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  16 November 2016. Did the first update of the site in 11 (!) years. Updated the e-mail address and the call for papers for the "Commemoration of Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship (CCAII)". It will take place in Fiji at
22-24 March 2017, Girmit Centre, Lautoka

Won't make it there, I am anyway a "ghora". And feeling sorry that we never get funds to revamp this website in a responsive design (done myself 11 of 90 countries this year)- www.sika.com

So the site looks okay on your PC, notebook, tablet, Iphone, Android phone.

Maybe some people can donate some sagamoli or dough to fijigirmit.org@gmail.com (active again since today).

Maintaining and quality-checking a single website is a big task. I am personally proud that we did that 12 years ago. Others were still sleeping ;-)

I did *not* check on any e-mail. Just because I never had the time. But I guess that 5'000 mails have been sent since - and never answered.

Mea culpa & moce mada

PS: Treasure the short time with Doc G.C. while in Lautoka last month. I never had the time to visit all my old collegues and friends. Lautoka has more money transfer outlets than Zurich/Switzerland. But it was a great 5-week trip. And thanks to Dave S. we even got a nice appartment in Suva.


  14 December 2005  Every week we get some inquiries like:

I am trying to find information about my great grandfather who arrived into Fiji under the indentured labourers system.

He may have arrived in early 1900. He lived in Labasa, Fiji and was with thr same gropu as Mr. Obbaiya Reddy. My great granddad would be registered under the name Mr. Pollaiya Reddy (or Polaiya or Polga). not too sure of the spelling. He may have been in his early to mid 20's but do serach for around 30 or later years of age at the time of arrival into Fiji.

We duly redirect those people to the National Archives of Fiji. And also tell them that there is a microfiche database at the University of Australia.

We have now written again to Mr. Setareki Tale of the National Archives in Fiji, asking him how far the progress of the computerisation (not digitialisation) has proceeded.

Hopefully we will soon be able to make a statement in our next newsletter.


  19 November 2005 We have decided to take the FrontPage counter on the landing page out. Firstly, it can easily be manipulated to "fake" page visits that are not really there. Secondly, it does not care for people that already know to which of our pages they want to go. For those of you that are interested to know more about from where people access this website, which pages they visit the most, check out these statistics


  7 November 2005 "Fiji me kisaan andolan - Volume 2" is out. For a very limited time, we provide here the book for free.

Editor: For me, as a "ghora", it is unbelievable how people can write such stories to share it with the world.

Why nobody ever paid a single cent to us? We have this guestbook, the majority is raving about the information on the site. Yet, our bank account has been closed since the only F$50 donation has been eaten up by bank fees.

Why is not a single visitor donating? What do we do wrong? What would we have to do to encourage even a small donation?

If you have any suggestion, please let us know.

PS: No reply from the Fiji Girmit Council yet. And this is the institution in Fiji that claims to be the representative of the Girmit people!

My personal opinion: what a shame!!!


  16 September 2005 Although completey incomplete, we now provide you the original website of the Fiji Girmit Council on this site. We must have saved it once in June 2004 when it was still in its early stages. We have written to the Dijenadra Singh, the secretary of the Fiji Girmit Council and asked if they can retrieve the completed version. We then would subhost it on this site.


  15 September 2005 We get a lot of junk mail on our e-mail accounts, some even from us to us, some with nice viruses attached to it. This clearly shows that our addresses have been spoofed. We have thus created a new general address only: information at fijigirmit.org. All references to our old addresses on this site have been removed (except the one on the "Our Bookstore" page, but this is the problem of the send mail function of FrontPage - if this address will spoofed again then we will have to use the famous Perl script Formmail).


  14 September 2005 Ever been to our discussion forum recently? We don't know how they are actually doing it to spam the discussion list. But there must be some really smart people out in China, Romania etc.

We will try to delele those rubbish but can't guarantee anything. The problem is that FrontPage does not offer a better protected discussion list - and we dont habe a dedicated builletin board software.


  9 September 2005 Isa Lei! Finally we received the first article from the National Farmers Union 'Girmitiya' magazine. A contribution titled "The Legacy of Rajasthani Girmitiya - Thakur Bansi Chauhan"


  8 September 2005 Bechu Prasad, Fiji's oldest girmitiya, has died at the age of 104. Read here some news coverage. To the berieved family members our sincere sympathies.


  6 September 2005 In search of roots - a journey to find oneself. An article written in 2003 but which we only now have received.


  2 September 2005 Girmitiyas hold on to ancient art form - an article about the 'terekuttu' dance.


  26 August 2005 Thakur Ranjit Singh has contributed two recently published articles to our website:
Girmit Era – Manipulation of Indo Fijian History
What Australian CSR Company Stole from Indo Fijians in Cane Fields of Fiji


  21 August 2005 The Arya Samaj celebrates its birthday. Read an article from the "Fiji Times" here.


  12 June 2005 Dr. Ahmed Ali, the current Information Minister in the Qarase government, has passed away on Thursday, 9 June, in Sydney. Click here to read more.

Editor: Dr. Ahmed Ali has indeed been of help for the Fijigirmit.org cause since we started this site. Numerous articles written by him can be found on this web. He was also kind enough to help people wanting to track their ancestors personally. We thank and salute you - may you rest in peace.


  31 May 2005 The election of Miss Indo-Fiji 2005 took place in Calgary, Canada. Here the press release.

Editor: We love to provide articles on our website that have something to do with the Fiji Girmit Era. However, we were rather reluctanct to put this article on our site. What it beauty, what is just cute, what is beautiful? There are 500 millions of good-looking Indians abroad. They make up for probably 20% of the female popolation of the earth.

What does that have to do with a site devoted to Indians that went - at least sometimes - through hell do make it through a foreign country?

Yes, we love the pictures of those beauties. But then again, if they were born 100 years ago in Fiji: would they show their bodies like this? Would not the the portrayal of  such cute women attract the senses of the colonialists and sirdars?

We leave it to you to be the judge.


  24 May 2005 A lenghty article called 'The Girmit Focus' is now available here. It was written by Satish C. Rai.These articles appeared in the Australian newspaper Indian Link’s Girmit Link page from August 2004.


  23 May 2005 An e-mail from the Movement of Democracy in Fiji titled "The Reconciliation and Unity Bill is more of Qarase's trickery". Click here to read it.

Editor: Fijigirmit.org is a non-political organisation. The views here, specially in this e-mail, may or may not reflect the personal beliefs of the members of the organisation committee. With this website we are politically neutral - we try to be unbiased. However, we don't want to block political views. We would even invite any opposing article or e-mail. On demand, we would even conceal the source.

But let us make one thing straight: We are not a publishing vehicle for any political party or affilliation of views. Our website has only one aim: to shed light on the Girmit era in Fiji. And not to comment on any current political happenings in Fiji (could this be a reason for a new website?).


  22 May 2005 'After the Girmit story' is from an e-mail which we received from Krishna.


  21 May 2005 Just received a newsletter from the website www.theindiandiaspora.com.The Indian Diaspora website attempts to document the history of Indians migrating beyond the territorial borders of India during various time periods. In the process this website acts as a one stop information hub on various resources on the Indian Diaspora, and its history.


  2 May 2005 The International Girmit Congress Inc, presents "A Tribute to Fiji Girmitiyas", to mark the 126th anniversary of the arrival of the First Indian girmitiyas to the shores of Fiji.

The event will take place on Saturday 14th May 2005 at 7:00 pm, at Hilda Davis Centre, 185 Bigge Street, Liverpool, UK.

Click here to download the inivitation.


  24 March 2005 Just received an e-mail from Rod Evins:
I thought you might be interested that I have just updated my Fiji Postcards site with a page of Indo-Fijian photographs, a couple of which date back to the Girmit era. I will be adding to this page as I acquire more photographs. I have also placed on it a link to your old Girmit photos page. You may like to place a link to this page on your site, but please remember that the images are copyright. The link is

Thanks, Rod


  12 October 2004 The Reconciliation week organised by the Fiji Government has ended. Some people have highly praised this effort. Others have voiced concern like this email copy to us shows.


4 October 2004 An e-mail from the Movement of Democracy in Fiji titled "Empty gestures of reconciliation" has reached us. Click here to read it. 


  7 September 2004 People reported problems with the PDF file of "Fiji ka itihasik darshan". We have made a new PDF file with embedded Webdunia font. Hopefully it works.


25 August 2004 Harnat-Cover.jpg (31243 bytes)One of the sons of Mr. Har Nath has provided us with a downloadable version of the new book published by Fiji Institute of Applied Studies. The book is called "Fiji ka itihasik darshan" (A historical view of Fiji). Click here to download (people who don't have the Webdunia font, also need to download it here, then install it in the Fonts folder of their computer - without this font the book won't display the Hindi characters).
New: entire book with embedded Hindi font

Thanks a lot for your generous offer, Rattan Prakash (Executive Officer, New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils)!


4 August 2004 Kate "Katz" Weaver, content manager of Wikiverse, informed us about a comprehensive page about the life of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Her site also provides some interesting links about Fiji's history and and Indo-Fijians.


22 July 2004 Read an interesting article titled "Lessons from the past" that appeared in the June edition of Wansolwara. Click here to jump to it.


3 July 2004 Just received the reaction of Satish Rai on the virtual interview with Dr. Ganesh Chand in a letter to the webmaster of Indes réunionnaises.

Note: We disagree with his assessment of our negative reply to an inquiry from a Lata Lakhan to help her trace her ancestors in India. We have been and are doing this website without any financial support. We maintain that research on behalf of an individual would absorb too much of our own spare time. However, we want to make it perfectly clear that we clearly see the need for a computerisation of the emigration passes in the National Archives of Fiji. Already on 25 May we have written to the Minister of Information asking him for a support letter for such project. Till today no reply!


1 July 2004 vijay_naidu_cover.jpg (33595 bytes) We just received word that the new book of Professor Vijay Naidu, called "Violence of Indenture in Fiji" is soon to be released. Click here () to download the preface.

The book is available from the Fiji Institute of Applied Studies.



18 June 2004 From Govindin Sully Santa we have just received an article about "Indian immigration, Hindu rites and Tamil culture in Reunion Island". Click here () to download it.


11 June 2004 People have been sending us articles associated with the Indian diaspora. We thus decided to create a dedicated page for articles about the diaspora. Click here for the main page.


3 June 2004 Finally we found time to place some photos of the Girmit Divas celebrations in Nadi onto this site. Click here to view the pictures.


3 June 2004 The translated French version of the interview with Ganesh Chand is ready. Click here to read it (yes, it is both in French AND English there). Merci, Philip, pour de cette excellente traduction!

Editor: Link does no longer work as per Sept 2005


3 June 2004 Article in the Times of India (1 June 2004) about Fiji and Girmit


2 June 2004 Link added to HelloIndia.com.au. Hello india.com.au is an Internet search directory which offers online information about various products and services for Indian people living in Australia and for those who require information regarding Indian businesses, services and culture.


31 May 2004 Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC) wishes to announce the publication of its latest magazine commemorating Indian Heritage Month (May 2004) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of this magazine which marks the arrival of East Indians from India to Trinidad during indentureship (1845-1917) is the massacre of Indians in the 1884 Hosay. The magazine is available for US$10. Click here for more details.


27 May 2004 We just received an e-mail with a press-release-looking document from National Farmers Union about the launching of their two books "Girmityas" and "Children of the Indus". Click here to read the full story.


23 May 2004 Jone Dakuvula's contribution to the discourse at the 'Girmit Divas' 125th anniversary has been added. Click here for the speech given on 13th May 2004, Suva Civic Centre


19 May 2004 No, we were not even notified by them. Just by accident we saw their website mentioned in today's "Fiji Times": www.fijigirmitcouncil.com

Editor: As end of 2004 the website was no longer visible.


16 May 2004 Did we say 'no local newspaper has ever done an article...'? Isa lei, we were wrong. Yesterday, the "Daily Post" published our 4th press release in full and today the "Fiji Times" printed an edited version of the same.


15 May 2004 A newsfeed of the "New York Times" has been added to our landing page. 


14 May 2004 Exactly one month ago, we started publish to the World Wide Web! We are therefore rather disappointed that no local Fiji newspaper has ever done an article about this site, despite four press releases. Is it coincidence, carelessness or a deliberate tactic? We don't know but are comforted from the encouraging guestbook feedbacks and the fact that the site appears #1 on Google with the keyword 'girmit' - see below.
14 May 2004 Still some schedules are coming in, virtually too late. Click here for the celebration of the Girmit Divas Samabula Committee


14 May 2004 The first speeches and keynote addresses have arrived. Click here for details.


13 May 2004 A provision has been made for an online bookstore. Click here for details. Or read our press release .


12 May 2004 An e-mail reached us that "...the Fiji- Australia Club Inc and International Congress Of Fiji Indians will organising a Girmit Nite on 15 May 2004...". Click here for the schedule (however, we don't know where the event will take place)


12 May 2004 We quote officially from an e-mail we received on 7 May but got misinterpreted by our web guy:

Vicas Press, the publisher of "Fiji me Kisan Andolan", by Ayodhaya Prasad, gives permission to fijigirmit.org to publish the book online on its site, and to use any revenue it so receives for the benefit of the said site. Please also place a statement that Vol. 2 of the book is to be published by July.
Ganesh Chand, Director, Vicas Press

Ultimately, this means the 240-page book will soon be downloadable from this website at a not yet determined price.


11 May 2004 An interview was recently conducted with Ganesh Chand, a Fijigirmit.org project committee member. This "virtual interview" was initiated by Philip Pratx from the island of La Réunion (Indian Ocean). Philip runs a web portal called "Le portail des cultures indiennes de la Réunion" (http://www.indereunion.net/) and we may probably expect an French translation of the interview. Until then, you can find the interview here.


10 May 2004 A new page for the coverage of the 2004 celebrations by the press has been created. Click here for details.


9 May 2004 For people wanting to track their ancestors in India, this website of the Indian Government may help you. Thanks a lot, Satish Rai, for providing this link which could also be of interest to the Indian Diaspora people in Fiji.


8 May 2004 "Fiji me kisan andolan", a book written by Pt. Ayodhaya Prasad Sharma (first published in 1962 under the name "Fiji tapu me kisan andolan atharth Kisan Sangh ka itihas = Farmers, struggle in Fiji or a history of Fiji Kisan Sangh") has been re-published by Vicas Press in Lautoka. The book (240 pages) will soon be downloadable at a yet undisclosed amount from this website

Click here for the title page
Click here for the table of content and introduction
Click here for the back cover


7 May 2004 We just got a mail from Mrs. Anne Holvey and who works for the for the British Royal Mint. This is what she wrote:

I am currently researching to produce a commemorative gold coin in conjunction with the Government of Fiji which will mark the 125th Anniversary of the first indenture labourers reaching Fiji from India.

It is our intention to include the ship 'Leonidas' in the design of the coin, but I am having difficulty finding an image of the ship we can use as reference.

Do you have any good images of this ship that we may be able to use, or alternatively can you recommend some other organisation that may be able to help.


6 May 2004 For the first time, an advertisement of the Fiji Girmit Council appears in the local media. Click here to see it.


5 May 2004 All Girmit Divas events organised by the National Farmers Union have been submitted to us. Click here for more


3 May 2004 A visitor submitted an interesting story how a veteran researcher in South Africa created a  CD-ROM to help South African Indians trace roots. Click here for details.


2 May 2004 Search page created to allow easier retrieval of documents.


29 April 2004 Suddenly we even get links to French websites of countries (e.g. La Réunion, Guadeloupe) where intendured labourers later settled. Use the free translaters of SDL or Systran to read the text (sorry, they are not THAT good!)


28 April 2004 A new page has been added for people who want to track down their Fiji girmit ancestors either in Fiji or India. Click here for further information.


27 April 2004

Both the Suva City Council and the Shri Sanatan Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji have placed advertisements about scheduled celebrations in the local media.

Up to 1'000 pages are downloaded daily from this website. Thus we informed the local media about this with a press release.


26 April 2004 The website is only one week old and we are already getting up to 200 visitors per day! Some people also would like to trace their ancestors and are asking us for help. This is what Dr. Ahmed Ali had so say about tracing his own ancestors: "...Four of my great grandparents and my two paternal grandparents were indentured labourers: I have found their indenture passes but not as easily as some people think The last person of these I tracked down only a few months ago. Altogether this exercise must have taken me close to thirty years. I intend 
to write about the whole exercise and when that is done I will  give it to you so that your readers might learn what to do and  what is entailed..."


24 April 2004 The entire website will be made available offline to all schools in Fiji (all have already been notified with this letter). We are currently looking for sponsors for this task (F$7 per CD-ROM/school, includes courier shipping cost). If you want to contribute, send an e-mail to donate @ fijigirmit.org or go to the donations page.


24 April 2004 Gee, we forgot to mention who created the background of this website! It is no other than Tevita "Hulkstah" Antonio. Vinaka, bro, for all the help. People interested in his artwork click here. Or he can be contacted through email


23 April 2004

A dedicated page for letters which we receive has been created. 


22 April 2004

We have now a bank account! The details are:
ANZ Bank
USP Branch, Suva, Fiji Islands
Account No: 755-79099
Account Name: Fijigirmit.org

Should you need any help with your donation, please contact us by e-mail, call (++679) 665 2595 or 3315191, or fax to (++679) 665 2596.


21 April 2004

Acolades and stories about the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara are overshadowing any other local news. Apart from a TV announcement, no paper has yet reported the launch of this website. A small article, however, can be found on USP's Wansolwara site.


19 April 2004

The Fijigirmit.org website is launched on Monday, 19 April 2004 by Dr. Biman Prasad, Associated Professor and Head of Department of Economics, University of the South Pacific.
Click here for his launch speech
Click here for photos of the launch event
Click here for post launch press release


18 April 2004

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Fiji's first prime minister, passes peacfully away at the age of 83.
Click here to read more news.


17 April 2004

Two chapters from "Chalo Jahaji - on a journey through indenture in Fiji", a book by Brij V. Lal, are now on this site.
Preface HTML Acrobat
Chapter 1 HTML Acrobat

Chapter 1


16 April 2004

A press release has been issued to all media outlets in Fiji. The official launch of the website will be officiated by Dr. Biman Prasad, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of the South Pacific. The event will take place Monday, 19 April 2004 at noon. 
Click here to read the launch press release


16 April 2004

2 excerpts from Dr. Brij Lal's book "Crossing the Kala Pani - a documentary history of Indian indenture in Fiji" have just arrived. 
Click her for the Introduction chapter
Click her to read the original Agreement of Indenture


15 April 2004

A donations page has been set up. Click here for further information about how you can contribute.


14 April 2004

A subscription page for our upcoming newsletters has been set up. Click here to subscribe.


13 April 2004

A small online discussion forum has been added to the site. Click here to join.


11 April 2004

We have just received excerpts from a new book of Dr. Brij Lal. It is called "Girmitiyas: The Origins of the Fiji Indians"
What is it all about? We quote here from the book:

"This study does not look at the lives of the girmitiyas once they had reached Fiji; instead it examines the circumstances which led to their departure from India. Various questions are discussed: the reasons for introducing indentured labourers into Fiji, the structure and operation of the recruitment system in India, the regional origins of the migrants, their social and economic background in India, and the migration of women and families...."

Click here to read excerpts from this book.

The book will be available mid-May from the Fiji Institute of Applied Science


8 April 2004

The domain name FIJIGIRMIT.ORG is registered. Hosting of the site is done by Fijihosting.


2 April 2004

We received substantive Girmit era material from Dr. Ahmed Ali. For example his excellent book, Girmit - The Indentrue Experience in Fiji


12 March 2004

After scanning pictures from the Girmit era in the National Archives, a small group decides to create a website for the 125-year celebrations of the arrival of the first indentured labourers in Fiji.