10 Aug 2006

Fiji's Methodists urge boycott of book by former speaker of parliament

2:00 pm on 10 August 2006

Fiji's Methodist church is calling on church members to boycott a book written by the former cabinet minister and Speaker of Parliament, Sir Vijay R Singh.

The book, called Speaking Out, talks about the pre-coup nationalist protest marches of 2000 against the then prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

It suggests that the marchers were hypocritical in disapproving of an ethnic Indian prime minister during the week whilst attending church on a Sunday.

The Assistant Secretary for Social Services of the Methodist Church, Reverend Iliesa Naivalu says Sir Vijay has failed to understand the fear of extinction which brought the Fijian people together in the marches.

He says he would like to see the book banned by the government.

"Such a statement simply incites both racial and religious hatred among the people. I'm questioning the timing of the launching of the book, which is a very important time in the country when the indigenous fijians open their hands wide and embrace the Indo-fijians in their strides to share power."

Reverend Iliesa Naivalu of the Methodist Church in Fiji.

Sir Vijay, who is in ill health, says he has only a few months to live and loves Fiji and the Fijian people.

He says people should read his book in totality.