A Time Bomb Lies Buried: Fiji’s Road to Independence, by Brij V Lal

By Brij V Lal

A Time Bomb Lies Buried discusses the debates which happened in Suva and London in addition to the politics and techniques which led Fiji to independence in 1970 after ninety six years of colonial rule. It presents a vital heritage to realizing the crises and convulsions that have haunted Fiji ever seeing that in its look for a constitutional payment for its multiethnic inhabitants.

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They wanted to be reassured that the bond between the Fijian people and the Crown was intact. 47 Tora could be — and was — dismissed, but not so the Fijian Affairs Board. 48 The letter was signed by all members of the Fijian Affairs Board, which consisted of 39 A Time Bomb Lies Buried three ‘paramount’ chiefs with the highest ranks in Fiji: Ratu Mara (from Lau), Ratu Penaia Ganilau (Cakaudrove) and Ratu George Cakobau (Bau). Its other signatories were A. C. Reid and R. M. Major, both senior civil servants, and J.

9 For a biography of Gordon—somewhat dated now but still the only one available—see Chapman, J. K. 1964, The Career of Arthur Hamilton Gordon: First Lord Stanmore, 1829–1912, University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 10 For a detailed description of the original system of indirect rule, see Legge (1958:[n. 15]). 11 As pointed out by, among others, Peter France in his remarkable book The Charter of the Land: Custom and Colonisation in Fiji (1969, Oxford University Press, Melbourne). 12 For more on Fijian land tenure and related issues, see Kamikamica, Josefata 1997, ‘Fiji native land: issues and challenges’, in B.

Fiji’s unique set-up required careful deliberation. Given the colony’s history and ethnic sensitivities, the CO conceded that representation would have to continue on racial lines, but it did not favour extension on a racial basis. ‘We think the important thing is to keep the way open for the development of 26 Amery and the Aftermath non-racialism in Fiji politics and not to take any avoidable action which involves establishing or confirming institutional forms embodying racial divisions,’ wrote P.

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