Fijians Must Unite, Pleads Ratu Mara
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SUVA: National reconciliation in the Fiji Islands can only be achieved if indigenous people in the 14 provinces first reconcile among themselves, says former President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, reports the Daily Post.
Mara made the statement when he closed the Lau Provincial Council meeting on Ono-i-Lau last Friday.
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara is the Tui Nayau, the paramount chief of Lau and council chairman.
He told his people to first live peacefully among themselves before expecting the whole nation to do so.
The former president said he was concerned about the military installed interim administration's reconciliation effort because the root of the cause of the May 19 coup had not been identified and solved yet.
"I am concerned that if the real cause of the coup is not identified and solved, it will again create instability in the future.
"The reconciliation process that has been undertaken today will be worthless if investigations into the coup do not reveal the truth behind the staging," he said.
Mara said some Lauans were involved in the May 19 coup.
He reminded delegates of the remark he made at an earlier meeting.
"If Indians are forced to leave Fiji, the next group of people will be islanders who have made a living in Viti Levu."
Mara said hatred for Indians was not the reason for the coup.
"In the first few days of the coup, people knew it was because of the Indian community but as it dragged on it became clear that it was caused by bickering within the Fijian people," he said.
Mara reminded his people to uphold God as their forefathers did in the 1830s when they accepted missionaries on Oneata and later Rev William Cross and David Cargill on Lakeba in 1835.
"It's time we go out again as missionaries of God and his goodness with a new way.
"Lau started the process of Christianity, it is time to let the nation know that we live in peace and harmony within our villages, tikinas and the province as a whole," he said.