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New Caledonia

New Caledonia December over the Qarase government's proposed legislation to provide affirmative action programs for indigenous Fijians. As critics attacked the legislation for being "racially discriminatory" and unconstitutional, its defenders (including the prime minister) described the bill as necessary for peace and stability, in other words, national security (Sun, 17 Dec 2001, 1). But such attempts to "buy" stability by removing "barriers to Fijian advancement" had failed in the past to avert political crises and had instead fostered massive corruption and abuse of public funds (the farming assistance scheme being only the latest example). The vicious cycle of political instability, racial policies, and economic mismanagement thus looked set to continue. In such a situation it was perhaps no wonder that so much seemed to depend (however unrealistically) on the rulings of the courts. ever, a request from Australia that Fiji participate in the so-called "Pacific solution" to the burgeoning refugee problem was withdrawn after a public and political outcry in Fiji. Also in December, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group lifted Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth Councils, paving the way for Fiji to attend the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. New Zealand and Britain then announced the resumption of full http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

December over the Qarase government's proposed legislation to provide affirmative action programs for indigenous Fijians. As critics attacked the legislation for being "racially discriminatory" and unconstitutional, its defenders (including the prime minister) described the bill as necessary for peace and stability, in other words, national security (Sun, 17 Dec 2001, 1). But such attempts to "buy" stability by removing "barriers to Fijian advancement" had failed in the past to avert political crises and had instead fostered massive corruption and abuse of public funds (the farming assistance scheme being only the latest example). The vicious cycle of political instability, racial policies, and economic mismanagement thus looked set to continue. In such a situation it was perhaps no wonder that so much seemed to depend (however unrealistically) on the rulings of the courts. ever, a request from Australia that Fiji participate in the so-called "Pacific solution" to the burgeoning refugee problem was withdrawn after a public and political outcry in Fiji. Also in December, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group lifted Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth Councils, paving the way for Fiji to attend the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. New Zealand and Britain then announced the resumption of full

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 7, 2002

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