September 17, 2012
Fiji Labour Party: It's time to leave, Commodore...
13 Sept 2012, 1600
Commodore Bainimarama should stop playing god and listen instead to the pulse of the nation and the hardship our people are suffering under his regime.
The mounting social distress in Fiji, the cries and pleas of our people are coming through very clearly in the submissions of the majority of the ordinary people appearing before the Constitution Commission. Most of them have spoken of bread and butter issues, of the struggle to survive, the deplorable condition of roads, the deteriorating state of our hospitals and health centres - to list a few.
Yet the Prime Minister has the gall to tell the Fiji Sun (13/9/12), “My government will not listen to anyone who wants to tell us how to govern the nation”. He was responding to FLP’s call for a caretaker government to be appointed to oversee the constitutional and electoral process.
Bainimarama’s response is the arrogant hallmark of a dictator. He should listen for his own good. Had he done so in the first place, Fiji would not be the troubled nation it is today.
Look at the mess he has made of the sugar industry in the past four years, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of our people. Cane production has slumped from 3.3 million tonnes in 2006 to an estimated 1.4 million tonnes this year. Sugar produced was down from 310,000 tonnes in 2006 to 165,000 tonnes last year and is expected to decline to 125,000 tonnes this year.
The sugar industry is just one instance of the gross financial and economic mismanagement the nation has suffered under his regime. The fact that private investment levels are now down to 2% of the GDP, the lowest on record, indicates lack of confidence in Fiji by local investors.
Fiji urgently needs a change of government, indeed, a speedy return to democratic and constitutional rule, if it is to avoid becoming a failed nation by 2014.