New VP on mission to unite country

  • 11th January 2005
  • 2005
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Fiji’s new Vice President, Bau high chief Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi said after his swearing in yesterday that he would work towards towards healing the nation’s ethnic divide.

He told the media he considered it his duty to take up the post of vice president when asked to do so.

“It was really about, I think, answering the President’s call. He wanted someone whom he could rely on to give him advice and I think that was a major concern.”

“To have declined it would have been traditionally very bad form and secondly it was a matter of national duty.”

Now, Ratu Joni sees himself as trying to calm the fires of nationalism that spilled over into hatred, bloodshed and anarchy in 2000.

“I will play some role in building reconciliation and achieving national unity. One of the most important tasks is really to engage in a dialogue with the Fijian people who seem troubled by their position in this country,” Ratu Joni told reporters shortly after being sworn in,@ the Daily Post quoted him saying.

He admitted there are divisions in our country between ethnic groups and within groups as well but said these were not difficult, nor impossible to overcome, if everyone worked together try to find solutions.