NEWS

PM: This Is Truth

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday refuted “lies” being spread by politicians on land, secular state and Fijian as a common name. Speaking at the opening of the Public Rental Board’s
02 Sep 2014 19:40

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday refuted “lies” being spread by politicians on land, secular state and Fijian as a common name.

Speaking at the opening of the Public Rental Board’s Raiwai rental flats in Suva, he said:

“Some are fighting this election claiming to protect the interests of the iTaukei. Yet the truth is that it protects the interests of a self-serving elite rather than the interests of ordinary iTaukei and some of its leading figures have a record that is shameful.

“The people who converted native land to freehold using a legal loophole and lost it forever, now have the audacity to portray themselves as the defenders of iTaukei land.The truth is my Government closed the loophole the previous Governments allowed to betray the iTaukei people.

“Your land is safe.

“Your ownership of it is guaranteed in the Constitution.

“Our birth rate is greater than any other community. We own the overwhelming majority of the land. 91 percent. It is guaranteed ours forever. We are the dominant culture.So how on earth can we be threatened?

“I am a proud iTaukei. To tell me and everyone else that I need protecting because I am somehow under threat is not only a lie. It is demeaning. It is offensive.”

Religious freedom
“A cornerstone of Fiji’s Constitution is that it guarantees religious freedom for all Fijians,” the PM said.
He said some political parties treated people like fools by saying, “this is a threat to Jesus”, “this is a threat to Christianity”.

“These claims are completely false. The secular state protects Jesus; protects Christianity. It guarantees your freedom to follow him; to worship him in public and in private, just as you have always done. The only difference is that the State – the Government – remains neutral when it comes to religious issues.

“The State doesn’t say ‘because you’re a Christian you should get the best jobs in the civil service; because you’re a Pentecostal civil servant you should only serve members of your church first’,” he said.

Fijian
“They say the word “Fijian” belongs to the iTaukei and can’t be shared with everyone. Fijian is an English word. It’s from the English language. How can it belong to the iTaukei?

“It belongs to everyone and describes a person who comes from the place that the English called Fiji.

“That makes us all Fijians, just like a person who comes from Australia is an Australian or a person who comes from America is an American.

“The iTaukei word for Fiji is Viti. Strictly speaking, we should be Viti-ans. But they say no, we are the Fijians and the rest of you,at best, are Fiji Islanders.”



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