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PM apologizes to former Fijians in Australia

October 17, 2015 5:18 am

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has apologized to Fijians living in Australia for the coups of 1987 and 2000.

Addressing Fijians present at the Fiji Day celebrations in Sydney today, Bainimarama said the fact they they were made to feel unwelcome in their own country of birth is the most shameful episode in Fiji’s history.

Fiji is celebrating its 45 years of Independence and Bainimarama says precious resources were lost that robbed Fiji of decades of development when people started migrating to Australia.

“Yet it wasn’t just the brain drain – tragic as that was. It was the Fijian family torn apart. And today I want to say sorry to those of you who suffered. The many thousands who were made to feel like strangers in your own country. Who felt obliged to seek new homes elsewhere, leaving loved ones and friends behind – Coming to Australia – in your case – and having to start all over again.”

Bainimarama has invited all former citizens to return to Fiji and build a home for themselves or invest in the country of their birth.