An Email from a friend...
Subject: sad days and nights
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 08:24:56 +1200
From: Pat Craddock <craddock_p@usp.ac.fj>
Organization: University Media Centre

Hi
Dear Friends - this is from Pat.

Last night the price of winning the control of government was decided
in this so called Paradise. First job. Set part of the city of Suva on
fire. Smash shop windows. Then loot it while the police watch. Make
this note in your thoughts É a huge well trained army sworn to obey
the government sits on their hands for twenty four hours before taking
any action. Add a civilian of mixed Fijian parentage with an
Australian passport. Give this gangster the support of elite army
personnel and army guns. Take the cabinet and Prime Minister hostage.
Beat him up and hold a gun to his head. Then allow the " great council
!!!!! "of chiefs three days to say that all people are equal, but some
are more equal than others and that some of us will never be equal
i.e. those born in Fiji of Indian parents.

Do you want any of your sons, daughters, friends and work colleagues
to play sport with this country? Do you want to buy goods from Fiji,
most of them made by Indian women earning a dollar an hour.
Any Fijian in New Zealand who is granted citizenship is rightfully
protected by the law. Indo-Fijians born in this country will not have
those human rights. Some rights will be taken away, this time for
ever.

This evening I received a phone call. It was about a young Indian
woman I knew who had only been married for a year. Her home is in a
Suva squatter area. She gave birth to a small girl who died today. I
was asked to help with the funeral costs as all the men in her family
are out of work. Two of the women worked in Suva shops which were
destroyed, one worked in a factory that exported clothes. It is closed
until further notice. The grandmother cleans homes to earn five
dollars a day. Even that work has been lost. I did not ask the name of
the Indian baby who died. Perhaps, the custom is not to name the baby,
I don't know the answer. But I know all about the symbolism in my mind
about the death of this little baby called Democracy. The Fijian
constitution is only a few years older than this little girl. They
will both to be buried.

This next piece is from Peggy (same email)

Tonight (Thursday) is one of the worst nights of my life as I watched
Sitiveni Rabuka convey to the thugs in parliament who are calling
themselves the civilian government of Fiji, the decisions of the Great
council of Chiefs. And, now I hear that even these decisions which to
my mind denied even the basic human rights for many of these people
are not going to be accepted by the thugs who intend to hold the
hostages for probably another 3 days. I am so sick in my stomach and I
fear what will happen to this country. Already Don McKinnon has said
there will be strong reprisals but his words have carried no weight.
The thugs want to get rid of the President who has been trying his
hardest to get a workable resolution within the framework of the
constitution. I am so angry, upset, dejected that I can hardly write
these few words.

 

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