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Girmityas deserve an apology: Sharma

As Fiji pays homage to thousands of the Girmityas (Indian migrant workers) who were
brought from India by the British 145 years ago under the Indenture System, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission strongly condemns the horrors and human rights breaches during the Girmit era.

Commission chair, Pravesh Sharma said as we reflect on this painful history, today, it is important to recognise the historical injustices suffered during Girmit and the victims of violence surely deserve an apology from their oppressors.

“The Girmit system represents a dark chapter in our history, marked by violence, abuse,
exploitation and systemic disregard for human dignity.”

“Available literature shows that around 60, 500 Indian migrant workers were shipped to Fiji from India, between 1879 and 1916, who were subjected to torture, harsh working conditions to forced labor, discrimination, and the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Sharma said the Commission acknowledges that the descendants of the Girmityas have been afforded equal citizenry as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji and they continue to contribute in the development of Fiji, their home.

He further reiterates the importance to preserve historical memory, and foster inclusive societies based on equality, where human rights are upheld and protected for all.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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