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PM Apologises For Opposition Boycott

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday apologised to his Indian counterpart for SODELPA MPs’ boycott. The MPs stayed out of the special sitting of Parliament which was addressed by Indian Prime
20 Nov 2014 11:59
PM Apologises For Opposition Boycott
Fijians had an opportunity to interact with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Albert Park yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday apologised to his Indian counterpart for SODELPA MPs’ boycott.
The MPs stayed out of the special sitting of Parliament which was addressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also did not attend the traditional welcome ceremony for Mr Modi.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Bainimarama said the Opposition were mistaken in their belief that there was any attempt to exclude them.

“Unfortunately, the Opposition has chosen to boycott this session to protest what they mistakenly believe was an attempt to exclude them from these meetings by boycotting this session.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. I apologise to you, Prime Minister Modi, on behalf of the people of Fiji, for this inexcusable behaviour, which does not have anything to do with the relations between our countries.

“It only shows that some of us have some lessons to learn about democracy, statecraft, and nationhood.”
Mr Bainimarama said democracy was not just a formality, a matter of elections and votes.

“Democracy is a living thing that changes to meet the needs of the people and the demands of modernity,” he said.

“Democracy is also based on the belief that ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things.

“Perhaps that is what makes it the world’s best system—because it harnesses the energy and intellect and drive of its people like no other.”

He said that India had proven this.

“Today, the world owes a great debt to Indian scientists, doctors, engineers, writers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and social scientists.

“There is barely a hospital, a university, or a technology firm of any consequence in the world that has not benefited greatly from the contributions of people from India and their children and grand-children.”

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