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Faiths Unite For FijiFirst

Faiths Unite For FijiFirst
Customer Aviuta Naikatalau from Tailevu with CourtS director marketing Anil Senewiratne at Courts Rodwell Road in Suva. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan
September 22
09:25 2014

An air of excitement and hope filled the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday as a big crowd waited patiently for FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama to arrive.

Pio Tikoduadua, his former permanent secretary, and successful FijiFirst election candidate, showed his vocal talents as  he led the people in singing hymns before the FijiFirst Inter-Faith Thanksgiving service started.

As people continued to look for seats, it became apparent that almost the entire stadium was filled with iTaukei in their best Sunday attire. Who said that FijiFirst did not have iTaukei support in the election? There were easily more than 4000 of them there. It’s possible that FijiFirst took a fair chunk of the iTaukei votes against SODELPA.

The final breakdown of the figures, when they are made available, will be interesting. iTaukei travelled in buses from Rakiraki,Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka to attend the service. A member of a Tavua family said they would not miss the service “because this is a new beginning for Fiji and we want to be part of it.”

The service was emotionally and spiritually charged. Some men and women were in tears as the service progressed. The contribution of the Hindus and Muslims in the service was well received. The Hindu and Muslim clergy were applauded when they came on stage to pray and share their spiritual thoughts.

The Inter-faith services have been missing for years from the national stage. Now they are back.

The whole spirit of the service gave people hope for the future. FijiFirst executive Peni Baleisuva set the tone of the meeting by telling everyone this was the beginning of a new journey appointed by God. Military chaplain Rev Joji Rinakama who delivered the sermon, said true followers of Jesus Christ would show Christian principles in the way they talk and act in their relationship with people and God. He said getting along with people was the key to success, alluding to the inclusive and non-discriminatory policies of the party.

The biggest cheers for the day went to Mr Bainimarama. As he made his address he was applauded and cheered at various stages of his speech.

It was evident that people revere him and embrace the new Fiji.

The service shot down lies that you can’t pray to Jesus and Jehovah under the secular State.  Jesus and Jehovah were mentioned  several times in Christian hymns, prayers and sermon during the service.

The service showed the party’s iTaukei strength and a secular state in action.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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Waisale Serevi
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