Thursday, December 21, 2006
George Speight leaves Nukulau
Closing of Nukulau
A beautiful small island not far from Suva used to be a picnic place for people, but for the last six years it has been a prison for political prisoners such as George Speight. Just this week, it was decommissioned as a prison and the men have been relocated to other gaols such as Korovou in Suva and Naboro out of Suva.
Just by closing Nukulau the problem will not be solved about those remaining 18 men.
Today’s military/political problem cannot be solved until what happened in the year 2000 is looked at again. There is a Fijian saying ‘Vesuka vakaca na qari’ which means the two teeth of the crabs are not tied properly and they can bite you.
The Muanikau Accord in 2000 promised Speight and his men to be given amnesty. This Accord was broken which is a betrayal of their word, and Speight and his men were arrested like animals. And then sent to prison. When they wanted Speight to tell the whole story, he said no, and just went to gaol for life.
The mutiny of November 2000 was part of the reaction to this betrayal.
Last year I visited Nukulau and spent time talking with the men there, including George Speight. They are mature men these days and I was surprised that they are reformed men and very religious. It was a visit to some of my relations.
I don’t think Korovou and Naboro are the place for them. They should go back to help their families. They have been punished for long enough. They were following orders and were not initiators of the 2000 coup.
The qari is still biting Fiji. Vesuka vakaca na qari. Now the qari is biting the vanua, the lotu, the matanitu, and of course ordinary citizens of Fiji. And of course, the army too.
What do you think?