fiji UNCENSORED

May 16, 2009

March, and at any cost?

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 12:33
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READER’S VIEW

by myopic? look in the mirror

AT the outset, let me say that I am a Methodist, but I have not been a supporter of my church’s past involvement in politics.

I was old enough to remember the Sunday roadblocks that members of my denomination set up in the wake of the 1987 coup, I was at the Centenary Church in Suva when the Veitokani ni Lewenivanua Vakarisito Party was launched and then-president Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi told party officials in Fijian not to worry because they had the support of my church and the church had “servants” in every village (there was a non-Fijian crew from Fiji TV present that day and they foolishly did not have their camera rolling at that point).

I was a member of the congregation when this promise was fulfilled and certain church ministers and lay preachers began campaigning from the pulpit in the lead-up to the 1999 elections.

Also allow me to say that this is not the first place where you will learn about my church’s plan to hold a nationwide march. [Administrator’s note: See Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement website].

But as staunch a believer as I am on the doctrine of separation of church and state, this is one time when I am willing to set aside my reservation about religion in politics, especially when no one else is willing to take on the might of the military and the regime it is propping up.

I am in no position to declare whether the march will go ahead or not, but if the church is prepared to, there will not be a shortage of people willing to join this cause.

I believe this because there has not been a time when followers of Methodism have ignored the church’s call and backed down from its expectations.

As members of the Methodist church, many of us would and do sacrifice the well-being of our families so we can meet the church’s financial demands.

If the church calls us to march tomorrow, we will be unwilling to retreat even if this will result in deaths. Since childhood, the importance of faith has been drilled into us. So too has the conviction that God will protect us, that if our faith is strong enough, no weapon can harm us.

None of us will be game enough to admit that our faith is weak and to prove this point, we will march for the church when it calls, we will march even when we know that the army and police may use everything at their disposal to stop us and we will march even when we know that under the Public Emergency Regulations currently in place, the use of arms to stop us is permissible.

Unless those chosen to lead the church know something I don’t, I don’t think anyone really knows how soldiers will react when we are marching towards them with our Bibles in hand under a banner of “Noqu Kalou, Noqu Vanua” and they face us with loaded weapons on automatic and orders to stop us.

Would they be under instruction to show tremendous restraint? Would they first use tear gas? Would they use stun grenades? Or would they pass go, not collect $200 and go straight for their guns.

What would happen if one soldier fires on a crowd in its Sunday best and there is a corresponding burst of crimson? Would bloodlust take hold and would the number of dead outnumber the survivors? Would Nubukalou Creek turn deep red once they’ve washed the streets?

Or would the rank and file go against everything they have been trained to do, disobey their officers and join the march of the Methodists?

Our church leaders understand this – that if they call, we will march, and if we march, we may die. – fiji uncensored

  • The views expressed in this article do not not necessarily represent the views of Fiji Uncensored. Opinion pieces are welcome, no matter which side of the fence you are on. Email fijiuncensored@hush.com
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Tongan PM says Fiji issue needs rethink

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 10:52
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NEWS

TONGAN Prime Minister Feleti Sevele has told Radio New Zealand that he thinks it is time for a re-think on the Fiji issue. 

Sevele is in New Zealand for talks with the New Zealand Government and to deliver the annual Pacific Co-operation Foundation lecture.

Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum will be one topic discussed with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, on Tuesday. 

Sevele said a new approach to the Fiji issue was needed. 

Earlier this month, Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum over its refusal to hold elections this year. – fiji uncensored

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