Fiji Coup Supplement
(Ministry of Information, Suva)
7 September, 2000
FIJI NEEDS FRIENDS NOT OVERLORDS
Trade Unionist Sharon Burrows of Australia needs to appreciate that Fiji is a sovereign state and the people of Fiji, including indigenous people are human beings. Her behaviour here has been that of an overlord, of an autocrat. Under the Milbrook Commonwealth Action Programme of the Harare Declaration 1995, a member state is allowed two years to return to democracy after its parliamentary system has been illegally overthrown.
With the lawful intervention of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga we have an interim administration led by Mr Laisenia Qarase. The Prime Minister has repeatedly given an understanding to restore democracy within two years. It will be a democracy that will safeguard the rights of every individual and every ethnic/ religious/cultural groups domiciled in Fiji.
Sadly Burrows had failed to grasp the depth and breadth of indigenous Fijian sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction with the 1997 Constitution. Her dictated prescription is a recipe for more turmoil.
Fiji needs to find genuine friends, and not rely merely on fickle ones who behave like lords and masters, treating us not as equals but as underlings to be directed to remain forever subservient and do the will of our masters.
There is an urgent need for us to establish firm links in Asia. Besides Malaysia, we need to be in Indonesia and China. Indonesia's presence in Suva will be a very useful balance and would help diminish the bullying we encounter from our self-appointed big brothers. We will be in Beijing shortly. We need to think of Jakarta next. We need genuine friends, those who respect our sovereignty; recognise us as human beings and are prepared to treat us as equals.
Meanwhile we will adhere to the scope the Commonwealth accords us to review our Constitution and return to parliamentary democracy within two years