This is an excerpt of that article:
NZ lawyer queries military over Dr Sahu Khan comments
Friday, June 01, 2007
Update: 2.47pm A NEW ZEALAND lawyer, who fled the country last week, is questioning why the military did not take any action against Ba lawyer Dr Shamsudin Sahu Khan when he floated the idea that native land not used by landowners be returned to the State.
Janet Mason says despite a State of Emergency warning against incitement, the military took no action against Dr Sahu Khan for his comments, according to a report by Pacific writer Michael Field.
Ms Mason says when lawyers Kitione Vuataki and Savenaca Komaisavai, who are representing the Great Council of Chiefs over its suspension, questioned the paper, the military accused them of inciting the indigenous people and hauled them into their barracks for questioning.
Ms Mason, who worked with the two lawyers in the GCC case against the interim regime, found that curious.
''If Dr Sahu Khan has recently presented this paper without being detained for inciting instability then I would have imagined that, for instance, I should be free to present alternative views at workshops around the country without fear of being detained,'' she said.
The New Zealand lawyer fled the country after she and her husband were robbed in their Lautoka home.
Realistically, the comments by Dr Sahu Khan was made in his submission to the proposed Qoliqoli Bill, launched by the SDL Government. In addition, Khan's remarks did not address the indigenous populace or make innuendos advocating violence. Mason's remarks to the Fiji Times prompted a scathing letter to the Fiji Times.
This is the excerpt to the response:
I have been reading with interest the comments by New Zealand lawyer Janet Mason. She indeed highlights a few interesting points about the situation in Fiji.
However, it is ironic that she now goes to the media to raise her voice. After all, she would have had a lot of information way before she came to Fiji for the GCC suspension case.
After all, her husband would have been reading daily reports and analysis of the Fiji situation. Her voice was never heard when Qarase was trying to resolve the impasse with the army. I am sure her husband had a lot of information in regards to information analysis at the time.
Never at any time did she voice her opinions on the army stance against the Government. That was at a time when her opinion may have made a difference for Mr Qarase and his deposed ministers.
Instead, like our so called "big brothers" she waits for the noose to tighten before she actually tries to make her presence felt. It makes it look like the "knight in shining armour".
[Mason] should leave our problems to us to solve. She has chosen New Zealand ahead of Fiji and we don't need her expatriate views on Fiji.
We certainly don't need her belated concerns and advice.
Fiji Sun's new look website published an interesting "Letter to the Editor". This is an excerpt of the letter:
Democracy and NGOs
Last updated 6/1/2007 11:52:59 AM
It will be oversimplifying to say that democracy is a form of government in which the sovereign power is in the hands of the people, because it is a bluff.
Having heard so much about the word recently, that is magic to some, I can only say that it is vile to me. The practitioners of democracy, and who are in Australia, New Zealand , Canada , USA are mostly Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Dutch, Scandinavian, Spaniards and Mediterraneans - in other word Europeans, a branch of the Caucasian racial group.
The natives of these states do not sit as a majority in their respective Houses of legislature. Why? In short, the natives were hunted and slaughtered like animals by new settlers (the polite term) who put strategies in place to starve them out of their God-given land.
These states have not been tested in the true essence and operations of this magic word. What is successful democracy to them is to be in a comfortable environment of compatible ethnic/racial groups. If not, then why are the natives of Australia, New Zealand and the Americas not represented as a majority in power sharing?
A century and a half and more has passed with this set up and mind set, making it difficult for them to perceive the reasons for the coups in Fiji; why Fijians are nervous about the Indians, which is yet another story.
One of the legs on which democracy stands is "the people's voice," but specifically the underprivileged groups. In brief then, the yardstick if democracy is really at work is to continually, if not continuously, monitor whether the lot of these groups is improving during the term of governments, or as some people like to hear, a democratically elected one.
What is an election, an opposition, all in the name of democracy, when the lot of the poor cannot be gradually improved to a decent level from one government to another?
We have had some 30 years of this system without success and peace. There are other models that would work better for Fiji; it is a matter of will to try it out; or we should be asking the 'experts' what type of democracy is best suited. They have had enough time to work that out.
Indeed the lot of the rich has got better in leaps and bounds. Those mushrooming 20 years age are now multimillion dollar organisations, well entrenched and self-serving. Which Prime Minister has not gained assets directly attributable to his Prime Ministership? The same question can be asked of cabinet ministers. Democracy is for the poor but instead it has been raped.
What is the NGOs' understanding of democracy, the underprivileged, and their human rights? Their comments seem to be rigorously channeled to the military only. What are 30 or 50 persons called to the camp compared to thousands whose human rights have been eroding throughout the years? If NGOs were true to their call we should have heard their rigorous criticism throughout the years a not only over the last five months.
Club Em Designs