Friday, October 21, 2011

Death of Dictator Gaddafi Conjures Similar Images for Fiji Dictator Bainimarama

by Sai Lealea
A picture on Al-Jazeera that seems to show Muammar Gaddafi's body on 20 October 2011.
Face of dead Dictator Gaddafi - Is this what awaits Dictator Bainimarama?
Very early today, as I watched the various TV coverage of the capture and killing of hated Libyan dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, excitement surged through my body thinking how the people of my beloved country, Fiji, would feel when their equally hated Dictator, Bainimarama, gets to be toppled or meets a similar fate.

One thing I know for sure, there will be rapturous celebration and relief in Fiji because Bainimarama and his illegal regime have brought nothing but hardship and misery to the people of Fiji. 

Beautiful Fiji tainted by the illegal Bainimarama regime
For a country once touted as the premier South Pacific destination given its strategic location on the crossroad of trade and aviation routes, Fiji has become the pariah state of the Pacific and pushed to the periphery by its neighbours. The illegal government that is currently in power has lost all moral credibility and limps along at the behest of a hated military, once a revered institution by Fijians and others abroad. 

I thought to myself, surely life and prospects in Fiji must be bad enough now to cause people there to actively push for the removal of the current illegal regime. Yet various attempts to organise marches have only fizzled out, lacking support, as people either fear retaliation or just didn't bother, preferring instead to just put up with life under the current regime.

Defiance against Dictator Bainimarama takes hold
But lately the Viti Revolution Force (VRF) began a campaign of defiance writing graffiti on walls and bus stops against key regime figures. These acts have proved very encouraging for those of us wanting to see constant pressure and defiance directed at the regime. Symbolically it shows there really are opposition groups willing to stand up to the regime and thereby providing hope to those unable to for whatever reasons and justification.

All these scenarios and emotions over Fiji's situation were whirling away inside of me while glued to the TV as Gadaffi's bloody corpse was hauled over the bonnet of a pickup truck after being dragged from a concrete culvert. Imagining a similar fate for the Dictator Bainimarama in Fiji, I sent celebratory text messages to friends and colleagues making the comparison.

An NTC fighter looks through a large concrete pipe where ousted Gaddafi was allegedly captured
Concrete pipe -last hiding place of Dictator Gaddafi - Where will you hide Dictator Bainimarama?
However, I was then brought back to reality when I received a reply from a fellow pro-democracy advocate saying that for a similar result in Libya to happen in Fiji, people there must march and show defiance against the illegal regime that has been terrorising them since 05 December 2006. Libyans have suffered for 42 years and they have finally decided they can't tolerate things any more. 

The question for Fiji is "Do we wait till then? But if life under the illegal regime in just 5 years is to go by, surely we can't afford to wait even a year longer. The fact is; 42 years for Libya cannot and is not the same for Fiji. The tolerance level of Libyans for repression has been shaped over thousands of years spanning various era of civilization. On the other hand, Fiji, with its size and population, cannot be expected to stomach the repeated bouts of repression brought by the numerous coups it has suffered in a quarter of a century. So what will it take to unleash the internalised feelings of hatred and disdain felt by Fijians towards the illegal regime of Bainimarama?

Death or Alive Reward for Gaddafi - One for Bainimarama Soon!
For Fijians to stand up against the brutal and repressive regime of Bainimarama, the following need to be in place:
  • a climate of chaos and crisis;
  • opposition forces given access to arms;
  • allied nations need to provide support as soon as requested;
  • short, sharp, quick and surgical strike against the regime executed from within;
  • price placed on the heads of the leaders of the illegal regime plus
  • a "dead or alive" order placed on other key regime figures.

Fijians on the ground in Fiji need to make the first move to oust Bainimarama. But before they do, they need to know allies in the Pacific Islands Forum, Commonwealth and UN will be there to support their efforts. 

Fijian military action to topple Bainimarama
Military action is now an option to topple the embedded regime of Bainimarama because he has now placed a total stranglehold on the military, police and the bureaucracy. The full apparatus of the State are now arrayed against any attempt to topple the regime in Fiji. Fiji is now a Police State, no different to the days of the Communist East Germany, thanks a great deal to the influence of the Chinese in propping up the regime through soft loans, IT surveillance advice and, no doubt, military assistance undetected by outsiders.

As the TV coverage of Gadaffi's capture and death dies down, my initial surge of excitement and euphoria in hoping the same for Fiji, tittered on the brink. Deep inside of me, I felt a voice urging me on the quest to secure the same outcome for Fiji. Yet the feeling of subdue tickles as I reflected on failed attempts at defiance. But this micro pause moment was rudely interrupted when the TV again played and replayed images of Libyans pouring on to the streets in jubilant celebration as if a monumental burden has been cast aside. You can see and feel it in their eyes as they cry out as if for the first time in 42 years, a demonic curse has been extracted from their being. 

Suva - ready to party when Dictator Bainimarama falls
I pictured the streets of Suva similarly packed with Fijians in celebration from the Bus Stand right up to Albert Park. I then can see the limp and bloody corpse of Bainimarama and Khaiyum laid forth on a stage in Albert Park where people came past and uttered words reflecting their innermost feelings of disdain towards the two. My eyes closed, I can't help uttering my share of explicit sentiments at the two as if it was really happening! Then and then, I know I must persevere in the cause. 

The feeling of satisfaction, relief and accomplishment that I felt a few moments ago surely must be the same or very much nearly the same, as that felt by Libyans celebrating the death of their hated Dictator. If it takes the death of a dictator to enjoy such a moment in history, I most certainly would like to be part of it in my beloved country of Fiji.

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