ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fiji : Unlikely Villains

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S Nanjundan

The long drawn-out coup in Fiji needs to be seen in perspective. It is a curious affair compared to the straightforward military takeover in 1987. Now it is a small group of militants led by a bankrupt businessman with the Eurasian-sounding name of George Speight reportedly with a personal grudge against the government. Ethnic Fijian opinion had been so effectively mobilised by him against the one-year old ethnic Indian-dominated government of prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry that president Ratu Kamasese Mara and the chairman of the Council of Fijian Chiefs, Sitiveni Rabuka (the military head of government from 1987 to 1997), who were originally in favour of constitutional propriety, have had to bend over backward to pardon the coup leader and concede the unconstitutional case against the prominence of Indian participation in the cabinet.

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