29 Apr 2002

Fiji Senator blames Britian for country's problems

3:17 pm on 29 April 2002

Fiji's Senate has been told that its colonial masters, the British, are responsible for the country's present-day problems.

A Government senator and one-time historian, Dr Ahmed Ali, says indigenous Fijians and etnic Indians shouldn't be blamed for Fiji's longstanding problems because the British had delibrately created inequality in Fiji.

Senator Ali says the British brought Indians to Fiji, encouraged them to stay and abandoned them to perpetual insecurity.

He says Britain is spending millions of dollars in Zimbabwe on the re-distribution of land originally stolen from Africans by white farmers and colonial administrators.

But Senator Ali says Britain has done nothing for Fiji's Indians who stole no land but whose youth and labour were stolen to toil for the British empire.

As well, Senator Ali, says there was no compensation for Fijians whose lands were exploited and those who were involved in nuclear tests on Christmas Island.