THE PEOPLE’S PETITION <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> BRIGADIER-GENERAL RATU EPELI NAILATIKAU, CF, LVO, OBE, MSD, OSTJ The President and Commander in Chief Government of Fiji Government House Suva REPUBLIC OF FIJI ISLANDS YOUR EXCELLENCY, WE, THE PEOPLE of Fiji, having had six years of military dictatorship, where the nation has suffered at the hands of a regime that was declared by the Court of Appeal in April 2009, seek the intervention of Your Excellency to now step in and to take charge of the nation and to move it to democratic rule. We do note, Sir, that you have the powers to do so as President and Commander in Chief. During the past six years of dictatorship: Ø the people have suffered under the repressive and oppressive regime which has blood on its hands with the deaths of citizens who were beaten to death by agents of the State; Ø has harassed political opponents, has prohibited annual Methodist Church gatherings; Ø has sought to emasculate the influence and role of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga; Ø has mismanaged the economy to a level where public debt is almost three times to what it was under the last elected Government; Ø has not released the Auditor General’s Report from 2007 – 2012; Ø has not divulged Ministerial salaries which, we taxpayers, [ay for; Ø has mined native lands without fully informing the i Taukei peoples nor seeking their consent; Ø removed the Queen from our currency and seeking to change our flag; Ø making decrees that impinge on basic freedoms and disallowing court challenges to such decrees; and Ø made appointments of family and friends to the civil service, statutory organisations and boards of statutory organisation that reek of favouritism, nepotism and breach every rule of transparency. We ask you to step in to arrest this moral and economic decline of our nation. We ask that you dismiss the interim regime as you have the powers to do so. We ask that you reinstate the 1997 Constitution as it is clear that certain elements of the military leadership will not accept the draft constitution as prepared under the chair of Profesor Yash Ghai. We ask that you appoint a Caretaker Government to take Fiji to elections by September 2013 and in the process immediately appoint the following: Ø a new Military Commander; Ø a new Police Commissioner; Ø an Electoral Commission; Ø a Supervisor of Elections; and Ø rescind or revoke all decrees that encroach on individual, group and media freedoms. Winston Churchill once said: “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (Speech in the House of Commons, 11 November 1947)” WE, THE PEOPLE, call on His Excellency to favourably consider the contents of this petition in the spirit that it has been written and what our future will hold if democracy is not restored to Fiji at the soonest. Any further delay will mean that citizens will continue to suffer and be denied the right to determine who should govern them. THE PEOPLE will support His Excellency in his efforts to return Fiji to democracy and we submit that His Excellency is bound to consider the views of his subjects and not just that of a misguided interim Prime Minister and the interim Attorney General. WE THE PEOPLE, remain as always, committed and loyal to Fiji.