The Fiji Times » Fijian Prime Minister speaks on impact of coups
One man’s pursuit of power has robbed thousands of Fijians of any faith in their country’s future, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has said.
He made the comment while officiating at the 143rd anniversary of Girmit Day celebration at the Civic Center in Suva yesterday.
“While the yoke of oppression was forged by the colonial government, its legacy was carried on in ignorance by certain groups of ethnic supremacists,” he said.
He said these people fell for the lie that Fiji was stronger as a divided nation.
“They were totally ignorant of the story.”
Mr Bainimarama said all their stupidity, myopia and hatred had been channeled into a single traumatic blow to the nation in the 1987 coup, which took place the same day yesterday (May 14).
He also said that the timing of this event added insult to injury as this coup, in his view, was motivated by ethnic hatred aimed at our Indo-Fijian community.
“They fled Fiji in droves and left their homes in desperation, fear in their hearts and without hope for their future.
“Families were separated and many of our best and brightest people took their talents to other countries where they felt safe; where they thought they would be treated equally.
“The gain of these countries was our loss.”
Mr. Bainimarama said these Fijians did not leave for greener pastures and they have fulfilled their lives here in Fiji.
“More than a hundred years after their ancestors were brought to work in the land of Fiji, they were driven from the only home they had ever known in fear and despair.
“It is an insult to all Fijians to attempt to rewrite history.”
He said Fiji has come a long way since the girmit era, 1987 and 2000.
“At the heart of this change is the 2013 Fijian Constitution, which enshrines my government’s unwavering commitment to protecting the rights and freedoms of every Fijian equally.
“Fijians united by a common goal to build a better Fiji, let go of our past and focus on the future – a hopeful future. That future will not be written in India or any other foreign country – it will be written in Fiji, where the descendants of the girmitya belong, now and forever.