As Fiji is set to hold national elections later this year, people will be confronted with old forces that seek to divide them and hold them back from their journey into the future.
Acting Prime Minister Faiyaz Koya said this to a gathering in Rakiraki. He was addressing the members of the Raratapu Jyoti Ramayan Mandali during the annual kali mata pooja on Saturday night.
He said when encountering such situations people should continue to hold great belief in what the nation has accomplished as it strived to make every year a better one for all Fijians.
“Again, we must reject that backwards way of thinking, we must choose progress over prejudice and dirty politics, and again we must renew our commitment to one another as Fijians and as men and women dedicated to the betterment of our nation,” said Mr Koya, who holds the portfolios of Industry, Trade, Tourism, Land and Mineral Resources.
Close to 500 Hindu devotees were part of the event to celebrate the annual kali mata pooja, which is an important event in their religious calendar.
Mr Koya said the Goddess Kali was a divine protector who donned several avatars to protect the weak and her story was about the values of team work, unity and camaraderie
“We are lucky to call home a nation so rich in different cultures and religions. I am especially grateful that in Fijian society we so openly share in the traditions and celebrations of our fellow Fijians,” he said.
“Gone are the days where Fijians were distinguished by their race or religion and my invitation to this auspicious event is a sign of that progress.”
Assistant Poojari Rudra Nand said a large number of people turned out to make offerings to Goddess Kali to save their families and loved ones from evil.
“This is an annual event and where we all gather together as one family,” he added.