Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Fiji a Nation on the Cusp; It Is One of Our Closest Neighbours, Yet Plagued with Contradictions

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Fiji a Nation on the Cusp; It Is One of Our Closest Neighbours, Yet Plagued with Contradictions

Article excerpt

Byline: Derrick den Hollander COMMENT

IT IS a country caught in a paradox of untouched tourist-loving beauty versus political uncertainty and corruption.

But take the time to look a little closer - and you will see so much more.

Last week I was honoured to have visited the Fijian Islands, cruising around the country's islands for four days.

Along with a half-dozen tourists from throughout the world, we were joined on the cruise by Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, his wife and several cabinet ministers.

I found myself in a place of great international privilege, and observed the Prime Minister meet his people in remote island villages.

While reluctant to comment on any country's political situations, what I will say is that there is a warmth and respect that permeates throughout the Fijian people - from the youngest child to the Prime Minister himself.

I do feel, however, compelled to comment in relation to my own country's politics. …

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