Forum a worthy initiative: Academic

Update: 1:26PM Fiji Times online

The political dialogue forum is a worthy initiative, but we should wait before passing a judgment either way, says the architect of the 1997 Constitution Dr Brij Lal.

He says the country has seen too many false dawns and false prophets before, so caution is necessary.

Everyone, including especially the interim administration, should approach the talks with an open mind, a flexible agenda and an appropriate sense of humility,” Dr Lal said.

He said the interim Government needed to recognise and live with the truth that the only ‘mandate’ they had was through the power of the gun. “It can’t be ‘My Way or the Highway’,” said Dr Lal.

He said time was of essence.

“The longer the resolution of the impasse continues, the more the country suffers. “So those in charge should approach the task at hand with a sense of utmost urgency,” Dr Lal said.

He said people should understand the forum was not the place to have a discussion of substantive issues as its principal task was essentially procedural.

Dr Lal said the forums purpose was to define the task and the parameters of a future President’s Political Dialogue Forum.

 “That is where the People’s Charter and proposed reforms to the electoral system and other issues will be discussed,” he said.

Dr Lal said the composition of the President’s political dialogue forum would be defined.

“Its terms of reference will have to be negotiated and, equally important, a firm deadline for returning the country to parliamentary democracy should be stated,” he said.

Dr Lal said there could be no getting around the fact that Fiji would one day return to parliamentary democracy. “The only question is when, not if.”

He said the international community would come in and should come in, only if they saw a genuine effort to find solutions to the country’s problems in an inclusive rather than a unilateral way.

“They will be cautious because they, too, have seen promises made and broken. They are wary of being taken for a ride again,” he said. Dr Lal said the dialogue was but the first step in a long and difficult journey ahead.

“But, as the saying goes, the longest journey in life begins with the single first step,” he said.

… Vinaka Dr. Lal, I totally agree with you. Let’s give them a chance people!


11 Responses to “Forum a worthy initiative: Academic”

  1. newsfiji Says:

    Yep, I’ll give them a chance but let’s not be too hopeful huh…Frank is just not to be trusted!

    While the political forum was going on, the military goons were trying hard to find evidence on LQ’s use of the extinct mataqali funds from NLTB.

    Sources have revealed that the pressure has come from Frank himself with those FICRACK Officers being replaced by military goons. They’ve been instructed to find something soon so that come elections there’ll be no place for LQ!

    Well, on them trying to uncover evidence on LQ..they’ve found evidence of corruption against our dearly beloved ailing President!

    Little does Frank know that Fijians are known for their big mouths and ofcourse the esteemed coconut wireless – so everything goes around!

    FICAC – Happy FICRACKING DIWALI…Ba..ha..ha..

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    I’m still of the opinion , you can’t build a house on sand and anything this forum can do , could have been done by an Elected Government .
    In reality , Frank has already thrown several spanners in the works .
    He has chosen interlocutors that others don’t agree with , he has said , no charter no Elections , he said , it’s his way or the next Elected Government will be deposed again , and now says it might take until 2020 for the charter to be implemented .
    At least he’s not saying that his Regime will last 1,000 years like Hitler did .
    Other than that , there’ little difference between the two !

  3. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Frank will revert to type soon or later!

    Leaders should try to make progress until that happens. But when it does, they must know that kow-towing is no solution!

  4. Peace Pipe Says:

    Whatever the outcome of this initiative the leaders apart from Crank Frank can say that they at least gave peace a chance. The nature of this madman is such that he cannot be trusted but attending the meeting the leaders esp of SDL, NFP and UPP can can say they tried but the madman was not budging from his unreasonable demands. So by all means attend but do not expect too much hope as we should be guided by the madman’s track record.

  5. orion Says:

    Opportunitsts from fringe parties (majority of those called into the meeting) would be the focus of FB to get his agenda forward. The fringe parites could use this opportunity to jump onto the political bandwagon and become “somebody” in the process. Voreqe & co know that. . Any forum or dialogue of this sort will be room for compromise. That’s where Voreqe hopes to insert his charter and electoral reform, in whatever form. Thats the danger, from one side, but the right opportunity for the iIG & military. last few days, the military & iIG seemed civil and approachable. but its all ploy. The animal has not changed as mentioned above by JDA.

  6. freedomfighter Says:

    There will be no elections until 2011 and soon the Supreme Court judges will be reshuflled to get a favourable decision, to avoid treason charges, so dont be fooled bloggers

  7. EnufDictatorship Says:

    I totally agree with Dr Lal and what bloggers have mentioned above.

    Having watched the CNN news yesterday, where the Zimbabwe talks bet. Mugabe and Tsvangirai are trying again just bcos Mugabe is trying to hood-wink Tsvangirai again in trying to get his goons to take all the significant gov. posts, it reminds me of how this forum has started and what the future will hold for us.

    Vore is a madman just like Mugabe. His perception of being God’s answer to our problems is what that is frightening about all that he has done and will do. He is a Christian extremist, just like the Muslim extremists who use religion to maim and kill opposers of their faith because they totally believe that that is their calling. I have Muslim friends who do not condone the actions of these extremists and say that their religion and beliefs are being misinterpreted by these kinds of people.

    This I believe is what Vore is on at the moment. And , from my experience, it is VERY VERY DIFFICULT to change the mentality of anyone who is on this kind of a personal “God’s mission.” They will never, ever GIVE UP until they die and at the same time take other innocent people with them.

    We have witnessed time and again the cold, hard-hearted kind of a person Vore is. As much as we, civil people can give peace a chance through these talks, the Fijian saying…”Sivi mada na veikau qai kalu” comes to mind.

    Yes, time is of the essence here. We need to talk elections rather than electoral reforms. But as we already know, Vore wants to talk electoral reforms first b4 elections. So, when and how will we know that Vore WILL make the COMPROMISE?

  8. EnufDictatorship Says:

    This is exactly what we meant by our postings saying that TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE HERE!

    WHat we hear from Mr. Singh here sounds like that idea of “HE WILL HAVE A MEETING TO TALK ABOUT A MEETING!”

    A total waste of time, financial resources and effort!!!

    This forum could have been done asap instead of spending millions on Bainimarama’s Charter Farter, the NCBuilding Braindead Frank, the numerous overseas jaunts with good-for-nothing-wife, etc etc….

    But I guess we have to OPTIMISTS here huh…patience and hope!

    Interim Govt to stay 5 years: Singh
    Fiji People’s Party general secretary Charan Jeath Singh believes the interim Government is here to stay for five years.

    Singh told Fijilive that after yesterday’s political Leaders Dialogue meeting in Suva he is sure that the elections will not be held sooner than 2011.

    “It’s just a drag,” said Singh after the first meeting of political party leaders with the interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and representatives of the Fiji military.

    “The agenda of the meeting could have been set yesterday,” he said.

    Singh said all the political parties have been given five weeks to make written submissions.

    When asked whether they will back out of the Leaders Dialogue, Singh said, “No, we will definitely make our submissions”.

    The participants at the Leaders Dialogue were unanimous that Fiji must return to parliamentary rule.

    However, their positions varied on issues such as electoral reform and timeline for a general election.

  9. LUVfiji Says:

    Here is one from RFN that is worth a read, dear folks…

    Appeal SDL!
    October 27, 2008
    SDL owe it to those who voted them in to lodge their appeal this week. They will fail their electorates if they don’t and they might as well close their office and deregister themselves if they do not exhaust all judicial avenues available to them.

    On the same breath, ethical lawyers like Graham Leung, Richard Naidu, Jon Apted, Ratu Joni Madaiwiwi and others should now work together in launching another law suit against Frank’s regime to ensure that any technical oversight that may have been present in Qarase’s constitutional case must be avoided with no stones left unturned. Qarase nor SDL lack the clout to fight this legal battle by themselves, therefore it is vital that concerned legal eagles get involved in winning justice for Fiji’s people. It is moments like this when real professionals like Graham Leung and others put into practise what their fraternity is all about i.e to fight for truth and justice for the defenseless.

  10. Toso Viti Says:

    Well people at least they’re doing something to move the country forward not like some who complain and whince all the time!!!

  11. benhur Says:

    Well, if someone knows if they have an “APPEAL FUNDS bank account in a Suva Bank(s),where people can donate funds too, to be used for this appeal. could you please kindly put it up here, so we can donate directly to the funds?

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