Fiji Coup Supplement
(Ministry of Information, Suva)
6 September, 2000
AUSTRALIA- FIJIAN SOUL NOT FOR SALE
Australian Trade Unionist Sharan Burrows obviously has learnt nothing from her visit here about the causes of Fijišs current political crisis. She is here on an alleged fact-finding mission. She has come here with predetermined views and solutions. Her offer of $7million for an election in six months is insulting to indigenous Fijians as well as all Fiji citizens.
Given the racist tradition of which is a part she cannot understand that indigenous rights are integral to human rights, the two are inseparable. Indigenous rights are human rights; indigenous Fijians are human beings.
Fijian demands for constitutional amendments spring from a deep sense of insecurity and with a sincere wish for the socio-economic upliftment of a disadvantaged community. It is now acknowledged widely that the 1997 Constitution has political and legal flaws and these must be remedied to achieve fairness for Fijian as well as other communities domiciled in Fiji. Fijians are fighting for the restoration of their fundamental rights, for the recognition and protection of their human rights.
Thus the Fijian soul is not for sale. It is not a question of money, it is an issue of principle.
Burrows seems ignorant of the meaning of indigenous rights. In the country people like her stole, the Aborigines are protesting about their rights, demanding redress for past and present wrongs, including criminal acts. How many times has Burrows pleaded and fought for Aboriginal rights in Australia. For a start that $7million could go to the Aboriginal protestors in Sydney; it might help lessen Australiašs shame.
The people of Fiji including indigenous Fijians, are nauseated with the hypocrisy of the likes of Burrows who do not practice at home what they preach abroad.
Fiji is a sovereign state, indigenous Fijians are a sovereign people, their right to self-determination accords with international norms and conventions.
MINISTER FOR INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS
RATU INOKE KUBUABOLA