Wounds of the past must be confronted: Rabuka

May 13, 2024 4:45 pm

[Source: The People's Alliance/ Facebook]

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the historians today recognize the indenture system as a form of slavery and human trafficking.

His comments come as on this day (May 14th) 145 years ago, 60,553 individuals including men, women and children were brought from India to Fiji under the indentured system to work in sugarcane plantations.

Rabuka says we must honour the Girmityas legacy by acknowledging their sacrifices and embracing the lessons they impart.

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[Source: The People’s Alliance/ Facebook]

He states that the journey marked by unity in the face of adversity teaches us the importance of standing together as one people, one nation.

Rabuka adds that in a world marred by division, the Girmityas example serves as a beacon of hope and resilience.

The Prime Minister says that as we commemorate Girmit Day under the theme “Journey of Girmit Descendants in Building a New Fiji”, we must not forget the back breaking labour and immeasurable sacrifices endured to pave the way for future generations.

[Source: The People’s Alliance/ Facebook]

He says the descendants of Girmityas have woven their presence into the fabric of our nation, contributing to every facet of the society.

Rabuka states that as we celebrate their contributions, we must also confront the wounds of our past.

He states that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission stands as a testament to their commitment to healing, providing a platform for truth-telling and reconciliation.

He urged the Fijian Diaspora, including the descendants of the Girmityas to return to the land of their ancestors.

Rabuka says Fiji’s new immigration exemption policy ensures a warm welcome, allowing them to rec-connect with their roots without barriers.