Suspension sends harsh message to Fiji

Fiji’s suspension from the Commonwealth sends a harsh message to the military regime that refusal to hold prompt elections is totally unacceptable, regional experts say.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth midnight Tuesday after failing to meet conditions, including resuming a dialogue with opposition groups and holding 2010 elections.

The country’s self-appointed prime minister Frank Bainimarama, who staged a coup in December 2006 to oust the last elected government, has set elections for September 2014.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said suspension was a move taken “in sorrow” but the regime, in failing to meet the conditions, had left the Commonwealth no choice.

Brij Lal, a specialist on Fiji politics at Australian National University, said the move sent a clear message of global opposition to Fiji’s political situation.

“It has a huge symbolic significance as it says in no uncertain terms that what the regime is doing is totally unacceptable to the international community,” said Lal, who is from Suva.

“Frank Bainimarama will try to play it down by saying it doesn’t mean anything but it’s undeniable that it does.”

There are practical implications from the suspension, the most significant of which is exclusion from next year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Steven Ratuva, an academic in Pacific studies at the University of Auckland, said the exclusion was unfortunate as it would penalise the people, not the government.

“Fiji is a proud sporting nation and these athletes will already be in the midst of training. This will be a terrible dampener on morale,” Ratuva said.

Full suspension also means Fiji representatives will be excluded from all inter-governmental Commonwealth meetings, and the island will receive no scholarships or technical assistance from its fellow Commonwealth countries, unless it is linked to the establishment of democracy.

Suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the halting of aid from the European Union both had a greater impact on the nation.

Fiji has been offered a last life line, a meeting with the Commonwealth’s special representative to the country, Paul Reeves, when he visits Fiji on September 9.

But comments from Bainimarama on Tuesday suggest he has no intention of swaying from elections in five years time as part of his “roadmap for change”.

“The Fiji government believes the roadmap is the only path to ensuring sustainable and true democracy, which includes … to have elections in 2014,” Bainimarama told a Fijian commercial radio station.

Prof Lal said that without flexibility from the regime, next week’s talks were “destined to be, very sadly, a stillborn exercise”.

This is the third Commonwealth ousting for Fiji, which was suspended in 2000 and expelled in 1987 for ten years.

32 Responses to “Suspension sends harsh message to Fiji”

  1. balluk Says:

    Its no use talking to this piece of shit Bainisona since his brain is all screwed up, from drinking homebrews under the maqo tree, back home in Kiuva.The Commonwealth really need to send over a peace Keeping Force to tell this AzzOle to hang himself and hand back the Government to the people of Fiji? Was that too hard to understand? Bainisona, knows that the day he gives in to our democratic wishes is the day his ass is going to Naboro! He’ll cheat, lie and steal to stay in power. I say send over a commonwealth peace keeping forces and kicked this AzzOle out of Fiji?

  2. Tui Says:

    The suspension is a big blow to Bainimarama’s ego and also to the coup supporters like the 2 Epeli’s.As the people of Fiji suffer, they will try to erase the blow by saying exactly as they are saying now, that suspension is a price for the change they want.The non participation of Fiji in the Commonwealth games will be another area they will face opposition from.Ganilau is pleased because this way he will be VB’s deputy for as long as Fiji is out of the Commonwealth. He would not have gotton to where he is in a pproper decnt way but only in the dirtiestest like the coup.The Roadmap that they are saying is a lead on to total authoritorian and Fiji will be in troble because of it.Bainimarama does not know nor does he understand what it is he is doing and the people of Fiji are suffering.

  3. Cama Says:

    Vidhya Lakhan says that the Commonwealth Secretariat do not have the right to block Fiji from the commonwealth games.
    How can Fiji attend the commonwealth games if it is not a member? Fiji is not a member now because of the suspension.
    You must be dreaming Vidhya.

  4. Cama Says:

    The roadmap for change is actually a strangle hold on democracy because they are shoving them down our throat through the barrel of the gun.
    The Charter was not transparent when it was conducted as the army and the Police are the ones who had been going around trying to convince people and make them sign.
    The proper way is through secret ballot but they were afraid that it would be disaster for them.

  5. Cama Says:

    The IG’s motto is “Hook or by crook”

  6. LUVfiji Says:

    I think, it can be said that, Fiji remains a member country of the Commonwealth. Our suspension though, affects technical assistance only. It is not an expulsion of membership. And it is indeed right that ComSec does not have the powers to block Fiji from participation at the Commonwealth Games. That decision rests ONLY with Commonwealth Leaders. Not even CMAG could make that decision at its meeting earlier in the year.

    Thats the prerogative of member status each country holds.

    Vidya Lakhan is correct. There are no sports sanctions (yet) by the Commonwealth.

  7. Suliasi Daunitutu Says:

    The problem I see with Bainimarama, besides his inability to listen to qualified advise, is his blatant disrespect for figures, numbers, statistics ratios, numerical gauges that tell him things.

    The CMAG had given him a deadline of September 1st, he wrote a letter two days before that to the Commonwelth Secretary General to inform him of his intent to comply with Commonweath rules and regulations, he lied.

    To him the deadline of the 1st sept. did not mean a thing, just like the other figures that were served up to him as warnings and measuring instruments, telling him that the economy is in need of help. He even sacked our best economist in Mr. Narube, all because he gave him figures that were pleading for support.

    Then he gave his worst indication, that he doesn’t understand figures when he corrected a reporter about our foreign reserve figures, proudly halving the numbers for the world to hear.

    All forms of figures and numbers around him are telling him that all is not as he is saying, but he defies logic in the way he, sometimes sarcastically, gives a reason for them, only to find out later that, the reason did not carry weight.

    We all remember the numbers 55, yes they had a reason behind them, only to be replaced with, “except if you are re-hired as cosultants or if you have needed qualificaions”

    What about numbers that made the population cringe a few weeks ago, the upward hike of busfares/taxifares and electricity rates ? I won’t tell you the reason to that because there is none forthcoming from the Regime to justify them, except the truth, they need money to supplement FNPF.

    Now, there is also the MDG figures, that is set by countries worldwide for reduction of poverty by certain percentage before 2020, I don’t think he knows Fiji is part of that exercise, and at last count 40% the total population is living in those very conditions.

    The only figure he carries around with him and his co-conspirators are 2 0 1 4. They will not give legitimate reasons for those figures except that that is when they think it is the right time.

    An American reporter was quoted to have said, “I dont know why he (Voreqe) needs all that time to draw up a Constitution, we did not need all that time, and we were a bigger Nation”

    He has a problem answering dichotomous questions, (questions that have only two answers,eg YES-NO, or MALE FEMALE) the chances bigger figures have to be understood by him is practically zero.

  8. Suliasi Daunitutu Says:

    The problem I see with Bainimarama, besides his inability to listen to qualified advise, is his blatant disrespect for figures, numbers, statistics ratios, numerical gauges that tell him proper information to act on.

    The CMAG had given him a deadline of September 1st, he wrote a letter two weeks before that, to the Commonwelth Secretary General to inform him of his intent to comply with Commonweath rules and regulations, he lied.

    To him the deadline of the 1st sept. did not mean a thing, just like the other figures that were served up to him as warnings and measuring instruments, telling him that the economy is in need of help. He even sacked our best economist in Mr. Narube, all because he gave him figures that were pleading for support.

    Then he gave his worst indication, that he doesn’t understand figures when he corrected a reporter about our foreign reserve figures, proudly halving the numbers in front of the reporter, for the world to hear.

    All forms of figures and numbers around him are telling him that all is not as he is saying, but he defies logic in the way he, sometimes sarcastically, gives a reason for them, only to find out later that, the reason did not carry weight.

    We all remember the numbers 55, yes they had a reason behind them, only to be replaced with, “except if you are re-hired as cosultants or if you have needed qualificaions”

    What about numbers that made the population cringe a few weeks ago, the upward hike of busfares/taxifares and electricity rates ? I won’t tell you the reason to that, because there is none forthcoming from the Regime to justify them, except the truth, they need money to supplement FNPF.

    Now, there is also the MDG figures, that is set by countries worldwide for reduction of poverty by certain percentage before 2020, I don’t think he knows Fiji is part of that exercise, and at last count 40% the total population is living in those very conditions.

    The only figure he carries around with him and his co-conspirators are 2 0 1 4. They will not give legitimate reasons for those figures except that that is when they think “the time is right”

    An American reporter was quoted to have said, “I dont know why he (Voreqe) needs all that time to draw up a Constitution, we did not need all that time, and we were a bigger Nation”

    He has a problem answering dichotomous questions, (questions that have only two answers,eg YES-NO, or MALE FEMALE) the chances bigger figures have to be understood by him is practically zero.

  9. Jone Says:

    Participants in this dictatorship Fiji can make anything their little hearts desires what with the guns propped to achieve their roadmap ONLY problem is their refusal to stand down from taxpayers’ monies buying their bread and butter SO they linger until the people’s coffers are bare.

    The Commonwealth’s revelation is long overdue. The regime’s Expulsion is also in the horizon since Bainimarama’s gangsters are writing the book on this one too.

    Congratulations to the Commonwealth countries and thank you for helping Fiji toss pie in “their” faces ABOUT TIME🙂

  10. Jean d'Ark Says:

    The main subtext of the Commonwealth suspension is the same as that of the SP Forum suspension ie:-

    “We’ve heard your story, we’ve observed your conduct, and basically we don’t believe you!”

    So pretty much the same conclusion as the majority in Fiji. So since most everyone (except Cros Walsh) has seen through the Regime’s lies, I wonder what is the point of continuing the propaganda war?

    C’mon LF – fess up! Why are you guys still even bothering?

    It’s not as if people, having discovered that you guys are lying, are then going to somehow magically “undiscover” it again tomorrow!

    Time to just admit that you are unadulterated dictators, and just get on with the business of failing to achieve anything out of your coup!

  11. TRUE-KAIVITI Says:

    Just need to share something to this illegal wannabe gorvenment….They are just a bunch of “SPECIALISING”….
    where they say:
    “They know more about LESS,until finally they know EVERYTHING about NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Anonymous. Says:

    Don’t know about failing to achieve anything?
    Sections seem to have done OK personally – acumalated (stolen) considerable sums of public money – ruined Fiji’s international image – turned it into a pariah state – mismanaged the both the economy & the sugar industry to such an extent it may take years to recover – if ever?
    And to top it off their now of the verge of incarserating Ro Teimumu.
    Quite an achievement…Imagine what they could have done had they had Fiji’s best interests at heart?

  13. Anonymous. Says:

    Frank’s Firefighting Logic.

    Word about is that vainglorious Sir Moti Tikaram hot tip for poisioned chalice post as president – quick bring more gasoline!

  14. LUVfiji Says:

    hye Jd’A.. there you are!

    howdy, howdy to you. Whatever you say.. ! Funny how the subconscious mind works.

    The Commonwealth has kicked us in the ass.. and so did PIF. The EU with its back.. Fiji $ugar turning sour and Pe still awaiting boarding ticket. That canefarm kid, Parmess, trying to play the big boys’ game taking on MPC – mess at the mills in the process. The UN aint taking no more Fijian peacekeepers than they already have – we just may need them back home in the pretty soon future. And here’s Jd’A still picking on me, aye! Fiji’s souring international relations trickling down to SV famili.

    What the heck.. blog on ragone!

    Tikaramram for pressie? Nah!

    Be damned with the regime!! …oh, gimme some sleep!

  15. Beranaliva Says:

    Well, this hasn’t come as a surprise. Steven Ratuva is spot on by pointing out that the people are the victims. I have always feared since last year these events were inevitable considering Voreqe will use all his powers not to lose face. He will keep trying to prove he is right. He has tested the international bodies and this is the consequences. He is basically thinking ahead and realise the embarassment and failure he cannot afford to lose. As a fijian, he will always try to impress but will lack the strategies of coping with the problems associated with it. Yes, it is ego. Yes it is power. But above all it is about keeping a straight face, using and exhausting every avenues thinking he is right.
    He is thinking right now what choice does he have following the exclusions? Unfortunately, he will declare himself President then Fiji will be a under full blown dictatorship. Think Uganda, Zimbabwe as egs.
    The people will suffer. In fact people already suffering. And we can all talk and talk about the sufferings. Or maybe we wait until we start begging for Aids (charities). THATS NOT FIJI. It will happen unless democracy takes over.
    Under dictorship, we are basically slaves. What do we do about it? Ok, there is fear amongst people. We have to be strong and proactive. We have got international sanctions and support will come if we do something. Hopefully our intolerrance will get the better of us.
    So, only god will guide us to the truth and righteousness and help us do what is right for the future of the people of fiji.
    GOD HELP FIJI>
    Power to the People!

  16. balluk Says:

    Bera, I like your observations and hopefully something will materialize out of this mess, so the people of Fiji can come together and unite and entertained the kind of intelligence that is necessary,not only for Australia and New Zealand to know, that they have failed US but for the whole western democracy to realized that they too, have failed this so-called democracy?However, good to know that most dictators are either dies of a violent death or become a refugee in foreign lands?Will Bai and gangs accept assylum, if offered, in a foreign land?Would Fijians in the Military,Navy and Police forces, be willing to scarifice themselves and die for Bai? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see?

  17. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    The first person who should be concerned about “the people of Fiji” is Bainimarama NOT the international communities and if Bai cared for the people he would lay down the guns remove himself from civilian affairs and return to barracks. Onus is Frank’s NOT Australia, NZ, PIF, Commonwealth nations, EU, UN, USA. And why should they. Are they getting paid to care for Fiji’s gangsters? Fiji’s people are just fine; Kick out the IG. Afterall it is they who long for respect and recognition and they ought not get it. Nevermind the games in New Delhi the people don’t care about that either. If anyone did care about it then they would stand up to Bainimarama. It hasn’t happened becuase the people of Fiji accept everything that is thrown their way. So do apply 100 percent embargo and keep the IG isolated./ The IG would mind very much but the people don’t care.

  18. Anonymous. Says:

    @ balluk.
    Nobody has failed you (US Fiji) – a change of goverment is urgently required – agreed – but current consensus is that given prevailing conditions – change must come from within not without – military intevention – asking other nations to sacrifice their citizens for your – even if they be shared beliefs – is a big call). ANZUS has done & will continue to do all it can – rest is up to people such as youselves.

  19. Anonymous. Says:

    Another revealing insight into one end of the discredited Ratu’s bookends.

    Failed Tui Caucau Gainlau has told the French news agency that Fiji’s suspension was ‘ a necssary sacifice that must be made’.

    Not by him & others like him of course.

  20. LUVfiji Says:

    ‘a necessary sacrifice’ by the PEOPLE to afford him food on the table and pretty salwakameez with matching slip-ons for herrr? Brrrr! Go to hell!

    damn the man!

  21. Budhau Says:

    Blog on ragone.
    Any change in Fiji will done by the Commonwealth, the UN, the Forum, ANZ, EU and the rest.

    I am sure the Methodist leadership, the SDL, the FLS and the NFP had all joined in this bloging thigie.

    As for any change from within – I say Blog one ragone – that is all we have to do.

  22. Anonymous. Says:

    @ Budhau.

    & offer support for those at the coal face such as Graham Leung & Ratu Joni – what say you?

  23. Budhau Says:

    Haven’t Graham Leung and Ratu Joni joined some blog site by now – like everyone else on the other side. If they haven’t, they should also be doing the right thing and start blogging – I better go check who all are there posting stuff on Raw Fiji crap.

    Why can’t you buggers get it – that this regime will not be brought down by some sanctions and pressure from ANZ, the UN, the EU, Commonwealth, the Forum and rest. And just because you folks post some mean stuff about the regime in here – that does not mean you have done your share.

    You want to figure know how how to stand up to a military dictator who has just pulled a coup – go see what those guys did after 1987 and 2000.

    To bring down this regime, a whole bunch of you buggers have to put your asses on the line – it ain’t gonna be done by posting some anonymous messages.

    You need grassroots organization – you need the trade uinions, the farmers unions, the merchant groups, the big industries organization like the Hotel Owners Association on your side. You religious groups other than the Methodist Church on you side. For that to happen, you need so good committed leadership – not this idiots who have their own agenda and a lot of baggage.

    ….look at the sorry arse leadership that we have – there is Qarase and his lot – who are more interested in getting some paid positions back, then there is the loser NFP crowed who think that Chaudary is their center of universe – guys like Pramod Rae and that Attar Singh, whom Qarase put in there as head of the Democracy movement, than there is your Dor Sami Naidu guy, president of the FLS – those lawyers should have known better than to elect a former president of the NFP as the head of Fiji Law society – politicizing the FLS especially at a time like this – A politically neutral Law Society would look much more credible making a stand against this regime….and than there is you Methodist Church group – these buggers were behind every coup we have ever had in Fiji except this last one, and now they are our savior – they are the ones who will help us get back democracy? Oh and we should not forget folks like Tui Savu, Victor Lal and the like – complete fricken mediocrity.

    When are you guys going to realize that those folks mentioned above ain’t gonna give you your democracy back – you better start looking some place else for people who should be fighting for democracy – and a good place to look is the mirror.

    The point here is not that the above mentioned folks are a bunch of losers – whats funny is that you buggers seemed to have accepted that these are the people who will get you your democracy back.

    GOOD LUCK –

    BTW – why don’t we just talk about the price of gas, or weather and such stuff in here rather than this crap that somehow we are here fighting for democracy and making a difference.

  24. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    We matter a great deal

    proven by the amount of time you spend following us.

  25. Anonymous. Says:

    @ Talei Tabusoro.

    Show some sympathy towards Budhau? Must be tough going thru
    life identified as a ‘stateless Indian’.

  26. Budhau Says:

    “Stateless Indian” – my arse.
    BTW – If I was a Indian, I would very proud of being one.
    And on the subject of Indian – why don’t you learn from them Indian about fighting for freedom – that Indian guy when arrested did not get bail, and then show up in court with attorney. That Lady Moomoo should have told Frank that she did not recognize his authority, and neither did she recognized the authority of the “illegally” appointed President – that Ratu Maididlo, or the courts. And by keeping that position, she should herself have kept her ass in jail and see what these guys can do – now that is how you put up fight. But no, 48 hours in jail and she cuts and runs with the bail – you think these are the kind of folks that will fight for you freedom.

  27. Anonymous. Says:

    @ Budhau.
    Well their you go – must be that reincarnation thing – Indian deities in their infinite wisdom dumped you in the middle of the South Pacific (Ba).
    You are merely a predator spawned by a predatory culture.
    Viti is not your Vanua – & never will be.
    Go visit Samoa – see what Viti would have been without you?

  28. Budhau Says:

    I see that I got someone really pissed off. “Viti ain’t my vanua” – you can shove your viti and the vanua up your arse.

    All I know is that every citizen of Fiji has the same rights as the next guy – or that is how it should be. That viti/vanua talk you go do that at the next GCC meeting, under the mango tree with the homebrew.

    That reincarnation thingie – at least I can write this off as “one of those lives”, but you bastard – your arse is grass, you don’t get a second chance – the country had been phucked up since 1987, how much more you gotta live.

    BTW – that Ba thingie, wrong – it is Nadi – and now I am looking for some good deal at Denarau, you get good servants and aslo very close to that temple.

    Indian people – very bad.

  29. Anonymous. Says:

    @ Budhau.
    You really are as shallow as you appear – opinions on everything – belief in nothing – you’ll keep…

  30. Budhau Says:

    Yeap, the stupid Indo – right. BTW – why should I go look at Samoa – when I have already visited NZ and Australia and have seen what things could be.

    You SOB, you want to start that racist crap – you wanna play hardball, I will turn around and kick you right in the nuts first, and then go do the surya namaskar.

  31. Anonymous. Says:

    @ Budhau.

    Forget Viti – go die somewhere else…

  32. siupal Says:

    Anon, you’re right good thing he won’t be back and he’ll surely die and be buried elsewhere? Never bring back his carcases to our beautiful paradise!!!!!!!!!!!!

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