GOLDEN MILLENNIUM OPPORTUNITY LOST IN FIJI

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EDITORIAL Fiji Times Suva, Fiji January 4, 2000

Fiji could and should have done a better job of welcoming the millennium.

With a few very notable exceptions, the celebrations were a pretty poor affair.

But parties are what people make of them.

And if people can't afford to or can't be bothered to turn out, there's little anybody can do about it.

There was a significant number of people who were prepared to welcome the new millennium with a major bash as witnessed at the FM96 street party, among others.

Now, however, the Government, the local authorities and just about anybody else whose job it isn't to organize entertainment is being blamed for the lack of a major celebration.

We blame the Government when it interferes in our lives.

And now many people want to blame it for not interfering.

Putting on a New Year bash is not the business of the Government.

If those who are whinnying today about the lack of government support for millennium entertainment would only look closer to home, they might discover some truths.

And perhaps principal among these is the fact that it is possible for people to make their own entertainment.

Instead of sitting back and complaining about the Government, the city council or whatever, they could do what so many Fiji Islanders did at the weekend.

They could invite a few friends and relatives, open their homes, cook plenty of food and have a millennium party of their own.

The harping is part of a growing tendency to blame the Government for our laziness.

Everything, it seems, from New Year parties to unemployment is somehow or other the fault of the Government.

We complain when the Government does something.

And we complain when it doesn't.

We rely on the Government for essential services such as education, police, health and so on.

And that's fair. After all we pay taxes and should expect something in return.

Whether we should expect handouts to cane farmers whose leases expire while others are made redundant with little or nothing to fall back on is a matter for debate.

It's a matter of government policy.

But there really should be no debate about whether we expect the Government to organize our entertainment.

We'd probably complain if it tried to.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

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