NEWS

Is Prasad Seeking More Attention Outside Parliament?

ANALYSIS: National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad is calling for a one-off public holiday to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the last of the Girmitiya to Fiji.
15 Oct 2016 11:00
Is Prasad Seeking More  Attention Outside Parliament?
National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad

ANALYSIS: National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad is calling for a one-off public holiday to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the last of the Girmitiya to Fiji.

In a lengthy press conference yesterday, Mr Prasad went on and on about how the FijiFirst Government has reduced the significance of this event.

But, in the same breath, he “uncovered” details of how celebrations will be held in each centre around the country, as was the case in the Fiji Day celebrations.

His other bone of contention is an allegation that an executive member of the Fiji Girmit Council was not selected to be in the organising committee.

Heard something similar on the playground? No, you are not allowed to play with us. Ok, I am going to complain to the teacher.

Is it not enough that celebrations are being held? NFP has to cry foul about who gets to sit on one organising committee?

The ultimate respect for the descendants of Girmitiya is not having a day just this year to mark their arrival.

It is giving them the right to call themselves Fijians. It is the right to be identified as Fijians and not as Indo-Fijian or Fiji Islander. That had also been the view of the founders of NFP.

That right to be called Fijian has already been given to them by the 2013 Constitution and by the FijiFirst Government.

FijiFirst Government embraced this. This is true honour.

As the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, informed Parliament on April 29, having just a day set aside to mark the sacrifice and contribution of the Girmitiya is an insult.

And, there is also the issue of priorities. Every descendent of a hard working Girmitiya would rather see our schools be built after the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Winston rather than having a day of public holiday.

But, what Mr Prasad could not achieve in Parliament, which is attention seeking, he has sought to do it through a press conference.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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