Qarase a lawbreaker, says Labour

  • 20th August 2002
  • 2002
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The Fiji Labour Party has been allocated office space, staff and other parliamentary resources in accordance with its numbers in Parliament.

The allocation was made by the Speaker and the House Committee based on the fact that as the second largest party in Parliament, FLP was entitled to parliamentary resources on a proportional basis.

“This is the reality not an Alice in Wonderland fantasy, as Mr. Qarase sees it. He would have done well to have checked the facts out with the parliamentary secretariat instead of displaying his lack of knowledge of procedures so blatantly,” Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said.

“If anything this is more a tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. Mr. Qarase is clearly the lawbreaker here. He stands in blatant violation of the Constitution. He has stolen Labour’s Cabinet seats and, bought his way into power.

He sheds crocodile tears about Fiji’s widening racial divide when he himself has deepened this with his overtly racist policies and speeches. Mr. Qarase and a minority of those who think like him are entrenching racism in Fiji.

“Does the prime minister really think that marginalising virtually half the population of Fiji of one racial group is conducive to fostering harmonious race relations in Fiji?” Mr. Chaudhry asked.

Affirmative action policies that discriminate against half of the country’s needy population will only intensify racial resentment and segregation.

“The international community needs to realise that here sits a man with apartheid ingrained in him. As prime minister he ought to bring the races together, not to continually harp on superficial differences based on ethnicity,” Mr. Chaudhry said.

Mr. Qarase is equally wrong when he claims that the Fijian people prefer ethnic voting. It is a few extremists like him who cling to ethnic voting and race-based politics. because therein lies their power base.

He is wrong again in his claim that indigenous people have benefited under “Fijian” rule. It is common knowledge that the lot of the indigenous Fijian, the man on the street, has grossly deteriorated since the coups of 1987.

Those who have benefited under the guise of affirmative policies for the indigenous people are an elite group who hold positions of authority and maintain a stronghold on power through undemocratic and unlawful means.

“These are the people who milk the system for their own benefit leaving their unfortunate constituents more impoverished and forsaken.
“It is time the world saw through these false prophets of indigenous rights,” the Labour Leader said.