Jan 4, 2008

Welcome 2008 in Fiji

This was a great letter printed in the Fiji Times yesterday 3rd Jan, 2008, and reflects the sentiments of most of us in Viti.

Insulting messages
I HAD just completed a very peaceful time sitting on the beach and watching the waves and sunsets over Christmas and New Year when I was jolted back to reality by the messages and statements from the President, the interim PM, Colonel Mohammed Aziz and interim Minister Taito Waradi.

These four people jolted me back to the daily reality of life in Fiji where we receive the daily dose of spin from them of how good things have been since the 2006 coup .

At the same time, the headlines of 10,000-plus school leavers and $200m tourism loss also hit me.

Not only that, I also thought of the non-availability of the $300m-plus EU funds for the sugar industry restructuring in light of the impending loss of our preferential markets.

The fact that no SDL Member of Parliament has been charged by FICAC also crossed my mind.

I further wondered about the demoralisation of the civil service with the recent appointments and continued micro management by the interim Government-appointed boards.

Add all these to the general lack of major investments and economic activity to absorb our graduates and school leavers, one wonders whether we are in a different world from the four individuals I mentioned.

I wonder about their sanity, especially when one of them mentioned the fall of the Berlin Wall as an example of the winds of change in Fiji when we know very well that the fall of the Berlin Wall was through people power and not gun power. Let us also not forget that the representatives of over half of Fijis people (SDL, Methodist Church, provinces) have rejected the Peoples Charter.

As we move into 2008, the reality is that these four individuals gave 2008 a bad start by their insulting messages when we and the international community know very well what the truth is.

Filipe Tuisawau

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