Provocation from Fiji

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:04 am by David Farrar

A very provocative move from , after the conciliatory move my McCully to try and get the relationship to an agree to disagree status. The Dom Post reports:

The Government is refusing to comment on reported plans by Fiji to send a high-ranking military officer to serve at its high commission in Wellington.

The move would test a New Zealand travel ban on members of Fiji’s military-led regime, and comes after an announcement by Foreign Minister Murray McCully that the two countries would seek to boost diplomatic links.

Both countries have agreed to post an extra counsellor to their high commissions, but the move has sparked calls by Amnesty International for the New Zealand Government to address human rights abuses in the renewed negotiations.

Fijian news website Fijivillage has reported that the permanent secretary for information and military spokesperson was nominated by the Fiji Government to take up a counsellor’s post in New Zealand.

The website reported that Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni was now “awaiting word” from the New Zealand Government in response to his nomination.

I can’t think of a more provocative person to propose than Leweni. He has been a major figure in the coups, and very involved in the assaults on media freedom in Fiji.

Despite the provocation, I think the NZ Government should allow him to be appointed. He’ll probably do less damage in NZ, than he does in Fiji. But more to the point is it avoids the Commodore being able to claim he is being bullied, and blame NZ for the lack of progress.

I think the Commodore wants NZ to turn down his offsider as High Commissioner. He will use it as propaganda. So don’t play his game, and allow it. It doesn’t mean you have to relax the travel ban on the military – diplomats can be an exception.

The one good thing from the ridiculously long period of waiting until 2014 for elections, is the Commodore will have no excuses left if he doesn’t have free and fair elections by then. So again, lets not give him a partial excuse.

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27 Responses to “Provocation from Fiji”

  1. MT_Tinman (2,793 comments) says:

    Good on the Commodore.

    Let’s see if Key and co. are simply rhetoric.

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  2. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    welllllll if amnesty international are against it… its probably not a bad thing

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  3. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    “provocation”??

    The NZ Government has removed that defense, so it can’t be possible.

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  4. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    The ban on military and other personnel is clearly hurting so the Commodore tries this stunt to ease a crack in the door. I think the appointment should be rejected but allow a Charge D’affairs to cover things and invite the Commodore to appoint someone who is currently resident in New Zealand.

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  5. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Such harsh sanctions. Not giving those military and their families unlimited access to NZ.

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  6. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    Perhaps the commodore should be allowed to get on and run Fiji and be allowed to return the place to ‘democracy’ by when he says he will.

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  7. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    You deal with military dictatorships you get military dictators.

    Fiji has been methodically putting military officers into every slot they can for some time.

    Another duh moment from reality whose call went unanswered.

    Maybe the coomodore is a power crazy wackjob who loves power and should have been removed some time ago tripewryter.

    Its called reasonable farce Zen.

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  8. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    Murray:

    do you know the commodore?

    How do you know he is a ‘power crazy wackjob’?

    You see, I don’t. And I know that how he rules offends some in Fiji and in the so-called democratic West.

    But I am told by people who live there, and have been there, that he rules with some admiring consent.

    And it seems to me that treating him and his henchmen (and a few women) as naughty little natives who should should play by ‘our’ so-called democratic rules isn’t working.

    Tell me — how has trying to back Commodore Bainimarama into a corner succeeded. If it had, Murray McCully wouldn’t have been up there two weeks ago being conciliatory.

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  9. andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    Is it any more provocative than sending Chris Carter to St Kitts and Nevis to monitor their elections?

    Probably not – its all game playing when it comes down to it.

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  10. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    So what did anyone expect? Fiji is a military dictatorship. QED.

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  11. stu-tron (43 comments) says:

    How about we return serve and nominate Apiata VC to go over there…

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  12. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    A quick election would have simply returned the previously corrupt regime to power.

    Whilst Frank is skating on the edge (and I agree there have been a couple of fair out of bounds calls), and may well go the path of perpetual dictators, it’s pointless pretending the previous bunch were anything but, with only the appearance of democracy giving them right to stuff Fiji up completely.

    Don’t know about you Murray, but I expect taking the reigns from the current dictator just to hand back to the previous mob because they pretended better, and the world chose to believe the pretense, to be far more immoral than trying to help the current one move to free and fair elections. Frank, when it comes down to it, is still a safer bet than Qarase ever was.

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  13. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    Military dictators always rule with “admiring consent” Tripewriter. Its part of the rules.

    Of course they dont allow the people to vote, or do anything except admire the spiffy uniforms and the new presidential palace toys.

    Then the admiring always vote them back into power with 97% of the vote to demonstrate how much they care.

    You satirise yourself, unsurprisingly. But what would you expect from “so called” democrats?

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  14. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    Nice to see your first two posters are supporting a military coup and your religous poster thinks there are equal comparisions between exercising a coup and restricting all freedoms to sending an openly gay minister to somewhere that homosexuality is illegal. Quality points there guys.

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  15. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    TripeWryter, I agree. All my relatives living there have given him the benefit of the doubt. Most Fijians could see where Qarase was heading. The others are pissed off they couldn’t sell off Fiji to make themselves millionaires who would then pack up and leave with all the dosh.

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  16. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    What, are you saying Frank is seen as “popular and competent”??

    Must have passed retrospective legislation or something.

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  17. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    You satirise yourself, unsurprisingly. But what would you expect from “so called” democrats?

    I see it as the other way around. You apparently don’t give a sh*t about democracy, as long as the propaganda is good quality, and the gerrymandering isn’t reported.

    I’m not supporting the coup, I’m supporting the reality of working with Frank to get back to free and fair elections, rather than lock in Qarase and his mob and support corruption. There is a difference.

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  18. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    you don’t get the choice Zen.

    I hold no candle for Quarase. But military dictators are just that. There is only one way that military dictators do business. Hint: Its in the title.

    If you want to go blaming, blame bloody Paul Reeves for his abortion of a constitution that let the crims stack Parliament.

    But Bainimarama has had since 2006 to draft a real constitution. Promising an election by 2014 is clearly just bullshit.

    I personally judge by deeds not words. Is Fiji better off than before the coup? Clearly not. Freedoms are being slowly strangled out. The cult of the beleagured commodore “just looking after the interests of his people” is coming along nicely.

    In 2013 there will be another externally driven “crisis” necessitating the preparations for drafting a constitution to be put on hold for another few years, after which another colonel will step forward to seize control and promise free elections in due course. Such is always the way when you vandalise the institutions of government.

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  19. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    To be fair to Frank I think you will find that only a Fijian military hardman could survive the Wellington summer. If he sent anyone else they would be coming home in boxes dead from hypothermia.

    Is that what the NZ Government really wants, dead Fijian diplomats?

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  20. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    Nigel:

    Whether I satirise myself is neither here nor there, although your having told me means I can add that attribute to my skill-set for future use.

    I am not Fijian, and so I’m not directly affected by what the commodore does.

    If you’re not Fijian — and you sound as if you’re not — why should you care?

    I am told that Fijians do not see his rule as the most onerous of regimes to live under. For 99.999% of them, they do not fear midnight knocks on the door, you don’t get ‘disappearances’, nor, it seems, do you get bodies of dissidents turning up in the bay.

    I don’t see the point of trying to bully him and his regime; clearly it has not worked. That’s the conclusion you have to draw from Murray McCully’s visit there and agreement.

    And why should we care about how Fiji is governed? We wouldn’t dare tell the Chinese how to run their country — and there people do fear the midnight knock on the door, people do disappear, and they do get sent off to jails after show trials.

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  21. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    And why should we care about how Fiji is governed? We wouldn’t dare tell the Chinese how to run their country — and there people do fear the midnight knock on the door, people do disappear, and they do get sent off to jails after show trials.

    If our country was taken over by the military I would fucking hope our “friends” and neighbours stuck up to the bastards. The reason Burma for example continues to be able to operate is because “your” belief is applied by China (who benefit nicely from it) who sells them all the weapons etc they want and gets to rape Burma (or Myanamar) natural resources.

    There is no justification to holding of elections till 2014. It doesnt take 8 years to get a country ready for “democractic” elections, it takes 8 years to subvert the population and destroy the chance for free and true elections however.

    The day you see lawyers being detained, news papers censored and anyone who speaks out put under house arrest is generally not a good day. Also it is not generally a good sign for the future direction of the country.

    So why do I care, because if it happened hear I would hope people would care.

    Reminds me of Benjamin Franklin and his famous quote “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. “

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  22. Bok2 (100 comments) says:

    Yep David how dare those darkies be so disrespectful. The white fella Key has extended his hand in alms after suitably putting the savage upstart in his place…. You prat! The arrogance is out there.
    1) You want to tell the fijians how to run their lives… from a two bit country at the bottom of the world? I like NZ, lived there for 25 years, but lets be real. On the world stage? Fiji has had troops fronting up on UN duty while NZ has been doing it’s best to “teach the world how to live. I mean it is the only country smart enough to screw the economy with an ETS.
    2) Then you arrogantly have a crack at the fijians for who they choose. How dare they! I was there last week (have you even been there?) and the Fijians are happy and looking forward to a real shot at creating paradise.
    How about getting over the shortman syndrome, being bully, and having a crack at that dictatorship the south pacific , where the voted to change the law, only to told
    to piss off.

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  23. Bok2 (100 comments) says:

    Jeff sorry to dissagree. If you really believed that then you would act the same way towards
    China, Thailand and pakistan…

    Why the double standards.

    Deity, I have been there 5 times since the coup. Sorry but you do not have a clue what you are talking about. happiness factor is about twice that of NZ and the opposition against the Com. is about at the level support for bringing Helen back would be.

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  24. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    Ol’ Martin Miemoller seems suddenly apt again, because of course 99.99% are always safe from the midnight knock, at first. Its just those troublemakers, and journalists, and independent justices etc etc…

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.

    But I am not Fijian, so am obviously disqualified from understanding how military dictatorships operate.

    And as for Bok, yeah NZ is a sanctimonious little country that has freeloaded off the western alliance for decades. So, your point was?

    Of course now that Fiji is going to hell in a handbasket, you get great holiday deals. and the locals will do anything for hard currency. Your point was? Because I seem to have missed it.

    Oh yes, happy darkies prefer military dictatorships, well, judging by your label, you should know.

    May I suggest you study a little history?

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  25. kiwitoffee (383 comments) says:

    Hardly surprising, really, when you consider that in the past the Fiji Government despatched the exceptionally wicked (and up-to-his-neck in Speight’s little wheeze) Police Commissioner Savua as their Representative to the UN.
    You can’t say they don’t have a sense of humour.

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  26. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Bok2 stopping Fijian military types from coming to NZ is NZ being a bully ?
    Bloody hell I hate to think what you would call it if NZ and Australia decided to fuck up the Fijian tourist industry by stopping their airlines from landing in Fiji.
    You must have forgotten, NZ like Fiji is a sovereign country, we bloody decide who comes here, not Fiji

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  27. V (660 comments) says:

    ‘Agree to disagree’, this terminology is rubbish and used far too often as an excuse for complete inaction, something that sadly goes on far too often in politics these days.

    You will note Key, Rudd, Obama and soon to be prime minister elect Cameron all share this particular do-nothing ethos. Does anyone of these men actually have a policy position that doesn’t involve a tribe of pollsters and spindoctors?

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