|Ratu Kamisese Mara and Prince Charles on October 10, 1970|
By Ratu Tevita Mara
Fiji became an independent sovereign state on 10th October 1970 when its colonial status was abrogated. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, first Prime Minister of independent Fiji, received from Prince Charles the documents evidencing Fiji’s independence. That independence was and remains a great source of pride and joy to all Fiji citizens. On that day the dark clouds of colonialism were swept away.
Today, however, a fresh cloud darkens the future of Fiji. That cloud is Bainimarama’s evil dictatorship and junta, which now controls all aspects of life in Fiji at the barrel of a gun. A reign of terror exists in Fiji; corruption is rampant; and so is poverty. Promised elections in Fiji have no credibility as holding credible elections would expose the current unlawful rulers to prosecution.
The junta and all its actions have been held to be illegal, by Fiji’s Appeal court Ruling of 2009. The current Fiji judiciary is not independent. Fiji remains excluded from international institutions on account of its sharply deteriorating human rights record and failure to take credible moves towards democratic elections. Unions, churches and anyone else putting up their hand in protest are harassed and persecuted. The media is totally controlled. Central administration is totally dominated by army officers, their relations and friends and quislings.
Currently the junta is seeking, with the aid of huge overseas loans that will burden future generations, to bribe its citizens into submission, while continuing its reign of terror. Those bribes, orchestrated in a clumsy and grotesque fashion by the two chief culprits within the military junta, are no substitute for ordinary human rights.
Many Fiji citizens are keen sportspeople. They will be discouraged by the outcome of backhanded and clumsy interference in sport affairs in which (as in the case of most affairs) the junta has no competence. The junta's artificial attempts to inject soldiers into the Fiji rugby team for purpose of confrontation with the New Zealand authorities is a case in point. The outcome is shame.
An interesting point is that the President has omitted to follow the customary practice of speechmaking on the occasion of Fiji’s independence. Is the President lost for words suitable enough to describe the sadness of Fiji’s current situation?
Fiji WAS independent but NOT now. Fiji is bound in the shackles of a military dictatorship led by the murderer Bainimarama.
Fiji now needs to be independent from the current evil dictator Bainimarama and military junta. This independence is the only thing that will release Fiji from its current reign of terror, from escalating poverty and from every conceivable ill inflicted by the murderer Bainimarama and his military junta.
Editor's Note: Meanwhile people are being urged to stay home tomorrow to mark Freedom Day. The call is said to be supported by unions, NGO's, the police and a section of the army. In an email sent to us, the group say instead of celebrating Independence, people should be mourning the loss of the Constitution, fundamental freedoms and unchecked oppression since the 2006 military coup.
Their message is: "People of Fiji - Yes all you Workers, Farmers, Primary and Secondary school children, Church leaders, make Tuesday FREEDOM DAY and stay home."
Mara: The Pacific Way Paper