Sick Character Assassination by Once Reputable Blog
If anyone needs further evidence of how low the anti-Government blog CoupFourPointFive has sunk since it was launched in mid-2009, they just need to the read “The Rats who're making excuses for Bainimarama and his illegal regime.”
The anonymous article provides photos and a “Roll Call” of people they see as pro-coup, claiming it is giving them an opportunity of “ publicly declaring their opposition to the coup and calling for a speedy restoration of elective democracy.”
To my knowledge none (not one!) of the “accused” has ever supported the coup (though some accepted it as a fact and tried to work from there), and the accusers are deluded if they think Fiji under the Qarase government was an elective democracy. Far from it: the election was suspect; the government was overtly racist and even the Fiji Times called it corrupt.
The article dismisses the Shameem sisters, the Fiji Labour Party, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum and their supporters, saying they have lost their influence. It would seem anyone writing anything on this blog, or who tries to explain or advance ideas on how to resolve the Fiji situation, or consider Fiji’s changing international relationships, such as Dr Sandra Tarte, Tongan Dr Sitiveni Halapua (sic!), Auckland academic Dr Hugh Laracy and former NZ diplomat Gerald McGhie are automatically deemed coup apologists.
It is also surprising to see two vice-chancellors (Prof Rajesh Chandra and Dr Ganesh Chand) listed. I am not aware of anything they have said on the coup, or the Bainimarama government, except when it related to university matters.
Of the others listed, any objective observer would consider their remarks very balanced. Fr Kevin Barr’s concern has always been social justice, and he has criticised the Government for delaying the introduction of minimum wages. Prof Vijay Naidu and the Rev Akuila Yabaki have constantly called for the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations; Dr Mahendra Reddy is doing a useful job on the Commerce Commission; and Graham Davis is doing his bit to get Australia to adopt a more realistic policy. I don’t know Derek Brien of the Pacific Institute of Public Policy in Vanuatu and I am not aware of anything he has written or said about Fiji. That leaves me, Crosbie (not Crozbie) Walsh. And I don’t see myself as a coup apologist, either.
I wish one (just one) of the publishers of CoupFourPointFive had the courage and common decency to reveal their identity. I’m not impressed with people who hide behind anonymity to make libellous —and intentionally threatening— accusations against people who do not share their views. And I think many people who want speedy and inclusive dialogue leading to electoral reform and elections will share my disgust at CoupFourPointFive.
And for the record, I share these views expressed by two others “listed”:
“I am honoured to be included in this group of very exceptional people who have shown a deep commitment to Fiji.”
“We should wear the Rat Pack label with pride. Unlike our detractors, we support a prosperous, multiracial and just Fiji, with true democracy for every citizen.”