13 May 2008

Former Fiji vice-president calls for country to develop vision of unity

8:16 pm on 13 May 2008

Fiji's former vice president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has called for the country's people to develop a vision with which to move Fiji forward.

Ratu Joni has made the call in a speech at the Annual Pacific Lecture held by New Zealand's Pacific Co-operation Foundation in Wellington.

The former vice-President says the four coups that have blighted Fiji's progress in the last two decades, also highlight a lack of shared values and unity among the country's various communities.

He says that despite the coup legacy, the time for blame has gone and the key challenge that remains for Fiji's people is to build a better society based on democratic culture inculcated in their hearts and minds.

Ratu Joni says the immediate concern for Fiji is the role of the military; that clear protocols need to be developed between it and the government.

In spite of all the differences, he says there continues to be much goodwill - which will be required to put in place a vision and identity that belongs to all Fijians.