Today on the same day 3 years on, and in the same week that World Press Freedom Day is being celebrated in other countries except in our own, I would like to re-publish it because not only is it like we have stood in a time warp since the day this was printed; our nation has also lost (with the tyrannical media decree forced on our press) the last vestige of free & candid opinion.
Over the years the Fiji Times has brought many a truth to our people, and I would like to salute our brave men and women who still try on a daily basis to give us the truth despite daily regime propoganda.
FIJI TIMES EDITORIAL Sunday, May 06, 2007
NO man is an island.
And we in Fiji are becoming increasingly aware of how true that phrase is. We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world and hope to survive.
In fact, we need the rest of the world to survive.
Our recent experience with the European Union confirms that as fact. We need EU aid if our sugar industry is to survive. But that aid has come with strings attached. In order to unlock the door to the EU vault, we need to comply and accept the conditions they have laid down before us.
As much as we hate to have other countries and organisations dictate to us how we must lead our lives and run our country, the fact still remains that no man or nation is an island. The same rule applies to other international organisations of which we are a part of.
If we want to be part of the group, then we must be prepared to accept and abide by the rules.
As a result of the December 5 coup, we, the people, and the country have missed out on a lot of opportunities.
Members of the military who did not and still do not agree with the coup have lost out on opportunities abroad for work and education. Their families have suffered as well.
We have also lost our membership with the International Parliamentary Union as well as the Commonwealth Parliament Association. In the parliamentary union, Fiji was one of only two Pacific island countries who were members of that organisation. The other was Papua New Guinea. Now the Pacific has only one voice in the IPU. And at the end of the day, PNG or any other Pacific island country for that matter will always do what is best for its country and people.
Our suspension from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is also another opportunity lost. While some see it as a jaunt, many of the overseas meetings and conferences that the CPA organisers are very educational and helpful. Our suspension from the Commonwealth has also meant that we have lost out on training opportunities and the availability of expertise and technical know-how. Aid that was supposed to come our way has now been diverted to other deserving areas.
And whether the interim Government's policy of looking north to China has paid any dividends remains to be seen.
But one fact remains. We can't isolate ourselves.
As much as the interim Government and the military hate to admit it, as an underdeveloped nation, we need the help and aid of others.