22 Nov 2005

Fiji call for political leaders to resume talks

4:30 pm on 22 November 2005

A Fiji Labour party MP, Dr Ganesh Chand, says political leaders should resume talks which were abandoned some time ago.

Dr Chand, who's retiring from politics at next year's election, says the collapse of the talanoa talks was not good for the country which is more divided than ever.

He says the division between the ethnic groups is ongoing but attempts should be made to bridge this.

Dr Chand says church leaders, NGOs, the military, police, and political leaders, including the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, should all be talking.

"In every society which has gone through troubled times, we see that dialogue is the initial ice-breaking point. Leaders ought to start talking, and in Fiji, unfortunately, talks have collapsed despite the talanoa sessions which were going on, so there is a big problem now."

Dr Ganesh Chand of the Fiji opposition Labour Party