Keeping busy amongst Coup fears in Fiji

I am still in Fiji, the last few months flew by like a ray of light… I am a bit “fiji-wiser”, have been to several Hindu Weddings (Fiji really meets me as a “Wedding Nation”, everything seems to revolve around getting married here…) and I can say I slowly start to make out shapes in this complex puzzle of cultural and historical mindsets that exist among Fijians and more over Indo-Fijians.

While my job keeps me busy, I slowly start to take in more of the life around me. I keep meeting more and more people and for a change I almost manage to get to know some of these people a bit better by meeting up again, being invited to their homes and talking for more than a few minutes… Yet, I am still having a hard time to really get know anyone here. And Indian customs and traditions don’t make it any easier when it comes to making friends with the opposite sex.

But not only my social life concerns me these days… the political situation has been tense in Fiji over the last several weeks.

The army and the government have been in a feud that might lead to a Coup within the next week or two if the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase is not following the demands of the very outspoken Military Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama who deems the Government as too corrupt and doesn’t agree with several bills which the government has tried to pass.

Read more about it on .

In my opinion both Qarase and Bainimarama make a point: The government is corrupt, and the Qoliqoli Bill will create further racial tensions and will affect tourism (one of the main income sources of Fiji).
But Qarase is imho right as well, when he says that a coup / a military overthrow of the government will damage not only national Democracy but also will create a severe crises throughout all levels of life in Fiji. The Fijian Economy will be set back by maybe 20 years, Employment will be less than half the current rate, Poverty will strike a majority of the population and it will take many years to recover (as seen after the last 3 coups which all took place during the last 2 decades).

Even though Suva (Fiji’s capital, ca. 4hrs drive from Lautoka) seems to be the only place where one actually can notice the increased military presence, the people are worried all over the country and many are making preparations to leave Fiji to Australia/New Zealand in case of a coup (which is believed to happen within the next two weeks, if Qarase is not meeting the army’s demands).

I’ll be standing by and following the situation closely for another three weeks, then I’ll be off to Germany to spend Christmas with my family (many of whom I haven’t seen in almost 4 years - that’s how long ago I left Germany to discover more of the world and its complex network of global inter-dependability.

Stay tuned… like my trip through China in the middle of the SARS epidemic in June 2003 a crises such as this reveals more about the true nature of a nation than when everything is happy hippo peaceful and nobody is complaining.
It’s like a pond in the sun, when there are no ripples on the water’s surface you won’t be able to see to the ground as the reflection will be brighter than the murky water. Disturb the surface and you will be able to see through it! But if you disturb it too much, the waves will obscure your view, too.

One Response to “Keeping busy amongst Coup fears in Fiji”

  1. Mathias Says:

    Hey Bruno,

    na du ziehst’s wohl wirklich durch, bis du die ganze Welt gesehen hast. Good on ya mate :)
    Jetzt hab ich endlich deine Seite gefunden, da wollte ich dir schöne Grüße da lassen, leider kann man ja nichts in dein Gästebuch eintragen. Jetzt fragst du dich wahrscheinlich: wer is der Typ denn?! - vielleicht erinnerst du dich:
    Viel Spaß auf deiner Reise - schön, daß man durch die Seite auch von Berlin aus ein wenig teilhaben kann..


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