An Email from a friend...

Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 07:24:41 +1200
From: Patrick Craddock <craddock_p@usp.ac.fj>
To: mara.fulmer@lookinglassdesign.com


Hi Mara - among other events, it was Peggy's birthday yesterday. She had
arranged a brunch type morning supposedly with fruits, fresh bread, cut
meat etc.. Anyway - we went ahead and got fresh bread and people who came
brought a few goodies and it was a good morning.
We are safe - and there is a curfew each night. Today - Monday morning -
schools are closed, buses and taxis are not running and a number of
foodshops are nearly out of essential food as people stockpile what they
thing they need. Suva central is still out of bounds. The police do their
thing and there are roadblocks all over town.
The ringleader of the gang is bankrupt, owes millions - he is a fourth
generation person Fijian - does not speak Fijian and is a bankrupt. He is
unstable - so who knows what will happen. But he is locked in the parliament
complex.
Ratu Mara is doing a great job and talking a casual fatherly way to the
people every day. The USP is closed and the dumb registrar says while
students are exempted, the staff should be on duty.
Take care - Pat

 

Subject: update Fiji (written by Peggy)
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 20:08:08 +1200

HI everyone
I thought this would be the best way to keep you all informed on what is
happening with the coup here. It is now Sunday afternoon and today has been
relatively quiet. The coup leader, George Speight says he was going to have
day of rest - many indigenous Fijians are strong Methodists - however there
has been a few developments. The President is still being very strong in his
opposition to the coup and he will not be forced into a position by a group
of terrorists. He is sounding very tired and sad and as he had his 80th
birthday this week we are concernced about his health. This afternoon I went
to a women's vigil at the ANglican cathedral where women from all races and
relgions spoke. Indigenous Fijian women are very angry and outspoken about
George Speight saying the he is working and speaking for each and every
individual indigenous Fijian. the women will be holding a daily 2 hour
vigil and I will attend as many as I can becuase it is where they will plan
the next actions. The wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs Chaudry was there and
many women who went through the coups of 87. It brings back bad memories to
them. afterwards I wnet with a friend and we tried to drive through the main
downtown shopping area of Suva. We could not get access as all roads are
barricaded. It looks as if there will be no work for a long time as no
public transport is runnning, the Trade Unions are calling for general
strike and other people want wveryone to know that we are working under a
state of emergency and that in this state things are not normal.
It is hard, sad times for people and food is getting short in many homes.
The longer it goes on the more afraid people are becoming as they fear that
there may be bloodshed with the remaining hostages.
This morning, on a more cheerful note, I celebrated my birhtday with a group
of friends at at brunch at our home. some thought that I would not continue
with the brunch but we need to keep going and it is gatherings like this
that make it bearable. We had bread and coffee - quite different to the
menu I had planned but then again in times of crisis you just cannot be
choosy and with no markets or shops being open you go with what you have
got.
We will keep you posted with news - personal and where possible through
media files.
Thanks for your thoughts and your kind wishes
Peggy and Pat.

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