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Reconcile what? Reconcile with whom?

The Qarase regime does it again! In case you haven't heard, it is the PROMOTION OF RECONCILIATION, TOLERANCE AND UNITY BILL 2005 that I am referring to.

I don't quiet understand the need for this bill. Who are they trying to reconcile? Who are they trying to unite? It's been 5 years since the May 2000 coup and a lot of the perpetrators of coup have already been brought to justice by the police and the courts. Some are still being investigated and will hopefully see their day in the courts soon.

So who are they trying to reconcile? Is this bill only going to create a ghost commission with nothing to do? Perhaps jobs for a few jobless crooks?

The objectives of the commission are as follows:

" The objectives of the Commission shall be to promote reconciliation and unity amongst the people of the Fiji Islands in a spirit of tolerance and understanding by -

1. assessing, by itself or through its relevant special purpose Committee, admissions and voluntary disclosures received from any person relating to the causes, nature and extent of the violations of human rights committed during the designated period, including the antecedents, circumstances, factors and context of such violations as well as the perspectives and motives of both the perpetrators and victims of such violations;

Can't this objective be dealt with by the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC)? The FHRC is a statutory body.

2. holding, by itself or through its relevant special purpose Committee, hearings for the purpose of carrying out such assessments;

Another story telling session I suppose. And through the creation of yet another "special purpose Committee", more jobs for the crooks.

3. facilitating the restoration of human rights and civil dignity to victims of violations of such human rights and civil dignity by granting them an opportunity to relate their own accounts of such violations of which they were victims;

"Restoration of human rights and civil dignity", what load of nonsense. You mean the victims are still living undignified and without human rights for the last 5 years since May 2000? And somehow relating their accounts of what happened to them is somehow going to restore all of that? Nonsense!

4. granting reparation measures or awarding compensation to any person whose claims as victims of gross human rights violations during the designated period are established;

Victims can already seek such compensation through the assistance of the FHRC, the Police and the courts.

5. facilitating the granting of amnesty by the President to persons who make full voluntary disclosures of all facts relevant to acts or omissions constituting or causing a violation of human rights associated with a political objective committed during the designated period; and,

Ah huh! So this is what this is all about. Allowing criminals such as the already convicted Naiqama Lalabalavu to go free. Hell if this is what this is all about, then why don't they already just do it! They've done it in case of Naiqama and that too without any commission.

For goodness and fairness sake, "persons who make full voluntary disclosures", are confessing to crimes! They ought to be dealt with the law of the land, not set free!

6. compiling full reports on such assessments and facts relevant to them accompanied by recommendations to the President and the Minister on measures to prevent future gross violations of human rights.

Facts are already known on how the state can "prevent future gross violations of human rights"! This exercise is bullshit. If the government needs more assessments and facts, why not employ the FHRC?

This Bill is a charade by the government to divert attention from the important issues affecting the country. A move to create more controversy and appear noble by constantly aligning the proposed commission to the likes of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The South African commission was born out of a greater history of what all abuses were committed during the Apartheid era. In our case, the number of direct victims were far fewer and the perpetrators or also far fewer. The numbers of people directly affected can easily be dealt by the current legal system. The direct victims were all victims of crime and the perpetrators are criminals. The victims can sue civilly and the perpetrators should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted in the court of law.

There are lots of people and organisations quite obviously opposed to this bill. Among them the Army, the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC), the opposition MPs from the Labour Party and the National Federation Party.

Infact, according to the FHRC, the bill might actually be in conflict with the human rights act. What I don’t understand (and I am repeating the point), why the hell couldn’t they use the FHRC to conduct this kind of exercise? Of course I am totally opposed to any amnesty type law, but the cases of abuse of human rights could quite easily be investigated by this body already charged with investigations of this nature.

Amnesty, restorative as opposed to the retributive justice! What a load of crock! This Attorney General seems to be quite creative when it comes to the law. If the restorative justice is so much better, why not adopt it as an overriding system to the current one? Of course not! And there’s a definite reason why. It is for this reason this bill is utter nonsense!

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  • Blogger laminar_flow says so:
    10:13 am  

    Qarase must think the world of Qoroniasi.

    You see it's all in the family thing. Qoroniasi is actually from Vanuabalavu, thought as someone for Kadavu.
    If one sees the trend, there is Tui Tavua (G.C.C Chairman)also a connection to Vaunuabalavu.

    The former Chief Justice also one.
    One can safely say that by the time the get through the civil service will be full of individuals from Vanuabalavu or having one link or the other to the island.
    Stupid is, as Stupid does!
    So when Qarase makes a stupid decision like this Reconciliation Bull, there will be no "conscientious objector" within the organization. top

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    5:09 pm  

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