[Marxism-Thaxis] Re: M-TH: Fiji Up-date

2000-08-19 Thread Rob Schaap

Speight 'not the real coup leader'
From an AFP correspondent in Suva

FIJI'S George Speight was not the real leader of
the May 19 coup that bought down the Chaudhry
government, a cabinet minister held hostage for
56 days said yesterday.

His revelation came as Speight and his top 12
henchmen made another brief appearance before
a Suva magistrate.

Poseci Bune, deposed agriculture minister, in an
interview with the Fiji Sun, said that minutes after
being taken hostage Mr Speight told them he was
not the leader of the coup. He was waiting for the
leader to come.

"So we had to wait about 40 minutes as he was
answering calls and at the same time making
calls, and telling us that we will be surprised that
he is not the leader as the real leader will arrive
for us to see him," he told the newspaper.

"But then he got another call. Then he turned to us
and said: 'I think he is going to be late, well, I
have to take it on from here.' "

Mr Bune said he realised that the leader's failure to
turn up meant "there was a big hiccup or something had
gone wrong in the operation".

"I could only guess that the turning up of that
mysterious man may have been dependent on whether the
army was behind it or not. Maybe when the army was not
in a position to support the coup this man backed out
immediately and left those guys in limbo."

Asked if Mr Speight had mentioned that there were people
backing them up, Mr Bune said:

"Yes, definitely. He said there were people very high up,
well known to us, and he said: 'You will be surprised.' "

It was a coup that had gone wrong, Mr Bune said.

Meanwhile, Speight and his 12 top henchmen appeared
briefly in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday on a
series of minor unlawful assembly and arms charges.

Mr Temo remanded Speight and the men until August 25,
when they are also due to reappear for procedural issues
related to the charges of treason, misprision of treason
and waging war on the people of Fiji.

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Re: M-TH: Fiji

2000-05-29 Thread Bill Cochrane

Hope you've recovered from the Brumbies choking during the big one.
I think one of the really interesting things about reportage on Fiji  has
been the lack of class in the pundits analysis. The way I read it is the
post independence constitution perpetuated and strengthened the racial fix
in Fijian politics. This fix pretty much guaranteed the ethnic Fijian
elite's hold on power. The labour party, always multiracial but with strong
Indian support, broke this fix when a substantial number of the urban
working class/poor ethnic Fijians began voting for it on essentially class
lines. This is obviously intolerable to the ethnic Fijian elite who have
been trying to recreate, with little success , the racial straight jacket
that under pins their power. I think their efforts are doomed long term as
modernisation will depopulate and educate the rural areas on which their
power is founded while at the same time creating a growing pool of
proletarianised urban ethnic Fijians who will vote increasingly on class
lines. If I where them I'd do a deal now as medium long term they could lose
big time due to anything  from the above to the Indians simple out numbering
them greatly and winning a show down to outside intervention from say India
(no more Uganda's) in a crisis in say ten years.
I know this isn't fashionable but I'd give 2 and 1/2 cheers for capitalist
pseudo democracy over traditional society any day.
 From: Rob Schaap [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 04:00:22 +1000
 Subject: M-TH: Fiji
 Anyone got a detailed take on the removal at gunpoint of one of the few
 serious left-reformist political leaders left in the world?  I can't find a
 single interview with a Fijian without a gun or a uniform!  Rabuka started
 all this 13 years ago, and Oz was happy enough to go along then.  Now Fiji
 is reaping what we helped sow (East Timor ain't the only East Timor, alas).
 I read Speight (as a boojie on the verge of doing time for fraud) as the the
 pointy end of an indignant Fijian bourgeoisie (whether he consciously plays
 this part, I don't know, but quite a few of the better-to-do Indians seem
 remarkably quiet as he hurls the country to the brink) and Kamisese Mara as
 the pointy end of the old wholly-indigenous aristocracy.  The fight is
 between them - a class struggle Britain had sorted by 1830.  And 90% of the
 population are, absolutely invisibly and eerily silently, the meat in this
 malignant sandwich.
 Anyway, now the army has claimed executive power (and they're no monolith on
 this either - but, anyway, Mara is formally suddenly himself bereft of power
 now) and Speight has responded by threatening to shoot Mara's daughter if
 the army goes for him.  It's civil war then, of course.  But I sense the
 military is closer to Speight than to anyone else on the balance of
 And as Oz Foreign Minister Alexander Downer waxes indignant about the
 violent overthrow of an old-fashioned (ie pre-3rd way) social democrat (who
 enjoyed 62% of the vote at last count), he's off to talk turkey with his
 fellow democrats over in Rangoon ...
 Yours biliously,
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