Chaudhry pays homage to late chief

Former prime minister and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry at the Girmit Day Thanksgiving and Reconciliation Service in Suva on Sunday, May 14, 2023. Picture: SCREENGRAB / Fiji GOVT footage

On the occasion of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day today, Fiji Labour Party (FLP) leader Mahendra Chaudhry has paid homage to the late statesman.

Mr Chaudhry said Ratu Sukuna was a distinguished leader of his times.

“He was a skilful administrator and an eloquent speaker and in his actions and utterances he always displayed rationale,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry also recognised Ratu Sukuna’s role in the establishment of the Native Land Trust Board, now the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB), and his policy that lands surplus to the needs of the iTaukei should be made available to others in Fiji who needed it.

This later allowed for the setting up of Agricultural Landlord and Tenants Ordinance (ALTO) in 1966.

“Ratu Sukuna desired and preached peaceful co-existence. He was mindful of the fact that it was the only way to the orderly development of Fiji. As a leader he commanded the respect and admiration of all the races, including that of the colonial administrators who sought his counsel on matters affecting the iTaukei people.”

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