Students of the Bible will be familiar with the expression which refers to discovery of the real truth being likened to a falling off of scales from the eyes. Such an experience befell Saul on the road to Damascus on his way to persecute the Christians, and is also called a ‘Damascus experience’. Yash Ghai, Chairman of the Fiji Constitutional Commission, is surely familiar with this expression in view of his extensive erudition and learning.
Yash Ghai has (very belatedly) undergone a Damascus experience in now acknowledging for the first time the real truth of the farce in which the Fiji regime has been engaging him – the process of preparing a new Constitution.
He now sees that Fiji cannot have fair and free elections unless the latest Decrees slashing public consultation are ‘cleaned up’ (as many will recall, the phrase ‘clean up’ was used by the regime to justify its 2006 coup, although of course no actual clean up has occurred – rather the reverse).
Yash Ghai also rightly claims that the regime’s leader and so-called Prime Minister has been harassing him in his work.
Yash Ghai has stated that the entire alleged Constitutional consultation process was entered into on basis of deceit by the regime and that recent changes to the plan for a new Constitution are a very serious variation from the agreement for the process made with the regime.
Yash Ghai’s Damascus experience is, of course most welcome, although much delayed. The Council respectfully points out that long ago, in light of interference and intimidation by the regime and in light of the regime’s craven wish to obtain absolution from its crimes through amnesty, his position was untenable and he should reconsider his position.
In light of the continuance of harassment and intimidation, and of course bad faith, and now the united rejection by all major political parties of the entire process, coupled with the contrived political prosecution of Laisenia Qarase, Yash Ghai should reconsider his decision not to resign.
In response to Yash Ghai’s comments and protests the alleged Prime Minister, an intellectual pygmy and a person of no reputation, has done what he always does when confronted with the view of a truly respected figure who disagrees with him in any way. Bainimarama has become a mouthpiece for a set of noble sounding words designed to put Yash Ghai in his place. Those words are without doubt drafted by his henchman and coup planner Aiyaz Khaiyum, whose mastery of grammar and rhetoric, though far from perfect, easily excels that of Bainimarama.
Bainimarama has reasserted his intention to hold free and fair elections. He has accused Yash Ghai of self gratification – though for what ‘gratification’, he does not attempt to describe. He further denies harassing Yash Ghai and states with great hypocrisy, that the Constitution is not for the Government but for the people.
What is to be made of Khaiyum’s words as uttered by Bainimarama?
Quite unlike Yash Ghai, both Bainimarama and Khaiyum have no credibility. The barest examinations of their history record this fact plainly. Their actions are a tissue of hypocritical self serving lies.
Bainimarama and Khaiyum have both been compared with Richard Nixon (a comparison which is admittedly flawed in terms of intellect). However both have an important trait in common with ‘Tricky Dick’. They are both persons of no credibility or integrity, as shown by a host of instances including recently, to name but a few, their dealings with the English Law Society and the International Labour Organisation, and as recently exposed by William Marshall QC.
It has been asked of Richard Nixon: “Would you buy a used car from this man?” The question was asked because of Nixon’s untrustworthy character.
The Council would not buy anything from Bainimarama or Khaiyum. It would not believe anything they say, based on their dubious records. It would prefer the word of an internationally respected figure such as Yash Ghai.
The Council believes that the condemnation by Yash Ghai of the behaviour of the regime in regard to the Constitutional process shows beyond doubt that it is fatally flawed and cannot lead to a democratic conclusion.
The Council repeats its respectful suggestion that Yash Ghai now resign to save himself further embarrassment at the hands of the regime.