How Many Dictators Speak Like This?

I urge you all to stand up and speak. You can and must speak. Nothing is too small or too big. Speak from your heart. Tell them your wants. Tell them your needs. Tell them what principles and values you want in a government.
The PM was urging Fiji citizens to talk to the Constitution  Commission that met for the first time yesterday.  The Commission, headed by Professor Yash  Ghai, will soon be travelling throughout Fiji to hear public views on the new constitution.  -- Based on Fiji Broadcasting (that managed to misspell both of the professor's names!)


Anonymous said…
So, Croz

You do admit that Frank is a DICTATOR except that he is a benign one?
Enough is enough said…
I want the military to go back to the barracks. ASAP. And I want the murder of the CRW soldiers investigated and those guilty of murdering unarmed men brought to justice as Commissioner Hughes and his offcers were doing before the 2006 coup. ASAP. And I want you to have the courage and honesty to publish this. Enough is enough. Fiji does not need a dictatorship.
Prospective Voter said…

We have so much about transparency and now Frank is calling upon us to tell whatever we want to the Constitutional Review Commission

Please can you ask him to tell us

1) Who appointed or nominated Yash Ghai, Christina Murray, Peni Moore, Taufa Vakatale and Satendra Nandan?
2) How much are these people paid to draw up a new Constitution?
3) Who is paying Ghai and Murray's airfares and accommodation costs etc
4) Why there is no representative from the political parties?
4) How much money has been set aside for the Constitution Review Commission

These are legitimate questions, and we need answers from Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama
Anonymous said…
I want a better life for my family in Fiji. The rising cost of living here in Fiji is killing us. I am a one income urban family that lives comfortably but is still living paycheck to paycheck, not putting a dent in any savings. We are able to employ a Nanny ($300 a fortnight). It makes my heart bleed cause my fellow Fijians are living well below the poverty line. If we're struggling imagine those like my Nanny who are doing the best they can.

Being a former media personality, it also pains me to see in others (and in myself sometimes) the still lingering presence of fear of reprisal of open criticism, compromise and open political debate in Fiji. We're a year and a bit away from elections. We need to be asking the hard hitting questions now. The culture of "silently observing from the sidelines" is still entrenched in our psyches from the trauma of the 2000 and 2006 coups.

If we are told by the man himself to stand up and's not going to happen overnight. We need to see that it's safe to do so, plain clothes officers observing is not doing us any favors.

Having said that, I am Fijian to the bone, I want my right to speak and question openly. I relish and anticipate the day when we get back there.
Croz Walsh said…
Government appointed them. The pay and costs for this sort of thing is not normally in the public arena. Political parties have no place on an independent commission but they can, of course, make submissions. Think back to the Reeves Commission that resulted in the 1997 Constitution. Do you know (or did you ask) how much they were paid, and why were there no political parties on that commission? Try to be positive, and work towards the best outcomes for Fiji.
Croz Walsh said…
Few economies are doing well at present. The Fiji situation has not been helped by the Coup (or more accurately the reaction of others to the coup) but the macro data is being so show improvement. Use your right to speak out. I'm puzzled by your statement of "the day when we get back there. Who are WE? All citizens or only i'Taukei, or only sections of the old i'Tauikei elite? If the latter, you you really think this will help Fiji?
Anonymous said…
Thats the spirit Croz... any hint of doubt should be treated with suspison and roundly condemned. Of course you still claim if fijians and the region had just rolled over and welcomed the coup all would be well, so helpful when you are living in NZ and don't have to live the reality of being constantly threatened, warned, worn down and told we have choices and voices, but not if it conflicts with the regime.W#e are being encouraged to question, but not if it involves requiring accountability in the military and government. We are told the press if free and fair, but they appear still afraid to print anything that dipleases the regime and we have already seen what happens when TV pushes their luck in even airing critical comments from Qarese etc.
Prospective Voter said…

You are talking out of your head - it just reveals how shallow your memory or history is of Fiji - the The Reeves Commission members were nominated by respective parties and Parliament had agreed to the reviewing of the Constitution. The danger of what is promised is frightening - as an Indo-Fijian, I fear that for us to enjoy whatever fall from the new Ghai Constitution, it will only be there as long as either Frank or his military allow it to continue - what will happen is that the military will be there for ever to ensure the safety of Indo-Fijians! There was no transparency and my earlier questions need to be answered - its no point in you saying no questions were asked about who was paying and how much regarding 1997 Constitution process. In any event, you seem to be contradicting yourself - you have posted Frank's call to SPEAK UP, and when I am Speaking UP, you are telling me on behalf of Frank that your questions are irelevant. Croz, make up your mind!
Croz Walsh said…
You asked who appointed the Commission. I answered: the Government. You say the Reeves' Commission was nominated by the SDL and FLP and appointed by Parliament. The 2006 Coup removed the SDL-led government. Surely you don't seriously think Bainimarama would ask them to nominated the Commission. And there is no parliament. Yash Ghai has a solid international reputation and I have no doubt he will walk out if he feels he is being pressured. The reality is that this is the best you are likely to get. So speak up to the Commission. There's no contradiction in my position. Your view was listened to, discussed and posted, as was your reply. Your last accusation is personally insulting. If you were more polite, you may be listened to more.
Croz Walsh said…
All your accusations can be made to the Commission. Use it.
Croz Walsh said…
Your wants may not be what Fiji needs. Move on. Use the Commission and register to vote.
Croz Walsh said…
Of course. Have I ever denied it?
Love the comedy said…
Like the junta you appear to be struggling? Perhaps if you were more polite you might be listened to? However seeing comments on your blog and the view of the international media about your beloved dictator, it might be wishful thinking?
Croz Walsh said…
I dropped a hint about your rudeness but you didn't take it. comment declined.
Prospective Voter said…
Whow, atleast you could have apologised for the glaring error about those behind the 1997 Constitution Review Commission - SDL was not in existence - and yet in order to admit your mistake, you have deleted the whole comment - you should have joined the military censors, of which you would have made a great censor. Truth hurts, Speak Up - yes or no - there was nothing rude in my last comment except that I had pointed to your mistake
Free speech sham said…
The dictator tells us 'we can speak'. As do you. But unless it is what he wants to hear. Or in your case what you want to hear - we are wasting our time? No wonder the junta is having trouble with credibility and recognition?
Anonymous said…
Croz, I'm referring to ALL I mean ALL citizens, I am a native of Nadi with maternal links to Tailevu that was bought up by an Australian grandfather who has lived here since 1927.

iTaukei, Chinese, Indian, black blue red we are all Fijians, I could go on and on. When I refer to the 'day we get back there' I'm talking about open debate in the media. Radio playing that pivotal role in asking the hard hitting questions about policy, politicians, dry Fijian humor(vakaji) poking fun at all things politics.

I miss those days cause it sparked open debate in offices, buses, parties and at dinner tables.

I think we desperately need that as we lead up to the elections otherwise we're just going to be silently observing from the sidelines keeping our comments to ourselves.
Croz Walsh said…
I wrote Sdl when it should have been svt. A small error that did not affect the main point being made. Do you really think this warrants an apology?
Paula said…
Yes, Bainimarama is not the only dictator speaking like this. In fact all of them do. What a sweet talk Assad is delivering while he slaughters his people by the the thousands. And remember Gaddafi's rantings about reforms and all. Ben Ali promised free and fair elections and a free press. Every dictatorship has to be good with propaganda, Dr Goebbels told everyone that the Nazi regime will ensure freedom and prosperity and encouraged people to speak up. Then the GESTAPO came and picked all those up who did not agree with the dictator.
Cin Cin said…

Well of course Fiji's economic woes are somehow always someone elses fault. Any investor with half a brain would have taken one look at the decree affecting Fiji TV and decided that there were better places to put their money. Hardly rocket science.
Kai Gau said…
Small want: Voreqe and co. leave the government to the people.
Small need: Give us back our freedom and liberty.
Big want: Fiji to be back in its rightful position in the Pacific - its PEARL.
Big need: Downsize military. Voreqe back to barracks or the ship decks. Aiyaz and other coup opportunists in the regime - GO back to whatever office or space hence they came from. Government, media, security, judiciary, etc back to the people.

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