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Military, Architects Of New Fiji, Have Stood By The Ideals Of Democracy

In his victory speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama paid a special tribute to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. He said: “I want to thank the officers and
24 Sep 2014 07:17
Military, Architects Of New Fiji, Have Stood By The Ideals  Of Democracy
Father and son: Jone Seru doing weight training with his son Zaac Seru, a.k.a, Prolifik The Gifted.

In his victory speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama paid a special tribute to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

He said: “I want to thank the officers and the rank and file of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces who have unwaveringly stood by me since the events of 2000 and who have stood for the ideal of true democracy. I wish to publicly acknowledge and thank them for their camaraderie, their vision, their perseverance and their sacrifice. It is their legacy that today we have a democratically elected parliamentary government under an internationally acclaimed Constitution with a vast array of civil, political and socio-economic rights and that will deliver good governance and transparency.”

In other words, the RFMF under his leadership chartered the course we are now following in the new Fiji. As architects of this change, it is logical to expect the military to defend it because of past bad experiences. In 1987, the military were exploited by failed politicians who used the indigenous issue to peddle their racist agenda.

In the 2000 political turmoil and mutiny, the same racist agenda played the key role.

In 2006, the military took over from Laisenia Qarase’s SDL government and decided enough was enough. It was time to change course otherwise Fiji will rapidly descend to bitter political and racial conflicts.

Eight years later, their dream has come to reality. It is fitting that the man who led them in the cleanup, is at the helm of this new journey

The election results have vindicated that vision – that for Fiji to progress it must change its mindset and embrace new values and standards. They are a powerful endorsement of an inclusive united Fiji where there is equality and no discrimination on race, gender, age, culture and religion. Race-based politics will now become a thing of the past and those politicians who cling on to it will face the harsh reality.

The military does not want to revist 1987 and 2000. It was a difficult and traumatic time for them.

The new path they have carved for the nation will ensure peace, security and stability.

The military are now woven into the fabric of Fijian society. They now hold the supreme responsibility of protecting all citizens; the national interests from external and internal threat; and the Constitution.

They are also engaged in national development, using their resources to build schools and other needed projects. Internationally, they are well known for their excellent peacekeeping record. Yesterday, the RFMF held a morning tea to thank all ex-officers who are now making their mark in Government and civilian life.

Their influence has played a significant role in the pace of development during the past eight years. Their public profile has never been better. People walk up to them on the streets and shake their hands, acknowledging them as their protectors.

The military are now very much part of how we are developing as a young democracy. That’s good for everyone.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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