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Inthe council was enlarged and again reconstituted, and Fiji attained virtual internal self-government. On 10 OctoberFiji became a sovereign and independent state within the Commonwealth of Nationswith Kamisese K. Mara, head of the Alliance Party, as prime minister. He and his majority party won elections in, andbut lost the April elections to a coalition of the Indian-based National Federation Party and the Labour Party. The new government was shortlived, however.

Within a month, it was toppled by a military coup led by Lt. Sitiveni Rabuka and aimed at restoring political leadership to ethnic Fijians. On 20 May thousands of rioting Fijians attacked Indians.

Under a compromise reached the next day, the governor-general temporarily was to head the government, assisted by an member advisory council, including the coup leader and former Prime Minister Mara. Elections were to be held within six months, and the council was to propose constitutional revisions that would safeguard the political dominance of indigenous Fijians. On 25 Septemberhowever, Rabuka led a second coup. He subsequently suspended the constitution, dissolved the parliament, and declared Fiji a republic.

The governor-general, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, was appointed president of the republic, and Mara was reappointed prime minister. Full civilian rule returned in January when Rabuka gave up his position as minister of home affairs and returned to barracks as head of the armed forces. The second coup in and the adoption of the constitution, which favored ethnic Fijian control of the government, led to heavy Indian emigration, especially among those Indians with sufficient capital to move.

This emigration caused serious economic difficulties for Fiji, but it also ensured that the native Fijian population became the majority. Rabuka's government fell in November when the legislature defeated the government's budget. New elections were held in February However, Rabuka's hold on power was tenuous as pressure mounted from within and outside the country for constitutional reform.

Beginning ina Constitutional Review Commission spent almost two years to develop a system that would avoid purely ethnic politics and, at the same time, take account of the concerns of the native Fijian community. Its recommendations were unanimously adopted by Parliament in July Inparliamentary elections were held that resulted in a government led by Mahendra Chaudhry, leader of the Fiji Labour Party FLPwho became the first Indian prime minister of Fiji.

On 19 Mayethnic Fijian nationalist George Speight, a failed businessman and son of Sam Speight, an opposition member of Parliament, took Parliament by show of force and held Prime Minister Chaudhry and most of his multiracial cabinet hostage for 56 days. In exchange for the hostages' release, the military—which imposed martial law during the crisis—agreed to replace Chaudhry's government, grant an amnesty to the rebels taking part in the coup, and to abolish Fiji's multiracial constitution.

One of Speight's demands was a new constitution that would permit only indigenous Fijians to hold the posts of prime minister and president. Speight and of his supporters were arrested in Julyand the military installed ethnic Fijian Laisenia Qarase as prime minister in a caretaker government. He was charged with organizing Fiji's next general election and drawing up a new constitution.

Eighteen political parties fielded candidates for office in parliamentary elections held in August and September Qarase was elected prime minister as the head of his newly created party, the nationalist Soqoso Duavata ni Lewenivuana Party Fijian United Party or SDLwhich took 32 out of 71 parliamentary seats. Almost all ministers in Qarase's new government were indigenous Fijians.

Speight won a seat in Parliament while facing treason charges in court, but was later denied parliamentary status. He was originally sentenced to death for treason in Februarybut the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. As of Januarymore than 14, ethnic Indians had left the country since the May coup, mainly professionals and skilled workers.

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This proposed legislation called for the creation of a Reconciliation and Unity Committee, which would undertake inquiries into human rights violations during the period from 19 May to 15 Marchand a National Council on Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Unity. The goals of this act were based upon restorative rather than retributive justice, and included granting both amnesty and reparations.

The bill was met with controversy, particularly in regards to the offering of amnesty to those convicted of complicity in the coup. In October the bill was still under parliamentary review. Prime Minister Qarase pledged to modify the amnesty clause in response to the opposition it generated.

The cabinet, responsible to the parliament of Fiji, consisted of a prime minister and ministers appointed by the governor-general on the former's advice. The electoral process was distinctive in establishing communal, or ethnic rolls, in which only members of a specified group might vote, versus national rolls in which anyone could vote. The senate consisted of 22 members: The new post-coup constitution went into effect in July It established Fiji as a sovereign, democratic republic with a bicameral legislature.

Fiji's president was to be appointed to a five-year term by the Great Council of Chiefs, which would also nominate 24 Fijians to the member Senate.

Nine seats were guaranteed to Indians and other races, and one to Rotuma. The senate would have veto power over legislation affecting Fijians. The member House of Representatives was to be elected every five years by universal suffrage under the communal system. In addition to stipulating that the office of the prime minister must be held by an ethnic Fijian, the constitution also guaranteed a majority of seats to the Fijian community.

This constitution prohibited crossrace voting; that is, Fijians could only vote for Fijians and Indians only for Indians. It provided for an independent judiciary. The constitution specifies that the president, who is head of state, must always be a native Fijian. It also gives considerable recognition to the Great Council of Chiefs, which not only nominates and participates in electing the president, but also maintains its responsibility for matters relating to native Fijians.

Parliament consists of two houses.

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The lower, where all legislation must originate, has 71 members. Of these, 46 are communal: The remaining 25 are "open" seats contested on a common roll basis without any reference to ethnicity, either for the voters or for the candidates.

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The president appoints as prime minister the member of parliament who commands majority support in the lower house, or House of Representatives. The constitution also provides for mandatory power sharing in cabinet. Any party holding more than eight lower house seats is invited to join the cabinet in proportion to the number of seats it holds.

The upper house or Senate consists of 32 appointed members: Parliament serves for a maximum of four years after a general election, though the president on the advice of the prime minister can dissolve it. In the May election, the first held under this constitution, the Fiji Labour Party won a stunning victory, gaining 37 seats and an absolute majority of the house of representatives.

The election was the first test of the amended constitution and introduced open voting for the first time at the national level. In MarchQarase was ordered by the supreme court to allow for 8 seats in the senate from the opposition FLP, as stipulated by the constitution, 4 more than he had originally awarded it.

In October the public service commission developed a plan to improve productivity and better manage the budget by consolidating the 16 departments of the Civil Service into 7 departments: FLP is a multiethnic party, though some see it as Indiandominated.

As ofit was headed by Felipe Bole. It is not clear if the Indian-based National Federation Party will ever come back from its stunning defeat. The FLP, led by Mahendra Chaudhry, has a support base of trade unions, workers and farmers, providing it with an efficient, grassroots campaigning structure.

The SDL has been accused of not broadening its appeal to Indian voters, and some have accused it of racism. The next parliamentary election was due in Fiji is divided into 4 administrative divisions, which are subdivided into 14 provinces, each with its own council.

Some members are appointed, but each provincial council has an elected majority. The councils have powers to make bylaws and to draw up their own budgets, subject to central government approval. Within the provinces, districts and councils are organized around extended family networks, and have their own chiefs and councils. Cities Suva and Lautoka have city councils, Nadi a town council, and certain other urban areas are administered by township boards.

A few members of urban councils are appointed, but most members are elected on a common roll of taxpayers and residents. There are no special courts, and the military courts try only members of the armed forces.

The Magistrate Courts are courts of first instance that try most cases. The High Court hears more serious cases in first instance and hears appeals from decisions in the Magistrate Courts. The appellate courts, including the High Court, may engage in constitutional review. The High Court has jurisdiction to review violations of individual rights provided by the constitution.

The constitution makes the judiciary independent of the other branches of government. Due process rights are similar to those in English common law. Dependents have the right to a public trial and to counsel. A public legal adviser assists indigent persons in family law cases. Detainees must be brought before a court within 24 to 48 hours. Incommunicado and arbitrary detention are illegal. The criminal law permits corporal punishment as a penalty for certain criminal acts, but this provision is seldom invoked.

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The Army totaled 3, with in the Navy. The Army's equipment consists of 16 artillery pieces, 1 support, and 1 utility helicopter. Of Fiji's seven infantry battalions, one is deployed abroad in Egypt MFOwhile two observers were stationed in Sudan. There was also an infantry company in the Solomon Islands. The country has also supported UN efforts in Kosovo est.

Its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations was said to have "lapsed," according to a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government held shortly after the September coup. However, Fiji rejoined the Commonwealth in Fiji's delegates had taken a prominent role in framing the document. ECONOMY Agriculture, mining and fishing have dominated the economy in the past, but manufacturing and tourism are becoming progressively more important in Fiji.

The first five years after independence —75 were years of high growth for Fiji, when growth averaged 5. In the next five years, growth continued but at a slower rate—about 3. In —86, Fiji suffered the effects of high inflation, especially in energy prices. It also endured three recessions. Ingrowth rebounded, with GDP increasing 8. This was immediately stopped by the coup. However, many of the settlers had come from British colonies like Victoria and New South Wales where negotiation with the Indigenous people almost universally involved the barrel of a gun.

As a result, several aggressive, racially motivated opposition groups, such as the British Subjects Mutual Protection Society, sprouted up.

One group called themselves the Ku Klux Klan in a homage to the white supremacist group in America. Once again, conflict with the Kai Colo in the interior of Viti Levu ensued. Inthe killing of two settlers named Spiers and Mackintosh near the Ba River Fiji in the north-west of the island prompted a large punitive expedition of white farmers, imported slave labourers and coastal Fijians to be organised.

This group of around armed vigilantes, including veterans of the US Civil Warhad a battle with the Kai Colo near the village of Cubu in which both sides had to withdraw. The village was destroyed and the Kai Colo, despite being armed with muskets, received numerous casualties. The solution was to form an army. Swanston, the minister for Native Affairs in the Kingdom, organised the training and arming of suitable Fijian volunteers and prisoners to become soldiers in what was invariably called the King's Troops or the Native Regiment.

In a similar system to the Native Police that was present in the colonies of Australiatwo white settlers, James Harding and W.

Fitzgerald, were appointed as the head officers of this paramilitary brigade. The situation intensified further in early when the Burns family were killed by a Kai Colo raid in the Ba River area. The Cakobau government deployed 50 King's Troopers to the region under the command of Major Fitzgerald to restore order.

The local whites, with their own large force under the leadership of Mr White and Mr de Courcy Ireland, refused their posting and a further deployment of another 50 troops under Captain Harding was sent to emphasise the government's authority. To prove the worth of the Native Regiment, this augmented force went into the interior and massacred about Kai Colo people at Na Korowaiwai.

Upon returning to the coast, the force were met by the white settlers who still saw the government troops as a threat. Swanston with around coastal Fijian and white volunteer auxiliaries, led a campaign throughout the highlands of Viti Levu to annihilate the Kai Colo.

Major Fitzgerald and Major H. Thurston the brother of John Bates Thurston led a two pronged attack throughout the region. The combined forces of the different clans of the Kai Colo made a stand at the village of Na Culi. The Kai Colo were defeated with dynamite and fire being used to flush them out from their defensive positions amongst the mountain caves.

Many Kai Colo were killed and one of the main leaders of the hill clans, Ratu Dradra, was forced to surrender with around men, women and children being taken prisoner and sent to the coast.

Thurston crushed this resistance in the two months following the battle at Na Culi. Villages were burnt, Kai Colo were killed and a further large number of prisoners were taken. About of the prisoners men, women and children were sent to Levuka where some were hanged, the rest being sold into slavery and forced to work on various plantations throughout the islands.

The American Civil War had cut off the supply of cotton to the international market when the Union blockaded southern ports. Cotton cultivation was potentially an extremely profitable business. Thousands of European planters flocked to Fiji to establish plantations but found the natives unwilling to adapt to their plans. They sought labour from the Melanesian islands. Melanesian labourers were to be recruited for a term of three years, paid three pounds per year, issued with basic clothing and given access to the company store for supplies.

Most Melanesians were recruited by deceit, usually being enticed aboard ships with gifts, and then locked up. The living and working conditions for them in Fiji were worse than those suffered by the later Indian indentured labourers.

Inthe chief medical officer in Fiji, Sir William MacGregorlisted a mortality rate of out of every labourers. After the expiry of the three-year contract, the government required captains to transport the labourers back to their villages, but most ship captains dropped them off at the first island they sighted off the Fiji waters.

The British sent warships to enforce the law Pacific Islanders' Protection Act of but only a small proportion of the culprits were prosecuted. Seizure of the blackbirder Daphne A notorious incident of the blackbirding trade was the voyage of the brig Carl, organised by Dr James Patrick Murray, [68] to recruit labourers to work in the plantations of Fiji.

Murray had his men reverse their collars and carry black books, so to appear to be church missionaries. When islanders were enticed to a religious service, Murray and his men would produce guns and force the islanders onto boats. During the voyage Murray shot about 60 islanders. He was never brought to trial for his actions, as he was given immunity in return for giving evidence against his crew members. As the white settler backed Cakobau government, and later the British colonial government, subjugated areas in Fiji under its power, the resultant prisoners of war were regularly sold at auction to the planters.

This not only provided a source of revenue for the government, but also dispersed the rebels to different, often isolated islands where the plantations were located.

The land that was occupied by these people before they became slaves was then also sold off for additional revenue. Two thousand Lovoni men, women and children were sold and their period of slavery lasted five years.

Indigenous Fijians and white settlers refused to pay taxes and the cotton price had collapsed. With these major issues in mind, John Bates Thurston approached the British government, at Cakobau's request, with another offer to cede the islands. The newly elected Tory British government under Benjamin Disraeli encouraged expansion of the empire and was therefore much more sympathetic to annexing Fiji than it had been previously.

The murder of Bishop John Coleridge Patteson of the Melanesian Mission at Nukapu in the Reef Islands had provoked public outrage, which was compounded by the massacre by crew members of more than Fijians on board the brig Carl.

Two British commissioners were sent to Fiji to investigate the possibility of an annexation. The question was complicated by manoeuvrings for power between Cakobau and his old rival, Ma'afuwith both men vacillating for many months. On 21 MarchCakobau made a final offer, which the British accepted. After some vacillation, Cakobau agreed to renounce his Tui Viti title, retaining the title of Vunivalu, or Protector.

The formal cession took place on 10 Octoberwhen Cakobau, Ma'afu, and some of the senior Chiefs of Fiji signed two copies of the Deed of Cession. Thus the Colony of Fiji was founded; 96 years of British rule followed. There was a measles outbreak in that city [74] and the three Fijians all came down with the disease. On returning to Fiji, the colonial administrators decided not to quarantine the ship that the convalescents travelled in. This was despite the British having a very extensive knowledge of the devastating effect of infectious disease on an unexposed population.

In —76, an epidemic of measles resultant of this decision killed over 40, Fijians, [75] about one-third of the Fijian population. Whether this is the case or not, the decision, which was one of the first acts of British control in Fiji, was at the very least grossly negligent. Gordon was immediately faced with an insurgency of the Qalimari and Kai Colo people.

In earlycolonial administrator Edgar Leopold Layardhad met with thousands of highland clans at Navuso in Viti Levu to formalise their subjugation to British rule and the Christian religion. Layard and his delegation managed to spread the measles epidemic to the highlanders, causing mass deaths in this population. As a result, anger at the British colonists flared throughout the region and a widespread uprising quickly took hold.

Villages along the Sigatoka River and in the highlands above this area refused British control and Gordon was tasked with quashing this rebellion. The second campaign was led by Louis Knollys against the Kai Colo in the mountains to the north of the river. Governor Gordon invoked a type of martial law in the area where A. Gordon and Knollys had absolute power to conduct their missions outside of any restrictions of legislation.

The two groups of rebels were kept isolated from each other by a force led by Walter Carew and George Le Hunte who were stationed at Nasaucoko. Carew also ensured the rebellion did not spread east by securing the loyalty of the Wainimala people of the eastern highlands. The war involved the use of the soldiers of the old Native Regiment of Cakobau supported by around Christian Fijian volunteers from other areas of Viti Levu.

The colonial Government of New Zealand provided most of the advanced weapons for the army including one hundred Snider rifles.

The campaign along the Sigatoka River was conducted under a scorched earth policy whereby numerous rebel villages were burnt and their fields ransacked. After the capture and destruction of the main fortified towns of Koroivatuma, Bukutia and Matanavatu, the Qalimari surrendered en masse. Those who weren't killed in the fighting were taken prisoner and sent to the coastal town of Cuvu.

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This included men, women and children as well as the leader of the insurgents, a man named Mudu. The women and children were distributed to places like Nadi and Nadroga. Of the men, 15 were sentenced to death at a hastily conducted trial at Sigatoka. Governor Gordon was present, but chose to leave the judicial responsibility to his relative, A. Four were hanged and ten, including Mudu, were shot with one prisoner managing to escape.

By the end of proceedings the Governor noted that "my feet were literally stained with the blood that I had shed".

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Knollys managed to clear the caves "after some considerable time and large expenditure of ammunition". The occupants of these caves included whole communities and as a result many men, women and children were either killed or wounded in these operations. The rest were taken prisoner and sent to the towns on the northern coast. After the caves were taken, the Kai Colo surrendered and their leader, Bisiki, was captured.