Let's work towards better race relations: Chaudhry

Let's work towards better race relations: Chaudhry

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Saturday 20/05/2023
[Photo: File photo]

Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says today marks another black day in the history of Fiji as it marks the 23rd anniversary of the May 19, 2000 coup where the Labour-led government was seized at gunpoint and members of his Cabinet, including women Ministers, held captive in Parliament for up to 56 days.

Remembering that dark day, Chaudhry says they were held at gunpoint, tortured, humiliated, threatened and assaulted while in captivity.

He says the entire nation was plunged into months of uncertainty, mayhem and violence as a result of the terrorist activities of the rebel groups.

Chaudhry says last week’s occasion of the Girmit celebrations, during a historic Thanksgiving and Reconciliation Service on Sunday, the President of the Methodist Church, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, apologised to the descendants of the Girmitiyas for the coups executed against them in 1987 and 2000 and the role the church played in these.

He says Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka also apologised, in his personal capacity, for the coups of 1987 and the suffering he caused as a result.

The former Prime Minister accepted the apologies on behalf of the Girmitiyas, saying that although the apologies and regrets were a necessary part of the healing process, the matter should not end there.

He adds as a way forward, he sought the establishment of an independent institution to deal with race relations, where grievances of the various communities could be addressed and looked into so as to create a better understanding between our diverse communities.

Chaudhry says going into the future, Fijians must take concrete steps to prevent such treasonous acts from ever again wrecking the nation and destroying Fiji’s national harmony.

He adds an institute along the lines proposed would go a long way in fostering better understanding, acceptance and tolerance among Fiji’s peoples.

The FLP Leader has urged the coalition government to give this serious thought and to act on it as soon as possible to promote the vision of the “peaceful, united and prosperous Fiji” envisaged at Sunday’s Thanksgiving and Reconciliation Service.

Vehicles seen transporting drugs into interior areas of Namosi
The people of Namosi are concerned about the spread of drugs in their area and they have informed the Namosi Provincial Council that new vehicles are ...
5 hours ago
Bastille Day celebrations connected to sports' values of humility, respect and inclusion
While celebrating the National Day of France or 'Bastille Day' at the FMF Gym in Laucala Bay, French Ambassador to Fiji, François-Xavier Léger says ...
5 hours ago

Hibiscus Festival partnership to help showcase vibrant Fijian culture
The Hibiscus Festival which is celebrating its 68th anniversary, has just announced their partnerships with the Fiji Arts Council and the Suva Orchid ...
5 hours ago

About 20 people homeless after 5 residential fires in the past week
About 20 people are homeless after 5 residential fires in the past week while investigations on the cause of the fires are being finalised. The ...
5 hours ago

RKS students reconcile with Lelean regarding stoning incident
Ratu Kadavulevu School and Lelean Memorial School have reconciled after a video went viral on Facebook showing the bus carrying the students of ...
5 hours ago

Naca Cawanibuka to appear on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan at 7pm tomorrow
Accomplished Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Olympics gold medal winning teams in Rio and Tokyo, Naca Cawanibuka will appear on fijivillage ...
9 hours ago

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance Prof. Biman Prasad. 2024-2025 Budget ...
10 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst that led to its deregistration
The FijiFirst Party has been de-registered by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa. This is the end of the party that led government ...
14 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
19 days ago