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How modern was Speight's coup? The case of Naloto

Tuitoga, Anare (2004) How modern was Speight's coup? The case of Naloto. Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji, 2 (2). pp. 191-207. ISSN 1728-7456

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The key element in Fiji's political instability in 2000 has been variously identified as race, class and intra-Fijian politics. This paper, based on a survey of a group of Fijians who supported George Speight in the parliamentary complex, concludes that intra-Fijian politics and traditional loyalties need greater emphasis in explaining the events of 2000. The people of Naloto are traditional warriors (bati) to the Vunivalu of Bau and often display militant behaviour as if attesting to their traditional status. Their ancestral spirit Dradra also connotes this type of military aggression. The coup was a time to display how ferocious they are. The Naloto people's prominence and the support they received from Naitasiri during the May 2000 coup can be attributed to the fact that they belong to the vanua of Waimaro. Many undoubtedly were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sole purpose of returning Fiji to indigenous leadership. Speight's relatives felt they could not stand by without supporting him. To legitimate his execution of the coup as well as their own support for him, they ensured that he was rooted in a mataqali and addressed by his Fijian name, even though they had little contact with him.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Others
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2004 09:22
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2013 04:12

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