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The strange career of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s 2006 Fiji coup

Lal, Brij

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Five December 2006 may well go down in the annals of modern Fijian history as the date when the country dramatically changed course — a turning point when the country finally turned. What the future holds for that ill-fated island nation state is not at all clear, nor likely to be for some time, but it is now surely beyond dispute that the 20th century, with its assumptions and understandings about the nature and structure of Fiji’s political culture, effectively ended not in 2000, but in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLal, Brij
dc.date.accessioned2014-02-04T02:48:05Z
dc.date.available2014-02-04T02:48:05Z
dc.identifier.citationLal, B. (2013). The strange career of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s 2006 Fiji coup. SSGM Discussion Paper 2013/9. Canberra, ACT: ANU Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program
dc.identifier.issn1328-7854
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/11319
dc.description.abstractFive December 2006 may well go down in the annals of modern Fijian history as the date when the country dramatically changed course — a turning point when the country finally turned. What the future holds for that ill-fated island nation state is not at all clear, nor likely to be for some time, but it is now surely beyond dispute that the 20th century, with its assumptions and understandings about the nature and structure of Fiji’s political culture, effectively ended not in 2000, but in 2006 when Commodore Bainimarama executed his military coup. The break with the past is decisive and irreversible. An improbable coup has largely succeeded. The old order is dead — or at least in terminal illness — and a new one is promised to ‘take the country forward’. That promise for now remains just that: a promise. Everyone accepts that a racebased electoral system is counterproductive for a multi-ethnic democratic society, that gender inequality is indefensible, that all citizens should have equal rights, that citizenship should be race neutral. Change in a society, as in any living organism, is inevitable, constant, though it is more easily asserted than effected. But the larger question is change for what purpose? To what end, at what pace, on whose terms, under what conditions, through what means, at what price? This is the conundrum at the heart of the current political debate in Fiji. I will not attempt to answer these questions here. My purpose is not to speculate about what Fiji’s future might look like under Bainimarama, but to understand the constellation of forces that served to consolidate the Commodore’s coup. This, I hope, may provide us with some pointers for the future. (First paragraph of first page).
dc.description.sponsorshipAusAID
dc.format.extent20 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT: State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program (SSGM), Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University
dc.relation.ispartofseriesDiscussion Paper (The Australian National University, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program): 2013/8
dc.rightsEmail request, from Program Administrator, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, dated 04 February, 2014, to add SSGM Discussion Papers to the ANU Open Access Research repository.
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.source.urihttp://dpa.bellschool.anu.edu.au/ssgm-research-communication/discussion-paper-series
dc.subjectFiji
dc.subjectcoup
dc.subjectdemocracy
dc.subjectcitizenship
dc.titleThe strange career of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s 2006 Fiji coup
dc.typeWorking/Technical Paper
dc.date.issued2013
local.publisher.urlhttp://ips.cap.anu.edu.au/ssgm/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5f2006f363de5
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsANU Dept. of Pacific Affairs (DPA) formerly State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program

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