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EDITORIAL: Experiencing True Meaning Of Equality, Equal Citizenry

Parliament was just warming up yesterday when it had to be adjourned to Wednesday to allow for the chambers to be fumigated be­cause of fleas. There were some robust debates
06 Mar 2018 10:16
EDITORIAL: Experiencing True Meaning Of Equality, Equal Citizenry
From left: Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou SODELPA Opposition Whip Salote Radrodro, and SODELPA Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka outside Parliament on March 5, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Parliament was just warming up yesterday when it had to be adjourned to Wednesday to allow for the chambers to be fumigated be­cause of fleas.

There were some robust debates in the question and answer exchanges. Generally speaking, the Government had the upper hand in their responses to Opposition questions.

There were no fireworks but two questions that need highlighting were asked by SODELPA MP Vil­iame Gavoka and Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Mr Gavoka asked Prime Minister Voreqe Bainima­rama whether Government intended to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to reconcile and united the people of Fiji. Mr Bainimarama said “no” because Fijians today were standing more united under the Constitution.

This is a living document which unifies all of us irrespective of our ethnicity, culture, religion and socio-economic status.

If some people think we cannot do it under this document, what guarantee is there that a proposed commission can do it?

Time is the greatest healer and over the years peo­ple have changed for the better. Many have moved on in life, preferring to leave behind a past they would rather forget.

Any reconciliation process would only work if there is a genuine change of heart.

For the last few years, Ro Teimumu has been ask­ing SODELPA leaders for reconciliation to bury their internal differences. It has not happened for reasons best known to them.

If they fail to reconcile at party level, what makes them think they can get the whole country to do it.

Ro Teimumu’s question on the ethnic breakdown of the Census results highlights that we are still looking at issues through our racial lenses.

Most of the issues that challenge us today like cli­mate change know no racial boundary. They affect all of us. When we talk about those living under poverty line they include different races. When we reach out to help them, we hope it is not based on race but on needs.

A merit-based and need-based approach will en­sure that the needy and vulnerable are able to ac­cess help and relief.

It will help us to experience the true meaning of equality and equal citizenry.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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