Stand united as a nation
An increasing number of countries are sending representatives to Fiji next week.
They are friends of Fiji coming to engage with our Government in a meeting at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola Bay. They are doing so despite the Australian and New Zealand government efforts to isolate Fiji.
Those who are coming are showing now how wrong Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Natapei was in abruptly calling off the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting here, as wanted by Canberra and Wellington.
Amidst all this the warning by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama about Canberra and Wellington's intention to divide and rule is timely and should be heeded. They have managed to do that with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, thanks to Mr Natapei.
Their next focus will be on the people of Fiji.
It was only last week that Australia's influential national newspaper, The Australian, published a comment from an unnamed Australian Foreign Affairs official. He, in effect, called on the people of Fiji to rise against Commodore Bainimarama's Government.
The Australian, by the way, is the flagship of News Limited, the Australian company which still controls and owns The Fiji Times.
Canberra and Wellington saw the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting here under Commodore Bainimarama's chairmanship as a threat to their attempts to dominate the region. They were obviously shocked by the growing support Fiji was getting from other island nations.
They obviously felt threatened by their inability to dictate to Fiji and Commodore Bainimarama. They obviously were worried about the growth of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the one major regional body from which they are excluded and cannot dominate.
Commodore Bainimarama, his Government and the Fiji Military Forces have a vision to steer Fiji forward.
They want to do away with all those problems which have hindered our progress since we got our Independence in 1970.
Out are going outdated laws inherited from a colonial past.
Out are going corrupt practices. Out are going racial discrimination.
Out are going the politicians who exploited and thrived on the politics of race.
Out are going the web of dirty racial politics which led to bloodshed.
A better Fiji is being built.
So what's bad about that? Canberra and Wellington don't agree.
But the welfare and the development of the people of Fiji are the least of the priorities of the politicians and bureaucrats in those capitals.
Their priority is to be able to dominate the affairs of the region, including ramming through the so-called PACER Plus trade agreement while excluding Fiji from the negotiations.
We should heed the Prime Minister's call.
We must stand united as a nation.
We must not let others divide us for their own exploitive political and trade purposes.
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