Election Campaigns Tomasi Lomaniviti, Suva I am writing to express my views about our Indo-Fijian communities in Fiji. I was born and raised with them and it hurts to see
15 Oct 2018 15:14

Election Campaigns

Tomasi Lomaniviti, Suva

I am writing to express my views about our Indo-Fijian communities in Fiji. I was born and raised with them and it hurts to see or hear Fijians attacking them with racist and religious comments.

I grew up in a village surrounded by Indo-Fijian farming settlements and a nearby school which we all attended.

Back then, there was no racial discrimination. We all shared our food together during Christmas, Diwali or any other village occasion.

Growing up as a village boy, my parents taught me to treat everyone equally and avoid becoming a so-called racist towards my Indo-Fijian friends.

My village elders, church leaders and teachers never taught us to discriminate other races and religions. I see them as my own family.

Over the years I saw them working on their farms early in the morning till evening. They became successful in life with their children.

While the iTaukei village men spent time drinking yaqona with no future plans. These hardworking and visionary Indo-Fijians became an inspiration to me.

Their hard work, passion and diligence had strongly influenced me in becoming the proud and successful Fijian that I am today.

However, the 1987 coup had taken its twist and my peaceful community was destroyed by opportunists who divided us along racial lines.

It was very painful to see them suffer. Families were robbed, women and children were verbally and physically assaulted and their farms including their houses were destroyed and burnt. I pray that Fiji will never have to face such tragic incidents again in the future.

Now it’s election time and various political parties have started to campaign. I urge you all my Indo-Fijian families, please vote for the right political party and make your vote count.

Do not get carried away with their political tactics as most of their promises will never be delivered to the people.

Our Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama managed to restore peace during those dark years of Fiji. He has delivered his promises to the people and will continue to do so because his actions definitely speak louder than his words.

Please I urge you again, vote for the party that will continue to steer the nation forward without any racial, cultural or religious discrimination. God bless Fiji.

Naziah Ali

Taitusi Sokiveta, Phoenix, Arizona

Former FijiFirst provisional candidate Naziah Ali should be allowed to run for Parliament in the General Election.

This law that allows people to stay for a long time in the country is so outdated and should be abolished.

In my grandparents’ time and parents’, many people just stayed in Fiji where this law was good for them.

In today’s world, business people in Fiji travel to Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Vancouver and many countries to import and export their business. They trade all over the world or else Fiji won’t have an economy.

She was doing what any businessman and businesswoman in Fiji would do to create more market for her business which requires a lot of travel time and in the long run she was advertising Fiji which is good for our economy.

Ask any family in Fiji today if all of their families and relatives live and work in the country. Nobody would be surprised anymore if they have families in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong or Japan.

My own family, my eldest brother lived in Vanuatu for so many years and my sister left in 1961 for New Zealand marrying a navigator for the Royal New Zealand Airforce.

She is buried there. Another brother lives in Sydney, Australia. How many families are in the same situation I am in? Hundreds.

That’s why we have dual citizenship in our new constitution so families in Fiji and overseas can stay reunited forever by coming to visit each other always.

Some of these laws that are still in the books were there when Sir Ronald Garvey was Governor of Fiji and Sir Derek Jakeway was Governor-General and we were still a colony. They should be abolished like staying out of the country for a certain amount of time.

For example if a business person wants to stand in any election and he or she travels overseas a lot he or she should be allowed to do so.

Naziah Ali should run for election and this law is depriving her of that right. It is a foolish law. Please get rid of it.

Narube’s shallow analysis

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

Savenaca Narube tries to use Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna’s “Three legged stool” to justify his Unity Fiji Party’s political platform.

But Ratu Sukuna wrote that book ages ago before many drastic changes occurred on this land.

These are changes Ratu Sukuna would have never even dreamt of.

For example:

1. Our independence in 1970

2. The implementation of the 1990 constitution

3. The two military coups of 1987.

4. The abrogation of the 1970 constitution and the declaration of Fiji as a Republic.

5. The implementation of the 1990 constitution.

6. The 1990 constitutional review and the Reeves Report.

7. The implementation of the 1997 constitution.

8. The coup of 2000.

9. The attempted mutiny at the RFMF barracks.

10. The military takeover in 2006 and abrogation of the 1997 constitution.

11. The removal of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC).

12. The constitutional review and the implementation of the 2013 constitution.

13. The Fiji First election victory of 2014.

Each of these events made an impact that sums up the evolution of our nation.

So to go back to a book written more than sixty years ago and claim that all things in that book exactly applies today is like inventing a “Fijian version” of Nostradamus.

The roles of the Vanua, the Government and the Church have all evolved since that book was written so let us not try to “Biblicize” it. Ratu Sukuna never foresaw that a Fijian Government can be removed at gun point and such an act to be fully supported by the Vanua and the Church with the blessing of the Chiefs.

Almost 40 per cent of our population composed of Indo-Fijians. Which of the three legs represent them?

Or are they categorized as just “shadows” and “mist” in Narube’s shallow analysis?

Sleeping Biman

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

The leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad’s silence on a number of issues can be best described as ‘democracy is sleeping’.

Silence will not change anything but rather encourage people to make bigoted comments. It’s time to wake up Mr Prasad.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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