Cover

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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 3-8

Contents

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pp. ix-12

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1 Violence, Pain, and the Collapseof Everyday Life

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pp. 1-30

On May 19, 2000, armed gunmen led by indigenous Fijian businessman George Speight burst into the Fiji Parliament and took hostage forty-four members of Parliament, including the prime minister. They sought to overthrow the democratically elected Labour government and remove from office Mahendra Chaudhry, Fiji’s first, and to date only, Indo-Fijian prime minister. For the next six months...

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2 The Coup of May 2000—An Invitationto Anti-Indian Violence

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pp. 31-62

On July 8, 2000, a number of Indo-Fijian wedding guests from neighboring towns and villages traveled to a wedding in Korovou Town in Tailevu, about thirty miles north of Suva. As bad luck would have it, the wedding took place on the same day that Korovou Town was overtaken by rebels. According to newspaper reports as well as accounts told to me by residents of Darshan Gaon where

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3 Living in Fantastic Times

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pp. 63-86

“We live in unusual times, almost like Alice in Wonderland, where things are seldom what they seem or are claimed to be,” stated newspaper columnist and legal scholar Sir Vijay Singh in the midst of the chaos of the 2000 coup (2000b, 7). Indeed, the events following George Speight’s overtaking of Parliament opened up a time unlike any other in the nation’s history. Across many parts of Fiji,...

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4 Looting, Labor, and the Politics of Pain

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pp. 87-116

On the same morning that George Speight and his gunmen broke into Parliament, crowds of indigenous Fijians broke into Suva’s shops and restaurants. In the capital city and later in nearby Nausori Town, the looters began to help themselves to a variety of merchandise. Along with a handful of Nausori businesses, it is estimated that 167 businesses in downtown Suva, most of which were owned...

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5 Fear of a Nation Returning to Jungli

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pp. 117-140

While Indo-Fijian political leaders and community spokespeople were busily promoting a vision of the Fijian nation as built on the cooperative and harmonious endeavors of Fijians and Indians alike, for many grassroots Indo-Fijians this image was shot through with racial divisiveness. Most of Indo-Fijians’ discussions of local history, national belonging, and national development...

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6 Victims and Assailants, Victimsand Friends

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pp. 141-173

In mid-July 2000, after spending the morning cooking together, Devi and I sat in her kitchen drinking tea. As it was on most days following the coup, her radio was playing continuously in the background. We were only halflistening until we heard what sounded like a class of Hindi-speaking schoolchildren reciting the final phrase of a chant...

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7 Restoring “Normalcy” in Postcoup Fiji

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pp. 174-186

By late August 2000 the security situation across Fiji had settled down. The interim civilian government had been in place since the end of July. There had been mass arrests of the rebels after they quit Parliament as well as crackdowns on various rebel groups around the country. Speight and twelve of his leading men were ensconced on the newly created “Alcatraz” of Fiji, Nukulau Island.....

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 187-190

A great many people contributed to making this book possible. First and foremost, I thank my husband John, without whose never-ending encouragement this project would never have been started, much less finished. He has enthusiastically engaged with my intellectual endeavors from my first days of undergraduate study up through my initial years as a professional academic. In Fiji, he shared...

References

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pp. 191-206

Index

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pp. 207-214