Since 1970, our young democracy has weathered many storms, moments of victory and defeat – Gavoka

Since 1970, our young democracy has weathered many storms, moments of victory and defeat – Gavoka

By Naveel Krishant
Monday 10/10/2022
SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka

SODELPA has paid tribute to Fiji’s founding leaders, post-independence, for paving the way for us in defending our cause for freedom as articulated in the words of the national anthem.

In his Fiji Day message, SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka says it is only fitting that as we gather to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of our independence, we pause for a moment and reflect upon the journey that we have been through as a nation.

Gavoka says since 1970, our young democracy has weathered many storms, and moments of victory and defeat – from Albert Park with the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara receiving the Instruments of Independence to Fiji winning the Melrose Cup this year after a 17-year drought or from the days of Jimmy Subhaidas to the latest VT1S.

Gavoka says we have also witnessed multiple overthrows of democratically-elected governments in 1987, 2000 and 2006, introducing military rule and military backed governments, a far cry from democracy, respect for human rights and the upholding of the rule of law.

He adds in recent times, Fiji has suffered from the unfortunate impacts of COVID-19, and although we are steadily phasing out, we are not completely out of the woods.

Gavoka highlighted that other threats including the need for urgent action to mitigate the effects of climate change, the growing geo-political battles between developed economies, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine that have impacted our economy.

He says in our own region, they remember the ongoing violations of human rights and the struggles of our West Papuan neighbours.

Gavoka also says here at home, the coup culture and the culture of violence seems to have permeated all levels of our beloved nation.

He adds the Fiji, the way the world should be is slowly disintegrating before our very eyes and our younger generations are facing real challenges – the continuing community rivalries in our capital city, the increasing number of missing children and young women, increased sexual crimes and the rampant spread of hard drugs.

Gavoka further says socio-economic problems and financial hardships have eroded families, faith and traditions which have been the bedrock of our society.

Gavoka highlighted that these symptoms of social decay and disintegration requires all sectors and stakeholders to come together.

He further says in the coming months, Fiji is going to head to the polls, providing an opportunity to Fijians as registered voters, to elect a government that will lead us in the next four years.

Gavoka says we have a government that fails to respect and uphold the key principles of democratic governance – a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

He adds laws that have been in existence for years are being amended overnight from clause to clause without the views and opinions of the people.

Gavoka also says Fiji needs civilian leadership to navigate us out of our current predicament.

He is urging all young people to get registered and ensure that their vote is counted for a future that is debt-free and not burdensome; to be part of the movement to bring about change in our great nation.

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