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Today in history

Matilda Simmons
Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday September 10, 2000

Indian summit rejects review

A FIRM move towards Indian unity was on show as elders unanimously agreed to resist any move towards a review of the Constitution. The summit by Indian politicians, businessmen and individuals at the Skylodge Hotel in Nadi resolved to boycott any attempts to aid or join the review committee named by the Great Council of Chiefs. Political observers see the summit as a firm move to unite Indians in their fight for their rights as citizens of the country. The summit unanimously agreed that the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, reconstitute a Government of National Unity comprising members of Parliament who had been in office before the May 19 coup.

Why I acted that way: Tuivaga

CHIEF Justice Sir Timoci Tuivaga has defended his decision to help the army draft decrees during the illegal takeover of the Government. He said it saved the judiciary from collapse. Replying to a commentary by Sunday Times columnist Robert Keith-Reid, Sir Timoci said it was easy to be moral when reviewing history in hindsight from the luxury of a stable political climate. "Keith-Reid's column shows how inadequately informed some people are concerning the chief justice's intervention with the military authorities which in effect forestalled the collapse of the country's judicial system," he said. "Such collapse would have occurred if existing judicial appointments were dissolved and abolished. Obviously, no self-respecting judge or magistrate would have wanted to suffer the ignomy of having to ask the military for their jobs back. The chief justice's action prevented that demeaning scenario happening and in the process saved the certain collapse of Fiji's judicial system."

Monday September 10, 1990

NFP support for Adi Kuini

COALITION leader Adi Kuini Bavadra won support for a planned boycott of general elections under the new Constitution from the National Federation Party in Ba. In a speech to a 400-strong NFP annual general meeting at the Khatri Hall, Adi Kuini said the coalition stood by its boycott decision despite pressure within Fiji and from governments of Australia and New Zealand. The interim government had pledged to hold elections the following year however the Coalition has rejected the Constitution as racist and undemocratic. Under the newly-promulgated Constitution, Fijians have been allocated 37 seats, Indians 27, General Electors five while Rotumans have one. From the 37 seats, 32 have been distributed among the 14 provinces while urban Fijians have been given five. But Adi Kuini said statistics showed that more than 30 per cent of the total Fijian population lived in urban areas. "We are working to break down barriers of race and class because for Fiji people today and in the future, these barriers serve no useful purpose," she said.

Rakha tells Indians to fight inequality

THE president of the National Federation Party, Dr Balwant Singh Rakha, has called for more Indians to join the struggle against discriminatory laws. In his presidential address at the party's annual general meeting in Ba, Dr Rakha said Indians could put pressure on the interim government to allow greater political economic and social rights for themselves.

Wednesday September 10, 1980

System of Government 'unsuited'

INDEPENDANT parliamentarian Ratu Osea Gavidi told the House of Representatives Fiji's system of government had become unsuited to its needs. He said Fiji had deserted traditional values and had turned to values and powers attached to political parties. The new values guaranteed the survival of only the educated, the employed, the fittest, the strong, the haves and the fortunate. It discouraged and demoralised the common man who was not as fortunate, but formed the majority of the population, "and most certainly the majority of the prison population". The House of Representatives was debating amendments to an Opposition motion expressing concern at the law and order situation and the lack of funds to deal with it.

CHOGRM here for next meeting

FIJI will host the next regional meeting at Commonwealth heads of government in 1982. The Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, extended an invitation to the 16 Commonwealth leaders from Asia and the Pacific, who completed their four-day meeting in Delhi the day before. A government statement issued in Suva said the invitation had been accepted "with pleasure".

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