Girmit Day | PM: Time to move forward in unity

Dipshika Raj traditionally welcomes Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka during the Girmit day celebration in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

‘Today I am wearing the hindu salusalu and have accepted the ‘tika’ on my forehead because we are now one nation of different beliefs’.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said this during the Western Girmit Day Remembrance Celebration held at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

“We are now one nation of different cultures and rather than offend the young student who put that on me, I accept it because my custom now is acceptance and to co-exist harmoniously,” he said.

Rabuka said as the nation moves forward, there was a need to create more awarenesses on how we can overcome our differences.

“The underlying theme of the new Girmit Day holiday is about unity and I believe we all- the descendants of the Girmitya, the indigenous people and the chiefs to live in harmony and we have to lay that foundation now.

“Our children need to know that we cannot build a new future by relying on our vision and beliefs from the past.”

He also acknowledged the organisers for putting together a program that envisaged what the Coalition Government believed in.

“This morning we came together and worshipped in three different religions and heard prayers from the Pundit, Reverend, and also the Imam.

“This is a very special time for Fiji because we are now coming together as a nation to observe the first public holiday to acknowledge and honour the Girmitya of India, who came to Fiji between 1879 to 1916.”

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