Girmit facts need to be highlighted: AG

May 7, 2022 4:16 pm

[File Photo]

Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the hardcore facts of our history needs to be written in the history books or our mainstream school curriculum.

Speaking at the 143rd Girmit celebrations in Suva last night, Sayed-Khaiyum says the curriculum on Fiji’s history written during the colonized period has been sanitized.

Some 60, 500 Girmitiyas were brought to Fiji to work as labourers in the sugarcane field in 1897.

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Sayed-Khaiyum says the Girmit experience has been described as deceit, disease, of death and full of violence.

“People died as a result of working in the fields, they died of flu etc. And of course, there was this whole violence around it. There were women who worked in the fields where the overseers would want to use them for sexual activity at night time.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says this part of the history is not much talked, because people saw this as something shameful.

He adds these facts are not brought into the public space as the authors liked to clean history to present a particular view of what happened in Fiji.

The Attorney General adds as a nation if we do not come to face the realities of what happened historically, it has a huge impact on our present and the future

“History needs to be written. It is critically important for us to be able to understand that because it has subsequent effects. It has an impact on our political history. It has an impact on our constitutional history. It has an impact how socio-economically we have developed.”

However, Sayed-Khaiyum stresses when looking back at history, the current social, political and socio-economic views should not be added to it, because the dynamics in the past were very different.