Trouble in Paradise
The international press watches Fiji's slow-motion coup.
The editorial added that the prospect of "an archipelago of failed states" demands more effective Australian involvement in the region.
The Sydney Morning Herald noted that visitors, who generally frequent resorts far from the capital city, have faced no danger during the coup. But "international sanctions and travel warnings … will affect the tourist flow for an uncertain period, and those that will suffer will be the ethnic Fijians who staff the hotels and make the souvenirs," wrote Hamish McDonald, the Herald's Asia-Pacific editor. The 2000 coup dealt a severe blow to Fiji's economy and "led to the emigration of 120,000 people, mostly ethnic Indians, who took with them a large part of the economy's skill base. … More will now follow."
What lies ahead for Fiji? More children growing up without the education they might have had, perhaps more malnutrition, more crime and drug taking among unemployed youth, more squatters on the urban fringes.
Anyone who thinks of Fiji's potential, lost in political bitterness, should weep.
Susan Daniels is a former Slate staffer. She lives in Amsterdam.