Rabuka’s coup was racist, mine was not: Fiji PM Bainimarama

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Don’t compare my actions to the coups perpetrated by Peoples’ Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

That’s the reaction from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama after critics likened his military intervention in 2006 to the violent overthrow of the government in 1987 by Rabuka, who was at the time, a Major General in the Fiji military.

Bainimarama has rejected any similarities between the two removals of government, saying his actions were not driven by ethno-nationalist ideals like that of Rabuka.

“His coup was a racist coup. Mine was to bring to the people of Fiji an even playing field.”

Bainimarama has stood by his removal of the Qarase led government 16 years ago saying his government has spent 16 years trying to bring about equality for all Fijians.

“The first thing we targeted was racism and that’s why we called everyone a Fijian – especially the Indo-Fijians because they’ve been targeted by people like Rabuka in his coup of ’1987, and 2000 when George Speight came on board. That was one of the main reasons we said enough is enough in 2006 and we need to change the ball-game.”

The FijiFirst leader said people must not forget that Rabuka was the cause of years of ethnic divide and institutional racism that lasted for decades.

“Recognising the Indo-Fijian problem that Rabuka had started. A lot of Indo-Fijians don’t seem to realise that – especially the young ones.”

The Prime Minister said his opponents have spent the last few weeks spreading lies about him, and has cautioned Fijians not to be swayed by the ambitions of politicians.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS