A military dictatorship, with unknown advisers, is bringing about major changes to Fijian institutions: the Great Council of Chiefs has been supposedly abolished; provincial governance structures reorganized; the laws of management of communally owned Fijian land and marine resources (some with serious environmental impacts); flagship Fijian companies such as Fijian Holdings Limited have been reorganized; controls have been placed on Fijian churches and villages; Fijian cultural symbols are being changed by decree, without their consent.
Massive changes in economic policy are affecting not just Fijians but all Fiji citizens in: taxation and expenditure of tax-payer funds, privatization and sale of public assets, restructuring of pension funds, controversial approval for new industries such as casinos and mines, a huge increase in public debt that must be paid for by future generations which will be increasingly indigenous Fijian, and much more.
The views of the Bainimarama Regime leaders are prominent every day on radio, television and in the newspapers, with extremely limited coverage given to opposing political leaders.
It is dismaying therefore that there is a deafening silence from Fijian intellectuals from the universities and the private sector- with the exception of a few rare individuals such as Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi or young youth leaders like Peter Waqavonovono. Continue reading