La Passion

Editor, let’s be quite clear about this new Party; ‘Fiji First’ is the name of the political party that was registered under the 1997 Constitution and has 20 or so founding members. The leader of the Party is Anit Singh.

The Party was founded as a result of human rights violations inflicted upon the people of Muaniweni in 2000 after Speight’s takeover of government. Even the police and military failed the Muaniweni people by refusing to protect them. Instead they were rescued and protected at the Sanatan Dharam school in Lautoka by a group of outraged Fiji people calling themselves the ‘Fiji Human Rights Group’ ( and not to be confused with ‘Fiji Human Rights Group NZ Inc’ which was a NZ off-shoot much later for the purpose of raising funds).

Anyone searching the Fiji media archives on the relevant dates (June-August 2000) will know who these individuals, taking up a protective champion role for the Muaniweni people, were. The Muaniweni people, led by the Fiji Human Rights Group and the Fiji Human Rights Commission in June 2000, took their human rights violations to court under the name of ‘Chandrika Prasad v the Republic of Fiji’ and won it in the High Court and in 2001 in the Court of Appeal. This case brought the 1997 Constitution back and restored it to the people of Fiji.

Eventually this process led to the founding of the ‘Fiji First Party’ with two of the original Fiji Human Rights Group in it as founding members.

Bainimarama has taken advantage of the fact that the leader of the Fiji First Party, Anit Singh, chose not to engage in the up-coming election under dubious decrees and a Constitution whose legitimacy is in question. The fact that Bainimarama took (Fiji First would say ‘stole’) the Fiji First name belonging to a marginalised human rights victim group in Muaniweni is a reprehensible and disgusting act, similar to his government breaching the contractual rights of FNPF pensioners.

But can we expect anything else from such a person who surrounds himself with the incompetent and vindictive legal advisers he has? Shame on Bainimarama for not recognising that the lack of integrity of his advisers now reflects badly on him. People expected such great things from him in 2007.