20 May 2002

Fiji marks the second anniversary of the May 2000 coup with calls for reconciliation

7:35 am on 20 May 2002

Fiji marked the second anniversary of the May 2000 coup yesterday with widespread calls for national reconciliation.

The National Council of Women said achieving reconciliation would be difficult if the two major political parties cannot come together and speak to each other.

Its secretary, Sharon Rolls, says having a Reconciliation Ministry and organising events with songs and dances is not enough.

Hindu leaders also say political reconciliation is a pre-requisite to social and cultural reconciliation.

The Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, says Fiji is still living with the wounds and hurt of the coup and divine help is needed to start the healing.

The Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudry, says two years after the coup, Fiji continues to tread the path of lawlessness by defying the Constitution and denying the rights of some sections of the community.