Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says Prime Minister Rabuka should understand that the Indians did not come here as Vulagis (visitors).
While responding to the Prime Minister’s remark in his address to mark the International Day ofthe World’s Indigenous People in Suva last week when he referred to Fiji Indians as vulagis, Chaudhry in a statement said the Indians were bought here by the British which ruled over Fiji and India at the time (1879).
“Indians came as British subjects and, upon serving their Indenture, were free to return to India or settle in Fiji with full citizenship rights.”
“They have lived here for over 140 years in the course of which their contribution to Fiji’s development remains unmatched.”
“Indians have endured two racist coups despite which they have remained committed to Fiji. Yes, many have left but that is natural for those seeking a peaceful, progressive and secure life.”
He said he for one is a victim of both the coups, and was removed at gunpoint as Prime Minister of a Government elected with the biggest mandate in Fiji’s political history.
“I am still here speaking out not for the Indians alone but the nation as a whole.”
“National unity was a rallying cry of Rabuka’s Alliance Party during the last elections. It’s a contradiction now for him to alienate the ethnic Indians by calling them vulagis.”
“Isn’t it time, Mr Rabuka, for yet another apology from you?” he went on to say.