Fiji's Weak-Hearted Drunken Prime Minister

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
"Commodore Frank is closely guarded by an elite group of armed body guards [and] travels in an armoured vehicle convoy." -- Dr Mark Hayes, Sept.2010.

You were probably in bed early Friday morning while  PM Bainimarama was otherwise engaged. But before reading on, think back a while to when the anti-blogs were reporting  he'd gone to China for heart surgery and had to be helped on to the plane at Nadi.  Think back to the photos they published which purported to show a very sick man. And check out the current comments —and faked photos— on Coup4.5 which continue to portray him as a drunkard.   And now, here he is, aged 58, stepping it out with 20 and 30 year old soldiers  over a 24 kilometre route. Even if he only got to Flagstaff, that would be some accomplishment.  Some heart! Some surgery! And some drunkard that could manage this!   But what an opportunity for snippers that some of the anti-bloggers  give as the reason why he's always "closely guarded by an elite group of armed body guards [and] travels in an armoured vehicle convoy."   In NZ Maori, the word for such ramblings is puruhitu or, more correctly, tutae puru.

DATE: Friday 2nd MARCH.VENUE: BEGINNING FROM RFMF CAMP [QEB at Nabua] TO VATUWAQA. The Prime Minister will be leading the Force Route March early tomorrow morning and the route is as follows: Mead road----Lovoni Road-------FIT-----Borron Road------Rewa Street---;Flagstaff----Sukuna Road----Muanikau Road----- Muanikau Police Post---- Vatuwaqa ----- Golf Course Road----- back to RFMF camp.

Comments

Disappointed said…
I don't understand what the point of this post is.
Are you making the case that the blogs are anti-government? If so, ok. I agree. They may not always tell the truth.

The same can be said for the government. They don't tell the truth, either.

I have personally seen the PM completely fallover drunk at Natadola last year on the morning after the Exporter of the Year Awards. I literally mean fallover drunk. It was 6:30 in the morning and I was on my way to breakfast and there was the PM, stumbling along a path with his security detail behind him. Does that make him a drunk? No. Does it make him un-prime ministerish? Yes.

Croz, you're sitting in New Zealand. You really have little idea what's been happening over the past five years in Fiji.

This constant play towards the victimisation of the Fiji government is really quite difficult to understand. They do not belong in power. No one can argue that.

Your blog is nothing but the anti-position of Coup 4.5. Both of your sites are full of it. You may have started as balanced but your continued acknowledgement and attacks on the anti-government blogs lower your own credibility.
The lady doth protest too much said…
The lady doth protest too much

1- Frank has more bodyguards than any previous prime minister in Fiji. I am sure they would call themselves elite.
2- Frank never travels in just one car, normally there are 3. That makes a convoy.
3- I don’t know the specs of his 4 wheel drive. Do you? How do you know it does not have armour plating?
4- Frank loves a drink. Just ask the bar staff at: Natadola, The Fijian, The Sofitel, Traps, Down Under…..
5- Frank is not the healthiest 58 year old around. He may not have died but he has been in hospital for more than just a health check in recent years
6- Good for Frank he can go for a walk. The President is in his 70’s and walks miles every day. He does not need to publicise it.

By the way who sent you this information. Was it Sharon? The lady doth protest too much
Anonymous said…
Croz,
I hope you will revisit the Victor Lal and Russell Hunter accusations that Bainimarama was looking at holding a coup as early as 2003.
Since the article was published documentary evidence has come to light from 2 senior officers who resigned over the issue. We have also had a denial from Bainimarama which was widely publicized.
I think this calls for your detached analysis to point us in the right direction.
Sportsman said…
Indeed quite an achievement! I wished, however, the PM's performance as finance and sugar minister was equally stunning.
Idiot watch said…
Mark Hayes is a total goose. Frank drives around Suva in a standard Toyota Landcruiser with no more than two or three bodyguards, which would be normal for any other national leader, let alone one with the hate file of the PM. It's like that bloody idiot, Tuialepa, the Samoan leader, talking about "bazookas in the streets of Suva". You haven't been there so spare us your ignorance.
Anonymous said…
Given the amount of people who would actually see him hang...this discussion is meant to what ? Why is it your job to fend this person?
Next you will be leaoing to the defense of Osam bin Laden saying he was always a good father, a teetotal and never jaywalked. I am struggling to see how this is relevant. Franklu (no pun intended)we just luv to mock this self appointed military thug and then you go to bizarre lengths to argue he is in good health and should be given credit?! One would presume that given he runs the government he may just have people who can argue on his behalf and defend his honour, don't you think? Anyone would think given your constant whinings about how misunderstood Bainimarama is , he was some fijian freedom fighter with no access to regime PR flunkies, media or blogs.
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie

Whilst many of us have different views to you, we admire the generally academic tenor of your blog. However your recent posts seem to have slipped a little lately. Perhaps it’s a result of a recurrence of the ill health you suffered last year in which case please accept my sympathy.

If not, then perhaps you should reconsider your decision to continually react to years old posts made by others. It’s unedifying to find your ‘quote of the week’ award ascribed to something written two years ago. Which, incidentally, is as true now as it was then. It’s not unusual for the leader of any country to travel with armed guards in a convoy – particularly given the opprobrium that this Prime Minister has attracted. He’d be foolish not to.

His ability (or perhaps not, since your post was written before the walk) to complete a 15km (not a 24km) walk is not important in the scheme of things. His ability (or not) to run this country is important. I realise you gave his route to potential ‘snipers’ as a mocking commentary on posts that C4.5 has occasionally received but please consider this – if C4.5 had given the PM’s route and called on snipers to take aim, what do think your reaction, or that or any government supporter, would have been?

Please don’t continue to allow your posts to also fall into the category of puruhitu, or tutae puru. With your last one, you’re beginning to sound a little like Tokyo Rose
kahukiwa said…
Think back to the dubious awarding of backdated leave monies, think back to the salary for multiple cabinet positions, think back to......and on and on and on...

You're getting a tad bit bit precious in your defence Croz. For someone who never passes up the opportunity to attack the foreign media and the so called anti-blogs for bias and pettiness, you're not doing such a bad job yourself.
Dr Mark Hayes said…
E/Prof Walsh,
If you're going to try to discredit somebody, at least try to get your basic facts correct, and it's also a very good idea to engage directly with the strong, substantive, points of their arguments.
Your Quote of the Week (w/e 4/3/12) is taken from my lengthy and very heavily referenced Web Diary Fiji Backgrounder published early in August, 2010 ~ http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3097 ~ as you very well know because I invited you to comment on it by e-mail (10/8/10 & 28/8/10) and in the body of the piece itself. My polite invitations were ignored.
My very reliable sources in Fiji indicated to me at the time that Bainimarama traveled with armed guards in an armored convoy. Other sources, perhaps supporters of the regime, claim otherwise. That's not a substantive point which defeats any of my far more significant arguments in that piece.
Without any doubt, all informed Fijians and Fiji observers fervently await some sort of substantive Endgame to solidify there, and we're still waiting.
Disappointed said…
Disappointed has left a new comment on your post "Fiji's Weak-Hearted Drunken Prime Minister":

I don't understand what the point of this post is.
Are you making the case that the blogs are anti-government? If so, ok. I agree. They may not always tell the truth.

The same can be said for the government. They don't tell the truth, either.

I have personally seen the PM drunk. (Edited section.) Does that make him a drunk? No. Does it make him un-prime ministerish? Yes.

Croz, you're sitting in New Zealand. You really have little idea what's been happening over the past five years in Fiji.

This constant play towards the victimisation of the Fiji government is really quite difficult to understand. They do not belong in power. No one can argue that.

Your blog is nothing but the anti-position of Coup 4.5. Both of your sites are full of it. You may have started as balanced but your continued acknowledgement and attacks on the anti-government blogs lower your own credibility.

Ed. Note. Disappointed. I've published as much as I can of your letter. The part edited out may be true but I have no way of knowing.

My blog has adopted a qualified pro-Govt stance. I publish much that is critical of government but I try to be as positive as possible. I smetimes overdo the attacks on the anti-blogs but they have to be discredited as a reliable source of information used by the mainstream media that, incidentally, continue to use them, but never my blog. What does that tell you?
Of bodyguards and armoured convoyz said…
Bainimarama executed a coup.
He made some enemies.
There was an attempt on his life.
He travels around with bodyguards.
What's the big deal?
What do people like Mark Hayes expect - for him make himself a sitting duck? Go walkabout in his underwear?

Rabuka went around with armed bodyguards. So did Speight.
And Qarase. And Chaudhry.
In case you not aware Mark Hayes, Fiji changed after 1987. Armed and unarmed bodyguards for PMs and coup leaders are standard fare. But armoured vehicle convoy!? Trust me, we have not reached that state yet.But I do understand the pressure and desire to hype things up and make articles sound exciting. Typical journalistic tactic.
Dr Haze said…
Mark Hayes, you are a fraud. This latest disingenuous comment of yours is another example of your backsliding. When you write about Fiji, it's inevitably predictable. But to make statements and then retract them on such spurious grounds indicates someone without the courage of their convictions.
Ram Sami said…
Croz

Enjoy reading your blog because you have remained positive, unlike some of the hate filled venom of others.
Stop Whining! said…
@Croz
You say “mainstream media that, incidentally, continue to use them, but never my blog. What does that tell you?”

They never use your blog because you never break any new stories. You tend to publish Min Info releases and Fiji Sun stories.

You do make valuable comments and opinions but no mainstream media is going to use your website until you have real news on your site.
Willing and Able for Perjury said…
@ Dr Mark Hayes

"My very reliable sources in Fiji....".

How interesting! There are no 'very reliable sources in Fiji' for the simple reason that all sources are biased or compromised to some greater or smaller extent for a variety of reasons. This is why is almost impossible to have verification in Fiji unless you are dealing with eye witness sources and they are unprepared to perjure themselves. Many persons in Fiji are prepared to perjure themselves and those responsible for bringing them to account have often failed to do so. Make of this what you will.
Anonymous said…
Pro military regime Croz , lets not continue to mislead, you are 'pro military regime' and we are 'anti military regime'. Nothing to do with government. Theyt are not, they are a junta. This is not a matter of interpretation or spin. You are in the 'ends justify the means' and 'we're stuck with it , so lets smile' camp, even from their first month in power wher their agend was self preservation. Lipstick on a pig Croz, still a pig.

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