We just have to play it smarter

Written By : General Editor. We woke up – for those who ever went to sleep – yesterday morning to a new year bringing fresh hope that things would be
01 Jan 2009 12:00

Written By : General Editor. We woke up – for those who ever went to sleep – yesterday morning to a new year bringing fresh hope that things would be better than last year.
A relatively smooth transition, say the police, with people quietly celebrating the beginning of a range of activities associated with a new year.
But there is no doubt that lingering at the back of the minds of many people is a feeling of uncertainty, a sense of foreboding, apprehension and doubt that the worst is yet to come.
A lingering feeling of hopelessness and despair is compounded by the knowledge that the general election promised to the world by the interim regime to be held in about 10 weeks from now is not going to happen. Worse still, there is no indication when it will be held if at all.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji’s economic forecast for this year does little to lift the spirit. Of course the whole world is facing the brunt of the current global crisis. Everyone is suffering. But our own situation could have been helped if there was better management of the economy and less abuse of public funds and authority.
The economic turnaround we have been expecting to see in the past 24 months is not even visible on the horizon. It is a long way off.
It seems the interim regime is not at all concerned about where we are heading, the suffering and hardship faced by most people, as long as those who instigated the December 2006 coup are able to justify that it was for a good cause. They originally said it was a clean-up campaign but they have so far been unsuccessful in trying to find something to clean up.
They then quickly thought up other reasons such as the need for electoral reforms which already has raised legality questions.
From this month, interim prime minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has a chance to set things right and steer us back on course to parliamentary democracy, peace, stability and progress, things we have been missing in the past two years.
The Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting in Port Moresby is the first step to winning back the crucial support and cooperation of the regional and international community which would help us get off our knees and on to our feet. The regime’s plea to have the Australian and New Zealand travel bans mitigated or even removed can be achieved to some extent by cooperating with the forum.
The expulsion of acting High Commissioner Caroline MacDonald last week has set us several steps back. It now seems that the interim regime is bent on hitting back at the two regional powers which has become no more than an empty gesture that will not further our national interest. We know and the world knows that Australia and New Zealand can hurt us far more than we can ever hope to hurt them.
The confrontational attitude and arrogant comments against those willing to help us and who have helped us a lot in the past is doing us little good. We plead for assistance but then turn our backs on and rebuff the offers made by the very people we are seeking help from.
The Commonwealth, United Nations, the Pacific island leaders and European Union are willing to come in and get us back on to our feet. They like everyone else who have a sincere interest to see us move forward are genuinely concerned about our welfare.
We just have to play the game smarter and be a lot wiser.

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