Te Karere Ipurangi
Fiji Coup Supplement

May 29, 2000 - 10.00pm
FIJI - Provocation, Resentment and Passion in Suva

by Ross Nepia Himona


The crisis drags on, and on, and Australia and New Zealand grow angrier and more and more frustrated at the Pacific Way, and the Fijian Way. Western nations try to force the unfolding of events towards pre-determined conclusions.

Pacific nations are content to participate in that unfolding, knowing that the Universe and all within it, unfolds in its own time, in its own direction, towards an ultimate conclusion none may know, but may trust with the faith of tens of thousands of years of successful experience. We live with the ever-present example of the feat of the peopling of the Pacific, across that vast watery continent, and across thousands of years of unfolded time.

This temporary problem in a small republic in the Pacific is less than two weeks old.

Westerners delude themselves that they know better, and that they are able to determine where they are going, and where others should go. Yet across the broad expanse of time they too find themselves where none had predicted, and somewhat surprised to be there. The phenomenon of unintended consequence is their destiny, despite their lack of belief in destiny.

So in their unwelcome advice to Fiji they demand a pre-determined, short-term, culturally-defined solution, with little regard for, and understanding of, the long-term consequences. But one of the consequences is already evident. They incite resentment and raise the passions, then lay all the blame on the Fijians for the increased tension and escalation of violence. These things happen naturally enough in volatile situations, without added impetus from the self-righteous, in the form of preaching politicians and judgemental journalists.

Am I blaming Australian and New Zealand politicians and media for the injuries and death in Suva, for the trashing of a TV station, and for the threats against foreign journalists? Of course not. But they are not blameless either.


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