11 Apr 2003

Fiji Labour party calls on PM to stop making racial statements

3:15 pm on 11 April 2003

The Fiji Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has told prime minister Laisenia Qarase to show respect for Indians and stop himself and his cabinet ministers from making racial and damaging statements about them.

The Daily Post reports that Mr Chaudhry has put this as a condition before any talanoa talks can can take place between the two leaders.

Mr Chaudhry is quoted as saying he does not swear at and make racial comments about the indigenous Fijian community, and the Indians do not deserve such statements from the prime minister and his cabinet.

Mr Chaudhry says he can't take it any more and unless the prime minister is able to create an atmosphere of trust, mutual respect and peace, he would never be part of any forum with Mr Qarase.

The Labour Party leader says any discussions now would be useless because Mr Qarase does not show any urgency in resolving issues affecting the nation and its people.

Mr Chaudhry had earlier called for one-to-one talks with Mr Qarase so he could judge the prime minister's sincerity.

But Mr Qarase has rejected the suggestion saying that Mr Chaudhry has had two years to assess him.