News and Comments Monday 7 July 2012

RABUKA: GOVERNMENT 'ACCEPTED BY THE PEOPLE'. Charismatic 1987 coup-maker Sitiveni Rabuka  told Radio NZ International immunity for the current regime is important for Fiji's return to democracy. His own immunity was written into the 1990 and 1997 Constitutions.   

 “This government has demonstrated that they have been effectively in control. The people have not taken to the streets as we saw in Egypt and Libya. Therefore they have taken control of the country. They are the government of the nation and they determine the future steps which we accept on their terms." 

Earlier, he had said granting a pardon for 2000 coup leader George Speight would be a catastrophe ... it would  pave the way for more coups, but he says those who came to power through the 2006 coup have become accepted by the people.

REGISTRATION OF NEW POLITICAL PARTIES. Government is working on legislation, with the A-G saying, "We need to ensure that political parties that do continue, or are re-registered or registered are political parties that have a broad mandate." The anti-blogs say this means that a women's and Green party will not be allowed.  My reading is that "broad mandate" means genuinely multi-racial. 

TABU. The Tui Cakau intends to impose a fishing ban in eastern Vanua Levu where poaching and overfishing have become a concern. The ban  awaits yavusa and Ministry of Fisheries approval.

MORE VOTING CENTRES OPEN TODAY. Of an estimated 660,000 people eligible to vote, 18,000 people registered in the first week of registration last week. New registation centres open today with seven weeks to go before registrations close.

QARASE TRIAL INTO DAY 3.The trial against former Director of Fijian Holdings Limited Laisenia Qarase continues in the Suva High Court this morning. Qarase is charged with six counts of abuse of office and three counts of discharging of duties. The trial is expected to take three weeks.


Anonymous said…
So that the theory from previous military rulers, if you stick it out and hold on, it's fine you should get immunity. But if you are another coup perpetrator, oh that so different. Of course it all makes sense to those that have an in interest in protecting themselves. So the next military regime has a rule of thumb, don't hand over power too soon as you don't get a chance to grant yourself immunity and entrench your people in the public service, judiciary and the next government.Wear your people, media and oppponents down and don't make it easy for anyone to hold you to any accountability. Hope they forget and then claim a victory.
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie, you claim that this blog aims to present ideas on how Fiji may move forward to the election of a truly representative government serving all the people of Fiji.

It seems to fly in the face of common sense and your blog’s aims to publish this self serving piece by Rabuka which basically states that if unarmed people are too cowed by armed men to retain the rights that are constitutionally theirs, then they lose those rights to the armed men.

I can only presume that Rabuka’s utterances have been made to curry favour with the regime to try and stave off his own arrest for treason now that the 1997 Constitution has been abrogated. But what reason would you have for uncritically publishing his statement?

It seems strange to me that this regime should be concentrating its efforts on bringing Qarase to trial rather than ensuring Rabuka faces the court for treason. If anything will ‘move Fiji forward’ it will be the arrest of Rabuka and ensuring that he faces the court for his crime.
Croz Walsh said…
Gutter should blame radio nz international. I merely copied their piece. Rabuka was granted immunity under the 1997 constitution, and later made a life member of the great council of chiefs. Blame those who gave him immunity, not me.
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie, I was careful not to blame you as I understand that the piece was attributed to Radio NZ.

However I asked why you ‘uncritically’ published Rabuka’s statement.

I understand if you don’t have time to make comment on every article that you publish. However I found it strange that Rabuka’s statement didn’t merit even a passing comment from you, let alone an in depth analysis - despite it appearing to fly in the face of your blog’s aims.

I’m sure that you disagreed with Rabuka’s coups, just as I’m sure that you disagreed with Speight’s. Your position on this coup is more difficult to ascertain inasmuch as I think you feel that coups are inherently wrong, but that 2006 was carried out for the ‘right’ reasons.

There’s been much made of immunity provisions for those who’ve carried out coups here. Do you agree that immunity from prosecution is always an essential ingredient to ensure that progress is made in this country?

I don’t – but I’m interested to learn your view on the issue of immunity
Popeye said…
Gutter Press:
What else were you trying to do,if not to blame, when you accused Crosbie of compromising his own stated position by publishing the Rabuka piece uncritically? Sounds very much like blame to me. My question to you is why must every piece of reportage be critically assessed one way or the other to make it valid? Can't they exist just as reports? Seems to me like you're just fishing for an argument and a point-scoring opportunity, seeing that you don't offer your own view of immunity but have Crosbie take the first shot. Maybe you have a lot of spare time. As for Rabuka fearing that his own immunity might be reversed and he therefore needs to curry favor, understand that the proposed constitution will most likely be "from this day forth", not retroactive. I think the new constitutional team will see to it that this is the case, so Rabuka need not worry, and you may be forced to re-consider your assumption.
Gutter Press said…
1 You ask what am I trying to do?
It’s self evident – I wrote “I’m interested to learn your (Crosbie) view on the issue of immunity”.

2 You make out that I blame Crosbie for publishing the RNZI piece uncritically.
I wrote “I understand if you don’t have time to make comment on every article that you publish. However I found it strange that Rabuka’s statement didn’t merit even a passing comment from you...”
If that’s ‘blame’ then you’re too sensitive by far on Crosbie’s behalf.

3 You claim I don’t offer my own view of immunity? I wrote “I don’t [believe in immunity from prosecution]”

So really, you show do better than display your own desire to fish for an argument and properly read what’s been written before commenting on it.

However your last point regarding the likelihood of Rabuka’s continued immunity is interesting. I believe that the majority of Fijians (for clarity – read Fiji citizens) were against the 1987 and 2000 coups. 2006 is touted as being the coup to end all coups.

By what better way could this resolve be displayed than by bringing before the courts the very man who set this whole sorry train of events in motion? Anything else is hypocrisy or, as some commentators would have it ‘real politik’ – which is just another phrase for the same thing.

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