Fiji’s multi-ethnic police join Christian crusade

Campbell Cooney, Pacific correspondent




Fiji’s police force has become caught up in an evangelical Christian crusade.

Coup leader and Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has said repeatedly one of the reasons for the military’s 2006 takeover of Fiji was to end racial and social division.

But last weekend, all police officers not on duty were told to attend a Christian crusade event.

The country’s ethnic make-up means its police force has members who are Hindu and Muslim, as well as Christian.


The crusade is being driven by the evangelical “New Methodist Church”, led by Atu Vualono, brother of Police Commissioner Esala Teleni.

Commissioner Teleni is a military man appointed to the law and order role by interim Prime Minister Bainimarama.

Over the weekend, police played a big role in the crusade, with Fiji’s TV coverage showing officers marching through the capital, Suva, chanting the name of Jesus.

All officers not on duty were told attendance was compulsory, a fact confirmed by police spokeswoman Ema Mua to Fiji TV.

As part of the new Christian outlook, it has been announced the Fiji Police Jazz Band is now the Fiji Police Worship Band, and from now will be playing only gospel songs.


Earlier this year, after senior Hindu and Muslim police raised concerns about the push to embrace Christianity, they were confronted by Commissioner Teleni and told if they were not happy with his plans they should quit.

Despite the force’s mixed ethnic profile, Pramod Rae, general-secretary of the National Federation Political Party, says it has been made clear that does not matter.

“It’s becoming more of an indoctrination process, rather than a Christian crusade,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program.

The country’s biggest Hindu representative group is the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji.

Its national secretary, Vijendra Prakash, says it has no concerns about Hindu police being forced to embrace a Christian crusade.

“We feel that the prayers are offered in good faith to one almighty Lord,” says Mr Prakash.

Pramod Rae says the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji “has been actively part of this coup regime right from the beginning”.

This was not posted on the relevant date and almost  forgotten.
Anyway here it is FYI to keep up to date with who the coup supporters really are as the last 7 lines state.
We need to remember who they are, so when this nightmare is over we must ensure they and theirs are not allowed anywhere near any positions where important decisions concerning our beloved Nation are discussed and implemented

37 Responses to “MANO A MANO”

  1. Tui Says:

    I did not realize that the stupity of this illegal govt will parade itself this way for all the world to see. Where is the freedom of religious practice that is enshrined in our constitution? Oh I almost forgot it is Bai’s way or no way.It is always said in the inner circles of a democratic society that relion and govt do not mix.I wonder what our illegal constitution will look like in the future if these stupid A/Holes are nopt removed quickly.A typical line for police recruitment will say only good action dances need apply or you must be a registered New Methodist to apply for the police force.Will the militaryu follow suite?Action songs during ceremonial duties like guard of honor, retreat, shanging of the guard etc etc etc.I wonder where the muslims and hindus will be in all these?What a bout the real Methodists?Remember its Vanity,vanity,vanity Teleni and Bai.

  2. Budhau Says:

    Freedom of religion – my ass.

    So you guys are complaining about this now, what about when these same Methodist leadership was putting up the road blocks for the Sunday bans. How about the Sunday bans itself.

    And then there was the effort to make make Fiji a Christian state and put all that crap in the constitution.

    ..and now you buggers are singing a different tune.

    I think it was wrong back than, and it is wrong. If you want to oppose this Christian crap – and do it on as a matter of principle – not because it is convinient to do so this time.

    What a bunch of fricken hypocrites.

  3. Anonymous. Says:

    Believe the term you seek is secular goverment – but which one?

  4. Anonymous. Says:

    Positions – Carts & Horses.
    Suggest time better spent concentrating on how we get rid of them before deciding what too do with them?

  5. Budhau Says:

    Hey annon, no I was no look for that term secular government – not this time.

    Even though I learned to speak English when I was 15, I do know now what that term means and when to use it.

    Maybe if you were willing to go beyond you one liners we could have a discussion on secular government, separation if church and state, and a comparative study of several constitutions and governments that deal with these issues.

  6. Anonymous. Says:

    No – great dificulty explaining that which is clearly self evident.
    Want a good – but not perfect model – Kemal Ataturk.

  7. Budhau Says:

    Anon – Does anyone have a perfect model – and if they don’t, why do you think that someone would believe that we can have a perfect model?

  8. kaiveicoco Says:

    my perfect model for you is Pakistan !!

  9. kaiveicoco Says:

    my perfect model for you is General Mansooq Mansood of Pakistan !!

  10. Budhau Says:

    Kaiveicoco – did you see those Pakistani lawyers stood up to the dictator when their CJ was fired – and BTW, the Pakistani military dictator was much more ruthless than our boy Frank.

    So how did Fiji Law Society protest the military dictatorship in Fiji – they sent a petition to the President, and he did not even respond.

    There were ten guys protesting outside the court – and that Naidoo guy, FLS president got in ass in jail for that. And finally they all signed up under the new order to practice as lawyers.

    So you see Kaiveicoco – I don’t think you should ever mention Pakistan in here.

  11. kaiveicoco Says:

    Hang on Budhau,
    I have not finished reading the book by BHUTTO on Pakistan.I believe i also mentioned the wrong name in my blog above it was a different Pakistani General I meant.BTW my point is this if Pakistan ( which is my favourite country )just sort out their political and religious mess the country could easily equal France in challenging world order when it comes to global issues be it economical,sporting,culture etc.Just take a look at their advancements in nuclear technology,medicine,manufacturing and in sports in particular in cricket on their day they can beat any leading cricket team in the world be it test or One day and as the cricket world just recently witnessed they won the 20/20 cricket world cup beating all top teams including South Africa on their route to the final.
    So Budhau I will get back to you tomorrow with the corect Pakistani general’s name.

  12. newsfiji Says:

    wailei…qori o iratou na kei atu…Kaila!

  13. Nostradamus Says:

    Ogo nei Atu

    Mike Hunt

  14. Nostradamus Says:

    Oqo nei Atu.

    Mike Hunt

  15. jon jon Says:

    Not sure if you heard of this but Atu Vulaono is banned from visiting Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U,S and the UK. At the last December crusade which is on video, Reverend Atu Rerevaki Vulaono preached at Sukuna park with his wife and they both boasted abot there many flights oversease. Raijeli the wife told the crowd before they only get a pay pack of $40.000k a year from working with Air Pacific now they get $500.000. Then she said there all this pastors here in Fiji who are not allowed to travel overseas but we are the only ones flying everywhere, my husband has just came back from the UK last nite and is flying back to the UK tommorow. Who would ever dreamt of this? she said! It didn’t take long when Atu returned he was told by western embassies in Suva that his visa has been revoked due to his support for the military n its police force, also due to his brother Esala Papukeni Teleni being a major influence in his church leadership.Therefore he cannot travel to the following countries Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.S n the UK.. Funny enough now more pastors in Fiji can travel except Atu now who is stuck here.. A lesson to learn indeed!!!

  16. kaiveicoco Says:

    the name of the Pakistani General was Zia Ul Haq.There are many models which are available on the international front depending which way we want to follow,Cuba is one and also the tiny island state of Tuvalu.I like their cooperative and investment models and their trust fund is in Australian dollars.Perhaps it may best that some provinces in Fiji follow the Tuvaluian model.Singapore I trhink is the one FB is trying to follow.

  17. Budhau Says:

    Yes, Kaivecoco – I am very familiar of the Pakistanis – Zial-Ul-Haq, Aiyub Khan, Yahya Khan, Bhutto and the rest.
    What do you see in the Pakistani model – they have military dictatorship more than 90% of the time since independence and are on the verge of being a failed state – if it wasn’t for the US aid, they would have gone under.

    What we need to do is get back to a democracy similar to what we had, just fine tune the electoral system the way they have been talking about.
    Once we have a democratically elected government, we further fine tune the new constitution like we did with the 1990 constitution and got the 1997 constitution.

    I don’t see why we can all live together peacefully. If there is fear of the Indians, the Indian fertility rate is so low that it is below replacement – than means that even without any migration, the Indian numbers will continue to decline.
    So the problem is a Fijian problem, the conflict is a mainly Intra-Fijian conflict – which many in here refuse to recognize.

    First the enemy was Chaudary, now it seems to be Khaiyyun, John Sami or whoever is around. Shameem is now our new hero.

    All our coups were about Intra-Fijian power struggle – the Indians previously set on the sidelines, this time, because Chaudary decided to work with Frank, all of a sudden the Indians have become the enemy.

    The conflict within the Fijians is not going away anytime soon – and the more you go with the Matanitu type of a government, the more conflict you will have. We already see the provincialism raising its ugly head.

    What we need is a straight forward one-man-one-vote democracy. There is a need for affirmative action, it should be based on a means test and for a fixed period of time – like the blue print have it for 20 years, after we level the playing field that it – by 2030, the Indians numbers would be way down so you won’t have to worry about them.

    The land issue, very soon won’t be an issue – look at Macuata – 25% of the Indians from there are gone – and they ain’t coming back, even if you give them some land. So some day soon some of these guys have to start earning a living off the land the old fashion way – you work your own land.

    You also have to redefine the role of the chiefs – and I think they should stay out of politics, and so should the church.

    So the day this guys figure out that there is no bogeyman out there, that will be the day when they start dealing with the real problems.

  18. kaiveicoco Says:

    do you remember Colonel Viliame Seruvakula’s revelations a few years ago? about the military findings of the real causes of problems in Fiji?It seems that we have our own version of the Rothschilds bank in Fiji.People who use and ride on the wave of Fijian ethno nationalism and power as to disguise themselves.You can’t be so naive Budhau and stop blaming us Fijians for all these problems because our balme game will go on for eternity.

  19. kaiveicoco Says:

    while still on your one on one vote and tuning and retuning the constitution.We can tune and retune as many constiutions as you like to perfect it so we can go to mars or we can bark to go back to that one on one vote till the cows come home.The thing is since the abrogation of the 1970 constitution,Indians were asking for something similar to that 1970 cons, in the drafting of the 1997 constitution.In the end they got something far much better than the 1970 constitution.Yet your side Budhau was still unhappy with the 97 cons.The reality we all know is that no constitution or voting system no matter how perfect it is will ever work if our focus is so narrow

  20. Budhau Says:

    Keiveicoco – the Indian were initially a threat if we were to get a one-man-one-vote because back then they make up more than 50% of the population. That is not a problem now because as for now the Fijians are at about 60% of the population and the Indian numbers a declining fast.

    The problem with the Fijian leadership is that in a true democracy, the chiefs could lose their hold on political power – we will still have as many Fijians in power – it is just that the chiefs will lose their grip. That is the problem – the Indian is not the problem.

    I am not here to “blame” the Fijians – all I am saying is the majority Fijians got sucked into this “indigenous cause” crap with the 2000 and 1987 coups – both those coups were about power and money – nothing to do with the indigenous cause. It seem that the general Fijian population have realized that and that is why it seems that Qarase or the Methodist Church are having difficulties using the masses to rise against Frank – they won’t get suckered a third time.

    At the risk of over simplifying this – this is mainly a intra-Fijian and it has been going on since 1987 and the more the Indian numbers go down, the more the conflict between Fijians will intensify – unless the people figure out a peaceful way of accepting election results and the way to accept a change in government.

    BTW – you see my analysis – you should also try to put it similarly as to why it is the Indians who are the problem.

  21. Cama Says:

    The Fijians may be 60% of the population but it will be left to the Election boundaries Commission to determine the boundaries and who knows, if Fijians are minority in the Election Boundaries comissions Office as I think senior positions are now being held by Non indegenous would be an element doubt on the credibility of the boundaries being drawn out.

    I believe our electoral act and boundaries in the 1997 constituion is OK because we have balance of power from Open seats where there is one man one vote. The FLP won the First election on the same electoral Act and the SDL won the second and the last under the same act.

  22. Budhau Says:

    Cama, if someone starts playing around with the boundaries to favor one group over another, in a small place like Fiji things would be very obvious. What we are trying to get at is that the people should be willing to accept the results of an election – so messing around with boundaries etc would be counter productive.

    As for you not trusting people of other races, I think that is your problem.
    With Fijians making up 60% of the population, you would expect that about 40% of the jobs/positions will go to people of other races.
    To say that you do not trust the non-indigenous has been the root cause of this problem that we have today. You would refuse that accept the election of a non-indigenous PM, because you can’t trust him/her. You will refuse to have a political party in power, in which some non-indigenous “were the power behind” the indigenous leaders of that party.

    So you see where we have a problem.

    Now – let me give you an example of boundaries, and one man-one-vote and some discrepancies.

    The Namosi Fijian Provincial seat in parliament – there are less than 4000 voters in that constituency. In the Nadroga/Navosa Fijian constituency there are about 20,000 voters and they also get only one seat.
    If their votes have to have the same value, then the Nadorga folks need to get more seats in parliament. Race has nothing to do with this.
    So these are the places where there needs to be some changes.

  23. fijianBlack Says:

    I agree with Budhau, that if there was true democracy, the Fijian Chiefs would lose power, as people will ascend on merit, and not by virtue of birth.

    However, most of our chiefs are not intersted in politics…and the turaga vakasenitoa ones who are backing this regime. The Epeli’s and one nawalowalo spring to mind.

  24. timoci d Says:

    Budhau -> this is a lie : “I don’t see why we can all live together peacefully. If there is fear of the Indians, the Indian fertility rate is so low that it is below replacement – than means that even without any migration, the Indian numbers will continue to decline.”

    Without emigration, the indian population would be increasing. Check your records, it’s false.

    kaiveicoco -> Pakistan is your model…hmmm look at their total population. You will see why the people of the subcontinent are struggling so much. Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are altogether are more populated than China and they are still making hundred of millions of babies. That’s why those country are so poor. Look at their GDP in purchase power parity since 1970…shocking. No demographic stability means poverty and chaos. That is probably Fiji’s history up to a certain point. Look at the nationalist’s crap in Fiji… the only thing they forgot to said is that Fijians too were unable to control their fertility rate, not only Indians.

  25. Kaiveikau Says:

    I think Bainimarama too isa sucker!!! Why didn’t he sack Iloilo in the first place and abrogate the constitution.

    He had poor legal advise – in Khaiyum, who thinks they still can get away from the courts even if they don’t abrogate. Everyone knows what the courts finally decided.

    So we had to wait three years just to abrogate the constitution, because they refuse to admit they’re cocks, but like to think they’re pussys.

    Budhau is saying some good points, like we have to learn to accept results of elections. That I see is the main problem with Fiji. All the coups (including 2006) were a result of non-acceptance of election results. Frank and Chaudhary are culprits just as much as Speight and Rabuka.

    The problem we have now is because Frank s a copy-cat! We all have to pay now because Frank chose the path of Rabuka and Speight. Two wrongs never make a right!!!!

  26. Kaiveikau Says:

    If the constitution had been abrogated in 2006, we would have had a new constitution by now. It took them 3 years to do that, so we’ll have tro wait another 3 years (similar to 1987, when they had a new onstitution in 1990) to have a new one.

    Back then we have the law-making prowess of Ratu Mara. With the current bunch of legal-eagles wannabes, we may not as well get until 4 years.

    So what is the baby steps (at least) they’re taking towards this roadmap of progress. Or, has it been drawn up already? IF IT IS, THEN WHAT ARE WE STILL WAITING FOR?

    Are we waiting for Nadi to be under the sea, or for the world to end? My opinion is an effort to exterminate the rat, they burned the whole house. Foolish, isn’t it?

  27. Nostradamus Says:

    In the US, Rhode Island has two senators and California has two senators. It is called states rights.
    If you allocate by indigenous vs non-indigenous, it is indigenous rights.
    Are you saying group rights should have no bearing? If so, Namosi will have no bearing, and a few years from now, Fijians will have no bearing.
    The breakdown by ethicity benefits minorities. It may have started to benefit Fijians, now it in fact benefits Indians because as they flee the country, the remaining ones still have the same allocation.

    Budda, what is the meaning of politics?
    Do you include a military takeover with guns part of politics?
    I think you have your head up your ass.

  28. Kaiveikau Says:

    When we see it, it is more than meets the eye! All in blind support of cause…Or something as a veil to cover the real truth behind he main reson or purpose behind the takeover.

    In all three coups (including the mutiny, which is part of the primary reson for coup#4), there is one common denominator – ‘the old man’ Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. He has held on to power for too long that it has become more like too hard for him to let go. This led to the 1987 coups.

    He then instigated many renegde Fijian parties (breakaway from the mainstream SVTParty), such as the Fijian Asociation Party (Finau Mara) and VLV (Koila Mara Nailatikau) to dilute Fijian unity and cause division amongst the Fijian so that he keeps the power monopoly amid the dissension. It’s true indeed that ‘he was seduced by the honey of power’.

  29. Kaiveikau Says:

    I could go on and on about how he was ambitious to become the President , the Republic and all that. Once he got the Presidency, he never wanted to let go, which is why the 1997 Constitution had so many clause in it that quite stringent restrictions on the challenging of the position. Even Chaudhary’s FLP government triedti remove some of those clauses.

    He was delt a blow during the height of the 2000 coup, when rebels stormed Government House and he fled in a navy ship. Isikia Savua and Frank Bainimarama were part of a delegate that visited Ratu Mara aboard the naval boat, which was still berthed in Suvar Harbour. They went to beg Mara to resign the Presidency, because it was hard (or maybe he was scared because he has never tasted a war situation) for Bainimarama to confront the rebels at Parliament. Ratu Mara refused at first, and asked Frank who was the higher ranking commander of the Fiji Army – since he is the Commander in Chief (He had earlier ordered that the RFMF sorm Parliament).

    Ratu Mara then agreed to step down, but on one condition; that those responsible pay for it. That he (Mara) hopes to return as President when all is settled. (Frank’s proposition back then could be seen as the real coup of 2000 – when the actul executive powers of the State has veen compromised.

    Frank made up for it by reneging on the agreement signed at the Muanikau Accord. We all know that the mutiny born out of that false promise (or Bau Politics). In November the mutiny ensued, where Frank crawled in the shrubs at Delainabua. He even admitted in public this year (during Infantry Day remeberance) that that their survival was not in vain, and that it was one of the main reasons behind coup2006.

    How fancy-worded it may be, the obvious is that 2006 is just a revenge for 2000. So they rejected Qarase’e RTU Bill, then they sought reconcilliation and immunity later. If we revenge is our vengeance, then we can never expect to be forgiven.

  30. Budhau Says:

    Nostra, I think you are mixed up here.
    Yes Rhode Island has two senators and so does California, however, how many representatives does Rhode Island have as compared to California in the House of Representative.

    That is what I was talking about – the seats in the House of Representative and the Senate.

    As for you indigenous vs non-indigenous remark. I was not discussing that. I was comparing the existing two Fijian seats – to point out an existing problem.

    As for Fijians having no bearing, you explanation hold no water. The Fijians would be almost two thirds of the population and their numbers are going up, no one is talking about the break down by ethnicity – I was just giving you an example of Nadroga/Navosa and Namosi – where one constituency has only 4000 voters and one has 20,000 voters and they both have one seat each. Therefore, in future, when they draw up those boundaries, numbers mush be taken into account – that is all, race has nothing to do with anything here.

    You argument about the existing electoral system benefiting the Indians as there numbers decline, I totally agree with you. That is why a change in the electoral system would benefit the Fijians. That is why a one-man-one-vote would benefit the Fijians.

    As for the military coup and guns being part of politics, I have stated in here time and time again, I am opposed to that. I was opposed to all coup since 1987.

    As for who has his head up his ass – once you get the California and Rhode Island number for the US House of Representative, as opposed to the senate, please let me know. And the seats that I was discussing were Fiji House of Representative seat as opposed to the Senate.

  31. kaiveicoco Says:

    Budhau, can you answer the last question by Nostradamus what is your definition of politics?
    Your answer that and I will give you my definition of politics.After that we then put in perspective the Fijian intra politics you are talking about.

  32. Budhau Says:

    I was talking about Intra-Fijian Conflict. That is, all these could coups are about power grab by one Fijian group or another.

    In 1987, Rabuka was Ratu Penaia’s boy’s, he later claimed that Ratu Mara was also in on the deal – so when Rabuka pulled the coup, that was to restore the easter bloc, Lau/Cakaudrove people back into power after thet had lost an election – the “indigenous cause” crap was just a front.

    It is true that some Fijians were pissed off with the election result and we saw the Taukie movement destabilization, but that had almost died down when the Rabuka coup occurred.

    The 2000 coup, Speight was the front man for another group of Fijians – I am sure you who they are. That coup failed when the military and Frank did not throw its support behind the coup – the reason for not doing that also has to do with Intra-Fijian conflict. Frank went ahead and pulled his own coup back then with the abrogation of the constitution – that was not needed also – he could have just reinstalled the democratically elected government.

    Then the was the mutiny at Nabua, the continuation of the 2000 coup, replace Frank and the government as per the original 2000 coup plans. That failed.

    The Eastern bloc folks thought that they had a chance in 2006 election, maybe a coalition with FLP – that did not work out, so they supported another coup.

    So you see, what I mean when I say this is mostly about an Intra-Fijian conflict.

    How did the Indians get into the picture this time – when they seem to have set on the sidelines in both 1987 and 2000. During the last election, Chaudary probably had some kind of a deal with the New alliance people – so when this came about, and the New Alliance was with Frank, Chaudary also came in, with the same reasoning that Mara gave when he came in to “help” during the previous coup.

    So you see, why there is no bogeyman (Indian) , the the fight is all between the Fijians.

    So why bring in the Indians in to fight – Qarase and his people will do this to keep the Fijians united in the face of a common enemy, the Indian. And since Fijians make up about 60% of the population, whoever keeps them united wins the next election. Thus, it is very important to keep this Indian as the enemy theme alive. Folks on the other think that the Fijians, after being used twice before, have figured this out, and probably that is one reason why they have hit the streets in support of Qarase – the people they don’t have a dog in this fight – the fight is between the rival power houses.

  33. Budhau Says:

    Sorry guy, I can get thru with the full post – lets see if this works.

  34. Ratu Viti Says:

    The Police Force has forgotten their motto! “Salus Populi” – The Safety of the People is the highest Law! People are only safe if you take Law-Breakers off the Streets. Sa kua mada na Lotu vakarairai!

  35. Nostradamus Says:

    House of Representatives is based on population, the senate on states. In Fiji, with another important grouping, it important that those cultural groups have repesentation even as their population dwindles, because many of the interests expressed by alternative cultures are different. In the case of Namosi or Rotuma, they always must have their own representative (at least one).

  36. Budhau Says:

    I knew that, that is why I pointed that put to – like the US senate, the Fijian senate has provision for the GCC to appoint provincial representatives to the Senate.

    The thing is that in my initial post, I was talking about the the House of representative, and you thought you were really smart with your example of Rhode Island and California.

    The representation of the provinces are guaranteed by the GCC nominees in the senate who hold the balance of power.

    Once again Nostra, you are either stupid or trying to confuse people.
    No one taking the Namosi seat away. But if we are going to have one-man-one-vote, and most of the votes being equal, if Namosi with 4000 voters have one seat, than Nadroga Navosa with 16,000 voters should get four seats. Isn’t that how your your Rhode Island and California example would work.

    By the way, It was you who brought up the US example in here, probably hoping that now one will catch you.

  37. Who am I? Says:

    Hooray! Way to Go Nostradamus!

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