World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Crisis Of Ethnic Fijian Identity

Letter published in The Independent (UK), 6/6/00

LONDON:

Dear Editor,

Kathy Marks (June 3rd, page 15, 'Speight's bigotry takes him to the brink of power) gives a realistic picture of Speight, but not of what the political crisis in Fiji is really about.

It is not a simple conflict between ethnic Fijians and Indian-Fijians. The current problem, like the previous coups in 1987, has more to do with a crisis of ethnic Fijian identity, and complex rivalries between the three different geographical confederacies.

George Speight may claim to represent the majority Fijian interests, but many Fijians would dissent from this.

He is a failed businessman and political bully, and many Fijians feel his behaviour has been un-Fijian in the extreme.

When I visited Fiji in February this year, there was an atmosphere of cautious optimism among all ethnic groups about Chaudhry's government. Major concern was over his abrasive style.

Many Fijians support Chaudhry, indeed his government had a majority of ethnic Fijian Ministers. Both Fijians and Indian-Fijians together worked hard over the 10 years following the last coups to achieve the 1997 constitution.

Many Fijians - not just Indian-Fijians - live with fear about the current situation, and many Indian-Fijians are being supported by Fijians. There will also be many of Fiji's more than 250 islands where the current 'coup' has made little immediate impact.

Having started giving in to Speight's demands, there is a feeling of a democracy falling apart. One demand leads to another, but order is not restored.

The main feeling of my friends and ex-colleagues is 'Where will it all end?'.

I would advise the Independent to commission an article from people who are able to give an authoritative, complex perspective.

This might include: Brij Lal (Fiji-born and grandson of an indentured labourer, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Contemporary Pacific at The Australian National University) one of the architects of the 1997 constitution; Teresia Teaiwa, Lecturer in Pacific Studies, Victoria University of Wellington; or any number of students on the Journalism Programme at the University of the South Pacific.

Liz Todd Lecturer, University of the South Pacific, Fiji 1990-1993 now Newcastle University

Liz.Todd@NCL.AC.UK

+++niuswire

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news