From NZ Herald
4:00AM Monday Sep 28, 2009
Fiji’s coup leader and self-appointed Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has complained to other nations that his country’s troops have been barred from joining any new United Nations peacekeeping force.
He darkly hinted that his critics are the dupes of twisted politicians who are in league with terrorists to push “racial supremacy” and a “corrupt agenda”.
In his speech to the General Assembly, Commodore Bainimarama did not name Australia or New Zealand as Fiji’s nemeses in the region, but he made clear whom he blamed for Fiji’s troops being blackballed from UN peacekeeping:
“Our people pose no threat to anyone, least of all to the big powers of the South Pacific who have arrogated to themselves the right to dictate to us our future and the way we govern ourselves,” he said. “In all of this, they have used their extensive diplomatic and financial resources to deny Fiji to participate in new peacekeeping operations.”
Fiji still participates in other long-standing peacekeeping patrols, such as in Iraq.
“Fiji has participated in peacekeeping operations since 1978 and is proud of its association with the United Nations, in particular the Department of Peacekeeping Operations,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“Fiji has been disappointed by what appears to be a unilateral decision on the part of the United Nations to debar our country from any new peacekeeping operations.
“To this day, we have not been able to receive a clear and satisfactory reply on this matter from the United Nations.”
When Britain granted Fiji independence in 1970, the Fijian Army had only about 200 active troops.
Since then, more than 20,000 Fijians have been deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, building a robust military culture in the nation of fewer than 950,000 people.
Fiji has been under military rule since Commodore Bainimarama, the country’s armed forces chief, seized power in a 2006 coup, the fourth since 1987. His Government had promised elections earlier this year, but Commodore Bainimarama said in Saturday’s speech that they would not be held until 2014.
Fiji’s population is split between the indigenous Fijian majority and ethnic Indians, introduced by former colonial power Britain in the 19th century to work on sugarcane plantations. The first coup in 1987 followed the election of an Indian majority Government.
Commodore Bainimarama did not conceal his contempt for his critics, at home or elsewhere in the South Pacific.
“There have been critics of the events in Fiji since December 2006, when the military, with great reluctance, was forced to remove the then Government of Fiji,” he said.
“I believe that these critics are largely unaware of the extent to which politicians, in league with those who employ terror as a tactic to push a racial supremacy and corrupt agenda, had become a threat to the safety and security of our people.”
He did not specifically name India, Australia or New Zealand.
God bless Fiji