Paradise for the Few

Paradise for the Few As Fiji's Bainimarama continues to refuse to hold elections, this report gains unprecedented access to the military leader. Speaking candidly of his aims, he is showing no signs of loosening his grip.
Since coup leader Commadore Bainimarama took control of Fiji in 2006 it has become a political pariah, sliding rapidly down a slippery slope into economic quicksand. Bainimarama may believe that, "the military's the only entity that can bring about reforms", but with 45% of the population falling below the poverty line, the nation is struggling. Father Barr explains how the church is trying to empower those trapped in squatter camps to, "overcome their culture of silence". Yet recently twenty church leaders were charged with organising meetings in breach of public regulations. Bainimarama is frank: "they were politicised so I needed to silence them". Ignoring international pressure to hold elections and censoring the media, the dictator is determined to keep democracy at arms length.

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