Thursday, August 6, 2009

Commonwealth Conversation - Its Big & Join up for your Voice to be Heard. Check out Fiji Polls while there.

The Largest dialogue ever for people in the Commonwealth & Association ...
Two billion people. 53 countries. One Conversation. Join In.[says the experts].

What do you think?
Should Fiji be suspended from the Commonwealth?
Yes (61%, 17 Votes)
No (39%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 28
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Polls Archive

If still unconvinced heres an Excerpts of letter from the Commonwealth Conversation Team:

Dear Children of Fiji,

I am writing from the Royal Commonwealth Society, based in London, about a recent project we have launched called The Commonwealth Conversation.

The Conversation is a series of consultations and online discussions about the future of the Commonwealth – and what the Commonwealth is doing both right and wrong.

We will be presenting our findings at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad in November.

At the moment I am trying to develop a network of bloggers from around the Commonwealth who might be interested in engaging with our website discussions and influencing the report we present.

As you can well imagine – we are very keen for the situation in Fiji to be a part of these discussions and I was wondering if you would be interested in getting involved.

I have only just begun the process of networking bloggers and I would be very grateful if you passed on this information to those who might also like to get involved.

Very best,

Commonwealth Conversation Team
About the Conversation
CMAG doesn’t suspend FijiPosted by ZoeWare - 31/07/09 at 07:07 pm

Considerable rumours circulated worldwide this week about the imminence of Fiji’s full suspension from the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held today, Friday 31st July, in London. However at the meeting, CMAG’s 9 Foreign Ministers agreed to give the Fijian regime 1 more month to reactivate the President’s Political Dialogue Forum process, facilitated by the Commonwealth and the United Nations.
CMAG stressed that such a Dialogue must be independent, inclusive, time-bound and without any pre-determined outcome, and lead to credible elections in the country no later than October 2010. If these conditions are not met by 1st September 2009, Fiji will be fully suspended from the Commonwealth.

Above Photo taken during Queen Elizabeth 2nd visit to Fiji in the hey days.

The CMAG is the Commonwealth’s mechanism to deal with serious or persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values laid down in the Harare Declaration.

Fiji was suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth in December 2006, following the military overthrow of the Pacific Island state’s democratically elected government. Fiji remains in contravention of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. See here for an example.

Do you think the Commonwealth should have acted more decisively today to suspend Fiji from the Commonwealth? Or do you think Commonwealth Foreign Ministers are right to try to affect change in Fiji by keeping her, at least partially, within the fold?

Some Responses to “CMAG doesn’t suspend Fiji”
  • ZoeWare says: July 31st, 2009 at 8:03 pm
    Fijian officials obviously aren’t that bothered about suspension from the Commonwealth, as they sought to downplay its importance earlier this week while suspension seemed likely

  • AlexT says: August 1st, 2009 at 3:11 pm
    The entire thing is a joke. This is the biggest open and shut case! It should have taken 10 minutes to draft a statement and kick them out.

  • RFLowings says: August 3rd, 2009 at 2:10 pm
    Of course Commonwealth leaders should keep Fiji within the fold. The Commonwealth does not exist as an international judiciary, and trying to encourage change is the best thing that can be done in this situation.
    The Commonwealth’s existing mandate is against ‘world policemen’.
    If we want a fundamental change in the Commonwealth’s guiding principles, then we must lobby for that.
    Do you want to close off the Commonwealth?

  • ZoeWare says: August 5th, 2009 at 9:31 am
    Has the Fijian government changed its tune? The Fiji Times reports that in response to the CMAG statement, the government are now inviting a Commonwealth delegation to Fiji for discussions.

  • RFLowings says: August 5th, 2009 at 10:17 am
    QED. This is a perfect example of Commonwealth application of Diplomatic pressure. If there can be free & fair elections by 2010 then there’s clear evidence that CMAG is still relevant.
    Just because the Commonwealth doesn’t swoop right in there with the ban hammer doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. We shall see what comes of this.
    Jolly good show, Commonwealth!


  1. Bloggers,

    We have alot of assuptions when it comes to challenging the Regime and Voreqe's leadeeship, and they can all be logical to an extent.

    I was at Michael Green's seminar at the Australian National University today, and he spoke on a paper he wrote about how the Qarase multicabinet government was not given a chance to run

    He reiterated alot of the things that got him into trouble and eventually his deportation from Fiji.

    This government he said, was doing quite well and didn't have time to build a reputation before Voreqe came up with all his rhetorics which in turn has brought us to where we are today. Mr Green informed us that Mr. Qarase was just in the process of getting people to NZ to learn more about the concept when it all came to an abrupt halt.

    Since then, he (Voreqe) has been censoring the media, violated basic human rights as encapsulated by article 19 of the Universal Declaration of HR,abrogated the Constitution and made friends with ex communists and a country well known for it's abhorrent cast system.

    That brings me to this issue of us isolating ourselves or the International communities closing their doors. Call it what you like, but that is the reality, our friends are disassociating themselves from us. Australi and New Zealand, the PIF, the EU and now the Commonwealth.

    This might be followed by more and it will be nothing but fatal for the economy and the people will suffer. If it is a short term sacrifice for long term benefit than there is no other way but suspend Fiji.

    Voreqe is not going to be dictated to as he has proven in his leadership, so there would be no point in pussyfooting around with important decisions such as this. If the CMAG want dialogue, then he will be trying to get things done to his terms instead of reaching a solution bipartite. He has proven to the world that he has very little room for compromise.

    It is hard to see our country suffering, but if hard decisions have to made for the benefit of later generations, then they should be made.

    If we succumb to him as the GCC,Methodist Church and the polulation have done, then his arrogance will be fuelled by this action, or lack of it giving him the false impression that he is invincible.

    Remember, he said, he came to clean up, now he is trying to solve problems that were not there to start with.

    Suliasi Daunitutu.

  2. News Updates:
    Sir Paul Reeves gets blocked from talking to elected Politicians in Fiji because some of them do not agree with what the military dictator is doing. Vore Baini need to do this to save his face to the world. He wants to viwed as the strong military man in this small dot of an island called Fiji.

    Vore Baini does not realise how he is digging himself further into the trench that his merryman are digging for him. He has again deprived the Politician their basic Human Rights to meet and have a dialogue with the International Community in this instance the Commonwealth in order to restore Fiji back to Democratically elecetd Government.
    All the Fiji Indian supporting this regime must be having a Party now and we say not for long!!!
    May God Bless Fiji.

    read further:
    Commonwealth envoy barred from Fiji opposition meet
    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    SUVA — Fiji's military government has blocked a Commonwealth envoy from meeting opposition politicians as he winds up two days of talks on Thursday.

    Special representative Paul Reeves was dispatched to the capital Suva as part of efforts from the international grouping to secure an early restoration of democracy in the Pacific island nation.

    Fiji leader Voreqe Bainimarama had warned Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma that Reeves would not be allowed to meet politicians opposed to the regime, Fiji's Defence Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau told Radio New Zealand International Thursday.

    Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth this month after rebuffing demands for elections to be scheduled by October next year and on Tuesday Bainimarama reiterated his refusal to bring forward polls from 2014 following talks with Reeves.

    Reeves, the former governor-general of New Zealand, said the Commonwealth had to accept what the regime had scheduled for him.

    "Well, we are very much dependent upon what is arranged for us by the government of the day and they have not included all the political parties," he said.

    "Whatever be our feelings about that, that is the position we accept."

    Bainimarama, who overthrew the elected government in a December 2006 coup, on Monday told Reeves he was committed to plans to introduce a new constitution and voting system before elections by September 2014.

    "We informed Sir Paul and his team about the July 1 roadmap and we've told them that we needed the time to carry out reforms before we have an election and that's where it stays," Bainimarama told Fiji commercial radio.

    The military ruler says the present voting system, under which members of the majority indigenous population and minority ethnic Indian population vote for representatives of their own race, has aggravated ethnic divisions.

    Bainimarama also says his reforms will end Fiji's "coup culture," which has seen four governments removed at the point of a gun since 1987.

    Reeves was due to meet Fiji business and academic leaders Thursday


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