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Qarase Demands Forgiveness

Issue No: 267 8 December 2000

Interim regime Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase has demanded that there be forgiveness.

Speaking at the Tourism Forum yesterday, Qarase stated that there must be forgiveness in Fiji. Without addressing who should forgive whom for what, he said: "We cannot have reconciliation without forgiveness. We cannot have true unity without forgiveness.". He continued to state that:
* The indigenous Fijians are entitled to better access to opportunity;
* Fiji must be led by indigenous Fijians;
* Everyone must recognise and respect for all time the indigenous Fijians as the Taukei of Fiji;
* The special identity of the indigenous Fijians must be safeguarded;
* the rightful position of the indigenous Fijians must be safeguarded;
* evicted farmers should not get any more assistance that the assistance received by the landowners who are getting land for their cultivation.

Qarase approvingly quoted Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe: "If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today I have become a friend and ally. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you."

Qarase's address was another veiled threat to the nation: to forgive the terrorists or else face further violence

END 8 December 2000


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