Graham Davis | May 01, 2009
Article from: The Australian
As Bainimarama tells it, he and the military are righteous crusaders for all Fiji citizens, as opposed to an agenda of indigenous supremacy masquerading as democracy practised by his opponents and unthinkingly supported by Australia and New Zealand.
“I’ve tried to explain to Australia and NZ the real story of what’s happening here and no one seems to listen,” he says. So Bainimarama is embarking on a new tack, seeking a three-way summit with the leaders of both countries to set the record straight and try to rebuild the shattered relationship.
“I would like to see Kevin Rudd and (NZ Prime Minister) John Key face to face immediately so I can explain things clearly about the changes we need to bring about.”
Bainimarama says he’s willing to give both leaders a “cast-iron guarantee” that elections will be held in 2014 but not before. He’s hoping the regional heavyweights may be in a mood to compromise after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton undertook to listen to complaints from a Samoan congressman that Australia and NZ were being “nasty” about Fiji and that its position was more complex than they were portraying.
The alternative to a summit, Bainimarama says, is to continue the diplomatic stand-off in which China and India have replaced Australia and NZ as Fiji’s closest confidants and sources of aid.