15 Mar 2005

Fiji Labour leader backs vice-president's warning on instability

4:37 pm on 15 March 2005

The Fiji Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says an understanding of history is the main way to address the causes of potential conflict.

Mr Chaudhry supports remarks made by the vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, who's told a consultation on conflict prevention that indigenous Fijians must be reassured over their fears.

Mr Chaudhry says it's vital to remember that the country has avoided full-scale armed conflict.

"The best thing in such circumstances is to take them back into history, and say well, nothing of this sort has happened. You know, Indians have been here in this country for almost 126 years now. Now what have they taken away from you? That itself is proof enough."

Mr Chaudhry says Ratu Joni and other leaders should work to reassure the indigenous Fijian community.

He says indigenous politicians have from time to time manipulated emotional thinking for their own vested interests.