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AG calls on Fijians to re-affirm stand on divisiveness

May 14, 2018 12:51 am

In commemorating the arrival of the first Girmityas to Fiji since 1879, Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum is calling on Fijians to re-affirm their stand against bigotry, discrimination and divisiveness.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Girmityas have gone through a lot of discrimination by previous governments and their effort to move our country forward have gone un-noticed.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Girmityas or the Indentured laborers and their descendants have made significant contributions to our country and economy.

“So as we celebrate our progress and commemorate the proud legacy of the Girmityas in Fiji, let us re-affirm our stand against bigotry, against discrimination, against divisiveness, let us re-affirm our stand against those old politicians and re-affirm our commitment to each other as Fijians.”

In highlighting the hard work done by Girmityas to move Fiji forward, Sayed-Khaiyum is also urging politicians to move away from the colonial way of thinking.

“This is because of the fact that many of these politicians still continue with that way of thinking that our dynamics in politics is predicated with ethnicity, they of course have to move away from colonial way of thinking.”

Indian indentured emigration to Fiji began in 1879 – started by Sir Arthur Gordon, the first substantive governor, to meet the shortage of labour caused by the prohibition of commercial employment of the Fijians and by the increasing uncertainty and cost of the Polynesian labour trade.

Over 60,000 Indians were transported to Fiji between 1879 and 1916 when the transportation of indentured Indian labourers was finally stopped.

The indentured system was abolished in 1921.