Friday, February 01, 2008

Half-free Society

Sai's Comment:

A great letter from a Yacata lady now living in Australia. Good on you Rosalind for the great letter.

Where is the logic of what Isireli Tawake (FT 28/1) had to say?

We all know that the events of 2006 were the result of this transition that Mr Tawake speaks about.

To many of us, it is a transition from what was a "truly free society" to a "half pie truly free society" where everyone has to please the regime and military because we are afraid of the guns they possess.

It doesn't make sense to me. If it is not broken don't fix it. As for my adopted country, democracy and the rule of law has always been in existence.

Let me also remind Mr Tawake that wisdom is for all and we are not living in the dark ages.

What is wrong with the legal process that was in existence before the events of 2006? Didn't the reforming process take place before and after the 1987 Rabuka Coup?

We were made to believe that the Rabuka Coup was about the defence of a system of traditional authority that was believed to define the taukei (indigenous). The regime's and people like Mr Tawake's perspective of democracy can be achieved when they voice their policies before next year's election.

It is a fair, democratic, legal and civil way of doing things in the 21st century. For a developing country with a habit of staging coups this process would be setting good examples for its future leaders.

As someone living overseas looking in, we may see the political situation in Fiji in a different perspective. Sometimes people like Mr Tawake may be too close and naive to see it from a proper perspective as they may be caught up in the emotions thus colouring their judgement.

Through out the years I've come to realize even though I was born and educated in Levuka, Ovalau and my paternal grandmother is full Fijian, a taukei from the Tui Yacata mataqali (clan) on the small island of Yacata in the Cakaudrove Province, I am and was a vulagi, person of another race of people living in a multiracial society.

I could never be a taukei or claim to be one. I believe through my up bringing, all respect should be given to the taukei for it is their qele (land). They arrived before any other race.

My connection, principles and yearning for justice in a beloved Fiji gives me the incentive to have my say. Also since arriving here I've continued to give my support to the people of Fiji. I've raised funds for many projects, including Yacata village projects, I've supported my immediate family and extended Yacata family, have returned to live for 10 years at different times and have served my chiefs. I am sure I speak for many!

Surely, for all the above reasons the likes of Mr Tawake would at least grant us to always call this multiracial paradise our home.

It is a pity that people like the Rabukas, Tawakes and Bainimaramas, all so-called educated taukei, and politics have somehow reared their ugly heads and have ruined it for me.

Rosalind Pratt

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