Thanks to repeated coup-de-tats, Fiji is no longer “the way the world should be’. But this does not mean that we have nothing to offer the modern world, nor that regaining our once proud status is impossible.
On a global scale, Fiji has two rare, precious resources that other countries cannot buy, create, manufacture, or replicate. If plotted on a Bell curve comparing the global availability and quality of these resources, Fiji’s resources fall into the enviable sector reserved for extremely rare and extremely high quality.
These same two resources are both under threat by Fiji’s current illegal regime.
1. The first resource is the genuine friendliness of our people, especially the indigenous Fijians. In other tourist destinations and parts of the world, people display friendliness to foreigners but with alterior motives – they want your business, your custom, your money, your recommendation. Fijians are friendly without agenda or expectation of something in return. It’s just the way we are.
2. The second resource is our natural ecosystems. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the world today can compare to the untarnished pristine quality of our ecosystem. Governor Gordon’s initiative to declare native land sacrosanct to the taukei showed incredible, fortuitous foresight. Asian, African, Central and South American ecosystems have been thoroughly integrated with their human inhabitants, to varying degrees of devastation from slash-and-burn scorched earth policies to managed forestation, land and marine use.
Both of these resources are under threat from the illegal regime in Fiji.
The hopes, aspirations and institutions of our native people are subjected to daily abuses by the regime, the latest example being their bastardisation of the Lau Provincial Council meeting, using Mugabe-esque tactics to remove competitors of their favoured candidate and preventing legitimate delegates (who have the mandate of their people) entry to the meeting. It is testament to the indomintable nature of the human spirit and the Fijian people that our innate friendliness remains intact. One wonders how long it can remain so under such relentless torrent of abuses.
Our natural resources, precious metals, forests and fishing is being hawked in a Fire Sale by the illegal regime. Indiscriminate logging around Colo-i-Suva show no regard for standard practices of sustainable forest management. Our waters are being overfished by Asian boats, and today’s story alleging funds to help locals enter the fisheries industry were ‘wasted’ shows this regime’s lack of interest in indigenous people competing economically or pulling themselves out of poverty.
In their desperate struggle for money to pay civil service and military wages – to keep themselves in clover – the illegal regime is turning a blind eye to long-term needs of our natural resources and selling off anything for which they can find a buyer. They will sell the baby and the bathwater, and even the goose the lays the golden eggs, for whatever price they can claw.
This illegal regime is desperate.
Don’t let them sell off our children’s future.
We, the people of Fiji, now possess these resources which are precious, which cannot be bought, created, replicated or – once lost – replaced.
This illegal regime must be stopped.
· Write to the international community and conservation NGO’s telling them your grievances against this regime
· Protest against unsustainable logging and fishing practices which are being ratcheted up under this regime
· Use boycotts, strikes and international pressure against the regime whenever possible
· Bring them down!
To those watching ‘Paradise or Bust’ on MAI TV or tribewanted.com, think about Fiji’s two treasures so painstakingly nurtured by the tribewanted virtual community. Watch what Chodo does to try and crush them. And ask yourself – what can I do to protect our national, globally significant and irreplaceable treasures?
God bless Fiji
For satellite image evidence on global ecological devastation, look at http://www.csiro.au/news/ps2t8.html (Great Barrier Reef), http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070327113346.htm (Himalayan glaciers melting), http://www.mongabay.com/nasa_deforestation_imagery.html (Amazon rainforest deforestation), http://epod.usra.edu/archive/epodviewer.php3?oid=120832 (Mount Kilimanjaro).
Do we want to live to see Fiji added to this list?
I do not accept comments on this blog because I want to direct fruitful discussion to Soli Vakasama, Discombobulated Bubu, Fiji Democracy Now, Intelligentsiya or other pro-democracy bloggers working for freedom in our beautiful land of Fiji.
God bless Fiji