Below are comments from Crosbie Walsh on the speech Brij Las was to give at the Accounts Conference. To read more on this please go to http://www.crosbiew.blogspot.com/ The summary says it all, Thanks Crosbie.
Brij blames the deteriorating situation on the Interim Government alone. No mention is made of the role of Australia and NZ, the Fiji media, the “Qarase” faction, and others who constantly placed obstructions in the IG’s path.
Elections are not held to satisfy the international community. Fiji will only hold elections (hopefully before 2014) when the system under which they are to be held is decided upon, and when race has been removed as the factor. The Government has made quite clear the “political culture” it wants to create.
Brij continues to see Fiji’s problems in purely racial terms. The 1997 Constitution was an improvement on the decidedly racist 1991 Constitution, but the Great Council of Chief’s provision, the reinforcement of race by its electoral provisions, and the parliamentary “power sharing” provision effectively deprived Fiji of a parliamentary Opposition, need revisiting. True, future modifications were expected, but none occurred in the next ten years. His “grand coalition of elites” is based on racial “segments of society.” Fiji is, and can be, “segmented” in many more ways.
I do, however, share Brij’s and many other people’s concern about the never-ending role of the military in Fiji’s politics. I also sometimes doubt their real intentions but, for the moment, they have the benefit of my doubt.
In sum, Brij warns of everything that has, and can, go wrong. Wisely so, perhaps, but we already know most of them. He supports an agenda rejected by the Interim government. I would like him to have proposed some new ideas on the “way forward.” Perhaps a hypothetical redrafting of the 1997 Constitution, with the benefit of hindsight, or the drafting of a new Constitution that would win wide support?