Talanoa with Ajay Bhai Amrit: The final countdown

Lynda Tabuya and Dan Lobedahn thanking supporters at the Magistrates Court in Suva, on Tues 06 Dec 2022. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

We are now heading into the final few days before one of the most anticipated and also talked- about election races in Fiji’s history.

Whatever change or non-change that the public wants, it is in your hands as long as you vote.

With the recent arrests of The People’s Alliance deputy party leaders Daniel Lobendahn and Lynda Tabuya by FICAC and the week after week engagement by FICAC with The People’s Alliance senior member Sajal Narayan and the raiding of The People’s Alliance headquarters by FICAC, anyone who is not strong in mind, strong in body and strong in spirit, would have given up by now.

I was there when Sajal was arrested by FICAC during a very peaceful rally on a beautiful day in Ba.

To make the situation even more uncomfortable for him, he was then driven all the way to Suva which is a five or six hour drive, for questioning.

Yes he was a little shaken, yes he was a little stirred, but he was still strong.

I was there when Dan and Lynda were forced to front up to court last Tuesday by FICAC.

It was Lynda’s birthday that day and my daughters wrote a small card for her as their birthday is exactly a day before.

What do you say when twin girls of eight years old ask you, where is aunty Lynda on her birthday?

Regardless, both Dan and Lynda maybe also a little shaken stirred, were still strong in mind, spirit and soul.

I noted court room proceedings were filled with a lot of negativity in the air, but the positivity of the supporters who came to support both Dan and Lynda ultimately turned that negativity into huge positive for the team.

Interestingly, Dan Lobendahn, Lynda Tabuya and Sajal Narayan’s profile and popularity have risen 10-fold during these testing times and in some circles, they have become beacons of hope for a new Fiji.

The good news is the majority of The People’s Alliance party are cut from a different cloth, they are willing to be subjected to continuous investigations and charges plus being put on bail as we continue our policy of “malice to none”.

The People’s Alliance know that they must stand tall, stand strong and stand united in the face of adversity, come what may.

In addition to this The People’s Alliance movement also know that to make a difference, and make any change, you have to go through trials, tribulations and hardship during the process.

We cannot sit on the fence and just watch, that is why this movement of change has fighters like Dan, Lynda and Sajal who want to restore democracy, freedom and decency to every citizen of Fiji.

Not everyone has the bravery and willpower, first to stand up to these testing times and secondly go through them, remembering that the party will continue to preach “malice to none”.

This is not a sign of weakness, this is a sign of ultimate strength where we forgive those who may be been seen to persecute us.

Keep going Dan, keep going Lynda and keep going Sajal as we continue peaceful protests with prayers and love.

We also urge all our thousands of supporters and party workers to stay calm and stay focused on the election ahead.

With that said, I will leave you with 10 points of interest that I picked up this week in the news that may be of interest to you as we move into the final stages of possibly the most eagerly anticipated election in Fiji’s history.

• Vote, it’s your right – Make your voice heard, and make a statement for whoever you believe should govern the nation over the next four years. You need to vote to make your unique, private and personal statement, and only then will you have made that difference.

• Commander’s speech – The Commander of the RFMF made a strong statement that the military would abide and respect the democratic process, which is the fundamental right of every citizen.

• Don’t listen to fear mongers – There seems to be so much fearmongering and negative rumors floating about. Don’t let yourself be swayed by this. Vote with your heart and for what you want for Fiji.

• Ministers’ salaries – Whoever wins must reduce the huge ministers’ salaries by one third. They are way too high and with so many people still suffering and in poverty, it is not fair on the people of Fiji.

• Be inclusive – Whoever wins must have an inclusive government, where everybody’s voice is heard, not just one or two people.

• Poor and needy – Spare a thought for the poor and needy and work hard on making their lives more enriched.

• Health sector – The health sector has to be improved immediately as it is a national shame now.

• Locals can perform as well – Promote local citizens into top jobs, not like before when so many expatriates were just here for a while and then gone, unless of course it is a position where we don’t have the expertise.

• Reunite the nation – Our nation is very much divided, and we need to build a loving and caring society, not one with the foundations of revenge and hate.

Always remember, use your vote wisely for whoever or whatever you feel you want, as this is your democratic right and it should always be cherished and respected.

• AJAY BHAI AMRIT is a founding member of The People’s Alliance party and is also a freelance writer. The views expressed in this article are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.

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