A Response to Dr Michael O'Keefe

Dr Michael 0'Keefe of La Trobe University has come out of the woodwork rather too late for anything commendable to be said of him. Stating the obvious is not necessarily smart. He fails to gauge with accuracy the situation on the ground in Fiji. People have died in Fiji and out of Fiji due to Australia's misguided policy towards Fijians. No one who has a health condition in Fiji will thank Australia or New Zealand for their dilemma or their imposed choice. Instead, a number of people known personally to me have died for a lack of prompt assistance and no obvious alternative. Hot footing it to India is hardly a helpful choice if one is dying of Cancer of the Colon? The experience of the past ten years in Fiji under the tutelage (is that what it is???) of Australia's Foreign Policy is so revealing that we do not require Australian-based academics to add to our understanding of what has signally failed: Australian politicians and their Think Tanks of whatever political persuasion.

There is absolutely no point in trying to pick up the pieces now of your ridiculous and compromised foreign policy. The inadequately trained diplomats sent to the Islands of the South Pacific over too many years have made you more than a laughing stock: Pariah of the Pacific might be more appropriate. You think that is extreme? Then look at the consequences of your actions on the ground. No amount of sugared pills in Aid will ever erase those or bring back all those who died unnecessarily and are dying in Fiji and adjacent islands now.   --- Daucina Dina.   [For other responses, see 'Comments'. -- Ed.]


Alter ego said…
What an ignorant response.

The only people to whom Australia and New Zealand are not open for general travel are a select group of junta members and appointees ... and both Australia and NZ say they will consider humanitarian cases.

For everyone else, travel to AU and NZ is as normal, including medical evacuations.
Divide and Rule said…
Poor attempts to divide and rule those against the military junta have failed. It is time to move beyond poorly designed group think so called stategies if the regime is to gain back any credibility and move Fiji forward. The current leadership in Fiji has suffered huge embarrassment and humiliation this week. Either they need to face up to the situation and urgently fix it, or move out and let someone else move Fiji forward.
Anonymous said…
Talking Deceased Persons.

Small matter of the fate of the unfortunate CRW prisoners?
Much as the regime may have hoped -this is something that hasn't been forgotten or overlooked in certain other quarters.
Croz said…
@ Alter Ego ... I rarely speak of facts but in this case I know for a fact that what you write is just not true. The bans extend far wider than you say, and the humanitarian relief is not always so humanely administered. I'll post something on this on Monday. Croz
Cornileus said…
Daucina Dina is right. Oz & NZ have been pathetic nanny goats pushing a nanny state theme that hasn't worked.

Alto Ego - have you seen the 5 (7?) page supplement to the NZ visa application that only Fiji-born citizens are expected to fill? It's an insult and and as a Kiwi, I'm disgusted by it, and disgusted that the uninformed and misinformed ordinary Kiwi bloke has allowed it to continue. If the ordinary Kiwi bloke had access to a few facts, and acted on them, there would be a radical chnage in NZ's policy towards Fiji. However, while you have a lying, manipulative media ruling the roost, it will never happen and the same old tired response to Fiji's woes will doddle on.
Anonymous said…
Well Cros if you want more consideration from Au then throwing out another diplomat is not a great way of going about it.

I often think Fiji like to have someone to blame for its ills and lack of progress. Au is that someone at the moment. Who would they blame if Au actually lifts travel bans.

Frank needs to grow up and get moving. There are many people giving him the benefit of the doubt but there is so so so much doubt 3.5 years later.

Anonymous said…
Talking Deceased People.

You aware warrants are prepared for Bainimarama's immediate arrest in overseas jurisdictions?
Son of Fiji said…
@ Alter ego...

There is absolutely NOTHING normal about travel to AU and NZ for people of the South Pacific in general. And I'm talking about Pre-coup requirements here.
These requirements are both discriminatory and degrading. These nations are supposed to be our brothers. They certainly do not, and have not behaved that way.

God Bless Fiji.
Cicero said…
@ Lui Muri, Cornelius, Alter ego and others:

No one ever suggested that Fiji and Fijians bore no responsibility for our woes: that would be asinine. However, 'Salus populi suprema lex est' (the motto of the Fiji Police) should have indicated how awry things went. As soon as terror was allowed to creep through inadequately punished and impunity set in, with it came The Rot. We know The Rot when we see it. We can smell it. But having to bed down with The Rot in elections was one step too far. Cicero well knew what he was about. He spent years in exile as a result. There is anothing Latin motto:

"FIAT JUSTITIA, RUAT COELUM". 'Let Justice be done, though the heavens fall in' (1602). Not much to do with democracy at that time in history. But justice will be done and it must be seen to be done.

On whom do the heavens fall? They fall on us all - there's the rub! Notwithstanding mistaken foreign policy, the damage will descend on the just and on the unjust: unquestionably.
Proud Fijian said…
@ Cicero

I could smell the rot in the Police force in the coup of 2000 with Savua allowing things to occur as they were during the riot.

Though smell is quite figurative and the stench couldn't be quantified - the stench was remarkably less on my recent visit to Fiji in January.

In fact the scent of frangipani and the hibiscus were much much sweeter.
Anonymous said…
The 'Ministerail' posted on Coup point Four and appearing to emanate from the ANU (where else?) is quite mistaken about the Fijians' view of a meeting within Fiji. Such a meeting is desirable, necessary and we are all fools if we think that our own best interests will not be served by it. Does bowing down to terrorism, allowing the NZ Law Society to question the impartiality and independence of our judiciary serve our best interest? If members of the judiciary are found to have fallen short, they must be removed. Some of them regrettably have done so. Have we ever seen a 'rotten judge or magistrate' hear a case? Why is the NZ Law Society so tardy in its conspicuous interest ONLY NOW concerning our access to a justice system free of taint? Could their interest be driven by political motives?

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