Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bias and prejudice in Fiji's Parliament

from w
What a ridiculous decision to suspend Ratu Naiqama for two years.  Strong words spoken perhaps but the reaction shows how Fiji's Parliament shows no respect for members who want to argue about a situation.
Fiji Times reported the story in this way:

MP out of the House

Nasik Swami
Friday, May 22, 2015
PARLIAMENTARIAN Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu apologised to his people minutes after he was suspended by Parliament yesterday.
Ratu Naiqama was suspended for two years for a "serious" breach of parliamentary privilege in a parliamentary session that ended at 9.30pm last night — a sitting that lasted five hours and 30 minutes with a 20-minute.
The House upheld the motion — moved by Attorney-General and Justice Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum — that Ratu Naiqama be suspended with immediate effect as of yesterday; that he issue a public apology in writing to the Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni; and that he must not be allowed to enter the parliamentary precincts, including the Opposition office during his suspension.
"To the people that voted me into that House, I must apologise for what I have done given the decision of Parliament," Ratu Naiqama told The Fiji Times at Parliament last night.
"I want to reassure you all that whatever fight that SODELPA will undertake on behalf of its members and supporters will continue with much more vigour.
"Be rest assured that the SODELPA flag will always be flying high given this unfortunate incident that has happened which I respect."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday moved the motion after the Parliamentary Privileges Committee cited Ratu Naiqama for serious breach of privilege and hold him in contempt of the honourable House. He said the Speaker of the House needed to be protected.
Parliament ruled that immediately upon his suspension, Ratu Naiqama was ordered to leave the parliamentary precincts and must remain outside of the parliamentary precincts during his suspension period.
Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa said: "Many of us have not heard the recording so natural justice has not been served and we are very disappointed."
She said the Speaker of the House could have nipped this matter in the bud right on Monday when Ratu Naiqama apologised to her.
"I urge the voters to bare with us until we find out what options are available to us. This matter has set a precedence and we will see whether this is open for other people or not in months to come," Ro Teimumu said.
Twenty members voted in favour of the motion, 18 voted in the negative, and four did not vote.

AND ALSO a letter to the Editor of the Fiji "Times:


| Saturday, May 23, 2015
THE recent spate of name-calling, swearing and personal attacks in Parliament indicate it is a place of conflict.
It is not a place for the faint-hearted. The likelihood of violence is only too real.
Consider recent accounts of violence in parliaments around the world - fistfights in Turkey, physical ejections in South Africa, chairs hurled in Nepal, all-in brawl in Kenya, fists and chairs in Ukraine, pepper spray in India, AK47 fired in Jordan, more all-in brawls in Ukraine etc.
Even the seemingly harmless act of falling off to sleep during official engagements can reap disastrous consequences - one senior N. Korean official was reportedly executed for taking a nap on the job only recently.
In Fiji the situation is not as bad, yet. But rumblings in Parliament liken it to the modern battlefield.
I believe there are parliamentary snipers - those who specialise in dispensing their deadly destructive payloads from positions of obscurity. I believe their intention is to de-stabilise, demoralise and create distrust.
Then there are the parliamentary ninjas. These are individuals who claim to have supernatural powers, such as the ability to hear sounds far beyond the normal human spectrum. They can filter background sounds from everyday noise and chaos. I believe some can even pick up the frustrated mutterings of MPs on the far side of the room.
In the parliamentary battlefield, snipers and ninjas are masters of deception and misinformation.
The great Chuck Norris was known to have said, "when they send you a sniper, you must deploy the ninja".


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