Bainimarama … ‘let’s talk’

Yadra Bloggers, well the long awaited Presidential Political Dialogue will finally be convened next week, although the SDL & NFP have reservations regarding the 2 independent interlocutors namely Dr. Halapua & Robin Nair. Vore has indicated that the Dialogue will ‘be open and flexible but within the overall objective to move towards constitutional and democratic governance.’ SV believes that political parties should engage with whatever legal means at their disposal to being Fiji back to democracy and end this coup culture. The DIFFCULT ISSUE bloggers we now face is the whether we should pursue justice first before peace or pursue peace first before justice? These are not easy issues to confront because many of us want the entire coup perpetrators brought to justice, but as the Roko Tui Bau himself has said, it may not be possible with Vore and the Military with the guns. What this calls for is ‘smart strategies’ which can achieve both objectives and all stakeholders coming out of the Dialogue with a win-win attitude. We at SV envisage our role as evolving from not only wanting to end this illegal regime, but more importantly to extend to holding future elected governments accountable and transparent to ensure we never go down this path again. No one knows the detrimental effects it has had on our young future. SV will recommend to future elected governments that they should invest heavily in nation building amongst our young generation, so they can become good, strong and upstanding citizens of Fiji and make Fiji once again sing with pride, ‘FIJI THE WAY THE WORLD SHOULD BE.’

By Verenaisi Raicola

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

INTERIM Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has written to political parties requesting a meeting next week and expressing his desire to conduct an election as soon as practicable. He told political leaders the agenda would be open and flexible but within the overall objective to move towards constitutional and democratic governance.

The purpose of the meeting, Mr Bainimarama said, is to make a head start on the agenda and terms of reference for the presidential political dialogue forum since six months had lapsed after the request was made by Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

He requested Dr Sitiveni Halapua of the Pacific Islands Development program of the East West Centre and Robin Nair, a member of the of the President’s Independent Monitoring Group, to be independent interlocutors.

Political parties have been given until Wednesday to respond to the invitation. Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party leader Laisenia Qarase was pleased with the announcement. Mr Qarase said they would participate in the forum, even though there were some reservations regarding the interlocutors.

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the party would meet this week to decide whether or not to accept the invitation. National Federation Party general secretary Parmod Rae said they had responded to the invitation from the interim Prime Minister.

“In the letter we have expressed reservation regarding the two gentlemen acting as interlocutors,” he said. Mr Rae declined to comment further. No response could be obtained from ousted opposition leader Mick Beddoes.

President’s secretary Rupeni Nacewa referred all questions to the Ministry of Information. Prime Minister’s Office permanent secretary Parmesh Chand said a statement would be released later on the issue.  He said the invitation was extended to the parties by Mr Bainimarama.

Mr Bainimarama said the request by the President to the United Nations and Commonwealth for technical and financial assistance towards a presidential forum had yet to be fulfilled. As a result of the request, Sir Paul Reeves visited Fiji and consulted with stakeholders and political parties but since July there has been no feedback.

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32 Responses to “Bainimarama … ‘let’s talk’”

  1. Cakau Says:

    I agree whole heartedly SV. I think Lusianna from the Comments made in the Fiji Times on the same article is a good one. Lusianna was spot on!

    Lusianna of Fiji says…
    For elections to take place legally the Regime need to put the charter aside because it is the result of 5/12/06 coup.
    Those in the Interim Govt that didn’t win their seat in Parliament in the last elections eg Epeli Gaunilau etc should resign and people like Mick Beddoes, Ro Temumu, Qarase should go on board to form a caretaker Govt.
    The President should retire gracefully and bring in the big gun Ratu Joni with those he chooses to help him run the country.

    Ratu Joni is the only person that will do it right and legal.

    Judiciary can stay but will have to work under the constitution.
    Bainimarama can also stay but will have to fend for himself without help from anyone. He may just learn something, change his ways and contest the next elections with his party using the charter.
    Ratu Joni and his team will know what to do so all legal avenues are taken to move Fiji forward.

  2. ispy Says:

    Bainimarama will start off discussions on monday by declaring that everything is up for discussion except the People’s Charter and the review of the electoral system and boundaries.

    How LQ and others will handle discussions from that point on will depend to a large extent on their ability to negotiate with a madman.

  3. orion Says:

    This pressidential forum is not the right forum. In short, it like Qarase & Co going to the military camp to negotiate. The field is not levelled. What Qarase & SDL should do would be approach the other parties and get the UN, UK, or Commonwealth etc,. chair a conference of all relevant parties somehwere they can afford say in say kiribati, Tonga, or elsewhere in the Pacific. Then it would be credible. When bainimarama & Co call for this forum, dont you think they are still still determining the terrain and controlling the “way to play”?? Its just a facade. However, on the other hand if they SDL & Co have to go in, then they should only use it as a means to the end, and not expect to finalise any deal in it. They should approach it in such a away that @ the end of the day, an outside conference of some sort sort is called for, in any one of the forum venues and to be chaired by anyone of choice from the commonwealth countries. It takes a bit of strategising & manouvring behind the scene and thinking. If they have their ducks in a row, they will come out the winner. LQ & Co will have to stop going to the press for it to be successful.

  4. Peace Pipe Says:

    I can almost foresee what will happen at the meeting. The spoilt brat kid kind of tantrums will start flying once the stupid pig does not have it his way. If he ever agrees to any good reasoning then pigs will fly. I wonder what would be the agenda, who will in attendance and what would be the outcome. I wouldn’t bank too much hope on it. If anything good turns out well and good if not it would just another same old same old Hanky Panky Franky episode of of another roadshow publicity stunt.

  5. Striker Says:

    At this point of the game, because he has promised elections in March 2009, and the international community is holding the pig to his words, we should give him the benefit of the doubt. But come April 2009, and there are no elections, or no agreed extensions which are acceptable to all parties, it is time to stand together and agitate for democracy. Then we will show the world the real power of the will of the people.

  6. Jean d'Ark Says:

    This will need a complete change of attitude by the IG – something they have been completely unable to do since December 2006.

    Up til now, Vore’s only modus operandi has been to try and manipulate circumstances to force everyone else to accept his brain-dead ideas. Anyone who would do so would immediately identify themselves as a) someone with no self-respect, and b) no ability to reason or perceive likely consequences. The members of the NCBBF have already fallen into this trap. I hope no-one else does – history will not remember them fondly.

    So I basically set another put-up job in the making!

  7. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    Bloggers, for the record, this is the comment we posted today on Fiji Times online:

    Given the mutual antipathy of the main players in next week’s political dialogue forum and given the notorious ability of the dictator to chop and change, it would be nothing short of remarkable if the forum produces any positive outcomes.

    But, given the desperate and ever worsening state of our post-coup economy, we believe it is the duty of every Fiji man and woman to hope and pray that for once wise heads will prevail and enable the forum to lead the way to early elections and a return to democracy.

    For nearly two years now the future of Fiji has been clouded by uncertainty.

    The only thing that is certain is that our beloved nation cannot afford to live with that uncertainty a minute longer than is absolutely necessary.

    If those sitting down at next Monday’s forum recognize that fact, then there might just be a chance to move the nation ahead.

    In the meantime, we as a nation should hope and pray.

    It’s our future that will be on the line.

  8. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Hear! Hear! FDN.

  9. Cakau Says:

    All very well but we will have to wait and see!

    The only thing that will be accepted internationally is a Democratic, Parliamentary Elections all done within the Constitution. Anything else will not be accepted.

    Then again King Bai may officially declare to the world that Fiji is now a Dicktatorship Nation and he is the Dicktator!

    We shall wait and see!

  10. Say True! Says:

    Give Peace a chance. Last Card.

  11. newsfiji Says:

    Yep, Cranky Franky will announce that he is the “CHOSEN ONE”..for Fiji.

    He’ll try and get the political leaders to agree that elections cannot be held in March 2009 so come December when the Pacific Forum Leaders meet again he’ll have the perfect answer: We all agreed that elections cannot be held in 2009!

  12. freedomfighter Says:

    Bloggers, its just a delaying tactic – its about talks to get an agenda and not a proper forum

  13. Talei Says:

    I don’t know about this. I don’t have a good feeling about it, because Vore has proven himself to be a liar, over and over and over and over again.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all that he has all his opposer’s there under the same roof and if they as much as disagree with him, he’ll have his goons come in and do a mass “arrest” for being a “threat.” I do NOT trust him, not one bit. He’s too slithery.

  14. patience Says:

    The people are not fooled.

    They do not trust the illegal regime. That is why there is no buy-in or participation in the charter process. They don’t buy ya stories, press statements, press conferences.

    The people have their head down, looking after their families, responding to the disaster that the 2006 coup has made of the economy and the country.

    Neither is the international community fooled. Thats why the Commonwealth, the UN, the Forum, are all holding the nutter to his promise to hold elections in March 2008. But lying to idiots in the RFMF is not like trying to fool the international community. Thats why the Millbrook Action Program, the Biketawa Process, the UN, the EU Cotonou Agreement processes, are all being followed and all with the voluntary agreement of the illegal regime which continues to try to find wriggle room. But really, no wriggle room after lying and then not having the guts to turn up and explain breaking the promise, just calling a press conference and spewing and spitting at the forum leaders. blarry nut.

    Our part is to advise our children, our relatives, our neighbours not to attend the charter forums and not to sign the forms. That is our part of the equation. That is OUR PEOPLE POWER.

  15. Ablaze Says:

    Once again thanks patience – I like the last paragraph.

    Slowly I am educating my family.

  16. FijiGirl Says:

    The Corruption of Legal Aid
    Is there anyone surprised to see that, even from the ‘sidelines’ of the illegal regime, Chodopu$$y is still looking after his electorate by feathering their nests?

    While the goons prevent the rest of our legitimately elected representatives from looking after their constituents, Chodopu$$ manages to finagle a new Legal Aid office into his home district of Ba.

    He accuses the SDL party of corrupt practices and an ‘agricultural scam’. Proof positive that, were he not a complete hypocrite, Chodothru$h would be nothing.

    Legal Aid is a system which respects the principles of equality before the law, and due process under the rule of law by allowing deprived people access to quality legal representation. Without it, the disadvantaged of the community might be further disadvantaged against the state or affluent legal opponents.

    Instead of giving out some shovels and farming equipment, Chodopu$$y sends them free lawyers. And believe me, under his system of “justice”, those free lawyers are worth every cent!

    Chodothru$h’$ Ai-arse licking lapdog has delivered yet another nail into the coffin of the rule of law in Fiji by choosing to allow the noble principles of Legal Aid to be so thoroughly corrupted in this way. I could turn a blind eye when Chodopu$$ and Sahu Khan set up their soccer academy in Ba, cementing the district’s claim to first place in the league forevermore (despite rampant lack of natural talent). But this is going too far.

    Chodothru$h was happy to point out, in the days we had a legitimate government and he was in opposition, that the North was neglected because there were so many impoverished cane farmers there living below the poverty line. Why then has the new Legal Aid office ended up in Ba and not Labasa? Simple answer – Chodopu$$y smells new elections in the offing and he wants to keep his voters sweet on him.

    So, now that the Illegal Regime has invited all political parties to join in a “Forum” which I am sure will thoroughly explore new boundaries of partiality in conducting talks, what next for the malodorous Chodokant?

    Chodopu$$ has stirred up racial tensions for his own ends. He’s planned and staged a military coup-de’tat for his own ends. He’s destroyed the rule of law in Fiji for his own ends. He’s impoverished hundreds of thousands of cane farmers by crippling the sugar industry for his own ends. He’s stolen millions of dollars from those very people and diverted them into his personal overseas bank accounts for his own ends. To what new depths of depravity can he sink? To be honest, I really do not want to find out.

    I do, however, want to see Chodokant annihilated and humiliated at the ballot box.

    Tabu soro
    God bless Fiji.

  17. at least Says:

    me laurai sara mada se cava sa plan taka tu na sonalevu qori o Vore…its best to let the meeting go but opposing parties should not give in easily..hold on to their agendas if he says no to March elections…This is just a tactic to let international community know that Fiji is progressing in having elections…SDL. NFP should strongly voice their opinions and let elections continue with the initial format …and to be in March,,.anything less than that should be a NO all the way ..

  18. natewaprince Says:

    Agre with you AtLeast, I mean,not too long ago, he said ”no electoral reforms,no talks”This sounds like pure bullshit to me.

    It’s obvious the pig is just going through the motions to appease the international community.But they still regard this regime as illegal,no matter what that poofy judge Gates ruled.

  19. orion Says:

    The military regime is the bully. That’s predictably the way they will play. No one in the current political parties has the means to stand up to the bully. The bully will have his ways. He will only iuse the gathering to provide a facade of broadbased participoation in his charter & ig agenda. If the parties participated and walked out of the forum, bainimaram will use that to cast the blame on the others for derailing the talks. That is, the forum is a place where he will be calling the shots. He will dictate the show and the parties will likely be there to rubber stamp his agenda- coming out ofcourse appearing to having reached agreement, consensus, etc. They have done it to before to the GCC, PSC, Govt Qarase. The only thing that is changed now is they are in complete control. The animal has not changed. The biggest mistake, in my opinion, the parites will make is that this will be a normal forum where good faith bargaining will be the order. I can see a lot of dissapointments when they find out when its too late. In the forum, Bainimarama only rules apply, and he will rule.

  20. Talei Says:

    Khaiyum a WANNA BE expert on the law, challenging someone of Leung’s calibre. Check out these two articles. YOU GO LEUNG, MAKE THEM SQUIRM IN THEIR BOOTS! SA MALEKA!
    Fiji A-G warns on Leung comments
    22/10/2008
    Fiji’s interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the onus is on every law-abiding citizen to abide by rulings made by the courts.

    He says comments against court decisions border on contempt of court.

    Sayed-Khaiyum was reacting to comments made by former Fiji Law Society President Graham Leung against the High Court ruling on the case between deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the President and interim Government.

    He added that if people respected the rule of law then they would surely respect the decision by the court.

    In a scathing attack Leung, a prominent Suva lawyer, described the High Court decision to dismiss the Qarase case against the President as a cruel blow that led to a climate of fear and retribution.

    Leung was speaking at a forum at the Australian National University.

    This meeting was chaired by the Australian Government’s Pacific Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Duncan Kerr.

    “I believe that this decision … has inflicted some serious blows, if not grievous to the fabric of the Constitution,” Leung told the Forum.

    Leung has always been a vocal critic of the interim Government and was even placed on the banned travel list after the 2006 military coup.

    Fijilive

    Top lawyer slams ruling on Fiji coup
    22/10/2008
    A senior Fiji lawyer has launched a scathing attack on a recent High Court decision that declared the interim Government as lawful.

    Radio Australian reports that former Fiji Law Society President Graham Leung says it is a cruel blow, and has led to a climate of fear and retribution.

    The report said Leung made the comments at a forum at the Australian National University which was chaired by the Australian Government’s Pacific Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Duncan Kerr.

    “I believe that this decision….has inflicted some serious blows, if not grievous to the fabric of the constitution,” he said.

    Fijilive

  21. Talei Says:

    And from pro-junta Fijivillage:

    Leung Attacks Court Decision
    Publish date/time: 22/10/2008 [08:02]

    One of Fiji’s most senior legal figures has launched a scathing attack on the recent High Court decision which has declared the interim government lawful.

    Radio Australia has reported that former Fiji Law Society President, Graham Leung said that it is cruel blow and has led to a climate of fear and retribution.

    He made the comments at a forum at the Australian National University which has been chaired by the Australian Government’s Pacific Affairs Parliamentary Secretary, Duncan Kerr.

    Leung said he believes that the court decision in Fiji has inflicted some serious blows, if not grievous to the fabric of the constitution.

    Meanwhile Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama said Leung should stop lying to the people.

    Fijivillage

    YOU are the only liar that the world has seen so clearly Vore, ylei, you got some nerve. I hope Fijilive has the guts to post my comment on the above articles on their site. I think they too are sometimes pro-Illegal junta.

  22. Talei Says:

    Vore is the big LIAR LIAR SULU ON FIRE! HEHEHEHE! He is NOT to be trusted. Why have the blooming meeting if the political party’s have to dance to his tune only? What a typical monkey he is.

    Don’t Come With Any Demands-Interim PM
    Publish date/time: 22/10/2008 [08:31]

    The Interim Prime Minister has come out and made it clear to all party leaders that they should not and cannot come with any demands to the meeting on Monday.

    In an exclusive interview with Fijivillage News, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the leaders should understand the recent High Court ruling and also understand the interim government’s vision through the People’s Charter.

    Commodore Bainimarama also stressed that Former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and the Nationalist Party’s, Iliesa Duvuloco should stop demanding for elections to be held in March 2009.

    Stay with us we will have more from Commodore Bainimarama’s interview later today.

  23. 46664 Says:

    I hope that all political parties will reject this invitation. This is only a delaying tactic or to show the international community that the IG is having a dialogue with the political parties. And who knows Frankie might use this to show the world that an election in 09 is impossible……. as agreed in the forum…. right !! I hope that instead, the parties can ask the U.S for expulsions of all Fiji military serving under the UN banner in parts of the world. That will be the biggest blow ever to come on the IG’s head.

  24. Peace Pipe Says:

    This idiot Cranky Franky is in his typical form making demands and shutting out others opinions except his own. Really fed up with a/hole of a P@#$K. Anything he says is nonsense and mindboggling. Now he has as part of his vocab: “understand the high court ruling”. I wonder if he does. And then there is that damned farter charter he keeps harping about. It seemed to surgically implanted into the pig that he talks about everywhere even though most people don’t want it. What a wanking idiot the bast@#d.

  25. Ablaze Says:

    @ Peace Pipe – Half school Cranky Franky 100 times worse than Sarah Palin, the lady campaigning to become Vice President in the USA. Sarah Palin is vosa balavu with very little understanding of what she is saying. Cranky Franky has no understanding at all.

    The comedian Tina Fey takes off Palin very well in a clever but obscure parody.

    Tina Fey has no problems raking in the viewers.

    Hey all Cranky Franky supporters should advise their hero to give up politics and become a comedian playing himself.

    He would not even have to try – it is going to be all natural for him. Good honest way of making a living.

  26. Barafen Says:

    All parties need to turn up to listen to the speil they will be fed and decide if they can live with it.
    I dont expect there will be any ‘Good Faith Negotiations’ .
    Too much has been said and done for this to succeed without a strong neutral facilitator and a neurtal chairman.
    My money is that the discussions will last less than a week as the various parties have extremly opposing expectations of what is an acceptable outcome.

    Any Bets

  27. LUVfiji Says:

    My bet is half a day!

  28. IslandBoy Says:

    I wonder which brainwave in the PM’s Office or the NCBBF thought his one up. This is an extremely lousy strategy for the illegal regime.

    a) If he does not entertain open discussion from the party representatives it just goes to confirm conventional wisdom regarding his tyranny.

    b) If he takes good and constructive motions mooted by party representatives on board for implementation he will be seen to have backed down and admitted that he was wrong.

    Personally I prefer option b, but in either case he loses

  29. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Nothing has changed – Frank is still the same person he always was, and still has the same agenda he’s always had.

    In that sense, this political dialogue has only two purposes –

    1. to give Michael Somare something to work with to get the Forum off Frank’s back, and;

    2. To give Frank some way to introduce rigged changes to the electoral system. (Namely gerrymander electoral boundaries AND rig the electronic voting system).

    Political parties can agree to anything else, but not those two as they are Frank’s Trojan Horses for trying to legitimize what he is already effectively going to do anyway.

  30. Barafen Says:

    Im supprised by the lack of reaction to the below

    Fiji flag, anthem to change
    By VERENAISI RAICOLA
    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    THE National Council for Building a Better Fiji is contemplating changing the country’s national anthem and flag.

    NCBBF member Desmond Whiteside said there was a proposal to feature the three main languages – English, Indian and Fijian – in the national anthem and a local theme on the flag, which he says currently reflects more of British rule.

    Mr Whiteside said there was a lack of initiative during Independence and that was why there was no change to the anthem and the flag design.

  31. Far Out Says:

    @ Fiji girl’s interesting? piece on ‘The Corruption of Legal Aid’ where she accuses Mahendra Chaudhary of maneuvering Interim Government to set up a Legal Aid office in Ba and not in Labasa, as a vote buying gimmick.

    FACT : Legal Aid Commission office @ Labasa has been in existence for almost a decade now.

    Tobo Na Lasu!!

  32. George of Sydney Says:

    Since the 1997 Constitution is still not being abrogate and it recognises that only parliament enact laws, this dictator is trying to use the forum to legalise the changes and recommendation it has proposed inluding the farter charter.
    Grow up man!!!. The people are not as stupid as you think. Bai and his clonies have displayed their arrogance and lack of respect to the fijian people and their sacred institutions such as the GCC and the church. He does’nt trust fijians.
    His AG, Finance Minister, PS are all non fijian.
    Now all the High Court judges are non fijians and no wonder that stupid ruling was to be expected.
    Not forgeting the committee selected to investigate the Chodo millions and members of Public Accounts Committee are all anti SDL.
    Police Comm has also became his puppet. Gone is the well respected former Fiji rugby captain reknown for his leadership qualities.
    The forum is a good start but there should not be any set condition. Forget about the charter for those who are in the forum do have been the legal authority to design and endorse the charter for they have the confidence and the mandate of the people to amment or enact laws. Not the army or this illegal IG.
    I had hoped that Bai would have selected a proven prominent fijian such as Rt Joni or any other high profile fijian of the same status and wisdom as him. Otherwise their will always be a cloud of suspicion the scope of the agenda of discussion and its outcome favours the IGs proposals.
    ALLOW THEM TO THRASH EVERYTHING OUT IN THE OPEN THEN DIRECT THE DISCUSSION TO OBTAIN SOME SENSIBLE DIRECTION FOR A GENUINE PATH FOR THE COUNTRY TO RESTORE THE CONFIDENCE OF ITS PEOPLE.
    Maybe a reconciliation and apologies has to be made from each other of our leaders and an apology to the people of Fiji and important associates internatinally would be eesential after the discussion before we take the first step to move the country forward.
    GOD BLESS FIJI

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