It would seem that much of Fiji's cyber fraternity has been closely following the Bainimarama regime's spectacularly unsuccessful attempts to stamp out a nest of bloggers. Good luck to them (the bloggers, I mean)! But one does wonder whether all the fist shaking and threats directed at http://intelligentsiya.blogspot
The bumbling ineptness... we're talking political savvy and economic management (not to mention inability to nail bloggers) of Voreqe Bainimarama's illegal regime is truly breathtaking. Apart from gratuitously killing a few people, its only other measurable achievement so far has been to put Fiji on a course for economic disaster. Just how big a disaster is hard to say. But on available evidence I believe anyone with even half a brain should be fearful. Exactly how it will affect them and the lives of their children, not to mention the entire Fijian community, I don't honestly know.
But we all know the crisis stalking Fiji stems directly from Bainimarama's reckless coup d'etat. And if putting our economic future in dire jeopardy wasn't enough, he further exacerbates the situation on a daily basis with his seemingly pathological post-coup posturing as a decisive "interim" PM. For example: He proclaims that human rights will be protected ... but we see people being illegally detained and beaten to death. He solemnly pledges in a televised national address that an election will be held in 2010 but days later tells Time Magazine it will take another year! How can any nation expect to be taken seriously by other nations and by potential investors if its leader, albeit a self-appointed one, is so demonstrably capricious, so down-right two faced and so manifestly lightweight?
We have already seen the initial negative economic shockwaves generated by the 5th December coup, namely the sharp downturn in tourist numbers and the flight of capital. And each time the regional or international media gives airplay to human rights abuses or hollow sabre rattling, it simply feeds negative perceptions on the part of governments and potential investors, making those perceptions all the stronger and herder to reverse.
It is the same reality and perceptions that will in the next few weeks force a European Commission decision to suspend the $360 million sugar restructure package. And over the longer term, can anyone predict the percentage shrinkage of Fiji's economy, say, for the next three years, due to the understandable inability of corporations (and welathy individuals) to invest in an uncertain and increasingly moribund business environment?
Thanks to Bainimarama's illegal actions and apparent desire to stay in power for as long as he possibly can, I see dark days ahead for Fiji and her people, very dark days indeed."
- Cassandra is another blogger who normally posts ideas onto another forum which was recently taken off cyberspace by the Military.