15 Apr 2003

Fiji's SDL party supports partner's stance on deed of cession

5:31 pm on 15 April 2003

The secretary-general of Fiji's ruling SDL party says the 1874 Deed of Cession is an important historical document which is why there are demands for it to be written into a revised constitution.

Josaia Diani says the SDL is more inclined to look forward but it understands why its junior coalition partner, the Conservative Alliance Vanua party, wants to see the deed included.

He was speaking after criticism from Democratic party leader, Filipe Bole, who says an agreement ceding Fiji's sovereignty to Queen Victoria is not something to celebrate.

Mr Diani says he doesn't understand Mr Bole's criticism.

"It's surprising coming from Filipe Bole. He's an historian and he should appreciate the importance of the sentiment that we attach to the deed of cession. And, for him to say that it means nothing, you know, I think that's a little bit cruel to the Fijian people as a whole."

Josaia Diani, the secretary-general of Fiji's ruling SDL party.