I was surprised to read the following article in today's Fijiradio news. Why did Tui Labasa change her mind? After a few of the military men visited her and convinced her it would be prudent?
Charter less debatable for Tui LabasaThursday, March 27, 2008
The proposed People’s Charter for Change and Progress has seemingly become a less contentious issue for the district of Labasa after the Marama Na Tui Labasa Adi Salanieta Tuilomaloma changed her mind. Two weeks ago the 77 year old chief refused to support the Charter deciding to back the opposing views of a majority of her clan leaders. But a visit from the military, with the specific purpose of clarifying the charter changed the chief’s perspective.
She also commented on changing views of her clan leaders. “Well I think they have seen the light and they will come in with us. Its so hard to get them to come in but this one case I think, not I think, they are seriously thinking of joining in. Q: So as Tui Labasa you support the proposed Charter? Yes I do very much for Bainimarama and for the good of all.”
Military officers are expected to visit other districts within the province to clarify the charter.
(added later: something also from the Labasa meeting)
Charter won’t replace Fiji’s Constitution
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Taken from / By: Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
The People Charter for Change and Progress will not replace Fiji’s Constitution says the Fiji Military Forces.
Captain Suliasi Gukimaleya of the army’s Civil Affairs Department explained this fact to clan leaders of Labasa who demanded to know if the proposed document would become the country’s supreme law.
Confused clan leaders strongly demanded answers from Captain Suliasi Gukimaleya and his team of soldiers who were part of the Bose Vanua of the district of Labasa on Tuesday.
“The question from district representative Ifereimi Rokomasa Talatu was ‘will the Charter abolish the Constitution?”
The answer from Captain Gukimaleya was ‘No it won’t! It will be inserted into the Constitution.
Captain Gukimaleya settled concerns about the viability of the Constitution when he said the Charter would be inserted in Chapter Two or the Compact Section of the Supreme Law, which will provide a guide for governments to come.
Further questions from the floor were related to the monitoring of the implementation of the charter’s goals.
Captain Gukimaleya explained the Charter was the military’s exit strategy in that after the Charter becomes part of the Constitution, the military will return to camp and won’t monitor the charter any more.
He says monitoring future government’s implementation of the vision of the charter would be the role of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.