The Cowardice of the NGOs: PM
Prime Minister Rear Admiral (retired) Voreqe Bainimarama has questioned the deafening silence from some non-government organisations regarding recent comments made by the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) on their reasons for not supporting common equal citizenry.
Speaking to cadets at the Natabua High School cadet passing-out parade, Mr Bainimarama said there were a few qualities that went into making a good leader- which included having the courage to stand up for things they believed in and also to speak out.
“Earlier this week, one of Fiji’s main political parties came out and said that it believed some Fijians were above others – that we can never all be equal.
“This is a remarkably divisive statement that stinks of the politics of the past. Any person who truly holds democratic and liberal values would be quick to disassociate themselves from such poisonous words.”
He said that too few have had the courage to stand up for their values and strongly reject this attack against the basic notion of equality and justice for all.
“Where are Fiji’s very vocal NGOs? Where are the human rights organisations now? It seems like they are willing to sacrifice values that many of their members hold dear simply to stand in opposition to my Government and its reforms. This isn’t leadership. This is cowardice and political calculation at its worst.”
He said unlike those who have chosen to remain silent on this matter, he had the guts to condemn it.
“I am proud to say that the Fijian Constitution declares everyone a Fijian, giving us all a common name and a common identity for the first time, strengthening our sense of unity and belonging, while recognising the special place of the indigenous peoples of Fiji.
“I am proud to say to all of you here today that as far as I am concerned, no one is an outsider in the new Fiji. We all belong. We are all Fijians. I am the Prime Minister for all.”
Mr Bainimarama has also asked people for their support to keep Fiji unified and to turn their backs on the politics of the past.
He has asked Fijians to embrace the bright future that lay ahead if we can stay unified and focused.
“We can work together – hand in hand – to make Fiji great.”