FIJI'S path to democracy will not be an easy one and it may turn out to be messy, however, the country has much to gain from pursuing this endeavour on her own.
The sentiment was expressed by visiting Australian journalist Dr Ian Weber as the University of the South Pacific celebrated World Press Freedom Day yesterday
Dr Weber, who has extensive experience in countries such as China where the relationships between the media and State are strained, said Fijian citizens have a lot to gain by being part of this journey to democracy.
"There are a lot of challenges I believe Fiji is facing in terms of the relationship between government and certain bodies but a key part of the return to democracy are the Fiji citizens themselves," he said.
"Fijians, as a whole, need to get up and become more involved and let their voices be heard.
"Normally Fijians are classed as a laid back and easy-going people but when you fight for your rights, it is not a peaceful fight and if it was then it would be easy."
Dr Weber said Fiji should not bow down to outside pressures on her journey to democracy.
"In the case of Australia and New Zealand, no one ever told them what to do when it came to their democratic structures and the same treatment should be given to Fiji, this will have to be done the Fijian way," he said.