#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Gone are the days of polishing statues in Fiji

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gone are the days of polishing statues in Fiji

The interim government's decision to scrap two public holidays from Fiji's calendar has hit a snag. The controversial decision has citizens confused about which holidays have been done away with and which ones are still in place.

That's led to the government this morning issuing a statement to "clarify' its decision to discontinue the National Youth Day and Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day as public holidays.

In a statement it says "As per advertisement on page 4 of the Fiji Sun (Monday 22nd March 2010), the Ministry of Information wishes to clarify to members of the public that the only two public holidays that have been removed from Fiji's list of public holidays are the National Youth Day and Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day.

"Official breaks for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday, Diwali, Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, and Fiji Day continue as is."

The statement goes on to say that Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has noted that the Ratu Sukuna and National Youth days are significant, but Fiji does not require specific public holidays to commemorate these two occasions.

"He said Fiji already has a high number of public holidays. By reducing the number of public holidays, the Prime Minister says that "we as a nation will be, among other things, more focussed on productivity and increased output. These are essential if we are to modernise and grow our economy and improve our living standards."

The confusion is to be expected as the government has, typically, issued the holiday directive without debate or public consultation.

The demise of the National Youth Day was signposted when Fiji Employers Federation President, Digby Bosley, said that Fiji loses millions every year due to the 12 public holidays celebrated in Fiji and that the National Youth Day could easily be done away with.

On the surface of it, Fiji does have a lot of public holidays, more than New Zealand and Australia, but it's not surprising that Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day is the other holiday that's been dropped.

Honouring the national father of modern Fiji who died on May 30, Ratu Sukuna Day in 2000 was marred by the George Speight coup on May 19, which led to the dismissal of the elected government on May the 27.

In 2005, there was a reclaiming of the day with 19 centers around Fiji, including Rotuma, turning out for it.  May 24 saw the beginning of a week of celebrations that culminated on 30 May with then prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, launching the festivities under the theme of Unity in Diversity.

The newly completed Great Council of Chiefs complex was opened the same day, with Qarase officially launching a website about Ratu Sukuna.

But Ratu Sir Lala's heroics as a "master of reconciliation" and someone the nation could depend on came to be challenged by Meli Bogileka, the general secretary of the People's National Party and a former minister in the Chaudhry government (1999-2000), who said Sukuna's achievements had been overstated.

Bogileka said people had overlooked the way his policies had confined native Fijians to pocket settlements and villages, which he said had impeded their progress. Bogilkea maintained that Sukuna should have used his chiefly position to encourage indigenous Fijians to work rather than remain in their villages in the name of culture.

He said: "I stand wholeheartedly by the comments I made because it is the truth and the poverty that indigenous Fijians are now facing is largely because we rely too much on our families for our survival and cannot really fend for ourselves like other races do."

In any campaign to cleanse and purge, sacred cows from the past are usually the first to go, so it's not surprising that there will be less polishing of statues from now on in Fij.


Anonymous said...

Yeah the guy (Sukuna)was very smart. But he is the cause of todays troubles as rightly pointed out by Bogileka.

Anonymous said...

"Official breaks for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday, Diwali, Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, and Fiji Day continue as is."

Out with Indigenous Patriotism and Christianity, in with all the pagan and heathenistic traditions. All the above traditions are satanic. Fiji is being demonised. When are you indigenous people going to wake up to it? There is only one Holy day in the week you are commanded to remember, The Holy Sabbath day. All others are holis ( whatever that is in your lingo)

Anonymous said...

Poverty is seen in the eye of the beholder. Fijian poverty has never been caused by our reliance on families. Fijians several decades ago were never poor because they relied on a network of communal relationships that involved families. Fijians are poorer now because they are moving away from this communal-family oriented lifestyle to an indivualistic lifestyle that is selfish, uncaring and unbecoming of a Fijian lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3.

So true - well said - sick of tired of hearing Kai Viti should be more like Indians & Europeans. Fact is it should be the other way round. Kai Viti have never been motivated by these things whereas the other 2 have - and look where its got them? Again - well said.

Anonymous said...

Fijians are poorer now because the Colonial government with the help of Sukuna et al. confined them to village life supporting the chiefly system. Had they been given the freedom then to work for private wages etc. Fijians would have been better off economically today.

Instead he maintained the marginalisation of ordinary kai viti, establishing the chiefly elites who propgated the coup culture in Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Listen here dont blame Ratu Sukuna for native fijians downfall. what he did decades ago in his eyes was good for fiji then and because we are changing so fast then we have to adapt to the new world developments. its just a fact Majority of us kai viti are just pure damm bloody lazy and downright need to get a kick up the ass. You reep what you sow.

Anonymous said...

Off with his head then. Blast his graven image to pieces like they did Sadam Hussein.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you Anonymous @ 8.26p.m

What's happened to abolishing the 'chiefly system' with irrelevant Koila Kanaloto & Gang sitting illegally at the White House in Nasese, being fed, entertained, clothed and sheltered by taxpayers funds!

Anonymous said...

The following is a quate from a letter written by Sukuna to Secretary of Native Affairs dated 15/10/1917 regarding the company set up by Apolosi Ranawai.

"Contact with races belonging to mature civilisations has tended, because necessarily restricted and spasmodic and therefore misunderstood, rather to create in him a new vice than to eradicate evils and inculcate new qualities. His superficial advancement, however, with its atmosphere of materialistic views and requirements, is for him a great source of danger because it is apt to deceive both him and his friends as to the real view he inwardly takes of things.

That movement has found its expression in the theory and shape of a trading company. In practice it is nothing more than the dominion of savage cunning over communialistic ignorance". End of quote.

Thats the kind of attitude Sukuna had towards ordinary Fijians trying to break free from the shackles of forced service to the Chiefs and trying to make it into the business arena.

Anonymous said...

We know so much more today about indingenous development, marginalisation of people, let us not forget this was the era of british colonisation. the progress of fiji is coming late but look to other countries where colonisation has taken place and we the same mistakes and characters (pioneers???)like sukuna

Anonymous said...

Yeah, look to pagans, idolators and heathenistic countries to follow after their ways never mind that you are instructed to not conform yourselves to the ways of the world. So easy to forget God in this materialistic world, isn't it?

sara'ssista said...

This country is still in indigenous hands... so to the degree that they are not rising up and are getting too comfortable with their illegal military government then it is entirely due to the blind loyalty either to treasonous and greedy chiefs or to an illegal regime. Have some spine. I hardly think the soldier on the ground actually supports a government and media run either directly or by proxy to further the interests of the miltary.