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A NATION WITHOUT INDIANS Less than two months before the May 19, 2000 coup, the authorized biography of the former Prime Minister and architect of the 1987 coups, Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka appeared in Suva bookshops. In the final chapter of the biography, an excerpt of which appeared in mid-March 2000 in the popular Fiji Times newspaper under the banner 'Migration the Key' (Fiji Times, March 15, 2000:3), Rabuka offered his view of the future of Indo-Fijians in Fiji. In reference to the inevitable widespread expiry of land leases, Rabuka foretold that in the next five to ten years there was potential for an/p pre increase [in] the racial divide in the sense that the rural areas will be Fijian dominated, the urban areas will be Indian dominated. Fijians will be 'agra-based' [sic], more Indians will go into manufacturing, light industry and the import-export trade. We (Fijians) will be the retail outlet, the supermarket shoppers. This is a concern for me but I think we will have to live through it. My other hope is that the Indians will migrate. We tighten the controls, then Fiji is no longer attractive to the Indian settler as it has been over the last 120 years. Maybe they will slow down their immigration rate, probably increase their emigration rate, thereby having a natural decline in their numbers, to a level that would be manageable. When I talk about a manageable level I am talking about the tolerance threshold of the Fijians. Now it is beyond their tolerance level and that is why they are reacting, not because of the numbers but what the Indians can do with the numbers. If they can gain control of the professional life, the economic life, and the political life of this country with the numbers they have, then the tolerance level, the numbers level will have to be greatly reduced. And we won't do that by the Butadroka-kind of policy, forced migration, but by circumstances-driven migration

September 1
University of Sydney
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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