| || || Ramesh, Sanjay.|
| || || Power and politics in the Fiji Islands |
Institution: York University, Canada
Subject: Fiji -- Politics and government, Fiji -- History -- Coup d'etat, 1987
Call No.: pac JQ 6301 .R34
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The Military coups in Fiji were seen by foreign journalists and experts to be the necessary outcome of ethnic politics in which two cultures - Fijians and Indians - were competing for hegemony. The Fiji Labour government was deposed because it was an Indian dominated regime, which posed a formidable threat to Fijian culture and tradition. This kind of simplistic race-based argument has been made by the Coup leader, Sitiveni ~abuka' and historian Deryck scarr2. This book will go beyond the simplistic racial paradigm and look at the evolution of the Fijian power structure, which had its origins in colonial Fiji. The military coups and the establishment of a military backed interim-government was a result of post colonial power structure, which rested on a complex alliance between the eastern chiefs, local businesses, and foreign Transnational companies. The outward appearance of racial animosity - between Fijians and Indians - is an ideological construct of the Fijian political rulers, and before independence the colonial authorities entrenched a system of communal representation which exemplified the myth that Fijian and Indian interests are incompatible. Crucial to the understanding of Fijian politics is the social and later political hegemony of the Fijian chiefs, who were from the eastern part of the Fiji Islands. After independence the Fijian chiefs consolidated power by exploiting the colonial system of communal representation. But by 1987, communal politics started to wither away and a new ideology based on 'genuine1 multiculturalism was established. The new era of peaceful racial discourse was shattered by the military coups. In its place, the coup conspirators imposed on Fiji a system of apartheid, which continuously emphasized the differences between the two major ethnic groups.