|MESSAGE IGNORED: Written by a local a couple of days before Bainimarama went ahead with his 2006 coup.|
I'm sure you have been following with interest the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, which has led to the downfall of two dictators.
Many years ago, no one would have thought this possible. But times have now changed.
It all began in Tunisia with the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power.
Ben Ali became President in 1987 in a bloodless coup and since then has been re-elected with enormous majorities at every election. During the 2009 elections, the US sent international observers there who indicated that Tunisia had not permitted the monitoring of the election.
In December and January, riots and protests against his government escalated, causing him to finally flee.
Inspired by Tunisia, Egyptians too began protests 18 days ago demanding the resignation of their dictator President for 30 years, Hosni Mubarak.
At the start of the protests, Social media like Facebook and Twitter were used to get people together to protest.
Bloggers were intimidated and beaten up for uploading videos and information about the protests but this did not stop them.
The army stood by their President - in the process many people were killed and many more were injured.
Following this the army changed their tune and said they would not hurt any protesters.
Last week Mubarak addressed the protesters saying he would not seek re-election in the presidential elections in September.
The people said Get Out.
As the protests continued, Mubarak gave another address yesterday, saying he would transfer some power to his deputy but would not step down until September.
The people did not buy the bullshit. They said Get Out.
The military council had meetings without Mubarak, discussing what they should do.
Overnight Mubarak suddenly resigned and fled to his vacation home in the Red Sea with his family.
Rumours are he was given an ultimatum by the military. Yes, it was sort of a military coup against the dictator.
Commodore, please remember this quote by the former US attorney general Robert Francis Kennedy:
"Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Just like Tunisia and Egypt, the people of Fiji too will stand up and fight.
The time may not be right at the moment, but it will happen one day.
Then you, like Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, will go down in history as a dictator who was booted out by the people.
I only pray that you do right by the people and give Fiji the democratic civilian government it deserves, free of soldiers, before it is too late.
M (since I certainly will probably be beaten up for this letter, you will only know me as M)
In the ongoing debate about where to for Fiji, Coupfourpointfive asks:
1. Are there similarities between Fiji and the Middle Eastern countries (Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt) that have rallied against dictatorships in recent weeks?
2. What are those similarities and can the people of Fiji benefit from the experience of Egypt?