13 Jan 2003

Fiji Labour Party leader continues to highlight plight of Indo-Fijians

11:28 am on 13 January 2003

The Fiji Labour Party is to make representations to the United Nations committee against racial discrimination to ensure that the plight of Indo-Fijians is given a strong hearing in international forums.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says if the illegal regime in Suva is going to discriminate against 44 per cent of the population, it should be prepared to meet criticism.

The Sunday Times reports that Mr Chaudhry made the statement from New Delhi after the assistant minister in the prime minister's office, Simione Kaitani, said police would investigate the Labour leader for his comments at a conference of overseas Indians.

The minister said Mr Chaudhry should be charged with sedition for causing instability by stirring up the emotions of indigenous Fijians.

Mr Chaudhry told the conference that Fiji's Indians are landless and defenceless, are deprived of their constitutional rights, face statutory discrimination and are denied security and police protection in a situation of seriously declining law and order.

Mr Chaudhry says he will continue to highlight the plight of the Indian community at every international forum despite criticism at home.

The director of police criminal investigations, Emosi Vunisa. says they have not received any complaints against Mr Chaudhry andcan only charge him once an investigation proves that he is causing instability.