Politics

Draunidalo issues public apology

Suspended Member of parliament, Tupou Draunidalo has issued a public apology to the Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, the Minister of Education Dr Mahendra Reddy and the people of Fiji about her utterances in Parliament. In a letter to Speaker of the House Dr Jiko Luveni, Draunidalo stated that the Suspension Resolution requires her to […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

June 13, 2016 3:21 pm

Suspended Member of parliament, Tupou Draunidalo has issued a public apology to the Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, the Minister of Education Dr Mahendra Reddy and the people of Fiji about her utterances in Parliament.

Opposition MP Hon. Tupou Draunidalo. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
Opposition MP Hon. Tupou Draunidalo. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

In a letter to Speaker of the House Dr Jiko Luveni, Draunidalo stated that the Suspension Resolution requires her to issue a formal public apology in certain terms.

Draunidalo said she will comply with the suspension resolution, without prejudice to her rights to challenge the process by which it was arrived at.

DRAUNIDALO: “Through you and without prejudice to any such action, I give this explanation and apology to the Hon. Minister Reddy, Parliament and the people of Fiji about my utterances in the House last week.”

“As I stated in the House last Friday, I did not say – and have never said – that the Hon. Minister Reddy uttered the words ‘dumb natives’. I was replying by way of interjection to a point of order raised by the Attorney-General, who objected to Dr Reddy being called a “fool.” My interjection was to the effect that Dr Reddy had implied worse of the Opposition: “Calling us dumb natives?””

Draunidalo said she had many differences with Dr Reddy and said she did not consider him to be racist and did not intend to cast him as such in the words she used.

DRAUNIDALO: “As I stated in the House last Friday, I did not say – and have never said – that the Hon. Minister Reddy uttered the words ‘dumb natives’. I was replying by way of interjection to a point of order raised by the Attorney-General, who objected to Dr Reddy being called a “fool.” My interjection was to the effect that Dr Reddy had implied worse of the Opposition: “Calling us dumb natives?”

“I did not intend to imply that Dr Reddy’s utterances had any racial connotations. As I explained in Parliament I included the Hon. Prem Singh as a “native” in my speech (a definition supported by the Oxford English Dictionary). He is a fourth generation one. Indeed, he has been a native longer (in years) than I have been.”

Draunidalo said she looks forward in inviting Dr Reddy and his family to her home or village one day so that they can share a meal and put the very unfortunate turn of events behind them.

National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad said that Draunidalo’s apology was in line with the resolution of the parliament.

PRASAD: “Honorable Draunidalo’s apology in the statement is in line with the resolution of the parliament and that’s where the matter ends. The party is going to meet on Sunday this week and that’s where the next course of action for the party and appropriate steps will be decided. There are a number of issues that will be discussed, including the discussion on the proposed sugar cane industry bill and other matters before the party.”

When contacted by Newswire, Minister for Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy preferred not to make any comment on the issue.

Questions have been sent to the Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni.

Download: Hon Roko Tupou Draunidalo’s Letter to the Speaker (225 KB)

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