| || || Journalism -- Fiji -- Language|
| || || An analysis of the reportage of Fiji's May 2000 political crisis in The Fiji Times |
Author: Kiran, Susan Sandhya.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Discourse analysis -- Political aspects -- Fiji , Journalism -- Objectivity -- Fiji, Coup d'etat -- Fiji -- Press coverage, Journalism -- Fiji -- Language
Call No.: Pac PE 1422 .K47 2005
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The Republic of the Fiji Islands is a nation of contradictions. Commonly known as Fiji, the Republic of the Fiji Islands is promoted all over the world as the ideal tourist destination, yet the reality faced by the people in the country is somewhat removed from the promotional fantasy. Life in Fiji is not just about friendly people, fabulous weather and great sandy beaches. Instead, remnants of Fiji's colonial past continue to rudely intrude into the country's present. The national administrative structures imposed by the British colonialists remain in use. Social and economic demarcations set by the colonial masters between the indigenous Fijians and the immigrant Indian population still play a major divisive role between the two major ethnic groups in the country, a division sometimes exploited by those who seek power. Fiji has had its fair share of political upheavals in just a little over three decades since gaining independence. Labour-led governments of the country have been on the receiving end of national coups and political unrest. In May 1987, the country's first ever Labour-led coalition government was overthrown in the nation's first military coup after independence. In the year 2000, May again proved unlucky for another Labour-led government. The People's Coalition Party, which was a coalition between the Fiji Labour Party, the Fijian Association Party, and the Party of National Unity, had come into power in May 1999. Their celebration plans for their first year anniversary in government in May 2000 did not come to fruition. At 10 am on the 19th of May 2000 seven masked gunmen entered Fiji's Parliament House in the capital city, Suva, and took over the democratically elected government of the country. They took hostage the Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, his Ministers and all government Members of Parliament. Led by failed businessman, George Speight, the gunmen began what would be the longest hostage crisis in the country's history. In a move that would later prove to be significant to the nationalist rhetoric used to justify the takeover, the gunmen separated the hostages according to their ethnic origin. The Indo-Fijian members were taken to the Government Office in parliament, while the Indigenous Fijian members were locked in the main chambers. The hostage takers released all other people who were in the complex that day, including journalists, guests and parliamentary staff.