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Commonwealth Should Know The Truth – Newspaper

Issue No: 417 26 January 2001

The Commonwealth should know the truth about Fiji, says the Fiji Sun.

In a hard-hitting editorial today, the Sun condemned the politicians who tried to create the impression that by visiting refugee camps in Vanua Levu with elected Prime Minister, Commonwealth's Special Envoy Justice Pius Langa risked personal safety.

The paper wrote:

"Did Justice Langa's departure to Labasa really spark a security scare? Maybe the real thing was that the people who wanted to hide something were scared Langa would discover the naked truth about certain things in Fiji when travelling with People's Coalition Government prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry".

It further stated:

"On page 3 there is a report of displaced North farmers talking to Langa about their hopes and their fears. There is no news of their joys. Their sufferings have been reported often in the media whenever they become the victims of burning, looting, raid, robbery with violence, rape and other atrocities. Many of these farmers have spelt out a serious and sad indictment on our country. They have indicated that this country is incapable of taking proper care of a big section of its population. They've said that there is still much more to be done to bring back normality here than cosmetic multicultural taura tale seen at Muaniweni this week indicated. The suffering North farmers have expressed the source of their concerns. They are saying: `We're not protected in our country. We have become second class citizens. We're not treated like normal human beings. And the government is not doing anything to protect our dignity and rights. Our children will not be safe here'. In fact, Pius Langa is only listening to the truth. Now the interim administration must explain to him who this section of Fiji society wants to leave. Why they are still afraid. Why nothing has been done to address their problems. The rest of Fiji should also listen to this truth and find solutions."

The paper also questioned the motives of those who condemned Justice Langa's trip to Vanua Levu. It stated that in order for Justice Langa to find the truth, he must experience the real feelings of the people. "But certain people in Fiji - for the sake of making political noise - do not think so and have condemned Justice Langa's trip with Mr. Chaudhry.. In time we will tell that the motives of the people making noises are not genuine".

End 26 January 2001

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