Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Have A Vision Of The Future, Chum


The BBCs Fiji profile is illuminating.

In 1987 a coup by indigenous Fijians overthrew the elected, Indian-dominated coalition. This triggered a series of adverse events, including the introduction - and subsequent withdrawal - of a constitution enshrining indigenous Fijian political supremacy.

A further coup in 2000, led by businessman George Speight, saw the country's first ethnic Indian prime minister, his cabinet and several MPs held hostage for several weeks.

These events caused great harm to the economy - the tourism industry in particular - and Fiji's international reputation.

Rancour over the 2000 coup persists, with bitter divisions over proposals to amnesty those behind it.

Fiji's population, which resides mostly on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is divided almost equally between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians, the descendents of indentured labourers brought from India.

Mixing between the two groups is minimal, and informal segregation runs deep at almost every level of society.


Anonymous said...

Not all that constitution was withdrawn as non ethnic Fijians are not allowed to own land. Whether that is from independence in 1970, the 1987 coup or the 2000 one I don't know. Indians being Indians though the tend to do when running a lot of businesses though. Not entirely, there's still poverty amognst them but not as much as amongst the Fijians.

Suva is closer to Sydney than Sydney is to Perth hence there's a bit of a brain drain of the best and brightest of both Fijians and Indo-Fijians to Australia and New Zealand.

Finally there are no state schools in Fiji, not normally a situation I'd object to as the people value education and make sacrifices for their children's improvement. However the theory comes a bit unstuck as the Islamic schools will take all comers for free.

Some photos and chat about Suva, the Fijian capitial here

Anonymous said...

I am shocked, SHOCKED, that magical n' vibrant People of Color aren't caring and sharing in an open-hearted and happy-faced way.

Somewhere, somehow, a white man (an evil Person of Pallor) is no doubt responsible.

Laban said...

Of course. 'Twas the evil British colonialists who produced this situation.

Having two different cultures and races in a nation is terrifically good - unless it's because of the Empire, in which case it's a recipe for ethnic strife and division. I thought everyone knew that.