- This is the final part of the paper GRAHAM LEUNG was to have delivered at the annual Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress convention at the Sheraton Fiji in Nadi on Friday.
So I end where I began. Fiji is falling apart. This is not an exaggeration. The choices you make and the decisions you take when this conference ends may determine whether Fiji continues its journey of ruin and misery or whether we will wake up to a new dawn of hope and opportunity.
The time for burying our heads in the sand is over. It is a time for action. We cannot carry on and pretend that all is well in our beleaguered country. We all know what the problems are. If we are allowed to engage in unconditional and open dialogue over these issues I am hopeful that there are many men and women of goodwill out there who have the wisdom and the resolve to solve Fiji’s problems.
My fellow citizens, today I challenge you to search deeply into your conscience. Each and every one of you can make a difference. It is not an answer to say that those who are taking us on this course of madness and disaster bear the force of arms.
No force however strong can ever be a substitute for reason, logic and consensual governance. History has taught us that regimes which rule through fear and the blunt instrument of coercion will fail.
Franklin Roosevelt the only United States President to win four consecutive terms said “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort” and I might add, in the service of one’s neighbour and one’s country.
We should act now. Without further delay. For the Fiji we all love lays wounded and bleeding.
The words of the national anthem that speak of “a land of freedom hope and glory” ring hollow. Where is the freedom when the press is muzzled? What hope is there to anticipate when all the signs are of economic stagnation and ruin? What glory is there when we are being led by rulers who revel in duplicity, the politics of division and double speak? The time for action has surely arrived.
There is no room for timidity and ambivalence in the face of confronting evil. It is time to break out of the cycle of coups and violence as a way of solving our problems. It is time to reach a new and enduring understanding through respectful dialogue. It is time for the real leaders and the people of this country to put their hands up and say enough is enough. And that includes all of you in the audience today.
Together we can help redefine the destiny of these islands. Together we must work to restoring hope to our hearts and to our families. It is only with political stability, a common vision and respect for the rule of law that we can build a prosperous Fiji which is home to all of us. A Fiji based on respect, equality and dignity for all its people.
My dear countrymen, no other generation of citizens has been bestowed the sacred responsibility of preserving the future of our beloved country. That responsibility has been placed on your shoulders. That rare opportunity and privilege is yours. There will be no second chance. – fiji uncensored