More calls for lifting of Aust sanctions on Fiji

A Radio Australia interview with Fiji-born Rodney Cole, a former advisor to both the Australian and Fiji governments and former Director of the Centre for Development Studies at the Australian National University, who gives his opinion on why sanctions should be lifted.  Rodney also has an article in tomorrow's Weekend Readings.
 Radio Australia:Pacific Beat:Story:More calls for lifting of Aust sanctions on Fiji


Sense of Urgency said…
There seems to be an increasing sense of urgency for sanctions against the military regime to be lifted? I don't see the need to rush this. The panic appears to be coming from regime stakeholders and supporters? Is there something you want to share with us?
Any so called rift beween Austalia/NZ and Fiji can be remedied (over a few hours of kava) once the regime is eliminated? And it seems to be doing a good job of fragmenting itself as they turn on each other?
Islands in the Stream said…
Not quite sure what to make of Mr Rodney Cole. Never met him. However consider this:

"but I think if people INSIDE felt they were not controlled in their approach to public utterances, it would be a lot better for them".

Oh really?

One scarcely knows whether to laugh or cry! Stating the obvious after two and a half years, the kindest interpretation is that it reeks of "knock me down with a feather".

If we consider that Fiji has only just this month accessed any kind of mental healthcare outside of metropolitan Suva, has females as young as ten giving birth to moribund babies, and the roads are falling into shreds worthy of Mrs Haversham's wedding gown, then a call for the 'lifting of longterm sanctions' seems almost a metaphorical Slap in the Face? Even expatriates born in Fiji (as we are told that Rodney Cole was) appear to have lost the proverbial plot in their pontificating about sanctions. Some of us, Mr Cole, have chosen to absent ourselves from your country and its trans-Tasman partner, New Zealand rather than be obliged to sign intrusive and impudent pieces of paper that deem us all to be the Propagators of coups d'etat. What audacity then to suggest that "We on the INSIDE" might be suffering for a want of freedom from control.
The sheer speciousness of this comment leaves us reeling with something closely approaching contempt. By all means do your condescending best to achieve something approaching Liberty of Utterance. But we shall undoubtedly and understandably fail to take advantage of it should it turn up. Hardly surprising, since in the past eleven years Liberty of Utterance has been an invitation often to personal violence.

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