News and Comments Friday 25 October 2013
|A warning for all of us|
- WEEKEND READING Allen Lockington Column. "Why Government is Losing the Support of 'Middle' Fiji", an opinion piece by Croz Walsh
MILITARY BRUTALITY MUST STOP. Some military personnel are doing the Bainimarama government no favours by taking the law into their own hands. The police are doing it no favours by not zestfully pressing charges that result in convictions. And Government is doing itself no favours by its less than wholehearted condemnation of these criminal acts. There have been several instances since 2006, all exposed with glee in the anti-Government blogs.
The latest incident allegedly involves a sales executive who complained about a soldier having an extra marital affair with own of his relatives. It is alleged that the man was picked up from his office by eight men who he claims were soldiers. He was then taken to Colo-i-Suva, a forested area north of Suva City, where he was beaten up by the men.
Police are expected to question the main suspect after he returns from training this weekend. ACP Tudravu said that police continue to liaise with the military in relation to the investigations as they will deal first with the main suspect. When asked about the seven others involved in the alleged beating, Tudravu said he has not received any clear report about them (whatever that means).
If the sales executive was beaten by soldiers, there is only one way to send the message: they should be convicted, imprisoned, and dishonourably discharge from the army. The people of Fiji deserve a military they can respect in everything they do.
WHAT A SAD DAY FOR FIJI. This comment on my posting 'The Cards are Now on the Table."
What a sad day for Fiji when traditional leaders speak of democracy and "harpoon" its very foundation by stating, "those individuals that disagree with native Fijian group rights should simply declare their choice, cut off their connection with their native groups and delete their names from their VKB" with the same breathe.
I am from Burebasaga and whilst I have my obligation to respect the Roko Tui Dreketi under traditional mechanism; that's where it ends. She certainly does not have my support when it comes to political choice nor have I given her the mandate to speak on my behalf politically.
One of the reasons why political instability has dogged our beloved country is the fact that chiefs utilise their traditional status for political gain. Politicking should be kept separate from traditional systems and its practices. If chiefs opt to partake in the political arena then they should be treated just like any other politician and should not use their traditional status as a launching pad to sway their subjects (especially those that are politically naive). "
BABA PUTS HIS HAND UP. It's hardly surprising.Dr Tupeni Baba says, "I’m ready if they want me to lead the (SODELPA) party to the 2014 general elections." Dr Baba was previously a member of the FLP. He founded the New Labour Unity Party after falling out with Mahendra Chaudhry, and he later joined the SDL. Whether or not he is chosen as leader will depend on the party's constituency councils each of which will nominate two candidates before the final selection takes place.
A WOMAN'S PARTY? The Yash Ghai draft constitution made special provisions to ensure women's representation in parliament The 2013 constitution declares everyone equal but makes no special provisions. Former Deputy PM Taufa Vakatale thinks this is regrettable but adds, "one way to ensure a good number of women representation in parliament is by getting influential women to form a political party and contest the 2014 elections. “We have staunch women organisations like the Soqosoqo Vakamarama who have as members influential women leaders. If they unite and stand, we are sure to have some women leaders. That is a thought.” Another "possible scenario would be for the popular political parties to include women candidates to stand in the 2014 elections. “It’d depend on political parties how they organise it.” She maintains the country needs more women leaders. Either way. Taufa firmly believes the country has not reached the stage where women rights’ are acknowledged and protected in all walks of life. “We need special measures that would help increase the number of women entering politics." She welcomed the recently announced National Council of Women project ‘Civic Education & Empowerment for more women Parliamentarians in Fiji’ that has only one objective:to encourage more women leaders at all levels whether it be in parliament, at council level or within the broader Fijian community.
NFP PRESIDENT Raman Pratap Singh says the question of whether all Fiji citizens should be called Fijian is a matter than should be discussed by Parliament.
NO MAJOR CHANGES. The SODELPA, FLP and NFP are calling for major changes to the constitution. The PM says the changes to be made "between now and December are just issues like typos ... the gist of the constitution will not be changed."