Former Opposition Leader Beddoes’ response to Sitiveni Rabuka’s claims

that his recent opinion piece

was responsible for Rabuka’s difficulties with SODELPA

The ‘Opinion’ article I released recently was about the ‘rule of law’. It also specifically refers to what I consider to be the ‘selective’ application of the law with regard to our two democratically elected Prime Ministers Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry. I compare their circumstances with that of the three usurpers of our democracy. Because they enjoy immunity from prosecution, two of them remain free to contest elections, despite the nature of their capital crime. The third usurper does not enjoy the same immunity and is currently serving a life sentence for his capital crime.

The nature of the crimes concerning the elected Prime Ministers that disqualified them from contesting the 2014 elections are, in my opinion, misdemeanors when compared to the seriousness of the capital crimes committed by the usurpers.

The rule of law must apply equally to every citizen, regardless of their status in life. That is essentially what my opinion piece was about and I did not make any submissions to the SODELPA executive or anyone else about Mr Rabuka.

I acknowledge that Mr Rabuka’s coup happened 27 years ago and that he stood for elections, was successful, became Prime Minister and took Fiji towards a new multiracialism. I acknowledge also that he has previously apologized for his part in the ’87 coup.

But an apology on its own cannot heal the hurt and pain tens of thousands of our people suffered as a result of the ’87 coup. The same applies to the Speight 2000 coup and the 2006 Bainimarama coup.

According to a previous estimate by the respected economist Professor Wadan Narsey, the three coups have so far cost our financially poor nation $9 billion. Once we take account of the full damage and loss caused by the Bainimarama military takeover and his prolonged rule, billions of dollars more will be added.

That’s enough money to create well-funded policies to wipe out all poverty and squatter problems in Fiji. It would leave enough change to ensure conditions for zero unemployment and payment of a just national minimum wage, for every family to have a decent standard of living. The multi billions of lost dollars would also have provided water, electricity and improved and affordable transport to the most deprived and remote areas of Fiji. There would have been medical services with properly remunerated doctors and nurses operating the cleanest, best maintained and equipped hospitals in our region and still be in a position to take good care of all our people’s needs and aspirations.

All this is what military coups have cost us, the people. And that is why many cannot simply forget the capital crimes committed against us.

I have not, of course, included the grievous social and physical cost and trauma related to the disintegration of many families from the financial strain, the abuse of human rights including deaths, torture, suppression of liberties and freedoms, and rule by fear.

But the people of Fiji, despite all of this and having to always vosota and carry the pain, are still amongst the friendliest and most tolerant in the world.

Our people have the goodness of heart to forgive those who have sinned against them. But for forgiveness to be complete there needs to be reciprocation. This would encompass sincere expressions of atonement by the wrong doers and must be demonstrated in a real and profound way.

That has not happened yet. And, until it does, the past will continue to haunt us. That haunting came home in the recent SODELPA incident with Mr Rabuka.

I am not qualified to pass judgment on Mr Rabuka, and neither is this an attempt to do so. Only a competent court of law can do that.

But what I will say is this: Mr Rabuka and all other persons instrumental in the events of 1987, 2000 and 2006 who still enjoy immunity but would prefer to atone, receive forgiveness and reconcile with the people, must demonstrate their sincerity. They can do this by taking a personal decision and acting on it, no matter how difficult it might be.

One way that I suggest would be to make a personal legal statutory declaration that they forfeit the protection of their immunity absolutely. That declaration should also state categorically that they will freely submit themselves to a properly constituted court of enquiry into all aspects of the military coups and part of a properly established and independently managed ‘Truth & Reconciliation Process’ to allow the healing of our people to begin.

Such an undertaking by the individuals involved would demonstrate in a very powerful way their genuine remorse. And regardless of the outcome of a judicial enquiry, including provisions for mercy, the offenders would have taken a just and commendable step towards seeking and earning forgiveness from their victims, their families and the citizens of Fiji.

This in itself would help to lift terrible burdens of pain, loss and shame carried for too long by the people of Fiji.

Mick Beddoes

Sabeto

Nadi

April 26 2014

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20 thoughts on “

  1. Very well said Mick.

    Enough forgiveness, more honesty and responsibility.

    They made their beds; they should lie in them.

  2. It sums up the crux of the matter (coups and immunity). For example if Papa Pig truly believes in the legitimacy of his action (as military commander) to save the country from bankruptcy than there is no need for immunity provisions in the Constitution. He should be able to argue and justify his actions in a court of law.

  3. Fiji’s dictator is desperate to win the elections and to stay in power or it will mean certain arrest and imprisonment for him and his group of corrupt, parasitic friends and family.
    Therefore, his illegal and megalomaniac AG, Khaiyum, has been working the system through his corrupt judiciary, illegal decrees, puppet electoral Commission, and his unqualified and inexperienced Supervisor of Elections who has not voted before in any general elections, to rig the elections in the dictator’s favour.

  4. WHO owns the PO Box 555 which Fiji’s illeagal Attorney-General and Minister for Elections Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum listed as the registrant’s postal code when he bought the domain name Fiji First in 2009 for military dictator Frank Bainimarama to use in the September general election?

    The post code belongs to Khaiyum’s aunty Nur Bano Ali’s chartered accountancy firm BDO Zarin Ali. For the same post code is cited in documents relating to Latifa Investments, the family company owned by Aiyaz Khaiyum and his mother Latifa. Latifa Investments is 99 per cent owned by Khaiyum and one per cent by his mother. Nur Bano Ali is Khaiyum’s maternal aunt, sister of Khaiyum’s mother Latifa. Bano Ali is also the illegal regime’s pay mistress

  5. Another press release by a man who pretends to be saint, ethical and above board.

    Mr Beddose can you pls put pen to paper and appologise to the gentleman whose wife you stole you thief. Be a man and own up to your faults and stop pointing to others.

    Also mr beddose can you pls provide evidence of the loan you have yet to pay to NBF. This is stealing from the tax payers. You are nothing but a real thief.

  6. We are already seeing activities to support rigged and fraudulent elections – This includes:
    No exit polling
    the complex ballot
    minimum time allowed for “other” political parties to campaign
    no media freedom
    no freedom of speech
    intimidation
    the illegal constitution forced onto the people of Fiji
    the illegal electoral decree
    delays
    lies and broken promises
    deliberate breaches of their own electoral decree
    the corrupt and puppet electoral commission
    no rule of law
    military officer in senior government positions
    the inexperienced, unqualified and puppet supervisor of elections
    etc.

  7. In the Fiji Times of 19 Dec. 2006, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is reported to have said that

    “those who want to be considered to be in the interim government will have to make an undertaking that they will not stand in the next election… One of the faults of the transition from 2000 to the next government was that the interim government then, formed a political party that became the SDL and they used their positions in the interim government to gain political support,” he said. Commodore Bainimarama said this contributed to what was now widely known as the agriculture scam.

    Can Commodore Bainimarama explain why he and some of his Interim Ministers are currently now standing for elections.

    Second, how different is the Bainimarama Regime’s handing out of sewing machines and brush-cutters to voters, different from the SDL Agricultural Scam he criticized at the end of 2006?

  8. It is refreshing to read a letter like this that goes to the heart of Fiji’s problem. The most concerning aspect to it all is the ‘DENIAL’ element, a tendency that surfaces from the way parties have seemingly engaged with the Bainimarama schemes and orchestration to cling on to power! Since the first military coup of Rabuka, the practice of creating another constitution, the granting of immunity to usurpers and the staging of election to claim full democracy accreditation has been the pattern for returning the country to normalcy and we can now all understand why it has not served Fiji’s purpose at all. We have always been lamenting that coups don’t help anyone, but the short-sighted corrupt and greedy individuals who do not have good wishes for the country but themselves have craftly misled people throughout. Time and time again we’ve highlighted the costs to the nation- economic, social, political, emotional, psychological and moral – but the tendency to remake the constitution, have another election and another government and get on with business as usual as if nothing had happened prevails. Its like building sandcastles! The country is at the stage of perceiving everything Bainimarama and thugs are doing as “acceptable gestures” for returning the country to democracy and this has been seen from the way people participated in the constitution review commission which unsurprisingly ended up at the incinerator! There was the attempt to disfigure and disorient parliament’s role and the mandate by constituting a people’s assembly and giving it a charter to operate with, but that also did not solve anything as the men of the clergy who were enthused about it will now have realised. The rhetoric of ‘coup to rid corruption’, ‘coup to make all citizens equal’, ‘coup to bridge the races’, ‘coup to rid old politicians, ‘coup that no military officer will benefit from’, and coup to secure the nation and people’s future’ etc…etc have always been said to be a load of hot air, and will continue to be hot air because the fact is that the promise makers are the worst criminals of all by the law! It is as basic as this and Fiji as a nation must learn to acknowledge and prove acknowledgment of this through its action. It means complying with the rule of law – saying and instituting what is necessary by law, unequivocally and with diligence and integrity. That is not possible under the Bainikaiyum order because the subservient nature of agencies and institutions that should serve the people, not the dictator is the acquiescing stumbling block to all! There are examples of denial of Bainimarama’s crime we can refer which is worthwhile mentioning here – (1) Agreeing to be part of Bainimarama’s national charter to build a better Fiji, (2) Agreeing to be part of his self-constituted assembly to promote his unconstitutional charter, (3) Agreeing to participate in an illegal constitutional review process which unsurprisingly ended up in the incinerator, (4) Agreeing to participate in an election under a decree by Bainikaiyum that also disallows an interim government to properly manage it.

    So what on earth is Fiji thinking about and getting itself into from the Bainimarama circus we have been witnessing??? To the many observers who have been looking at what is happening, it is just a mess. The act of participating in schemes that Bainimarama has corruptly orchestrated – far from proper democracy’s sake – but for political expediency that could very well result in legitimising his rule is abating the course of illegality and also fueling the denial syndrome that has somewhat plagued the nation. It has to be addressed and sentiments that Beddoes shares about all citizen’s equality under the law is worth noting and applauding. More seriously, Fiji has to stand up for righteousness and justice and not be forced into corrupt and devious schemes of the sort that Bainimarama imposes. There is no message more important than this! We all know that destroying the constitution and creating a new one with immunity provision is not the just and righteous way……letting criminals loot state coffers and allowing them to bribe citizens with ill-gotten gains is not the just and righteous way……participating in election under self-made decrees and not ensuring its proper enforcement takes the nation further and further away from the just and righteous way! Come on Fiji……..you are certainly better than what you are right now!!. You deserve better and you know and believe that you deserve better and for heaven’s sake stop denying!!

  9. Anon 11.11pm

    Why can’t mick provide the evidence as he talks about transparency and good governance.

    Its a fact that mick stole someone’s else wife. Do u think that will make a good PM or leader? What guarantee is that he will not still from the government coffers is he gets the opportunity.

    Its a fact that he pointed to Rabuka and others when he never owned up to his misdeeds when he owes NBF and the tax payers more than quarter million $.

    Mick is a thief.

    If he is not he has to prove it.

  10. I have a friend who worked for NBF and confirmed that Mick Beddose owes lots and lots of money to the Bank.

    I am not surprised that he continues run away from paying his debt but paints Rabuka as a criminal.

    As a kailoma, I must say that we are tied of Mick trying to show that he is a clean politican.

    I am surprised that he stole someone’s wife. I hope this man is not elected. It seems that sodelpa is famous for this. Is it also true ratu naiqama also caught with his pants down with someone else?

  11. Fiji first will win the election.

    Flp and Nfp will not win seats as indians will vote for frank.

    Majority of fijians will also vote for FF.

    Go frank go

  12. Mr Beddoes you should not forget the NBF scam in which you were involved in if you are trying to put these people in jail you thief

  13. How can SODELPA run the country if it’s members are divided themselves?

    How can they be trusted to look after everyone if they themselves don’t trust and respect one another?

    I think SODELPA supporters shouldn’t waste their time there but join my man VB and his Fiji First Party where the ‘lagoon are much more calmer’ and lots of love and respect within the party.

    Come and join Fiji First – not a divided party like SODELPA!!!

    AND HELP BUILD A BETTER & PROMISING FIJI.

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