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You’re Part of the New Fiji, PM Tells Fijians in Canada

You’re Part of the New Fiji, PM Tells Fijians in Canada
October 05
13:33 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has again reminded Fijians in Canada that they were part of the new Fiji.

Delivering his keynote address at the Fiji Day reception in Vancouver yesterday Mr Bainimarama said – “Tonight, I carry the same message that I had brought with me two years ago: the dark days are over. You all belong in the new Fiji.”

“You are all part of our Fijian family and, as we chart a path of unprecedented progress for Fiji, we welcome all of you to join us,” he said.

“I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to right the wrongs done to so many of you, that is why I am here today and why I hope to work side-by-side with all of you to continue our work to build the new Fiji.”

He said every year; Fiji Day was a chance to reflect on the ties that connected them as members of the same extended Fijian family.

Let us all remember, he reminded them, that those ties were not defined by ethnicity, religion, gender or status in society, but rather they were defined by the love they shared for their great country and their commitment to one another.

“The darkest parts of Fijian history were those times that we failed to recognise these common bonds—something that many in this room are all too familiar with,” he said.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Fijians in Vancouver, Canada during the Fiji Day reception. Photos: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Fijians in Vancouver, Canada during the Fiji Day reception. Photos: DEPTFO News

From left: Fiji’s Ambassador to the United States and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada Solo Mara, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Fayaz Koya and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Vancouver, Canada during the Fiji Day reception. Photo: DEPTFO News

From left: Fiji’s Ambassador to the United States and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada Solo Mara, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Fayaz Koya and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Vancouver, Canada during the Fiji Day reception. Photo: DEPTFO News

He said there were few greater tragedies than that of a citizen to feel like an unwelcome stranger in their own home.

“The events of 1987 and 2000 that drove many of you away from our home left a gaping hole in the heart of our nation and set us back decades, threatening the future of our beloved Fiji and the prosperity of every Fijian. Those events stripped us of many of our best and brightest, causing lasting damage to the character of our nation and to the prospects for our economy.”

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He said when he was in Canada two years ago, he offered his sincere apologies, on behalf of all of Fiji, for the pain that they had endured—the pain that drove them to leave the place they knew as home to uproot and restart their lives an ocean away.

“I know that depth of that pain does not fade with time so, again, I ask that you please accept our apologies for what you’ve suffered.”

Over the last decade that he had led Fiji, he had made it his personal mission to assure that no Fijian had felt cast aside in their own country.

For those abroad, he said, he had made special efforts to reach out to the Diaspora communities and reconnect with their extended Fijian families.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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