NEWS

Dawn Of A New Era In Fiji, Says PM Bainimarama

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says they have succeeded in bringing Fiji into a new era of acceptance that removes the stains of a dark past. Speaking at a dinner hosted
08 Aug 2015 15:00
Dawn Of A New Era In Fiji, Says PM Bainimarama

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says they have succeeded in bringing Fiji into a new era of acceptance that removes the stains of a dark past.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by Bob Naicker at his beautiful Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, Mr Bainimarama said: “We have not changed every mind, or softened every hardened heart, but we have created a new ethic and a new national conversation in Fiji.”

“I have felt very much at home here in Vancouver, thanks to that unique brand of hospitality that we Fijians are famous for worldwide.” He said this reaffirmed his fundamental belief that although they were an ocean apart, they all belonged to the same extended family—“a family that calls Fiji home.”

He said they were truly their Fijian brothers and sisters, and he looked forward to meeting as many of them as possible during his time there.

However, he said it was impossible to celebrate their shared bond as Fijians without acknowledging the legitimate reasons why many of them—or their parents and grandparents—felt outcast and unwanted in Fiji.

“It is a dark part of our history that we cannot simply brush under the rug. The racist and divisive events of 1987 and 2000, which made you feel unwelcome in your own home, are national tragedies.”

The laws, he said, reflected the view that all Fijians were equal. “We will proclaim that fact at every opportunity. We teach it in the schools. We live it every day through our laws and our official acts. And we will encourage it and insist on it wherever and whenever we can.”

He gave his assurance that the new Fiji welcomed them as Fijians – equal and deserving of the opportunities he had to offer. This new Fiji he adds does offer opportunities.

Since he arrived in Canada, the PM had not just enjoyed their hospitality, as he had also been astonished by their success.

“Your tenacious and industrious Fijian spirit has truly been a blessing for Canada, and Fiji is poorer for having lost you.”

However, he said they hoped to re-engage them in the Fijian economy — as members of their extended family– in ways that tapped their business skills and the experience they had, had restarted their lives and thriving in a new country. It takes a lot of courage and strength to leave the life you have known in one country and move to a new one.

“However, to do so and create wealth and opportunity is truly a great thing.

He said they would like to harness that energy, spirit and know-how for Fiji and they knew know that Fiji would make good business sense for them.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper