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Racial politics is a sad reality: Ratu Naiqama


Sep 17, 2017 11:25:42 PM

Racial politics is a sad reality: Ratu Naiqama Racial politics is a sad reality of Fiji, says Opposition Member of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

Responding to the President’s speech this week, Ratu Naiqama said while he agrees that the national conversation should revolve policies, principles and truths, the reality must be recognised.

“I agree with the President that the national conversation during and after the elections should be based purely on policy, principles and truth. However, we must recognise the reality on the ground, the politics in Fiji will continue to be race based given that our nation comprises of different ethnic communities,” he said.

Ratu Naiqama said it is not a reality that SODELPA is proud of and Government needs to look into pressing issues while common sense prevails.

“I do not celebrate the fact that our politics will continue to be race based for some time, yes we on this side of the house agree that commons sense would prevail and as a nation we must look at issues example what are the promises the government has fulfilled to its people on reducing the high cost of living or the TC Winston rehabilitation programme.”

He said SODELPA is dedicated to make Fiji united and multiracial, but in the process the fact that there are different needs for different ethnicities should not be forgotten.

“For that SODELPA is committed for a united and multiracial Fiji but it would be unwise to not recognise that there are different and specific needs of each ethnic groups in Fiji. Given the reality that Fiji comprises of indigenous Fijians, Fijians of Indian Descent (Luvendra na Ratu) and as well the minority in our communities.”

He went on to say that the laws, policies and programmes implemented can have disproportionate or discriminatory effects on certain communities and that lawmakers have a responsibility to correct and amend such legislatures.

“As lawmakers we must be alert to these and guard against it, we have a responsibility to correct and amend/ repeal such laws as legislatures.”

MP Lalabalavu added that it would be a violation of human rights if the needs of the ethnic communities in Fiji are brushed off.

“To ignore or brush off the rights, needs and grievances of one ethnic community in Fiji is to deny their identity as Pacific ethnic and cultural group and denies their existence which is a form of discrimination a breach of their human rights.”

His last argument on the matter was the different insecurities people of different ethnic communities in Fiji have.

“There is always insecurity and fear amongst our communities, for the itaukei it’s the security of their land and for the non itaukei it is about the security of tenure.”

He urged leaders to come together to work on finding solutions to racial differences in the communities.

“Therefore it is important that we should all come together as leaders and find amicable solutions that allow communities to live together and work together in harmony and trusting one and another,” he concluded.

By Avneel Abhishay


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