Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pacific solution

One year ago, the Pacific Forum failed to put any pressure on Fiji’s dictator, leaving New Zealand and Australia alone in demanding that Fiji return to democracy. A year passed, a year filled with repression of freedom for the people of Fiji, but worse, a complete deterioration in things like healthcare. The people of Fiji suffered while most of the leaders in the Pacific did nothing.

Now, however, the Pacific leaders have given Fiji a final warning that it must return to democracy or face suspension from the Forum at a special meeting of the leaders at the end of this year. If that happens, Fiji will lose pretty much all foreign aid. TV One News reported that the decision was unanimous.

What changed? Mainly, it was the fact that the Fiji dictator decided to stay in power and cancelled plans for elections in March. I suspect that Pacific leaders will now insist on concrete proof of a return to democracy, because the Fiji dictator’s word is obviously worthless.

The Fiji dictator is reported to be furious. I could not possibly care less what he thinks or feels about anything—he must go. The suffering of the people of Fiji is there for anyone who cares to look, and he’s directly responsible. If he has even a gram of humanity in his huffing and puffing body, he should do the right thing and resign now. He won’t. The Pacific leaders will be forced to suspend Fiji.

And the people of Fiji will continue to suffer.

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