27 Sep 2006

More tributes to former Fiji Speaker, Sir Vijay R Singh

10:39 am on 27 September 2006

Fiji's political leaders have paid glowing tributes to Sir Vijay R Singh, the former Speaker of parliament, cabinet minister and attorney general who has died of cancer aged 75.

Laisenia Qarase has revealed that when he became interim prime minister after the May 2000 coup, Sir Vijay had given him valuable advice.

Mr Qarase says Sir Vijay was an eloquent speaker and writer who had helped steer Fiji through independence.

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says Sir Vijay was a man of great courage who did not hesitate to speak his mind despite the odds against him.

Mr Chaudhry has also recalled that for a time the Rabuka military regime declared Sir Vijay "persona non grata" for lobbying against his coups during the Commonwealth Summit in Canada in 1987.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes says Sir Vijay's last words "I love Fiji" reflected the deep feelings he had for his country and the sadness with which he would have watched events in the coups of 1987 and 2000.

The National Alliance Party says Sir Vijay was a true son of Fiji who championed truth, transparency, good governance and multi-racialism.