1 Dec 2003

Fiji's ruling SDL party accused of lacking compassion for the poor

7:59 am on 1 December 2003

Fiji's ruling SDL party has come under criticism for lacking vision, sensitivity and compassion for the poor.

The Sunday Post reports the comments have come from the NGO Coalition for Human Rights following the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase's speech during the debate on the 2004 budget.

Mr Qarase said there would always be people earning more and being more successful than others and it was just a reflection of human society.

But the chair of the NGO Coalition, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the statement is unworthy as it appears to be a justification for the lot of the poor in Fiji.

Mr Yabaki says a party that came into power accepting inequality, would not have the heart to change the situation.

He says the Prime Minister's statement would condemn the poor to a semi-human existence and condone company policies which could lead to a systematic exploitation of workers.