Tui Savu is wrong about CCF
Postdate: 27/ 06/ 2008
Fiji Daily Post
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Letter to Editor
Tui Savu’s letter (DP 25/06/08) does not provide any new information or argument that advances the debate about CCF’s decision to engage in the NCBBF process for returning Fiji to a constitutional democracy and address Fiji’s deep seated problems that have been the cause of political instability, coups and lack of economic growth since 1987.
It seems impossible to dispel his false notion that the CCF is controlled or influenced by the Fiji Labour Party in its decisions. The fact is CCF has never initiated any court cases with the Fiji Labour Party, and so Tui Savu’s accusation is completely false. It is shocking that a lawyer like Savu would continue repeating an allegation in a newspaper that is untrue.
He chooses to dwell on his own partial version of the past, based on his limited knowledge of CCF’s history of advocacy for constitutional democracy. Tui Savu has only become an advocate for democracy and the rule of law since he left this country. We never heard from him in the years when we were actively engaged in our civic public education work. CCF has remained consistently engaged in this whatever the political circumstance or government in power.
For example, CCF was publicly critical and also wrote letters to the then Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, cautioning him about his public style of management of the multi-party cabinet, his relations with the media and especially the handling of indigenous Fijian issues between 1999 to early 2000. That attracted the ire of the then Press Secretary, Rajendra Chaudhry, and other FLP stalwarts who accused CCF of being “political”.
The SDL government, believing it had the national mandate (with only 36% of the first preference votes), to implement the extreme ethno nationalist agenda of Speight, is ironically responsible for derailing the RFMF plan to return to professional independence and not to be used by politicians again for their political agenda. Tui Savu should remember the many attempts by the SDL government to replace Bainimarama with a more politically compliant head of the army and the consequence of that.
As for my own involvement in NCBBF work, Savu needs to know that there are supporters of the SDL Party in the NCBBF as well who have told the NCBBF to consider them as representing the interest of the Party. Like me, these SDL supporters are in the NCBBF because we all believe in constructive engagement to help Fiji return to constitutional democracy as soon as possible.
CCF’s support of the NCBBF process is not wrong and there is nothing that the CCF should apologise for.
Rev Akuila Yabaki