There are certain common threads and factors that link the coups of Rabuka and Speight and the unstable political climate. They are:
- The Fijian Chiefs of Fiji, represented by Great Council of Chiefs,
- The Methodist Church (1 & 2 supporting Fijian nationalism),
- The sugar industry organizations, in particular, the Sugar Cane Growers Council, controlled by the Fiji Labour Party arm, the National Farmers Union, that provided support for Indian nationalism.
What Frank Bainimarama has done should have been done some four decades ago, in 1970 – the removal of institutions that divide people.Bainimarama has neutralised these three institutions.
Depoliticising of the Chiefly system, the Church and the sugar industry are the crucial ingredients that are necessary to push Fiji towards a democracy which should be able to deliver equality and social justice to all its people.
The Opinion of Rajendra Prasad, Author of Tears in Paradise and Former Ba Town Clerk
As the nation descended into anarchy, Indo-Fijians were used as decoys to "explain" Fijian marginalization. The 1987 and 2000 coups were to remove the supposed threat of their political dominance but the beneficiaries were the Fijian aristocracy. Ordinary Fijians suffered economic dispossession and their plight was no better than Indo-Fijians. Their own leaders were systematically fleecing them.
The military took a civilian role in the coup of 2006 when the civilian authority failed the nation. It is unfortunate that it has come to this [but] if everything goes in accordance with the road map and democracy is restored, the actions of the Fiji Military Forces in removing the Qarase Government will be viewed as an act of patriotism. Indeed, the easiest choice for them would have been to join the Fijian aristocracy and share in the spoils like the armed forces in countries like Zimbabwe.
Dispassionately, Fiji’s shredded democracy had become a victim of its own creation. A strong, vibrant, rich and robust nation was brought down to its knees by unscrupulous, corrupt and ruthless politicians through policies and practices that were divisive and destructive. They had corrupted democracy; disfigured and destroyed it beyond restoration. Let us hope that this singular endeavour, under the leadership of Commodore Bainimarama, as Prime Minister, gives Fiji a true democracy where no one drags a chain and no one wields a sword.
[Both statements have been slightly changed to assist those not very familiar with Fiji.]