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Negotiations can save the heartache of violence


Dear Editor

For quite sometimes now, I and others have been screaming about changing the kingdom the right way, amending the constitution. I don'’t know what took place in the past few months but I give credit to Mr. Laki Niu and others for their call for change in the constitution. These proposals are indeed commendable but I beg to differ from Mr. Niu's approach. I have not seen his total proposal, but based on the little information I have, I believe a monster is in the making.

First, Mr. Niu and Mr. Edwards proposed to have the parliament elect the Prime Minister. Who died and made them think they have the solution? Bad idea! Elitism by the Royal family is what brought us to this point. Why would we want a selected few to make that decision for the kingdom? Elitism by another name or by someone else is still the same thing. I am sure those folks in parliament are pretty good people, but that doesn't mean we should trust them with everything. Suppose Mr. Etuate Lavulavu wins another seat at the Parliament. What stops him from being elected as the Prime Minister? Trust you? Yeah, right? Please, someone let me know when pigs fly and I will be goose stepping with the cause. In a democratic society, the people choose their legislators and their leaders.

What happened to civility?

Second, Mr. Mateni Tapueluelu quoted Mr. Niu saying, "violence will return" to the kingdom. I did think highly of Mr. Niu until this faux pas. I don't know him, but from this quote, it sounds like he and others with the same philosophy have a few loose screws by insisting for change or else. Whatever happened to civility, the so-called, "fofola e fala ka e alea e kainga?" Has Mr. Niu considered the likely of deaths in this violence he is talking about? If he knows what he is talking about, which family has he selected to suffer from this?

It is true, freedom is not free. However, leaders of movements lead from the front. In this case, will Mr. Niu himself, lead violence against the king and his loyalists or is he only suggesting it knowing others will do the dirty work for him? There'’s an old saying, "What goes around comes around (Ko ho'’o tufa ka teu tufa)." In the event people die from this violence, their families know where you live, Mr. Niu and company. If death from this violence visits "Joe Citizen's" family, what makes you think the Niu family will not be visited? A new cycle of violence from revenging one's death is now born, just because you have promoted, violence as an option. There are other options other than using violence as the trump card.

Strength in numbers

Finally, my guess to the solution is to hold a congress or conference and invite all interested parties to work out the detail of the constitution then have an audience with the king in a peaceful negotiation. Layout all your proposals with your one hundred thousand signatures to show that all the citizens in the kingdom want the political change you envisioned. Negotiations and more negotiations will save everyone the heartache of violence. If your first attempt failed, try again. If you went alone and failed, take a friend the next time. If that fails, take your village. Take more villages until the king agrees. Strength in numbers! That is, if the people agree with you. Rome was not created in a day. It is true there was low intensity violence during the PSA strike. But all in all, change was made peacefully. Political change can be peacefully achieved by mass demonstration and by non-violent means. Once you convince the public, their support will follow. To die or be crippled for something that can be done peacefully is shameful and downright criminal. Convince us Mr. Niu. Tell us why we should trust you and Mr. Edwards. We know what we have now with a king reigning. We want to know what you are offering. The Devil is always in the detail. Show us! The only difference between a monarchy and a democratic form of government is that, in a monarchy, only one family gets to loot the treasury. Prime Minister Lavulavu? Lord help us all!