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SODELPA Invokes Butadroka

SODELPA Invokes Butadroka
From left; father Rohit Chand, Rishikul Nadera Primary School Dux Rishnav Anshul Chand, Mother Anjina Chand and younger brother Reyansh Chand. Photo: Ashna Kumar
September 11
10:30 2014

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has invoked the memory of the late antiSakeasi Butadroka to justify its policies. Candidate Semesa Karavaki told about 200 party supporters at Draubuta Village, near Nausori,that his staunch position on the exclusive use of the name ‘Fijian’ was inspired by a conversation he once had with the former firebrand politician.

‘’Many years ago, were were talking and he was making disparaging remarks about my chief. I told him to get away from me and showed him the door. Just before he left, he turned again to me and said, we should not be talking like we were from Lau or Rewa, we should just be talking like we were Fijian.’’

Mr Karavaki said Mr Butadroka’s comments startled him, causing a major shift in his thinking about identity. The late Mr Butadroka advocated a racist ideology that called for the repatriation of all Indo-Fijians back to India, a message that laid the foundation for the Taukei Movement and the coups of 1987.

Mr Karavaki was unapologetic about the use of biblical verses during the campaign meeting to justify his own racist message. ‘’This is a different kind of message, all the parties are talking about who is talking lies, but only the Word of God, can tell us the truth,’’ he said.

He claimed a recent Fiji Sun front page article that revealed that the Prime Minister had received a request from villagers in Kadavu not to hold an election was ill-informed.

‘’These elections are divinely ordained, it’s not up to man, it’s up to God,’’ he said.

The meeting took on a church-like atmosphere at times with murmurs of approval from the crowd  reciprocated with ‘Emeni’ (Amen) from Mr Karavaki.

Mr Karavaki was introduced by SODELPA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, who said she had little to say because Mr Karavaki was the speaker for the evening.

The former Supervisor of Elections has doubled as a lawyer with his own private practice and being chairman of the fundamentalist Christian offshoot ‘Cereka Na Dina’ (Mahanaim Decalogue and Prophecy Ministry) since 2005. On his Facebook page, the self-styled ‘Reformer’, reveals his chairmanship of the ministry ended last year.

The bulk of the evening was spent dissecting what  was purported to be the Masters thesis of FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum. The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has repeatedly denied claims by political parties that the 2013 Constitution was the work of one man, based on the ideas in the 2002 thesis “Cultural Autonomy;Its Implications for the Nation-State’’ submitted to the University of Hong Kong.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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