Hysteria or reality? The illegal government would have us believe it's hysteria and that the stories coming out of Australia about the death of Josefa Rauluni are hugely exxagerated.
There is certainly a lot of emotion, especially earlier this week when 11 men occupied the roof of another building at the Villawood Detention Centre, threatening to throw themselves off if immigration authorities didn't do an independent review of their refugee and asylum applications.
The standoff between the group, mainly Tamils from Sri Lanka, has ended (a second group has since taken to rooftops) but the interest in the death of 36 year old Rauluni, continues because of the highly publicised suggestion he was afraid to return to Fiji because he'd be persecuted by the regime.
Because of the public emergency regulations and the plethora of decrees that have been pumped out in the last year alone, everyone knows that those who mouth off about the illegal government and its noble efforts to morph Fiji into utopia, are in for it.
With confirmation Josefa Rauluni had connections to the Democracy Movement and that deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase wrote a letter on his behalf to immigration authorities, one accepts his fear of persecution is real.
The regime mouthpiece, Sharon Smith-Johns, yesterday tried to blame the Freedom Movement in Sydney for the reports that painted Fiji an unsafe country for its own citizens, saying the movement was politicising Rauluni's death.
Smith-Johns today told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Rauluni was "not known to them", but there was a suggestion in her comment that others are ARE known to them.
“He is not known to anybody in Fiji. He might have been known in Australian to the Freedom Movement but he wasn’t to us. I have checked several sources and this person wasn’t known to us at all. He would have walked into the country like anybody else walks into this country."
Colonel Pio Tikoduadua has also scoffed at the persecution claims telling Australia's Pacific Beat: "Those guys for whom the Australian immigration have not quite accepted their grounds for staying in Australia for asylum or for some other reason. Fiji is always a home, always welcome to come and then come and see for yourself. So don't go telling the rest of the world things that are not true. Fiji is always here. You are probably safer walking down Suva, than downtown Sydney for God's sake."
The stone cold truth is that the people of Fiji and their supporters know the country is not the safe place the regime want us to believeit is. People know this regime is vengeful and determined to crush anyone who does't obey them, hence so many decrees, the PER and the soldiers to enforce their will.
The highly charged situation over
the death of Josefa Rauluni reflects the sad reality that is today Fiji. Fiji is not the Utopia Smith-Johns and Tikoduadua would have us believe it is. If it was, people would not be running away and neither would they be throwing themselves off roof tops.
Picture: Some of the Chinese nationals still camped on a rooftop at the Villawood Detention Centre, where Josefa Rauluni died on Monday just hours before he was to be deported to Fiji.