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OPINION: Man Recalls 2000 Coup; Regrets Actions Of The Past

OPINION: Man Recalls 2000 Coup; Regrets Actions Of The Past
Writer, Maciu Navakasuasua.
August 22
09:30 2015

Now living in Sydney, Australia, the writer was one of the gunmen that stormed Parliament on May 19, 2000, to overthrow the Mahendra Chaudhry-led government)

 

During the past week I’ve been saddened by media reports of ‘rebels’, who are mainly villagers, allegedly undergoing military type training in the hills of Ra.

And to make it worse, it was seeing some of my close family members among those who were arrested and charged by Police.

This is the last thing I wanted to see happen to them.

Today, I’ve regretted my involvement with George Speight in the May 19, 2000 attempted coup as I’m still facing the consequences of it despite the fact that I’ve served my jail term and lived in Australia for the past 12 years.

Life has been difficult as I tried to move on, but someone somehow would just happen to dig up on my past and sooner or later I would be swung right back to square one.

Despite my reassuring them that I’ve turned a new leaf in life, it all seem to fall on deaf ears as they still look at me with some of sort of distrust.

This is what I want the people of Ra, Nadroga and those around Fiji to know. They’ve got nothing to gain from joining such rebellious movements as it would only haunt them for the rest of their lives.

In 1999, failed politicians, church ministers and corrupt businessmen talked us into taking part by telling us of what we wanted to hear.

They also brainwashed us into believing that we were there to protect the iTaukei race by overthrowing a democratically- elected government. What I did not realise then was that we were being used to fulfill their political agendas.

Midway during the 2000 political crisis, it began to dawn to me that I had been used. This was after the very same people who were supposed to be backing us up had jumped ship to accept top positions in the then interim government. They turned their backs on us as we were thrown into jail.

As I sat and thought hard of what had recently transpired in my province, it surely was history repeating itself. The evil elements of 2000 are back probably in a different form, doing its best to mislead people and bring about instability to the nation as a whole.

I call on all people to exercise wisdom and not to be easily swayed by these elements. Fiji has now got a democratically-elected government in place. This is the way forward for all Fijians and the betterment of their future generations.

I’m pleading with all the chiefs of the vanua of Ra to stop entertaining such rebellious attitudes and work together with Government for the development of the province.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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