The Rumours and the Mara-Ganilau Multiracial Vision
See New QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in Right Sidebar
'Smoke Without Fire' has left this comment on your post "Pita, Tevita and the Cheshire Cat":
I can understand the speculation about Pita Driti, Croz, because there have been constant rumours of tension between him and Bainimarama, mainly over the PM's unwavering support for Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Driti can't stand Aiyaz and doesn't care who knows it. But taking on Frank would be an entirely different matter and Driti simply doesn't have the numbers on the Military Council to mount a plausible challenge. He'll be only too aware that the last person who took on Frank, Jone Baledrokadroka, barely escaped with his life and has to be content nowadays with fueling the rumour mill from the safety of the ANU in Canberra.
But let's just look at Tevita Mara, aka Roko Lui, and what motive he might have for moving against Frank. Even if you buy these rumours — and that's all they are — I don't think this member of Fiji's most distinguished family would move without the support of the rest of the Mara-Ganilau clique. And what motive do they have for moving against Frank?
One of Tevita Mara's sisters, Adi Koila, is married to the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and has long expressed the family's support for Bainimarama as the nation's only hope. Another sister, Adi Ateca, is married to the Defence Minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau. Surely it would require all of these people to have become disillusioned with Frank for Roko Lui to mount a serious challenge? Were he to do so otherwise, he'd come into direct conflict with his brother-in-law, the President, who's also commander-in-chief of the military.
Can anyone point out a single instance of Ratu Epeli Nailatikau showing disenchantment with Frank? If they can, then I'd be prepared to consider an alternative hypothesis. Yes, Frank was instrumental in removing Roko Lui's father, Ratu Mara, from the presidency in 2000. Has young Tevita been seething about this privately ever since? Yet where's the evidence for that? The fact is that all along, Frank has upheld the Mara multiracial vision as the only path for Fiji to follow. He's also never criticised Ratu Mara publicly and maintains that the extraordinary events of 2000 were only made necessary by the Speight gun at his head. Tevita Mara is constantly in Frank's presence at various public events and the body language between them doesn't suggest animosity. So surely Frank is safe so long as he retains the confidence of the Mara-Ganilau dynasty.
Their two great patriarchs, Ratu Sir Kamisese and Ratu Sir Penaia, made it their life's work to try to produce a prosperous, multiracial Fiji. Are their children any less likely to want the same thing? Everything these people say and do indicates that they remain faithful to the cause, the cause being pursued by Frank Bainimarama. We'd need to accept that either the family has turned or that Tevita is a renegade, more interested in his own personal agenda and the pursuit of power through yet another upheaval at the point of a gun. And there's no evidence of either as far as I can see.
All these people, along with Roko Lui, would have had to have become thoroughly disillusioned with Frank Bainimarama for any of these rumours to have credence. Adi Koila and Adi Ateca are Tevita's elder sisters. Even if you accept that he's the golden boy of the family, especially since his brother Ratu Finau stepped down from public life, it's inconceivable that he'd act independently of them. Adi Koila, especially, is a person of great mana in her own right, not only traditionally but as a former senator. You'll remember that she was held hostage by George Speight when he seized the parliamentary complex. She hates the indigenous extremists with an absolute passion and has always advocated the multiracial vision for Fiji espoused by her late father.