Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fiji: Expulsion

Fiji's military regime has expelled the New Zealand High Commissioner, Michael Green, and given him four days to leave the country. As for the reason, while initial reports are that strongman Commodore Bainimarama was incensed by Green getting a good seat at a rugby match, the real objection seems to be to his advocacy of New Zealand's opposition to the coup - that is, to his doing his job as a diplomatic representative. Unfortunately for the regime, shooting the messanger won't change our position.

The government is talking about consequences, but I'm not sure what can be done. Evicting Fijian diplomats would be equally petty, while members of the military regime are already subject to travel bans and aid has already been cut off. Unless we're going to escalate to trade sanctions (something NZ governments have been reluctant to do), it's difficult to see what can be done.


Fiji Govt - Persona Non-Grata to H.E Mr. Michael Green

Cites lack of getting along as cause.

Posted by Lyndon : 6/14/2007 04:38:00 PM

The coup government has railroaded the Fijian constitution. If we really want to take action we could invade Fiji and hold some elections within a few weeks. But that would be very naughty wouldn't it? It wasn't long ago that removal of diplomats was a precursor to conflict.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/14/2007 05:14:00 PM

Writeups: If we really want to take action we could invade Fiji and hold some elections within a few weeks.

No, we couldn't. Even if we indulged in that sort of American-style dick-swinging, Fiji has a bigger army than us.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/14/2007 05:41:00 PM

We should stop giving them aid for heaven's sake. That would be a good start.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/14/2007 05:51:00 PM

Ruth: AIUI, we already have.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/14/2007 05:52:00 PM

We know how to end this - the aid from the EU. Threatening to remove this has already had results... the leverage that aid gives must be put to much greater use.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/14/2007 08:38:00 PM

I bet the fiji army is very poorly prepared to fight smeone like NZ - but of course we are probably poorly prepared to occupy a hostile island.

as to what to do now maybe we should stop posturing and accept we are totally impotent. It always anoys me when we make a big fuss over how we are going to do somthing pretty much inconcequential.

fundimentaly if we do anythign significant against the govt of fiji we hurt the people we dont want to hurt the people so we cant do anything much against the governmment no matter what they do.


Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 07:05:00 AM

The most crippling action would be for Australia, NZ and the USA to withdraw the landing rights of any airline that continues to fly to Fiji.

Posted by Sanctuary : 6/15/2007 08:35:00 AM

For once I agree with Sanctuary.

Start with a two week ban and see what happens. Then if they don't start moving our way, make it permanent and extend it to shipping.

They'll still be able to get in and out - but it'll be made very inconvenient and expensive if goods and people have to go via Taiwan or somewhere.

Also, I think we should make the Fijian army a proscribed organisation so that any current or former Fijian soldiers turning up in NZ get turned away or thrown in jail.

BTW, their army is smaller than ours by about a third, and they have one helicopter and a few patrol boats.

Posted by Rich : 6/15/2007 09:24:00 AM

Air NZ flies via Nadi...

Posted by Unknown : 6/15/2007 09:56:00 AM

i was being slightly sarcastic, but we do have the SAS. They could perform a US-style assassination and restoration of government mission quite effectively with support from the navy. It would be very naughty, we'd get a smack on the wrist from that esteemed collective, the UN. But it might be slightly more moral than watching a sham government destroy fiji's constitution.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 10:19:00 AM

we could invade Fiji

I understand Lange wanted to do something similar in 1987 and was told in no uncertain terms that we would get our clocks cleaned.

I think they had considered a joint Aus/NZ force.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 10:34:00 AM

On the issue of invasion, the Fijian military do outnumber us but a lot of them are posted overseas on UN assignments (someone once told me that army troops were Fijis largest export, I don't know if that's true or not...). However, their current commanders and officers are trained VERY highly by governments around the world including our own, and many have been or are covert-trained SAS style. Also take into account we have no airforce to speak of and a barely running Navy (I've been told by friends still in the navy that chiefs are becoming so scarce that they can barely keep the current navy going and thats managed by giving higher ranking NCO's barely any shore leave at all); the additon of the new Canterbury and her sister ships will only exasperate the Navy's situation. So without either American or Australian help with air and naval support a "liberation" of Fiji wouldn't be possible; even with it the Fijian army would put up VERY stiff opposition (there is a reason their troops are requested by the UN more than any other troop around the world, and its not just because Fiji is small and unthreatening to the world in general).

Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 01:29:00 PM

If we really want to take action we could invade Fiji and hold some elections within a few weeks.

No doubt we would be welcomed as liberators . . .

Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 07:02:00 PM

The Army is the whole problem here! Yes they have a very well trained defence force - it should be as it has been trained by the NZ Defence force. (In the early 80's the fiji military received 52 Man/years per year of training from the RNZN alone).
Almost all serving personnel have served in hostile situations in support of the UN who are the main provider of funds for the military. In fact the Military is one of Fiji's major earners. Fiji has a good pool of very physical unemployed young men and keeping them in the Army and Police Force is a very useful way of keeping them out of trouble, as well as being very good source of much needed overseas funds. But such an expediency is now a major problem for when they want to flex their considerable muscles in their homeland - they cause havoc. The fact remains that the UN really must desist from employing Fijian soldiers on peace keeping duties until the such time as democracy has been restored. The UN are obviously reluctant to do this as the Fiji military are viewed very highly in their peacekeeping roles, and who is to replace them?


Posted by Anonymous : 6/15/2007 07:56:00 PM

We could place a transit ban on Fijian officals. Even when we don't allow them to land in NZ a transit ban at NZ airports will make it almost impossible for them to go anywhere else.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/16/2007 03:30:00 AM

Firstly, UN pays in peanuts and gets monkeys to do their dirty job. These monkeys go back home and ruin their own forests.

Second, since there is no GCC due to it's suspension thus no lawful president in Fiji and hence the IG is illegitimate which implies FB has no authority to sign persona non-grata.

Thirdly...Qarase and SDL haven't been tried and proven guilty of corruption, the reason for coup.
Since FMF cannot dig up something to increminate Qarase they are now under pressure so they want interpol to investigate treason...but ?

Who committed treason first...Qarase or FMF ? Yes a investigation should take place but who should be investigated guessed right !

Question of invasion Batikawa allows for such actions provided Pacific Islands Forum approves of it...rumours are floating that similar to what Downer described the coup as Creeping Coup" it is now turning out to be " CRUMBLING COUP". It started when FICAC commissioner resigned and granting of Qarase freedom of movement without interference.

Another pointer is except for FHRU the collective respect from NGO'S towards FMF and IG is viewed negative internationally.

If UN sent just a small batch of soldiers back..."Fiji will have elections and democracy in no-time at all.

Frankly, if Aust and NZ really want to help not only Fijians but pacific islanders than they should declare all coup plotters and executers persona non-grata without any explanation and their respective countries be told replace them sightng same articles from vienna convention that outlines no explanation be given.

Posted by BushLawyer : 6/17/2007 04:32:00 PM

For those who have pushed for elections in Fiji now they should put money where their mouth is. It's time to help the people of Fiji by forgetting the the coup as it has happened and cannot be changed. What future holds for the elected government and how long it will last they should just leave it to god.
Hopefully the band_aid solution will work.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/19/2007 09:32:00 PM

Kiwi one Fiji nil. Even though Green is expelled the final nod towards election in Fiji is a major breakthrough and NZ victory.

Daryl Tarte said media had it's freedom than why was the NZ reporter disallowed entry in Fiji.

Perhaps he forgot to mention Fiji has lost it's sense of humour since All Blacks pipped FMF Flying Fijians and took the 7's cup.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/20/2007 07:42:00 PM

Maika Maroca sums up a very significant problem in Fijian provincial council...they never consult the people first and speak later and step outside the boundaries of their principe role.

Congrats Maika, wish there were more like you.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/21/2007 09:56:00 PM