Race card ‘trump’ – ‘Stop using race card, says human rights activist

Shamima Ali (let) of FWCC at a joint press conference with FRIENDS Fiji in Suva, on Tues 10 May 2022. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Politicians must stop using the race card every time something political happens, says Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) coordinator Shamima Ali.

She made the comment during the commemoration of the Syria wreck at Naivilaca Village in Noco, Rewa on Saturday.

“We must not let them use the people and create tensions,” Ms Ali said.

“I believe it is very important for us in Fiji, particularly with race relations and with the whole political environment, at this point in time whereby people are talking a lot more about what happened in 1987, 2000 and 2006 and how race relations deteriorated.

“I think it’s really important that this kind of occasion takes place and we remind ourselves of the humanity present in Fiji, particularly the iTaukei and Indo-Fijians and how we have lived together and the whole humanitarian.”

Ms Ali said the commemoration of what had transpired for the girmitiyas was emotional after learning about it from those who told the stories.

“It was a very emotional journey for me, especially being told the story on the boat and yesterday (Saturday) talking to the elders here at Naivilaca Village.

“The last few days I’ve been coming here and talking to them.

“It’s touching me at a very big place and these occasions like today help us understand each other better.

“It is really important here in Fiji for present and our future generations and the ones who have come before us to narrate the story before we forget it all or it goes in the archives as it has been for the past few years.

“We need to remind ourselves of the resilience of our people.”

 

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