Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bainimarama's Coup and Increasing Un-Fijian Behaviour

by Sai Lealea

At the midpoint of another year of Fijians (itaukei) being held hostage by the Bainimarama dictatorship, there continues to be no clear way out of the darkness that envelopes their lives and hopes of being free. Though not been in Fiji since the 2006 Coup, I can feel their pain and suffering. After all they are Fijians like me all of the same racial stock.

And to think that Fijians could ever inflict the kind of brutality and repression on their own still baffles me today. Two recent accounts shared to me recently suggest we may be at the point of no return insofar as how we practise common values of mutual respect and regard for each other.

A Tailevu man shared the story of a soldier coming home to his village drunk and shouting abuse at those opposed to the military. He was suitably put to bed with a punch by a self-respecting relative keen on upholding village protocol and respect and embarrassed at such uncivilized behaviour. Can you blame this soldier when his superiors have in fact rubbished and disrespected chiefs and chiefly conduct. "Lutu na niu, e lutu i vuna."
Disrespect for Chiefs by Bainimarama

A lovely lady spoke of how her young family fled Fiji with little belonging after constant persecution by the military, jealous of their well deserved lifestyle gained through hard work and sacrifice. These were the age group pivotal to increasing the middle class population in Fiji and its GDP standing. For Fijians in the military to have hounded a Fijian family out of their own homeland is tantamount to cultural genocide and is despicable.

Both accounts point to how low Fijians have descended in practising their own values to each other. That has been a painful result of the Bainimarama coup. His pronouncements and actions have all encouraged the behaviour of his soldiers to run down the very essence of who they are. It just goes to prove how shallow and infantile Bainimarama in not realising the sordid effects of his treasonous overthrow of a Democratic government.
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