Quarase praises Butadroka

Issue No: 8; 21 August 2000

Former Nationalist Leader Sakeasi Butadroka was a great Fijian leader, believes the Fijian interim regime head Laisenia Qarase.

Today's Fiji Times (21 August) reported Qarase as paying tribute to the late Butadroka when Qarase was hosted to a feast by villagers from his home, Mavana, in Suva during the past weekend. The Fiji Times wrote:

"He [Qarase] said Mr. Butadroka was a great Fijian leader and his affirmative actions towards Fijian rights and prosperity was his true colour."

"Mr Qarase said he had a few ideas from him in the co-operative field"

Well, yes, but now the people and friends of Fiji see Qarase's true colour.

Butadroka died many months ago. Qarase is paying tribute to him now, when he has managed to maneuver his way to become the illegal regime's Prime Minister.

And in paying his tribute, he praises the right wing leader who advocated that ethnic Indians should be expelled from Fiji. Butadroka went into the 1977 election on this platform. He lost the second 1977 election. He continued to argue that ethnic Fijian interests could be best served if the ethnic Indians were no longer staying in Fiji. Later he seemed to have changed his position somewhat, but continued to believe that the ethnic Indian population, comprising over 44% of Fiji's population, had no place in Fiji's parliament.

Military coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka after the 1987 military coup appointed Butadroka the Minister for Lands. Immediately upon holding office, Butadroka proceeded to convert all state owned and freehold land to native land. This did not succeed as the regime had collapsed soon after. But Butadroka continued to argue for absolute ethnic Fijian supremacy in the political affairs of the land. Butadroka entered the Parliament again in 1992 but lost the election in 1994.

Only on Sunday 20 August, Qarase stated that landownership should be a criteria for seat allocation in Fiji's Parliament.

The People's Coalition believes that Qarase has taken an avowedly racist stand since being elevated to the post of Prime Minister, first by the military, then by the Interim President. He has no intention of seeing parliamentary democracy re-established in Fiji.




People's Coalition Government - Fiji Islands
Last update: August 27, 2001