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ACM Home arrow Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew


Prince Andrew, Duke of York, KG, GCVO, CD, ADC(P) (Andrew Albert Christian Edward; born 19 February 1960), is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He is currently fourth in line to the thrones of 16 countries.

He is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdom, the oldest realm, while also carrying out duties in and on behalf of the other states of which his mother is sovereign.

He also holds the earned rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active duty helicopter pilot and later instructor in helicopter flight.

He came under fire during the Falklands War. As well as carrying out various royal duties, he currently serves as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.


He is not paid for the latter and any annuity paid to him under the Civil List is fully reimbursed by The Queen.

He has offered realistic and perceptive observations on Anglo-American diplomacy; his conclusions concerning the US occupation of Iraq are not dissimilar to the revised opinions of President George Bush  in his auto biography.

 



Fiji: calls for Royal mediator Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
.   
  
 

While Australia's hard line approach to Fiji exposes the government to the charge that it only bullies smaller powers, there has been a call for Royal mediation to find a solution to the constitutional impasse in Suva.

The story began when the Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced on 10 April that he had suspended the Constitution of Fiji, and had dismissed all of the judges. This was after the Court of Appeal had ruled that the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was illegal.  The President confirmed Commodore Bainimarama as Prime Minister and a state of emergency was declared which increased police powers and introduced censorship. 

The Prime Minister says elections will not be held until 2014.  The Commonwealth had already suspended Fiji from some of its activities and on 1 May the Pacific Islands Forum took the unprecedented action of also suspending Fiji.

[ Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore  Bainimarama ]
[ Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama ]

 



 

 ...Why does Australia single out Fiji?..



As is usual, the Australian government has been forthright in condemning the Fijian government, and has sought to punish Fiji by blocking the United Nations use of Fiji soldiers in peace keeping operations and other sanctions.

The Australian government, like its predecessors, once again demonstrates a quite extraordinary inconsistency in its  foreign policy.   No sanctions are proposed against one of our largest trading partners, and a great  power, although she never holds what Australians would call democratic elections.  There is no indication that she will ever hold democratic elections. 

If Australia is to hold itself up as some sort of moral guardian, it ought to condemn all countries, whatever their size and power.

To single Fiji out for condemnation alone makes Australia look like a bully, careful only to attack less powerful states.



...an old and close relationship...




What gives Australia the right to dictate  to single out Fiji and tell her how to run her affairs?  Fiji is not and never was an Australian colony, although she was represented at the 1883 Australasian Inter-Colonial Conference, Sydney, which was convened to discuss federation.  All of the Australian colonies, New Zealand and Fiji attended. It is interesting to recall how close we came to being part of the same country.

At their request the British parliament passed the Federal Council of Australasia Act 1885. This was adopted by legislation of the Western Australian, Fijian, Queensland, Tasmanian and Victorian Parliaments, in that order. It was a weak, limited legislative body lacking an executive. Without New South Wales, New Zealand and (except in 1889) South Australia, and with Fiji not attending after 1886, it ceased to operate after its January 1889 meeting. 

Fiji took no further part in the Federation story.




...finding a solution...
 


In an interview with Graham Davis in The Australian on 1 May, 2009, Commodore Bainimarama said an election this year on the present rolls would restore the "racist" government of former prime minister Laisenia Qarase, whom he deposed  in 2006.  He said he was fighting racists who discriminated against Fijian Indians.

( A video of that interview is embedded in three parts below on the ACM site) 

 “We need to get rid of racism in the next five years and then have elections that people recognise will bring about true democracy in Fiji," he said.    He expressed frustration at the lack of understanding of Fiji’s situation by the Australian and New Zealand governments.

It is not our intention to approve what has been done in Fiji. But Australian foreign policy should abandon futile  "megaphone  diplomacy" which is no more than spin designed to obtain headlines. It should stop imposing sanctions which only hurt the weak.

Rather we should be using our influence and our good offices to find a solution.  After all, we are imposing no sanctions on the Middle Kingdom, and nor should we.



...return to democracy with the  restoration of The Queen?...

Commodore Bainimarama said that when democracy was eventually restored in five years, Fiji would like to ask the Queen to resume her position as Queen of Fiji. (See video 1 below, about 2 minutes in.)

 Fijian was declared a republic during the first coup in 1987, but as Her Majesty herself observed, this was done without reference to the Fijian people.  Her Majesty said she  was "sad to think that the ending of the Fijian allegiance to the Crown should have been brought about without the people of Fiji being given an opportunity to express their opinion on the proposal."

Her Majesty's statement was unusual. She spoke as The Queen of Fiji, and without the advice of Her Ministers, there being none.   This statement implies that at some stage the people of Fiji will have to decide on the status of the Crown. An intensely loyal people, there is no doubt that in a free vote, the monarchy would be restored.  

"I'm still loyal to the Queen - many people in Fiji are," he told Graham Davis, acknowledging The Queen’s  photograph above his desk. "One of the things I'd like to do is see her become Queen of Fiji again."

One thing is clear. The Queen would only return if Her Fijian Realm were to be governed along sound democratic principles.




Image
[ A Fijian soldier serving with a Black Watch battalion in Iraq ]





...wiser words...


 

 

Not everyone agrees with the Australian government’s futile and embarassing megaphone diplomacy and discriminatory sanctions which only hurt the weak.   The Australian editorialised (1/5) against isolating Fiji, without accepting the coup.

Anthony Bergin, author of “Democracy Postponed: Fiji and Australian Policy Choices,” and director of research programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra, argued (8/5) in the same newspaper that  Australia's “sticks and no carrots” line since December 2006 hasn't worked.

Fiji, he said, won't bow to external pressures such as travel bans or Australia's “mean-spirited” decision to cut Fiji from our Pacific agricultural guest-worker scheme. He said ejecting Fiji from the forum extends our “failed approach”.

And blocking Fiji from contributing to UN international peacekeeping missions will result in unemployed Fiji military personnel with guns roaming the streets at home.

He said it was critical there be a compromise that embodies “the key change of open electorates and no affirmative action quotas while further constitutional reform is pursued.”

He argued for the appointment of an outside mediator, but in a process without Australian or New Zealand involvement – they  have ruled themselves out.

Given Commodore Bainimarama’s and most Fijian’s loyalty to The Queen, he suggests a member of the Royal Family as mediator with Foreign and Commonwealth Office support.

It was once common for Kings and Queens, members of Royal Families and The Pope  to be appointed arbitrators in disputes between countries.  In more recent times  the actual arbitration would be undertaken by leading jurists who would then give their advice.

“Prince Andrew, for example, has had a career as a naval officer and may have some rapport with Bainimarama, who was the former chief of Fiji's navy. Another possibility as a third-party mediator is an emissary of Barack Obama. Bill Clinton would be a stand-out choice.”

The chances of success are slim. But absent a mediation, he says everyone in Fiji “stews and suffers.”

“More pressure from Australia even may lead to financial collapse or a rival army faction moving in,” he warns.

He concludes “ We don't want any possibility to arise of direct intervention such as the 5 1/2-year regional assistance mission to Solomon Islands that has already cost Australia more than $1 billion.”






 

 

 
I salute our servicemen then and now: Prince Andrew Print E-mail
Written by HRH The Prince Andrew, Duke of York   
Monday, 18 June 2007
[The  Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on the 25th Anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands] 

                                      Image


I am not a war correspondent, but a veteran of a campaign to recover the Falkland Islands from what was a friendly nation, Argentina, whose leadership embarked upon an expedition to forcibly take a group of British islands in the South Atlantic, 8,000 miles from here.

I wrote on the occasion of the 20th anniversary: "The experience of war is one of the most life-changing experiences anyone can have."

I haven't changed my opinion of this immutable fact. I am sure that those who have experienced the current conflicts in which we are engaged as a nation would agree. My prayers and thoughts go to all the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones as a result of the Falklands conflict, and as a result of the conflicts we now find ourselves engaged in.


Without doubt, the nature of conflict has changed since I was at war. When we set off for the Falklands, in 1982, circumstances were completely different from those we find ourselves in today.Back then, it was a clear case of British territory being invaded by an aggressor nation. It is just as clear to me now that it was our duty to go those 8,000 miles to recover those islands.


We were dispatched, as I remember it, with a great sense of national pride. We were on a recovery mission, plain and simple. The circumstances in which our Armed Services find themselves today are far from those of 25 years ago and a great deal more complex and contentious.


I have previously said about the Falklands war: "There was a knowledge that war was not as glamorous as depicted in war films - it was dirty; it was exhausting; and it was monotonous. People really bled and death might be a consequence." Today, our Armed Services and their families fully understand this reality.


In 1982, as a nation, we supported our troops as they "yomped" across the Falkland Islands to take back Port Stanley. The fighting around the islands' capital was fierce and often hand-to-hand. But the conflicts we find ourselves engaged in today are so different from the one I fought in that it is almost impossible to relate the differing circumstances.


It is only because of my continued personal relationships with naval and military units, and because I have visited Iraq on two occasions, that I have an understanding of what our Servicemen and women are facing today.


I recall there was a poster slogan from the Second World War: "Careless Talk Costs Lives". It is true today. And in my opinion it is even more vital today because of the advances in media communications, 24-hour news channels and internet connectivity.


Free information given to an enemy predisposed to target an individual or British troops in general gives me genuine cause for concern about any speculation on operational deployments or plans.
In my experience in the Falklands, and since, it is vital that we try to avoid this potential gift to the enemy.

Today our Armed Services are in harm's way and, whatever your view about the rights and wrongs of our involvement, our men and women serving in these inhospitable places need our support.

Read more...
 
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