Home » Uncategorized » The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents.

The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents.

When we fail to apply the rule of law equally to every citizen our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.

An Opinion by:Mick Beddoes Apr 18 2014

On May 1stMr Chaudhry will be sentenced and if it involves a custodial term then he will be the second of our democratically elected Prime Ministers to be sent to prison for offences that can only be described as misdemeanors when we compare it to the capital offences committed by the usurpers of our democracy in 1987, 2000 and 2006.
 Both of our former Prime Ministers have already been disqualified from participating in the 2014 elections as a direct consequence of their convictions and Mr Qarase has already served his time. Yet two of their 3 usurpers, not only remain free, they are eligible to contest the general election that has been denied to the two Prime Ministers they over threw..
 The 3rd usurper, a civilian, was charged and sentenced to death, which was the penalty for treason at the time. His life was spared when the death penalty was removed for capital crimes by parliament and George Speight is still serving his life sentence for his part in the 2000 coup.
 On the other hand the other 2 usurpers of our democracy, both former military commanders, remain free and despite being responsible for the overthrow of the 1987 and 2006 parliaments, both of them are eligible to contest the 2014 elections, because of the immunity they enjoy which protects them from having to ‘face up’ to any criminal charges for carrying out coups and over throwing the elected governments of the people in 1987 and 2006.
 If the rule of law is supposedly applied equally to all, why is George Speight in prison while the 2 other coup leaders are free and able to contest elections? What was different about the 2000 coup from the 1987 and 2006 coups? How have we justified such an unfair application of the rule of law in this instant?
 How can we as a society, think that it is somehow fair and just to punish our democratically elected leaders as harshly as we have done for their misdemeanors, which are unrelated to their term in office, while at the same time remain silent and just accept the imposition by the usurpers of a blanket immunity that protects them not only from the capital offences they committed against the state, the constitution and the people in the past, but which extends to crimes they are yet to commit in the future? And if that is not enough, we even give them the freedom to take part in general elections, without having answered for their crimes.
 There is something fundamentally wrong with us a society if we believe it’s ok to have the usurpers of our democracy, elected to our House of Representatives, where they can help make laws and dispense justice to the very people whose livelihoods, rights and freedoms they abused and suppressed, while all the time being protected from prosecution for overthrowing our previous parliaments.
 Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhry are now disqualified from contesting elections for their misdemeanors; every other citizen who is registered to vote and eligible to contest the elections is subject to disqualification for various offences as stated in Sec 56 of the 2013 constitution. It is only the usurpers of our democracy and those other citizens who have aided and arbited them in the removal of our elected governments who will not face the kind of scrutiny that other citizens will be subjected to because they enjoy immunity from prosecution. This is what the regime means about everyone being equal.
 The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents. But so long as we keep rewarding the wrong doers and try to make excuses for their actions as being necessary then we fail to apply the rule of law as we are obliged to do and consequently our moral & ethical compass as a society fails with it.
 History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people’. Dr Martin Luther King Jr
 Mick Beddoes

14 thoughts on “The rule of law must apply equally to everyone from the law abiding citizen, the common thief to coup leaders and Presidents.

  1. Mick, your world view is simplistic and naive. Your claim that the rule of law must equally apply to anyone is nonsense. Firstly, there is no rule of law in Fiji. This country is ruled by Khaiyum’s decrees enforced by his RFMF goons. If you consider the new constitution as “law”, you will find out very quickly that those who have committed treason are pardoned with generous immunity clauses. Hence our supreme “law”, makes a very clearly differentiates between an old fat failed politician like yourself and the brilliant leaders that have managed to come first in the fight for survival of the fittest. Khaiyum’s superior intelligence has shown us that he has earned every single US$ that Aunty Nur transfers to his Hong Kong account. How stupid do you think Khaiyum is to give it all away, just to comply with some 20th century notion that everyone is equal.

  2. Khayium must be charged for treason.He is the problem.Otherwise release Gerorge Speight.The other problem is the i taukei who are easily bough by money.In 1987 and 2000 they were burning and looting Suva city. Now this is what you call cowards!Now all have gone underground !

  3. Beddoes you are looking at it from the negative side, those coups were done accordingly.In fact the army will always do the coup to safeguard the interest of the people of Fiji from selfish people, and if you don’t see that, than you will always not get the fact of making a coup.Look back at those true reasons why coups were done and you will agree that rules should be broken unto if necessary when poor souls are crying, while our leaders are filling their pockets.Any individual will throw out the constitution if that is the case

  4. I agree with Mack as over the past months he has been spilling out logical explanations. So do the right thing Mack and lobby your Military mates to step in, get this criminal regime to step down pending INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION and put a caretaker Government in place for the election (an all-out investigation on the Regime members, their goons like CP Patel, tappoo, the legal arm of the Regime. etc). Like you said ” the military is there “to safeguard the interest of the people of Fiji” If you do not agree, then your opinions are just hot air and go hang your head in shame.

  5. Vinaka Mick for the all important road signs as we climb these treacherous corners towards the promised September elections. There will always be stoic fatalists and there will always be coup supporters, both are allergic to the truth and will one day fall off the roadside.

    The difference between Speight, FB and SR is the latter two were in command and had the support of the army when they unlawfully destroyed elected governments in 1987 and 2006. And here lies the source of all our core problems during the last 27 years – having a standing army!

    Fiji does not need an army, period. Its presence will always be a source of our insecurity. Rogue elements within the political and military elite like SR and FB will continue to exploit military support for their own power grabs. As a poor country we cannot afford to continue propping up an extremely large army per capita. Let’s redirect scarce resources away from wasteful and painful military expenditures to more essential public services like health care and education. Wouldn’t it be nice to one day proudly say that we have more doctors than soldiers?

    Fiji’s electorate inevitably await the 4 oppositional political parties’ election manifestos with anticipation. Will our political leaders be brave enough and call for the abolition of a standing army and make a clean break from the culture of coups, suffering and trashing of democratic principles and institutions that has become so ingrained in the Fijian psyche these last 27 years? Or will the long suffering Fijian electorate be dished out the same mediocre of promises on economic and socio development as if we’ve all been living in a financially accountable and bourgeoning democracy these last 8 years?

    To political parties and independents contesting the promised September elections please make a commitment towards abolishing Fiji’s military in your election manifestos and give our people a chance at reclaiming our common humanity.

  6. Fiji’s election will not be free and fair as it will be rigged by Khayium.
    Theonly way for free and fair election will be a caretaker which seems not possible under the regime.

  7. Nothing has been positive since 2006 . Some filling their pockets and corruption at the highest. Debt has gone to 7 billion.
    People have no freedom of speech. This the Fiji we now stay in.The military is suppose to guard the interest of the people but it has made a 360 degree turn. The military is against the people and democratic values and principles.

  8. Was a police complaint ever filed by the, then, legally elected government in 2006 for the crimes committed by Crankie in 2006?

  9. Those supporting this government really still don’t get it. Rabuka was wrong, Speight wrong and Bainmarama for whatever good you may attribute to him was wrong. Democracy which is the will of the people must be allowed to make its good and bad decisions for it to mature, just like a kid being raised up.

    If you want to change the decisions then there is a process of waiting for the next election, As under any government leadership there will be those that benefit and and those that are victims. But we have to agreee to a system of selecting and changing our leaders that is not the wild west, and stick to it, only then can we say that we grown up as a democracy have civilised institutions and civilised of going about our business. So it matters little what good Bainimarama has done he has committed the ultimate crime against our democracy in that is he has overtaken it with the gun and in so doing overtaken the politicians and the will of those that chose them. And until we agree that Rabuka, Speight and Bainimiarama are wrong and punish them, the possibility of another young man in green feeling justified to take another elected government in the future will still be more likely than not..

  10. All this whinging is a sure sign that the supposed opposition has given up as they finally realise they have nothing different or better to offer.

    It’s unlikely things will change until people can see something positive and at the present time the opposition are letting their followers down by simply showing them they are no better than what we have now.

  11. Mick
    I agree with what you have said but can you come clean on your NBF loan and the pay rise for your staff.

    Can you tell the public how much loan you took from NBF, when did you pay your loan and what was the interest rate.

    On your staff pay rise, can you highlight what their demands were and what you offered. You company profits would also help.


  12. Another good letter that speaks to the hearts and minds of ethical citizens. Those that brush Mick’s sentiments aside as mere political mudslinging are not awake to the moral decay of the Fijian society, a decay that will take more than one generation to eradicate! Governance, leadership, management of state affairs and even private business have moral compass to go by because they all have vision and destination to arrive at. The problem Beddoes is highlighting here is serious because it reflects among other things that Fiji has a very dim future if the practice of not following the just and righteous course is embedded in societal norm. Immorality and illegality always have their grave consequence on society and it is what Fiji should be weary of! It is better to groan now and speak out for righteousness and justice than to be suffering under the curse and affliction of evil and wicked ways when it is too late.

  13. I agree with you totally Kainoqu. I only hope that more of our people will look beyond the physical activities and distractions. Voreqe’s regime is absolutely an evil force that is attacking the very moral fibre and norms of our society. They are redefining the very meaning of right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice, honour, leadership, courage and government. The longer we allow them to carry on, the more difficult it will be for us to dislodge them from power and the greater the long term damage to our society, especially our children. It will take a smart, courageous, concerted, decisive, united and radical action for us to do so. But it is absolutely possible. Yes we will overcome. SOON.

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