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25 February 2013

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Very interesting viewpoints indeed.

I don't know where the truth is in respect of the Fijian situation. But one thing is for sure: that someone is telling a lot of lies to themselves first and then to us.

We in PNG now have a very good Commerce and Trade Minister who is working hard to sow the seeds of Chinese resistance.

Hon Richard Maru is fighting hard to empower ordinary PNGans to venture into small businesses and to reclaim lost territory.

What that means to US and its allies, including Australia, is that Chinese scare mongering won't cut it any longer with us.

There's better be another strategy than China.

In the history of any developed country, harmony followed a period of self-searching; a period of trying to understand one's self, one's soul, one's identity.

When the British left us on our own in 1970, the period of growing up was suddenly thrust upon us. We looked around at the new world and tried to understand the environment.

Indigenous Fijians saw Indo-Fijians in a new light and vice-versa, in the quest for leadership left vacant by the British.

Different racial groups - Part-Europeans, Rotumans, i-Kiribati, Solomon Islanders and other Pacific islanders who were brought in by the British for one reason or another were also trying hard to find where they could fit in the racial cauldron.

The political setup made things worse. In several seats, Fijians could only vote for Fijians; Indians for Indians; Generals for Generals - these are the names given to non-Fijians and non-Indians!

The setup promoted racial and ethnic divisions. Fijian chiefs liked to maintain their power by relying on the submissive and passive nature of their people. The pastors preached racial supremacy at the pulpit.

And thus we Fijians lived in such an nasty undemocratic environment since 1970. The nasty environment manifested itself in the 1959 racial riot and in the first coup in 1987. Yes, we had trouble even before Rabuka knew he was a strongman. We know the rest of the story.

Under the Bainimarama regime, for the first time ever we Fijians who live in Fiji have the opportunity to get rid of this undemocratic constraining environment. For the first time ever, we will cast our vote in 2014 not on racial grounds but on knowing who can do the work.

We have seen the many improvements that the Bainimarama regime has brought - from bridges built in the rural areas, to bridges being fixed in the urban areas, to scholarships provided to as many Fijians as possible.

And by the way, the word "Fijian" now means each and every Fiji Islander, and not the i-Taukei only. Schools with vernacular names have been changed; and political party with vernacular names have been removed.

Pot holes are being fixed, and roads coal tar-sealed. Small things, like improved bus ticketing, that matter to us in our daily lives are being looked into.

At this point in time, these and our daily bread are more important to us than our political rights which had destroyed Fiji in the past!

We are trying to build a better world for us, and this is the only opportunity when we can do that. We prefer to do it the Bainimarawa way than mimicking the bloody revolutions being witnessed in other countries.

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