Labour hits out at Qarase’s statement in NZ

  • 31st March 2004
  • 2004
  • // Display comment count + link

The Fiji Labour Party today hit out at Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s statement in New Zealand which it described as highly charged with racial overtones.

Mr Qarase’s statement covertly justifying the illegal overthrow of democratically elected Labour governments is despicable to say the least, said Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

“Mr Qarase should not insult the Fijian psyche by implying that it condoned terrorist acts of treason and subversion so long as they were cloaked in the indigenous rights garb.

“The truth is that the insurrections of 1987 and 2000 were treasonous acts conceived, orchestrated, financed and executed by criminal elements in our society who preyed on the emotions of the ordinary Fijians.

“These people combined with other vested interest groups to stage the coups which ruined the lives of thousands of our citizens,” said Mr Chaudhry.

Where is Fiji today – seventeen years from the execution of the first coup? These so-called revolutions triggered off debilitating economic decline, pushing thousands of our people into unprecedented poverty levels. These treasonous acts ushered in an era of rabid lawlessness, corruption, racial bigotry and religious intolerance.

The fact that the coups overthrew democratically elected Labour governments, committed to uplift the masses and tackle the corrupt elements in our society, should be sufficient to indicate the type of people who were behind the coups.

Mr Qarase has, by his highly charged racist statement, done a disservice to the Fijian people and ridiculed their stature in the public eye.

He should have known better and understood that the international community will no longer tolerate terrorist acts to subvert democracy. They will no longer be fooled by the charade of Mr Qarase and his likes.

“Fiji does not have to be an ethnically polarised nation as Mr Qarase puts it. It is people like him who want to make it so for their own selfish ends,” said Mr Chaudhry.