I have grave news. As some of you may know, there was a coup d'etat in Fiji in early December last year. Originally scheduled for December 3rd it was postponed to December 6th when coup leaders realised that there might be ramifications for the Police v. Army annual rugby match due to be played on Dec 4th.
The coup duly went ahead on the Monday, and the local regional powers (I'm not sure its terribly exact to describe Australia and New Zealand in such glowing terms, but I can't think of a less emphatic word for "powers") promptly spat the dummy about the horrendous affront to global democracy. Having of course completely ignored the coup in Thailand, and having sweet fa to say about such joyous democracies as Zimbabwe or Uzbekistan, they slapped a travel advisory on Fiji one level below that on Iraq and Afghanistan and threatened to stop poaching Fijian rugby players for their national team. This has had the pincer effect of strangling Fiji's major import (tourists) and major export (rugby players).
Now the double pronged attack is starting to bite, and has indeed causes a major humanitarian crisis. Yesterday, it was announced that the brewery is to stop making beer for one week and the distillery to stop producing spirits for one month. This statement was immediately followed with the important notice that we weren't to worry as there was enough beer and spirits in the bonded warehouses to last out this period. However this failed to stop frenzied crowds panic buying crisis supplies at local supermarkets* and a subsequent drunken rampage through the night**.
Perhaps this horrendous event will persuade world leaders of the magnitude of the problems here in paradise and we can all start working together to return Fiji to being the way the world should be.
Meanwhile, I'm sure that some of you have experience in humanitarian crises, disaster relief and the airlifting of vital supplies. Please send beer.
*Well, me anyway.
** Me again. Sorry.
12 May 2007