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Opinion, Opinion

EDITORIAL: 47 Years – We Have Come A Long Way

EDITORIAL: 47 Years – We Have Come  A Long Way
Fijian families present during the Fiji Day celebration at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on October 10, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
October 11
15:54 2017

We celebrated our nation’s 47 years of independence yesterday. From that glorious morning at Albert Park, Suva, on October 10, 1970 we’ve indeed come a long way.

It has been a journey of many triumphs and agonies from the number of natural disasters that’ve swept through our isles and the trials of political instability that have rocked our nation. But we’ve endured. Our gratitude goes to our former leaders like Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Siddiq Koya for holding this nation together during the infant stage of our independence.

They tried their best to pave our way forward out of the clutches of colonialism.

Then came the coups, began by Sitiveni Rabuka in 1987 who set our nation back many years.

The failed attempted coup of May 19, 2000 where members of our elected government, were held hostage for 56 days by armed rebel supporters in Parliament then followed by the November 2, 2000 attempted mutiny by rebel soldiers at Queen Elizabeth Barracks became defining moments of our nation.

We are grateful that the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) under the command of our current Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama stood for the restoration of law and order during this dark time of our nation’s history. The stand they took saved our nation from regressing into a state of anarchy.

We could have been doomed today if it was not for their courageous stand.

The changes that came soon after that, didn’t go well with some of our neighbours like Australia and New Zealand and they sought to isolate us.

But that did not stop our leaders as we moved on and ahead with the intention of putting a stop to all these racial policies, which had divided our nation for many decades.

It was friends like the People’s Republic of China and the government of India that stood by us.

Today, the FijiFirst Government has continued a journey that has made our nation the most developed in the region. Today we’ve become a powerful voice in international forums like in the United Nations on climate change through the COP23 led by our leader Mr Bainimarama.

As we continue with our 47th Independence celebration this week, make it a point to reflect on what has happened. Talk to your children about our nation’s journey and how fortunate that we had a strong leader like Mr Bainimarama who was backed by courageous men and women in the Forces that saved our nation from disaster.

Reflect on the progress we are making. How we are building a better Fiji. For today and for our generations of the future.


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