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Chaudhry lashes out at 'traitors'

Fiji Times, Saturday, May 15, 2004

Former Prime Minister and National Farmers Union general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry lashed out at traitors who tried to ingratiate themselves with the oppressors to serve their own interests at the expense of the community.

He made the comments during the official launching of the magazine titled Children of the Indus as part of the celebrations of the arrival of the girmityas to Fiji, which was held at the Fiji Teachers Union Hall yesterday.

"We strive for acceptance from others yet some of our own stab us in the back which is a sad part of our history that we as a community must recognise," he said.

"One has to look at what happened to the Agricultural Land Tenure Act in 1976, the Coalition Government in 1987 and to the People's Coalition Government in 2000, where the spoilers in all these cases were the self-serving in the Indo- Fijian community," he said.

Mr Chaudhry said it was also the rich and the powerful working against the interests of the farmers, the workers and the poor.

"At the time of each coup, these people from within our own ranks were behind-the-scene instigators, the financiers of the coup and the destabilisation campaigns," he said.

"The history of the Indo-Fijian people in Fiji have no dull moment. If we are not oppressed by others, we fight among ourselves which keeps the story line moving and the excitement and tension remain vibrant throughout."

"Even today, we are denied our political rights in the land of our birth, we are still fighting against racially motivated statutory discrimination in all aspects of life despite a very liberal constitution that guarantees us equal citizenship rights and equal opportunities."

"Our people have been subjected to three racially instigated coups that have deprived them of their legitimate constitutional rights to participate in the formation of a government and to help formulate national policies."