Fiji given a Hail Mary Pass by Britain

Perhaps we should not be surprised that Fiji dropped the democratic ball after the Hail Mary pass that their Colonial masters gave them at independence: a nation divided by tribal and ethnic barriers.

In the course of Britain’s colonial rule so many Indians were imported to work in the cane fields, that by the time independence came around there were, in Fiji, almost equal numbers of indigenous Fijians and ethnic Indians. They lived in separate communities, their children attended separate schools and they practised different religions. Their political system was organised on racial lines, so that no matter what the outcome of the election, one group felt excluded.

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Denis O’Hagan is a Marist priest and one of the editors of the online e-newsletters CathNews New Zealand and CathNews Pacific.

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