Posted on 17 May 2023
During the Girmit Day Thanksgiving in Fiji on Sunday, leaders signed the Forward Fiji Declaration in hopes of reconciling the Indo-Fijian Girmitya and Indigenous iTaukei people in the nation. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Methodist Church president the Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, and other religious leaders came together in Suva to sign the declaration.
The two groups have historically had a strained relationship, with 1987 and 2000 coups carried out against the Indo-Fijians. Rabuka, who led the 1987 coup, says on behalf of others involved “we confess our wrongdoings, we confess that we have hurt so many of our people in Fiji, particularly those of the Indo-Fijian community."
The declaration denounced future coups, disunity, racism and religious intolerance. It prioritises democracy, mutual respect and awareness for the common good of uniting the people of Fiji.