‘Fijian’ hollow without dialogue

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad makes a point during Dialogue Fiji's social cohesion forum. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

CALLING everyone a ‘Fijian’ does not cast your rights in stone, says National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad.

In his official Diwali message, he said having a common name was meaningless if the environment was not created for meaningful dialogue and consensus on national issues.

“Assumptions, the insatiable desire for power and prosperity and aspirations for monetary benefits will erode our self-dignity and respect,” Mr Prasad said.

“One such assumption is that by calling everyone Fijian guarantees and casts your rights in stone. It doesn’t.”

He said having a common name and equal citizenry, and guaranteed fundamental freedoms was meaningless.

“It is important that common and equal citizenry extends beyond equal vote for equal value and common name. It necessitates the creation, promotion and offer of equal opportunity in all sectors based on meritocracy, not nepotism, cronyism and reward for loyalists.

“These are achievable but it needs firstly, the political will and capacity to dialogue with the ultimate aim of finding solutions through consensus.”

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