Just a short one, because this is really a simple point, but one that I think is SOOOO important, that we MUST, MUST, MUST get this if we are to have any chance of moving forward as a nations and take our place amongst other nations in the world.
2014 - elections. Right? ....Archa right!!!
Bainimarama wants to form a party to contest the elections, even after he claimed that neither he nor his followers were going to benefit from the 2006 coup (WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS!!!)
Rabuka did this, Speight attempted this (Joe Nata as DPM and Seniloli as President etc etc), and now Franks wants to go down this path...
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
We have not solved our problems....and learnt from it.
But we cannot afford to repeat it anymore...
Sleep on it.
By now most of you would have noticed that my posts have been few and far between over the last few years. Believe me, I wish I could still crank it out like I used to, but it's kinda hard now, because I'm just overwhelmed by what I see happening here, in Fiji.
Forget the floods. Ok, bad choice of words. We all know about the floods, and the damage that has been done repeatedly by these natural disasters. What I would like to bring to your attention are the other things, things that don't get reported in the media, things that, however, point to the steady demise of our nation, as a growing, viable country.
The Justice System
The courts in Fiji are a farce. Cases are not being heard in a system that is independent, a whole raft of our brightest legal minds have been "blacklisted" and cannot practice in Fiji, merely for not being on good terms with the current regime (since when was a lawyer required to pander to the feelings of the government, or anyone other than their client), one cannot take the Government to court (I thought this was why King John signed the Magna Carta), and if your case has anything to do with what the regime has done, forget it. What this results in is crap like this
that obviously can't be true...must be that thing about stats being able to say whatever you want it to say. Boo Hoo!!!
Downtown Suva at COB
Downtown Suva at close of business on a weekday is dead. Now if you remember Suva's hustle and bustle from when school finished until when the working crowd got home, that is no longer the case. Think Sunday afternoon, and you'd be closer.
Now don't get me wrong, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a symptom of what is happening in Fiji. Disposable income is much harder to come by these days, meaning that there's no more money to give the kids to buy bean and the bean carts, to pay for fares, food, school fees etc. The fact that a lot of funding that used to come in as aid before has been stopped too doesn't help.
Life Being a Grind
Life, in general in Fiji, is just such a grind now. A struggle for survival. Pay is not increasing, cost of living is just going up, water, electricity everything just costs way more (and if you're going to say that that is just normal inflation, tell me how the installation costs for 1 water meter can go from FJD$32 to FJD$500 in just one adjustment), school books are way more expensive (especially now the Government doesn't print them cheaper anymore) and school sandals ($110 for a pair of Cebos) don't even get me started!!!
On top of the floods and the rest of it, we, the people of Fiji are just being ground underfoot. We are not living, we are surviving. We are sending ore, ore from Bua no less!!! to China to process. Why couldn't we do that here? When the floods hit in the last 2 weeks, Australia and NZ, the countries the regime loves to hate gave over a million each in assistance, not to the regime but to the Red Cross, to assist with the efforts to get things back to a better state in the flood-hit areas. What has China given? As a fellow grog swiper quipped in a yaqona-inspired moment of lucidity, "China can only give us loans".
This is happening at an alarming pace. And it's the cream of your people that are leaving. PNG now has a sizable Fijian expat community. A former senior Government official in Fiji choose to head Solomons Islands Civil Service reforms rather than take up a senior diplomatic posting for Fiji. NZ is taking a lot of our professionals expecially in the ICT and finance sectors.
This is not a good sign. The people who we have invested in as a country, as a community, are now spending the most productive years of their lives building some other country, when we sorely need their efforts to rebuild our own. If anything is an indictment on how our trained professionals view their individual futures in Fiji, none is more emphatic than that.
I hope that by this you'll realise that we cannot continue in this vein, not if we want a Fiji worth leaving to our children. We need to stop this. And a lot of foreign Fijians will return home if they see the chance to get a fair go, where rise is on merit, and not because you are an officer or are related to someone in the regime.
I sincerely hope we are better than this.
If you cannot see it by now (or swallow the crap the junta is peddling) the country is fast going down the drain. The State is selling off Government assets
(no wonder, they need cash to keep operating!!!!).
So what will Fiji use to gain those much needed dollars when we recover? I say when, because I am an optimist, I believe in the justness of our course, and conversely, the inate wrongness of the regime's aim. I know that in the end, justice will prevail, but when is the million dollar question.
If you have any assets left in Fiji, get them out. FNPF etc etc.....before these goons get their hands on your hard earned belongings.
I feel for our nation!!!
The last few years have been an exercise in frustration, futile hopes and dashed dreams. I write this while pondering the effects of the rumour that Bainimarama and Khaiyum had been arrested
by the Army.
We need to do something now. Fiji is going down the drain. Overseas debtors are foreclosing on loans
that our Sugar Industry has taken out. These loans are guaranteed by our Government. I know that a lot of you don't see this regime as a true representation of our society, but that debt, like all the others, and all the mess that we've had to field collectively, is something that we will have to sort out as a nation.
So what are we to do? I think the time for talk is over. We need to do something. Most people want us to go to elections. Why?
If the Army is still there, what is the point of having elections? If they don't like the government we vote in, we'll have another coup.
We need to get rid of the Army.
This is something we have been talking about within our own circles over the last few years. We whisper this amongst trusted friends. I'm asking for anyone who thinks this should be done, to comment on this post, and say so. Please, your comments means a lot to others who, think that they are in the minority with their views, but are actually many in number.
We waited for our leaders to do something...............................they failed.
We waited for our neighbours to do something........................they failed.
We waited for civil society to do somrthing...............................they failed.
We waited for family and friends overseas to do something...they failed.
Where else will we look?
I say the time for looking is over, the time for doing is upon us. We must be the ones to do this, for if we fail, our children, and their children will curse us, for not being strong enough to do something for this nation we all love.
God Bless Fiji