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Fiji Times Letter Warns Democracy Supporters

Published: Wed 20 Sep 2000 09:43 AM
USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
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SUVA: Pro-democracy supporters in the Fiji Islands were warned today that they risked unleashing a "massive onslaught of fundamentalists and radical Fijians" in the country.
In an apparent threat to those advocating restoration of the multiracial 1997 Constitution and a speedy return to democratic government, a letter published in the Fiji Times said the fundamentalists were doing a "stock-taking" of those opposed to the indigenous cause.
The letter, signed by a Taniela Balase who is believed by some political sources to be a pseudonym for a senior civil servant, said a blacklist of democracy supporters had been drawn up as a target.
The letter said this was a list of names of people the fundamentalists "believe want to destroy this country".
"This list is quite long," said the letter. "In fact, it includes business people, politicians (present and past), trade unionists, academics, civil servants, prominent lawyers, judges, some members of NGOs and sugar cane farmers."
The letter claimed that people on the blacklist had permanent resident status in other countries and only remained in Fiji to "finish the country off before they scuttle away".
The letter said:
"This letter serves as a warning to all those people including deposed members of the Coalition government of what will not happen as the consequence of their current attacks on the Interim Government and hence the cause that it stands for.
"First of all, let me categorically say that I do not belong to any political or indigenous pressure group but I am nevertheless an indigenous Fijian living in Fiji and watching - watching how these so-called fighters of democracy are in the end going to be blamed for the massive onslaught of fundamentalists and radical Fijians who are now being kept quiet, but are gathering momentum poised to strike against and this time they know exactly who to go for and exactly what to do.
"For a moment, they are doing stock-taking for want of a better phrase.
"A so-called blacklist of who they do not want around Fiji. They believe these are the people who are now causing trouble and are not willing to accept the cause.
"Word has it that pocket meetings have been arranged and financed by businessmen and Fijians.
"What is being talked about has sent chills down the spines of some listeners - to the point that some do not even dare speak about it.
"The list is quite long. In fact, it includes businesspeople, politicians (present and past), trade unionists, academics, civil servants, prominent lawyers, judges, some members of NGOs and sugar cane farmers".
"They believe these people have permanent residency status in other countries and are only here to finish the country off before they scuttle away.
"There is also discussion that this is part of a large world-wide effort of GOPIO - an international organisation of ethnic Indians whose main objective is to provide support to their brothers, in other countries - and in doing so, will resort to almost any means to achieve their goal.
"The fact the Australian Government is placing smart sanctions on Fiji indigenous citizens is testimony to this concept and ideology reaching the very core and top of the Canberra foreign affairs policymakers in the name of democracy and human rights.
"Yet they downplay the International Labour Organisation conventions on indigenous rights.
"This emergence of fundamentalism and fanaticism in Fiji is unprecedented - nothing that was previously devised by Navosa and compares to what is being planned. It will be comprehensive and complete.
"The spontaneity will tear at the very fabric of humanity - then it will be all over.
"All over for the perpetrators of evil in Fiji. The list will be gone forever - then it will be a new Fiji.
"A new beginning for people who will respect each other and will tolerate and understand each other - prosperity will grow"
"Our future will be secure."
+++niuswire

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