The Prime Minister – Voreqe Bainimarama, paid tribute to the sacrifice and contribution of girmitiyas, towards nation-building in Fiji.
Speaking at the 140 years of celebration at Albert Park yesterday, Bainimarama said the journey of girmityas, is the story of tragedy as well as of great hope.
While the black-and-white photos in your history books may make girmit seem like the distant past, the wounds are much fresher than you may realise.These were the words of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the 140th Girmit Rememberance day commemoration at Albert Park yesterday.
Bainimarama acknowledged the hard work of descendants, activists and historians, first-hand accounts of girmitya have also been recorded for all to read and forever preserved in books to truly get a feel for what life was like at the time — to see through the eyes of the girmitya.
The Prime Minister said Fiji must not let this legacy go to waste and urged teachers to carry the universal lessons of girmit with them to their students with renewed passion in the years ahead.
Girmityas first arrived in Fiji on 14th May, 1879 on Leonidas. Nearly 61,000 labourers were brought to Fiji from India under the Indentured Labour system.