digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Fiji
Constitution
Judiciary
Part of a series on the
History of Fiji
Coat of Arms of Fiji
Early history
Modern history
Coup of 2000
Reconciliation Commission
Crisis of 2005–2006
Coup of 2006

The Fiji coups of 1987 resulted in the overthrow of the elected government of Fijian Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra, the deposition of Elizabeth II as Queen of Fiji, and in the declaration of a republic. The first coup, in which Bavadra was deposed, took place on 14 May 1987; a second coup on 28 September ended the Fijian Monarchy, and was shortly followed by the proclamation of a republic on 7 October. Both military actions were led by Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka, then third in command of the Royal Fiji Military Forces. Depending on perspective, one may view the event either as two successive coups d'état separated by a four-month intermission, or as a single coup begun on 14 May and completed with the declaration of the republic.

Background[edit]

Both before and after Fiji gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, tensions between the indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian ethnic groups (comprising an estimated 46% and 49% of the 1987 population, respectively) continually manifested themselves in social and political unrest. Parliamentary elections in April 1987 resulted in the replacement of the indigenous-led Conservative government of Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara with a multi-ethnic Labour-led coalition supported mostly by the Indo-Fijian plurality, and Rabuka claimed ethnic Fijian concerns of racial discrimination as his excuse for seizing power. Many authorities doubt the veracity of this, however, given existing constitutional guarantees.

Coups d'etat[edit]

May coup[edit]

On the morning of 14 May about 10am, a section of ten masked, armed soldiers entered the Fijian House of Representatives and subdued the national legislature, which had gathered there for its morning session. Rabuka, dressed in civilian clothes, approached Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra from his position in the public gallery and ordered the Members of Parliament to leave the building. They did so without resisting. The coup was an apparent success, and had been accomplished without loss of life.

At around 11 am, Radio Fiji announced the news of the military takeover. Rabuka was reported to have gone to Government House to see the Governor-General. He was seeking recognition of the military action and the overthrow of the Bavadra government. A caretaker government was to be named shortly, and the public was urged to "remain calm and continue with their daily work."[1] On meeting with the Governor-General (who was Rabuka's paramount chief) responded only with mild rebuke to Rabuka. He asked him "What have you done?" and "You mean I have no job?" He added Rabuka should have given the deposed government more time. The meeting ended with the Governor-General stating "Good luck, I hope you know what you are doing."[1]

Following the coup, the Governor-General commissioned a Constitution Review Committee, led by Sir John Falvey to look at the "deficiencies" of Fiji's 1970 constitution. The review of the constitution was stacked with individuals who supported the coup and the final report of the committee was inconclusive. The Governor-General dissolved parliament and granted amnesty to Rabuka, while promoting him to the position of commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces.

The actions of the Governor-General were viewed with suspicion by the deposed government and Bavadra challenged Ratu Penaia's decision in the Supreme Court of Fiji.[1]

October coup[edit]

As a Commonwealth realm, Fiji's head of State was the Queen of Fiji, Elizabeth II. The Fijian Supreme Court ruled the coup unconstitutional, and the Governor-General attempted to assert executive power. He opened negotiations known as the Deuba Talks with both the deposed government, and the Alliance Party, which most indigenous Fijians supported. These negotiations culminated in the Deuba Accord of 23 September 1987, which provided for a government of national unity, in which both parties would be represented under the leadership of the Governor-General. Fearing that the gains of the first coup were about to be lost, Rabuka staged a second coup on 25 September.

International involvement[edit]

Australia and New Zealand, the two nations with foremost political influence in the region, were somewhat disquieted by the event, but ultimately took no action to intervene. They did, however, establish a policy of non-recognition regarding the new government, suspending foreign aid in concert with the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Australian labour movement, taking the ousting of a Labor Party-led government as an affront to the worldwide labour movement, instituted an embargo against shipments to Fiji. As Australia was Fiji's largest foreign trading partner, this resulted in a large diminution in Fiji's international trade.

Aftermath[edit]

The United Nations immediately denounced the coup, demanding that the former government be restored. On 7 October the new regime declared Fiji a republic, revoking the 1970 constitution; the Commonwealth responded with Fiji's immediate expulsion from the association.

A new constitution was ratified in 1990, in which the offices of President and Prime Minister, along with two-thirds of the Senate, a substantial majority of the House of Representatives were reserved for indigenous Fijians. These discriminatory provisions were eventually overturned by a constitutional revision in 1997.

The coups triggered much emigration by Indo-Fijians (particularly skilled workers), making them a minority by 1994. Today, however, though Fiji struggles economically, the country has been able to slowly recover from this loss of necessary skills.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Brij V Lal. "In the Eye of the Storm: Jai Ram Reddy and the Politics of Postcolonial Fiji". 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Fijian_coups_d'état — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
409 videos foundNext > 

After the Coup - Fiji

October 2007 In December 2006, troops took over the streets of Fiji's capital city. It was the island's fourth military coup in 20 years. We take a look at t...

Fiji: Finding a Path Forward

Documentary that examines some of the causes for the 2000 coup d'etat in Fiji. Featuring interviews with key people, the documentary looks at the many events...

Sitiveni Rabuka on why he regrets his 1987 coup

Sitiveni Rabuka was one of four panellists at a discussion on 15 May 2013 organised by the University of the South Pacific's School of Government, Developmen...

Fiji Coup - CIA ASIS Mahogany Conspiracy

http://victorbarker.com/LOSTONTHEISLAND.html Ships from and sold by http://www.Amazon.com ; Masked gunmen overthrow the Government of Fiji. A story of intern...

fiji 1999-sabeto

sabeto movies.

Greece: Coup D'etat (1935)

Unissued / Unused material. Title reads - 'Grece Le coup d'etat monarchique'. Coup d'etat in Greece. Good panoramic view of Athens with Acropolis in backgrou...

Colonial Fiji TVC

TV ad to promote national unity in Fiji after the 2000 coup d'état.

Coup d'etat

twist revealed to HG.

Egypt documentary Popular revolution or coup d'etat

The military in Egypt has deposed President Mohammad Morsi following a huge demonstration against the Muslim Brotherhood. The new regime says the majority of...

Strong support for former coup leader as Fiji heads for the polls

Fijians will go to the polls in September in the country's first democratic election since a military coup in 2006. The man who took control then, Frank Bain...

409 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "1987 Fijian coups d'état" right now.

Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About 1987 Fijian coups d'état

You can talk about 1987 Fijian coups d'état with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!