Weak-hearted and selfish men like Chaudhry can use ‘deferences’ to retain ethnic separation – PM Rabuka

Weak-hearted and selfish men like Chaudhry can use ‘deferences’ to retain ethnic separation – PM Rabuka

By Vijay Narayan , Mansi Chand
Wednesday 15/05/2024

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka stresses that the term ‘Vulagi’ is the most respectful way of referring to a new arrival into a iTaukei community, and it entitles them to special hospitality considerations.

Rabuka has made this clear after former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry said on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan that Rabuka's comment that Indo-Fijians should not mind being called ‘Vulagi’ is upsetting and does not bring true reconciliation. While responding to fijivillage News, Rabuka says if we are going to use semantics to derail the noble idea of looking for real reconciliation before we even start, then weak-hearted and selfish men like Chaudhry can continue to use ‘deferences’ to retain ethnic separation rather than use our mutual dreams and aspirations to unite us.

Chaudhry says he is confused about whether the Prime Minister is helping or derailing the reconciliation process. While responding to Chaudhry, Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection and Girmit Celebrations Chair, Sashi Kiran says she doesn’t think Rabuka has said that Indo-Fijians should not mind calling themselves ‘Vulagi’.

Kiran says Rabuka called himself a ‘Vulagi’ and used it in the context that he is a visitor on World Indigenous Day celebrations and every Fijian who goes into a new space is a visitor in that space.

Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs and Sugar Industry, Charan Jeath Singh says he doesn't believe the Prime Minister intended to make a statement that Indo-Fijians are visitors. Singh further says within the cabinet there is no feeling that Indo-Fijians are outsiders and policies are put in place for the betterment of everyone.

He adds people are leaving for better opportunities and not because that they feel they don’t belong here.

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