PM vows to fight communal division

Tui Nadi Ratu Vuniyani Navuniuci Dawai (middle) shares a light moment with other chiefs and village representive after the opening of Ba Provincial Council meeting at Viseisei village in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama claims there has been a re-emergence of communalism among the Indo-Fijian and iTaukei communities.

While speaking in the iTaukei language at the opening of the Ba Provincial Council meeting in Vuda, he said he was angry and was determined to fight it.
According to Mr Bainimarama, communalism had emerged among the Indo-Fijian community, with Hindus pitted against Muslims and North Indians against South Indians.

“In the same way, it makes me angry that we see provincialism in the iTaukei community rearing its ugly head again, with talk along provincial lines and with parties picking candidates depending on which province they come from rather than what they can contribute to the nation as a whole,” he said.

He claimed communalism was also seen among religious groups. “We have even seen people trying to pit Fijians against each other along the lines of different Christian denominations.”

He said his Government would not allow such communalism to happen.

“This is the difference between the Opposition and the FijiFirst government.

“While they lie and treat the Fijian people as fools, I have the greatest faith in the judgment and common sense of the Fijian people. And I trust them to see through the lies and exercise their vote wisely. “They can certainly see with their own eyes the progress we have made under this Government. And I know they will make the right choice when the election comes, not only for themselves but for our nation as a whole.”

National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad rejected the claims by the PM that certain political figures were sowing division between Muslims and Hindus.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party was sent a copy of the PM’s statement but the party had not responded when this edition went to press.

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