By Suliasi Daunitutu, president of the Australian FDFM
|Suliasi Daunitutu at right.|
Reading Graham Davis’s recent piece on Fiji Day celebrations makes me wonder how long he has lived in Fiji, how much of the people's feelings he is in touch with and how familiar he is with or even how he could conclude that the new design on the Fiji Airways tail is the collective sysmbolism of Fiji’s happy people.
I must admit, I didn’t know that Graham Davis was now living most of his life in Fiji, and I wonder if I’m correct in thinking that the regime pays him to put a angelic white lime coating on the cemetery filled with rotting bones that is really Fiji.
A handful we might be, but democracy advocates around the world are the only voices allowed to speak for the grassroots people.
If Graham thinks that attending formal functions at Government House or witnessing the launching of the national airline’s new look is the true indication of feelings throughout Fiji, than I would like to disagree with him. In fact, those functions cannot be more detached from the realism of actual spirits or feelings of individuals, families, groups or the nation.
In the six years since the illegal takeover of government, the regime have not been able to live up to its promise of freeing the country of corruption.
Instead, they have damaged Fiji’s economy, abused human rights and used the military to intimidate the populace into delivering a picture of normalcy and “everything is OK” to the international community.
At the same time, creating imilar offences themselves, some on big scales. That cannot be put down to “what we have to do to bring change”.
No one can tell me that the international community is irrelevant to Fiji’s growth. So it is paramount that Fiji satisfies their requirements for an engagement and subsequent association.
What the regime has been doing is searching for countries who would somehow agree with their illegal position, approve of their road map to democracy or ultimately LEGITIMISE their existence.
That is the oxygen the illegal regime is longing for, and Graham Davis is trying to convince the people who read his grubsheet that they have attained that.
No, they haven’t Graham. And a parade, a formal function at Government House or the new design on the tail of Fiji Airways, nor the one name/identity will provide that for Bainimarama.
An election or a return to true democracy through the ballot boxes will. It has to be a return free of flaws, conspiracies, intimidation or involvement of the military. Only then, will legitimacy be obtained.
The Sydney celebration of Fiji Day could be, if not, bigger than Fiji’s own celebration. They are not there because they support Bainimarama, but because they are celebrating an important part of our history.
They are also there to help our young upcoming sportsman/women be recognised, fashion designers and music groups be exposed to Australia and most importantly, to meet up with friends and families from Fiji.
To describe the celebration as an indication of Bainimarama’s success is impish and in my view a bad attempt, a very bad attempt to convince anyone, except those who have benefitted from the coup, like Graham Davis himself.
To conclude here, as the FDFM president I am inviting Graham Davis to the AGM to hear a counter argument to his/Bainimarama’s stance, and to also convince us with true evidence of growth in all sectors of Fiji’s operating machinery. I can tell him now, that I can provide him with evidence of an argument he will find hard to respond to.