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What Rabuka Didn’t Do, FijiFirst Does

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What Rabuka Didn’t Do, FijiFirst Does Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and TISI Sangam president Sadasivan Naicker during unveiling of the plaque of the Vatuwaqa Funeral Rites Facility on May 12, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

The idea to build a funeral rites facility was first moot­ed in Parliament by the Na­tional Federation Party (NFP) in 1992.

It did not become a reality when the Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT) party led by Sitiveni Rabuka was in Government.

Twenty-six years later, the Fiji­First Government spent $920,000 to enable the Hindu and Sikh com­munities to complete the final rites of a person’s death in a dignified manner.

“Today we have the same leader (Mr Rabuka) wanting to become the Prime Minister and the NFP possibly joining them which was the whole irony in this,” the Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said at the official handover yesterday.

“We have a Government that be­lieves in ensuring that all Fijians are treated equally and are given the level of dignity that every hu­man being in this world deserves.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said their pri­ority was to ensure that the Consti­tution’s demands were fulfilled in a practical and tangible manner.

Hindus and Sikhs have to carry out further rituals after the crema­tion before the entire process was completed.

“This is why such a facility is very important and indeed necessary,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“This facility, although the Gov­ernment has built it, it’s not ours, it’s yours.”

He urged the communities to look after the facility.

“Please ensure that any person wanting to use the facility is given the priority to use it.

“We must treat all the people who require this facility to be given the opportunity to do so.”

Government has plans to build similar facilities in other parts of the country.

Works are under way in Nausori.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that they were working with the Rara­levu committee to look at bringing in gas-driven furnaces for crema­tion purposes.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that un­der Prime Minister Voreqe Baini­marama: “Today we have, a Gov­ernment that believes in ensuring that all Fijians are treated equally.

“The Constitution ensures that every citizen in this country is giv­en that respect every human being in this world deserves.”

Sayed Abdul Khaiyum (middle) during the opening of Vatuwaqa Funeral Rites Facility on May 11, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Sayed Abdul Khaiyum (middle) during the opening of Vatuwaqa Funeral Rites Facility on May 11, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

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