Download A Time Bomb Lies Buried: Fiji’s Road to Independence, by Brij V Lal PDF

By Brij V Lal

A Time Bomb Lies Buried discusses the debates which happened in Suva and London in addition to the politics and techniques which led Fiji to independence in 1970 after ninety six years of colonial rule. It offers a vital historical past to knowing the crises and convulsions that have haunted Fiji ever due to the fact that in its look for a constitutional payment for its multiethnic inhabitants.

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Additional resources for A Time Bomb Lies Buried: Fiji’s Road to Independence, 1960-1970

Example text

London, he said, did not appreciate fully the strength of the Fijian opposition to change. Nor did it appreciate that not all Indo-Fijians wanted multiracial self-government; many had a prudent and pragmatic appreciation of the Fijian position. Of course, Britain could not be expected to hold on to Fiji indefinitely, but it was too soon to announce that policy publicly. Nor was it wise of London to be preoccupied with long-term goals. The best way forward was to prepare the ground for internal self-government, and acknowledge the special position of the Fijians, perhaps through a Treaty of Friendship similar to the one enjoyed by Tonga.

The Fijians judge this proposal, as they did proposals for an extension of inter-racial education, the abolition of the Fijian Administration, and constitutional reform, not on logical or utilitarian grounds, but from the point of view of the effect which such proposals will have on the status of the Fijians in relation to the Indo-Fijians. Any reform or innovation calculated in their opinion to undermine the racial identity of the Fijians is condemned irrespective of its merits, and any significant development towards inter-racialism is liable to be regarded by the Fijians as having this tendency.

Understandably, their attitude to change had hardened. 9 The problem of the racial divide was already known in London, and the CO had access to a wide range of informed opinion about the colony. Amery, however, put the issue vividly so that his name and words echoed in most major policy statements throughout the 1960s. He was blunt in his assessment. ’10 Fijians feared Indian domination, and had hardened their attitude to change. Their confidence in British intentions had been shaken. They regarded the recommendations of the Burns Commission for internal reform within Fijian society ‘as an attempt to give the Indian community control of the land by breaking up traditional Fijian society’.

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