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Opinion

OPINION: Freedom of Expression

OPINION: Freedom of Expression
Nemani-Delaibatiki
August 25
10:35 2015

This is a transricpt of Nemani Delaibatiki ‘s My Say programme on FBC Television’s 4 The Record on Sunday.

Fijians who live in Ivory Towers overseas and take pot shots at programmes to rebuild this country need to do some serious soul-searching.

Their attempts  via social media to encourage people here to take the law into their own hands and destablise the Government through violent means are irresponsible and a national shame.

It shows they do not care what happens to this country if it descends into civil unrest.

This type of agitation is symptomatic of the kind of extremism that has turned some countries into  states of anarchy.

People are free to express themselves under our democracy but those expressions must be done within the bounds of the law.

Those are democratic principles that are guarantied in our Constitution and many other jurisdictions. They are there to protect every citizen and safeguard their interests.

The same forces that were there  in 1987 and 2000 are trying to make a comeback, in a different form, to reassert their influence on especially the iTaukei. The overseas connection has been prominent because they are alleged to be providing the funding, organisation and moral support in a concerted drive to destabilise the Bainimarama Government.

They are totally out of touch with the majority of people in Fiji who support peace and progress.

They have had enough of the political turmoils like the  1987 and 2000 coups which plunged this country into political chaos and economic ruin.

Many were used as political pawns by selfish and self-centred politicians and community leaders who exploit the common people and thrive in conflicts and derive financial benefits from them.

They used race, culture and religion to divide Fijians and communities and breed distrust and hatred.

They are at it again targeting ordinary villagers and the unemployed. Only the gullible will be swayed.

In last Saturday’s Fiji Sun edition it carried a thought-provoking article by a former soldier who was actively involved in the overthrow of the Mahendra Chaudhry-led Government in 2000.

Maciu Nakavakasuasua, now living in Sydney, said: “Today, I’ve regretted my involvement in the May 19, 2000 attempted coup as I am still facing the consequences of it despite the fact that I have served my jail term and lived in Australia for the past 12 years.”

“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 through the 2000 political crisis, it began to dawn on 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.

Mr Navakasuasua has pleaded with all Fijians not to be easily swayed by these elements. Fiji now has a democratically-elected government in place.

This is the way forward for all Fijians and the betterment of their future generations.

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

I agree and I fully endorse his statement.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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