Sunday, February 1, 2009

FIJI NEEDS A 'MIRACLE INTERVENTION' TO LIBERATE ITS PEOPLE.

Interestingly, Prof Warden, in the article below, as printed by Fiji Times online, publicly laments some core issues facing the Fiji people today whether you are a local or residing offshore.

It is a painful reflection from a learned man who knows Fiji well. He has brought to light some very compelling discussion of the problems and challenges that bedevils the ordinary people of Fiji and more so the, Pacific Forum & International community in its attempt to rescue Fiji.

It is in our interest as Fiji people to try and diagnose the ills or evils that has shrouded Fiji over the last decade till todate and find a solution or some sort of intervention that will bring forth some sensibilities in this so troubled Nation.

As mentioned in the earlier postings Fiji's Political Ideology of the Decade is now known as the Coup-de-tat ISM. This is what our future generation will remember of what Fiji is to them in years to come more so than the $. So the notion that Capitalist Rules is doomed.

May God Bless Fiji.

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Read more....

Floods and coups: selective blindness
By Professor WADAN NARSEY Saturday, January 31, 2009

Farmland on the bank of the Sigatoka river in Vunaqoru washed away by flood waters last week.
Why do our people understand the great value of $10 million of relief funds, but not the $900 millions lost by our people because of the 2006 coup?
Everyone in this country is deeply saddened by the immense damage caused by the recent floods.
The whole public is energised into mounting flood-relief operations- NGOs, government officials, and ordinary citizens.
Everyone is heartened by the financial generosity of our people in giving money, food and household items to flood victims, amounting to $5 millions perhaps.
But where is our national outrage at the far more massive costs of the 2006 military coup, amounting to more than $900 millions for the years 2007 and 2008?
What is there about the rhetoric of racial equality that make our Indo-Fijian political leaders and our so-called progressive people totally blind to the huge costs and the hidden pain caused by our callous coup-makers and coup-supporters?
Are there are some horrible lessons here for current and future Fijian leaders on how to manipulate Indo-Fijian political opinion?
Pain of the floods
The costs of the floods are so clearly felt by the public at large.
Daily on television there have been images of farms demolished, houses swept away, people losing all their belongings.
Whole villages being cut off from markets and shops, sick people unable to get to health centres and hospitals, children unable to get to schools, because roads and bridges have been swept away. Lives have been lost. People openly crying for help from government and NGOs.
These costs are so clear and obvious that the public feel the pain deep in their hearts.
Flood relief campaigns are mounted by newspapers, radio stations and NGOs. Our public gladly reach into their pockets. They warmly and generously donate money, food and household items. Our donors give generously, praised for not being vindictive against the Fiji public in their time of need.
Cost of floods and flood relief?
And the dollar value of the costs of these floods?
The figure of $50 million has been thrown around. Supposing that rises to $70 million.
And how much will the flood relief appeals raise? $500 thousand? Suppose $2 million.
How much will our donors give? $4 million? $6 millions? Hell, let us say $8 million.
$10 million of flood relief altogether. This is a large sum of money, welcomed and valued by all in Fiji.
So why is the Fiji public not outraged that we have lost more than $900 million in the past two years because of the evil stupidity of those who did the 2006 coup and their supporters, and we continue to lose similar amounts every year, they stay in power?
Cost of 2006 coup?
In a previous article I have explained one way of looking at the economic cost of the 2006 coup.
How instead of growing at 2.8 percent per year in 2007, we declined by -6.6% because of the 2006 coup.
That cost us $445 million in Gross Domestic Product (or lost income) and Government lost (i.e. did not get) $134 million in revenue (which it also could not spend).
In 2008, we just grew at 1.2% according to the latest Reserve Bank estimates. Against our trend path, we lost another $527 million, while Government did not gain (i.e. lost) $158 millions in revenue (and potential expenditure lost).
In 2006 and 2007, the military overspent their budget allocation by $74 million.
Compare these massive sums lost by the public and government, with the likely cost of the floods - which may be around $70 million, and the $10 million in flood relief funds which we may get from the public and donors.
Just look at the graph - to get a real sense of what these numbers mean to economists.
Out of sight out of mind
We all know why the $70 million flood pain is so obvious to the ordinary member of the Fiji public.
We can see the pain on our TV screens - the very real physical damage to farms and houses. We can feel the pain of families whose relatives drowned.
But we do not see the immediate costs of the $500 million in incomes which we lose annually because of the 2006 coup. All the damage is done out of sight.
Jobs and incomes have been lost and continue to be lost, people endure their increasing poverty, all out of sight.
Government does not have the money to spend on doctors, nurses and medicines. Patients - men, women and children - suffer unnecessarily and some die - all out of sight.
But they suffer just as surely and far more in real terms, than that caused by the recent floods.
There has been public anger and outrage over the floods, and lack of significant and timely government assistance. But there has been no such outrage over the very real losses due to the coups.
Indeed, there are many moral citizens who continue to support the evil 2006 coup.
Evil lack of concern
Where has our interim Government's common sense gone? Why do they continue to throw away $500 million of public income every year.
Is it because of their stupid, arrogant and evil desire to hang on to power, whatever the cost to the nation and our people?
But then, the public know that the commander and his military hierarchy are all benefiting tremendously by hanging on these leadership positions, seized by the guns they hold.
The public can understand why civilian ministers and former politicians support the continuation of this interim Government - they could not otherwise enjoy all these perks and the trappings of power.
But why are there so many moral supporters of the coup (do I need to name them again?) who blindly refuse to see the enormous costs that the coup and the interim Government continue to inflict on the Fiji public?
Rhetoric of racial equality
Over and over again, I have heard ordinary decent Indo-Fijians say to me - "well at least they (the interim Government) are treating us Indians equally with everyone else in the country."
They say, "at least, the interim Government is appointing Indians to high positions - which Qarase never did."
They say, "at least Bainimarama wants us all to belong to Fiji, and to call us all Fijians."
They say "we don't mind if they also take a few benefits for themselves. After all, so did Rabuka and Qarase!"
And what about the lost $500 million of national income every year and the greater poverty of ordinary Indians?
"So what?" they say stoically. "We will recover one day."
Lessons for Fijian leaders
There is an extra-ordinary lesson here for current and future Fijian leaders.
The Indian community have been intellectually gutted by the emigration of educated and skilled people for the past 22 years.
To obtain the support of Indian people in this country (and abroad), all you need to do is chant the mantra of racial equality.
You can ruin the economy, and plunder the national treasury. You can pay yourselves hundreds of thousands of dollars of unearned cash. You can have as many double standards as you like.
Just talk perpetually of the equality of races, even if you continue to do what previous governments have been doing in terms of Affirmative Action policies.
And just refrain from referring to Indians as weeds.

2 comments:

  1. Prof Wadan-thanks for bringing to light what many of our fellow countryman have been blinded to see by this Military led IG.It is shameful that VB has had the gall and the audacity to make a mockery of the donations of NZ & Australia and blowing his own trumpet on the donations made by the Fiji Military-(ordinary soldiers who sacrificed a day's worth of their salary,which is a good deed) yet he was the first-(being the gatekeeper for the Military Forces)to claim the publicity and the good deeds of his men.I often read with interest on a daily basis from Sydney,the happenings that occurring everywhere in Fiji,and must admit have been disheartened by VB,the IG and the band of supporters.I feel that the upswell of revolt and rebellion against this IG would happen sooner rather than later,as the natural disaster that just hit Fiji lately,would be a bit too much to cope,when we are still caught in the quagmire of the political disaster of 2006

    ReplyDelete
  2. Prof Wadan-thanks for bringing to light what many of our fellow countryman have been blinded to see by this Military led IG.It is shameful that VB has had the gall and the audacity to make a mockery of the donations of NZ & Australia and blowing his own trumpet on the donations made by the Fiji Military-(ordinary soldiers who sacrificed a day's worth of their salary,which is a good deed) yet he was the first-(being the gatekeeper for the Military Forces)to claim the publicity and the good deeds of his men.I often read with interest on a daily basis from Sydney,the happenings that occurring everywhere in Fiji,and must admit have been disheartened by VB,the IG and the band of supporters.I feel that the upswell of revolt and rebellion against this IG would happen sooner rather than later,as the natural disaster that just hit Fiji lately,would be a bit too much to cope,when we are still caught in the quagmire of the political disaster of 2006

    ReplyDelete

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