Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ethics in Fiji....

Professor Rajesh Chandra's discourse on Fiji and its purported lack of ethics brings to the fore a very important factor - one we must consider in the next general elections because it is one we tend to brush aside everytime because we don't consider it important enough.

That of good governance and ethical leadership.

Fiji must have a system of governance that exercises power in a manner that provides the conditions needed for human development and growth such as stability, security and a good business climate that fosters investment, growth, jobs and higher standards of living for all its people.

Low investment efficiency and slow human development are almost always associated with bad policies and these are usually the result of poor governance.

If Professor Chandra is correct in his assessment of Fiji's overall growth in the last 30 years - our leaders, evidently, were incapable of managing the country’s resources.

We hear of mismanagement of funds and abuse of office daily. But what is particularly disturbing is that we have come to accept corruption as a way of life and not a serious concern.

Accountability, transparency, equity and efficiency must be in the limelight of the Government-of-the-day's political agenda.

There should be an effective regulatory measure to enhance accountability in government expenditures and increasing support and participation by non-Governmental organisations and other institutions that promote human rights and combat corruption.

Today - we have 4 coups under our belt, an illegal military-run government regime, inept government policies and a declining economy.

We have an ailing tourism industry.. although we wait with bated breath for that influx of asian tourists from China and India to converge on our shores.

We have a virtually non-existent sugar industry...which is bad news for the 40,000 odd people that are directly employed.

And the list goes on...

To cut this article short however, if the current regime sticks to its words in having the next elections in 2009, then we, the people of Fiji, must re-look at how we vote.

Not by racial or religious distinction.

But by ethical standards, and how much of it, those in the running for government have.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I salute you Graham Leung

I have just read Graham Leung's remarks at the 20th biennial LAWASIA conference and hope that all who read it, copy and redistribute it to as wide a forum as possible.

This is one man. Standing up for what he believes in.

He knows there will be a backlash. He knows he will be vilified - if not already. But he stood up at this forum full of his peers and he told it like it was. Without embellishment. He told the Truth.

If there is any time that is right for the people to realise that the coup is not what it seems. It is now.

We have to wake up from this lethargy.

I ask the Law Society to stand up as one behind their own on that march to freedom and democracy.

Your voice has to be heard. For us. Our children. Our grandchildren. Our future.

And we will listen. And we will follow.

Because we are many. We are poor. We are nothing. But we look to people like you to stand up for that oath you took to protect people like us.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A legal dilemma...

The FHRC has come out once again with more verbal refuse, saying Fiji continues to be restricted by the legal dilemma of the legal status of the 5th December coup.

What dilemma? A coup is a coup. Illegal. Constituting treason. Punishable.

This current veto coup against a democratically elected government is wrong.

The courts must declare this illegality. Regardless of their political leanings they must uphold the law. They should never be selective in their administration of justice and prosecution of all coup-related crimes.

On this particular subject - there should be no dilemma.

On another subject - My prayers go out to the parents of Verebasaga, Rabaka, Malasebe and their families. I may not know the pain you all have gone through. I can only imagine. And I am so sorry.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Roadmap to Democracry

The IG has taken quite a significant step this last week towards normalcy by lifting the public emergency regulation.

We are also told that the Public Safety Act of which the emergency regulation comes under is still in effect - but that the police are now the first line of law enforcement....

Does this mean that there will be no more hauling of so-called 'inciters - written or verbal' to QEB for "questioning"?

Does this mean also that the 'travel bans' are lifted? Will ousted PM Qarase be allowed to travel to Suva?

This, I suppose remains to be seen.

But still holding on to the positive side - after this one step, the IG must also make the effort to end all human rights violations.

Then, there must be transparency. Get the groundwork for preparations of the elections out of the way. Let the people vote. Whether the SDL, NFP, Labour or the short-lived Alliance Party wins or not is irrelevant. The people must have their say. But at the end of it all - we must find our way back to democracy and the rule of the law.

In this long-drawn out 5 months of rule under the IG - I have come to the following conclusions as a citizen and a voter:

(a) I have seen the true colour of the politicians in the forefront of this country.

(b) I will never vote for Labour AGAIN if Chaudhary continues to rule the roost. I'm not a racist. I never was. But the antics of the Labour party during their run as opposition and the jump over the fence of some of their own to join this illegal regime has driven me to the very edge of being one.

(c) I will never vote for the Alliance. They have cheapened "chiefly" in all senses of the word.

(d) I might vote for SDL but only if there is some likelihood that the leadership will change. I have one question to ask the ousted PM - Where were you Sir, when the chips were down - when you as the democratically elected leader of my country were supposed to stand fast and tall?

(e) GVP - I could vote for them too. Is Ms Wilson still around? Emelita - please take the reins and move forward.

(g) CAMV -

(e) SVT - I might also swing here provided they let go of their loose cannon first. Methinks he is more of a hindrance than anything else.

But most important of all, I want a multi-party government to run my country and take it forward. I want a clean albeit untainted judiciary system. I want the police to do all the policing. I want the army back in the camp in its originality. And for heaven's sake - NO MORE COUPS!

Now is that too much to ask?