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LOOK BEYOND ETHNICITY: A-G-HE SINGLES OUT SODELPA MPS GAVOKA AND NAWAIKULA FOR TRYING TO DIVIDE US ON RACIAL LINES

LOOK BEYOND ETHNICITY: A-G-HE SINGLES OUT SODELPA MPS GAVOKA AND NAWAIKULA FOR TRYING TO DIVIDE US ON RACIAL LINES
Brothers Nathenial and Josua Sami take selfies with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama outside Parliament on July 13, 2017. The two brothers who are here on a holiday return to New Zealand tomorrow. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
July 14
11:46 2017

Look beyond ethnic lines, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum told Opposition MPs in Parliament yesterday.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy was referring particularly to SODELPA Opposition members.

His plea came during a debate over SODELPA MP Viliame Gavoka’s motion regarding $2million set aside to entice new farmers to get into sugarcane farming. Mr Gavoka claimed that a lot of cane farms were idle because people have lost hope in the business.

He claimed, without any evidence, that iTaukei mataqali land was not used for sugarcane farming, even though members of the mataqali were interested.

He added that he wanted iTaukei farmers in a joint venture with the Fiji Sugar Corporation. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum lamented the inability of Mr Gavoka and his party members to look beyond ethnic lines.

“It is really quite disconcerting how Honourable Gavoka, in particular, and the Honourable member next to him crumble into ethnicity. The member who occupies the seat next to Mr Gavoka is outspoken and often ill-informed Niko Nawaikula.

“They always break down and start dividing us through ethnic lines, but Madam Chair that is what they do. They cannot think about a particular industry based on the industry as a whole, that is what we want,” he said. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum pointed out that SODELPA members boiled down each issue to ethnicities whenever they spoke on issues affecting this nation.

“When we talk about sugarcane production, we are not going to say how much of these were produced by part Europeans, Indo-Fijians or iTaukei,” he said.

“We will look at the overall sugar production. This land clearance doesn’t have demarcation based on ethnicity, and the land preparation doesn’t have demarcation based on ethnicity, every person who wants to access this service, they need to do the job.”

In support of the motion, National Federation Party Opposition MP, Biman Prasad, said the allocations would not help in the long run.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun. com.fj

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