Past laws and policies segregates Girmityas: AG
May 14, 2018 5:05 am
The discriminatory laws and policies of past governments has prevented Girmityas from exercising their rights and freedom in the past.
Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made these comments in Parliament today as Girmityas celebrated their 139 years since their first arrival as indentured labourers.
Sayed-Khaiyum says though the Girmityas played their part in the growth of our country, they remained on the margins of our society as previous laws tend to segregate them.
“Their voices were silenced and they felt unsafe in their own country their country of birth under discriminatory laws and policies of past governments in Fiji.”
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.