in pointing out that the Methodist Church, members who later joined the SDL and Mr Qarase respectively condoned the 1987 and 2000 coups.

The familiar dialogue of coup apologists is: “I support the cause but not the method”. In other words, the Methodist Church in 1987 and 2000 and Mr Qarase in 2000 supported the overthrow of the Bavadra and Chaudhry governments respectively, agreed the basis of raping democracy to entrench Fijian political supremacy, but did not agree with the method, which is overthrowing democratically elected governments at gunpoint.

Democracy was described in the aftermath of the first three coups as a foreign flower and a facade, especially by Professor Asesela Ravuvu.

In the aftermath of the 4th coup on December 5, 2006, which removed at gunpoint Mr Qarase’s SDL/Labour Multiparty government, the understanding of democracy rightly changed from a facade to the ideals that need to be strictly adhered to by the people and the government they elect.

In other words, the will of the people under democracy has to be respected at all times, no mater what the outcome after general elections.

While the Methodist Church, Mr Qarase and other pro-Fijian and pseudo-democracy supporters of the first three coups started realising the value and importance of democracy, those who were victims of three coups and champions of democracy in 1987 and 2000 were jubilant after Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama executed the 4th coup.

Those who supported the FLP and Mr Chaudhry hailed Commodore Bainimarama as a saviour. This was especially the case amongst the Indian community. Principles were buried, values distorted and well-known personalities embraced Commodore Bainimarama as God-sent.

I vividly remember our citizens giving refreshments and food to soldiers manning checkpoints during the State of Public Emergency declared immediately after the coup.

Nasinu mayor Rajeshwar Kumar and a few of his fellow FLP town councillors in December 2006 distributed food parcels to soldiers manning checkpoints in the Central Division as a gesture of gratitude. Mr Kumar told Fiji Television’s One national news residents like him could sleep peacefully at night with their doors homes open without fear of being robbed.

Such was the euphoria because for them it was a case of three wrongs making a right.

Essentially the firm belief was that the Indian community had been victims of three coups, therefore nothing was wrong if the Fijian community and the government they elected was overthrown. The scales, heavily lop-sided and tilting towards pro-coup views, shifted slightly towards democracy in the later part of last year and now the realisation is fast sinking in that coups do not solve problems but exacerbate them into untold misery and suffering of people of all walks of life.

I remember two workers employed in the construction industry seeking my views on the coup in July last year. When I asked them why, they replied that soon after the coup they too were euphoric and firmly believed that all their problems would disappear immediately, but were beginning to doubt the real intentions of the interim regime’s leaders, including their own political boss M P Chaudhry, who was then Commodore Bainimarama’s Robin Hood and given the responsibility of performing his miracles on the economy and the sugar industry.

Just like people use the theory of comparing apples with apples when it comes to deciding on what product to choose, I used faeces to describe coups, saying it was an act of treason. I told them, “I can understand why you two felt jubilant because you felt that since Indians were victims of three coups, it is okay if the Fijian community is punished through a coup”.I told them as far as I was concerned all the four coups are like faeces and they stink. They agreed with me.

I added, “You two believed that the first three coups produced intolerable stench because the Indians were victims, but the 4th coup did not stink as much as the previous ones because it was executed against Fijians.

But does it mean that while you strongly condemned the stench emanating from the first three coups and disposed it you can bear with the stench emanating from the 4th coup and afford to leave the faeces lying around?” They replied “No” as it could cause a disease outbreak.

I agreed and told them it had to be also disposed as well because “faeces is faeces” whether it stinks badly or not. The stench from the 4th coup is now flowing throughout the country.

Was democracy, parliamentary governance and constitutional rule overthrown to get rid of corruption as claimed by the perpetrators?

Was the coup a clean-up exercise?

This claim has been put on the back-burner by the regime.

The latest change of tune by Bainimarama that he cannot say when elections will be held confirms the long held view that coups in this country have been executed for one reason only power grab at gunpoint.

The 2006 coup is no different. There is simply no justification to overthrow a democratically elected government. In fact, Mr Qarase had acceded to Commodore Bainimarama’s demands after his meeting with him in New Zealand. But those demands themselves, even if they had not been agreed to by Mr Qarase, were simply no reason whatsoever to depose a government by force.

Nothing can change the fact that the 4th coup on December 5, 2006 was an act of treason, exactly like the 3rd coup on May 19, 2000, the 2nd coup on September 25, 1987 and the 1st coup more than 21 years ago on May 14, 1987.

There is no other way to describe coups resulting in the rape of democracy and constitutional rule”.

Fiji Times 6 Oct 08

12 Responses to “Overbearing stench of coups – By Kamal Iyer”

  1. Striker Says:

    Coups by the cukoo, of the cukoo, for the cukoo green goons!

  2. Save the Sheep Says:

    Totally agree with this article. The 2000 coup was a really confusing event and I for one will never forget seeing Speight touring a devastated Suva in the PM 1 Stretch Limo and being saluted at the checkpoints by Army personnel that manned them.

    There was me naively thinking that the Army was containing the coup and yet thousands of people were allowed to come and go as they pleased. Frankly I was ready to fire bomb the checkpoints, such was the injustice.

    Franky baby was right in there in 2000 until something went awry for him and he had to suck on his lollipop again. Then the mutiny and the rest is history.

    All the coups were bad no doubt about it. I remember Rabuka’s interview in 2000 while out for a jog and his famous line about agreeing with the cause but not the method and so on.

    Well I hope the Indian community now feels it has its revenge and equally I hope that they realise what most Fijian learned, that actually the coups do not bring us gifts of joy. It is just back to business.

    But at least in a democracy we can vote and have our say. When there is corruption people are made answerable sooner or later.

    Now we have lost that. Franky and co. are answerable to no-one and idiots smart arses like Khayum and Co. can pedal their naive ideals with impunity.

    But one common denominator remains. The President’s Office has always been behind these coups and so have a select group of Fijian Families, who have used them for their own gain.

    It really is beyond time for all this to stop once and for all and bring all the culprits to account. You know what, you might just find out that after four coups, the main actors are pretty much the same.

  3. delano Says:

    If coups are labelled as being the rape of democracy, why are the perpetrators like Rabuka and his goons who fully supported him in 1987 not in jail? (eg Konrote, Naivalurua, Dugu, Kacisolomone, Inoke Kubuabola, Filipe Bole, Manasa Lasaro, Meli Vesikula, Rusi Korovusere, etc).

    OK, I understand they were given a pardon by the Great Council of Chiefs. But in Argentina, they revised the rules and jailed coup makers after 19 years. Why not a similar action in Fiji to serve as a deterrent to all? (Frank Vore and his Military Council will have their day too)

  4. coffee bean Says:

    Why not indeed! You’d think Rabuka would lead by example instead of writing his senseless, stupid articles in the Fiji Times. Of all the great writers in Fiji, why does Fiji Times give him the time of day & space to rant & rave about his insignificant family dos and dahs to the suffering public?!!

  5. kaiveicoco Says:

    all good thoughts bloggers.totally agree with you save the sheep as the 2000 I found it very confusing.In 1987 i was still an undergraduate in Australia when the ist coup took place.From media reports I gathered there the taukeis and my relatives were claiming ” let the Indians run the economy but give us Fijians the political power !! ” The director of my college was a white South African who migrated to Australia in the early 70s, a real ist class prick who used to give me a hard time with his cynics then- he told me that problem in South Africa,Zimbabwe and Fiji was really it was fear of the minority.
    Then came the 2000 coup with the message ” give us fijians both political and economical control”
    Now the 2006 coup to me is more confusing ……..

  6. delano Says:

    Rabuka? He was the guy who told us back in 1987 that while he was planting tavioka at his small tavioka plantation at the back of the QEB Officers Mess, Jesus came and spoke to him urging him to coup Bavadra and company. Rabuka told a group of believers at Nabua that Jesus was wearing a green bula shirt, a grey sulu and black sandals. Of course, his followers believed him when he claimed Divine guidance for the coup.

    Now he is saying that the 1987 coup was not a good idea and that he regrets doing it. In other words, he is now implying that Jesus gave him wrong advice the first time around. Duh…..!

    His articles in the Fiji Times exhorting us all to ‘audit’ the previous week, updates about his family situation (no mention of which wife he constantly refers to), daughters birthday (which daughter from which wife or concubine?), baptism etc, is peurile and uninsoiring. I too cant understand why the Fiji Times bothers to waste space with this guy’s thinking which, at best, can be likened to the proverbial dog’s beakfast with so many different ideas in the one sentence. Thus guy has trouble thinking in a straight line.

    I am sure the Fiji Times can find a writer to provide readers with more analysis of the current situation. We dont need advice from a coup supremo. The fact that the Fiji media continues to defer to him gives support to the idea that coups do pay in that your views will always be sought. Perhaps if we ignore and isolate coup mongers like Rabuka then we will be doing something to eradicate Fiji’s coup culture.

    PS: I almost feel like signing off this post with the words “Have a Blessed Week”…….

  7. painter Says:

    @ kaiveicoco – lucky ga your prick of a lecturer did not cross my path or I would have gladly given him back a 30second verbal tongue-lashing that’ll send him running to his precious momma, nevermind what he does with my grades!

    I’m not confused with this coup, I guess if you strip away all the layers of BS we’ve been fed with, you’ll find the same players having the same basic motivations : $$$, blackmail, belief and revenge.

    Agree with delano, might be best if we start isolating them on a cyber-nukulau.

  8. tim Says:

    Its great how Iyer has the knack of putting things so eloquently and without profanity. Whereas the likes of me, and those opposed to the coups are what the likes of Yippe-I-Aye simply describe as engaging in speculation and negativity. Forget faeces Kamal, they don’t deserve the description. Pieces of shit fit these opportunists a lot better.

  9. painter Says:

    @ Tim – the world doesn’t revolve around you, thanks.

  10. tim Says:

    I’m merely pointing out my use of language which I have had to apologise for in the past but the longer people like Frank abuse Fijians, I think its warranted and the post was actually intended as a compliment towards Kamal.

  11. painter Says:

    I guess i owe you an apology then. I’ve not bothered with yr foul language in the past since I really don’t care but I’m a great fan of Kamal Iyer, so I apologise if I had read you wrong. G’nite and sweet dreams🙂

  12. kaiveicoco Says:

    Delano,
    I will add to Rabuka’s words last year and I quote ” If given the same circumstances I will do it again ” ! this was on the 20th anniversary of the first coup he carried out.He is now a millionaire,receiving pension and a chauffer driven 4 wheel drive for life.Compare that to the ordinary Fijian he stood he claimed he was fighting for.Worse of all these coups has had a drastically negative effect in the camp.Soldiers are now obese,lack of command structure.A regimenatl sergeant major in pre 1987 could have given orders bot ways to the hirearchy command and down to the rank and file.No more now
    so much for the coup coup culture.

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