Op-Ed: Rabuka needs to tell whole coup story and expose the plotters
Almost 25 years after committing treason by carrying out a military coup against a democratically elected government, Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka recently apologised to the Fiji public.He was sorry, he told the Fiji public- and the world – for the “wrongs” which began at the barrel of the gun at 10am on May 14, 1987, as Parliament met for the day. Then a lieutenant-colonel, Rabuka and his armed henchmen marched into Parliament and took the multiracial government of Dr Timoci Bavadra into captivity.The event sent ripples around the South Pacific and the world. The moment marked the death of “democratic” rule in the island nation best known for its friendly people and its white, sandy beaches.Riots and looting followed in the streets of the capital Suva. The rioters: mostly young indigenous Fijians storming the streets to “celebrate” the inauspicious event. The target: the Indian community – rich or poor, man or woman.Another coup followed on September 25, and Rabuka went on the serve two terms as elected Prime Minister after constitutional change.In Auckland, Rabuka’s apology was labelled “too little, too late” by the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji spokesman Nikhil Naidu.“We have already forgiven him for destroying our lives,” Naidu told the Indian Weekender.