Parliament: Tribute to legacy of Girmitiyas

Professor Brij V. Lal an Indo-Fijian historian. Picture: Special Broadcasting Service

THE VAST majority of young people know Fiji is a nation of many cultures, many ethnicities and many perspectives.

They also know those differences do not make the country weak but instead make them stronger, the acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said today.

Making the comments as part of a ministerial statement in parliament, the Acting PM and Attorney General Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was speaking in commemoration of the first arrival of indentured labourers to Fiji on 14 May, 1879.

“They make us stronger, they make each one of us fitter and that is the real positive change being brought about by this government and that critical shift in our national mentality,” the AG said.

He said an equal, inclusive and prosperous country was the greatest tribute the nation could give to the legacy of the Girmitiya.

Opposition member of parliament Professor Biman Prasad said it was interesting to note that while the government praised the Girmitiyas, a prominent Indo-Fijian historian and popular member of the Girmit research community, Dr. Brij Lal continues to live in exile in Australia