Graham Davis’s Views on the Ratu Tevita Saga

Graham Davis is Fiji-born Australian journalist. My underlining.

Hard to know what to make of this, apart from the collective jaw drop. Guess we'll know more when Fiji outlines its extradition request. Did Mara really have his hand in the till at Fiji Pine? This is something that would normally be determined in a court of law and makes this whole affair rather more complicated than a mere falling out.
What I found disturbing about Mara's videotape was the blatant overplaying of Aiyaz's alleged failings and the quite bizarre notion that he has control over Frank. This feeds into primitive Fijian fears of one of their own being manipulated by a kai idia, which I notice has been a feature of a lot of comment on the websites. For Mara to pander to such prejudices is deeply unfortunate in the Fiji context . The wording of this statement is all wrong.
Yes, Frank thinks highly of Aiyaz and sees him as a potential future leader. But the notion that he's under Aiyaz's spell is ridiculous. Frank could destroy him in an instant were he to see him as a malignant force in national life.
So I think Mara's premise that Aiyaz is "Dr Evil" manipulating a sick and morally bankrupt Frank is absurd. The trouble is that mud sticks on the coconut radio and it will do the regime an unpredictable degree of damage.
Frank has little recourse now but to do everything to force the Tongans to hand Mara over. This is also potentially fraught. But the Tongan Navy evidently violated Fiji's borders to pick up Mara and it's not in Frank's nature to just accept it. At every level, this is now about "face". How far will Fiji push Tonga? What will Frank do to retaliate? I'd imagine the Kiwis and Aussies being somewhat fraught over all this.
It's all very 19th century in some ways. Shades of Ma'afu et al. Mara has only been able to to get refuge with King George because of their traditional and family ties. So however it  it plays out on a contemporary political level, it's a glorious throwback to the chiefly power plays of old, with a bizarre modern twist. What do David (Tevita)  and George have in common? Will Tevita be happy in exile playing war games with  George's famous lead soldiers? He'd better get used to a long period in exile if he doesn't want to come back and face the music.


Yea yea said…
I'm thinking there will be a great story to be written on all of this in years to come. Perhaps someone could write it and donate the sales procedds to Fiji's economy. Looks like she is sure going to need it.
Advise said…
My guess is Frank will over react and be too heavy handed. In fact the tone of his press release is already a over reaction. He has proven again and again to have very little clue when it comes to deplomancy. I hope he is getting good advice but I doubt it.
Proud fijian said…

On this interview with Radio New Zealand Rokoului denies fleeing Fiji. He was driectly asked twice but he denied fleeing. He says he was rescued by the tongan Navy when they were in the area.

Now that is a lie. Anyone can tell that it is a lie. If he did not flee he will try to be back in Fiji to be with his family. He was trying to get away from Fiji.

He is not telling the truth and what ever he says now will be questionable.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
Never allow anyone to lie to you twice!
TheMax said…

Frank will have the last laugh, mark my word. Roko Ului will be the biggest embarrassment to the Tongan kingdom because he may just be the trigger the Tongan people need to also rid itself of its feudalistic system. The King's end maybe neigh too. Just watch as it plays out.
Anonymous said…
Censorship of the media and no democratic elections does not make a decent and moral Country. Let the Fijian people decide immediately who should lead them. Do not hide behind your guns and fear tactics. The current leaders will be to frighten to give Power away because they know they will be in Courts trying to justify their actions.
Ratu said…
Graham Davis,
I think its you who should rephrase your words "Frank sense that Aiyaz is a potential future leader " what makes you say that? frank is only holding on to him because no other fijian lawyer who knows the law and its repercussions would be willing to become his attorney general.You believe in democracy and so you should know that any leader in a true democratic process will have to go through the mill,face and accept criticism without fear of anything NOT a coward who hide behind so many body guards and with the protection of draconian emergency decrees day in and day out.I look forward to the day the Fijians will put Aiyaz in a lovo and roast him.Shame on you Graham being a respected journalist I ask you : Can you work under the current media control environment in Fiji?
Anonymous said…
GD- You're way off the mark!
Mr B is under AG's thumb, that's real.They have to, there has been too many corruption deals since 2006. Between the two of them, they look after the premier ministries in Fiji(Finance, Sugar, Tourism, Telecommunications, Trade, Judiciary, Anti-Corruption etc) the rest of the ministers appear incompetent.
19th century ratu said…
Ratu, it's amazing how otherwise sensible indigenous Fijians can suddenly lunge back 200 years in a flash of anger. Your comment about putting Aiyaz in the lovo and roasting him suggests that you are a primitive throwback. Many indigenous Fijians seem comfortable about describing Indo Fijians as mynah or mongoose. But if we were to describe you as cannibals, all hell would break loose. Thanks for living up to the stereotype without us having to say anything at all. Graham Davis has highlighted the overt racism of Roko Ului's statement. You mightn't like it but it's true.
pasifika said…
It will be the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who has closer links to the Tongan royal family who may be relied on to calm the waters churned up by RokoUlui.Aiyaz continues to be victimised by the indigenous cultural trait of blaming and shaming. Bainimarama should speak out loudly and clearly in his defence as claims against Aiyaz are clearlly racist.
pasifika said…
You have to be a moron in modern Fiji to leap back into the mindset of the Maafu era. What are the accomplishments of Ratu Tevita anyway. Isn't he just a spoilt brat. He's not worth the spin he purports to have generated. There should be in-depth analysis of the role of Pacific island nobility in promoting the welfare of Pacific people. How much have they given back to the people and how much have they taken from them as their so called right.It does not help when the Pacific elder, Prime Minister of Samoa shows his true colours in his snide remarks. While families are still struggling to enrol their children in schools, Ratu Tevita draws attention to his irresponsible, arrogant and expensive behaviour. The ordinary Tongan people will not find his stunt amusing. No doubt it will provide more ammo againt their monarchy.
Public or Private Means? said…
Well said, Pasifika! One is compelled to ask what of "noblesse oblige"? The Norman concept by which if one were ennobled by birth or by achievement, then one had a duty towards the ordinary people and their interests. This was, of course, before the 'Age of Accountability' which now requires that those who live off the Public Purse be responsible and answerable. How does consuming public money in both Fiji and in Tonga achieve this? Unless, of course, the Naval Vessel which allegedly was made use of was paid for privately by purely private means? Now that IS an interesting question and it is justified.

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