UNSHACKLE the chain of the past and join hands in building a better Fiji for all.
These were the words echoed by Fijians of Solomon Islands descent at Marata Village in Wailoku, Suva, yesterday as they mark the 34th anniversary of independence of the land of their ancestors.
Their ancestors were forcibly brought from the provinces of Malaita and Guadalcanal in the 1800s during the British Blackbirding era.
They lost their homeland, family members, cultures and traditions and in the process lives were taken as the price they had to pay.
Village spokesperson, Josateki Uluiviti said Fiji was blessed with the composition of its society therefore the celebration was important for the descendants of pioneers of the growth and development of the nation.
He said the "unshackling the chains of the past" was a reflection of the struggles faced by their ancestors more than 200 years ago, and the desire by the present population of about 30,000 to move forward.
"Our problems today are deep-rooted and complex. We the people of Fiji must come together, join hands and work together to address all our problems," said Mr Uluiviti.