Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Real Survivor Fiji – Payin’ The Piper

Sunset Wallpaper, Coral Coast, Fiji - A Photo of an amazing sunset over palm trees on the Coral Coast of Fiji, set for use as desktop backgrounds or wallpaper [the best way to see Fiji while the military is still in control]. It has been resized, scaled at 1152x864 pixels - perfect for backgrounds or wallpaper for your desktop. Go to link - right click the image and select - "set as background" - Image Credit: Alistair Watters

The Real Survivor Fiji – Payin’ The Piper

Drop a stone into a pool of water and watch the ripple wave transverse across the calm surface.

For every action taken in haste, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Please tell this to the soldiers of Fiji who lost their guaranteed government jobs because the government is not bringing in enough money.

A nation under military siege is not a country people really want to visit. There are other beautiful Pacific Ocean island destinations that offer culture, gorgeous weather, and serenity that do not have a Commodore as its supreme leader in the middle of an action that will show itself as a major mistake.

I am sure that in another week or two, the former soldiers who are now citizens (and still others who will be on a rations diet) will see the light and wonder … what the heck did we do, and what were we thinking when we illegally took control of a democratically elected government?

In time, everyone has to pay the piper for the tune he plays.

This item from Reuters -

Fiji's military blows budget on coup, cuts troops
Source: Reuters - 16 Oct 2007 01:41:12 GMT

Coups can be expensive. Just ask the Fiji military, which has been forced to cut troop numbers and slash rations after breaking its 2007 budget due to the extra costs involved in toppling the government.

The South Pacific island nation's military was allocated F$80 million (US$57 million) for 2007, but a bloodless December 2006 coup and subsequent "mobilisation"
[read "clamp down" and "control"] were not budgeted for, the army told local media.

The army has now reduced rations by more than half, slashing a soldier's daily pay from F$7 to F$2.50, to sustain operations, the news Web site fijilive.com said.

"Yes, we did bust our budget, but that was a national necessity for us," Military Land Force chief of staff Lieutenant-Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told fijilive on Tuesday.

"We had to ask for an extra provision but we were not given any so we had to look from within. We had to cut on our rations."
To trim costs the army said it made soldiers redundant because it could not pay their wages, disbanded its reserves in July and cut a lot of training programmes.

"We did not buy any vehicles this year. We had to go borrow all the government vehicles. There were a lot of cost-cutting measures," Tikoitoga said.

The army is in talks with the country's interim government, headed by coup leader and military chief Frank Bainimarama, on a new budget, which will be announced in November.

Bainimarama staged Fiji's fourth coup on Dec. 5, toppling the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, arguing his government was corrupt and soft on those involved in a 2000 coup. (F$1 = US$0.7152)

Reference Here>>

The phrase in the article we, at MAXINE, like the most is ... "To trim costs the army said it made soldiers redundant" ... Hey, what is a military coup without military soldiers or the rations (slashed by more than half) to maintain them?

Why don't we just make the coup effort REDUNDANT?

Can anyone say ... "Reverse Coup?" ... we knew you could.


fightinjoe said...

Great sunset picture! I've spent time in Fiji and have pooled a lot of great sunset and sunrise photos, among others, into the Tribewanted Flickr group.

The coup in Fiji has definitely had a negative effect throughout the country. The non-violent ousting of the previous corrupt government was definitely a noble cause, but problems with striking teachers and nurses, international tension with Australasia, the EU, and the US, and now military budget problems prove that running a government is not easy.

Fiji, however, is not under military seige. There was martial law for a few weeks after the coup where the military was patrolling the streets, but the whole coup was non-violent, and most people saw the military presence doing a better job than the police had been doing before of keeping the streets safe.

While economic ramifications are being felt all over Fiji, the coup was concentrated in Suva. Travel outside of Suva and the coup feels distant and nearly irrelevant. I spent time in Vanua Levu on the luxury island of Nukubati and the indigenous backpacker island of Vorovoro and there was no sense of the coup.

ecj said...

Sorry, fightinjoe:

I can not disagree more. Your comments are just nice lipstick for the PIG.

If a Fijian happened to be writing a blog critical of Commodore Frank from anyplace in Fiji ... it would be SHUT DOWN.

Freedom of speech, as in bringing a debate to the illegal takeover of a democratically elected government is, and will not, be tolerated.

The rule of law is suspended and not in play.

Elections are promised but held out as a carrot for 2009. It's been nearly a year since the military takeover ... why not set a vote NOW, and let EVERYONE who wants to, place their name on the ballot.

Commodore Frank has nothing to fear ... IF his position is right ... but the self-appointed, self-centered military leader does not have the confidence in the Fijian people to do what HE feels is the right thing (otherwise, he would have worked within the system to change things).

You are right, Fiji is not under military siege, the island nation is under military, civil, and political siege!

Your comments are similar to the way police would say to passer by's at the scene of an arrest or an accident ... HEY, KEEP ON A MOVIN'ON ... NO DEMOCRACY HERE!