The rights of the Rotuman community cannot and must not be snatched through force or a draconian piece of legislation.
This has been highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad while speaking at the Rotuman Day Celebration at the FMF Gymnasium.
He has assured Rotumans that under the coalition government, their rights and land are protected.
Professor Prasad says they remember all too well the anxiety and uncertainty when the Rotuma Bill was first introduced.
He says their rights are inalienable.
The Minister for Finance says the coalition government will make sure all their rights and interests are safeguarded and protected and enhanced so that they can deliver a better and brighter dawn to future generations.
Professor Prasad says he knows they are eagerly awaiting the first meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs in more than 15 years and a meeting that should result in wisdom and goodwill towards all whose motherland is Fiji.
He says it will be a momentous occasion, and he knows their delegation has already visited the chiefly island of Bau to offer their good wishes in the traditional manner befitting such an occasion.
The Deputy Prime Minister adds they are sure their voices will be heard by other chiefly Leaders, and both the Prime Minister and the Minister for iTaukei Affairs, both of whom will also be present at those deliberations.
He says these are the kinds of gaps in nation-building, spanning 16 years that the coalition government is now trying to bridge together.
Professor Prasad says the coalition government cannot undertake nation-building on its own, and it is imperative that they listen and embrace solutions as they do not have a monopoly on good ideas.
He adds that they must accept criticism which comes as part of the turf of national leadership.
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