4485 FIJI: Sun editorial - Outrageous arguments mask racism

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 25/08/2004 - 23:13

Quote: SUVA (Fiji Sun/Pacific Media Watch): It is people like Senators Professor Asesela Ravuvu and Apisai Tora that give Fijian nationalism a bad name.

Asia-Pacific Network
Pacific Media Watch
Title -- 4485 FIJI: Sun editorial - Outrageous arguments mask racism
Date -- 25 August 2004
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Fiji Sun, 23/8/2004
Copyright -- FS
Status -- Unabridged

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SUVA (Fiji Sun/Pacific Media Watch): It is people like Senators Professor Asesela Ravuvu and Apisai Tora that give Fijian nationalism a bad name.

To compare the plight of the Jews in Hitler¹s Germany with the condition of the Fijian people today as Professor Ravuvu attempted to do yesterday is nothing short of outrageous. In fact it would be amusing were it not so tragic.

If Professor Ravuvu has seen death camps, forced labor factories and systematic oppression in Fiji today, he did not share the experience with his audience yesterday.

If he has seen jackbooted soldiers terrorising a minority of the population of these islands, again he chose to remain silent.

Yet in his hopelessly confused attempt to draw parallels between the Third Reich of Germany and the Fiji of today, he gave a glimpse of his true agenda. The "witch hunt" of people involved in the coup of 2000 has to end, he said, otherwise more Fijian chiefs and leaders would go to jail.

He obviously regards people who violently overthrew an elected government regardless of the claimed reasons - as somehow different from other criminals.

In the eyes of the two senators, they should be rewarded, not punished.

And, the two would again argue, that disgraceful 1997 Constitution is the root cause of all that is wrong in the country today, foisted as it was on an unwitting and unprepared Fijian people against their wishes.

The fact that it was passed unanimously by a Parliament that consisted of a majority of indigenous people is conveniently overlooked.

Again, we are not told by them or their followers precisely which parts of the Constitution are to blame for all this mayhem and misfortune.

The sad truth is that they find it much easier to spit venom in all directions (while complaining about the behavior of others as a threat to stability) rather than offer constructive arguments that might support their racist views.

Senator Tora advises the Police Commissioner, among others, to "be careful."

But the day the Prime Minister¹s appointee in the Senate is told that he is the one who should take greater care will be the day Fiji¹s Parliament comes of age.



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