PM apologises to King Charles for actions in 1987

PM apologises to King Charles for actions in 1987

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 21/05/2024
Source : Parliament of the Republic of Fiji

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says in his recent visit to the United Kingdom, he apologised to King Charles for his actions in 1987 that resulted in Fiji’s expulsion from the Commonwealth because he had declared Fiji as a republic on the 7th of October, 1987.

In his ministerial statement in Parliament this morning, Rabuka says if there is any wish for Fiji to return to the realm, as the late Queen Elizabeth The Second had told him and as King Charles said to him last week, let it be the will of the people.

He says the relationship with the United Kingdom is deeply entwined in Fiji’s modern history, laws, conventions and institutions.

Rabuka also highlighted that there are over 20,000 Fiji nationals living in the United Kingdom and of that, 2,000 serve as active members of the British Armed Forces.

Rabuka says he visited the military training camp Aldershot in Hampshire where he was accorded a traditional welcome ceremony from Fijians serving in the army.

The Prime Minister says he also had a meeting with the Secretary of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs who acknowledged the deep historical relations between the two countries and the common challenges they are facing.

He says the openness and willingness of the British Government to come to our assistance as needed was very reassuring.

While responding to Rabuka’s statement, FijiFirst MP Jone Usamate says it is good to think back on history but it is also important to realise that the history that we talk about is embarrassing and other parts of history are not spoken about at length.

He says we need to understand where we came from as a country and what the forces are because the things that impact us today, are the forces of what has happened in the past and it has ramifications on this generation.

The MP further says he is glad to hear about the visits Rabuka made and is struck with the rapport between Rabuka and King Charles.

He says he recalls when he was in London in 2019 with the former Prime Minister, they also visited King Charles at that time and invited him to Fiji’s 50th Independence Day celebrations.

Usamate says he believes that rapport in a relationship that has been expressed has been there from that time.

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