Jan 10, 2012

Young People in Fiji speak out against latest draconian decree

Press Release:
Youth Activist speaks on PUBLIC ORDER (AMENDMENT) DECREE 2012

A Fiji based youth and human rights activist has issued a word of caution as the announcement of the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) was made over the weekend and replaced by the Public Order Amendment Decree 2012 (POAD2012).
"There are a few irregularities in the POAD2012 and possible clauses that can be taken out of context and force the current regime into a Human Rights Disaster. As we move towards reinstating Democratic values and processes, we cant afford to limit the access of information, movement and gathering of persons, and curtail further the freedom to speak"
says youth and human rights activist Peter Waqavonovono.

The Youth Activist who was awarded in 2010 for he's work in Human Rights by the Frontline Human Rights Defenders Organization claims that "in the wrong hands, this Amendment Decree can be used to term any individual or organization as a terrorist, hinder free thought, censor our media, and prevent the participation of citizens in Fiji on the Constitutional and Electoral reform processes that are planned.

This is contrary to the comments made at the 14th SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ......

where Fiji promised to: ..........

...... set in place necessary legal instruments and vital processes necessary to the holding of fair and truly democratic elections and show a firm commitment to upholding and protecting human rights including that of human rights defenders. Waqavonovono says that,
"The fact that human rights violations committed under the POAD2012 cannot be judicially questioned, compensated or challenged is a sign for caution."
Waqavonovono has also questioned the relevance of the Decree in time where there are no signs of Public Unrest or desire to cause any harm to the nation.
"I would imagine that the decree should have gone further to suggest remedies to the insecurities of the regime, like investment in peace and human rights awareness and education programs, promotion of civic education, demand anti-violence models and culture within all state run agencies and departments (including the Education system), promotion of Inter-cultural awareness and sharing programs, and the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation type model."
The Youth Activist also is encouraging Fiji young people who make up more than 60% of the nations Population, to prepare for the Electoral and Constitutional Reform processes that are set to happen. Waqavonovono concludes:,
"We must ensure that our voices are heard and that they are seriously taken into consideration.

We will be the generation that defends this Democracy and need to know how it works and evolves, therefore we need to be involved from the very beginning and not brought in as rubber stamps.

The time to sit back and let others lead and negotiate on our behalf because of age is gone, now we need to take hold of our own destiny and make purposeful contributions and demand fair engagement / participation models"


Anonymous said...

WOW - vinaka peter. very very true.

Anonymous said...

I dont want to be a rubber stamp also, remember how they used young people to sign the Peoples Charter without even allowing them to read it. and sending police and army officers to our houses. how dare they !!! forcing people to sign the peoples charter!! will be forced to sign anything for the Constitution - dictatorship sucks