11 Aug 2005

Fiji opposition rubbishes government claim that majority supports reconciliation bill

8:55 pm on 11 August 2005

Fiji's opposition leader has rejected claims by the Qarase government that the majority of indigenous Fijians support its controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that Mahendra Chaudhry has told parliament the indigenous community was part of the suffering after the May 2000 coup and they too want justice.

Mr Chaudhry said the government cannot ignore the tenets of good governance and pursue policies which pander to narrow parochial interests or push the agenda of a favoured few.

Mr Chaudhry said much evil has been perpetrated in Fiji under the guise of indigenous interests

He said this has to stop.

Mr Chaudhry said those who claim licence for their wrongdoings by taking shelter behind racism and indigenous rights are insulting their own culture and traditions.

He said ordinary indigenous Fijians have suffered much, but the good news is that all the people are waking up following the current controversy over the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Bill will set up a Commission to fast track amnesty for coup convicts like George Speight and government MPs, erase their criminal records, give immunity to those not yet prosecuted and ask the courts to suspend proceedings against those facing charges.