Sacrifice of indentured labourers will never be forgotten: PM

February 16, 2023 10:20 am

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the sacrifice of indentured labourers to Fiji will never be forgotten as they helped shape the country over the years.

While speaking at the welcome dinner for the 12th World Hindi Conference in Nadi last night, Rabuka delivered a powerful assurance that the Girmitiya descendants who have made a life in Fiji belong to the tiny nation in the Pacific.

Rabuka stresses that Fiji is their home.

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“To the leaders in your country please tell them that their kinsman and kinswoman who are now in Fiji live well, enjoy the hospitality, no longer the hospitality because they are part of that hospitality group, they are part of this country.”

But Prime Minister Rabuka says that many will still remember the dark history that made him notorious worldwide through the coup he staged.

However, Rabuka told those that were present that they no longer needed to worry as it’s a new dawn.

“You can go back and appease them and say that man that we did not want to know about, we shied away from his name, addressed us that night at the opening dinner he does not bite, his not an angry young man, he is just an old man who understands the feelings of the descendants of the Girmitiyas who are now his age looking at their grandchildren and children growing up in the land they now call home.”

Rabuka says that we may be divided by vast oceans but the sacrifice of the forefathers of the current generations of the descendants of the Girmitiyas remind us of the great contribution the people of India and its country play in the development of Fiji.

The Prime Minister highlighted that it may just be a coincidence Fiji is hosting this conference and also announcing Girmit Day with a public holiday to be celebrated on May 15th this year.

He adds this is just an indication of how Fiji has grown over the years and also continues to build relations with India.