Kiran sheds tears of gratitude

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Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Sashi Kiran during the Thanksgiving and National Reconciliation church service at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on Sunday, May 14, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Assistant Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Sashi Kiran in an emotional speech expressed gratitude to the “vanua” for accepting descendants of the Girmityas as their own and making Fiji their “motherland”.

Speaking at the reconciliation church service in Suva on Sunday, she said the “vanua” has stood by them since the arrival of the Girmityas to Fiji 144 years ago.

Ms Kiran said Fiji was the “only motherland” they had. She said it was painful to hear people say they did not belong.

Ms Kiran also acknowledged the president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, for stepping up and organising the event and thanked Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka for having the courage to ask for forgiveness.

The Assistant Minister also asked for forgiveness for the way Indo-Fijians have treated the iTaukei and said the reconciliation service had brought healing.

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