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PM maintains i taukei rights intact

April 30, 2015 6:04 am

The Prime Minister has slammed an opposition delegation which told the United Nations in New York that the government is working against the interest of the iTaukei and is robbing them of their rights.

Voreqe Bainimarama says it’s an outrageous lie because the iTaukei are stronger than they’ve ever been under his leadership.

The delegation from the Fiji Native and Tribal Congress is challenging 17 decrees in Fiji law which they claim contravene indigenous rights.

However Prime Minister Bainimarama says their claims are a far cry from the truth since iTaukei rights are protected under the 2013 constitution providing them with more opportunities and security.

“Don’t take my word for it. Look at the evidence. And when you do, you will know that these opposition figures are merely trying to deceive you for their own political ends. What a strange little group this delegation to the UN presented. Its members have nothing in common except a hatred for me and this Government. Because we removed their privileges and the spoils of office they had come to expect."

Bainimarama also made reference to Rajendra Chaudhry – a critic of the government and a member of the delegation in New York.

" (He) was beaten and held with his father in the Parliamentary complex in 2000 by the very same forces he now calls his friends. There was a picture of this person in the newspaper with an iTaukei chief, now resident in America, who once called people like him weeds and said they had no place in Fiji. Talk about strange bedfellows."

FBC News contacted Chaudhry.

He says he supports the indigenous rights group and even defends Adi Asenaca Caucau’s racial comments in parliament where she likened ethnic Indians to weeds when she was minister for women in 2002.

“Look she was a politician and she made comments which has to be taken in that vein hes very committed to the indigenous course and i fully support the work she’s doing."

The Prime Minister stresses that Fiji is one nation now with equal opportunities and justice for all.