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Let’s Build On Our Young Democracy

This is a transcript of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC Television 4 the Record programme last night,   On Saturday we celebrated the 45th anniversary of our Independence from
12 Oct 2015 10:21
Let’s Build On Our Young Democracy

This is a transcript of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC Television 4 the Record programme last night,

 

On Saturday we celebrated the 45th anniversary of our Independence from Britain.

It also doubled as a commemoration for the first anniversary of our young democracy born in September last year.

Visible indicators are all around that the country is moving forward in a positive direction.

Unfortunately there are members of our society who still live in the past and want to drag us back to that dark period. Some have not been able to let go of the burden of pain they have carried all these years. They still harbour resentment and hatred and seek revenge and retribution.

They keep revisiting this dark period to satisfy their search for a closure in their lives. They could not understand or accept that they or their relatives were victims. It did not seem fair that they were the ones who got hurt and not others.

The period in question was one of the darkest in our history. Naturally, it would be hard to forget. As it always happen, when there is political turmoil and civil unrest, some things do not make sense. There is violence and people get hurt in the process. In some countries many people die and get hurt. Fiji has been fortunate that the causalities from the four coups have not been higher. The situation could have been a lot worse. The fact that we have pulled through as a nation and resolved to move forward is a tribute to our good nature and good will. It’s time to let go of those negative feelings that’s hindering our development. One evening in 1987, a truckload of soldiers pulled up at our Kinoya home. I was not at home at the time. They entered and demanded to be given a tape of a Channel 9 TV programme featuring one of the politicians held hostage by gunmen. My wife and six young children had no idea what they were talking about. They ransacked the house, but could not find what they were looking for. I arrived home shortly after that and found my wife and children huddled in a corner still trembling with fear. In the weeks that followed, we resolved not to let that incident stop us from achieving our family goals. As soon as that happened, the bitterness and resentment over that experience disappeared.

Perhaps one of great examples of our time to illustrate what I am trying to say is the late South African leader Nelson Mandela. For 27 years he was in prison for fighting against apartheid (racial discrimination).

In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela said: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

Mandela continued: “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.

“I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Feedbacknemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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