Thursday, 12th July, 2007 - Pro-democracy and anti-coup activist, Ms Laisa Digitaki, today said she cannot understand what the interim government hoped to gain from banning civilians such as herself from traveling.
“It is ridiculous, pointless and very childish,” she commented.
“What benefits will they gain from stopping people like me and others from traveling?” she asked.
“I would think that they have bigger things to worry about like fixing the economy and gaining the support of the people.”
Ms Digitaki said this latest travel ban, while inconvenient to her plans, will not change her stance on fighting for democracy.
“I have always been up-front about my views on democracy and the increasing and worrying trend of the militarization of our civil society,” she said.
“This incident is not going to change that but what I cannot understand is why I am such a huge threat to the nation’s well-being and stability for holding that view,” she said.
“Instead of focusing on issues of national interest and getting them resolved, this regime seems to be pre-occupied with carrying out witch-hunts on individuals who have dared to question their authority or disagreed with their policies.”
Ms Digitaki also refuted claims made by the Director of Immigration, Viliame Naupoto.
“Naupoto did not communicate with me at all before or after the incident,” she said.
“In fact, after I was stopped by Immigration officials at Nadi airport, I tried calling him and sent him a text message to find out why I was on the list again but he did not respond,” she said.
“I’ve always seen Naupoto as a honorable man but his repeated excuse as someone who doesn’t make decisions except follow instructions is becoming lame.”
“As a man known for his good principles, I am saddened that he has chosen to be used as a vehicle that oppresses and denies his own people from their basic human rights like freedom of movement and the right to a dignified life. Surely, his conscience will tell him that it is not right to treat unarmed innocent civilian like animals or fugitives.”
She said the interim regime is a bad joke and will never get the support it wants for denying the freedom guaranteed to every Fiji citizen in the 1997 Constitution the regime is purporting to uphold.
“If they are boasting that the 1997 Constitution and the judiciary system in Fiji is very much alive, then where is the court order stopping me from traveling? What legal powers do they have to dictate to me where I can or can’t go? The Constitution they are upholding gives me the right to travel freely so obviously, this regime is not honest in its commitment to uphold the 1997 Constitution,” Digitaki added.
Ms Digitaki said “the interim regime is behaving recklessy making Fiji look like a lawless state with no common law that binds everybody together.”
“It’s this type of bamboozled leadership style that breeds confusion, resentment and lawlessness amongst the people.”