On Sunday, Sitiveni Rabuka, the prime minister of Fiji, apologised to the Indo-Fijian community for the coup in 1987. At the Reconciliation Service between the Methodist Church and the Girmitiyas held in Suva at the Vodafone Arena, Rabuka made the confession and begged for forgiveness.
“I admit our wrongdoings, you have every right to blame us for the difficulties you went through, we do not blame you for being angry with us or even hate us, you are justified in your anger and your hate. I stand here to confess and to ask for your forgiveness,” tweeted Rabuka.
Rabuka admitted that he had wronged the Girmitiyas descendants and all Fijians in 1987 and said, “I am not making this confession as the Prime Minister for Fiji because I do not hold the government accountable for my actions of 1987. I do not claim to be making this confession on behalf of the Vanua Navatu, I’m not Tui Navatu, I’m just a member of the Yavusa Navatu, vanua Navatu of Cakaudrove, but I make this confession on my own behalf and on behalf of all those that took part with me on the military coup of the 14th of May, 1987. We confess our wrongdoings, we confess that we have hurt so many of our people in Fiji.”
Fiji, where ethnic Indians were in a majority until the aftermath of a military coup in 1987 forced tens of thousands of them to leave the country of 330 islands. Staged by Rabuka, it overthrew the elected government of Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra, who was the country’s first ethnic Indian prime minister.
“I make this confession on my own behalf and on behalf of all those who took part with me in the military coup on the 14th of May, 1987. We confess our wrongdoings, and we confess that we have hurt so many of our people in Fiji, particularly those of the Indo-Fijian community,” tweeted Rabuka.
Rabuka commended the efforts of those who stayed on and struggled to try and restore our relationship to date.
“I thank the community leaders who have worked tirelessly. to bring the two communities of Fijians and Indo-Fijians together. The work is not complete, we will have to continue, I do not make this as an excuse but I wish those before us had done this in the years gone by,” said Rabuka.
Rabuka admits that they have wronged Fijians, particularly the Indo-Fijian community and their sons and daughters, forcing some to leave our shores for a better living.
“I admit our wrongdoings, you are correct to have blamed us, you have every right to blame us for the difficulties you went through, we do not blame you for being angry with us or even hating us, you are justified in your anger and your hate. I stand here to confess and to ask for your forgiveness. I have made my confession personally to some for my deeds in 198 . For those that I did not reach, I hope I am coming across to you today here and on live stream. Please forgive us. As you forgive us, you release us and you are released, you are released from hatred and you are released for your anger and we can feel the peace of God coming to your beings, coming to our lives,” said Rabuka.
Prior to the summit between India and the Pacific Islands, Rabuka apologised. The India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit is where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak and unveil a number of initiatives to strengthen India’s relationship with the Pacific Islands.
On May 21 and 22, he will be present at the FIPIC summit in Papua New Guinea. The apology by Rabuka is viewed as a crucial step in the direction of peace between the native Indian and Fijian communities.
Leaders from 14 Pacific Island nations are in attendance at the summit, which is viewed as a crucial chance for India to improve relations with the area.
Rabuka expressed regret before the summit between India and the Pacific Islands. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak at the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit and announce a number of initiatives to improve India’s ties with the Pacific Islands.
He will be present at the FIPIC summit in Papua New Guinea on May 21 and 22. An important step towards achieving peace between the native Indian and Fijian communities is seen in Rabuka’s apology.
The summit is being attended by the leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries and is seen as a crucial opportunity for India to strengthen ties with the region.