Yabaki, Citizenship, Police, Ethical Journalism, Call to Youths

Inspired from Above
GOD BLESS AKUILA YABAKI. "Akuila the Great" left this comment on the article From Paramountcy to Equality: Constitutionalism that we published in Weekend Reading.

"God Bless Akuila Yabaki. This guy is a national treasure. Reading all this reminds me that for all his opposition to aspects of the regime, he and Frank aren't too far apart on the big issues. Indeed, some of this looks like a government manifesto, or at least a manifesto the government could have produced were it as sensible as the good Reverend.

"It's immediately clear from Yabaki's comprehensive tour of the horizon that none of the national problems he identifies could have been resolved under an indigenous supremacist government like the SDL. Ergo, something had to break the cycle and that something is arguably Frank Bainimarama if our "democratic" institutions weren't capable of reform. So if you take that premise as a starting point, a lot of these ideas start to make sense, even if the devil is in the detail, as it always is. Why Yabaki and the CCF haven't been dragged into the heart of the reform process is beyond me. Frank ought to be embracing the CCF, not treating it with suspicion. If he and Yabaki could sit down with the likes of John Prasad and come up with something everyone could agree on, it would be no bad thing.

"Even if some compromises had to be reached, Fiji could then present the world with a blueprint that carries a legitimacy and credibility that the current "roadmap" sorely lacks. Yabaki's problem is that the regime sees him as the opposition, someone with the gall, the cojones or the courage ( depending on your point of view ) to speak out when no-one will, as in the recent ABC Australia piece on Fiji.

"But I'd ask the regime this: Is there anyone in Fiji more thoughtful, more sensible, more suitable or more able to command widespread community respect than Yabaki? For a start, the fact that the Methodist hierarchy hate him so much ought to automatically qualify the man for sainthood. This thoughtful treatise also shows that he has the intellectual capacity to grasp the essence of the nation's problems. A man of God unconstrained by religious dogma and prejudice. A fearless crusader for basic human rights, not the "human rights" masking an agenda of self interest pursued by others in Fiji. On the evidence of this piece alone, give that man a round of applause and a bigger job."

[Ed.Forgive me, Akuila, for touching up your photo with the light from Above.]

MORE FEEDBACK FROM WEEKEND READING included his comment: "Citizenship Studies for all pupils and students should be an essential  part of Education for Life. The sooner it is introduced in Primary Schools with an understanding of the Flag and the National Anthem, how they were designed and how they came about, who was responsible, the better it will be for us all. And the parents also should have Citizenship Studies leading to a Course in Civics. This might also be taught in  Schools. To establish a synergy and congruence between: School-teacher-parent-pupil."

LOCAL ISSUES, LOCAL SOLUTIONS. This was two-thirds of the theme of the annual meeting of
the 39th Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP)held in Brisbane last week. The remaining theme was regional cooperation. The conference reconsidered the suspension of Fiji Police from the PICP and  resolved that this should continue. The effect of the suspension has been that PICP continues to interact with Fiji Police on humanitarian and operational issues such as HIV/Aids and Human Rights as well as disaster response development. The PICP has not engaged with Fiji Police on any new projects or initiatives.

So much for two-thirds of the meeting's theme. Drug smuggling, Human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and child pornographic were not specifically mentioned. Given Fiji's geographic location and well developed air and sea transport system, lots of regional cooperation are needed to plug the loopholes. The world's criminals must be delighted with the PICP decision which, of course, was not political.

CAUTIOUS ACCOLADE FROM UNEXPECTED SOURCE. “I believe if the Acting Commissioner [of Police] takes his responsibilities well, he will weed out all those people who were allegedly appointed only because they belonged to the new Methodist Church or came in because of provincialism and have no qualifications.”  Click on the link to see who said it. The new Acting Police Commissioner Joeli Baleilevuka has certainly got off to to a quick start: The "Jesus Crusades" have stopped; he's looking at questionable police appointment under his predecessor; he's promised more police on the streets, and more protection for tourists and increased work on a "Crime Free" Fiji. 

Fiji news organisations have to face reality and make ethical and professional decisions in the “dramatically changed” media landscape, a regional workshop in Tonga on building a vibrant Pacific media has been told. Stanley Simpson, news director of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation  said that a major ethical question confronting journalists over the past year had been: “How do we report and practise the principles of journalism under a censored environment?” Read the full report.

 calling on youths to take up agricultural businesses. Permanent Secretary Colonel Mason Smith who launched this year’s Fiji Development Small Awards said they are encouraging youths who would like to enter the field to enquire with the ministry and micro finance banks.


Ethnical ethics said…
Croz, we all know that many people in Fiji practice "ethnical" journalism but I think you'll find Stanley Simpson was talking about "ethical" journalism. You need to give your headline writer a prod.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
Mexican Federal Police (Los Federales) are to be shorn of 10% of their number: it was announced this morning. This is for demonstrated professional incompetence and for their links to organised crime. The Fiji Police could do with a culling and it appears that the newly appointed Acting Police Commissioner is fully aware of this. The Police (as an institution) have been part of our problem. Not part of any solution. The 'Welfare of the People' has taken a back seat with many officers. A failure to take complaints, turning a 'blind eye' this can no longer be allowed. The taxpayers are getting tired of this. Police are paid from public funds and they must be accountable to the government of the day and to those who pay them. "Off for lunch" as a Fire Brigade Officer was heard to remark only last Saturday while fires burned around a world-brand business is unacceptable from any emergency service and from any Police Officer. Professionalism of the highest order is required. Maybe we should consider a Police Accountability Commission in which carefully-chosen civilians sit to consider: "Police Accountability: Too Important to neglect, too urgent to delay". The title of the International Advisory Commission of the CHRI chaired by Sam Okudzeto and published in 2005. There are many hard-working, good and honest Police Officers. This should never be forgotten. They have been working in a most difficult environment. The freedom of belief that was denied them is a basic human right. Freedom to believe and freedom of unbelief. This is simple common sense and basic human decency. The Police Force should represent both.
Anonymous said…
No Police Force in today's world can effectively work in isolation. That is a given. The Police must be led by professional Officers who are well disciplined, honest and properly educated to understand all the nuances and requirements of a professional police officer in the modern world. Nothing less will suffice. Let us now move forward with a Police Force which is fully equipped both academically, physically and mentally. That is what counts. The spiritual is for the individual. It always has been and this is where we have recently strayed. This straying has cost us dearly but it is still not too late. 'Up by the bootstraps'....."Salus Populi Suprema est Lex" The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law. That should be more than obvious? And each and every Police Officer is to know this and to observe it - without failing.
. said…
@ Ethical Ethics ... Ooops! Thanks.
Anonymous said…
The decision of the PICP Conference to continue to suspend Fiji is not unreasonable given that the Fiji Police Force was led led by a professional police officer. Now, it is. So we shall expect them soon to change their minds?

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